The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

had been one. He then said, "Come into the room, it may be that
you are one still."
We went into the room, and he gave me some signs, which I did
not understand and of course, could not answer them. He then re-
marked, "You know nothing about it." We then walked out on the
porch, when he said further: "If you want to know all about it, my
brother, the Doctor, is one of the head men and he will initiate you."
I told him perhaps at some future time, I would stop and endeavor
to learn something for the good of the country, for, I thought it in
a condition to need all the aid that could be extended to it, and that
I was anxious to do all the good in my power. He then said, "These
d-d rebel rascals about town (and there are a good many of them)
have a large quantity of ammuni[tion] and we Union men intend to
have it, and that d----d soon."
I made no reply and left him. I informed Col. Bourland of what
I had heard and he advised me to go on, join the order and get all
the information I could on the subject.
About two weeks subsequent to the time of the interview with
Childs I came to Gainesville, and Col. Bourland loaned me a horse
and I rode out to the residence of Doctor Henry Childs, finding
him at home. I inquired about some estray stock which (as I told him)
I learned run in his neighborhood. After some conversation, I told
him I had formed an acquaintance with his brother in Gainesville,
and that he had informed me of the existence of an organization in
the country, which he styled the Union party, and that being myself
a Union man, the idea pleased me very much. I then stated to him that
his brother told me that he (the Doctor) could give me all informa-
tion and full instructions regarding said organization. This seemed
to please him, and without any further remarks on my part he replied,
"I must first swear you to secrecy."
At his bidding I then raised my hand and took the following obli-
gation: "You, J. B. McCurley, in the presence of Almighty God, do
most solemnly promise and swear that you will forever keep secret
the revelations now about to be made to you, and that you will obey
all the orders of the society into which you are now about to be
initiated. So help you, God."
I then told him that his brother had informed me of an intention
on the part of the Society to rise very soon and capture all the ammu-
nition deposited in town, and that I desired to know when the seizure
was to take place. He replied, "there is a talk about it," but he thought
they would delay it awhile longer. I then asked him how many his
Order numbered. He said they not only numbered hundreds, but
they were counted by the thousands-that their Institution reached
from the north to the South, through the northern and Southern

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed November 27, 2014.