The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919

The Southwestern Iistorical Quarterly

REMINISCENCES OF THE TERRY RANGERS
J. K. P. BLACKBUTRN
I
When the Civil War commenced I was in school in Lavaca
County, Texas, both as teacher and pupil, where I had been most of
the time for four and a half years before. I was born in Tennes-
see in 1837 and in the fall of 1856, when I was about 19 years of
age, my father emigrated to Texas with his family of wife and
eight children. I taught a little primary school in Fayette County
first for three months. Then I sold a horse my father gave me,
got my money for teaching school, put these two funds together,
and went to Alma Institute in Lavaca County for two years. I
taught one year in Gonzales County, and after thus adding to my
bank account, returned to my alma mater as pupil and assistant
teacher and was there until hostilities commenced between the
North and the South.
My first experience in anything that looked like warfare was had
in a trip to San Antonio to help capture the Federal forces and
war equipage at that place. The United States had been ac-
customed for years to make San Antonio an army post with a good
force and plenty of army supplies under able commanders so as
to be available to protect the western border from invasion. Soon
after the State of Texas passed the ordinance of secession, Ben
McCulloch, a frontiersman and Indian fighter, called upon the
people living in the western and southern counties of Texas to meet
him at the earliest possible moment at a rendezvous near San
Antonio with any firearms to be had. Without delay nearly all
the men able to bear arms and to do military duty, started with a
rush, riding continuously without rest or sleep until we reached the
place of gathering, which if my memory serves me, was on Sea
Willow Creek a few miles from the city to the north. We who
were from Lavaca County reached the place late in the night,
probably two or three o'clock A. M. McCulloch had already sent
men to surround the Alamo, then used as a fort and an arsenal for
army and military supplies.
The movement was made with much caution and secrecy. Men

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117156/. Accessed August 23, 2014.