Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 3
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ON THE JEFFERSON ROAD
bristles. He would change his stride to a more proud and stiff-
legged jaunt. He would arrive on the scene ready for a fight
with any strange dog that chanced to cross his path. He usually
found forty dogs in a like mood, ready to fight at the drop of a
hat. It was just a case of choose your partner and go to it. There
was enough fighting for all dogs who wanted to get into the
fun, whether in the main fight at the foot of the hill, or in
the more personal, dog-to-dog affairs, scattered through the
underbrush of the hill slope.
With any good dog valued somewhere between a horse and
a mule-history does not record that men have ever fought over
mules-all fights were not just dogfights. Many were dog-started
fights. Dogfight Crossing was well named.
All roads led to Jefferson. The men who made the trip were
neither rich nor poor. The majority of them were ex-Confederate
soldiers who had seen hard service under Forrest with the Third
Texas Cavalry. Mostly, they had come to Texas by the Arkansas
route before the War. In fact, so many of them had come by
this route, and had been "water bound" in Arkansas so many
times, that this section of Texas was then well-known as the
"Arkansas Overlap." Regardless of where the border was, the
Piney Woods were still Arkansas in so far as the people were
concerned. So argued the herdsmen of the prairies farther west.
And there must have been some good Arkansas reason for
this prejudice against a neighboring state. No early settler
would ever admit having lived in Arkansas; he had merely been
waterbound in Arkansas for a decade or so.
Life began in Texas in those days. This is well illustrated
by an incident in court at Linden. A man in his eighties, or
over, was asked his age on the witness stand. "Sixty-four," he
"Now, John," the judge admonished, looking over his angu-
lar, silver-rimmed glasses, "you are not going to state on oath
in this court that you are only sixty-four?"
"Now, Joe!" the witness protested, "you know I ain't ever
counted them twenty-one years I was waterbound in Arkansas."
These were the men who hauled cotton to market on the
Jefferson Road. Few had owned more than one family of slaves
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/11/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.