Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 14
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TEXIAN STOMPING GROUNDS
by daylight. But at night, there was no sleep for "Damyankees,"
not east of the western boundary line of the "Free State of
The one idea was to make life miserable for all Northerners
who dared travel beyond city limits. If they traveled by horse-
back, they could expect, every hour or two, to meet an ex-
Confederate mounted on a splendid stallion and going at a
terrific pace, considering the nature of the winding road and
bordering timber. If the visitors were mounted on geldings,
and they usually were, they could expect their mounts to do
everything short of climbing a tree in an effort to get out of
the way of the approaching stallion.
Just as West Texas is best pictured by a glimpse of a range
rider, a lank, lean length of man, broad of hat and one boot heel
and spur showing beneath a drooping mount, the whole etched
clean against the gold of a setting sun, East Texas of the Re-
construction era is best pictured by a glimpse of a lean, long-
whiskered man, also broad of hat, mounted on a splendid Virginia
stallion, his polished coat shining, his head commandingly high,
his pointed ears sharply alert, his eyes unconquerable and de-
manding, streaking through the thickly timbered pine land at
a gliding single-foot, swift and smooth as a sparrow hawk in
These men of the Piney Woods have been little mentioned in
history. Yet among them, "perhaps some village Cromwell the
petty tyrant of his field withstood." They were not men of
wealth by measure of money value. Five hundred acres of land
that would not sell for five dollars the acre covered the average
estate. Nor was the range of their influence wide; they lived
close to home. However, it is true that most of them had done
more pistol fighting in one year with Forrest than the average
notorious Western gunmen witnessed in a lifetime. They had
lost a good war in the East; but they grimly proposed to be
unconquerable on their home ground.
The death of Old Dick, a bird dog, an English setter, tells
the story of these men and of their attitude toward their home-
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/22/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.