The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908 Page: 64
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
with no covering over it. It had been constructed by placing logs
twelve to fifteen feet long in the ground on their ends with a plank
walk near the top on the outside, on which the guard walked to
watch the prisoners. For these, small "A" tents were the only
protection from the sun and rain. There was no floor to any part
of it, and, unfortunately, it was located on a clayey, sticky soil.
The first time I visited the Bull Pen I suppose there were from
fifty to one hundred prisoners in it. There had been rain, and the
mud and slush were shoe-mouth deep.
It was not necessary to file a complaint, or even charge a per-
son with an offense, to have him placed in that most uncomfortable
prison. One or two instances will be sufficient to give an idea of
the tyranny and oppression which were exercised by the military
in those trying days. A negro by the name of Simon Alexander
came to Austin from Freestone County and informed Ceneral Rey-
nolds that he had been whipped by some young white men of that
county. General Reynolds sent a squad of soldiers to Freestone and
arrested Judge McCracken, Dr. Gibbs, Messrs. Deming, Ross, Roark,
and a number of the other most prominent citizens of that county,
and brought them in a wagon, under guard, to Austin and placed
them in the Bull Pen. I happened to meet them while visiting an-
other prisoner; and, seeing by their appearance and conduct that they
were first-class citizens, I asked them for what they had been im-
prisoned. They stated that they had never been informed of the
charges, and requested me to see General Reynolds and learn, if
possible, what was alleged against them. I immediately went to
General Reynolds and asked him with what offense they were
charged. He replied that there was no charge against them, that
no complaint had been filed against them, but that they had been
arrested and would be held as hostages until the young men who
Alexander said had whipped him would come to Austin and sur-
As some of the men were in delicate health, and their lives
would be endangered by remaining in the Bull Pen, they were
paroled and permitted to get rooms in the city on conditions
imposed by General Reynolds that they would not leave the city,
and that I would be personally responsible for them. They were
kept in the city several weeks before the young men, Messrs. Oliver
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908, periodical, 1908; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101045/m1/68/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.