The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 12, July 1908 - April, 1909 Page: 64
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
one of the horses, and Bailey the other. As soon as he thought
we had had time to get the horses, he said, "Young men, your
horses are pressed for service, and I am now ready to give you
a receipt for them." One of them swore that he would press
the man that had his horse. It was moonlight, and 1 saw him
coming towards me with a glistening bowie knife. I had an
"Arkansas tooth-pick" with me, and when he got close enough
to strike, he said, "Turn that horse loose." I told him I would
not do it. He made a lick at the bridle reins, but I man-
aged to make him miss. He said, "Turn him loose, or I'll cut
your head off." He was on one side of the horse, and I was on
the other. He raised his knife, and at that moment I stooped
under the horse's neck. I had my knife gauged in my hand, and
I punched it in him about an inch. I told him if he moved I
would run it through him. He said, "You have cut me." I said,
"You stand back now, or I'll cut you worse." He cried and said,
"If I thought my brother would get the horse, I would not mind
it." That ended the strife. When we reported these two horses,
and I gave the circumstances of the pressing I asked "If I am
pressing horses, and am forced to kill a man to save my own life,
will I find protection, and where ?" The cabinet answered, "You
will find protection here."
Our orders from the cabinet were to press every horse and gun
that was not necessary for the protection of the people who were
fleeing before Santa Anna's army; to press every horse that we
found on the prairie that was suitable for the army, to receipt for
him if we could find the owner, and in any case to send him to
Our next trouble when when we pressed the president's horse.
The cabinet was then at Harrisburg. Mrs. Burnet was at Lynch-
burg, and the president's horse was on the prairie. We were on
our way to Harrisburg to make a report of our horses, when we
learned that we had the president's horse. Mrs. Burnet had sent
a negro to notify the president, so they made me spokesman for
the occasion. We reported all the horses, before we said anything
about the president's, then I said, "We found one horse on the
prairie, but could not find the owner, and therefore could not give a
receipt for him." At this juncture General Rusk got up and said
that we had done our duty, but that we had the president's horse,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 12, July 1908 - April, 1909, periodical, 1909; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101048/m1/72/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.