The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 12, July 1908 - April, 1909 Page: 68
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Texaas Historical Association Quarterly.
some beeves, and drive them ahead of the army, to a man by the
name of Burnett, who was to have them butchered by the time the
army arrived there. It was strictly against orders to kill a hog or
chickens or anything except beef. We arrived at Burnett's at about
two or three o'clock in the afternoon. We found that the family
had all left the place, and that there was a yard full of chickens,
plenty of corn meal, and bacon in .the smoke-house, besides pots
and ovens. I said to the men that were with me, "If you will
butcher the beeves, I will get us a good dinner; we'll have some
chicken, bacon and cornbread." They said it was against the
orders and Houston would punish us for it. I told them that I
would take all the blame, and clear them. They soon agreed to
this, for none of us had tasted any bread for some time. We had
nothing but beef, and that cooked only one way-roasted by the
fire-(we had no vessels to cook in) and without any salt, too.
I went to work and killed twelve grown chickens, dressed them,
and put them in a large wash pot; I also put in some sliced bacon.
I then made an oven and a large skillet of cornbread. I took six
of the chickens, and put them in a dinner pot, with at least half
a gallon of rich gravy, and set it away, together with the oven of
bread. By this time the beeves had been butchered and hung up,
and I called the men to come to dinner. The yard was covered
with feathers, and the men said to me, "Ain't you afraid Houston
will punish you if you don't take those feathers away?" I said,
"No." Well, we all did justice to that dinner.
It was getting late in the evening. I got up on the rail fence,
and pretty soon I saw the army coming. Houston, Rusk, Burleson,
Sherman and some of the other officers came up and dismounted.
I opened the gate, and said, "Gentlemen officers, I wish to see you
in the house." I led the way, and they all followed me in. I saw
Houston knit his brows when he saw the feathers in the yard.
When they were all in, I closed the door, and addressed General
Houston in the following way, "General, I have disobeyed orders;
when we arrived here, I found everything deserted and we were
hungry, for we have had nothing to eat, except beef; so I killed
some chickens and baked some bread, and we had a good dinner !"
He looked at me as if he were looking through me, and said,
"Sparks, I will have to punish you. You knew it was against
orders; I will have to punish you." I said "General, I saved you
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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/m1/76/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.