The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 354
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
conflicting statements concerning his fate. One author states
that John Hyde Johnson contracted tuberculosis after the Civil
War and went for treatments to Little Rock, Arkansas, where
he is supposed to have died.31 Johnson's niece, Mrs. John E.
Shelton, remembers that John was an officer in the Confederate
Army and that he lost his voice in action. He was sent home
before he went to St. Louis to have a throat operation from
which he did not recover. At any rate, he died unmarried at
an early age,82 and his death was a heavy blow to Lizzie, who
was extremely fond of her brother.
The Civil War also directly affected Lizzie's future prosperity
in the cattle business. During the war years almost all of the
men of Texas were in the army, and the women and young boys
had to manage the best they could. The task was more difficult
since many a slave had been taken to war by his master to tend
his horse and person. Because there were no fences, the cows
strayed off, and the women had neither the time nor the strength
to round them up. Consequently, unclaimed herds of cattle
roamed the plains and countryside. Calves went unbranded,
and the increase was nearly 25 per cent a year. Because of
chaotic conditions and haphazard killings that came with Re-
construction, Mexican citizens who owned land and herds in
Texas abandoned them; as a result, Mexican herds augmented
the number of cattle running wild. During the war, markets
for Texas cattle were practically nonexistent; the Confeder-
ate armies were cut off from the Texas beef supply by Union
control of the Mississippi River. The prairies of South-
west Texas swarmed with cattle, but the value of beef was so
low that thousands of the animals were killed for hide and
tallow, their carcasses being left to rot and to be eaten by the
buzzards. This period in Texas cattle history has been called
the "skinning war." In the North conditions were exactly the
reverse; demand was high, but there was almost no supply.
In 1865 a select matured beef was worth ten times as much in
the North as in Texas. Naturally the Texas cattlemen began
to look toward the North for a market.88
Hundreds of "brush-poppers" were combing the thickets of
Southwest Texas for longhorns by the middle of February,
e1T. U. Taylor, "Johnson Institute," Frontier Times, XVIII, 228.
32Mrs. John E. Shelton, Statement Concerning Elizabeth E. Johnson
88D. R. Dobie, The History of Hays County, Texas, 82-83.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/429/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.