The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 343
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Horace M. Hall's Letters from Gillespie County
it resembles the land in Ohio, high hills wooded with rich valleys
with tall grass over a horses back, it must be a beautiful country in
summer The day after I left Baxter there came a heavy snow storm
and now the roads are awful bad, it will take 20 days to finish the
trip, Direct next to Sherman, Grayson Co Texas.14 I am the hero of
our camp. I shot a deer yesterday. Riding out with Mrs Johnson some
8 mi in advance of the train, we came up with a train of folks from
Iowa, and was talking to the men when we saw a deer coming, pur-
sued by two men on horses.15 I was riding a two hundred dollar race
pony of Dick's, and as soon as I saw the deer, I borrowed a revolver
of the Iowa man & set out after the deer.'6 my pony was fresh & fast
& I could not hold him, he jumped two creeks with me but I stuck,
and in about a mile came up with him (a big buck) & give him a
shot in the rear & my pony was going so fast that the bucks horns
branded my side & then I gave him a shot in the fore leg and broke
it, he went out & laid down. I went to approach him & then he
charged on me, but the pony got out of the road & then I chased him
again into a swamp like and give him a shot in the side & killed him,
the two Indians took the hide & give me all the meat & I gave the
man some that lent me the revolver & then I went to strap the four
quarters on behind the saddle & the pony kicked up & kicked my hat
off, how is that for high,'7 & had to chase him 2 miles or more & when
I got back the buzzards had eat up all my meat but the quarters
which I had hid & then I put the meat on behind & come up with
the train, had dinner and Dick had eat so much venison that it "went
14The trip from Abilene to Fort Gibson took twenty days, and Horace thought
that sixteen more days would be needed to complete the trip to central Texas. This
would mean in all about five weeks on the trail, and an average progress of about
seventeen or eighteen miles a day for the six hundred mile journey. The outfit
undoubtedly had a chuck wagon and wagons carrying supplies and equipment.
For a first-hand account of cattle and boat crossings of the Red River at Colbert's
Ferry, near Sherman, see the narrative of John Malcolm, a ferryman.-Mattie Davis
Lucas and Mita Holsapple Hall, A History of Grayson County, Texas (Sherman,
15If the Mrs. Johnson mentioned was Sam's wife, as seems likely, she was born
Eliza Bunton, daughter of Robert Holmes Bunton and Jane Macintosh Bunton,
and a niece of John Wheeler Bunton, signer of the Texas Declaration of Inde-
pendence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas and delegate to the Re-
public's first Congress. She was married to Sam Ealy Johnson, Sr., in 1867.-Mooney,
The Lyndon Johnson Story, 20.
16The racing pony belonged to Dick Johnson, who was probably a son of Sam or
Tom, or possibly their brother.
17It was apparently an old Texas custom for the horse to kick his rider's hat off.
The cowboy's horse until about 1850 came by way of Mexico, "did not weigh over
six hundred pounds, but could run all day and then feel foxy enough to kick the
hat off his rider at night."-Everett Dick, "The Long Drive," Collections of the
Aansas State Historical Society, XVII (1926-1928), 53.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/408/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.