The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 488

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

is to me the most interesting of the lot. This chapter also contains
good descriptions of the garrisons themselves and of the life of the
camp followers-laundresses, sutlers, civilian employees, wives, etc.
His book is based on thorough research in the National Archives,
state archives, and relevant printed sources. It is written in a clear,
readable style, generously illustrated, and contains an excellent fold-
out map of the Santa Fe Trail with place names mentioned in the
University of Arkansas WALTER L. BROWN
Now You Hear My Horn: The Journal of James Wilson Nichols,
1820o-887. Edited by Catherine W. McDowell and illustrated
by Eldridge Hardie. Austin (University of Texas Press), 1967.
Pp. xix+2 12. Illustrations, maps, appendix, index. $7.50.
The author of this fine piece of nineteenth-century Texana entered
Texas just after the Texas revolution, on December 16, 1836, to be
exact. During the next fifty-five years Jim Nichols participated reg-
ularly in the excitement that seems to characterize Texas in any pe-
riod of her history. He died in 1891 at the age of seventy-one. Four
years earlier he wrote this journal, based on diaries he had kept at
the time of the events described.
James Wilson Nichols settled in Guadalupe County where he
eventually operated a ranch. However, the journal is essentially an
account of the details of Jim's move to Texas, of Comanche depre-
dations and campaigns, service with the Texas Rangers against Cor-
dova and especially with Jack Hays and, later, Ben McCulloch in the
Mexican War.
In 1859 Nichols moved to Blanco County where he soon was en-
tangled with the secession question. Like so many in the "hill country"
Nichols opposed the Confederate movement; but, finally, under the
duress of Colonel James M. Duff and his men, Nichols took an oath
of allegiance to the Confederacy. Despite the oath, Nichols believed
that his continued troubles, including an abortive effort to send him
to the penitentiary, for alleged horse stealing, grew out of his Union-
ist politics. Jim's "regard" for his persecutors is somewhat (an un-
derstatement) reflected in the potent paragraph which closes his
folksy journal:
Now I sometimes think of the past and how I was surved by this rot-
ten harted, thieving, savage set of hypocritical, fraudalent, purgered and


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. ( accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.