Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 46 of 163
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PORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
I neared him he rode onto the sidewalk and seized me
by the shoulder. Half a dozen other horsemen appeared,
as though they had risen out of the ground.
One seized my pistol and ordered me to mount his horse
quickly. I did so, and he vaulted up behind me, and
away we all went a clattering gallop toward the Texas
side. When we had crossed the river I asked, "Where
do you intend to take me?" One answered, "To Fort
Bliss." I requested that they would not take me through
El Paso, but they decided to do so. Kuhn then said
to me that it was all right, I would have a fair trial and
so on. I said: "I want no talk with you, sir; you are
a scoundrel and a murderer. These soldiers obey orders.
You betray for money." I said more, and offered
to fight him if they would give me my pistol. As
I expected, this piece of pluck won the chivalrous young
Texans. I saw no possibility of escape, and knowing
the bitter feeling against me it appeared to me the
chances were in favor of being hung or shot. Not that
I considered myself a spy, for I had not been in disguise
nor in the enemy's lines, but I did not suppose those
gentlemen would hesitate much about technicalities.
To a soldier taken in battle imprisonment merely
means exchange or parole, but this was a different matter.
It was not probable that the soil of a neutral republic
had been violated merely that the Texan officers
might have the pleasure of my company about their
quarters. At Fort Bliss I was taken before the then
post commander, Major Waller, who said: "You are
brought here a prisoner, sir." I asked why they had
taken me from neutral soil, and he said I would learn
in time. He then sent for the officer of the day, Capt.
Ike Stafford, who conducted me to the guardhouse; it
was filled with vermin and bad men. (Captain Stafford
still lives in Texas.)
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Mills, William W. Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills., book, 1901; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6112/m1/46/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .