Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 47 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
The first night a blacksmith came and took the measure
of my ankle, and presently returned with a ball
and chain which he rivetted on my leg. I soon found
that by removing my boot I could slip the iron over my
foot, but the chances for escape were very poor, and
I often shuddered when awakened from troubled sleep
by its clanking. The idea of kidnaping me did not originate
with the Texan military, but was instigated by
citizen non-combatants-my own neighbors.
The next day two of the young men who kidnaped
me came to see me at the guard house. Their names
were Craig and McGarvey-James McGarvey, now of
Galveston. Before they left they promised to be my
friends, and faithfully kept their words. They told me
that Kuhn had offered to divide with them the reward
paid him for my arrest, but they declined the bloodmoney.
Colonel Herbert also called to see me, and denounced
my arrest and volunteered to act as my counsel.
The colonel applied for a writ of habeas corpus, but
the district judge refused to grant it.
I asked to see Colonel Baylor, and asked to be tried
and hung or shot or released. He said he had evidence
enough to hang me, though he would dislike to do it.
Still, if I insisted, he would give me a court martial.
He recounted very correctly some of the incidents of
my journey to Santa Fe.
The next day Baylor sent his adjutant to inform me
that he could not grant a court martial.
Before my arrest I had written my brother Emmitt,
who was employed on the overland stage line west of Mesilla,
that there would be fighting between the Texas and
United States troops, and suggested that he come in
and report to the commanding officer at Fort Fillmore.
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/47/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .