E. B. FLOWERS
[photo omitted — E. B. FLOWERS]
Mr. E. B. Flowers, of San Antonio, Texas, was born at Burkesville, Ky., November 27th, 1862. He moved to Caldwell county, Texas, with his parents in 1880. Young Flowers found something here which just suited his nature, the cattle business, and went to work on ranches for different stockmen. He went up the trail for Bishop & Head in 1882 and since that time he has been continu-
ously identified in cattle interests. At present he owns large ranches in Zavala county, well stocked with fine cattle. Mr. Flowers is known as" Smiling Elisha." All who know him are his friends for his word is his bond. He owns considerable property in San Antonio and is a very busy man superintending his ranch and city properties, but never too busy to give his attention and money to all worthy charities. He is classed as one of Texas' most worthy citizens.
EXPERIENCES OF A RANGER AND SCOUT
A. M. (Gus) Gildea, Deming, N. M.
I was born April 23, 1854, in Dewitt county, Texas, my father, ranching at the time, having moved to Texas in 1852 from Mississippi. J. E. Gildea was a soldier under General Scott in Mexico, 1846-47, having enlisted in New Orleans, returning there in 1848 after the Mexican War and married Mrs. Mary Adelaide Cashell, a widow with one young son, Augustus Lorraine Cashell who is living at this time, January, 1922, in Pope county, Ark. J. E. Gildea and his step-son, Cashell, were both in the Confederate Army and came out lieutenants, and after Gen. Lee's surrender both went to Mexico, my father from the lower Rio Grande where the Confederates under Brig. Gen. J. E. Slaughter had repulsed the Yankees in what is known as the battle of Casa Blanca and which was fought some time subsequent to General Lee’s surrender and my half brother Cashell, went as interpreter with Gen. Joe Shelby's men. My father was with the French and Austrian army of invasion and Lieut. Cashell with the Mexican Republican army until the Confederates in this last fight of the Civil War were pardoned
[photo omitted — A. M. (Gus) GILDEA In 1878]
by proclamation of President Johnson, when they returned home and went to gathering their scattered stock of horses and cattle at the ranch on the Nueces river fifteen miles below Oakville, in Live Oak county, and here is where I began my cowboy work at twelve years of age. From then, 1866 until 1906, I was more or less in the saddle on the frontiers of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and in Old Mexico. In 1868 I was sent to Louisville, Ky., to school and to study medicine and after a year's time I got lonesome and wanted to hear the wolves howl and the owls hoot back in the West, so I took "French leave" out of school and went up the Ohio River to Cincinnati and from there out in the country and down into Indiana and back to Kentucky, then into Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana until I again reached New Orleans, where I stayed several months. Coming back to Texas in the fall of 1870 I was again sent to school to St. Mary's College in San Antonio and attended this school until 1872, when I went on to the frontier south and west of San Antonio, selling Grover & Baker sewing machines. The first school I attended was the old "free school" on what is now Houston Street in San Antonio, taught by good old man Newton and Mr. Lacky in 1859 and 1860. The latter hiked North at the opening of hostilities between the North and South, and his place was filled by Mrs. Pryor. At that
time Houston Street was only a road through mesquite and huisache brush. In 1864-65 I attended the St. Mary's College and here I was taught those Christian principles that ever remained with me and encouraged me to overcome many temptations in after life. In 1870-71 I again attended this college after my return from my "spin" over the range in the Southern and Eastern States as mentioned, and on this "spin" I rode with the Klu Klux Klan in Tennessee when there was no other law to protect Southern homes against the ravages of freed Negroes urged on by the carpet-baggers and protected in their nefarious practices by Federal bayonets. In 1866-67-68, when not attending school I was working cattle for my father in Live Oak county branding, gathering and driving to Bexar county, where we were then living on the Olmos Creek, five miles north of San Antonio. In 1876 I left Dimmit county, where I owned a small bunch of cattle, which I sold, and started to Arizona, stopping awhile in Menard county where I had a sweetheart and here I joined Thomas W. Swilling to go with him to Arizona. We left Menardville early in September, 1876, and pulled out via Ft. Concho, fifty miles north, where we laid in a supply of grub, enough to last us until we reached Roswell, New Mexico, and again "hit the grit" for Arizona, every mile of it over an uninhabited country, infested with hostile Indians. At Centralia, which was a stage station on the high plains guarded by negro troops, we left the stage road and followed the old Butterfield route to Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos; thence up east of Pecos to New Mexico. The Indians were raiding the country when we left and we saw their trails and camped on them quite often from Fort Concho until we got to Seven Rivers in New Mexico. About twenty-five miles west of Ft. Concho we met a company of cavalry escorting the telegraph operator at Ft. Concho, a Mr. Milburn, who had been out repairing the line between
Ft. Concho and the Pecos River on the stage road, about three miles of which had been cut and destroyed. Mr. Milburn, whom I knew when operator at Ft. Duncan, advised us to return with them to the fort, stating that the country was "lousy" with Indians, and we would not be able to get through. At Centralia the negro sergeant in command of the guard advised us to go back. At the rifle-pits we nooned where the Indians had camped the night before; at Castle Gap the Indian trail split, the largest party keeping the trail westward and the smaller party going northwest. The large trail was mostly horses and was about forty in number, no doubt going to the Mescalero Agency at Tularosa, New Mexico, crossing at Horsehead and thence northwest through the Guadalupe Mountains with a bunch of stolen horses. Another trail came in from the north and crossed our trail near Castle Gap, going southeast toward Camp Lancaster, at the mouth of Live Oak Creek. There were about ten on foot and three horses and they crossed the trail we were on about five hours before we came along. We traveled until about midnight, hoping to strike the Pecos at Horsehead, water and get away in the dark hours as it was a bad place for Indians, but being sleepy and tired, we left the trail and went about two hundred yards south and lay down to sleep, staking our horses on fine grass. About five o'clock a. m. we saddled up and pulled out before day and reached Horsehead about nine o'clock, not many hours behind two bands of Indians. About three o'clock the next afternoon we a saw dust ahead of us and not knowing but what it was Indians I sent Swilling with the pack horse into the cane brakes of the Pecos while I maneuvered up the river to see who was coming and found out that it was two white men, a Mr. Pearce, and Nath Underwood, driving a small bunch of cattle from New Mexico to Ft. Stockton, Texas. They let us have a little corn meal and some "jerky" from their meager supplies and we went on about five miles
to Pope's crossing on the Pecos, where we watered our horses and filled our canteens, then crossed our trail and went behind a butte about one-half mile from our trail and camped. Pearce and Underwood went about two miles farther on their road and camped, making the distance between our camps about seven miles. They hobbled two saddle horses and one-pack-horse and staked the other pack horse, which was a beautiful black and white paint. The Indians had no doubt spotted them before we had met them and had gone under the banks of the Pecos and hid until they went into camp and some time during the night went after their horses, knowing that they had four and only finding the one staked and seeing the trail of our three horses naturally supposed that it was the other three belonging to the cattlemen going on the back track, which they followed and ran into us just at daybreak. It was misting rain when we got up to make a fire next morning and we had rolled our shooting-irons in our bed to keep them dry and we did not see the Indians until they were very close to us, nor could they see us until they reached the top of the butte. We saw each other about the same time and they fired only one shot with a carbine and ran back towards the Pecos. When I got my gun they were one hundred and fifty yards away and I fired four shots, wounding one horse and killed one Indian and wounding one. They changed their course, going south down the river a half a mile, then turned east and went up on another butte about three-quarters of a mile from us and buried the dead Indian, then went north parallel to the river and crossed it next day where they were seen by a cowman. We then made coffee and packed up and were about to leave when Nath Underwood rode into camp on their trail. I told him about seeing them with his paint horse. Two Indians were riding him. There were seven Indians and four horses, three horses carrying double. (Nath Underwood now lives in San Antonio and I had the pleasure of meet-
ing him at the Old Trail Drivers' Convention in November, 1921.) Next day we got to Pearce and Paxton's camp and got enough "chuck" to last us to Seven Rivers. After resting our horses a few days, Mr. Paxton wanted me to locate land at Rattlesnake Springs, near the Guadalupe Mountains and he and I went to see it, leaving Tom Swilling in camp with the others whose names I do not remember. We pulled out early in the morning, crossed the Pecos, then on up Delaware Creek, on which we nooned, then went on to Rattlesnake Springs, only to find it in possession of other parties, three Jones brothers, with whom we spent the night, and started back next morning. At noon we camped in the deep bed of the creek and while there we heard a racket and in peeping over the bank we saw ten Indians driving about twenty-five horses about fifty yards distant right on the trail. The loose herds ahead had obliterated our trail, but they were liable to see it any time and return to investigate. When he got back to Paxton's camp that night we found all well, but next day one of the Jones boys came to camp and reported that the Indians had passed their ranch just at night and next day they were afraid we had been killed and came to investigate. Tom Swilling and I continued our journey to Seven Rivers (Beckwith's ranch) where we met John Slaughter's outfit returning from a cattle drive up in New Mexico. When we arrived at South Spring, the headquarters ranch of John S. Chisum, we camped on the ground where the Slaughter outfit had camped a few days before and saw where a Texas cowboy had been shot from his horse by one of Slaughter's men as he rode into their camp, his congealed blood lying in a pool on the ground where he fell and died. His name was Barney Gallagher, and I knew him at Carrizo Springs in Dimmit county. He was generally known as "Buckshot," a typical cowboy character of those frontier days. Chisum was putting up two herds of cattle when we
arrived and we went to work gathering a mixed herd for Nebraska and one of wild old "moss-horns" for the Indian reservation at San Carlos, Arizona, John Chisum having the contract to furnish the Government beef for over seven thousand Indians on this and its sub-agencies. While working the range, which included all the country from Anton Chico on the north to Seven Rivers on the south and the White Mountains on the west to the Canadian on the east, which John Chisum claimed as his range and over which grazed approximately 100,000 head of John Chisum's "rail" brand and "Jingle-bob" ear marked cattle, we had some tough work and adventures. Two men were tried by "Judge Lynch" and executed; one at Bosque Grande ranch, for murder and hung, and one near Narvo's Ben Crossing while bringing a herd down the river to Headquarters ranch, for murder and shot. Both of these were for cold-blooded murder which was witnessed by other cowboys who immediately arrested, tried, convicted and executed the murderers, and went on with their work as if nothing of so grim a nature had just happened. The law of the range was "forget it" for discussions were likely to lead to trouble. In those days, cowboy law was enforced and every cowboy knew it, and I never knew of the subject again brought up around the campfire. After the Nebraska herd had been gathered, cut and road-branded it took the trail via Trinidad, Colorado, with Si Funk in charge, and in about a week we were ready to hit the trail for Arizona with 4,000 head of wild “moss-horn” steers and 150 head of horses, including the wagon, teams and some private stock belonging to the boys.
It was now November and the weather was getting very cold. We had, as near as I can recall, twenty regular men in the outfit, the "big boss," "Big Jim," the negro cook and the secretary; our night reliefs of four men three hours each and one man on relief three hours with the remuda. The men had running guard relief and
sometimes were justified in reducing the force on relief and at other times reinforcing it according to the foreseen danger of Indians, trail robbers, or weather stampedes.
We camped one bitter cold, sleety night on the summit of the White Mountains and were to pass through the Mescalero Indian reservation next morning. We had grazed our herd that day in the mountains where the grass was good and protected from the snow that had fallen heavy the day before and the previous night, and we thought that they would bed easily, but they were restless and wanted to drift, which necessitated putting on double guard and hunching the remuda under close guard, for we believed the Indians would try to stampede both cattle and horses as they were mad at Chisum's men, who had killed some of them the previous year on the reservation. Every man not on duty that night had his horse saddled and tied up, as Chisum told us on the trail that ever since the Indians had been located on the Tularosa, through which his cattle trail led, that as toll, they would cut twenty head of the best beeves each trip, and they do the cutting themselves and they would not take “drags.” Every man in the outfit except “Old John” and old man Northrup, his private secretary, had a pow-wow and made “big medicine” and did not intend to let "big Injun" have any beef on this trip. There were with us 21 well armed men, with the cook, and over one thousand fighting Apache "bucks" five miles ahead of us, whom we had to encounter manana, unless we submitted to their insolence. We knew Chisum's men just a year before had ridden into the reservation after stolen stock and on getting no satisfaction from Godfrey, the agent, they attempted to drive the stock away and were attacked by the Indians and some of the Indians were killed and all driven into Ft. Stanton; that now they were not on Government reservation, having left it after the cowboy raid above mentioned and took refuge along the
brakes of the Tularosa and Lost Rivers on the west side of the White mountain, therefore had no right to demand toll and we believed they would not attack us if we refused their demand for beef, we resolved to refuse and fight if it became necessary. At 3 a. m. the cook was roused and told to “rustle chuck.” We were not long in getting on the outside of some hot coffee, "pone" and “sow-belly” and at daylight every man was in his saddle at the herd. The remuda was now thrown in the herd and we were looking for "Old John" to come and start the cattle, when old "Solomon," the Mescalero chief, and twenty painted warriors, well mounted and armed, came towards us. Frank Baker (afterwards killed by Billy the Kid) and I rode out and met him and he not seeing Chisum whom he knew, ignored us and attempted to pass. I signaled him to halt and with a scowl on his face he said "Captain Cheese-om? Queremos baka-shee," (all the Apaches called beef or meat baka-she, pronounced bah-cah-she. The northern Indians called it wo-ha). I replied “yo soy captain; ninguna bakashee por usted. (I am captain; no beef for you.)” My back being turned to the wagon, I did not see Chisum leave camp, but one of the boys rode up and informed me and I signaled the chief to remain where he was. I rode back to meet Mr. Chisum. He was very angry and wanted to go to the chief and I asked him not to interfere and to go back. I called Bill Henry who was near by and told him to tell the boys if they saw Mr. Chisum and me ride back to the chief to surround the Indians and if I fired a shot not to let an Indian escape nor an Indian horse get back to the agency; that if Mr. Chisum interfered I would shoot the chief. Henry went off in a gallop and "Old John" being thoroughly convinced by this time, turned his horse and started back to the wagon, which had gone up close to the herd. I returned to the chief who sat on his horse with a sullen look on his face and I pointing in the direction of the reservation said,
"vallese bakashee nada." He grunted and offered me his hand which I refused to take, knowing that if I did so every one of his warriors would offer their hands and he and every buck would want to shake hands with every man of us and thus get to the big boss, which I did not want to occur. He wheeled his paint mustang and took the back trail at a fast gait and every buck formed in single file and followed him. We had no more trouble with them and when we got the lead cattle to within a mile of the reservation Frank Baker and I were sent ahead to see that the Indians were kept back so as not to stampede the herd. Godfroy, the agent, had a confab with Solomon, the chief, through the interpreter, who gave orders and our way was cleared. Here I was shown the Indian whom I shot and wounded at Pope's Crossing in September. He was convalescing, but as poor as a snake, my bullet having struck him in the back, passing through the right nipple. I told him I shot him and killed one and a horse. Several stood by him who said they were there and all seemed pleased to see me and shook hands and asked for "el otro?" (the other man). I told them he was with the herd and they said "bueno," and rode to meet the herd. We watered at Lost River and started over the long trail of sixty miles over the "white desert" to San Augustine Springs, where Shedd's ranch was located. It took us nearly thirty-six hours to reach there with the lead cattle and the tail drags were forty-four hours in getting in. When the lead cattle got to within five miles of San Augustine, they were held back and allowed to go in slow, the drag end was twenty miles behind, which meant a line of cattle twenty miles long. The remuda had been sent in to water and back twelve miles the evening of the second day to enable the line men to change mounts and send their jaded ones to water. This drive was the worst of the whole trip but we did not lose a single head. Chisum said it was the first drive he ever made over it that he did not lose cattle,
both from exhaustion and cattle thieves who would cut the line between the riders, who were often necessarily several miles apart, and get away with them as they were never followed on account of scarcity of men. These thieves were generally Mexicans, but sometimes Indians and white men. When we reached the Rio Grande we laid over a couple of days to rest and graze, while some of the boys were sent down the river to Dona Ana and vicinity, to pick up stolen cattle he had previously lost. For some reason or other I was generally made "side boss" on these trips, so taking four men we left early in the morning and began to round up at Dona Ana in the afternoon and we had picked up nearly fifty head, nearly all work oxen, and started back with them when we were followed and attacked by a bunch of Mexicans. We had seen them coming and rode back to a gully where we dismounted. They could see us and came at us on a charge, yelling and shooting. Our first volley scattered them and drove them back. It seems that some soldiers from Ft. Sheldon were with the Mexicans and two of them got hurt or were killed, for the next day an officer and ten men came to us while we were crossing the river to inquire into the occurrence. He was shown the cattle we had brought in, all bearing the same brand and ear-mark as the balance of the herd and informed that they were stolen cattle belonging to Mr. Chisum, with whom he had been conversing. He said that after the fight it had been reported to the post commander that it was cattle thieves who had taken the oxen and the Mexicans had followed to recover them when they were attacked and seven killed and two soldiers badly wounded. The soldiers had no right to be with them, but were courting some Mexican girls and were induced by the Mexicans to go with them, not thinking of having a fight.
I quit the outfit when we reached the San Simon in Arizona, thirty-five miles from our destination, which was Croton Springs, in Sulphur Springs valley, and
where I again worked for Chisum in 1878, "circling and signing" and guarding his range from the point of Final Mountains on the north to about where Pierce is now on the south, from the Dragoon Mountains on the west, to the Chiricahua Mountains on the east. It would require too much space to relate the incidents that transpired in connection with our lives the short time I worked there, but all will be told in detail in a book I hope to have published in 1924.
In the latter years I served as a special ranger in Companies D and F, Texas Frontier Battalion, and U. S. Deputy Marshal and also deputy sheriff and other official positions on the frontier. This service was from 1881 to 1889. I have met most of the so-called outlaws and bad men who ranged in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona from 1865 to 1890 and never knew but one but what had some good traits about him. On the other hand I have known some so-called good men and officers with some very bad traits about them. I married in San Antonio in 1885 and have two boys and a girl dead and three daughters living. They are, Mrs. William E. Lea, of Sanderson, Texas; Mrs. A. M. Preston who was with her husband in France and Mrs. Robert C. Courtney of Del Rio, Texas. Now at the age of sixty-eight years I am still hale and hearty and square with my fellowmen, but owe much to God for keeping me and mine.