Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/282

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276 Southern Historical Society Papers.

His father taught school at Shelbyville, Ky., for a time, and after- ward removed to Frankfort. Theodore attended the school, where he was a bright scholar, though full of mischief and assisted the other students in getting their lessons, doing sums for them and helping in various ways.

O'Hara became a captain in the Second Regiment of Cavalry in 1855, and while on the march from Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, to Texas, in the fall and winter of 1855-' 56, was attentive to his com- pany. One evening after the regiment had halted for the night, where there was some tall, dry grass, a fire broke out, and it re- quired the utmost endeavors of the officers and men to save the tents and baggage wagons. Captain O'Hara was very busy and remarkably efficient. He pushed forward those who were slow in their movements, and accomplished a good deal in a short time. Some of his men did not move forward as promptly as he thought they ought to do, when he went after them with a will, and gave some of them a complete overhauling. He was naturally quick and industrious, and infused some of his life into his men. He could not bear to see so much property in danger of destruction without making a great effort to save it. He seemed to have new life on that occasion, and won many compliments on his good behavior. Where all worked faithfully, the conduct of O'Hara stood out prominently, and Colonel Albert Sydney Johnston spoke highly of his efforts. A fire of this kind in the dry grass and cane is some- times very destructive.

O'Hara's company was halted at the Clear Fork of the Brazos river, at was subsequently known as Camp Cooper, to watch the Comanche Indians, who had a reservation near by. These wily red- skins would sometimes break away in spite of all efforts to keep them on their own ground, and then there was widespread terror in the infant settlements along the frontier. O'Hara was out on sev- eral scouts, and once, while travelling with a small escort between Camp Cooper and Fort Mason, came near being attacked by a party of roving Indians, greatly superior in numbers, but fortunately made his escape, and reached the fort in safety. Those were dangerous times.

Captain O'Hara had a fund of humor, and often displayed it be- fore his acquaintances in a good-natured way. He had among his friends a gentleman from Michigan, and once, when in this playful mood, said : " I am fond of Michigan, it is the home of two of my