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John Nathan Hittson

July/Aug 2004

Hittson was born in Tennessee in 1831. His first cousin, Nathan Bedford Forrest went on to become a three-star general in the Confederate Army.  
John Hittson found himself embroiled in a vigilante war on the frontier of Texas during the Civil War. He drove cattle to Mexico and preferred dealing with the Comanches and other plains tribes to fighting Yankees.  
John Hittson was one of the first to drive cattle over the Pecos Trail, sometimes referred to as the Goodnight/Loving Trail. He continued to be a major drover on the Pecos into the early 1870's.  
Hittson was involved in many classic Indian fights. His son Jesse and several Hittson Cowboys found themselves in a fight for life when Indians attacked their supply wagon. Arrows were flying while men lying on the ground fired wildly at the braves. The chaotic scene left several men wounded by no one killed.  
In 1872, Hittson gathered an army of gunmen making a foray into New Mexico to recover stolen cattle. The incident gave John Hittson a legendary reputation. Driving cattle through the streets of Denver with six-guns at his side and a Winchester "Yellow Boy" strapped to his saddle created the image of "Cattle Jack", a man fully in charge of his destiny.


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