"In the Spring of 1872, I was, with my wife and child, in the city of Cadereita, Mexico, where we had been laboring as missionaries, but felt it was our duty to return to the States for a little season, and had been asking God to open up the way for us. At length, about the middle of March, the opportunity appeared to be given, the means being provided; but the country was in a state of revolution (a no uncommon thing there), and, consequently, there were no stages running out of the country, so we had to take conveyance in Mexican carts. Therefore, we engaged two men, with their carts; one in which we might ride and carry a mattress, which should serve as a bed at night, and the other, to carry the baggage and provisions for ourselves and the horses, as our way was mostly through an uncultivated country.
"We knew that General Cortinas, with his troops, was somewhere between us and Texas, as the State we were in was one of those in rebellion. The blood-thirsty character of General Cortinas is well known on the frontier, there being no less than seventeen indictments against him for murder in the State of Texas. He is regarded as having a special hatred against Americans, and the Mexicans, themselves, stand in terror of him.
"Our friends and brethren in Cadereita tried hard to deter us from going, as most likely we would fall into the hands of General Cortinas; in which event, they said, the very utmost we could expect would be to escape with our lives, being left destitute of everything, in a wilderness road; but, as God had seemed to open up the way, providing the means, we determined to go forward, trusting that He also would protect us in the way.
Therefore, having completed our arrangements, we started for Matamoras, some three hundred miles distant, on the 19th of March, the wives of the two men accompanying their husbands, making our party six adults and one child; the brethren in Cadereita promising to pray daily for our safety. The third morning, after commending ourselves, as usual, into the care of our covenant-keeping God, we started on our journey. Some two hours later, we espied the troops of General Cortinas, about two miles distant, marching toward us.
We again all looked to God for protection, and prayed that, as he shut the mouths of the lions, that they should not hurt his servant Daniel, so He would now restrain the evil passions of men, that they might not hurt nor injure us--then we went on till we met the advance guard, who commanded us to halt and wait till the General came up. After nearly half an hour, General Cortinas, with his escort, rode up to where we were waiting for him.
After the ordinary salutation, he asked: (¿de adonde vienen y adonde van?) 'From whence have you come, and where are you going?'--to which we replied properly; then he asked: 'What is the news from Nueva Leon?' (the State we left)--to which we replied as faithfully as we could. Then I asked him, 'Is the road safe between us and Matamoras?' He replied: 'Perfectly; you can go on without any fear, and as safely as you would in your own country.' Then, bidding us 'good morning,' he rode on, not even inquiring about or examining any of our baggage.
"When we arrived in Brownsville, Texas, and told of how gentlemanly General Cortinas had treated us, all pronounced it wonderful, and said, 'We could not have believed General Cortinas capable of such kindness to Americans so in his power. It was truly a miracle.' We believed that it was God who restrained the naturally vicious passions of the man, in direct answer to prayer."