*** Official ***
Mojave River Valley Museum
Mojave Desert History -
Pioneer of the Mojave
Outlaws on the Mojave
Silas Cox Chases Horse Thieves to San Diego
One victim of theft at the beginning of the war was young Silas Cox, who, upon returning to San Bernardino from a stay on the desert, learned
from his father that his favorite horse, Chappo, had just been stolen. He then discovered the thieves were actually men he had spent some time
with in the mining region of
I asked father if he had any idea who stole him. He said he thought it was a bunch of young men, mostly gamblers, who had been in Holcomb Valley
and San Bernardino for some time. I asked him if they were in town. He said no, that they had all disappeared.
The plucky teenager chased after the thieves and came upon their camp, which consisted of eight men and 12 horses, near the Warner Ranch
in San Diego County. Waiting until dark, he sneaked into the camp while the men were asleep, and not only recaptured his own mount, but
also got away with all the other horses. Cox said that it was unlikely any of the thieves were able to get back to Texas, at least
for some time, and that a few of them actually returned to San Bernardino County and eventually became productive citizens.
After he told me their names I knew them all myself. The most of them were Texas boys, and some of them were pretty good boys. It was
just the breaking out of the Civil War, and I suppose they wanted to get back home, but I objected to them taking my Chappo along with them.
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