We have a letter from his brother Thomas describing their service at the factory as he was also enlisted there at an early age of 16: ""This was a large factory employing several hundred men in the various departments.The principal officers of the institution consisted in part of Col. Hill, in command, and a captain whose name I forgot and several foremen, etc. We made firearms, and utensils of war." Thomas may have lived with "brother Jim" as he called James A or lived in the same area, until the close of the war in 1864.
"James raised thoroughbred horses and that's where his son, my dad, got his love for horses and a keen knowledge of them and of riding. I believe they were comfortably fixed but not rich. They were not plantation owners with lots of slaves but most people except the "poor whites" had them. Dad remembered his father and uncle talking about slavery. They had a few slaves, tho, and when Dad's father and uncle talked about slavery they concluded that the right of some human beings to own others, was wrong and would have to end. But they felt that they would have to be educated so they could take care of themselves. Therefore they required the black children to go to school with the others. It wasn't against the law there (in Texas) to teach black children." ...from Estelle Fontana.