Bud Dixon, a 92 year old Negro man of Marshall, Harrison County, Texas, was born a slave of the Eli Sanders family at Mansfield, La. He was never sold but remained with the Sanders family until after the war. He says that he served in the Confederate Army the last year of the war, in the place of his young master. Walters Sanders, served in Walker's Division, under Captain Foster whose home was in Shreveport, La. Says he was in four battles was wounded in the top of his head, in the battle of Mansfield, La. He has lived in Texas now for over forty years. He now lives in a small one room shack, by himself, on North Franklin St., Marshall, Texas.
My father's name was Joe Dixon, he was a full blood Cherokee Indian, my mother's name before she married was Mollie Classcall, she was born in Macon, Georgia. There was twelve of us chilluns, seven boys and five girls, my brothers was named, Dick, Tom, Spence, Archie, Son and Little Bud, my sisters was named Kitty, Susan, Florrie, Alice and Marguerite. I haven't seen any of them in forty years. There was ten slave families living in the Sanders quarters, and if any-one had to go anywhere he had to have a pass from Master Eli Sanders, before they was allowed to leave the place. We slep' on wood beds, fastened to the wall of the room.
We were issued 1 peck of meat, 1 peck of flour, 3 pounds of meat for every grown person per week, we didn't have no soda, we burned corn cobs to get the ashes to use for soda. Each grown person was issued a gallon of syrup every two weeks. Us boys and girls always had a party on Saturday night, but it must not last past twelve o'clock. On Sunday's us went with the white fo'ks to church, or sometimes we stayed to our arbor church on the plantation, where we heard a slave preacher and had prayers and songs. We had to learn from hearing them so much for none of us know how to read and write. I don't 'member but one of my grandparents and that was my mother's mother, her name was Lucy but I never could tell what she said 'cause she never did learn to talk the white fo'ks talk. I wo'ked in the field plowing and hoeing, cutting wood, digging ditches in the fiel' and clearin' up the land. No body ever gave me no money when I was a slave, but I saw lots of money my master had two large glass jars full of money. I seed it lots of times, but I never did steal a cent, I ain't never been arrested in my life.
Our every day food was co'n bread and fat meat, cooked on the fireplace, sometimes our bread was cooked in the hot ashes and we called it ash cakes. On July 4th we was always issued beef and po'k for dinner, that was one of our big days. I like beef best of any food.
Each slave family had a garden of their own, master Eli would give each family plenty of garden seed, and well now I tell you they had better all have a good one or marster Eli would know why.
We all had home made clothes and shoes, the women had calico dresses fur Sunday, but us men wore our wo'k clothes. We had plenty of clothes in the winter time, but us boys went in our shirt tails all summer.
Master Eli and his wife had four boys and five girls, I can't remember the names of but the two oldest boys, Hamp and Walter. They lived in a big house well fixed up. They had over five hundred acres of land, open in the field, and countin' the chilluns and all there was about seventy-five slaves.
The overseer woke everybody up at four o'clock ever mornin', and we was in the fiel' 'fore daylight.
"We wo'ked until twelve and quit for dinner and went back to wo'k at one and wo'ked 'till dark. The overseer would whip you if you got lazy in the field, and if you run off the place without a pass you would git a lickin' too. I have seen lots of the boys get a lickin', they first tied them to a tree and then took a plow line and doubled it and gave them a good lickin'.
I use to go sometimes to the tradin' yard where they sold the slaves. They had a block where they stood on to sell them, and they always sold the slave to the highest bidder. A good slave sold for $1,000 to $1,500, women was sold around 'bout the same as the men.
I did not never see any of the slaves in chains, always seen them travelin' in groups, when they went anywhere. I 'member old Josh Jackson was a good slave preacher and did lots of good preachin' durin' slavery time. He preached at our arbor and when anyone joined the church he would Baptise them in the creek. I 'member a little so some of the songs they sung at Baptisings' and funerals, they is "Near the Cross", "Our Prophet and Kind did more than Moses did", and "The Bread of Heaven".
Some of the slaves would run away, and to the free state up within ten miles of a free state, when they caught him, he was brought back home.
News was carried around from one quarter to another by a boy or girl.
When the days work was over in the fields, us came home and would chop and bring in the wood and bring in plenty of water 'fore us stopped. We wo'ked all the week from Monday mornin' to Saturday night. The women would have all day Saturday for washing and darning. We had party's on Saturday nights, and went to Church on Sundays. We had Christmas, New Year and the 4th of July off.
When one of the white fo'ks married or one died we wo'k right on jest like nothin' had happened.
When we was growin' up we played marbles, cards and dice games. I have been seein' ghosts all my life, things like a shaggy dog and a man without no h'ad, when I was young it would scare me, but I'se not scared of them nomore.
When we got sick they had the doctor and give us medicin'. Sometime' when we was not very bad sick the old mistress would wait on us. We had lots of home made medicine such as forty notch, red shank, rootes, berries and barks.
I went to the war in the place of my young master, Walter Sanders. I was in Walkers Division and was under Captain Foster, whose home was in Shreveport, La. I got wounded in the top of my head in the bat of Mansfield, La. I was at Richmond, Va., Nachitoches, La. and Shreveport, La. I was in the army the last year of the war, after the war I stayed on the plantation the next year, and then I start to runnin' around. I married when I was forty years old at Shreve port, La. My wifes name was Carrie Mitchell. We had eleven chill and I don't know how many grandchillens I'se got. I'se got some I never did see.