John Horton Slaughter, nicknamed “Texas John” Slaughter was born October 2, 1841 in what is now known as Sabine Parish, Louisiana. His parents, Benjamin and Minerva Mabry Slaughter were living on a plantation there, before relocating to Texas. He was raised in Texas and grew up working on a ranch with his father and brothers. He joined the Texas Rangers shortly before the outset of the Civil War. He then enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862 and served until 1864 when he was sent home due to an unspecified illness. Once he was able, he returned to serve in the Third Frontier Division of the Texas State Troops in Burnet County until the end of the war.