206 Matching Results

Search Results

Advanced search parameters have been applied.

The Highsmith Men, Texas Rangers

Description: The Highsmith Men is a general historical narrative of four prominent men who happened to be Texas Rangers. The story begins in Texas in 1830 and traces the lives of Samuel Highsmith, his nephew, Benjamin Franklin Highsmith, and Samuels's sons, Malcijah and Henry Albert Highsmith, who was the last of the four to pass away, in 1930. During this century the four Highsmiths participated in nearly every landmark event significant to the history of Texas. The Highsmith men also participated in numerous other engagements as well. Within this framework the intent of The Highsmith Men is to scrutinize the contemporary scholarly conceptions of the early Texas Rangers as an institution by following the lives of these four men, who can largely be considered common folk settlers. This thesis takes a bottom up approach to the history of Texas, which already maintains innumerable accounts of the sometimes true and, sometimes not, larger than life figures that Texas boasts. For students pursuing studies in the Texas, the American West, the Mexican American War, or Civil War history, this regional history may be of some use. The early Texas Rangers were generally referred to as "Minute Men" or "Volunteer Militia" until 1874. In this role, the Highsmith men participated in many historic Texas engagements including but not limited to the Siege of Béxar, the battle of the Alamo, San Jacinto, the Cordova Rebellion, Plum Creek, the Mexican Invasions of 1842, the Mexican War, the Civil War, Salado Creek, Brushy Creek, and the capture of Sam Bass. Not only did people like the Highsmiths, who were largely considered "common folk," participate in these battles, they were also Texas Rangers. None of the Highsmith men were full time Texas Rangers, which discredits prominent stereotypes. The Highsmith Men shows that the Texas Ranger institution and the ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Edwards, Cody
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Ranger Ideal

Description: Established in Waco in 1968, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum honors the iconic Texas Rangers, a service which has existed, in one form or another, since 1823. They have become legendary symbols of Texas and the American West. Thirty-one Rangers, with lives spanning more than two centuries, have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. In The Ranger Ideal Volume 1: Texas Rangers in the Hall of Fame, 1823-1861, Darren L. Ivey presents capsule biographies of the seven inductees who served Texas before the Civil War. He begins with Stephen F. Austin, “the Father of Texas,” who laid the foundations of the Ranger service, and then covers John C. Hays, Ben McCulloch, Samuel H. Walker, William A. A. “Bigfoot” Wallace, John S. Ford, and Lawrence Sul Ross. Using primary records and reliable secondary sources, and rejecting apocryphal tales, The Ranger Ideal presents the true stories of these intrepid men who fought to tame a land with gallantry, grit, and guns. This Volume 1 is the first of a planned three-volume series covering all of the Texas Rangers inducted into the Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: October 2017
Creator: Ivey, Darren L.
Partner: UNT Press

Captain J.A. Brooks, Texas Ranger

Description: James Abijah Brooks (1855-1944) was one of the four Great Captains in Texas Ranger history, others including Bill McDonald, John Hughes, and John Rogers. Over the years historians have referred to the captain as “John” Brooks, because he tended to sign with his initials, but also because W. W. Sterling’s classic Trails and Trials of a Texas Ranger mistakenly named him as Captain John Brooks. Born and raised in Civil War-torn Kentucky, a reckless adventurer on the American and Texas frontier, and a quick-draw Texas Ranger captain who later turned in his six-shooter to serve as a county judge, Brooks’s life reflects the raucous era of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century American West. As a Texas Ranger, Brooks participated in the high profile events of his day, from the fence-cutting wars to the El Paso prizefight, from the Conner Fight–where he lost three fingers from his left hand–to the Temple rail strike, all with a resolute demeanor and a fast gun. A shoot-out in Indian Territory nearly cost him his life and then jeopardized his career, and a lifelong bout with old Kentucky bourbon did the same. With three other distinguished Ranger captains, Brooks witnessed and helped promote the transformation of the elite Frontier Battalion into the Ranger Force. As a state legislator, he brokered the creation of a South Texas county that bears his name today, and where he served for twenty-eight years as county judge. He was the quintessential enforcer of frontier justice, scars and all.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: March 15, 2007
Creator: Spellman, Paul N.
Partner: UNT Press

Captain John H. Rogers, Texas Ranger

Description: John Harris Rogers (1863-1930) served in Texas law enforcement for more than four decades, as a Texas Ranger, Deputy and U.S. Marshal, city police chief, and in the private sector as a security agent. He is recognized in history as one of the legendary “Four Captains” of the Ranger force that helped make the transition from the Frontier Battalion days into the twentieth century, yet no one has fully researched and written about his life. Paul N. Spellman now presents the first full-length biography of this enigmatic man. During his years as a Ranger, Rogers observed and participated in the civilizing of West Texas. As the railroads moved out in the 1880s, towns grew up too quickly, lawlessness was the rule, and the Rangers were soon called in to establish order. Rogers was nearly always there. Likewise he participated in some of the most dramatic and significant events during the closing years of the Frontier Battalion: the Brown County fence cutting wars; the East Texas Conner Fight; the El Paso/Langtry Prizefight; the riots during the Laredo Quarantine; and the hunts for Hill Loftis and Gregorio Cortez. Rogers was the lawman who captured Cortez to close out one of the most infamous chases in Texas history. Unlike the more gregarious Bill McDonald, Captain Rogers had a quiet manner that kept him from the public limelight; nevertheless, he, John Brooks, and John Hughes shared the same experiences as McDonald during the almost two decades they led the Ranger companies. Unique to Rogers’ career was his devout Christian faith that was on display on almost all occasions. Rogers was wont to use the Bible as often as his six-gun, both with dramatic effect. That and his constant devotion to his family set him apart from the usual lawmen of that era. He was ...
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: March 15, 2003
Creator: Spellman, Paul N.
Partner: UNT Press

The Ranger Ideal Volume 2: Texas Rangers in the Hall of Fame, 1874-1930

Description: Established in Waco in 1968, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum honors the iconic Texas Rangers, a service that has existed, in one form or another, since 1823. They have become legendary symbols of Texas and the American West. In The Ranger Ideal Volume 2: Texas Rangers in the Hall of Fame, 1874-1930, Darren L. Ivey presents the twelve inductees who served Texas in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Ivey begins with John B. Jones, who directed his Rangers from state troops to professional lawmen; then covers Leander H. McNelly, John B. Armstrong, James B. Gillett, Jesse Lee Hall, George W. Baylor, Bryan Marsh, and Ira Aten—the men who were responsible for some of the Rangers’ most legendary feats. Ivey concludes with James A. Brooks, William J. McDonald, John R. Hughes, and John H. Rogers, the “Four Great Captains” who guided the Texas Rangers into the twentieth century. The Ranger Ideal presents the true stories of these intrepid men who fought to tame a land with gallantry, grit, and guns.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: October 2018
Creator: Ivey, Darren L.
Partner: UNT Press

Tracking the Texas Rangers: The Twentieth Century

Description: Tracking the Texas Rangers: The Twentieth Century is an anthology of fifteen previously published articles and chapter excerpts covering key topics of the Texas Rangers during the twentieth century. The task of determining the role of the Rangers as the state evolved and what they actually accomplished for the benefit of the state is a difficult challenge. The actions of the Rangers fit no easy description. There is a dark side to the story of the Rangers; during the Mexican Revolution, for example, some murdered with impunity. Others sought to restore order in the border communities as well as in the remainder of Texas. It is not lack of interest that complicates the unveiling of the mythical force. With the possible exception of the Alamo, probably more has been written about the Texas Rangers than any other aspect of Texas history. Tracking the Texas Rangers covers leaders such as Captains Bill McDonald, “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas, and Barry Caver, accomplished Rangers like Joaquin Jackson and Arthur Hill, and the use of Rangers in the Mexican Revolution. Chapters discuss their role in the oil fields, in riots, and in capturing outlaws. Most important, the Rangers of the twentieth century experienced changes in investigative techniques, strategy, and intelligence gathering. Tracking looks at the use of Rangers in labor disputes, in race issues, and in the Tejano civil rights movement. The selections cover critical aspects of those experiences—organization, leadership, cultural implications, rural and urban life, and violence. In their introduction, editors Bruce A. Glasrud and Harold J. Weiss, Jr., discuss various themes and controversies surrounding the twentieth-century Rangers and their treatment by historians over the years. They also have added annotations to the essays to explain where new research has shed additional light on an event to update or correct the original article text.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: September 15, 2013
Creator: Glasrud, Bruce A. & Weiss, Harold J. Jr.
Partner: UNT Press

Texas Rangers: Lives, Legend, and Legacy

Description: Authors Bob Alexander and Donaly E. Brice grappled with several issues when deciding how to relate a general history of the Texas Rangers. Should emphasis be placed on their frontier defense against Indians, or focus more on their role as guardians of the peace and statewide law enforcers? What about the tumultuous Mexican Revolution period, 1910-1920? And how to deal with myths and legends such as One Riot, One Ranger? Texas Rangers: Lives, Legend, and Legacy is the authors’ answer to these questions, a one-volume history of the Texas Rangers. The authors begin with the earliest Rangers in the pre-Republic years in 1823 and take the story up through the Republic, Mexican War, and Civil War. Then, with the advent of the Frontier Battalion, the authors focus in detail on each company A through F, relating what was happening within each company concurrently. Thereafter, Alexander and Brice tell the famous episodes of the Rangers that forged their legend, and bring the story up through the twentieth century to the present day in the final chapters.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: July 2017
Creator: Alexander, Bob & Brice, Donaly E.
Partner: UNT Press

Rawhide Ranger, Ira Aten: Enforcing Law on the Texas Frontier

Description: Ira Aten (1862-1953) was the epitome of a frontier lawman. At age twenty he enrolled in Company D during the transition of the Rangers from Indian fighters to topnotch peace officers. This unit—and Aten—would have a lively time making their mark in nineteenth-century Texas. The preponderance of Texas Ranger treatments center on the outfit as an institution or spotlight the narratives of specific captains. Bob Alexander aptly demonstrated in Winchester Warriors: Texas Rangers of Company D, 1874-1901 that there is merit in probing the lives of everyday working Rangers. Aten is an ideal example. The years Ira spent as a Ranger are jam-packed with adventure, border troubles, shoot-outs, solving major crimes—a quadruple homicide—and manhunts. Aten’s role in these and epochal Texas events such as the racially insensitive Jaybird/Woodpecker Feud and the bloody Fence Cutting Wars earned Ira’s spot in the Ranger Hall of Fame. His law enforcing deeds transcend days with the Rangers. Ira served two counties as sheriff, terms spiked with excitement. Afterward, for ten years on the XIT, he was tasked with clearing the ranch’s Escarbada Division of cattle thieves. Aten’s story spins on an axis of spine-tingling Texas history. Moving to California, Ira was active in transforming the Imperial Valley from raw desert into an agricultural oasis. Unmistakably he was public spirited and committed to community betterment. Relying on primary source documents to build a platform for this meticulously researched and comprehensive biography with 1000 endnotes and 100 remarkable old-time photographs, Alexander gives us Ira Aten in the round—evenhandedly—the true story of a Ranger tough as rawhide.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: July 15, 2011
Creator: Alexander, Bob
Partner: UNT Press

Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands: The Wild West Life of Texas Ranger Captain Frank Jones

Description: Many well-read students, historians, and loyal aficionados of Texas Ranger lore know the name of Texas Ranger Captain Frank Jones (1856-1893), who died on the Texas-Mexico border in a shootout with Mexican rustlers. In Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands, Bob Alexander has now penned the first full-length biography of this important nineteenth-century Texas Ranger. At an early age Frank Jones, a native Texan, would become a Frontier Battalion era Ranger. His enlistment with the Rangers coincided with their transition from Indian fighters to lawmen. While serving in the Frontier Battalion officers' corps of Company D, Frank Jones supervised three of the four “great” captains of that era: J.A. Brooks, John H. Rogers, and John R. Hughes. Besides Austin Ira Aten and his younger brothers Calvin Grant Aten and Edwin Dunlap Aten, Captain Jones also managed law enforcement activities of numerous other noteworthy Rangers, such as Philip Cuney "P.C." Baird, Benjamin Dennis Lindsey, Bazzell Lamar "Baz" Outlaw, J. Walter Durbin, Jim King, Frank Schmid, and Charley Fusselman, to name just a few. Frank Jones’ law enforcing life was anything but boring. Not only would he find himself dodging bullets and returning fire, but those Rangers under his supervision would also experience gunplay. Of all the Texas Ranger companies, Company D contributed the highest number of on-duty deaths within Texas Ranger ranks. The contents include: "Dragged to the ground lanced and scalped" -- "Beneath the heel of an indignant legislature" -- "We fought under the black flag" -- "Several shots and run him into the river" -- "Sworn enemy to Rangers and sheriffs" -- "Sixty thousand dollars to spend" -- "Most bold, high-handed murder" -- "Damnable act of savagery" -- "He caught for a pistol" -- "A strong undercurrent of excitement" -- "By God, they will never come back" -- "Just plain legal ...
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: March 2015
Creator: Alexander, Bob
Partner: UNT Press

In the Line of Duty: Reflections of a Texas Ranger Private

Description: This book contains a series of anecdotes about Lewis Rigler's life, focusing on his time as a law enforcement officer in Texas. He discusses his life growing up, various cases that he worked on as a Texas Ranger, and general observations that he gained from his job. Index starts on page 181.
Date: 1995
Creator: Rigler, Lewis C., 1914- & Rigler, Judyth Wagner
Partner: UNT Press

Yours to Command: the Life and Legend of Texas Ranger Captain Bill McDonald

Description: Captain Bill McDonald (1852-1918) is the most prominent of the “Four Great Captains” of Texas Ranger history. His career straddled the changing scene from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries. In 1891 McDonald became captain of Company B of the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers. “Captain Bill” and the Rangers under his command took part in a number of incidents from the Panhandle region to South Texas: the Fitzsimmons-Maher prizefight in El Paso, the Wichita Falls bank robbery, the murders by the San Saba Mob, the Reese-Townsend feud at Columbus, the lynching of the Humphries clan, the Conditt family murders near Edna, the Brownsville Raid of 1906, and the shootout with Mexican Americans near Rio Grande City. In all these endeavors, only one Ranger lost his life under McDonald’s command. McDonald’s reputation as a gunman rested upon his easily demonstrated markmanship, a flair for using his weapons to intimidate opponents, and the publicity given his numerous exploits. His ability to handle mobs resulted in a classic tale told around campfires: one riot, one Ranger. His admirers rank him as one of the great captains of Texas Ranger history. His detractors see him as an irresponsible lawman who accepted questionable information, precipitated violence, hungered for publicity, and related tall tales that cast himself in the hero’s role. Harold J. Weiss, Jr., seeks to find the true Bill McDonald and sort fact from myth. McDonald’s motto says it all: “No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that’s in the right and keeps on a-comin’.”
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: June 15, 2009
Creator: Weiss, Harold J., Jr.
Partner: UNT Press

Tracking the Texas Rangers: the Nineteenth Century

Description: Tracking the Texas Rangers is an anthology of sixteen previously published articles, arranged in chronological history, covering key topics of the intrepid and sometimes controversial law officers named the Texas Rangers. Determining the role of the Rangers as the state evolved and what they actually accomplished for the benefit of the state is a difficult challenge—the actions of the Rangers fit no easy description. There is a dark side to the story of the Rangers; during the war with Mexico, for example, some murdered, pillaged, and raped. Yet these same Rangers eased the resultant United States victory. Even their beginning and the first use of the term “Texas Ranger” have mixed and complex origins. Tracking the Texas Rangers covers topics such as their early years, the great Comanche Raid of 1840, and the effective use of Colt revolvers. Article authors discuss Los Diablos Tejanos, Rip Ford, the Cortina War, the use of Hispanic Rangers and Rangers in labor disputes, and the recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker and the capture of John Wesley Hardin. The selections cover critical aspects of those experiences—organization, leadership, cultural implications, rural and urban life, and violence. In their introduction, editors Bruce A. Glasrud and Harold J. Weiss, Jr., discuss various themes and controversies surrounding the 19th-century Rangers and their treatment by historians over the years. They also have added annotations to the essays to explain where new research has shed additional light on an event to update or correct the original article text.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: September 15, 2012
Creator: Glasrud, Bruce A.
Partner: UNT Press

Texas Ranger John B. Jones and the Frontier Battalion, 1874-1881

Description: In 1874, the Texas legislature created the Frontier Battalion, the first formal, budgeted organization as an arm of state government of what historically had been periodic groups loosely referred to as Texas Rangers. Initially created to combat the menace of repeated raids of Indians from the north and from Mexico into frontier counties, the Battalion was led by an unusual choice: a frail, humorless Confederate veteran from Navarro County, John B. Jones. Under Jones’s leadership, the Battalion grew in sophistication, moving from Indian fighting to capturing Texas’s bad men, such as John Wesley Hardin and Sam Bass. Established during the unsettled time of Reconstruction, the Rangers effectively filled a local law enforcement void until competency was returned to local sheriffs’ and marshals’ offices. Numerous books cover individual Texas Rangers of note, but only a few have dealt with the overall history of the Rangers, and, strangely, none about Jones specifically. For the first time, author Rick Miller presents the story of the Frontier Battalion as seen through the eyes of its commander, John B. Jones, during his administration from 1874 to 1881, relating its history—both good and bad—chronologically, in depth, and in context. Highlighted are repeated budget and funding problems, developing standards of conduct, personalities and their interaction, mission focus and strategies against Indian war parties and outlaws, and coping with politics and bureaucracy. Miller covers all the major activities of the Battalion in the field that created and ultimately enhanced the legend of the Texas Rangers. Jones’s personal life is revealed, as well as his role in shaping the policies and activities of the Frontier Battalion. Based largely on primary documents, especially the actual correspondence generated by the various actors in the Battalion’s drama that best tell the tale, this book is a major contribution to understanding the early ...
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 15, 2012
Creator: Miller, Rick
Partner: UNT Press

Captain John R. Hughes: Lone Star Ranger

Description: Captain John R. Hughes, Lone Star Ranger is the first full and complete modern biography of a man who served as a Texas Ranger from 1887 until early 1915. He came to the attention of the Rangers after doggedly trailing horse thieves for nearly a year and recovering his stolen stock. After helping Ranger Ira Aten track down another fugitive from justice, Hughes then joined Company D of the Texas Rangers on Aten’s recommendation, intending to stay for only a few months; he remained in the service for nearly thirty years. When Sgt. Charles Fusselman was killed by bandits, Hughes took his place. When Captain Frank Jones was killed by bandits in 1893, Hughes was named captain of Company D. As captain, Hughes and his men searched the border and identified every bandit involved in the killing of Jones. They all received justice. Toward the end of his career Hughes became a senior captain based in Austin, and in 1915, having served as a captain and ranger longer than any other man, he retired from the force. His later years were happy ones, with traveling and visiting friends and relatives. He became a Texas icon and national celebrity, receiving more awards and honors than any other Texas Ranger, before or since. Due to Chuck Parsons’s extensive research, we now know more about Hughes than ever before. This biography of one of the “Four Great Captains” sheds light on his life prior to becoming a Texas Ranger and on his love interest, though he never married. From joining Company D in 1887 until retirement, Hughes served the state honestly and proudly, earning the respect of all he met. Zane Grey dedicated his most popular novel, The Lone Star Ranger, to Hughes and his Rangers.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: February 15, 2011
Creator: Parsons, Chuck
Partner: UNT Press

Texas Ranger N.O. Reynolds, The Intrepid

Description: Historians Chuck Parsons and Donaly E. Brice present a complete picture of N. O. Reynolds (1846-1922), a Texas Ranger who brought a greater respect for the law in Central Texas. Reynolds began as a sergeant in famed Company D, Frontier Battalion in 1874. He served honorably during the Mason County "Hoo Doo" War and was chosen to be part of Major John B. Jones's escort, riding the frontier line. In 1877 he arrested the Horrells, who were feuding with their neighbors, the Higgins party, thus ending their Lampasas County feud. Shortly thereafter he was given command of the newly formed Company E of Texas Rangers. Also in 1877 the notorious John Wesley Hardin was captured; N.O. Reynolds was given the responsibility to deliver Hardin to trial in Comanche, return him to a safe jail during his appeal, and then escort him safely to the Huntsville penitentiary. Reynolds served as a Texas Ranger until he retired in 1879 at the rank of lieutenant, later serving as City Marshal of Lampasas and then County Sheriff of Lampasas County.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: 2014
Creator: Parsons, Chuck & Brice, Donaly
Partner: UNT Press

Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas, Volume IV, 1842-1845

Description: This fourth and final volume of the Savage Frontier series completes the history of the Texas Rangers and frontier warfare in the Republic of Texas era. During this period of time, fabled Captain John Coffee Hays and his small band of Rangers were often the only government-authorized frontier fighters employed to keep the peace. Author Stephen L. Moore covers the assembly of Texan forces to repel two Mexican incursions during 1842, the Vasquez and Woll invasions. This volume covers the resulting battle at Salado Creek, the defeat of Dawson’s men, and a skirmish at Hondo Creek near San Antonio. Texas Rangers also played a role in the ill-fated Somervell and Mier expeditions. By 1844, Captain Hays’ Rangers had forever changed the nature of frontier warfare with the use of the Colt five-shooter repeating pistol. This new weapon allowed his men to remain on horseback and keep up a continuous and deadly fire in the face of overwhelming odds, especially at Walker’s Creek. Through extensive use of primary military documents and first-person accounts, Moore sets the record straight on some of Jack Hays’ lesser-known Comanche encounters. “Moore’s fourth and final volume of the Savage Frontier series contains many compelling battle narratives, but there is a wealth of social as well as military history lurking in these chapters. No one who is interested in the people and the problems of the Texas Republic can afford to leave these pages unread.”—James E. Crisp, author of How Did Davy Die? And Why Do We Care So Much?
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: September 15, 2010
Creator: Moore, Stephen L.
Partner: UNT Press

Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas, Volume II, 1838 - 1839

Description: This second volume of the Savage Frontier series focuses on two of the bloodiest years of fighting in the young Texas Republic, 1838 and 1839. By early 1838, the Texas Rangers were in danger of disappearing altogether. Stephen L. Moore shows how the major general of the new Texas Militia worked around legal constraints in order to keep mounted rangers in service. Expeditions against Indians during 1838 and 1839 were frequent, conducted by militiamen, rangers, cavalry, civilian volunteer groups and the new Frontier Regiment of the Texas Army. From the Surveyors' Fight to the Battle of Brushy Creek, each engagement is covered in new detail. The volume concludes with the Cherokee War of 1839, which saw the assembly of more Texas troops than had engaged the Mexican army at San Jacinto. Moore fully covers the failed peace negotiations, the role of the Texas Rangers in this campaign, and the last stand of heroic Chief Bowles. Through extensive use of primary military documents and first-person accounts, Moore provides a clear view of life as a frontier fighter in the Republic of Texas. The reader will find herein numerous and painstakingly recreated muster rolls, as well as a complete list of Texan casualties of the frontier Indian wars from 1835 through 1839. For the exacting historian or genealogist of early Texas, the Savage Frontier series will be an indispensable resource on early nineteenth-century Texas frontier violence.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: March 15, 2006
Creator: Moore, Stephen L.
Partner: UNT Press

Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas, Volume III, 1840 - 1841

Description: This third volume of the Savage Frontier series focuses on the evolution of the Texas Rangers and frontier warfare in Texas during the years 1840 and 1841. Comanche Indians were the leading rival to the pioneers during this period. Peace negotiations in San Antonio collapsed during the Council House Fight, prompting what would become known as the Great Comanche Raid in the summer of 1840. Stephen L. Moore covers the resulting Battle of Plum Creek and other engagements in new detail. Rangers, militiamen, and volunteers made offensive sweeps into West Texas and the Cross Timbers area of present Dallas-Fort Worth. During this time Texas's Frontier Regiment built a great military road, roughly parallel to modern Interstate 35. Moore also shows how the Colt repeating pistol came into use by Texas Rangers. Finally, he sets the record straight on the battles of the legendary Captain Jack Hays. Through extensive use of primary military documents and first-person accounts, Moore provides a clear view of life as a frontier fighter in the Republic of Texas. The reader will find herein numerous and painstakingly recreated muster rolls, as well as casualty lists and a compilation of 1841 rangers and minutemen. For the exacting historian or genealogist of early Texas, the Savage Frontier series is an indispensable resource on early nineteenth-century Texas frontier warfare.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: March 15, 2007
Creator: Moore, Stephen L.
Partner: UNT Press

Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas, Volume I, 1835 - 1837

Description: This first volume of the Savage Frontier series is a comprehensive account of the formative years of the legendary Texas Rangers, focusing on the three-year period between 1835 and 1837, when Texas was struggling to gain its independence from Mexico and assert itself as a new nation. Stephen L. Moore vividly portrays another struggle of the settlers of Texas to tame a wilderness frontier and secure a safe place to build their homes and raise their families. Moore provides fresh detail about each ranging unit formed during the Texas Revolution and narrates their involvement in the pivotal battle of San Jacinto. New ranger battalions were created following the revolution, after Indian attacks against settlers increased. One notorious attack occurred against the settlers of Parker's Fort, which had served as a ranger station during the revolution. By 1837 President Sam Houston had allowed the army to dwindle, leaving only a handful of ranging units to cover the vast Republic. These frontiersmen endured horse rustling raids and ambushes, fighting valiantly even when greatly outnumbered in battles such as the Elm Creek Fight, Post Oak Springs Massacre, and the Stone Houses Fight. Through extensive use of primary military documents and first-person accounts, Moore documents the organization of the early ranger units and their activities. Of particular interest to the reader will be the various rosters of the companies, which are found throughout the book. Many of these muster rolls have been compiled from multiple sources and not published together previously. For the exacting historian or genealogist of early Texas, the Savage Frontier series will be an indispensable resource on early nineteenth-century Texas frontier warfare.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: September 15, 2007
Creator: Moore, Stephen L.
Partner: UNT Press

Old Riot, New Ranger: Captain Jack Dean, Texas Ranger and U.S. Marshal

Description: Award-winning author Bob Alexander presents a biography of 20th-century Ranger Captain Jack Dean, who holds the distinction of being one of only five men to serve in both the Officer’s Corps of the Rangers and also as a President-appointed United States Marshal. Jack Dean’s service in Texas Ranger history occurred at a time when the institution was undergoing a philosophical revamping and restructuring, all hastened by America’s Civil Rights Movement, landmark decisions handed down by the United States Supreme Court, zooming advances in forensic technology, and focused efforts designed to diversify and professionalize the Rangers. His job choice caused him to circulate in the duplicitous underworld of dishonesty and criminality where twisted self-interest overrode compliance with societal norms. His biography is packed with true-crime calamities: double murders, single murders, negligent homicides, suicides, jailbreaks, manhunts, armed robberies and home invasions, kidnappings, public corruption, sexual assaults, illicit gambling, car-theft rings, dope smuggling, and arms trafficking. “Bob Alexander personally interviewed Jack Dean, a renowned Texas lawman who wore a badge for forty-three years. These conversations form the core of a well-researched and fascinating account of Lone Star justice from the mid-twentieth century into the new millennium.” —Darren L. Ivey, author of The Ranger Ideal, Volumes 1 and 2.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: July 2018
Creator: Alexander, Bob
Partner: UNT Press

Whiskey River Ranger: The Old West Life of Baz Outlaw

Description: Captain Frank Jones, a famed nineteenth-century Texas Ranger, said of his company’s top sergeant, Baz Outlaw (1854-1894), “A man of unusual courage and coolness and in a close place is worth two or three ordinary men.” Another old-time Texas Ranger declared that Baz Outlaw “was one of the worst and most dangerous” because “he never knew what fear was.” But not all thought so highly of him. In Whiskey River Ranger, Bob Alexander tells for the first time the full story of this troubled Texas Ranger and his losing battle with alcoholism. In his career Baz Outlaw wore a badge as a Texas Ranger and also as a Deputy U.S. Marshal. He could be a fearless and crackerjack lawman, as well as an unmanageable manic. Although Baz Outlaw’s badge-wearing career was sometimes heroically creditable, at other times his self-induced nightmarish imbroglios teased and tested Texas Ranger management’s resoluteness. Baz Outlaw’s true-life story is jam-packed with fellows owning well-known names, including Texas Rangers, city marshals, sheriffs, and steely-eyed mean-spirited miscreants. Baz Outlaw’s tale is complete with horseback chases, explosive train robberies, vigilante justice (or injustice), nighttime ambushes and bushwhacking, and episodes of scorching six-shooter finality. Baz met his end in a brothel brawl at the hands of John Selman, the same gunfighter who killed John Wesley Hardin.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: April 2016
Creator: Alexander, Bob
Partner: UNT Press

Reckoning in the Redlands: the Texas Rangers’ Clean-up of San Augustine in 1935

Description: The subject of this manuscript is the Texas Rangers “clean-up” of San Augustine, which was undertaken between late January 1935 until approximately July 1936 at the direction of then newly-elected Governor James V. Allred, in response to the local “troubles” that arose from an near decade long “crime wave.” Allred had been elected on a platform advocating dramatic reform of state law enforcement, and the success of the “clean-up” was heralded as validation of those reforms, which included the creation of – and the Rangers’ integration into – the Texas Department of Public Safety that same year. Despite such historic significance for the community of San Augustine, the state, and the Texas Rangers, no detailed account has ever been published. The few existing published accounts are terse, vague, and inadequate to address the relevant issues. They are often also overly reliant on limited oral accounts and substantially factually flawed, thereby rendering their interpretive analysis moot in regard to certain issues. Additionally, it is a period of San Augustine’s history that haunts that community to this day, particularly as a result of the wide-ranging myths that have taken hold in the absence of a thoroughly researched and documented published account. Concerns over offending the descendants of the key antagonists, many of whom still live in the area, has long made local historians wary of taking on the topic. Nevertheless, many of them have privately expressed the need for just such a treatment, as they have crossed paths with enough evidence in pursuit of other topics that they recognize and appreciate the historical significance, and lack of an accurate modern understanding, of those events. Furthermore, descendants of some of the victims have expressed frustration over the lack of such an account, because it makes them feel victimized once more to see the ...
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Ginn, Jody Edward
Partner: UNT Libraries

[News Script: Kirkwood]

Description: Script from the WBAP-TV/NBC station in Fort Worth, Texas, covering a news story about a gambling house in Arlington being busted by Texas Rangers.
Date: September 20, 1960
Creator: WBAP-TV (Television station : Fort Worth, Tex.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections