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Table of Contents

The

Texas Ranger Dispatch

Issue 22, Spring 2007

TM

Magazine of the Official Museum, Hall of Fame, and Repository of the Texas Rangers Law Enforcement Agency

In This Issue

Articles

The Davis Mountains Standoff of 1997 (excerpt from Robert Utley's Lone Star Lawmen) George P. Durham 1819 North Texas Rangers Then and Now Rangers of the Cherokee War Book Reviews The Christmas Day Murders Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier John Armstrong Lone Star Lawmen Our Trust Is in the God of Battles

Featuring PHOTOS of Rangers Today

Founded in 1964, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum is the official statedesignated historical center of the Texas Ranger law enforcement agency. It is hosted and professionally operated by the city of Waco, Texas, as a public service. It is sanctioned by the Texas Rangers, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the legislature of the State of Texas. Private donors contribute to its operating and building funds and donate artifacts and archives for the benefit of future generations. This Issue of the Texas Ranger Dispatch is funded in part by a grant from the Texas Ranger Association Foundation. Their generosity makes this publication possible.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Table of Contents

The

Texas Ranger Dispatch

Issue 22, Spring 2007

TM

Table of Contents

To return to Table of Contents at any time, click the small emblem Click on title to go directly to article.

Page Article

at the top left of each page.

Type

Author

3 Ask the Dispatch 4 Ranger In-Service School 7 The Davis Mountains Standoff of 1997

Excerpt from Lone Star Lawmen

Staff Barry Caver Robert M. Utley Chuck Parsons David V. Stroud Robert M. Utley John Dinan

Q&A Photo Article Article Article Article Article Photos Photos

16 George P. Durham: A Shining Star 23 1819 North 25 Texas Rangers Then and Now 28 Rangers of the Cherokee War 32 The Pulp Cowboy 36 Rangers in the Field 37 Texas Ranger Association Foundation Board Meeting 39 The Christmas Day Murders By Sheriff J.B. Smith and D.W. Adams, PhD 40 Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier By Bill Neal 41 John Armstrong By Chuck Parsons 43 Lone Star Lawmen By Robert M. Utley 47 Our Trust Is in the God of Battles By Thomas W. Cutrer 49 The Pulp Western By John Dinan

Stephen L. Moore Article

Robert Nieman Robert Nieman Robert Nieman Byron Johnson Lonnie Maness Byron Johnson

Review Review Review Review Review Review

Texas Ranger Dispatch

Production Team

Robert Nieman - Managing Editor (Volunteer, Museum Board) Pam S. Baird ­ Technical Editor, Layout, and Web Design Byron A. Johnson - Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame

Sharon P. Johnson - Volunteer Web Designer, Baylor University Christina Stopka - Archivist, Texas Ranger Research Center Tracie Evans - Collections Manager, Collections Division Rachel Barnett, Research Librarian, Texas Ranger Research Center

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Ask the Dispatch

Ask the Dispatch

Some of the responses from readers about the Dispatch's new Adobe Acrobat layout: Have I told you lately what a hell of a great job you're doing with the Dispatch? Kent Biffle Columnist for the Dallas Morning News

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Good idea! Will you be printing/binding some copies, perhaps for sale in the gift store at the museum? Paul Cool, President of the National Association of Outlaw-Lawman History. Maybe in the future, but we have no immediate plans.

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Great job. Captain Clete Buckaloo TexasRangers, Company D

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Another great issue. Many thanks for helping us find an individual photo of Captain Henry Lee Ransom. Ray Sadler [Sadler is co-author of The Texas Ranger and the Mexican Revolution.]

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I love the new format. It reads with such ease, and I really like the photos. Good job!!!! Captain Barry K. Caver, Texas Rangers, Company E

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Thank you for sending me the Dispatch. Texas Attorney General's Office

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I read all of Dispatch 21. It is great and I love the Adobe format. You have really created a library of Texas Ranger stories, facts, etc. I often go back and read the back issues again and always enjoy them. Thanks for the hard work, Randy Sillavan PS: I have re-read the latest issue of the Dispatch and it was better than the first read.

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That's a huge step forward. The Acrobat version looks great. A hearty congratulations. Bob Utley [Robert Utley is the author of Lone Star Justice: the First Century of the Texas Rangers and the just released Lone Star Lawmen: The Second Century of the Texas Rangers.]

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The new Dispatch is very impressive. Chuck Parsons

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Again, great work. Gary Crawford

I really enjoyed the Dispatch in Adobe Acrobat format. That was a great idea! Bill Grigg

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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In-Service School

In-Service School

October 19, 2006

Photos courtesy of Captain Barry Caver

UCIT

Front: A.J. Miller, John Martin, Capt. De Los

Captains

L-R: Clete Buckaloo, Company D; Kirby

Santos, Rudy Jaramillo.

Back:

J.D. Robertson, Jeff Vajdos, Troy Wilson, Trampas Gooding, Jimmy Schroeder. (Hank Whitman was unable to attend.)

Dendy, Company F; Barry Caver, Company E; Ray Coffman, Senior Ranger Captain; Jim Miller, Assistant Senior Ranger Captain; Tony Leal, Company A; Gary De Los Santos, UCIT; Richard Sweaney, Company B; Randy Prince, Company C.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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In-Service School

Company A Front: Tom Davis, Nacogdoches; Jeff Cook, Richmond; Joe Haralson, Texas City; Capt. Tony Leal; L.C. Wilson; David Maxwell, Bay City; Brian Taylor, Bellville; Otto Hanak, Brenham. Back: Crayton McGee, Houston; Adolphus Pressley, Houston; Danny Young, Jasper; Freeman Martin, Houston; Grover Huff, Liberty; Kevin Pullen, Conroe; Pete Maskunas, Lufkin; David Rainwater, Houston; Ron Duff, Livingston; Bobby Smith, Beaumont.

Company C

Front: Brad Oliver, Brownfield; Martin Hood,

Hereford; Capt. Randy Prince, Lubbock; Dusty McCord, Lubbock; Marshall Brown, Plainview; Stuart Willer, Lubbock.

Back:

Dwayne Williams, Graham; Tony Arnold, Lubbock;, Dewayne Dockery, Decatur; Todd Snyder, Dumas; Russ Authier, Mineral Wells; Alvin Schmidt, Amarillo; Bart Bivens, Pampa; Jay Foster, Childress.

Company B Front: Jay Womack, Tracy Murphree, Terry Welch, Capt. Richard Sweaney, Steve Boyd, Phillip Kemp, Brad Harmon. Back: Tony Bennie, Roger Lough, Kenny Ray, Ronny Griffith, Keith Denning, Jeff Collins, A P Davidson, Chris Clark.

Company D

Front: Roland Castaneda, Robert Hunter,

Victor Escalon, Roger Millican, Capt. Clete Buckaloo, Lt. Jim Denman, Israel Pacheco, Lance Coleman. Back: Marrie Aldridge, Ray Ramon, Andy Lopez, Robert Garza, Chance Collins, Oscar Rivera, Coy Smith, Morgan Miller.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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In-Service School

Company E

Front: Lt. Bob Bullock, Capt. Barry Caver, David Hullum, David Duncan, Calvin

Cox, Jess Malone, Don Williams.

Back: Brian Burzynski, Shawn Palmer, Brooks Long, Tony DeLuna, Aaron

Grigsby, Juan Lozano, Nick Hanna, Johnny Billings

Company F

Front: Lt. Al Alexis, Austin; Sgt. Rocky Wardlow, Bastrop; Rudy Flores, Palestine;

Trace McDonald ,Athens; Joe Hutson, Stephenville; Tommy Ratliff, San Marcos; Sal Abreo, Austin; Frank Malinak, Bryan; Jesus Ramos-Lampasas, Lt. George Turner-Waco, Cris Love, Austin.

Back: Capt. Kirby Dendy; Garth Davis, Austin; Joey Gordon, Llano; Matt Caw-

thon, Waco; Kyle Dean, Kerrville; Steve Foster, Waco; Matt Andrews, Brady; Mark Reinhardt, Cleburne; Jim Huggins, Centerville; Matt Lindemann, Georgetown; and Marcus Hilton, Temple.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Davis Mountains Standoff

The

Davis Mountains Standoff of 1997

by Robert M. Utley

Excerpt from Lone Star Lawmen: the Second Century of the Texas Rangers Published by Oxford University Press, March 2007

Company E after capture of embassy

On November 1, 1996, Barry Caver took over Company E in Midland, at thirty-eight the youngest Ranger captain since the formation of DPS in 1935. Tall and muscular, he fitted the image of the traditional Ranger. As the Company C lieutenant, he had made a reputation as a top-flight criminal investigator and an outstanding leader and quickly moved up when Captain Gene Powell transferred to Austin as Bruce Casteel's assistant chief.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

7

Davis Mountains Standoff

In February 1997 Jeff Davis County sheriff Steve Bailey drove to Midland to talk with the new captain. Bailey's county embraced the craggy, forested Davis Mountains and surrounding grasslands, which supported a scattering of cattlemen. The county seat, Fort Davis, lay about twenty-five miles north of Marfa and Alpine. Sparsely populated, the entire county relied on only two lawmen, Sheriff Bailey and one deputy. In recent years the county had attracted a growing number of residents, drawn by the mountain scenery and temperate climate. Most lived along a road that penetrated a steep canyon southwest of the county seat. One resident in particular had brought Sheriff Bailey to Midland. Richard McLaren headed one of three quarreling factions of the Republic of Texas. Adherents to this bogus sovereignty contended that Texas had been illegally annexed to the United States in 1845 and remained an independent republic, which they intended to restore by peaceful or violent means. They had already bedeviled state and county governments by refusing to obey state law, acknowledge state officials, and tying up anyone who offended them by filing liens against their personal property. These filings clogged county offices and the courts and brought on clashes with the state attorney general and even the federal courts. 1 The ROT movement gained momentum at a time when anti-government militia groups were sprouting all over the United States. On weekends camouflage-clad men gathered at McLaren's compound to train for a violent revolution should the state not peacefully acquiesce in their demands. Ironically, McLaren and his closest associates had moved to Texas from elsewhere. Filing liens, talking of war, conducting weekend war games, Richard McLaren had already caused plenty of trouble for his neighbors, for Jeff Davis County, and for Sheriff Bailey. If an emergency did occur, Bailey knew that he and his deputy could not handle it. If it erupted, he asked Captain Caver, would the Rangers take control? Of course, Caver answered, later confirming the promise with Chief Bruce Casteel in Austin. McLaren billed himself as "ambassador" of the Republic of Texas. His "embassy" lay at the end of a nine-mile dirt road ending in the mouth of a rocky canyon. It was an old house trailer with a scrubby wooden lean-to attached. No one knew how many men guarded the embassy or how they were armed. Authorities held a federal and a state warrant for McLaren's arrest for filing false liens and other violations of both federal and state law. Although no move had been made against his compound, throughout April his Internet Web site emitted bellicose declarations of an impending invasion that would be met with armed force. About 150 neighbors shared the community with McLaren. They had grown heartily disgusted with the martial activities that had ranged up and down the road and throughout the community for four years. The second house from the entrance sat on a knoll

1. Abilene Reporter-News, July 10, 1996; Barry Caver, interview by Robert Nieman, June 27, 2004, in Texas Ranger Dispatch Magazine issue 16 (Winter 2004), http://www.texasranger.org/dispatch/15/pages/ROT_Standoff_Pt1.htm; Caver, unpublished MS, 2000, provided me by Captain Caver.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Davis Mountains Standoff

affording a good view of surroundings. Joe and Margaret Ann Rowe lived there, and they kept Sheriff Bailey informed of ROT activities. McLaren had often feuded with them and regarded them as "federal moles." The crisis hit early on Sunday morning, April 27, 1997. Sheriff Bailey stopped a van driven by Robert J. Scheidt, McLaren's "chief of security," for a traffic violation and took him in after finding firearms in the vehicle. ROT struck back. Three of the ROT militia, decked in camouflage and combat gear, stormed the Rowe home firing volleys from rifles. A bullet hit Joe Rowe in the shoulder, and flying glass cut him. The militia, Greg and Karen Paulson and Richard Keyes, now held Rowe and his wife as hostages.

ROT Embassy

Quickly alerted, Captain Caver called every member of his company, scattered throughout the Company E region, and told them to pack and head for Fort Davis. He informed Chief Casteel in Austin, then passed the word to the highway patrol captain in Midland, David Baker. By late afternoon a helicopter had set both down in Fort Davis. 2

2. Caver, interview by Nieman. This is the principal source for what occurred inside the ring of state troopers who blocked off Fort Davis to entry. Also, DPS spokesman Mike Cox each day briefed the press, which each day by newspapers and television passed on as much as Caver wanted to make public. Dallas Morning News, April 28, 1997; New York Times, April 28, 1997; Houston Chronicle, April 28, 1997.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Davis Mountains Standoff

As he had promised Sheriff Bailey, Caver took control. No one had talked with the hostage takers. From the first residence on the access road, home of a border patrol officer, Caver dialed the Rowe's telephone number. Greg Paulson answered. Caver asked for the ROT demands. Polite, respectful, and entirely unresponsive, Paulson replied that he could take orders only from chief of security Robert Scheidt. Since his morning arrest by Sheriff Bailey, however, Scheidt had sat in a Marfa jail cell (Fort Davis had no jail). Brought back to Fort Davis, he professed to know nothing of what had happened but promised to help in any way he could to resolve the trouble. Meantime, Caver had talked with McLaren by telephone. Like Scheidt, he denied all knowledge of the kidnapping and declared that he had not ordered it. Even so, in telephone interviews and Internet communications, he took full credit. He held the hostages as "prisoners of war" and would exchange them for Scheidt and a ROT woman who had been arrested in Austin a week earlier. On his Web site he ordered militia members throughout the state to start picking up and deporting judges, legislators, IRS agents, Governor George Bush and Attorney General Dan Morales, and in fact any foreigner found in Texas. On Monday morning, after lengthy negotiation, Scheidt agreed with Caver that he would free the hostages if he could have his van returned and then drive with the Paulsons and Keyes back to McLaren's compound. As Caver conceded, a first rule of hostage negotiation is never to make a deal, but he believed it imperative to get the Rowes released so Joe could be rushed to the hospital. Scheidt made good on his promise. The Rowes were liberated, and Scheidt, the Paulsons, and Keyes drove back into the mountains. 3 McLaren's public bluster meant nothing on the scene, for Captain Caver now controlled it. His object was to force the surrender of McLaren and all his cohorts, and it seemed unlikely to be attained quickly. In the next few days help arrived in ample measure. The sheriff was already there with Caver and his growing number of Rangers. Eventually Rangers from elsewhere brought the number to thirty-five. The highway patrol poured in men and cars and manned roadblocks. The FBI, border patrol, and U.S. marshals showed up in strength. The fifteen-man DPS SWAT team arrived from Austin. The Texas Forest Service joined, since McLaren threatened to set fire to the forests. Texas Parks and Wildlife sent in game wardens experienced in back-country tracking. The army provided two Blackhawk helicopters from Fort Bliss, which were used mainly for logistics. From East Texas, the Smith County sheriff sent two armored personnel carriers (APCs), "Bubba 1" and "Bubba 2." Chief Casteel and DPS director Dudley Thomas flew in for a hasty show of support, but they refrained from interfering with Caver's conduct of the mission. The state forest service introduced Caver to the concept of "incident command," employed throughout the nation for fighting forest and range fires. As Caver later observed, with more than three hundred officers "it was a manpower and scheduling nightmare." The forest service personnel took over the logistics of scheduling, feeding,

3. Houston Chronicle, April 28, 1997; New York Times, April 28, 1997.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Davis Mountains Standoff

housing, and sanitation, freeing Caver to concentrate on McLaren. Throughout, Caver was "incident commander," the ultimate authority who reported to no one else. Caver felt a sense of urgency because weekends usually brought an influx of armed militiamen. McLaren had declared war and summoned an army. Caver felt the standoff had to be resolved before the weekend in case reinforcements in fact responded. To avoid further kidnappings, on Monday Caver moved his command post to an abandoned volunteer fire station closer to the compound, thus putting the community to his rear. Many residents had left anyway. Attorney General Janet Reno tried to get federal officers out of the area because Fort Davis bore similarities to Waco. One was the nationwide attention that sent dozens of news and television people to Fort Davis. Like the FBI at Waco, Caver established a press rendezvous in a roadside park a dozen miles distant, where TV cameras had nothing to film but state troopers and their patrol cruisers and Mike Cox dispensed only such information as the captain wanted. Akin to Waco as well were the negotiations, which were conducted with McLaren by telephone. Since commander and negotiator should never be the same person, Caver assigned the duty to Ranger Jesse Malone, a calm, articulate man who could talk sensibly with anyone. Especially like Waco, the talks proceeded in mutually incomprehensible languages. Talking with McLaren was like talking with David Koresh. Malone sought surrender to the state of Texas; McLaren recognized no such entity and could respond only in the tortured language of the Republic of Texas. Also with Waco in mind, Caver desperately wanted to end the siege peacefully, without the opprobrium heaped on the FBI. Malone made no headway Monday. To McLaren, "surrender" meant the sovereign ROT giving up to a foreign power. In a statement to CNN, he said his only interest was "in getting foreign agents off Texas soil." He also sought intervention by the United Nations to broker a cease-fire. Tuesday McLaren's Houston attorney, Terence O'Rourke, showed up. Caver let him talk with McLaren, who made no concession but inscribed a bundle of "legal documents" for O'Rourke and placed them in a "diplomatic pouch" on the road near his compound. SWAT team members drove one of the APCs out to retrieve the pouch. Without disclosing the contents of the documents, O'Rourke pronounced them the starting point for negotiations. 4

4. Dallas Morning News, April 30, 1997; Bryan Eagle, April 30, 1997. CNN news releases (two), April 29, 1997, http://search.netscape.com/ns/boomframe.jsp?query=Richard+McLaren+April+29%2C+1997 &page=1&offset=0&result_url=redir%3Fsrc%3Dwebsearch%26requestId%3D54cd4a7e87ed 32b8%26clickedItemRank%3D1%26userQuery%3DRichard%2BMcLaren%2BApril%2B29% 252C%2B1997%26clickedItemURN%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.cnn.com%252FUS% 252F9704%252F29%252Ftexas.militia.am%252F%26invocationType%3D%26fromPage%3DNSCPToolbarNS%26amp%3BampTest%3D1&remove_url=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.cnn.com%2FUS%2F9704%2F29%2Ftexas.militia.am%2F

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

11

Davis Mountains Standoff

Wednesday, as O'Rourke prepared a packet of papers to be returned in the pouch, the ambassador suddenly broke off all communication by telephone or fax. Amid indications that he was summoning militia groups from across the nation, Caver shut down the ROT Internet and prepared for offensive action. Friday evening he moved his forces closer to the embassy. McLaren took to his ham radio: "Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Hostiles are invading the Republic of Texas embassy. We have hostiles in the woods. This is a mayday call for any nation in the world. We are being invaded!" At the same time he warned the invaders, "You're dead meat." 5 But on this same Friday, ROT solidarity had begun to disintegrate. Caver thought the "embassy" contained about thirteen militiamen, for six of whom he now held felony warrants. Actually, the bedraggled old trailer housed only eight, two of them women: McLaren and his wife Evelyn, Robert "White Eagle" Otto, Mike Matson, Richard Keyes, and Greg Paulson and his wife Karen­all from outside Texas. Friday, in another ritual of exchanging diplomatic pouches, Bob Scheidt walked out to place the pouch on the road. Instead, he just kept walking into the arms of the Rangers. "I've had enough of this," he explained. "I could see the handwriting on the wall­what's fixing to happen next­and I don't want any part of Evelyn McLaren and Ranger Jesse Malone. that." Meantime, Evelyn McLaren's two daughters had driven over from Dallas. They wanted to talk with their mother by telephone, but she refused. Friday night Caver told her by telephone how badly her daughters wanted to see her and assured her that she would be treated with dignity and respect if she would surrender. Given the ROT obsession with sovereignty, this promise seemed to weigh heavily in Evelyn McLaren's thinking. On that condition, she promised to come out the next morning. She did. She was cordially greeted and not handcuffed, and she received the studied courtesy and the respect that meant so much. Captain Caver allowed her to talk by phone with her husband. She told him of her kind treatment and urged him to surrender. She had also brought out another ROT document, a formal cease-fire agreement with stipulations, signature blocks, and the embossed seal of the Republic of Texas. Working by tele5. Dallas Morning News, May 1 and 2, 1997.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Davis Mountains Standoff

phone with Chief Casteel in Austin, Caver crossed out the stipulations that could not be accepted and signed the document. Evelyn McLaren called her husband and exclaimed, "He signed it. We've won." Two hours later McLaren and White Eagle Otto drove down the road and surrendered. Although handcuffed behind his back, McLaren insisted on shaking hands with Captain Caver. He had lived up to all his promises, including respect, and the ambassador appreciated that. He too signed the cease-fire. 6 Not all had come out. The Paulsons had insisted on surrendering the "military way." To them that meant arranging their arms in a semicircle in front of the flagpole and sitting with their backs against the flagpole. Caver worked his way to the canyon rim where he had kept lookouts throughout the siege and observed the Paulsons quietly awaiting arrest in the "military way." Although two others, Richard Keyes and Mike Matson, had taken to the mountains rather than give up, the siege had ended peacefully. In fact, it had come close to ending violently. Still apprehensive of reinforcements, by Friday Caver had lost patience and advanced his forces in the move that prompted McLaren's mayday call.

It just got to the point after a week of listening to this guy ramble on and make his threats, no progress appeared [close] to being made. I got tired of it. I had all the people I needed, all the resources with the tanks [from Fort Bliss] and two armored personnel carriers. I knew that I could go in there, but it was just whether or not I wanted to face the heat that was going to go along with it. But I got to the point where, had they not surrendered that Saturday morning, I was prepared to do something that afternoon. 7

An assault was full of unknowns, except the certainty of facing the heat. Would McLaren turn his firepower against the armor? Were the approaches to the "embassy" mined and booby trapped? (They were.) Would McLaren resort to some desperate bid for martyrdom through suicide or set fire to the compound and surrounding forest, evoking visions of Waco? The best explanation of the peaceful outcome lies in the decision Caver made to sign the cease-fire. When Eveyln McLaren told her husband on the phone, "We've won," she provided a clue to Caver's victory. By signing an official document of the Republic of Texas, even though stripped of all unacceptable provisions, in their minds he had acknowledged the validity of the ROT concept. Reinforcing this conclusion, less than a month later Eveyln McLaren called a press conference in Garland, a Dallas suburb, to accuse the state and federal governments of breaking an "international agreement" to end the standoff. After concluding the agreement, she angrily charged, officers swarmed over the embassy. "Then my husband and I and the embassy staff were arrested and incarcerated on bogus charges in violation of this same treaty and agreement. The world is watching." 8

6. Caver, Nieman interview; Dallas Morning News, May 4, 1997. 7. Caver, Nieman interview. 8. Dallas Morning News, May 30, 1997.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

13

Davis Mountains Standoff

Captain Barry Caver and Richard McLaren.

McLaren's photo in the TDCJ.

Two of McLaren's militiamen remained free, somewhere in the almost impenetrable wilderness of the Davis Mountains. On Monday May 5 Caver began the search for Matson and Keyes. Earlier in the week, the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC), the state's prison agency, had brought in tracking dogs. Handled by TDC lieutenant Eric Pechacek and accompanied by two Rangers, three bloodhounds picked up the scent at once and within a mile flushed and attacked Matson. He shot and killed one dog and wounded the other two. So forested and furrowed was the terrain, however, that the ground party could not find the location. Caver ordered a helicopter to search from above. It circled as Ranger Gene Kea and Lieutenant Pechacek tried to find the fugitive. They spotted him, and Kea opened fire. Matson fired back. Pechacek leveled his deer rifle and dropped Matson, dead. 9 That left Keyes. Caver's men searched for two more days. But as the captain recalled, the terrain was so treacherous, "I was afraid we were going to get somebody else hurt just looking for the guy, so I decided to call it off. He'd eventually surface." 10

9. Caver, Nieman interview; Dallas Morning News, May 5, 1997; CNN Release, May 6, 1997, http://search.netscape.com/ns/boomframe.jsp?query=McLaren+May+6%2C+1997&page=1& offset=0&result_url=redir%3Fsrc%3Dwebsearch%26requestId%3Dccc5b528b636229a%26clic kedItemRank%3D1%26userQuery%3DMcLaren%2BMay%2B6%252C%2B1997%26clickedItemUR N%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.cnn.com%252FUS%252F9705%252F06%252Ftexas.s hootout%252Findex.html%26invocationType%3D%26fromPage%3DNSCPToolbarNS%26amp%3BampTest%3D1&remove_url=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.cnn.com%2FUS%2F9705%2F06%2Ftexas.shootout%2Findex.html 10. Caver, Nieman interview; Dallas Morning News, May 7, 1997.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

14

Davis Mountains Standoff

He did. Authorities thought he would die in the fastness of the Davis Mountains. But they found sleeping bags and other evidence that suggested that sympathizers had aided his escape. A tip to the FBI led, after four months, to Keyes's arrest in the forests north of Houston. He had probably been shielded by ROT sympathizers and handed off from one to another. 11 In November an Alpine jury, based on a host of charges accumulated before and during the siege, sentenced McLaren to ninety-nine years in prison and Otto to fifty. Tried later, the Paulsons and Keyes also drew prison terms. In April 1998 Richard and Evelyn McLaren and eight associates faced federal mail fraud charges and were convicted. Elsewhere in Texas, other ROT zealots went to prison on various fraud charges. The Republic of Texas seemed destined for extinction. It wasn't. Mostly emitting rhetoric rather than violations of law, it remained alive if not healthy at the turn of the century. 12 Throughout the seven-day impasse, the Texas Rangers received almost no mention by the press, and Captain Caver only once. The officers were characterized merely as "police" or "troopers," when in fact most of the offensive force consisted of Rangers. A week after the stalemate ended, however, the other participating agencies began heaping praise on the Rangers and Captain Caver. He returned the favor: "Everyone is trying to give me all the credit, but there is no way I could've done it without all the coordination and support between the agencies." He was right, of course, but as incident commander Captain Caver bore the ultimate responsibility and deserved the prime credit. 13

11. Dallas Morning News, September 20, 1997. 12. AP dispatch in Pecos Enterprise, November 5, 1997 and April 9, 1998; Dallas Morning News, April 9, 1998; New York Times, April 15, 1998. See also for much background, "Republic of Texas," - April 26, 1998, Update, on CNN Web at http://search.netscape.com/ns/boomframe.jsp?query=Richard+McLaren+April+15%2C+1998 &page=2&offset=0&result_url=redir%3Fsrc%3Dwebsearch%26requestId%3D6587076d8f0f8 1bc%26clickedItemRank%3D19%26userQuery%3DRichard%2BMcLaren%2BApril%2B15% 252C%2B1998%26clickedItemURN%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fhome.earthlink.net%252F %257Efounders%252Fupdate.html%26invocationType%3Dnext%26fromPage%3DNSCPNe xtPrevB%26amp%3BampTest%3D1&remove_url=http%3A%2F%2Fhome.earthlink.net%2F %7Efounders%2Fupdate.html 13. Dallas Morning News, May 12, 1997.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

15

George Durham

George P. Durham

A Shining Star By Chuck Parsons

George P. Durham

George P. Durham: He is one of the very few Texas Rangers who served in the 1870s and left an account of his experiences, for which we are grateful. James B. Gillett and John L. Sullivan are two others whose memoirs have been preserved and kept in print by various publishers. Durham made his fame and his fortune under two bosses: Texas Ranger Captain L. H. McNelly, and Richard King, the leading cattleman of the Southwest. The quality of leadership inherent in both those kings of Texas was continued through Durham in his many years as a deputy sheriff and caporal of the King Ranch's El Sauz division. Durham related his experiences as a Texas Ranger to newspaperman Clyde Wantland. The tale he told was first published in a series in West magazine and then put out

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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George Durham

in book form by the University of Texas Press in Austin. 1 The eminent historian Walter Prescott Webb provided a forward to the 1962 edition, which has gone into its third printing as of 1975 and has been reprinted since then. George Durham was a Georgia native, born in 1856. His father survived the actual fighting of the Civil War, but he lost nearly everything when General Sherman marched successfully to the sea. George's future then looked bleak, as he would have to help rebuild what little the ravages of war had left the family. Later, looking back on his youth, he remembered that he was "nothing but a big hunk of a farm boy straddling his plow horse, with a few victuals and a pistol." 2 Rather than staying on his father's farm, however, young George chose to leave home and head for Texas, as many a young man did in those trying times. If his memory served him correctly, Durham entered the Lone Star State at the age of nineteen. All he would need for his future was a better horse and the pistol he carried with him. After landing in Texas, Durham "drifted up along the coast," inquiring everywhere about Captain McNelly. Apparently, he knew of the captain due to his father and McNelly fighting together during the war in Louisiana. Eventually, Durham arrived in Washington County and finally met McNelly at the post office in Burton. Durham had never encountered the captain before, and he had an image of McNelly in his mind as a man who would be "big and hairy, with his pistols gleaming." What McNelly proved to be was a man who could pass for a preacher and a "puny one at that." After a week working on a Burton farm, Durham, almost by accident, learned that McNelly was rounding up men for his Ranger company. He "interviewed" for a position, and McNelly signed him up. Durham recalled the date as April 25, 1875. He later remembered it as "the biggest day in my life up to then," next to his marriage to Caroline Chamberlain, a niece of Mrs. Richard King. 3 Under McNelly, who was then captain of the Washington County Volunteer Militia Company, young Durham served during the most exciting years of the Texas Rangers. He saw considerable action in the Southern portion of the state, as well as in Mexico. He also participated in the notorious Sutton-Taylor feud of the DeWitt County area. As caporal, or "straw boss," of the El Sauz Division, Durham had great responsibility over men and cattle. Serving alongside him during the Ranger days were Lieutenants L. B. Wright and T. C. Robinson, and Sergeants L. L. Wright, Roe P. Orrell, and John B. Armstrong. None had the desire to rise in the ranks, but all experienced adventure, and all practically worshipped Captain McNelly.

1

Durham's story was first published in serial form in West magazine in 1937, entitled "On the Trail of 5100 Outlaws," also told to Clyde Wantland. The version published by the University of Texas Press is slightly different from the original periodical version. The West serial includes several illustrations not included in the book form. 2 George Durham. Taming the Nueces Strip: the Story of McNelly's Rangers, 4. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1962). 3 Durham, 8-9.

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17

George Durham

Durham's first experience under McNelly was pursuing cattle thieves from across the Rio Grande. A group of raiders had attacked the little community of Banquette on Good Friday, 1875. Thomas J. Noakes's mercantile store, which also housed the post office, had been burned, but the Noakes family managed to escape. In the following weeks, McNelly and his men broke up the various Anglo mobs who sought revenge against virtually any Mexican. The captain also put out the word that he and his men represented the only law in the Nueces Strip. Following a meeting with Captain Richard King (who may have been primarily responsible for Governor Coke's sending McNelly to the Nueces Strip), McNelly and the company were better supplied with horses and weapons. With King's Santa Gertrudis Ranch behind him and the wild land of the Nueces Strip in front, Durham had "a prime bit of horse flesh between my knees" for the first time, which "always does something to a man." All the men now had good rifles and good pistols. They also were "behind a leader who didn't bobble or look back; a leader who had done nothing but win; a leader that the governor was betting on to bring law to the Nueces Strip." 4 McNelly scored a major victory over the raiders in June. He had learned through his spies that a party of raiders was planning to cross the herd over on a certain day. This knowledge was obtained after capturing two suspected raiders and applying methods of interrogation that would not be acceptable to any force observing the rules of war. The battle between McNelly's Rangers and Juan Cortina's raiders took place on June 12. It was fought on the same ground as the Mexican War battle at Palo Alto, which is near Brownsville. It was Durham's first engagement against an enemy, and he experienced moments of cowardliness much like any other young man. When his horse went down, Durham managed to grab his carbine and jump clear. He describes his reaction:

[I] prayed, and meant it. Every bone in me said turn back. I couldn't go another foot closer. I was paralyzed. It hadn't hit me so strong as long as I had a horse under me. But now, afoot in that muddy Resaca, I couldn't move. So I prayed for the Good Lord to not let me turn back.

Captain McNelly was close by, and he opened up with his pistol, an action that Durham says "answered my prayer." Durham splashed ahead, his Sharps cocked and ready to fire. He recalls this incident, which was the first time he killed a man and perhaps the first time he even shot at one: Three or four steps closer, and I had me a target. He came up from the shelter of a clump of scrub salt cedar. His hat showed first, and he was in my target area--right smack dab in front. He came up to get away; he was turned for a horse in the read. Under that big fancy beaver hat I saw a white scar down the right cheek, from the

4

Durham, 33. The governor at the time was Richard Coke. Richard King perhaps had contacted Governor Coke more than once, requesting help to fight the constant raiding gangs from south of the Rio Grande that continually raided his ranch. Unfortunately, no documentation seems to have survived to support this theory, but certainly Richard King had influence on Governor Coke's administration.

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George Durham

hairline to the chin. I got that scar in my sight and dropped the hammer. Both hat and head seemed to explode. With this feat, Durham "quit being a scared country boy. I was a man. A Ranger. A Little McNelly." 5 The local newspaper provided a succinct report of the Palo Alto battle:

To-day [McNelly] made a forced march of twenty-five miles. The raiders saw they would be overtaken, and drew up on the bank of a wide slough and opened fire. McNelly moved at a trot, and ordered his men not to fire. The raiders ran when he was within a hundred yards of them. He pursued, and succeeded in flanking them with three men. They halted and fought desperately. McNelly's horses were jaded, and but seven men were able to get into the fight. All the raiders, twelve in number, were killed. Berry Smith rushed in the midst of them and was shot by their leader, Camalo Lerma. The rangers had but two horses killed and two wounded. They took 250 beeves, most of them Captain King's. The fight occurred twelve miles from town. . . . 6

The raider casualties actually numbered fifteen, with one wounded man escaping. The dead were buried in a trench somewhere in Brownsville. Besides the recovered beeves, McNelly later recaptured 300 head of cattle as well as 40 head of horses. 7 McNelly was not only punishing raiders but also recovering stock stolen from Texas ranchers. Unlike Durham, one Ranger did not reach his days of manhood. L. B. "Berry" Smith, the youngest of the command, received a bullet that proved to be fatal. Young Smith was the only Ranger McNelly lost in the line of duty. McNelly took his body into Brownsville and gave him what amounted to a state funeral. The captain, the Rangers under him, two marching bands, citizens, and two companies of US soldiers from Fort Brown followed the hearse. The noted John S. "Rip" Ford was parade marshal, and soldiers fired a salute over his grave in the Brownsville City Cemetery. The next important engagement the Rangers had was not on Texas soil, but on the south side of the Rio Grande. McNelly would be breaking international laws by crossing his men over to Mexico to recover stolen stock. At one o'clock in the morning, November 19, 1875, he planned to cross the river, intending to strike the camp of the raiders, also known as Las Cuevas. Before proceeding, he gave a little pep talk to his men:

I can't order a single one of you men to go with me. You were hired to fight in Texas, not Mexico. I can't order you, but I sure need you. I need every one who'll cross with me, every one who'll volunteer.

5 6

Durham, 60. This report of the battle appeared in an undated Brownsville newspaper and was reprinted in the Galveston Daily News, June 15, 1875. 7 Communications from Captain McNelly to Adjutant General William Steele, June 14 and September 30, 1875. McNelly was frequently tardy in getting paperwork and reports to his superiors. These documents are archived in the Texas State Archives, Austin.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

19

George Durham

We'll be on our own. I can't guarantee to bring you back. All I can guarantee is to lead you up to a dang good scrap. I won't send you--I'll lead you. If you don't volunteer it won't be held against you or show on your record. It's squarely up to you. Take all the time you need to make up your mind. If any decide to go, step across this trail to this side.

Twenty-six Rangers crossed the line, as men in the Alamo had done nearly six decades before. This time, the end result would be far different. Dawn was just breaking the fog when McNelly found his object, Rancho Las Cuevas. The few men on horseback rode through and those on foot followed, shooting at all ablebodied raiders. Several Mexicans were killed and wounded before McNelly discover he had hit the wrong village--Las Cachuttas instead of Las Cuevas! McNelly had lost all elements of surprise, and he knew he would soon be outnumbered. He ordered his men back to the river, where the banks would allow some cover for the anticipated counterattack. During the ensuing engagement, the Mexican leader, Juan Flores Salinas, was killed. The Rangers stayed in Mexico until promises were George P. Durham made that the stolen cattle would be returned and the thieves would be turned over to American authorities. The vows were only partly kept, however. McNelly and a squad forced Mexican officials to round up as many stolen cattle as they could find and turn them over to him. This was done, but only after McNelly had threatened to shoot the officials if the demands were not carried out. With cattle recovered, it now became necessary to get the animals back to their rightful owners. Those belonging to Captain King were returned, driven by a group of Rangers including Durham, William Rudd, Ed Pitts, and William C. Callicott. At King's Ranch, the quartet of Rangers returning stolen cattle was considered a near miracle. It was the first time stolen stock had been returned. King had a celebratory meal prepared, but Durham and the others, ashamed of their dirty clothing and unshaved beards, refused to enter what they considered a fancy dining room. Undeterred, King had his men set up a table in the mess hall, and all ate together. The women provided a special cake for the occasion decorated with the words, "Compliments of the King women to The McNelly Rangers" 8 In recognition of the historicity of the event, King had his vaqueros saw off the left horns of the cattle and then put the animals out to a pasture. The cattle were not to be

8]

Durham, 127. This is how Durham remembered the lettering. William C. Callicott, who was also there, recalled the lettering on the cake as "Compliments of the 2 Miss Kings to the McNelly Rangers." See Chuck Parsons. Captain L. H. McNelly, Texas Ranger: The Life and Times of a Fighting Man, 250. (Austin: State House Press, 2001.)

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

20

George Durham

shipped or traded; they would be a constant reminder of what McNelly had accomplished. (When McNelly died in September 1877, Captain King paid for the impressive monument that now marks his grave in Burton.) No other Ranger experience ever compared to riding for Captain McNelly. When he was dropped as commander due to his high medical bills, the state authorities replaced him with Lee Hall. Many considered that decision unfair. They felt Sergeant John B. Armstrong, who had extensive experience, was a better choice. But Hall remained the new commander. 9 Perhaps the most memorable action of Durham's final months as a Ranger occurred in DeWitt County on December 22, 1876. Lieutenant Hall and a handful of men, including Durham, approached the house of William Cox. He was one of seven men accused of the double murder of a DeWitt County doctor and his son. When Lieutenant Hall announced his presence at the Cox house, the outlaws initially wanted to fight. Hall responded, "Now, gentlemen, you can go to killing Rangers, but if you don't surrender, the Rangers will go to killing you." That took the fight out of the men, and they surrendered without gunfire. All stood trial and were ultimately acquitted. 10 This was perhaps Durham's last act as a Ranger, and it also helped to end the notorious Sutton-Taylor feud, which had lasted for many years. Durham's service record shows he was a Ranger from April 1, 1875, through August 31, 1877. Durham never rose above the rank of private. His service records, now preserved in the Texas State Archives in Austin, reveal only when he enrolled and when he mustered into a different pay period. The earliest is dated April 1, 1875, and another shows pay earned from July 26, 1876, through February 1, 1877. When Lieutenant Hall took over after McNelly`s firing, Durham enrolled again, but only from January 25 through August 31, 1877, when he was stationed primarily in DeWitt County. Durham's oath when going into the Special State Troops (the new name for McNelly's Company) is dated March 2, 1877. The two enlistment papers are dated at Clinton and then at Cuero, today the county seat of DeWitt County. Not long after Durham ended his career, Captain Richard King hired him to work on his ranch for the impressive amount of $60 per month. During the next few years, Durham drove King to meetings in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Brownsville. He also worked at a cow camp on the Laureles division of the ranch. He worked his way up to be caporal, or "straw boss," on the Santa Gertrudis with pay at $75 per month. Durham's work so impressed Captain King that he ultimately raised his pay to $90 per month. In 1882, Durham was general foreman of the El Sauz division. During that time, he married Mrs. King's niece, Caroline Chamberline, who was the girl of his dreams. He had met her back in 1875 when he was one of the quartet of McNelly men who returned

9

Chuck Parsons. John B. Armstrong, Texas Ranger and Pioneer Ranchman. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2006). 10 Parsons, 286-87.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

21

George Durham

cattle recovered from Mexico. Caroline died in 1915, and George followed on May 17, 1940. He was 84 years of age and certainly the last of the McNelly Rangers.

Additional Reading Graham, Don. Kings of Texas: the 150-Year Saga of an American Ranching Empire. (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003). Hardin, Stephen . Texas Rangers. (Oxford, United Kingdom: Osprey Publishers, 1991). Robinson, Charles M. III. The Men Who Wear the Star: the Story of the Texas Rangers. (New York: Random House, 2000). Utley, Robert M. Lone Star Justice: the First Century of the Texas Rangers. (OxfordNew York: Oxford University Press, 2002).

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

22

1819 North

The 1819 North

By David V. Stroud

Top

Left side up, point left

I constantly think about which gun to write about in my Dispatch articles, but I never start actually putting pen to paper until a few days before the article is due. I've done this since the first issue of the Dispatch, and the editor simply refers to me as "Deadline Dave." The main reason for my procrastination is the difficulty of obtaining photographs of the specific weapons. Therefore, when I got the email Thursday that my article was due Monday, the time for thinking vanished as I scrambled for gun photos. Hence, the 1891 North. Actually, I have been wanting to do a piece about Simeon North's 1819 since I wrote an article on his Model 1816 flintlock in the Dispatch about three years ago. Having photographs at hand cinched the deal. There are other reasons as well. I've admired flintlocks since seeing Fess Parker as Davy (David) Crockett on the silver screen when I was a youngster. My contention is that Rangers could only arm themselves with current weapons. The government paid $8.00 per pistol for 20,000 North 1819s to be issued in pairs. The first 2,000 were delivered in 1820; 7,000 in 1821; 8,000 in 1822; and the remaining 3,000 in 1823. 1 When Stephen F. Austin organized mounted men to "range" the colony and protect the settlers from Indians in 1823, the North 1819 was available. Later Texans probably used this veteran weapon of the Black Hawk, Seminole, and Mexican Wars in their revolution against Mexico in 1835-1836. In fact, Texian Iliad has an excellent sketch of a New Orleans Gray in an Alamo room, his back to the wall. He is clutching one of North's

1 Arcadi Gluckman, United States Martial Pistols & Revolvers (New York: Bonanza Books, 1956, 56-57.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

23

1819 North

1819 flint pistols in his right hand and a Bowie knife in his right. 2 The New Orleans Grays were two companies of militia organized in that city to fight in Texas during the revolution. One company was in the Alamo.

North lock plate

Script

The popular belief that percussion weapons immediately replaced flints is incorrect. Back in the day, frontiersmen were reluctant to give up their flint friends for the new brass caps. Flint was not only inexpensive (free), but it was also easier to replace than the costly brass caps one had to buy in a settlement. Therefore, flint weapons continued to be used long into the percussion era. Simeon North's MODEL 1819 flintlock Army pistol is equipped with a .54 caliber, ten-inch, round, smoothbore barrel that fires a half-ounce, spherical, lead ball. Its total length is fifteen and one-half inches, and it weighs two pounds, ten ounces. A single, spring-fastened band holds the barrel in place, and the muzzle is equipped with a knifelike sight near its end. A rear sight is located on the barrel tang and extends down the rounded, swell-shaped, curved-in butt to meet a short branch of the butt cap. The lock plate is flat, beveled in front and rounded at the rear. A sliding safety to hold the hammer at half cock was placed on the exterior of the lock plate behind the hammer. The lock plate is marked "S. North" over an American eagle and shield. The letters "US" are at either side over "MIDLTNCONN" and "1821," which is the date of production. The rear, left top of the barrel is stamped "JDJ," positioned above a "P," which is over "US." The '19 North's longer, more slender barrel provides better balance, more accuracy, and more symmetry in appearance than the 1816 North. Those factors make it one of the most attractive primary martial flint pistols, and it packs a lot of history.

2

Stephen L. Hardin, Texian Iliad: a Military History of the Texas Revolution (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994), 124.

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24

Texas Rangers Here & Now

Texas Rangers Then and Now

By Robert M. Utley

Byron Johnson, director of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, distinguishes between "horseback Rangers" and "motorized Rangers" and rightly contends that the latter have not gained their due from writers. In seeking to correct the imbalance, I have dealt with both. My Lone Star Justice: The First Century of the Texas Rangers spanned from 1823 to 1910 and was published by Oxford University Press in 2002. Lone Star Lawmen: The Second Century of the Texas Rangers covered the years from 1910 to 2000 and was released by Oxford in the spring of 2007. The Texas Ranger Dispatch editor has asked me to recall some of the differences I experienced in researching and writing about the Rangers, both horseback and motorized. First, as a historian of the American West, all my fifteen books deal with the nineteenth century, and only a few of my articles and other writings edge into the twentieth century. I have worked very little in the century in which I passed most of my years, and only once have I written about anyone still living. By the measure of experience alone, writing Lone Star Lawmen presented larger challenges. However, a more daunting obstacle impeded Lone Star Lawmen: the scarcity of documentary sources critical to every researcher. After half a century as institutionally unorganized, sometime soldiers, the Rangers began their formal existence by legislative enactment in 1874. Originally conceived as a military unit of Robert M. Utley Indian fighters, they rightly fell under the control of the adjutant general of Texas. Although they turned out to be Old West lawmen with the administrative title of Frontier Battalion, they remained under the adjutant general until merged into the newly created Department of Public Safety in 1935. Rangers always abhorred paperwork, and their reports to the adjutant general were brief­­if submitted at all. Nevertheless, the official records of the adjutant general yield

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

25

Texas Rangers Here & Now

an abundance of excellent source material about the horseback Rangers. These records are in the custody of the Texas State Library and Archives, and the incomparable archivist Donaly Brice guided me through the maze. For Lone Star Lawmen, I found the adjutant general's records of continuing value as I worked through the period of the Mexican Revolution, 1910-20. When the Rangers transferred to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), they took with them all their records from 1920 to 1935. Moreover, the new leadership of DPS demanded a huge expansion of the paperwork the Rangers so disliked. Now, ran my hope, the motorized Rangers could be thoroughly documented. Then came a stunning discovery: DPS or the Rangers destroyed or otherwise lost not only the adjutant general's records of 1920-35, but also most of the records for the rest of the twentieth century. In the 1990s, DPS deposited a body of twentieth-century records in the state archives. They include some valuable, although incomplete, material for the 1970s and 1980s. However, nary a shred is there for the vital thirty years of Homer Garrison, nor is there much for the 1990s. I am still astonished that an organization so proud of its history and tradition could allow almost all its records to vanish. I met this quandary in five ways. Most important was the availability of research done on these records in the basement of DPS headquarters in Austin by three scholars during the 1950s and 1960s. (So the records went missing after that time.) Their dissertations and theses proved indispensable in filling the gaps because, in their text, they footnoted the relevant documents. Second, the governors' papers in the state archives­­especially the Neff, Moody, and Stevenson administrations­­often yielded excellent material. Third, many of the motorized Rangers donated their papers to the archives of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, where Christina Stopka and Judy Shofner were unfailingly helpful and supportive. Fourth, a few retired Rangers, notably Glenn Elliott, Ed Gooding, Lewis Rigler, and Joaquin Jackson, published their memoirs. These provided insights available nowhere else. Finally, the state's newspapers turned out many stories on the Rangers. Newspapers have to be used with caution, but they often carry direct quotations of or about key people and events in Ranger history. From these sources, I believe I have written as complete an institutional history of the motorized Rangers as possible. Another influential difference between the horseback and motorized Rangers should be noted. Under the adjutant generals, the Ranger force suffered high turnover as politics intruded into personnel matters every two years. Many Rangers who wanted to stay were dismissed, and new recruits of doubtful competence were sworn in. After 1935, with the Public Safety Commission providing political cover, Horace Carmichael and Homer Garrison professionalized the service. Men who met the high standards prescribed by Garrison could make a career in the Rangers without worrying about job security. Thus, after 1935, the Old West lawmen quickly became modern policemen and

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Texas Rangers Here & Now

then elite policemen as the years went by. Therefore, I had to switch from telling Old West stories to telling modern cop stories. I think I succeeded. In any event, it was a new and enjoyable experience. Finally, Lone Star Lawmen deals with living people­­retired Rangers, some of whose service dates from the last years of Homer Garrison. Historians who address modern events customarily interview all the participants who consent, and oral history has enjoyed increasing prominence in researching and writing history. Some recent bestsellers rely more on interviews, sometimes in the hundreds, than on written documents. I did not attempt oral history for what I regard as a compelling reason. I learned enough about the motorized Rangers to conclude that the Garrison Rangers and the generation that followed enjoyed a sturdy camaraderie, truly a "band of brothers." Regardless of internal frictions or critical opinions of their comrades, they did not expose these issues to the outside world. Those yet living are still bonded by this rapport, and they still do not open themselves beyond the circle. In part, this results from an often critical press, and many former Rangers still look on the press with hostility and resentment. For me, however, the sense of unique fellowship is the overriding explanation. At least this was the perception that motivated me to not even attempt to intrude into the private world of retired Rangers. I asked none for an interview. I am grateful to the few who provided dates and facts of importance, but I never tried to question them beyond those limits. Some indeed may have been willing to talk to me. So determined was I not to violate their professional privacy that I held to my resolve to the end. I began this project in 1997, and it was originally contracted as a single volume. By the time I had reached the end of the nineteenth century, I had a book that was the length specified in the contract. Surmounting many difficulties, my editor at Oxford consented to another volume. Contrasted with biography, writing institutional history is very difficult. The past decade has been very hard on me. Now that I can relax somewhat and feel less driven, I can look back on a truly outstanding and inspiring part of my professional career. I hope that Lone Star Justice and Lone Star Lawmen add up to the comprehensive history the Rangers have lacked. Important as well is the hope that I have lived up to retired captain Jack Dean's plea: "Just be fair."

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

27

Rangers of the Cherokee War

Rangers of the Cherokee War

by Stephen L. Moore

The Cherokee War of 1839 was the most severe Indian confrontation of East Texas. Chief Bowles' Cherokees were driven from Texas and sorely defeated west of Tyler in present Van Zandt County. Of note is the fact that one-third of those men participating were Texas Rangers. The balances consisted of roughly 175 First Regiment of Infantry regulars under Colonel Edward Burleson and hundreds of East Texas militiamen under Brigadier General Kelsey Douglass.

Although the East Texas Cherokee War does not quickly come to mind as a major Ranger engagement, it was certainly among the deadliest. The Texas Rangers suffered more casualties than they did at the Stone Houses battle, Plum Creek, Uvalde Canyon, or Bird's Creek. Among the Ranger companies participating were Captain James Edward Box's Houston County Rangers, Captain Greenberry Harrison's Mounted Riflemen, Captain Henry Madison Smith's Nacogdcoches County Rangers, Captain Solomon Adams' Houston County Mounted Rangers, and Captain Alexander Jordan's Nacogdoches County Mounted Rangers, and Captain John L. Lynch's six-man spy unit that was attached to the First Regiment of Infantry. Under Lieutenant Colonel Deveraux Jerome Woodlief were two other volunteer Ranging companies under Captain Mark Lewis and James P. Ownby. In addition, Burleson's close friend Chief Placido led twenty-four of his Tonkawa braves as a small scouting company. The Rangers operating with Colonel Burleson were part of a mounted rifleman battalion that had been recruited by Colonel Henry Karnes and Lt. Colonel Devereaux Woodlief. On June 24, 1839, Karnes had advertised for more volunteers, stating that he had been authorized by the president to raise four to six companies. On December 29, 1838, the Third Congress of the Republic of Texas had authorized President Mirabeau Lamar to use $75,000 to press "Eight Companies of Mounted Volunteers" into service for six months' ranging duty. Each of these mounted companies was to consist of fifty-six men, who were to be paid in the same monthly fashion "as Mounted Riflemen in the Ranging Service." Major William Jefferson Jones was also commissioned to assist Karnes and Woodlief in

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Rangers of the Cherokee War

raising these men. Jones was told that 450 men were needed "for the Corps of Rangers in which you have the honor of holding a command." During the time that Karnes' Ranger battalion was being recruited, President Lamar had dispatched Rangers to the Neches Saline in present Smith County, just inside the Cherokees' land claim. Lamar sought to contain the Cherokees and prevent them from rising up against the local settlers. These Rangers established Fort Kickapoo at the site of an 1838 Indian battle in East Texas, and Cherokee leader Chief Bowles saw this as a threat to his people. "No sooner did our little handful of men march into the Cherokee Nation before we was ordered by the Chief of the tribe to return back to the settlements," wrote Peter Rodden of Captain Henry Madison Smith's Nacogdoches County Rangers. In response to the Rangers being ordered away from Cherokee Nation, Lamar sent peace negotiators to warn Chief Bowles. He then began building up troops to march back into the area to remove the Cherokees, by force if necessary. As the tensions with the Cherokees of East Texas started to build in the late spring of 1839, mounted forces were called to assemble at the old Kickapoo Village in present Anderson County. After Edward Burleson's First Regiment forces departed the central Texas area, Colonel Karnes left the mounted Ranger company of Captain John Garrett in Austin to protect those who were constructing the new capital city. Lieutenant Colonel William Fisher, second-in-command of the regular army's infantry, was originally ordered to remain at the Brazos River with a detachment of men to guard against possible hostile Indian attacks on this frontier while Burleson's troops were east of the Brazos. Fisher was later allowed to join Colonel Burleson for the Cherokee campaign. In his place, Captain John C. Neill of Houston commanded a volunteer Ranging company charged with patrolling the frontiers between the Brazos and Colorado Rivers during the Cherokee campaign. In the absence of the First Infantry to protect the Brazos and Little River settlements during the Cherokee crisis, Captain Nathan Brookshire's Austin County Rangers were also assigned to protect this area. They served in this region during June and July. As of July 16, 1839, they were headquartered out of Camp Brazos on the river in present Falls County. Another company raised by Karnes under the mounted gunmen act of December 1838 was placed under command of Captain Greenberry Horace Harrison on June 28, 1839. These men were self-armed and self-provided, unlike the government-equipped companies mustered in months earlier under Ownby and Lewis. Captain Harrison signed a document for Peterson Lloyd that he had served as a "private in my company of mounted gunmen for the Cherokee Campaign" and was paid at a rate of twenty-five dollars per month. In the Houston County area, Major John Wortham was serving General Kelsey Douglass' Third Militia Brigade by mid-June in the role of quartermaster to provide for the troops marching into the area. Supervision of Ranger companies under Captains James Box and Solomon Adams passed from Wortham on to Major Baley Walters.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Rangers of the Cherokee War

The First Regiment of the Third Militia Brigade was directly commanded by General Douglass, the senior regional commander of the militia between the Trinity and Sabine Rivers. He would supervise Major Walters' Ranger companies of Captains Box, Adams, and Henry Smith. To this would be added Captain Harrison's mounted gunmen and another mounted volunteer company formed July 1 under Captain Benjamin Vansickle. Indian commissioner Tom Rusk and the Nacogdoches militia companies reached camp during the first days of July and were joined by General Douglass' regiment. From Fort Kickapoo, Rusk and the other commissioners immediately resumed the negotiations with Chief Bowles and his Cherokee leaders. The additional forces under Colonel Willis Landrum from San Augustine and Burleson were still en route as of early July. This mass assembly of army, militia, and Ranger forces that would gather at Fort Kickapoo had not been equaled since Sam Houston's forces had gathered at San Jacinto. The breakdown of the Texas Ranger units that would serve in the Cherokee War campaign: Ranger unit: Capt. Box Capt. Smith Capt. Lewis Capt. Ownby Capt. A. Jordan Capt. Adams Capt. Harrison Capt. Lynch Total: Men: 31 68 97 77 47 53 25 6 404

Tom Rusk and his commissioners attempted to negotiate peace with the Indian tribes during early July. When the negotiations failed, the Indians began withdrawing from the area on the afternoon of July 15. A portion of the Texian forces engaged them late in the day and a sharp skirmish ensued during which the Texas Rangers suffered five casualties. The wounded Rangers were George T. Slaughter of Captain Box's Houston County Rangers and John A. Harper of Captain Henry Madison Smith's Nacogdoches County Rangers. The third Ranger wounded was Private John S. Anderson of Lieutenant Colonel Woodlief's regiment, which was part of Colonel Henry Karnes' "corps of rangers." Captain Harrison's mounted riflemen, also recruited by Karnes for his Ranging corps, suffered two men killed: Henry Crowson and John Crane. Peter Rodden, one of Captain Smith's Rangers, recalled the intensity of the action: "We sustained a heavy fire from the enemy while crossing upon them through a prairie. We at length drove them from their concealment." The main battle of the Cherokee War, commonly known as the Battle of the Neches, occurred on July 16. The initial Texas forces to engage were under Edward Burleson and Lt. Colonel Woodlief, including the volunteer Ranger units under Mark

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Rangers of the Cherokee War

Lewis and James Ownby. General Douglass, Colonel Rusk, and Lt. Colonel James Smith joined the battle with their militiamen and Rangers. Captain Madison Smith, leading his Nacogdoches County Rangers to the charge, fell with a bad wound and turned his company over to Lieutenant Albert Corbin. The battle at the Neches River continued on into the late afternoon. During this time, another private from Smith's Nacogdoches Rangers fell wounded and one more was mortally wounded, as was another Ranger from Captain Harrison's company. Five additional Rangers from the companies of Captains Lewis and Ownby of Lieutenant Colonel Woodlief's regiment were also listed on the July 16 casualty reports. By the time a halt was called in the late afternoon on the Neches battlefield, an estimated 100 Indians had been killed, including Chief Bowles of the Cherokees. He was shot several times, including by "buck and ball" by Private Henry Conner of Madison Smith's Nacogdoches County Rangers. Former Ranger Captain William T. Sadler was also among those who fired a musket shot which hit the 83-year-old chief. One of the militia captains, whose father-in-law had been killed by Indians, then placed his musket to Bowles' head and dispatched the Cherokee leader. Veteran Ranger Henry Stout later commented to a reporter for the Weekly Gazette of Fort Worth: "We did not do Bowles right." Rusk had demanded that they give up their gun locks and depart Texas. "Bowles was willing but his braves rebelled and would not do it." In two days of fighting the Cherokees and their allied bands, the Texas Rangers had thus suffered fourteen casualties: four killed and ten wounded. By comparison to the other bloodiest 1830s Indian conflicts involving Texas Rangers, thirteen Rangers had been killed or wounded in the 1837 Stone Houses fight, and another thirteen casualties had been suffered during the October 16, 1838, battle at Kickapoo Village. Key Sources Adjutant General's Papers, Texas State Archives. General E. Morehouse to Major William Jefferson Jones, January 21, 1839. Brown, John Henry. Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas. 1880. Reprint, Austin, Texas: State House Press, 1988, 68. Gammel, (Karl) Hans Peter Marius Nelson. The Laws of Texas, 1822­1897. 10 vols. Austin, Texas: The Gammell Book Company, 1898, 2:29­30. Lloyd, Peterson. Audited Claims, reel 61, frame 515, Texas State Archives. Madison, Franklin. The Taking of Texas. A Documentary History. Austin, Texas: Eakin Press, 2002, 97­99. Moore, Stephen L. Savage Frontier Volume II: 1838­1839. Rangers, Rifleman, and Indian Wars in Texas. Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2006.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

31

Pulp Cowboy

The Pulp Cowboy

John Dinan

If you saw the film, The Third Man, you remember it features Orson Welles as the bad guy and Joseph Cotton as his old pal. The friend turns out to be the author of a zillion pulp cowboy stories featuring the Arizona Kid, one of hundreds of cowboys who populated the pages of pulp magazines. In the period of 1933-1946, over 2,000 western films were produced. More than one was created to satisfy a seemingly bottomless public appetite for tales of the mythic West, a place fashioned from the imagination of a legion of writers. The neighborhood variety store was my home of the pulp cowboy. It was there that I first saw him glaring menacingly at me from the covers of Dime Western, Western Story Magazine, and Star Western. He rode fearlessly into a showdown to save the ranch, or he shot it out with one of the many evil characters who menaced an innocent settler. More often than not, he was aiming a brace of Colts in the reader's direction. Stacked in metal racks that were ten rows high, the western pulps created a phantasmagoric apparition that rendered me helpless. As quickly as possible, I would plunk down my dime to get to the action that the cover artist promised:

To the explosion, the Kid uttered a scream, whirled around, and the gun was jerked from his hand and flung across the room of the shack. He fell sideways, and lay there groaning and cursing.

Since I was partial to Kid stories as well as superheroes like the Lone Ranger, I might have picked out a copy of Pete Rice Western or the Rio Kid Western. Sometimes I chose Star Western, which featured the adventures of Don Muerte ("Gentleman of Death"), who was master of the knife, pistol, and saddle carbine. Settling into solitary retreat, I would dive into the world of the pulp cowboy:

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Pulp Cowboy

Jim was hit, but his tumble was voluntary and foredesigned, although almost ruined by the sickening punch of the Cheyenne bullet that smashed through his ribs.

When I was a young boy in the pre-war 1940s, I remember my dad taking me to a Gene Autry rodeo at Boston Garden. At the time, the western was American's principal popular entertainment in all genres, whether film, radio, or the printed word. I lived in Lynn, Massachusetts, which is about as far east as one can get. Regardless, games of cowboys and Indians dominated our play­­before the Power Rangers, there were Texans Rangers. I remember the Big Little Books of Buck Jones and the radio dramas of Tom Mix keeping me company as I ate my Ralston and prepared to mail my thin dimes to Checkerboard Square for those gorgeous premiums. The early years of the western pulp magazine were those of the Depression, with a capital ''D." Most folks struggled for the essentials, and the popularity of the genre and its principle character, the pulp cowboy, is best understood in the context of these hard times. The pulp cowboy was not a working ranch hand or range cowboy but a legendary character who shaped his own fate and the fate of our nation. An example is Steve Reese of the Range Riders. Reese was a mythical frontier character who feared no man in his quest for justice even though his life was at risk wherever he ventured:

The solitaire player had forgotten his cards and was watching Reese narrowly. The man on the opposite side of the room was stirring out of his feigned sleep; a gun, drawn and ready was resting in his lap, faintly outlined by the spill of gray light through the dusty window.

Reese's background was uncomfortably similar to that of real-life bad man, Tom Horn. While Horn was an ex-Pinkerton hired by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, the fictional Reese was an ex-police lieutenant hired as a field agent by the Cattlemen's Protective Association. The most prolific of all western fictioneers was Frederick Faust. He wrote under more than seventeen pen names, the most popular being Max Brand. More than seventy films and numerous radio, stage, and television dramas were based on the products of his prolific pen. To best understand the characters created by Faust, one has only to look at the actors cast in the movie Destry Rides Again: Tom Mix in 1932, Jimmy Stewart in 1939, and Audie Murphy in 1954. These men certainly defined the character of the pulp cowboy­­on film and off! Fifty years after his death, Faust's work still attracts readers. I loved these pulp cowboys and the adventures they shared with me. I thought they would be around forever, but like all things, they eventually came to the trail's end:

Manley shot again, falling into the dust, moving a leg to support himself. Then the gun fell. He t r i e d t o s a y s o m e t h i n g a n d c o u l d n o t . H e r a i s e d a h a n d t o h i s c h e s t a n d h i s l e f t k n e e b u c k l e d . H e fell, kneeling, and then pitched gently into the d u s t .

The pulp cowboy caught one between the eyes in the 1950s. Like real-life gunfighter Luke Short's classic description of the demise of a gunman, the pulp heroes

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Pulp Cowboy

managed to stagger about into the mid-1950s before finally dropping into the dust forever. The pulp cowboy was not a figure of the of the American West but of his day. He was a creation of some resourceful writers who knew what their readers wanted: a strong-willed, iron-fisted symbol of what it would take to get America out of its economic depression and spiritual malaise. I thought he was gone forever, but I find this is not the case. In a letter I recently received from County Antrim, Ireland, William Milliken describes his joy at reading the old western pulp: There are so many people that have no interests in life; I don't know how they survive. When I get a western pulp in my hands, I can float out the window and be in the Texas panhandle with Walt Slade or Jim Hatfield. The Texas Rangers was just one of the dozens of western pulps. It is one that seems to have a particular attraction because the exploits of the real Rangers are familiar to many. The creator of the Texas Rangers magazine was Tom Curry. Until his death on October 7, 1976, at his home in Norwalk, Connecticut, he spent his time between Connecticut and Florida, thus avoiding the New England winter. Although trained as a chemical engineer, he started writing in college because "it looked like an easy life." With enough success early in his writing career, Tom was able to work fulltime in his newly chosen profession. Over the life of his pulp career, Tom Curry produced hundreds of western novels, innumerable novelettes and short stories, and eighty Texas Rangers novels. His first westerns were numerous short stories. In 1936 (the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Texas Rangers), he started the Texas Rangers magazine. He continued to produce the stories, alternating with other authors, including Leslie Scott (penname A. Leslie) and Walker A. Tompkins. All three wrote under the Jackson Cole house name at one time or another. In a December 11, 1965, Saturday Review article, Curry describes the apocryphal Texas Ranger:

A frontier sheriff in a panic over a brewing range war in his county wires the Texas Rangers for assistance. When he expresses surprise at the single Ranger stepping off the train in answer to his call for help, the Ranger replies: "There's only one war, ain't there?"

This remark has been attributed to real-life Texas Ranger Lone Wolf Gonzaullas, whose thirty-one year career with the Rangers was highlighted by run-ins with gangsters, bootleggers, bandits, and murderers. The hero figure of the Texas Rangers pulp was Jim Hatfield, whose description often resembled that of Gonzaullas:

Rampaging, raiding outlaws and land-grabbers, whose greed for empire knows no bounds, rode roughshod over the range until the Lone Wolf Lawman takes a hand in their game" from Law.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Pulp Cowboy

The Texas Ranger stories were marked with plenty of action, gunplay, and, yes, the ultimate triumph of good over evil:

A flaming pistol lit the room for a moment. The Ranger could see burly figures and the slant-eye slits of the hoods. Two more had come inside and another stood in the open doorway. A shotgun roared in the Ranger's direction. Hatfield sent a quick shot at the door and heard a yelp of pain. ("Law on the Winter Range," Texas Rangers, September 1947.)

During the Great Depression-World War II era, these stories were popular with young and old alike. They were read by farm boys as well as presidents of the United States (Roosevelt was particularly fond of westerns). I have received correspondence from a friend in Ireland, and I understand the Ranger stories have had long-term popularity in many European states. My friend likes nothing better than to spend an afternoon riding out with those pulp Rangers in the Texas Panhandle. There were over 200 issues of Texas Rangers published between 1936 and 1958. Copies can still be had today at mostly reasonable prices ($5-$10) if your usedbookstore skills are up to the search challenge. The covers and interior art of these westerns are particularly good. They typically show Jim Hatfield, blazing gun in hand, doing his law-and-order job out on the Texas Panhandle. As a lad, I walked into the corner variety store and saw a magnificent, multicolored array of gorgeous pulp magazines. These were this covers that spoke to me.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

35

Rangers in the Field

Rangers in the Field

Recently, retired Rangers Ray Martinez, Jack Dean, and Glenn Elliott visit at the national NRA Gun Show in Dallas.

At a recent Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum board meeting, retired Ranger Glenn Elliott presented Tobin Armstrong III a copy of his memoirs. Tobin is the great-grandson of Hall of Fame Texas Ranger John Armstrong.

Longtime friends Bob Mitchell, Max Womack, and Glenn Elliott. With their assigned territories adjoining one another, these retired Rangers worked many cases together over years. (Mitchell was stationed in Tyler, Womack in Atlanta, and Elliott in Longview.)

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

36

Board Meeting

Texas Ranger Association Foundation Board Meeting

Photos courtesy of David Irvin, the Portrait Photographer, Fort Worth, TX, www.dsirvin.com

On March 2-3, 2007, in Odessa, Texas, Company E commander Captain Barry Caver, Foundation Board Member Vern Foreman, and his wife Charlotte undoubtedly provided one of the best winter board meetings in history. Together with keynote speaker Tommy Lee Jones, they combined to produce a Saturday night gala and fundraiser that brought in $200,000 plus.

Barry Caver with Tommy Lee Jones

Vern and Charlotte Foreman with Tommy Lee Jones

On Friday night, Rangers, board members, and guests enjoyed an evening of fine food, fellowship, and entertainment by Cowboy Poet Curt Brummett.

Jessica Shaw was introduced as the Foundation's first executive director.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Board Meeting

Captain Clete Buckaloo of Company D addresses the Ranger Foundation Board at their Saturday morning meeting.

Left: Tommy Lee Jones is serenaded by a member of Midland's Permian High School musical group, Satin Strings.

Above: Keynote speaker, Tommy Lee Jones. Left: Saturday night was "Lonesome Dough Night," an obvious takeoff on Tommy Lee Jones's smash hit TV movie, Lonesome Dove.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

38

Christmas Day Murders

The Christmas Day Murders

A True Crime Chronicle, Texas-Style by Sheriff J.B. Smith and D.W. Adams, PhD

Brown Books, September 2006. 219 pages, hardcover $19.95. ISBN 1-033285-65-6.

It was 4:20, Christmas morning 1999 when Chief Dispatcher Carolyn Tanner received the 911 call. A frantic Margaret Toner reported that she had heard gunshots from her granddaughter's mobile home next door. Communication Officer Pam Dunklin immediately dispatched Sergeant Pat Hendrix to investigate. Arriving at the scene, Sergeant Hendrix was met by a grisly sight: the slaughtered bodies of Stephen and Carla Barron. The Christmas Day Murders gives the reader a truer insight into a homicide investigation than is often found. Going into explicit detail, Sheriff J.B. Smith of Smith County, Texas, leads the reader through the investigation point by point. Great detail is given to the crime scene, the questioning of anyone who can bring light to the murders, and the background relationship between the Barrons and their daughter Stephanie. In the end, the daughter is convicted of the double homicide. This book has many positive attributes, one of the more outstanding ones being how little the author's ego surfaces. In contrast to the current "me, me, me" age, Sheriff Smith takes very little credit for the investigation. He gives the tribute to those who deserve it: the investigators who pounded the pavement. Smith has held the office of sheriff for about as long as anyone can remember, and it is not hard to understand why he is highly respected by his peers nationwide and by the citizens of Smith County. (No, the county was not named after him.) Sheriff Smith and his co-author, D.W. Adams, have taken an extremely brutal and hideous crime and written a very readable and enjoyable book that reads like fiction. The Dispatch highly recommends this book to all readers. Review by Robert Nieman

The Christmas Day Murders is available at the

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum's online gift shop

Sheriff Smith's website: www.sheriffjbsmith.com

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

39

Getting Away with Murder

Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier

Notorious Killings and Celebrated Trials

by Bill Neal

Texas Tech University Press, 2006 Photos and maps, 308 pages, $27.95 hardcover ISBN 0-89672-579-0

Any way you look at it, this is an exceptional book. It deals with a unique legal situation in the 19th century Texas legal system in which justice on the western frontier of Texas may or may not have reflected laws passed in Austin. It all depended on the situation. Tough times, rough places, and hard men ruled West Texas, and they required tougher, rougher, and usually meaner men to deal with them. This area was settled predominately by folks from the Old South who had been recently displaced by the War Between the States. Neal correctly points out that laws and justice were usually based on the Southern code of chivalry and honor. As pointed out on the inside dust cover, verdicts often swung on reasons completely non-related to the trial. For example, some juror might say, "The son-of-a-gun is guilty all right, but we must turn him loose. He owes me for a pair of boots, and if we convict him, I'll never get my money." The normal explanation for that judgement would have been, "This is Texas." When convicted for murdering a woman after stomping her to death, one killer walked because his original indictment did not include the words "with his feet." After drowning his victim, another murderer walked away a free man because the words "in water" were not incorporated in the indictment. Such was justice on the Texas frontier. Even when a conviction was given, it was a rarity that the felon would spend any serious prison time. Today, most law-abiding citizens cringe when approximately 10% of criminals walk away from justice because of a technicality. Incredible as it seems, those escaping justice today pale in comparison to the 60% plus who took a walk in the 19th century. Bill Neal has been attorney for forty years: twenty as a prosecutor and twenty for the defense. The Texas Ranger Dispatch highly recommends this book. Review by Robert Nieman

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

40

John B. Armstrong

John B. Armstrong

Texas Ranger and Pioneer Rancher

by Chuck Parsons

Foreword by Tobin Armstrong Afterword by Elmer Keaton

College Station, Texas: Texas A & M University Press, 2006 Photos, 150 pages, hardcover $20 ISBN 978-1-58544-533-0

Of the hundreds who have served as Texas Rangers, only thirty are enshrined in the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. One, John Armstrong, is the subject of this biography. Incredibly, no major work has been written on this great Ranger until now. (This is also true of the majority of the Rangers in the Hall of Fame.) John Wesley Hardin was the deadliest gunfighter in the history of the Old West. "Texas, by God!" he cried when he saw a Texan standing in the doorway of the railroad coach. He was carrying what was clearly the weapon of choice for a Texas Ranger: a Colt 45, with a seven-inch barrel. That Texan at the door was Ranger John Armstrong. When the dust settled, Hardin lay unconscious from a blow to his head from Armstrong's 45, and one of his companions lay dead with a bullet through his heart. Though Armstrong will always be best known for capturing Hardin, that was only one event in his amazing life. He first became a Ranger in 1875 under one of the greatest, Captain Leander McNelly. He was with McNelly when they destroyed bandit gangs at Palo Alto, Texas, and Las Cuevas, Mexico. (The Rio Grande did not mean a lot to a Ranger in pursuit of outlaws, doubly so in the case of Captain McNelly.) Armstrong was again with McNelly in the capture of the feared Texas outlaw King Fisher. Later, he was at Round Rock when Sam Bass was found dying after trying to rob the local bank. After tangling with Major John Jones and his Rangers, however, Bass ended up dead. In 1882, Armstrong's regular Rangering days were behind him. He and his wife built the magnificent 50,000-acre Armstrong Ranch in South Texas, which is still going today. Armstrong ran the operation until his death in 1913. Armstrong was as industrious as a rancher as he had been a Ranger. He was a leader in advancing modern cattle breeding and was one of the spearheads in bringing the railroad from Corpus Christi to South Texas.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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John B. Armstrong

But Armstrong could never entirely get away from the call of the lawman's badge. First, he was appointed a United States Marshal. Later in the 1890s, he joined a special Ranger division to augment regular Rangers in hunting down outlaws in South Texas. Dispatch regular Chuck Parsons has done his superb research on this book, as expected. Whether your interest is the Texas Rangers, Western history, or both, this book is a must.

Review by Robert Nieman

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

42

Lone Star Lawmen

Lone Star Lawmen

The Second Century of the Texas Rangers

by Robert M. Utley

New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Appendices, endnotes, selected bibliography, index, photographs, maps. xiii + 390 pages, hardcover $20. ISBN-13 978-0-19-515444-3.

The catalog for Amazon.com currently lists more than 5,000 books related to the Texas Rangers. Aside from a handful of new autobiographies and biographies, few works published during the last 50 years offer new source material or original insights. Most rehash well-known events, offer controversial interpretations for the sake of controversy, or are reprints of classics. Thankfully, there have been a few exceptions, notably Charles H. Harris III and Louis R. Sadler's The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution and Stephen Moore's Savage Frontier series. But new scholarship is rare, and the majority of books serve primarily to keep the story of the Texas Rangers in print. Books about the Texas Rangers are almost as old as the Ranger service itself. During the Mexican War, battlefield newspaper correspondents created significant public interest in the Texas Rangers. At this time, the Rangers were unorthodox and colorfully costumed militiamen who had left the Texas Ranger service to assist the US Army against Mexico. Scouting Expeditions of McCulloch's Texas Rangers, the earliest book to be widely circulated, was published in 1847 during this popularity. In the ensuing 160 years, the Rangers have been a subject of fascination to generations of biographers, historians, and readers. Conspicuously absent, however, are histories of the service since the formation of the Texas Department of Public Safety in 1935. A casual observer might assume that the history of the Rangers ended with either the 1901 or 1935 reorganizations. Many authors have claimed to be writing the definitive book about the modern Texas Ranger service, but nothing has materialized. Robert Utley's Lone Star Lawmen: the Second Century of the Texas Rangers is the first attempt at a comprehensive history of the modern Texas Rangers since Walter Prescott Webb wrote his legendary The Texas Rangers: a Century of Frontier Defense in 1935. Lone Star Lawmen is the second volume in Utley's survey of Ranger history,

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Lone Star Lawmen

and although parts of it are likely to be controversial, it is not revisionist by nature. Ranger enthusiasts will find it to be essential to an understanding of the modern Texas Ranger service. Webb's book was the last survey of modern Texas Ranger service. It remains the best-known general history of the organization and is a massive book (584 pages), published to coincide with the Texas Centennial in 1936. Despite errors of fact, omissions, and the embellishment of charismatic figures, Texas Rangers remains the gold standard for Ranger historians. The University of Texas Press claims that it has never gone out of print since its publication 71 years ago. Webb's previous breakthrough book, The Great Plains (1931), also shares that distinction. Webb and Utley were able to research and write their works because of extraordinary access to active and retired Texas Rangers. Webb was Texas's leading historian of the 1930s, and he became fast friends with such luminaries as Captain Frank Hamer, John R. Hughes, and Manny Gault. Like Webb, Utley's reputation and networking with Ranger enthusiasts provided him access to the modern equivalent of those legendary figures. In many ways, Utley's book is a logical continuation of Webb's work. However, Webb had an additional aim: he hoped to contribute to the survival of the Rangers. While Webb was working on his book, the Texas legislature debated and then created the Texas Department of Public Safety to diffuse widespread political corruption. Many doubted that the long independent Rangers could retain the organization's position and prestige or survive the creation of the DPS. Webb crafted Texas Rangers to promote the contributions and heritage of the Ranger service and build support for its survival. Failing that, the book was to be a eulogy for the legendary Texas and American organization. How much did Webb help the Texas Rangers? No one knows, but the Ranger service emerged from reorganization as the flagship investigative division of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Webb's book was a bestseller, and it further burnished the luster of the Texas Ranger service. The Rangers became one of the main themes of the 1936 Texas Centennial, which featured a visiting Shirley Temple dressed as Ranger. In the next decade, dozens of Hollywood western movies featured Texas Rangers as lead characters. Toward the end of his life, Webb realized that Texas Rangers needed a major revision to correct errors and to bring it up to date. Unfortunately, he died in 1963 before the project gained momentum. In the decades that followed, there were persistent rumors that various authors were contemplating a revised edition of the work. Nothing materialized, though, and for 72 years, all published histories of the Texas Rangers ended in 1935. A literary "sound barrier" came to exist through which no writers could seemingly pass. There are four reasons that writing modern Ranger history can be a challenge. First, there is the conservative and traditional nature of the service. Most Rangers view themselves as part of a continuum stretching back to 1823--the Texas equivalent of General McArthur's famed "long gray line." They have the same dedication to duty,

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Lone Star Lawmen

honor, and country as West Point officers. Gaining frank access to those who live this tradition is a privilege, even for those with the stature of Walter Prescott Webb or Robert Utley. Texas Rangers sometimes decline interviews with naïve and unprepared writers expecting instant access and credibility. While many Rangers are approachable, others are like veteran soldiers who are reluctant to discuss their accomplishments or the intense moments of their careers. Ranger service is an intensely personal and individual accomplishment. A second difficulty in writing modern Ranger history is the spotty nature of 20th century records. Until recently, Texas DPS regularly discarded closed-case files, obsolete records, and even employee files because the agency did not have the time, training, or resources for historic preservation. There are often more records available about the Texas Rangers of the 1870s and 1880s than those from the 1940s and 1950s. Today, many surviving records go to the Texas State Library and Archives in Austin. Copies of these records and other documents from private sources or the families of Rangers are preserved at the state-sanctioned Texas Ranger Research Center in Waco. Self-fulfilling prophesy is a third reason for the lack of books on modern Ranger history. Authors and publishers frequently divide Rangers into "horseback Rangers" and "motorized Rangers." Everyone is familiar with the horseback Rangers because they are featured in thousands of books, television programs, radio shows, and movies. There is an implicit assumption among many authors and publishers that all of the romance, adventure, and interest are vested in the horseback era. Therefore, there have been few books written about the modern era. Until the Walker: Texas Ranger television series, many outside the Lone Star State even thought the Rangers were no more. Lastly, some have questioned whether modern Rangers would measure up to legendary predecessors such as Jack Hays, Frank Hamer, and Rip Ford. While the service of many early Texas Rangers was remarkable, they also benefited from cumulative fame and occasional enhancement. Some Rangers grew increasingly irritated at this notoriety, and they wrote or dictated their own stories. For instance, Frank Hamer set the record straight through the book, I'm Frank Hamer. Today's retired Rangers and their colleagues in other branches of law enforcement vehemently disagree with the notion that that those who serve now are any less qualified or accomplished than those in the past. An elderly Ranger once commented, "They are better educated and as street smart as we ever were. I don't know if we would have made it into the Rangers if they had been our competition." Robert Utley has managed to overcome most of these barriers to writing 20th century Ranger history. His stature has given him access to living Texas Rangers, and his research skills have enabled him to find the documentation to compile the first comprehensive history of Rangers in the 20th century. In so doing, he has largely corrected and extended the work of Walter Prescott Webb.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Lone Star Lawmen begins with the Mexican Revolution. This is the singularly most difficult, controversial, and complex period of Ranger history. The Rangers contended with political intrigue, poor leadership, decades of hostility with Mexico, militia groups popularly (but incorrectly) considered to be Rangers, and civil strife approaching that in modern Iraq. This era remains a hot topic of scholarly debate, with Utley and authors Sadler and Harris holding opposing viewpoints regarding the era. This turmoil was followed by prohibition, the oil boom, and the gangster era. All of these events were familiar to Webb, and he wrote Texas Rangers during many of them. But Webb lacked the perspective of time, and he relied more upon oral history than the actual documentation of the era. Utley has benefited from distance and scores of historians working in parallel fields such as the Texas oil industry. Leaving Webb's era behind, Utley truly makes his own contribution to Ranger history. He documents the political maneuverings that resulted in the founding of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the uncertainty of the placement of Texas Rangers under the organization. Utley is the first person to record the contributions of Homer Garrison to the Ranger service. Garrison was a legendary chief of Texas DPS who valued the Rangers, their history, and their contributions. He served 30 years and helped to solidify public perception of the role and heritage of the Texas Rangers. For the last three decades of the 20th century, Utley has been able to interview participants in nationally covered events such as the Branch Davidian and Republic of Texas standoffs. He also covers the spectrum of major felonies that the Rangers investigated during this era, such as kidnappings, strikes, high-profile homicides, and political corruption. What emerges is evidence of why the Rangers are still around today: perseverance, innate skill and ability, and a dedication to Texas and its people. Now that Utley has opened the door, there will doubtless be other studies of the modern Texas Rangers. We can only hope that they will display the same balance, depth of research, and understanding of context that has made this such a valuable contribution to the field. Review by: Byron A. Johnson, Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Our Trust Is in the God of Battles

Our Trust Is in the God of Battles

The Civil War Letters of Robert Franklin Bunting,

Chaplain, Terry's Texas Rangers, CSA

by Thomas W. Cutrer, editor

Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2006. 436 pages, illustrations, maps, bibliography, index.

Robert F. Bunting was born May 9, 1828, at Hookstown, Pennsylvania. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Washington College, a Presbyterian institution at Washington, Pennsylvania. He then entered Princeton Theological Seminary, from which he graduated and was licensed as a minister in the Presbyterian Church. He also completed a master of arts degree at Princeton. As a young boy, Bunting developed a fascination for Texas. When he could go to Texas in 1852, he did so and began to spread the Gospel of Christ. He preached for several different congregations and ended up in San Antonio, where he served at the First Presbyterian Church. As the Civil War crisis gripped the nation, Bunting at first supported Sam Houston in resisting the secession of Texas. However, once Texas broke away, he became an ardent supporter of the Confederacy. He believed in states' rights, slavery, and the right of a state to secede from the Union. He is one of many northerners, like General John Pemberton, who gave their allegiance to the South. Bunting became chaplain of the 8th Texas Volunteer Cavalry Regiment while he was in Kentucky in late 1861. This outfit had been heralded in New Orleans and all along its route of travel as the "Texas Rangers." Technically, they were not made up of Rangers from the legendary law enforcement body. However, this point seems to have been lost to the people east of the Mississippi River. Bunting himself constantly referred to the 8th Texas as Rangers in his correspondence to several newspapers in Texas during the entirety of the War for Southern Independence. During the early part of the war, Bunting did not believe that great religious issues were at stake or that every Southern soldier was a Christian. He also opposed religious fanaticism. However, the reality of bloody combat ultimately changed his views, and he had to find a deeper meaning for the war other than just political and economic reasons. In his mind, the fallen Confederate soldiers died on the alter of the country of God. Hence, a true Confederate patriot had to be a Christian because the two roles were linked together. In writing to a Texas newspaper in 1864, he stated that one of his

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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Our Trust Is in the God of Battles

colleagues, who had become a Christian while in the Army, would be returning home "as a soldier of the cross." (xii) Terry's Texas Rangers fought their first significant battle at Woodsonville, Kentucky, where their commander, Colonel Benjamin Franklin Terry, lost his life. For the rest of the war, this regiment would have several different leaders, including Thomas Bullock, John A. Wharton, and Thomas Harrison. The Rangers would distinguish themselves at Shiloh; at Murfreesboro with General Nathan Bedford Forrest; at Bardstown, Kentucky; at Stones River; and in many other fields of battle, including their final charge at Bentonville, North Carolina, on March 21, 1865. Bunting wrote many letters to several Texas newspapers, most of which are recorded in this book. His purpose was to influence a widespread civilian audience on the justness of the Confederate cause. These letters cover the military actions of the 8th Texas Cavalry Regiment (Texas Rangers) in a most wonderful way. They are like sermons, filled with inspiring words that transformed fallen soldiers into Christian martyrs, Yankees into godless abolition hordes, and Southern women into innocent defenders of home and hearth. The victory at Franklin on November 30, 1864, was a disaster for the Army of Tennessee because of the huge casualties. After the battle, Bunting explained to the people of Texas that Southern soldiers were motivated by the "God of battles." He realized that, as the Rebels charged the Yankee fortifications, "Heaven smiled on their efforts to make the rushing stroke which would avenge the injured wife, the insulted mother, the aggrieved sister, and the orphan children." (xii) Bunting bemoaned the fact that General Joseph Wheeler was chief of cavalry for the Army of Tennessee. He and a great many others preferred Forrest, Wharton, or John Hunt Morgan (especially Forrest), all of whom were considered Wheeler's superior. More would have been accomplished with any of these three in command. Bunting also agreed with General Patrick R. Cleburne that slaves should be utilized in large numbers as soldiers. This did come to pass, but too late to make a difference. Throughout all of his service, Bunting referred to the 8th Texas as Rangers, as did General Philip Sheridan. It was also common practice throughout the Army of Tennessee. When George Stoneman and some 1,500 Union cavalry were captured outside Atlanta in July 1864, Stoneman was asked what troops he had been fighting. He reportedly replied, "I don't know, either the devils or Texas Rangers, from the way they rode and fought." (243) Bunting's Our Trust Is in the God of Battles gives a very good insight into the religious life and the trials and tribulations of soldiers in the Texas Ranger regiment. He also analyzes the war situation in the West quite well. This book is highly recommended reading for Texas Ranger and Civil War historians and buffs, as well as the general public. Review by Lonnie E. Maness, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of History, University of Tennessee at Martin

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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The Pulp Western

The Pulp Western

A Popular History of the Western Fiction Magazine in America

by John A. Dinan

Boalsburg, PA: BearManor Media, 200. vi + 152 pages, selected bibliography, index, photographs. ISBN-1-59393-003-8. paperback $14.95.

In The Pulp Western, John Dinan has cataloged the fascinating three-decade production history of western pulps. There are about forty books available on pulp magazines and their cover artwork. However, Dinan is the first to document the western genre of the pulp magazine, its writers, and its importance in American popular culture. Called "pulps" by modern collectors, these magazines are actually novels of 10,000 to 15,000 words. Once known as "westerns" or "adventures," they descend from 19th century dime novels. Pulps came in five main genres: westerns, science fiction, horror, detective, and romance. Horror and detective pulps were occasionally criticized for violence and veiled sex, but the pulp westerns escaped most of this disapproval. The bad men in westerns usually needed killing, and there was often more affection between the cowboy and his horse than with the female leads. Pulps were written by a group of unbelievably prolific freelance novelists who were often paid by the word. Many of these authors churned out several complete novels in more than one genre each month "without big-assed words," as one put it. They followed established formulas and produced these works on manual typewriters. More often than not, pulp authors wrote under pseudonyms or "house names," and they received a check but no credit. Even so, pulp freelancers included several famous writers such as Zane Grey, who authored as many as 200 of these works. Pulps had a subtle and lasting effect on American popular culture, and pulp westerns helped to shape the perception of the American West and the Texas Rangers. Even real Texas Rangers found this notoriety amusing. When famed Texas Ranger Captain Manuel T. Gonzaullas donated his papers to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, he included a stack of Texas Rangers pulp magazines carefully stamped, "Property of Capt. M.T. Gonzaullas." Western pulps outsold all others. Enthralled by the Old West, youngsters of the 1920s-1940s bicycled down to corner newsstands with 12¢ or 25¢ for the latest issue.

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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The Pulp Western

There were the more than 165 of these magazines in publication, from Ace High Weekly to Zane Grey's Western Story Magazine. Among them is Texas Rangers, which began publication during the Texas Centennial in 1936 and ran into the 1940s. Today, pulps are known primarily by collectors and persons over 50, who read them as children. There are two reasons for this obscurity. First, few pulps survive in readable condition. They were published on low-quality newsprint paper containing sulfuric acid, which quickly darkened to brown and made the paper brittle. Most surviving pulps have to be handled delicately or their pages flake into fragments. Devoted fans of some titles are scanning the survivors and placing the text on the Internet so the magazine will not be lost. Just as the majority of early motion pictures have irretrievably vanished, many pulp magazines face the same fate. A second reason pulps are poorly remembered is that they were literature, which required imagination. Often the only artwork was a cover illustration to set the tone; the rest was up to the reader to visualize. No two readers would imagine exactly the same thing, and it was truly a personalized interactive experience between the writer and the reader. Comic books slowly replaced pulps during the 1940s. They substituted artwork for reader imagination, eliminated most of the prose, and invited little reader creativity. The trend continues today with "graphic novels" that are virtually all high-quality art. Ironically, comic books and graphic novels (Spiderman, Fantastic Four, X-Men, etc.) are now made into movies requiring no reading and zero imagination on the part of the viewer--just the suspension of disbelief. Dinan offers a pragmatic look at the western pulp genre. He admits that most of the writing was "junk prose" created by "hack writers," facts that were confessed by the surviving novelists he interviewed. But Dinan also recognizes that something inherent in western pulps appealed to readers, evidenced by the millions of sales. Whether good or mediocre, the pulps conveyed an image of the American West that fired the imagination. Like the dime novels that preceded them, they popularized the West and added to its legend. Due to the sheer number of western pulps, Dinan was unable to provide a detailed summary of each magazine. Undoubtedly, museums and libraries will wish for more indepth information about production dates, number of issues, known writers and publishers, etc. However, it is unlikely that such time-consuming research for a limited audience will be undertaken any time soon. Until then, we have John Dinan's survey of a genre that generated no literary masterpieces but left and indelible impression on American culture.

Review by: Byron A. Johnson, Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum [Go to page or click on this title for the article, "The Pulp Cowboy," written by John Dinan, the author of The Pulp Western.]

Contents and design of the Texas Ranger Dispatch TM are copyrighted by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and other named copyright holders. Permission is granted to print copies or excerpts for personal use and educational coursework. Commercial use or redistribution requires written permission from the Office of the Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702.

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