Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas - Vol. 3

Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas - Vol. 3

Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas - Vol. 3

Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas - Vol. 3

Synopsis

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

Excerpt

The first two volumes of Savage Frontier traced the evolution of the Texas Rangers during the revolution and in the post-revolutionary period, during which ranging companies began to operate within formal militia brigades. Other military forces on the Texas frontiers during the period of 1835–1839 included army, militiamen, mounted volunteers, and even allied Indian scouts and rangers.

Spurred by President Mirabeau Lamar’s ethnic cleansing policy, the year 1839 was a record year for Texas Indian battles and for casualties. Thirty-three Texans had been killed and another fifty were wounded in conflicts with the Indians. in return, they claimed to have killed several times as many Native Americans. Texas military forces managed to drive most Shawnees and Cherokees across the Red River borders out of Texas––in line with Lamar’s objective of ridding the country of Indians.

Kelsey Douglass, Edward Burleson, and Thomas Rusk were key leaders during 1838 and 1839. in 1840, command of the Texas Militia passed from Rusk––a veteran frontiersman––to Felix Huston, who had never been in an Indian fight.

By the end of 1839, only three companies of Texas Rangers remained in service. the Texas Militia would continue to be called up as needed, but the largest force in operation was the army’s Frontier Regiment, or First Regiment of Infantry. Headed by Colonel Edward Burleson––and later Colonel William Cooke–– the Frontier Regiment would be involved in much of the frontier action in 1841. the army also worked to negotiate the release of civilian hostages held by the Comanches and other Indian tribes.

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