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The Legend Begins is a masterful history of the Rangers from their earliest antecedents in the 1820s, as a defense force against Indian depredations, and continues with their ...
The Legend Begins is a masterful history of the Rangers from their earliest antecedents in the 1820s, as a defense force against Indian depredations, and continues with their fascinating history and accomplishments through the Texas Republic years up to statehood. The author discusses the changes in the philosophies and in the organization of the Rangers during these early years-changes made necessary as the times changed and as the needs of Texas changed. He describes, for example, the effects of new weapons such as the Colt repeaters on the tactics and abilities of the Ranger forces. This is not a revisionist history, but the author does use his source materials to make judgments based on his studies of the facts. He outlines his reasons for doubting whether the legendary battles of John Coffee Hays and the Rangers at Enchanted Rock and at Bandera Pass actually occurred, but he stresses that the reality of the Rangers' accomplishments is not diminished by his pointing out the doubtful status of these two legendary battles. The position of the early Rangers is secure enough to withstand carping about a few fights that may not have taken place. An updated history of the first Rangers is long overdue, and this volume will be welcomed by the many individuals and scholars fascinated by the Texas Rangers.
The late FREDERICK WILKINS was born in Dallas, Texas, majored in history at Southern Methodist University, and spent twenty-five years with the U.S. Army's information program. His primary interest was the Texas Rangers and he is the author of the highly acclaimed Defending the Borders: The Texas Rangers 1848-1861 and The Law Comes to Texas: The Texas Rangers 1870-1901 also by State House Press.