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The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910-1920


About the Author:
Charles H. Harris III and Louis R. Sadler are professors emeriti of history, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces

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About the Author:
Charles H. Harris III and Louis R. Sadler are professors emeriti of history, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826334848
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 3/16/2007
  • Pages: 687
  • Sales rank: 681,610
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles H. Harris III is emeritus history professor at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.

Louis R. Sadler is emeritus history professor at New Mexico State University.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations     VIII
Acknowledgments     XII
Introduction     1
The Texas State Ranger Force     15
On the Defensive     29
The Colquitt Years, 1911-1915
Revolution in Mexico     65
Enforcing Neutrality     86
The Revolution Intensifies     114
International Complications     162
The Ferguson Years, 1915-1917
Ferguson Rangers     189
The Plan de San Diego     210
The Bandit War (July-August)     248
The Bandit War (September-October)     278
The Plan de San Diego Resurfaces     298
The Hobby Years, 1917-1921
World War     321
Wartime Rangers     340
More Wartime Rangers     361
Hanson's Empire     383
Postwar Problems     405
The Investigation     427
Aftermath     462
Peace on the Border     484
Epilogue     499
Conclusion     502
The Texas Rangers, 1910-1921     507
Abbreviations     576
Bibliography     643
Notes     578
Index     653
About the Authors     672
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2005

    Harris and Sadler¿s Texas Rangers: A Rimrock Press Review

    Walk into any Texas bookstore carrying Texana and you may well discover more books written about Texas Rangers than you really wanted to find in the first place. Happily, however, a new Ranger book by Charles H. Harris and Louis R. Sadler stands out on the already overcrowded shelves of the genre. Published by the University of New Mexico Press, The Texas Rangers And The Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910 is a meticulously researched and well written account of the Texas Rangers during the bloody years of the Mexican revolution. Harris and Sadler, two retired University of New Mexico history professors, made considerable use of the countless documents relating to the Rangers in the files of the Nettie Lee Benson Collection and the Barker Texas History Center and the Texas state archives in Austin. In addition, the massive 673-page book contains thousands of references from all sorts of state and federal files. Among the more revealing is Record Group 65, the now declassified ¿Old Mex. Files¿ from Records of the Bureau of Investigation (today¿s Federal Bureau of Investigation) held in the National Archives in Washington, D. C. These records document the numerous investigations conducted by the bureau into the lucrative arms for cattle trade that sprang up during the revolution along the border. It is an amazing fresh resource full of reports and once secret correspondence written by agents in the field. The authors unearth a number of remarkable revelations about this particularly dark period of Ranger history. First, during those years, the state Ranger force became highly politicized especially during the governorship of James Edward Ferguson. During this decade, there were never that many regular Texas Rangers on the payroll in the entire state. Harris and Sadler point out that in 1910 there were only twenty-five regular full time Rangers. The following year, their numbers increased to forty-two. Eight years later, the Rangers still numbered only eighty-seven officers. Rangers owed their jobs to the governor of Texas and political corruption in the ranks continued unchecked. In order to protect the Texas border during the civil war in Mexico, the ranks of the Rangers swelled by the swearing in of Special Texas Rangers or Loyalty Rangers. Local Sheriffs could appoint men to be Special Rangers and these appointments led to vigilantism across the state. During World War I, the Special Rangers numbered 400 while twice that number of Loyalty Rangers added to the ranks. Loyalty Rangers came into the picture in 1918 and created to act as a secret service branch of the Rangers. Regular Rangers suffered from poor pay. The pages of the book are full of examples of drunkenness and oppression among their ranks. These Rangers intimidated Hispanic voters, murdered newspaper editors, dabbled in the stolen Mexican cattle market and generally behaved in ways that we find shocking today. Harris and Sadler dismantle a number of Walter Prescott myths from the 1930¿s and long held to be gospel by more than a few Austin historians. The New Mexico professors see the Porvenir Massacre to be just that, a massacre and say so. In the Bureau of Investigation records, the authors bring to light that after being fired for taking an active part in the Porvenir massacre at least four of these same Rangers from Captain Fox¿s Ranger Company B held up and robbed a Carrancista paymaster near Fort D. A. Russell in Marfa in 1919. The thieves got off with a reported $22,600 in loot. The Lone Ranger and Tonto wouldn¿t have liked these guys. Harris and Sadler¿s book is a solid contender to be the definitive history of the Rangers, at least during the Mexican revolution years. Anyone interested in Rangers or in the Big Bend will find something of interest here. Glenn Justice Copyrigh

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2005

    Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910-1920

    This fine period history is something I can relate to in a personal way. Having served for more than twenty eight years of my Border Patrol career in Starr and Hidalgo Counties in South Texas, I became acquainted with members of a number of the families mentioned in this book. Many here continue to carry strong feelings about the events of the decade covered, and it is still possible for a casual conversation to turn to this subject, for the most part devoid of objectivity or accuracy. Professors Harris and Sadler have authored a detailed, informative, and truly balanced contribution which sheds light on numerous misconceptions, and they present intriguing evidence of Carranza's role as the primary instigator. It is an enjoyable, well paced account of an exceptionally lethal period in the history of this turbulent area.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2005

    Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910-1920

    Having served twenty eight years of my Border Patrol career in Starr and Hidalgo Counties in South Texas, I can attest to the accuracy of this revealing work. During that period, I became acquainted with relatives of a number of persons mentioned in the book. The events of that decade are still a subject of emotional, and not very objective, opinion among more than a few, both here and abroad. Inaccuracies abound. However, Professors Harris and Sadler present a detailed and balanced account of what actually happened, based on reliable sources, and not on personal bias. I found particularly interesting those parts describing the activities of the various law enforcement officers and agencies involved, the details of their involvement, and the terrain in which they operated. The descriptions are vivid and accurate. This is an enjoyable book to read. It is also a valuable reference covering activities along the Texas/Mexico border of the early twentieth century which are still evident today.

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    Texas-Mexican border tensions in early 1900s

    During the decade of 1910-20, tensions between Mexico and the United States over incidents relating to Pancho Villa's threat to Mexico's president Venustiano Carranza and U. S. incursions into Mexico led by General John Pershing had become so tense that the 'situation was not dissimilar to that of Jewish settlers in the West Bank'; with the small number of white Texans along the border being compared to the Jewish settlers surrounded by a much greater number of resentful Palestinians. In this situation, the Texas governors of this decade--Colquitt, Ferguson, and Hobby--used the Texas Rangers to protect Texas citizens and combat the tactics of Mexicans directed by Carranza and in some cases acting as vigilantes. The unique and in ways controversial activities of the Texas Rangers in this complex, volatile, and fluid situation is the subject the authors hone in on. Harris and Sadler, both former professors at New Mexico State U., bring to light little-known dimensions of the historical events, which continue to affect relationships and feelings between the white Texans and Hispanics in the area. There was much lawlessness on both sides. Mexican Army troops dressed as civilians crossed the border to raid Texas communities. After Texas Rangers executed two Mexican agitators after taking them by force from the F.B.I., the U. S. Attorney General issued an order that all prisoners henceforth be held by the U. S. Army. The situation was especially complicated not only because of points of opposition between Texas and the U. S. Federal Government, but also because of Mexican president Carranza's desire for recognition by the U. S. while trying at the same time to stand up to it. While concentrating on the unique role of the Rangers in this complex historical situation, Harris and Sadler also construct the context in which their activities took place.

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