The Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas
Ranger History: Frontier Battalion General Orders from the Adjuntant General

Maj. John B. JonesMaj. John B. Jones

The following is a sample of general orders

As is typical with most units organized along military lines, much time was spent on organizational structure, the maintenance of discipline and morale, weeding out undesirable recruits, "community relations" and coping with bureaucracy. Maj. Jones' Battalion proved such an effective law enforcement organization that it lasted more than a quarter-century and brought law to settlements on the frontier.


Adjutant General's Office
State of Texas
Austin, Tex
May 6, 1874

General Order No. 2:

The Frontier Battalion authorized by the law approved April 10, 1874 will be organized as follows:

John B. Jones, Major Commanding, Quartermaster and Pay Master

Co. A
John R. Waller, Captain
J. A. Wright, 1st Lieutenant
2nd Lt. Vacant

Co. B
G. W. Stevens, Captain
S. G. McGarrah, 1st Lieutenant
2nd Lt. Vacant

Co. C
E. F. Ikard, Captain
G. W. Campbell, 1st Lieutenant
L. P. Beavert, 2d Lieutenant

Co. D
C. R. Perry, Captain
M. W. Ledbetter, 1st Lieutenant
Geo. Freeman, 2d Lieutenant

Co. E
W. J. Maltby, Captain
J. G Connell, 1st Lieutenant
J. M. Elkins, 2d Lieutenant

Co. F
Neal Coldwell Captain
Pat Dolan, 1st Lieutenant
F. W. Nelson, 2d Lieutenant

Captains will proceed at once to organization of their Company, calling to their aid the Lieutenants assigned to them. Lieutenants will at once report to their captains. The period of Service will be twelve months unless sooner discharged.

As it is expected that this force will be kept actively employed during their term of service only sound young men without families and with good horses will be received.

Persons under indictment or of known bad character or habitual drunkards will be rejected.

Captains will make temporary arrangements to supply as economically as possible for furnishing the men with bread, beef, coffee, and sugar & salt: the receipts for which will be taken up by the battalion Quarter Master.

[signed] Wm Steele, Adjt.
Adjutant General


State of Texas
Headquarters Frontier Battalion
Oct 27th 1874

Gen. Orders No. 5

The attention of company commanders is called to the fact that the rations both of subsistence and forage are furnished by the Government for the consumption of the officers and men of the command and their horses, and not to be consumed by such camp-followers and loafers as may choose to congregate and lie around the camps under the pretence of wanting to join the Rangers or waiting for a place to get in.
In view of the fact that it may be necessary to disband a portion of the command before a great while, no more recruits will be received until further orders.
Both officers and men should bear in mind that we are in the employment of the the Government, being paid for our time and services, and therefore should be constantly engaged in some sort of service. to this end, company commanders will require of the men all the service that can be performed with justice to their horses, in scouting up and down the line, or on such larger scouts or expeditions against the Indians as it may be expedient for them to make.
[Signed] Jno. B. Jones, Maj. Comdg.


Adjutant General's Office
State of Texas
Augt 12 1875

General Order No. 10:

I. A company monthly return will be rendered to this office on the last day of each month.

II. The figures placed in columns under headings of AAlterations since last monthly return@ and AMemoranda@ must be explained on the back of the return by names, dates, etc., etc., etc. For instance 1 man joined by transfer, 1 by enlistment, 1 discharged, 1 deserted, 1 died. The back of the return will show as follows:

AA.B.@ jd ___________ by transfer from Co.________ by S.O. or G.O. no.________

AC.D.@ jd___________ by enlistment

AE.F.@ dischgd ________ by reason of _____________

AG.H.@ deserted _________ responsible for 1 gun, 1 pistol ______________

AI.J.@ died _________ of disease, or killed in action, or ____________

III. In the space dedicated to APublic Property,@ will be shown the number, description, & condition of all property in possession of the Company on the last day of each month. All articles which are paid for by the State ( excepting subsistence & forage stores) for the use of the Company are public property & are to be borne monthly on Return until issued, sold back, destroyed, transferred, stolen, died, etc.

The acquisition or increase or decrease of any public property during the month must be noted on the back of the return explaining when & from whom purchased or received; to whom issued, sold or transferred; how lost & by whom, date. No property will be dropped by being unfit for use without the Major commanding the Battalion (or authority from this office) has authorized it by special order. Nor will any property be dropped by being lost, died, or stolen without an affidavit (to accompany the return) showing how the property was lost & that it was unavoidable.

IV. On the first monthly return after the receipt of this order all the property on hand at that date will be itemized on the face of the return & on the back the company commander will show the disposition of all property by which form discrepancy between that on hand at that date & the amount received when they assumed command.

V. Officers transferring property will always take receipts in duplicate for all they transfer with condition noted & forward one copy to this office.

VI. Guns, pistols, accouterments & ammunition will be accounted for in the same manner as other public property & on the same return. all arms & other ordnance when received will be taken up & when issued the names of the persons to whom it is issued will be noted.

By command of the Governor, Commander in Chief.

[signed] We Steele, Adjt General


Adjutant General's Office
State of Texas
Augt 21, 1875

General Order No. 11:

I. The attention of all officers & soldiers of the State service is called to their position as citizens subordinate to the law wherever they may be.

This fact appears to have been disregarded in some cases, therefore it is ordered, that any officer, non-commissioned officer or private who resists arrest, or the service of any warrant by a peace-officer shall be dismissed the service, and any officer or non-commissioned officer who shall knowingly permit such action by those under his command shall be dismissed the service of the State.

II. It is positively prohibited that any officer, non-commissioned officer or private of state troops, shall go into the corporate limits of the town of Decatur, Wise County (or any other town) with arms in violation of the municipal regulations of said town.

By command of the Governor, Commander in Chief

[signed] We Steele, Adjt General


Headquarters Frontier Battalion
Ft. Griffin Texas
Aug 5th 1875

Genl Order No. 5:

On the thirty-first day of the present month, the expiration of the current term of service commanders of companies will give certificates of discharge and final statements to all the men of their respective companies, on forms furnished from the Adjutant General's office for that purpose and forward to the Adjutant General duplicate Muster and Pay Rolls, being careful that the certified accounts given to the men correspond with the statement on the Pay rolls. They will also close all company accounts and business to that date and forward vouchers of money expenses and balance on hand to the Adjutant General, giving in their Monthly returns accurate lists of all public property in their possession, including ammunition.

On the first day of September next, Commanders of companies will reorganize their respective companies enrolling three sergeants, three corporals, and thirty-four privates each. Term of service twelve months, subject to disbandment at any time by order of the Governor.

In enlisting men for the new companies particular attention will be paid to the orders from the Adjutant General's office for the original organization of the Battalion as to the character and qualifications of the men enlisted. None but well mounted men will be received and no man will be allowed to keep more than one horse in the service.

Triplicate muster rolls will be made giving descriptive lists of all men and valuation of horses, one copy forwarded to the Adjutant General, one to these Headquarters, and one retained in the company. The new organization will be required and expected to do all the scouting that the horses are able to perform, in accordance with the orders heretofore issued from these headquarters.

[signed] John B. Jones, Maj. Comdg. Fron. Bat.


Headquarters Frontier Battalion
Mason Texas
Oct 25th 1875

Gen, Order No. 6:

On account of the meager appropriation for frontier defence for the current year, and the consequent necessity for economizing its expenditure as much as possible, on the 30th of November next, commanders of companies will reduce the force of their respective companies by discharging all except two sergeants, one corporal, and seventeen privates, giving to the men discharged final statements of their accounts, as has been done heretofore in similar cases.

On the same day Muster and Pay rolls will be made giving, first, the company as reduced with pay due and statement of account, then the discharged men with pay due and statement of their accounts, respectively. The men retained in the company will be furnished with vouchers for pay due them to that date and full statement of account, and especial care must be taken that the accounts given to the men shall correspond with the Muster and Pay Roll, of both the men discharged and those retained in the service.

The accounts given to the men shall be made in duplicate.

[signed] Jno. B. Jones, Maj. Comdg.


Headquarters Frontier Battalion
Mason, Texas
Nov 30th, 1875

Gen. Order No. 7:

Hereafter, three copies of the company Monthly Returns will be made at the end of each month, one copy retained in the company, one forwarded to me at Corsicana, Texas, and the other to Gen. We Steele, Adjt. Gen. at Austin.

In addition to this a semi-monthly report, a written statement of the operation and condition of the company on the 15th of each month, will be made to me at Corsicana, Texas.

Commanders of companies are hereby directed and will be expected to do as much scouting as possible during the winter, having a due regard for the health of the men and the condition of the horses.

[signed] Jno. B. Jones, Maj. Comdg.


Headquarters Frontier Battalion
Corsicana, Texas,
March 1st 1876

Gen. Order No. 9:

I. On the first day of April next commanders of companies will recruit their respective companies to three sergeants, three corporals and twenty-six (26) privates, each bearing in mind the original orders for the organization of the battalion, as to the kind of men and horses to be received into the service.

II. During the monthe of April the forage ration will be seven pounds, afterwards, six pounds of corn per day.

Jno. B. Jones, Maj. Comdg.


Headquarters Frontier Battalion
Camp near Menardville
August 25th 1876

Gen. Order No. 10:

I. Commanders of companies will give discharge and final statements of their accounts to all the men of their respective companies on the 31st of the present month.

II. On the first day of September next, the companies of this Battalion will be reorganised, by the enlistment of two sergeants, two corporals and sixteen privates each.

In enlisting recruits commanders of comapnies will bear in mind that the original orders of His Excellency, the Governor, for the organisation of the Frontier Battalion provides that the men enlisted for this service must be Asound, able bodied, unmarried men of good moral cahracter@ and that no drunkard and no one against whom an indictment is pending in the courts of the country shall be received.

Their attention is also called to the orders in regard to the kind of horses required and none must be received but horses of good size and sound and serviceable.

III. Co. AA@ will continue to be the escort company to operate on the wholeline of frontier.

Co. AB@ will be stationed on the Brazos river in the north east corner of Throckmorton county, Post Office Belknap, Young County, Telegraph Office, Graham City.

Co. AD@ will be stationed on the Nueces River in the north west corner of Uvalde County - Post and telegraph office - Uvalde.

Co. AE@ will be stationed on the Jim Ned Creek in south west corner of Calahan County, Post and Telegraph office Camp Colorado, Coleman Co.

Co. AF@ will be stationed on the San Saba river about midway between Menardville & Fort McKavett in Menard County. Post & Telegraph office Ft. McKavett.

IIII. Commanders of companies will give particular attention to the maintenance of Law and Order and to the arresting of criminals and fugitives from justice, large lists of whom with orders for their arrest will be forwarded in a few days.

[signed] Jno. B. Jones, Maj Comdg.


Headquarters Frontier Battalion
Camp Menite Ker. Co. Texas
Aug. 29th 1876

Gen. Order No. 11:

So much of Gen. Order no. 10 as refers specially to Companies D and F is hereby changed as follows. viz.

Co. AD@ will be stationed on the San Saba river about midway between Fort McKavett and Menardville in Menard County. Post and Telegraph office Ft. McKavett Care of Sam Wallack.

Co. AF@ will be stationed on the Nueces River in the north west corner of Uvalde County, Post and Telegraph Office - Uvalde.

[signed] Jno. B. Jones, Maj. Comdg.


Adjutant General's Office
State of Texas
Austin, Feby 21, 1878

General Order No. 25:

As heretofore directed State troops will lay aside their arms when in cities or towns, unless in the discharge of some specific duty.

Visiting saloons, circuses or other places of amusement with arms, unless under an order for a specific purpose, is forbidden.

By command of Governor R. B. Hubbard Commander in Chief

[signed] Wm Steele Adjutant General


Hd. Qrs. Front. Batt.
Austin, Tex., Aug 4, 1878

Genl. Order no. 23:

On the 31st the present month commanders of companies will give honorable discharge to the men of their respective companies and furnish them duplicate certificates of the pay due them at that time.

On the 1st day of Sept. next the companies of this command will be re-organized and recruited by the company commanders. Each company to be composed of two sergeants, two corporals, and twenty men. Enlistments will be for twelve months unless sooner discharged.

The attention of company commanders is hereby called to orders here-to fore issued from the Adjutant General's office and from these headquarters in regard to the qualifications of men enlisted in this service, and particularly to the fact that no habitual drunkard, men of immoral character or whom an indictment is pending can be received.

The men received must be mounted on good horses, no ponies will be received except they have before been in the service and proven to be capable of performing as much service as good horses.

Attention is called to the law for the organization of this command which provides that a horse once received in the service cannot be traded or disposed of without the consent of the Company Commander. This must here after be rigidly enforced.

[signed] Jno. B. Jones, Maj. Comdg, Front. Batt.


Adjutant General's Office
State of Texas
Austin, Feby 8, 1879

General Order No. 1: All returns & reports heretofore made to the Major Commdg Front Batt. will here after be sent to the Adjt Genl=s Office only. Muster & pay Rolls, will be sent to this office in duplicate. Only one copy of other papers is required.

[signed] Jno. B. Jones, Adjt. General


Hd Quters Co. E >Front Batt.
Camp King May 6th 1883

Special Order No. 7:

Whereas there has been a petition signed by the members of this Co. and presented to me asking that a portion of General Order No 23 be revoked so as to allow card playing between certain hours therefore card playing will be allowed between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. then from one p.m. to 5 p.m.

Further no member will be allowed to play on the part of the day he is assigned to duty and if any member is caught or reported as playing for cartridges or outside the hours herein prescribed shall forfeit all of his privileges of this order.

J. T. Gillespie, Lieut. Comdg. Co. E. Front. Batt.


Taylor Co. Hd Quters Co. E F B
Camp Elm
Jan 19th 1885

Special Order No. 31:

T. T. Deel is hereby discharged on account of violation of General Order No. 13 A. G.O.

[signed] J. T. Gillespie Capt. Co. E F. B.


Adjutant General's Office
State of Texas
Austin, Texas Mch 31, 1885

General Order No. 21: The Legislature having reduced the appropriation for frontier defense necessitates the following changes in the front. batt. viz.:

Compy A: Capt. G. W. Baylor Commdg will be mustered out of service to take effect April 15, 1885.

Capt. Jno. O. Johnson, QM Frt. Batt. will proceed to Murphyville Tx & attend to the disposition of the public property of said Compy to the best advantage of the state.

By command of Governor John Ireland, Commander in Chief

[signed] W. H. King, Adjt. General


Adjutant General's Office
State of Texas
Austin, Texas, April 16, 1885


The officials of the Mo. Pac. R. R. Company complain that the system of free transportation furnished to rangers is being abused and require that in future, the following rules be observed.

1st Passes must be filled out in ink.

2nd The names of all the rangers travelling [sic] on the pass, must be written. If there is not place on the face of the pass write names on the back

3rd The word return on the pass will be stricken out, and company commanders will issue two passes, one to go to a certain point, and the other to return from said point.

4th None but rangers must use these passes. If prisoners, or other persons are under guard, or under escort of rangers, their fare must be paid like any other passenger. Complaint is made that prisoners are sometimes carried on ranger passes although this office has, at different times since the inauguration of the free transportation system, cautioned company commanders against such a practice.

List of members of each company will be immediately sent to this office to be transmitted to the office of G. P. Agt at Galveston.

A full compliance with above requirements will be exacted by the Conductors.

[signed] W. H. King, Adjt General


Head Quters Co. E F. B.
April 21st 1885

Members of Co E wishing to leave camp for a time will report same to officer (or Lance Corporal) in charge of camp to get permission that the whereabouts of absent members may be known at all times. Article 1 of General Order no. 13 A. G. O. will be strictly observed and Article III of same order will be rigidly enforced.

Members are expected to wear their arms in towns when visiting such with any other purpose than drinking or gambling, visiting houses of prostitution with your arms is forbidden unless in company with some city or county officer. Complaint (in the past) has been made that members of Company E while visiting said houses of prostitution have rudely displayed their pistols to the annoyance of all present.

Coppies [sic] of Gen Order 13 is furnished each Co, and the attention of members of this Co is called to same though when a member obtains permission to visit a town he is considered on Specific Duty unless such member violates part III of Gen O No. 13.

J. T. Gillespie Capt. Co. E Front. Batt.


Adjutant General's Office
State of Texas
Austin, Texas, July 9, 1885


Arrangements have been made with the Mo. Pac. System of Rail Roads by which transportation of members of the Frontier Battalion will be paid for by this Department. . .

The understanding is that the order signed by the Company Commander (on blanks issued from this office) must be presented to the ticket agent at point of departure. The ticket agent issues te number of tickets called for by the order & takes receipt for said tickets on back of the order & retains it. No money is to be paid by party holding the order. As transportation is now to be paid for, company commanders are forbidden to give order for passage to men discharged or on furlough, no prisoners. Orders will be issued only to men going from one point to another on public duty.

[signed] W. H. King, Adjt General

Acknowledge receipt with no. of orders


Adjutant General's Office
State of Texas
Austin, Texas Augt 15, 1885

General Order No. 26:

The Frontier Battalion will be reorganized on the 1st Sept. as usual & as required by law.

The numerical strength of the companies will remain as indicated in instructions now in force.

On reorganization every man will be sworn in for one year unless sooner discharged, & the oath filed in the company records.

By command of Governor & Commander in Chief

[signed] W. H. King, Adjt. General



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