Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum: 1-35 and University Parks Drive | PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702-2570 | (254) 750-8631
Texas Ranger History: Timeline - Defending the Law
- U.S. recognizes Texas as an Independent Republic.
Ranger skirmishes with Indians and Mexican forces.
companies of American Indian Texas Rangers, one under a German immigrant
Captain and one under a Lipan Apache Captain, fight the Comanche
Nation on behalf of the Republic of Texas.
the Republic, both Hispanic and Indian Texans serve as Texas Rangers
against the forces of Mexico, border guerillas and hostile Indians.
July - Pres.
Mirabeau Lamar, completely ignoring the service of Indians friendly
to the Republic, vows to rid Texas of Indians. He initiates a campaign
to drive Cherokees from Texas.
March - The Council House Fight erupts during peace negotiations
when Comanche leaders fail to turn over white hostages. A
fight erupts, and 35 Comanches and 8 settlers are killed.
March to August - Comanche raids spread throughout Texas
in response to the Council House Fight. A virtual state of
war exists between the Republic of Texas and the Comanche.
August 12 - A Comanche raiding party estimated -- at 600
to 1,000 -- reaches the towns of Linnville and Victoria on
the coast, sack and burn them, then head back towards Comancheria.
They are intercepted by Texas Rangers and Texas Cavalry at
Plum Creek and suffer sizable losses. This ends the great
Comanche raids in Texas.
Capt. Jack Hays in Later
March - A Mexican force of 500 under Gen. Rafael Vasquez raids
San Antonio, Victoria and Goliad.
September - A Mexican force
of 1,400 under Gen. Adrian Woll occupies San Antonio and brashly
declares Texas reconquered by Mexico.
A combined force of 600 Texas Rangers, volunteers
and Texas Army soldiers under Capt. Jack Hays lure the Mexican
Army into the Battle of Salado Creek (outside San Antonio) forcing
Woll's return to Mexico.
Texas Rangers under Capt. Jack Hays first use the five-shot Colt
revolver (Paterson model) against the Comanche at the Battle of
28-Star U.S. Flag
is annexed by U.S. and becomes the 28th state.
after Mexican War begins, Texas Rangers muster out of the
Ranger service and into the U.S. Army. They provide invaluable
service as scouts and guerrillas and become sensations in
the U.S. newspapers.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo fixes the southern boundary of the U.S.
and Mexico at the Rio Grande.
Three Ranger companies (later 6) are formed
to patrol and protect the frontier.
John "RIP" Ford is appointed to head the Texas Rangers.
His nickname came from the many letters of condolences he wrote
using the phrase "Rest In Peace"
informing families of the deaths of Texas soldiers during the Mexican
Rangers kill Comanche medicine chief Iron Jacket and 78 warriors
after their raids on northern Texas settlements. Iron Jacket
was named for an ancient Spanish coat-of-chain-mail or breastplate
that he wore. He believed would make him invulnerable to the
white man's bullets -- It didn't work.
Juan Nepomuceno Cortina
Cortina and his supporters occupy Brownsville and proclaim the Republic
of the Rio Grande. Cortina sought the restoration of all former
Mexican land between the Nueces and Rio Grande.
defeats a force of Texas Rangers and local authorities, but when
they are reinforced by army troops, he retreats into Mexico where
he wages a guerilla war for another ten years.
Confederate Flag of State
- Texas secedes from the Union and joins the Confederacy. Sam Houston
falls from popularity after opposing the secession of Texas.
Units use the term "Ranger" (such as Terry's Texas Rangers)
in their names, but are CSA, not Texas Ranger units.
Defying orders from
the Confederacy that all able bodied men serve in the Confederate
forces, the Governor of Texas authorizes the creation of the Frontier
Regiment to provide defense against Indians and criminals. The Comanche
use the disorder and shortage of men caused by the war to push the
line of settlement back a hundred miles.
Men in the Frontier
Regiment are exempt from the Confederate draft until they are mustered en masse into Confederate service at the end of 1863 and
sent to the coast.
losing the Frontier Regiment to the Confederate Army, the Governor
authorizes the formation of the Frontier Organization to replace
the Frontier Regiment on the frontier.
following the war, ranging duties are performed by "Minute
Men" companies formed in the frontier counties. They serve
at irregular intervals into the late 1870s.
- Texas is readmitted to the Union.
Forces are organized to range the frontier in addition to the Minute