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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Texas Rangers

Frontier Battalion Co. "B" about 1880, ©2009, TRHFM
From The Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Musuem Website

My current manuscript has a Texas Ranger for a hero. I needed to know enlistment requirements, pay, companies, and rank. I also needed to know a little more about their behaviors and thought processes during the 19th Century.

Here's a list of interesting facts, which I found at this amazing website:

  • Pay during the end of the 19th Century: $35 a month. They were paid at the end of their 12 month enlistment or earlier for a discharge. When they received their pay, they were given a receipt, showing their name, date they enlisted, date of discharge, pay for their months of service minus the amount for a state issued rifle, a Winchester Carbine worth $30. (This information came from uploaded, scanned, original documents on the website listed above.)

  • During the 19th Century, Texas Rangers were called, Frontier Forces or Frontier Battalion. These peace officers referred to themselves as, "State Officers". (Information found in an e-book, uploaded on the website listed above.)

  • Companies were organized to protect different areas of the state of Texas. The companies were Company A, Company B, Company C, Company D, Company E, and Company F.

  • The rank of each company were: Captain, 1st Lieutenant, 2nd Lieutenant.

  • Enlistment requirements: "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."

  • On a side note, I did discover that during the end of the 19th Century, the Texas Rangers did muster married men for service. Married men enlisted for the War between the states. As in the account of Miles Biggs, Terry's Texas Rangers, who "According to family history, a different version of his enlistment states that during a trip to Shreveport, LA, to buy a load of lumber to be used as flooring for his home, Miles met and joined up with the Terry's Texas Rangers. He put his wagon into storage and sent his oxen back home with the message "I'll see you when the war's over." Miles was married in 1848 and enlisted in the Texas Rangers in 1862.

  • Badges weren't worn by all Texas Rangers. Each enlisted man was given descriptive papers to identify the peace officer and to show by the power of the state of Texas he had authority to make arrests.

  • For behaviors of the lawmen, I consulted the book, Lawmen of the Old West: The Good Guys by Del Cain.

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