|About the Book|
The Texas Rangers are legendary, but just where does legend end and fact begin? Frederick Wilkins begins his new history of the Rangers, the first major Ranger history in many decades, by using the recently discovered and now much more accessibleMoreThe Texas Rangers are legendary, but just where does legend end and fact begin? Frederick Wilkins begins his new history of the Rangers, the first major Ranger history in many decades, by using the recently discovered and now much more accessible source materials to separate the facts from the fiction.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.