Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTICES.
With the Border Ruffian s, or Memories of the Far West, 1852-
1868. By R. H. Williams, edited by E. W. Williams. New York:
E. P. Dutton & Co., 1907. Pp. xviii, 472.
The author of the volume which bears this title, when a rov-
ing young Englishman of twenty, settled in western Virginia
in 1852; removed thence to Kansas in 1854, where he took part
in the "Border War" on the pro-slavery side; and in 1860 made
his way to western Texas, where as rancher in the Frio country, a
partisan ranger in the Confederate service, and Indian fighter,
he remained until after the close of the war. The remainder of
his life he spent in England. These reminiscences were based
largely upon notes and diaries; but they afford numerous examples
of the historical inaccuracy concerning particular men and events
that we have to look for even in the most interesting books when
written largely from the memories of old men. These inaccuracies
are especially noticeable in the accounts of his experiences in the
Confederate service in which a number of names are so curiously
transformed as wholly to mislead the reader. For instance, the
author was in Duff's Partisan Rangers, but after the first mention
of him that officer always appears as "Dunn." Col. Jno. S. Ford,
"Old Rip," goes by the name of "Franks," and the old frontiersman
is further disguised by the character attributed to him. The most
ludicrous misappelation is that of General "Wasp" for General H.
P. Bee! Nor is the author fair to this officer in other respects.
Certainly there was much questionable dealing in government
cotton exportations at Brownsville, but Bee's part in it is by no
means conclusively proved. The assertion that he burned and fled
from Brownsville in November, 1863, when no Federals were near,
solely to cover up cotton frauds is easily disproved by the official
dispatches of General Banks.1 Captain Taylor appears under
the name of "Turner," McCrea as "McCree," and Montgomery,
captured with E. J. Davis and hanged, as "Monson." There are
'See Official Records, War of Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XVI, Part 1, pp.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 12, July 1908 - April, 1909. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101048/. Accessed May 6, 2015.