The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 455
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The Character of Terry's Texas Rangers
sion when Major Thomas Harrison had a man on the pike mark-
ing time, and one of his comrades came along and took him
away, saying that this was no way to treat a gentleman. They
were proud of their horsemanship; proud of their proficiency
with six-shooters; proud of themselves generally as soldiers. Along
with this feeling they felt a personal pride for Texas and their
fellow Texians in the army. If they did not think Texas soldiers
better than any others, they looked on them in some half-tangible,
but altogether admirable way as different. So all-pervasive was
this feeling in the regiment that early in the war Colonel John
Austin Wharton gave out word that he wanted none but Texians
in the command. It is said that in their entire history they took
only six men from other states.
What, then, of this trait of human nature so often condemned
by philosophers; was it for or against them? Answering succinctly,
one could safely say that it was pride more than anything else
that made them what they were. If their natural bravery failed, it
served as a good substitute; if their tenacity failed, it sustained
them; it put bread in their mouths when they were hungry; it
fortified them when they were weary. Almost as much as anything
else it held them true to the cause they served. A proof of this is
their almost spotless record in the matter of desertion. A few of
them did take "French leave" and go home, but what is perhaps
the best authority says that only one man quit and went over to
the enemy. Dishonorable discharge was almost as rare.
The Rangers were outstanding in many ways. Their individ-
uality was of the most pronounced kind. In an army rife with
insubordination they were the worst offenders. Brought up in an
open, free life in Texas, they thought that now in the army about
all that was incumbent on them was to go out and fight. They
felt that they were as good as those over them, and could not
bring themselves to obey meekly what they considered unjust
or senseless orders. They had a sound respect for their officers,
but it was more the respect of one man of refinement for another
than that which comes of gradation in military rank. This fault,
if such it can be termed, had its compensating features; for, if
they were strong for independence, they accepted the responsi-
bilities that independence entails. If they took things in their own
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/492/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.