The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 457
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The Character of Terry's Texas Rangers
captured. This fact of going through the war with such small
loss, while at the same time dealing much misery to the enemy,
demands more enlightening explanation. In part it was the result
of a psychological influence, the fierceness of their attacks dis-
concerting the enemy. But in many instances no such psycholog-
ical influence obtained, as in brush fights where the contest re-
sembled more that of brutes, and in milder situations, as when a
squad, or perhaps the entire regiment, extricated itself from a
seemingly impossible situation. In such cases the main factor in
proficiency was their cunning. As picked men at the beginning,
they were much above the average soldier in intelligence. And,
having a taste for military things, they quickly learned the in-
tricacies of warfare. They, in a relatively short time, learned how
to act in all kinds of situations, on the offensive or defensive, in
a mixed scuffle among trees and rocks, or in a flight from the
enemy over hills and swollen creeks. In contests with the enemy
it was mainly their individual acumen that counted. When the
word was given for a charge, they rode every man in his own way.
And it was always their object to get at the enemy as quickly as
possible. When they did come to grips with the enemy, each
man fought after his own fashion. And they understood the tech-
nique of fighting; Lord, they understood the technique of fight-
ing. It was in close clashes that their skill as horsemen showed
to perfection: the ability to wheel and dodge or go forward in a
second, the ability to avoid limbs, to scramble over logs and
boulders, to jump ditches and tear through vines, to elude the
sabers of cavalrymen and the bayonets of infantrymen. As cavalry-
men they of course preferred open ground for action, but they
did not stand back on impediments; they could seek out an enemy
in a thicket and get at him with surprising effectiveness. Still, in
infantry fighting in the woods, they were at a disadvantage, and
it was mostly in such cases that they met with their reverses.
Their success in the war came in large measure through their
superior arms, and in their aptness in the use of these arms. The
six-shooter was almost a part of their daily dress; they wore it con-
stantly, and they perhaps knew better how to use it than any body
of men of comparable size ever assembled before or since. In a
running fight, after shoulder arms had been fired, they hung the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/494/: accessed April 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.