The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 248
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Carnes family recalled, found not with the seals but in a ball of
According to the story Sheriff Carnes had gone to Preacher
Hardin's home to question members of the family. Mrs. Hardin
was sewing carpet rags. The ball either fell from her lap or it was
already on the floor near the feet of the sheriff. While talking
with the women, the sheriff began moving the ball around idly
with one of his feet. It seemed to him heavier than it should have
been. The sudden stillness in the room, the nervousness the
women betrayed, caused him to wonder. He picked the ball up
and began to unwind it. "Why are you doing that?" one of the
women asked. "I don't know," returned the sheriff. "I'll just
unwind it, then wind it back again." In the center of the ball was
During the years that E. J. Davis-a Texan who fought for the
Union-was governor of Texas, Hardin's one-man war against the
hated State Police, together with the standing of the Hardin
family, gained sympathy for the young gunman that he would
not have had otherwise. After he killed a man, about all he had
to do was to put spurs to his horse and gallop to the home of some
relative or friend, where he would be hidden until the excite-
ment was over. Then he was free to sally forth and kill another
man, or maybe three or four.
But in 1874, with the defeat of Davis and the inauguration of
Governor Richard Coke, law and order were restored to Texas.
The State Police, with which Davis had planned to keep himself
in power, were succeeded by two organizations of Rangers. One,
known as the Special Force of Rangers, was stationed on the Rio
Grande to put down banditry there. A larger force, known offi-
cially as the Frontier Battalion, was made up of mobile companies
sent wherever needed.
When Webb was killed, several mobile companies of Rangers
were sent to Comanche. These were put under the command of
A. E. "Bill" Waller, Captain of Company A of the Frontier
Battalion. Their orders were to capture Hardin and Taylor at all
Hardin has written bitterly of Waller in his autobiography:
The sheriff told him [Waller] he could and would arrest me
whenever he was sure he could protect me. He tried to get Waller
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/290/: accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.