The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978 Page: 156
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Cureton spent the remainder of a frontier childhood that included
early schooling in a log cabin schoolhouse.
Between 1855 and 1861, William E. Cureton remained on the log
cabin frontier of Palo Pinto County as his father gained renown as a
frontier Indian fighter. Of necessity Jack Cureton joined his neighbors
from all of the settled communities along the Brazos as they attempted
to defend their cabins, families, and property from periodic raids by the
fierce Comanche-Kiowa tribesmen of the High Plains. During the years
just prior to the Civil War, Jack Cureton emerged as a natural leader
of men, and, with only limited military experience, an excellent scout
and Indian fighter. He joined his neighbors from Palo Pinto and
Young counties in the Lower Reserve fight in 1859, and led a group
on a campaign into the Indian country in December, 186o, that is
generally known as the Ross Expedition. It was on this campaign that
the frontier Texans located and defeated a sizable number of Coman-
che Indians near the junction of Mule Creek and the Pease River; in
the course of the battle, Cynthia Ann Parker was recaptured by the
Texans as an unwilling prisoner and eventually returned, much
against her will, to her relatives in East Texas. During these months
the elder Cureton formed lasting friendships with such legendary
rangers as James Buckner Barry, John R. Baylor, Charles Goodnight,
Oliver Loving, and Shapley P. Ross.
With the coming of the Civil War in early 1861, the Texas frontier
was left completely unprotected; as a result, the legislature created
the Frontier Regiment-ten companies of rangers-on December 21,
1861. Captain Jack Cureton immediately entered the service and began
to organize a company of rangers. By April, 1862, he had 112 men
under his command; the company was mustered into the Confederate
Army at old Fort Belknap. In the opinion of J. Evetts Haley, "Cureton
himself was the strength of the northwest fringe. .. ." And Charles
Goodnight recalled him as "a splendid frontiersman who had no mili-
tary training except what he had picked up. But he was a fine man,
an excellent Indian fighter, and a very popular commander."2
Unfortunately, however, Cureton's service with his Company B of
the Frontier Regiment was cut short by a running personal feud with
his immediate superior, Lieutenant Colonel A. T. Obenchain. Haley
writes, "Their trouble was more than the conflict of two personalities;
it was rather the conflict of two systems of social life and conduct.
2J. Evetts Haley, Charles Goodnight, Cowman & Plainsman (Norman, 1949), 67.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978, periodical, 1977/1978; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101205/m1/184/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.