The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975 Page: 253
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The Making of the Texan Citizen Soldier, 1835-1860
pay off debts contracted during their military engagement. "Their pay while
acting as rangers was indeed small," commented one authority at the close
of the antebellum era, "and, had it not been for the excitement attendant on
military life and the essential service they were rendering to the country of
their adoption, few, very few, would have ever joined these ill-paid and
It is part of the Texan tradition that these were the sturdy souls who
conquered the Spanish borderlands and the Great Plains and won the West
for the present generations. As early as i859, the Texas Almanac cast them
in this role: "These are the men who . . . beat back, step by step, the
treacherous and bloody savage, and open the highways of civilization into
the unknown desert." A veteran Texan editor, looking back in I874 on the
passing frontier era of his state, reminisced that,
when the citizen heard of Indian aggression or Mexican invasion, he caught
up his rifle, molded a pouchful of balls, saddled his horse, arrayed his pack-
mule, supplied himself with provisions, met the other male members of his
settlement at an agreed place, and in squads or small companies, all available
men went out to fight for the general good, with a will which always insured
Addressing a meeting of retired volunteer rangers, the venerable spokes-
man, himself a participant in and witness to the wars of Texas in the ante-
bellum years, asked the question that needed no answer: "Where else in
the world has this been done, except in Texas?""
"7J. De Cordova, Texas: Her Resources and Her Public Men (Philadelphia, 1858),
58James M. Day (comp.), The Texas Almanac, 1857-1873 (Waco, 1967), 246-247;
Charles De Morse to Texas Veterans Association, May 2o, 1874, D. W. C. Baker (comp.),
A Texas Scrap-Book: Made Up of the History, Biography, and Miscellany of Texas and
Its People (New York, 1875), 206 (second and third quotations). For other tributes, see
A. J. Sowell, Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas (Austin, 19oo);
History of Texas together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop,
Travis, Lee, and Burleson Counties (Chicago, 1893), 297-300.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975, periodical, 1974/1975; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/m1/300/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.