When Stephen F. Austin employed 10 men to act as rangers to protect the newly settled families in Texas following the Mexican War of Independence in 1823 he could hardly have known that he was creating U.S Military and Law Enforcement history.
Formally constituted in 1835 and led by Major Robert McAlpin Williamson by 1837 the Rangers would consist of more than 300 men. Following the Texas War of Independence and the creation of the Texas Republic the Ranger’s numbers would decrease but they would be called upon to fight the Cherokee and Comanche.
The Rangers would continue in the role of Indian Fighters until the outbreak of the Mexican American War in 1846. Several Companies were mustered into Federal service were they would see action as guides for the regular army and taking on guerrilla actions against the Mexican forces.
The Rangers would earn a formidable reputation of elite status amongst the Mexican and American armies. There ability as scouts probably saved Taylor’s army from disaster at Buena Vista.
Nearly 8000 Texans would serve the U.S. in the war although there length of service varied from 3 to 12 months with Hays 2nd Regiment the last of the Texas command to be mustered out.
The exploits of the Texas Rangers and their famous officers like Samuel Hamilton Walker, of Colt Walker Pistol fame, and Benjamin McCulloch commanding officer of Company A of Col. Hays's 1st Regiment of Texas Mounted Volunteers and Taylor’s chief of scouts; who once famously got to within a mile of Santa Anna’s Tent are well documented and make for entertaining reading. . Never was the title of highly irregular irregulars more apt.
Gringo 40’s magnificent model of a Texas Ranger spurring his horse to action is now available direct from Gringo 40’s secure online shop