Twelve Years in the Saddle with the Texas Rangers


Twelve Years in the Saddle with the Texas Rangers

W. J. L. Sullivan
Introduction by John Miller Morris

231 pages


May 2001


$18.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Riding straight out of the pages of Western history, W. J. L. Sullivan arrives, hat firmly planted on his head, to tell in his own plain way about his time as a sergeant of the Texas Rangers.
The years were 1889 to 1901, and there was lawlessness enough on the frontiers of Texas to occupy any able-bodied man with a horse, a six-shooter, and a hard-headed sense of decency and order. Rounding up cattle poachers, hanging loquacious murderers, leaping into border skirmishes, watching the odd culprit wriggle free through the "slick scheme" of an attorney, wrestling a buffalo and losing a horse in the process: Sullivan relates the events of his career with all the earnest candor, modest wit, and occasional homespun moralizing of a man with a story that has to be told. In his straight-spoken words we see the Texas rangers of yesterday, riding out under the legendary Captain Bill McDonald, whose famous adage, "One riot, one ranger," suggests the wild spirit and irrepressible toughness that Sullivan so amply documents. Compulsively readable, as eventful and dramatic as any novel, his book lets us watch history unfold in all its colorful, gritty detail against the raw frontier of nineteenth-century Texas.

Author Bio

W. J. L. Sullivan was born in Winston County, Mississippi, in 1851. His career as a ranger ended abruptly in 1901 when he accidentally shot himself in the thigh, crippling himself for life. Introducer John Miller Morris is an associate professor of geography at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His works include El Llano Estacado: Exploration and Imagination on the High Plains of Texas and New Mexico, 1536–1860.

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