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20ogBook Reviews265 service would boost the fortunes of their region and pave the way for a southern transcontinental railroad. Elsewhere, in his discussion of Henry Skillman's mail operations in Texas during the early 1850s, Sells says that "Negro soldiers" provided protection for Skillman's mail line (131-132). Buffalo soldiers were not detailed to the Texas frontier until after the Civil War. The above arejust a few of die many errors that diminish diis overview's odierwise commendable assets. Sells, a Colorado native now retired from the financial services industry, clearly has a strong affinity for his subject matter. Readers will find much of the book informative and many of the stories engaging. This work provides an illustrative example, however, of why copyeditors at every publishing house are wordi their weight in gold. Texas Christian UniversityGlen Sample Ely Texas Devils: Rangen and Regulars on tL· Lower Rio Grande, 1846—1861. By Michael L. Collins. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008. Pp. 328. Illustrations , notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 9780806139395, $26.95 cloth.) Anyone wanting to know more about the history of the Texas Rangers and the United States Army and the role they played in the history of the Lower Rio Grande will thoroughly enjoy this refreshing and tantalizing book. In a grand sweeping narrative, Collins ably demonstrates that the Mexican War was only die beginning of a series of tumultuous events on the border. As many as five thousand Texas Mounted Volunteersjoined Gen. Zachary Taylor 's army on die Rio Grande in 1 846. Although Taylor viewed the Rangers as brave and gallant, he saw them as lawless and uncontrollable. Rangers such as Ben McCulloch,John Salmon "Rip" Ford, Walter P. Lane,John Coffee "Jack" Hays, and Samuel Hamilton Walker all became legendary during the war. A veteran of the Mier Expedition and the "black bean" incident, Walker came to be known as the ¦ "Thunderbolt of die Texas Rangers." Killed at the Batde of Humanda at the end of the war, he is best remembered today for the Colt Walker revolver, the largest and most powerful black powder repeating handgun ever made. As an adjutant in the Rangers, Ford came to be known as "R. I .P." after writing "Rest in Peace" at die end of letters of condolence. One of the most interesting Texas volunteers, however, is John Joel Glanton who is referred to as a half-savage Indian fighter with a penchant for scalping die enemy, and who was certain to have been courtmartialed as a war criminal had he not escaped back to Texas. After a murderous, scalp hunting career murdering Indians in northern Mexico, Glanton arrived at the Yuma Crossing on die Colorado River where he seized control of the ferry from the Yuma Indians. In response, the Yumas caught Glanton and his men in a drunken stupor, killed and scalped most of them, and then cremated their bodies in a big bonfire. Largely men of myth with a barbaric code of conduct and notorious for their excessive violence and biting racism, "Los Diablos Téjanos" left deep and lasting scars on die history of the border that remain to this day. In the 1 850s, the lower Rio Grande was also plagued by filibusters lusting for conquest, many of them Knights of the Golden Circle. Some dreamed of creat- 266Southwestern Historical QuarterlyOctober ing a Republic of the Sierra Madre as an independent buffer state in northern Mexico. Probably die best known filibuster wasJosé María de Jesús Carvajal who rallied several hundred Texas mercenaries into a mob called the "Liberating Army of Northern Mexico." In what was known as the "Merchant's War," Carvajal and his rabble captured Camargo and attacking Matamoros, only to be defeated by a superior force of the Mexican army in street-to-street, house-to-house fighting. Certainly the most serious uprising on the Rio Grande, one that would send hundreds of Texas Rangers and the United States Army scurrying for the Rio Grande, was the Cortina War of 1859-1860. Although Collins did not have available a recent biography of Cortina that corrects many of the errors of previous writings on die subject, his treatment of this...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 265-266
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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