Cover

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Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Foreword

Leon C. Metz

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pp. ix-xii

Chuck Parsons and Donaly E. Brice are unique among biographers. Most writers of their genre, with this skill and background knowledge, would have chosen well-known Texas characters to immortalize, individuals perhaps like John Wesley Hardin, Sam Bass, Bill Longley, King Fisher, John Ringo or even Sam Houston.
But Parsons and Brice picked...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

Without the invaluable assistance of many other researchers, writers, historians and descendants of N. O. Reynolds and other Texas Rangers this work would have remained a miniscule biography. The following represents those who provided assistance; our apologies to any individual we may have...

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1. Continuing the Warrior Tradition

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pp. 1-13

Texas Ranger Lt. N. O. Reynolds, known as the “Intrepid” by fellow Ranger James Buchanan Gillett and history, is not among the better known of the nineteenth-century lawmen. No other biographies have appeared before, and the few articles discussing his most noted exploits reveal him only in the reflected light of the outlaws he pursued and...

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2. Joining the Frontier Battalion

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pp. 14-24

Orcelus Reynolds was mustered out of the Union Army at Springfield, Illinois, in late January 1866. He then traveled 100 miles north to join his family in Coleta where he resided for three years. It must have been a happy reunion; many families suffered the loss of a son or father, or a brother, but the Reynolds family was whole once again. Unfortunately father Hiram...

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3. Removal of Cattle from their Accustomed Range

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pp. 25-42

Governor Coke received many reports of Indian sightings in the months prior to the organization of the Frontier Battalion. The settlers were pleased at the prospect of the protection of Rangers when they saw Captain Perry establishing his first permanent camp at Celery Springs, six miles northwest of Menardville (now Menard) in Menard...

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4. A White Man Takes a Scalp

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pp. 43-62

Fort Mason had been established in 1851 on Post Hill in Mason County by Brevet Major H. W. Merrill. Through the years the fort had been abandoned and then reoccupied, before being abandoned for the last time on March 23, 1869. In 1936 the state erected a State Historical Marker which made only a brief allusion to the violence the fort...

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5. Death of the Avenger

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pp. 63-73

Major Jones, writing from Mason on October 25, ordered Neal Coldwell of Company F to make a scout to the Upper Llano where “some fifteen men, very suspicious looking fellows” had been seen. If they were not found there he was to continue scouting for them on the Nueces, further south. He was specifically told to keep a “sharp...

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6. Rangers Against the Confederacy

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pp. 74-90

The beginning months of 1877 must have seemed terribly uneventful for Reynolds and the boys of Company A, stationed at Camp Hubbard in Frio County—named after Gov. Richard B. Hubbard, who had succeeded to the governorship upon the resignation of Richard Coke—as scout followed scout in the same general area with very little probability...

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7. A Single Shot Ends a Feud

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pp. 91-113

There was virtually no time for the Rangers to rest after their work in Kimble County. On April 29 Reynolds left camp to arrest J. E. Burt and Jack Jones. He scouted from the head of Copperas Creek on the Llano River to Fort McKavett and Menard but failed to find them. By May 4 he was back in camp with no prisoners, but rode out the next...

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8. A Prisoner Lost in Indiana

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pp. 114-124

Back in Austin, although he would have preferred to remain in the field working directly with his commanders to continually improve efficiency among the Frontier Battalion, Major Jones was forced to deal with administrative matters. With the fiscal years ending on August 31, not surprisingly the legislature had forced a reduction in the Battalion’s...

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9. One Dublin Taken, One Dublin Escapes

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pp. 125-144

On August 23, 1877, Dallas detective and Ranger Jack Duncan and Texas Ranger John B. Armstrong, with several Florida officials, captured John Wesley Hardin, the Texas man-killer wanted for more than a score of murders. Hardin, now with a reward of $4,000 for his taking, had enjoyed eight years of lawlessness since his first killing in 1868, eluding...

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10. A Killing in Scabtown

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pp. 145-166

By 1878, Menard County, once on the very edge of the frontier, was considered settled. The county had been organized in 1871 and in the following year a courthouse was erected in Menardville (now Menard). Former Frontier Battalion member William W. Lewis, who had joined Captain Perry’s Company D at the same time Reynolds had back...

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11. Protecting the Man Killer

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pp. 167-181

Two events in March of 1878 had to cause some frustration for the commander of Company E, Frontier Battalion. On March 4, in Austin, Reynolds arrested a black man, whom he believed to be Mitch Cotton, wanted for a killing in Limestone County. There had been a gunfight during the elections in Groesbeck, the county seat, on September 30, 1871. At the time...

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12. Gunsmoke at Round Rock

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pp. 182-200

Even with the feud between the Horrell and Higgins factions essentially over, there were still troublesome individuals in Lampasas County who demanded the attention of the law. On the 4th of July Reynolds wrote a hurried note to Major Jones concerning the arrest of W. H. Crabtree “for False Swearing In Navarro Co.” Reynolds...

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13. A Sheriff vs A Ranger

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pp. 201-215

Certainly any action following the defeat of the notorious Sam Bass gang, even if Reynolds had missed the big street fight, would be anticlimactic. He had fought against Indians, had delivered John Wesley Hardin safely to and from jail during his trial, had captured the Horrell party, had safely delivered Thomas G. T. Kendall to Austin, rescuing him from...

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14. An Outrage Upon Children

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pp. 216-228

Even though it had been some time since the citizens of Kerr County had suffered from Indian raiding parties, the menace was far from a distant memory. It is not known why the James Dowdy family had left their home in Goliad County, Texas, but in the fall of 1878 they had located in Kerr County and continued to raise sheep. No one suspected there was any real...

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15. Dealing with Fence Cutters

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pp. 229-258

The Sixteenth Legislature met in early 1879 and perhaps to no one’s surprise determined that it was again necessary to reduce the number of Rangers, due to financial uncertainty. Gillett recalled those sad days, especially how his commander, Lieutenant Reynolds, “was compelled to sit idly by and see his experienced rangers dwindle away before his eyes, and what...

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16. The Cornett-Whitley Gang Emerges

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pp. 259-276

The typical felonies of the late nineteenth century were those of a century before and the same as the century following: arsonists deliberately set fires; burglars invaded homes and stores; women were raped; men and sometimes women murdered others; cattle and horses were stolen. The cutting of fences now became a new felony, adding to...

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17. A Loss and a Final Guard

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pp. 277-296

Following his 1889 resignation as sheriff of Lampasas County, N. O. Reynolds, now nearing his mid-forties, left the Hill Country of Texas to live in the Gulf Coast at Angleton, Brazoria County. It was here that he again worked in the shoe business. He spent at least four years there, 1889–1893, prior to relocating in Lockhart, the county seat of...

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Afterword

Stephen Reynolds Davis

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pp. 297-300

I was fortunate as in my growing up days I was able to spend lots of time in the N. O. Reynolds home in Center Point, purchased by Major Reynolds in 1918. That is where I spent lots of time, either living or visiting. The “Old Rock House” as it was called by all the kids, was where my grandmother Mrs. Robert C. Bean (Emma Elizabeth Reynolds) lived. She...

Appendix A. The Gentlemen in White Hats: The Men of Company E, Frontier Battalion

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pp. 301-328

Appendix B. Texas State Historical Markers Relevant to N. O. Reynolds’ Career

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pp. 329-336

Notes

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pp. 337-400

Bibliography

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pp. 401-412

Index

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pp. 413-432