Review: “Six Years with the Texas Rangers” by James B. Gillett

Six Years with the Texas Rangers: 1875 to 1881 by James B. Gillett. University of Nebraska Press. 260 pages.

I have neglected this blog and this website for quite a while. Seems like real life has gotten the better of me. But I have recently finished a few good books that I want to share with you, and so I will use that as an excuse to post here.

I picked this book up while on vacation in California, which is ironic since I live in Texas. I’m a big history fan, and have gotten fascinated with Texas history in particular. Some people steer away from the Texas Rangers for two reasons. They had a nasty reputation of shooting first and asking questions later, and they were often accused of being racist. Much of the fighting had to do with whites against Mexicans and Indians, but those were different times and survival called both for some very tough men and some radical decisions.

Gillett’s book is refreshing because he doesn’t pull any punches in how he saw the frontier of the time. The early years were spent a great deal fighting Indians, mostly Apaches and Comanches, as well as Mexican bandits who had come north. But the last few years he focuses on keeping the law in a very lawless land. This is not fiction, but is told as it happened, and sometimes is harder to believe than something you might see in a movie.

If you can get past how some other races were perceived in the book, it is good reading, both from an adventure perspective as well as straight history. I recommend it.

Four out of five stars.