Click Here

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape


The Texas State Historical Association recently published a new title: The Old Army in the Big Bend of Texas: The Last Cavalry Frontier, 1911-1921 by Thomas T. Smith. (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2018. Pp.240. Illustrations, bibliography, index).

This well researched history deals with the military occupation of the far West Texas southern border by the U.S. military during the Mexican revolution. The book is an extremely interesting read and makes considerable use of official U.S. Army records. For most of the twentieth century a number of these official army records had remained classified and their scattered locations in various National Archive locations made them difficult to locate and make use of. Another problem is that a disastrous 1972 fire at the National Archives National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Mo. destroyed some 16-18 million documents including most of those relating to the Big Bend Military District. Smith also states correctly how unreliable newspaper accounts from these years have proved to be. The Big Bend border became off limits to newspaper reporters who were forced to depend on Army press conferences to report the news during this time period. In spite of these obstacles author Thomas Smith does a commendable job of researching this difficult topic.

The U.S. Army largely had been absent from the Big Bend from the 1890’s until the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution in 1910. During a decade of civil war in Mexico, the resulting border raids, theft of livestock as well as an immense and constant stream of refugees fleeing the war into the United States greatly compounded these problems. U.S. military presence expanded on the border at a steady rate until Pancho Villa’s bold attack on Columbus, New Mexico in March 1916 in which seven American soldiers and eight civilians lost their lives in the first invasion of the United States by a foreign army since the war of 1812. This prompted President Woodrow Wilson to order General John J. Pershing and some 10,000 U.S. troops into Chihuahua in an attempt to capture or kill the elusive Villa. Then on night of May 5 1916 a band thought to be Villista raiders attacked Glenn Springs, in the Texas Big Bend, killing three U.S. soldiers and a nineteen-year-old boy. About the same time, a second group of marauders robbed Jesse Deemer’s store at Boquillas a few miles downriver from Glenn Springs. The bandits kidnapped Deemer and his storekeeper and crossed the Rio Grande where they robbed the American owned Boquillas mine and took two more captives. On May 7 a U.S. Army punitive expedition headed by Col. Frederick W. Silbey and Maj. George T. Langhorne set out from Marathon with about 80 cavalry troopers. The expedition remained in Chihuahua for seven days and managed to free the two hostages and kill five of the raiders. On June 18, 1916 President Woodrow Wilson mobilized the National Guard sending some 156,000 guardsmen to the U.S. Mexican border.

Thomas Smith does an outstanding job of documenting these critical events that led to a huge military build up of this remote border region. Using Regimental Returns and other primary source military records the author details the locations of the U.S. Army border outposts, their years of operation, the commanders of these units and their tactics as well as providing valuable time lines that will be a great aid to future researchers, writers as well as history buffs. In view of today's not dissimilar border troubles, Smith’s fine military history provides his readers with valuable insight from a historical perspective.

Glenn Justice

[ view entry ] ( 47 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 2062 )
July 13, 2018. The Battle of Plum Creek in 1840 will be the topic of a historical program Friday at Lockhart State Park, 2012 State Park Road. The event will begin at 8 p.m. Donaly Brice, author of "The Great Comanche Raid: Boldest Indian Attack of the Texas Republic," will review this battle and raid that changed the course of Texas history. The program is free with regular park admission, which costs $3 for those 13 and older. Children 12 or younger are free.

July 26, 2018. Presentation-- Drone Footage on The Sandoval Plaza located on the Canadian River Sponsored by the Canyonlands Archeological Society 6:30 p.m., Motley County Library Annex, Downtown Matador. Program by Austin Allison of the Southwest Collection, TTU Library. The Sandoval Plaza was the subject of a recent fund raising tour offered by the Center of the Studies of the American West, Canyon, Texas. Canyonlands Archeological Society, with help from Jerry Leatherman of the Comanchero Canyons Museum, received permission to sponsor Austin Allison to take drone footage to share with CAS members.

The historic Sandoval Plaza was a short-lived settlement of New Mexican sheep men and families located in the Canadian River country. Agapito Sandoval and his family of seven children lived at the plaza in a house made of sandstone layers, mortared by adobe, with a sod roof supported by cottonwood beams.

Between 1876 and 1874 sheepherders followed Comanchero trails and pushed their flocks to the grazing lands of the Panhandle of Texas, settling along the creek banks. The dons built rock and adobe houses and sheep folds, establishing small communities along the Canadian River and the Quitaque Creek, with camps reaching into Blanco Canyon and Pease Rivers. Thousands of sheep preceded the influx of cattle herds in the area vacated by Native Americans through the military actions of the Red River War. Fiestas, bailes and senoritas, padres and missions, all added to the life of the plaza dwellers. Austin's drone footage provides a great overview of the ruins of one of these little known plazas that once dotted the Panhandle and our area. Come and join us at the Library Annex in downtown Matador. For those who wish to eat and fellowship beforehand, we will meet at nearby Galvan's Restaurant at 5:30. For more information contact Marisue Potts, Secretary
Canyonlands Archeological Society
Rick Day, President

August 11, 2018. Third Plum Creek Symposium, Historic Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas. Produced by the Library’s critically acclaimed series Evenings with the Songwriter, presenters will include Lockhart native Donaly Brice, Kevin Mooney (also of Lockhart), Carolina Crimm (Huntsville), and Mary Jo O’Rear (Corpus Christi). Lockhart songwriter Fletcher Clark (host and producer of Evenings with the Songwriter) will act as emcee. Registration for the Symposium is $25, payable at the door (advance notification to attend is encouraged, given limited seating). For more information contact Fletcher Clark

MEMBER NEWS-----------------------------------

History comes alive at ‘The Haley’. Odessa American (TX) (Published as Odessa American, The (TX)) - June 23, 2018. MIDLAND The weight and substance of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico history have defined James Patrick "Pat" McDaniel's life since he first went riding on his grandfather's ranch near Fort Sumner, N.M., at the age of 4 or 5. And that history has been his profession since July 1, 1995, when he became director of the Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library and J. Evetts Haley History Center at 1805 W. Indiana Ave.

Lonesome Dove’ photos come to local art gallery. Del Rio News-Herald (TX) - June 21, 2018. Photos from an epic Western adventure filmed in part on the Moody Ranch, just south of Del Rio, will be exhibited here during July.?"Lonesome Dove," a series of 55 matted and framed sepia-toned photographs taken by William D. Wittliff on the film set of the four-part mini-series, will be on display in the Del Rio Council for the Arts Firehouse Gallery, 120 E. Garfield St., beginning July 7.

Retelling tale of city's 'Littlest Skyscraper' Wichita Falls Times Record News (TX) - June 20, 2018. Editor's Note: The Times Record News is revisiting a tale of Wichita Falls lore, something you may already know but others are just discovering. Most cities wouldn't want to keep a lasting reminder of greed, gullibility and fraud. Most would have bulldozed any hint of a reminder. Not only would Wichita Falls residents prefer our symbol of fraud remain standing, we celebrate the tale that makes the legend of "The Littlest Skyscraper." The city's lasting tribute to greed and alleged fraud during the oil boom of the early 20th century is nearly 100 years old. Built in 1919, "The Littlest Skyscraper" stands four stories high and about 10X16-feet wide.

USS Arizona relic moving from boneyard to Texas Panhandle pedestal. Stars and Stripes (USA) - June 20, 2018. June 20--FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- In the early 1960s, workmen spent months carving up a huge unsubmerged portion of the USS Arizona, sunk by the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Chunk by chunk, cranes lifted and transported pieces of the ship to the Navy's boneyard on nearby Waipio Peninsula -- all in preparation for constructing a permanent USS Arizona Memorial above the remaining submerged ship. The memorial was completed and dedicated in 1962. "That wreckage has been resting over there basically since 1961," said Daniel Martinez, chief historian for the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which includes the Arizona. On Thursday, a large piece of that deck will head to a war memorial in the Texas Panhandle, delivered by UPS via air and truck.

Cabinets of curiosities [Bandera Museum]. Kerrville Daily Times (TX) - June 24, 2018. "In 1933, prohibition had just been repealed in the United States, yearly salaries averaged $1,550, gas cost 10 cents a gallon, and Willie Nelson first flexed his golden pipes. That was also the year J. Marvin Hunter Sr., journalist, publisher and history buff, opened the Frontier Times Museum at 510 13th St. in Bandera.
Celebrated as one of the oldest history museums in Texas, this year, the museum marked its 85th anniversary. Today, more that 10,000 visitors annually are transported back to a time when museums were known as "cabinets of curiosities" and filled with treasures — both weird and wonderful.

NEW MEXICO NEWS----------------------------------
Historical Society gives out scholarships. Roswell Daily Record (NM) - June 21, 2018. During the month of May, the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico was honored to give out five scholarships to graduating high school seniors through the Linda Hays Trust. These scholarships were entrusted to HSSENM through the Linda Hays Trust thanks to Troy Hays, and scholarships will be available for the next four years.

[ view entry ] ( 53 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 2034 )

University of North Press has announced the publication of "T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks" by travel and food authors Sharon and Tom Hudgins. This is the first cookbook in America to focus on the foods of the Asian side of Russia. Filled with fascinating food history, cultural insights and personal stories, it chronicles the culinary adventures of two intrepid Texas who lived, worked, and ate their way around Siberia and the Russian Far East.

Featuring 140 traditional and modern recipes, with many illustrations, ""T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks" includes dozens of regional recipes from cooks in Asian Russia, along with recipes for the European and Tex-Mex dishes that the author and her husband cooked on the "Stoves-from-Hell" in their three Russian apartments, for intimate candlelight diners during the dark Siberian winter and for lavish parties throughout though out the year.

You'll learn how to make fresh seafood dishes from Russia's Trans-Siberian luxury train and flaming "Baked Siberia", the Russian twist on "Baked Alaskan". And here's the bonus: all of these recipes can be made with ingredients from you local supermarket or your nearest delicatessen.

[ view entry ] ( 79 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 3764 )
Check out the latest El Paso Times about the Porvenir massacre and our upcoming commeration. See: ... 058345001/


[ view entry ] ( 351 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 8703 )

The University of North Texas Press has published a new book titled, "Graham Barnett: A Dangerous Man" written by James L. Coffey, Russell M. Drake and John T. Barnett. This book is the absorbing story of an early twentieth-century west Texas lawman who earned a fearsome reputation as a gunman with a badge by killing a number of men in drunken rages. Barnett was tried and acquitted twice for murder before he met a bad end when Upton County Sheriff Bill Fowler shot him full of holes with a Thompson machine gun at Rankin, Texas in 1931. Born in 1890 Graham began his lawman career when he signed on as a Texas Ranger in the spring of 1916.

He served under Ranger Company B’s infamous Captain J. Monroe Fox now forever remembered as the Texas Ranger Captain who ordered the horrific Porvenir massacre in January 1918 during which a group of Company B rangers assisted by Eighth Cavalry troopers of Troop B shot and killed fifteen innocent Hispanic farmers in far northwest Presidio County. The “dangerous man” writers including Graham’s own grandson, John Barnett, speculate that Graham did not take part in the massacre. Inexplicably, however, they disclose to their readers that Graham’s own brother, Boog, also a Texas Ranger in Company B during those years, claimed that “he and Graham were both present” at the massacre. No reference is cited in this curious admission however the writers incorrectly state that the massacre happened in December 1917. The Porvenir massacre did not occur in December 1917 but actually went down in the early morning hours of January 28, 1918. Having researched the massacre for many years I have to agree with the “Dangerous Man” creators that previously I have not found Graham or Boog Barnett’s names associated with the massacre but because of this odd admission I must add it to my list of possibilities and keep looking. With reference to the authors claim “That sounds like something ole’ Graham Barnett would do”, I whole heartily agree.

Overall, “Graham Barnett: A Dangerous Man” is a very good historical study in addition to being a most interesting and readable work. It finely details the life of one of the more prominent Texas Ranger gunman who emerged in the early twentieth century. Also, this book is an interesting look at how west Texas law enforcement changed and evolved as the Texas oil industry first brought prosperity to the state and its people. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Texas history.

Glenn Justice

[ view entry ] ( 428 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 10957 )

The University of North Texas Press recently published a thought-provoking new book titled “Eavesdropping on Texas History”, ISBN #9781574416879, 342 pages. Editor Mary L. Sheer posed an intriguing question to fifteen recognized Texas historians by asking, “At what point in Texas history would you have liked to have been a ‘fly on the wall’ and why?’ ” Each of these scholars responded by submitting their answers in the form of an essay that when combined make up the book. “Eavesdropping on Texas History“ offers a varied collection of historical topics each written by an expert on the subject. The articles are diverse and well documented using both primary and secondary sources covering Texas events taking place between 1811 and 1967. Some of the more notable subject matter includes, Stephen F. Austin, the fall of the Alamo, Sam Houston,Cynthia Ann Parker, the Dust Bowl and Lyndon Baines Johnson. The well-documented notes of each of the authors demonstrate the research difficulties encountered by most historians in dealing with conflicting and flawed accounts, as well as lost, missing and poorly written documents.

The fifteen writers are made up of two State Historians of Texas, two former presidents of the Texas State Historical Association, four current or past presidents of the East Texas Historical Association, two former presidents of the West Texas Historical Association as well as two Fulbrite scholars and seven award winning authors. Mary L. Sheer is professor of History and department chairman at Lamar University and a Fulbrite Scholar to Germany. She wrote “Women and the Texas Revolution” and others. “Eavesdropping on Texas History” is a fine and interesting read that should be enjoyed by a wide number of readers who love Texas history.

Glenn Justice

[ view entry ] ( 722 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 18612 )



While many know about the Trans-Pecos Pipeline project in the Big Bend few realize that it is poised to destroy untold numbers of archeological sites in its path. Just as Energy Transfer Partners have shown their disregard for sacred sites in North Dakota, so they continue to ignore pleas to protect sites in far West Texas. One that has brought this issue to a head is the Trap Spring site on the eastern front of the Davis Mountains -- a site so significant that it qualifies for the highest honors bestowed upon archeological sites in the state.

Despite this and the fact that the pipeline company's own archeologist recommended avoidance, the company has failed to re-route the pipeline away from the site. As a result, Trap Spring may lose precious features and artifacts in addition to stripping its eligibility as a State Archeological Landmark for which it has been nominated.

This is happening just as a media storm has erupted regarding the Sioux Indians fighting yet another ETP pipeline in North Dakota. Because we have few First Nations remaining in Texas, the only people remaining here to protect this site are the ranchers, conservationists, and archeologists who fully appreciate its value.

For more information see John MacCormack's San Antonio-Express News article at: ... il-premium

[ view entry ] ( 1042 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 18615 )

Captain Frank Jones, a famed Texas Ranger, said of his company’s top sergeant, Baz Outlaw (1854-1894), “A man of unusual courage and coolness and in a close place is worth two or three ordinary men.” Another old time Texas Ranger declared that Baz Outlaw “was one of the worst and most dangerous” because “he never knew what fear was.” But not all thought so highly of him. In "Whiskey River Ranger", Bob Alexander tells for the first time the full story of this troubled Texas Ranger and his losing battle with alcoholism.

In his career Baz Outlaw wore a badge as a Texas Ranger and also as a Deputy U.S. Marshal. He could be a fearless and crackerjack lawman, as well as an unmanageable manic. Although Baz Outlaw’s badge wearing career was sometimes heroically creditable, and at other times his self-induced nightmarish imbroglios teased and tested Texas Ranger management’s resoluteness.

Baz Outlaw’s true-life story is jam-packed with fellows owning well-known names, including Texas Rangers, city marshals, sheriffs, and steely-eyed miscreants. Baz Outlaw’s tale is complete with horseback chases, explosive train robberies, vigilante justice (or injustice), nighttime ambushes and bushwhacking as well as episodes of scorching six-shooter finality. Baz met his end in a brothel brawl at the hands of John Selman, the same gunfighter who killed John Wesley Hardin”.

Author Bob Alexander is a retired lawman himself. He began his policing career in 1965 and retired as a special agent with the U.S. Treasury Department. He is author of “Rawhide Ranger, Ira Aten” (winner of WWHA Best Book Award); “Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands”, “Bad Company and Burnt Powder”, “Riding Lucifer’s Line”, and “Winchester Warriors” all published by UNT Press. He lives in Maypearl, Texas.

[ view entry ] ( 1091 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 18226 )
John MacCormack wrote an excellent article on our archaeological work at Porvenir for the San Antonio Express. The Associated Press picked up the story and it ran in nearly a dozen newspapers nationwide! To read it click on the below link:
Also my article about the recent archaeological work just ran in second quarter Cenizo Journal.

[ view entry ] ( 1121 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 18553 )
My friend Lonn Taylor published an article in the Big Bend Sentinel about the Porvenir archaeological dig titled "Uncovering The Truth About The Porvenir Massacre".
Read it at:
Thanks Lonn!

[ view entry ] ( 1105 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 20116 )

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Next> Last>>