where Jones set up an ambush,
a fierce battle between the gang and the
place on July 19, 1878. In the melee,
Seaborn Barnes was killed and
Sam was wounded, though he was able
to ride away on his horse. The next morning he was found lying helpless in
a pasture north of town and was brought back to Round Rock where he died
on July 21st.
Over the next several years, the Frontier
Battalion captured more than 3,000
but by 1882 the "frontier" was beginning to disappear.
During the next three decades the
prominence and prestige waned, although they continued to occasionally
intercept cattle rustlers, contended with Mexican and
Indian marauders along the Rio Grande River, and at times
protected blacks from white lynch mobs. By the turn of the
century, critics began to urge the curtailment or abandonment of the
Rangers. As a result the Frontier Battalion was abolished in
1901 and the
Ranger force was cut to four law enforcement companies of twenty
activities were soon redirected towards law enforcement among
citizens, but when violence increased along the Rio Grande River, the
participated in numerous bloody brush fights with Mexican nationals.
In 1914, during the early days of World
War I, the
Rangers had the daunting task of identifying and rounding up
numerous spies, conspirators, saboteurs, and draft dodgers. In
1916, Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus,
intensified already harsh feelings between the United States and
Mexico. As a result, the regular
along with hundreds of special
governors, killed approximately 5,000 Hispanics between 1914 and 1919,
which soon became a source of scandal and embarrassment.
In order to restore public confidence, the
legislature overhauled the force in January 1919, but not before a
number of sordid tales of ranger brutality emerged. Soon the
four companies of
recruits were cut from twenty to fifteen per unit. The legislature
also established higher salaries in order to attract men of higher
character and established procedures for citizen complaints.
After the enactment of Prohibition in
Ranger's primary function was patrolling the Rio Grande River
against tequila smugglers and cattle rustlers.
During the Great Depression, the
force was reduced to just 45 men. Adding fuel to the fire, the
openly supported Governor Ross Sterling against Miriam A. "Ma"
Ferguson in the Democratic primary in the fall of 1932. As a
result, when Ferguson took office in January, 1933, she fired every
ranger for his partisanship, salaries were slashed and the budget
further reduced the force to thirty-two men. Without the protection of
soon became a haven for
such as Raymond Hamilton, George "Machine Gun" Kelly, and Clyde Barrow
and Bonnie Parker.
In 1934, Frank A. Hamer,
Ranger who had been let go during Ferguson's cutback, was asked by the
head of the
prison system to utilize his skills to track down Bonnie and Clyde.
Previously the pair had successfully broke out a member of their gang from
the Huntsville Prison, killing a guard in the process.
After tracking the Barrow gang across nine states, Frank Hamer, in
conjunction with law enforcement in Louisiana, learned that Bonnie and
Clyde had visited Bienville Parish on May 21, 1934, and that Clyde had
designated a rendezvous point near there with gang member Henry Methvin. Unknown to Bonnie and Clyde was that Methvin, cooperating with law
enforcement, participated in assisting with an ambush along the route to
by former Texas
Rangers Hamer and Manny Gault, a posse including two Louisiana lawmen,
and two more
Texans lie in wait on Highway 154, between Gibsland and Sailes. In
place by 9:00 p.m., they waited all night and through the next day with no
sign of Bonnie and Clyde. However, around 9:10 a.m. on May 23, 1934,
the posse, concealed in the bushes and almost ready to concede defeat,
heard Clyde's stolen Ford V-8 approaching. When he stopped to speak with
Henry Methvin's father, planted there with his truck that morning to
distract Clyde and force him into the lane closest to the posse, the
lawmen opened fire, killing Bonnie and Clyde while shooting a combined
total of approximately 130 rounds.