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    Ranger muster roll and report

    [Texas Rangers]. Muster Roll and Report Submitted by William C. Swearingen Signed Four Times. Three pages, 8" x 13", with a docket on the fourth page noting that it is Swearingen's retained copy. "Post of Sabine", June 11, 1837. At top: "Muster Roll of the Company of Rangers Stationed at this post under the command of Wm. C. Swearingen." Listed below are the names and stats for all 16 Rangers under his command; beneath which Swearingen writes a lengthy letter to his commanding officer, William M. Logan regarding the state of the regiment in light of poor finances and communication with government of the Republic.

    In part: "I have given Lieut Carlisle leave of absence to take hiz [sic] family to some place where he can get them a support, he is one of the most western citizens that has had to leave home in the present struggle and has lost every thing but his family, and has been nearly all the war in the service of his country, he intends goeing [sic] to the Secretary of War and resigning, as his money has all been expended in supporting his family, and now he has either to quit the Service and support his family by his labor, or they must suffer. When I was in at Houston the first of this month I applied to the acting Secretary of War for instructions, and as my former orders say nothing of procuring supplies for the Station, and not sufficiently plain even for the balance of the duty required, I was told I was not known to the Department as an officer, there being no record of my appointment, and ordered to this place by the Secretary of War, and was referred to the President. I went to see him, abuse for leaving my post without leave was all I got... I then presented a discharge to the acting secretary of war, that I had given one of the men that was in service in the company when I took command of it, and whose term of service had expired. I was told he could do nothing with it, he did not know me as an officer, and of course my acts as such is null and void. The only thing they would do was to tell me to go back & that even I could not get in writing. Supplies are out, and more in this section of the country are not to be had for money, much less for Government. We are paying our board our of our own pockets until I hear from you... if I do not get some authority to make my acts legal and vailed by the tenth of next month (July) I shall come out frankly and tell the men, government has deceived me, and my ignorance of the fact at the time, caused me to deceive them... I came to this Country to help the Citizens of Texas, not to deceive and injure them..."

    The Sabine Post was manned by only a small detachment of rangers, and Swearingen assumed command on February 20, 1837. His company remained on duty until August 31, 1837. The letter offered here provides great insight into the challenges faced by the Republic of Texas at the close of the Revolution. Although the war with Mexico was over, they now faced the task of protecting their citizenry against the Indians. 1837 was a year of transition for the armed forces: as the size and strength of the regular army dwindled, the importance of the Rangers increased. However, the administrative and financial means to support this transition was not yet in place. In his letter, Swearingen describes an incident in which a discharge was invalidated because his appointment as an officer was not recognized. In his book titled Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas, 1835-1837, Stephen Moore notes that the discharge papers for Private George W. Davis dated May 14, 1837 were signed by Barnard E. Bee as Secretary of War, and Swearingen as "Captain Commanding Post Sabine" (page 227).

    Condition: Gently toned, with flattened folds and bold ink. A few small separations occurring at folds at margins, with a bit of paper loss affecting a few words on the third page resulting from original folds.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2016
    12th Saturday
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