Texas Ranger Frank A. Hamer Autograph Letter Signed "Dad'. 5 pages, 6" x 9.5". Brownsville, Texas; October 21, 1918. A long letter to his family written while very ill and within days of the death of a fellow Ranger: "... I have been feeling real sick for several days. Had high fever 103 part of the time and I am awfully weak now, and so nervous I cant hardly write... Cap [William] Hanson has been here since Timberlake was killed. He is the head man of all the rangers. I was appointed sergeant and he told me to hold it until about the first of Jan. and he was sure I would be appointed a Cap. of some Co. as there was going to be some change. He told me I was just as sure of a Cap job as I live. That will be awfully nice wont it hon? But just keep it quiet. Some of my friends from up there went to the Gov. and made a fight against me tried to keep them from enlisting me. said I was dangerous man. said I killed a sheriff at S.W. [Sweetwater] so they investigated and all the rangers stood pat. and when Timberlake was killed I was standing by him and I had my automatic rifle. I shot the outlaw into ribbons. the sheriff wounded him with buckshot..."

    Hamer had been wounded the previous year in Sweetwater during a shootout, which left the perpetrator dead; but as referenced in this letter, the incident was not without controversy. Hamer left Ranger service after Sweetwater and worked briefly as a prohibition agent, before returning to Ranger service.

    According to (Officer Down Memorial Page), Sergeant Delbert Timberlake of Company I, Texas Rangers, was shot and killed during an ambush set up on the Rio Grande to capture a smuggler who was suspected in the murder of Texas Ranger Private Joe Shaw four months earlier. When the suspect was ordered to surrender, he immediately opened fire, mortally wounding Timberlake. As Hamer recounts in his letter, he returned fire, and "shot the outlaw into ribbons". Accompanied by the original transmittal envelope.

    Condition: All pages of the letter have light and even toning. The fifth page, has a small tear along right, not affecting any text; and alight separations at folds in margins. Light ink ghosting. Transmittal envelope has been torn open at right with minor paper loss, as well as heavy wear and soiling.

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    24th Friday
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