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    "We took several prisoners, held a caucus and shot them"

    [Allison Nelson]. Texas Ranger Autograph Letter Initialed. Two pages, 8" x 10", Fort Belknap [Texas], February 6, 1858, initialed "R. W. G." The Ranger, who was serving and fighting under 2nd Lieutenant Allison Nelson during the Antelope Hills Expedition, a particularly bloody time along the Texas frontier, writes to his sweetheart in Waco, mentioning his wounds and the shooting Indian of prisoners.

    Lieutenant Nelson's Ranger unit was stationed at Fort Belknap, one hundred miles northwest of Fort Worth, defending the Texas frontier against Indians, particularly Comanches, who were attacking white settlers (as well as Indians living on the nearby reservations). The author of this letter, wounded by three arrows, explains that he would have written to his sweetheart sooner but he has been "out Ranging with Capt. Nelson threw the western part of Texas and into Mexico about three hundred miles from the city [likely Waco]. I was in three battles with the Comancheas & Waloos [Wacos?] and received three wounds from arrows but not dangerous. We took several prisoners, held a caucus and shot them." Proud of his new home in Texas, the Ranger writes that the state "will be the theme of the historians pen and the poets song in after ages. Yes we are proud of our adopted state and most of all we glory in the Old Texans." The author continues on about his new state and his affection for the letter's recipient, "Miss Hattie C. Dupree."

    Lieutenant Allison Nelson made a name for himself as an Indian fighter on the frontier of Texas. Nelson commanded a detachment of Texas Rangers under the command of Senior Captain Rip Ford when his soldier wrote this letter. The letter exhibits folds, some staining, and some discoloration. The lower third of the final blank integral page has been cleanly excised. Text is bold and clear.


    More Information:

    [Transcribed as written.]

    Fort Belknap, Texas.

    February 6th 1858

    Esteemed Friend,

    This bright and lovely morning fiends me the occupant of my apartment. Transfering a few lines to some kind, friend perhaps. Miss Hat[tie] I have no doubt you have looked for a letter from me long ago and would have written but circumstances would not permit

    I have been out Ranging with Capt. Nelson threw the western part of Texas and into Mexico about three hundred miles from the city. I was in three battles with the Comancheas & Waloos[?] and received three wounds from arrows but not dangerous. We took several prisoners, held a caucus and shot them. My Father has bought him a stock farm of fourteen hundred acres of the very best land. To morrow I shall leave the agency for Waco in McLennan Co. & all I shall say abut Texas is the soil is classic ground and will be the theme of the historians pen and the poets song in after ages. Yes we are proud of our adopted state and most of all we glory in the Old Texans. Those who waited for the dawn who watched the Lone Star in her early rising who raised its banner amidst the clouds of doubt and dread and placed it at last on high, to glitter over the proud pinnacle of libertys eternal Dome that can be more discouraging than the feeling that in our struggles through life in our trials and disappointments, there none to sympathize for us. No man can go very far with unabated strength courage and cheer if he goes alone. We are made to be rendered happier and better by each others notice appreciation help and praise and the heart that are debared from these influence invariably wither harden or break. But it is a very safe assrtion to make that never yet was there one humane heart that did not at some time and in some hour long for the sympathy of other hearts And there is nobility in this feeling. Such being my reflections. I often think of that lovely sabbath eavening when we returned from church when that lovely conversations took place betwen you and I. How joyfull was I when you told me my love was reciprocated. Six months has briefly flown away and I appeal to you for an answer. which you promised me. I will remain at Waco until I hear from you Add[?] whether you want me to come back this spring or not. My calculation is to stay until I hear from you. I have got the pony for you which we agreed on he can rack a mile in four minits. Pleas keep every thing a seecret and do not show my letters. write immediately after you get my letter

    Waco McLennan Co Texas

    Yours truly

    R.H.G

    Miss Hattie C. Dupree



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