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    [John S. "Rip" Ford]. Commissioners Special Orders to Captain Rip Ford Regarding the Cortina War. One page, 7.75" x 9.75", "Office of State Commissioners Brownsville, Texas," February 2, 1860. These orders are addressed to "Capt. J. S. Ford Comdr. Texas Rangers on Rio Grande frontier," placing him under the command of federal forces. "Your movements and the troops under your command will be directed by Major Heintzleman as the Commdg. Officer of U.S.A. on this frontier you will therefore obey all orders Emmanating from such officer."

    In early December 1859, Major Samuel Heintzelman and his Federal troops arrived in the lower Rio Grande Valley in response to hostile activities led by Juan Cortina. Cortina, accusing the Anglos of seizing land belonging to Mexican Texans, had been leading poor Mexicans near Brownsville in a series of raids against Anglo Texans. On December 27, Major Heintzelman, in command of Rip Ford Texas Rangers, encountered Cortina's force at the Battle of Rio Grande City on December 27, decisively defeating him. Cortina retreated south across the Mexican border, but remained a constant threat. When these orders were issued, Ford was in command of a new Texas Ranger unit, Company "A," Rio Grande Squadron, which had formed only days earlier on January 20, 1860. On lined, light-blue paper. Smoothed folds with docketing on verso.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2013
    21st Saturday
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