Texas in the nineteenth century was a dangerous place.
The Texas Rangers were there to keep people safe.
James Gillett joined the rangers in 1875 with the task of repressing domestic foes of this frontier region where banditry flourished and crimes of violence were committed with appalling frequency.
He joined Company D of the Texas Rangers at the age of just seventeen. For the next six years he would be combatting horse thieves and murderers, fighting in the Mason County War, capturing vigilantes and providing law and order for the towns.
He met and fought against some of the most infamous criminals of his day, from Sam Bass and his train robber gang to the Horrell Brothers and the outlaw Dick Dublin.
That is not to say that Gillett only fought against domestic criminals, he was frequently called to combat dangerous Native Americans, particularly the Apaches, who were raiding, threatening or stealing from Texan inhabitants.
At points the Rangers would even be drawn across the border into Mexico in order implement justice against those who had attempted to escape.
Six Years with the Texas Rangers is a fascinating account of one Ranger’s life attempting to maintain law and order on the Texan frontier.
“Combines all the excitement of a Western yellowback with the genuineness of a first-hand document” Saturday Review
After James Gillett left the Texan Rangers he worked as a Deputy Marshal, Marshal, and later cattle rancher. This book was published in 1921 and he died in 1937.