Taming the Nueces Strip: The Story of McNelly's Rangers

Front Cover
University of Texas Press, 1982 - History - 204 pages
4 Reviews

Only an extraordinary Texas Ranger could have cleaned up bandit-plagued Southwest Texas, between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande, in the years following the Civil War. Thousands of raiders on horseback, some of them Anglo-Americans, regularly crossed the river from Mexico to pillage, murder, and rape. Their main objective? To steal cattle, which they herded back across the Rio Grande to sell. Honest citizens found it almost impossible to live in the Nueces Strip.

In desperation, the governor of Texas called on an extraordinary man, Captain Leander M. McNelly, to take command of a Ranger company and stop these border bandits. One of McNelly's recruits for this task was George Durham, a Georgia farmboy in his teens when he joined the "Little McNellys," as the Captain's band called themselves. More than half a century later, it was George Durham, the last surviving "McNelly Ranger," who recounted the exciting tale of taming the Nueces Strip to San Antonio writer Clyde Wantland.

In Durham's account, those long-ago days are brought vividly back to life. Once again the daring McNelly leads his courageous band across Southwest Texas to victories against incredible odds. With a boldness that overcame their dismayingly small number, the McNellys succeeded in bringing law and order to the untamed Nueces Strip—succeeded so well that they antagonized certain "upright" citizens who had been pocketing surreptitious dollars from the bandits' operations.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Taming the Nueces Strip: The Story of McNelly's Rangers

User Review  - Joe Bax. - Goodreads

Anyone interested in Texas History will enjoy this short but very entertaining book. Read full review

Review: Taming the Nueces Strip: The Story of McNelly's Rangers

User Review  - Kim - Goodreads

I am not sure if the book itself is the reason why I didn't enjoy it, or if it is because my whole notion of what Texas Rangers did was totally destroyed. I like the notion of what the author Larry ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Foreword
vii
Introduction
xiii
Ranger Recruit
3
Moving Out
12
Meeting Captain King
22
In Bandit Country
34
A Near Miss
47
The Fight at Palo Alto
56
Betrayal
82
Rangers Without a Captain
95
Retaliation
103
After King Fisher
129
Nearing the End
138
Change of Command
151
But Still a McNelly
164
Copyright

A Time for Loafing
70

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information