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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
April 12, 2017     Hays Free Press
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April 12, 2017

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Hays Free Press April 12, 2017 COMMUNITY Page 3C l .I The sheriff of a South Texas county overrun by Mexican bandits sent the following I legram to Ranger headquarters in Austin onApr. 18, 1875: "Is Capt. McNelly coming? We are in trouble. Five ranches bumed by disguised men last week. Answer." Although the sprawling spreads south of San Antonio had been plagued for years by hit-and-run rustlers, pre- vious losses paled in com- parison to the current crime wave. Led by Juan Cortinas, part-time revolutionary and full-time thief, well-orga- nized bands were driving hundreds of cattle every week across the Rio Grande for shipment to Cuba. In spite of his delicate appearance, which made it possible for him to imper- sonate a woman during the Civil War, Leander McNelly was definitely the man for the job. If anyone could clean up South Texas, it was the hard-as-nails Ranger who enforced the law by waging all-out war. His first official act was to dissolve the trigger-happy private posses, whose ran- dom retaliation threatened to ignite a full-scale conflict on the border. The vigilantes shook their heads in disbe- lief but meekly obeyed. If McNelly wanted to go up against Cortinas and his gi- ant gang of at least a thou- sand with only 40 Rangers, McNelly's standing though unwritten order for raids against Mexican marauders was the same as for Indian operations. Any apprehended on the wrong side of the river had better say a fast prayer. Texas by Bartee Haile that was his business: At Brownsville in early June, McNelly received a tip that a steamship was wait- ing offshore for 400 head of stolen steers. Resolving to intercept the delivery, he requested 22 volunteers for the high-risk mission. Sixteen year old Berry Smith, youngest member of the company, eagerly stepped forward to the dismay of his dad, a veteran Ranger. The elder Smith begged the captain to leave the boy behind but lost the argument when his superior let the youth decide. McNelly's standing though unwritten order for raids against Mexican marauders was the same as for Indian operations. Any appre- hended on the wrong side of the river had better say a fast prayer. No matter how lean his troop, McNelly always had room for Jesus Sandoval, an interrogation specialist that never failed to extract the truth. Decades later retired Ranger William Callicott described his sure-fire technique: "Old Casuse would put the rope over the bandit's neck, throw it over a limb, pull him up and let him down on the ground until he would consent to tell all he knew." A Cortinas spy was dragged into camp on the second day and turned over to Sandoval. Within min- utes, the human yo-yo read- fly answered every question put to him. When McNelly was convinced the captive had nothing more to say, he walked away, a silent signal to Sandoval to finish the job. A number of suspects, maybe as many as six, were given the same treatment. The last poor devil, seized on Jun. 11, spilled the most im- portant beans before he too was hanged. He revealed the exact route 18 rustlers were taking for their rendezvous with the Cuban smugglers. The Rangers rode all night before finally picking up the bandits' trail at sunrise. Mistaking the strangers for an army patrol, the Mexicans chose to stand and fight instead of fleeing for the bor- der. They herded the cattle across a shallow lagoon and waited for their pursuers to come within range. Sizing up the situation in an instant, McNelly instruct- ed his second-in-command to head straight for the rus- tlers at a steady pace and not to fire until he reached solid ground. In the meantime, the captain took six men and cut off the only avenue of escape. The rustlers realized too late what was happening but still tried to make a run for it. On the open prairie their slower horses were no match for the Texans' superior steeds, and one by one they were shot out of the saddle. Preferring to die on his feet, the last Cortinista dismounted and hid in a thicket. During the subse- quent search, McNelly came face-to-face with the Mexi- can, who rushed him with a Bowie knife. "The Captain leveled his pistol," the old Ranger Callicott recalled, "and placed the last shot he had between the bandit's teeth." After collecting the HISTORY, 4C Sudoku Solutio. 7 5 21 51 ~14i I! 31 Sudoku Puzzle, from page 2C Texas Crossword S-1319 Texas Crossword, from page 2C I Bucla, Texas * 15300 S. 1H-35 * 312-1615 j m DEBBm TnA S,AGEm" m STORE I ~L~ANDSoDAFoI[JNTAIN~ Vow]fll~ownBGda m Fountain 312-2172A McDoMld's of Bud== 15359 IH-35, Ste. B 1~O. Box 1364. Buda, TX 78610 Locally owned and operated by Jimmy and Cindi Ferguson I | .BROCK 1 VETERINARY CLINIC 2325 FM 967 312-0701 NEWS LETTERS" OBITS CALENDAR " PHOTO GALLERY CLASSIFIEDS " SUBSCRIBE .~i~*~ .......... TEXAS LEHIGH1 CEMENT CO, LP3 CENTEX MATERIALS LLC FM 2770, Buda, Texas 295-4801 FOUNTAINAnon-denominational churchOF LI'~[[rill Buda,. UnitedElm StreetMethodist, San MarcosChUrch ml ~ h ~I) ~Southem~hHills ChurChnstoSewingOthersOfChrist llml~ with live cntemprary Christian I" "~' *Traditinal Wrship C~~hip CI~*"9 &m" ~ I I/ ,,::E VVORSHIP :'TH US' Fi:i ~~1~ nlusic and life giving teachhlg' I" 1~ SundaySchool,al]agcs,-10:00a.m. IIBaptist Churc [iii~+.~~l + ........ III I~r I *lntomalWorship(Chape])-tla.m. II I' Sunday 9:00am BibleClass Located t block ott FM 2001at Ill ~.1 m . m~ ~~ ,0=,,,ooo,~,,~,~o= I|1 ~k~l WednesdayEvemng(Chapel)-6:30p.m. 'I 9:30a.~. 0assi~=rvk:e I/ I' 10:00am Worship r entrance rotd *On 5th Sunda s we conduct one servsce l 6:00pm Worship --i ~'~i!~PastorRustyFletcherandfamily. (MillenniumD ivei ..... ill.ill ., 10aJn.Y*,~,~.'.-- lii l:45a'm Cnt~ra~r~c~ I J ~,~.. I/ Wednesday 7:00pro Bib[e C,ass Services I ..... I Visit Ill Rev. Nancy Day l I Adu, (induding an 8'3!~m early bird class) I 3740 Ranch Road 967 Buda, Texas L, all or iex~ m (512) 312-5900 Wed.Sun. 11:00 a.m. 7:30 p.m. It .............. 4460 'i afountain.otgfor more info. - jllll, Office 295.6981, Parsonage 512-393-9772 ,~1II teen, children's d~sses Professior~l~-st~fed nursery & pre-sd~ol ~ildren's ~0rship www.hayshills.or9 1401 li. FM 1626 / [~ Air SelVi .... igl~intemteted for the deaf - ,el Banhst "" / SANTA CRUZ First Baptist Church / ~,~ qife 1hursday \x~x~~au " 6nure61 CATHOLIC CHURCH A loving & caring Southern Baptist Church m ~ "~Z '~" Evening Bible SUNDAY: m l l00 Main Street* Buda, Texas 78610104 S. San Marcos Street, Buda I Study, 6 p.m., Biblo Study for all agos, 9:45 a.m. / Office: 512-312-2520 Fax: 512-295-2034 Buddy Johnson, Pastor 295-2161 [ :~,~ and Open Commumon Worship Service, 10:55 a.m. / Rev'Kifl~D'Ganmr'Pastr'Fr'Js~LuisCml~m[m'Assc'Pastr Sunday School ........................................... 9:30 a.m. / Christian Church " WEDNESDAY: Bible Study, 7 p.m. I CONFESSION OFFICE HOURS Morning Worship .................................... 10:45 a.m. I (Disciples of Christ) on the first Psstor Rodney Coleman 1 Saturdays: 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday Bible Study/Youth Activities...6:00 p.m. I 2315 FM 967 Sunday of every 4000 East FM 150 (4 miles east of Kyle) MASS SCHEDULE: (512) 268-5471 Saturday evening: 5:30 p.m. _ ~ _ AWANA's (Wednesday) .......................... 6:00 p.m. I Buda, Texas 78610month, 6 p.m. ,g~k, " Sunday"~l-~t~-I~,~=.,~r i Pastor ].D. Elshoff ~ . . -- 8:30 a.m. (Spanish), J"i~l'4 Nursery Provided | jelshoff@earthIinkmet Make THIS your ~!f'~f'~ I~t~ linch ~-~ ll a.m. (English) I~1 .,~.,~/~ .~ "4'JU VVl I.| 1 ~'~ 5 p.m. (English) ~ www .... :"-_: _ t'bc ~ :a-- "~-, --: .m I 512-638-6312 church home! east Baptist Church M if| i~:~ ii