Today in Texas History – October 14

From the Annals of Culling the Herd – In 1867, Lt. James Pike of the First United States Cavalry died when he smashed his malfunction rifle against a rock in frustration.  Pike’s last act occurred during an Indian attack.  Pike arrived in Texas in 1859 and joined John Henry Brown’s company of Texas Rangers. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Pike left Texas and went to Ohio, where he passed himself off as the nephew of Albert Pike. He joined the Fourth Ohio Cavalry in 1861 and saw considerable action as a scout, spy, and courier under Gen. William T. Sherman, who praised his “skill, courage and zeal” but warned him to “cool down.”  After the war, he joined the First U.S. Cavalry,  His memoir The Scout and Ranger: Being the Personal Adventures of Corporal Pike, of the Fourth Ohio Cavalry (1865) is a lively account of his career and has been praised by historians even though some of Pike’s claims are demonstrably false.

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