From the Annals of Higher Education – In 1920, Sul Ross State Normal College began operations. The school which is located in Alpine is now known as Sul Ross State University. The school is named for Lawrence Sullivan Ross a Texas Governor and Confederate General. SRSU became the cultural and educational center for remote Big Bend region of Texas. A major draw is the Museum of the Big Bend which serves as a depository for materials which depict the multicultural society and history of the Big Bend region. The Archives of the Big Bend in the Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library collects documents reflecting the history and culture of the region. SRSU offer 41 undergraduate and 27 graduate degree programs and has an enrollment of around 2000 students.
From the Annals of the Comanche – In 1860, Cynthia Ann Parker was captured by a group of Texas Rangers under the command of Sul Ross. The so-called Battle of the Pease River was actually an attack on a Comanche hunting camp at Mule Creek in Foard County. The Rangers completely surprised the Comanche and most were slaughtered including women and children. During the raid the rangers found Parker who had been kidnapped from Fort Parker by Comanche warriors on May 19, 1836. Parker had no desire to be “rescued” as she was completely socialized as a Comanche with a war chief husband in Pete Nocona and three children – including Quanah and Topasannah (Prairie Flower). Sul Ross did his best to glorify the battle including making the disputed claim that the famed warrior Nocona had been killed in the “battle.” Quanah Parker claimed that his father was not killed at the Pease River, but died years later from his many war wounds. Hiram B. Rogers, a Ranger who joined the Ross command in October 1860, said, “I was in the Pease River fight, but I am not very proud of it. That was not a battle at all, but just a killing of squaws.”
From the Annals of the Civil War – In 1863, Confederate colonel Sul Ross assumed command of a brigade formed from the Third, Sixth, Ninth, and Twenty-seventh Texas Cavalry regiments which afterwards was known as Ross’s Brigade. Lawrence Sullivan Ross came to Texas at the age of one in 1839. He followed in his father, Shapley Ross’s footsteps and became an Indian fighter serving in campaigns with the Texas Rangers against the Comanches in 1858 and 1860. When the Civil War began, he joined Confederate forces and rose to command the Sixth Texas Cavalry. He was promoted to the rank of general soon after taking command of Ross’s Brigade. The unit saw action in Atlanta and Franklin-Nashville campaigns. Ross was on furlough in Texas when the brigade surrendered at the end of the war. Ross was later elected to the Texas senate and served as Governor for 4 years.