Jesse Lee Hall (1849–1911) was one of many young men seeking a new life following the Civil War, when he left North Carolina to find adventure in Texas. After a stint as a deputy sheriff and a Sergeant-at-Arms in the House of Representatives, he joined Captain Leander McNelly’s Texas Ranger Special State Troops in 1876. This was the career move that he had needed as he soon found enough action in South Texas.
When McNelly could no longer command due to illness, Hall was named to take his place. Hall was involved in arresting King Fisher and his gang, and he (with a small squad) arrested seven of the Sutton faction, effectively ending the bloody Sutton-Taylor Feud. One of his men, John B. Armstrong, finally captured the most wanted man in Texas, John Wesley Hardin, in far-off Florida. In 1878 Hall took part in the gun battle ending the career of outlaw Sam Bass.
Nearing his fiftieth birthday, Hall hoped to join Teddy Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders,” but that did not happen. Instead he was posted to the Philippines, where as a commander during the Philippine Insurrection he was so badly injured that he was given a medical discharge. The old warrior died in San Antonio in 1911, loved and respected, having a reputation equaled by few.
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Published by University of North Texas Press