Governor Coke appoints commander of Frontier Battalion
On this day in 1874, Governor Richard Coke appointed John B. Jones to command the newly raised Frontier Battalion of Texas Rangers. Jones, a veteran of the Civil War, was well suited to execute the governor's mandate to put an end to Indian raids on the frontier and to enforce the laws of Texas in the interior. The new battalion was successful in suppressing Indian incursions against white settlements. Jones reported to Gen. William Steele that during the first six months of the battalion's service more than forty Indian raiding parties had been reported on the frontier, of which the rangers engaged fourteen. During the second six months Jones's men had only four Indian fights, and after May 1875 only six raids and one small battle were reported. During this period Jones reported an estimated thirty-seven Indians killed; the battalion lost two killed and six wounded. In the seven years of its service under his command the battalion was also responsible for the quelling of considerable civil unrest as well as the return of much stolen property recovered from the Indians.