Cicero Rufus (Old Rufe) Perry, Texas Ranger, was born in Alabama on August 23, 1822. In 1833 he moved with his parents to Bastrop, then in Washington County. He participated in the siege of Bexar, served from July 1 to October 1, 1836, in Capt. William W. Hill's company of Texas Rangers, and was involved in an Indian fight on Yegua Creek. He was wounded on February 12, 1839, while serving under John H. Moore. In 1841 he served under Samuel Highsmith and Thomas Green and scouted for Edward Burleson and Mark B. Lewis. He was also a member of the Somervell expedition. He joined John Coffee Hays's ranger company in 1844 and participated in many of his Indian fights, including the battle of Walker's Creek. In August 1844 he was severely wounded in a fight with the Comanches on the Nueces River, and he and Christopher Acklin were left for dead by their two companions. With three wounds, Perry walked 120 miles, from near Uvalde to San Antonio, unarmed and without food or water. In 1873 in the battle of Deer Creek he came to the assistance of a party led by Dan W. Roberts. In 1874 Perry was appointed captain of Company D of the Frontier Battalion. Roberts served as his first lieutenant and later as his successor.
Perry died at Johnson City on October 7, 1898. Described by John Holland Jenkins as having been "tall, muscular, erect-a perfect specimen of the strong and brave in young manhood," Perry had black hair and "dark eyes, bright with the fires of intelligence and enthusiasm." It was said that in his career as a volunteer soldier and Texas Ranger he had sustained twenty wounds from bullet, arrow, and lance.
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John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: Daniell, 1880; reprod., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). John Holland Jenkins, Recollections of Early Texas, ed. John H. Jenkins III (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1958; rpt. 1973). Kenneth Kesselus, ed., Memoir of Capt'n C. R. Perry (Austin: Jenkins, 1990). Daniel Webster Roberts, Rangers and Sovereignty (San Antonio, 1914; rpt., Austin: State House Press, 1987). Marilyn M. Sibley, ed., Samuel H. Walker's Account of the Mier Expedition (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1978). Andrew Jackson Sowell, Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas (Austin: Ben C. Jones, 1900; rpt., Austin: State House Press, 1986).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Thomas W. Cutrer,
“Perry, Cicero Rufus,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 16, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
April 28, 2019