Texas Day by Day
On this day in Texas history…
Future scalp hunter enlists in army
January 13th, 1847
On this day in 1847, John Joel Glanton enlisted in Walter P. Lane's company of rangers for service in the Mexican War. The South Carolina native had arrived in Texas in time to serve in the Texas Revolution, and was a member of John Hay's company of Texas Rangers between the wars. He served with distinction in the invasion of Mexico under Zachary Taylor. Always a controversial figure, Glanton's career turned sinister after the Mexican War when he traveled to Chihuahua and became the leader of a band of scalp hunters. The memoirist Sam Chamberlain met and rode with Glanton during this period. Eventually the authorities in Chihuahua accused Glanton and his gang of scalping friendly Indians and Mexicans for bounties, and drove him into Sonora province. There he resumed his activites. He and his gang seized and operated a river ferry controlled by the Yuma Indians. While operating the ferry, they killed Mexican and American passengers alike for their money and goods. Finally, in mid-1850, they schemed to kill a party of Mexican miners who used the ferry, but before they carried out their plot, the Yumas attacked the ferry and killed Glanton and most of his men. Glanton himself was scalped.