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.

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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.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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