Ranger Jim's Ramblings for July
I recently returned from a visit to Texas, Kansas City, and points in between. I stopped at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, as always, plus did a lot of exploring of the back country of Texas, particularly the Hill Country.
One place I stopped was Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, outside Fredericksburg. The is the spot where Texas Ranger Captain John Coffee Hays supposedly held off a whole horde of Comanches, single-handedly. However, over the past years, more and more historians have been questioning whether the fight took place as legend has it, or if the fight even took place at all.
I did notice this visit that the Ranger Museum removed the diorama of Hays atop Enchanted Rock, and there is no mention of the fight at the state park. After making the rather strenuous climb, I agree with the historians who claim the fight, if it happened, did not take place at the summit of Enchanted Rock.
First, there is no cover at all, meaning Hays would have been exposed to Comanche arrows and bullets from all sides. He would have had the advantage of the high ground, but that's it. Unless the attacking Comanches were the world's dumbest Indians, and went after Hays one at a time like the bad guys in Walker, Texas Ranger always came at Walker, all they had to do was rush him. He would have been swarmed and overwhelmed in less than five minutes.
When I got back down, I spoke with some of the park rangers, they said the general consensus is that, since it is a fact there were Rangers and Comanches in the vicinity of Enchanted Rock at the time the event took place, there probably was indeed a fight, but it would have taken place at a lower level, or on one of the other nearby lower rocks. where there is cover. They also believe that Hays probably was not alone in the fight, except perhaps when it first started.
That's your piece of myth-busting for this month. See you in August.