Private Walter Richarz

Private Walter Richarz

Texas Rangers, Texas

End of Watch Tuesday, December 6, 1870

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Walter Richarz

In the summer of 1870 the State of Texas created the Frontier Forces as an effort after the Civil War to protect its western frontier. German born Captain Henrich Joseph Richarz commanded Company E assigned to Fort Inge in Uvalde County. Captain Richarz’s company was to prevent Indian raids from Mexico.

On December 6, 1870, a ranger scouting party led by Doctor J. E. Woodbridge, who had suspended his practice to serve as a ranger officer, were on patrol with fourteen men, with three men on a side scout. The rangers met an estimated seventy Comanche. The Comanche formed two lines on a slight rise and soon flanked the eleven rangers, who made a stubborn resistance using their repeating Winchester rifles to wound several Indians. Woodbridge was hit in the head by an Indian and unhorsed in a hand-to-hand encounter. When several rangers came to his rescue, Private Lorenzo Biediger was killed. The three absent rangers heard the sounds of heavy firing and returned, striking the flank of the surprised Comanche, killing a chief. The Comanche withdrew back into Mexico.

Also on December 6, another band of Indians killed Privates Walter Richarz, son of Captain Richarz, and Joseph Riff, at a creek about sixteen miles from Fort Inge. Evidence at the scene indicated the two rangers put up a fierce fight. Lt. Xaver Wanz departed from Fort Inge with the reserve force to track the Indians, but the raiders had escaped back into Mexico.

All three rangers were from Medina County and enlisted on September 9, 1870 and served for two months and 27 days until their deaths on December 6, 1870. Walter Richarz was 24, single, and was buried in the Rudinger/Richarz Cemetery in D’Hanis in Medina County. Lorenzo Biediger was 24, single, and was buried in the St. Louis Cemetery in Castroville in Medina County. Joseph R. Riff was 23, married, and was also buried in the St. Louis Cemetery in Castroville in Medina County.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 2 months, 3 weeks
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Unknown weapon
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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Pvt. Richarz,
On today, the 145th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your fellow fallen Rangers for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Texas.


United States Border Patrol

December 6, 2015

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