Private Willis E. Jones

Private Willis E. Jones

Texas Rangers, Texas

End of Watch Wednesday, October 3, 1855

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Willis E. Jones

After continuous raiding by Indians into Texas, Governor E.M. Pease authorized James H. Callahan to form a company of state rangers to pursue Indians and “follow them up and chastise them wherever they may be found.”

Captain Callahan’s company of 110 Texas Mounted Rangers pursued a war party of Lipan Apaches who had committed depredations in Texas across the Rio Grande River into Mexico. As the rangers approached Escondido Creek, a fusillade of gunfire erupted from a distant timberline. A force of 600-700 Mexican troops and Indians had been concealed in the timber. Captain Callahan halted his troops and ordered them to form a skirmish line, and then ordered a charge. Privates William H. Clopton, Augustus Smith, Willis E. Jones and H.K. Holland were killed and six rangers suffered serious wounds. Private Jones’ body was recovered but the other dead rangers had to be left on the battle field. Two hundred additional Mexican infantry arrived on the scene and Captain Callahan retreated to Piedras Negras, a Mexican town across the river from Eagle Pass, Texas. The U.S. Army forces at Fort Duncan in Eagle Pass had strict orders not to cross the border. When Callahan heard that 1,000 Mexican troops were en route, he retreated back across the border into Texas.

Private Jones had enlisted in the Texas Mounted Rangers at San Antonio on September 15, 1855 at age 24. His father was a state district court judge, William E. Jones. Judge Jones’ other son, Frank Jones, became a legendary Texas Ranger captain and was killed in the line of duty in El Paso on June 30, 1893.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 1 month
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Overseas
  • Weapon Unknown weapon
  • Offender Not available

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Rest in peace always and know that no passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

October 3, 2020

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