Private Daniel C. "Doc" Sullivan

Private Daniel C. "Doc" Sullivan

Texas Rangers, Texas

End of Watch Tuesday, August 20, 1850

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Daniel C. "Doc" Sullivan

In May of 1850, Texas Ranger Privates D.C. “Doc” Sullivan, John Lemon Wilbarger and Alpheus D. Neill were granted leaves to take care of legal business by Captain John S. “Rip” Ford. After their leaves expired, the men met in San Antonio Viejo to travel together. The three rangers discovered they were being tracked by about 30 Indians. The rangers had good horses and could have escaped, but they decided to stand and fight. As the Indians advanced, one had a long range rifle and fired, and the ball struck Sullivan in the body. He was lifted from his horse which was tied to a tree. Sullivan told the other two rangers not to stay with him. He said, “I am killed…you can do me no good…make your escape.” A shot from the Indians struck him in the head, killing him. Wilbarger ran toward the camp and evidence discovered later indicated he killed 2-3 Indians before he fell. Neill had inadvertently attached his weapons to the pommel of his saddle. He mounted; his horse ran under the rope of Sullivan’s horse, and Neill was dragged off his horse. The Indians caught his horse and had his weapons. He received at least eight wounds and fainted from loss of blood. After the Indians left, Neill extracted several arrows from his body. He had been stripped of his clothes. In the blistering sun and naked, Neill walked and crawled 65 miles to San Patricio. A group of citizens returned to the scene and buried Sullivan and Wilbarger. Wilbarger’s body was reinterred in 1936 to the Texas State Cemetery. It is unknown where Sullivan’s body is located.

Alpheus D. Neill later became a Waco police officer, and on February 6, 1877 he was killed in the line of duty.


  • Age 17
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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Private Sullivan, 170 years ago you selflessly and heroically made the ultimate sacrifice and today, as well as everyday, we say thank you for your service and please know that no passage of time will ever erase your heroism and sacrifice.

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

August 20, 2020

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