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Cover for Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands

Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands

The Wild West Life of Texas Ranger Captain Frank Jones (Frances B. Vick Series #15)

Bob Alexander, Kirby Dendy (Foreword by)


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Many well-read students, historians, and loyal aficionados of Texas Ranger lore know the name of Texas Ranger Captain Frank Jones (1856–1893), who died on the Texas-Mexico border in a shootout with Mexican rustlers. In Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands, Bob Alexander has now penned the first full-length biography of this important nineteenth-century Texas Ranger.

At an early age Frank Jones, a native Texan, would become a Frontier Battalion era Ranger. His enlistment with the Rangers coincided with their transition from Indian fighters to lawmen. While serving in the Frontier Battalion officers' corps of Company D, Frank Jones supervised three of the four “great” captains of that era: J. A. Brooks, John H. Rogers, and John R. Hughes. Besides Austin Ira Aten and his younger brothers Calvin Grant Aten and Edwin Dunlap Aten, Captain Jones also managed law enforcement activities of numerous other noteworthy Rangers, such as Philip Cuney “P. C.” Baird, Benjamin Dennis Lindsey, Bazzell Lamar “Baz” Outlaw, J. Walter Durbin, Jim King, Frank Schmid, and Charley Fusselman, to name just a few.

Frank Jones’s law enforcing life was anything but boring. Not only would he find himself dodging bullets and returning fire, but those Rangers under his supervision would also experience gunplay. Of all the Texas Ranger companies, Company D contributed the highest number of on-duty deaths within Texas Ranger ranks.

Praise For Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands: The Wild West Life of Texas Ranger Captain Frank Jones (Frances B. Vick Series #15)

"Bob does not present a personal agenda or make predisposed statements by shading his canvas in tones most aligned with individual preferences, unless one would consider truth and objectivity as the focus of that work. Because that’s exactly what I’ve seen in every book I’ve read that Bob Alexander has written: an unbiased and factual treatment based on incredibly detailed references."—Chief Kirby W. Dendy, Texas Rangers
“I've long wanted to read a biography of Texas Ranger Captain Frank Jones. Now Bob Alexander, utilizing his background in law enforcement and his gifts as a storyteller, has crafted a superb account of the heroic, doomed lawman, told against the rugged backdrop of Ranger actions on the Texas frontier.”—Bill O'Neal, State Historian of Texas and author of The Johnson-Sims Feud
"Bob Alexander's Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands elevates from stale history to exciting adventure the life and times of Texas Ranger Frank Jones, a frontier lawman who fearlessly faced Indian dangers and the blazing gunfire of deadly outlaws. With his entertaining style, Alexander relates the life and death of a courageous, in-the-saddle leader who played a major role in bringing law and order to the wild and wooly settlements in an as yet untamed Texas. For those fascinated by the Old West, this book is the true story."—Rick Miller, author of award-winning Texas Ranger John B. Jones and the Frontier Battalion, 1874-1881
“Once again exceptional historian and story teller Bob Alexander has delved into the forgotten archives and emerged with Texas Ranger Frank Jones who mentored such great Rangers as Ira Aten and John R. Hughes.  This is an unvarnished view of a man who rightfully should be one of the great captains of Ranger history.  Largely ignored, Jones deserved far better.  With Alexander's compelling work, now he has it.”—David Johnson, author of John Ringo, King of the Cowboys and The Mason County “Hoo Doo” War, 1874-1902

"A retired federal agent-turned-writer, Alexander knows cops--old-school or modern--and he knows how to find information. This is a solid book that will appeal to any fan of Wild West history."--True West

"Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands is the biography of a man whose life resembles an adventure novel."--Midwest Book Review

"Guns, horses, brawls, skullduggery--it's all here. . . . Bob Alexander has once again written a valuable and memorable biography of an old-time Texas Ranger who deserves to be remembered. This book belongs in your Texas Ranger collection."--Chronicle of the Old West

"[Jones] was obviously an extraordinary lawman, a man of action and also a good administrator with a sharp mind and a willingness to mentor young up-and-coming Rangers. Those are rare qualities individually, but to find them all in the same man is truly remarkable. . . . If you enjoy blood-and-thunder lawman's biography, this one will sweep you along at a full gallop."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"Jones preferred a show of force to preempt gunplay on the part of cornered badmen, and he was meticulous in establishing, as best he could, that any killing was justified by circumstances."--Wild West

"[A] well-researched and unbiased portrayal of Ranger Frank Jones. . . . There is plenty of flair and bravado that spices up the narrative. . . . His book, reflecting his effort, is a valuable contribution not just to readers seeking to learn more about the Texas Rangers, but also to those looking for insight into the larger history of the Southwest. . . . For the reader looking for an objective analysis of the Texas Rangers, Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands undoubtedly leaps above previous works in Ranger history such as Walter Prescott Webb's Texas Rangers."--Texas Books in Review

University of North Texas Press, 9781574415926, 512pp.

Publication Date: March 30, 2015

About the Author

BOB ALEXANDER began a policing career in 1965 and retired as a special agent with the US Treasury Department. He is the author of Rawhide Ranger, Ira Aten (winner of Wild West Historical Association Best Book Award); Bad Company and Burnt Powder; Riding Lucifer's Line: Ranger Deaths along the Texas-Mexico Border; and Winchester Warriors: Texas Rangers of Company D, 1874-1901, all published by UNT Press.