Civil War Confederate Army Officer, Law Officer. Born near Follansbee, Brooke County, (West) Virginia, he joined the Confederate Army as a Private upon the outbreak of the Civil War, but was promoted to Captain at the age of 19. He was recognized for his gallantry in the Battle of Valverde in New Mexico and the battles of Brashear City and Lafourche Crossing in Louisiana. A remarkable leader known for his exploits, his fearlessness and his bravery, he gained fame for his guerilla and diversionary tactics. In one of his more famous exploits in Louisiana, he gave Union forces the illusion that his troop of 40 men was much larger in number than it actually was. Within earshot of Union forces, he loudly marched his 40 men back and forth over a bridge throughout the night and in the morning demanded and obtained the surrender of about 800 Union troops. After the Civil War he served as Captain of the Texas State Police and later commander of the special force of Texas Rangers called the Washington County Mounted Volunteers. Captain McNelly and his Rangers are credited with cleaning up the bandit plagued Nueces Strip. He died of tuberculosis in Garland, Texas at the age of 33. Books written about him include "Leander McNelly: Texas Ranger" by Robert Scott, and "Taming the Nueces Strip" by George Durham. The movie "Texas Rangers" is loosely based on the exploits of him and his men.
Bio by: Sebastian