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Texas Ranger - Joe Bittick

Joseph Butler Langley Bittick was posthumously honored with a presentation ceremony of the Texas Ranger Memorial Cross by the Former Texas Rangers Association on October 20th, 2007 at the Dudleyville Cemetery, Dudleyville, Pinal County, Arizona.  2007 marks 160 years since twenty-two year old Joseph B. L. Bittick enlisted in Company G, 1st Regiment of the Texas Mounted Volunteers as a Private and served one year in service to his country during the Mexican War.

Joseph is the first Bittick to have the Ranger Memorial Cross added to his headstone. Joseph is the second Bittick to be recognized for his Texas Ranger Service. George Crittenden Bittick, older brother of Joseph, died on September 15, 1864 while on patrol as a Texas Ranger in Uvalde County, Texas and is buried in an unmarked grave.

According to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum in a letter to John Cary Bittick, from 1846 to 1848, during the war with Mexico, five companies of Mounted Volunteers under P. Hansbrough Bell were the only men left at home to defend the Texas frontier. George Crittenden Bittick and Joseph Butler Langley Bittick were in one of those companies. These companies provided invaluable service protecting the frontier from Indians or served as scouts. They furnished their own arms, mounts and equipment. On July 31, 1847, Joseph transferred to P. Hansbrough Bell’s Regiment, Middleton T. Johnson’s Company of Texas Mounted Volunteers by order of Colonel John ‘Jack’ Coffee Hays. He was discharged from service on May 24,1848.

More about the Texas Rangers can be found at:

A note in the records of Shelby County shows that Company ‘E’ and Capt. Truit’s Company, in the 1st Regiment Texas Cavalry, subsequently became Capt. Handley’s Company, 1st Regiment (Hays) Texas Mounted Volunteers. ‘E’ and ‘G’ stand for the same unit.

Joseph Bittick enlisted with Co. G, 1st Regiment of Texas Mounted Volunteers on May 25, 1847 as a private to serve twelve months in federal service in the war with Mexico. On July 31, 1847 he transferred to P. Hansbrough Bell’s Regiment, Middleton T. Johnson’s Company of Texas Mounted Volunteers. He was discharged from service in the Mexican War on May 24, 1848 .

Shortly after his discharge Joseph joined the California Gold Rush.  In 1849 he rode the southern Gila River Trail to California with a 52 man party under Isaac H. Duval. Many of these men had also served in the Mexican War. Their journey to California took them through parts of Mexico with which they were familiar. [The Gila Trail: The Texas Argonauts and the California Gold Rush, Benjamin Butler Harris].  After arriving in California, Joseph mined and farmed, and he appears in Tuolumne Co, California census records in 1851.  

Joseph is listed in the Pioneer Roster of the Native Daughters of the Golden West, 3-184.

Bitticks, Joseph B.L.  
Rank: Pvt
Company: G
Age: 22
Value of horse and equip: $100  
Enlisted: 25 May 1847 for twelve months service  
Mustered In: Austin , Texas
Transferred: 31 July 1847 to Capt. Middleton T. Johnson’s Co. , P. Hansbrough Bell’s Regiment, Texas Rangers by order of Col. J. C. Hays
Discharged: 24 May 1848 by reason of expiration of term of service


Mexican War - Pensions
Joseph B.L. Bittick  
Rank: Private
Armstrong & Johnsons Companys  
Hay’s Texas Mtd. Vols.  
Date of Filling: Jan 14, 1889  
Class: Mex. Service
Application No. #21009
Certificate No.: 19221
Act: Jan 29, 1887
State: California

John Cary Bittick, Sheriff of Monroe County, Georgia, is responsible for both Joseph and George being recognized and honored as Texas Rangers. George and Joseph are sons of Jonathan Bittick and Jinsy Butler who settled in Texas in 1835. See the Jonathan database for details on this family.

Newspaper announcement of Texas Ranger Cross ceremony

Additional photo of older marker for Joseph B. L. & wife, Elizabeth 'Eliza' G. (Summers)


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