Private William Earbee
End of Watch: Wednesday, May 5, 1858
Tour of Duty: 3 months
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire (Accidental)
Date of Incident: Wednesday, May 5, 1858
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Not available
After the Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845, it was the duty of the US Army to control the raiding by Indians into Texas. The defense of the state by the US government was a continuous source of conflict and caused the State of Texas to raise ranging companies to defend its citizens.
On February 5, 1858, William Earbee enlisted in a company of Rangers in Austin who were formed to pursue hostile Indians in North Texas. On May 5, 1858, Private William (Bill) Earbee was accidently killed when his gun discharged when he tied it to his saddle. He was 24 years of age and had been residing in Bastrop, Texas. He had served three months. His commander was Captain John S. (Rip) Ford. No other information is known about him at this time.
On May 12, 1858, his company engaged hostile Indians on the Canadian River in present day Oklahoma where two rangers were killed.