San Antonio in 1837, John Coffee Hays came from Tennessee Hays shortly after Texas won its independence from Mexico. By 1841, he was a Texas Ranger captain at twenty years of age. A fearless fighter and skilled leader, Hays became famous for defending Texans against raids from Native American (Comanche) and Mexican bandits. Hays would come to symbolize the Rangers of the Texas Republic era. In Mexican War (1846-48), Hays’ Rangers scouted, defended U.S. supply and communication lines from attacks by Mexican guerrillas and fought alongside regular U.S. army troops. He earned a national reputation for their bravery.