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'Rangers and Scouts'
Marius is Wondering About Tolkien's Reality Reflections
rangers and scouts
Tue, Oct 6, 2:32 AM (22 hours ago)
Hi James,
Do you know of any accounts of real life equivalents to tolkien's rangers?
I would imagine that a medieval woodsman or hunter would fill a similar role, and im curious to know what sort of man would fill it.
It seems like the medieval fantasy equivalent of an LRRP or fighting in indian file.
Kind regards

The first use of the term Ranger, is, to my knowledge found in an account of the Plantation America Wars of 1775-76, in which various plantation authorities, realizing that traditional European "trainbands" would not suffice to counter Amerindian tribal depredation, raised dedicated mobile troopers tasked with fighting Indians like Indians in Virginia and New England.
By the 1740s and 1750s the idea of "Rangers" as "white Indians," similar to SEALs, LRRPs and Green Berets in Vietnam, tasked with fighting indigenous warriors on their own terms, had been sufficiently codified to permit a certain Major Rogers, to be known by part-European-American Abanaki Indians as "The White Devil" to recruit European Americans, usually 2nd or 3rd generation Americans as counter-insurgents.
My hunch, is that the Conan story Beyond the Black River, and the Strider character in Tolkien, both conceived in the 1930s, are a reflection of this 200-year-long dynamic on the early American Frontier, as typified by George Fenimore Cooper's Leather Stocking Tales, and, in Tolkien's work infused with the ideal of the huntsmen of traditional European mythology and the game keeper of the medieval world which he approximated in his great epics.
The term ranger was used in 1600s Virginia, and 1700s Georgia, Virginia, Maryland and New England. It remains as a dedicated U.S. Army designation, and my step-brother Rich O'Brian served in that formation, seeing action in Panama, Kuwait and Irag. Rich was a certified badass who threw knives with me in 1978 and went on to be a drill instructor in the 2000s. I am proud to be related to Rich by marriage. There is no accident to the fact that he was born to a line of Pennsylvania dear hunters.
The best example of rangers, historically, were:
-Captain Church [1670s]
-Simon Girty [late 1700s]
-Simon Kenton late 1700s]
-Daniel Boone [late 1700s]
-Lewis Wetzel [late 1700s]
Messach Browning [early 1800s]
-Hugh Glass [early 1800s]
-Jim Bridger [early 1800s]
-Jedadiah Smith [mid 1800s]
-Kit Carson [mid 1800s, See Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides]
-Liver Eating Johnson [mid 1800s]
And in fantasy the characters of Strider in Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring and Conan in Beyond the Black River, scream Eastern Woodlands Ranger circa 1700.

Response from Marius:
1:45 AM (7 minutes ago)
Just read it, very interesting. I thought that is where they originated. We had a similar thing in aus with bush rangers. Essentially Europeans who went wild to live of the land and rob the system.
The extermination and integration of our aboriginal people followed a similar trajectory, although It had a lot less actual conflict and more simple domestication.
It’s a tragedy really, That civilisation won. I just hope I can set my clan up,and if I’m really successful, my country, for the time when it cracks apart.
Will check the PDFs.
Enjoy the run you old pirate
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