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  #1  
Old 05-27-2012, 08:04 PM
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American Old West Gunman/Pistoleer


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For those who might care, I have a thread here:

RugerForum.com :: View topic - American Old West Gunmen/Pistoleer

I have done event sketches for Billy the Kid, Coleman Younger, the Daltons, The Harpes, Harvey Logan (Kid Curry), O.C. Hanks, Dallas Stoudenmire, have touched on the career of Killin' Jim Miller, etc. Stretching the title and to include outlaws/lawmen, of course.

If any objection arises delete this, I could not care less.

Adios!
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2012, 07:55 AM
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I'm not sure what your goal is (I did not read all of the referenced thread), but if you want to put up some historical research and opinions on the site for members to read, go right ahead.

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  #3  
Old 05-29-2012, 09:58 PM
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Gibson. I'm a member over there too and have read some of what you have posted. I'm sure there are guys here who'd really enjoy seeing what you've found.
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  #4  
Old 05-31-2012, 11:24 AM
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Stay tuned in then just put up a sketch on the controversial deaths of John King Fisher and Ben Thompson. Not exactly "Boswell's Life of Johnson" but for fat fingered non typing ex-powerlifter (along with the concomitant motor nerve skill deficiency) it's decipherable and even readable

That's me in the avatar, now can you see me trying to hunt and peck out a sketch? My typing skills are retarded by many things, especially the size of my fingers; the epistemic deficiencies are entirely congenital.

I'm trying to think of a stirring episode for my next sketch even now.

Last edited by Gibson; 06-01-2012 at 03:20 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2012, 03:23 PM
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If you guys are interested I will post the sketches here, also.

Right now I'm throwing together some thing on Marshal Tom Smith AKA "Bear River" Tom Smith.

The sketches are sometimes picture laden. . . sing out if you want me to post them here. No word and I shall not bother you guys with them.

Edit: Typos abound; decipher.

Last edited by Gibson; 06-01-2012 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:05 PM
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Gues I would be interesred in reading what you have.
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  #7  
Old 06-01-2012, 07:33 PM
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A view of Bear River City:




Bear River/American River:




A real old west hero:




"Bear River" Tom Smith was a heckuva man. Of that there can be no doubt. His reliance on his wits and "Marshal Big Fist" mentality was a hit with his frontier cohorts. He was LOVED by the citizens in his final job. Dwight David Eisenhower seems to revered Marshal Smith as a personal hero, visiting his grave multiple times.

Tom Smith was, by the end of his life, a lawman to be admired. Just a fact. He did not rely on his pistol first, he relied on a combination of brains and a right hand that could jar a man's eye teeth loose! But unlike some have written Ton Smith was plenty proficient with a sixgun and definitely used it.

Relying on the same article from the Kansas Historical Quarterly 1940, as yesterday, I quote the erudite Cushman again:

"In the spring of 1870 the board of trustees met again and elected T. C. Henry as chairman and appointed W. Fancher, a teacher in the school, as secretary. Thirty-two saloons were licensed, [47] closing hours indicated, houses of ill-fame in the city limits were outlawed, [48] and an attempt was made to recognize and enforce laws against the more flagrant crimes and secure some semblance of decency. City offices were created, including that of the city marshal, and ordinances were published. [49]

The particular ordinance which caused the most comment and turmoil Was the one forbidding the carrying of firearms within the city limits. It was announced on large bulletin boards at all the important roads entering town. These were first looked upon with awe and curiosity, and only gradually was their significance comprehended.

Tom Smith, from Kit Carson, Colo., was one of the first to apply for the position of city marshal. He was rejected. Several local men were tried and found wanting, while conditions went from bad to worse. The cowboys insolently ridiculed the officers and the disregard for law continued. The posters upon which the ordinances were published were shot so full of holes that they became illegible. [50]

Construction began on a city jail, but the cowboys tore it down, and it had to be rebuilt under a day-and-night guard. The first person to be incarcerated was a colored cook from one of the cattle camps near Abilene. A band of cowboys came to town, drove away the guards, forced the lock on the door and released the prisoner. They ordered the business houses to close, even riding into some stores and giving their orders from the saddle. They then rode out and proceeded to shoot up the town. A posse of citizens was formed and they were pursued. A few were captured and imprisoned. This, however, did not halt the aggressions, of the cowboys. They continued their open flaunting of the law and the abuse of law-abiding citizens. Two men, recommended by the St. Louis chief of police, came and looked the situation over but returned to St. Louis by the next train. The job was too complex for them.

Finally the application of Tom Smith was reconsidered. He was made marshal at a salary of $150 a month and two dollars for each conviction of persons arrested by him. J. H. McDonald was later selected as an assistant. [51]

Smith was of a reticent nature. Facts about his past were difficult to secure from him. It Was known that he had had a prominent part in a riotous disorder in the railroad terminus of Bear River; Wyo., several years before. Afterward it was learned that at one time he had served on the New York City police force. He had served also in the capacity of marshal of several of the Union Pacific terminal towns. [52]

Smith's first showdown in Abilene was with a. cowboy desperado called "Big Hank," who refused to disarm and used abusive language in his refusal. Without argument Smith struck him a terrific blow, took his pistol away from him, and ordered him out of town.

To the cowboys this was a new method of combat. They did not understand the technique of fisticuffs. [53] Their pride was in the perfect execution of a "quick draw" and not a "right cross" to the chin. In the cattle camps the subject of Hank's treatment was discussed at, length, and before morning a leader of the desperadoes known as "Wyoming Frank" wagered that he could defy the new marshal and his gun ordinance.

He came to town the next morning and ultimately met with Smith in the street. Smith walked toward him and asked him for his guns, which were being worn conspicuously. Frank backed slowly away, maneuvering for an advantage, and finally backed into the door of a saloon. Here they were surrounded by a crowd. Another request for his guns was answered profanely by Frank, and Smith placed him hors de combat with two smashes to the chin. He took Frank's guns away from him, beat him over the head with them, and told him to leave town and never return. Frank followed his instructions promptly.

The silence following this encounter was broken by the saloon proprietor, who stepped from behind the bar and said, "That was the nerviest act I ever saw. . . . Here is my gun. I reckon I'll not need it so long as you are marshal of this town." Others followed his example, and from that time Smith had very little trouble over the enforcement of the gun ordinance. Each business house had a sign which read, "You are expected to deposit your guns with the proprietor until you are ready to leave town." New arrivals soon found that this sign meant what it said. "

He was a different kind of man than Wild Bill. The townsman admired his style more. He was far more revered but Hickok was every bit as real, just different.

"Bear River" Tom Smith, in my mind, a hero.

Stay tuned.

Last edited by Gibson; 06-01-2012 at 09:12 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-01-2012, 07:35 PM
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Some oft repeated but hard to nail down statements concerning Thomas J. Smith are:

1) He was born in 1830
2) He was born in New York and of Irish decent
3) He was on the NYCPD.

After some checking I take them all as reasonable. They have been handed down to us and none seem outrageous. And it appears that they partly originated from Smith himself as put forth to the Abilene commissioners.

It has been stated numerous times that Tom Smith was, as a younger man, a national class middleweight boxer. Irishman-NYC-known to be a puncher as a lawman. . . checks out as reasonable, also. He got out of prize fighting and into policing, joining the New York City Police Department as a young man in his 20s. There seems to be have been a shooting incident that Tom was involved in. in which a 14 year old was killed. It was a clear accident. However, the incident so profoundly distracted Tom that he left policing and drifted into a railroad job. This is where it gets tricky.

The best I can make of it is that a lot of people have missed some things. It seems to me that Tom Smith landed in the VERY NEW city of Bear River, in Wyoming Territory. It was a railhead. I believe that in some fashion Tom was made a lawman, there. I cannot discern in what manner he was appointed but my guess is that some of the leaders got together and appointed Tom the man to police the town. His capabilities probably being manifest in his ability to quell folks who were over the top with a single blow. So, I think Tom Smith got his first policing job out west, in Bear River City. He likely left the railroad and took up his responsibility as best any man could. Within no time all **** and I mean all **** breaks loose.

It appears to me that two groups kind of became "organized" one was a group of, the closest they could come to, respectable citizens, strangely they were started railroad tie drivers, and another group was the rather LESS respectable class of citizens. The vigilantes as they have been known was very likely aligned with Tom Smith in that he was the law in the town. Shortly they went too far. They lynched three men. I do not figure this set well with Tom and they bought a further group of men to jail. There was widespread rioting and raids at this point. Open war. The "less respectables", 250 strong stormed the jail and freed the prisoners. They captured a local newspaper office (it must have been makeshift, as it seems to have followed the railroad crew) and burned it to the ground. There was indeed a pitched battle. This is where Tom Smith became Bear River Tom Smith. From the best I can make of it, in the midst of this battle Tom managed by sheer will and some brutality to keep the entire town from being utterly destroyed. Tom held things down after a horrific amount of bloodshed early on. Someone managed to get word to the military and they showed up the next day to find 14 killed and 35 wounded. But Tom Smith was credited with keeping it from being untold more killed and wounded. Thus began the legend of "Bear River Tom Smith".

Tom next drifted to Nebraska and Carson City, Colorado in both areas he worked in law enforcement. Continuing to build his reputation as a no nonsense but honest and fair officer. In 1870 Smith drifted into a den iniquity known as Abilene Kansas. This place was a mess. They set up a council and appointed officers, they drafted ordinances, etc. They licensed 32 SALOONS! and ran the houses of ill-repute out of town, they also drafted an ordinance to restrict totally the carrying of arms in city limits. The last two failed miserably. The sign that disallowed arm in town was immediately filled full of lead by the cowboys. Enter Tom Smith. He applied for the newly created office of Town Marshal. Denied. The town tried at least three prior residents as town Marshal. They had been put on the road. The town was sinking into a cesspool of crime and licentiousness. The people of Abilene built a jail. Guess what? The cowboys rode into town and tore it to the ground. It was rebuilt and then had to be guarded against being torn down again, day and night. Next they even rode in, liberated a prisoner, rode into businesses on horseback and closed them, then rode out of town blasting away with sixguns. The town next tried to bring in two St. Louis officers they looked the place and pronounced the job "too complex". The board of trustees decided that maybe they needed a man like Tom Smith. He was given the job at $150 a month and $2 for every conviction he made.

Tom immediately enforced the ban on firearms in the city limits and began to close down the soiled dove palaces. "Abilene Chronicle, September 8, 1870, it states that Smith told the “vile characters” to “close their dens–or suffer the consequences.” According to the article, all of the “houses of ill fame” quickly closed down and the women involved in that work left town shortly after."

The ban on firearms was mostly accepted but got challenged here and there. "The new Marshal Smith’s first order of business was to enforce an existing ordinance which prohibited the wearing of guns within the Abilene town limits. Smith began collecting firearms throughout the town so as to disarm everyone. All guns were returned when a person was leaving town. Smith was known for his preference not to use a gun and he attempted to enforce the law with his fists. On one occasion a burly man known as “Wyoming Frank” and his partner Hank Hawkins both known for their bad behavior had a run in with Marshal Smith. He
gave both men a public beating with his bare hands and banished both of them from Abilene. Marshal Smith’s feat quickly spread throughout the town and the law abiding citizens began to see that the right man was in the job. During his few months Smith had been very effective in reducing the rate of shootings and killings in town. However, the Marshal was unpopular with the Texas cowboys and the criminal element who resented being relieved of their guns. Marshal Smith would survive two assassination attempts in his first few months."

Smith's success got him a pay and title raise. His pay wen to $225 a month and his title was extended to Deputy U.S. Marshal. The next major incident is reported by the Republican Valley Empire of August 2, 1870 reported on Bear River Tom's capture of the notorious horse thief "Buckskin Bill":

“Under Sheriff Tom Smith, of Dickinson County, called on us on Monday. He had just returned from Brownsville, Nebraska, whither he had been in pursuit of Buckskin Bill, who stole horses at Abilene not long ago, an account of which we published. Bill had sold some of the stock at Pawnee City, and they attempted to prevent the sheriff from getting the property by telling him he had better get out, or he soon would have nothing to go out on. He does not speak in favorable terms of Pawnee City – thinks that a man who has anything loose about him had better give the town a wide berth. The sheriff captured nearly all the stock. Foster, Bill’s accomplice was in jail at Nebraska City, having shot a colored man in a fracas. The sheriff says that he was aided by the officers and people of St. Joe, Atchison and Marysville. Bill was safely lodged in jail at Brownsville. He has a father there who is a prominent citizen and a worthy man, and who feels keenly the bad conduct of his son.”

Tom Smith had gotten a hold on Abilene and even his death would not allow it to go back completely like it had been. . .

This was the event that began the end of the great Tom Smith's life. The Abilene Chronicle from October 27, 1870 wrote:

"We regret to learn that a fatal affray took place on last Saturday afternoon, near Chapman Creek, between two neighbors named John Shea and Andrew McConnell. The facts as related to us are substantially as follows: it seems that McConnell had been out with his gun hunting deer, on his return he found Shea driving a lot of cattle across his land. Some words passed between them, when Shea drew a revolver and snapped it twice at McConnell who stood leaning on his gun, and being on his own land. As Shea was cocking his pistol for the third time, McConnell drew up his gun and shot Shea through the heart, killing him instantly. McConnell went for a Doctor, and afterwards gave himself up, and had an examination before Mr. Davidson on last Tuesday, when a neighbor of both men, Mr. Miles, testified substantially to the above facts, and McConnell was discharged – the act having been done in self-defense. Shea leaves a widow and three children."

The Chronicle follows up this story noting further investigation by Marshal Smith and declaring that an arrest warrant has been reissued as it has become clear that the action was anything but "self-defense". On November 2nd, he and a deputy McDonald rode out to McConnell's dugout.

Abilene Chronicle November 3, 1870:

"Officer Smith informed McConnell of his official character and that he had a warrant for his arrest, whereupon McConnell shot Smith through the right lung; Smith also fired, wounding
McConnell; the two being close together grappled; Smith, although mortally wounded, was getting the better of
McConnell, when Miles struck him on the head with a gun felling him senseless to the ground, and seizing an ax chopped Smith’s head nearly from his body. At this stage of the tragedy officer McDonald returned to this place for assistance. A posse was raised, and repaired to the scene of the murder, but McConnell and Miles had fled, and up to this morning had not been arrested. They were both wounded, and it is reported were in Junction City last evening. It is hoped that they will be speedily arrested. We give the above named particulars as we gather them from reports current in town. The body of Mr. Smith was brought to this place last evening, and will be buried at 10 o’clock tomorrow. The sad event has cast a gloom over our town. Our citizens had learned to respect Mr. Smith as an officer who never shrank from the performance of his duty. He was a stranger to fear, and yet in the private walks of life a most diffident man. He came to this place of the wild shouts and pistol shots of ruffians who for two years had kept orderly citizens in dread for their lives. Abilene owes a debt of gratitude to the memory of Thomas James Smith, which can never be paid. Although our people will never again permit the lawlessness which existed prior to his coming to the town, yet it will be a long time before his equal will be found in all the essentials required to make a model police officer. Sacred be the memory of our departed friend and green be the turf that grows upon his grave. In years to come there will be those who will look back to the days when it required brave hearts and strong hands to put down barbarism in this new country and among the names of the bravest and truest none will be more gratefully remembered than that of Thomas James Smith, the faithful officer and true friend of Abilene.”

"During the fight, McDonald, the officer who arrived with Smith, returned to Abilene to find help. He raised up a posse, but when they returned to the dugout, Smith was already dead, and the murderers were gone. Evidently McDonald did not receive much blame for Smith’s death, since he continued working in law enforcement in Abilene throughout 1871."

Sure do not understand that one. . . Unless Smith ordered him to leave. Several accounts use words like "fled". You can bet one thing Smith never intended to leave. Double tough and as brave as they come. Even he was a Yankee Smile

McConnell and Miles were captured and tried and given sentences of 12 and 16 years, respectively. The near decapitation of Marshal Smith in what was by all accounts a two on one situation cried out for revenge. The two were exceedingly lucky not to have been lynched even though the trial was in Manhattan, Kansas.

Let's let Ike finish it:

"According to the legends of my hometown he was
anything but dull. While he almost never carried a
pistol he...subdued the lawless by the force of his
personality and his tremendous capability as an
athlete. One blow of his fist was apparently enough
to knock out the ordinary 'tough' cowboy. He was
murdered by treachery."









Last edited by Gibson; 06-01-2012 at 08:46 PM.
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2012, 12:06 PM
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The Battle of Ingalls, O.T. September 1, 1893

Little to nothing remains of the town of Ingalls, it is indeed a "Ghost Town". But on September 1, 1893 it was the scene of a true pitched battle between outlaws and U.S. Deputy Marshals, along with some posse men. This is another example of what I have been trying to communicate. A scene straight out of "Gunsmoke".

The Doolin-Dalton gang had made Ingalls their own, for all intents and purposes. Ingalls a thriving metropolis with a population of 150 became a hangout for the gang and the townsfolk, in the main, did not mind. The outlaws behaved within reason and they spent liberally! It was a symbiotic relationship. There were three relevant locations for our story: The saloon (imagine that?), the livery, and the hotel.





The outlaw gang present for the battle seems to be: Bill Doolin, Bill Dalton, Bitter Creek Newcomb, Tulsa Jack, and Dynamite Dick Arkansas Tom, Red Buck Waightman, or Charley Pierce. The Deputy Marshals had in their procession somewhere between 14 and 27. I suspect that if one counts posse men also, then the number is nearer the latter figure.

Earlier in the year these men had made camp outside of the town after robbing a train in July. Shortly they moved into Ingalls. Word had filtered back E.D. Nix, the U.S. Marshal for the area. Nix had hurriedly sent in a couple of men posing as surveyors. They were: U.S. Marshals Orrington "Red" Lucas and W.D. "Doc" Roberts, this was late July.

From Dr. Pickering's Diary:

"In July Wm. Doolan, George Newcomb (alias Bitter Creek),
Slaughter Kid, Tom Jones (alias Arkansas Tom),= Danfmite,r Tulsa Jack and Bill Dalton began to come here frequently & in a short time they all staid here except Dalton. He was out at B. Dunn's. As a rule they were quite (sic) & peaceable. They all went hevily armed & constantly on their guard, generly went 2 together. They boarded at the O.K.Hotel, staid a t B. Dunn's when not in town. The last of this month a man by the name of Dock Roberts and Red Lucas came to town looking up a proposed Rail Road rout. Both parties took in the haunts of the outlaws. They were both jovial fellows & soon was drinking & playing cards with them. They left and came back in a week & said they was here to locate a booth, a place for intended settlers to register and get certificates to make a race for land or town lots, They staid here until the last week in August then left."

We will take Dr. Pickering's account as trustworthy in the main.

Stay tuned
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2012, 12:07 PM
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So, we have U.S. Marshals Orrington "Red" Lucas and W.D. "Doc" Roberts back at headquarters giving U.S. E.D. Nix their full report. A man of action, he moves on it quickly. A posse is organized consisting of Marshals and Indian police. 27 does not seem unreasonable. The men are loaded into covered wagons and move out. Covered wagons? In this case it was perfect cover as there were "hundreds of boomers using the same travel mode. There were two wagons and on August 31, 1893 they both headed for Ingalls. One left out of Guthrie, the other originated from Stilwater. Marshal John Hixon out of Guthrie seems to be lead man.

"The Stillwater wagon was driven by Dick Speed, the Perkins city marshal and deputy U.S. Marshal. Concealed in the rear were Stillwater constables and deputy U.S. Marshals Tom Hueston and his brother Ham Hueston, deputy U.S. Marshals Henry Keller, George Cox, M.A. Iauson, and H.A. "Hi" Thompson, the Payne County undersheriff and deputy U.S. Marshal. Red Lucas had moved his campsite a few miles southwest of Ingalls. The Stillwater wagon reached the camp around 11 p.m. and prepared for the raid that was planned for midnight. The Guthrie wagon did not show up until daybreak the next morning. "

"The Guthrie wagon was driven by James Masterson, a Logan County deputy sheriff and deputy U.S. Marshal and the brother of the famous Bat Masterson of Dodge City fame. Concealed in the rear of the wagon were Logan County Sheriff John Hixon, Deputy U.S. Marshals Ike Steel, Steve Burke, Doc Roberts, and Osage Nation police officer and deputy U.S. Marshal Lafe Shadley. "

In camp, it was decided to send "Red" Lucas back in for a look around. He had little difficulty and soon returned with his report. He found and report that five of the men were in the saloon, Bill Doolin, Bill Dalton, Bitter Creek Newcomb, Tulsa Jack, and Dynamite Dick were in Ransom's Saloon, having evidently been involved in an all night poker game. But he could not locate "Arkansas Tom" (Roy Daughtery), Red Buck Waightman, or Charley Pierce. Worried, a deputy was dispatched to Stilwater for back up. It seems when the men arrived that they ran upon a young man. They took him in and did not allow him to return (kidnapping? well, I suppose it was before there was a "kidnapping" law, per se). The boy evidently sneaked out before daybreak and warned the outlaws about the approaching danger. From what I can make of it, the poker game broke up, the men went to the livery and saddled their horses and made ready. Then inexplicably went right back into the saloon and proceeded with the game! Amazing.

Reinforcements were sent from Stilwater, as per Hixon's request. "Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal John Hale, Payne County Sheriff Burdick, and Stillwater City Marshal O.W. Sollers organized a posse of eleven men and headed for Ingalls." Apparently, the other moved toward Ingalls without them. . .

Pickering:

"On the morning of Sept. 1st there was 27 deputy marshals piloted
into town in covered wagons. They caused no suspicion as there was hundreds of Boomers moving the same way. 2 wagons stopped at Light's Black Smith Shop & one drove up by my house & they all proceeded to unload in a quite manner and take ammunition. Doolan, Bitter Creek, Danimite Dick [Real name: Bill Grimes], Tulsa Jack, & Dalton wandered in Ransom & Murry's Saloon. Arkansas Tom [Western Oklahoma cowpuncher, Roy Daughtery] was in bed at the Hotel. Bitter Creek got his horse & was riding up to a small building where Said ConIey staid & the marshalls thinking he was known to the move (man?) fired on him. Dick Speed marshal from Perkins fired the first shot. The magazine was knocked out of his, Bitter Creek's gun & he was shot in the leg. He made his escape to the southwest. Speed was shot about this time & instantly killed, also young Simonds mortally wounded [Dal Simmons, a young student visiting in Ingalls. Some say he had gone to the drug store, passing through the saloon. When he came out the back door he was mistaken for an outlaw.]. The fires of the Marshalls was centered on the Saloon & old man Ransom was shot in the leg. Murry in arm and side. Walker shot through the liver. By this time the outlaws had got to the stable & saddled their horses. Doolin & Danimite went out at the back door & down a draw southwest. Dalton and Tulsa made a dash from the front door. As they came out Dalton's horse was hit on the jaw & he had a hard time getting him started, but finally succeeded [Actually the horse may "spun" 75 yards but was simply unmanageable]. He went probely 75 yards when his horse got his leg broke. He then got off of him & walked on the opposite side for a ways, then left him but came back to his saddle pockets & got his wire cutters & cut a fence, then got behind one of the other boys & rode off. A great many say he shot Shadly but I seen Shadly run from my place to Dr. Call's fence & in going through it he was first shot. He then got to Ransom's house & was debating with Mrs. Ransom, she ordering him to leave when he got his last shots.[He wanted to come into the house, but a woman was in there under the bed screaming for fear so Mrs. Ransom directed him to a cave where
several people were. ] He fell there and crawled to Selph's cave."

Stirring first narrative, eh!?

Pickering:

"A great many believe that Dalton shot him; in fact he thought so
for when I and Dr. Selph was working with him in the cave he said Dalton shot him 3 times quicker than he could turn around, but I think I know better, taking the lay of the ground in consideration & I stood where I saw Dalton most of the time & never saw him fire
once & Shadly was hit in the right hip and all the balls tended downward. If Dalton had of shot him he would of been shot in front & balls would of ranged up. The outlaws crossed the draw south of town & stoped a few minutes shooting up the street my house is on. One of these shots hit Frank Briggs in the shoulder but only a slight flesh wound. I took him to my cave and dressed his wound, then went to Walker & gave him temporary aid, from there to Murry's & laid his wound open and removed the shattered bone. Some of the doctors [there were at least doctors in Ingalls!] wanted me to amputate but I fought for his arm; a 2 inch radius was shot away, slight flesh wounds in the side. About this time I was called aside & told to go to Hotel, that Jones was up there either wounded or killed. I and Alva Peirce & boy by the name of Wendell, boys about 12 years old, went over. I went in & called but got no answer & was about to leave when he [Arkansas Tom] came to top of the stairs & says 'is that you Dock?' and I told him it was. I asked if he was hurt & he said no. He said tor me to come up & I told him if he wasn't hurt I would not but he insisted. So I went up. He had his coat and vest off also his boots. Had his Winchester in his hands & revolvers lying on the bed. I said Tom come down and surrender. He says 'I can't do it for I won't get justice'. He says: 'I don't want to hurt anyone but I won't be taken alive.' He says: 'Where is the boys?' (meaning the outlaws). I told him they had gone. He said he did not think they would leave him. It hurt him bad. I never seen a man wilt so in my life. He stayed in the Hotel till atter 2 o'clock & then surrendered to a Mr. Mason, a preacher. They took him off right away.

Of the wounded, Simonds died at 6 p.m. Shadly & Huston were taken to Stillwater, both died in three or four days. Walker shot through the liver died the 16th. All the rest recovered. The outlaws stayed close to town as Bitter Creek was not able to travel. Dr. Bland of Cushion tended him. I loaned him fnstruments to work on wound with although I did not know just where he was at. A piece of magazine was blown in his leg. It eventually worked out and he got able to again ride."

Eyewitness accounts are just tough to beat.

Filling in just a bit. . . It does seem clear that the posse rode into Ingalls in two wagons and secreted themselves then slowly edged forward toward the Saloon. Deputy Speed got into the livery stable where he encountered a couple of me. They were ordered to stand tight. Speed next stepped out of the barn's door and spied someone leading a horse down the street to a public well. Speed called for Dell Simmons (one of the two bystanders) and asked him to identify the man. Dell said "that's Bitter Creek". It's on! Bitter Creek glances over in time to see Speed drawing a bead on him. He yanks his Winchester out of the scabbard but Speed has already cut drive on him. Newcombe observes his rifles magazine get hit and a chunk buries into his upper leg. He still tries to swing into the saddle but Speed is lining up a second round when out of nowhere Arkansas Tom gets into the game. Hearing the fire "Tom" jumps up out of his bed on the second floor of the hotel, grabs his Winchester and commences to take dead aim on Speed. The first round strikes him in the shoulder, his second shot is mortal, the end of the world has now come for Speed.



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  #11  
Old 06-03-2012, 12:09 PM
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A general battle was now engaged. Winchester fire was extreme. Both wagon fired on Bitter Creek as he finally got mounted and sped away. The saloon was being riddles and the outlaws were more than returning fire. Gun smoke was thick and the grim faced men meant business. At this point a sad event occurs as the citizen mentioned earlier, Dell Simmons made a break for the hotel and was mistaken for a lawman and cut down by Arkansas Tom. Expired shortly.

The lawmen were trying to move toward the saloon and hotel. They killed a horse because it obstructed their view. . .it fell, dead.

Now it was the deputies turn to shoot an innocent, N.A. Walker ran from the saloon and was immediately gut-shot by a lawman's Winchester. Inside the saloon it was ****. 27 men with rifles can flat out rain death and so they were! The saloon's owner Ransom and bartender Murray were the next casualties. Ransom took a round in the leg and crawled into the ice storage area to take cover, while Murray poked his Winchester through an opening in the front door and was greeted by three Marshals' rifle fire. He was hit in ribs and arm.

The 27 to 7 odds began to tell a bit and the outlaws decided to take their leave. In a literal hail storm of lead they dashed out a side (south) door of the saloon and into the livery stable and their mounts. Marshal Hueston had taken cover in a position that allowed him to cover the saloon's rear door. What it did not do as to shield him from the deadly accurate rifle fire brought to bear by Arkansas Tom. Two shots, two hits. "Tom" gets him in the left side and stomach. He was out of the fight and would succumb to his wounds later.

The outlaws now tore **** for leather out both doors of the livery.

In short order the lawmen managed to send another horse to glory. This is belonged to Bill Dalton. First the poor animal was blasted in the face and then shortly it was hit in the leg. Hixon had shot the horse in the face and Shadley had finished him. " Shadley was then shot through the hip, the consensus being that Dalton shot him. He made it to the cave and received medical attention but died.

"As the marshals fired on the outlaws, a Doctor Briggs' son Frank ran out into the intersection of 2nd and Oak streets to watch the excitement. He was shot in the shoulder by one of the gang as they returned fire at the marshals. The gang continued and escaped. The lawmen determined that the shots that killed Dick Speed and Dell Simmons, as well as those that wounded Shadley and Hueston, could only have come from the hotel. The hotel was surrounded, and after the Stillwater reinforcements arrived, Dr. Pickering and a preacher talked Arkansas Tom into surrendering. " Multiple reports say it was Masterson throwing in dynamite that stunned Arkansas Tom and allowed the Marshals to gather him in. Whatever.

Final tally: 3 dead Marshals, 2 dead citizens, 2 dead horses, 0 dead outlaws, 3 wounded outlaws (seems Doolin took a round in the foot), 1 or 2 wounded citizens.

Thus ended the "Battle of Ingalls".

Reconstructed Hotel:



Arkansas Tom:



Bill Doolin:

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  #12  
Old 06-03-2012, 01:24 PM
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Here is United States Marshal E.D. Nix's statement on it.

"On the 1st day of September, 1893 a party of Deputy Marshals who had been sent after these outlaws by me, arrived in the vicinity of Ingalls, and the outlaws mentioned herein, were at the time in the town and in the saloon of Ransom, where this man Murray worked. As usual the outlaws had received notice of the proximity of the deputies and they sent a messenger to the deputies inviting them to come into the town if they thought they, the deputies, could take them. The deputies accepted the invitation and after posting their forces, sent a messenger to the outlaws with a request to surrender and were answered with Winchester shots. "Bitter Creek" ran out of the saloon in question and fired one shot towards the north where some of the deputies were stationed, and turning, received the fire of the deputies which burst the magazine of his Winchester and wounded him in the thigh. In the meantime, a heavy fire was directed at the deputies by the balance of the outlaws from the saloon building and the fire was returned by the deputies which literally riddled the saloon. A horse was killed by the deputies which was tied in front of the saloon .... The fire of the deputies becoming too hot for the outlaws, they escaped out of a side door and took refuge in a large stable mentioned. This man Murray came to the front door of the saloon either just before the outlaws left the building or just after, it is known which. However, when he first appeared in the doorway, he had the door open just a short distance and had his Winchester to his shoulder in the act of firing. This was previous to the deputies becoming aware of the fact of the outlaws having left the building. Three of the deputies seeing him in the position he was in, fired at him simultaneously. Two shots struck him in the ribs and one broke his arm in two places.

Eight or ten horses were killed and nine persons killed and wounded. One deputy was killed outright at the first fire and two more died the next day. Three outlaws were wounded and one captured. The one captured was afterwards sentenced to fifty years in the penitentiary and is now serving his time.

Very Respectfully, E.D. Nix U.S. Marshal"

For what it's worth. . .

The Legendary Marshal Nix (maybe not to Nancy Samuelson, but who cares?):

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  #13  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:21 AM
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Scarborough versus Selman. . . Easter Sunday "shootout"


Alleged Scarborough gun:

Scarborough2.jpg (image)

Alleged Selman gun:

Selman2.jpg (image)
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  #14  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:23 AM
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At 4 am on Easter Sunday April 5, 1896, George Scarborough killed Uncle John Selman in an alley outside the Wigwan Saloon, in El Paso, Texas. Another historic event in the gunman laden history of El Paso and the Wigwam.

John Selman was an interesting character. This will sound strange BUT in he kind of reminds me of Will Munny (the Eastwood character) decent when totally sober but when drunk the man could be a brute and kill without mercy or any sense of fair play. He flat out executed J.W. Hardin a year earlier. Shot him in the back of the head, 3" behind the right ear and toward the base of the brain. He killed a drunken Bass Outlaw in a gun battle, taking a slug from Bass' .45, which left him with a limp and screaming he couldn't see after the powder from Outlaw's .45 burned his eyes.

Straight truth, no one can get an honest bead on the number John Selman sent into eternity but it is not a low figure. I suspect between 6-10 based on what I can tell. Very possible many more. A lot of people were killed then as now that no one ever misses. Selman began life in 1839 in Arkansas but lived his life in Texas and close to a gun. Selman, who was often employed by some law enforcement agency, could indeed be an outlaw. Our story involves his degenerate pervert son, John Jr.

George Scarborough was a tough guy, too. Very tough. He had no hesitation when it came to killing and by the time he met up with John Selman he had multiple victims as well. Although he may have acted questionably at times, I think he could be properly called a lawman.

Selman and Scarborough were involved in some odd issues like the killing of Martin M'Rose, a rustler. It seems M'Rose had fled acros the border due to some rustling charges. Through his wife he contacts and employs John Wesley Hardin as his lawyer! Hardin then contacts Scarborough to try and get him to lure M'Rose across the border. He is met on a prearranged bridge and shot to death by Scarborough, Selman, and others. No idea why but that's the way El Paso was at the time. Life was fairly cheap. It is very likely that M'Rose died because his wife had formed a romantic attachment with Hardin. Hardin got rid of M'Rose by informing the officers of how to lure him across. . .

El Paso Newspaper account, April 5, 1896:

"April El Paso Texas- John Selrnan the victor of not less than twenty shooting affrays in Texas the exterminator of bad men and the slayer of John Wesley Hardin is dying tonight with a bullet hole through his body About three months ago Selman and United States Deputy Marshal Geo Scarborough had a quarrel over a game of cards since which occurrence the relations between them have not been cordial This morning at 4 o clock they met in the Wigwam saloon and both were drinking Scarborough says that Selman said Come I want to see you and that the two men walked into an alley beside the saloon and Selman whose son is in Juarez Mexico in jail on a charge of abducting a young lady from there to this side said to Scarborough I want you to come over the river with me this morning We must get that boy out of jail Scarborough expressed his willingness to go with Selman but stated that no bad breaks must be made in Juarez Scarborough says that Selman then reached for his pistol with the remark I believe I will kill you Scarborough pulled his gun and began shooting At the second shot Selman fell and Scarborugh fired two more shots as Selman attempted to rise When Selman was searched no pistol could be found on him or anywhere around him He says he had a pistol but that it was taken from him after he fell and before the police reached him Scarbonigh's first shot hit Selman in the neck The next two shots also took effect one through the left leg just above the knee and the other entering the right side just under the lower rib A fourth wound in the right hip is supposed to have been caused by Selman's pistol going off prematurely as the ball ranged downward Scarborough is about 38 years old He was born in Louisiana and was raised in Texas and for several years was sheriff of Jones county Selman was raised on the Colorado river in Texas He was about 58 years old and has lived a stormy life When not drinking he was as gentle as a child but he did not know what fear was and has kille not less than twenty outlaws He was a dead shot and quick with his gun He was an old officer in the service Some years ago he fought a band of cattle thieves in Donna Anna county New Mexico killing two and capturing the others four in all He killed Bass Outlaw a deputy United States Marshal in El Paso a few years ago."

More shortly. . .

Wigman:



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  #15  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:26 AM
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After further thought it seems to me that what went in the southwest alley that early morning. Has three possible scenarios:

The Martin M'Rose issue

The degenerate son issue

And MAYBE a Bud Frazer issue

The Martin M'Rose issue comes to mind because of Hardin. You see, Hardin had set up M'Rose because he wanted Beulah, his wife. Hardin knew that Scaborough had met with M"Rose in Mexico multiple times trying to get him to come back to the States and surrender. A no go. The question here would be if Selman actually was a member of the lawmen that ended M'Rose's life in a fusillade of lead. It seems possible that maybe there was a fourth man, rather than the three always claimed to have cut M'Rose down. Jeff Milton was there. Scarborough was there. A Texas Ranger, Frank McMahon was there. Selman? The El Paso newspapers of the time were clear about two things: one, M"Rose had some cash and two, he died game. Although it defies what I have learned over the years about Jeff Milton and to a degree Scarborough, (I do not know much about Ranger McMahon), it is possible that they grabbed a large amount of cash. The theory being that Selman got cut out and never forgot it. Another possibility would be that Selman, although not present was entitles to a cut. Thus over a year later he's gunning for Scarborough. It bears recalling that shortly after all this Selman assassinated Hardin. Clearly there was an issue involving Beulah's arrest but could there have been more?

From the findagrave.com website:

"He [Martin M"Rose] worked around the Eddy County Ranch as a cowboy, cattle buyer and was implicated in some cattle rustling, thievery and altering brands. Some think he was also involved in several murders. In order to evade criminal charges, Martin made it to Ciudad Juarez accompanied by his wife Beulah (Helen). Beulah and Martin were arrested near Magdalena by Mexican authorities for being fugitives and wanted in the United States. Beulah was released the next day. While in a Mexican Jail, Martin hired an attorney from the area named John Wesley Hardin to fight his extradition. Thanks to a bribe, Martin was released from Jail, but could not return to the US due to pending charges. Beulah and John Wesley Hardin became much closer that what would be considered proper for an attorney / client relationship. John Wesley even borrowed money (Martin's) from Beulah to purchase an interest in the Wigwam Saloon in El Paso. US Deputy Marshall George Scarborough went into Juarez several times to meet with Martin and tried to get him to cross back into Texas and turn himself in. Scarborough even delivered several messages to Beulah from Martin asking her to come to Juarez. She refused. Martin's love for Beulah got the better of him on June 29, 1895 when he met with George Scarborough about 11:00 PM, half way across the Mexican Central Railroad Bridge that lead from Juarez to El Paso. At first, Martin did not want to cross back into Texas, but finally said he would go with Scarborough. As Martin was aware of Beulah's relationship with Hardin, some have speculated if the reason for his return was not just to see Beulah, but to get some of his money, or even to "meet" with Hardin and settle the relationship issue between Hardin and Beulah. Waiting for Martin on the El Paso side of the bridge was US Deputy Marshall Jeff Milton and Ranger Frank McMahon who had been called on by Scarborough to help in the arrest of Martin. When Martin and Scarborough got on the El Paso side and off the bridge, the Law Officers attempted to take Martin into custody. Martin pulled a short barreled Colt .45 Single Action, but was shot multiple times by the officers who were carrying .45 pistols and at least one shotgun. Martin's gun showed it was fired once, but no one other than Martin was hit by gunfire. As Martin groaned "boys, you've killed me", Scarborough placed his foot on Martin and said, "Stop trying to get up and we will quit shooting". Dr. Alward White reported that there were seven penetrating wounds in the chest and abdomen caused by pistol balls and buckshot. Two of these bullets passed directly through the heart and was the cause of death. In addition, there were also six or seven shot wounds to his left arm. In Martin's pocket was a letter addressed to "Miss Beulah Mrose, El Paso Texas". The letter was covered with blood and had two bullet holes in it. "

The degenerate son issue. It seems Uncle John had a pervert for a son. The scumbag had fled with a 15 year old girl across the border but had been captured and slammed into a Cuidad Juarez jail. Good. But Uncle John wanted him out and had called George Scarborough out to that lonely and dark alley in the early morning, to engage his help. Scarborough's story was that he ran into Selman at between 12 and 1 am. Selman told him he want to talk to for a moment and they walked outside. The issue was about his son, John. Scaborough, in his accounts adds that he has talked with him on this subject "several times". An odd thing is that there seems to one or two folks out there with them. Scatborough says that Selman leaned forward and told him he wanted to talk in private. The two old warriors head down the alley: Selman was 56 and Scarborough was pushing 40. Scarborough says that it was during this time that he noticed that Selman had his hand on his sixshooter. He also indicates that something was not right. Anyway John tells him that he wants to go over the river around "11 or 12". Scarborough assents. Uncle John then say let us go in and have a drink. Scarborough responds that he does not want a drink. Now for the oddest thing of all. Selman screams "You G--d--s--of a b--, I'm going to kill you". That is Scarborough's story. Even for someone like Selman, it seems odd behavior. Next it was alleged that Selman attempted to yank his .45 Colt but Scarborough pulled his and pointed it the side of Uncle John's head and pulled the trigger. George then claims to have shot him three more times, because after the first round, "he got back up".

The "Bud" Frazier issue arises from a witness and the final word he heard Selman proclaim as he left the alley area. The word was "Bud". It might be just me but it seems odd. Bud Frazer was the man shotgunned by Killin' Jim Miller, as we have mentioned here before. Killin' Jim Miller had employed Hardin to help with legal advice when the affair was going on. Selman later assassinated Hardin. I'm not sure how Scarborough fits in but perhaps there was some convoluted thing going on here. Pure speculation.

The last thing to present is the witness statement:

"Scarborough and Selman met at the steps". The time was between midnight and day." The three men stood and talked, "after awhile Selman asked Scarborough to go outside as he wished to speak to him." They went. "other parties came up and then Selman told Scarborough that he wished to speak to him privately. The witness left. Our witness, Mr. John A. Graham, next gets to an interesting point, He says, as he was leaving he heard "Selman, say something about 'Bud'". Scarborough responded, "I had nothing to do with it". Hm. Anyway, our witness continued walking away but then an instant berfore the first shot he heard "Don't try to kill me like that". He is not sure but believes it was Scarborough's voice. Then the sound of sixshooter/s.

The fight was brief but violent. The killing wound being a bullet that lodged against his spine. Selman suffered horribly and when an attempt was made at surgery, at 2 on the following afternoon, he was dead at 3:30 pm. Strangely Selman had been asked about his gun as he had none when police got there. He responded: "someone had taken it while I was on the ground. I do not know who."

It is true Selman was unarmed when the police took charge. However, later a thief was arrested who indeed had the gun and stated that before anyone arrived he filched it.

The last thing of note is that it seems clear to me that Selman not only had a gun but attempted to use it and shot himself in the thigh, a flesh wound ranging in such a way as to give this appearance. Maybe not but the thief who stole the gun is on record as stating that when he picked up up it was cocked.

One thing for sure is that Scarborough put multiple rounds in Uncle John, in what he described as a "shootout". Scarborough was no stranger to shootouts, nor was Selman.

Scarborough:



Selman:

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  #16  
Old 06-05-2012, 03:21 PM
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If anyone is reading and wants me to continue, let me know. If not, I'll cease to clutter.
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  #17  
Old 06-06-2012, 04:46 PM
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Hey all. Just got off the phone with Chuck Parsons. One of the top Texas Outlaws/Feuds writers alive. Google him.

Going to work up something on the killing of Jack Helms by John Wesley Hardin and Jim Taylor.

John Wesley Hardin:



Creed Taylor:



Alleged shotgun Hardin unloaded on Helms with:

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  #18  
Old 06-06-2012, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibson View Post
If anyone is reading and wants me to continue, let me know. If not, I'll cease to clutter.
I'm enjoying reading what you are posting.

Several years before.my dad passed awayI gave him a book titled 'Wild and Wooly" by Denis McLoughlin. Many of these accounts are covered although some details are slightly different.
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  #19  
Old 06-06-2012, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyF View Post
I'm enjoying reading what you are posting.

Several years before.my dad passed awayI gave him a book titled 'Wild and Wooly" by Denis McLoughlin. Many of these accounts are covered although some details are slightly different.
Thank you, Monty. I do my best to cobble up some sketches but certainly make NO claims full accuracy. My goal was and is to demonstrate these were characters were tough and were real. Too long people have ascribed to a clay feet history school. Yeah, okay many of our heroes have clay feet. True. But this school of thought has as its raison d'tre to tear down "heroes" as if we are all to dumb to know that great men/women of history were subject to the same faults we all are. Then this kind of thinking went over to the "old west", and began to tell us gunfights like we see in 50s western film were rare. Wow! Big revelation. . . My goal has been to show that these guys were ruthless, tough, hard-nosed men who absolutely engaged in gunfights writ large. Gunfights with two men drawing on each other were rare but who cares? My goodness dueling was engaged in "back east" often! Not rare at all. But read my post about the Newton Kansas General Massacre and its aftermath. Bloody, very bloody. Or how about Commodore Perry Owens dueled with an unknown, to him, number of outlaws. He was a brave officer and standing in the open killing multiple armed assailants is a gunfight in my book. That is what I want everyone to see.

Thanks again, amigo
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  #20  
Old 06-06-2012, 08:22 PM
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The event covered is a single occurrence in the larger "Taylor-Sutton Feud" of Tejas. This was very likely the bloodiest and longest running of all the 19th century American feuds. As with most of these there is no clear cut victor. I have noticed that often these long running feuds seem to wear themselves out.

John Wesley Hardin interests me more than any other Old West character with the possible exception of Harvey Logan (Kid Curry). Hardin was no dummy nor was he an insatiable liar. He wrote a VERY passable autobiography in which he, of course, shades events toward his point of view. Hardin truly did kill a lot of men and if he had not been imprisoned during his prime years would have killed an untold number more. This man spent almost 17 years in prison. Yet, in my opinion he is on par with Deacon Jim (Miller) in the body count department. Wes always claimed that he never killed anyone who did not need killing. I'm guessing some of their mothers might call that a dubious contention. In this case, I accept it.

Jack Helms was a piece of work also. Here is what I see as a reasonable synopsis put forth by legendsofamerica.com: "Texas cowboy, Confederate soldier, gunfighter, and lawman, Helm was said to have once killed a black man for whistling a Yankee song during the Civil War. At wars end, he worked for cattle baron, Abel Head "Shanghai” Pierce, but became a captain in the Texas State Police in 1869, tasked with aiding the Union forces in Reconstruction. In this capacity, he soon got caught up in the Sutton-Taylor Feud in DeWitt County and began attacking members of the Taylor Faction. In the summer of 1869, Helm and his men carried on a reign of terror in Bee, San Patricio, Wilson, DeWitt, and Goliad counties to such a degree that the Galveston News reported that they had killed 21 persons in two months, but handed over just 10 men to civil authorities. Helm continued to ambush and kill until a public outcry caused him to be discharged from the State Police in December, 1870. However, he continued to serve as the Sheriff of DeWitt County, killing more members of the Taylor Faction. Helm later moved to Albuquerque, Texas, but was tracked down by Jim Taylor and John Wesley Hardin and killed in July, 1873." Isn't it odd how he killed a black man for whistling a Yankee tune but then a few years later is in fact a full fledged Yankee sympathizer, especially in the eyes of Texas' loyal southerners?

Wes Hardin became involved with the feud on the Taylor side. This side involved a family and friends with STRONG southern loyalties. This fit Wes right down to the ground. He had many friends and family allied with the Taylor side. Wes Hardin, never the shrinking violet type, found a good feud to be just to his liking. He was, of course a wanted man, but the feud allowed him to hole up with friends/family.

In his autobiography, John Wesley Hardin makes the following claim of the facts of an encounter between himself and Helms: ". . . his arms and general appearance gave me the impression that he was either on the dodge or was an officer He then mounted his horse and I did likewise so we met face to face We both stopped our horses and he said Do you live around here I told him I was traveling from San Antonio on my way to Cuero and am trying to follow this furrow which I am told will take me to Cuero I asked him how far it was and he said about seven miles Then he remarked that he had been over to Jim Cox's to serve some papers on him I m sheriff of this county said he I had understood up to this time that Dick Hudson was the acting sheriff of DeWitt I said: I suppose your name is Dick Hudson He said no but that Dick Hudson was his deputy and his was Jack Helms I told him that my name was John Wesley Hardin He says are you Wesley at the same time offering me Ms hand I refused to take his hand and told him that he now had chance to take me to Austin We are man to man and face to face on equal terms You have said I was a murderer and a coward and have had deputies after me Now arrest me if you can I dare you to try it Oh he said Wesley I am your friend and my deputies are hunting you on their own acount and not mine I had drawn my pistol by this time and he begged me to put it up and not to kill him I said You are armed defend yourself You have been going round killing men long enough and I know you belong to a legalized band of murdering cowards and have hung and murdered better men than yourself He said Wesley I won t fight you and I know you arc too brave a man to shoot me I have the governor's proclamation offering $500 for your arrest in my pocket but I will never try to execute it if you will spare my life I will be your friend I told him that his deputies were putting themselves to a lot of trouble about me and that I would hold him responsible for their actions Well I let him alone and we rode on together to Cuero We separated about two miles from Cuero agreeing to meet next day in town and come to an understanding Well we met as agreed and he wanted me to join his vigilant company of which he was captain I declined because cause the people with whom he was waging war were my friends I told him all I asked of him was that I and my immediate friends should be neutral This was understood and we parted agreeing to meet again on the 16th he bringing one of his party and I bringing Manning Clements and George Tennille."

Hardin later meets with Helms at a fellow named Jim Cox's house. He details how there is a vigilance committee now operating in the area and that Jack Helm and Jim Cox are its leaders. That some organized group existed cannot be doubted and that it did its best to kill or murder Taylors and their allies is a certainty. Hardin alleges that he was called to a private area and a quid pro quo was offered. You side with our group and we will make your status as a fugitive disappear. They told him it would take vast effort to get him clear of his charges thus requiring vast deeds from him. They then told him that the two guys that had accompanied him, George Tennille and Mannen Clements, would either join or be killed. Hardin declined.

On April 23, 1873 Jack Helms and a large contingent of other lawmen and pseudo lawmen converged on the neighborhood of Hardin and the two previously mentioned men. The demanded of their wives to know where the men were and they treated Wes' wife exceedingly worse than the others. This drew a blood oath from Hardin. This is when John Wesley Hardin decided to de facto join the feud.

Another event occurred during this period. It was the death of Pitkin Taylor the leader of the Taylors. He was ambushed and killed and Hardin is clear in his belief that it was Helm and his bunch who were responsible. Helm, in full alliance with the Suttons were now in the midst of the 21 murders Hardin and the Galveston paper attributed to them. This event, of course further endeared Helm to the Dark Angel of Texas. In very short order, Hardin killed or was involved in the killings of John Christman and Jim Cox. Christman was shotgunned, a favorite weapon of Wes'. Sometime during this period, Hardin shot and killed a possible Helm Deputy John B. Morgan. It appears to me that Helm bit off a bite he will never be able to get chewed when he decided to threaten Hardin's friends and go after Hardin's woman. Wes has been called The Dark Angel of Texas by Mr. Leon Metz, as I just referenced. Indeed, true.

The incident is next. . .

Hardin:

Last edited by Gibson; 06-06-2012 at 08:29 PM.
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