Thursday, April 12, 2007

April 12, 2007 Bonus Blog
Our managing editor, Meghan Saar, is such a stickler for detail. This morning she was copy editing the Caldwell, Kansas "Hell's In Session" gunfight which appears in CGIII and discovered a gaff: when I listed Talbot's "Cowboys" I said "Five of the suspects came up the Chisholm Trail," but then I list six gang members in the sidebar. "Why the discrepency?" Meghan wants to know.

Dammit! One of the problems is, my mind is currently on the El Paso Salt War, and none of those Caldwell names ring a bell. Right now, the names rolling around in my head are Barela, Blair, Howard, Ellis, Kerber and "Dangerous Dan" Tucker.

The Caldwell crew listed in the sidebar are Bob Bigtree, Jim Talbot, Doug Hill, Jim Martin and Tom Love, and at this moment they are as alien to me as a Croatian soccer line-up.

What to do? I immediately emailed and called Rod Cook in Caldwell, Kansas. He has spent his life researching this fight and he should know. He did. Here's his immediate reply:

Autobiography of Charles Colcord –pp.111
“Tolbert picked up three cowpunchers who worked on the Gorham range adjacent to that of the Comanche Pool on the west.” [In the Cherokee Outlet, bordering the T5 on the north-west.] Further down in the paragraph, Colcord says the outlaws “. . .came to my camp – Jim Martin with his right thumb shot off, Doug Hill shot through the right leg, and Bob Bigtree wounded in the hip.”

The Chisholm Trail -pp.471
“Soon thereafter there appeared in the town three other men . . . were all close associates of Talbot . . . These three men gave their names and were known as James Martin, Bob Munson, and Bob Bigtree. [Gorham ranch-hands]

Wellington Monitor Press – April 11, 1895
“In the early part of December, five cowboys, Doug Hill, Jim Martin, Bob Munson, Bob Bigtree and Tom Love, rode into Caldwell from the range and began making themselves at home in the saloons, the “Red Light” <9> and other resorts with which the town then abounded. They were In Talbot’s company a good deal and came to be known as the Talbot gang.”

Cowley County Courant – December 22, 1881
“After the fighting in the city, and Mike Meagher and George Speers were killed, the five outlaws—Jim Talbot, Bob Bigtree, Bob Munson, Jim Martin, and Doug Hill—rode off to the east of town, across the railroad track. Some one of the citizens fired at and killed a horse from under one of them [Talbot].”

Caldwell Post: December 22, 1881
"Tom Love participated in the fight but did not ride out of town with the others. He and Eddleman were caught and held in Caldwell after the fight and after the others rode out:

“Warrants were issued for the arrest of the above named men [Jim Talbot, Bob Bigtree, Jim Martin, Tom Love, Dick Eddleman, Bob Munson and Doug Hill]. Tom Love, and Dick Eddleman were arrested Tuesday and sent up to Wellington. The others escaped into the I. T. [Oklahoma Indian Territory].
—Rod Cook

"Man, it pays to know the right people."

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