Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Battlefield Cross & Memorial Day

The Battlefield Cross
Dear Friends,

For me, Memorial Day has always been a very special day.

Maybe it's because I grew up being taught to respect our military and understand what they sacrifice. Maybe it's because I learned at a young age that those who fight for our liberty and freedoms, themselves live lives without many of the liberties and freedoms that civilians take for granted. 

Of course, maybe it's because I knew of those who served and died in Vietnam. Maybe it's because I was in the last Operation during the fall of Saigon in those last days of the Vietnam War. 

And yes. it could be that I really understand how those serving die in all sorts of places in all kinds of circumstances. Yes, whether it is in war upon war, engagement after engagement, conflicts big and small, those serving in our military die for us. 

Yes, besides the great wars such as World War One and World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam, there are those who were sent in to retrieve the SS Mayaguez and free 33 American Merchant Marines -- and were Killed In Action freeing those Americans. 

Yes, there were those sent serve in Beirut, Lebanon, when a Muslim suicide truck bomber killed hundreds of our troops there. And yes, our troops have died in Granada, Panama, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, aboard the USS Cole, and even at the Pentagon during 9/11.   

For me, I don't take them for granted. And frankly, that's probably because I know that while those serving carry the load of the nation and die while doing that, there are those who demand all of the benefits of citizenship -- yet shirk their duty to serve our nation.

So yes, we should understand and appreciate that Memorial Day is our time to pay them some respect to those who died while serving, to salute them, and honor them. It's our day to set a few moments in a year aside to thank those who paid the biggest price there is for us. All for us, all so that we may remain free.

Now with the addition of a Battlefield Cross to our American Legion post here in tiny Glencoe, California, we have come close to completing our memorial to those who have died while serving in our nation's armed forces. Yes, to those who've paid the supreme price in defense of our nation.

For those who have never been taught or simply wonder how I and others know they died making the supreme sacrifice in defense of our nation, it is because they died while serving as the defenders of our way of life, our society, our culture and traditions, our America, our family and friends. Yes, they died while serving in defense of you and me and those we love. 

While some may argue the politics of every war, before, during, and after every war, we are not going to do that here. Today, we are not going to do that. 

Instead, today, I'm going to talk about the Battlefield Cross which is also known as the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross or simply a Battle Cross. It is a symbolic replacement of a cross. It acts as an appropriate marker on the battlefield or at a base camp, or at a Memorial Day service, to honor Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.

The practice of using the Battlefield Cross is said to have started during the American Civil War when so many died on American soil and the dead filled field upon field. But their are reports that say the practice was started earlier as a means of identifying dead bodies on a battleground before they were buried or removed. One report says the practice may go back to ancient times when helmets were placed atop swords stuck in the ground next to fallen warriors. 

While today the cross is used a lot less as a means to identify the dead where they lay, it is used for those on bases as a way of attending the funeral when not possible to do so. And yes, it is used as a way for those still living to mourn.

Today, for us, the purpose for the Battlefield Cross is that and to show respect and honor our dead. And since memorial ceremonies are tributes to the deceased, the Battlefield Cross is a visible reminder of our comrades, sons or daughters, brothers or sisters, fathers or mothers, all who have died while serving in our nation's armed forces.

The Cross itself is made up of a service rifle stuck into the ground with the fallen's helmet placed atop the inverted rifle. While the fallen's dog-tags are sometimes placed on the rifle, the fallen's boots are placed next to the rifle. 

The helmet, as personal an item as a warrior can have, signify who he or she is. The inverted rifle signals a time for prayer. The combat boots represent the final march of their last battle.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday. It is a day for remembering. Memorial Day is observed every year on the last Monday of May and is the one day a year we honor all of those who fought their last battle.

On Memorial Day we honor those who's dying breath stirs Old Glory, and who's memories and love we hold dear. God Bless them all.

And yes, that's just the way I see it! 
Tom Correa

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Nellie Cashman -- Woman of the West

By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/ Old West Historian

When the majority of people who understand the terms used back in the 1800s hear the term "camp followers," they understand that for the most part this term related to the "soiled doves". Or by today's definitions, ladies of the evening or hookers.

But unlike what many believe, it's not quite true that all camp followers from that time period made their living through the dubious trade of prostitution. That is especially true for one very smart business woman by the name of Ellen Cashman -- better known as Nellie.

Nellie Cashman was born in 1845 in Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland. She and her sister Fannie were brought by their mother to the United States in 1850 to escape the great famine of Ireland. The family first settled in Boston where when they were old enough, Ellie and Fannie both held jobs before moving on to Washington D.C. and then onto San Francisco California about 1865. 

Nellie who had a wondering spirit then decided to move again bringing her to several mining towns within the state or territory of Nevada, including Pioche and Virginia City where she worked as a cook while all the time saving her money. 

In 1872, Nellie opened "The Miners Boarding House" at Panaca Flat, Nevada, while always being a friend to the miners by helping them even when they had no money. She helped by feeding them, giving them a room, and even taking care of them when they were ill. Miners and others began to call her the "Angel of the Camp." 

In 1874, Nellie headed North with about 200 other miners from Nevada to a gold strike in the Cassair Mountains in British Colombia where on Telegraph Creek she opened another boarding house for the miners.

During this time Nellie heard about several miners that had been trapped in a snowstorm in the Cassiar Mountains. Nellie organized a rescue party with six men and several pack animals carrying approximately 1,500 pounds of supplies and set off to find the miners in peril. 

The situation was so dangerous that the Canadian Army wouldn't even mount a rescue mission. But after hearing about Miss Cashman's attempt, the commander sent his troops to find her party and return them to safety. Nellie refused to return without the trapped miners. 

After 77 days with snow as deep as 10 feet in places, Nellie and her rescue team trudged on until they found 75 stranded miners with most of them suffering from scurvy. So Nellie, along with her team, nursed them back to health by loading them up with Vitamin C.

Once the Cassiar gold strike played out Nellie moved on to Tucson, Arizona, in 1879 where she opened the Delmonico Restaurant which was the first in Tucson owned by a woman. The Delmonico was a very successful restaurant and holding true to herself, Nellie often gave food to the hungry for free as she had done time and time again before coming to Tucson. 

Only a short time later, by 1880, Nellie decided to move to the new silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona, with excitement and riches exploding in the area known as Goose Flats.

Once Nellie arrived in Tombstone, for a short while, she ran a shoe and boot store before opening the Russ House Restaurant. Legend has it that Doc Holliday was present at the time in which one of the customers began complaining about the food which everyone else seemed to be enjoying. Holliday then pulled his side arm and told the customer "repeat that!". The customer then replied, "Best I ever ate."

No one knows if this legend is true or false in this day and age, but with everything I have read about Holliday being quick tempered I would not be surprised if this were true.

While in Tombstone, Nellie helped many different people in many different ways. Being of Catholic faith she helped raise money to build the Sacred Heart Church by raising funds for the project while at the same time working as a nurse. Even before the church was completed she convinced the owner of the Crystal Palace Saloon to allow Sunday services to be held there until such time the building would become ready. 

She also helped raise money for a miner's hospital, the Salvation Army, and the Red Cross, all while still helping the miners who had fallen upon hard times, earning the respect of all in Tombstone, she soon became known as the "Angel of Mercy" and the "Angel of the Camp" once again.

Nellie's sister's husband died in 1881, and at that point Fannie and her 5 children came to live with her in Tombstone. 

In 1883, the Bisbee Massacre had taken place and the men were sentenced to hang on March 8, 1884. Tickets for the hanging were handed out by Sheriff Ward and when there were no more tickets to be had, a business man in Tombstone built bleachers around the scaffold planning to sell more tickets to the event. 

Nellie did not believe that death should be celebrated, so she pleaded with Sheriff Ward to place a curfew upon the town at the time the hanging was to commence. Sheriff Ward conceded to Miss Cashman and the majority of people in Tombstone were not allowed to witness the gruesome event.

After the executions of those five men was complete, they were buried together in Tombstone's Boot Hill cemetery and a plan was hatched to steal the bodies for research at a medical school. Nellie got wind of this deed and hired a few miners to stand guard over the graves for ten days straight, and to this day the remains of those five killers still reside in their Boot Hill resting place.

Fannie died in Baja, California, leaving Nellie to raise her five children, so she sold the Russ House in 1886 leaving Tombstone with the children and traveled around Arizona to such places as Nogales, Prescott, Harqua Hala, Yuma, and Jerome. Nellie began working part time at prospecting and setting up more restaurants. 

Later Nellie and the children wondered to the mining camps in Wyoming, Montana, and New Mexico. Despite constantly moving around, all five of Fannies children became successful citizens.

In 1898, Nellie headed for the Yukon setting up yet another restaurant and a mercantile in Dawson City where once again she helped miners in need. Later on, Nellie moved to Fairbanks where she opened a grocery store in 1904 while working claims she had purchased in the area when she had the time.

Nellie finally settled down in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1923 where she died of pneumonia in 1925. Nellie never married, it never fell within her plans. 

She was truly an amazing woman and at the age of 80 she drove a dog sled team a distance of 750 miles from Koyakuk to Seward through snow, ice, and bitter cold.

How many women, or big strong men, living in this day and age, could do the things this lady accomplished during her time? Not many I suspect.

Terry McGahey is a writer and Old West historian.

This once working cowboy is best known for his fight against the City of Tombstone and the historic Tombstone City Ordinance Number 9, America's most famous gun-control law. He was instrumental in getting it repealed and having Tombstone fall in line with the state of Arizona.

If you care to read how he fought Tombstone's City Hall and won, please click: The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter One)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

America's No. 3 Killer Needs More Regulations

Where is the demand for more regulation? Where's the demand for Background Checks? Why aren't these people being screened for mental health problems? 

Am I talking about gun buyers? Gun owners? Gun violence? Am I talking about a shooter who is performing some heinous act of violence on the innocent? Am I talking about a criminal act by someone who should have been stopped?

No, I'm not talking about a shooting, a fellow gun buyer, a fellow gun owner. No, I'm not talking about any of us who are considered society's "villains."

I am talking about Medical Errors! I am talking about the dangers of Health Care. I'm talking about professionals who should not be working in the field of medicine. I'm talking about the exact same thing that happened to me just a few months ago when a medical error almost cost me my life.

In my case it had to do with my being prescribed an increase in high blood pressure medicine. The increase dropped my blood pressure to dangerously low levels. My wife rushed me to the ER and they couldn't believe that I was even on such medicine.

I was informed that night that I was close to dying and that after I was stabilized, the my treating physician found that I did not need high blood pressure medicine at all. Today, I don't take any high blood pressure medication. And yes, I feel great. 

So now you say, that was me but really how big a problem can it be? And frankly, I can understand how people can be a little suspect that I may be blowing things out of proportion. When I told a friend that I was doing this article, he asked, "Is it really dangerous or am I just exaggerating the problem?"

How bad is Medical Errors in America?

Well, a report came out on May 4th, 2016, which speaks directly to the dangers of going to a hospital, or being treated by people who we are conditioned to trust. Yes, dangers! Dangers because the studies revealed that Medical Errors are the 3rd leading cause of deaths in the United States.

Yes, Medical Errors are now the number three killer in America right behind Heart Disease and Cancer.
In fact, if we combine all of the annual deaths from guns, suicide, and car accidents, then double that amount, and that still wouldn't add up to the known 251,454 people the Johns Hopkins Hospital researchers estimate have lost their lives to medical errors each year. And guess what, another report stated that that figure is only half of the true number.

Yes, according to the studies, the 250,000 number may be understating things. It may be much much higher. As stated in the study: "We believe this understates the true incidence of death due to medical error because the studies cited rely on errors extractable in documented health records and include only inpatient deaths." 

Those records are hampered by the way we report medical errors: poor to none is what the researchers found. Why, well because the CDC doesn't even track these deaths. And frankly, even the New York Times has noted that Medical Error is not a cause of death that would appear on a death certificate.

While the researchers of this study would like to see a "preventable complication" field added to death certificates, they know full well that that will never happen because it opens Medical practitioners up to lawsuits.

The study notes that "the most commonly cited estimate of annual deaths from medical error" is a 1999 Institute of Medicine report that put the ceiling at 98,000 deaths, and the head of health care quality at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center tells the Washington Post that what's happened in the 17 years since that report is "discouraging and alarming": Basically, there has been no improvement, with the exception of hospital-acquired infections.

So now, we demand mental health screening and Background Checks for citizens wanting to purchase a firearm but we do not require any sort of screening process of people who have our life in their hands?  

And yes, besides killing over a quarter of a million Americans each year, the people making these "errors" are what is driving Heath Insurance through the roof. Our Heath Insurance costs go up because of someone's decision and that creates deaths, lawsuits, and higher Malpractice Insurance premiums which are passed on to us.  

Now, I would like this cause of death to be called "Staff Incompetence," but that's just me. You see, I feel calling a bad or wrong decision by a medical staff a "Medical Error" -- that only downplays the fact that their decision resulted in the death of someone in their care. 

Calling someone's death which resulted by "medical error" downplays the fact that it was someone's fault, lapse of judgement, someone's transgression or wrongdoing. 

So where's the hoopla? Why isn't there regulations as to how long one can work a shift and still make decisions? Why isn't their screenings to find out if a person is even qualified to prescribe or administer medications? Why isn't there Background Checks to stop practitioners who have had one too many malpractice lawsuits, or has had mental health problems? 

Why not vet those in the medical profession with the same concern that we do someone buying a gun? After all, we should not give a free pass to heath care professionals who are administering medications and treatments that can kill us -- and are doing just that! 

And yes, that's just the way I see it.
Tom Correa

Monday, May 23, 2016

CCW Application Procedure for Calaveras County

CCW Application Procedure 

For Residents of the Unincorporated Areas of Calaveras County
The authority to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) is set forth in California Penal Code Sections 26150 through 26225. These sections state in part:

PC 26150 The Sheriff of a County, upon proof that the person applying is of good moral character, that good cause exists for the issuance, and that the person applying is a resident of the County, may issue that person a license to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

Per Sheriff Gary Kuntz: "It is the policy of the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department to review each application for a license to carry a concealed weapon. There is no state law which ENTITLES a person to be issued a license to carry a concealed weapon.”

Under the Penal Code, the Sheriff of the County has the authority to issue a State of California permit to carry a concealed weapon. However, if you reside within an incorporated area in Calaveras County, your application for a CCW should be made with the highest ranking law enforcement official that has jurisdiction over your place of residence.

In recent years, there have been several Court decisions that have made the Sheriff vicariously liable in civil cases where the holder of a concealed weapons permit used a weapon when not appropriately trained, or used it in an unlawful or unreasonable manner. Some law enforcement agencies have virtually stopped issuing CCWs. I do not intend on ceases to issue such permits.

“My policy regarding CCW permittees and alcohol/drug use is zero tolerance. Use of a controlled or illegal substance while in possession of a concealed weapon permit nullifies and voids the permit.”

Who Does Not Need a CCW?

A citizen does not need a CCW in the following situations:

1. To possess a loaded firearm in one’s residence, personal property or place of business.
2. To carry an unloaded weapon going to or returning from a shooting range, hunting, or sporting event involving firearms, provided it is in a locked container other than a glove compartment or utility box.
3. To possess or carry an unloaded rifle or shotgun.

Concealed Weapons License (CCW) 

The Sheriff may issue a CCW under the following conditions: 

1. The applicant is a full-time permanent resident of Calaveras County.
2. The applicant is of good moral character.
3. The applicant has good cause for carrying a concealed weapon.
4. The applicant has completed the required CCW training certification course.

Departmental Restrictions on Issuance of a CCW 

An applicant will be refused a CCW under the following circumstances:
1. The applicant is not a full-time permanent resident of Calaveras County. (There are some exceptions for employees of the County)
2. The applicant is the subject of a restraining order issued by any court.
3. Conviction of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs/Alcohol within the past five (5) years.
4. Conviction of a felony.
5. Conviction of a misdemeanor offense which renders one unlawful to possess a firearm under PC 12021, as follows:

PC 136.5      PC 241         PC 246.3     PC 12034b      PC 140         PC 243    
PC 247         PC 12034d   PC171b       PC 244.5         PC 417         PC 12100a
PC171c        PC 245         PC 427.2     PC 12320a       PC 171d       PC 245.5     PC 626.9      PC 12590

6. Convicted of PC 148 (resisting or interfering with a peace officer); or PC 242 (battery); within the past five (5) years.
7. Conviction of a drug offense under the Health & Safety Code within the past five (5) years.
8. Other cause to question residency, good cause for carrying a concealed weapon or suitability for carrying a concealed weapon.
9. A CCW will not be issued for any employment related purposes.

CCW License Initial Request: 

Any omissions or false information given on the application is immediate cause for rejection of the application.

CCW Application Guidelines: 

Applicant must be a current resident of Calaveras County and must be able to prove full-time permanent residency. Applicant must be a minimum of 25 years of age.

At the time of the application, the applicant must present to the Sheriff’s Department the following documentation: 
  • Valid California driver’s license
  • Proof of Residency
  • Non-refundable Application fee of $ 20.00 (PC 26190(b)(2)) 
**The Sheriff’s Department will not accept incomplete applications**

The application will be submitted to the Sheriff for review. If the Sheriff determines that good cause for issuance exists, the applicant will receive written notification to proceed with the required firearms training. (PC 26202)

If the Sheriff determines that good cause for issuance does not exist, the applicant will be given written notification of that determination. (PC 26202)

The applicant will be required to complete a Firearms Certification Course (8 to 16 hours) and provide proof of completion within 60 days of the Sheriff’s good cause notification.

Please contact the CCW Liaison to schedule an appointment for the inspection of the firearm(s) and applicant fingerprinting.
  • Non-refundable DOJ fee of $93.00 due and payable (PC 26190(a)(1)) 
Please allow up to 45 minutes for this appointment. The weapons to be listed on the CCW (maximum of two) must be brought to the Sheriff’s Office unloaded.

Please allow up to 8-10 weeks for the clearance from the State Department of Justice.

If/when clearance is received from the DOJ; the applicant will be assigned a CII number. At this time, the applicant’s history is also received from the FBI and DMV.

The firearms are then researched to verify ownership and status. Upon completion of the applicant’s background check, the file will be forwarded to the Sheriff for final review.

If approved, the applicant will be contacted to take possession of the issued permit.
  • Final payment of $ 80.00 due and payable (PC 26190(b)(2)) 
If, for any reason, the applicant is denied, the applicant will be notified by mail within thirty (30) days from the time the Sheriff’s Department received the DOJ data. The reason for the denial shall be stated.

The above procedures may be subject to change as this office is notified of new mandates/procedures/changes in fees, etc., from the State Department of Justice.

CCW License Renewal Procedures: 

The standard CCW is valid for two (2) years. Permit holders should not allow the permit to expire before applying for renewal. The renewal process can be initiated up to eight (8) weeks prior to the expiration date. Applicants must apply for renewal in person and present proof of completion of a 4-Hour Firearms Course as required.
  • Non-refundable fee of $ 77.00 due and payable (PC 26190(c)) 
All applicants are responsible for notifying the Sheriff’s Office of any changes on the CCW permit at time of renewal; including changes of address (physical or mailing), employment, weapons, etc.

All information will then be reprocessed as before, with the new dates as well as any changes entered into the system. Again, the applicant’s driver’s license record will be checked; and this updated information given to the Sheriff for his approval.

Applicants should allow approximately four (4) weeks for renewal of the CCW. When approved, the CCW will be mailed to the applicant.

If, for any reason, the applicant is denied renewal, the applicant will be notified by mail within thirty (30) days, and the reason for the denial will be stated.

Transfer of CCW from One County to Another: 

A person holding a valid CCW who moves into Calaveras County must comply with all provisions as indicated in Section II (CCW Application Guidelines). A person holding a valid CCW who moves out of Calaveras County must notify this office and surrender such permit immediately.

CCW Amendments/Modifications 

Amendments/modifications to a CCW must be done in person. These include changes of address or other information, adding and/or deleting a firearm to an existing CCW.

If changes are made prior to the time of renewal; Form BCIA 4502 must be completed and the new or changed information input into the system.

The CCW Coordinator must type the changes on the CCW holder’s original (white) copy of the CCW, as well as the file copy.

The original Form BCIA 4502 is sent to the Department of Justice, and a copy is placed in the holder’s CCW file.

A fee of $10 will be payable at the time of modification for changes prior to renewal. (PC 26190(e)(1))

If changes are made at the time of renewal, the CCW Coordinator will note the changes on the CCW and in the CCW holder’s file.

No modification fee is payable if changes are made at the time of renewal. Waiver of Requirements

No member of the Sheriff’s Department staff, other than the Sheriff, may waive any of the above-listed requirements.

The Sheriff has the discretion to revoke or suspend a Concealed Weapons License (CCW) at any time.

(rev. 3/2012)

Editor's Note: 

The above has not been edited at all and was copied from the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department website. The above CCW Application Procedure applies to Calaveras County, California.

Calaveras County in red
I did contact the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department and found out that all is still in effect with one correction. Where it states "Applicant must be a minimum of 25 years of age" is no longer correct. Applicants now must be a minimum of 21 years of age.

Calaveras County, the county which my wife and I live in, has a population of about 46,000 residents. With over 1,000 square miles in size, we live in remote areas and have to provide our own security.

Yes, this is rural America and residents here who take the CCW courses are trained and have a sense of comfort knowing that they are better able to protect themselves and their families until deputies arrive.

To find out the CCW Allication Procedure in your county, search their website or contact your Sheriff's Department.

Good luck!
Tom Correa  

Friday, May 20, 2016

Bass Reeves -- He Epitomized Old West Deputy U.S. Marshals

Bass Reeves was born sometime in July of 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas. He died on January 12th, 1910 at the age of 71 in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

While he did other things in life, Bass Reeves will always be known as one of the Old West's greatest Deputy U.S. Marshals.

Bass Reeves was one of the first black Deputy U.S. Marshals west of the Mississippi River, and has the impressive record of having arrested over 3,000 felons. He is documented to have shot and killed fourteen outlaws in self-defense.

Yes, he was born into slavery in 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas. It's said that Bass was named after his grandfather, Basse Washington. But as for his surname, as with many freed slaves, Bass Reeves took the name of his slave owner.

Bass Reeves and his family were slaves of Democrat state legislator William Steele Reeves there in Arkansas. It is said that when Bass Reeves was eight year of age, William Reeves moved to Grayson County, Texas, near Sherman in the Peters Colony. It is believed that Bass Reeves may have served William Steel Reeves' son, George R. Reeves who later became a Colonel in the Confederate Army and then was also a Democrat state legislator in Texas until the time of his death from rabies in 1882.

During the American Civil War, Bass Reeves fled Texas and slavery and headed north into the Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma. He is said to have lived with the Cherokee, Seminole, and Creek Indians until he was freed by the 13th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in 1865.

Later Reeves moved to Arkansas and farmed near Van Buren. He married Nellie Jennie from Texas in 1864. Supposedly, they had eleven children together. Their family farmed there near Van Buren until 1875.

In early 1875, Issac Parker received a presidential appointment as judge of the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Judge Parker arrived in Fort Smith on May 4, 1875, and held court for the first time on May 10, 1875.

Almost immediately, Judge Parker appointed James F. Fagan as U.S. Marshal. He ordered Fagan to hire 200 Deputy U.S. Marshals to clean up the lawlessness.

The story goes that Marshal Fagan had heard about Bass Reeves. Fagan has heard that Bass had lived with the Native American tribes and knew the Indian Territory, and could also speak several of their languages. He immediately recruited him as one of his deputies, and thus Bass Reeves became the first black Deputy U.S. Marshal West of the Mississippi River.

Reeves served as a Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Arkansas, which also had responsibility for the Indian Territory, until 1893. He was then transferred to the Eastern District of Texas in Paris, Texas, for a short while. After that, in 1897, he was transferred to the Muskogee Federal Court.

Reeves worked for thirty-two years as a Federal peace officer in the Indian Territory. He was one of Judge Parker's most valued deputies.

Bass Reeves is said to have worn two pistols, one a Colt Single Action Army in .45 and a .38-40 pistol chambered for the same cartridge as his Winchester rifle. He was also known to carry a double-barreled shotgun. And according to all reports, besides his superior detective skills which he developed over time, he was said to be a great shot with both a rifle and pistol.

Bass Reeves was said to be a big man for his time. He is described as 6′ to 6’2″ tall, and weighing in at about 200 pounds. As for his encounters with outlaws, as stated before, he is known to have arrested 3,000 felons and was forced to kill 14 men in self-defense.

According to what I've researched, Reeves' first killing in the line of duty took place while in the process of arresting a bootlegger who had been selling illegal whiskey from a horse-drawn wagon.

Upon contact with Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, the bootlegger began cursing "a black badge don’t mean a damned thing to me!" The suspect immediate started to point a rifle towards Bass. While the rifle was in motion, Bass fired two bullets into his chest. He was dead before he fell from the driver’s seat.

From what I gather from research, that was not the only time someone refused to accept the authority of Reeves because he was a black Deputy U.S. Marshal. And frankly, it wasn't only criminals who had a hard time with the fact that Reeves was a Federal Marshal -- other lawmen may have had a problem with it as well.

A good example of this took place when Reeves and a team of other deputy marshals were tasked to transport Federal prisoners to a penitentiary. When a white prisoner took exception to Reeves issuing him orders, it is said that a local police officer actually sided with the prisoner.

How bad did it get? Well, supposedly guns were drawn. And it is said that it was only due to the intervention of a senior Deputy Marshal that prevented the incident from escalating into a full scale lawmen versus lawmen shootout.

Another incident in 1891, one that Bass Reeves felt the high point of his career, came about when bringing in killer Bob Dozier. This hombre was someone who would be by today's standards considered a serial killer and professional thieve.

The story goes that Reeves caught up with Dozier while leading a posse down a steep thickly wooded ravine during a raging thunderstorm. The instant the posse reached the bottom of the ravine, they came under fire. Bass and his posse immediately left their horses to seek cover.

After a few minutes, Reeves reported later that he saw the dim shadow of a man slipping from tree to tree. He waited until the shadow was caught between two trees and fired two quick shots. The shadow dropped and fell, but because Reeves two shots had given away his position -- a second man who immediately opened fire.

The rest of the story sounds like something that Hollywood would write, but according to Bass Reeves, he hit the dirt and waited in the mud and rain fully exposed. Then finally when a man stepped from behind a tree, he could hear him laugh aloud. His assailant must have been convinced that Reeves was dead, and that his posse had run off. It was killer Bob Dozier.

Then when Dozier was only a few yards away, Reeves rose up and ordered him to stop and drop his gun. Dozier stopped laughing and then crouched to shoot Reeves again. But yes, before Dozier could level his gun, Bass Reeves is said to have shot first -- hitting him in the neck and killing him instantly.

Another famous Reeves gunfight took place in 1884 when he was surprised at gunpoint by three brothers named Brunter. He calmly told them he had warrants for their arrest.

According to Reeves, he then grabbed the pistol barrel of the nearest man’s gun and holding the muzzle away from himself to divert three shots being fired. At the same time, Reeves supposedly drew a pistol with his other hand and opened fire to drop the other two brothers. Reeves is said to have then smashed his Colt .45 into the head of the man whose pistol he was holding and killed him.

As for the famous Jim Webb gunfight? Jim Webb was said to have been a Texas ranch foreman who had gone bad. It is said that Webb went from local bully to paid arsonist and murderer.

Bass Reeves and posse-man Floyd Wilson caught up with Webb in a ranch house in their jurisdiction. Supposedly, with a loaded revolver in Webb’s hand, Reeves smacked the gun away and grabbed Webb by the throat with his left hand and shoved his gun in Webb's face.

Webb's partner Frank Smith came out of hiding and fired two shots at Reeves, both missing. Beeves fired one shot and Smith fell to the ground. Floyd Wilson then handcuffed Webb.

Smith died en route from Reeves' bullet, and Webb was turned over to the proper authorities in Paris, Texas. Reeves learned later that Webb had posted bail. But because of a failure to appear in court, Reeves went after Webb again.

Reeves met up with Jim Webb and the incident turned into a rifle duel of sorts with Webb firing the first four shots at Reeves who was on horseback. Those bullets reportedly clipped the brim of Reeve’s hat, grazed his saddle horn, cut a button off his coat and shot the reins out of his hands.

Reeves dove to the ground with his rifle and immediately returned fire. Webb was hit and fell to the ground. Bass Reeves, and eyewitnesses John Cantrell and Jim Bywaters, then approached Webb as he lay dying.

According to eyewitness reports, all three bullets fired by Reeves had hit Webb’s body within a hand’s width of each other.

Jim Bywaters wrote Webb’s last words on the back of a freight receipt. Webb called Reeves "a brave, brave man" and wanted Reeves to have his revolver and holster. According to Jim Bywaters, the dying killer said, "I have killed 11 men, four of them in Indian territory, and I expected you to make the 12th."

Reeves brought in some of the most dangerous criminals of the time, but was never wounded, despite having his hat and belt shot off on separate occasions. And yes, he even had to arrest his own son for murder and bring him in.

The story goes that his son Bennie Reeves was charged with the murder of his wife. Marshal Reeves was disturbed and shaken by the incident but demanded to accept the responsibility of bringing his son Bennie to justice.

Bennie was eventually tracked and captured, tried and convicted. He served his time in Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas before being released and living the rest of his life on the right side of the law.

As for Bass Reeves being charged with murdering a posse cook? Yes, that did happen.

It all took place in 1884, when Reeves discovered he had mistakenly loaded a .45 Colt revolver cartridge into his .44-40 Winchester. He was sitting by the campfire trying to pry the jammed round out of the magazine with his pocketknife when he accidentally discharged the rifle. The bullet struck his cook and killed him instantly. 

Accidental discharge or not, Reeves reported what took place and immediately turned himself in. He was subsequently tried for murder. 

At his trial before Judge Parker, Reeves was represented by former United States Attorney W.H.H. Clayton, who had been his colleague and friend. Reeves was acquitted of the murder. Though acquitted at trial, his substantial legal expenses depleted his life savings and left him financially in trouble for the rest of his life.

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, Reeves, then 68, retired from the Marshal service and became an officer with the Muskogee, Oklahoma police department. He served for two years before he became ill and had to retire completely.

In 1910, after Reeves' health began to fail, he died of Bright's disease (nephritis).

Yes, Bass Reeves was a man perfectly fitted for the times he lived in and the job he was destined to do. All in all, he was tough, skilled, resilient, and determined. All attributes that epitomize the Old West Deputy U.S. Marshal.  

And yes, that's the way I see it.
Tom Correa

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

To Pee Or Not To Pee ...

That Is The Question!

By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/Historian

Well folks our illustrious so-called president has hit a new low in morality that I did not even dream he would stoop too. Of course by now we all know I am referring to his transgender bathroom policy which he hasn't even defined.

It's this person's opinion that there is a very simple solution to this red herring, if you have a male component you use the men's room and if you have the female components you use the women's bathroom, it's just that simple.

A true transgender, no matter if originally a man or a woman, actually now has the components of the opposite sex they were born with, and until such time the operation is complete they should use the bathroom of their original birth sex, simple as that.

I personally believe that this non issue has been put fourth as a magicians slight of hand trick. If you don't want people to see what's really going on you bring full attention to one hand while the other has manipulated a ruse, and I believe this is exactly what Obama is doing.

Get the people up in arms about the transgender issue about where they can pee, while all the time using the slight of hand to bring in the Syrian Muslims, or so called refugees, which will do nothing but promote more violence in order to push his Muslim agenda, which by now, if you can't see what his religious preference is by his Islamic cabinet appointees and his obvious Muslim loving tendencies, while at the same time not standing up for Christianity, then you really are asleep and need to wake up.

The president of the United States of America does not have the legal right to write or carry out a law, only congress can do so. By ordering school districts across our country to adhear to this insane policy or loose their federal funding, it is nothing short of blackmail, which in reality would become law for many school districts which fully rely on the very funding Obama is blackmailing them with.

Yes, it would become an unwritten law, but a law just the same through force of non-funding which many school districts could not survive without. I don't know about you but if I remember correctly blackmail is illegal in this country, but the term "illegal" doesn't seem to be an issue with this so called president, not when it comes to executive orders or illegal invaders from Syria and or Mexico.

The so-called Washington D.C. elite, no matter the party, have forgotten that they are hired by the people to "govern", not to "rule". Many of these Socialist leaning politicians actually believe that it is their duty and destiny to "rule" this country and our people rather than "govern" by our constitution which is actually the job they are paid to do. And in my opinion, this makes them nothing more than traitors to their oath and to the people of the United States of America and they should be at the very least imprisoned for their treasonous acts.

I find it sad that many of our elected politicians, as well as this mentally disturbed so-called president, have reached down so deeply into the bowels of immorality that we now have to allow the possibility of some sicko entering a women's bathroom with the intent of committing harm or voyeurism upon our mothers, sisters, wives, or children. And believe me these things will happen, in fact some of this has already taken place.

Where to pee or not to pee, that is the question? Pee in the restroom where you have the correct parts to do so, period!

While I have no idea how you see it, that's how I see things.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Buntline Special vs Colt's Sheriff's Model

Dear Friends,

Ever wonder about the mythical Buntline Special, it's use and practicality versus the pistol that Old West lawmen really did carry? Well, here you go. Get yourself a cup of coffee, relax, and don't call me too many names in front of the kids!

I have to tell you that this story starts when I happen to be reading an e-mail from someone while on the phone with a friend. I chuckled, and my friend on the phone asked what was it that I found so funny? So, I read him what my reader had asked, "Hello Tom! Can you tell me if the Buntline Special was really used by Wyatt Earp and why other lawmen in the Old West didn't all use them?"

My friend responded with a laugh, "Of course it was real! We've all seen it in a number of television Westerns and Wyatt Earp movies. The reason lawmen didn't use such a gun was they were smarter than that!"

And yes, there's the problem with any myth. Just because it has been repeated a number of times in print, or shown on television or in films, that in itself doesn't make it so. Just because it's in print, or on TV or in a movie, proves nothing at all.

As for Hollywood, truth and historical fact has taken a backseat to sensationalism and fiction. Even when Hollywood advertises a film as being a "true story," they are usually lying. Friends, Hollywood's idea of a "true story" and a story being "historically accurate" are really two different things.

There are many examples of this, whether it's a military movie or one on a race horse, it seems that Hollywood simply cannot tell the truth of what took place. And yes, while I love Westerns, some can be really bad as far as being historically inaccurate.

While the movie "Hildalgo" is horrible when it comes to any sort of historical accuracy, I have problems with the movie "High Noon". I don't like the movie or its premise because it goes against what really took place in the Old West.

The movie portrayed the town's people in the movie High Noon as cowards unwilling to fight for their own town. And yes, this is how people rewrite history and pass it on as being accurate when it is not an honest portrayal of the history of the Old West.

Why isn't it accurate? The movie portrays town's people as being scared of three outlaws when Old West towns were made up of people who crossed the nation in wagons, many on foot, weathered all sorts of hardship, fought for life and died along the way. And yes, many were Civil War veterans who were tougher than boot leather. Does that sound like folks who would cower when three outlaws came to town? Friends, these people fought illness, pestilence, hunger and hardship yet persevered and made the West flourish.

Besides the fact that town marshals had the ability to deputize citizens for posses and to establish local militias, do people who have faced hardship and trials and pain sound like people who would not jump to defend their banks, homes, businesses, their churches, their people?

Hollywood thinks the people in the Old West didn't have grit, were emotional messes, were fighting some sort of inner demons, were wishy-washy cowards. That is a 180 degrees unlike the way those people really were, but Hollywood doesn't get a lot of things right. And yes, that includes their portrayal of arms used at the time. And frankly, all they need is a writer to put in in place and they will run with it.

No Evidence Earp's Buntline Special Existed

From what I have found, other than Earp's biographer writer Stuart Lake, there is no evidence that the supposed "Buntline Special" with its exaggerated barrel ever existed -- never the less was owned by Wyatt Earp.

I heard one Earp fan who was a supposed Old West Historian speculate that Colt lost the paperwork on the supposed pistols. I heard another say that Colt didn't keep records of special orders.

Friends, in Colt's archives is a letter they kept from lawman Bat Masterson written on a Dodge City Opera House notepad which he used to special order a pistol or two. So if Colt kept that note, what makes anyone thing that they would not keep all records of order?

For those out there who have never heard of the Colt Buntline Special, it is a long-barreled variant of the Colt Single Action Army which only record of it's existence comes from Wyatt Earp by way of his personal biographer Stuart N. Lake.

Lake described the mythical pistol in Wyatt Earp's fictionalized 1931 biography, Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal. According to Lake, dime novelist Ned Buntline supposedly had five of the pistols specially built by Colt. The pistols, according to Lake, are Colt Single Action Army revolvers with 12 inch barrels.  

Lake wrote that Buntline presented them to five lawmen in thanks for their help with contributing "local color" for the Dime Novelist. 

Dime novels was a catch phrase to describe several different forms of late 19th-century and early 20th-century American popular fiction publications. A "true" dime novel, also known as a "story paper" cost five or ten cents.  

It is said that in the modern age, "dime novel" has become a term to describe any quickly written, lurid work "of dubious literary or artistic merit" and as such is generally used as a derogatory term to describe a sensationalized yet superficial piece of written work -- not the work of a serious writer.

As for the Buntline Special, from everything that I've been able to research over the years, no one has ever found any evidence to confirm that Buntline really did in fact order any guns from Colt -- or if Colt manufactured them in that time period.

Lake wrote that Ned Buntline ordered the revolvers in 1876 and presented them to Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Bill Tilghman, Charlie Bassett, and Neal Brown. Of course the problem with Stuart Lake's story is that neither Bill Tilghman or Neil Brown were lawmen in 1876. But apparently, that fact didn't stop Lake from further stating that while Wyatt Earp supposedly kept his Buntline Special and used it to "buffalo" drunk cowboys for the fines.

"Buffaloing" or "pistol-whipping" was the act of using a handgun grip as if it were a club. And there too is the contradiction, Lake stated that Earp kept his pistol at the original 12 inch length to buffalo a drunk -- but in fact the grip is used in buffaloing and not the barrel.

Lake also stated that the other four lawmen supposedly cut the barrels of their Buntline Specials to the standard 7 1⁄2 inches or shorter. Remember that, because it goes against what was taking place with lawmen at the time -- but we'll discuss that in a bit. 

Lake attributed the Buntline Special to Wyatt Earp and the four others, modern researchers have not found any supporting evidence or documentation of the gun's existence prior to the publication of Lake's book.

But, Colt did manufacture a Buntline Special pistol among its second generation revolvers produced after 1956 as a result of the popularity of the 1950s Western television series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. 

"Ned Buntline"was the pseudonym for dime novelist Edward Zane Carroll Judson. And though Stuart Lake stated that Ned Buntline supposedly purchased the guns as a way to repay Wyatt Earp and the others for "material for hundreds of frontier yarns," fact is that Ned Buntline only wrote four Western tales -- and they were all about Buffalo Bill Cody.

At no time did Ned Buntline ever mention Wyatt Earp in his writings. Of course, that didn't stop Earp's biographer Stuart Lake from writing about it.

And who's idea was it? Was it something that Wyatt Earp came up with to further embellish and glamorize his past, or was it Lake who came up with the whole idea of a revolver that could be used as a rifle?

Friends, while I believe the fictional tale of a Buntline Special sounds like something that Wyatt Earp would come up with, historians blame Stuart Lake for the tale of the Buntline Special.

Also, according to Lake, the Buntline Special supposedly had a removable stock that could be easily affixed the grips. Supposedly, this added stock gave the revolver better range. But as I stated before, researchers have never found any record of an order received by the Colt company or that of a Ned Buntline connection to Earp. Because of this, for me, I see the Buntline Special as the fantasy of a fiction writer taking liberties.
Now, as for Colt Single Action Army and other model revolvers which could have been specially ordered, Colt sold special orders with extra-long barrels were available from Colt at a dollar an inch over the standard 7.5 inches.

And while I've read where several such revolvers with 16-inch barrels and detachable stocks were displayed at the 1876 Centennial Exposition, there are absolutely no company records for the Buntline Special or any records of any orders from Edward Zane Carroll Judson or his pen name Ned Buntline.

As for the Colt revolving rifles, they were early repeating rifles produced by the Colt's Manufacturing Company and mainly based upon the patent and mechanism already existing in revolvers like their Colt Sidehammer or the Colt Dragoon.

Today, while there are makers of Buntline this and that, Cimarron Firearms offers a version called the "Wyatt Earp Buntline" styled after the one used by Kurt Russell in the movie "Tombstone" with a 10-inch barrel and a silver badge inlaid on the right grip panel.

Above is a reproduction of the mythical Buntline. Image taking all Tuesday to draw that! 
Colt Sheriff’s Model

So now, why would I do a contrast and comparison article on the Buntline Special, which no one can prove has ever existed, versus Colt's Sheriff Model of the Colt Single Action Army and other models including the double action Colt Lightning?

It has to do with the impracticality of a Buntline Special in law enforcement if they really existed. And yes, Stuart Lake seemed to be apparently concerned about having his readers think that an Old West lawman, in this case Wyatt Earp, would actually walk down a street with a holstered pistol that had a 12 inch barrel. He wants us to think that any lawman would want such a gun as a duty gun.

Dallas Stoudenmire
Friends, there are guns for lawmen and there are not guns for lawmen. Basically it comes down to practicality versus impracticality. Impracticality is a big deal when choosing your duty gun.

If it takes you a long long time to draw your weapon, from a hip holster or other because of how it is built, meaning size and how cumbersome it is, than that is not a good pistol choice for you if you want to stay alive. You see while you are taking all of that time hoisting that long iron from its pouch on your hip, some bad guy just put two rounds into you!

So yes, my first point is that a Buntline as described by Stuart Lake and Hollwood is as impractical a duty gun as it is useless for what people use pistols for. And yes, understanding that fact goes to show us just how little Stuart Lake actually knew about law enforcement and shootouts in the Old West.

What am I referring to? Well, in a time when more and more lawmen were cutting the barrels of their pistols to make their pistol barrels shorter to be able to get them into play faster, Lake wants us to think that Earp went in the other direction and wanted to wear something that would take longer to retrieve from a holster.

Friends, when it comes to fantasy versus reality in the Old West, no one beats Hollywood and wannabe screenwriters as far as imagination goes. And in this case if the Buntline was indeed all of Lake's idea, then he had no idea of the needs of lawmen in the Old West.

Thankfully, that wasn't the case at Colt. Instead Colt took note of the heavily modified six-shooters with their barrels loped off to anywhere from 2 to 4 inches and that their ejector rods were being discarded. Seeing this, Colt stepped into action making pistols that people can use on a practical basis.

And yes, that also included what size of barrels pistols lawmen saw as practical. Remember, it is said that the first "snubnose" revolvers were just various versions of the Colt Single Action Army and double actions like the Colt Lightning. While some wanted a pistol with a 2 1/2 inch barrel that was more concealable for the 3 to 7 feet gunfight that usually takes place, lawmen are said to shied away from long barreled pistols that extended to one's kneecaps. Of course a 4 to 4 3/4 inch barrel would have been seen as perfect back then, as is today for service revolvers.

Marshal Stoudenmire's Preferred Pistol
Short barreled pistols were designed to speed the draw to get a gun into play faster, make the gun a bit easier to carry, more concealable, and as we know that's still the case today. And like today, one can select the size they are more comfortable with.

As with the famous Pepperbox, Knuckle Buster, and Smith & Wesson pocket pistols, small handguns were nothing new in the 1800s. In fact, Colt actually began offering the short-barreled revolvers with Samuel Colt’s first Paterson models manufactured in New Jersey from the 1830s into the early 1840s.

Colt again produced them in the 1860s at the Colt’s plant in Hartford, Connecticut. That was when a special version of the .36 caliber Colt Police Model was built with a 2 inch barrel.

There had been earlier short barreled pistols, even going back to the days of the single shot black powder guns. There had been earlier short barreled revolvers too.  for example. Still, most gun enthusiasts consider the Sheriff's model to be the precursor to that most classic of all detective arms, the snub nose revolver.

Colt started producing their Single Action Army revolvers in .45 which was available in many popular barrel lengths, calibers, finishes, actions, and styles. One of the more popular variations is the Colt "Sheriff’s Model" which was also known as the "Storekeeper's Model."

I've read where the "Sheriff's Model" had a 3 inch barrel, and the "Storekeeper's Model" had a 4 inch barrel.

Among the lawmen of the time, none other than Bat Masterson special ordered a few .45 Colt Single Action Army revolvers over the years. Supposed there was one that he ordered which was supposed to have a 5 1/2 inch barrel, but all of the others were ordered with a 4 3/4 inch barrel.

In the Colt archives is a letter dated July 25th, 1885, from Bat Masterson written on the stationery of the Opera House Saloon, Dodge City, Kansas, ordering a new revolver in which he states:

"Please send me one of your nickel-plated short .45 Calibre revolvers, it is for my own use, and for that reason I would like to have a little Extra pains taken with it. I am willing to pay Extra for Extra work. Make it very easy on trigger and have the front sight a little higher and thicker than the ordinary pistol of this kind, put on a gutta percha handle and send it as soon as possible. Have the barrel about the same length as the Ejector rod is. 
Truly Yours, W.B. Masterson.”

The pistol to the right is said to have belonged to Bat Masterson. In August of 2015, that 1882 .45 Colt Single Action Army Revolver with its 4 3/4 inch barrel, ivory grips, and a nickel-plated finish was reported to have commanded $96,000 at an auction.

So why would Bat Masterson order a "short .45" with a 4 3/4 inch barrel for his personal use as a lawman versus ordering a Sheriff'sModel with an even shorter barrel? 

Well, I believe it was so that his pistol would've had the standard ejection rod. The shorter barreled Sheriff's Model, or Storekeeper Model, came without an ejector rod and reloading it was a chore if one needed to do just that. If the gun wasn't clean and the spent shells didn't fall out easily, then it was known that a shooter had to take a pencil or other object to act as an ejector rod. 

And this leads us to more trivia for you, it is said that Colt did not use the terms "Sheriff's Model" or "Storekeeper Model" in any of its catalogs. Those were designations coined by gun collectors much later in the early 20th century. 

The first Sheriff's Model was produced in 1877 and were known at Colt's Hartford factory as the "ejectorless" Single Action Army.

The reason they were called "ejectorless" is because those guns were simply a Single Action Army built without an ejector rod or ejector rod housing on the barrel.

The reason for the removal of the ejector rod and housing was done to create a simpler, easily concealable, easier-to-carry revolver useful for short engagements where it is believed that only a few shots are fired and one is not involved in a running gun battle. Remember, that as with most gun play, the shootout at the OK Corral demonstrated that most gunfights really only lasted a few seconds on the average. When that now famous gunfight took place in Tombstone, Arizona, it took just over 30 seconds and no one was stopping to try to reload.

So why did Colt produce such guns? 

Well, while we all have seen the Hollywood movie of the lawman armed to the teeth, the reality of the Old West was that not all of the lawmen back in the day wanted to look like they were inviting hoodlums to a gunfight with a brace of Colts around their waist like say Wild Bill Hickok.

Did lawmen wear gunbelts and holsters? Yes, many lawmen did.

As for Wyatt Earp, he certainly did at different times. In fact he once had a pistol fall out of a holster while he was reclining in a Saloon chair, the pistol went off when it hit the floor. It is said that he simply picked it up and left. Another time for Earp, according to his own report, his gunbelt which he had loosened for a more comfortable ride while in the saddle actually fell to around his ankles while standing.

But while many lawmen did wear gunbelts and holsters, more than not back in the day preferred a degree of subtlety to assert an implied respect for the office and the law. Back in the day, lawmen were seen as key members of their communities. While it is said that most were always armed, many dressed down that fact.

Some say it was to lessen the intimidation factor on the public, while others say many dressed like gentlemen instead of looking like cowhands. Remember, Bat Masterson was accused of dressing like an Eastern "dude" or a "dandy" in as far as dress. And actually, the same applied to Luke Short and the Earp brothers.

Though this was the case, whether wearing a holster or not, everyone in town knew that at any given moment, a lawmen could back up the law with a Winchester rifle, a side-by-side shotgun, and pistols if need be.

Bat Masterson
Of course, from everything that I've researched, it appears that more times than not, when it came to pistols, they preferred the shorter barreled pistols and the "ejectorless" Colt Sheriff's Model in .45 under their coat or butt forward in a trouser pocket -- like say how Luke Short wore his in a reinforced trouser pocket.

If you think Luke Short is not a good example, then remember that Bat Masterson preferred a Peacemakers with a shorter 4 3/4 inch barrel instead of the standard longer 7 1/2 inch barrel. He wanted it shorter so it would fit easier carried under a coat.

And also, as for concealability, remember that according to their own court testimonies later, none of the Earp brothers wore holsters and in fact carried their pistols concealed in or under their coats at the OK Corral.

Virgil Earp testified that he had his pistol in the trouser waistband and slid it behind his back as he carried Doc Holliday's walking stick in his right hand. He testified that upon seeing the Clantons and McLaurys armed, he switched the walking stick to his left hand and pulled his coat back to get to his pistol in the small of his back.

And that's the point, while Stuart Lake stated that the Buntline Special was designed to supposedly help Wyatt Earp and the other lawmen pistol-whip drunks and act as a rifle, Lake obviously didn't know that lawmen were more concerned about concealment and being able to get their pistol into play faster.

Just as it is today, people at the time knew that most gunfights take place within 3 to 7 feet, and usually no more than 20 feet, from an assailant. A smaller pistol is easier to get into action than a cumbersome long gun.

Colt's Sheriff Models were produced by special order, fitting them with barrels of any length the customer wanted. And yes, eventually, it became obvious that either the 3 or 4-inch barrels were the most popular.

Here is a Colt Model 1877 Lightning double action revolver in the "Sheriff's Model" with a 2 and a half inch barrel.

This is what was being used by more citizens and lawmen alike. And frankly, I truly believe that a pistol with a 12 inch barrel as described by Stuart Lake would have gotten the wearer killed!

And yes, that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Reasons For Supporting Donald Trump

I recently received three very interesting emails from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters in Europe. The one from the Bernie Sanders supporter demands my shortest response.

She writes, "Socialism and Communism is good for America. You should educate yourself, stop your hate of Communism, feel the "Bern"and embrace Bernie Sanders."

My response, "No, he is a Communist and because of that he is not compatible to what our system of government is based on. Even by threat of death, I will never vote for a Communist, or a Socialist which is nothing but a wannabe Communist. I'm sorry for you if you're really that happy living as a slave to the state!"

The other two emails have to do with Hillary Clinton. The first one is from a man in Germany who writes, "Wait until the debates between Hillary and Trump! She will put Trump in his place when she asks him why is it that he was OK with donating to her previously? What can he say to that?!"

I wrote what I'd like to see Donald Trump reply. I'd like to hear him say, "I donated to your (Hillary New York Senate) campaign because you're crooked and you, Hillary, can be bought! You're so unethical you don't even care who you screw over for a buck! While I doubt that I'd ever need an unethical person as you, Hillary, it's nice to have a crooked politician in one's pocket. If for any reason for entertainment just to see how low you'll stoop for a dollar."

A woman in England wrote to ask, "Why do you support Donald Trump when he is just like Adolph Hitler?"

Now this one had me a little pissed since this is absolute bullshit! In response I wrote her saying.

"First, let's talk about the Hitler thing. I believe that comparing Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler is not right on many levels. But basically, for those out there who are saying such nasty things, please understand that Hitler was a genocidal murderer, an anti-Semite, a psychopath, a maniac. a dictator who used his power to enslave the Germany people, and plunge his nation into a devastating world war. Hitler used his Secret Police to terrorize his own people.

He pushing an ideology of hate, dismissed the law of land for himself, had an enemies list, confiscated guns so that citizens would be defenseless against his henchmen. He controlled the media, he persecuted certain groups such as Christians and Jews. and if people did not agree with his edicts -- then he used the power of his government to attack them, jail them, confiscate their property and even kill them. All of what he did as a leader was meant to control and intimidate his people. Doesn't this sound like Barack Hussein Obama?  

While Donald Trump has done none of the above and has absolutely nothing in common with Adolph Hitler, President Barack Obama is just like Hitler.

Barack Obama is a traitor, a psychopathic liar, an anti-Semite, a Muslim who is pushing an ideology of hate. He is a fraud. He is a man who hates America so much that he wants to change our country. He is a man who has let Americans needlessly die in Libya.

And yes, Obama is a wannabe dictator who wants to "rule" through Executive Orders, edicts, instead of "govern" through the use of the legislative process. He is the only President who has ever used the power of the government to attack Americans, to use intimidation and threats, jailed them, confiscated their property and even kill them as in the case of what took place in Oregon lately on orders from the White House. All of what he does as a leader was meant to divide along racial and economic lines, intimidate and control our people.

So please, please, before you make a stupid statement such as comparing Donald Trump with Adolph Hitler, please realize how truly wrong that is."

Read on, and ask yourself if Donald Trump sounds more like Theodore Roosevelt versus the Liberal Media's smear that he's like Adolph Hitler?

As for safeguarding our homeland by securing our borders so that we don't turn into another Europe with the chaos that's taking place there, Donald Trump says, "A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border (no different than Mexico has on it's southern border). A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans."

What's wrong with that? Nothing!

On the Second Amendment and a citizen's right to arm his and her self, Donald Trump who himself has a Concealed Carry Permit says, "The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period. The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right -- it ensures that the government can’t take it away."

What's wrong with that? Nothing!

As for enforcing the law to everyone equally, no matter what race, color, greed, sex, religion, or economic class one happens to be, Donald Trump says, "A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced with no one above the law."

What's wrong with that? Nothing!

As far as repealing ObamaCare, Donald Trump says, "ObamaCare needs to be repealed so that free market principles and American working together can create sound public policy that will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans."

What's wrong with that? Nothing!

Donald Trump has a tax plan with four simple goals:
  1. Tax relief for middle class Americans: In order to achieve the American dream, let people keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages.
  2. Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and let everyone keep more of their money.
  3. Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
  4. Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.
What's wrong with that? Nothing!

Donald Trump Veterans Care Plan:
  1. Ensure our veterans get the care they need wherever and whenever they need it. No more long drives. No more waiting for backlogs. No more excessive red tape. Just the care and support they earned with their service to our country.
  2. Support the whole veteran, not just their physical health care, but also by addressing their invisible wounds, investing in our service members’ post-active duty success, transforming the VA to meet the needs of 21st century service members, and better meeting the needs of our female veterans.
  3. Make the VA great again by firing the corrupt and incompetent VA executives who let our veterans down, by modernizing the VA, and by empowering the doctors and nurses to ensure our veterans receive the best care available in a timely manner.
What's wrong with that? Nothing! 

Donald Trump's Trade Plan:
  1. Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.
  2. Protect American ingenuity and investment by forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors as a condition of entry to China’s market.
  3. Reclaim millions of American jobs and reviving American manufacturing by putting an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards. No more sweatshops or pollution havens stealing jobs from American workers.
  4. Strengthen our negotiating position by lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home, attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.
What's wrong with that? Nothing! Get the picture yet? Yes, more like a Theodore Roosevelt America First Conservative!

By the way, what he is saying goes along with what Americans want. That is so plain and simple that even Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters can understand and like -- especially since neither Clinton or Sanders have any sort of detailed plans on how to help America. Both Clinton and Sanders want to help the rest of the world first and screw Americans!

Donald Trump taps into the discontent that more and more Americans are feeling these days. Our discontent has everything to do with how I described Obama and the dictatorial actions he has taken, as well as how the Federal Government has been acting more like a slave master instead of a servant of the people.

And frankly, the tremendous crowds of supporters for Donald Trump and the hate that he has gotten from the political establishments of both the Democrats and the Republicans does not surprise me. Trump supporters are Americans who have reached a tipping point in regards to electing career politicians who are worthless as teats on a boar hog!

We want our America back! And yes, the political establishments of both the Democrats and the Republicans are frightened because they are both crooked and there is a new sheriff in town!  

Both the Democrats and the Republicans are attacking Trump with everything they have but now they're finding out just how strong his support is since their crooked careers may be at an end.

A lot of people write me expressing their frustration with an inept, corrupt, bias, self-absorbed Obama who attacks Christians and supports and arms ISIS. My readers write worried that wishy-washy Liberal policies will turn America into Europe. And frankly, lately they have lost a great deal of faith in Republicans who are proving to be just as Liberal as Democrats. 

Donald Trump has promised us that he will not except Muslim refugees because of the threat they represent. Yes, that is what Europeans should have not done. Instead a number of European nations have simply surrendered it's countries to Muslim invaders who want to change those countries once they're in. 

So yes, there are a lot of very good reasons why many of us are supporting Donald Trump. But mostly, whether some like it or not, it's because he says that he is willing to do the unpopular things that need to get done for the good of our country. So imagine that for a moment, we have someone running for office who is not a career politician and wants to do good for America. 

We Americans need a fighter who will fight for what's right and not for what's Politically Correct as with what's taking place in Washington and Europe these days. We need positive change, and certainly not simply more of the same which the Democrat Left and Liberal Republicans have given us.

And yes, that's the way I see it.
Tom Correa

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Ed Masterson vs Bob Shaw, 1877

My article The Killing of Ed Masterson, 1878 was a big hit. Now a few of you have written asking for more information on Ed Masterson's shootout with Bob Shaw.

From what I can determine, Ed Masterson was without a doubt a fearless lawman. He was seen by people who knew him as an honorable and decent man, as well as an important man in his community.

Below is are newspaper accounts of the Dodge City gunfight between Ed Masterson and Bob Shaw.

Dodge City Times (10th November, 1877)

Last Monday afternoon one of those little episodes which serve to vary the monotony of frontier existence occurred at the Lone Star dance hall, during which four men came out some the worse for wear; but none, with one exception, being seriously hurt.

Bob Shaw, the man who started the amusement, accused Texas Dick alias Moore of having robbed him of forty dollars, and when the two met in the Lone Star the ball was opened.

Somebody, foreseeing possible trouble, and probable gore, started out in search of Assistant City Marshal Ed. Masterson, and finding him hurried the officer to the scene of the impending conflict.

When Masterson entered the door he descried Shaw by the bar with a huge pistol in his hand and a hogshead of blood in his eye, ready to relieve Texas Dick of his existence in this world and send him to those shades where troubles come not and six shooters are not known.

Not wishing to hurt Shaw, but anxious to quiet matters and quell the disturbance officer Masterson first ordered him to give up his gun. Shaw refused to deliver and told Masterson to keep away from him, and after saying this he again proceeded to try to kill Texas Dick. Officer Masterson then gently tapped the belligerent Shaw upon the back of the head with the butt of his shooting iron, merely to convince him of the vanities of this frail world and to teach him that all isn't lovely even when the goose does hang antitudilum. The aforesaid reminder upon the back of the head, however failed to have the desired effect, and instead of dropping, as any man of fine sensibilities would have done, Shaw turned his battery upon the officer and let him have it in the right breast, the ball striking a rib and passing around came out under the right shoulder blade, paralyzing his right arm so that it was useless, so far as handling a pistol was concerned. Masterson fell but grasping his pistol in his left had he returned the fire giving it to Shaw in the left arm and the left leg, rendering him hors du combat.

During the melee Texas Dick was shot in the right groin, making a painful and dangerous though not necessarily a fatal wound, while Frank Buskirk who, impelled by a curiosity he could not control, was looking in at the door upon the matinee, received a reminiscence in the left arm, which had the effect of starting him out to hunt a surgeon. Nobody was killed, but for a time it looked as though the undertaker and the coroner would have something to do. The nerve and pluck displayed by officer Masterson reflects credit both upon himself and the city, which has reason to congratulate itself upon the fact that it has a guardian who shirks no responsibility and who hesitates not to place himself in danger when duty requires.

Dodge City Times (8th December, 1877)

City Marshal Edward Masterson receives the congratulations of his many friends without a show of exhalation. Notwithstanding the fact that considerable feeling was manifested against the removal of Mr. Deger, no one accuses Mr. Masterson of seeking the position. In fact he preferred to retain his old position as Assistant, which gave him the same salary and engendered less responsibilities. As an officer his reputation is made, and it is a good one.

Dodge City Times (30th March, 1878)

City Marshal Masterson contemplates organizing a tramp brigade for the purpose of clearing the streets and alleys of the filth and rubbish that has been accumulating for a year or so. There are about thirty tramps now sojourning among us, all of whom have no visible means of support and are liable to arrest under the vagrant act.

Ford County Globe (10th April, 1878)

At ten o'clock last night. City Marshal Edward Masterson, discovered that a cowboy who was working for Obum of Kansas City, named Jack Wagner, was carrying a six-shooter contrary to the City Ordinance. Wagner was at the time under the influence of liquor, but quietly gave up the pistol. The Marshal gave it to some of Wagner's friends for safe keeping and stepped out into the street. No sooner had he done so than Wagner ran out after him pulling another pistol, which the Marshal had not observed. The Marshal saw him coming and turned upon Wagner and grabbed hold of him.

Wagner shot Marshal Masterson at once through the abdomen, being so close to him that the discharge set the Marshal's clothes on fire. Marshal Masterson then shot Wagner.

About this time a man named Walker got mixed up in the fight. He, it appears, was boss herder for Obum, and Wagner was working under him. He also got shot once through the left lung, and his right arm was twice broken.

Marshal Masterson walked across the street to George M. Hoover's saloon, where after telling that he was shot, he sank to the floor. He was immediately removed to his room, where in half an hour he expired.

Walker and Wagner were nearly all night insensible, and none thought that either of them could live through the night. However, morning has come and neither are dead; both are in a very precarious condition and their chances for recovery very small.

The city is in mourning; every door is draped with crape; business is entirely suspended till after the funeral of Marshal Masterson, which will take place at two o'clock p. m., and will be attended by everybody in the city.

Marshal Masterson will be buried in the Military Cemetery, at Fort Dodge.

Dodge City Times (13th April, 1878)

Died. In this city, on Tuesday, April 9th, in the 26th year of his age, Edward J. Masterson, City Marshal.

The subject of this sketch was born in Henryville, Canada East, on September 22d, 1852, and removed to Wichita, Kansas with his parents in 1869, where he continued to reside until attaining his majority when he left his home and became one of the first inhabitants of this city.

In June 5, 1877 he accepted the appointment of Assistant Marshal, and in the December, 1877, having displayed marked adaptability for the position, he was promoted to the Marshalship, in the discharge of the duties of which he continued until his unfortunate death.

Possessed of a geniality of temperament, a kindness of heart and a richness of personal bravery, he had many warm friends and admirers.

As an officer he followed the dictation of duty, striving at all times for its honest and complete discharge and gaming for himself the dignity and respect that of necessity followed from his determined intrepidity.

He died in the service he performed so well, and has added one other to the list of those who, living, were so many representatives, each of his day and generation, but who dead, belong to all time, and whose voices ring down the ages in solemn protest against the reign of violence and blood.

-- end of articles.

For me, it sounds as though a lot took place in a very short span of time. And luckily, Ed Masterson was not killed.

Tom Correa