Tuesday, August 9, 2011



'The Legend Of Calamity Jane'

Jeff Bennett

From Wikipedia:
Sam Bass (July 21, 1851 – July 21, 1878) was a nineteenth-century American train robber and outlaw.

After failing at a series of legitimate enterprises, Bass turned to crime. He formed a gang and robbed the Union Pacific gold train from San Francisco. Bass and his men intercepted the train on September 18, 1877 at Big Spring, Nebraska, looting $60,000 - to this day the largest single robbery of the Union Pacific.

Bass and his gang staged a string of robberies, yet never netted over $500 at any one time. In 1878, they held up two stagecoaches and four trains within twenty-five miles of Dallas and became the object of a manhunt by Pinkerton Agents and by a special company of the Texas Rangers headed by Captain Junius Peak.

Bass was able to elude the Rangers until a member of his gang, Jim Murphy, turned informant. John B. Jones was informed of Bass's movements, and set up an ambush at Round Rock, Texas, where Bass planned to rob the Williamson County Bank.

On 19 July 1878, Bass and his gang were scouting the area before the robbery. When they bought some tobacco at a store, they were noticed by Deputy Sheriff A. W. Grimes. When Grimes approached the men to request that they surrender their sidearms, he was shot and killed. As he attempted to flee, Bass was shot by Ranger George Herold and then by Texas Ranger sergeant Richard Ware. Near Ware, were Soapy Smith and his cousin Edwin who witnessed Ware's shot. Soapy exclaimed, "I think you got him."

He was found lying in a pasture by a group of railroad workers, who summoned the authorities. He was taken into custody and died the next day, his 27th birthday. Bass was buried in Round Rock, and today, his grave is marked with a replacement headstone, the original having suffered at the hands of souvenir collectors over the years. What remains of the original stone is on display at the Round Rock Public Library.


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