Historical Details

Hat Creek Dateline: 1877/08/31, 1877/09/02

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 12/19/1990

Cavalry escorts prisoners, not gold
by Ed Cook, Contributing Writer

Cavalry escorts, from Captain Moor's Company F of the Third Cavalry stationed here at Camp Hat Creek, rode with the down (south-bound) coach today. On this run the escorts were with the coach from Jenny Stockade all of the way to Fort Laramie. The troops were not protecting a treasure coach on this run, instead they were helping Deputy Sheriff J.W. Murray guard the passengers.

Prescott Webb, C.P. Wisdon, and G.W. Connor, the three passengers, had been arrested a couple of days ago in Deadwood. They are suspected of holding up a stage coach in July. D. Boone May, a shotgun messenger and operator of the Cheyenne River (Robbers Roost) stage stop was wounded during their apprehension.

In a chance meeting on the streets of Deadwood, May and Ike Goldman recognized Webb as a stage robber. May and Goldman had both been on the coach when May was robbed of a valuable rifle, by Webb. When they met, Webb began shooting, hitting May in the arm. May returned the fire and a running fight ensued. Webb soon jumped on a horse that was tied in front of the post office. As he sprang into the saddle and was about to get away, Deputy Sheriff Cochrane shot the horse out from under him. Boone May then wounded Webb under the shoulder blade, and he surrendered.

Sheriff Seth Bullock arrested Webb's two companions later in the day. C.P. Wisdom and G.W. Connor were found at a corral where they had five horses, a mule and their saddles. Wisdom and Connor attempted to resist arrest, but were overpowered by Sheriff Bullock and his men.

All three of the prisoners said that the had come up the Texas Trail with cattle. Then for a while, Webb and Connor had been whacking bulls for freighting outfits. They claimed that they had been hunting game in the vicinity of the Canyon springs stage station. They did not have any permanent camp but carried a tent and followed the game. Supposedly, they had delivered several loads of game meat in Deadwood.

However, the stock tender at the Canyon Springs station had reported that he had been robbed of a hat and suit of clothes, which one of the arrested "hunters" had wanted to buy from him.

Sept 2:
Deputy Sheriff Murray and the three prisoners arrived in Cheyenne by stage yesterday and they were delivered to the authorities.

The following notice appeared in the "Black Hills Times" yesterday: "We offer two hundred dollars for the arrest and conviction or dead body, if killed resisting arrest, of any of the men who were implicated in robbing the coach and the passengers on the Cheyenne and Black Hills stage road within the last sixty days. E. Nagle; A.H. Swan, County Commissioners Laramie County, Wyoming (Territory)."

(Information source: "Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express Routes," by Agnes Wright Spring).

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