Sunday, August 21, 2016

Aftermath of the Dalton Gang Raid on Coffeyville Kansas

Emmett Dalton
(from Topeka State Journal. November 4, 1907)
Of course, after the gang was exterminated, there were rumors. Rumors that the ghosts of the Daltons would return to extract revenge from the citizens of Coffeyville. Rumors that the town would be burned to the ground. Rumors that the men would be killed. Rumors that the women would be raped and brutally butchered. And, rumors that the money—finally, would be removed from the banks.

Liveryman John Kloehr received a letter that rattled the entire community upon its publication. It said that “not all of the Dalton Gang are dead by a hell of a sight.” Five of the gang were still living. They had missed the raid because of a mix-up of dates. They would be in Coffeyville soon—to extract their revenge.

“You people had no cause to take arms against the gang,” continued the writer. “The bankers will not help the widows of the men who got killed there, and you thought you were playing hell when you killed three of us, but the time will soon come when you will have to go into the grove and pass in your checks for killing Bob and Joe Evans and Texas Jack. So take warning, and we will leave you in the hands of God for this time.”

Signed the “Dalton Gang.”[1]

Friday, August 5, 2016

Want to Know How to Rob A Train? Ask an Expert. The Dalton Method of Train Robbery

Emmett Dalton
(from The Last Raid of the Dalton Gang, 1892)
Any fool could rob a train, banks posed a bigger challenge.

Banks were located in the center of a city. Sheriffs and marshals were usually always nearby, a posse could be formed quickly, and one never knew about the townspeople—some were braver than they were smart.

Trains could be hit out in the open country at a remote and isolated spot. It could take hours, even days to raise a posse, and get them armed and on the road. By the time it took to get a posse started, the gang could make a clean getaway.

Another thing about trains was robbers knew exactly which cars to target—the goodies were always locked up in the express car, or sometimes in the mail car. Another bonus was few trains carried a squadron of armed guards. And, the express car wasn’t normally well protected. Against a gang of determined robbers armed with Winchesters, dynamite, and helpless hostages—an express man had little chance to defend his precious cargo.

He could pull a gun, but the consequences were most often fatal. He could stall for time, and try to hide some of the valuables before the inevitable stick of dynamite slid under the door and blew it open. Most often, though, the best move was to give it up and open the door. That way no one got hurt.