Badge and Buckshot: Lawlessness in Old California
Badge and Buckshot is a comprehensive book at many of the once-famous peace officers and outlaws of Old California. Told here for the first time are the true stories of Ben Thorn, the iron-willed but scandal-plagued sheriff of Calaveras County; John C. Boggs, the fast-shooting nemesis of the Tom Bell and Rattlesnake Dick gangs; Ben and Dudley Johnson, the notorious “Tulare Twins”; Kid Thompson, whose train-robbing exploits took place just blocks from present-day Los Angeles film and television studios; and Coates-Frost feud, California’s bloodiest vendetta, which endured more than twenty years and left fourteen men dead. Here, too, are the first complete accounts of Captain Ingram’s Rangers, the band of Confederate guerrillas who raided stagecoaches in California during the Civil War; Steve Venard, the soft-spoken lawman who killed three outlaws in a single gunfight; and the legendary Bill Miner, whose career of banditry spanned almost half a century.
The product of more than ten years of painstaking research, Badge and Buckshot recounts one of the forgotten sagas of the Old West, an action-packed tale of shoot-outs, stage holdups, manhunts, and lynchings. At the same time, through extensive use of pioneer newspaper files, court records, and previously unpublished illustrations, it shatters old myths and demonstrates the overall effectiveness of the criminal justice system in Old California. For authentic Americana, Badge and Buckshot is not to be missed.
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Fascinating history of California's early days! I inherited this book from my father's estate and began reading because it contains a story about "Doc" Standley" (who was my great-great grandfather) "The Iron Man of Mendocino." That got me hooked on the rip-roaring tales of hold-ups, shootouts, horseback chases, grizzly characters and other scenes of the wild wooly West. If you enjoy the true tales of the Gold Rush days, this book is for you.
George H Shinn
Newspaper headlines announcing Venards capture of
Sheriff Ben K Thorn
Ben K Thorns badge
Southern Pacific Train No 20
Kid Thompson 1897
Frank J Morgan dead
Newspaper headline announcing the killing of the Gates boys
The CoatesFrost Feud
Wells Fargo Detective Jim Hume
Sheriff Tom Cunningham and deputies 1899
Sheriff John H Adams
Bill Miner 1864
Bill Miner 1881