Author Topic: The East during the "Wild West"  (Read 450 times)

Offline CitadelGrad08

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The East during the "Wild West"
« on: November 17, 2021, 06:28:04 PM »
Back with another history question:

Were there any sort of "Wild West" encounters that happened to those who stayed put during the Reconstruction instead of heading West? The romance of the Old West seems to get all the spotlight, but were there any lawless areas in the East/South post American Civil War?

I know that parts of the Appalachians were not quickly developed and groups such as the Red Shirts/KKK that were known to conduct raids in certain counties further South. Additionally stories such as the Hatfield-McCoy feud or moonshine/bootlegging go hand and hand with the region. 

How about any known boom towns with similar stories like Deadwood or Tombstone? NC and Georgia had gold rushes, but that was prior to the 49'er rush to California.

What about train robberies? To my knowledge there are many more rail lines on the East Coast than there were out West during the time, even though many were damaged or destroyed during the War. With that many established lines you'd think there had to be some instances of train robberies in the East/South.   

I apologize in advance for the round about way to ask my question, I hope it makes sense. Thanks again!


Offline St. George

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Re: The East during the "Wild West"
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2021, 06:34:13 PM »
Go to your local Public Library and  check out the Tim-Life series - 'The Old West' - it'll give you a good idea of the various activities of the era.

"Back East', folks were busy trying to rebuild their pre-war lives, on both sides of the conflict - they were farming and manufactiring and reestablishing 'normalcy', and oddly enough, that took up a helluva lot of time.

What, exactly, are you after?

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Offline CitadelGrad08

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Re: The East during the "Wild West"
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2021, 06:57:25 PM »
Just stories of lawlessness/crime or similar historical events that occurred during the 1865-1910 timeframe but "back East" vs "out West." I was just thinking about how you always hear about the outlaws and gunslingers of the era, but the famous exploits most tell about are almost always West of the Appalachians in the American frontier.

For example, here is an incident I found in my research which seems to be related to moonshining in Western North Carolina:

"The Whitson brothers: That the three brothers, Dick, Will and Tom Whitson went to the distillery operated by Kit Byrd and Miles Smith, (on Whitsons Branch, near Tipton Hill, Mitchell County) on the Sunday morning of November 5, 1882 for the purpose of collecting money which Byrd owed them. The men became involved in an argument over the settlement, and Byrd was shot down by the Whitsons with Winchesters. The brother fled into the mounatins of Kentucky, where they remained until their capture early in last year (1892). Will and Tom were tried and convicted, Dick having died before the trial. The brothers were sentenced to hang, but were respited by Govenor Holt. They were first sentenced to hang on 24 March 1893, their sentence commuted to imprisonment in the penetentiary for 30 years. Will Whitson pleaded in a letter posted in the newspaper that he was innocent" https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/152102606/christopher-columbus-byrd


Offline CitadelGrad08

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Re: The East during the "Wild West"
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2021, 07:08:53 PM »
Found a similar topic from 2014, "The Old West in the Old South (not often talked about)."

https://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php?topic=52252.0


Offline Major 2

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Re: The East during the "Wild West"
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2021, 01:43:08 AM »
George Kirk was well known in the Western Carolina mountains and leading over 2,000 men against fellow Southerners during the War.
 Kirk first served as Confederate, but later organized the 3rd NC Mounted Infantry rising to the rank of colonel.
Kirk’s regiment was comprised primarily of Union sympathizers from the South.
Kirk's Rader's became known as an enemy of the people and a disgrace to any military standards. His wild antics earned him the nickname “Cut-Throat Kirk,”  he continued well into 1870.


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Re: The East during the "Wild West"
« Reply #5 on: Today at 08:33:07 PM »

Offline Mogorilla

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Re: The East during the "Wild West"
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2021, 07:40:30 AM »
Reno Brothers in Indiana committed the first train robbery.   All kinds of fun tails on either side of the Mississippi

Offline Story

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Re: The East during the "Wild West"
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2021, 02:08:51 PM »
Battle of New Gascony (Jefferson County), Arkansas - 1874.
https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/battle-of-new-gascony-reconstruction-14577/

Colfax Massacre, Grant Parish, LA 1873 (even involves a cannon)
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/1873-colfax-massacre-crippled-reconstruction-180958746/

Richmond, VA 1870
https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/overview
After Gilbert Walker was elected governor in January 1870 he sought to replace the officeholders of the earlier Republican regime. He appointed councilmen for the city of Richmond, retaining only two of those appointed by the military. This council elected a new mayor, H. K. Ellyson, as well as chief of police and police officers. George Chahoon, the young, New York-born, Radical Republican appointee of the mayor, already in office and with his own police force, contested this municipal election and declared his intention to staying in office until his term expired six months later. Chahoon ordered his police force at the three stations to hold them against all attackers.

And thus began what was known as the “Municipal War.” Ellyson held City Hall with 375 special policemen and the fire department. Chahoon had his headquarters in the Old Market Station and had his own special police force containing many black men. Burning and shooting followed, with two men killed, but peace was eventually restored.

 

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