February 2014 ~~~~ Editor:  Cliff Hanger ~~~~
John Coffee Hays from Wikipedia
Col. John Coffee "Jack" Hays (January 28, 1817 - April 21, 1883) was a captain in the Texas Rangers and a military officer of the Republic of Texas. Hays served in several armed conflicts from 1836-1848, including against the Comanche people in Texas and during the Mexican-American War.


Hays was born at Little Cedar Lick, Wilson County, Tennessee. Rachel Jackson and Andrew Jackson were his Aunt and Uncle, Jack spent much time with them growing up at the Hermitage prior to the Jackson presidency. His father Harmon Hays named his son after longtime family friend and Jackson protégé Colonel John Coffee. His brother was Confederate General Harry T. Hays of New Orleans. His sister, Sarah Hays Lea, was the mother of John Hays Hammond.

In 1836, at the age of 19, Hays migrated to Texas. Sam Houston appointed him as a member of a company of Texas Rangers because he knew the Hays family from Tennessee. Jack met with Sam Houston and delivered a letter of recommendation from his uncle Andrew Jackson.

In the following years, Hays led the Rangers on a campaign against the Comanche and other tribes in Texas, and succeeded in weakening their power. In 1840 Tonkawa Chief Placido and 13 scouts joined with the Rangers to track down a large Comanche war party, culminating at the Battle of Plum Creek. Later, Hays commanded the force against the invasion from Mexico of 1842. During the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), Hays commanded the First Regiment of Texas Rangers at the Battle of Monterrey, established six companies along the northern and western frontier of Texas, and commanded the Second Regiment of Texas Rangers in Winfield Scott's Mexico City campaign. The Rangers excelled during this conflict, gaining nationwide fame.

John Coffee Hays
Nickname  "Jack"
Born January 27, 1817
Wilson County, Tennessee
Died April 21, 1883 (age 66)
Piedmont, California
Marriage and family

On April 29, 1847, in the Magnolia Hotel, Hays married Susan Calvert, a descendant of George Calvert, First Baron Baltimore, in Seguin, Texas, where he had his home.

The Comanche had great admiration for Hays. Upon news of the birth of Hays' first son in California, Chief Buffalo Hump sent the Hays family a gift, a golden spoon engraved "Buffalo Hump Jr."

When John Hays Jr. married Anna McMullin in San Francisco, two Texas Ranger legacies were combined. Her father, Captain John McMullin, was one of Jack Hays' closest friends; he had followed him to California. In 1850 McMullin was elected the first Sheriff of Sacramento.

Post-war years

In 1849 Hays was appointed by the United States government as the US Indian agent for the Gila River country in New Mexico and Arizona.

The next year the Hayses joined the migration to California. Hays was elected sheriff of San Francisco County in 1850, and later became active in politics. In 1853, he was appointed US surveyor general for California.

Hays was one of the founders of the city of Oakland. In the following years, he amassed a considerable fortune through real estate and ranching enterprises. In 1860, while in Virginia City, Nevada, on business, he heard the news of the First Battle of Pyramid Lake. He commanded a force of volunteer soldiers at the Second Battle of Pyramid Lake.

During the Civil War, Hayes retired from any further political or military activity.

In 1876, Hays was elected as a delegate to the Democratic Party national convention, which nominated Samuel J. Tilden for the presidency of the United States.

Hays died in California on April 21, 1883. He was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.

Legacy and honors

Hays County, Texas is named in his honor.

Burton C. Mossman Hays from Wikipedia
Burton C. Mossman (April 30, 1867-September 5, 1956) was an American lawman and cattleman in the final years of the Old West. He is most remembered for his capture of the notorious border bandit Augustine Chacon in 1902, though he was also a successful businessman that owned the large Diamond A Ranch in New Mexico.


Burton C. Mossman was born on April 30, 1867, at farmhouse near Aurora, Illinois. In 1873, he and his family moved to Missouri and in 1882 they moved again, this time to New Mexico. Sometime after 1884, Mossman became a cowboy employed by the Hashknife Outfit, a large cattle company in northern Arizona Territory. Mossman was somewhat popular and respected. By the age of twenty he was the ranch foreman and in 1897 he was promoted to superintendent. During this time, Mossman was occupied with fighting cattle rustlers or pursuing private business ventures. Aside from ranching, Mossman and a partner operated a stagecoach line and in 1898 he was elected sheriff of Navajo County. That same year, Mossman and three of his associates built a brick opera house in Winslow, but he soon sold his share and built a store in Douglas, which was later sold as well, for $13,000. Mossman is said to have joined Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders in 1898 and fought in the Spanish-American War, however, author Bill O'Neal makes no mention of this in his Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters and it seems Mossman was already very busy managing the Hashknife Outfit, serving as sheriff, and pursuing personal business interests. By 1901, banditry was widespread in Arizona so the territorial governor, Oakes Murphy, authorized the re-establishment of the Arizona Rangers. Because of his popularity, as well as past exploits, Mossman was appointed to be the first captain of the new unit.


Mossman was involved in at least five shootings during his time as a rancher or a lawman. The

Burton C. Mossman
Born  April 30, 1867
Near Aurora, Illinois
Died September 5, 1956
Diamond A Ranch, New Mexico
first recorded in Bill O'Neal's Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters occurred in the summer of 1896. By this time, the Aztec Land & Cattle Company was in trouble so Mossman drove a herd of cattle south to Mazatlan, in Sinaloa, Mexico, to sell it. While in a Mazatlan cantina, Mossman quarrelled with a Mexican Army captain, who challenged him to a pistol duel. Mossman accepted and on the following morning the two men met, loaded their weapons with a single bullet, and then took fifteen steps away from each other. The captain was armed with a German Luger and Mossman had a short-barrelled Colt .45. When the two men turned around, the captain fired first. The shot missed so Mossman then fired, striking the captain in one of his shoulders. Mossman spent the next month in a Mexican jail, until he made his escape with the help of a friend.

On March 17, 1898, after becoming sheriff of Navajo County, Mossman was out searching for a gang of cattle rustlers with Deputy Sheriff Joe Bargeman and a treacherous Mexican guide. In Walter Canyon, the posse found a cabin and a slaughtered cow, at which time, the guide tried to make a run for it with his horse. Mossman chased the man down and knocked him off his horse with his Winchester rifle. Then, as he dismounted to help the guide to his feet, three other Mexican men opened fire on Mossman from 100 yards away. One bullet grazed Mossman's nose, one knocked off his saddle horn, and a final bullet cut his reins. Deputy Bareman had opened up by this time and, with covering fire, Mossman was able to take the guide prisoner and bring him to the cabin. The outlaws briefly laid siege to the cabin, but they soon retreated and the policemen made it to Holbrook, sixty miles away.

Mossman was involved in another shooting that year. One fall night, Mossman was undressing in the second-floor room of a hotel in Springer, New Mexico when a bullet came up through the floor near his chair. Then, as he began rolling up his mattress for protection, a second shot came in. Angrily, Mossman armed himself with his rifle and began firing through the floor and into the bar below. According to O'Neal, the bar was vacated immediately and nobody was harmed. A bullet did, however, put a hole through the brim of a man's hat and a second one smashed a glass out of another man's hand.

Mossman fought in two more skirmishes in 1901, after becoming the captain of the Arizona Rangers. The first occurred in Paradise Valley. Mossman was pursuing an outlaw named Salivaras and the trail led him to a water hole somewhere in the valley. As Mossman approached, Salivaras lay in ambush and grazed the captain in his right leg. Mossman immediately identified where the shot had come from so he then quickly pulled up his rifle, fired a single shot, and jumped off his horse. Sometime later, after working his way up to Salivaras' position, Mossman discovered that his bullet had taken off the top of the outlaw's head.

Later that year, Mossman received information that six suspected train robbers were held up twenty miles south of the international border, along the Colorado River in Sonora. According to Bill O'Neal, Mossman and three of his men found the outlaws in an adobe house and then proceeded to destroy it with dynamite. After exploding four sticks, the outlaws attempted to shoot their way out, but the rangers shot five of them down with rifle fire. A sixth man escaped on horseback and none of the rangers were hurt.

Augustine Chacon

In 1902, Mossman turned his attention to apprehending the border bandit Augustine Chacon. To do this, Mossman came up with an idea that involved posing as an outlaw and recruiting the train robber Burt Alvord, who was a friend of Chacon, to use him as a stool pigeon. However, to recruit Alvord, Mossman had to find his hideout in Sonora, where he would be totally helpless against both the bandits and Mexican authorities. Mossman had previously attempted to capture Alvord and his gang, but they got away. This time, Mossman hoped that Alvord would be willing to help him with Chacon and then surrender in exchange for a lighter sentence and the reward money offered for Chacon's head. On April 22, 1902, after traveling for several days by wagon and on horseback, Mossman discovered Alvord's hideout, a small hut located some distance away from San Jose de Pima. The captain approached the hut unarmed and by chance he found Alvord standing alone outside while the rest of the gang were playing cards inside. Mossman was first to introduce himself and though Alvord was immediately alarmed about the presence of a police officer at his hideout, he agreed to feed Mossman and listen to what he had to say. When it was obvious that Mossman wasn't trying to fool Alvord, the two men agreed to cooperate and that Billy Stiles would act as their messenger for it would take a while for Alvord to find Chacon and convince him to cross the Arizona border and somebody had to warn the captain of when the bandits arrived. When he did finally catch up with Chacon, over three months later, Alvord first had to go with him to the Yaqui River, to sell some stolen horses, before going all the way back to the border. As the bandits were nearing the rendezvous, Alvord sent Stiles ahead to tell Mossman to meet them just south of the border, at the Socorro Mountain Springs, in Sonora.

Mossman and Stiles failed to meet Alvord and Chacon in the Socorro Mountains, but, on the following night, they found the bandits at the home of Alvord's wife. There, after exchanging names, Mossman and the others agreed to cross the border, back into Arizona, on the next day so they could steal some horses from Greene's Ranch that night. However, it was decided that it was too dark for stealing horses that night and the party went back to their camp, which was located less than seven miles north of the border. According to Raine, just before daybreak, on September 4, 1902, Alvord was preparing to leave when he "tiptoed" over to Mossman and said: "I brought Chacon to you, but you don't seem able to take him. I've done my share and I don't want him to suspect me. Remember that if you take him you have promised that the reward shall go to me, and that you'll stand by me at my trial if I surrender. You sure want to be mighty careful, or he'll kill you. So long." When Chacon awoke later that morning, his suspicions were aroused when he found that Alvord was no longer in camp. After breakfeast, Stiles suggested that they go steal the horses in daylight, but Chacon was uninterested and said he was going back to Sonora. Mossman knew his time to act was now. Chacon and Stiles were sitting on the ground next to each other when Mossman stood up. First he asked for and received a cigarette from Chacon, then, as he dropped the twig he used to light his cigarette, Mossman pulled out his revolver and aimed it at Chacon. According to author William McLeod Raine, Mossman said: "Hands up, Chacon," to which the bandit said: "Is this a joke?" Mossman replied: "No. Throw your hands up or you're a dead man." Chacon then said: "I don't see as it makes any difference after he is dead whether a man's hands are up or down. You're going to kill me anyway, why don't you shoot?" Mossman had Stiles disarm Chacon and then put him on a horse for the journey to the railroad, where they boarded a train to Benson. Of note is that several times Chacon attempted to escape by throwing himself off his horse, presumably at a place where Mossman couldn't easily follow, such as a steep hillside or something similar. The capture of Chacon was anticlimactic but Mossman's plan worked exactly as he hoped. Chacon was eventually hanged in Solomonville on November 21, 1902.

Later life and death

After the capture of Augustine Chacon, Mossman resigned from his position in July of 1902 to focus on a peaceful life as a businessman in Bisbee, although rumors circulated that he was uninterested in working for the new governor, L. C. Hughes. Mossman later returned to the cattle business and purchased the Diamond A Ranch, near Roswell, New Mexico, where he died of old age on September 5, 1956. Mossman was buried at the Mount Washington Cemetery in Independence, Missouri and the Diamond A Ranch is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to historical writer David Leighton, of the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, Mossman Road in Tucson, AZ is named in honor of Burton C. Mossman.

John Hicks Adams from Wikipedia

John Hicks Adams (1820–1878) was an American 49er of the California Gold Rush, and Sheriff of Santa Clara County between February 6, 1864 and 1870, then again between 1871 and 1875. He was also Deputy United States Marshal for the Arizona Territory 1878, and a noted gunslinger.

Early life

John Hicks Adams was born in Edwardsville, Illinois, on June 13, 1820. His father, John Adams Sr., was elected Sheriff of Madison County in 1838. John Jr., was appointed Deputy Sheriff; his duties included collecting taxes and taking care of court business. In December 1841, John married Mathilda Pomeroy. Their first child, May Hanna was born one year later on December 21, 1842.

In May 1847, during the Mexican American War, Adams joined Company J, 5th Regiment of the Illinois Volunteers. During the march south, the commander of his company, Captain Niles, died and John was promoted to Captain of Company J, the rank he continued to maintain throughout his year and half of active duty. John served most of his time in the Southwest, fighting Indians. Captain Adams was discharged from the service on the October 12th, 1848.

When word spread East that gold had been discovered in California, John went across country, arriving in Hangtown in August 1849. John stayed in the gold country mining, until September 1851, when he returned home. A year later in the spring of 1852, he again started for California, but this time he was accompanied by his family. They settled in Georgetown, where John continued mining, when in 1853 they moved to a farm near Gilroy.

Career as County Sheriff

John started his political career by running for and winning the office of County Supervisor for Gilroy and Almaden Township in the September election of 1861. In 1863, John ran for Sheriff, beating William Aram by more than 500 votes. With the passing Sheriff Kennedy on February 6, 1864, the Board of Supervisors appointed Adams (who would have been sworn in as Sheriff in March) to finish out Kennedy's term.

Soon afterward, a band of Confederate partisan rangers, known as Captain Ingram's Partisan Rangers from the San Jose area robbed two stage coaches in the Bullion Bend Robbery near Placerville. During the pursuit Deputy Sheriff Staples of El Dorado County was gunned down when he surprised them at a rooming house the next day. Information filtered to Sheriff Adams that the Confederates were holed up in a shack near Almaden. Sheriff Adams and a posse of Deputies surrounded the shack, and demanded their surrender. The robbers failed to obey the order and tried to escape. A shoot-out ensued, like one in a western movie. All of the Confederates were either captured or killed in the volley of shots. Sheriff Adams was wounded when a bullet struck his pocket watch and glanced into his ribs.

Later that year and the next Adams pursued another gang of "partisan rangers", the Mason Henry Gang who had rapidly degenerated into a vicious gang of outlaws, committing robberies, thefts and murders in the southern San Joaquin Valley, Santa Cruz County, Monterey County and Santa Clara County preying on stagecoaches, ranchers and others especially if they were known Union men in the vicinity. Adams pursued the gang with the help of two companies of Native California Volunteer Cavalry from Camp Low during the summer of 1865. But no one could locate their hideout at Loma Prieta. In June, 1865, a posse of nine soldiers and five citizens led by Sheriff Adams searched the area around the Panoche Valley in what is now southern San Benito County in search of the gang after receiving a reliable tip that they were planning a raid on the ranches there. However a system of spies set up by the secessionists had warned the band of their approach, when Sheriff Adams arrived at Panoche, Mason and Henry were already retreating towards Corralitos. Despite some encounters they were not caught but Adams pursuit made it so hot for them they soon left for Southern California. There Henry was killed by the Sheriff in San Bernardino County in September 1865 and Mason by a bounty hunter near Fort Tejon in 1866.

While in office Adams acquired a good reputation as a lawman and ran successfully for re-election in 1865 and 1867. He became the first Sheriff in Santa Clara County to be elected to three successive terms. Retiring for a couple of years in 1870, he again ran for re-election in 1871 and 1873, winning both terms. Although he didn't personally capture the highwayman Tiburcio Vasquez, he was a good detective and it was his information that led to Vasquez's arrest and capture in Los Angeles, Vasquez was hung before a large crowd of men, women and children in the yard of the Santa Clara County Jail. In 1875 Adams lost an election and finished his last term in March 1876.

In 1879, it was revealed that Hicks had been raping pre-pubescent girls since the late 1850s. It is believed that that is why he lost the election in 1875 "people learned of his perversion and no longer trusted him". His own daughter was a Victim of this abuse killing herself and murdering her 2 year old child, John, in 1879. revealing in her suicide note that it was her father's son and that he had raped her from when she was 6 to 19 years of age, at which time he left to mine for gold in Arizona.


On January 24, 1878, Adams left San Jose to mine gold in Arizona. In late August, he was appointed Deputy United States Marshal for the Arizona Territory. Ten days later, he and a fellow officer were ambushed by five Mexican bandits between the Washington Mine and Tucson. Adams put up a fight despite being shot and appeared to have been beaten to death with clubs and rocks. The murderers were caught in Mexico, but Mexican officials refused to extradite them to the United States for the prosecution of the murders.

James B. Hume from Wikipedia

James B. Hume (January 23, 1827-May 18, 1904) was one of the American West's premier lawmen.

Born in Stamford Township, Delaware County, New York, he left home in 1850 headed for the gold fields of California with his brother John. Hume panned gold and mined for a number of years in addition to operating a trade store off and on. In 1860 he began his career as a peace officer serving as deputy tax collector for El Dorado County, California. In 1864 he was elected City Marshal of Placerville, California, and in 1864 hired as Undersheriff of El Dorado County. He ran for Sheriff in 1865 and remained in office until 1870. In 1871 Wells, Fargo & Company hired him as a detective, but gave him a year's leave in 1872 to serve as deputy warden of the Nevada State Prison. He became one of the most prominent detectives of the times. He married Lida Munson on April 28, 1884, and had a son. He never retired from the company, but after an illness in 1897 he slowed down and began working fewer road trips. He died at his home in Berkeley, California.

Black Bart

One of Hume's most famous cases was that of Black Bart. Black Bart may have been a cunning and intelligent stage coach robber, but detective Hume was an equally skilled lawman who eventually brought Bart to justice. James B. Hume had an impressive record as a California and Nevada lawman before he joined the Wells Fargo freight company in 1873. In both appearances and actions he had all the characteristics of a model western lawman: he was tall, handsome, modest, reticent, quietly efficient, and resourceful in his use of modern detection methods, including the science of ballistics.

Hume had been trailing Black Bart almost from the beginning of the thief’s career. He visited the sites of all the robberies and patiently put together a valuable list of information. Witnesses in settlements near the scenes of the robberies described seeing a polite, friendly man in his fifties, about five foot eight or ten in height with brownish gray hair, a fierce gray mustache and matching goatee, carrying a bedroll (which Hume correctly inferred carried his duster, sack disguise, shotgun and loot), passing through on foot and quickly disappearing. Hume made special note of the reports by several witnesses that the man’s boots were neatly slit at the toes as if to relieve corns – small wonder, given the territory Bart covered on foot (he never traveled by horse). Hume was well aware that this figure the locals had reported was likely to be the culprit.

Hume's major break occurred on November 3, 1883, when Bart robbed a Wells Fargo coach headed from the town of Sonora to Milton, in Calaveras County. One of the drivers fired a shot at Bart, and forced him to promptly flee. Within the nearby brush, Hume found a cache of rations and correctly assumed that the goods were the bandit's. More importantly however, a blood-stained handkerchief bearing the laundry mark "F.X.0.7" was recovered. With the assistance of his associate Harry Morse, he spent a week visiting every laundry in the Bay Area – nearly a hundred of them, to track down where the mark originated. Eventually they inquired its origin at a laundromat on Bush Street in San Francisco. The proprietor identified the F.X.0.7 handkerchief mark as that assigned to C.E. Bolton, a man who lived in a hotel on Second Street. 
The arrest of Black Bart was at hand.

Hume and Morse were real detectives in a time when law work, outside of the Pinkerton Agency and Wells Fargo Operations, consisted principally of forming posses, serving warrants with a gun, and preventing mobs from lynching the miscreants. Few lawmen in 1883 put their noses on the carpet and searched for clues in the manner of a Sherlock Holmes (Holmes had not yet surfaced - his first adventure was published in 1887) and not many did the legwork that ended Black Bart’s escapades.

Other Family

Hume's sister Mary married Mathew McClaughry in Kortwright, New York. Their oldest son Robert W. McClaughry served as a major in the 118th Illinois Infantry during the American Civil War. R.W. McClaughry would later serve as the Chicago Chief of Police, Warden of Joliet Prison and was the second warden of the United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth, KS.

All articles submitted to the "Brimstone Gazette" are the property of the author, used with their expressed permission. 
The Brimstone Pistoleros are not responsible for any accidents which may occur from use of  loading data, firearms information, or recommendations published on the Brimstone Pistoleros web site.