Sunday, 13 July 2014

Dead Man's Hand: The James-Younger Gang, Frank and Jesse James

Just a quick Blog spot about the start of my second of 4 of my DMH gangs, The James-Younger Gang.

The gang was centred in the state of Missouri. Membership fluctuated from robbery to robbery, as the outlaws' raids were usually separated by many months. At various times, it included the Younger brothers (Cole, Jim, John, and Bob), the James brothers (the notorious Jesse James and his brother Frank), Clell Miller, Arthur McCoy, Charlie Pitts, John Jarrette (who was married to Cole's sister Josie), Bill Chadwell (alias Bill Stiles), and Matthew "Ace" Nelson. Contrary to frequent reports, the James brothers and Younger brothers were not related, at least not by blood.

Starting in 1879, after the demise of the James–Younger Gang, the James brothers committed further crimes with Clell Miller's brother Ed and the Ford brothers.

Frank on the left and Jesse on the right, both are Dixon miniatures

The James–Younger Gang had its origins in a group of Confederate bushwhackers (Ummm seems I have a thing for Bushwackers hehe) who fought in the bitter partisan conflict that racked the divided state of Missouri during the American Civil War.

This group's postwar crimes began in 1866, though it did not truly become the "James–Younger Gang" until 1868 at the earliest, when the authorities first named Cole Younger and both the James brothers as suspects in the robbery of the Nimrod Long bank in Russellville, Kentucky. It dissolved in 1876, after the capture of the Younger brothers in Minnesota after the ill-fated attempt to rob the Northfield First National Bank.

Three years later, Jesse James organized a new gang and renewed his criminal career, which came to an end with his death by getting shot in the back while hanging a picture in 1882. During the gang's period of activity, it robbed banks, trains, and stagecoaches in Missouri, Kentucky, Iowa, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, and West Virginia.

Watford Wargaming Federations first set of buildings, painted by Bob Long
If anyone is interested I recommend starting DMH for quick but highly fun tactical games while having a pint or 3 :)

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