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The Miller Gang, 1898
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posted
from the Cherokee Advocate

February 5, 1898
BATTLE WITH OUTLAWS
A Fight Between Deputy Marshals and the "Miller Gang"
Claremore, I. T., Jan. 27"”A special to the Fort Smith News Record says: Information reached here this morning of a shooting at Inola, ten miles from here, in which two deputy marshals, Gabe Beck and "Hez" Bussey were shot and probably mortally wounded. It is not known at this time whether or not these two men are dead.

Beck and Bussey, who ride for the Muskogee court, with headquarters at Claremore, had been planning for some time to capture the gang of outlaws, of which one Bill Miller is reported to be the leader. Last night there was a big dance at Inola, at which it was known the desperadoes would be present. "Hez" Bussey and Beck were on the scene, but the fact that the outlaws became apprised of the plan and succeeded in capturing and disarming Bussey, delayed the scheme to close in on the bandits. The latter would have killed Bussey but the intervention of Miller. When released last night Miller started out for reinforcements and secured them. This morning he and Beck at the head of a posse, closed in around the house of Bill Critten, at Inola, where the outlaws were quartered. Firing was opened by the deputies and returned by the outlaws with telling effect. Beck and Bussey both tumbled to the ground, on which they were half reclining before the battle opened. Both men were badly wounded, and it is possible that one or both are dead at this writing. In the meantime the outlaws are at large, although Marshal Bennett at Muskogee has been apprised and reinforcements are already on the way.

The shooting occurred first as the Valley train, bound for Fort Smith, in charge of Conductor P. J. McNamara, was at the depot"”the deputies, in fact, having come down from Claremore on his train. As the firing was going on McNamara's tawny whiskers quivered with the excitement of the occasion. I reminded him of the days of Cook and Cherokee Bill gangs, when, with a six-shooter in each boot and two bowie-knives under his coattails, he used to pull his train through the Indian Territory, dodging bullets at every station. McNamara told the engineer to hurry up, and the train pulled out. Mac is a great believer in running on schedule time Passengers were badly scared.

Bud Weldon got on at Fort Gibson and it is rumored, promptly tendered a box of his Elevator cigars with which to exterminate the bandits.

It is suggested that if the outlaws can be trapped into smoking them, their death will speedily follow. Beck was an appointee of Marshal Rutherford and a brave man. At one time he rode for ex Marshal McAlester. Bussey is also a fearless deputy and was with George Lawson when "Dynamite Dick" was killed.

"One story is that Miller, whose parents are said to live in Fort Smith, is not really the head of this gang of outlaws, but is acting as a "decoy" to assist the authorities to capture the band.
 
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