The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 326

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

the Bar CC in the Texas Panhandle. The Thatchers were both prudent and
bold, characteristics which their heirs displayed in keeping family interests
healthy well into the twentieth century.
Paul Patterson, an experienced ranchman and well-published writer, and mu-
seum director Joy Poole, tell the Thatcher story in clear, straightforward fashion
for a general readership. There are a few factual errors-Colorado Territory was
not in existence in 1858 and there was no "penitentiary" in Solomonville, A.T.-
and several underdeveloped chapters, and the endnotes are done in an uncon-
ventional form. The text, however, rests on sound research, much of it done in
the Thatcher Archives in Pueblo and the Bloom Archives in Trinidad. These col-
lections will entice the dwindling fraternity of ranching historians.
Overall, the book will appeal to nonacademics, who will appreciate lucid dis-
cussion of federal grazing policy and an instructive description of fall and spring
roundups. They will also be introduced to many of those who had dealings with
the Thatchers, a cast which constitutes a roll call of range country notables. In-
cluded are Charles Goodnight, the Texas cattleman's cattleman, Murdo
Mackenzie, manager of the huge Matador Land and Cattle Company, and Bur-
ton C. "Cap" Mossman, rustler-hating Hashknife superintendent and first head
of the Arizona Rangers.
Southwest Texas State Universzty James A. Wilson
Ambush at Bloody Run: The Wham Paymaster Robber of 1889. By Larry D. Ball. (Tuc-
son: Arizona Historical Society, 2000. Pp. 288. Illustrations, notes, bibliogra-
phy, index. ISBN 0-910o37-40-X. $34.95, cloth.)
On May 11, 1889, a band of highwaymen in a remote corner of southeastern
Arizona ambushed army paymaster Maj. Joseph Wasington Wham and his escort
of twelve African American soldiers. Despite a heroic defense that resulted in
eight soldier casualties, the bandits stole $28,000. The robbery occurred near
the small Mormon settlement of Pima, and U.S. justice officials suspected area
residents of the crime. The case was soon complicated by the arrogance of au-
thorities and the fact that many of those arrested had strong ties to the Mormon
community. Seven men were eventually indicted, and the resulting thirty-three-
day trial became one of the most sensational in Arizona's territorial history. De-
spite substantial evidence against the accused, the trial jury acquitted them. No
one was ever punished for the Wham robbery and the money was never recov-
In Ambush at Bloody Run, Larry Ball provides the definitive account of this com-
pelling event. Based on archival sources-including the recently discovered trial
transcript-interviews and a variety of other documents, Ball engagingly pre-
sents a thorough overview of the case's details, puncturing a few myths along the
way. But more important, Ball uses the case to describe territorial society. The
robbery and its aftermath was a convergence of the many social, cultural, and
political tensions that characterized the region, and the author demonstrates
how these complicated factors influenced the prosecution. Ball argues that past



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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. ( accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.