This page is part of Emmett Dalton; His Life After the Coffeyville Raid

What actually happened when Bob Dalton

shot Charley Montgomery

Coffeyville Journal, August 16, 1888: On Wednesday evening, about 7:30 o'clock, a young man named Charley Montgomery, was shot and killed by the members of Deputy Marshal Grat Dalton's posse, in the Indian Territory, about seven miles Southwest, of this city. The body of the dead man was brought to Coffeyville during the night and buried here on Thursday. The particulars of the killing and the circumstances which led thereto, as near as we can come at them, are as follows:

It appears that Montgomery, who appeared in the nation about a year ago, had been playing some unwarranted games since his advent there. For instance: About a month ago he came to Coffeyville and represented himself as a U. S. Marshal, and had to be arrested and disarmed. He was suspected of being engaged in running off horses from the Osage country and various petty crimes were charged up to him by the citizens of that section of the Territory. Lately he had appropriated two revolvers that did not belong to him, and had secured a horse that was not his own, but which got away from him before he could get it into the State. Marshal Dalton was after him, and had ordered his posse to locate and arrest Montgomery, as he was aiming to leave the country that night, whilst he came to town, expecting to find Montgomery here. In the meantime Bob Dalton had located their man at June Brown's in the Timber Hills, and as he could not find the Marshal, he took the guards and went after Montgomery. The party consisted of Bob Dalton, Al. Landis and Bill Griggs. They did not anticipate any trouble in getting the man. They found Montgomery sitting on the porch, and before they could reach him, he opened fire on Landis, whom he recognized, with a revolver. His first shot went through the guards hat, and the next took away a small portion of one of his ears. About the time he fired the second time, Landis let go with his revolver, the shot taking effect in Montgomery's breast. At this he wheeled and started to run in the direction of young Dalton with his pistol presented at an aim. The latter called him to stop, but was answered by a shot at such close range that some of the powder lodged in his face, but the ball passed over his shoulder. Bob Dalton was armed with a shot gun and he quickly replied to Montgomery's shot with a charge of buck shot, that took effect in the right side and stomach of the victim. He fell in his tracks and expired without a word. The men engaged in the affair very much regret the necessity for the killing. They did not anticipate any resistance on Montgomery's part, but it semms he had given it out that he would never be taken alive. His associations were those of the criminal class, and he was accused of introducing whiskey into the Territory. His life's ending was a tragic one, and sad. He was about twenty-eight years old.

This case was obviously properly investigated, and the men charged found not guilty.

From Fort Smith National Archives