The definitive account of the Dalton Gang and the most brazen bank heist in history, by the multiple New York Times bestselling author.
The Last Outlaws is the thrilling true story of the last of one of the greatest outlaw gangs. The dreaded Dalton Gang consisted of three brothers and their rotating cast of colorful accomplices who saw themselves as descended from the legendary James brothers. They soon became legends themselves, beginning their career as common horse thieves before graduating to robbing banks and trains.
On October 5, 1892, the Dalton Gang attempted their boldest and bloodiest raid yet: robbing two banks in broad daylight in Coffeyville, Kansas, simultaneously. As Grat, Bob, and Emmett Dalton and Bill Power and Dick Broadwell crossed the plaza to enter the two buildings, the outlaws were recognized by townspeople, who raised the alarm. Citizens armed themselves with shotguns and six-shooters from nearby hardware stores and were locked and loaded when the thieves emerged from the banks. The ensuing gun battle was a lead-filled firefight of epic proportions. As the smoke cleared, eight men lay dead––including four of the five members of the doomed Dalton Gang.
For the first time ever, the full story of the Dalton Gang's life of crime, culminating in one of the Wild West’s most violent events, are chronicled in detail––a last gruesome gasp of the age of gunfights.
The Dalton Gang's failed attempt to rob two banks at once in Coffeyville, Kans., in October 1892 was "arguably final confirmation of the end of the Wild West," according to this detailed and digressive history. Journalist Clavin (Tombstone) sets the stage for a fine-grained narrative of the shoot-out by first explaining the Daltons' place in the history of the Old West's train- and bank-robbing gangs (the Daltons were cousins to the Youngers of the James-Younger Gang) and profiling individual Daltons and the lawmen known as the Three Guardsmen who pursued them. Coffeyville was a prosperous, relatively peaceful place when the Daltons trained their sights on it. On the morning of October 4, the gang of five rode into town, three of them headed for First National Bank and two for the Condon Bank. The Condon Bank trio lost valuable time due to a cashier's lie that the safe was on a time lock and would open in 10 minutes. The two outlaws at First National had more success, but town residents had raised the alarm and armed themselves, some with guns commandeered from a local hardware store. The resulting shoot-out left four citizens and four gang members dead. Though Clavin's build-up takes too many detours, the exciting climax entertains. Patient Wild West history buffs will be rewarded.