- Pony Diehl
Pony Diehl, or Charles "Pony" Diehl was an
outlawof the Old Westwho crossed the paths and was associated with some of the most famous western charactors in American history, only to be mysterious and little known himself.
Diehl's origins are unknown, although he is believed to have been part
Cherokee. From a historical point, he first appears in New Mexicoduring the 1870's, riding with the John Kinney Gang, then later with the Jessie Evans Gang. While with the Kinney Gang, on December 31st, 1875, Diehl, John Kinney, Jessie Evans, and gang member Jim McDaniels entered a saloonin Las Cruces, New Mexico. There, they became involved in a brawl with US Cavalrysoldiers from Fort Stanton. The outlaws lost the fight and were thrown out of the saloon. However, a short time later the four outlaws returned and opened fire on the saloon, killing two soldiers and one civilian, and wounding another two soldiers and one civilian.
Diehl rode with the Kinney Gang through 1875, and in early
1876he left the gang to join with Jessie Evans, who had departed to start his own gang. Diehl and the rest of the gang were enlisted by the "Murphy-Dolan Faction", and it was members of the Evans Gang who killed John Tunstall, which sparked the Lincoln County War, during which Evans and his gang matched up against Billy the Kidand his "Regulators". After the end of the Lincoln County War, Diehl departed New Mexico and ventures to Tombstone, Arizona, where he meets and becomes associated with Ike Clanton, Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury, Johnny Ringoand "Curly Bill" Brocius, and becomes part of the "Cow-boy" faction. It is believed that he ventured down to Arizona Territoryon a cattle drive alongside "Curly Bill" Brocius and "Turkey Creek" Jack Johnson, in late 1878.
Diehl's name is mentioned often in the records of the events leading up to, and after, the
Gunfight at the OK Corral. He was suspected of being involved in numerous robberies and cattle rustling, and was suspected of being involved in the theft of US Army mules, alongside Sherman McMasters. After the assassinationattempt on Virgil Earp, during which the latter lost the use of one arm, the main suspects were Ike Clanton, Phin Clanton, and Pony Diehl. A posseled by Wyatt Earpsearched for the suspects, specifically in Charleston, Arizona, but failed to locate them. In February, 1882, Diehl was again running from the law, when a warrantwas issued for his arrest relating to a January, 1882 stagecoachrobbery. Again he avoided capture.
Diehl was the main suspect in the 1882 shooting death of
gamblerand Earp supporter Mike O'Rourke, but his involvement was never proven, and he was never charged. He eventually was arrested for numerous crimes, to include cattle rustling and robbery, and sentenced to the state prison. After his release he disappeared, and his whereabouts following his time in prison are unknown.
* [http://www.angelfire.com/mi2/billythekid/kinney.html John Kinney Gang]
* [http://www.historynet.com/wyatt-earps-vendetta-posse.htm Pony Diehl, Tombstone]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/mi2/billythekid/jegang.html Jessie Evans Gang]
* [http://www.tombstonehistoryarchives.com/recent/McMasterEscapeWNotes.htm The Riddle of Sherman McMasters]
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