Pony Diehl

Pony Diehl

Pony Diehl, or Charles "Pony" Diehl was an outlaw of the Old West who 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 Mexico during 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 saloon in Las Cruces, New Mexico. There, they became involved in a brawl with US Cavalry soldiers 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 1876 he 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 Kid and 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 Ringo and "Curly Bill" Brocius, and becomes part of the "Cow-boy" faction. It is believed that he ventured down to Arizona Territory on 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 assassination attempt 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 posse led by Wyatt Earp searched for the suspects, specifically in Charleston, Arizona, but failed to locate them. In February, 1882, Diehl was again running from the law, when a warrant was issued for his arrest relating to a January, 1882 stagecoach robbery. Again he avoided capture.

Diehl was the main suspect in the 1882 shooting death of gambler and 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.

External links

* [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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