Thursday, November 4, 2010

Letter of the Day: November 4 [Criminal edition, part 1]

Headquarters, Post of Waco
Waco, Texas, November 4th 1869

My dear General:

General Reynolds and I arrived here safely last evening after a pleasant ride of two days, and today been busy in inspecting this post and enjoying the hospitalities of the citizens. We shall probably return to Austin day after tomorrow.

I write to ask you whether you would like to have me send to the Army Medical Museum, a novel specimen. It is the head of Bickerstaff, the most notorious of all Texan desperados. It is admirably preserved in alcohol, and can be sent to Washington in that state, if you desire. If you do not wish to preserve it in that state after arrival, you can have it dissected, and put the cranium in the museum as a typical representation of a Texas desperado. Bickerstaff, the head of an organized set of murders, was the terror of Northern Texas for a long time, successfully defying and eluding the civil and military authorities. His head was sent to this place for securing the reward for his capture.

Sincerely your friend,
Warren Webster
[To] Gen. C. H. Crane, &c. &c.

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