Gate was one of those towns that had felt the hand of the Stones River gang. A small silver mining post became a respectable rest stop for individuals heading out west. Over the years the population continued to grow and the town had formed around the silver trade and services business for travelers and miners. It was during this boom that it caught the eye of the gang. Again infiltrating members of the town, the gang was able to arrive before the shipments of silver, furs, and other supplies went east. The townsfolk suffered their tax in silence.

As the years pressed on the gang grew rich from the wealth that they had garnered. Unfortunate for the gang, they stumbled upon an Indian burial ground where, drunk and celebrating their recent successful raid, they defiled the grounds. It was then, that night that their defiling of the burial grounds they were cursed by an evil Indian spirit. The curse sowing fear and distrust between the men, they disbanded the group that gang to live out what remained of their life.

Some getting lazy, some taking to illness, others given over to madness, infighting, and still others leaving for other pursuits. It was then that the gang decided to go their separate ways with the wealth they gained and enjoy future endeavors in the west.

Some had squandered their earnings and kept up the killing, raiding, and extortion. With their team more sloppy and their informants becoming more greedy it became harder for them to relive their former glory. The war winding down brought more railroads and more people making it harder for them to control the towns. As the gang’s reign got smaller, they got more aggressive and desperate.

There was rumor that the gang had disbanded. Hope rose that the Gate had been freed and could regain some semblence of normal life. It was a just over a year ago today that those dreams were shattered. The gang arrived as they had always but this time in smaller number and with a much larger request. When the majority of the shop owners and townsfolk were unable to deliver, those in the gang grew angry and set about killing and burning. By God’s will or the gang’s greed, Gate was spared. The damage was already done and the eventual unraveling of what was left of the Stone’s River Gang had begun.

Confederate government officials heading further west, arrived the night before the attack and had bedded down in the saloon. It was during that attack all these men, save one, were killed. Reports sent over the wire brought a contingent of soldiers in short order. Gate’s sheriff and valiant townsfolk road out after the gang. It was not long before the soldiers had massacred most of the gang and brought Mortimer “Adder” Masterson to the gallows to be hanged.

It is the reason why there is such a buzz about this year’s founding celebration in Gate. Most of the town sees it as a reemergence, a rebirth for the town that has lived for so long under the oppressive rule of an unchecked tyrant.*


Stones River Gang burtlo