A Bad Day for a Gunfighter,
During the days of the Old West, John Wesley Hardin was considered the meanest, most ruthless, and most dangerous outlaw of his time. Responsible for the deaths of 27 men (although he boasted over 40), Hardin was a skilled and deadly gunfighter, so deadly that he was even able to outdraw the legendary Wild Bill Hickok on one occasion. However, Hardin’s downfall was very uncharacteristic for the deadliest gunfighter of the Old West. Sometimes even the best can have a bad day.
On August 24th, 1877 Texas Rangers caught up with Hardin at a train-station in Pensacola, Florida. A team of Rangers and local police boarded the train and cautiously approached Hardin’s seat. It took little time for Hardin to realize that the law was on to him. As the Rangers and cops approached, Hardin immediately leaped from his seat and attempted to draw his pistol, reportedly a Smith and Wesson Schofield revolver. A fast draw, even from the waistband of his pants, Hardin could have easily gunned down many lawmen and perhaps even make an escape. But something unexpected happened, as he drew his revolver the hammer became entangled on his suspenders. With the revolver helplessly tangled on his clothing Hardin was left desperately stood in the aisle of the train futilely tugging at his pistol. Before he could yank it loose a Texas Ranger calmly approached Hardin and whacked him across the head with the butt of his pistol, causing Harden to black out.
Hardin would be extradited to Texas, where he was sentenced to 25 years at Huntsville Prison for the murder of Deputy Charles Webb.