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Thom Ross
Artist: Thom Ross, Title: It Went Up With A Bang - click for larger image
It Went Up With A Bang
50 x 70 Inches  Acrylic on Canvas   Sold
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The Wilcox, Wyoming, Train Robbery: "At 2:18 a.m. on Friday, June 2, 1899, the Union Pacific Overland Flyer #1 was flagged down by an emergency flare at milepost #609. Thinking that a nearby bridge might be out, the engineer, W. R. Jones, stopped the train. Two outlaws quickly lit dynamite fuses on the bridge, boarded the train, and ordered Jones and the fireman, Mr. Dietrick, to move across the bridge. When Jones reacted too slowly, one of the outlaws hit him in the head with his six-shooter. The train was across the bridge before it blew up. The tourist cars were uncoupled from the engine, baggage, mail, and express cars. Jones was then ordered to pull another two miles up the track towards Medicine Bow where four more outlaws were waiting. Three of the robbers then ordered the mail clerks to open up the mail car doors. They refused and the robbers blew open the doors. They then ordered express car messenger Charles E. Woodcock to open the express car door. He refused also, and they again turned to dynamite to open the door. This explosion slightly injured Woodcock and he had to be helped from the train. More dynamite was used to blow open the express car safes. The charge must have been too strong because the express car was blown to pieces by the force." - Donna Ernst "Sundance, My Uncle" This painting shows the stunned bandits watching the money that had been blown sky-high, slowly floating back to earth. "It went up with a bang," one of them recalled later. A side-note to this incident: immediately after the final explosion, the outlaws found themselves splattered with a red liquid. Initially they were terrified that they had blown up an unseen express messenger in the car. They then realized that it was not blood that was splattered on them; they had unknowingly blown up not only the express car safes, but a crate load of raspberries!!! The outlaws most often credited with this robbery were Harry Longabauch (The Sundance Kid), Harvey Logan (Kid Curry), "Flatnose" George Curry, Lonnie Logan, Bill Carver, and Ben Kilpatrick. Butch Cassidy may have masterminded it, but he did not participate in the actual robbery as he had given his word to the Governor of Wyoming that upon his (Cassidy's) release from the Wyoming State Prison he would never again commit a crime within the state's boundaries.
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