The Pound Gap Massacre, Part 2.
The “Pound Gap Massacre” was shocking on several levels. The greatest shock of all was three of the persons suspected of committing the heinous act. Over the next 10 days, there were many sightings of Dr. MB Taylor and the Fleming Brothers. But in none of these sightings were they ever described as men who were on the run. Yet, over 3 weeks passed before they were indicted. And over 2 months would lapse before the first arrest attempt.
The story goes that several men were hiding out in the “Clefts of the Cumberland.” Deputy Sheriff John Miller had received word about who the men were. And Doc Taylor and the Fleming Brothers were among them. Deputy Miller gathered together a posse of 22 men and went to arrest them. The posse approached the site in the open and met no resistance. But according to court testimony, one of the deputies slipped in the mud and his gun went off. This started a battle that ended with Henan Fleming being gravely wounded. But there were no deaths or arrests that day. Doc Taylor would make his way back to his home in Wise Va and hide out in his attic. Fearing that the lawmen were not interested in arresting him but rather sought for his death. The Flemings went on the run and into hiding. It would be two years before the brothers were found.
Taylor had remained hidden in his house for several days. Doc’s son, Sylvan Taylor, convinced him that he needed to leave the area. Sylvan then took his father to his home and supplied him with new clothes. He gave him $60 then put him in a boxcar heading North to Bluefield West Va. From there he would spend the night in a motel and the next day catch a passenger train heading to Florida. It was hoped that in doing this it would throw off pursuit and that he would escape. But he had been seen in Norton Va. boarding the train. Commonwealth attorney Robert P. Bruce wired the Baldwin Detective agency. Telling them to be on the lookout for the fugitive.
WG Baldwin of the Baldwin detective agency, Arrested Dr. Marshall Benton Taylor. The arrest would be without incident on July 22, 1892, in Bluefield West Va.* The story goes that he was calmly sitting on a southbound passenger train waiting for it to depart.
Doctor Marshall Benton Taylor would be held in the Bluefield West Va. Jail for a few days.** As Detective Baldwin went to Gladeville to secure his reward.*** The reward was offered by a private party and Baldwin wanted to affirm its legitimacy. He was then extradited back to Wise (Gladeville) for the murder of the Mullins party on the 26th of July 1892. Dr. Taylor was indicted on June 3, 1892. But when he appeared before the court on August 2nd, the indictment was quashed. The story says that this was for an unknown reason. And that the original indictment against him has been lost.****
- * ** These accounts are false although Dr Taylor did go to Bluefield WVa he was not arrested there, Nor did He spend anytime in the Bluefield Jail.
- *** **** These accounts are also false, WG Baldwin did not arrest Dr Taylor nor did he have anything to do with the case at the time of the arrest. The Baldwins, RM & DO, did not have the authority to arrest Dr Taylor as no arrest warrant had been issued. The arrest was actually done by a Giles County Va Deputy Sheriff named Moushon who was alerted by the Baldwins from Bluefield WVa. The Baldwins had to wait for an arrest warant to be issued by the Giles county court. After which the Baldwins were given custody of Doc Taylor. They then traveled halfway back to Wise/Gladeville and Stopped at Tazwell Va. It is in Tazwell that Doc Taylor would spend the next few days as RM Baldwin went to check on the validity of the reward.
Growing up I was taught to learn something new every day. Trying to live up to this axiom, I became a prolific and avid reader covering a wide range of topics and subjects. Although my personal studies have always been rather eclectic and included computer science, electricity, and electronics just to name a few. My favorite fields of study have always been Religion, Politics, and Economics, but my lifelong passion is the study of History and Anthropology.
I have also always been a bit of a dreamer and in the possession of a roving foot. As such my life has led me down paths not often traveled. My career has been long and varied and has included some strange ways to make a living, all legal by the way. But at last, all my passions and dreams have come together.
I have married the woman of my dreams. Together we have a wonderful home and we are both professional historians and spend our days in study.