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The Ashland Tragedy: Murder, a Mob and a Militia in Kentucky

The Ashland Tragedy: Murder, a Mob and a Militia in Kentucky

by H. E. "Joe" Castle, J. M. Huff


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On Christmas Eve 1881, a horrible crime shook the small town of Ashland, Kentucky, and captivated the entire nation. Three children were brutally murdered and their house set ablaze. Nothing in the small town's past had prepared it for what followed. Three men were convicted of the crimes, and two were sentenced to death. But the murderers were protected by the governor's untrained militia, which would eventually turn their guns on Ashland's innocent citizens. Join author H.E. "Joe" Castle as he adds to the work of J.M. Huff and discover this incredible, captivating true story of one of the darkest chapters in the history of Kentucky.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467146647
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 01/25/2021
Series: True Crime
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 562,667
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Herbert E. "Joe" Castle was born in Ashland, Kentucky, and worked locally for twenty-eight years. His bachelor's degree from Morehead State University allowed him to focus his efforts on creative writing and history. His interest in the Ashland Tragedy was piqued after reading Huff's account several years prior to the printing of this book. He believed there was more to the story than what Huff had written. After years of extensive research, he found that to be true. Rather than rewrite what Huff had already written, he felt it practical to preserve Huff's summarized account and augment it with additional facts and details necessary to complete the history of this incredible true story.

James Morgan Huff was born in Fleming County, Kentucky, on February 2, 1841. He was reared in Fleming County and learned blacksmithing under his father. He followed the trade for about seventeen years and in 1872 moved to Ashland, where he was engaged in the mercantile business. In 1879, he relinquished the business and established a newspaper, the Ashland Republican. His six presses and six regular hands were necessary to meet his circulation of more than 1,500, taking it to the front of journalism in Kentucky. As the Ashland Tragedy unfolded, beginning in December 1881, Huff chronicled much of the proceedings in a booklet titled The Ashland Tragedy: the Crow-Bar and Ax, the Silent Witnesses.

Table of Contents

Preface 7

1 Introduction 9

2 The Fire 15

3 The Search 20

4 Gibbons Found 28

5 A Confession 32

6 The River Chase 38

7 Neal's Trial 47

8 Craft's Trial 68

9 Burnett's Theory 73

10 George Ellis 82

11 New Trials 90

12 River Massacre 96

13 Resolve and Recovery 104

14 Ellis Craft 110

15 William Neal 122

16 Commentary 126

Brief Biographies 133

Pictures 139

Notes 143

About the Authors 155

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