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January 25, 2016 / Joanne Yeck

The Buckingham Outlaws: PART XIX



On October 22, 1908, The Times-Dispatch reported that Charles Thomas, one of the four leaders of the Zimmerman-Thomas gang, had been arrested by Sergeant S. T. Rodgers of Basic City, Augusta County, Virginia. Thomas was discovered fishing in the South River.

During the heat of Arvonia’s panic, reporters from The Times-Dispatch had interviewed Mrs. Thomas, the mother of outlaws Charles and William Thomas. According to the newspaper, “She was a respectable-looking woman, quiet and reserved.” The paper did not print her thoughts concerning her lawless boys.

On October 23rd, Sheriff Williams identified Thomas, who confessed his identity but denied that he shot N. M. Gregory. That day, Williams transported Charles Thomas to the Buckingham County jail. There he would be held in a steel cage until he could be arraigned in the Circuit Court’s November term. His brother, Will Thomas, who remained out on bail, would also be arraigned.

An article printed in the October 26th issue of The Times-Dispatch said that the Zimmerman brothers had an uncle living at Basic City and they might be hiding near that place. Sergeant Rodgers was expected to receive at least some of the $450 reward offered by the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors and Governor Swanson for the capture of the leaders of the Buckingham outlaws. Indeed in December, the officer received a check from the governor for $50. This was in addition to $100 he received from Buckingham County for apprehending Charles Thomas.

Coming Next: The Thomas Brothers

Need to catch up? Click here: The Buckingham Outlaws: Part I


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