United States Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves has been tracking his quarry for across the West for months. Having finally cornered notorious criminal Bob Dozier in December 1878, somewhere in the Cherokee Hills, the lawman had decided to call it a night. As he was setting up camp, though, a shot flew by his head. A gunfight ensued between the two men, at the end of which one of them would be dead.
Reeves likely had no idea that he would one day end up in a gunfight with a dangerous criminal when he was growing up in the southern States. Born in 1838 in Arkansas, he was a slave from the day that he came into the world. Spending his youth in Texas, after his “owner” moved there in 1846, the young man went on to valet for the man’s son, George.
It was while valeting that Reeves ended up fighting in the American Civil War – for the Confederates. Taken along when George joined up, at some point during their service, Reeves put an end to his servitude. Having been involved in an argument over a game of cards, it seems that the pair came to blows. No one is quite sure how the fight ended, but the valet used the opportunity to make his escape.