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Freedmen's Bureau agent is assassinated


On this day in 1868, Freedmen's Bureau agent William G. Kirkman was shot dead in Boston, Texas, most likely by notorious Reconstruction-era outlaw Cullen Baker. Baker became notorious in the Southwest as a violent opponent of Reconstruction. He received the nickname "Swamp Fox of the Sulphur" because of the area where he grew to manhood. Although he was not the legendary quick-draw artist some have maintained, some writers made much of his prowess with a six-gun, his harassment of the United States Army, and his defense of "Southern honor" during and after the Civil War. Others saw him as a mean, spiteful, alcoholic murderer. Baker himself was killed three months after Kirkman was assassinated.

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