Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 1 year, 3 months
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 1/1/1878
Suspect: 3 killed, 1 escaped
On the evening of Tuesday, January 1, 1878, two men who served as teamsters for the rangers, Ben Johnson and George Stevenson, left the ranger camp to attend a dance in town. Stevenson borrowed a pistol from Private McCarty. The two ranger teamsters were confronted by a group of local men who were discharged soldiers from the 10th Cavalry stationed at the fort. When the two teamsters returned to the ranger camp and reported that the men had taken McCarty’s pistol, Lieutenant Reynolds told Sergeant Henry McGhee and Private McCarty to go and get the pistol.
As Sergeant McGhee and Private McCarty approached the dance hall, the men closed the door and defied the rangers to enter. Sergeant Ghee ordered the men to return the pistol and surrender. Sergeant McGhee covered the front door and Private McCarty guarded the back door. George Stevenson was sent to get Lieutenant Reynolds at the camp. Lieutenant Reynolds returned with Privates Tom Gillespie and Dick Harrison. The men again refused to surrender to Lieutenant Reynolds and Reynolds ordered the dance hall cleared of all women and gave the men five minutes to surrender. The women started to scream and the men became demoralized. One of the men poked McCarty’s pistol, muzzle foremost, out of the window and said, “Here come get your damned pistol.” McCarty stepped up and grasped the pistol. The man pulled the trigger and the ball pierced McCarty’s body just below the heart. The rangers opened fire killing three men. One man escaped in the confusion.
McCarty lingered until 1:20 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2, 1878, when he died. He was reportedly buried at Fort McKavett, located 20 miles southwest of Menard, in Menard County. McCarty had enlisted as a private in Company F on June 4, 1875 and served until June 4, 1875. He re-enlisted as a private in Company A on September 10, 1877. No information as to whether he was married or had any children.