Policeman Charles Hartsell Smelser

Policeman Charles Hartsell Smelser

Hot Springs Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, April 1, 1900

Charles Hartsell Smelser

Policeman Charles Smelser succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained three days earlier while attempting to arrest three drunk men who were had been shooting at citizens throughout town.

He had confronted one of the men and was placing him under arrest when one of the other men approached and held it at bay with a shotgun. The first man then took Policeman Smelser's service revolver and shot him in the head.

The men continued shooting other citizens, wounding two, until one of them was finally shot and wounded by the chief of police. All three were charged with Policeman Smelser's murder. One was found guilty, one was acquitted, and a mistrial was declared in the trial of the third subject.

Policeman Smelser was survived by his wife.


  • Age 33
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, March 28, 1900
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Convicted of murder

Most Recent Reflection

View all 3 Reflections

Officer Smelser,
On today, the 116th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Hot Springs.


United States Border Patrol

April 1, 2016

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.