Deputy U.S. Marshal Charles H. V. Fusselman

Deputy U.S. Marshal Charles H. V. Fusselman

United States Department of Justice - United States Marshals Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch Thursday, April 17, 1890

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Charles H. V. Fusselman

Deputy Marshal Charley Henry Vanvalkenburg Fusselman joined Company D of the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers in Duval County on May 25, 1888 at age 21. On May 18, 1889, he was promoted to Corporal. On June 4, 1889, Corporal Fusselman killed a man he was attempting to arrest at Marathon in a gun battle where 15 shots were fired in less than 20 minutes, and Fusselman shot the man eight times. On June 19, 1889, the U.S. Marshal appointed him a deputy U.S. Marshal. He offered to resign his ranger commission, but Captain Frank Jones allowed him to retain both commissions. By November 1889 he had been promoted to sergeant.

On April 17, 1890, Sergeant Fusselman was in El Paso to attend court. While at the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, a rancher named Barnes came in to complain that some bandits had stolen a number of his cattle. The deputy sheriff could not leave the office so Fusselman agreed to accompany Barnes and a 60-year old former ranger and lawman, George Herold, in chasing the rustlers. They quickly captured one of the rustlers who was a lookout. The three men found the cattle and assumed the rustlers had fled. They were ambushed and Fusselman was killed by the rustlers. Herold and Barnes had to flee. A posse could not find the rustlers.

Ultimately, Geronimo Parra, a well-known rustler along the Mexican border, was identified as the man who killed Charles Fusselman. John R. Hughes, Captain of Company D, learned of Parra’s incarceration in New Mexico. Hughes asked Sheriff Pat Garrett, the killer of Billy the Kid, to deliver Parra to Texas in return for a prisoner Garrett wanted that the rangers held. On October 6, 1898 - over eight years after Fusselman’s death - Parra was convicted and sentenced to hang. Parra was executed on January 5, 1900.

Although Charley Fusselman had been involved in numerous shootings and scrapes with bandits, and he was promoted to Sergeant in the Texas Rangers and given an appointment as a Deputy U. S. Marshal, he was only 23 years old when he was killed. He was buried in the Lagarto Cemetery in Live Oak County. The canyon in the Franklin Mountains in El Paso County where Fusselman was killed is now named Fusselman Canyon.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 1 year, 10 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Texas
  • Weapon Rifle; Winchester
  • Offender Hanged

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Jesus Christ, during His earthly ministry, proclaimed, “Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends.” [John 15:13 ESV]

Chaplain Steven R. Closs, D.Div, MSBS, NCCA
Ordained/Licensed Independent Christian Clergy
Merrimack, NH 03054

Captain Steven R. Closs (Ret.)
Nashua NH Police Department

February 25, 2021

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