Marshal Harrington Lee "Hal" Gosling

Marshal Harrington Lee "Hal" Gosling

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

End of Watch Saturday, February 21, 1885

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Harrington Lee "Hal" Gosling

Two outlaws, Charles Yeager and James Pitts, were arrested for robbing post offices and other crimes. They were tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison at a trial in U.S. District Court in Austin. Family and friends conspired to free them on the train back to the jail in San Antonio. The conspirators agreed in advance that they had to kill Marshal Gosling.

The prisoners were handcuffed together and were seated facing each other at the window. Pitts' 18 year old wife and Yeager's sister were allowed to sit next to them on the train. Marshal Gosling was warned of an escape attempt, but took no precautions. He was accompanied only by deputies John Manning and Fred Loring. A number of family and friends also got on the train, including Pitts' grandmother. At a point about 4 miles from New Braunfels, one or both of the women handed the prisoners each a pistol. Pitts ordered the officers to surrender, but Marshal Gosling was hindered because his pistol was under his vest. Pitts shot the marshal behind the left ear and Yeager shot him in the back. The marshal collapsed on Deputy Manning, who was then shot twice. Manning rose and shot Pitts twice. The conductor opened fire and shot and mortally wounded Pitts' grandmother when she confronted him. Deputy Loring opened fire and wounded Yeager's sister and shot Yeager twice as he and Pitts jumped from the train and fled. Pitts died from four wounds, and Yeager was arrested later by a posse.

Charles Yeager and the conspirators were never convicted for the murder of Marshal Gosling. Yeager was sent to federal prison in Illinois on the original conviction. He was pardoned on December 25, 1903 after 18 years in prison.

Marshal Gosling was buried in the Knights of Pythias Cemetery in San Antonio. He was survived by his wife and two small sons. He was a lawyer and newspaper owner before being appointed as a U.S. Marshal.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 2 years, 10 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Texas
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender one killed and one sentenced to prison

Most Recent Reflection

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Marshal Gosling,
On today, the 131st anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country.


United States Border Patrol

February 21, 2016

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