Vernon Dalhart - Kinnie Wagner's Surrender (1926)





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Uploaded on Jun 9, 2011

PLEASE NOTE: While Vernon Dalhart gives an accurate description of Kinnie Wagners mis-deeds in this recording, the chronological order of them in the song is somewhat changed. Please read on for a real-life account of Kinnie Wagner.

In 1903 in Scott County, Virginia, William "Kinnie" Wagner was born to Nancy Clinton Wagner and her husband, Charles Monroe Wagner. He was one of eight children. At a young age he became an excellent marksman.
Kinnie's life of crime began while Moonshine running in Mississippi, which was where the money was, and young Kinnie did well for awhile, then came the setup, (according to Kinnie it was a setup). Wagner claimed that the sheriff
had hired him to run the moonshine, however, when the Feds started investigating, the sheriff got cold feet. Fearing that Kinnie knew too much, the sheriff accused Kinnie of stealing a watch and he was incarcerated in the Lucedale, Mississippi jail, but soon broke out.
On Christmas Eve, 1924, the sheriff sent a Deputy McIntosh to arrest Kinnie and return him to jail. The Deputy wisely set up an ambush for Kinnie, but it was of no use. Kinnie spotted the deputy and fired, killing him.
Later, Wagner was found Hiding out in the Kingsport, Tennessee area, and another ambush was set up, and when Kinnie came into view, the shooting started. He returned fire, instantly killing two lawmen. A third lay seriously wounded while Kinnie made his escape across the Holston River. Dozens of men joined in the manhunt, and in time, he surrendered and was sent to Blountville to stand trial, where he was found guilty and sentenced to death.
Fearing what the electric chair must be like, Kinnie made another escape in 1925, and remained on the run until August of 1926 when something happened that involved members of the Carper family on a farm near Texarkana, Arkansas. No one is still alive that knows for sure what actually happened that fateful night, but the incident ended in a gunfight between Kinnie and the Carpers, leaving Sam and Will Carper dead and Bob Carper seriously wounded.
Finally, later that month, Kinnie entered the Sheriff's office of Miller County, Arkansas and surrendered himself to
Texarkana's first female Sheriff, Lillie Barber. According to legend, as Kinnie was confessing to Barber, He was quoted as saying, "I'm tired of being hunted; I don't want to dodge people anymore." and "I have never been arrested for stealing or been in jail on any other charge except killing."
Following the surrender of course, came extradition, and Kinnie finally ended up in prison in Mississippi and it was
there that he made his most clever escape...
Kinnie was in prison long enough to become a trustee, Kinnie was assigned to care for the dogs. The very dogs that would be used to track him, should he ever decide to escape again. Well, Kinnie did his job very well, day after day, month after month. And Kinnie did decide to escape again!
Immediately following his escape, the guards and law enforcement released the tracking dogs. The dogs took one whiff of his scent and turned the other way. They would not attempt to track him! During his incarceration, Kinnie had been secretly luring the dogs into tracking his scent, then beating them each time they did! Soon enough, the dogs learned not to track his scent.
He lived quietly in Wahalak, Mississippi for several years and was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. He was finally re-captured at his girlfriend's house after a jealous rival reported him to authorities.
While in prison, he was granted permission to raise dogs. On March 9, 1958, while checking on a new litter of puppies, he was holding a newborn pup when he felt a pain in his chest and grew weak. According to witnesses, he cupped the puppy in his hands as he fell to the floor. The puppy was unhurt. In his last act as a living human, this notorious gunman protected the life of a newborn puppy!
His body was transported from Parchman Prison in Mississippi to Gate City, Virginia, where he was buried in the Mountain View School Cemetery.

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