In the days following the Civil War, unrest and violence prevailed. Outlaws, Jayhawkers, Bushwhackers, and gunfighters wreaked havoc on a torn nation struggling to recover from its mortal wounds. Along with these threats, new and even more sinister dangers emerged as evil organizations appeared to take advantage of a nation in tears.
Ruthless men, hungry for power and wealth, concerned only with the satisfaction of their own greed preyed on the lowly, the poor, the disillusioned. Often these were men of power who sprang up from the ranks of military and government. The days of Reconstruction, Carpetbaggers and Military rule brought opportunities for these despots to plunder and pillage. Coalitions of these men engaging the help of already terrorizing outlaws strengthened their stranglehold on the Citizenry. There was new wealth to grab in the West and powerful empires to build.
Wagon trains of settlers were preyed upon. Indian uprisings were stimulated and gunrunners supplied modern weapons to them. Farmers and ranchers were evicted from their lands. Unfair taxation and martial law ran rampant. Shootings, robberies and murder were the order of the day. Stage coach lines and freight wagons were held up and robbed. Gold shipments, payrolls and U.S. Mails were hijacked. Currencies were counterfeited, banks were robbed and the nation’s economy was threatened. International relations with Mexico were threatened as smuggling of illegal contraband flourished. Gun runners provided guns to Mexican and French revolutionaries. Into this melee of terror and crime were sent agents of the U.S. Government, commissioned to fight this crime and to protect citizens from all criminals, including those of the Government’s own ranks, the most heinous villains of all.