The Swan Range -- Books and Stories by Carol Buchanan

The Vigilante Quartet

Veterans and noncombatants alike, they were all done with the war, the Civil War, that is, or the War Between the States as the Southerners called it. They bore its scars, physical or mental. But they found hope in a faraway place where there was more gold than any of them had ever dreamed of. So, leaving war behind they slogged more than a thousand miles across the continent to a remote region of the northern Rocky Mountains.

They dreamed of gold. A new start. A future for themselves and their children.

Some found gold, and learned that breaking it out of the rock in a frigid creed could break a man.

Not everyone would swing a pick or a sledge hammer to break the native granite. Their preferred tool for getting rich was the revolver or the shotgun.

For months, as honest people gathered in a crowd of 20,000 strangers, not knowing whom to trust, the outlaws, known as road agents, terrorized travelers.

Then a man dying of natural causes requested a Masonic funeral. His brother Masons made themselves known to each other, and as they planned his funeral, they formed as well a nucleus of law and order.

During the autumn of 1863, armed robbery and murder increased. People disappeared. In December, a young man named Nicholas Tbalt failed to return from picking up a team of mules for his employer. When young Nick's body was found, they learned he had been cruelly murdered.

Outrage overcame fear. Two separate groups of frightened men became the Vigilantes of Montana.

How the Vigilantes came to be, and how they defeated the gang of outlaws that came to be known as the Plummer Gang, I've told in a sweeping series of four historical novels that tell how honest men confronted armed robbers and murderers and made the region safe for others to work toward the future they sought.

Learn more about the books and how to purchase them here.