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First Posted: May 5, 2010
May 9, 2010

Charlie Pitts (Outlaw) AKA Sam Wells

Charlie Pitts/Northfield Bank robber. Picture taken after death. Shot five times and killed at Madelia, September 21, 1876.

Charlie Pitts (outlaw)

Charlie Pitts also known as Sam Wells, was born in 1844. He was credited as a member at the Otterville Train Robbery, was killed in Hanska Slough by a posse in a shoot-out after the Northfield raid.

On September 7, 1876, the James-Younger Gang attempted to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. Among the outlaws were the James Brothers, the three Younger Brothers, and two more Quantrill veterans, including Clell Miller and Charlie Pitts. The attempted robbery was to be the demise of the infamous James-Younger Gang and the death of Charley Pitts. When ordered to open the safe, bank cashier, Heyman, refused to do so and ducked down. Angered, Jesse put a pistol to his head and shot him. The shot was heard beyond the bank and when the bank alarm began to go off the Northfield citizens opened fire upon the gang. Charley Pitts and Bill Chadwell were killed. Cole, Jim and Bob Younger were badly wounded but managed to escape. However, they were captured just one week later, just east of Mankato. The Younger Brothers were sentenced to life terms in prison. Frank and Jesse escaped back to Missouri, unharmed.