Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Confession of Charles W. Weeks,
Member of Tiburcio Vasquez' Band.

February 1874.

NOTE: Spelling has not been altered. "Tobasquez Vasquez" refers to Tiburcio Vasquez, "Trespenos" and other variations are Tres Piños, etc.

Camp Hallick Nevada
February 5, 1874

Statement of Private Charles Weeks, Co. "P" 1st Cavalry, a general prisoner awaiting sentence of a General Court Martial. His statement is made in the presence of Lieutenant George A. Jaeger 12th Infantry Officer of the day, Camp Hallick Nevada and P. McIntyre Deputy Sheriff Elko County Nevada:

"I committed a murder in Peach Tree Valley Monterey County California. The murdered mans name was Fisher. The murder was committed sometime in the late of 1869. Five hundred dollars reward was offered for the apprehension of the murders. The reward was offered in Monterey County California, I fell in with Tobasques Vasquez. I joined him, and stayed with his Band until about 2 months ago. I was not with him at the Tresapenys [sp: Tres Piños] murder. I was not with him when he went towards Sonora California. I was with him when he took Manera’s wife with him. Was with Vasquez in the robbery of Fire Ball’s Ferry in the summer of 1873. I had Mrs. Hoffman’s jewelry, the time she was robbed. Then I belonged to the Vasquez’s Band. At that time ($2,000) two thousand dollars was offered as a reward for the capture of any one of the band, or the entire band. I went by the name of William Day, while I belonged to Vasquez’s Band. I am 26 years of age. Was born 4 miles from the Golden Gate San Francisco Harbor California.
    (Lgd.) Charles W. Weeks.

(Lgd.) Geo. A. Jaeger
    2" Gr. 12’ Infantry
    Officer of the Day
(Lgd) P. W. McIntyre
    Deputy Sheriff Elko County Nevada

Dept. of California Sam Z. Breck
February 12, 1874 Assoc. Adj. Gen’l

Camp Halleck Nev.
February 5, 1874

Statement of Private Charles W. Weeks Company G. 1st Artillery attached To Co. I 1st Calvalry, a general prisoner awaiting sentence of a General Court Martial for desertion, taken in the presence of 2ne Lieutenant Geo. A. Jaeger 12th Infantry Officer of the Day, Camp Hallick, Nev.

    "Tobasquez Vasquez can be caught. There is one way of doing it, he keeps a woman in San Juer valley about eight (8) miles from the Gavaland mountains, sat in Santa Barbara Co. He stops with her three (3) or four days at a time, at nights. In order to catch Tobasquez with her, it is best to station three or four armed men inside of her house with orders to take charge of and prevent her from going to the door an any of the ani-domes to give signs of danger to Tobasquez. This woman is a Mexican named Juanersica, about twenty one or twenty two (22) years of age. It is also necessary to place a strong guard of men within one hundred yards of the house; there are plenty of bushes in the vicinity of the house. There is also another way to catch Tobasquez. Guard the trail leading from the Gavaland Pass to Sonora about eight miles from the overland stage road which runs along the coast; there is a precipico at the place that will answer for every purpose in capturing him. Sometimes he is in the Gaviland mountains, then again in the Coast ranger in a canon called the Centour, at the head of the canon. This canon is situated on the road to the Quick silver mines. Sometimes he stops at a Spaniards - John Castrol - (ranch about four miles from the New Hytn’s mines in Viasitas Valley. Tobasquez is about thirty years of age, small, with a dark cunning snake looking eye, about 5 feet 7 inches height, dark heavy mustache and imperial, very quick and active, dark complexion, straight black hair. He wears a heavy double hunting case patent lever silver watch, to a large silver bullion chain, also a heavy silver ring on one of his small fingers. It is necessary to be cautious in endeavoring to catch him, as he is a very sharp man and nearly every Spaniard, also American, known and commine with him.
    Arthur Lee, colored, another member of Tobasquez Band, is about five feet 6 inches in height, complexion is very black, very short curly hair, very large eyes; he has a deep scar on his right cheek, also a great many cuts on his back sustained in the State prison of California. He has gone towards New Mexico, having received a letter from him to that effect, a week ago. I tore up the letter after reading it. I think the only way to catch him is to telegraph along the Railroad his full and exact description. He might have changed his mind and gone to the Raff river country in the Goose Creek mountains. Some of the cattle dealers there might see or hear of him, as he is interested in cattle himself.
    Poncho Centour (?), another member of Tobasquez gang, is 5 feet 10 inches in with Tobasquez, as he is one of Tobasquez right hand men. Poncho Centour (?) is the man who hight, very stout, light complexion, dark eyes, black hair, deep scar on his right breast, caused by a knife. He is likely to be with Tobasquez, as he is one of Tobasquez right hand men. Poncho Centour (?) is the man who killed those two sheep herders in the Viasitas Valley. He can probably be caught in the Penoche Valley at a place called Trinidad Salvanter, as he is struck after one of Salvantes daughters. He is generally there at Fandangas every Saturday night. Don’t let any Spaniards see any armed body of men in the vicinity of Salvantes ranch, for the Spaniards are friends of Tobasquez. Not even a child of four years of age should be seen by them. Those children there are almost as bad as men to give information.
    Siboon, another member of Tobasquez band, he is 6 feet tall, stoutly built, very unsightly, has a right angular scar on his right upper cheek bond, pocmarked in his face. He is a two faced man. Whenever he sees or hears anything that is good, he goes at once and informs Tobasquez his chief. He help the band in nearly all their depredations and is less suspected in his actions than any other man of the band. He keeps himself a great deal as Trinidad Salvantes.
    The Civil authorities know hi, however, but they can’t prove his tricks.
    He lives in Panoce Valley about forty five (45) miles east of Hollister, Monterey County, Cal.
    Panoche is in Fresno County.

    Chequito Tedra
    Another member of Tobasquez’s band.
    He is about five feet four inches in height, light complexion, sharp nose, could pass for an American, small blue eyes.
    He also stays with Tobasquez a great deal.
    He has a woman in Centour Canon, about thirty (30) years of age.
    She is very fleshy. She has a little daughter. He visits his woman about once a week. In order to catch him, a party of armed men should go and take possession of her and the house which she is in.
    Ramon Jesus, another member of the band of Tobasquez. He is a slim man; slow and easy going; nothing appears to trouble him; takes everything very easy, no scars on him that I know of. He might be caught selling Jewellry in San Francisco. He goes to see an old prostitute in Broadway opposite the County Jail in a cezzano basement. She is a queer woman, perhaps he might be caught there.
    Moreno,an ex-member of Tobasquez band. He is in prison for life.
    Antonio, Another member orf Tobasquez band. He is a dark Mersican; grey hair; he can be caught in the Gavoland mountains with Tobasquez.
    George Russell, Giotie, another member of Tobasquez band,. He is young yet, about 5 ft-9 in; high, very good looking; black hair and moustache, light-blue eyes. I think he is the most desperate man of the band. He served 10 years in the State Prison of California for stage robbery. He visits Gilroy a great deal in Santa Clara Co; He also keeps a woman at Frenchmans ranch - Ioc - her name is either Hettie or Hattie.

Personal Confession

My first robbery with Tobasquez’s band was in 1870, it was in Sonora Valley, we robbed a stage on the San Phillipi road, in Santa Clara Co; 6 or after that-two men of the band were caught-Jose Santescus, and another man, who I think was killed. Then we robbed the Fire-Baugh Ferry Stage, in which robbery we got about $900.00 altogether, mostly in jewelry, and about $400.00 dollars in coin. The watch that was taken from Mrs. Hoffman, I returned to her again because it was a gift of hers from somebody. She gave me $20 reward. Then we store cattle from the men around Fresno Slough, San Juaquin Valley. Then we robbed the 12 mile house in Santa Clara Co.; between San Jose and Gilroy, we got three dollars and six bits in that robbery. Then we went back 8 miles and stole 8 horses, and got chased by some citizens. We had to leave them all behind us. My horse gave out and I had to hide in the bushes a couple of days. When I thought the danger was over, I went to a wood choppers camp near by and stole some provisions. Then I truck out for Cantour Canon. Our encampment was 50 miles distant, on my way there I met a man about 10 miles this side of our encampment, who I robbed of his small change. He told me he did not have any money. He had about $40 - coin, and a Smith & Wesson pistol. I also took the pistol from him which I sold to Tobasquez for $20. I was taken very sick when I reached our encampment. When the boys, 9 in number, went down the Trespenos Valley, and robbed Snyders Hotel and Dry Goods Store. Three citizens were killed there. I was not along with the band when this robbery was committed. I was too sick to accompany them. When they came back they told me what they had done, and advised me to get up and follow them as best I could, that the citizens were after them all in hot pursuit. I went with the band to Rock Canon, there we met Moreno, another of the band. Vasquez took Moreno’s wife away, and a Sheriffs party from Los Angeles of about 25 men followed up up to the head of Rock Canon. They got so close to us, that we had to give them a fight. Sheriff dams,shot through my Coat-collar, none of the citizens came nearer than 200 yards to us, one of our party was slightly shot in one of his forefingers. We were behind rock and had no trouble in keeping the sheriffs party back at a distance. The sheriffs party captured Moreno, also some goods of ours, also some of our horses. We had 38 horses when we left our encampment we were striking for Sonora, M, 8 of our animals were packed. When we heard that the citizens had given up the pursuit, we also heard they had divided their party and were endeavoring to cut us off. We tried hard to cut-off one of their party, but we took a wrong road to the boundary line of New Mexico, and had to returnto Contour Canon. It was our idea to go to Mexico and never to show our faces in America again. After the band got to Contour Canon, I struck out on my own hook, for parts unknown. I took 2 rilfes with me, one I sold in Carson City, Nevada, the other I broke over the Railroad track. Then I saw the Presidents Proclamation concerning deserters. I surrendered myself and deserted again. Then I surrendered and deserted again from the Guard House at Camp Halleck, Nevada.

(Signed) Charles W. Weeks Witness
Geo A. Jeager
2nd Lt. 12th Inf.
Officer of the Day

Headquarters, Dept. of California
San Francisco, Feb. 10, ‘74
Serg. E.Y. Fisher, Co.: "I" T Cav:
Camp Halleck, Nev:
"Thro: Post Commander"

    The Major Gen Comdr. directs me to communicate to you his appreciation of your efforts and success in the arrest of Pvt. Chars. W. Weeks, Col. "I." T. Cav. Who escaped from the guard at Camp Halleck, Nevada, I am 30. ’74.
    In carrying the attention of the state authorities to the case of this man, he will take special pains to mention your claims for whatever reward may be fairly due.
    Very respectfully
    Your Obd. Svt.
    Sam ? Breck
    A.A. Governor

    Official Copy
    Sammuel Breck

Headaquarters Department of California,

P.O. BOX 2261 San Francisco, February 15, 1874

His Excellency
    Newton Booth
        Governor of California
            Sacramento, Cal.

    I have the honor to transmit herewith your information, copies of a confession made by Charles W. Weeks, Co.: "Y" 1st U.S. Artillery, who is now serving out a sentence of five (5) years confinement at hard labor at Alcatraz Island, Cal: under sentence of a General Court Marshal, with accompanying letter of Major Gordon, U.S. Calvary, also copy of a letter to Sergeant E.Y. Fisher, Co.: "I" 1st W.S. Calvery, to which special attention is invited.

    Very respectfully,
        Your Obedient Servant
            J.M. Schoficher.

Contributed to SCV History In Pictures by Jo Ellen Rismanchi.
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