Bloodied bandage recovered by a farmer at the Barrow gang's campsite near Redfield, Iowa, following their shootout near Dexter, Iowa, on July 24, 1933. It may have been used to tend to Buck Barrow's severe head wound, received during a gunfight in Platte City days earlier. The bandage was subsequently acquired by the John Dillinger Historical Society, and it was once displayed at the Gerald Ford Museum under the supervision of the National Archives. In very good to fine condition, with expected wear and staining. Provenance: Part of Lot 4650, Butterfield's, June 19, 2000. Accompanied by photocopies of letters of provenance from Sandy Jones (curator of the John Dillinger Historical Society) and the original auction description.
On July 19, 1933, the Barrow gang engaged lawmen in a gun battle while camping out in Platte City, Missouri. Buck Barrow, his wife Blanche, and D. W. Woods were wounded in the fight, with Buck suffering most severely—a wound to the forehead exposed his brain and caused extreme loss of blood. Despite this trauma, he survived and remained conscious as the gang made its escape toward Dexter, Iowa. There, near an abandoned amusement park between Redfield and Dexter, they met another posse and Buck was shot in the back; all other members of the group—Bonnie, Clyde, Blanche, and W.D. were also wounded in the Dexter gunfight. Buck and Blanche were captured but the others escaped on foot, leaving this bloodied bandage behind. In an ever-weakening state, Buck was taken to King's Daughters Hospital in Perry, Iowa, where he died from his wounds on July 29th. From the collection of David Gainsborough-Roberts.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.