Brack Cornett (outlaw)


Brack Cornett (outlaw)

Brack Cornett (died 1888) was a prominent outlaw born in Goliad County, Texas, some time in the mid 19th Century.

He is most well known as a member of the Bill Whitley gang (though it is today sometimes referred to as the Brack Cornett gang), primarily bank and train robbers, that operated in Texas in the 1880s. In 1888, Whitley, Cornett, and the gang robbed the bank in Cisco, Texas, escaping with $25,000. Several days later they stopped an I&GN train and stole $20,000.

That same year Cornett and the gang planned to rob a Southern Pacific train out of Harwood, Texas, on September 22. U.S. Marshal John Rankin somehow received advance notice of the robbers' plans and hid himself, Deputy Duval West, and a number of Texas Rangers on board the train. Just three miles outside of town, the gang stopped the train and attempted to rob it but were driven off by the lawmen. The gang was however later successful in robbing another train near Flatonia, Texas.

On September 25, 1888, in Floresville, Wilson County, Texas, the gang was run to ground by a contingent of U.S. Marshals. There was a massive shootout in which Bill Whitley was killed and one other gang member taken prisoner. Cornett himself fled alone on horseback, managing to cross the state line into Arizona Territory. He was nevertheless tracked down by Texas lawman Alfred Allee and shot dead in a gun battle near the town of Frio.

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