c. 1877-1899 (Old)|
Elliot Callahan (first)|
Anders Beck (current)
The Redriders (sometimes distinguished as the New Redriders; Spanish: Caballeros Rojos) are a Brazorian anarchist rebel group currently active in the Brazorian Chihuahuan Desert and the Brazorian Rockies. They are sometimes referred to as the New Redriders due to questions of their direct association with the 19th century outlaw gang of the same name.
The original Redriders became active in the late 1870s and were made up of draft dodgers from the American Civil War. The Old Redriders made a circuit through Brazoria, constantly moving to avoid capture by the Brazorian Rangers and other law enforcement agents. It is believed that the original Redriders were composed of less than 30 people, though documentation on exact membership numbers is fairly limited. High profile criminal activities came to an abrupt end after the Carlsbad massacre of 1899, where only eight Redriders were able to kill over 100 Rangers, local lawmen, and civilian militia. After the events of Carlsbad, government investigatory actions intensified, and the Redriders responded by fleeing to an unknown location and ending further criminal activities. Of the estimated 30 or so original Redriders, only two were killed by law enforcement and none were ever captured.
The New Redriders emerged in the 1930s during the height of the Great Depression. It has never been confirmed whether the new group had any direct association with the old. In any case, the New Redriders were initially active in the Brazorian High Plains, where they robbed banks and trains. Responding to law enforcement encroachment, the New Redriders then moved West into the Rockies, committing highly organized heists and giving much of their stolen money away to families and vulnerable people severely affected by the Great Depression. The New Redriders slowly became more intermittently active throughout the 1940s and 1950s, and by the early 1960s it was assumed they had disbanded altogether. However, in 1971, persons identified previously as members of the group robbed a train carrying Brazorian military equipment, including an armored personnel carrier and several hundred pounds of C4 explosives. The group then participated in a coordinated bombing campaign across Brazoria throughout the 1970s and 1980s, targeting banks, industrial facilities, and government offices during late night hours to maximize property damage while avoiding civilian casualties.
After a second lull of activities in the 1990s, the New Redriders became active again in the early 2000s, mostly targeting freight trains carrying large quantities of raw materials and sabotaging rail tracks. The organization is also suspected to be behind the destruction of many major highway expansion projects and several refinery operations in the Houston Ship Channel. It is not known how many people are members of the New Redriders, though estimates range from as low as 40 to as high as 200. The high profile activities of the organization and their constant evading of capture by law enforcement has made them folk heroes among many Brazorians, as the group is also responsible for assisting irregular migrants cross the Mexican border, giving monetary spoils to the poor, and using explicit anti-capitalist, radical environmentalist messaging through the tagging of objects throughout their areas of activity. If the New Redriders are considered direct successors to the Old Redriders, the organization would be the oldest extant criminal syndicate in Brazoria and possibly all of Western Anglo-America.
Old Redriders[edit | edit source]
Trans-Grande period[edit | edit source]
The first raid attributed directly to the Old Redriders was a train robbery on 8 October 1877. A Gulf-Pacific train which originated in Houston was making its way across the Trans-Grande Territory just north of El Paso when it was attacked in the night by an estimated eight men on horseback. The train had a few lightly armed guards who were asleep when the raid began, and it was only after the Redriders had stopped the train did the guards suspect that something was wrong. The attackers had already taken several crew members hostage, including the train's engineer, and so forced the guards to surrender. The train was carrying money transfers owed by Brazorian companies that did business in Sierra, estimated to be worth the equivalent of $180,000 in the modern day. After taking the money, the eight men vanished into the night, leaving the entire crew of the train unharmed. In describing the attack to the press at the time, one of the guards noted that all eight men were wearing red bandanas, leading to the the press to popularize the name Red-Riders.
In the months after the first train robbery, Redrider activity was concentrated around Doña Ana County, with train robberies becoming more common on the Gulf-Pacific railway. In response, the Gulf-Pacific Rail Company began lobbying the Brazorian government to dispatch the Rangers to deal with the situation while bulking up its own trains with more privately operated security guards. On 10 March 1878, two Rangers were in Las Cruces and successfully managed to track a Redrider supply wagon back to their primary encampment in the Organ Mountains, though a week later when a larger contingent of Rangers and local Sheriff's deputies arrived to apprehend the Redriders at their camp, the site was deserted. Only three days later, on 21 March, a bank in El Paso was robbed by six men wearing red bandanas, and Sheriff's deputies managed to trail the six men back to their encampment in the Franklin Mountains. Due to the relatively closeness of the encampment to El Paso, one of the deputies remained on site while another rode back to town to gather a larger force. However, upon the arrival of the larger force less than two hours later, the camp, the outlaws, and the lone deputy were all gone.