He may not have been a German, but a man showing no loyalty to the U.S. during the early days of World War I was shown the inside of the city jail when he badgered cavalry recruits training for their role in Europe.

A man giving only the name W. Walden had stationed himself for several days near the French restaurant in downtown Pendleton. Troop D, a group of cowboys and rodeo stars training as a cavalry unit for overseas duty, ate most of their meals at the restaurant and were the subject of Walden’s sarcastic remarks as they arrived for the evening meal on Aug. 2, 1917.

Walden accosted Private Stubblefield and inquired if there was a trooper called “Rattlesnake Pete” in the unit. When he was told there was, Walden declared his intention of getting “that --- --- ----” on general principles.

Private B.H. Inman, otherwise known as “Rattlesnake Pete,” sauntered forward and challenged Walden to a fight. With the true courage of all members of the Industrial Workers of the World (or IWW), who opposed U.S. involvement in the war, Walden declined Inman’s challenge. When Privates McCrea and McCarty invited him to vamoose, Walden refused with “impertinent” remarks.

Then McCea cleared his right arm for action, and Walden suddenly decided that a hasty retreat was in his best interest after all. But before he could get himself out of range, McCrea hurried him along with a boot applied vigorously to Walden’s backside.

After giving Walden a taste of boot leather, Troop D turned him over to the local authorities, who arrested him on a vagrancy charge and tossed him in the city clink. Walden was grilled by Pendleton Police Chief Roberts and Deputy Sheriff Blakely, who discovered he had most recently been in Pilot Rock, from which town he had been “invited” to leave.

Walden was held for further questioning.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.