|Columbus Yell "Bud" Heaslet|
When James returned home, he appears to have been considered a doctor of sorts in Nacogdoches; he may have studied medicine, but was not an M.D. Family stories say he removed a bullet from Jesse James and allowed James to stay at his home until his brother Frank could come for him. Jesse and Bud were said to have become friends, and when Frank James arrived, he gave a horse to Bud's youngest brother, Ulysses S. Grant Heaslet, then about 10 years old. (Another child was named Abraham Lincoln Heaslet, leaving no doubt about James Heaslet's sentiments regarding the Civil War.)
After the war had ended, Texas' Republican Governor Davis created a military police force and filled it with appointments; the state police, state guard and reserve militia were racially integrated and were perceived by Democrats as existing to enforce racial integration in the state, an unpopular sentiment at the time. They were created in order to put down the lawlessness that was becoming rampant in Texas, but as is often the case, many began to abuse their power. Bud Heaslet was one of the appointed officers in the state police.
In December 1871, David Harvell was killed in Linn Flat, a small town fourteen miles from Nacogdoches, by two state police officers: William Grayson and Bud Heaslet. According to an account published in 1880 by Richard Haltom, Grayson and Heaslet became upset with court proceedings being held by Justice of the Peace Dawson in Linn Flat. They threatened to shoot the judge, who charged them with contempt of court and sent Constable John Birdwell, assisted by David Harvell, to arrest them. Grayson and Heaslet resisted arrest, and threatened to shoot Birdwell and Harvell. When Harvell told Heaslet to give up his gun, Heaslet shot him in the chest; Harvell managed to get his shotgun and fire a round of birdshot at Grayson and Heaslet, but then collapsed and died. The two men got on their horses, gathered a group of "thirty or forty Negroes" to accompany them to Grayson's home four miles from town, and there refused to be taken in, claiming they had immunity from arrest. The sheriff of Linn Flat persuaded Judge Dawson to issue arrest warrants for Grayson and Heaslet and rode out to Grayson's house with a posse of about 15 men. They persuaded the blacks who were there to stand down and took them back to Nacogdoches, where they were released. Grayson and Heaslet were nowhere to be found; the posse returned to Nacogdoches.
Five days later, Constable John Birdwell, who had been sent to arrest Grayson and Heaslet, opened his front door and was shot dead. The community of Linn Flat assumed that the two murderers were responsible. New arrest warrants were issued and posses formed, but the two men could not be found; it was assumed they had gone to Austin, where Governor Davis could offer them protection. However, a few days later, a state police officer brought them to Nacogdoches from Austin. Grayson eventually stood trial and was sentenced to life in prison. Heaslet escaped and fled to Scott County, Arkansas, where his father had moved. He was found there by a bounty hunter and shot to death. Bud Heaslet was survived by a wife and two small children, whom he had left in Texas. He was 29 when he died.
Bud's father, James Heaslet, was committed to the state insane asylum in 1886 for unspecified reasons. He was apparently released some time in the next few years and returned to his home in Scott County. In 1891, he was sitting on a stump eating peanuts when a man approached him and shot him. He died instantly. No reason was ever found for his killing.