Robert Charles Gardner, also referred to as Charles E. Gardner (born 1887) was a machinist who was temporarily sworn in as a Jefferson County deputy and grievously injured by gunfire during the 1908 coal miners strike.
Gardner and several other armed deputies and militiamen were riding in a gondola car at the head of a special train escorting 60 non-union strikebreakers, 17 mine officers, and a few reporters along the Frisco line to Blossburg on the afternoon of July 17, 1908.
Striking miners assaulted the deputies at the entrance to the Jefferson Tunnel. During the engagement, Gardner suffered numerous wounds from buckshot in his side. He was treated at St Vincent's Hospital. He left the hospital under his own power on July 24 and claimed his pay at the courthouse before returning home to recuperate further.
Several men were arrested and charged with firing on the train. Mims Harden was chief among arrested in August and charged with intent to murder in connection with Gardner's injuries. Three men who came to testify in Harden's defense were also arrested and charged. Four defendants were discharged by Judge H. B. Abernathy when witnesses could not agree on their presence at the scene of the shooting.
- "Ample Force in the Field to Keep Order" (July 18, 1908) The Birmingham News, pp. 1, 10
- "Gardner Out of the Hospital" (July 24, 1908) The Birmingham News, p. 8
- "More Arrests in Mining District" (August 17, 1908) The Birmingham News, p. 6
- "Came to Testify; Remained to Plead." (August 25, 1908) The Birmingham News, p. 10
- "Four of the Men Were Acquitted." (September 5, 1908) The Birmingham News, p. 20
- Robinson, Carol (March 17, 2007) "A century later, heroes are honored." The Birmingham News