Chronology of the Life of Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War, Part 5
Feb. 8, 1878---Jimmy Dolan, Jessie Evans, Tom Hill, and Frank Baker arrive in Lincoln and give the writ of attachment for $10,000 worth of McSween's property to Sheriff Brady. On the same day, Johnny Riley cleans Lincoln's jail/pit especially for McSween.
Feb. 9, 1878---Sheriff Brady and his men attach the Tunstall store. Rob Widenmann protests against this, but is himself arrested by Brady. Widenmann is bound over to the April term of court.
Feb. 10, 1878---Brady and his men attach the McSween house. Later in the day, Tunstall, McSween, Deputy Adolph Barrier, David Shield, and John Wilson arrive back in Lincoln. McSween and Tunstall are furious over the fact that their house and store, respectively, have been attached without their knowledge. Tunstall is especially angry since his store has been unlawfully attached in the first place. To make matters worse, Brady also intends to attach Tunstall's ranch and livestock soon. Nevertheless, Tunstall and McSween are both helpless against the sheriff and his men. Also upon arrival in Lincoln, Deputy Barrier refuses to hand McSween over to Sheriff Brady, fearing that McSween will be harmed, or even killed, while in Brady's care. So, for the time being, McSween will remain under house arrest under Deputy Barrier's care.
Feb. 11, 1878---Tunstall is able to get several of his horses and mules in Lincoln exempted from Brady's attachment. He then has cook Godfrey Gauss drive the mules and horses to his Rio Feliz ranch. Later in the day, Tunstall also sends ranch-hands Billy Bonney, John Middleton, Fred Waite, Rob Widenmann, and newcomer William McCloskey to the ranch, where foreman Dick Brewer already is. On the same day, McSween writes a letter to Interior Secretary Carl Schurz accusing Jas. J. Dolan & Co. of fraud of the Mescalero-Apache Reservation Agency.
Feb. 12, 1878---Sheriff Brady sends a posse under the command of his deputy, and employee of Jas. J. Dolan & Co., Billy Mathews to the Rio Feliz ranch in order to attach McSween's (Tunstall's actually) cattle. Also included in the posse are members of the Jessie Evans Gang, such as Jessie himself, Frank Baker, and Tom Hill. Upon reaching the ranch, Dick Brewer tells Mathews that there are no McSween cattle at the ranch (which is true; all the cattle there belongs to Tunstall, not McSween). Widenmann than threatens to arrest Hill, Baker, and Evans, seeing as how he's a deputy U. S. marshal and has warrants for them. Baker, Evans, and Hill then begin threatening and trying to intimidate Widenmann. Possibly to calm the situation, Dick invites the Mathews posse into the choza for dinner. Throughout the meal, things are tense and Widenmann and the outlaws almost end up shooting it out. Confused over what to do about the cattle, Mathews says he and his posse will stay at the ranch for the night then return to Lincoln in the morning to get further instructions from Brady.
Feb. 13, 1878---In the morning, the Billy Mathews posse leaves the Tunstall ranch to head back to Lincoln. Billy Bonney, Fred Waite, and Rob Widenmann accompany the posse on the trail. At some point during the fifty-mile ride to Lincoln, Mathews asks Widenmann if Tunstall's men will resist the attachment of Tunstall's cattle. Widenmann says they will if the posse attempts to drive the herd to the Mescalero-Apache Reservation Agency, for fear that the cattle will be butchered there. Meanwhile, Jessie Evans, Frank Baker, and Tom Hill break apart from the posse and head to the ranch of Bob Paul, located several miles southwest of Tunstall's ranch.
Feb. 14, 1878---James H. Farmer resigns his position as Lincoln's justice of the peace. John B. Wilson is thereafter appointed justice of the peace to replace Farmer. On the same day, D. A. William Rynerson writes a letter from Las Cruces to Dolan and Riley in Lincoln. In the letter, Rynerson advises Dolan and Riley to ''shake the McSween outfit up till it shells out and squares up, and then shake it out of Lincoln.'' Rynerson also hints, in a not-so-subtle manner, that Dolan and Riley should have Tunstall, McSween, and/or Chisum murdered. He also volunteers to help them all he can in the forthcoming months. Probably that same night the Mathews party, as well as Billy, Waite, and Widenmann, arrive in Lincoln. Billy, Waite, and Widenmann also discover that the Tunstall store is being guarded by several of Sheriff Brady's deputies.
Feb. 15, 1878---In the morning, Sam Wortley, owner of the Wortley Hotel & Restaurant, attempts to bring food to the deputies at the Tunstall store. On his way down the street, Billy Bonney and Fred Waite stop him. Billy and Waite then walk to the Tunstall store, where Billy pulls out his Winchester rifle, aims it at the front door, and yells out for Deputy James Longwell to come out and face him in a fair gunfight. Longwell, however, has enough sense to turn down the offer. On the same day, Tunstall employs a neighboring rancher, 'Dutch' Martin Martz, to work on his Rio Feliz ranch. Also on the same day, the eastern section of Dona Ana County is annexed into Lincoln County, making Lincoln County the biggest county in the country.
Feb. 16, 1878---L. G. Murphy officially puts his Carrizozo ranch up for sale. He wishes to leave Lincoln County for good. On the same day, Billy Mathews, under the orders of Sheriff Brady, and Jimmy Dolan head for Bob Paul's ranch, where a large party of members of the Seven Rivers Warriors and the Jessie Evans Gang is being put together by Buck Morton to go after Tunstall's herd. Also on the same day, Billy, Waite, and Widenmann leave Lincoln to head back to the Rio Feliz ranch. Tunstall, by himself, leaves his ranch to head to Chisum's South Spring ranch. He hopes to get Chisum to 'loan' him some of his cowboys/gunmen in order to defend his ranch and property.
Feb. 17, 1878---Tunstall arrives at the Chisum South Spring ranch, but discovers that Old John is still in jail back in Las Vegas. John had refused to list all of his assets, as a Vegas court ordered him to do, and was subsequently ordered to remain in jail. It's believed that Chisum did this for the precise reason to stay in jail in Vegas, and thereby avoid direct activity in Lincoln County for the next few months. Tunstall does find that Old John's brothers, Jim, Pitzer, and Jeff are at the ranch though. Tunstall asks them to loan him some of their cowboys, but they refuse, not wanting to get involved in any troubles of Tunstall's. Angry over this, Tunstall leaves the ranch to head back to his own ranch. He arrives there around ten o'clock at night. On the same day, Dolan and Mathews discover about forty-five men at the Paul ranch (most of them members of the Jessie Evans Gang and Seven Rivers Warriors) who are more than willing to help them attach Tunstall's property and livestock.
Feb. 18, 1878---Around 3:00 in the morning, Tunstall decides to drive his horses back to Lincoln. At dawn, he, Dick Brewer, Billy Bonney, John Middleton, Rob Widenmann, Henry Brown, and Fred Waite (in a wagon) leave with nine horses. Of the nine horses, six are Tunstall's, two are Dick's, and one is Billy's. After ten miles of riding, Waite splits from the rest of the party and takes a wagon trail that will lead him to La Junta, on the Rio Hondo; the rest of the group takes a short cut through Pajarito Springs. Around this same time, the posse of forty-five men led by Deputy Billy Mathews and Jimmy Dolan leaves the Paul ranch for the Rio Feliz ranch. Not too long afterwards, Henry Brown's horse throws a shoe, and he must turn back to the Rio Feliz ranch to get it fixed. On the way back, Henry runs into the Dolan-Mathews posse heading for the Tunstall ranch as well. Henry and the posse arrive at the Tunstall ranch and the posse is angry to discover that all the horses are gone and only cook Godfrey Gauss is still there. The posse asks Brown and Gauss where Tunstall and the horses are, but they both play dumb. The posse then decides to simply follow the tracks of Henry's horse in the snow. Dolan, Mathews, and Buck Morton decide not to send all forty-five posse members after Tunstall, but to send only eighteen men, along with Morton who will be in charge. Jessie Evans, Tom Hill, and Frank Baker all go with the sub-posse. Meanwhile, the rest of the posse, including Dolan and Mathews, stick around at the Tunstall ranch. Around five in the afternoon, and only about ten miles from Dick's Ruidoso ranch, Tunstall, Billy, Dick, John, and Widenmann ride down a gorge leading to the Rio Ruidoso. In front of the pack of horses are Tunstall, Dick, and Widenmann, and Billy and Middleton ride drag. Billy and Middleton suddenly hear the sound of horses behind them and turn to see the sub-posse approaching. The duo race forward, shouting for Tunstall, Widenmann, and Dick to ride with them. At the same time, the sub-posse opens fire on the five men. Widenmann and Dick race along with Billy and Middleton to reach cover, but Tunstall himself freezes for some reason, although Middleton yells directly at him to run. Billy, Dick, Widenmann, and Middleton take cover in a ravine and lose site of Tunstall. Seeing the frozen Tunstall, the sub-posse ceases their fire and rides up to him. Tunstall then rides his horse closer to the sub-posse, hoping to talk to them. As he approaches, Tom Hill and Billy Morton each fire one shot at him with their rifles. One bullet hits Tunstall in the chest, and the other in the head, killing him instantly. One the posse then shoots Tunstall's horse once in the head, killing it. Shortly thereafter, one of the posse takes Tunstall's pistol out of its holster and fires two shots in the air with it to make it look as though the group killed Tunstall in self-defense. Members of the sub-posse then carry Tunstall's body and lay it next to the body of his horse. His hat is then placed on the horse's head as a sick joke. One member of the sub-posse then takes it upon himself to bash in Tunstall's head with the butt of his rifle. The sub-posse then rounds up the nine horses Tunstall was driving and drive them back to the Rio Feliz ranch. Immediately after the shooting, Billy, Dick, John, and Widenmann knew that Tunstall had been killed. They wait until dark, when they're sure that the sub-posse is gone, then ride on towards Lincoln. Around midnight, the four men arrive in Lincoln and tell McSween what occurred. McSween then holds a mass meeting of most of his and Tunstall's supporters at his house. During the meeting, a very drunk Johnny Riley appears and for some reason empties his pockets at McSween's house. He then departs, leaving the contents of his pockets at McSween's. After Riley leaves, McSween himself examines the possessions he left behind. He happens to find a book which contains the letter from Rynerson, as well as documented business transactions with the Jessie Evans Gang and Seven Rivers Warriors. With the murder of John H. Tunstall, the Lincoln County War has begun.
Feb. 19, 1878---Around 2:00 in the morning, the Morton sub-posse arrives back at the Rio Feliz ranch with Tunstall's horses. Morton tells Mathews that Tunstall resisted arrest and pulled his pistol on them, forcing them to kill him in self-defense. Around dawn, John Newcomb, Florencio Gonzales, Patricio Trujillo, Lazaro Gallegos, and Ramon Baragon travel to the Tunstall murder site, where they find the bodies of Tunstall and his horse. Newcomb straps Tunstall's body to a mule and the party takes it back to Lincoln. While the Newcomb party is gone, Billy Bonney and Dick Brewer sign affidavits before Justice of the Peace Wilson stating that Jimmy Dolan, Jessie Evans, and sixteen others were in the sub-posse that killed Tunstall. Immediately after the Newcomb party arrives back in Lincoln with Tunstall's body, Wilson organizes a coroner's jury made up of George B. Barber, John Newcomb, Bob Gilbert, Sam Smith, Frank Coe, and Ben Ellis. Tunstall's body is taken to the McSween house, where the coroner's jury holds its inquest. Based on the testimony of Billy, Dick, and John Middleton, the jury reaches the verdict that Tunstall was killed ''by one or more of the persons whose names are herewith written, to wit, Jessie Evans, William Morton, Frank Baker, Thomas Hill, George Hindman, J. J. Dolan, and others not identified by the witnesses who testified.'' With the jury's verdict, Wilson swears out warrants for the arrest of Dolan, Jessie, and sixteen others. Wilson also swears out warrants for Sheriff Brady, Deputy James Longwell, and every other deputy Brady had guarding the Tunstall store, due to the fact that they had stolen hay from the Tunstall store. Wilson then hands the warrants to Constable Atanacio Martinez, who plans to start making arrests the next day. Rob Widenmann did not testify before the coroner's jury because he had left Lincoln for Fort Stanton before the inquest was held. On the same day, Rev. Dr. Taylor Ealy, his wife and two children, and a school-teacher, Susan Gates, arrive in Lincoln, where they plan to make their home. They come to Lincoln at the bequest of the Presbyterian Board of Missions, to whom McSween had recently requested a Presbyterian missionary to come to Lincoln.
Feb. 20, 1878---At the McSween house, Fort Stanton's assistant surgeon, Lt. Daniel M. Appel, conducts the post-mortem on Tunstall's body and embalms it. On the same day, Constable Martinez deputizes Billy Bonney and Fred Waite and the trio sets off to the House in order to arrest Sheriff Brady, his deputies, and some of the members of the group that killed Tunstall. Upon arriving at the House, they discover Sheriff Brady and several of Tunstall's killers, all heavily armed. When Martinez states his, Billy's, and Fred's business, Brady refuses to be arrested or to allow any of Tunstall's killers to be arrested. Brady then unlawfully arrests Martinez, Billy, and Fred, confiscates their guns, and walks them down main street at gunpoint, in full view of the entire town, to Lincoln's jail/pit. Billy, Waite, and Martinez are humiliated by this ordeal. That same night, Brady releases Martinez, but refuses to free Billy or Waite. On the same day, Rob Widenmann arrives at Fort Stanton. Leaning on his deputy U. S. marshal status, Widenmann asks commanding officer Capt. George Purington for military assistance to aid him in arresting members of the Jessie Evans Gang on charges of stealing government mules. Purington complies and says in a few days he will send a detachment of troops under the command of Lt. Millard F. Goodwin to Lincoln to aid Widenmann in making his arrests. Satisfied, Widenmann heads back to Lincoln.
Feb. 21, 1878---McSween has Sheriff Brady arrested by Constable Martinez for stealing hay from the Tunstall store. Brady's case is bound over to the April term of court. That night, one of the McSweens' black house servants, Sebrian Bates, digs a grave for Tunstall beside Tunstall's store. Tunstall's body itself is placed in a coffin in the McSween house, where it will remain until the following day.
Feb. 22, 1878---At 3:00 in the afternoon, Tunstall's body, in its coffin, is carried out of the McSween house and to the grave beside the Tunstall store by pallbearers Dick Brewer, Frank Coe, George Coe, and John Newcomb. Rev. Dr. Ealy conducts the graveside funeral, and Justice Wilson translates the sermon into Spanish. After the sermon, Tunstall is buried, with Dick Brewer vowing at the gravesite that he will catch every man that was involved with Tunstall's murder. Following the funeral, a mass meeting of outraged Tunstall-McSween supporters is held at the McSween house. The citizens at the meeting decide that Sheriff Brady deserves to give them an explanation as to why Constable Martinez and Deputies Waite and Bonney were arrested and why he refuses to arrest the men that killed Tunstall. Judge Florencio Gonzales, Isaac Ellis, John Newcomb, and Jose Montano march down to the House and confront Brady. They ask him why Martinez, Billy, and Fred were arrested, and he replies simply because he ''had the power'' to do so. When they ask him why he won't arrest Tunstall's killers, he doesn't answer. When someone then asks if he will now accept McSween's bond in the Fritz embezzlement matter, he says he will not. On the same day, Jimmy Dolan leaves Lincoln for La Mesilla, hoping to get D. A. Rynerson to issue an alias warrant for McSween's arrest, which will make it possible for Brady to rearrest McSween and get him out of Deputy Barrier's care.
Feb. 23, 1878---As promised, Capt. Purington sends a detachment of troops under the command of Lt. Goodwin from Fort Stanton to Lincoln to assist Widenmann in making his arrests. Upon the troops' arrival in Lincoln, Widenmann, the troops, and a large group of Tunstall-McSween supporters (which includes Dick Brewer, Doc Scurlock, George Coe, Frank Coe, Sam Smith, Constable Atanacio Martinez, John Middleton, and Sam Corbet, among many others) goes to the Lincoln jail/pit and free Billy Bonney and Fred Waite. The party then goes to the House and searches it for members of the Jessie Evans Gang. However, none of them are found at the House. The party then walks over to the Tunstall store, which Sheriff Brady still has his deputies guarding. At the store, Constable Martinez arrests the five deputies Brady has posted there for stealing hay from the store and throws them in the jail/pit. The deputies arrested are George Peppin, Jack Long, James Longwell, John Clark, and Charles Marshall. By arresting the deputies, the Tunstall-McSween faction has successfully retaken the Tunstall store. On the same day, Sheriff Brady goes before Justice Wilson and posts $200 bond for the charge facing him for stealing hay from the Tunstall store. After the day's events, the U. S. troops return to Fort Stanton. Also on the same day, Jessie Evans Gang member Jim McDaniels shoots and kills one H. Martin, a rustler in competition with the Jessie Evans Gang.
Feb. 24, 1878---In the morning, Rev. Ealy holds a Sunday school class in the McSween house. Also in the morning, Deputies Peppin, Long, Marshall, Clark, and Longwell are bound over to the April term of court and are released from the jail in Lincoln. Sometime during the day, McSween and Widenmann write a letter together to Tunstall's father in London, informing him of his son's recent murder. After mailing the letter, another mass meeting of Tunstall-McSween supporters is held at the McSween house. McSween is advised by the people at the meeting to leave Lincoln for his physical safety. McSween agrees and plans to leave Lincoln the next day.
Feb. 25, 1878---Isaac Ellis is appointed administrator of the Tunstall estate. Also, sometime during the day, Widenmann claims his food is poisoned by someone from the Murphy-Dolan faction. On the same day, McSween writes another letter to Tunstall's father, informing him of Ellis's appointment as the administrator of his son's estate. McSween then makes out his last willing testament, with Sam Corbet and David Shield as his witnesses. When his will is finished, McSween, still in the care of Deputy Barrier, leaves Lincoln for the mountains.
Feb. 26, 1878 (approx.)---At La Mesilla, D. A. Rynerson issues an alias warrant for McSween's arrest and hands it over to Dolan, who then begins to ride back to Lincoln.
Feb. 28, 1878---David and Elizabeth Shield, as well as their children, finally move into the east wing of the McSween house. The west wing of the house still belongs to Alex and Susan McSween, although Susan is the only one living there now, since McSween is still living in the mountains outside of Lincoln with Deputy Barrier. Probably on the same day, Jimmy Dolan arrives back in Lincoln and hands the alias warrant for McSween over to Sheriff Brady. However, Dolan is disappointed when he finds out that only a few days previously McSween, along with Deputy Barrier, left Lincoln for parts unknown to Sheriff Brady and his men.
Mar. 1, 1878---Dick Brewer, furious over the fact that Sheriff Brady refuses to arrest his friend Tunstall's killers, goes before Justice of the Peace Wilson, who appoints him a special constable and hands him the warrants for all of Tunstall's killers. Immediately after his appointment as constable, Dick begins putting together a posse for the express purpose of catching Tunstall's killers. By the end of the day, the posse is made up of Dick, as their leader, Billy Bonney (who Dick appoints as his deputy), John Middleton, Doc Scurlock, Fred Waite, 'Big Jim' French, Henry Brown, Charlie Bowdre, Jose Chavez y Chavez, 'Dirty Steve' Stephens, John Scroggins, and 'Tiger Sam' Smith. John Chisum, who just recently arrived back at his South Spring ranch after finally being released from jail in Las Vegas, 'loans' the posse his Hunter & Evans cattle detective, Frank MacNab, since the killers the posse are going after are members of either the Jessie Evans Gang or the Seven Rivers Warriors, which are Chisum's arch-enemies. After the posse is fully formed, its members decide to call themselves 'the Regulators.' All of the members also take part in an iron clad oath that states that under no circumstances whatsoever, can any member reveal anything about the activities of the group to outsiders. After hearing of the formation of the Regulators, Sheriff Brady strikes back by arresting Widenmann and fifteen others of the group that had thrown his deputies in jail and taken back the Tunstall store. Brady says he had them arrested for ''rioting.'' Widenmann and the fifteen other men can't all fit in Lincoln's jail, so they are all released, but are bound over to the April term of court. Also on this day, construction of a twelve-foot adobe wall around the McSween-Shield house begins. It's built for defense in case of a siege.
Mar. 2, 1878---The thirteen members of the Regulators leave east out of Lincoln and head for the Rio Pecos on the trail of some of Tunstall's killers.
Mar. 4. 1878---Sheriff Brady writes a letter to Tom Catron in Santa Fe, justifying his posse's murder of Tunstall and his ''misappropriation'' of McSween's tax money.
Mar. 5, 1878---Tom Catron forwards Brady's letter to fellow Santa Fe Ring member (and thereby a Murphy-Dolan-Riley supporter) Gov. Samuel Axtell. Axtell then forwards the letter to President Rutherford B. Hayes and asks him to authorize the use of U. S. troops to assist the ''civil law enforcement officers in Lincoln County,'' which basically means Brady and his deputies.
Mar. 6, 1878---Late in the afternoon, the Regulators spot Buck Morton, Frank Baker, Dick Lloyd, Tom Cochran, and one other man in a cluster of trees on the Rio Penasco. When the five men spot the Regulators, they mount their horses and take off, riding at breakneck speed. As the Regulators give chase, the five men break into two groups, one made up of Morton, Baker, and Lloyd, and the other of Cochran and the unidentified man. All thirteen Regulators elect to pursue the group of three, and begin firing their pistols at them as they run. After running for five miles, Lloyd's horse collapses underneath him. However, the Regulators overlook him and continue to pursue Morton and Baker, allowing Lloyd to escape on foot. After about another mile of running, the horses of Morton and Baker also give out, forcing the two men to take cover in a cluster of bushes. The Regulators soon after approach and threaten to burn them out if they do not surrender. After Dick Brewer promises the two men no harm will come to them, they both surrender. As they are being disarmed, one Regulator, in all likely hood Billy Bonney, has to be restrained from killing Morton. It makes sense that it was Billy who wanted to kill Morton, since not only had Morton lead the group that killed Tunstall, but had fired Billy months previously from the Jas. J. Dolan & Co. owned cattle camp. After Baker and Morton's surrender, Dick himself says he's sorry they actually surrendered, since he would have rather liked killing them. The two men are put on their tired horses and the Regulators begin leading them north up the Rio Pecos, back towards Lincoln.
Mar. 7, 1878---The Regulators, along with their prisoners Morton and Baker, continue to follow the Rio Pecos north and stop at the ranch of Bob Gilbert. Also at the Gilbert ranch is William McCloskey, a former Tunstall ranch-hand and close personal friend of many of the men who were in the group that killed Tunstall, including Morton and Baker. Later in the day, as the Regulators leave the Gilbert ranch with Morton and Baker and continue north up the Pecos, McCloskey joins them, saying he wants to go to Lincoln as well. The Regulators dislike McCloskey and do not trust him, but they do allow him to accompany them on their way to Lincoln. Probably on the same day, Pres. Hayes sends a reply to Gov. Axtell and tells him to go to Lincoln himself and investigate matters there.
Mar. 8, 1878---Late in the day, the Regulators, Morton, and Baker arrive at the Chisum South Spring ranch. At the ranch, Morton writes a letter to a relative in Richmond, Virginia. The Regulators and their prisoners are then fed dinner and elect to spend the night at the ranch. Sallie Chisum, Old John's niece, gives up her bedroom for Morton and Baker to stay in. At some point during their stay at the ranch, the Regulators hear a rumor that Jimmy Dolan is putting together a massive party that will ambush the Regulators and free Morton and Baker on their way to Lincoln.
Mar. 9, 1878---Gov. Samuel Axtell arrives in Lincoln sometime in the early morning. During his time in Lincoln, Axtell is in the constant company of friends L. G. Murphy and Jimmy Dolan. After meeting with several of the Dolan men and David Shield, Rob Widenmann, and Dr. Taylor Ealy, Axtell decides to remove Justice of the Peace John Wilson from his position and renders all processes issued by Wilson void. Axtell's reasoning for this is that Wilson was only appointed as the local justice, not elected. However, the real reason Axtell did this was because it made Dick Brewer's commission as constable void. Axtell also was able to revoke Widenmann's status as a deputy U. S. marshal, making Sheriff Brady and his men the only law officers of Lincoln County. After this was all done, Axtell left Lincoln to return to Santa Fe. He spent only a total of three hours actually in Lincoln. Also in the morning, the Regulators and their prisoners leave the South Spring ranch. Before leaving, Baker gives Sallie Chisum several of his personal possessions, including a letter he's written to a girlfriend. He tells her that if he should be killed before reaching Lincoln to send the letter to the girlfriend. With that, the party leaves the ranch and head towards Roswell. They arrive at Roswell around ten o'clock and Morton is allowed to mail his letter at the Roswell post office. While at the post office, Postmaster Ash Upson asks Morton if he thinks he may be killed. Morton replies that he doesn't, but in case he is killed, he wants his family to be informed. McCloskey, also in the post office, steps forward and says that he will need to be killed before the Regulators can harm Morton or Baker. After that, the Regulators leave Roswell and head west, towards Lincoln. A few miles away from Lincoln, the Regulators, remembering the rumor about Dolan's party ambushing them, leave the main trail and begin traveling on a unused trail that takes them through Agua Negra Canyon. A short time later, while still in the Canyon, Morton, Baker, and McCloskey are all killed. There are many different versions of how the killings occurred, but probably the most accurate is that Frank MacNab rode his horse alongside McCloskey's and pulled his pistol out at him, saying ''So you're the sonofabitch that's got to die before harm can come to these fellows, are you?'' MacNab then fired one shot into McCloskey's head, killing him instantly and knocking him from his horse. Morton and Baker then took off on their horses, only to be gunned down by the rest of the Regulators before they got very far. Another plausible theory is that McCloskey tried to assist Morton and Baker in making an escape, but the escape backfired and all three were gunned down. Either way, after the killing, the Regulators leave the three bodies where they had fallen and decide to go to the small village of San Patricio. San Patricio is composed entirely of native Hispanics who hate Jas. J. Dolan & Co. and are sympathizers of the Regulators. Also, Regulator Jose Chavez y Chavez was still the constable at San Patricio. Frank MacNab decided to head back to the Chisum South Spring ranch alone, however, while the others headed towards San Patricio. After arriving in San Patricio, Dick Brewer decides to return to Lincoln by himself. Upon arriving in Lincoln, Dick discovers that Gov. Axtell revoked his position as constable. This makes the killings of Morton, Baker, and McCloskey illegal, which also makes Dick and all the Regulators outlaws. Regulator Jose Chavez y Chavez is an outlaw as well, even though he is still constable at San Patricio, making him an outlaw and a lawman at the same time! After getting the news, Dick leaves Lincoln and returns to San Patricio.
Mar. 9, 1878 (cont'd.)---Around the same time that the Regulators kill Morton, Baker, and McCloskey, Jessie Evans and Tom Hill ride over to the sheep camp of John Wagner on the Tularosa. The two attempt to rob the camp, but a Cherokee worker that Wagner left in charge resists the robbery. One of the outlaws then draws his pistol and shoots the Cherokee in the leg, dropping him to the ground. The two outlaws apparently assume the Cherokee is dead and go back to robbing the camp. The Cherokee manages to get ahold of a Winchester rifle and when he sees the two outlaws again, he fires at them twice. His first bullet hits Hill in the torso and drops him to the ground, killing him instantly. His second shot hits Jessie in the left elbow and shatters the bone. Jessie manages to mount his horse and takes off, leaving the dead Hill behind. Jessie, bleeding heavily and in dire need of medical attention, begins riding towards Shedd's Ranch. On the way, however, he encounters a local rancher and constable named Dave Wood, who places Jessie under arrest. Wood notices that Jessie needs medical attention and decides to take him up to Fort Stanton. At Stanton, Jessie is treated at the post hospital, but it's discovered that he'll never regain the use of his left arm. On the same day, Alex McSween, along with Deputy Barrier, leaves his hiding place in the Capitan Mountains and returns to his home in Lincoln, where he also hears of Gov. Axtell's recent decree. McSween realizes it's still not safe for him in Lincoln and decides to leave again in a few days.
Mar. 10, 1878---At Lincoln, a drunk Jimmy Dolan breaks his leg by falling off of a horse while trying to shoot an unidentified, unarmed man. Could the man Dolan was trying to kill be McSween, who was still in Lincoln at this time? On the same day, Sheriff Brady and a posse travel down to Agua Negra Canyon, where they discover the bodies of Morton, Baker, and McCloskey. The three bodies are taken to Roswell, examined, and then buried. According to some sources, the bodies of Morton and Baker had eleven bullets in each of them. Other sources say that the bodies were discovered with five bullets in Baker and ten in Morton.
Mar. 11, 1878---McSween, along with Deputy Barrier and two of his black servants, George Robinson and George Washington, leaves Lincoln. The four-man group heads for the Chisum South Spring ranch, where McSween has heard that his wife Susan is currently at, after recently arriving there on her return trip from St. Louis. On the same day, Rob Widenmann hears of Jessie Evans's confinement at Fort Stanton and leaves Lincoln for the fort. Although Widenmann is officially no longer a deputy U. S. marshal, he still holds the warrant for Jessie's arrest for stealing government mules. He plans to officially put Jessie under arrest at the fort.
Mar. 12, 1878---At the Ellis house, a very drunk Jack Long threatens Rev. Dr. Taylor Ealy. Probably on the same day, Widenmann arrives at Fort Stanton and officially places Jessie Evans under arrest. Evans will remain at the fort's post hospital for now, though.
Mar. 13, 1878 (approx.)---McSween, Deputy Barrier, Robinson, and Washington arrive at the Chisum South Spring ranch, where McSween is reunited with his wife, Susan. The couple hasn't seen each other since Dec. 1877.
Mar. 24, 1878---Johnny Riley is in Santa Fe. Around the same time, near San Patricio, Billy Bonney and Charlie Bowdre get into a shootout with Andrew 'Buckshot' Roberts, a member of the sub-posse that killed Tunstall. No one is hurt in the gunfight, and no other details are known of the altercation.
Mar. 28, 1878---Dick Brewer and Billy Bonney ride into Lincoln from San Patricio. Upon entering town, Deputy George Peppin and some other Brady deputies tell the two Regulators that they have warrants for their arrests. As Peppin and the men with him approach Dick and Billy, the two Regulators open fire on them. Peppin and the others flee to safety and no one is hurt. Later in the day, Billy attempts to shoot Deputy Billy Mathews in the street, but fails. On the same day, Sheriff Brady, some of his deputies, and a detachment of U. S. soldiers from Fort Stanton under the command of Lt. George Smith leave Lincoln for the Chisum South Spring ranch. The group claims they are going to the ranch to select jurors for the term of court that's coming up. However, it's far more likely they were going there to arrest McSween, since he was still at the Chisum ranch.
Mar. 29, 1878---Rob Widenmann writes a letter to Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz, accusing Jas. J. Dolan & Co. of stealing livestock from the Mescalero-Apache Reservation Agency. On the same day, the Brady party arrives at the Chisum ranch. Brady wants to arrest McSween on the alias warrant he holds for him, but Deputy Barrier still refuses to hand over McSween. Lt. Smith has a talk with Susan McSween, telling her that if she gets her husband to surrender, he will receive a military escort to Lincoln and will be held in the Fort Stanton guardhouse, instead of the Lincoln pit. Susan talks with her husband and he agrees to Smith's deal. It's decided that McSween will leave the Chisum ranch for Lincoln in a day or two and meet up with a military detachment shortly after leaving the ranch. With the deal completed, the Brady party, and Lt. Smith's men, leave the Chisum ranch for Lincoln. Deputy Barrier, also believing that McSween will be taken care of at Fort Stanton, leaves the ranch and heads back to his home in Las Vegas.
Mar. 30, 1878---Sheriff Brady and his men, as well as Lt. Smith and his soldiers, arrive back at Lincoln. Smith sends some of his soldiers back down to the Chisum ranch, in order to meet up with McSween when he also leaves the ranch.
Mar. 31, 1878---Alex and Susan McSween, John Chisum, George Robinson, George Washington, and a couple others leave the South Spring ranch and head towards Lincoln, expecting to meet up with the military escort on the way. However, due to heavy rains, the McSween party is forced to spend the night at the home of a Rio Hondo rancher, and miss meeting up with the military escort. They plan to proceed on to Lincoln the next day anyway. Later that night, Regulators Billy Bonney, Fred Waite, Frank MacNab, John Middleton, Henry Brown, Big Jim French, and maybe Jose Chavez y Chavez and/or Charlie Bowdre, ride into Lincoln. They arrive at the Tunstall store and spend the night there along with Rob Widenmann and store clerk Sam Corbet.
Apr. 1, 1878---Early in the morning, Sheriff Brady rides into Lincoln from his ranch just outside of town. Brady goes to the House, and stays there for a couple of hours. Around eleven o'clock or so, Brady leaves the House with four deputies, George Peppin, Jack Long, George Hindmann, and Billy Mathews, and heads east down the street. All five men are armed with Winchester rifles. Where the five men were heading is not known for sure. One story claimed they were heading to the courthouse to post a notice on the door announcing the dates for the term of court had changed. A far more likely story is that they were heading east in order to arrest McSween when his party arrived in Lincoln that morning (afterall, why did Brady need four, heavily-armed deputies to go with him to post a notice on the courthouse door?). As the five men were passing in front of the Tunstall store, Billy Bonney, Fred Waite, John Middleton, Henry Brown, Frank MacNab, and Big Jim French open fire on them with their rifles from the store's corral. Brady falls dead with about nine bullets in him. Deputy Hindmann is shot in the neck by MacNab and falls to the ground. He yells for help, but Waite shoots him again, killing him. Deputy Long is also shot, but manages to flee to the torreon for safety. Deputies Peppin and Mathews, both unhurt, flee across the street to the Cisneros house for cover. Former Justice of the Peace Wilson, across the street mowing some onions, is accidentally shot in the buttocks by a random bullet. However, the wound is very slight. After the shooting stops, Billy and either Big Jim or Waite exit the corral and approach Brady's body. It's believed that the two approached the body in order to get the alias warrant for McSween's arrest that Brady had on him, or to get his rifle, which was in fact Billy's rifle that Brady had confiscated from him when he had Billy arrested after Tunstall's murder. As the two near the body, Deputy Mathews opens fire on them with his rifle from a window in the Cisneros house. One bullet hits Billy in the thigh, and another, or possibly the same bullet, hits French/Waite in the thigh as well. Both men limp back to the Tunstall store's corral for cover. French/Waite is too badly wounded to ride, but the other five men all saddle up their horses and immediately ride out of Lincoln towards San Patricio. French/Waite, meanwhile, flees into the Tunstall store, where Dr. Ealy quickly dresses his leg wound. Sam Corbet then hides French/Waite under a trap door in the floor. A short time later, Deputies Mathews and Peppin follow French/Waite's blood trail into the store, but are unable to discover his hiding place. A couple of hours later, the McSween party arrives in Lincoln. Immediately after their arrival, Deputy Peppin, with military assistance from Lt. Smith and twenty-five buffalo soldiers, attempts to arrest McSween on the alias warrant. McSween refuses to surrender to Peppin, but does surrender to Lt. Smith. Peppin then arrests Rob Widenmann, David Shield, and McSween house servants George Washington and George Robinson, for allegedly aiding Brady's assassins. Of course, the arrests were unlawful, since Peppin was no longer a deputy; his status, as well as the status of all the other deputies under Brady, ended the second Brady was killed. On the same day, an unidentified Murphy-Dolan man dies at the House, after he hears about Brady's assassination and an old wound bursts. After darkness falls, Billy Bonney rides back into Lincoln undetected and picks up French/Waite at the Tunstall store. The two then flee to San Patricio, where the rest of the Regulators already are.
Apr. 2, 1878---The Regulators begin looking for new recruits at San Patricio and along the Rio Ruidoso and Rio Hondo. Ignacio Gonzales, from San Patricio, and cousins George Coe and Frank Coe join the Regulators. The Regulators' roster is now comprised of sixteen men. On the same day, Lt. Col. Nathan Augustus Monroe Dudley, Ninth Cavalry, arrives at Fort Stanton. Dudley is a very strong supporter of the Santa Fe Ring and is friends with Murphy, Dolan, Riley, Rynerson, Bristol, etc.
Apr. 3, 1878---McSween, Widenmann, Shield, Robinson, and Washington are taken to Fort Stanton. Susan McSween also accompanies the group to the fort. Robinson and Washington are placed in the guardhouse, while McSween, Widenmann, and Shield are given private quarters. After the men are secured, Susan McSween returns to Lincoln alone. On the same day, the Regulators begin planning their next move. They plan to ride to Blazer's Mills the next day, and may do so with plans to ambush D. A. Rynerson and Judge Bristol as the two travel by the Mills on their way from La Mesilla to Lincoln for the upcoming term of court in Lincoln on Apr. 8.
Apr. 4, 1878---In the morning, all sixteen Regulators arrive at Blazer's Mills. Shortly after arriving, Regulators Tiger Sam Smith and Ignacio Gonzales leave the Mills to do a wide search of the area for any Murphy-Dolan-Riley men. Meanwhile, the other Regulators enter Blazer's two-story adobe house to eat a meal. John Middleton remains outside to stand guard, however. A short time later, Middleton spies Andrew 'Buckshot' Roberts riding up to the small settlement on a mule. Middleton runs back inside the two-story adobe and tells the rest of the Regulators of Buckshot's appearance. Frank Coe, who is on good terms with Buckshot, leaves the adobe to try to talk Buckshot into a surrender. The two men talk outside for about a half-hour, but Buckshot refuses to surrender, fearing he'll suffer the same fate as Morton and Baker. The Regulators in the house grow tired of waiting for Coe to try to talk Buckshot into a surrender and exit the house themselves in order to arrest Buckshot. As the thirteen Regulators reach Buckshot and Coe, Charlie Bowdre tells Buckshot to surrender. Buckshot's only response is to bring up his Winchester rifle and fire a shot at Charlie with it. Charlie reacts at the same time, draws his pistol, and fires at the same time Buckshot does. Buckshot's bullet hits Charlie in the belt buckle and knocks him to the ground, although he is not seriously injured. Charlie's bullet hits Buckshot in the left side and exits near his right hip. Buckshot stumbles, but continues to fire his rifle. His next few bullets hit John Middleton in the right lung, George Coe in the right hand (taking off his trigger finger), Doc Scurlock in the leg, and Billy Bonney in the arm. The Regulators scatter for cover, firing at Buckshot as they go, but all their bullets miss him. Buckshot, however, takes cover in a one-story adobe house. Inside the house, Buckshot discovers a mattress and barricades it against the door. He then grabs a monstrous Springfield buffalo rifle he has found (his Winchester is by now empty) and lies down on the mattress, pointing the barrel of the rifle out of the door and looking for a target. Shortly thereafter, Dick Brewer, who is hiding behind a pile of logs, peers his head over the logs and fires a shot at Buckshot. The shot misses, but Buckshot sees where the shot came from. He then waits for Brewer to show himself again. A few seconds later, Brewer pops his head up again. Buckshot fires the Springfield, and the large slug tears off the top of Brewer's head, killing him instantly. After the death of their leader, the rest of the Regulators gather their wounded and leave the Mills, meeting up with Ignacio Gonzales and Sam Smith shortly after their departure. On the road back to San Patricio, the Regulators encounter the assistant post surgeon from Fort Stanton, Lt. Dr. Daniel Appel, on his way to the Mills to treat Buckshot (Appel had received a telegram from the Mills a short time before requesting he come as soon as possible in order to aid the wounded Buckshot). The Regulators have Appel clean and bandage the wounds of the wounded Regulators as best he can before moving on to the Mills. Later that night, the Regulators reach San Patricio, where their wounded are cared for by the local citizens. Also, with Brewer dead, Frank MacNab takes over as the Regulators' leader. Also that night, Brewer is buried in a small cemetery at Blazer's Mills.
Apr. 5, 1878---Early in the morning at Blazer's Mills, Buckshot Roberts dies of the wound Charlie Bowdre gave him the day before. Lt. Dr. Appel had arrived at the Mills the night before, but there was nothing he could do for Buckshot. After his death, Buckshot is buried directly beside Dick Brewer at the Mills. On the same day, Lt. Col. Nathan A. M. Dudley assumes command of Fort Stanton. Immediately after assuming command, Dudley grants permission to all prisoners at the fort to remain there under protective custody until court convenes in Lincoln on April 8. He also has Lt. Millard Goodwin and an armed company of troops escort D. A. Rynerson and Judge Bristol on the rest of their trip from La Mesilla to Lincoln. Meanwhile, the Regulators are at San Patricio, still licking their wounds.
Apr. 8, 1878---Court convenes in Lincoln, with Warren Bristol serving as judge and D. A. William Rynerson serving as prosecuting attorney. Bristol's first action is to appoint a sheriff to replace the recently assassinated Sheriff Brady. He chooses thirty-seven year-old John Copeland, a longtime resident of Lincoln, for the job. What neither Bristol nor Rynerson apparently know is that Copeland is a McSween supporter. On the same day, Rob Widenmann, David Shield, George Washington, and George Robinson are released from custody at Fort Stanton. While Washington and Robinson return to Lincoln, Widenmann and Shield remain at the fort for protection. Also on the same day, a warrant for embezzlement is formally served on McSween at the fort.
Apr. 10, 1878---John Copeland is officially sworn in as Sheriff of Lincoln County.
Apr. 13, 1878---A grand jury of ten citizens, which includes Juan Patron, is sworn in at Lincoln, with Dr. Joseph Blazer serving as jury foreman. During Judge Bristol's early statements to the jury, it becomes painfully clear he is a staunch Murphy-Dolan-Riley supporter. Bristol's support of Dolan becomes especially clear when he practically orders the grand jury to indict McSween for embezzlement. For the next few days, the jury hears evidence regarding the recent activities in Lincoln County.
Apr. 17, 1878---With the authorization of John Tunstall Senior in England, McSween offers a $5,000 reward for the murderers of Tunstall.
Apr. 18, 1878---The grand jury indicts Billy Bonney, Henry Brown, and John Middleton for the murder of Sheriff Brady and Fred Waite for the murder of Deputy Hindman. Frank MacNab and Big Jim French, however, are apparently overlooked. The jury also indicts Charlie Bowdre for the murder of Buckshot Roberts and Billy, Middleton, Brown, Waite, Doc Scurlock, George Coe, John Scroggins, and Dirty Steve Stephens as accessories to the murder of Roberts. On the same day, the grand jury delivers a significant blow to the Murphy-Dolan-Riley faction by indicting Jessie Evans, Manuel 'Indian' Segovia, Jack Long, and Dolly Graham/George Davis for the murder of Tunstall. The jury also indicts Jimmy Dolan and Billy Mathews as accessories to the murder. Of the four men named as the principal murderers, only Jessie is able to be located, since he is still in jail at Fort Stanton. He's placed on $5,000 bond, and Dolan and Mathews are each placed on $2,000 bond. All three men are able to post bond immediately. While it's not that odd for Dolan or Mathews to be able to post bond, it is certainly odd that Jessie is able to procure $5,000 so fast. Jessie's bond was surely posted by Dolan, or someone close to him. Dolan, along with partner Johnny Riley, are also indicted for cattle theft. The most significant blow to the Murphy-Dolan-Riley side comes when the grand jury completely exonerates Alex McSween of the embezzlement charge. Needless to say, Judge Bristol and D. A. Rynerson are not happy with the grand jury's indictments, especially when Bristol had practically ordered them to indict McSween. Nevertheless, the indictments are handed to Sheriff Copeland to serve. However, since Copeland is a McSween supporter, he has no desire to attempt to arrest any of the Regulators named in the indictments. Since McSween wasn't indicted, he is immediately released from custody at Fort Stanton and returns to Lincoln.
Apr. 22, 1878---L. G. Murphy leaves Lincoln and seeks protection at Fort Stanton. While at the fort, Murphy takes the opportunity to talk to his friend Col. Dudley and explain to him the details of the troubles throughout the county. It doesn't take long for Murphy to win Col. Dudley over to his point of view.
Apr. 23, 1878---Due to the indictments they are now facing, Dolan and Riley decide to temporarily suspend all business of Jas. J. Dolan & Co.
Apr. 24, 1878---Several McSween supporters hold a mass meeting in Lincoln. At the meeting's end, everyone present signs a petition requesting that the 'Irish firm' (i.e. Dolan, Riley, etc.) leave Lincoln at once and never return. Around the same time, Regulator leader Frank MacNab states that the Regulators' next operation will take place somewhere in the Seven Rivers area.
Apr. 26, 1878 (approx.)---The Seven Rivers Warriors get word that MacNab is planning something in Seven Rivers. The Warriors all get together and make up their own plan to ride to Lincoln and volunteer their services as a 'posse' to Sheriff Copeland to help him in arresting the Regulators. Their plan is that if Copeland accepts their offer, they'll know he's on their side, but if he rejects their offer, they'll know he's on the Regulators' side.
Apr. 28, 1878---Frank MacNab, Frank Coe, and a newcomer to the Regulators, Ab Saunders (who is also Frank Coe's cousin and ranching partner) leave Lincoln and head south, towards Seven Rivers. On the same day, the Seven Rivers Warriors, along with seven or eight members of the Jessie Evans Gang, leave Seven Rivers and head north towards Lincoln. Leading the Warriors is former Brady deputy William H. Johnson. Other Warriors in the party are Marion Turner, Bob and John Beckwith, Buck Powell, Milo Pierce, Bob and Wallace Olinger, Tom Green, Johnny Hurley, and 'Dutch' Charlie Kruling. Also present are fellow former Brady deputies George Peppin, John Long, and Billy Mathews. Many of the men in the group were in the sub-posse that killed Tunstall.
Apr. 29, 1878---The Seven Rivers Warriors, while on their way to Lincoln, stop at the ranch of Charles Fritz in the Bonito Valley. They expect MacNab and his party to pass by the ranch on their way south, so the Warriors decide to stay at the ranch and ambush MacNab as he passes. A few hours later, MacNab, Coe, and Saunders come riding by the Fritz ranch. Seeing MacNab, the Warriors take up positions in the brush around the ranch. The three men ride to a small spring and let their horses drink, then move on, with Coe in the lead. Coe is so far ahead of MacNab and Saunders, that the Warriors lying in wait in the bushes apparently believe Coe is riding separately, and not with MacNab and Saunders! As MacNab and Saunders come into clear view, the Warriors open fire on them. MacNab takes a bullet in the side and falls from his horse, gravely wounded, while Saunders is shot in the left ankle and left hip and falls off his horse and to the ground. As MacNab tries to crawl away, one of the gunmen, probably Jessie Evans Gang member Manuel 'Indian' Segovia rides by and shoots him in the head with a shotgun, killing him instantly. Coe, meanwhile, takes off on his horse in the other direction, but his horse is shortly thereafter shot out from under him. He then runs on foot to a nearby arroyo and takes cover there, all the while firing at the Warriors with his pistol. One of the Warriors, Wallace Olinger, who is on good terms with Coe, promises he will not be harmed if he surrenders. Reluctantly, Coe does indeed surrender. The Warriors take Coe to the Fritz ranch-house, and he learns that MacNab is dead and Saunders is badly wounded. The Warriors intend to leave Saunders where he fell (they apparently mistake him for Billy Bonney), but Coe convinces them to go pick him up and bring him to the Fritz ranch-house as well. Later in the day, the Warriors, with Coe as a prisoner, leave the ranch and continue north towards Lincoln. Saunders is left to be cared for at the Fritz ranch, but is shortly thereafter taken to Fort Stanton for medical attention, where he will remain for the next several months.
Apr. 30, 1878---Around dawn, the Seven Rivers Warriors/Jessie Evans Gang posse rides into Lincoln. Upon entering the town, about a dozen of them take up positions at the House (which is where they hold Frank Coe) and the rest take up positions around the river bank on the eastern edge of town near the Ellis house, which is becoming well-known as a Regulator hangout. As luck would have it, the Regulators were indeed in the Ellis house. However, unbeknownst to the Warriors, the mail carrier had come through town earlier and informed the Regulators of the event at the Fritz ranch. Once the Regulators in the Ellis house saw the Warriors enter town, George Coe and Henry Brown grab two rifles and take up positions on the roof of the Ellis house. A short time later, Coe spies Seven Rivers Warrior 'Dutch' Charlie Kruling standing a short distance outside of the House. Taking careful aim, Coe fires his rifle, and ends up shooting Kruling through both legs with a single shot. What's very impressive was that the distance from Coe, at the Ellis house, to Kruling, at the House, was measured to be 444 yards! For the next several hours, the Regulators in the Ellis house exchange shots with the Warriors located on the river bank and at the House. At some point during the long gunfight, Warriors Tom Green, Jim Patterson, John Galvin, and Charles Marshall are all allegedly killed and one more unknown Warrior is allegedly wounded by the Regulators. However, none of the Regulators are wounded or killed. At some point during the day's events, Wallace Olinger, who had been assigned to guard Frank Coe at the House, gives Coe a pistol and tells him to just get going. Coe does this and manages to get to the Ellis house and meet up with his compadres. Around 4:30, Sheriff Copeland grows tired of the constant gunfire and requests military assistance from Fort Stanton in order to diffuse the situation. A short time later, a company of troops under the command of Lt. George Smith arrives in Lincoln to aid Copeland. Lt. Smith places his troops in the middle of town, between the Regulators and Warriors, and the gunfire comes to a halt. Copeland then has Lt. Smith arrest House employee James Longwell and all the Seven Rivers Warriors and Jessie Evans Gang members in town. The Warriors allow themselves to be arrested, but refuse to give up their guns. Apparently satisfied with this though, Smith and his troops leave town and take all of the Warriors with them. Upon reaching Fort Stanton a short time later, the Warriors are not placed in the guardhouse, but are allowed to have the run of the fort.
May 1, 1878---Dolan and Riley announce that they are shutting down Jas. J. Dolan & Co., due to the indictments they now face and to the fact that they cannot repay their mortgage debt to Tom Catron. Everything that Dolan & Co. once owned now belongs to Catron, who sends his brother-in-law Edgar Walz to Lincoln to run the House for him. On the same day, Frank MacNab's body is brought up to Lincoln and buried beside Tunstall next to the Tunstall store.
May 3, 1878---McSween and Sheriff Copeland travel to San Patricio and meet with the small village's justice of the peace, Gregorio Trujillo (no J. P. has yet replaced John Wilson in Lincoln). McSween gets J. P. Trujillo to issue arrest warrants for Bob Beckwith, William Johnson, and twenty other Seven Rivers Warriors for ''assault with attempt to kill'' MacNab and Ab Saunders. The warrants are handed over to Sheriff Copeland, who travels to Fort Stanton, where all the men listed on the warrants are still being held. There, he formally serves the warrants and asks Col. Dudley to have his troops escort the men to San Pat for their hearing. Seeing as how Dudley is a Dolan partisan, he refuses the Sheriff's request and instead orders Lt. Goodwin and Lt. Smith to go back to San Pat with Copeland and arrest McSween and any of his allies down there. On their way to San Pat, the party stops at Lincoln, where they find and arrest Doc Scurlock, John Scroggins, Ignacio Gonzales, Rob Widenmann, Sam Corbet, and Isaac and Will Ellis. After making these arrests, the party continues to San Pat, where McSween himself and his black servant George Washington are also arrested; all the other Regulators had left San Pat only an hour or so earlier. The party returns to Fort Stanton, where Dudley still allows the Seven Rivers Warriors free run of the fort, but places all the McSween men in the guardhouse (Scurlock is even put in shackles). At this point, J.P. David Easton, not wanting to seen as a partisan for either side, resigns his position, leaving J.P. Trujillo the only magistrate in the county that the prisoners could get an immediate hearing from. Knowing that Trujillo is McSween biased, Dudley refuses to allow his troops to escort all the prisoners back to San Pat. Since Copeland would now have to do this by himself, he instead decides to just release all the prisoners, from both sides. The Warriors immediately head back towards Seven Rivers, taking with them the horses of MacNab and Saunders, and stealing six more from the Tunstall ranch as they pass it. All the McSween men return to Lincoln or San Pat, except for Scurlock, who for some reason is still in shackles in the guardhouse.
May 4, 1878---U. S. Department of Justice Agent Frank Warner Angel arrives in Santa Fe. He had been sent there from Washington, D. C. with orders to investigate recent troubles throughout the territory, and, most notably, the recent troubles in Lincoln County.
May 6, 1878---Rob Widenmann becomes administrator of the Tunstall estate. On the same day, Sheriff Copeland releases Scurlock from Fort Stanton and appoints him deputy. Scurlock then returns to the Regulators, takes over as leader, and makes Billy Bonney his second-in-command.
May 10, 1878---Dolan and James Longwell travel to Fort Stanton, and from there escort L. G. Murphy to Santa Fe. Murphy will never again set foot in Lincoln County. Dolan and Longwell will remain in Santa Fe with Murphy for the next month or so as well.
Mid-May 1878---Tom Folliard, along with friend James Woodland, leave Texas and head west, towards Lincoln County. Shortly after arriving in the county, the two young men begin stealing horses from the Murphy-Dolan-Riley faction. Because of this, both men are placed on Dolan's hit list.
May 11, 1878---Doc Scurlock organizes the Regulators in Lincoln and they decide to ride south to Seven Rivers for the purpose of regaining the horses of MacNab, Saunders, and Tunstall that were stolen by the Seven Rivers Warriors.
May 14, 1878---The Regulators travel down to Seven Rivers and raid the Jas. J. Dolan & Co. cattle camp there. Of course, unbeknownst to the Regulators, Dolan & Co. no longer owns the camp; now the camp is the property of Tom Catron and the First National Bank of Santa Fe. At the camp, the Regulators steal twenty-seven of Dolan's and Riley's horses (again, they are actually Catron's). They also discover Jessie Evans Gang member Manuel 'Indian' Segovia hiding out at the camp. The Regulators all know that Segovia was in the sub-posse that killed Tunstall and was probably the one that fired the fatal shot into MacNab. They also know that it would do little good to bring him up to Lincoln, put him in jail there, and have him be freed by other Evans Gang members or released by Judge Bristol. These problems are solved however when they simply gun Segovia down, leaving his corpse where it falls. Who exactly killed Segovia is unknown, but it's been claimed it was either Billy Bonney, Jose Chavez y Chavez, and/or Frank Coe. Afterwards, the Regulators return to Lincoln.
May 24, 1878---Agent Frank Angel, on his way to Lincoln, arrives at Fort Stanton.
May 25, 1878---Frank Angel arrives in Lincoln. Over the next several days, Angel will interview and acquire sworn statements from several McSween and Dolan supporters.
May 28, 1878---Gov. Axtell issues a proclamation removing the McSween-supporting Sheriff Copeland from office on some trivial technicality. In the same proclamation, Axtell appoints former Brady deputy and staunch Dolan supporter George Peppin as the new sheriff in order to replace Copeland. No doubt Tom Catron heavily influenced Axtell's decision on who to appoint to replace Copeland.
May 30, 1878---George Peppin officially takes office as Sheriff of Lincoln County. This means that once again, the Murphy-Dolan-Riley faction has control over the 'law' in Lincoln County.
Early June 1878---With Frank Angel in town conducting his investigation, both the gunmen from the Tunstall-McSween-Chisum faction and the Murphy-Dolan-Riley faction remain inactive. However, Sheriff Peppin plans to strike back at the Regulators before they can at him right after Angel leaves the area. Also, around this time a special election is held in Lincoln in order to determine a new justice of the peace. John Wilson wins the election and is once again Lincoln's J. P.
June 8, 1878---Billy Bonney appears before Agent Angel and gives him his sworn testimony regarding Tunstall's murder. Angel leaves Lincoln shortly thereafter. During his stay in Lincoln, he managed to get testimony not only from Billy, but from McSween, Rob Widenmann, John Middleton, Henry Brown, Godfrey Gauss, and Sam Corbet of the McSween faction, and Jimmy Dolan (who recently returned from Santa Fe), Sam Perry, Wallace Olinger, and Bob Beckwith of the Dolan faction.
June 13, 1878---With Jessie Evans's trial at La Mesilla beginning in a few days, Rob Widenmann, who is to testify at the trial, leaves Lincoln on his way to Mesilla. With him on the trip are John Copeland, Godfrey Gauss, Constable Atanacio Martinez, Juan Patron, George Robinson, and George Washington. The party is escorted by troops from Fort Stanton.
Mid-June 1878---Tom Folliard travels to San Patricio, where he meets the Regulators for the first time. Since he too is wanted by Dolan, he decides to join the Regulators and fight for their cause. He quickly becomes a close friend of Billy Bonney, who begins to teach him how to shoot with a rifle and a pistol. What happened to Tom's friend from Texas James Woodland is still unknown.
June 15, 1878---Jessie Evans, under military escort, leaves his confinement at Stanton for his trip down to La Mesilla to stand trial for stealing government mules (a federal charge) and for murdering John Tunstall (a territorial charge).
June 18, 1878---In Lincoln, Sheriff Peppin deputizes Jessie Evans Gang member (and former Brady deputy) John Long, as well as Seven Rivers Warriors Marion Turner, Buck Powell, and Jose Chavez y Baca. He then contacts Col. Dudley at Fort Stanton and requests military assistance to aid him in arresting the Regulators, who are also in town. Dudley agrees to do so, and Peppin, Long, Turner, Powell, and Chavez y Baca, along with about twenty other members of the Jessie Evans Gang and the Seven Rivers Warriors, who are acting as Peppin's posse, leave west out of Lincoln in order to meet up with the troops. Meanwhile, Dudley assembles twenty-seven soldiers, commanded by Lt. Goodwin, and sends them out to meet up with Peppin and his posse. Shortly after Peppin's posse leaves Lincoln, someone tells the Regulators what Peppin and Dudley are planning. The Regulators wisely decide to flee town before Peppin and his men return. They once again flee to the safe haven of San Patricio. Meanwhile, Peppin's posse and Lt. Goodwin's troops meet up a few miles between Lincoln and Stanton. When Goodwin sees the wanted badmen in Peppin's posse, he flatly refuses to aid Peppin in anything. Peppin is able to convince Goodwin otherwise, though, once he promises to dismiss all the wanted men from his posse as soon as they get back to Lincoln. After this decision is made, the posse and the troops ride back to Lincoln together. Once they arrive back at Lincoln, Peppin is furious to discover that someone had alerted the Regulators of his plans and that they are now gone. With no Regulators to arrest, Lt. Goodwin and his troops return to Fort Stanton. Peppin is also furious over the fact that although McSween himself is still in town, he has no arrest warrant for him. On the same day, the U. S. Congress passes the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids any military action in civil disturbances.
June 19, 1878 (approx.)---In La Mesilla, D. A. Rynerson hires the John Kinney Gang of rustlers and killers and tells them to travel to Lincoln County and to report to either Jimmy Dolan or Sheriff Peppin. They are told to follow any of Dolan's or Peppin's orders. On the same day in Kansas, Dirty Dave Rudabaugh is released from jail, after testifying in trial against his accomplices in the Kinsley train robbery. He is completely free and promises the authorities he will live a law-abiding life.
June 22, 1878---The John Kinney Gang arrives in Lincoln and meet with Dolan and Sheriff Peppin, who immediately deputizes Kinney himself and declares the rest of his gang an official posse. Dolan, meanwhile, offers Kinney $500 worth of Tunstall's cattle and horses to kill McSween himself.
June 23, 1878---In Lincoln, Billy Mathews, Deputy Marion Turner, and several other Murphy-Dolan-Riley men attend Rev. Dr. Ealy's church service, which is held in the McSween house. On the same day, at La Mesilla, Jessie Evans is acquitted of stealing government mules from the Mescalero-Apache Reservation Agency. It's really no surprise, though, since the judge presiding over the trial was none other than Judge Warren Bristol.