Blazer's Mill as photographed in approximately 1881
Blazer's Mill as photographed in approximately 1893. Note that the wooden mill building
in the center is nearly in ruins and the new adobe mill which can be seen just in front of it has been built since the gunfight.
A close up of the newer adobe mill building built after the gunfight.
The original long wooden mill building sat just behind this building.
This is the same adobe mill building years later as it was starting to collapse.
The ruins of this same building as it appeared in 1995.
The exact location of the the building in which Roberts made his last stand has been a long debated
topic among historians for many years. Frank Coe identified this building as the one in which Roberts died in 1926.
The same building that Frank Coe identified from a different angle. Below are a few more
photos of this same building taken throughout the years. This building is no longer standing.
This photo shows the adobe identified by Frank Coe from two different angles.
Note that the adobe mill building can be seen just opposite in the center foreground of this photograph.
Regulator Captain Richard Brewer
George Coe- "Of course, we had no idea that 'Buckshot' Roberts was on our trail, waiting for an oppurtunity to catch us off guard and kill as many of us as he could on the first round. We wandered around on the Tularosa side and reached Blazer's Mill before noon. Frank Coe, Dick Brewer, and myself were well acquainted with Dr. Blazer. He was running what was known as a roadhouse.
He greeted us warmly and said: 'I'll have the cook fix you dinner and get your horses fed.'
However, he added that Roberts was following close on our beat and that we had better keep an eye on the trail as the soldiers would likely take up the hunt also.
Dick Brewer was our captain at that time. He said: 'Well, if that's the program, we'll be prepared for them, fellows.'
Dinner was announced and Dick suggested that a couple of us might as well stand guard while the others ate.
Naturally, I wanted to be in the front ranks, so I said: 'I'll be one of the two, Dick.'
'I'll be another one,' said John Middleton. We remained on guard, sitting out on the porch with our guns cocked in our laps, chatting and watching the trail. In about thirty minutes, true to our expectations, 'Buckshot' Roberts came riding up on his bay mule to within twenty or thirty steps of where we sat. He offered no word of greeting, but crawled off his mule, armed with two six-shooters, a rifle, and a twelve-inch belt full of cartridges. He set his rifle on his foot and stood motionless as he recognized that we had the advantage over him this time. The boys, after their dinner was over, walked out onto the porch.
Roberts at once recognized Frank Coe and said:'Coe, I want to speak to you a moment.'
They walked around the house and sat down in an open doorway. Middleton and I then went in and ate our dinners while the other boys remained outside. We finished the meal in silence and went out. The fellows had held a conference and decided that Roberts was there for no good, so just to save further trouble we would go around and arrest him. After quizing him, Frank suspected that he was not going to be easy to handle. Therefore, he advised him to give up, and told him that he would use his influence with the gang to prevent their doing him any bodily harm. They had been friends in a way for a long time and Frank, of course, did not want to see him killed. All of us knew it was going to be a fight to the finish if he didn't surrender.
'I'll be damned if I do,' was his emphatic retort. 'I give up to no bunch like Billy the Kid's. He and his pals have just killed Morton and Baker, and I'll fight 'em to the last ditch before I surrender.'
Frank tried to reason with him, but could not make any headway.
Dick Brewer's mind was fully made up to take Roberts regardless of consequences. He counseled with us by saying: 'Boys, he's a bad hombre, well-armed, and I ain't going to ask anyone to go and get him, but who will volunteer? Anybody?'
'You bet, I'll go for one,' Charlie Bowdre said. 'I'll be another to go, Dick,' said I.
And then Billy the Kid stepped forward and said:'I'd hate to miss the frolic, so I guess I'll go too.'
'Good!' said Brewer. 'If he kills that little bunch, the rest of us will take a hand.'
We three buckled up, cocked our guns, and started around the house, Bowdre taking the lead. We took the dare, but we knew some of us were playing our last card. Roberts had his cocked rifle lying in his lap as he and Frank talked, and as Charlie Bowdre turned the corner of the house, he dropped his gun on Roberts and commanded him to throw up his hands.
'Not Much, Mary Ann,' answered Roberts.
Bowdre had the drop on Roberts, as the latter had to raise his gun from his lap. With his refusal to throw up his hands, they both fired simultaneously. Bowdre's bullet entered Roberts right through the middle, while Roberts's ball glanced off Bowdre's cartridge belt, and with my usual luck, I arrived just in time to stop the bullet with my right hand. It knocked the gun out of my hand which still bears record of the fight. The wound did not seem to affect me, but I was stunned, not knowing just what to do. Instead of offering my back as a target for his bullets, I ran forward right in front of Roberts. He shot once at John Middleton, and the bullet entered his breast. He fired three times at me, but missed.
Dick Brewer was enraged and swore vengeance at Roberts declaring: 'I'll get him now at any cost.'
We were ready to a man to fight to the bitter end.
After Roberts was shot, he fell backward into the room. He pulled himself together and moved to the bed. Then he pulled a feather bed onto the floor, lay down on it, and cocked his gun ready to battle to his last breathe.
Just how he accomplished this in his dying moments, one cannot imagine, but he proved worthy of his nickname, 'Buckshot,' and never weakened.
Dick Brewer got Roberts's location in the house, went around by the sawmill and fortified himself behind some huge logs. Thus concealed, he could look into the door. He saw an object indistictly, took aim and fired at it. Roberts too, was watching, and caught the direction from which the bullet came. When Brewer stuck his head up just above the log for one second, Roberts cut him down with a bullet between the eyes and he fell over dead.
We had lost our captain, but we had lost none of our thirst for revenge, and intended to get Roberts at all costs.
Dr. Blazer suggested: 'Boys I'll go around where I can see him and try to find out how badly he is wounded.'
He then called out to Roberts: 'I am Dr. Blazer, the man of the house. May I come in and help you in any way?'
'No,' answered Roberts weakly, 'I'm killed. No one can help me. It's all over.'
Blazer then entered the room and saw that there was nothing to be done. Roberts, gritty to the last, was dying.
Blazer returned to us and said: 'Boys, there's no use in fighting any longer. That fellow won't live an hour.'"
Brewer and Roberts' Gravesite