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Selman's Scouts (AKA: The Rustlers, The Wrestlers)

Selman's Scouts, also called the Rustlers or the Wrestlers, were by far the worst gang to inhabit Lincoln County in the days of the Lincoln County War. The Jessie Evans Gang, John Kinney Gang, and the Seven Rivers Warriors, were all bad groups of rustlers and killers, but unlike them, Selman's Scouts had no pretext of fighting for a cause. Most of them didn't even fight in the war at all, technically, having arrived in Lincoln County from Texas in August of 1878 (although a few of them were ex-members of other Lincoln gangs that did fight in the war). They came to take advantage of the current state of anarchy and lawlessness running rampant throughout the county and there only goal, apparently, was to reign down as much terror on the community as possible. Their brutality and callous regard of all human life (including members of the their own gang) made the Evans and Kinney Gangs look like lightweights. From late September through mid October 1878, the Scouts stole horses and cattle wherever they came across them, murdered innocent men and boys without warning, raped women, pillaged businesses and houses, and burned ranches to the ground, all without any sense of rhyme or reason. Eventually, posses of Lincoln citizens went after the gang and Governor Lew Wallace issued a proclamation threatening martial law if the lawlessness did not stop. Due to this, most of the gang ended up fleeing back to Texas, but a few managed to be captured or killed. Although their time in Lincoln County lasted but a couple of months, their trail of atrocities was not soon forgotten.

Selman's Scouts