Young Guns

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This one depicting Billy the Kid is one of our best sellers.

Many New Mexicans no not know that "Young Guns" was a fictionalized account of real events and no history of New Mexico is complete without including, possibly New Mexico's most famous resident. The Lincoln County War was a conflict between rival factions which began in 1878 in Lincoln County, and continued until 1881 The feud became famous because of the participation of Henry McCarty ("Billy the Kid"). Other notable participants included Sheriff William J. Brady, cattle rancher John Chisum, lawyer and businessman Alexander McSween, James Dolan, and Lawrence Murphy.

The conflict began between two factions competing for profits from dry goods and cattle interests in the county. The older, established faction was dominated by James Dolan, who operated a dry goods monopoly through a general store referred to locally as "The House". English-born John Tunstall and his business partner Alexander McSween opened a competing store in 1876, with backing from established cattleman John Chisum. The two sides gathered lawmen, businessmen, Tunstall's ranch hands, and criminal gangs to their assistance. The Dolan faction was allied with Lincoln County Sheriff Brady and aided by the Jesse Evans Gang. The Tunstall-McSween faction organized their own posse of armed men, known as the Regulators, and had their own lawmen consisting of town constable Richard M. Brewer and Deputy US Marshal Robert A. Widenmann.

The conflict was marked by revenge killings, starting with the murder of Tunstall by members of the Evans Gang. In revenge for this, the Regulators killed Sheriff Brady and others in a series of incidents. Further killings continued unabated for several months, climaxing in the Battle of Lincoln (1878), a five-day gunfight and siege that resulted in the death of McSween and the scattering of the Regulators. Pat Garrett was named County Sheriff in 1880, and he hunted down Billy the Kid, killing two other former Regulators in the process.