Author Topic: Carrying More Than One Gun  (Read 49570 times)

Offline Books OToole

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #120 on: January 19, 2020, 08:30:58 pm »
Books, are we guessing the Colt was an SAA or one of the percussion belt guns, and the Smiths fulfilled the "pocket pistol" function?  did he further describe the Smiths?

The Colt was a SSA in .44-40, matching his 1873 Winchester.  The S&Ws were a DA .44, a DA .38 and a No. 1 (.22).
The other Winchester was a 1876 carbine in .45-60.

Besides the detailed inventory; what I found interesting was the fact that he actually wrote of carrying 2 pistols.  And on another occasion, 2 pistols and a rifle.  A photo shows him with the Colt in a holster, the (.38) S&W in the belt, the 1876, two cartridge belts and a knife.

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Offline Books OToole

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #121 on: January 19, 2020, 08:51:53 pm »
Here is the Fly's Studio photo of G.W. Parsons.

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Online Oregon Bill

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #122 on: January 20, 2020, 04:07:09 pm »
Fabulous portrait. Thanks for sharing, Books.

Offline Yeso Bill

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #123 on: February 12, 2020, 12:31:00 am »
In 1878 John Chisum, who was a free-grazer, greatly downsized; which left the Pecos Valley from Roswell, N.M. to Ft, Sumner empty.  As the crow flies, there is around 75 miles of Pecos River frontage plus spring fed creeks running into the river.  Upon the completion of the Northern Pecos Valley township surveys in the very late 70s and early 80s, wealthy speculators moved into the area and began filing 160 acre homestead claims that were on the creeks, or the river, and buying out local Hispanics that were on their new 160 acre homesteads......establishing open range ranches.  The big rush came in 1884. 

It didn't take very many homestead claims in order to claim grazing rights for 25 or 30 miles.

By far, the two largest ranches that were established in the area were J.J. Cox's -V Ranch, which was probably established in 1883 and they ran their cattle on the west side of the Pecos River.  Cass Land and Cattle Company ( 7HL) was established in Missouri in 1883 and in 1884 they filed and bought numerous 160 acre holdings up and down the Pecos and built their hdq. on the east side of the river about two miles south of Cox's hdq.  The river would split most 160 acre surveys so by verbal agreement, one grazed the east side and the other the west side. 

And they weren't the only ones.  In 1883, John Shaw established his X-X ranch about 2 miles North of the -V hdq.  In 1884, the government sold the old Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation (12,000 remaining acres) with its headquarters being old Ft. Sumner to a conglomerate from Colorado.  They divided this up into 4 ranches, began acquiring tracts down river and drove in 30 to 40,000 cows by 1885.

The area Indians were no longer a threat, in fact they were no longer even in the area.  This area had been untouched by the Lincoln County War, even though it was Lincoln County.  Billy the Kid & Co. had either been killed or had been driven out and the era of what I call "modern ranching" had begun.  (Even though it was still open range and would be for another 50 years.)      Consequently, the 7HL's didn't allow their men to carry a gun daily.

In 1884 the White brothers of  McLennan County, Texas ran out of grass and decided to establish a ranch below Ft. Sumner on the west side of the river.  They legally filed on property as did their cowboys and also bought out local Hispanics.  They established a range of about 20 miles of Pecos River frontage and by 1885 had brought in 2252 head including the calves.  Of course, their range over-laid others such as the -V's, 7HL's, YY's, X-X and the Ft. Sumner outfits, as did the latter ranches over-lay each other. 

The White's were poorly received by all.  George Peacock was the -V's foreman and it is documented that George and his men were a pretty rough bunch, carried guns and harassed sheep herders.  Their aim was to run the White outfit out of the country.  The first year the White's were shunned, black balled from participating in the brandings and no doubt, their cattle were harassed.

The next year it rained good and grew lots of grass and the Ft. Sumner and 7HL outfits decided that the White's weren't such bad hombres after all and they were allowed to bring their wagon to the brandings.  The -V's though didn't relent. 

On the 17th of October 1886 during the fall works,  George Peacock and Jim White, while horseback outside of a held up herd, argued over the ownership of a dogie calf.

White was heard to say, " Peacock, if you cut out one more of my calves, I'll kill you"

Peacock reached behind himself and Jim White pulled his 45 Colt and shot him 6 times knocking him off of his horse.  White then pulled a "smaller gun", thought to be a Smith and Wesson, and shot him three more times for good measure.

Some thought Peacock was reaching for his pistol and others thought he was in the process of reaching for the cantle in order to lean back in the saddle.   

In any case, White immediately fled and J.J. Cox put up a $1500.00 reward for his apprehension.  White was never apprehended, becoming one of the mysteries of the west.

In reading the various documentation, there is no doubt the White's and their hands had been mercilessly bullied and Jim White had reached the breaking point.  Six in the cylinder and a "smaller pistol" probably carried in a chap pocket proves that to me. 

Billy 

Sources:
1.  Jack Potter, “NINE POWDER MARKS ON A DUCKING VEST”, TRUE WEST, October 1977, page 22
Jack Potter, manager of the New England Livestock Company that was headquartered at Ft. Sumner, personal friend of Robert E. White in the story, later a rancher, legislator and author was there the day Peacock was shot down.  His article about the shooting that was published in Frontier Times was heavily edited and embellished by his editor to the point of having glaring errors to anyone that knew anything about the area.  In this version they were branding calves.
2. W.C Urton, PIONEER RANCHER GIVES GRAPHIC ACCOUNT OF EARLY DAY ROUNDUP ON THE OLD PECOS, THE NEW MEXICO STOCKMAN, June 1949, Pages 49 & 52
W.C. Urton’s father, W. G. Urton was one of the founding members of the 7HL ranch and lived on the ranch with his family from 1884 – 1900.  He managed the ranch from the spring of 1886 into early 1900.  There is no evidence that W. G. Urton was present but his brother George Urton was there as a representative of the 7HL ranch and of course would have given a full report.  W.C. Urton later mentioned the story in the above article without naming names.  He did not say if they were branding or cutting cattle. 
3.  Lon Reed, PIONEER TELLS OF EARLY DAYS, CLOVIS NEWS JOURNAL, Clovis, N.M., May 29, 1938
Lon Reed (1863-1940) came to the area in 1884 with the White herd and never left and was interviewed by the paper.  This I have not been able to obtain but Don McAlavy cited it in his biography of Lon Reed in:
4.  Don McAlavy, EASTERN NEW MEXICO HIGH PLAINS HISTORY, page 37.  Until I can obtain a copy of the journal, I will cite this source.  Reed’s version says that “Peacock cut out a maverick”.
5.  Rose White, THE KILLING OF GEORGE PEACOCK, NEW MEXICO FOLKLORE RECORD, Vol. III, Albuquerque, 1948-1949, page Unk. 
Rose White was Robert White’s wife and Robert was a son of Robert E. White, brother of Jim in the story.  Robert E. White was there.  The White’s were good friends of the Potter’s and the Urton’s and Rose White interviewed W.C. Urton a number of times and saved her correspondence with Jack Potter.  She published her research in the above article.
6.  Mary Ruth Burns, KILLING ON  THE PECOS, 22 page manuscript archived at the Southeast New  Mexico Historical Society Archives, Roswell, New Mexico
Mary “Ruth” Burns is a daughter of Robert and Rose White.  She has continued research on the subject and wrote the above article.  Her Potter references show that they were cutting a herd. 
   

Offline yahoody

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #124 on: February 12, 2020, 11:34:18 am »
Nice write up Bill.

I agree with your assessment and conclusion.  Several things stand out to me.  A side arm is not a handy tool working cows in  general or in a rodear branding.  Too much going on in a small space and lots of hands, so no need in a rodear.

Loading six was a known issue, specially on horse back where a discharge of a primer is  much more likely from an unintentionally bump on the hammer.  Having quick access to a back up gun?  That for me clearly paints the picture and likely intent of the day from early on.

Seems White had a belly full of Peacock.  Peacock failed to recognize the fact.  Grabbing at a cantle while turning in the saddle during a horse back conversation isn't uncommon.   Opportune time to start throwing lead though as turning in the saddle is not the most advantageous position to start a fight from.

"time leaves tombstones or dry bones"  SASS #2903

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #125 on: Today at 11:11:04 am »

Offline Yeso Bill

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #125 on: February 12, 2020, 02:36:15 pm »
You are certainly right.  Plus, carrying a pistol at a branding simply leads to a gun full of dirt. 

"Too much going on in a small space and lots of hands, so no need in a rodear."

You will remember a number of years ago there were a few budding western photographers that traveled the west and published some fine coffee table books.  I saw that and said, "You can do that easy" and bought a good 35 mm camera and lenses.  Boy did I get a quick education.  Even though I'm the boss here, I found out real quick that if I dropped my guard to take a picture, a cow would run off, or something.  Nothing like heading a cow with a camera hanging around your neck and holding onto it with one hand.  Or, I was simply in the way, getting a good shot.  And there is no bigger sin than that. So, my career as a cowboy photographer didn't last too long due to the reasons you mention.

Billy 

Offline yahoody

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #126 on: February 12, 2020, 03:08:10 pm »
Billy you made me chuckle.  As you know only the boss could get away with that chit :)

And you likely noticed my photo was in a corral branding, not a rodear.   Rodear is rather genteel to watch compared to the typical, all the neighbors come, chit show, corral branding.  You are either working or watching at either.    Heaven forbid if you are suppose to be working and aint.  No more extra help for you when the time comes and no invites back to "help".   :o

More I think about what you wrote Billy, it was a kill'in planned for that sort'in.

 
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Offline Yeso Bill

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #127 on: February 12, 2020, 08:18:54 pm »
Yahoody,
     I went back to edit my note and add a "Thank you" for the compliment but I saw you had already replied.  So, thank you. 

I wrote another reply but just as I was going for the send button, the electricity went off and there she went.....

At the hazard of sounding like an old hard boiled has been, the "rodear" appears to be long gone in these parts.  It appears to me that everyone today wants to chase their cattle into the corral and then get in there horse-back and try and work them.  Several reasons for that I believe.  Very, very few want to live horseback anymore.  Horses have been replaced by the hated 4 wheeler.  (none on this place)  And brand new ranch owners and week end help simply don't have the skills of the men of yesterday.  I was taught to always work your cattle outside and then take what you needed to brand (or what ever) to the corral.  Only twice I've ran outside brandings but the neighbors were mighty uncomfortable.   

When I was younger I knew most everybody within a 50 mile radius.  Today the ranches have traded so many times that I only know  (or have met) 50% of our joining neighbors. 

Several years ago I started writing a history of the ranch here that was established in 1884.   (A book)  Most are not aware that all of the pre-statehood lands in the west (excluding Texas, Spanish Land Grants and property deeded to the rail-roads by the government) were federal lands and absolutely could not be legally fenced until the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934.  (Glidden's barb wire patent - 1874)  I quickly ran into early land patents on the place and had no idea who those people were.  So, my project quickly morphed into a study of the Northern Pecos Valley.

Like most places, a tremendous amount of history has been lost, mostly due to the fact that most ranches don't live very long.  As it is now, so was it then.  People buy and sell, come and go.  Drought and cattle markets ruin people.  A lot of my individual ranch chapters are pretty dry because nothing remains but land records filed in the courthouses.  In 1880 the census enumerator enumerated no one between Ft. Sumner and Roswell.  Did he even enter the area?  Was there anyone here?  The 1890 census, which would have been so helpful is lost.  But, it hasn't been a complete strikeout.  J.J. Cox's -V ranch had been almost totally lost and I uncovered a lot on him.  John Shaw who had the X-X ranch was a great uncle and I have his records and brands.  R.L. Moss, a gGrandfather was a foreman for the 7HLs.  I have ordered all of their Land Entry's  from NARA and most of those are gold.  So, so far I have written about 180 pages covering 16 early ranches.  I need to get back to work on it.

My family were great friends with the Urton's (7HL) and I remember W.C. Urton showing Dad Peacock's 1876 Winchester rifle.  I have no idea what happened to his pistol.  The rifle is now in a private collection in Texas.  The only things shown on George Peacock's probate were his 160 acres, 40 head of cows and a saddle.  Evidently his homestead was the -V headquarters and his house was one room, jackal construction.  Sergio Leone would have even balked at that.
(J.J. Cox was a retired rail-road contractor and lived fancy in Las Vegas)   

As to the two gun man.  I think he is mostly myth.  I have a fairly good size western library and I have noticed that in the books that were written by the actual players, (cow men or cowboys)  guns simply aren't mentioned that often.  I recall one story (it would take for ever to find it) of a puncher who went up the trail carrying an old cap and ball and by the time he got to Montana, his pistol was so rusty that it was froze up. 

I'll attach the cover.  I think our old hdq. Is a pretty cool picture.

Billy

Well, I see the cover didn't go.  Too big I guess and I don't see any way of re attaching it.  Email me & I'll send it to you.   

Offline yahoody

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #128 on: February 12, 2020, 09:02:37 pm »
Hey Billy,

You photo does show up with a down load.   Some good history there.  Thank you for taking the time to rewrite everything.  We agree on the 2 gun thing for sure and guns in general I do believe.   My family has some interesting history as well.  Actual physically recorded oral history from my GGfather who was born in 1860 and grew up in Missouri and later IT before eventually homesteading in OK, Texas and Colo.

Tough time and as you say...ranches come and go quickly.  Always have.  I look at old family homesteads that are now housing developments.  And across our valley today that use to be all ranches and range land.  Now it is new housing developments mixed in with old weather corrals and some barb wire and rail down and falling apart.   Irrigation ditches that went in during the 1890s, still used in the 1980s, got filled in and paved over.

I'm in southern Idaho and there is still cattle occasionally worked in a rodear.  Some still in California and Nevada that I know of as well.  ot common by any means.   But most owners want doctoring and branding done quick, everything fast.  Some good research being done on how much less stress is on the cows and calves when you rodear though which is slowly getting through.  Just have to have the cowboys with the skills to get it done and a patient man running the show.

Folks still get excited about a branding pen.  4 wheels and a squeeze chute likely just as common, we just  don't see or hear about it.  Just another day's work for that crew. 

But I am not telling you anything new. 

My homage to the family...our two brands going back to the 1890s.



Working the horses and mucking this afternoon got me thinking of that shooting.  Lot of speculation on what happened on my part all based on  having 6 rounds loaded in White's shooter.   Have to wonder  where that info came from and how trusty it was?  Court inquest?    That extra loaded round tells me a lot if it happened that way.   If  he unloaded 5 and then the belly gun not so much.  5 from a Colt and a full load from his back up sounds more like he just wanted the job done and not coming back to haunt him :)   But just having a back up gun still  tells me the man likely went to work that day "unsettled". 
"time leaves tombstones or dry bones"  SASS #2903

Offline Yeso Bill

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #129 on: February 12, 2020, 11:21:15 pm »
Yahoody,
     A lady in the Lincoln County Courthouse looked for Inquest papers for me.  All she could find were Peacock's probate.  I need to go over there and do some digging myself. 

The 9 shots came from Jack Potter's article in Frontier Times as did the type of pistols.  Jack was definitely there.
 
Here is a short bio. and other info:   https://books.google.com/books?id=tGF7rLtabvEC&pg=PT181&lpg=PT181&dq=Jack+Potter+NM&source=bl&ots=586x_0_BZP&sig=ACfU3U05gx7ujfkSGPLSrYgYqcmY8953Ig&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj90Zuqyc3nAhUOO60KHT3RAkg4ChDoATAPegQIChAB#v=onepage&q=Jack%20Potter%20NM&f=false

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/4145452/jack_m_potter/



As I said, his editor really messed up the location and one hopes that was all.  I'd be willing to bet that I have ridden over the very spot that the shooting occurred but I have no proof of where it did actually occur.

If I interpet the story correctly, Jack was bringing down his wagon and crew from Ft. Sumner.  So, he would have been on the old Military trail between Ft. Sumner & Ft. Stanton, which crossed the Conejo Creek very near to where the White's had their hdq.  The White's and crew joined him and they turned east down the draw where they thought they would find the -V and 7HL camped.   The problem arose was when they found them, they weren't only camped, but had throwed a herd together and were either sorting the cattle or branding them.  In this country, the range rule was the mavericks belonged to the man whose range they were on.  Peacock and White both claimed that range. 

What I find odd about the story is Cox evidently had made some kind of deal with the Peacock brothers (George & William) to use their adjoining "homesteads" on the Pecos for his sole base in order to bring in....lets say 1000 cows.  Not until the White's arrived did he lift a finger and acquire other legal waterings.  So, in essence, he was a free grazer until his hand was forced.  (William worked for Cox at Las Vegas.  Exactly what he did, I don't know.  I want to really research the Courthouse in Las Vegas as the migration into this area was mostly through there)  (Original county, est. 1852.  Railroad 1879) 

After the killin', J.J. Cox was so afraid of being ambushed by White that once he returned to Las Vegas, he bought an 86 Winchester.  (Jim White wasted no time returning to Texas and then disappeared)   Today we have all these old guns and say, "If they could only talk".   :)

In 1887 John Shaw became a partner with the 7HLs by contributing his cattle & property.  (Waterings all the way to Roswell)  In 1889 J.J. Cox died of Dropsy in Las Vegas and his widow sold the -V holdings to the 7HL.  The 7HL's scrapped that brand and started using the -V.  My gGrandfather was put in charge of everything west of the River.  Their furthest west camp was where I now live.  The Pecos is about 30 miles to the east.   

I tell people, "Just ride up to that cow and see how close you can get to her before she moves away from you.  When she moves, you have stressed her enough to move".  Then they'll pen a whole bunch of them in a 50' wide pen, get in there with their horses and wonder why they go crazy.    :'(

I ride through our weaners and get them gentle.  But as you know, it doesn't take much to later ruin one. 

Beautiful pistol.  I believe I have seen some of your other pistols on the Colt Forum? 

I have a cousin that has engraved guns for a number of years. (like 50) I bought a 3rd generation blued 45 in the 80s, carried it daily and once it looked horrible he talked me out of it, engraved it and put the ranch brands on it, (X-X & 7 Rocker), had it reblued and gave it back to me.   Like a dummy, I went back to carrying it and knocked some of the blue off it before I wised up.   Anyway, it isn't even near in the class of yours but since it is branded, I'll leave it to my son.   :)

Yes, I believe Peacock's number was up.  It was just a matter of time until he ran into Jim White. 

Billy
 

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #130 on: Today at 11:11:04 am »

Offline yahoody

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Re: Carrying More Than One Gun
« Reply #130 on: February 12, 2020, 11:31:39 pm »
I like the stories, keep 'um coming :)
"time leaves tombstones or dry bones"  SASS #2903

 

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