CowboySpirit.TV - We've got a mixed bag of Old West tidbits for you today, including a pair of massacres, Wild Bill Hickok, and the first recorded girl-on-girl gunfight!
1862: The Battle of Fort Ridgely began on this day. Chief Little Crow of the Dakota attacked the Minnesota fort as part of their series of raids in revenge for food being withheld - in breach of treaty - from their reservation. The Dakota laid siege to it for a week, but were eventually driven off by reinforcements.
1863: The infamous Lawrence Massacre occurred on this day. Confederate guerilla William Quantrill lead a group of 300-400 men into the old west city, slaughtering 164 undefended civilians in retribution for the Kansas city's abolitionist policies. The city seal of Lawrence, featuring the mythological phoenix, commemorates the massacre.
1846: On this day, General Stephen Watts Kearny issued a proclamation officially annexing New Mexico as a territory of the United States. Unusually for a land grab, part of the proclamation guaranteed that all private Mexican land ownership claims would still be respected under US governance.
1869: That old west folk hero Wild Bill Hickok was elected as the City Marshall of Hays, Kansas, on this day. The election was mostly a formality, as Hickok had already been serving in the role unofficially. In only his first month as Marshall, he killed two men.
1874: The Lone Tree Massacre in Meade County, Kansas, occurred on this day. The female Cheyenne war leader Mochi, along with her husband Chief Medicine Water, led a band which killed a family of surveyors en route to Fort Lawrence.
1877: While documentation is sketchy, this is one possible day on which the first known female gun duel occurred, between "Madam" Mattie Silks and a rival madam, Katie Fulton. Neither hit the other, although Fulton did accidentally wound a bystander. (He lived.) Having failed at shooting, the two women then fought the old-fashioned way, with fists flying 'til Fulton fled.
1879: Two members of the old west outlaw gang The Seven River Warriors, known for their involvement in the Lincoln County war, turned on each other. John Beckwith, brother of the Warriors' leader Hugh, was shot by fellow member John Jones. Jones, in turn, was killed three days later by another Warrior named Bob Olinger. What charming fellows these outlaws be.
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