"Texas, by God"
and the
imported fighting men
Tue Aug 7, 2018 14:17

Ben, you've made me open my long-shelved Morgan Earp bio.
It seems the Slopers escalated hostilities in early '81 by turning loose a very nasty, homicidal, individual named Henry Newman, aka "Whistler." Newman, also a vicious knife-wielder, attacked a young dealer in the Alhambra on Friday, January 14. The fellow "received several ugly wounds." Perhaps this is what prompted Lew Rickabaugh to hand over management of the Oriental gambling concession to Wyatt Earp. The latter would soon bring aboard local allies including the indispensable Dick Clark, "Napa Nick" Nichols and Edward Boyle, who was outspoken in his support of the Earps. Keeping in mind that not every Easterner or Sloper were necessarily fighting men (such as Dick Clark) but possessed needed expertise.
The ones imported for the Oriental were Dodge City friends Will Harris of Long Branch fame, Bat Masterson and Luke Short. Before any of that happened Morgan Earp resigned from Wells Fargo end of January. He was Wyatt's first choice to run (night shift) beginning February 1 to handle one of three eventual faro banks which ran practically 24/7. Ultimately, three shifts keeping each bank running would require a lot of men, from a minimum of 6, to 9 men to work at each table round the clock, anywhere from 18, to ideally 27 men total.
Luke Short was already on hand, coming in from Kansas City near the end of 1880. He would work the early shift, getting off at 1:00 p.m. Harris arrived next, via San Francisco with his wife, and was reported at Tombstone on January 1, before Wyatt took charge. Bat was announced departing Dodge City on February 8.

Later, after the big climax on February 25, going from memory, a Police Gazette article alluded that Luke Short was designated fighter for the Easterners, with Chas. Storms likewise for the Slopers.

It might be mentioned here that the greatest fear for Luke Short (as clearly researched and brought out on my tome) was James Leavy. Authors DeMattos and Parsons never touched on the reason why Luke would flee Tombstone after being duly acquitted for self defense. Those authors fell so flat as to never mention the gamblers war, nor the existence of "Dublin" Lyons, nor James Leavy who held Storms on a pedestal as father figure for years. Why would Luke feel the need to bail out so quickly with Wyatt's army backing him up? Jim Leavy is the answer, the most feared by all, now grieving, who was walking the streets afterwards looking for opportunity against both Short and Masterson. This is when Wyatt with Morg - the latter knowing Leavy the best and longest, gingerly intervened and tried to persuade Leavy to leave town and go to Tucson. At first, Leavy being so distraught, "called down Wyatt and Morgan Earp on the street when they hinted indirectly that it was best for him, that he vacate the camp.....Bat Masterson passed him on the off side of Allen street."
Certainly, Luke Short skipped out pronto after which Leavy did go to Tucson. Bat may have been saved by Morgan Earp in particular, since he remained in Tombstone until April.

  • Thanks, Kenny. More great stuffBen Harleman, Tue Aug 7 11:07
    A question: do you know if Bat and Luke's arrivals in Tombstone were strategic, as a response to the gamblers War? Or were they just the simple casual moves of friends to be close, but ended up... more
    • imported fighting men — K.t.K., Tue Aug 7 14:17
      • Re: imported fighting menBob Cash, Tue Aug 7 15:13
        I hesitate to ask this question because it will just encourage you to open your "long shelved Morgan Earp bio" again, rather than spending every waking moment working on getting it published, but... more
        • Dodge CityK.t.K., Tue Aug 7 17:59
          Wyatt, Morgan and Bat could meet him in Deadwood, 1876. That's when Luke placed himself there, as per Hubert Howe Bancroft dictation. From Deadwood Luke went to Ogallala where he got into trouble... more
          • Furthermore Luke and Bat for Mr. CashK.t.K., Tue Aug 7 20:00
            In April of 1880 Bat had been visiting his good friend Miles Mix at Buena Vista, about 35 miles south of Leadville. Bat then went up to take a look, but had to retreat in response to a mass exodus of ... more
            • Thank you, Kenny. Bob Cash, Wed Aug 8 00:34
              This info certainly connects Luke with Dodge City veterans. Still, given the fairly short amount of time spent in these locations, it is somewhat surprising that Wyatt, Bat, Charlie Bassett and... more
              • Deger the puritanK.t.K., Wed Aug 8 09:21
                I think it was not loyalty to any one person as much as being about principle. And I must qualify such principle from the eyes of a pro gambler. Anything goes in regards making a buck from the saloon ... more
    • Newspaper referenceBob Paul, Tue Aug 7 12:02
      Re Bat's arrival, "strategic" or "as a response", y'all may want to review Bat's (the man who smiles) interview in the May 17, 1882, Pueblo Chieftain. Relevance??
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