Bob Cash
Re: Morg and Do
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:04

I think we are dealing with three separate, but intertwined questions here. 1) Was Tom armed with a pistol? 2) Who shot Morg? 3) When was Morg shot?

I think Kenny's post below, exposing Tom Keefe's history as someone who would have known the difference between a Smith & Wesson and a Colt, is quite compelling and added to the rest of the evidence that Tom was armed (Billike and Gadiner's statements, Kehoe's observation of Tom's shirt tail being out on a cold blustery day, Behan's "He might have been armed and I not know it", and the prosecution's decision not to call Fellehey to the stand) makes for a very strong case. A question I have always had is about Keefe's description of the pistol he examined on the floor of the "death house", as not only a Smith & Wesson, but as "an old pistol...well worn". Since Frank's Colt was originally shipped to a New York City wholesaler in September 1878 and Billy's to a Saint Louis vendor in July 1879, it seems unlikely to me that either one could have matched that description by October 1881. Assuming the earliest date Frank could have gotten it in Arizona, it would have received wear and tear for, at the most, three years.

Even if Tom had a pistol on him when the Earps arrived, it does not necessarily mean that he was able to use it, let alone hit Morgan. He could have been shot before he was able to fire it or even reach for it (not, however, in the manner the prosecution witnesses said he was shot), if he jumped behind the horse at first fire he may have decided that having a weapon with a 15 shot capacity was better when four opponents were shooting at his party, or he could have fired his pistol, if he had one, but without effect. The idea that Billy was hit at first fire was only promoted by prosecution witnesses, no defense witness testified to this scenario. Judge Lucas and R. F. Coleman thought Billy had fired his weapon before being hit, and Bob Hatch stated he saw Billy standing at the corner of the Harwood house and firing after the third or fourth shot had been fired. Billy, in my opinion, would have been in position to hit Morgan at this point of time, as the NUGGET reported in its description of the fight. If Morg was, in deed, shot while standing next to Wyatt during the the initial phase of the fight, Billy, in my opinion, was just as likely to be the shooter as Tom (if Tom had a pistol). The cowboy witnesses that reported seeing Billy hit at first fire also reported him being wounded variously in his wrist, stomach and chest at that time, the bullet apparently being even more "magic" than that supposedly hit JFK and John Connally.
If Morg was actually wounded after he moved 16 feet out into the roadway over the newly disturbed earth covering the water pipe, his only possible shooters, with Tom already shotgunned, would have been Billy, if he was just at the beginning of his slide down to the ground, or one of his brothers, in a case of friendly fire. I don't have Mrs. Collier's description in front of me so I may be entirely wrong here, but I believe she, like Coleman, said she saw Billy fire and hit Morgan. Coleman does not say what position Billy was in when he saw Morg hit, but I believe Collier describes him as firing as he was already on the ground. If that was the case it seems almost impossible to me for Billy to have delivered a shot straight across Morg's shoulders from that prone position and makes it more likely that Billy fired just as Morgan tripped and both Coleman and Collier assumed he had been hit. It has also occurred to me that if Coleman's attention was on Morg when he fell and did not hear him say, "I am hit", it moves us a little closer to the possibility that Morg was hit earlier. Of course, Bob Hatch's attention was also on Morg, as Kenny pointed out their close friendship below, and he says Morg did exclaim that at that point.. As I pointed out in my post below, perhaps Doc was the only one to proclaim he'd been hit (admittedly a few seconds after Morgan fell) and in the confusion Hatch remembered it was Morg who said it. 

  • Morg and DoPat Mulligan , Tue Aug 13 04:57
    Is it possible that Hatch heard the words "I am Shot" thought they came from Morgan when they actually came from Doc ? I believe that Morg was shot early in the fight when he was turned towards... more
    • Re: Morg and Do — Bob Cash, Thu Aug 15 12:04
      • Re: Morg and DoBob Cash, Thu Aug 15 13:12
        CORRECTION: "...if he jumped behind the horse at first fire he may have decided that having a weapon with a 15 shot capacity was better when four opponents were shooting at his party AND REACHED FOR... more
    • Morg and BobK.t.K., Wed Aug 14 05:24
      Pat, in the Lake/Earp Notes Wyatt refers to Bob Hatch as "Morg's great friend." We have from the Forestine Hooker writing that Morg and Hatch were experts with the cue. But this should not be... more
      • Re: Morg and BobBob Cash, Wed Aug 14 07:24
        So, Kenny, do you believe Morgan was hit when he fell in the middle of the street and Bob Hatch testified that he thought he heard him say "I am shot", or was it earlier?
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