How far apart were Wild Bill Hickok and Dave Tutt in their famous 1865 showdown in Springfield, Missouri?

ask-the-marshalTom Shepard

El Monte, California

Dave Tutt and Wild Bill were, according to many accounts, 75 yards apart; however, Hickok expert Joseph Rosa, in Wild Bill Hickok: The Man and the Myth, says they were 50 yards apart. Either one is still a heck of a pistol shot.

Evidence indicates that Tutt was standing sideways, duelist-style, which makes Hickok’s shot even more remarkable, proving once again the old adage, “Speed is fine . . . accuracy is final.” See “Classic Gunfights” in the August 2000 True West for coverage of the Hickok-Tutt shoot-out.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His books include Law of the Gun and Never Give A Heifer A Bum Steer.

If you have a question, write:

Ask the Marshall PO Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.

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