How small was the space that the fight took place in. How did anyone survive the battle? Were the guns back then really that inaccurate? Was cool-headed marksmanship not a thing? Was the build up to the gun play so intense that the adrenalin was flowing and none of the parties could keep a steady aim?

The fight was up close and personal. There was about 18 feet between Fly’s and the Harwood house and the two sides were as close as 6 feet apart before they spread out. Some 30 shots were fired in a space of about 30 seconds. The Cow-boys wounded Virgil, almost fatally wounded Morgan and creased Doc. Wyatt came through unscathed. They might have fared better if Ike, the loud mouth who started the ruckus hadn’t turned yellow, ran away and hid in Fly’s Boarding house; Billy Claiborne turned tail and scampered away, following Ike into the boarding house, and Wes Fuller backed out of the line of fire when the shooting began. Curly Bill Brocius and Johnny Ringo, along with several other Cow-boys were out of town. The gunfight might have turned out quite differently.

Meanwhile Virgil, Wyatt, Morgan and Doc all fired fatal gunshot wounds. The gunfight might have ended differently had Ike, Claiborne and Fuller stood their ground. Ironically, just a few hours earlier Ike boasted, “All I want is four feet of ground.”

The feud was really about the movers and shakers, the businessmen, who wanted to attract investors and capital to the territory versus the unscrupulous owners of beef markets, butchers,saloonkeepers and others who benefited from the free spending Cow-boys. In summary, the fight was between “law and order vs the lawless and disorder.”

I suspect there were a lot of shooters in this fight who forgot the time-honored maxim “Take your time……in a hurry.”

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