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  • The Regulators

    Billy the Kid was a member of a gang of guys who organized themselves into a kind of club that were sworn to avenge the murder of their former boss. He was a young Englishmen named John H. Tunstall. In H-wood movies he is always depicted as an old gray haired pipe smoking guy. In reality he was a 24 year old Englishmen who had come to the US, armed with his father's money to make his fortune. He became involved in a competition between businesses in the town of Lincoln, New Mexico Territory. He did smoke a pipe however.

    Tunstall was a naive young fellow and believed that he could rely on the law to protect him. The trouble was the law was allied with his business enemies. They conspired to murder the young Englander and so they did, on 18 Feb 1878. Shot him down in cold blood. Billy the Kid and a few of Tunstall's cowboy employees heard the shots and viewed the mocking way his body was laid out by his murderers placed next to his dead horse, his hat underneath his horse's head on a sandy hillside near Lincoln.

    Tunstall's foreman, a 28 year old gent name Richard "Dick" Brewer rounded up a dozen or so former Tunstall cowpokes who formed a vigilante group they called the Regulators. They not only wanted to avenge Tunstall's murder but to also bring back real law and order to Lincoln.

    The little known Billy Bonney (later known as Billy the Kid) was a junior member of that group.

    At first Brewer was working within the law. He was appointed a constable and he deputized the Regulators. Therefore, they believed the law was on their side. It did not take them long to start taking revenge....a couple of days. They captured two men who had been in the group who killed Tunstall and killed them and also a member of their group whom they suspected as being a spy. Billy put a bullet or bullets in at least one of them.
    Last edited by majormack; 06 Sep 13, 15:22.

  • #2
    There are a few well known pictures of some of the Regulators. Well known, because they illustrate the many books written about Billy and his pals. For some reason Billy has captured the imaginations of millions of fans of the Old West all over the World.

    Most of the known pictures show the Regulators as either very young, taken before the LCW or long after when they were old men.

    A few years ago I walked into a little antique store and found new individual tintypes, taken during the LCW, of the Regulators. I have all of the Anglo Regulators save Fred Waite. The pictures were collected by the niece of the famous New Mexico rancher John S. Chisum. She knew them all. Billy knew Sallie and thought she was the cat's meow.

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    • #3
      Richard "Dick" Brewer

      Dick was a popular fellow and a natural leader. His men admired him. He was also the first to die. Historians think it was probably Dick Brewer who hired Billy the Kid who was a little known tin horn gun slinger, at the time. He was a skinny little guy and childlike, but he had already killed a man and under that childish exterior there hid the heart of a killer.



      If you have seen another picture of Brewer, you will note this is a new one. It is because I found it.

      I think this was taken approx March 1878. He was killed on 5 April 1878, shot in the left eye by a rough fellow named Andrew "Buckshot" Roberts.
      Last edited by majormack; 06 Sep 13, 14:07.

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      • #4
        The Lincoln Co. War is fascinating and well detailed by scholars. Good stuff.
        "A common thug can kill someone, but it takes the talents of an intelligence service to make a murder appear to be a suicide or accident death." -- James Angleton, CIA, Chief of Counterintelligence.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by majormack View Post
          Richard "Dick" Brewer

          Dick was a popular fellow and a natural leader. His men admired him. He was also the first to die. Historians think it was probably Dick Brewer who hired Billy the Kid who was a little known tin horn gun slinger, at the time. He was a skinny little guy and childlike, but he had already killed a man and under that childish exterior there hid the heart of a killer.

          I think this was taken approx March 1878. He was killed on 5 April 1878, shot in the left eye by a rough fellow named Andrew "Buckshot" Roberts.
          You can read about that fight on this post
          http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=132140

          “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” -- Albert Einstein

          The US Constitution doesn't need to be rewritten it needs to be reread

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          • #6
            After Brewer had his brains blown out by Buckshot Roberts, who was wounded and died soon thereafter, the two men were buried next to one another and rest there today.

            A man named Frank McNab was promoted to leader of the Regulators. He did not live long either, he was ambushed and killed. He was a cattle detective and did some work for John S. Chisum who was always having trouble concerning cattle rustlers.

            There are no known photographs of McNab, but I found five. Here is one. What a nice looking young fellow! If anyone wants details of how I was able to ID this photo just ask and I'll provide details.

            What one realizes when looking at these guy's photographs, is how young they were!

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            • #7
              After Brewer was killed the Regulators, if they didn't know before, understood that they were in a war. Their legal status was taken from them. They were now officially outlaws. The law was aligned against them. So what did they do?

              Why they murdered the sheriff, of course!

              April Fools day, 1878. It was raining. They rode into Lincoln and hid their horses in a coral and took cover behind a wall. There were six of them. They waited.

              From out of his office down the road along came the sheriff, a gent named William (Major) Brady. He was tall and good looking. He liked to wear loud colored ties. He had a sweeping mustache he had been a soldier for a decade and he carried himself like a soldier. When he and two deputies walked in front of where the Kid and his fellow Regulators were hiding, they cut loose and killed both Brady and his deputy, George Hindemen. Both fell onto the muddy street.

              Here is "Major" Brady. An unknown photo.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by unclefred View Post
                The Lincoln Co. War is fascinating and well detailed by scholars. Good stuff.
                You are absolutely correct! My input into the system are my photographs which are not well known. I have published some here and there on the internet and have shared some with experts, but they are unknown to the public at large.

                Finding the source of them and researching their origin has been a five year task. I found the Chisum family heirs who owned them, discovered how and why they sold them and found the photographer's hometown and scores more of his photographs some related to the Lincoln County War.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by majormack View Post
                  You are absolutely correct! My input into the system are my photographs which are not well known. I have published some here and there on the internet and have shared some with experts, but they are unknown to the public at large.

                  Finding the source of them and researching their origin has been a five year task. I found the Chisum family heirs who owned them, discovered how and why they sold them and found the photographer's hometown and scores more of his photographs some related to the Lincoln County War.
                  Thanks for those photos, you really do understand the youth of those stalwart fellows when seeing those pics. One of Billy's cronies at Fort Sumner had an interesting career-Dave Rudabaugh. Besides riding with Billy he also rode and robbed with names like Mysterious Dave Mather and Hoodoo brown.

                  The most common story of Rudabaugh's end is that on February 18, 1886, he was involved in a card game in Mexico which broke up after accusations of cheating. Rudabaugh and a Mexican man faced off and Rudabaugh shot him through the head. When another player drew and fired Rudabaugh put a bullet into his heart. Unable to find his horse, Rudabaugh returned to the cantina, which was now in total darkness. On entering Rudabaugh was jumped and decapitated. For the next several days, his killers were said to have paraded through town with his head on a pole.

                  Everyone has probably seen this picture:

                  "A common thug can kill someone, but it takes the talents of an intelligence service to make a murder appear to be a suicide or accident death." -- James Angleton, CIA, Chief of Counterintelligence.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by unclefred View Post
                    Thanks for those photos, you really do understand the youth of those stalwart fellows when seeing those pics. One of Billy's cronies at Fort Sumner had an interesting career-Dave Rudabaugh. Besides riding with Billy he also rode and robbed with names like Mysterious Dave Mather and Hoodoo brown.

                    The most common story of Rudabaugh's end is that on February 18, 1886, he was involved in a card game in Mexico which broke up after accusations of cheating. Rudabaugh and a Mexican man faced off and Rudabaugh shot him through the head. When another player drew and fired Rudabaugh put a bullet into his heart. Unable to find his horse, Rudabaugh returned to the cantina, which was now in total darkness. On entering Rudabaugh was jumped and decapitated. For the next several days, his killers were said to have paraded through town with his head on a pole.

                    Everyone has probably seen this picture:

                    Excellent post! Also spot on! While everyone has seen the picture you included in your post, they have not seen this one. For over a century historians have been searching for a photograph of a living breathing Dirty Dave Rudabaugh. I found one.

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                    • #11
                      The two pictures of Dirty Dave were taken six years apart. Upon close inspection you can match his heavy brow, chin and the shape of his mustache. They beat him to death and then cut off his head. Having one's head removed just doesn't bring out the best on one's features.

                      This picture, that Sallie Chisum collected of Rudabaugh was taken, probably on 27 December 1880, inside his jail cell where he was locked down, while Sheriff Pat Garrett and his posse were eating breakfast in Las Vegas, NMT. Dave, the Kid and Billy Wilson, fellow prisoners, had just been given new suits. They were also cleaned up, and Dave, who wore a dark salt and pepper beard when captured five days earlier, was shaved.

                      These pictures were probably taken as a mug shots. They took a photograph (tintype) of the kid and Wilson as well. Somehow they ended up within Sallie Chisum's collection, and I found them!

                      Below is Billy Wilson, there are no other pictures of him, but he is wearing a new suit, was said to be blond with a blond mustache and was not very large. Nor was he very old, maybe 23. While Rudabaugh and the Kid were locked down, deemed escape risks, Wilson was allowed to walk around in the alley where there were several deputies stationed. They said he was "depressed".

                      Here is the only photograph of Billy Wilson from Sallie's collection:

                      Last edited by majormack; 08 Sep 13, 12:00.

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                      • #12
                        Wilson looks older than 23, but look closely. He was fair,his face wrinkled in the hot desert sun and wind. His hair line is that of a young man. He is sitting in the dirt, probably in the alley right outside the Kid and Rudabaugh's cells.

                        The men's suits were purchased the day before this pic was probably taken. They did not give them new boots. As you can see. Along with their suits they got new hats. Wilson here looks pretty "depressed" to me, as he was described as being by the men who captured him. He eventually escaped and was lost to history.

                        BTW: what is that thing placed just in front of Billy's new hat? Is it a pouch of Bull Durham and a handkerchief? A flower? His handcuffs? It was recorded that the three men were uncuffed so that they could get into their new suits. It just hit me that those might be Billy's cuffs.....sure it's got to be them and some cigarette makings!

                        Isn't it great how Sallie's photographs bring history alive! When I hold one in my hand I know that probably so did the man depicted. The only thing that separates me and them is time.
                        Last edited by majormack; 08 Sep 13, 12:11.

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                        • #13
                          First the Regulators lost Dick Brewer, and then the popular Frank McNab. I am not sure who their next leader was. It was either John Middleton or Josiah "Doc" Scurlock. Sallie Chisum who knew all of the Regulators collected tintype photographs of each.

                          There are a few pictures of Doc, most of them taken years after he was one of the wild ones within the band of vigilantes called the Regulators.

                          There have been no pictures of the popular John Middleton, but there are several descriptions of the gent. I found two. One within Sallie's collection and another within the photographer's collection that I found.

                          First Doc Scurlock:



                          And next, the popular John Middleton.



                          I found the Middleton tintype years before I was able to identify it. I did that when I found another of the same man within the photographer's collection, and it matches descriptions of the man.

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                          • #14
                            Once again note how young and well dressed these men were. Scurlock was one of the oldest and was a hell raiser. He calmed though and moved to Texas where he married and had two handfuls of children.

                            John Middleton was nearly killed by the man who ended Brewer's life. John was shot in the middle of his chest, just below the heart. No one thought he'd survive, but he did. He moved to Kansas and opened a grocery store.

                            Just for fun I'll post the other picture of him:


                            Do you see the name of the photographer? I found his collection. This pic was in his album.

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                            • #15
                              As you can see the Regulators were young handsome men. They did not look like bums as all, as they are depicted as appearing.

                              As leadership changed within the Regulators they lost and gained several members. Some just left, some were killed, and some joined. The warfare intensified finally the Regulators rode into Lincoln in a effort to run the Dolan crowd out of town once and for all. They had about 60 well armed men with them, mostly Spanish speakers. They took cover inside several homes of friends in town. One was within the adobe owned by the attorney, Alex A. McSween, the man who had talked the now dead John H. Tunstall to moving to Lincoln.. There is only one photograph of McSween and it has been badly retouched. Sallie, however; collected one of him. Here he is, and as he looked at about the time of his death. He was redheaded and said to be nearly bald when he died.


                              When I found this tintype it was folded in two along the faint line that runs through his eyes. I wonder if it was folded at his funeral. He was buried next to his friend John Tunstall behind and off to the side of Tunstall's store in Lincoln.
                              Last edited by majormack; 08 Sep 13, 12:18.

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