The Five-Day Battle


From 1995, which is probably the year we went with the kids to Pageant.  We had to cut the trip a little short because of my daughter’s medical issues.  On the back of the shirt is a bit of dialogue from the pageant relating to this scene, which was the bloody climax to the Lincoln County War.  After several days of stalemate between the Murphy-Dolan faction and the Tunstall-McSween party, Colonel Dudley’s troops arrived in Lincoln, camping on what is now Becky and Matt’s property.  The “non-interference” of the federal troops allowed the Murphy-Dolan group to set fire to McSween’s home.  The besieged Regulators retreated from room to room  as the conflagration slowly spread.  Under the cover of darkness they made a desperate escape, guns blazing.  McSween, Romero, Zamora and Morris were killed by the Murphy-Dolans.  Yginio Salazar was left for dead, later crawling away to safety.  The Kid and several others escaped with little or no harm.  Then the victors inspected the corpse of McSween:

Mathews: “Why, what’s this he was a-carryin’? Looks like a book. Well, boys, he died with a Bible in his hand.” (examines book) Where’s his gun, ya reckon?”

Long: ” ‘pears like, he warn’t a-carryin’ one.”