This gun battle at Blazer’s Mill, located on the Rio Tularosa, is considered part of the Lincoln County War of 1878. The most famous participant of that war was, of course, William H. Bonney, a.k.a. “Billy the Kid.” Billy and his fellow posse members called themselves the “Regulators” and were led by Dick Brewer. Their “opponents” were the Murphy-Dolan faction who aligned themselves with Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady.
The Regulators were more or less the “extra-legal” force for the Tunstall-McSween faction who supported the town constable Dick Brewer (the Regulators’ leader). Tensions between the two factions had been brewing for awhile but erupted into a full-scale county war early in 1878. On February 18, John Tunstall was murdered, which precipitated the organization of Brewer’s posse.
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