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Texas State Flag - Lone Star Legends IconTEXAS LEGENDS

Feuds & Range Wars of Texas

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Though feuds and range wars were rampant throughout the American West, it seems the Lone Star State wins the "prize" for having the most. In virtually every county in the state, bitter wars were waged, often beginning with a few family members before growing to include hundreds of men. From disputes rising out of Civil War sympathies, to cattle thievery, and old-fashioned arguments between neighbors, the Lone Star State was not only filled with violence stemming from numerous outlaw factions, but also from locals killing each other.

 

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Texas Feuds

Early-Hasley Feud (1865-1869) - A family feud in Bell County, Texas became much embittered after the Civil War.

El Paso Salt War (1877)  - A feud that occurred over the salt flats of the Guadalupe Mountains that culminated in a bloody battle in the small town of San Elizario.

Horrell-Higgins Feud (1877) - This family feud grew out of accusations of cattle theft in Lampasas County, Texas.

Jaybird-Woodpecker War (1888-1890) - A political war in Fort Bend County, Texas over control of the county.

Lee-Peacock Feud (1867-1871) - One of the best known of all the feuds in Texas, the Lee-Peacock Feud in northeast Texas following the Civil War, this was not simply a dispute between families, but a continuation of the Civil War, lasting four bloody years after the rest of the nation had laid down their arms.

Mason County War, aka: Hoodoo War (1874-1876) - A battle between rival German immigrants and native Texans which occurred when large numbers of cattle began to be killed or go missing.

Regulator-Moderator War, aka: Shelby County Property War (1839-1844) - The first major feud to break out in Texas was born during Texas days as a republic. For years, a strip of land in East Texas that bordered Louisiana and Mexico had been ignored by Spanish, Mexican and Texas authorities. By the time Texas became a republic, the swatch of land had developed into a lawless place where land frauds, cattle rustlers, and killings were common.

Sutton-Taylor Feud (1868-1873) - This family feud that grew out of the bad times following the Civil War occurred in DeWitt County, Texas and was was one of the longest and bloodiest in the state.

 

 

Early-Hasley Feud (1865-1869) - This family feud in Bell County, Texas became much embittered after the Civil War. Leading the Early faction was John Early, who during the Civil War, was a member of the Texas Home Guard, an organization formed to protect Texas lands while the younger men were off fighting the war. For whatever reason, Early abused an old man named Drew Halsey while his son, Samuel was off to war. When Sam returned from his service in the Confederate Army, he was incensed at Early's treatment of his father and took the matter in his own hands. In the meantime, Early had also chosen to become a supporter of the Union after the Rebels had been defeated. Texas, the last stronghold of Confederate forces; however, had thousands of people who still supported the Confederacy, refusing to adhere to the new ideals and laws implemented during Reconstruction. Hasley soon became the head of a party of friends and relatives that openly opposed the Yankees and their forced policies. Before long, Hasley and his friends, including a man named Jim McRae, a known outlaw, were accused of all manner of desperate deeds including thievery and other criminal activities. Early soon convinced the Union soldiers to "clean out" the Hasley faction. On July 30, 1869, Jim McRae was ambushed and killed. Afterwards, the Hasley party disbanded; however, one of the members pursued Dr. Calvin Clark, an Early supporter, into Arkansas and killed him shortly thereafter. Though the "feud" was over, Sam Hasley continued to have a reputation as trouble maker. In the fall of 1889, he was drunk and creating a ruckus in Belton, Texas. When Deputy Marshal William "Cap" Light ordered him to go home, Hasley ignored him and began to ride his horse on the sidewalk, daring Light to do something about it. Light responded by attempting to arrest the wayward Hasley. But when Sam pulled his out his gun, Light had little choice to respond and shot Hasley dead.

 

 

Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated January, 2010

 

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