October 25, 2023 The Paul Friedrich Collection of Firearms & Gold Rush
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/25/2023
The Johnson County War, also called the War on Powder River or the Wyoming Range War, is one the most iconic events of the mythologized "Old West," when wealthy cattle owners began to crack down on alleged cattle rustlers in Powder River and Johnson counties. The early hanging of Ella Watson and her husband Albert Bothwell on accusations of rustling caused lines to be drawn, with murders and additional lynchings taking place; in at least one instance, a range detective named Tom Smith killed a suspected rustler and the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, with their enormous political sway, ensured his release. Tensions continued to escalate until the hired gunmen attempted to invade Powder River County and were stopped by state lawmen and armed locals. This confrontation did not end until Benjamin Harrison ordered the Cavalry to intervene. One of the most important figures was Joseph Carey, who owned the massive CY Ranch, a portion of which would form the city of Casper, Wyoming. Members of the CY Ranch also participated in the Hole in the Wall fight when Bob Divine led a raid to the infamous region in 1897 to reclaim lost cattle, resulting in the famous Hole in the Wall Fight. According to a museum card included with this revolver, this revolver was found in Bate's Hole, near where the fight occurred, and is in an appropriate configuration to have been present at that fight; famously, Al Smith lost his firearm during this fight. A second tag on the gun also indicates it was found at "Bates Hole Battlefield" and indicates that an army officer possibly lost it given the ivory grips; however, it appears that the tag is referring to the raid on an Arapaho encampment in 1874 from Captain Alfred Bates, which this revolver would be too late to have participated in. CONDITION: Relic, ground dug.
Barrel Length
5 - 1/2"
.45 LC
FFL Status
Museum Card
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $750.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $2,214.00
Estimate: $1,500 - $3,000
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Wednesday, October 25, 2023.
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