Classic Gunfights

Kid Curry’s Last Gunfight

Kid Curry vs A Colorado Posse


June 9, 1904

Two days earlier, the westbound San Francisco Express—train no. 5—was robbed near a shipping station in Colorado known as Parachute.

Three robbers got away with an undetermined amount of loot (some stated as little as $30; others claimed the take was much larger). The three robbers fled on foot in a rainstorm to a stolen rowboat and crossed the Colorado River. They mounted the horses they had stashed there and rode east toward Battlement Mesa.

Many locals assumed the robbers would flee west into the sparsely settled high desert, but, perhaps thinking counterintuitively, the outlaws headed east into a settled area. This was their first mistake.

Their horses quickly tired in the rugged terrain, so the outlaws had to steal new mounts from Rolla Gardner’s ranch. This was mistake number two.

Within hours several posses and bloodhounds were hot on the robbers’ trail. As the bandits stole more horses (see map), the locals became more incensed and riled up. It was one thing to steal railroad money, but these guys were getting a tad too personal. This was mistake number three.

At five a.m. on June 9, these...

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