About the same time—ten miles outside of Wichita…Five of the McCullough cowboys lay dead or wounded and most of the rest riding hard for the McCullough Ranch as the Jones cowboys rode away. Two of the McCullough boys rode for Wichita.
There were only two large ranches near Wichita, and a few small operations; mostly the area was made up of hardscrabble farms and as word spread of the fight, the small ranchers and farmers began to take sides. This would get really ugly—really soon.
In front of the Painted Lady in Wichita…The first people the two ambush refugees saw as they galloped into town were Deputy US Marshal Blackmon and her deputies, “Marshal; we been bushwhacked by the Jones boys!”
Season VI—Chapter 9—Range War, Episode 6:
On the prairie around Wichita… The range war that had been smoldering, became a wildfire, as farmstead after farmstead and ranch after ranch were attacked, and in some cases destroyed completely.
The Miller farm ten miles south of Wichita just before the attack…
The Miller family had not taken sides but that didn’t matter—or maybe it was because they hadn’t—their farm was attacked. There were no survivors.
The Reid brothers had cast their lot with the Jones faction and were just riding out from their small ranch a few miles north of town when they were gunned down.
The attacks continued into the night—a night of rage on the prairie.
The Peterson farm was destroyed, but the Petersons managed find safety in their root cellar and survived the attack—their farm did not.
The Wilder family had already left for the relative safety of town when their small horse ranch was attacked…
…they, at least survived—their livestock did not.
In Wichita, as the first refugees arrived… The newly-minted Wichita District US Marshal Carl “Big Mac” McIntyre assigned all his available peace officers to ride out in groups to stop the ongoing attacks—not an enviable task—and perhaps, destined to fail—they HAD to try.
Mac assigned Deputy US Marshal Randy Kidd to stay in Wichita and assist Earp & Beteenus in maintaining order in town.
Kidd was helping the refugees near one edge of town while Earp & Beteenus were doing the same at the other end when the raiders arrived.
It was never a fair fight…
To be Continued…