The Lincoln county war took place in New Mexico between 1878 and dragged on through 1881. It was all started between John Tunstall who owns and manages a large ranch operation in Lincoln County. Two Irish men, J.J Dolan and L.G Murphy operated the general store in town, which was named the house. Through the house the access to lucrative beef contracts with the government was controlled. The bigger ranchers such as John Chisum and Alex McSween didn’t like the thought of merchants controlling the beef market so the began to question the house. It wasn’t long before Tunstall realized that he agreed with Chisum and McSween, which lead him to become the leader of the anti-house forces and then buying a general store of his own. They fought for power enough and it was soon to get violent this forced Tunstall to hire young gunmen called the regulators for protection one of them soon became a famous outlaw of the west a young man by the name of William H. Bonney or better known as Billy the Kid. The following year the Murphy crew used its resources in politics to get back at Tunstall by winning a court order stating that he has to force over some of his horses to pay the excessive amount of debt he has accumulated. But of course he refused to turn over any of his horses so the Lincoln County sheriff that was ironically controlled by the House were sent out to take the horses. The boys Tunstall had hired were out working the ranch when the sheriff and his crew showed up and they well out numbered the regulators so they got out of there but not before they watched Tunstall ride up to the men to try to run them off of his land. The boys watched as William Mortan pulled a gun and killed Tunstall by shooting him in the head. Though he had not Worked for him very long Billy was enraged by Tunstalls murder in cold blood so he very quickly gathered a gang against the House or Murphy and his men.The Lincoln County war was essentially three wars in one, the Pecos War of the early 1870s, the Horrell War of 1874, and the Lincoln County war that is known to have began in 1874.There was no blood battle at the bottom of the fighting the war was based on self-interest against self-interest. The Pecos war consisted mainly of an indiscriminate killing of cow men and cattle thieves but never had a real beginning or end even though many people died. The Horrell was between the boys from Texas and four brothers best known as the Horrell brothers who had oddly came from Texas themselves but moved to the town of Lincoln New Mexico to become ranchers. The Horrells soon took over Lincoln when a foolish justice ordered to arrest them. Some fighting went on until soon it was Texas against the law. Up until this point Lincoln county was fairly lawless the Lincoln county war brought more law in to regulate all of the corruption. As stated what started as just a little feud between some brothers and boys from Texas turned into a way bigger conflict forcing many more lawmen to get involved and be deputized so to say. After John tunstall was killed the murder rate went up significantly because every ranch owner so to say seemed to have their own posse of men to fight against the other this in fact made Lincoln county divided into murphys men or McSweens who was fighting for Tunstall it seemed like even if you didn’t want to be involve there wasn’t much choice and some had to decide very quickly which side they were on. So at this time the county was a very lawless wild part of New Mexico that seemed almost uncontrollable they kind of tried to take the law in there own hands. What law was here was corrupted and involved in the fighting themselves. So there for there was no order there and nothing was getting done to try and solve the extreme corruption that was going on here. The entire population seemed to not want to be governed so to say they wanted to deal with it themselves and this only led to many more people dying. A great blood lust now possessed all the population. It wanted no law. There is no doubt about the intention to make away with judge Warren Bristol of the circuit court. The latter, knowing of these turbulent times in Lincoln, decided not to hold court. He sent word to Sheriff William Brady to open court and then at once to adjourn it. This was on April 1, 1878 Sheriff Brady, in walking down the street toward the dwelling-house in which court sessions were then held, was obliged to pass the McSween store and residence. Behind the corral wall, there lay ambushed Billy the Kid and at least five others of his gang. Brady was accompanied by Billy Matthews, by George Hindman, his deputy, and George Peppin, later sheriff of Lincoln County. The Kid and his men waited until the victims had gone by. Then a volley was fired. Sheriff Brady, shot in the back, slowly sank down, his knees weakening under him. “My God! My God! My God!” he exclaimed, as he gradually dropped. He had been struck in the back by five balls. As he sank down, he turned his head to see his murderers, and as he did so received a ball in the eye, and so fell dead. George Hindman, the deputy, also shot in the back, ran down the street about one 150 yards before he fell. He lay in the street and few dared to go out to him. A saloon-keeper, Ike Stockton (himself a bad man, and later killed at Durango, Colorado), offered him a drink of water, which he brought in his hat, and Hindman, accepting it, fell back dead.The murder of Sheriff Brady left the country without even the semblance of law; but each party now took steps to set up a legal machinery of its own, as cover for its own acts. Sheriff Brady made a big difference to how the county was controlled. Once he died there really was no control over the county. Both groups of men were hunting each other over a span of about 100 square miles. The kid and the regulators holed up to hide in the McSween house was that was discovered by the Murphy boys. they were there for three days until Andy Boyle decided he needed to steal a cannon and blow in the doors. as he went to steal one from Fort Stanton is when Colonel Dudley got involved and brought his troops. he was sent in to arrest men from both sides but nothing ended up happening. they ended up lighting the house on fire to try and force the men out. some of them managed to escape like billy the kid and a few more. shortly before all of this happened McSween had word from the governments commissioner that the president had fired Governor Axtell on account that sheriff peppin has been favoring the murphy side of this dispute. General Lew Wallace was sent to be the new Governor he had extraordinary powers. President Hayes ordered a proclamation that everyone put down their arms. this actually made some head way men on both sides met in the middle of a road and called a truce so to say they shook hands signed agreements it was all resolved. so the men went into town and had a little celebration they were all drinking except for Billy. The drunk men demanded one of Billy’s boys get up and dance he refused and the men shot him and killed him. Billy got as far away from the area as he could. That spring new Governor Wallace removed the commander of Fort Stanford, and and ordered the arrest of anyone involved in Houston Chapmans death. Soon after that quote Billy wrote a letter to the governor and it saidI have no wish to fight any more. Indeed I have not raised an arm since your proclamation. As to my character, I refer to any of the citizens, for the majority of them are my friends and have been helping me all they could. I am called Kid Antrim but Antrim is my stepfather’s name. Waiting for an answer I remain your obedient servant.After saying that it had been realized that some order still remained. A few days later The Kid went to meet with Governor Wallace and he said that if Billy agreed to an arrest he would get a pardon for what he had done so he agreed. He sat in in jail for a few days until he was able to be brought before a grand jury they pinned the murder of 50 different men on him including Alex McSween. They didn’t want to honor the governors word to pardon him for his crimes. This made the kid believe that the governor was not true to his word so he went back to his ways and living life on the run with the law always looking for some way to catch him. He was finally shot down by sheriff Pat Garrett who was previously his friend. The Lincoln county war is a demonstration of how a simple dispute between to major ranchers in New Mexico could have been made a lot simpler if there was some sort of law to step in and solve the problem. It changed the entire way New Mexico was governed and controlled. It took until president Hayes had to get involved to realize how much corruption and distrust there was in the county of Lincoln. Sheriffs were choosing sides even colonels in the army sent to arrest most of them only chose one sides men to arrest. This war helped America see that law is needed to ensure that disputes such as this one don’t get to far out of hand and create a much bigger problem than one that is needed. If there was no law this kind of thing would happen much more because nobody would have the power to stop it. The war had much more than just Tunstalls boys against Murphys men but the biggest display of the lack of law was between them. They were unstoppable anyone that stood in there way was usually killed in trying to do so many civilians died in the process because they had been forced to fight even tho most of them didn’t know what for they had no choice but to star in the action. therefore if the law was not introduced into the lincoln county war it may have gone on way longer than it did many more lives could have been lost.