Riding shotgun: Difference between revisions

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On the evening of March 15, 1881, a Kinnear & Company [[stagecoach]] carrying US$26,000 in [[silver bullion]] (about ${{formatnum:{{inflation|US|26000|1881}}}} in today's dollars) was en route from the boom town of [[Tombstone, Arizona|Tombstone]], [[Arizona Territory]] to [[Benson, Arizona]], the nearest freight terminal.<ref>{{Cite book | last1=O'Neal | first1=Bill | title=Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters | year=1979 | publisher=University of Oklahoma Press | location=Norman, OK | isbn=978-0-8061-2335-6 | url=https://books.google.com/books?id=5KLrfdOrI78C&pg=PA180&lpg=PA180 |accessdate=14 April 2011}}</ref>{{rp|180|date=November 2012}} [[Robert H. Paul|Bob Paul]], who had run for [[Pima County, Arizona|Pima County]] Sheriff and was contesting the election he lost due to [[ballot-stuffing]], was temporarily working once again as the Wells Fargo shotgun messenger. He had taken the reins and driver's seat in Contention City because the usual driver, a well-known and popular man named Eli "Budd" Philpot, was ill. Philpot was riding shotgun.
Near [[Edward Landers Drew#Biography|Drew's Station]], just outside [[Contention City, Arizona|Contention City]], a man stepped into the road and commanded them to "Hold!" Three Cowboys attempted to rob the stage. Paul, in the driver's seat, fired his [[shotgun]] and emptied his [[revolver]] at the robbers, wounding a Cowboy later identified as Bill Leonard in the groin. Philpot, riding shotgun, and passenger Peter Roerig, riding in the rear [[rumble seat|dickey seat]], were both shot and killed.<ref>{{cite web|title=Tombstone, AZ|url=http://silverstateghosttowns.com/tombstone-az.html|accessdate=17 May 2011}}</ref> The horses spooked and Paul wasn't able to bring the stage under control for almost a mile, leaving the robbers with nothing. Paul, who normally rode shotgun, later said he thought the first shot killing Philpot had been meant for him.<ref name="robbery">{{cite web|url=http://law.jrank.org/pages/2653/Wyatt-Earp-Trial-1881-Mysterious-Stage-Coach-Robbery.html|title= Wyatt Earp Trial: 1881—A Mysterious Stage Coach Robbery—Clanton, Holliday, Told, Leonard, Doc, and Ike| accessdate=8 February 2011}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=http://historyraider.com/ |title=History Raiders |accessdate=11 February 2011 |deadurlurl-status=yesdead |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20110208143417/http://historyraider.com/ |archivedate=8 February 2011 |df=dmy-all }}</ref>
When [[Wyatt Earp]] first arrived in Tombstone in December 1879, he initially took a job as a stagecoach [[shotgun messenger]] for [[Wells Fargo]], guarding shipments of silver bullion. When Wyatt Earp was appointed Pima County Deputy Sheriff on July 27, 1881, his brother [[Morgan Earp]] took over his job.<ref name=wgbh>{{cite AV media |url=https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/transcript/wyatt-transcript/ |title=WGBH American Experience: Wyatt Earp, Complete Program Transcript |date = January 25, 2010 |season=22 |number=2}}</ref>
=== Historical weapon ===
When [[Wells, Fargo & Co.]] began regular stagecoach service from [[Tipton, Missouri]] to [[San Francisco]], [[California]] in 1858, they issued shotguns to its drivers and guards for defense along the perilous 2,800 mile route.<ref name="pmo">{{cite magazine | last = Jones | first = Spencer | title = Revival Of The Coach Gun | magazine = Popular Mechanics | date = 2004-06-01 | url = http://www.popularmechanics.com/outdoors/sports/1277346.html?page=1 | accessdate = 2007-03-18 | deadurlurl-status = yesdead | archiveurl = https://web.archive.org/web/20070930024328/http://www.popularmechanics.com/outdoors/sports/1277346.html?page=1 | archivedate = 30 September 2007 | df = dmy-all }}</ref> The guard was called a [[shotgun messenger]] and they were issued a [[Coach gun]], typically a 10-gauge or 12-gauge, short, double-barreled shotgun.<ref name="Peacemakers">{{cite book |last=Wilson |first=RL | title=The Peacemakers: Arms and Adventure in the American West |year= 1992|publisher= NAL|location=New York |isbn=978-0-7858-1892-2 |pages=121, 197, 244}}</ref>
== Modern usage ==