Alpine Historical

Bryon Harrington | 1875 Campo Gunfight Poem

Photo taken from cover of the book, Campo, The Forgotten Gunfight, by Bryon Harrington (available at the museum store)

By Bryon Harrington

On a clear Saturday,
under December skies.
Five riders rode into Campo,
With the sunshine in their eyes.

These men were desperados,
Men who lived by the gun.
They would kill you for your money,
They would kill you for their fun.

Back then Campo was only a small store,
hotel and telegraph.
To rob this town will be so easy,
all the bandits, did they laugh.

And under their sombreros,
Murder was on each and every mind.
They were on their way to Campo to have a feast,
But it was on death that most of them would dine.

Because, you see, their menus,
they had been changed,
But the bandits still got there fill.
Of buckshot from the shotguns, of Lumen and Silas Gaskill.

There were six bandits in Campo that day,
Because one was sent on to scout ahead.
But when this battle was over,
Five, were dying, or already dead.

And a neighbor’s ranch hand,
Who had heard the shots and came riding into town fast.
Only to be mortality wounded,
by a bandit’s sixgun blast.

Today, some say in Campo,
that gunshots, can still be heard upon the breeze.
Some say that hanging bodies,
Can still be seen, twisting, in Campo’s trees.

You see, two of the bandits were lynched by ranchers,
Who came to see that justice was done.
Today this might shock you all,
But that was how the west was won.

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