State of Missouri vs. Hickok -1865


James “Wild Bill” Hickok

“Wild Bill Hickok vs. Dave Tutt” by Andy Thomas

In the summer of 1865, Davis K. Tutt, a former Confederate soldier, and William Butler Hickok, a former Union Scout and Spy, were friends and noted gamblers. On July 20, 1865, the pair fell out over a game of cards, which left Hickok in debt to Tutt who took his prized Waltham watch as security for payment. According to stories circulated later, Tutt taunted Hickok with the notion of flaunting his watch on the Springfield Public Square the following afternoon. Hickok warned that if he did it would become a shooting matter.

At 6 p.m. on the 21st, Tutt appeared with the watch and Hickok advised him not to cross the square. Dave’s response was to draw his pistol and open fire. Wild Bill drew and shot Tutt through the heart. Arrested and charged with manslaughter, Hickok was put on trial and found not guilty on his plea of self-defense.

Contributed by the Greene County Archives and Records Center

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