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I never killed a man who didn't need it.
— Robert Clay Allison

Robert Clay Allison (September 2, 1841 – July 3, 1887) was a cattle rancher, former Confederate soldier, and one of the most notorious gunfighter of the American Old West. Allison epitomized the classic image of the gunslinger in today's popular culture: the lone skilled gunman who wandered to a desolate town and forced to defend its townsfolk against the rich and powerful bullies, very iconic in films such as Shane and Magnificent Seven.

Clay Allison started his violent life when he enlisted twice in the Confederate Military during the American Civil War, serving both in the Army and in the Cavalry. He served in Captain W. H. Jackson's artillery battery and in the 9th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment under the infamous Confederate "Wizard of the Saddle," General Bedford Forrest. After years of battling the Union, he surrendered in Gainesville, Alabama on May 4, 1865, but his violent escapade did not stop there. He escaped his prison by killing a Union guard, at one point going back to his family's land and killing another Union corporal who tried to seize it, and being involved in raids conducted by the Klu Klux Clan.

Allison soon retired from bloodshed, albeit temporarily, when he started to operate his own ranching business. He even participated in the iconic Goodnight-Loving Trail through Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. In 1875 however, while working as a cattleman in New Mexico Allison became entangled in the bloody Colfax County War, between the rich Santa Fe and Maxwell Land Grant group, and the smaller farmers, ranchers and Native Americans over a large piece of land.

Clay Allison became one of the leading figures of the settlers, leading his mob and posses in numerous lynchings and shootouts in the county. He was known to have led the hanging of Hispanic gunfighter Cruz Vega and another by the name of Cardenas for the murder of a reverend. He participated in numerous quick-draw shootouts, such as his gunfight with Chunk Colbert in 1874 and Francisco Vega in 1875. In both times his enemies were the first one to draw and aim their pistol, but Allison always managed to draw and fire faster. Besides these, he was also an advocate of resisting the military incursion sent by the Santa Fe.

At one point in October 31, 1878, Clay Allison was entangled in a small skirmish with Comanches during the ongoing Texas-Indian War in Wheeler County, Texas. While riding, Clay Allison came upon a small family home being besieged by Indians. After his request for assistance from the U.S. cavalry was denied, he personally collected a group of ranchers an cowboys to mount a rescue party. They charged at the Indians and killed one of them before the rest fled.

Clay Allison died on July 3, 1887 in Pecos, Texas not from the result of a gunfight, but because of a wagon accident. Although largely forgotten today, he is known by contamporaries and historians as one of the most dangerous gunmen of his time. Even Wyatt Earp once spoke about him.

Battle vs. Chief Joseph (by Killermoves)[]

Clay Allison: BlueBlueBlueBlueBlue

Chief Joseph:DarkredDarkredDarkredDarkredDarkred

The American-Mexican Border Frontier, late 1870s

It was a hot dusty afternoon in the badlands of the Old West. The sun was in its highest peak, the hot winds were blowing from the East, and the large red mountain range towered above the desert landscape. Large rock formations also dotted the sands, and together with the mountains, they formed this large, long and lonely maze-like canyon. Within this maze were hidden oasis, animal bones and dried vegetation that laid in the shade. But besides these, an old steel track that lead to a hole in the mountain ran along the canyon. The tracks and the hole formed an abandoned mining camp, with many digging paraphernalia scattered and buried in the sand.

But it wasn’t long before this abandoned mining post wasn’t abandoned no more.

Five cowboys came riding into the camp, leaving a huge trail of dust and sand. One of the cowboys was the infamous gunfighter Clay Allison, who actually led the group into this canyon. He dismounted from his horse and stood in awe at the rock formation; looking, listening and soaking carefully his new environment.

“Come on boss,” one his cowboys said. “You’ve been tracking them injuns for over two days and now were stuck here in this godforsaken canyon.”

Clay Allison only looked at him and smiled a deranged grin. It was true, that these ragtag group of gunmen have taken the job to locate a group of Nez Perce Indians, who were spotted by some settlers from the North. It was a small band who separated from the main tribe when the latter finally gave itself up to the US government. Clay Allison thought it would be a good idea to track those Indians themselves so they can get a reward from the military.

And now it seems that they got themselves lost and trapped. But little did they knew that Clay Allison was right.

As Clay looked and scanned his surroundings, he puts his hand near his holster and yelled, “I know ya’ll are in here you red-skinned sons of bitches! Grow some tejones and face us like men or I’ll be coming back with the whole US Army!”

Suddenly a shot from a rifle rang out from one of the cliffs, hitting one of the cowboys straight in the chest.Blue Then a voice spoke to them, “You should have leaved the place white man. Now you all will be buried here in the sand.” It was Chief Joseph who spoked to them, as he and his men hid themselves in the cliffs. They have been running away from the army for several months now, and they were tired, exhausted and starved in their retreat. And Chief Joseph wasn’t going to let all of these sacrifices they have done go to waste.

Even though one of his men was dead and the rest was panicking like little girls, Clay was just smiling as this was the opportunity he’s been waiting for. He then drew his revolver with blinding speed and fired a bullet to where the voice came from. That single bullet hit the cliffs, and the cowboys saw one Indian yell in pain and fell off the canyon and died.Darkred

The rest of the Indians fled their cover, and as they ran in the open, it gave the cowboys the chance to make a shooting gallery out of them. Another Nez Perce Indian was hit in the knee cap with a rifle shot from a cowboy, and as he stumbled he lost his footing and crashed into the rocks below. (0) Knowing that the Indians had the high ground, Clay Allison told his cowboys to take the best cover they can find.

Chief Joseph found another ledge and they laid themselves down. Seeing that the cowboys were have positioned themselves really well and was difficult to shoot from their cover, Joseph signaled to his troops. He told them to lay on their backs and use their bows to start raining arrows on the cowboys. Loads and loads of arrows fell unto the cowboys as they desperately try to dodge them. One of the cowboys was hit in the shoulder, and as he cried in anguish, Chief Joseph saw him and finished him off with a rifle shot to the head.Blue

Pissed off, Clay Allison told his men to lay suppressing fire as he crazily started to climb the mountain with his hands. One of the cowboys saw one Indian standing in the open to accurately fire his bow, and this gave him the chance to shoot him straight in the jaw. His body landed on the cliff, with his dead arms flailing over the ledge and blood dripping like a fountain into the sands below.Darkred Chief Joseph later scolded the others to be more careful, and they dragged their the dead comrade’s body and laid it on top of their cover, to act as another layer of defense.

As the cowboys continued firing to no avail, the Indians were getting momentum as they let out several accurate shots. Another cowboy was killed when he was shot several times in the torso.Blue When the last of Clay Allison’s cowboys saw this, he went mad and made a run for it; desperately trying to escape this valley of death. But the Nez Perce Indians completely riddled him with arrows and rifle shots, and as he fell dead, he looked like a hedgehog with all the arrows sticking him.Blue

With the cowboys seemingly dead, the Nez Perce celebrated and let out a war cry. But then two shots were heard from out of nowhere. Chief Joseph noticed his remaining Indians became silent and slowly dropped their weapons. Soon their bodies fell into the ground with all of them having each a bullet hole to chest.DarkredDarkred

Clay Allison came out from the shadows, with his revolver in his hand. He aimed it at Chief Joseph and smiled, before saying, “Any last words, Chief?”

“Yes,” Joseph said. “I am tired of running…”

In a fast blur, Chief Joseph came towards Allison with a tomahawk drawn. He slashed at Allison’s arm, making him drop his pistol. But instead of yelling in pain like the others, Clay Allison just laughed at his injury. He retaliated by punching Chief Joseph in the jaw, dropping him like a sack of potatoes, before unsheathing his knife and jumping on top of Joseph. With the cowboy on the top and the Indian below, the two struggled as the former tried to stab the latter with his knife. Chief Joseph held unto Clay Allison’s arm for dear life, trying to prevent the madman from pushing his knife unto his chest. During the fight Clay Allison continued laughing as the knife slowly inches towards Chief Joseph’s chest, and actually managed to draw blood as the tip successfully penetrated Joseph. The Chief made one final shout as he used all of his strength to throw Allison off of him before the knife can go deeper.

The cowboy was thrown straight out of the cliff, and as he fell, he just continued laughing before finally shutting up when he landed on the rocks below. The once legendary Clay Allison was now slumped on the ground in a pool of his own blood and with his skull completely smashed open.Blue

Chief Joseph left no war cry that day. He just laid down in the rocks and gave himself a rest. Deadliest Warrior: Clay Allison

Expert’s Opinion[]

Based on the votes below, this was a clear-cut victory for Chief Joseph. While the two are basically tied when it comes to weapons (with the voters having a mixed opinion to mid and long range), what really sealed the deal was Joseph’s better tactics and mental health. Easy to say, Clay Allison was just too crazy to handle Chief Joseph’s more calm approach to combat.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

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