Andrew "Buckshot" Roberts
(? - April 5, 1878)
Little is known about Roberts' beginning, but legend says he was known as Bill Williams in Texas, fought for the Union Army during the Civil War, a Texas Ranger and a hunter under Buffalo Bill Cody. The moniker "Buckshot" came from a load of buckshot which crippled his arm making it impossible for him to raise a rifle higher than his hip.
Roberts was a member of the Dolan group who ambushed and killed John Tunstall. When Dick Brewer formed the Regulators in search of these murderers, Roberts sold his ranch and stayed at a friends near Blazer's Mill waiting for the check. Disappointed after one query Roberts left the mill for his friend's residence. Some miles out he saw a buckboard headed toward the Blazer's Mill. He turned his mule around in the hopes the ranch payment was among this delivery.
Prior to Roberts second visit, the Regulators arrived at the Mill, parked their horses around back in the corral and headed to the local eatery for some chow. Roberts arrives, ties up his mule and per Blazer's rules goes into the building unarmed to check the mail. Frank Coe sees Roberts and tries to convince him to surrender. Knowing other "prisoners" of the Regulators were killed, Roberts refuses.
The specifics of the gunfight vary depending on the storyteller. Basically the Regulators led by Dick Brewer and included George Coe, John Middleton, Doc Scurlock, Charles Bowdre, Henry Brown, Frank Macnab and Billy the Kid approached Buckshot Roberts and ordered him to surrender. Roberts raised his rifle and fired hitting Bowdre's belt buckle. Simultaneously Bowdre answered with a bullet inflicting a severe wound entering one side and exiting the other side of Robert's body. Still Robert's sounded three. more bullets one hitting Middleton in the chest, one hitting Scurlock's holstered pistol and one scratching Billy' arm. The bullet hitting Bowdre's belt buckle bounced and wounded George Coe's gun hand.
Robert's threw his empty Winchester and ran to a nearby building grabbing a rifle and a mattress. He propped the mattress up against the door opening. The Regulators scattered. Dick Brewer approached a woodpile and had a good view of the partially open door. Brewer released one bullet missing the wounded Roberts. Buckshot saw the flash coming from the stack of wood, raised his rifle and waited. Dick Brewer took one more look and Robert's rifle sounded. The bullet entered Brewer's eye socket blowing off the top of his head.
Waiving a white flag some locals approached Robert and a doctor bandaged the fatal wound. Buckshot Roberts died at noon the day following the battle. When asked about the gunfight, Billy the Kid said "Yes sir, he licked our crowd to a finish."
Buckshot Roberts is buried in the Blazer Cemetery in Mescalero, NM. Dick Brewer is buried in the adjoining grave.
Information compiled by Steve Grimm