Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!
Monday, August 19, 2013
How Wild West fistfights really went down
The reality was a bit nastier. It was considered manly to "mark" your opponent by giving him some sort of permanent scar or injury. Wild Bill Hickok used the popular tactic of stomping on people's faces with his bootheel. The spurs came in handy to add a little extra flair to the "mark."
Another popular tactic was eye gouging. Regular fighters would often grow a thumbnail specially for gouging people's eyes out and would "brine" (sharpen) it to make it more effective. This was especially common among the early riverboat and mountain men and got less common as laws began to take hold in the West.
Of course nobody really wants to see that in a movie!