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TombstoneGallows

The gallows where the gunfight took place

The undisputed high point in the Chevalle-Dupont Crime War was the Church Street Gunfight, a legendary battle between sixteen members of the Dupont Crime Family and nine members of the Chevalle Crime Family. The shootout occurred on July 4th, 2279 and changed the anarchic town of New Anaconda forever.

The surprising outcome was a victory for the Chevalles led by gunfighter, Joshua Avery II. The fight struck fear into the Duponts and clearly established the Chevalles and their young lieutenant Joshua Avery as a force to be reckoned with and tales of the fight spread far throughout the wastes.

Background

The town of New Anaconda had always been a violent and dangerous place to live since the Great War. However with the arrival of the Chevalle Crime Family in 2278 and the beginning of the Chevalle-Dupont Crime War only a few months later, the safety of New Anaconda reached an all time low with dozens upon dozens of lives claimed in the bloody feud between the gangster families.

The street war started in December 2278 when several Chevalle foot soldiers fired upon Dupont Family members in the Copperhead Casino who refused to relinquish their weapons and verbally provoked the commander of the Chevalles.

Within the week, seven Chevalles had been killed by various hit men and at least once a week some form of assassination, massacre, abduction, or shootout normally occurred. By July around fifty-seven caravaneers, merchants, civilians, and crime family members had been killed in the ensuing violence.

On July 1st, 2279 two members of the Chevalle Crime Family - Tawrence Brooks and Pete Tanner were captured by the Duponts after leaving the Broken Heart Brothel drunk and dazed. After two days of torture the Duponts, frustrated by their refusal to reveal information decided to execute them by the noose at the Church Street Gallows, a common site for execution.

Upon learning of the plan to hang the two, Jacques Chevalle personally dispatched his bold young protege, Joshua Avery II who was a skilled gunfighter to say the least and one of the few men who had fled with Chevalle to Montana when the NCR began cracking down on their illegal operations in the American northwest.

Avery, accompanied by eight others marched down the streets of New Anaconda in the early morning hours of July 4th with two twelve gauge sawed off double barreled shotguns in hand to the Church Street Gallows where a crowd was growing.

The Gunfight

Upon making his presence clear to the crowd by firing one of his four barrels into the air, Avery reloaded while demanding that Brooks and Tanner be released. The hangman who also commanded the sixteen Dupont soldiers present openly laughed and signaled to his henchmen to prepare themselves.

At 12:01 P.M. three minutes after Avery's arrival the young gunman signaled one of his eight men, Tim Long who was posted in the second story of a small tenement just across the street from the gallows with a .45 caliber repeating rifle to fire.

Firing four times, Long gunned down the Dupont's commander with two rounds to the chest and two others with shots to the heart and head. This sniper fire initiated what would be the deadliest shootout in New Anaconda's history to date.

Avery immediately used his shotguns to kill three of the Duponts in the crowd, inadvertently killing four bystanders who were caught in the widespread of the shotgun. Throwing the now empty shotguns on the ground, Avery pulled out his .44 Magnum revolver and proceeded to kill two more Duponts before taking two .38 Special rounds to the gut. Falling to the ground, Avery got off two more shots, one killing a young woman bystander with a shot through her back and another on the Dupont enforcer, Henry Davis who took the round to his lung.

During this same time, Avery's men, most of whom were armed with automatic sub machine guns of a 9mm caliber which were far superior to anything the Duponts possessed began opening fire. Killing the surviving seven Duponts and twelve observers.

In all the gunfight took around three minutes and resulted in the deaths of all sixteen Duponts, five Chevalles, and nineteen bystanders. Making a total of forty causalities.

Aftermath

Following the fight, Long, Martinez, and Adams the three uninjured Chevalles freed Tanner and Brooks and carried Avery back on a piece of plywood near the gallows which doubled as a stretcher. Many on the street both cheered and booed depending on the district and Avery was dubbed both a hero and villain by many in New Anaconda.

Until the gunfight, the Duponts had perceived the Chevalles as easily inferior but after the fight, more serious measures were taken against the Chevalles in the street war. Members of the Duponts were intimidated and fearful of the Chevalles and their mercenaries and the people of New Anaconda saw the Chevalles as a force to free them from the oppressive Duponts, not realizing that if the Chevalles took power it would be nothing more than a change in management.

Tales of the gunfight spread throughout the north and southwest through caravans and New Anaconda gained much notoriety for the infamous Church Street Gunfight that some people actually flocked to visit the anarchic cesspit to see where the fight had gone down.

The shootout was a crippling humiliation to the Duponts who would later respond with the bloody massacre of the wedding of Sonya Chevalle, Jacques Chevalle's daughter four months later.

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