The Fence Cutting War occurred at the end of the 19THcentury and was a dispute between advocates of the open range and ranchers who wished to fence off their property in Texas. The first real incidents of the war started in 1883, when open range advocates, cowboys really, began cutting any fences they came across. There were many cases when large ranch owners not only fenced property they claimed ownership over, but also property considered public land. This led to hostilities between the two groups. By the middle of the year ranchers were employing armed bands to battle the anti-fence cowboys. At least three men were killed in clashes during this period. By the fall of 1883, more than 20 million dollars in damage had been caused by the fence cutters across Texas. In January 1884, Governor John Ireland called for a special assembly to resolve the issues. Property owners were ordered to remove fences placed across property they did not own, and to provide gates every three miles, and to keep the gates in repair. Fence cutting was ordered to stop completely, and for all practical purposes this stopped large scale fence cutting.
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