Davis Tutt (1836 – July 21, 1865) was an Old West gambler and former soldier, best remembered for being killed during the Wild Bill Hickok-Davis Tutt shootout of 1865, which launched Wild Bill Hickok to fame as a gunfighter.
Tutt was born in Yellville, Arkansas, son of Hansford Tutt, a member of a politically influential figure in Marion County, Arkansas, and his wife Nancy Anne Rose. When he was a boy, Tutt's family became involved in the Tutt-Everett War, during which his father and other family members were killed.
Enlisting in 1862 in Company A, 27th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, Davis Tutt fought for the Confederate States of America in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. At its end, he decided to go west, stopping first in Springfield, Missouri.
It was there that he met Wild Bill Hickok. Despite serving on opposite sides during the war, they became friends and often gambled together. Tutt even loaned Hickok money on occasion. Historians have debated the amount, but Hickok himself stated he owed Tutt $25. The fall out between Tutt and Hickok was due to Hickok's failure to repay the money he owed, worsened by Tutt embarrassingly taking Hickok's watch as collateral. Hickok allowed Tutt to take it, but warned him to never wear it in public. To do so would be humiliating to Hickok. Unfortunately, not doing so would suggest that Tutt was afraid of Hickok. A gunfight was almost the inevitable result.
History has forgotten Tutt, but the gunfight on the square in Springfield made Hickok famous. Hickok approached the square and called out Tutt. Tutt responded and the two men faced each other fearlessly. Each fired one shot. Tutt missed, but Hickok's shot was fatal. The gunfight has since become one of the best known of the Old West, has been copied many times since by Hollywood.