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The Shirt Tails were a mid-19th century street gang based in the Five Points slum in Manhattan, New York, United States, who wore their shirts on the outside of their pants as a form of insignia and as a sign of group affiliation. Members kept their weapons—as many as three or four at a time—concealed beneath their shirts; this discreet measure stands in contrast to competing gangs who flaunted their weapons in order to intimidate.
Never numbering more than a few hundred members, the Shirt Tails, like many other gangs, disappeared shortly before the American Civil War (although they did participate in a coalition of gangs under the Dead Rabbits and fought against the Bowery Boys during the New York Draft Riots), with its remaining members dissipating or joining one of the other various gangs.
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