At the age of 15, Hardin challenged his uncle Holshousen's former slave, Mage, to a wrestling match which Hardin won  According to Hardin, the following day, Mage hid by a path and attacked him as he rode past. Hardin drew his revolver and fired five shots into Mage. Hardin wrote in his autobiography that he then rode to get help for the wounded ex-slave (who died three days later) and that his father did not believe he would receive a fair hearing in the Union-occupied state where more than a third of the state police were ex-slaves. His father ordered Hardin into hiding. Hardin claims that the authorities eventually discovered his location, and sent three Union soldiers to arrest him, at which time he "chose to confront his pursuers" despite having been warned of their approach by older brother, Joseph:
An El Paso lawman, John Selman Jr., arrested Hardin's acquaintance and part-time prostitute, the "widow" M'Rose (or Mroz), for "brandishing a gun in public". Hardin confronted Selman, and the two men argued. Selman's 56-year-old father, Constable John Selman, Sr., (himself a well-known gunman) approached Hardin on the afternoon of August 19, 1895, and the two men exchanged heated words. That night, Hardin went to the Acme Saloon, where he began playing dice. Shortly before midnight, Selman Sr. walked into the saloon. In the ensuing confrontation, he shot Hardin in the head, killing him instantly and before he could return fire. As Hardin lay on the floor, Selman fired three more shots into him.  Selman Sr. was arrested for murder and stood trial. He claimed he had fired in self-defense, and a hung jury resulted in his being released on bond, pending retrial. However, before the retrial could be organized, Selman was killed in a shootout with US MarshalGeorge Scarboroughon April 6, 1896, following a dispute during a card game..
Call Of Juarez GunslingerEdit
- In the duel with John Wesley Hardin, conversely to dueling throughout the series, in order to win the duel the player must dodge all twelve of Hardin's bullets.
- If the player does fire a bullet that would have impacted Hardin, the game will slow down and freeze, playing the same dialogue as it would normally.
- In the Duel Mode, the duel with him is changed, so that the objective is to shoot him, as with other duels. Additionally, he will move, as opposed to standing with his arms crossed.