The Roach Guards were an Irish street
gangin the New York City's Five Pointsduring the early 19th century. Originally formed to protect New York liquor merchants in Five Points, the gang soon began committing robberyand murder.
The Roach Guards began fighting with rivals the Bowery Boys and former Roach Guard members known as the
Dead Rabbits. The feud between the Roach Guards and the Dead Rabbits was especially violent as they fought over the Bowery area. Despite constant fighting, they managed to hold their own in the "slugger battles" against the more organized and disciplined Bowery Boys. The Roach Guards however began to decline during the 1850s, disappearing entirely by the end of the American Civil Warin 1865.
*Asbury, Herbert. "The Gangs of New York". New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1928. ISBN 1-56025-275-8
*Sifakis, Carl. "The Encyclopedia of American Crime". New York: Facts on File Inc., 2001. ISBN 0-8160-4040-0
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