Wild West – December 2011 – Table of Contents

10/9/2011 • George Custer, Wild West TOC, Wyatt Earp

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Cover Story
Last Word on the Famous Wild Bunch Photo
By Richard Selcer and Donna Donnell
The authors clear up the mystery and misconceptions surrounding John Swartz’s iconic Western photo of the Fort Worth Five and reveal the forgotten detective who recognized its importance

Wounds from the Washita: The Major Elliott Affair
By Arnold Blumberg
George A. Custer’s 1868 victory at Black Kettle’s camp in Indian Territory has registered plenty of controversy, especially over accusations that Custer had abandoned his second in command

The Unwanted Female Reporter at Wounded Knee
By Nancy M. Peterson
Sent from Chicago to Pine Ridge, South Dakota, to report on the aftermath of the tragic clash, Teresa Dean met hostility from male reporters but received the support of Maj. Gen. Nelson Miles

The Death of Gobo Fango
By Andrew Weeks
In February 1886 Prussian-born cattleman Frank Bedke mortally wounded black Mormon sheepherder Gobo Fango in southern Idaho Territory—but the specifics remain elusive

Thomas Twiss and His Twist of Fate
By John Koster
Twiss graduated second in his class at West Point, taught philosophy and served as an Indian agent out of Fort Laramie before turning into a “renegade white” in the service of hostile Indians


Editor’s Letter


The Indian war shirt that outsold Billy the Kid’s tintype, meat-eating horses, frontier photographer Edward Curtis’ images go 3-D, the Civil War does not rest out West, and Custer controversy survivor John Koster offers a Top 10 Lakota word list

By Candy Moulton
Jim Crutchfield, an award-winning author from Tennessee (no, he wasn’t born on a mountaintop), discusses Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone and westward expansion

The cards are on the table—as is a revolver—in John Swartz’s photo of three gamblers

Gunfighters and Lawmen
By Erik Wright
Wyatt Earp took vengeance near the Tucson Depot in 1882, and Frank Stilwell, a suspect in Morgan Earp’s murder, soon lay perfectly still

Pioneers and Settlers
By Jason Strykowski
In December 1909 Thomas Lloyd and three other Alaskan miners set off to conquer Mount McKinley, North America’s highest summit

Indian Life
By John Koster
Lakota heyokas did everything backward to reverse the course of lightning, but these contraries also brought laughter and broke up the austerity of traditional life

Western Enterprise
By John Koster
As “boss farmer” on the Wind River Indian Reservation in 1871, Finn Burnett was tasked with teaching the Shoshones, traditional hunters, how to grow their own food

Ghost Towns
By Stephen Mauro
Quicksilver was the “find” behind the fast rise of Terlingua, a mining boomtown in Texas’ Big Bend region

Art of the West
By Johnny D. Boggs
Charlie Norton’s The Birthplace of the Legend renders Bill Cody’s buffalo hunting contest larger than life

By Linda Wommack
Pearl DeVere’s first-class parlor house in Cripple Creek, Colo., is now the oldest brothel museum in the nation

Guns of the West
By Lee Silva
These compact spur trigger revolvers made outstanding “hideout” guns for the shady ladies who hid little else in their chosen profession

Some of the interesting books and movies that showcase frontier photography, plus reviews of recent books, including two on Texas lawmen and one on the sacred Black Hills. Also check out an assessment of the movie Cowboys & Aliens

Go West!
Winter bewitches visitors to Glacier National Park

On the cover: Anyone interested in the history of gunfighters and lawmen is likely acquainted with this 1900 image of five wanted men—(from left) the Sundance Kid, Will Carver, Ben Kilpatrick, Harvey Logan and Butch Cassidy. (Photo from the Robert G. McCubbin Collection)



Discussion: How do you rate the performance of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer at the November 27, 1868, Battle of the Washita (near present-day Cheyenne, Okla.), including the way he handled the loss of Major Joel Elliott and his small party of volunteers?

Texas Independence and the Yellow Rose: If you’ve neglected to mark the 175th anniversary of Texas’ independence, there’s still time to read Douglas Brodie’s tale

Medicine Bill Comstock: “Comstock,” wrote Buffalo Bill Cody, “had the reputation, for a long time, of being a most successful buffalo hunter, and the officers in particular, who had seen him kill buffaloes, were very desirous of backing him in a match against me"


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