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Cover Story
Major Marcus Reno: Misrepresented ‘Monster’
By Gregory Michno
Plains Indians had soundly whipped the 7th U.S. Cavalry and killed its iconic commander, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. Someone had
to take the blame. Hello, Reno

Baseball in the West
By Gregory Lalire
Alexander Cartwright brought the game west during the California Gold Rush, and diamonds in the rough spread like tumbleweeds across the post–Civil War frontier

Idaho Bill: No Jail Could Hold Him
By Chris Penn
The imaginative outlaw made his mark—for better or worse—through repeated jailbreaks and his claim to have survived the Mountain Meadows Massacre

The Colorado Huntress and Her Wildlife
By Nancy M. Peterson
When her husband sought gold in the Rockies, small but spunky Martha Maxwell followed him and found fame as a skilled naturalist and taxidermist

Murder at the Palais Royal
By Richard Selcer with Tonya Fossett
At this fancy Fort Worth saloon all the ingredients were present for lead to fly—two sporting men, a simmering feud, gambling protocol, alcohol and hot words

Editor’s Letter


A Wild West article ropes a prestigious Wrangler Award, American Indian ballplayers (only one from Cleveland) fill the Top 10 list, an all–Wild West baseball team takes the field, and the Billy the Kid tintype is up for auction

By Johnny D. Boggs
John Koster stirred up a hornet’s nest by suggesting a soldier survived Custer’s Last Stand, and he’s sticking to his guns—which may or may not be loaded

The man on the horse is a “Starr” desperado, if he doesn’t say so himself

Gunfighters and Lawmen
By R.K. DeArment
Time ran out for watchmaker Edward Frodsham, who cut a violent trail across the West

Pioneers and Settlers
By Don Blevins
What glory is there when one Medal of Honor recipient puts a shotgun to the belly of another Medal of Honor recipient and pulls the trigger?

Indian Life
By Robert L. Foster
Ute Chief Walker was among the frontier’s busiest horse rustlers and slave traders, and when the Mormons objected, he went to war


Western Enterprise
By Wallace C. McLane
The federally funded military road John Mullan built from Walla Walla on the Columbia River to Fort Benton on the upper Missouri had its ups and downs

Guns of the West
By Lee A. Silva
Though Western movies rarely depict it, the cleaning of one’s trusty gun was something every smart frontiersman did regularly

Art of the West
By Johnny D. Boggs
Indianapolis’ Eiteljorg Museum holds a premier collection of American Indian and Western art

Ghost Towns
By Les Kruger
Prospector John Kemple happened across silver in the sandstone of southwest Utah Territory, and the town of Silver Reef was born

By Linda Wommack
The Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Ariz., centers on the old territorial Governor’s Mansion and the collected art and artifacts of none other than Sharlot Hall (1870–1943)

Interesting books and movies about frontier women, as well as reviews of such new books as Edwin Sweeney’s From Cochise to Geronimo

Go West!
Labor strikes out at Bisbee’s ballpark

On the cover: Major Marcus Reno’s attack in the valley failed, and his retreat back across the Little Bighorn River was ragged at best. Meanwhile, his commander, Lt. Col. George Custer, bit the dust. Reno entrenched atop a hill and survived, but the June 1876 ordeal only marked the beginning of Reno’s hell on earth. (Custer photo courtesy of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument; Reno photo from G.A. Custer: His Life and Times, by Glenwood J. Swanson,; colorization by Slingshot Studio, North Hampton, N.H.)



Discussion: Major Marcus Reno certainly didn’t merit any medals for his performance at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, but does he deserve to be cast as the principal villain in the 7th Cavalry disaster? His subsequent court of inquiry did not uphold the charges of cowardice and drunkenness against him. Was the verdict fair?

Wrangler Award Winner! Taking Stock of the Pony Express: Frederick J. Chiaventone commemorates the horseback mail service that captured the country’s imagination 150 years ago

WWHA Award Winner! The Killing of Dora Hand: Susan and Lee Silva tell of Dora’s strange death in Dodge City


Also be sure to visit, where you can read and write about history, even if you don’t know a “blog” from a bowie knife.