Part Of My Backyard Garden

Part Of My Backyard Garden
July 25, 2013

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thinking About Home and Wild Bill Hickok

The legend of Wild Bill Hickok began just outside my hometown at a place called Rock Creek station. (Southeast Nebraska) It was here that Wild Bill, by his own account, killed single handedly, nine members of a blood thirsty, cut throat McCanles Gang. Dime novels of the day led to it being called the greatest one man gunfight in American history. A battle Hickok survived with eleven bullet wounds.
What a story – how much of it is true –probably not much.
• Hickok became famous later and the facts changed after he became bigger than life. History forgot that he was charged with murder and released after a trial lasting a few minutes.
• Also his nickname changed from Duck Bill to Wild Bill, likely at his insistence, maybe at the point of a pistol if you insisted on calling him Duck Bill
• There never was a McCanles gang although David McCanles himself was a bully and not liked or missed by many.
• People who saw Hickok soon after the battle reported he had no wounds after the fight.
Anyway, so goes the tight line separating truth from fiction in the old west. Wild Bill went on to become a legend throughout the west. Including right here in Wyoming where he spent some time.

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