Myths and Mysteries of the Old West

Overview

Fact versus Fiction in the Old West

In an age before twenty-four-hour news coverage, before law and order came into vogue, dime novels and casually written newspaper stories fueled the legends of the Old West. The real people who filled the vast Western landscape became the romantic folk heroes—or villains—of the era, among them Billy the Kid, George Armstrong Custer, and Sitting Bull. Myths and Mysteries of the Old West retells their tales ...

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Overview

Fact versus Fiction in the Old West

In an age before twenty-four-hour news coverage, before law and order came into vogue, dime novels and casually written newspaper stories fueled the legends of the Old West. The real people who filled the vast Western landscape became the romantic folk heroes—or villains—of the era, among them Billy the Kid, George Armstrong Custer, and Sitting Bull. Myths and Mysteries of the Old West retells their tales with a witty brand of honesty about "truths" as elusive as vapors.
Were Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid truly shot down in South America, or did they live to a ripe old age, with or without wild woman Etta Place? Did the Gold Rush really start with a fortuitous accident? Did Calamity Jane in fact marry and have a baby with Wild Bill Hickok, and did he really kill one hundred men? Did buffalo hunter Billy Dixon shoot a man dead from a mile away?
"We love a good story more than a slavish adherence to facts," writes author Michael Rutter. "The sin, apparently, isn't stretching the truth, but telling a bad story."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762727926
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Series: Myths and Mysteries Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 601,146
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Rutter is a freelance writer who lives in Orem, Utah, with his wife, Shari, and two children. He is the author of more than 35 books. When not traveling or writing, he teaches English at Brigham Young University. His passion is the American West.
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Read an Excerpt

COMANCHE:
The Most Famous Horse in the West

Did a horse named Comanche really survive the Battle of the Little Bighorn? What made this animal so legendary? Has Comanche been preserved for future generations?

Comanche wasn't an average cavalry-issue horse. Captain Myles Keogh's personal beast, he was a well-trained, splendid mount that stood out in a herd. Comanche was a bay, born sometime during the Civil War, probably around 1862. He was a little over fifteen hands high and weighed well over 900 pounds. Over the years he had collected an impressive number of battle scars from his adventures in the Indian wars, where he earned his name. Comanche was Injured by an arrow during a skirmish with the Indians in the Cimarron country near Bluff Creek (southeast of Dodge City, Kansas). He let out a bellow uncharacteristic for a hooved creature. His cry of pain sounded a lot like the scream of a charging Comanche warrior. Comanche was known for his stamina and courage, as well as his ability to get by on cheat grass or willow bark just like an Indian pony. He was readily identifiable and known to most of the men in the Seventh Cavalry.

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Table of Contents

(1) Introduction (2) The Lost Cities of Cibola (3) The Battle of Adobe Walls (4) John Colter (5) The California Gold Rush (6) The Mountain Meadows Massacre (7) George Armstrong Custer (8) Sitting Bull (9) Comanche (10) James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok (11) Calamity Jane (12) Billy the Kid (13) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (14) Bibliography (15) Index (16) About the Author
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