Harper's Magazine article that helped boost fame of Wild Bill Hickok, 1867

staff_reporter Member Photo

Clipped by staff_reporter

Harper's Magazine article that helped boost fame of Wild Bill Hickok, 1867 - Site Imttwille fcrtte. TirUKSDAV, JA1 T-J...
Site Imttwille fcrtte. TirUKSDAV, JA1 T-J Several months after the enditm of tbi nivil war I visitnd thn eitv of Snriucfiold in Southwest Missouri, Springfield is not a burgh of extensive dimensions, jot :t the largest in that part of the Statu, o oaus lead to it waicn is oho ruiiauu it -was tho naint d'aimui. as well base of operations for nil military : a during thi On a warm summer day I eat watching oomiog and going of a stringo, half-cml- izoa people who, irom ait cue co round, make this a place of barter trade. Mon and women dressed in queer costumes ; men with coats and troweera made of akin, but so thickly covered with dirt and creaHe at) to have deJied tho iden tity of the animal when walkuoc fleh. Others wore homespun goar, which often timos appeared to have seen Lengthy aarTiee. many oi muse pe.ipig wuru mounted on inrga-back or mule-back, whilo others urired forward tho unwilling cattle attached to croaking, hise.vily-lii.den waonB, their drivers nnappio their Ion;: whips with a report like that of a pistol- In front of the shops which lined both aidnn of the main business street, and about the public square. wei'U groups of mon tolling ttgMMt posts, Jyirig r on u:? wooucn eiaewaiKii, or anting in on Thesomon were temporary or pormai: donizons of tho oitv. and wore lazilv cupied in doing nothing. Tho most mark ed characteristic of the :nnaliUrtt ?oom od to be an indisposition to move, and their higboatarabition to let their hair anc boards grow. The loose, lazv snirit of tho occasion fi nally took possession of mo, and I sat and gazed and smoked, and it is possible that kle sleep to have boen aroused ten years fienco Dy too cry, " 'ttS3ongere tor too ny-ing machine to New York, all aboard!" when I and the drowsing city rere roused into life bv the clatter and crash of the hoof of a horso wbioh dashed furiously across tho square and down the street. Tho rider sac porfootly erect, yet following witn a gracB ol motion, Been oniy in mo horsemen of the plains, the rise and fall of tho ffallooinff steed. There was onlv a moment to observe this, for thoy halted suddenly, while the rider springing to tho ground approached tho party whioh the "This yero is Wild Bill, Colonel," said Captain llonostyan army ofiieor nddross- Hocc "How are yer Bill? This yore is Col. i , wno wants to Enow yer. Lot me at onee deeeribo tho personal ap pearance of tho famous Scout of the FJaiuB, WUIiam Hitchcock, called "Wild Bill," who now advanced toward mc ing his clear gray eyes on mice quiok,interrogatiTo way, as if to take "my The rosnlt seemed favorable, for ho hold forth a small, muscular hand in a frank, opon manner. As I looked at him I thought his the handsomest physique I had ever soon. In eiquisite manly proportions it recalled the antique. It was a iig-ure Ward would delight to model as a companion to his "Indian." Bill stood sis loot and an inch in his bright yellow moccasins. A deer-skin shirt, or frock it migh: be called, hung jauntily over his shoulders, and rovealod . ohoM whoso breadth and depth wore re- j mtultublo 'IliQdo lungs had hn,d growth waitt was firth od bv a belt which held two of Colt's navy revolvers. Ilia legs siopou grauuauy irom ing compact cuigu to the feet, whioh wero small and turned inward as ho walked. Ihero was a singular trraco and diirnitv of carriage about that figure which would have called your attention meet it wnoro you weuiu. j.a head which crowned it was now covoro by a large somboro, underneath v.-hicf thoro shone out a quiet, manly face : sv gsntlo in ite expression as ho greets yot as uttorly to belie the history of its owner vot it is not a face to bo trilled with. Thi lips thin and sonsitive, the jaw not tot souaro. tho caeek b-mc-3 s'..ahf.y nro-ni- ncnt, a mass of lino dark hair falls below tho nock to tho shoulders. The eyes, nc that you are in friendly intercourse, are eentle as a woman's, In truth, tho v.- man naturo seems prominent throughout, and you would not believe that you wore looking into cyce that have pointed the Wild Bill with his own hands has' killed hundreds of men. Of that I have no doubt. "He shoots to kill," as thoy say on tho border. In vain did I examine tho scout's face for some evidence of murdorous propensity. It was agentlo face and singular only in tho sharp anglo of the eyo, and without any physiognomical reason for the opinion,"! have thought his wondorful accuracy of aim was indicatod by this peculiarity. , llo told me, however, to use his own words : "I allors shot well ; but 1' come tor be perfeek in tho mountainn l,y ssliootio at a dime for a. mark, at Ijots of half a dollar a shot. And then until tho war I never drank liquor nor smokod," be continued with a molaneboly expression ; "war is domoralizing.it ie." Captain llonosty was right. I was very curioue to seo "Wild Bill, the Scout," who, a fow days before my arrival in Springfield, in a duel at noonday in tho tail-tie t-qorire, r.t !:fty paOC-9, had SOOt OHO Of Colt's pistol ttalii tlirc;:b tho heart of a returned Confederate soldier. Jin Southwest -il'onri there were old scores to bo settled up. lJuring the throo days occupied by General Smith who commanded tho Department and was on n tour of inspection in crossing the country botweoo Rolla and Springh'old, a distance Of about 120 miles, five men were killed or wounded On tho public road, Two wore murdered a short distauco from llolld by , whom we could not ascertain. Another woe iostuntly killed and two were wounded at a meeting of a band of "Regulators," who wero in tho sorvioe of tho State, but were "paid bv tho United States Govern ment. It should bo said hero that their mothod of "regulation" was slightly informal, their war-cry was, " A mih bullet and a short ropo for returned rebels ! " I was informed by General Smith that daring the six months preceding not lei8 than 4.000 rocurnnd CI, summarrly disposed of by shooting or hanging. This statemont seems incredible; but thero is the record, and I have no doubt cf ito treob. Hts-erv sliows fow parallels to this relentless dc'stmotieu ef human life in timo of peace. It can be explained only upon the ground that, before tho war, this region was inhabited by lawless people. Io. tho outset of tho rebellion tho morest suspicion of loyalty to tho Union cost tho patriot his life; and thug largo numbers fled tho land, giving up home and every material interest. As soon ae tho Federal armies occupied tho country those refugees returned. Once eeouroly iod in thoir old homos they resolved that their former persecutors should not live in their midst. Revenge for tho past and security for tho future knotted many a nerve and sped many a deadly bullet. Wild Bill did not belong to tho Regulators. Indeed, he was one of the law and order party, lis said : " When tho war cloEod I buried tho hatchet, and I won't fight now unless I'm put upon." Bill was born of Northern parents in the State of Illinois. Ho rn away from home, when a boy, and waodcred out upon tho plains and into the mountains. For fifteen years he lived with the trappers, hunting and fishing. When the war broke out he returned to tho Slates and entered the Union service. No man probably was evo'r better fittod for scouting than ho. Joined to his tremendous St: cngtti he was an uneqnaled horscmun - he was and a constitution which had iv; limit os endurance. Ho was cool to audacity.bravo to rashness, always possosaod ol himself under the most critical on-eumst sinrt.ii.l-nv fill, wna such il master knowledge of woodcraft that it might have boon tornicd aseionco with him a knowledge which, with the soldier, is priceless bsvood (leecription. feotno o! B'.'d'-r id- venturcs during the war will be related hereafter. The main features of the story of the duel was told -:ie by Coj tlin JI:mj.-'t;r,v,ho f ,if"iii plo after a light has taken pi; ' Thoy say Bill's wild. Now hi anv sich thins. I've known him iri tor ten year, and he's as civil a dipced r.ersOil lit ecu Jl iir.O in j.ai'Mj jilts, he won't bo put upon." " I'll tell yer how it happened. come mtor tto omcc ; thar b a good i round by'ar as sides with Tutt the that's shot. But I toll ver 'twas a fight. Tako some whisky? No! Well, I will, il yer 1 excuse roo. You see," continued tho Captain ting tho empty glass on the table impnacic way, isui was up in ins i-nlavin seven up, or four-band, or eoi ihem pesky games'. Bill refused tcr ploy ntu Tutt, wno was a proiessionai gamier. Yer eec, Bill was a scout on our idc durin tho war, and Tutt was a rob scout. Bill had killed D.ivo TuttV mute and, atween one thing and another, there ir an OnuSuul hara l0C:iu atwixs 'cm. Evor sin Dave como back ho had tried nick a row with Bill : so Bill wouldn't nlav eatds with him any more. But Pave stood over tho man who wa6 gambling spitoful mad. Bjmo-by, he says h Bill : Bill you've got plenty of reonoy pay hat forty dollars vor owe mc in that horse trade.' And Bill paid him. Then be said : " 'Yer owe mc thirty-five dollars inoro ; :r lost it playing with mc t'other niijht.' Dave's style was riaht urovokioe: ; but Bill answered him perfectly gontlomanly -Cnty iivo dollars. I have n momOran-imnfitin my po'.:kot down stairs, lif s thirU'-iive doilai-s I'll givoil yer.' Now Bill's watch was lying on tho ta e. Dave took up tho vratsh, put it in his Docket, and said : 1 I'll keen this vero watch till yer pay mo that thirty-iivo dollars.' This arndo Bill shooting mad ; fur, t vor see. Col. it was a-doubttnir his honor liko, so he got up and looked D&vo r make a row in this house. It's a dent housc.and I don't-want ter injure the epar. You'd better put that watch back tho table' ' But Diu-o ijtinnad at Bill mighty ugly I d walked off with tlio wntc.li, wi kupt friends worosp guarded him it ring tho talk. They bUek- . undernand sort of a ces up a scrim maeo, and then thoy thought they could lay him out. Yer sac Bill has enomies all about. He's sottled tho accounts of a heap of men who lived round here. This is about the como back and live, and ter tell yet tho crutn, iyi. anu hlo apir.i::, oluntary movement, hitched Higniucauco, mcj uon t stay long nrou Well, as I was saying, these robs dt kc ter sbc a man walking rmmd to- ho they knw m the rcb nrmy :now -n-OS on Our side, all the time ho from Pap Prico's own bead-Cuar:crs. But they couldn't provoke Bjll inter a row, for If when he "ritscii'iii mad; and ho allors left, his ehootin irons when ho went out. One day these cusses drew thoir pistols on h:n ar.d d;ireel him t. ii-ht, e.rrl ::,"n ihey tnld !.irn : 1 ntc wno ii going tor puck that watch I heard of this, for very body was talking about it on the street, and so I -.vi.'Tjt r.t tcr Bi':l. and i.jund him in his room cleaning and greasing and loadiDg his ro- )Viw, brl!,' says 1, 1 v:.i.i re eein tee eit inter n hght.' unu i yoo. uutuur yorar;i:, oapcain, Sfiys he. ' It's not tho lirst time lVcbccn o givo up my honor, do yer ? ' No, Bill.1 savs I. ' ver must keen ver ' Next day, about noon, Bill went down thoeauar. lie had said fchsir, Tlnvn Ttt shouldn't nnck that watch across tho scjuar unloss desd men could walk. "When Bill got outer the sciu,lr he li'i:ad ;l er -led '-trindin. i,- jlie enrr.er re' fie tjy which ho entcreil thn flr.nn.r. which is from the south, yer Vnow. In this crowd he saw a lot til Tutt' is friends ; forue wore cousins of llis't), jnst Lu.ik frcm the rebel army ; and they jeered him, and -boosted t-hacDavc wa? Ii guit.f; to ;e.ek that watch r.erns.s ;! f-r ; n e. f re; he erotei-e ":. -Teen iiK -iv.- dr,i st!lM V,e:.r the courthouse, which yer remember is en tho silt. that the .-.w.l war be:i:ud Bill. y Just then Tutt. who war alone, started from tho court house and walked out into tho squar, and Bill moved away from, tho Bout fiftoon paces brought them oppoait'o to oach oilier, and bout' fifty yards apart, Tutt thon showed his pistol. Bill had a sharp eye on him, and bofo.-e Tutt could j .pint it Bill had his'n out. '"At that moment you could have heard I a r)in droo on that suuar. Both Tutt und Bill fired, but ono discharge followed tho so quick tnac it'ti liard to say which bet ho missed this time : too haul from his pistol went over Bill's head. The instant oreo, wo I, -so: rroi - in ter i" o 1 ! - lout hit iutt, he wheeled on his heels and pomcea ms pistol at Tutt's friends, who ., ,a,lrea dTawn their weapons. dllilUoolas an -Pn? , your shootin irons or there'll be mare deaa men hero.' And they pat 'om or, and said.it war a fur light." ' " What became of Tutt?" I asked or the Captain, who had steppedattbipnoirjt of his story and was very deliberate - en. gaged in refilling bis empty glass. "Oh ! Dave? He was ol piucsy a iei- lor as over drew trigger ; but, Lord bless yer ! it was no use. Bill never shoots twico at the same man, and his ball wcpl tero.-eh Dave's heart. lie stood Btool 6till for a second Or two, thoti raised hi; orm as if ter lire again, then he swayed c little, staggered three or four steps, and t.linn fall dead. " Bill and his friends wanted te have the thing done rogular, so wo wont up ter the Justice, and Bill delivored himself up. A jury was dniwn; Bill was tried and oleared tho next oay. It was proved that it was a case ofsolMefonse. Don't ver seo, Colonel V" I answered that I was afraid that I did not sec chat point very clearly. " Well, well ! " he replied with un air of compassion, " ynu havn't drunk any whisky, that's what's tiie matter with yer." Aud then, putting.his hand on my shoulder with a half-mysterious half concious look in his face, he muttered, in a whisper " The fact is, that was an undir curved ofawoman in Hat fipU ! The story cf tho duel was yot froah from the lips of the Cuptain when its hero ap- few momenrs' conyorsalioo Bill excused himself, spying: " I'm going out cn the prarer a piece to sec the sick wife of my mute. Ishoald be glad to meet you ut tho hutel this after noon, kernel, " 1 will go there to moot vdu," I replied. " Guod-duy, gentleman," said tho scout, as he sainted the party; cod mounting tho black horse that had been standing quiot, unhitchod, ho waved his haod over the animal's head. Responsive to the signal, sho shotfo'.'cwnrd an tho arrow leave .j the bow, and they bolh disappoared up tho road in a cloud of dost. " That man is thej most remarkablo character I have met in four yoar's activo service," said a lieutenant of cavrJry, as the party resumed their Eeats, " Ho' and his mato tho man who scouted with him attempted tho most daring feat that I over heard of." As thcro appeared to be no business on hand at tho moment th party urged tho :ie-.ter,.it): to tell the story. " I can't tell tho thing as it was,'' said the young officer, It w o 'er-von ; description. One couldcnly hold the'r brei.lh and fool. It happened when our regiment was attached to Curtis', eommaud. in tho expedition down into Arkansas. One day we were in the advance, and bogaa to feel tho enemy, who appeared in greatr strength than at any time before. W were all rather uneasy, for there wero re mors that Kirby Smith had came up from Texas with nil his force ; as wo wero only a strong reconnoitoring party a ligntjust torn might have been bad for us. Wo made a big noiso with our light baltery, and stretched our eav.ilry out in the open anil opposite the rebel cavalry, who wore dawn on io line o! "settle on the ubpe of The: .t f, road' lt cu.id lob of: bul both par ol thoir lino of bat- to pitci :n. Wc of our infantry ir.til r. thould cemi It was ; die Co bestupbi work, by, ;rc all hoping somothing t turn up, witcn we noticed two men ut from tho centre of their line aud toward us. At the firs: irn-nnt we paid little hesto them, supposing it some till ; . e . . . riders, and then their lino was all enveloped with smoko, out of which horsemen dashed in pursuit. Tho two riders kept iinu mt; ujuLiui uoi.uoycu our company n hud halted a who; j ihteh. the mo ments seemed to bo hours ; and when they turned I thought thee wire teniae to civo themselves up. Bat no ; ia tho face' of that awful ro tney delujeratoly turned to gee space tor a good run at tut This cave time fur' two of then pursuers to get within a few yards of them, when they tup ed evidently in doobt as to the meaning of this retrograde move mont. But thee ol d not remain lone: in doubt, for the two men turned "-goo.., and with a shout, rushed for the ditch, and then wo were near cm .ghtosoc that they pacion never ronehod the ditch. He and hie hotxj nioosloiee been sen: r.t tilt some they wenr down together and did n TO OE C CITY NOTICES'. TVom Grant County Mt. Hoi'E Wis. Dec. 11 !, 1SGG. 0. Williams: Blah Sir: I have been using Dr. Halo's remedies and received groat bene fit from them. I keep many of the best patent medicines to sell ; but I have never used any medicines, for throat lung diseases, that compare in tho least ith Hale a medicines. I would be pleased to get an agency sellthem; 1 can receommend them fro porsonal knowledge, and know thot could create a large demand in this vicii for them, had I an opportunity to do si I believe Dr. Hale's Cough Cordial to be tho best remedy in tho world for coughe coitis or sore throats. Should jou conclude to let me sell the medicines please reply at onco. Truly, Yours, J. B. Ccuseii. Dr. Halo's medicines can bo bad at a Drug Store. dec24dtf. E. L. Wkiciit would inform the ci zeiis of Jr.ncv.-ilh oed vieinity that ho has fitted up a store at JNb. i Main St. doors north of the American Horn ill replenish his stock of SHEET MUSIC, lusicai instrument and GliOVER At BA- !v hid. S ioWl.XG M ACIIINES,aad would be glad to bee all his old Customers and as many new ones as would bo pleased to call Prof. C. G. Titcomb has also resumed his teaching at Mr. Wright's Music Hall, where ho will bo ploaso to moot tho emil- :ng laces of his manypupils atthoirrogu-ar hour. janlTdtf. Exactly Wrr.vr You Wawt. -Mat hair dye, known and used over 20 years. Daily increasing in pub lie favor. Complete in ono bottle. Ko wash. No trouble, A child can Japply Produces a lustrous black or brown, as desired. Does not iniuro tho hair fries 71j .cts. Sold by Drutrtrists and Vn.if.rr flnnflfl 7Vnlir. " 1 1 Also Mathow's Arnica Hair C restoring and dressing the hair. get Music for tho nest -30 daya at 2 por cent, dinoount at E. L. Wright's Musi Store. jan22dlwttrawlt. r.-oeer no Oo the bat ing can any art, thoir first atory E. r Store. Got Storo.

Clipped from
  1. Janesville Daily Gazette,
  2. 24 Jan 1867, Thu,
  3. Page 2

staff_reporter Member Photo
  • Harper's Magazine article that helped boost fame of Wild Bill Hickok, 1867

    staff_reporter – 18 Jul 2017

Want to comment on this Clipping? Sign up for a free account, or sign in