Crook’s Starvation March

George Crook's Starvation MarchIt was June of 1876. About 1,000 Sioux and Cheyenne attacked General George Crook and 1,400 soldiers in what was to be called the Battle of the Rosebud. Although the battle ended in a tie, the Indians fled, and Crook, licking his wounds, chose not to immediately follow them. Finally, after a month and a half, Crook took out after them toward the Black Hills. Thus began what is now called Crook’s Starvation March.
       
In order to make up time, they abandon all wagons, tents and extra clothes. With the extra speed that light travel afforded, Crook expected to meet up with the hostile Indians the later part of August. But it didn’t happen. They traveled for weeks through Wyoming, Montana and finally the Dakota Territory. Weather turned bad, and it hailed. It even rained for 11 straight days, adding even more to the soldier’s misery. 
               
With no tents, the soldiers took their blankets, and stretched them over bent branches, and slept in the mud. Famished soldiers collapsed on the trail and horses fell dead of exhaustion. With only wild onions and berries to eat, the desperate soldiers had to resort to eating horseflesh. During one week more than 500 horses died or were abandoned. A soldier, remarking on their having to resort to eating their mounts, said, “It seemed like cannibalism.” As an added note, the mules, loaded with supplies and ammunition did far better than the horses.       
Then on September 16 a supply train finally reached the soldiers, finally ending Crook’s Starvation March. It took a month for the soldiers to get their strength back. Although they captured some Indians on the way, and disarmed other Indians on reservations, they never caught up with the ones they were chasing. Once again the innovative fighting style of the plains Indians outmaneuvered that of the military.   

Chuckwagon: One Shot Pot

One Shot PotOne Shot Pot:

Early in the morning cut up stew meat 
in small pieces (beef or venison), 
onions, garlic, celery (celery salt will do fine).

Cook until tender which will take about two hours.

Then add a can of tomatoes, 1 can of corn, 
1 can of green beans and 1 can peas.

If no canned goods available you can add one cup macaroni, 
1 cup rice and several diced potatoes.

This is called Slum-gullion in some parts of the West.

*Courtesy of Chronicle of the Old West newspaper, for more click HERE.

Edward Cash – Cattle Rustler

Hangman's NooseEdward Cash was a hard working rancher with a wife who lived in Coryell County, in the southeastern part of Texas. Although he wasn’t necessarily handy with a gun, he was handy with his fists. And his ability to intimidate people was an asset to his ranching business. This was because Cash worked hard at acquired cattle one at a time… from his neighbor’s stock. It was virtually impossible to prove Cash as the thief because he was successful at getting rid of the stolen cattle. And, his neighbors didn’t really want to confront Cash and call him a cattle rustler based on just their suspicions. 
 
That is, they didn’t want to confront Cash until the evening of April 9, 1894. On this particular evening Cash’s wife was in labor, and the doctor and a couple of women were at his home assisting with the delivery, when the door crashed open, and seven armed and masked men entered the room.     
 
The masked men tied up Cash, and led him outside to an oak tree in his front yard. A rope was thrown over the limb. One end was put around Cash’s neck, and they pulled him off the ground.   
 
When properly done hanging a man breaks his neck. When improperly done the rope strangles him. And Cash was improperly hanged. Showing their lack of compassion, Cash’s neighbors waited until he had died of strangulation, and then each of them put a bullet in him.
 
It’s not known what happened to his wife, the doctor or the two mid-wives. But evidentially they chose not to pursue the matter because no one was ever arrested for the lynching.
 
Oh, yes. The event caused an end to the stolen cattle in the area.  

How Tombstone, Arizona Was Named

Ed Schieffelin - how Tombstone, Arizona was named.On April 1, 1877, a young prospector named Ed Schieffelin arrived at Fort Yachuca in southern Arizona. He told the soldiers he was going into Apache country and trying his hand at prospecting. They told him that the only thing he would find there would be his tombstone. That is how Tombstone, Arizona was named.
 
By October he had run out of supplies and money. Not willing to give up, he kept looking, and was finally rewarded with the discovery of a silver vein 7 inches wide by 50 feet long. Ed Schieffelin named his mine the “Lucky Cuss.” Remembering the remarks of the soldiers that all he would find would be his tombstone, Ed, along with his brother Al, founded the Tombstone Mining District.    
 
As soon as the word got out of a silver strike, prospectors came from everywhere. Next came the gamblers and ladies of the evening. Within 3 years the town comprised of almost 500 buildings, with more than 100 of them selling liquor, and half of these places were “houses of ill fame.”  
 
Tombstone did have two newspapers and a hall built to attract legitimate theatrical endeavors. There were also churches and schools that incidentally, were supported by a tax on the gambling halls and houses of ill repute.
 
Nine years after that first discovery of silver, water flooded the mines, and the population of Tombstone dwindled down to a few hardy souls. But, during that short period, the people who came through Tombstone read like a who’s who of the Old West. This was not only because of the attraction of silver, but the rest of the west was settling down, and this desert town in the Arizona Territory was the last hurrah for wild men looking for excitement.  

County Seat War

In October of 1887 a vote was held in Gray County, Kansas to determine the county seat. The winner was Cimarron. But the citizens of Ingalls weren’t happy with the outcome. And they took their case to the courts. For over a year the courts did nothing, which lead to the County Seat War.
           
County Seat WarFinally Asa Soule, from Ingalls, decided to take the situation into his own hands. He figured that as the crown or miter was the authority of a king, the records of a county were the authority of a county seat. So, on January 11, 1889 he deputized a group of men to steal the county records. These lawmen weren’t novices. They included Bill Tilghman, Neal Brown and two of Bat Masterson’s brothers, Jim and Tom.
               
Early Sunday morning the group rode quietly into Cimarron. Neal Brown and the two Mastersons started carrying out the records as the others stood guard. Then an alarm was sounded, and guns started firing. The three record carriers were caught inside the courthouse. The rest got away with the records. More than two hundred men started shooting at the courthouse. In the process, one citizen was killed.
 
For more than 24 hours the men were trapped inside. Then mysteriously a truce was called and the three men were allowed to leave town unscathed. What happened? Well, Bat Masterson heard about his brothers’ plight, and he telegraphed Cimarron stating, if either of his brothers were hurt he would “hire a train and come in with enough men to blow Cimarron off the face of Kansas.”
 
Oh yes, four years later another election was held and Cimarron again won.       
   
County Seat War
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