BATTLE OF PALO ALTO

On this date back in 1846, Zachary Taylor led American forces against an attacking Mexican Army in the Battle of Palo Alto.

Mexico had never recognized the independence of Texas, and when the U.S. annexed Texas, Mexico sent troops into the disputed Rio Grande River area.

President Polk ordered General Taylor into Texas to defend the border. It was viewed by Mexico as a hostile invasion and the Mexican Army attacked the American forces.

Although the Mexican forces were much larger in number, General Taylor was not only victorious in this battle; he won four additional battles and gained control over the three northeastern Mexican states.

Incidentally, as a result of these and other victories, Zachary Taylor became a national hero referred to as “Old Rough and Ready”. This eventually catapulted him into the Presidency. Unfortunately, he was a much better general than President.

ANDY ADAMS

On this date back in 1859 Andy Adams, the author of The Log of a Cowboy was born. He’s considered one of the most authentic chroniclers of the Old West.

Andy was born in Indians and ran away from home when a teenager. Ending up in Texas, he became a cowboy during the golden era of the cowboy. When the cattle drives ended he went to Colorado looking for gold. Not able to find his fortune, he settled down in Colorado Springs.

Andy began writing stories of his experiences as a cowboy. He wrote and published four books in four years. He’s best known for The Log of a Cowboy. This book is a must for any person interested in the Old West cowboy.

LONE RANGER

OK folks. We’ve all heard about the Johnny Depp Lone Ranger movie. And you’ve probably wondered what Johnny is going to look like…Well, here it is.

He was inspired to update Native American Tonto’s look after seeing a painting by the artist Kirby Sattler.

According to Depp; “I looked at the face of this warrior and thought: That’s it. The stripes down the face and across the eyes . . . it seemed to me like you could almost see the separate sections of the individual, if you know what I mean.”

Sorry Johnny, I don’t know what you mean.

SILVER SCREEN COWBOY PROJECT

Boy was I taken back to the days of yesteryear as I attended the Silver Screen Project Show put on by Marvin O’Dell and friends.

This is a multi-media show about the heyday of the “B” and TV Westerns, with film clips, photos, live songs and commentary. Everyone was covered from Tom Mix to Roy Rogers. Incidentally, Tom and Roy weren’t the first and last of the B-Western heroes, they’re just two of my favorites.

Incidentally, they take their show on the road. If you would be interested in their performing in your area, contact Marvin O’Dell at meoteo@aol.com.

I’m working on getting them up in the White Mountains of Arizona in August.

COWBOYS & PISTOLS

We’re going to add another element to the posts on Cowboy to Cowboy.  And that is “Old West Myth and Fact.”  As with anything that has happened in the past, even my exploits, when time gets between the event and the present, a lot of myth begins to surround the fact.  And this is very true with the Old West.

So, we’re going to look at things that we accept as fact and see if it truly was fact.  We’re asking you to put in your two cents, because we could be wrong.  The desire is to discover the truth about how it really happened.

The first topic we’ll cover is cowboys and pistols.  From everything I’ve been able to discover cowboys normally didn’t carry pistols.  First, anytime they were working cattle, the pistol would get in the way.  On a cattle drive a long gun was much more practical.  Any pistols stayed in the chuck wagon.

 Many a cowboy never buckled on a six-shooter because gunmen normally never bothered a man without a gun, and a man without a gun sure wasn’t going to bother a man with one.

 In addition, most western towns wouldn’t allow guns to be carried within the city limits.

What do you say?   

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