Greatest Cattle Drive

Greatest Cattle Drive

North Star Books #37
by Paul Wellman, Lorence F. Bjorklund (Illustrator)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Item: 90720
Not in stock

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"Boys, I'm going to take you on the wildest, longest, roughest, maybe riskiest trail any of you have ever seen. But I judge you are men, which is why I picked you. I'm the boss on this drive. If anyone doesn't like that, or doesn't want to go along, he can step out now, and no questions asked, and no hard feelings."

So said Nelson Story, 28 years old and on his way to becoming a legend in the West.

The year was 1866. Texas, still prostrate from the Civil War, had little money but herds of half-wild longhorns to sell if a man could put a rope on them. Up in Virginia City, Montana, there was gold aplenty but very little food; and the miners were starved for fresh meat.

Between them lay over a thousand miles of plains and mountains, treacherous rivers to ford, blizzards, thunderstorms and droughts to endure, murderous Jayhawkers and most dangerous of all an unknown number of enraged Indians who, led by their warrior Chief Red Cloud, were proving more than a match for the U.S. Cavalry.

In spite of these appalling odds against him, Nelson Story was able to bring his herd through with only two Indian fights and the loss of a single man. It is an incredible saga and one that Paul Wellman is superbly equipped to write. In the day-to-day account of this one drive, the reader learns all there is to know about trail herding and comes to relive a robust and adventurous part of American history.

—from the dust jacket

Paul I. Wellman has proved in many books that he knows, loves and respects the West. In previous NORTH STARS he has passed along to young Americans his profound understanding of the vast region westward of the Mississippi where less than a century ago buffalo grazed by the millions, proud and fierce Indian tribes disputed the westward expansion of frontiersmen, and fortunes were still to be made in gold, silver and pioneer railroad building.

In The Greatest Cattle Drive this western historian takes up the dramatic role played by cattle and cattlemen who eventually supplanted the buffalo and the Indians. This true account of an almost incredible cattle drive, achieved by Nelson Story and his men in 1866, reads like the most exciting fiction but is based soundly upon facts wherever facts are available. Story was the first to realize that the Montana gold camps were rich in precious metal, but actually in danger of starvation, while Texas was overrun with longhorn cattle but sorely in need of money.

How Nelson Story, starting from Texas with a herd of 1000 cattle and a crew of 24 men, braved stampedes, flooded rivers, enraged Indian tribes, waterless deserts and mountain blizzards to bring the cattle over unmapped trails to the Montana gold camps is an experience no young reader will ever forget. This is Wellman at his vivid and informative best.

Sterling North
General Editor

From the book

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