Cowboys who drove herds of Texas cattle up the Chisholm Trail have interested readers, both young and old, for more than seventy-five years. Now the true story of trail-driving has been written by J. Frank Dobie, authority on the history and tradition of range life in the West.
In the period following the Civil War, longhorns were driven north by the hundreds of thousands each year to be sold in rollicky cow towns and to stock vast ranges taken from the buffaloes. Indians, scarcity of water, floods, lightning, stampedes- these were only some of the dangers confronting trail drivers. There were no fences. Grass was free- and so was life.
Among the characters in the book are Joseph G. McCoy, who established the first cattle market at Abilene, Kansas- terminus of the Chisholm Trail; Walter Billingsley, who bossed "the biggest trail herd" for the mighty King Ranch; and Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving, who blazed a trail into New Mexico. When he was young, Mr. Dobie knew many old-time trail drivers and took down their stories. Here he gives them, along with a wealth of information and anecdotes concerning the remuda men, chuck wagon cooks, trail bosses, cow horses, bell mares, longhorned steers and other types of trail-driving history.
Here is the real story of the real cowboy of the old West at the peak of his career.
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