Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wild Bill Hickok

James Butler Hickok (May 27, 1837 – August 2, 1876), better known as Wild Bill Hickok, was a folk hero of the American Old West. His skills as a gunfighter and scout, along with his reputation as a lawman, provided the basis for his fame, although some of his reported exploits are fictionalized.
Hickok came to the West as a fugitive from justice, first working as a stagecoach driver, before he became a lawman in the frontier territories of Kansas and Nebraska. He fought for the Union Army during the American Civil War, and gained publicity after the war as a scout, marksman, actor, and professional gambler. Between his law-enforcement duties and gambling, which easily overlapped, Hickok was involved in several notable shootouts. He was shot and killed while playing poker in the Number Ten Saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory (now South Dakota).
Hickok had a premonition Deadwood would be his last camp, and expressed this belief to his friend Charlie Utter (also known as Colorado Charlie) and the others who were traveling with them at the time. On August 2, 1876, Hickok was playing poker at Nuttal & Mann's Saloon No. 10 in Deadwood, in the Black Hills, Dakota Territory. Hickok usually sat with his back to a wall. The only seat available when he joined the poker game that night was a chair that put his back to a door. Twice he asked another player, Charles Rich, to change seats with him, and on both occasions Rich refused.
A former buffalo hunter named John McCall (better known as "Jack" or "Broken Nose Jack" McCall) walked in unnoticed. McCall walked to within a few feet of Hickok, drew a pistol and shouted, "Take that!" before firing at Hickok. McCall's bullet hit Hickok in the back of the head, killing him instantly. The bullet emerged through Hickok's right cheek, striking Captain Massie in the left wrist

“We finished raking and bunching the barley this morning about 9 o’clock.  It rained from about half past nine until noon.  Cleared off after dinner and we worked in the potatoes this afternoon.”

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