The Wild West Extravaganza

The Wild West Extravaganza

True tales from the wild and woolly west covering the real life people and events that shaped the American frontier. Gunfighters, Lawmen, Outlaws, Native Americans, Mountain Men, Explorers - the lands they discovered and the battles they fought! Dad jokes and mispronunciations abound on this deep dive into Old West history!

Episodes

October 18, 2021 17 min

Jim Clyman is a name that continually pops up in every book I've read on mountain men and fur trappers, but who was he? Veteran of the war of 1812, General Ashley’s 1824 Expedition, & the Blackhawk War, Jim Clyman was friend and contemporary to men like Hugh Glass, Jedediah Smith, Broken Hand Fitzpatrick and Jim Bridger. At various times a trapper, surveyor, soldier, businessman, and wagon guide, Jim Clyman lived one helluv...

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There’s just no denying that Texas produced its fair share of stone-cold killers in the latter part of the 19th century. Men like John Wesley Hardin, King Fisher, Clay Allison, the outlaw Sam Bass, and of course the notorious Deacon Jim Miller.

And then there’s Bill Longley, considered by some to be one of the deadliest gunmen of the west. A tall brooding shootist credited with 32 kills once described as the worst man in Texas.

“I ...

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July 25, 2021 109 min

In the summer of 1877 Chief Joseph and the peaceful Nez Perce went to war with the U.S. Government in a running fight that spanned four states and 1,170 miles. Who was Chief Joseph? Why’d Buffalo Bill call him “the greatest Indian ever produced?” And why did the Nez Perce go to war? I’ve been looking forward to this episode for a long time so without further ado, let’s dive into Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce War!

Check out my webs...

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July 5, 2021 20 min

Discovered sometime prior to 1952 in the Florida Mountains of Southwestern New Mexico, the “Last Stand Note” - written on a piece of tobacco paper and stuffed inside an empty shell case - reads as follows:

This is our last shell and about 10 Indians left so our chances look slim, but we are going to take a chance. Yours truly, Wm Bonney.

Did Billy the Kid REALLY write this note? Did he ever have any close encounters with the Apache...

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When Felipe Espinosa and younger brother Vivian were feeling bloody, the bodies were sure to follow. And in the spring and summer of 1863, there was certainly no shortage of bodies. Some victims were shot at long distances while others were casualties of more close-in work with blade or axe. And most were mutilated; beheaded, disemboweled, desecrated or otherwise molested.

After several failed attempts, the U.S. Army finally hired ...

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GREETINGS! This is a Podcast Swap, hosted by my friend Michael from the podcast Texas History Lessons! After you give this a listen make sure you check out his website for the latest episode of Texas History Lessons - hosted by yours truly - on the 1919 Texas Ranger Investigation!

https://www.texashistorylessons.com/jose-canales-and-the-texas-rangers-investigation-of-1919/

Any mention of the Wild West brings up many images that bo...

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In 1864 famed frontiersman Kit Carson took a force of several hundred soldiers into the heart of the Llano Estacada in an attempt to punish the Comanche for their recent raids.

What followed was a bloody fight now known as the first Battle of Adobe Walls, as Carson and his men kicked the hornet’s nest and quickly found themselves outnumbered 10 to 1.

This episodes got something for everyone! We’re gonna talk Kit Carson, we’re gonna...

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Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickock - These are the names of legends. Names I think most people – even those with no interest in old west history – will find familiar.

But for every one of these guys there were a dozen others who were every bit as deadly and capable with a firearm, if not more so. Men who didn’t flinch in the face of death. Men who knew the smell of the black powder smoke and the...

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“I will show you that I can kill men with as much skill and rapidity as anybody. From this time on I ask no quarter and I will give none” – these were the words spoken by Bloody Bill Anderson, shortly before he executed and scalped over twenty men.

According to those who rode with Anderson he was “a desperate man and a reckless fighter, the worst devil in the bunch. Human life meant nothing to him. He could shoot a man who was on h...

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April 5, 2021 61 min

Frontiersman Hugh Glass was mauled by a grizzly bear in 1823. Left for dead, stripped of his belongs, and covered in maggots, he defied all odds and made a 250-mile journey on foot through hostile territory.

But that’s only half the story. On this episode we’re going to talk pirates, we’re going to talk about mountain men and the fur trade, we’re going to talk a whole bunch about Native Americans. And - most importantly – we’re goi...

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On May 6th, 1877, just ten months after the battle of Little Big Horn, the legendary Crazy Horse led nearly 900 Lakota & Cheyenne to Fort Robinson, Nebraska. It was time to surrender.

Five months later in October of 1877 Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce would do the same. To fight no more, forever.

Sitting Bull of the Lakota would hold out until May of 1881, when he too would lay down his arms.

And then finally - on September 4th,...

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March 8, 2021 45 min

This is Part 2! If you have not already done so, give Part 1 a listen!

As the Liver-Eater's reputation grew he began working as a guide for prospectors and a scout for General Miles, against the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Nez Perce. Later he'd take jobs in law enforcement in Coulson and Red Lodge, Montana, work in a Wild West Show, and even grow cabbages! And Johnson's story doesn't even end when he dies! Was Robert Redf...

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February 22, 2021 47 min

Liver Eating Johnson was blood kin to the grizzly that bit Jim Bridger’s ass and YOU are molesting my podcast! The man known to some as the Crow Killer was many things. Fur trapper, scout, "Indian fighter", a guide, a hunter, a soldier, possibly a cannibal and ALWAYS larger than life! Whole lotta tall tales surrounding this giant of a man so please join me as we attempt to separate truth from fiction on this newest "Elk...

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Sergeant Luther James Dorsey was a member of the buffalo soldiers, the all-black cavalry regiments who served on America’s frontier. From the Indian Wars to the Korean war, these men bravely – and against all odds and prejudice – cemented their legacy into the fabric of American History.

Check out my website!

Check out my patreon for exclusive content!

Seattle Times article – Complicated and Controversial Role

Buffalo Soldier Link...

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January 25, 2021 74 min

In the summer of 1868 Major George A. Forsyth, under orders from General Sheridan, raised a company of fifty "first-class hardy frontiersmen" to seek out and engage hostile Native Americans. These scouts soon found themselves outnumbered and surrounded by hundreds of Cheyenne warriors as they took refuge on a little sandbar in the middle of the Arikaree river. What followed is now known as the battle of Beecher Island.

Chec...

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It’s not every day that your boss offers you a hundred and fifty dollars to murder somebody. I think we can all agree that’s not a normal occurrence.

But then again, the tough kid wasn’t normal.

The real story behind legendary Texas Ranger Frank Hamer's first gunfight, at the age of 16.

Check out my website for more true tales from the wild west!

Bonus content available on Patreon!

Texas Ranger: The Epic Life of Frank Hamer by...

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December 27, 2020 68 min

Bill Tilghman - the legendary lawman best known for hunting down bad guys in Indian Territory - got his start as a teenaged buffalo hunter on the Kansas frontier. After that he spent years patrolling the tough streets of Dodge City with the likes of Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Charlie Bassett before moving on to Oklahoma where he did more of the same.

Friends with guys like Luke Short and Doc Holliday. Rubbed shoulders with outl...

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December 13, 2020 9 min

The old shoe salesman wasn’t as spry as he used to be. A fact his aching and crackling joints made abundantly clear to him each and every morning when he climbed up out of bed.

But he found that once he got a few cups of strong coffee in him, he didn’t feel all that bad. Real coffee, though. Not Chicory. He’d had more than enough of that as a youngster.

Morning cup of joe notwithstanding, he still wasn’t moving briskly enough to su...

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November 29, 2020 10 min

Joe Medicine Crow was a mighty war chief amongst his people, the Crow. The Apsáalooke. The Children of the large beak bird.

Joe was raised in the traditional way of the Crow and fulfilled all four requirements to become a War Chief of the Crow Nation. The last War Chief.

But Joe Medicine Crow was much MUCH more.

“With an education, you’re the white man’s equal. Without an education, you’re the white man’s victim” – Joe Medicine Cro...

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November 12, 2020 60 min

Ned Christie: Ruthless Cherokee outlaw or courageous hero? Murderer or innocent man?

If someone had asked me a year ago who Ned Christie was, I’d have probably said he was just another Indian Territory outlaw. In the same vein as Cherokee Bill or Henry Starr. And I don’t think I’m the only person out there with this misconception.

Back in the 1970’s Time Life put out a series of books on the old west. And I personally have – in my ...

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