Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wild West Photo Friday: Wild Bill Hickok

You don't get much more Wild West than Wild Bill Hickok. A scout, Indian fighter, lawman, gunfighter, gold prospector, and during the Civil War a Union spy, Hickok lived a life of adventure. I'll be talking about his Civil War record next week, but let's just admire this photo today.

Here he is clad in buckskins, as he would have been when scouting for the U.S. Cavalry on the Plains or fighting Indians. He preferred to dress this way, which is probably one of the reasons he became a legend in his own lifetime. The fact that he kept getting in gunfights and winning also helped. After his famous 1865 gunfight in Springfield, Missouri, the first real stand-up, face-to-face gunfight in the Old West, he launched into national fame.

As you can see here, he's carrying his famous pair of ivory-handled Colt .36-caliber Navy pistols in his belt as well as a large knife. Several people who knew him said he carried a pair of .41-caliber Williamson derringers as holdout weapons. These tiny pistols that were nevertheless deadly at short ranges, such as across a poker table.


  1. That's an actual photo? Somehow it looked like a painting to me -- but it's great to know the truth. Thanks for making a legend come to life! :-)

    1. The original an old tintype. This is scanned from a book, hence the papery texture to the image.


Got something to say? Feel free! No anonymous comments allowed, though. Too many spammers and haters on the Internet.