January 2012 ~~~~ Editor:  Cliff Hanger ~~~~
2012 is upon us.

The Brimstone Gazette has 7 years of articles.  I made a mistake right from the start by not putting a hit counter in the Gazette. I don't know how many readers I have. Maybe a lot and maybe none. I don't know. I am finding it harder and harder to find articles and get others to write articles to put out there for everyone to read. 

I have a thought. No one wants to write articles but how about a questions and answer section? If you have any BP (or substitute) related questions, e-mail them to me. I will find someone who can answer your question and publish both the question and the answers in the Gazette.

At the bottom of every Brimstone Gazette there is a Submit Articles link. That will open an e-mail window where you can send your questions directly to me. 

If the Brimstone Gazette is to continue, please send in your questions and/or your articles that you want to share.

Cliff Hanger

Questions and Answers Section
Anyone can send in their questions and I will post them here. 
Anyone can send in their answer any question asked and I will post them here.
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Comment from Thomas Taylor aka Forty Rod: "I like the new idea about questions and comments."
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Question from Forty Rod
First question:  How much historical evidence of people carrying extra loaded cylinders for their revolvers?  I suspect it happened, but I can't imagine it being very wide spread.  Can someone point me toward some documentation?  Thanks. 
Cattle drives in the United States from Wikipedia

Cattle drives were a major economic activity in the American west, particularly between the years 1866-1886, when 20 million cattle were herded from Texas to railheads in Kansas for shipments to stockyards in Chicago and points east. The long distances covered, the need for periodic rests by riders and animals, and the establishment of railheads led to the development of "cow towns" across the American West. Because of extensive treatment of cattle drives in fiction and film, the cowboy became the worldwide iconic image of the American. Cattle drives still occur in the American west and in Australia.

Cattle herd and cowboy, circa 1902
Europe had few cattle drives but in the 16th century the Swiss operated one over the St. Gotthard Pass to the markets in Bellinzona and Lugano and into Lombardy in northern Italy. The drives had ended by 1700 when sedentary dairy farming proved more profitable.

Long-distance cattle driving was traditional in Mexico, California and Texas, and horse herds were sometimes similarly driven. The Spaniards had established the ranching industry in the New World, and began driving herds northward from Mexico beginning in the 1540s. Throughout most of the 20th and 19th centuries, small Spanish settlements in Texas derived much of their revenue from horses and cattle driven into Louisiana, though such trade was usually illegal. Cattle driving over long distances also took place in the United States, although infrequently. In 1790 the boy Davy Crockett helped drive "a large stock of cattle" 400 miles from Tennessee into Virginia; twenty years later he took a drove of horses from the Tennessee River into southern North Carolina.[citation needed] Relatively long-distance herding of hogs was also common. In 1815 Timothy Flint "encountered a drove of more than 1,000 cattle and swine" being driven from the interior of Ohio to Philadelphia. The stock in settled areas was gentle, often managed on foot.

Movement of cattle

Cattle drives had to strike a balance between speed and the weight of the cattle. While cattle could be driven as far as 25 miles (40 km) in a single day, they would lose so much weight that they would be hard to sell when they reached the end of the trail. Usually they were taken shorter distances each day, allowed periods to rest and graze both at midday and at night. On average, a herd could maintain a healthy weight moving about 15 miles per day. Such a pace meant that it would take as long as two months to travel from a home ranch to a railhead. The Chisholm trail, for example, was 1,000 miles (1,600 km) long.

On average, a single herd of cattle on a drive numbered about 3,000 head. To herd the cattle, a crew of at least 10 cowboys was needed, with three horses per cowboy. Cowboys worked in shifts to watch the cattle 24 hours a day, herding them in the proper direction in the daytime and watching them at night to prevent stampedes and deter theft. The crew also included a cook, who drove a chuck wagon, usually pulled by oxen, and a horse wrangler to take charge of the remuda, or spare horses. The wrangler on a cattle drive was often a very young cowboy or one of lower social status, but the cook was a particularly well-respected member of the crew, as not only was he in charge of the food, he also was in charge of medical supplies and had a working knowledge of practical medicine.

Texas roots

Texans established trail driving as a regular occupation. Before Texas broke away from Mexico in 1836, there was a "Beef Trail" to New Orleans. In the 1840s the Texans extended their markets northward into Missouri. The towns of Sedalia, Baxter Springs, Springfield, and St. Louis became principal markets. During the 1850s, emigration and freighting from the Missouri River westward caused a rise in demand for oxen. In 1858, the firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell utilized about 40,000 oxen. Longhorns were trained by the thousands for work oxen. Herds of longhorns were driven to Chicago, and at least one herd was driven all the way to New York.

The gold boom in California in the 1850s created a demand for beef and provided people with the cash to pay for it. Thus, though most cattle were obtained locally or from Mexico, very long drives were attempted. Australians began cattle drives to ports for shipment of beef to San Francisco and, after freezing methods were developed, all the way to Britain. In 1853 the Italian aristocrat Leonetto Cipriani undertook a drive from St. Louis to San Francisco along the California Trail; he returned to Europe in 1855 with large profits.

During the American Civil War before the Union seized the Mississippi River in 1863, Texans drove cattle into the Confederacy for the use of the Confederate Army. In October, 1862 a Union naval patrol on the southern Mississippi River captured 1,500 head of Longhorns which had been destined for Confederate military posts in Louisiana. The permanent loss of the main cattle supply after 1863 was a serious blow to the Confederate Army.

The Texas longhorn was originally driven 
overland to the railheads in Kansas; they 
were replaced with shorter-horned breeds 
after 1900.

However, in 1865 at the end of the Civil War, Philip Danforth Armour opened a meat packing plant in Chicago known as Armour and Company, and with the expansion of the meat packing industry, the demand for beef increased significantly. By 1866, cattle could be sold to northern markets for as much as $40 per head, making it potentially profitable for cattle, particularly from Texas, to be herded long distances to market.

Shawnee Trail (more on this below)

he Shawnee Trail, also known as the Texas Trail, played a significant role in Texas as early as the 1840s. But by 1853, as 3,000 cattle were trailed through western Missouri, local farmers blocked their passage and forced the drovers to turn back because the longhorns carried ticks that carried Texas fever. The Texas cattle were immune to this disease; but the ticks that they left behind infected the local cattle. By 1855 farmers in western and central Missouri formed vigilance committees, stopped some of the herds, and killed any Texas cattle that entered their counties, and a law, effective in December of that year, was passed, banning diseased cattle from being brought into or through the state. Several drovers took their herds up through the eastern edge of Kansas; but there, too, they met opposition from farmers, who induced their territorial legislature to pass a protective law in 1859. During the Civil War the Shawnee Trail was virtually unused. After the war, Texas was overflowing with surplus cattle for which there were almost no local markets. By 1866 an estimated 200,000 to 260,000 surplus cattle were gathered to drive overland to market.

Cattle drive era

Cattle drive fording the Arkansas River
near Tulsa, Indian Territory in the late 
19th Century. The chuck wagon was 
carried on a ferry boat
The first large-scale effort to drive cattle from Texas to the nearest railhead for shipment to Chicago occurred in 1866, when many Texas ranchers banded together to drive their cattle to the closest point that railroad tracks reached, which at that time was Sedalia, Missouri. However, farmers in eastern Kansas, afraid that transient animals would trample crops and transmit cattle fever to local cattle, formed groups that threatened to beat or shoot cattlemen found on their lands. Therefore, the 1866 drive failed to reach the railroad and the cattle herds were sold for low prices. By the next year, a cattle shipping facility was built west of farm country around the railhead at Abilene, Kansas, and became a center of cattle shipping, loading over 36,000 head of cattle in its first year. The route from Texas to Abilene became known as the Chisholm Trail, named for Jesse Chisholm who marked out the route. It ran through present-day Oklahoma, which then was Indian Territory, but there were relatively few conflicts with Native Americans, who usually allowed cattle herds to pass through for a toll of ten cents a head. Later, other trails forked off to different railheads, including those at Dodge City and Wichita, Kansas. By 1877, the largest of the cattle-shipping boom towns, Dodge City, Kansas, shipped out 500,000 head of cattle.

At the close of the war Texas had probably five million cattle—but no market. Late in 1865 a few 

cowmen tried to find a market,, and in 1866 there were many drives northward without a definite destination and without much financial success. Cattle were also driven to the old but limited New Orleans market, following mostly well-established trails to the wharves of Shreveport and Jefferson, Texas. In 1868, David Morrill Poor, a former Confederate officer from San Antonio, drove 1,100 cattle from east of San Angelo into Mexico over the Chihuahua Trail. This event, the "Great Chihuahua Cattle Drive," was the largest cattle drive attempted over that trail up to that time, but the market was much better in Kansas than in Mexico, so most drives headed north.

In 1867 Joseph G. McCoy opened a regular market at Abilene, Kansas. The great cattle trails, moving successively westward, were established and trail driving boomed. In 1867 the Goodnight-Loving Trail opened up New Mexico and Colorado to Texas cattle. By the tens of thousands cattle were soon driven into Arizona. In Texas itself cattle raising expanded rapidly as American tastes shifted from pork to beef. Caldwell, Dodge City, Ogallala, Cheyenne, and other towns became famous because of trail-driver patronage.

Chisholm Trail

The Chisholm Trail was the most important route for cattle drives leading north from the vicinity of Ft. Worth, Texas,across Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to the railhead at Abilene. It was about 520 miles long and generally followed the line of the ninety-eighth meridian, but never had an exact location, as different drives took somewhat different paths. With six states enacting laws in the first half of 1867 against trailing cattle north, Texas cattlemen realized the need for a new trail that would skirt the farm settlements and thus avoid the trouble over tick fever. In 1867 a young Illinois livestock dealer, Joseph G. McCoy, built market facilities at Abilene, Kansas, at the terminus of Chisholm Trail. The new route to the west of the Shawnee soon began carrying the bulk of the Texas herds, leaving the earlier trail to dwindle for a few years and expire.

The typical drive comprised 1,500-2,500 head of cattle. The typical outfit consisted of a boss, (perhaps the owner), from ten to fifteen hands, each of whom had a string of from five to ten horses; a horse wrangler who handled the horses; and a cook, who drove the chuck wagon. The wagon carried the bedrolls; tents were considered excess luxury. The men drove and grazed the cattle most of the day, herding them by relays at night. Ten or twelve miles was considered a good day's drive, as the cattle had to thrive on the route. They ate grass; the men had bread, meat, beans with bacon, and coffee. Wages were about $40 a month, paid when the herd were sold.

The Chisholm Trail decreased in importance after 1871 when, as a result of the westward advance of settlement, Abilene lost its preeminence as a shipping point for Texas cattle. Dodge City, Kansas became the chief shipping point for another trail farther west, crossing the Red River at Red River Station, Texas. The extension of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to Caldwell, Kansas, in 1880, however, again made the Chisholm Trail a most important route for driving Texas cattle to the North, and it retained this position until the building of additional trunk lines of railway south into Texas caused rail shipments to take the place of the former trail driving of Texas cattle north to market.

Cattle towns

Cattle towns flourished between 1866 and 1890 as railroads reached towns suitable for gathering and shipping cattle. The first was Abilene, Kansas. Other towns in Kansas, including Wichita and Dodge City, succeeded Abilene or shared its patronage by riders fresh off the long trail. In the 1880s Dodge City boasted of being the "cowboy capital of the world." Communities in other states, including Ogallala, Nebraska; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Miles City, Montana; and Medora, North Dakota, served the trade as well. Amarillo, Fort Worth, and Wichita Falls, all in Texas; Prescott, Arizona, Greeley, Colorado, and Las Vegas, New Mexico were regionally important.

The most famous cattle towns like Abilene were railheads, where the herds were shipped to the Chicago stockyards. Many smaller towns along the way supported range lands. Many of the cow towns were enlivened by buffalo hunters, railroad construction gangs, and freighting outfits during their heyday. Cattle owners made these towns headquarters for buying and selling.

Cowboys, after months of monotonous work, dull food, and abstinence of all kinds, were paid off and turned loose. They howled, got shaved and shorn, bought new clothes and gear. They 

The Plaza hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico
opened a year after the railroad established
it as a key railhead for the cattle drives.
drank "white mule" straight. Madames and gambling-hall operators flourished in towns that were wide open twenty-four hours a day. Violence and ebullient spirits called forth a kind of "peace officer" that cattle towns made famous—the town marshal. Wild Bill Hickok and Wyatt Earp were perhaps the two best-known cattle town marshals. The number of killings was, however, small by the standards of eastern cities.

End of the open range

Expansion of the cattle industry resulted in the need for additional open range. Thus many ranchers expanded into the northwest, where there were still large tracts of unsettled grassland. Texas cattle were herded north, into the Rocky Mountain west and the Dakotas. In 1866, Nelson Story used the Bozeman Trail to successfully drive about 1000 head of longhorn cattle into the Gallatin Valley of Montana. Individual cattle barons such as Conrad Kohrs built up significant ranches in the northern Rockies. In 1866, Kohrs purchased a ranch near Deer Lodge, 

Montana from former Canadian fur-trader Johnny Grant. At its peak, Kohrs owned 50,000 head of cattle, grazing on 10 million acres (40,000 km²), spread across four states and two Canadian Provinces and shipping 10,000 head of cattle annually to the Chicago stock yards.Later, however, continued overgrazing, combined with drought and the exceptionally severe winter of 1886-87 wiped out much of the open-range cattle business in Montana and the upper Great Plains. Following these events, ranchers began to use barbed wire to enclose their ranches and protect their own grazing lands from intrusions by others' animals.

In the 1890s, herds were still occasionally driven from the Panhandle of Texas to Montana. However, railroads had expanded to cover most of the nation, and meat packing plants were built closer to major ranching areas, making long cattle drives to the railheads unnecessary. Hence, the age of the open range was gone and the era of large cattle drives were over.

Modern cattle drives

Smaller cattle drives continued at least into the 1940s, as ranchers, prior to the development of the modern cattle truck, still needed to herd cattle to local railheads for transport to stockyards and packing plants. Today, cattle drives are primarily used to round up cattle within the boundaries of a ranch and to move them from one pasture to another, a process that generally lasts at most a few days. Because of the significance of the cattle drive in American history, some working ranches have turned their seasonal drives into tourist events, inviting guests in a manner akin to a guest ranch to participate in moving the cattle from one feeding ground to the next. While horses are still used in many places, particularly where there is rough or mountainous terrain, the all-terrain vehicle is also used. When cattle are required to move longer distances, they are shipped via truck.

Events intended to promote the western lifestyle may incorporate cattle drives. For example the Great Montana Centennial Cattle Drive of 1989 celebrated the state of Montana's centennial and raised money for a college scholarship fund as 2,400 people (including some working cowboys), 200 wagons and 2,800 cattle traveled 50 miles in six days from Roundup to Billings along a major highway. Similar drives have been sponsored since that time.

Cowboy culture

The cowboy's distinctive working gear, most of it derived from the Mexican vaquero, captured the public image. High-crowned cowboy hat, high-heeled boots, leather chaps, pistol, lariat, and spurs were functional and necessary in the field, and fascinating on the movie screen. Increasingly the public identified the cowboy with courage and devotion to duty, for he tended cattle wherever he had to go, whether in bogs of quicksand; swift, flooding rivers; or seemingly inaccessible brush. He rode with lightning and blizzard, ate hot summer sand, and was burned by the sun. Theodore Roosevelt conceptualized the herder as a stage of civilization distinct from the sedentary farmer—a classic theme well expressed in the 1944 Broadway hit "Oklahoma!"—Roosevelt argued that the manhood typified by the cowboy—and outdoor activity and sports generally—was essential if American men were to avoid the softness and rot produced by an easy life in the city. The cow towns along the trail were notorious for providing liquor to the cowboys; they usually were not allowed to drink on the trail itself.

Image and memory

During three decades it had moved over ten million cattle and one million range horses, stamped the entire West with its character, given economic and personality prestige to Texas, made the longhorn historic, glorified the cowboy over the globe, and endowed America with its most romantic tradition relating to any occupation.

The best known writers of the era include Theodore Roosevelt, who spent much of his inheritance ranching in the Dakotas in the 1880s, Will Rogers, the leading humorist of the 1920s, and Indiana-born Andy Adams (1859–1935), who spent the 1880s and 1890s in the cattle industry and mining in the Great Plains and Southwest. When an 1898 play's portrayal of Texans outraged Adams, he started writing plays, short stories, and novels drawn from his own experiences. His The Log of a Cowboy (1903) became a classic novel about the cattle business, especially the cattle drive. It described a fictional drive of the Circle Dot herd from Texas to Montana in 1882, and became a leading source on cowboy life; historians retraced his path in the 1960s, confirming his basic accuracy. His writing is acclaimed and criticized for both its fidelity to truth and lack of literary qualities.
Cattle drives on television and film

Cattle drives were a major plot element of many Hollywood films and television shows, particularly during the era when westerns were popular. One of the most famous movies is Red River (1948) directed by Howard Hawks, and starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. Like many such films, Red River tended to exaggerate the dangers and disasters of cattle driving. More recently, the movie City Slickers (1990) was about a guest ranch-based cattle drive. The long running TV show Rawhide (1959–1965), starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood, dealt with drovers taking 3000 head along the Sedalia trail from San Antonio, Texas to the railhead at Sedalia. The 1980s miniseries Lonesome Dove centered on a cattle drive from South Texas to Montana.

Theodore Roosevelt 
(shown on horseback,1898)
helped popularize the image of the
American cowboy through his writings.

A monument to the cattle drive era in
Dodge City, Kansas

Texas Road From Wikipedia

The Texas Road, also known as the Shawnee Trail, was a major trade and emigrant route across Texas, Indian Territory Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. It was the first Texas North South Cattle Drive. Established during the Mexican War by emigrants rushing to Texas, it remained an important route across Indian Territory until Oklahoma statehood.

The Shawnee Trail Route

The Shawnee Trail played a significant role in Texas and beyond in the early 1800's. A group of interested cities from Waco to Pottsboro, and cities in between hope you enjoy some of the sights and sounds that play homage to the Shawnee Trail in each of our cities.

"Of the principal routes by which Texas longhorn cattle were taken afoot to railheads to the north, the earliest and easternmost was the Shawnee Trail. Used before and just after the Civil War, the Shawnee Trail gathered cattle from east and west of its main stem, which passed through Austin, Waco, and Dallas. It crossed the Red River at Rock Bluff, near Preston, and led north along the eastern edge of what became Oklahoma, a route later followed closely by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. The drovers took over a trail long used by Indians in hunting and raiding and by southbound settlers from the Midwest; the latter called it the Texas Road. North of Fort Gibson the cattle route split into terminal branches that ended in such Missouri points as St. Louis, Sedalia, Independence, Westport, and Kansas City, and in Baxter Springs and other towns in eastern Kansas. Early drovers referred to their route as the cattle trail, the Sedalia Trail, the Kansas Trail, or simply the trail. Why some began calling it the Shawnee Trail is uncertain, but the name may have been suggested by a Shawnee village on the Texas side of the Red River just below the trail crossing or by the Shawnee Hills, which the route skirted on the eastern side before crossing the Canadian River."

Texas herds were taken up the Shawnee Trail as early as the 1840s, and use of the route gradually increased. But by 1853 trouble had begun to plague some of the drovers. In June of that year, as 3,000 cattle were trailed through western Missouri, local farmers blocked their passage and forced the drovers to turn back. This opposition arose from the fact that the longhorns carried ticks that bore a serious disease that the farmers called Texas fever. The Texas cattle were immune to this disease; but the ticks that they left on their bedgrounds infected the local cattle, causing many to die and making others unfit for marketing. Some herds avoided the blockades, and the antagonism became stronger and more effective. In 1855 angry farmers in western and central Missouri formed vigilance committees, stopped some of the herds, and killed any Texas cattle that entered their counties. Missouri stockmen in several county seats called on their legislature for action. The outcome was a law, effective in December of that year, which banned diseased cattle from being brought into or through the state. This law failed of its purpose since the longhorns were not themselves diseased. But farmers formed armed bands that turned back some herds, though others managed to get through. Several drovers took their herds up through the eastern edge of Kansas; but there, too, they met opposition from farmers, who induced their territorial legislature to pass a protective law in 1859.

During the Civil War the Shawnee Trail was virtually unused. After the war, with Texas overflowing with surplus cattle for which there were almost no local markets, pressure for trailing became stronger than ever. In the spring of 1866 an estimated 200,000 to 260,000 longhorns were pointed north. Although some herds were forced to turn back, others managed to get through, while still others were delayed or diverted around the hostile farm settlements. James M. Daugherty, a Texas youth of sixteen, was one who felt the sting of the vigilantes. Trailing north his herd of 500 steers, he was attacked in southeastern Kansas by a band of Jayhawkers dressed as hunters. The mobsters stampeded the herd and killed one of the trail hands; (some sources say they tied Daugherty to a tree with his own picket rope, then whipped him with hickory switches.) After being freed and burying the dead cowboy, Daugherty recovered about 350 of the cattle. He continued at night in a roundabout way and sold his steers in Fort Scott at a profit. With six states enacting laws in the first half of 1867 against trailing, Texas cattlemen realized the need for a new trail that would skirt the farm settlements and thus avoid the trouble over tick fever. In 1867 a young Illinois livestock dealer, Joseph G. McCoy, built market facilities at Abilene, Kansas, at the terminus of Chisholm Trail. The new route to the west of the Shawnee soon began carrying the bulk of the Texas herds, leaving the earlier trail to dwindle for a few years and expire.

An early cattle trail, the Shawnee Trail, followed the route. The path stretched from Baxter Springs, Kansas in the north, across the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Nations, to Colbert's Ferry, Indian Territory in the south. Later the Shawnee Trail branched further west. The first route was then called the East Shawnee Trail and the branch called the West Shawnee Trail. The western branch particularly remained the main cattle trail from Texas until the opening of the Chisholm Trail (or Abilene Trail) following the Civil War.

There were two parts of the trail that set out from Kansas the eastern trail which followed the Grand River to Fort Gibson, and the western trail which started in Missouri and passed through Fort Wayne before joining the other trail continuing to the Red River on the Texas border. Several stations were set up along the road where travelers could rest and refresh their horses.

Both sides of the Civil War used the road heavily to move supplies and troops. Union and Confederate forces met at the Battle of Honey Springs on the road. The Texas Road eventually became part of U.S. Route 69.

All articles submitted to the "Brimstone Gazette" are the property of the author, used with their expressed permission. 
The Brimstone Pistoleros are not responsible for any accidents which may occur from use of  loading data, firearms information, or recommendations published on the Brimstone Pistoleros web site.