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Great American Cattle Trails: The Story of the Old Cow Paths of the East and the Longhorn Highways of the Plains
Great American Cattle Trails The Story of the Old Cow Paths of the East and the Longhorn Highways of the Plains Author:Harry Sinclair Drago From the seventeenth century when colonial traders drove hundreds of barnyard cattle to Boston over the Bay State Cow Path until the late 1880's when the era of trail driving came to an end, the great frontier highways wound their way through American history. Even their names-- Wilderness Road, The Osage Trace, Chisholm Trail, Shawnee, Western,... more » Cut-Off, Dodge and Goodnight-Loving, among many others-are a proud heritage. Here, stripped of myths and folklore, is a definitive account of the cattle trails, of the purpose they served, and of the men who followed them.
The muddled history of the famous Chisholm Trail is at last untangled. Included also are the stories of Maxwell and Morris blazing the route of the Western Trail over which several million Longhorns and mustangs would travel in the years to come; of the unsolved mystery of the bleached buffalo skulls that marked every mile of the Cut-Off Trail; of the way blazed by Goodnight and Loving despite the raids of the ferocious Comanches which finally cost Loving his life.
Then there is the saga of the trail-end towns that fattened on the cattle traffic-Abilene, Ellsworth, Newton, Wichita, Caldwell, Dodge City-with the true tales of gunfighters, gamblers, marshals, dance-hall girls, feuding railroad men, and an ever-changing army of cowboys.
Here, too, are many other documented case histories. The killer enigma that was Texas fever is solved. A stirring chapter describes the bloody battles with the Indians on the Texas Road during the Civil War. The background of the indomitable, half-wild mustangs and Longhorns is given. And above all there are the factual stories of the trail crews who took part in the greatest mass movement of cattle the world has ever known-the brave, reckless men who faced the hazards of blizzards, hostile Indians, rivers transformed into raging torrents, stampedes, and sudden death when "they pointed them north!"« less