LiveAuctionTalk.com Highlights Handwritten Buffalo Bill Account in its Weekly Free Article For over 16 years Rosemary McKittrick’s weekly column has been a trusted source of art, antique and auction news. Photo courtesy of Cody Old West Auction.
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - When the Indian Wars broke out in 1876, Buffalo Bill Cody left the high drama of the eastern stage for the high drama of the Western frontier.
Cody was so eager to join the Indian campaign he was still dressed in a black velvet Mexican stage costume when he arrived in Cheyenne. He looked more like a character from one of his Wild West Shows than a real scout.
Not so surprising really. Cody was famous for his battlefield theatrics and the tall tales that grew up around them.
One story began when Cody joined his command at Fort Russell, where the famous Fifth Cavalry Regiment camped out. When he arrived, he got a rowdy welcome from his old regiment.
With Cody as chief of scouts, how could they lose?
No long after, news came of Custer's fatal fight with Sitting Bull at Little Big Horn, 150 miles to the northwest. Humiliated and vengeful, the cavalrymen wanted blood.
Cody left to warn couriers about another potential ambush and on his way ran into Cheyenne chief, Yellow Hair (mistranslated as Yellow Hand). The two men fought to the death at War Bonnet Gorge, South Dakota.
The scuffle lasted a few minutes. Both men fired simultaneously. The chief used his rifle, Cody his revolver.
Their horses went down. The Cheyenne’s took a bullet. Cody’s stepped in a prairie dog hole. Both men stopped one final time, took aim and fired. Yellow Hair missed. Cody didn’t.
The story Cody told changed each time he told it.
In fact, Cody commissioned a stage play based on the event called “The Red Right Hand,” or “First Scalp for Custer.” In Cody’s fictionalized story, the two men dueled to the death.
There seems to be little question that Cody killed Yellow Hair. Exactly how it happened is the question.
The story remains one of the great tales of the 19th century American west.
On June 22, Cody Old West Auction, Cody, Wyo., featured Buffalo Bill Cody’s handwritten story of what happened that day. Written in response to a question, the 6 inch by 4 inch letter along with a photo of Cody sold for $17,250.
Read the entire article at www.LiveAuctionTalk.com.