Chuck wagon food came in many guises, some good, some really really good, and some just horrid.
Far be it for the cowboy to complain about the food that got put on his tin platter. No grumpy cookie wanted to hear complaints after he has just spent a long day on the trail, driving, setting up camp, tending wounds, herding cowpokes and cooking vittles.
A smart cow wrangler ate what he got, smiled, and asked for more!!
(and in appreciation of Cassandra Swanson…Rattlesnake Roast should be on this list!)
Contractor Henry Warren was hired to haul supplies to the forts in West Texas. On May 18, 1871 Warren’s wagon train, heavily laden with corn, was traveling the Jackson Belknap Road towards Salt Creek Crossing. Along the trail they briefly encountered the famous General William Tecumseh Sherman. Within an hour of this brief encounter a large group of riders was spotted in the distance ahead, appearing to be Kiowa warriors. Warren quickly placed the wagons in a circle, mules in the center.
The Warriors efficiently attacked the circled wagons, killing then mutilating seven of the wagoners. The leaders of the Kiowa warriors were Satana, Satank, and Eagle Heart. They had watched the Sherman party pass by from their hidden post, but had not attacked. The previous evening a Shaman predicted that the relatively small party would be shortly followed by a larger party with more reward.
The raiders lost 3 men but in the end of the raid captured 41 mules’ carrying many supplies as the Shaman had prophesied.
Only five men escaped, including one Thomas Brazeale who managed to reach Fort Richardson, 20 long walking miles away where he told the story of the brutal attack to Colonel Ronald Mackenzie. Sherman was informed and the two army officers took a party out to search for the raiders. The 3 chiefs were captured and sent by train to Fort Richardson. Satank was killed on the train while trying to escape, and the other two were tried and convicted of murder in Jack County, Texas on July 6 in the first Native American trial in history,
We have a good friend named Gene Smith. (AKA; Drifter, Butch, Tootsie). Drifter passed from this life 3 years past
His personality while on earth was enormous, his love of life immense. We loved him, still love him.
His wife; Gretchen of the warm and lovely laugh, has had a surprise party for him every year on his birthday since. Drifter is always there, although I am pretty sure he is no longer surprised. He is there in the stories of his friends who will always remember him, in the smiles of the bikers, the shooters, the reenactors and all the friends, neighbors and family who had the honor to call him their pard.
We look forward to this years’ celebration in May… be ready.