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American History Timeline
Life of James Butler 'Wild Bill' Hickock

1812 ? Born in Troy Grove, Illinois.
July 12, 1861 The incident that began his claim to fame. While employed at the Rock Creek Pony Express Station in Nebraska he got into a gunfight with an employee looking to collect his pay. Wild Bill shot and killed McCanles and wounded two other men. He was acquitted at the trial. However, there is some question on the validity of the trial because he worked for the powerful Overland Stage Company.
August 1861 He enlists as a civilian scout in the Union army. He fought in the Battle of Wilson's Creek where the Union general was killed and his men were slaughtered.
July 1, 1865 He adds to his legend by killing Dave Tutt in a gunfight in Springfield, Missouri. He is acquitted on the grounds of self-defense.
1867 Begins his career as a US Deputy Marshall at Fort Riley.
He also works with Buffalo Bill Cody at this time.
He acts as a scout for Custer's 7th Calvary. His exploits are exaggerated by writers and he only adds to his own growing legend with tales of his own.

Wild Bill is attacked by a Cheyenne war party and injured. He was acting as a scout for the 10th Calvary.
He returns to Troy Hills to recover from the wound.
He then acts as a guide for Senator Wilson's tour of the plains. At the end of the job he recieves his famous ivory handled pistols from the Senator.

August, 1869 He is elected Sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas. He winds up shooting two men while in office seeking to gain fame by killing Wild Bill.
April, 1871 Appointed marshall of Abilene.
1871-1876 He wanders the west sometimes employed as a lawman.
He also joins up with Buffalo Bill's Show for a year.
1876 He marries Agnes Thatcher. They move to Deadwood, South Dakota.
August 2, 1876 Wild Bill sits down to a poker game in a saloon in his new home town. He has his back to the door and is shot in the back of the head. He was holding a pair of black aces, black eights and a jack of diamonds, forever to be known as a deadman's hand. He was shot by Jack McCall, a man looking to enhance his own reputation.



Dillard, Gary. "The Bascom Affair, or Cut Through the Tent." The Great Southwest.
http://www.westernhistory.com/cochise.html, May 25, 2002.

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