John "Jack" McCall
(born in 1852 or 1853 in Jefferson County, Kentucky – died March 1,
Yankton, Dakota Territory), known by the nickname "Crooked Nose
Jack or Broken Nose Jack, was the killer of James "Wild
Bill" Hickok, shooting him from behind, an act that among admirers of
Hickok and students of Hickok's history has given rise to the phrase "the
coward Jack McCall."
Life and murder of Hickok
The details of
McCall's life are lost; he was raised in Kentucky with three
sisters, but drifted westwards and became a buffalo hunter. By 1876
he was living in a gold mining camp called Deadwood, South Dakota,
under the alias of Bill Sutherland.
On August 2, 1876,
in the Nuttal & Mann's #10 Saloon in Deadwood, McCall shot Hickok in
the back of the head with a double-action .45-caliber revolver,
shouting "Take that!" Hickok, in contrast to his normal habit of
sitting in a corner to protect his back, on that day had sat with
his back to the door while engaged in a game of poker.
killing was apparently over McCall's drunken resentment of an act of
generosity by Hickok, Hickok having offered McCall money to buy
breakfast after McCall had lost it all playing poker the previous
day. McCall claimed, however, that the killing was retribution for
Hickok having previously killed McCall's brother in Abilene, Kansas.
McCall was found
innocent after two hours deliberation by an impromptu court in
McDaniel's Theater, made up of local miners and businessmen, causing
the Black Hills Pioneer to editorialize:
"Should it ever be
our misfortune to kill a man ... we would simply ask that our trial
may take place in some of the mining camps of these hills."
Proper trial and execution
McCall then fled
town to Wyoming, where he would habitually brag, at length, about
the details of how he had killed Hickok in a fair gunfight.
Unfortunately for McCall, however, the Wyoming authorities refused
to recognize the result of McCall's first trial on the grounds of
Deadwood having been in Indian Territory at the time and contended
that McCall was liable to be tried again.
On August 29, 1876
in Laramie, Wyoming, McCall was once again arrested, brought to
Yankton, South Dakota for trial, convicted, and hanged on March 1,
1877, buried with the noose still around his neck. After his death,
it was determined that McCall had, in fact, never even had a
McCall was the
first person executed in South Dakota.
of Hickok plays a part in the HBO television series Deadwood.
McCall was portrayed by Garret Dillahunt.
Jack McCall - Cowardly Killer
of Wild Bill Hickok
Jack (John) McCall, also known as “Crooked Nose” Jack, would
probably have never been remembered in history if he hadn’t shot Wild
Bill Hickok in Deadwood, South Dakota . Not specifically an "outlaw,"
McCall was more notorious for his drunkenness and stupidity, and
perhaps as a scoundrel. However, as he utilized several aliases
throughout his lifetime, there may very well have been more dastardly
deeds in his past of which we are unaware.
Born around 1850 in Jefferson County, Kentucky, he was raised there
along with his three sisters. McCall drifted west as a young adult
and was working in the Kansas-Nebraska border country with a group of
buffalo hunters by about 1869. Later he was known to have been in
Wyoming before arriving in Deadwood, South Dakota in 1876, going by
the name of Bill Sutherland.
Newspaper accounts described him as having thick chestnut hair, a
small sandy moustache, a double chin and crossed eyes.
Soon after his arrival in Deadwood, he was drinking at the bar at
Nuttall and Mann’s No. 10 Saloon on August 1, 1876. Getting steadily
drunk, he watched as Wild Bill Hickok played poker at a full table.
When one of the players dropped out, McCall quickly took his place.
Drunk and overmatched, McCall lost hand after hand until he had not a
dime left in his pocket. Hickok then gave McCall some money to buy
himself something to eat and advised him not to play again until he
could cover his losses. Though McCall accepted the money, he felt
The next afternoon when Wild Bill
entered Nuttall & Mann's Saloon he found Charlie Rich sitting in his
preferred seat. After some hesitation, Wild Bill joined the game,
reluctantly seating himself with his back to the door and the bar---a
fatal mistake. Jack McCall, drinking heavily at the bar, saw Hickok
enter the saloon, taking a seat at his regular table in the corner
near the door. Seeing an opportunity to avenge himself of the insult,
and perhaps to make a name for himself, McCall came up behind Hickok,
pointed his .45 caliber revolver at the back of his head and pulled
the trigger as he shouted, “Damn you, take that!” Hickok, holding a
hand of Aces and Eights, fell instantly dead to the floor.
Afterwards, the cowardly McCall
ran immediately from the saloon and attempted to escape on someone
else’s horse that was tethered nearby. However, because the saddle
had been loosened, he fell to the ground. He then ran down the dusty
street and hid in a butcher’s shop, but within minutes, he was found
by a large crowd.
The very next day, the mining camp assembled a miners’ court,
convening at the McDaniels/Langrishe Theater. Though the City of
Deadwood had no legal jurisdiction, they went about appointing a
defense attorney, prosecutor, and judge and began McCall's trial for
McCall claimed he had shot Wild Bill in revenge for killing his
brother back in Abilene, Kansas and maintained that he would do it all
over again given the chance. In less than two hours the jury returned
a “not guilty” verdict that evoked this comment in the Black Hills
"Should it ever be our misfortune to kill a man ... we would simply
ask that our trial may take place in some of the mining camps of these
hanged about Deadwood for several days, until a man called California
Joe strongly suggested the air might be bad for McCall's health.
McCall got the message and believing he’d escaped punishment for his
crime, headed to Wyoming bragging to anyone who would listen that he
had killed the famous Wild Bill Hickok. Less than a month later, the
trial held in Deadwood was found to have had no legal basis, Deadwood
being located in Indian Territory.
McCall's boasting would literally be the death of him when a U.S.
Deputy Marshal in Laramie, Wyoming heard his bragging and arrested him
on August 29th. Charged with murder, he was taken to
Yankton, South Dakota to stand trial.
Lorenzo Butler Hickok traveled
from Illinois to attend the trial of his brother's murderer which
began on December 4, 1876 and was gratified when McCall was found
guilty on December 6th.
On March 1, 1877, Jack McCall was
marched up the platform where he kneeled with a priest with his arms
and legs tied. When he stood up the black hood was drawn over his head
and McCall asked the marshal for just one more moment of prayer.
Afterwards, the noose was placed around his neck and McCall allegedly
said, "Draw it tighter, Marshal." At 10:10 a.m. the trap was sprung
and McCall was hanged, the first to be legally executed in Dakota
Territory. As to McCall's earlier claim of having shot Hickok out of
revenge for his brother, it was discovered that Jack McCall never had
McCall was buried in the southwest corner of Yankton’s Catholic
cemetery. In 1881, when the cemetery was moved to make room for the
Territorial Insane Hospital, his body was exhumed and it was
discovered that he had been buried with the noose still around his
neck. Though his remains were reburied in an unmarked grave in the
Yankton Cemetery, the exact location was lost over time and remains
James Butler Hickok
27, 1837 –
August 2, 1876),
better known as Wild Bill Hickok, was a figure in the
American Old West. His skills as a gunfighter and scout, along with
his reputation as a lawman, provided the basis for his fame,
although some of his exploits are fictionalized. His nickname of
Wild Bill has inspired similar nicknames for men known for their
daring in various fields. Hickok's horse was named Black Nell. He
owned two Colt 1851 Navy Revolvers
Hickok came to the West as a stagecoach driver, then
became a lawman in the frontier territories of Kansas and Nebraska. He
fought in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and gained
publicity after the war as a scout, marksman, and professional gambler.
Between his law-enforcement duties and gambling, which easily
overlapped, Hickok was involved in several notable shootouts, and was
ultimately killed while playing poker in a Dakota Territory saloon.
Life and career
Hickok was born in Homer, Illinois (what is now Troy Grove) on May 27,
1837. His birthplace is now the Wild Bill Hickok Memorial, a listed
historic site under the supervision of the Illinois Historic
Preservation Agency. While he was growing up, his father's farm was
one of the stops on the Underground Railroad, and he learned his
shooting skills protecting the farm with his father from slave
catchers. Hickok was a good shot from a very young age.
In 1855, at the age of 18, Hickok moved to Kansas Territory following
a fight with Charles Hudson, which resulted in both falling into a
canal. Mistakenly thinking he had killed Hudson, Hickok fled and
joined General Jim Lane's vigilante Free State Army ("The Red Legs")
where he met 12-year-old William Cody, later to be known as "Buffalo
Bill," who at that time was a scout for Johnston's Army. At 21, Hickok
was elected constable of Monticello Township.
his "sweeping nose and protruding upper lip," Hickok was nicknamed "Duck
Bill." In 1861, after growing a mustache following the McCanles
incident, and with some encouragement from himself, he began calling
himself Wild Bill.
In 1857, Hickok claimed a 160 acre (65 ha) tract in Johnson County,
Kansas (in what is now Lenexa). On March 22, 1858, he was elected as
one of the first four constables of Monticello Township, Kansas. In
1859 he joined the Russell, Waddell, and Majors freight company called
the Pony Express. The following year he was badly injured by a bear
and sent to the Rock Creek Station in Nebraska (which the company had
recently purchased from David McCanles) to work as a stable hand while
In 1861 he was involved in a deadly
shoot-out with the McCanles Gang at the Rock Creek Station after 40-year-old
David McCanles, his 12-year-old son (William) Monroe McCanles, and two
farmhands, James Woods and James Gordon, called at the station's
office to demand payment of an overdue second installment on the
property, an event that is still the subject of much debate. David
McCanles "called out" Wild Bill from the Station House. Wild Bill
emerged onto the street, immediately drew one of his .36 calibre SA
Navy revolvers, and at a 75 yard stand-off distance, fired a single
shot into McCanles' chest, killing him instantly (ref. Am. Handgunner).
Hickok and his accomplices, the station manager Horace Wellman, his
wife, and an employee, J.W. Brink, were tried but judged to have acted
According to Joseph G. Rosa, a
Hickok biographer, the shot that felled the elder McCanles came from
inside the house; a tale Wild Bill's friends invented to keep the 'heat'
of both the law and McCanles' extended family off Wild Bill (extended
generational member). It remains unknown who actually fired it. Rosa
conjectures that Wellman had far more of a motive to kill McCanles, a
belief supported by McCanles' son's own account. There were also women
in the house, conceivably armed with shotguns. McCanles was the first
man Hickok was reputed to have killed in a fight. On several later
occasions, Hickok was to confront and kill several men while fighting
Civil War and scouting
When the Civil War began, Hickok joined the Union forces and served in
the west, mostly in Kansas and Missouri. He earned a reputation as a
skilled scout. After the war, Hickok became a scout for the U.S. Army
and served for a time as a United States Marshal. For a while he was
also a professional gambler. His fame increased after a published
interview by Henry Morton Stanley in 1867.
the Civil War, Buffalo Bill Cody served as a scout, along with Robert
Denbow, David L. Payne, and Hickok. After the war, the four men, Payne,
Cody, Hickok, and Denbow, engaged in buffalo hunting. When Payne moved
to Wichita, Kansas, in 1870, Denbow joined him there, while Hickok
served as sheriff of Hays, Kansas.
In 1873 Buffalo
Bill Cody and Texas Jack Omohundro invited Hickok to join them in a
new play called Scouts of the Plains after their earlier success.
Hickok and Texas Jack eventually left the show, before Cody formed his
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in 1882.
On July 21, 1865, in the
town square of Springfield, Missouri, Hickok killed Davis Tutt, Jr. in
a "quick draw" duel. Fiction later typified this kind of gunfight, but
Hickok's is in fact the first one on record that fits the portrayal.
Hickok first met former Confederate Army soldier Davis Tutt in early
1865, while both were gambling in Springfield, Missouri. Hickok often
borrowed money from Tutt. Although originally good friends, they
eventually fell out over a woman, and it was rumored that Hickok once
had an affair with Tutt's sister, perhaps fathering a child and likely
exacerbated by the fact there was a long-standing dispute over
Hickok's girlfriend Susannah Moore. Hickok refused to play cards with
Tutt, who retaliated by financing other players in an attempt to
According to the accepted account, the
dispute came to a head when Tutt was coaching an opponent of Hickok's
during a card game. Hickok was on a winning streak and, frustrated,
Tutt requested he repay a $40 loan, which Hickok did. Tutt then
demanded another $35 owed from a previous card game. Hickok refused,
as he had "a memorandum" proving it to be for $25. Tutt then took
Hickok's watch, which was lying on the table, as collateral for the
$35, at which Hickok warned him not to wear it or he, Hickok, would
shoot him. Next day Tutt appeared in the square wearing the watch
prominently and Hickok tried to negotiate the watch's return. Tutt
stated he would now accept no less than $45 but both agreed they would
not fight over it and went for a drink together. Tutt left the saloon
but returned to the square at 6 p.m. while Hickok arrived on the other
side and warned him not to approach him while wearing the watch. Both
men faced each other sideways in the dueling position and both fired
almost simultaneously. Tutt's shot missed, but Hickok's didn't,
piercing Tutt through the side from about 75 yards away. Tutt called
out "Boys, I'm killed", ran onto the porch of the local courthouse and
then back to the street where he collapsed and died.
Hickok was arrested for murder two days later; however, the charge was
later reduced to manslaughter. He was released on $2,000 bail and
stood trial on August 3, 1865. At the end of the trial, Judge
Sempronius Boyd gave the jury two contradictory instructions. He first
instructed the jury that a conviction was its only option under the
law. He then instructed them that they could apply the unwritten law
of the "fair fight" and acquit. The jury voted for acquittal, a
verdict that was not popular at the time.
weeks later Hickok was interviewed by Colonel George Ward Nichols and
the interview was published in Harpers New Monthly Magazine. Using the
name "Wild Bill Hitchcock"(sic), the article recounted the hundreds of
men Hickok personally killed, and other exaggerated exploits. The
article was controversial wherever Hickok was known, and led to
several frontier newspapers writing rebuttals. As can be seen in this
account, Hickok killed five men (one by accident), was an accessory in
the deaths of three more, and wounded one.
September 1865, Hickok came in second in the election for City Marshal
of Springfield. Leaving Springfield, he was recommended for the
position of Deputy United States Marshal at Fort Riley Kansas. This
was the time of the Indian Wars that counted the Great Plains as a
battleground, and Hickok sometimes served as a scout for George A.
Custer's 7th Cavalry.
In 1867 Hickok took a break
from the west and moved to Niagara Falls where he tried his hand at
acting in a stage play called "The Daring Buffalo Chases of the Plains."
He proved to be a terrible actor and returned to the West, where in
1868 he ran for sheriff in Ellsworth County, Kansas, but was defeated
by former soldier E.W. Kingsbury. Hickok was elected sheriff and city
marshal of Ellis County, Kansas, though, on August 23, 1869.
In his first month in Hays, Kansas he killed two men in gunfights. The
first was Bill Mulvey, who "got the drop" on Hickok. Hickok looked
past him and yelled, "Don't shoot him, boys," which was enough
distraction to allow him to win the fight. The second was cowboy
Samuel Strawhun, who drew his gun on Hickok after Hickok had been
called to a saloon where Strawhun was causing a disturbance.
On July 17, 1870, also in Hays, he was involved in a gunfight with
disorderly soldiers of the 7th US Cavalry, wounding one and mortally
wounding another, John Kyle. He later failed to win reelection.
On April 15, 1871, Hickok became marshal of Abilene, Kansas, taking
over for former marshal Tom "Bear River" Smith, who had been killed on
November 2, 1870. The outlaw John Wesley Hardin, who was in Abilene in
1871, was befriended by Hickok.
In his 1895
autobiography (published after his own death, and 19 years after
Hickok's), Hardin claimed to have disarmed Hickok using the famous
road agent's spin during a failed attempt to arrest him for wearing
his pistols in a saloon and that Hickok, as a result, had two guns
cocked and pointed at him. This story is considered to be apocryphal,
or at the very least an exaggeration, as Hardin claimed this at a time
when Hickok couldn't defend himself. Hardin was known to have killed
over 40 men in his lifetime, he was the real deal; he in turn
idealized Hickok and self-identified with Wild Bill. It is also
recorded that when Hardin's cousin Mannen Clements was jailed for the
killing of two cowboys, Hickok, at Hardin's request, arranged for his
While working in Abilene, Hickok and Phil
Coe, a saloon owner, had an ongoing dispute that later resulted in a
shootout. Coe had been the business partner of known gunman Ben
Thompson, with whom he co-owned the Bulls Head Saloon. On October 5,
1871, Hickok was standing off a crowd during a street brawl, during
which time Coe fired two shots. Hickok ordered him to be arrested for
firing a pistol within the city limits. Coe explained he was shooting
at a stray dog but suddenly turned his gun on Hickok who fired first
and killed Coe. Hickok caught the glimpse of movement of someone
running toward him and quickly fired two shots in reaction,
accidentally shooting and killing Abilene Special Deputy Marshal Mike
Williams, who was coming to his aid, an event that haunted Hickok for
the remainder of his life.
There is another account
of the Coe shootout. Theophilus Little, mayor of Abilene and owner of
the town's lumberyard, recorded his time in Abilene by writing in a
notebook that was recently given to the Abilene Historical Society.
Writing in 1911, he detailed his admiration of Hickok and includes a
paragraph on the shooting that differs considerably from the accepted
"-"Phil" Coe was from Texas, ran the "Bull’s Head"
a saloon and gambling den, sold whiskey and men’s souls. A vile a
character as I ever met for some cause Wild Bill incurred Coe’s
hatred and he vowed to secure the death of the Marshall. Not having
the courage to do it himself, he one day filled about 200 cowboys
with whiskey intending to get them into trouble with Wild Bill,
hoping that they would get to shooting and in the melee shoot the
marshal. But Coe "reckoned without his host." Wild Bill had learned
of the scheme and cornered Coe, had his two pistols drawn on Coe.
Just as he pulled the trigger one of the policemen rushed around the
corner between Coe and the pistols and both balls entered his body,
killing him instantly. in an instant, he pulled the triggers again
sending two bullets into Coe's abdomen (Coe lived a day or two) and
whirling with his two guns drawn on the drunken crowd of cowboys, "and
now do any of you fellows want the rest of these bullets." Not a
word was uttered."
Hickok's retort to Coe, who supposedly stated he
could "kill a crow on the wing," is one of the West's most famous
sayings (though possibly apocryphal): "Did the crow have a pistol? Was
he shooting back? I will be." However, due to his having accidentally
killed deputy Mike Williams, Hickok was relieved of his duties as
marshal less than two months later.
favorite guns were a pair of cap-and-ball Colt 1851 .36 Navy Model
pistols, which he wore until his death. These were silver-plated with
ivory handles, and were engraved: "J.B. Hickock-1869". He wore his
revolvers backwards in a belt or sash (when donning city clothes or
buckskins, respectively), and seldom used holsters per se; he drew the
pistols using a "reverse," or "twist," draw, as would a cavalryman.
In 1876 Hickok was diagnosed by a doctor in Kansas City, Missouri,
with glaucoma and ophthalmia, a condition that was widely rumored at
the time by Hickok's detractors to be the result of various sexually
transmitted diseases. In truth, he seems to had been afflicted with
trachoma, a common vision disorder of the time. It was apparent that
his markmanship and health had been suffering for some time, as
despite earning a good income from gambling and displays of
showmanship only a few years earlier, he had been arrested several
times for vagrancy. On March 5, 1876, Hickok married Agnes Thatcher
Lake, a 50-year-old circus proprietor. Calamity Jane claimed in her
autobiography that she was married to Hickok and had divorced him so
he could be free to marry Agnes Lake, but this is not believed to be
true. Hickok soon left his new bride to seek his fortune in the gold
fields of South Dakota.
Shortly before Hickok's
death, he wrote a letter to his new wife, which reads in part: "Agnes
Darling, if such should be we never meet again, while firing my last
shot, I will gently breathe the name of my wife — Agnes — and with
wishes even for my enemies I will make the plunge and try to swim to
the other shore".
August 2, 1876, while playing poker at Nuttal & Mann's Saloon No. 10
in Deadwood, in the Black Hills, Dakota Territory, Hickok could not
find an empty seat in the corner of the room, where he always sat in
order to protect himself against a possible attack from behind, and
instead sat with his back to one door while facing another. His
paranoia was prescient: he was shot in the back of the head with a
.45-caliber revolver by Jack McCall. Legend has it that Hickok was
playing poker when he was shot, holding a pair of aces and a pair of
eights. The fifth card is debated, or, as some say, had not yet been
dealt. "Aces and eights" thus is known as the "Dead Man's Hand". In
1979 Hickok was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
The motive for the killing is still debated. McCall may have been paid
for the deed, or it may have been the result of a recent dispute
between the two. Most likely McCall became enraged over what he
perceived as a condescending offer from Hickok to let him have enough
money for breakfast after he had lost all his money playing poker the
previous day. McCall claimed, at the resulting two-hour trial by a
miners jury, an ad hoc local group of assembled miners and businessmen,
that he was avenging Hickok's earlier slaying of his brother, which
was later found to be untrue. McCall was acquitted of the murder,
resulting in the Black Hills Pioneer editorializing:
"Should it ever be our misfortune to kill a man
... we would simply ask that our trial may take place in some of the
mining camps of these hills"
McCall was subsequently rearrested after bragging
about his deed, and a new trial was held. The authorities did not
consider this to be double jeopardy because at the time Deadwood was
not recognized by the U.S. as a legitimately incorporated town, as it
was in Indian Country and the jury was irregular.
The new trial was held in Yankton, capital of the territory. Hickok's
brother, Lorenzo Butler Hickok, traveled from Illinois to attend the
retrial, and spoke to McCall after the trial, noting he showed no
remorse. This time McCall was found guilty. Reporter Leander
Richardson interviewed Hickok shortly before his death and helped bury
him. Richardson wrote of the encounter for the April 1877 issue of
Scribner's Monthly in which he mentions McCall's second trial.
"As I write the closing lines of this brief
sketch, word reaches me that the slayer of Wild Bill has been re-arrested
by the United State authorities, and after trial has been sentenced
to death for willful murder. He is now at Yankton, D.T. awaiting
execution. At the trial it was proved that the murderer was hired to
do his work by gamblers who feared the time when better citizens
should appoint Bill the champion of law and order - a post which he
formerly sustained in Kansas border life, with credit to his manhood
and his courage."
McCall was hanged on 1 March 1877 and buried in the
Roman Catholic cemetery. When the cemetery was moved in 1881, his body
was exhumed and found to have the noose still around his neck. The
killing of Wild Bill and the capture of Jack McCall is re-enacted
every evening (in summer) in Deadwood.
Charlie Utter, Hickok's friend and companion, claimed Hickok's body
and placed a notice in the local newspaper, the Black Hills Pioneer,
"Died in Deadwood, Black Hills, August
2, 1876, from the effects of a pistol shot, J. B. Hickok (Wild Bill)
formerly of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Funeral services will be held at
Charlie Utter's Camp, on Thursday afternoon, August 3, 1876, at 3
o'clock P. M. All are respectfully invited to attend."
Almost the entire town attended the funeral, and Utter had Hickok
buried with a wooden grave marker reading:
"Wild Bill, J. B. Hickok killed by the assassin
Jack McCall in Deadwood, Black Hills, August 2, 1876. Pard, we will
meet again in the happy hunting ground to part no more. Good bye,
Colorado Charlie, C. H. Utter."
Hickok was originally buried in the Ingelside
Cemetery, Deadwood's original graveyard. The graveyard filled quickly
and was in an area that could be better used for the constant influx
of settlers to live on, so all the bodies there were moved up the hill
to the Mount Moriah Cemetery in the 1880s.
currently interred in a ten-foot (3 m) square plot at the Mount Moriah
Cemetery, surrounded by a cast-iron fence with a U.S. flag flying
nearby. A monument has since been built there. In accordance with her
dying wish, Martha Jane Cannary, known popularly as Calamity Jane, was
buried next to him. Potato Creek Johnny, a local Deadwood Celebrity
from the late 1800s and early 1900s is also buried next to Wild Bill.
"Dime novel" fame
It is difficult to separate
the truth from fiction about Hickok, the first "dime novel" hero of
the western era, in many ways one of the first comic book heroes,
keeping company with another who achieved part of his fame in such a
way, frontiersman Davy Crockett. In the dime-store novels, exploits of
Hickok were presented in heroic form, making him seem larger than life.
In truth, most of the stories were greatly exaggerated or fabricated
by both the writers and himself.
Hickok told the
writers that he had killed over 100 men. This number is doubtful, and
it is more likely that his total killings were about 20 or a few more.
He also would tell tourists various exaggerated exploits of his,
usually leaving himself unarmed with no manner of escape, and then
stop talking. When someone would inevitably ask what he did then, he
claimed "I was surrounded. What could I do? They killed me."
Hickok was a fearless and deadly fighting man. Versatile with a rifle,
revolver, or knife. His story of fighting a grizzly bear, which he
claims mistook him for food because of his greasy buckskins,
personified a man who feared nothing. According to Wild Bill, he
killed the bear with a Bowie knife after emptying his pistols into the
bear. He also cut off the bear's testicles and put them in a coffee
can. That story is also thought to be an exaggeration.