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The Border and the Buffalo: An Untold Story of the Southwest Plains

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The Border and the Buffalo: An Untold Story of the Southwest Plains

by John R. Cook

John R. Cook was an American original. He witnessed or participated in a string of important events that shaped the nation and sculpted the history of the West. Born in Ohio in 1844, Cook moved with his family to Kansas. He joined the Union Army at sixteen and fought along the Kansas-Missouri border, in Indian Territory, and in Arkansas. After the Civil War, he ventured out to establish a homestead and work cattle. Several hardships forced Cook to try his luck at various enterprises. He became a prospector in New Mexico, a buffalo hunter in Texas and Kansas, and an Indian fighter.

Santa Fe, Adobe Walls, Fort Elliot, and Rath City were among Cook’s Great Plains haunts. His accounts of the 1878 Hunters War against Comanche leader Black Horse and the battle of Yellow House Canyon near present-day Lubbock are rare glimpses into the last great effort of the Comanche people to maintain their way of life. He eventually found employment as a government scout and guide with the army.

In later years, Cook recorded his adventures in a modest volume, The Border and the Buffalo, first published in a small edition in 1907. Historians quickly recognized it as one of the most important first- hand accounts about buffalo hunting ever written. The organization of hunts, camp routines, and marketing of the buffalo hides are all described in detail.

Award-winning author and Texas historian James L. Haley provides a new foreword in this reprint edition of this classic of Texana.

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