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Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody Plainsmen of the Legendary West

Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody
Plainsmen of the Legendary West



Globe Pequot/TwoDot August 2022

9781493048434 • Paperback • 

Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody were considered heroes and the greatest plainsmen of their time. They were larger than life, legendary characters. They knew where to locate water, good grass for livestock, sheltered campsites, and game for hunting. They knew how to survive the blistering heat and terrific thunderstorms of summer and the subzero blizzards of winter. They could avoid Indians or act as trackers following the trails of Indians as well as desperados. They were expert marksmen and did not back down from a fight. They rushed in where others held back. Hickok, a frontier wagon and stagecoach driver, became a Union spy during the Civil War, furthering his reputation after the war as a frontier Army scout, gunfighter, and lawman. Cody, who claimed to ride for the Pony Express, served in the Union Army, and became legendary as an expert buffalo hunter and Army scout. Hickok and Cody were good friends and experienced a series of adventures together. Hickok traveled to Deadwood, Dakota Territory, during the 1876 Black Hills goldrush where he was assassinated by Jack McCall. Cody continued scouting for the Army and after the Battle of the Little Big Horn, won a one-on-one duel with a Cheyenne warrior, Yellow Hair. Cody went on to become one of the most well-known showmen in the world with his Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody: Plainsmen, the fourth book in the Legendary West series, explores the lives of these two well-known characters.

Standoff at High Noon

Standoff at High Noon

Another Battle over the Truth in the Mythic Wild West



Globe Pequot/TwoDot October 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4930-5335-3 • Hardback 978-1-4930-5336-0 • eBook

In Standoff at High Noon, the sequel to Old West Showdown, coauthors Kellen Cutsforth and Bill Markley again investigate ten well-known, controversial stories from the Old West. Through their opposing viewpoints, learn more about notorious figures and infamous events, including the controversial death of Davy Crockett at the Alamo; the life and death of Sacagawea who assisted Lewis and Clark on their Corps of Discovery Expedition; the tragic fate of the Donner Party snowbound in the Sierra Nevada; the assassination of Wild Bill Hickok; Arizona’s Lost Dutchman Mine; and the controversy over Butch Cassidy’s death in South America. No matter whose side you are on, there’s always something new to discover about the mythic Old West.

Geronimo and Sitting Bull

Geronimo and Sitting Bull

Leaders of the Legendary West



Globe Pequot/TwoDot May 2021

978-1-4930-4844-1 • Paperback • 978-1-4930-4845-8 • eBook

Two Native American leaders who left a lasting legacy, Geronimo and Sitting Bull. Most Americans and many people worldwide have heard these two famous names. Today, however, the general public knows little about the lives of these great leaders. During the second half of the nineteenth century when they opposed white intrusion and expansion into their territories, just the mention of their names could spark fear or anger. After they surrendered to the army and lived in captivity, they evoked curiosity and sympathy for the plight of the American Indian. Author Bill Markley offers a thoughtful and entertaining examination of these legendary lives in this new joint biography of these two great leaders.


Billy the Kid and Jesse James

Outlaws of the Legendary West



Rowman and Littlefield, OCT 2019

978-1-4930-3838-1 • Paperback  978-1-4930-3839-8 • eBook

Who was the biggest, baddest outlaw in the Old West? Billy the Kid or Jesse James? Which outlaw did the most to wreak havoc across the frontier? And which outlaw left behind the biggest legacy? Author Bill Markley takes on those questions and more in this thoughtful and entertaining examination of these legendary lives.

2020 Will Rogers Medallion Award finalist in Western Nonfiction.


Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson

Lawmen of the Legendary West



Rowman and Littlefield, MAY 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4930-3567-0 • Paperback  978-1-4930-3568-7 • eBook


Which lawman did the most to tame the frontier, Bat Masterson or Wyatt Earp? Neither of them was a saint. At times their actions were not in compliance with the law, and they only served as peace officers for limited portions of their lives. What sets them apart from the thousands of sheriffs and marshals who served on America’s frontier? Did they make more arrests than others? Did they kill large numbers of men? Did they lead adventurous lives? Was it their character? Was there just the right ring to their names that led people to remember them? Did they get the right publicity at the right time? Did they just outlive all the others? Or was it a combination of these factors? This joint biography reveals the intersection of their legacies and attempts to answer the questions about their place in the story of the West. 

2020 Will Rogers Medallion Award finalist in Western Nonfiction.



Two Authors Wrangle over the Truth about the Mythic Old West



Rowman and Littlefield, OCT 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4930-3216-7 • Hardback  978-1-4930-3217-4 • eBook 


Drawing on fact and folklore, dueling authors Bill Markley and Kellen Cutsforth present opposing viewpoints pertaining to controversies surrounding some of the most well-known characters and events in the history of the Old West. 

In an entertaining and conversational style, Markley and Cutsforth take conflicting sides to debunk and in some cases, proliferate the myths, legends, and realities of some of the West’s most famous figures, including: 

  • Billy the Kid 

  • Jesse James 

  • Buffalo Bill Cody 

  • Calamity Jane 

  • the Earp brothers 

  • and many more 

The real lives of the historic figures in Old West ShowdownTwo Author Wrangle over the Truth about the Mythic Old West are shrouded in controversy and myth. Was Jesse James a Southern Son fighting for the cause of the fallen Confederacy, or a blood-thirsty cutthroat justly pursued by the authorities? Did Pat Garrett kill Billy the Kid or did Billy get away? Did Buffalo Bill Cody truly ride for the Pony Express as a young man? Or, was he just a blowhard who trumped up his own past in an attempt to seem more heroic in the eyes of audiences attending his Wild West shows? These questions and many more will be explored in the exciting book, Old West Showdown.

2019 Will Rogers Medallion Award finalist in Western Nonfiction.

Deadwood South Dakota History


ISBN: 978-1930584501


In August 1876, Jack Jones, a reporter for a Chicago newspaper, is assigned to write about the doings of Deadwood, Dakota Territory—an illegal gold camp that knows no law. The lure of gold in the Lakota’s Black Hills draws prospectors and many colorful characters, such as Al Swearengen, Calamity Jane, Colorado Charlie Utter, Seth Bullock, Madame Mustache, and Sol Star, and it also lures crime. After the shocking murder of an acquaintance, Jack Jones begins investigating an entire string of murders that begins with Wild Bill Hickok and leads Jack down a treacherous trail that has him wondering if he won’t be next.

2014 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award finalist in Best First Western Novel.

Dances With Wolves Filming
DAKOTA EPIC: Experiences of a Reenactor During the Filming of Dances With Wolves

iUniverse, AUG 2001

ISBN: 978-0595195213


Kevin Costner's award-winning film, Dances With Wolves was first released in 1990. Dakota Epic is a first-hand account of the filming from an extra's viewpoint. Bill Markley, a reenactor on the set, kept a journal during the filming. "When I was selected to be in Dances With Wolves, I had no movie or reenacting experience, so everything was new to me." From a rookie's viewpoint, Bill takes us into the world of movie-making and reenacting. Experience the filming of the opening Civil War scenes. Visit the "frontier" at Ft. Hays. And be with the Lakota and cavalry at the concluding Search for Dunbar. This is a rousing, humorous look behind the scenes of movie-making. The illustrations were created byJim Hatzell, a reenactor and artist who drew a wide variety of sketches while on the set. Bill and Jim have worked together to develop a unique view of life on the Dances With Wolves film set. If you have ever wondered what the background people were doing and thinking during and between filming, then this is the book for you. You will never view the people in a film"s background quite the same after reading this book.


iUniverse, OCT 2005

ISBN: 978-0595372720


Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery expedition conjures up images of high adventure. Up the Missouri River with Lewis and Clark tells of the beginning stages of the United States' first overland expedition to the Pacific Ocean. The men had to contend with shifting sandbars, treacherous currents, submerged trees, mosquitoes, rattlesnakes, wicked weather, disease, and unpredictable new people. Meet the men of the expedition-deserters, drunks, sergeants, and hunters. See how the first four months of their journey transforms a loose group of individuals into Clark's Band of Brothers."Bill Markley has a wonderful talent for writing nonfiction with just a twist of humor. Though he takes his facts from the journals of Lewis, Clark, and other expedition members, his own commentary emerges."-Pat Decker Nipper, Author of Love on the Lewis and Clark Trail"You will enjoy reading Bill Markley's description of Lewis & Clark's expedition. He knows the stories, and shares with us a clear view of the expedition's journey. His book helps his readers better understand the Corps of Discovery's many and diverse encounters on the Missouri River."-Bill Stevens, President, Encounters On the Prairie, Central South Dakota Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation

American Pilgrim: A Post-September 11th Bus Trip and Other Tales of the Road

iUniverse, AUG 2011

ISBN: 978-1462044344


God bless the United States and God bless New York City proclaimed a sign as the bus rolled through a small Indiana town. In October 2001, author Bill Markley was traveling by public bus from Pierre, South Dakota, to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, for a Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity celebration. The day Markley left South Dakota began simply enough, but soon tragedy unfolded when a deranged man of Croatian descent slit the throat of a Greyhound bus driver causing an accident and throwing the nation's bus system into disarray. American Pilgrim is an honest account of life on the bus, the characters on the bus, bus culture, and the mood of the American people-reflective, patriotic, and upbeat. In those challenging days after the attacks on 9/11, everyone struggled to make sense of the world; as Markley worked on this story; it grew beyond the story of a simple 3,000-mile bus trip. He recalls many of his life's detours, recounting past events at locations the bus traveled through and people associated with those locations-a rambling personal history of people, places, and things. The trip took on new meaning and became a spiritual journey into the country's past and Markley's past.

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