Symposium Session 2

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

11:00 AM-12:30 PM Session 2: Becoming Buffalo Bill (Coe Auditorium)
Paul Hutton, Chair

Jeff Broome, Cody’s Role in the Battle of Susanna Springs, Known Today as Summit Springs

Summit Springs, fought in northeastern Colorado Territory July 11, 1869, ranks as one of the most significant Indian battles in the roughly five-year Plains Indian War that covered Kansas, Nebraska, and the territories of Dakota and Colorado. And yet it is the least known of all significant battles during this era. Only one soldier suffered a glancing arrow wound to his ear, yet as many as 52 warriors died (another report at the time said 73 Indians were killed). The details of this fight will be explored, including Cody’s role in locating the village and fighting the battle, including who killed Tall Bull.

Jeff Broome (PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder), is professor emeritus at a state college in Colorado, where he taught for 32 years, until last May. He is the author of three books on the Indian wars, including Dog Soldier Justice: The Ordeal of Susanna Alderdice in the Kansas Indian War (2003); and Cheyenne War Indian Raids on the Roads to Denver, 1864-1869 (2013).

Nicole Etcheson, Buffalo Bill’s Civil War

Civil War and Wild West intersected in Buffalo Bill’s life story. He grew up in Bleeding Kansas, a crucial early battle over slavery, fought during the Civil War, and became famous as an icon of western conquest. Buffalo Bill’s Civil War was not a North/South story but East/West one as well involving Confederates, African Americans, and Indians.

Nicole Etcheson is the Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History at Ball State University. She is the author of A Generation at War: The Civil War Era in a Northern Community (2011) as well as Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era (2004).

Robert Palazzo, Captain Jack Crawford and Buffalo Bill: Similar But Not Equal

Captain Jack and Buffalo Bill were exact contemporaries. Though Jack did achieve national fame during his lifetime, he never became the international star that Buffalo Bill did. Buffalo Bill’s fame has endured to the present day while Captain Jack is a footnote, remembered primarily for his association with Buffalo Bill.

Robert P. Palazzo is a historian, attorney and author who has written on such diverse topics as medieval pilgrimage, relics, Shakespeare, weapons, Death Valley and the American West. He is a lifetime member the Death Valley Natural History Association and a Board member of The Museum of Western Film History.