Whirlwind of the Prairies

jack-stilwell-blogAs a renowned frontier scout, he was known as “Comanche Jack” and “Wildcat Jack.” The Comanches referred to him as “Whirlwind of the Prairies.” His full, given name was Simpson Everett “Jack” Stilwell, and he made his name at the Battle of Beecher Island, in 1868, where he and his fellow scouts fought Roman Nose and his Cheyenne warriors to a standstill. Surviving numerous charges, Maj. George A. Forsyth sent Stilwell and another scout to get reinforcements. Crawling out through the Indian lines, the two scouts managed to make it by hiding in the carcass of two dead buffalos, where a rattlesnake had also taken up residence. Stilwell famously spit tobacco juice in the snake’s eyes and avoided detection. He lived out his life as a deputy U.S. marshal and later a police judge in Oklahoma. He died in Cody, Wyoming, in 1903 at the age of 52.

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