I was disappointed to learn Log of a Cowboy was a work of fiction.

I was disappointed to learn Log of a Cowboy was a work of fiction; can you recommend nonfiction works about the trail driving era?

Dave Bourne

Agoura Hills, California

Sure. We Pointed Them North by “Teddy Blue” Abbott is great nonfiction. So is Charlie Siringo’s A Texas Cowboy; or Fifteen Years on the Hurricane Deck of a Spanish Cow Pony, which was the first real personal account, written in 1885. The great Texas folklorist J. Frank Dobie really liked it, saying, “No record of cowboy life has supplanted his … chronicle” and that Siringo’s account was “the most-read nonfiction book on cowboy life.”

Andy Adams’s book The Log of a Cowboy is historical fiction, but he does a good job depicting the life and lifestyle of an Old West wrangler. Only the names have been changed to “protect the innocent,” as they say.

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian, board president of the Arizona Historical Society and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu