Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ties to Lonesome Dove

Many of you may know the story of the movie Lonesome Dove. What you may not know though is that the story is based on one of Charles Goodnight's trails. Goodnight and Oliver Loving formed a cattle trail together leading from Fort Belknap in Texas to Fort Sumner, New Mexico where they would sell cattle to the Army for Indians on a reservation. In the movie, Gus is depicted as Loving and PI plays the role of WJ Wilson. They are sent ahead to scout the area out. It is said that they were attacked by 500 Comanches. They took refuge in a ditch on the river bank and held off the Indians for hours. Loving was hit in the side and in the wrist by arrows. Wilson was sent to find help and Loving remained for 2 days and then set off to find help himself. He was picked up by three men and taken to Ft. Sumner. Captain Call plays the role of Goodnight and goes to Ft. Sumner to find his best friend on his death bed. Loving made Goodnight promise to take care of his family and return him to the home cemetery in Texas. Loving died on September 25, 1867 and he was returned to Texas on February 8, 1868 was taken back to Weatherford and buried. In December of 1868, Goodnight returned to Weatherford and paid Loving's family his half of the trail earnings which equaled out to about $36,000. In the movie Lonesome Dove, the character of Deets is based on a real African American cowboy that worked for Loving during Loving's and Goodnight's partnership. This cowboy's name was Bose Ikard and he became good friends with Goodnight and remained with him after Loving's death. Unlike the movie however, Ikard died in 1929 at the age of 85. Goodnight had a granite gravestone made for him. Goodnight is quoted after Ikard's death and a reference is made to his words when Deets is buried in Lonesome Dove. I find it very interesting of where this story comes from because Lonesome Dove in my mind is one of the best movies of all time.

Davis, Joe Tom. Legendary Texians. Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1982. 123-146. Print

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