Adventures of Buffalo Bill from Boyhood to Manhood
THE BOY SOLDIER.
AFTER a very short stay at home Buffalo Billy began to show signs of
uneasiness, for he was too near Leavenworth, then an important military
post, not to get the soldier's fever for battles and marches.
He soon discovered that a company of cavalry was being raised to
do service in Missouri, and he at once enlisted and went as a guard to a
Government train bound to Springfield, Missouri, and after that he was
made, a dispatch runner to the different forts, and met with many
thrilling adventures while in that capacity.
From this duty Buffalo Billy was sent as guide and scout to the
Ninth Kansas Regiment which was ordered into the Kiowa and Comanche
country, and it did good service there, and the young soldier added new
laurels to his name.
The second year of the war Billy became One of the famous "Red
Logged Scouts," formed of the most noted rangers of Kansas.
While a member of this daring band he was sent to guide a train
to Denver, but upon arriving there, learning of the severe illness of
his mother, he at once set off for home, going the entire distance alone
and making wonderful time through a country infested with dangers.
To his joy, he found his mother still living, yet failing rapidly
and soon, after his arrival she breathed her last and Buffalo Billy had
lost his best, truest friend, and the sad event cast a gloom over the
life of the young soldier.
As one of his sisters had married some time before, her husband
took charge of the farm, while Billy returned to the army and was sent
into Mississippi and Tennessee with his command.
But Billy did not relish military duty, for he had become too
well accustomed to the free life of the plains, and, resigning his
position as scout, started upon big return to the prairies.
But while on the way he came in sight of a pleasant farm-house,
from which came a cry of help in the voice of a woman.
Billy saw five horses hitched to a fence on the other side of the
house; but this array of numbers did not deter him when a woman called
for aid, and dismounting quickly he bounded upon the piazza, and was
just running into the door when a man came out into the ball and fired
at him, but fortunately missed him.
Bill instantly returned the fire, and his quick, unerring aim
sent a bullet into the man's brain.
At the shots a wilder cry came from within for help and two men
dashed out into the hall, and, seeing Billy, three pistols flashed
But Billy was unhurt, and one of his foes fell dead, while
springing upon the other he gave him a stunning blow with his revolver
that put him out of the fight, and then bounded into the room to
discover an elderly lady and a lovely young girl threatened by two huge
ruffians, who were holding their pistols to their heads to try and force
from them the hiding-place of their money and valuables.
Seeing Billy, they both turned upon him, and a fierce fight
ensued, which quickly ended in the killing of both ruffians by the brave
young soldier, who seemed to bear a charmed life, for he was unhurt,
though he had slain four men in a desperate combat and wounded a fifth.
Just then into the room dashed three men, and their weapons were
leveled at Buffalo Billy, and right then and there his days would have
ended had it not been for the courage and presence of mind of the lovely
young girl, who throw herself forward upon his breast, to the youth's
great surprise, and cried out:
"Father! Brothers! don't fire, for this man is our friend."
The old man and his sons quickly lowered their rifles, while the
"A friend in blue uniform, while we wear the gray?'
"I am a Union soldier, sir, I admit, and I was going by your
home, heard a cry for help, and found your wife and daughter, as I
suppose them to be, at the mercy of five ruffians, and I was fortunate
enough to serve them.
"But I will not be made prisoner, gentlemen."
Billy's hands were on his revolvers and he looked squarely in the
faces of those in his front, and they could se that he was a man who
meant what he said.
"My dear sir, I am a Confederate, I admit, and this is my home;
but I am not the one to do a mean action toward a Union soldier, and
especially one who has just served me so well in killing these men, whom
I recognize as jayhawkers who prey on either side, and own no allegiance
to North or South.
"Here is my hand, sir, and I will protect you while in our
Billy grasped the hand of' the farmer, and then those of his
sons, and all thanked him warmly for the service he had done them
But Billy was surprised to find he was within the Confederate
lines, and found by inquiring that he had taken the wrong road a few
The farmer was the captain of a neighborhood military company,
and it was his custom to come home with his sons whenever he had
opportunity, and arriving just as the fight ended he saw a man in gray
uniform lying dead in the hall, and beholding Billy in the blue, had an
idea that the Northern soldiers were on a raid, had been met by some of
his men, and he certainly would have killed the young scout but for the
timely act of his lovely daughter, Louise.
And it was this very circumstance, the meeting with Louise
Frederici, the Missouri farmer's daughter, that caused Buffalo Billy to
decide to remain in the army, and not to return to the plains, for when
stationed in or near St. Louis, he could often see the pretty dark-eyed
girl who had stolen big heart away.
Before the war ended Buffalo Billy returned to Kansas, but he
carried with him the heart of Louise Frederici, and the promise that she
would one day be his wife.
After a short visit to his sisters he again became a stage-
driver, and it was by making a desperate drive down a mountain side to
escape a band of road-agents that he won the well-deserved title of the
Prince of the Reins.