A retro review from July 31, 2006.
Review: Will Bill Hickok, Gunfighter: An Account of Hickok’s Gunfights, Joseph G. Rosa, 2003.
If you’re looking for one book on Wild Bill’s life, this is not it. Instead, read Rosa’s They Called Him Wild Bill: The Life and Adventures of James Butler Hickok. This book has nothing on Hickok’s Civil War experience, no evaluation of the tales of his shooting prowess, no account of his days on the plains or on the stage.
It is a detailed look at the five documented gunfights — and death — of Hickok. Rosa reconstructs each with contemporary records, presents diagrams and timelines, and looks at the weapons each party used. He also looks at how Hickok wore his guns and the provenance of several guns claimed to have been carried by Wild Bill.
For hardcore Wild Bill devotees, there is some new information uncovered by Rosa since They Called Him Wild Bill.
The illustrations are both plentiful and useful.