The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 61
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Retracing the Chisholm Trail
chosen for a bed ground. The boss usually tried to have the cattle
bedded away from timber that might hide Indians or wolves,
and on high ground that would catch the breeze.
The cook, with the back end of his wagon turned down for
use as a work table, soon had ready an appetizing meal. Beef,
beans, and sourdough biscuits were the staple items, though
sometimes stewed tomatoes or canned or dried fruit gave variety.
The hungry men ate from tin plates as they sat cross-legged on
the grass. They washed down their food with Arbuckle's coffee,
strong and steaming hot.
As darkness fell, the men quietly pushed the cattle into a more
compact mass on the bed ground. The two punchers assigned to
the first hours of night guard began riding slowly around the
herd, in opposite directions. Often they hummed or crooned
lullabies to soothe the cattle and make them less likely to stam-
pede. When the Big Dipper showed that their stint was done,
they wakened the pair to take their places and slid into their
The indefinite, virtually unblazed route that the Longhorn
outfits followed from the Texas ranges to Abilene had, in its
early years, a great variety of names. Some cowmen called it
merely the trail, the cattle trail, or the Kansas Trail. Others, a
bit more specifically, called it the Abilene Trail or McCoy's
Trail. Kansans called it the Great Cattle Trail, the Texas Cattle
Trail, the Great Texas Cattle Trail, or later the Wichita Trail.
The name Chisholm Trail, which probably was used orally
long before it appeared in print, began to pop up in Kansas
newspapers in the spring of 187o and in Texas papers four years
later. For several years Jesse Chisholm, a Scotch-Cherokee trader
and guide, had been traveling back and forth between his trad-
ing post on the North Canadian and the one he had set up on
the Arkansas, at the future site of Wichita. Other traders fol-
lowed his wagon tracks and called the route Chisholm's Trail.
When the first Texas herds were trailed to Abilene in the
fall of 1867, it was convenient for the drovers to use the Chis-
holm ruts as a guide for part of their route. Although Jesse
Chisholm died in the following spring, he was so strongly as-
sociated with that part of the trail that it came to bear his name,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/74/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.