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California Joe (08 May 1829–29 October 1876), plainsman and army scout, was born Moses Embree Milner in Standford, Kentucky, the son of Sarah Ann and Embree Armstead Milner, planters. Plantation life in the Kentucky wilderness was hardly genteel; the Milner home was a log cabin, as was the schoolhouse where the young Milner was an able student. Along with “book learning,” Milner excelled in tracking and hunting, which meant his family always had fresh meat to eat. Even as a boy he was known for his skill in shooting his father’s long-barreled rifle, a talent his family regarded as wholly in keeping with his father’s past military experiences in ...

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Hardin, John (01 October 1753– May 1792), soldier and scout, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, the son of Martin Hardin, a tavern keeper and landowner, and Lydia (maiden name unknown). At about the age of twelve, Hardin moved with his parents to George’s Creek in the unbroken wilderness of southwestern Pennsylvania, where he learned woodcraft and Indian ways and became such a proficient marksman that he was greatly feared by hostile natives. When he reached maturity, he married Jane Daviesse (or Davies), with whom he had six children. After their marriage the couple moved to Virginia. In early 1774 he volunteered as an ensign in Dunmore’s War against the Indians. Although wounded in a battle with the Shawnee while campaigning with Captain Zachariah Morgan, he refused to be invalided out of the service....

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Horn, Tom (21 November 1860–20 November 1903), scout, detective, and assassin, was born near Memphis, Scotland County, Missouri. His parents, whose names are no longer known, were farmers. He attended school irregularly during winter months, did hard farm work, enjoyed hunting, and became an excellent marksman. At about age fourteen and after an argument and violent fight with his father, he ran away to Santa Fe and may have worked as a stage driver. While in that region, he learned to speak Spanish. In 1876 or so he went to Prescott, in Arizona Territory, where he met Al Sieber, the famous civilian chief of scouts for various U.S. Army units in the San Carlos area. Little is known of Horn’s activities for the next several years. In 1882, according to Sieber, Horn worked as an army packer. He undoubtedly participated in the army pursuit of Apaches fleeing from the San Carlos Reservation. American cavalry units commanded by Tullius Cicero Tupper and William Augustus Rafferty, both captains, followed the Apaches into northwest Chihuahua, Mexico, and engaged them in April 1882 in a standoff at Sierra Enmedio, in Sonora....

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Stanly, Edward (10 January 1810–12 July 1872), U.S. congressman and military governor, was born in New Bern, North Carolina, the son of John Stanly, a prominent Federalist politician, and Elizabeth Franks. He attended the University of North Carolina in 1826 but left after his father suffered a debilitating stroke. In 1827 he enrolled in ...

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Tudor, William (28 March 1750–08 July 1819), lawyer and first judge advocate of the Continental army, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Deacon John Tudor, a prominent Boston merchant, and Jane Varney. William received his A.B. from Harvard in 1769 after a brief period of suspension resulting from his role as a leader in a student revolt against the faculty. He received his M.A. from Harvard in 1772. Meanwhile, Tudor had begun the study of law with ...

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Underhill, John (1597–21 September 1672), military leader and magistrate, was born in the Netherlands, the son of John Underhill, an English military adventurer in Dutch service, and Honor Pawley. The younger Underhill received little formal education, but he served as “a Cadet in the guard” of the Prince of Orange. Influenced by English religious refugees, he also became a Puritan. In 1628 he married Helena de Hooch....

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Joseph A. Stout , Jr.

Walker, William (08 May 1824–12 September 1860), adventurer, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of James Walker, an insurance executive, and Mary Norvell. While the family was not especially affluent, the parents were determined that William receive a good education. Accordingly, he graduated from the University of Nashville at fourteen years of age and received a medical degree in 1843 from the University of Pennsylvania. Shortly thereafter he journeyed to Europe, where he pursued additional medical studies. He returned to Nashville in 1845. He practiced medicine for a while but evidently did not enjoy the profession, and so he studied law. Late in 1845 he moved to New Orleans, where he practiced law a short time. He may have been unsuccessful in the occupation, for he soon turned to yet another profession. In 1848 he became assistant editor of the ...