About The Story...

Maybe the best way to introduce the story is to tell you a bit about how it came to be.

I have long had a fascination with America's Old West, primarily in historical form - and I've wanted to write professionally about it.  The Civil War in the West, the rise of the Kansas Cattle Towns, Jesse James and company and their exploits, Tombstone and the OK Corral, Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War, the Oklahoma Land Run and the mostly untold violence that was involved with it, the demise of the Dalton Gang in Coffeeville Kansas, the also mostly untold story of the greatest gun battle between outlaws and lawmen that ever took place, in Ingalls, Oklahoma, and the countless stories that have taken place in between those events that created the facts and legend of America's Old West.  But as I researched all of these various events I came to realize that they have all been written, rewritten, and written again, countless times, leaving no interesting fact uncovered or new approach to stimulate the reader.  In frustration, I began making a list of all the events I would like to write about and, just out of curiosity, I noted each of their dates and locations.  And then it hit me - Given the dates and locations of all these famous characters and events it would have been possible for one person to have witnessed and been a part of most every one!  What an incredible story that would be!  One man personally witnessing these events, coming to personally know the characters as he travelled the West, and then writing the story; a first hand, eye witness account of the whole thing!  It was that thought that invented Sully.  In Sully I created a lovable character with an entirely plausible story that would carry him through all of these adventures. 

Sully is a fictional character, born in Ireland, 1847.  From the time he can walk, Sully is a wanderer, always curious to extend his travel and see what might lie over the next hill.  At the age of sixteen his wanderlust brings him to a port along the Irish coast where he unexpectedly finds passage to America. 

Immediately upon his arrival in New York he becomes an eyewitness to the Draft Riots of New York (historically accurate), the first of many great American events he will find himself in the midst of.  Following the riots Sully forms friendships and close associations with several people; most notably John McSorley; the owner of an Irish Pub (historically accurate and still in operation today).  He also befriends Catherine McCarty and her young son Henry McCarty (aka Billy the Kid, historically accurate), who will reappear later in the story.  John, recognizing Sully’s potential and wandering nature, works with Sully to create a (plausible for the time) means by which Sully might travel America.  This plan is put into action as Sully escorts Catherine and Henry to Indianapolis (historically accurate), where they part company and Sully’s odyssey into the West begins.

During the very early stages of his travel he has several chance encounters that will play prominently in his future.  He first meets a very young Wyatt Earp being escorted home by his father after having run away to join his brothers in the Civil War (historically accurate).  He also encounters an equally young Jesse James, along with his older brother Frank, and their two cousins Cole and Jim Younger in the Civil War beginnings of the James-Younger Gang, along with Bloody Bill Anderson (all historically accurate). 

Both of these events take place on the way to Sully’s next eyewitness account, the Battle of Westport, known as the Civil War’s Gettysburg of the West (historically accurate).  Here he gives a firsthand account of Civil War battle and its aftermath, most particularly of a Civil War field hospital.  He also meets Wild Bill Hickock (historically accurate) who sends him in his next direction.

From there he finds himself migrating further westward from town to town; those known as the ‘Jumping Off Points’ for the Western pioneer migration, giving accounts of each of these.  Those experiences lead him next to the explosion of the Kansas cattle towns including Abilene, Wichita, and Dodge City, again giving first-hand accounts of those (all historically accurate).

Yet another unexpected turn of events leads him to follow a new opportunity and he leaves Dodge City in favor of a quieter life, in Northfield, Minnesota.  His quest for a quieter life is short lived though as he soon encounters his old friend from the war, Jesse James.  Once again Sully finds himself an eyewitness, and perhaps unwilling participant, in American Western history as the James-Younger Gang meets their (historically accurate) fate there.

Soon after, he is contacted by John Chisum (historically accurate) and accepts the opportunity to work for him in New Mexico.  This lands him in Lincoln where, once again, he comes across another old friend, young Henry McCarty, now known as Billy the Kid.  Here he becomes an eyewitness to the infamous Lincoln County War and all the events and people surrounding that notorious chapter in the American West (all historically accurate).

As the dust begins to settle in Lincoln, an old friend comes to find him.  Wyatt Earp is moving his entire family to Tombstone Arizona seeking his fortune.  He offers Sully the opportunity to join him there, promising the boomtown will offer Sully a quieter, more stable, and profitable life.  ith the blessings of John Chisum, Sully packs up his wagon and heads toward those possibilities.

This is the end of VOLUME I - Currently Scheduled for Release on June 30, 2017 

VOLUME II picks up after the Lincoln County War where Sully’s travels continue much as before.  He first reunites with Wyatt Earp and company just in time to witness the events surrounding Tombstone and the OK Corral (historically accurate).

Devastated by the events that take place there, Sully spends several years wandering the Western Mining Camps.  This is a difficult time for Sully as he tries to come to terms with all he's witnessed.  But he hears about an event that he can not resist and so travels to set up business and experience the Oklahoma Land Run (historically accurate).

Following the Land Run, Sully meets and befriends a drifter by the name of Bill Doolin.  But in what almost seems a cruel twist of fate, this association leads Sully to witness the Dalton's disastrous raid on Coffeeville, Kansas, and then further to the greatest gun battle ever fought between lawmen and outlaws in the Old West, the battle at Ingalls, Oklahoma (all historically accurate).

This story is a piece of historical fiction written in the form of a memoir, by my fictional character Sully, in 1895 as he awaits passage to the Klondike just in time for the great Alaskan gold rush.  Sully is a traditional Western story with all the elements that make that genre ever-popular.  However it is all based on actual events, and told with historical accuracy, to appeal to the non-fiction aficionado as well.

This is the end of VOLUME II - Currently Scheduled for Release on August 15, 2017