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Western Short Stories
Dennis Goodwin

Dennis Goodwin

A free-lance historical nonfiction writer based out of Snellville, Georgia (near Atlanta). For over twenty-five years, Dennis Goodwin has had an interest in writing about the American West, early entertainment, the Civil War period...and basically anything that catches his attention.

He's written a number of booklets as well as over 200 non-fiction stories and articles for magazines like Wild West, True West and Old West. Through the years, Goodwin has learned that the secret to bringing people from the past alive in the present, is to realize that they were very much in the present when they were living.

I try to write about past people and events with the same intensity and immediacy as if they were right outside my window.”

You can find his work on Amazon, HERE>>


Stories by Dennis Goodwin


Buffalo Bill's "Beautiful Rancheras"

The Wild West show's captivating cast of "Western Women"

Dennis Goodwin

The warm gust whisked away just about anything that wasn't battened down as it swept through the North Platte, Nebraska arena. When the dusty flurry coated the overflow crowd, most spectators simply wiped their eyes with their slightly grimy bandanas and riveted their focus on the pair of galloping riders. They weren't sure who the racers were, but assumed they must be two of Buffalo Bill Cody's best fellows. When the riders reached the grandstand, they spurred their animals and flew past the cheering crowd. While they circled the arena, they took turns falling back to let the other rider take the lead position. That lead never lasted long, as their racing partner pressed the trailing steed into action and dashed forward in a dust cloud. Read the full story HERE>>


"COMPLETE" IGNORANCE

Dennis Goodwin

John Bidwell and His Adventurous Friends Know Everything About California as They Head Out to the Glorious Land…Except How to Get There... Read the full story HERE>>


A SAD SAGA OF SWEETWATER

Dennis Goodwin

"Cattle Kate" Becomes the Most Famous Woman in Wyoming…After Her Hanging

The massive turtle-shaped limestone boulder had been baking in the Wyoming sun for as long as anyone could remember. Year after year, Independence Rock had dutifully kept a chiseled-in-stone record of the thousands of settlers who had carved their names into the landmark as they reached the Sweetwater River. The "great registry of the desert" preserved forever the hopeful moments when the proud scribers declared their intentions of stepping into Western history. That step could lead to a rugged but fulfilling life of treasured memories. It could also lead to a violent death at the end of a vigilante's noose. Read the full story HERE>>


THUNDER DREAMER

Dennis Goodwin

During a Thunderstorm, Black Elk's Sacred Grandfathers Give Him a Bow That Will Protect Him From a Flurry of Gunfire at Wounded Knee

"Hey-hey-hey! They have murdered them!" The voice seemed to come from the wind itself as the lone horseman galloped toward the small band of Lakotas. Suddenly he stopped, whirled around and raced away. As he dashed toward Wounded Knee Creek and the grim scene he had just witnessed, a small group fell in behind him. Among them was a young Sioux medicine man named Black Elk. Read the full story HERE>>


"FOOT SOLDIERS OF ZION"

The sad but true story of the handcarts and heartaches of the West's greatest emigrant disaster

Dennis Goodwin

"Brethren and sisters, what I have said, I know to be true… " The lone voice of Levi Savage had just warned the hundreds of other Latter Day Saints about the hazards of continuing their journey during the summer and into the late fall. He had graphically described the dangers and suffering that would likely befall them. But as he surveyed his companions in the 1856 meeting, he knew his warning had been eclipsed by their burning religious fervor. Read the full story HERE>>


"UN-SWAYED WILL"

A Perilous 1845 Overland-trail Journey Tests the Will of 16-year-old Sarah Walden

by Dennis Goodwin

"Hitch up and roll out!" a stern voice commanded. Then a contradictory order rang out. "Form a corral with all haste!" The endangered emigrants, like their divergent leaders, scattered in disarray. "The entire company seemed almost wild with excitement," wrote a sixteen-year-old group member. That evening she made a notation in her diary of seeing "children crying, mothers screaming or praying, men running wildly, not knowing what to do." Read the full story HERE>>


MOUNTAIN MAN UNIVERSITY

Dennis Goodwin

The gleaming silver needle plunged beneath the crimson-coated skin, reappeared, then dived again into the dangling remains of Jedediah Smith's ear. The needle's steel-nerved operator, James Clyman, set his jaw and continued the grim task of stitching his captain's head back together with a needle and thread from his supply pack. There had been no time for second thoughts. He knew Smith wouldn't last long unless he could contain the flow of blood from the gaping wounds the marauding grizzly bear had inflicted. Read the full story HERE>>


BILLION-DOLLAR BEANS

Dennis Goodwin

An Eventual Billion Dollars in Silver, Gold and Copper begins With a Simmering Bowl of Beans

The alchemists of ancient times would have surely flipped over in their graves. For hundreds of years, they unsuccessfully focused their magic formulas on nearly every material on earth - desperately striving to transform each one into precious metal. And now, in eastern Nevada's White Pine Mountains, some rough-cut prospectors had finally stumbled upon the secret ingredient...a simmering bowl of beans.  Read the full story HERE>>