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Buffalo Coat
Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Buffalo Coat

Catalog #: 54564    Accession #: 191694
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 59" H x 43" W

Physical Description

Buffalo hide coat.

Specific History

According to legend, this coat was made from the skin of a buffalo killed by Buffalo Bill and presented by him to Captain J. B. Irvine, 22nd United States Infantry. Irvine then presented it to Second Lieutenant Albert C. Dalton, Company ďAĒ, United States Infantry.

General History

In a life that was part legend and part fantasy, William F. Cody came to embody the spirit of the West. During the Civil War, Cody served first as a Union scout in campaigns against the Kiowa and Comanche, and then in 1863 he enlisted with the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, which saw action in Missouri and Tennessee. In 1867, Cody took up the trade that gave him his nickname, hunting buffalo to feed the construction crews of the Kansas Pacific Railroad. According to Buffalo Bill, he killed 4,280 head of buffalo in seventeen months.

He is perhaps best known for Buffalo Billís Wild West Show, a theatrical extravaganza. His show dramatized some of the most picturesque elements of frontier life. It contained a buffalo hunt with real buffalos. An Indian attack with real Indians. And a grand finally that reenacted Custerís Last Stand in which some Lakota who had actually fought in the battle played a part. The show was enormously successful and traveled the world for three decades.


Country: United States
Era: The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900)
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