Stampede at Castle Gap

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Over the past few years I’ve been working on a historical series depicting the birth of the great American cowboy and cattle drives. In the fall of 1866, John Chisum, Charles Goodnight, and Oliver Loving headed south through Texas to the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation near Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. They faced dire circumstances as they drove a massive herd of some 3,000 head of cattle straight through 80 miles of dry desert wasteland in a quest for water. Around 2:00 a.m., in the early hours of the third day without water, the cattle picked up the scent of moisture in the air as they entered Castle Gap, about 12 miles from the Pecos River. The cattle became crazed and unmanageable, breaking into a tumultuous stampede. Knowing they could never hold them under these circumstances at night, Chisum, Goodnight, and Loving let the wild-eyed herd desperately run the final 12 miles under a chaotic moonlit sky. 

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40 x 60 in.
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