Theodore Roosevelt said, “We had no braver or better man in the fights” in reference to Billy McGinty, an Oklahoma cowboy and his exploits on the battlefield.
Oklahoma Rough Rider, Billy McGinty’s Own Story, is a firsthand account of how he began cowboying at age 14. McGinty eventually became a world champion bronco buster.
Considered a veteran cowboy with expert horseman skills, he was one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, and participated in the battle of Las Guasimas, the attack on San Juan Heights, and and the siege of Santiago.
After the Spanish-American War, he performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and won the Cowboy Hall of Fame’s Great Westerner award. Yet, his colorful career has remained largely untold – until now.
Editors Jim Fulbright and Albert Stehno provide historical context for McGinty’s story – especially his common-soldier’s view of the war with Spain as the Rough Riders voyaged from Port Tampa to Cuba and into the heart of battle. They then tell of his later years, when the resourceful Oklahoman promoted the McGinty Cowboy Band and put this precursor of modern country-and-western music on live radio.
Fulbright, a former journalist and native Oklahoman, researches and writes about the Old West. In the late 1990s, McGinty’s granddaughter provided Fulbright and Stehno with a manuscript and the pair of researchers edited the story and also provided additional details centered around the Rough Riders and Buffalo Bill’s show. Stehno is a rancher in Billings, OK, according to the book biographical content of the authors. He is also an avid historian of the Cherokee Strip Cowpunchers’ Association and serves on the board of directors of the Cherokee Strip Historical Society.
(Copyright 2008) University of Oklahoma Press, softcover, 218 pages.