John Simpson Chisum left a trail across the American West so wide that a blind scout could follow it. Although his track can be picked up effortlessly, the gaps and sketchy information about the man leave us with but half of the story. John Chisum's life story seems to have been defined by his association with Billy the Kid and a singular, epic cattle drive across the barren expanses of West Texas to New Mexico. Ask anyone on the street about John Chisum and they are apt to bring up The Chisholm Trail. In an unlucky twist of historical circumstance the totally unrelated Chisholm Trail which covered roughly the same path as the Kansas Trail, the Abilene Trail, or McCoy's Trail and was named for Jesse Chisholm would be forever confused with John Chisum's Western Trail. Perhaps the noted historian Harwood P. Hinton, Jr. said it best over a half century ago when he penned 'A definitive biography of John Chisum may never be written, for there is quite a paucity of information not only concerning his life but also his stock dealings, which spanned the Southwest for thirty years.' Not at all unlike the saga of legendary personalities of the American West such as Billy the Kid the story of the life and times of John Chisum has become 'so contaminated with hypothesis and folklore that what remains of his story is little more than a blurred picture of a misrepresented and uninterpreted individual ... living in the shadows of a bygone era.' John Chisum did nothing in a small way. He rarely missed an opportunity to advance his own purposes. He built a cattle empire in New Mexico that was, at the time, second to none. To shamelessly borrow a line from Walter Noble Burns' book The Saga of Billy the Kid, John Chisum knew cows. Clifford R. Caldwell has continually cultivated his interest in Western History since boyhood. After a stint in United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, and a thirty-five year career working for several Fortune 500 Corporations, Cliff is now retired and free to pursue his interests as a historian and writer. Cliff has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and is the author of several book and published works, including Old West Tales, Good Men, Bad Men, Lawmen; Dead Right, The Lincoln County War; Guns of the Lincoln County War and his most recent work, A Days Ride From Here. Cliff is a member of Western Writers of America, Inc. and the Wild West History Association. When not deeply involved in writing, Cliff volunteers some of his time doing research for the Peace Officers Memorial Foundation of Texas and is a member of the Kerr County Historical Commission. He and his wife Ellen live in the Hill Country of Texas, near Mountain Home.