Woodrow F. Call
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Biography for
Woodrow F. Call (Character)
from "Lonesome Dove" (1989)

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Woodrow F. Call is loosely based on Charles Goodnight, who with Oliver Loving (loosely the basis for Augustus McCrae) forged what became known as the Goodnight-Loving Trail from the Texas border into Colorado (they never did make it to Montana, though after Loving's death Goodnight and John Chisum (namesake for the "Chisum Trail") extended the trail to Wyoming, a distance of over 2000 miles). Lonesome Dove depicts Call and McCrae as retired Texas Rangers; Goodnight was a retired Texas Ranger; Loving fought for the confederacy and was an experienced cattleman, but never was a Ranger. Goodnight is also generally credited with inventing the chuckwagon (the subject of Utah Phillips' song "The Goodnight-Loving Trail"). Lonesome Dove is based on their third cattle drive, in 1867.

Loving was killed in New Mexico by Comanche when he went ahead of the herd to negotiate contracts accompanied by a single trusted scout W.J. Wilson ("Pea Eye"); the depiction of the two being cornered in a river redoubt and Pea Eye making it back to the herd is pretty accurate except that the man upon whom Deets was based and whose ghost Pea Eye follows back to the herd was still very much alive and well. Loving was shot at the river and died in Fort Sumter, and Goodnight did indeed bring his body back to Texas for burial.

The character of Deets in Lonesome Dove was based on Boze Ikard, Goodnight's right-hand man from 1866 to 1929. In Lonesome Dove Call recites part of the eulogy Goodnight wrote for Ikard at his death in 1929. Goodnight died that same year.

Page last updated by morgan_spector, 4 years ago
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