President Hayes is coming to Dodge City accompanied by General Sherman during an election stop. The Marshal will protect Hayes but he asking Bat to become a deputy to protect General Sherman in a town full of southern cowboys who hate him.
In 1880 while Bat is in Dodge City, Kansas General William T. Sherman, he of "Sherman's March to the Sea", appears to promote President Hayes's bid for re-election. The town is full of Texas cowboys just up from a trail drive and, while they're happy to rub elbows with the President, they'd be even more pleased to assassinate General Sherman. The town marshal, expecting trouble, deputizes Bat to be General Sherman's personal bodyguard. Bat makes the rounds of the city looking for people who may make trouble. He takes a derringer from Cherry a dancer who inadvertently gives Bat a hint where a cowboy named Luke is at. Luke along with his relatives are very anti-Sherman with one of them throwing eggs at the General. Bat tells them to leave town hoping that will end the threat. Sherman decides he wants to visit the hot spots of Dodge City that night. Bat escorts Sherman preventing some incidents on the tour. However, when he spots Luke's cousin still in town, his problems start. Written by
The title alludes to Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's "March to the Sea" after he captured Altanta Georgia during the American Civil War and then ravaged the countryside between Atlanta and Savannah causing bitter resentment from Southerners. See more »
Bat Masterson - General Sherman's March Through Dodge City
Temporarily deputized in Dodge City while General Sherman is in town (along with campaigning-for-President, Rutherford B Hayes), Bat Masterson finds the job tasking as Luke Cavender (Robert Stevenson) and his boys plan to assassinate the Yankee war hero. Repeated warnings to Cavender do little good and it will take more persuasive methods to convince them to cut it out--his cane and gun do send them (or so he believes) on their way--but Luke rents a room overlooking the saloon from afar so he can shoot Sherman when the time is just right. "General Sherman's March Through Dodge City" is a flattering treatment of the titular character, as actor John Gallaudet provides his Sherman with a charm and approachability (while such a man of his military status and war rep might seem a bit intimidating and unapproachable) that surprises even his critics: supporters of the South even warm up to him as he walks into their saloon, dance hall, and gambling parlor unafraid of their possible hostility and resentment towards him. It is because he is willing to walk into those environments where non-supporters and South-sympathizers are in attendance, courageous and patient enough to tolerate derisiveness, yet hoping to calm the storm of indifference. Such an example is dance hall lady, Cherry (Darlene Fields), holding a little pistol in the hopes of getting close enough to him, with Bat confiscating it until Sherman is out of town Cherry eventually accepts the invite to dance with Sherman, eventually asking for his forgiveness. A bar full of drunken rowdies seem to eventually become friendly as the bartender requests a toast with "drinks on the house" (perhaps the "drinks on the house" might have had something to do with it) directly celebrating Sherman's appearance in his bar. They soon follow him right out of the bar, all smiles and joyful, as Sherman demands to see the dance hall and get a look at the lovely ladies Dodge City has to offer. Soon he's heading into Bat's favorite place, and this is the point in the episode where Luke and the boys plot Sherman's demise. Bat is Sherman's "protector", and he makes it his mission to insure that Dodge City is not struck with the notoriety of an assassination. That damned cane stops an egging, pries a gun away from a marshal's holster, trips up a crook, and knocks a gun out of a hand before it can go off; Gene Barry really was an ace at enforcing the cane as a prop that is very much a part of Bat's character. The cane's absence would be hard felt; I think Barry would be naked without it! Bat is a cool customer, on top of things for the most part, and even when it appears Luke's boys get the drop on him, he outsmarts them in the end. Sherman leaves town believing Dodge City isn't any worse than others of its ilk...Bat was a huge factor in that mistaken belief. I just loved the final scene where Bat drops the tin star back in the marshal's cap and walks away, ready to return to his gambling.
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