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Trail Drive Books In Order

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Publication Order of Trail Drive Books

The Goodnight Trail (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Western Trail (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chisholm Trail (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bandera Trail (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The California Trail (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shawnee Trail (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Virginia City Trail (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dodge City Trail (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Oregon Trail (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Santa Fe Trail (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Old Spanish Trail (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Green River Trail (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Deadwood Trail (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dakota Trail (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Alamosa Trail (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bozeman Trail (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Abilene Trail (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trail To Fort Smith (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Palo Duro Trail (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ogallala Trail (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ellsworth Trail (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tenderfoot Trail (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trail to Cottonwood Falls (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Amarillo Trail (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Omaha Trail (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Big Jake's Last Drive (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kelly Trail (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Drive for Independence (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Red Trail (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Empire Trail (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Too-Late Trail (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Terror Trail (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Saltwater Trail (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ralph Compton is an American author of fiction known for his books set in the western genre. He was born in St. Clair County, Alabama, on April 11, 1934. He is a native of the county and began his writing career with the publication of his novel Festival of Spies in 1973.

Ralph Compton is the author of the Trail Drive series. The series began with his acclaimed novel The Goodnight Trail. It was released in 1992. It was followed by the sequel and the third book The Chisholm Trail, and so on. There are now a total of twenty-five books in the series.

Starting with the fourteenth novel, Compton continued to be the creator of the books and the ideas and spirit were the same. However, the books were created with the help of writers such as Robert Vaughan, Joseph A. West, and more. The series is set in the West and every novel brings a new adventure up for readers to enjoy. If you love western movies or books, you may certainly be able to enjoy this thoroughly Western series from Ralph Compton.

Ralph Compton passed away on September 16, 1998, He passed away in Nashville, Tennessee. As mentioned above, even though he has passed, Signet Books has continued to honor his legacy and released new novels written by other authors. Thus, the spirit of Compton and his engaging Trail Drive series continues to live on.

Compton is also the author of other series that include the Sundown Rider series and Border Empire series. Even though he passed away, Compton wrote an impressive two dozen novels in the last decade of his life, and some made it onto the USA Today Bestseller list in the category of fiction!

The Goodnight Trail is the first book in the Trail Drive series by accomplished author Ralph Compton. When it comes to the wild outdoors, the first thing that you have to know is that it’s definitely not easy. The second thing that you should know is that more chaos and crazy antics go down out there than you could ever imagine. People are doing their best either to do their job and make a living or steal what others have got and take it for themselves.

Will Elliot, Brazos Gifford, and Benton McCaleb are all former Texas Rangers. There’s not a tougher job in the world than being a Texas Ranger, but the men haven’t lost any of their skills or sharp eyes when they walked away from the job. They’re still the same people that are capable of doing the job, even if they’re not currently employed in that field and actually doing it.

Now the men are joining Charles Goodnight to help him round up some cattle. The men are looking at thousands of unbranded and ornery cattle that are going to be making the long drive to the state of Colorado. Having unbranded cattle on hand is making the drive particularly difficult as unbranded cattle could easily be stolen and are more desirable as they are just as valuable as a blank check (perhaps more, perhaps less, but worth a lot– particularly with 1000 cattle up for grabs).

Benton, Will, Brazos, and Charles are going to ride to Denver from the Trinity River brakes. On the way, they will be up against the odds as they come up against miles of rivers that have flooded, arid desert geography, and some Comanches that have been hitting the whiskey a bit too hard. The four are in for a rough ride, and that’s putting it lightly.

On the way to Colorado, the group has no idea that they may end up meeting Judge Roy Bean himself or even Clay Allison, a legendary gunslinger in the field. McCaleb and his crew are just doing what they can to make the drive and get the cattle to Denver, Colorado. Whatever it takes, that’s what they’ve got to give. They stand to lose way too much if someone steals the cattle, or if they lose too many to the elements, or finally if they cannot make it there.

The drive is going to be a struggle from the beginning to the middle and all the way to the sweet end. It’s man up against an untamed land and all of the perils that come along with it. This fight is going to be a fight all the way to the finish.

Those who are brave or lucky enough are going to get the money and glory that a tough drive (but rewarding one like this) has to offer. What is going to happen and can the men get the cattle to Denver? You’re going to have to pick up this book to find out!

The Western Trail is the second novel in the exciting Western-based series by Ralph Compton, the Trail Drive series. Texans have long been independent and resourceful. When the Civil War had subsided, Texans found themselves really starved for cash and they needed to put food on the table. They looked around and the only thing that they had in abundance as a resource was longhorn cows.

Longhorn cows become a new market for Texans to make money. It can be dangerous to steer the Longhorns over hundreds of miles, especially when those miles cross over Indian Territory. This was the only way that the cows could get to the railroad and the profit to be made. When the alternative is starving, it’s worth the risk.

Benton McCaleb and his group of cowboys are going to have to travel a long way to drive cattle into the Sweetwater Valley of Wyoming. They are in the middle of setting up a ranch located north of Cheyenne but are interrupted when a gang tries to use brute force to get them off of the land.

A railroad baron will do anything to try and oust them from the land so they can benefit. They don’t count on the cowboys making friends with the Shoshoni Indians and Buffalo Bill Cody. Will they run or stand and fight?

Even when outgunned, these guys are unlikely to back down. They’re in the fight of their lives to defend and earn back the land that they bought and have someplace to call their own. To find out how this novel ends, pick up the second book in Compton’s Trail Drive series!

Book Series In Order » Characters » Trail Drive

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