Rosa, provides an extensive, and well-documented description of the incident and reports that Hickok shot Private Jerry Lonergan in the wrist and knee, and that he eventually recovered and returned to active duty. The other trooper, Private John Kile was shot in the waist and died in the Fort Hays hospital on July 18th. Given these facts this image shows two distinctly dead souls, the image cannot be a record of the infamous gunfight, but rather a clever marketing ploy by Carter. Both bodies in the image are clothed in military apparel, thus the question remains: what gunfight does the scene record?
Hickok authority William Rosa personal communication, May 8, 2007) provided the answer, suggesting the following catalog entry: "The bodies of two dead soldiers laid outside a saloon in Hays City, Kansas. Although claimed to have been shot by Wild Bill Hickok, they were in fact the victims of a fellow 6th Cavalry trooper named David Roberts who shot privates Peter Welsh and George H. Summer in a drunken row on September 6, 1873. Roberts fled, but later gave himself up on the advice of his father. The original glass plate is now owned by the Church Archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah." A fine example of the mystique and mythology that was part of Hickok's life -- and death.
George Henry Summer or Sumner.
Birth: October 6, 1849, Beverly, Essex, MA.
Death: September 5 or 6, 1873, Hays Kansas.
Father: Benjamin Clough Sumner
Mother: Abigail Ramsdell
Pvt Peter Welsh.
Death: Sept. 6, 1873.