Early in his life as a buffalo skinner and hunter, he fought well in the "Battle of Adobe Walls", where several hundred Cyeyenne, Comanche, and Kiowa warriors attacked and were repulosed by a group of men at the small town where the buffalo hunters were served. He also was a scout in the Red River War.
In 1877 he opened a saloon in Dodge City. He later was elected county sheriff by a small margin of votes. Bats skill and reputation as a marksman were so well known that few would dare raise arms against him.
He was also a sportman and promoted many prize fights and horse races. He later moved to New York City where he wrote for the Morning Telegraph. He died at his desk with pen in hand.