How the West Was Won,_scalped_as_a_child_by_Sioux_Chief_Little_Turtle_in_1864.jpg

Some scalping victims survived. At left is Robert McGee, who was scalped as a teenager by Sioux chief Little Turtle in 1864.

Texas settler Josiah P. Wilbarger was scalped by Comanches in August 1833. He later recalled that “while no pain was perceptible, the removing of his scalp sounded like the ominous roar and peal of distant thunder,” recounts James De Shields in Border Wars of Texas.

“Rapidly Wilbarger recovered his usual health, and lived for eleven years, prospering, and accumulating a handsome estate. But his skull, bereft of the inner membrane and so long exposed to the sun, never entirely covered over, necessitating artificial covering, and eventually caused his death, hastened, as his physician, Dr. Anderson, thought, by accidentally striking his head against the upper portion of a low door frame of his gin house, causing the bone to exfoliate, exposing the brain and producing delirium.” He died in 1845.