All familiar with America’s frontier days know of Col. Samuel Hamilton Walker, who first won fame serving as a Texas Ranger; then working with Samuel Colt to create the revolutionary Walker Colt six-shooting revolver;then serving in the Mexican-American war, where he was killed in action in Mexico on October 9, 1847, at age 30, and buried in San Antonio.

Except that he wasn’t dead yet. As reported in today’s Washington Post, it turns out that Walker’s name at birth was Wesley Markwood.  In his early days of military service he ran into trouble and thus adopted Samuel Hamilton Walker as his alias. After his supposed death in Mexico, Markwood switched back to his original name and continued in government service in various capacities for the next half century, with “only members of his immediate family even suspecting the real story of his past.” He finally died, for real, just yesterday.

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