Wagon Train (1957–1965)
2 user

Weight of Command 

Bill and Major Adams plan on going hunting with a friend but when he is not home they suspect a renegade party of Cheyenne who have broken the peace treaty and the wagon train may be their next target.


Herschel Daugherty


Harold Swanton




Episode cast overview:
Ward Bond ... Major Seth Adams
Robert Horton ... Flint McCullough (credit only)
Terry Wilson ... Bill Hawks
Frank McGrath ... Charlie Wooster
Tommy Rettig ... Billy Gentry
Denny Miller ... Duke Shannon
Richard Crane ... Dan Foster
Nancy Rennick Nancy Rennick ... Judith Foster
Dan Riss ... George Gentry
Jeanne Bates ... Hester Gentry
Dana Dillaway Dana Dillaway ... Prudence Gentry
Wilton Graff ... Colonel
Jan Arvan ... Charlie
Clancy Cooper ... Joe Henry


The wagon train stops to go buffalo hunting and see a mountain man who lives nearby. He is found missing under strange circumstances. While hunting, Hawks and two men are attacked by Cheyenne and forced to take shelter in a burned out adobe. At the same time Major Adams makes another run to the mountain man's cabin and decides to check the Cheyenne camp as the Cheyenne signed a peace treaty last year. When he finds the Cheyenne camp burned, he decides to move the wagon train by night through a pass to safety. When Hawks returns with news of the two trapped men, Adams decides to abandon them for the safety of the train. Once through the pass he returns to see if the two men can be rescued and finds another wagon train massacred. The two men, one wounded, catch up with the men as they bury the bodies. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Western








Release Date:

25 January 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Revue Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This marks the debut of regular cast member Denny Miller as trail hand Duke Shannon. See more »


When Major Adams is drinking coffee and learning of Malachi having gone missing, a couple of the closeups reveal that he is wearing adhesive bandages on his first two fingers of his right hand. They did not have Bandaids in the days of wagon trains. See more »

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User Reviews

What's the right thing to do
7 January 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This is one of the last episodes that Ward Bond made for Wagon Train and it centers on a big decision that he has to make. One that will leave Terry Wilson in a position of breaking his word.

Aired posthumously this story has Ward Bond sending Terry Wilson along with Richard Crane and young Tommy Rettig on a buffalo hunt. They find an old mountain man's cabin that they know deserted and that should have raised suspicions. Later on Wilson, Crane, and Rettig are attacked and it's Wilson who goes for help for the other two.

But in the meantime Bond has some good indications that it isn't a few young renegades out doing their thing, it's the entire Cheyenne nation because of a massacre of one of their villages that bears strong resemblance to the infamous Sand Creek massacre. If so the wagon master feels he has to get that whole Wagon Train through a dangerous to safety at an army post ahead.

The episode is entitled "Weight Of Command" and it is an apt title because the wagon master has all the responsibilities of the captain of a ship. You can get signs of indication, but in a lot of ways you are purely guessing what the right decision to make. Wilson is right also because he feels he will have betrayed Crane and Rettig if help does not come forthwith.

Sometimes knowing what the right thing to do is the hardest part of the job of command in any situation.

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