Factual error: About half-way through the show, Joe Cartwright states 47 people received the Medal of Honor in the Civil War. In reality there were 1522 recipients of the medal in the Civil War. While an honor to receive, it wasn't held to quite the same level as in WWI and beyond.terry s
Factual error: In a flashback episode set in the 1840s, Ben Cartwright and his former Captain are operating a ship's chandler business. A competitor accuses them of running a "flea market." That term is a translation of the French "marché aux puces" and did not enter the English language until 1922.
Factual error: "Bonanza" is set in the 1860s and the Pony Express mail service operated from 1860 to 1861. In this episode, Curtis Wade and his partner set up a Pony Express office in Virginia City and begin hiring riders. Wade tells them that the job will not be easy, adding, "I won't be giving you sweet cakes and cotton candy." Cotton candy, originally called "Fairy Floss," was invented in 1897 by William Morrison and John Wharton.