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Joseph Black Moon
Status: Alive
Occupation: Missionary
Marital status: Single
Relatives: Chief Many Horses - father
Pawnee Killer - brother (deceased)
Relationships: Ruth - former lover
Behind the scenes
Portrayed by: Eddie Spears
Seasons: 1, 2
First episode: "Pilot"
Last episode: "Blood Moon Rising"
Appearances: 20 episodes (see below)

Joseph Black Moon is a newly-converted Cheyenne man, looking to find his place in his new home in Hell on Wheels.


Background information[]

Joseph was originally named Black Moon. He is the son of Chief Many Horses and the younger brother of Pawnee Killer. Unlike his elder brother, Black Moon learned when to walk away from a fight.

Season 1[]

Main article: Season 1

Joseph is converted and baptized by Reverend Nathaniel Cole and moves with him to Hell on Wheels. Joseph assists Cole in setting up a tent church in the town. ("Pilot")

Season 2[]

Main article: Season 2

Joseph begins to truly understand what he has given up by leaving the Cheyenne and faces difficulty, especially when the denizens of Hell on Wheels discover his relationship with Ruth. He gets into an physical altercation with a man in the church over this that is only broken up by a crazed Cole entering the church tent with a sword. Cole encourages him to go back to the Cheyenne, but Joseph has no where to go. ("Slaughterhouse") When Cole hijacks Durant's train headed for Chicago, Joseph goes to see him, fulfilling Cole's demands. Realizing there is no other option, he kills Reverend Cole. ("Purged Away with Blood") He eventually leaves town to fast and pray in the wilderness and realizes that he is Cheyenne at heart. Later, he assists Cullen in discovering where the location of the Sioux war camp and simply tells him "you'll never see me again" before departing. ("Blood Moon Rising")


Ruth Cole[]

Main article: Ruth Cole

Ruth asks Joseph to dance

Initially, Ruth and Joseph share a relationship akin to that of siblings, as Reverend Cole calls them both his children. Joseph shows a great amount of affection towards Ruth, though he does not push any romantic agenda until Ruth kisses him in his tent after he kills his brother. ("Timshel")

Ruth and Joseph begin a physical relationship, which results in a pregnancy (soon is a miscarriage), though it is never clear if Joseph is aware of this. Joseph wants to marry Ruth, but she rejects his proposal, citing that the world will never accept them as an inter-racial couple and fearing the church will die without her to guide it. ("Slaughterhouse")


Season 1 appearances
"Pilot" "Immoral Mathematics" "A New Birth of Freedom" "Jamais Je Ne T'oublierai" "Bread and Circuses"
"Pride, Pomp and Circumstance" "Revelations" * "Derailed" "Timshel" "God of Chaos"
Season 2 appearances
"Viva La Mexico" "Durant, Nebraska" "Slaughterhouse" "Scabs" * "The Railroad Job" *
"Purged Away with Blood" "The White Spirit" * "The Lord's Day" "Blood Moon" "Blood Moon Rising"

*Credit only


Joseph: I'm not a bounty hunter. It's my duty to help.

Joseph: You'll never see me again.