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44059

George Armstrong Custer: A Rare 7th Cavalry Document Signed by Custer and Brother-in-law James Calhoun.... (Total: 8 )

2013 November 24 Legends of the West Signature Auction - #6110

 
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Auction Ended On: Nov 24, 2013
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

Description:
George Armstrong Custer: A Rare 7th Cavalry Document Signed by Custer and Brother-in-law James Calhoun. A June 1874 Fort Abraham Lincoln document listing the tobacco ration given to members of the 7th's military band. Large, bold signature of Custer as commanding officer. It is also signed at the bottom by Calhoun, who would be one of the prominent casualties at Little Big Horn: "1st Lieut. James Calhoun 7th Cavalry Commanding Band." The document also bears two signatures of Charles A. Varnum, who served as head of scouts and later quartermaster of the 7th. The document was prepared by Lt. Algernon E. Smith, who also signs twice. Smith was another prominent LBH casualty. A longtime associate of Custer, he was considered part of the "Custer Clan." Custer referred to him as "Fresh" Smith to differentiate him from "Salty" Smith. Algernon Smith served as assistant quartermaster on the 1874 Black Hills expedition. Ironically, he should not have been at Little Big Horn, but was a last-minute replacement for the commander of Company E, who had not returned from Fort Leavenworth. Smith's body was found not with the men of Company E, but in the cluster of close Custer associates who died with him on Last Stand Hill.

Size is 10.75" x 17.25", giving it considerable presence for display. Excellent overall condition with original fold lines. Minor partial separation along one fold line and one small, very light water stain which detract minimally. A great Custer document which is greatly enhanced by the additional signatures it bears.

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