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    George Armstrong Custer: Desirable Autograph Letter Signed Written from Fort Abraham Lincoln. Signed in the third-person ("Gen Custer"). To an unknown recipient he writes "Gen Custers compliments, his regrets likewise, in response to your kind invitation. His absence should never create surprise, except from his own habitation. This being written his duty might end. With no fear of being called Alfred Tennyson, He simply desires, however, to send you, the accompanying leg of venison. Fort Lincoln. D.T., Jun 5th 1874." It is interesting to note that Custer chooses to refer to himself as "Gen. Custer", as did his men, despite the fact that his correct military rank was that of lieutenant colonel. Like many career officers, he had temporarily achieved the rank of major general during the Civil War, but was subsequently reduced in rank. But apparently Custer could not be bothered to follow such formalities!

    Custer's words would prove prophetic, as just three days later he received orders from Gen. Alfred Terry to embark on what would be a major two month expedition to reconnoiter the Black Hills, an immense area of 43,000 square miles which had been set aside as a Sioux Indian Reservation by the Treaty of 1868. It was on this expedition that gold was discovered in the Black Hills, leading to an uncontrollable flood of miners and assorted fortune seekers which would lead to open hostilities with the outraged Sioux - hostilities that would culminate in the death of Custer and over 200 of his men just two years later at Little Bighorn.

    For the Western collector, a Custer letter such as this one penned at Fort Abraham Lincoln holds a special appeal. 7.5" x 6", with a pleasing display presence. Barely visible archived tape reinforcements of weaknesses at the fold lines on verso.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    11th-12th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,400

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