Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Wounded Knee: A Wonderful Indian Gun Picked up on the Battlefield. This vintage Pennsylvania-style percussion rifle was one of three guns picked up on the Wounded Knee battlefield the day after the massacre by the consignor's ancestors, Ella "Nellie" Woodard and her son Raymond.

    Around 1887 Woodard, a single mother, opened a general store in Chadron, Nebraska, just across the border from the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian agencies. A major part of her business came to involve taking a wagon load of goods to the reservations for sale. Accompanied by Raymond, she often stayed for a period of days with the Sioux residents with whom they developed many friendships, both becoming fluent in the Lakota language.

    On December 29, 1890, the pair were at the Rosebud reservation when the Wounded Knee massacre took place nearby. Upon learning what had happened the two immediately set off for the battlefield to see if they could help any of their Indian friends who had survived. Nellie and Raymond picked up this and two other Indian rifles from the battlefield, which have been passed down directly through the family along with the story of that traumatic trip.

    Raymond never forgot the horrific scene, and for the rest of his life maintained many friendships among the Sioux and was an ardent advocate for Indian rights.

    This well-used rifle exhibits characteristics of a gun long used by an Indian owner, including hide wrap and old wire repair around the wrist. Hinged brass patchbox and crescent-shaped metal buttplate. Overall wear and tear with pitting on the metal surfaces. Action functions. .58 caliber with 33" octagonal barrel and wood ramrod. A detailed notarized letter of provenance from the consignor accompanies the lot.

    From the Rathbun Family Collection. See also Lots 51370 through 51412 for additional material from this collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2016
    11th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,577

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 May 2 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The resulting auction of my property overwhelmed me. I want to thank Tom Slater and the Heritage team for a very satisfactory experience and profitable result with my historical consignment.
    Henry L.,
    Lexington, KY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search