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    Charles King's Five-Button Undress Blouse. The 1872-pattern officer's fatigue blouse is dressed up with five braid loops on the front and similar trim on the cuffs, and with Lieutenant King's shoulder boards.

    Charles King (1844-1933) became the best-known spokesman for the Indian Wars army. He graduated from West Point in 1866 and, by 1870 was part of the 5th Cavalry at Ft. McPherson, Nebraska. He may have been wearing this blouse when he met the celebrated chief scout for the 5th, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody. It was King's reporting of the skirmish at Warbonnet Creek in 1876 - the "first scrap for Custer" - that was printed in the New York Herald and contributed to Cody's growing legend. King wrote the highly regarded narrative Campaigning with Crook (1880) about the 1876 campaign. He transferred with the 5th Cavalry to Arizona where he was severely wounded in combat with Apaches, leading to his early retirement as captain in 1879. He served with the Wisconsin National Guard, and in 1898, with the rank of brigadier general of Volunteers, led combat troops in the Philippines.

    From 1880 to the end of his career he wrote more than seventy books, most of them chronicling and romanticizing the lives of frontier soldiers. During the 1920s, as the oracle of the Order of the Indian Wars, he was befriended by a young Chicago reporter, Don Russell, who drew on King's knowledge for his own books on the frontier army, including his biography The Lives and Legends of Buffalo Bill. When King retired from the Wisconsin National Guard as major general, he boasted 70 years of military service. He died in Milwaukee in 1933.
    From the Glenwood Swanson Collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2018
    9th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 931

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