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    Battle of Little Bighorn Survivor, Lt. Charles DeRudio, 7th Cavalry, Figural Cane. The bamboo shaft of this cane is mounted at the top with a finely carved wood figural Moor's head. The shaft and head are connected by an engraved fitted coin silver band that has the numeral "7" between crossed cavalry sabers and that reads, "25 June / 1876 / Captain C. C. de Rudio / U.S.A.". The head depicts a turbaned Moor with a flowing beard and mustache very similar to those worn by DeRudio. The turban has an inlaid silver crescent. The overall length of the cane is 35.5" and it retains the original ferrule. Light wear, thus very fine.

    The cane was presented to Little Bighorn survivor Captain Charles Camillo DeRudio of the 7th Cavalry. He was born Carlo di Rudio in Belluno, Italy, the son of Count and Countess Aquila di Rudio. As a teenager, he attended an Austrian military academy in Milan. At the age of 15, di Rudio joined Giuseppe Garibaldi's Red Shirts during the uprising in 1848, and was given the nickname "Moretto" [The Little Moor], for his dark complexion. When the revolutionaries were unsuccessful, di Rudio fled to the United States. When his ship sank off the Spanish coast, di Rudio made his way to England. While there Italian revolutionaries recruited di Rudio in a plot to help assassinate Emperor Napoleon III of France for failing to follow through with a pledge of support for Italian nationalists. In January 1858 the assassination attempt took place, with di Rudio and his accomplices threw three bombs at the royal carriage. Eight people and a horse were killed and one hundred and fifty injured. di Rudio was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island. Several months later, he escaped from the prison and made their way to British Guiana. In 1860 di Rudio made his to New York City, anglicized his name to "Charles DeRudio," and joined the 79th New York Volunteers ("Highlanders"). In 1864 he was commissioned second lieutenant, 2nd U. S. Colored Infantry. DeRudio received appointment to the 7th Cavalry in July 1869, as a 37-year-old second lieutenant. Initially, he was assigned to Company H, commanded by Captain Frederick Benteen who nicknamed DeRudio "Count No Account" because of his boastful story-telling and haughty manner. He was promoted by seniority to first lieutenant. On June 25, 1876, DeRudio was with Company A and crossed the Little Bighorn River as part of Major Marcus Reno's battalion. His company dismounted and fought in skirmish line. Under pressure from growing numbers of warriors, Reno ordered a retreat back across the river, where DeRudio lost his horse and was left behind in the timber on the western bank. For thirty-six hours, DeRudio remained hidden while witnessing the mutilation of dead soldiers. In the early hours of June 27, he was finally able to cross the river, joining the Reno and Benteen command on Reno Hill. DeRudio continued service with the 7th Cavalry, was promoted to captain on December 17, 1882 and retiring on August 26, 1896, in the grade of major.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2009
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,301

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