Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Little Big Horn and the 7th Cavalry: Colonel E. S. Godfrey's Fort Apache Box. We offer a most evocative and personal relic of the Indian Wars; namely, the personal document or cigar box of Colonel Edward Settle Godfrey, of Little Big Horn fame. The mahogany or cherry wood box measures 11.5" x 8" x 4". It has a faux wood sponge stain and gold stenciled decoration on all sides. The lid reads: "Col. E. S. Godfrey Fort Apache". Edward Settle Godfrey (1843-1932) served in each of the major wars of the last half of the 19th century. He briefly served as a private in Co. D of the 21st Ohio Volunteer infantry during the the Civil War. Entering West Point, he graduated in 1867 and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 7th Cavalry. He served throughout the Indian Wars, commanding Co. K at the battle of the Little Big Horn. The following summer, he was involved in the campaign against Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce and later received the Medal of Honor for his actions at the battle of Bear Paw Mountain. Godfrey will perhaps be most remembered for his actions at Little Big Horn. Attached with Benteen's scouting party consisting of companies D, H and K, he arrived on the hilltop above the valley of the Little Big Horn, surveyed the situation, and executed a textbook falling-back movement that not only saved the men in his company, but likely kept Benteen and Reno's command from being overrun. For the next day and a half, Godfrey dug in, along with the remaining members of the 7th, and ultimately survived. His criticism of Major Reno's tactical retreat was likely a factor in Reno's subsequent departure from the service. He wrote four books about his experiences during the Indian Wars, including "Custer's Last Battle". This book was extremely critical of Custer and, for many years, remained the accepted version of events. After time, many of the facts and allegations in the book were dismissed as inaccurate. Godfrey was stationed at Fort Apache, A.T. for a year or two around 1896. His ownership of the box may date from then or before. The lot is accompanied by an 8" x 4" x 2.5" tin epaulet box with an index card affixed to the inside lid with Godfrey's name written in script. The ownership of both items can be traced to the estate of Calvin P. Godfrey, the Colonel's brother. A file of research and provenance is included with the lot. The box is in excellent condition with only slight, normal wear.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,039

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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

    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
    Only 11 days left to consign to the 2020 March 29 Vintage Guitars & Musical Instruments Musical Instruments Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,016,674