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    Louis Rott: A 7th Cavalry Document Citing His Qualifications for the Congressional Medal of Honor. Prized by Sgt. Rott's descendants even more than his Custer-signed appointment is this document signed by Captain E. G. Mathey of the 7th Cavalry, drafted sometime after Mathey achieved that rank in September 1877. It is written on an "Oath of Identity" form, which was probably the most conveniently accessible "official" stationery which could be used for the purpose. It is clearly an informal document, possibly drafted by Mathey to give to Rott to document his achievements in the field. He lists the expeditions and battles in which Rott took part over a several year period, including the Yellowstone Expedition in 1873, Custer's Black Hills and Big Horn expeditions, and General Miles' 1877 campaign against the Nez Perce.

    He concludes "For gallantry and conspicuous conduct in the engagements on the Little Big Horn River and Bearpaw Mountain 1st Sergeant Louis Rott was recommended for Medals of Honor. He was appointed Sergeant July 1, 1872 and served faithfully in this Grade and as 1st Sergeant of his Company to this date. E. G. Mathey Captain 7th Cavalry Commanding Co. K". It is interesting to note that accounts of the hill battle at Little Big Horn mentioned that Rott was among those who put themselves at risk fetching water for their comrades, an act of bravery for which some other veterans of the battle were indeed awarded the Medal of Honor. While Sergeant Rott was not selected for that honor, it is clear that his commanding officer clearly felt that his exploits should be memorialized. It is important to note that Mathey used the plural term Medals, suggesting that Rott had been recommended not once but twice for the nation's highest military honor.

    Like the other documents in this group, this one has suffered some light overall moisture damage. However it seems to have survived better than the others, and although the original writing is faded in some areas, it is all legible and was never traced over. 9.5" x 7.75", beautifully triple-matted and custom framed.


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    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
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