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    Thomas J. Gregg Indian Wars Archive containing letters, a diary, orders, military appointments, muster rolls, and photographs spanning the years 1862 through 1887. The documents record his time serving with the Union Army during the Civil War and his postwar time on the plains during the Indian Wars.

    Most notably, Gregg's Diary records his activities during the months of May, June, and July 1866, both in camp and with his regiment on the march. Written in pencil and ink. The first entry, dated April 30, 1866, has Gregg heading for his new post with the Second United States Cavalry at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, via Chicago to Fort Riley. The entry of May 28 concerns a buffalo hunt: "Dr. Stromburg & Capt. Page out on a buffalo hunt, started after them, but could not find them. Saw a small herd, but could not get a shot. The party shot two..." On June 4: "...was to take command of a [sic] attachment of recruits going to Forts Kerney & McPherson over three hundred miles from here." June 6: "A Station of Holidays Overland Stage Company...The Indians burnt it down some three weeks ago." On June 8: "Saw a small party of Indians." On June 15 he writes: "Hear of Cheyan [Cheyenne] Indians having gone over to the Platt River. This is the Rapahoe [Arapaho] & Cheyan country." June 21: "Report of...enemy confirmed...Cheyans at the next station." The next day he writes: "passed a Station called Downen. Had been about three hundred Chyan Rapahoe & Sue [Sioux] Indians here..."July 14: "In camp all day. 2 men deserted." The last entry of July 20 reads in part: "Col Palmer, Col Rodenbury & Captain Harrison left on a tour of inspection...I am now Commanding the Company.'Bob' is doing well." Some of the pages have been smudged due to his use of soft lead pencil.

    Papers from his Civil War service include: Muster-in roll of Thomas J. Gregg. One page, 17" x 11", Lynchburg [Virginia], June 24, 1865. Gregg is mustered in as captain of the Eighth Regiment commanded by Colonel W. A. Comie. Folds are weak and breaking along the margin, but only slightly. Folds are taped on the verso. [and:] Muster-out roll of Thomas J. Gregg; one page, 30" x 10.5", Harrisburg [Pennsylvania], May 18, 1863. Gregg is mustering out as corporal of the 125th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers before mustering in as Second Lieutenant in the Sixth Cavalry Regiment, Seventieth Pennsylvania Volunteers. Folds are breaking and repaired with tape. Adhesive has bled through. Both pieces are in good condition. Also, two discharge papers dated October 3, 1864, and August 11, 1865; and Gregg's Military Order Loyal Legion United States Membership Card.

    Included are two war-dated letters from Gregg to his brother and sister. A letter to his brother "Ban" written from "Camp near Warrenton / June 4th 1863," describes a near clash with Rebel forces: "Last night all the Cavalry was under arms, the advance guars of a large Rebel Cavalry force crossed at Sulphur Springs, but was driven back. Expected to be ordered our but had the good fortune not to be..." A four page letter to his sister dated November 12, 1863 he inquires after family members and relays the long marches and his desolate surroundings.

    Following the war, Thomas Gregg was posted on the frontier. The archive includes 7 letters February 2, 1876, through May 22, 1884.

    Frank Thomson Autograph Letter Signed to Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln making a request on behalf of Thomas Gregg. Two pages, 8" x 10", Philadelphia, June 29, 1881. In part: "When I took a trip through the Yellowstone Country two years since Maj Gregg had command of our party. He was so appreciable, kind & efficient that our whole party have a warm friendship for him. He is east on leave & I believe wishes to have some duty East for a few weeks to enable him to arrange some funeral affairs... You know our officers on the Plains have rather a hard time of it & therefore I have less hesitation in asking this favor of you." With the original transmittal letter addressed to "Hon Robert Lincoln/Secretary of War." Thomson was a soldier in the Union Army and at the time of the letter was the President of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Folds; else very fine.

    George D. Ruggles Letter Signed "Geo. D. Ruggles." Two pages, 7.75" x 10.25", on "Headquarters Department of Dakota" letterhead, St. Paul, April 18, 1879, to "Captain T. J. Gregg, 2nd Cavalry, through Commanding Officer Fort Ellis," regarding an "application for a Court of Inquiry." It reads in part: "The Department Commander directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your application for a Court of Inquiry under the 115th Article of War, and in reply to it to say, that he has personally made a careful examination of the papers connected with Mr. Van Duzen's complaint against 2d Lieutenant H. O. S. Heistand, 11th Infantry... After such examination, he is of the opinion that the criticisms of your Post Commander upon your conduct in connection with that complaint, are wholly without just foundation... if you still feel that a court is necessary for you vindication, he will convene one. A copy of this communication will be furnished to the Commanding Officer Fort Custer." Forts Custer and Ellis were important Army outposts during the Indian Wars of the late nineteenth century. Fort Ellis in particular is noted as the base of operations for the U. S. Army exploration of what is now Yellowstone National Park.

    George Ruggles (1833-1904) was a career army officer who had served during the Civil War as chief-of-staff of the Army of Virginia and assistant chief-of-staff of the Army of the Potomac, where he saw action at battles such as Second Manassas and Antietam. In 1865 he was assigned to the Adjutant General's Department and remained there through 1888. In 1893 he was made Adjutant General of the U. S. Army.

    Henry Hayes Autograph Letter Signed "Henry E. Hayes." Two pages, 5" x 8", "Fort Laramie Wyo. Ter.", February, 2, 1876, to Robert M. Knight of Pennsylvania, a recommendation letter regarding the upcoming marriage of Thomas Gregg to Mr. Knight's daughter. In part: "I have known Major Gregg nearly ten years, most of this time intimately; and know him to be a high-minded honorable gentleman; and could but feel pleased were he to marry a sister of mine in order that I might call him Brother, as well as friend. I know his habits of life so well that I can confidently say that no effort will be lacking on his part to insure the happiness of her with whom his lot may be cast. And it gives me great pleasure as a friend to say this of him."

    J. W. Palmer Autograph Letter Signed to Robert Knight as Colonel of the United States Second Cavalry. One and one-half pages, 7.75" x 9.75", on lined paper, "Fort Sanders W. T.", March 30, 1876. Another recommendation letter to Gregg's future father-in-law; in part: "I take the liberty of speaking a word for my young friend Maj. Gregg who I understand has your permission to become one of your family. Should the Major bring your daughter to the Regiment she will meet with a very hearty welcome, and she may not find the army life destitute of comfort and pleasure. The Major comes from an old and respected family in Penn. and since he has been in my regiment he has always enjoyed the reputation of being a gentleman and a credit to his profession..." When it was built in 1866, Fort Sanders (first called Fort John Buford) original intention was the protection of the Overland Stage Route and the crews building the Union Pacific Railroad by hostile Indian tribes. By the early 1880s, it has served its purpose and was abandoned. Folds and toning along the edges.

    Other letters include: Thomas Gregg Autograph Letter Signed, dated June 9, 1887, from "Boise Barracks, Idaho," regarding the possible locations of settlement after he retires; Typed Letter Signed to Thomas Gregg, dated May 22, 1884, a thank you letter from the "Headquarters Department of Dakota"; and Ordnance Office Document Signed to Thomas Gregg, dated May 4, 1876, regarding the inspection of returned ordnance from a Pittsburgh "Cavalry Recruiting Station."

    Also included are four Andrew Johnson signed (with stamped signatures) military appointments issued to Gregg dated from March 31, 1866 through June 27, 1868; and eight orders including: Special Order No. 558, September 24, 1864, ordering Gregg to join his company; Special Order No. 48, October 3, 1864, being ordered to "proceed to Philadelphia Pa in charge of Eighteen Enlisted men"; Special Order No. 20, June 13, 1865, being "hereby relieved from duty at these Head Quarters...";Special Order No. 31, June 29, 1865, ordering Gregg to "proceed...with two (2) men...by rail...to administer the Oath of Amnesty to those who are entitled...and are desirous of taking it"; Special Order No. 78, May 5, 1865, to "remain at this post until further orders"; Special Order No. 81, May 11, 1866, ordering Gregg to report to Fort Ellsworth, Kansas; Special Order No. 125, August 26, 1866, "ordered to assume command of..." Company "C"; Special Order No. 91, July 6, 1877, promoting Gregg to Captain of Company "D."

    Six photographs including: Two Thomas J. Gregg Cartes de Visite in coat and tie, both 2.5" x 4"; Military Portrait in Cavalry Uniform cut into an oval, 3.5" x 4.75"; Thomas Gregg Albumen Photograph with his wife, 4" x 6.25"; Robert Knight Engraved Portrait, 4" x 6"; and Fort Phillip Kearny reprinted drawing, 7.5" x 4.5". Thomas Gregg Albumen Military Portrait in Cavalry Uniform, 4" x 5.5", mounted on backing board to overall size 4.25" x 6.5", with notation reading "Captain Thomas J. Gregg 2nd U. S. Cavalry Company D" on verso. In all, a nice archive documenting the life of a 19th Century Army officer. Condition varies, with most pieces being very clean and near fine.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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