Partly-printed DS , signed “G. A. Custer, Maj Genl,” two pages, one 9.75 x 11.75 and one 9.75 x 15.75, November 1865. Document headed at the top, “List of Quartermasters Stores, expended in the Public Service, at Indianola, Texas, under the direction of Captain Leander A. Poore, asst Quartermaster, in the month of November 1865.” A detailed list of the used articles and their applications follows including two different stores of coal for “Fuel for Steamer ‘Prince Albert,’” and “Fuel for Steamer ‘Mustang’ and ‘Santa Marta’ in Matagorda Bay,” Square lumber for “Boat-ways, Cattle pens, Wharf and Miscellaneous repairs,” locks and keys, chalk, lime, iron, leather, coal oil, and lamp wicks. Signed at the bottom of the second page by Custer. Very nicely double-cloth-matted and framed with a portrait of Custer and a small plaque to an overall size of 24.5 x 23.75. In fine condition, with intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, and a slight brush to signature.
Category Archives: George A. Custer
Mailing envelope, 5 x 3, addressed in Custer’s hand to “Mrs. Genl. G. A. Custer, Fort Leavenworth, Kas., Per Courier.” Envelope bears a three-cent George Washington postage stamp, as well as a December 11, Hays City, postmark, and two “Postage Due” stamps. Envelope is also docketed by Mrs. Custer in pencil, “Nov. 5, 68.” In fine condition, with separated right edge and some light creasing. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Imperial German Light Cavalry saber belonging to General George Armstrong Custer. The blade measures 33″ long with broad single fullers and floral scrolls and panoplies of arms etched on the blade. Blade is also engraved near the hilt “P.D.L.,” with the reverse engraved “Solingen.” Steel hilt of typical pattern with recurved quillon, single bar guard pierced for sword knot with langets and steel backstrap. Wire wrapped leather covered grip. Sword comes with correct pattern steel scabbard with iron mounts and drag.
In good condition. Blade showing a mottled light gray patina overall with scattered patches of fine corrosion present. Hilt shows a dark brown patina with a few spots of pitting on langets. Grip shows moderate wear with leather wrap showing minor losses and perforations. Most of the wire binding is tight. Scabbard shows mottled gray patina with a couple of small dents present. Saber has been beautifully framed along with two portraits of Custer and a descriptive plaque to an overall size of 42 x 22.
Accompanying the sword is a copy of a letter of provenance dated October 29, 1955, signed by Reed Dunbar, tracing ownership of the sword to Nevin J. Custer, brother of George Custer. Letter reads, in full: “I, Reed M. Dunbar…Monroe, Michigan, do hereby make the following statement regarding a curved sabre and scabbard formerly belonging to General George Armstrong Custer and given by his brother Nevin J. Custer to my father Addis E. Dunbar, who in turn gave it to me.
The grips are of wood covered with leather in which are deep parallel grooves wound with twisted copper-bronze wire. The metal parts of the hilt are of steel as is the bird’s head pommel. The knuckle-bow is of the form of a reverse P and is pierced for a sword knot near the pommel. A quillon with langets projects over the blade.
The steel scabbard is 34 inches long and one inch wide. There are carrying rings, one at a distance of 3 inches and the other at a distance of 11 inches from the throat. A steel drag is fastened to its tip. This curved sabre and scabbard was given by me to Dr. Lawrence A. Frost on October 22, 1955, for value received.”
Provenance: George A. Custer Nevin J. Custer Addis E. Dunbar Reed M. Dunbar Dr. Lawrence A. Frost Collection Dr. Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence Collection
The provenance of this remarkable artifact is truly impeccable. Possession of this sword was first transferred to the 7th Cavalry commander’s eldest brother, Nevin. A subsequent prior owner was Dr. Lawrence A. Frost, who developed an appreciation for the slain general in the late 1930s when he began to assemble a significant collection of Custer artifacts. Dr. Frost also published 13 books, most of them monographs about the cavalry commander. Most recently, this sword changed hands in 1997 when Dr. Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence consigned it to Butterfield and Butterfield for public auction. Oversized. RR Auction COA.
Civil War general and Indian fighter (1839–1876) who distinguished himself as a cavalry commander, earning the rank of brigadier general of volunteers at age 23. Following the Civil War he became field commander of the 7th Cavalry and led troops in a number of engagements during the Indian Wars. Custer, together with all of the men under his immediate command, was killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876. Partly-printed DS, signed “G. A. Custer,” one page, 15.5 x 9.75, April 7, 1875. Custer, as Lieutenant Colonel of the Cavalry appoints “Joseph A. McClure…Corporal in Company E of the Seventh Regiment of Cavalry in the service of the United States.” Robustly signed at the bottom by Custer, “G. A. Custer,” and countersigned by commanding officer W. W. Cook. Cloth matted and framed with an image of Custer and a biographical plaque, to an overall size of 32 x 23.25. Intersecting folds, scattered light toning and foxing, and show-through from docketing on reverse, otherwise fine condition.
This stunning commission, ornately imprinted with the American eagle bearing a shield and clutching arrows and an olive branch beneath the heading, “The Commanding Officer of the Seventh Regiment of Cavalry,” holds one of the finest Custer autographs we have ever seen. The counter-signature by William Winer Cooke, 1st Lieutenant Colonel of Cavalry and Adjutant of the Regiment, adds greatly to this document’s desirability: Cooke, a member of the so-called “Custer Gang,” was one of the commander’s most loyal men and remained so until the end. He was found by Custer’s side on the fields at Little Bighorn in 1876. Rarely seen and never before offered through RR Auction, this 7th Cavalry appointment is a truly remarkable piece. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.