Lot 426: Partly-printed DS, signed "G. A. Custer," one page, 7.5 x 9.25, June 23, 1874. As commander of the 7th Cavalry at Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory, Custer discharges one of his soldiers. In part: "Know Ye, That William Gambrill a Sergeant of Captain Charles E. Clarkes Company D of the Seventeenth Regiment of Infantry who was enlisted…to serve Five Years is hereby discharged from the Army of the United States in consequence of Expiration of term of Service. Said William Gambrill was born in Baltimore in the State of Maryland, is 24 years of age 5 feet 9 inches high sallow complexion Grey eyes Brown hair, and by occupation when enlisted a Farmer." Signed at the conclusion by Custer and countersigned by Paymaster Augustus Henry Seward to confirm payment of his salary in full; also signed below by Captain Charles E. Clarke as testimony to Gambrill's good character, specifying that he was "Sober, Honest, and Faithful in the discharge of duty." Heavy intersecting folds, overall soiling and dampstaining somewhat affecting legibility, and overall creasing, otherwise very good condition.
Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territories was General Custer's final post, held from 1873 until his death in June of 1876. Nine days after signing this document, he moved his forces out of Fort Lincoln for a scouting mission to the Black Hills; after several weeks, they returned with information that the Sioux were not using the Hills. His next expedition to the same location would come two years later, and end with the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Documents signed by Custer as commander of the 7th Cavalry are rare and always desirable.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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