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Military Minutiae—Texas & the West 1854-1858

Robert E. Lee, Seth Eastman, John Bell Hood, et al.


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12.     [ARMY ORDERS]. UNITED STATES. ARMY. Collection of ten printed U.S. Army orders. [Washington, D.C., 1854-1858]. 12mo (approximately 18.5 x 12.5 cm each). All are docketed in contemporary ink on their last page as “Received” with the date of reception. Some lightly soiled or somewhat darkened, but overall very good. The collection consists of:


General Order No. 11, August 7, 1854. 8 pp. Signed in ink by Samuel Cooper (1798-1876), who at the time was serving in the Adjutant General’s Office in Washington, D.C. One of the appointments noted is that of Robert E. Lee’s eldest son, George Washington Custis Lee, a recent Academy graduate, to a post as 2nd brevet lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers, the first in a long, distinguished military career. The “Memoranda” (pp. 7-8) allow officers assigned to Texas troops to delay joining them until October 15 and note, “The troops serving in Texas are companies A, B, C, F, G, and I, 2d Dragoons; the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen; companies C and F, 1st Artillery; companies B, D, K, and M, 4th Artillery; the 1st and 5th Regiments of Infantry; companies A and I, 7th Infantry; and companies A, C, D, F, G, and H, 8th Infantry.”

GENERAL ORDERS NO. 18, November 10, 1855. 6, [2, blank] pp. Stitched. It is reported in Texas that 2nd Lieutenant William M. Davant drowned in the Rio Grande near Fort Duncan and that 2nd Lieutenant John Williams was murdered by a soldier in camp on Limpia Creek.

GENERAL ORDERS NO. 7, June 1, 1857. 12 pp. Stitched. The promotion of artist Seth Eastman (among the earliest trained artists in Texas, see Handbook of Texas Online: Seth Eastman) to major is noted under the 5th Regiment of Infantry, October 31, 1856; at the time he was in Texas commanding a fort (p. 4). Also in Texas, Paymaster John R. Hagner died December 6, 1856, at Fort Brown.

GENERAL ORDERS NO. 15, December 10, 1858. 4 pp. Among the appointments noted is the August 15, 1858, promotion of John Bell Hood to first lieutenant in the 2nd Regiment of Cavalry, which was serving in Texas at the time, and Little Big Horn commander Marcus Albert Reno’s promotion to second lieutenant of the 1st Regiment of Dragoons, serving in Oregon.


GENERAL ORDERS NO. 6, May 9, 1856. 5 [3, blank] pp. Stitched. One of the trials is for Charles E. Travis, 2nd Regiment of Cavalry, conducted “Camp en Route to Texas, November 18, 1855,” who is found guilty of “Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.”

GENERAL ORDERS NO. 7, June 18, 1856. 4 pp. Both Captain Eliakan P. Scammon and Edwin A. Morrison are found guilty of being drunk on duty and dismissed. Scammon was serving in New Mexico as an engineer at the time.

GENERAL ORDERS NO. 5, May 23, 1857. 9 [3, blank] pp. Stitched. This order includes three cases from Texas. In the first, Major Giles Porter is found guilty of prejudicing good military order by being drunk at Fort Brown. In the second, Captain William K. Van Bokkelen at Indianola is accused of certain irregularities involving military property but merely reprimanded. In the third, Private Archibald McDonald is found guilty of cowardice for refusing to battle Native Americans on the Concho River on February 18, 1857, and doing so only after his sergeant threatened to shoot him. Sentenced to death but commuted to dismissal from the service.

GENERAL ORDERS NO. 11, July 10, 1857. [2], [2, blank] pp. At this court martial, presided over by Robert E. Lee at Camp Cooper, Texas, Private John McCann is found guilty and sentenced to death for shooting Sergeant Dominick Lively at Fort Chadbourne. President Buchanan commuted the sentence to dismissal and hard labor under ball and chain.


GENERAL ORDERS NO. 3, March 24, 1858. 4 pp. This circular makes changes to military uniforms, particularly to hats and various uniform trimmings.

GENERAL ORDERS NO. 13, May 18, 1858. [1] [3, blank] pp. These order various troop movements, including one stating that the 2nd Cavalry is to gather at the nearest post on its route in Texas and await further orders.




Auction 22 Abstracts

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