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Pingenot Auction, Lot 111



111. [FORT CLARK, TEXAS]. An outstanding collection of photographs, pamphlets, postcards, tokens, ephemera, and scholarly material documenting Fort Clark (The Handbook of Texas Online: Fort Clark) during its days as a military post. 1880s to the 1990s (but mostly from 1880s to the 1940s). The collection contains several extreme rarities, the high spot being the only known nineteenth-century photograph of the Black Seminole Scouts riding on their mounts, a fine group of token coins for use at the post, and the discharge papers of John L. Bullis, who commanded the Seminole Scouts of Fort Clark during the Mackenzie expedition of 1873, the Red River War, and other Indian campaigns of the 1870s. Condition very good to very fine. This collection is remarkable for its comprehensive nature—a real mine of research and exhibit material collected by Pingenot over several decades.

The collection includes:

A special archive on the Black Seminole Scouts, with several original early photographs (and some modern reprints) plus the Bullis discharge:

STOTSENBURG, J. M. (photographer). Original albumen photograph of a troop of 18 Black Seminole Indian Scouts on their horses, taken at Fort Clark, ca. 1890. (11.5 x 19.1 cm; 4-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches). This is purported to be the only known nineteenth-century photograph of Black Seminole soldiers on their mounts. Pingenot considered this photograph to be one of the greatest treasures of his collection, and rightly so. The Handbook of Texas Online (Black Seminole Indians).

CURTIS, C. D. (photographer). "Seminole Camp Fort Clark Reservation." Fort Clark, ca. 1895. Original albumen photograph (11.5 x 19.1 cm; 4-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches). Black families, the men in civilian clothes, outside their jacales at Fort Clark.

MYERS (photographer). "Indian Scouts." N.p., early twentieth-century photographic postcard signed "Myers" on the negative. Showing a man standing in the space between two log houses.

BLACK SEMINOLE SCOUTS. 4 modern reproductions of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photographs of Seminole Scouts.

BULLIS, Lt. John L. Original Discharge Certificate of Bullis dated October 1, 1895. Bullis was a highly respected commander of the Black Seminole Scouts during the years of the Indian campaigns. Saving Bullis life during a battle with the Comanches in 1875 won three Scouts the Medal of Honor. See The Handbook of Texas Online (John L. Bullis).

MILITARY TRADE TOKENS (Fort Clark use). 31 coins in different denominations, materials and shapes, and designated for different purposes. Among the tokens are: "5 Rations Bread Fort Clark Post Treas," "5¢ Military Barber Shop," "1 Dollar Military Barber Shop," "$1.00 12th Cavalry Post Exchange," "5 23 Inf H," "One Game Troop H 10th Cavalry," "25 Post Canteen Ft Clark Tex," "5¢ Q. M. Good for Pocket Billiards," "$1.00 K Club 13," etc. This is a remarkable collection, possibly the most comprehensive collection of these ephemeral and colorful tokens.

FORT CLARK. A collection of photographs of Fort Clark and its troops, assembled by Ben Pingenot over many years of collecting. It would be very difficult to assemble a collection anything like this today. The photographs are as follows:

Nineteenth-century albumen photographs:

CURTIS, C. D. (photographer). 2 original photographs of the Fort Clark parade grounds and surrounding buildings taken from a rooftop. [Fort Clark, ca. 1895]. 15.2 x 21 cm; 6 x 8-1/4 inches. One of the photographs bears the rubber stamp of Curtis on verso.

CURTIS, C. D. (photographer). "23rd Infantry." Original photograph of troops in marching formation. Fort Clark, ca. 1895. 15.9 x 21.0 cm; 6-1/4 x 8-1/4 inches. Rubber stamp of photographer on verso.

FORM & LANG (photographer). "‘F’ Troop, 8th Cavalry." Fort Clark, ca. 1895. Original photo of mounted troops. 19.1 x 23.8 cm; 7-1/2 x 9-3/8 inches.

BLACK SEMINOLE SOLDIERS. Original photograph of Black soldiers formally seated and standing on a porch. N.p., ca. 1888-1895. 18.4 x 23.5 cm; 7-1/4 x 9-1/4 inches. All of the soldiers in the group are wearing the Army-Navy medal, established in 1888 (example of original medal in this collection).

FORM, H. & LANG (photographer). "Camp of Company of 19th Infy near Langtry, Texas." Original cabinet card. Bivouac showing tents, troops, and livestock in a barren field. Fort Clark, late nineteenth century. 11.1 x 18.7 cm; 4-3/8 x 7-3/8 inches. Though identified as Langtry, the photo shows the Fort Clark troops on maneuvers.

FORM, H. & LANG (photographer). Group of seven men in a studio setting with painted backdrop. Fort Clark, ca. 1885. Original cabinet card. 10.2 x 16.2 cm; 4 x 6-3/8 inches. This is a colorful shot capturing the personalities of these young bucks. Each of the subjects is holding a shot of schnapps to the camera (one has the half-empty bottle). Charles Downing’s note for the photograph says that one of the men is wearing the cap insignia of the 8th Cavalry, G Troop.

STOTSENBURG, J. M. (photographer). "Brackett from Fort Clark, Looking North." [Fort Clark, ca. 1885]. Original photograph. 11.4 x 19.1 cm; 4-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches. Taken from a rooftop with Brackettville in the distance and troops, livestock, and fort buildings in the near distance. Brackettville of a century ago is appreciably larger than the present-day town.

CURTIS, C. D. (photographer). Studio portrait of an unidentified seated woman. Fort Clark, ca. 1897. Original cabinet card. 14.0 x 19.8 cm; 5-1/2 x 3-7/8 inches. In pencil on reverse "March 19, ’97." In the imprint at the lower edge of the card, Curtis identifies himself as "U.S. Army photographer."

FORT CLARK. Original panoramic photograph of the parade grounds at Fort Clark. [Fort Clark, late nineteenth century]. 8.9 x 30.8 cm; 3-1/2 x 12-1/8 inches. Numbered "31" on the negative.

Twentieth-century photographs and photographic postcards:

FORT CLARK. Over 100 postcards preserved in sleeves in a three-ring binder, mostly black-and-white photographs of buildings and other scenes of Fort Clark. Postmarks from over fifty years, from the 1900s to the 1950s (dates based on postal cancels on used cards). Subjects include almost every conceivable building at the fort: several pictures of snow at Fort Clark, machine gun barracks, post hospital, troop quarters, officers’ quarters, hospital, officers’ mess, bachelors’ hall, stables, Las Moras Creek, "A Salute" [soldier firing an old-fashioned canon], troops on parade, troops at work, etc.

EKMARK, C. and other unidentified photographers. 15 original photographs of Fort Clark from the 1930s. 7.6 x 12.7 cm (3 x 5 inches) to 12.7 x 17.8 cm (5 x 7 inches). Subjects include: officers’ homes, 1st Cavalry Brigade Review (May 1939), 5th Cavalry, Main Headquarters building, 5th Cavalry Headquarters, Guard House, Bird’s Eye View, Post Hospital, Post Theatre, 1st Cavalry Troop Quarters, etc.

Additional materials include:

SHAFTER, William Rufus. The William Rufus Shafter Papers 1861-1938. 7 reels of microfilm plus 6 modern photographic reproductions of related maps from the National Archives. "Shafter served as lieutenant colonel of the all-black Twenty-fourth United States Infantry along the Rio Grande until 1868, when he moved to Fort Clark in West Texas." (The Handbook of Texas Online: William Rufus Shafter).

ROSTER. Roster of Non-Commissioned Officers of the Nineteenth U. S. Infantry...Headquarters, Fort Clark, Texas. [Fort Clark]: Regimental Print, 1885. 7 pp. 16mo fanfold brochure.

MENUS. Five printed Christmas Dinner Menus of troops at Ft. Clark: (1) Troop D, 1st Cavalry, 1907 (with original photograph of Troop D tipped in). (2) Troop "D", 14th Cavalry and Machine Gun Platoon, 1912. (3) Headquarters Troop, 5th Cavalry, 1925 (printed in the shape and with the cover design of the troop’s guidon). (4) Headquarters Troop, 1st Cavalry Brigade, 1934. (5) Station Complement, 8th Service Command, 1942.

BATEMAN, Cephas C. Modernized Outpost of the Old Frontier, at Present Headquarters of the 13th U.S. Cavalry. Fort Clark: [13th Cavalry Printing Office], 1920. 9 pp. 8vo, printed wrappers.

CAVALRY. History of the 5th United States Cavalry From 1855 to 1927, Fort Clark, Texas [cover title]. N.p., 1927]. 24 pp., photographic illustrations, integral advertisements. Tall 4to, mustard printed wrappers.

FORT CLARK. Statement Concerning Fort Clark, Texas. N.p., ca. 1933. 10 pp. 8vo, original pale blue printed wrappers. Pamphlet giving reasons "to substantiate the contention that Fort Clark, Texas, should be retained as a permanent military post." Foremost among the reasons is "protection from bandits from the Republic of Mexico." Excellent and interesting.

RODERTS, T. Horsemanship. Fort Clark, ca. 1935. [158] pp., stenciled typescript. Tall 4to, original mustard printed wrappers. A well-read (but still in respectable condition) manual on military horsemanship written by a sergeant in Troop B, 5th Cavalry at Fort Clark. Very ephemeral. Pingenot had a wonderful scouting ability!

FORT CLARK. Fort Clark, Texas [cover title]. San Antonio: Universal Press, ca. 1943. [32] pp. 4to, original pictorial wrappers. A souvenir photo book of Fort Clark showing army life, at work and at play, of Black troops during World War II. With a brief history of Fort Clark on inner front wrap.

CAVALRY. Activation Program of 2nd Cavalry Division, U.S. Army at Fort Clark, Texas. February 25, 1943. [5] pp. 12mo, original yellow printed wrappers.

MILITARY EPHEMERA. Two military ribbons, one an example of the Army-Navy ribbon mentioned above in the formal photograph of Black soldiers (red, white, yellow, and blue fabric with a five-pointed brass medallion and brass eagle clasp pin); the other, for Grand Army of the Republic Veterans, W. H. Lewis Post No. 17, Ft. Clark, Texas, a mourning memorial ribbon (black fabric printed in silver and U.S. red, white, and blue flag mounted, metal clasp at top engraved "G.A.R."

Plus about 15 articles on Fort Clark and the Seminole Scouts published in Smithsonian, National Geographic Magazine, Texas Highways, The Brackett Mail (and other newspapers), Kinney County Chamber of Commerce publications, etc. The archive also has additional modern photographs of Fort Clark and fort life near the end of its history as a military post.