The Trumpeteer Carbine has surfaced again

Giovanni Crisostomo Martino arrived in the U.S. from the Old World in 1873, just three years later, he was an orderly/bugler assigned to Co. H of the 7th U.S. Cavalry, then known by the more anglicized “John Martin.” On the morning of 25 June, famously bewhiskered Lt. William W. Cooke– a 30-year-old career horse soldier who earned his spurs as a 14-year-old member of the 24th New York Cavalry– dashed off a note to Capt. Frederick Benteen– who had D, H, and K Companies of the 7th just over the next hill– and gave it to Martino/Martin to carry at speed.

“Benteen. Come On. Big village. Be quick. Bring packs. WW Cooke. P.S. Bring Packs. “

Of course, the bulk of the 7th Cavalry (Coys C, E, F, I, and L), to include Cooke and his commander, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer (USMA 1860), were all killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn later that day. Cooke was reportedly twice scalped, once for his head and another time for his impressive whiskers. Benteen, along with Maj. Reno and his three companies, came only in time to catalog the battlefield.

As for Martin/Martino, he survived the engagement and went on to die in Brooklyn in 1922, a true immigrant’s tale.

However, prior to leaving Cooke, he apparently handed off his Springfield Trapdoor .45-70 to a fellow trooper who was not so lucky. It was used at the battle– as has been forensically confirmed– and is now at auction this week, called “one of the most historically significant American guns on the market.”

More in my column at Guns.com

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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