Here we see Captain Thomas Coverly Lebo, commander of K Company (troop), 10th Cavalry Regiment, wearing the period U.S. Army officer’s summer dress uniform complete with yellow horse-hair-plumed U.S. Model 1872 dress helmet for cavalry with eagle plate.
Photograph by J. C. H. Grabill, official photographer of the Black Hills & F. P. R. R., & Home Stake Mining Co., Studios, Deadwood and Lead City, South Dakota, taken likely in the summer of 1878.
As noted by Carlsbad Caverns National Park:
In 1878, Captain Thomas Lebo and troops of Company K, 10th United States Cavalry (Buffalo soldiers), conducted a scouting expedition from the Fort Davis military post. Coming across the area known as Rattlesnake Springs, he described it as follows.
“Grazing here is very good; wood is very scarce. The spring flows a very large stream of water which runs about one mile nearly due E. (east) and empties into Black River, which at this point is a very large stream (an abundance of small fish).”
Born in Potters Mills, Pennsylvania in 1842, Lebo volunteered for a Keystone State infantry regiment as a private in 1861 during the Civil War then went on to put his ass on a horse by earning a Second Lieutenant spot in Company H of the 1st Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. Wounded at Malvern Hill, he mustered out in 1865 but two years later managed to gain an appointment as a regular army 1st Lieutenant assigned to the 10th Cavalry, where he was promoted to Captain in May 1876.
Lebo fought the Apache extensively during the Indian Wars and was promoted to colonel during the Spanish American War where he was given command of the 14th Cavalry. After commanding the unit in the Philipines, he retired in 1905 and was promoted to a brigadier general on the retired list after 44 years service. He died in 1910 in Illinois and is buried at Oak Woods in Chicago.
Every year the good folks at Fort Morgan run a historic nighttime tour around Halloween focusing on the more morbid side of things there. As the fort is 200 years old (construction began in 1819) and was the centerpiece in the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864 as well as being garrisoned off and on from the 1830s through 1945, there is a lot to hear and see. As a bonus, these tours often open up sometimes closed areas of the fort, which is always a treat.
Besides, as I made the Fort central to the plot of my 2013 zombie novel (shameless plug), it just made sense.
I caught these images during the tour, which was very worthwhile, so if you can take advantage of the event or others like it, please find the time to do so.
Now to try to get to Fort Pickens, who has a similar program, next October…
Milestone Auctions in Ohio next weekend has an 850 lot collection of vintage militaria up for grabs next weekend including a 5th SGF(A) Vietnam-era Randall fighting knife, a named set of collectibles (including a Japanese canteen) from a member of the WWII 76th Seabee Batallion, and an album from the Civil War-era 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Speaking of the Civil War, they also have a period sword identified to Confederate Capt. Caleb P. Bowen of Company C (Campbell Sharpshooters), 30th Georgia Infantry.
Bowen came from a military family and was the son of Major Thomas J. Bowen, a War of 1812 hero. The younger Bowen’s name is etched on the sword along with two variations of the Confederate flag. The 30th fought at Chickamauga, Franklin, and Nashville, among other battles in the West, notably being wiped out at the latter.
Bowen was wounded at Franklin but still with the regiment at Nashville, where he was captured, ending his war in a POW camp. Returning home to Campbell County after the war, he became a noted local and state lawmaker, before passing away in 1907.
A thin but undeniable thread throughout U.S. Naval history is getting in a little bit of MW&R while underway via some shooting sports, primarily with shotguns. Now to be clear, I am not talking about stubby riot guns used in security and by response teams but rather long-barreled field guns.
While many ships in the 19th Century carried a few such smoke poles for use by hunting parties to add some variety to the cook’s pot, in modern times these firearms have been more relegated to use in shooting clays.
While the ships of the future are still in the artist’s rendering stage, hopefully, they may have a sporting shotgun or two onboard– using biodegradable clay pigeons and non-toxic bismuth shotshells, of course.
The top revolver is a circa 1865 martially-marked Remington New Army .44 while the “identical cousin” below it is a 1999-produced Ruger Old Army.
While they look very similar cosmetically, they are, in fact, quite different.
To find out just how much, check out my column at Guns.com.
Sterling Price was an interesting figure in U.S. military history. Born in Virginia in 1809, he studied law before moving to the Missouri Territory at age 22. Soon becoming a prominent man there, he led militia during that territory’s Mormon War in 1838, was thrice elected to the state legislature and finally, to Congress in 1845.
When the war with Mexico kicked off the next year, he resigned his seat on Capitol Hill to take command of a volunteer Missouri cavalry regiment he raised and headed to what is now New Mexico where he fought in a series of small actions that cumulated with the skirmish at Cruz de Rosales, Chihuahua, in 1848– which was technically after the war had concluded, a fact he was informed of by the local Mexican commander prior to the battle.
Nonetheless, Price finished his campaigning as a Brevet Maj. Gen. (of Volunteers) with the laurels of a hero, which led to his easy win in a later gubernatorial race to head the Show-Me State.
Fast forward to early 1861 and, although he never led a force larger than 400 men during the previous conflict, Price was made a Maj. Gen. (of Missouri state volunteers) and given command of the nominally Corps-sized Missouri State Guard.
Although he gave a good account of himself in early scrapes against bluecoats at Carthage and Wilson’s Creek, he later suffered a string of often humiliating defeats such as at Pea Ridge (although Van Dorn was in overall command there) and in his pretty ineffective 1,400-mile 1864 raid across Missouri and Kansas.
Price ended the war by skipping over the southern border and offering his services to Maximillian, which were declined. He died in 1867.
Perhaps the general’s greatest claim to fame in modern times is the fact his name was reused for the fictional one-eyed lawman Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn’s alcoholic cat. As Cogburn had ridden as a kid with Missouri
bushwacker partisan ranger leader William Quantrill during Price’s Raid– during which he lost his eye– the choice makes sense.
Which brings us to a revolver in the news this week.
In 1860, on the eve of the Civil War, Sterling “Ol Pap” Price bought a fine Model 1849 .31 caliber Colt pocket model, and it, along with a lap desk and accessories, are up for grabs at an upcoming auction conducted by Milestone Auctions in Ohio this month. It is engraved on the backstrap “Gen. Sterling Price C.S.”