General Custer Signs Off on the Tobacco Allotment for Enlisted Men Who Died With Him at Little Bighorn

July 1, 1875

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General Custer Signs Off on the Tobacco Allotment for Enlisted Men Who Died With Him at Little Bighorn
Document Signed
2 pages | SMC 390

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      Background

      Here George Armstrong Custer certifies that four non-commissioned officers of the 7th Cavalry have taken possession of a pound of tobacco each: a transaction worthy of official notice, inasmuch as tobacco served as an important medium of exchange - most particularly as gambling currency - in military life.



      Document Signed, (“G.A. Custer”) partially printed and accomplished in manuscript; 1 page, folio, Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, July 1, 1875. Being the “Tobacco Return” for the Seventh Regiment of US Cavalry, for the month of July 1875.

      Also bearing the signatures of  WILLIAM WINER COOKE (1846 - 1876) - First Lieutenant, Staff; killed with Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn -  and  ALGERNON EMORY SMITH (1842 – 1876) - First Lieutenant, Company A, United States 7th Cavalry; killed with Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn
       
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      TOBACCO RETURN of N.C.S. [text is crossed out], Seventh Regiment of Cavalry, for the month of July, 1875.

      [list of names not transcribed]

      I certify that the above is a correct return of tobacco required by the enlisted men of N.C.S. [text is crossed out], Seventh Regiment of Cavalry, for the month of July, 1875.

      {SIGNED IN DUPLICATE} W. W. Cooke
      1st Lieut. [text is crossed out] and Adjt. [text is crossed out] 7th Reg't of Cavalry; Commanding [text is crossed out] NCS.

      Approved in duplicate 
      G.A. Custer [in Custer's hand]
      Lieutenant Col. 7th Reg't of Cavalry.
      Brevet Maj. General USA, Commanding Post.

      Received, at Fort A. Lincoln. DT., this 1st day of July, 1875, of Lieutenant AE Smith, of 7th Regiment of  Cavalry., A. A. C. S., Four pounds and --- ounces of tobacco, in full of the above return ; said tobacco to be issued by me to the above-named men, and to be charged against them, respectively, on the muster and pay rolls of the Company for the months of July and August, 1875.

      {SIGNED IN DUPLICATE} W. W. Cooke
      1st Lieut. [text is crossed out] and Adjt [text is crossed out] 7th Reg't of Cavalry Commanding [text is crossed out] NCS.

      NOTE.-On this return will be entered the name of each enlisted man of the Company who desires tobacco, and opposite each the quantity he wishes to purchase.

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      Page 2 transcript
      No. 1.

      TOBACCO RETURN
      In the month of July., 1875.
      A. E. Smith 1st Lieut. 7th Reg't of Cavalry, A. A. C. S.

      I CERTIFY that on this Tobacco Return I have issued
      to [text is crossed out] 1st Lieut. W. W. Cooke Adjt. of Cav.
      for NCS [text is crossed out], 7th Reg't of Cavalry
      --- Four --- pounds -- ounces of tobacco, 
      at forty six cents per pound.

      A.E. Smith 1st Lieut. 7th Reg't of Cavalry A. A. C. S.