ManuscriptSee full images and transcript
1 page | SMC 671
Frail, one-eyed, a West Point reject, John Jordan Crittenden III had little going for him as he set out on a military career, but for one thing: his father. Thomas Leonidas Crittenden was a Major General in the Civil War and, postbellum, a Lieutenant Colonel. After J.J. flunked out of the U.S. Military Academy, Colonel Crittenden secured a commission for his son and then, because the boy wanted field experience, urged Custer to take him on. Thus the 21 year-old 2nd Lieutenant attached for duty with Company L found himself, after just six months in the service, on Calhoun Hill, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, in action at last. He died there, his body pierced with arrows.
Signature, with autograph identification below, 1st Lieutenant 22nd Infantry, no place, no date (circa October 1875 – June 1876); on a sextodecimo slip of lined paper, clipped from a larger page. Rare.