T wo significant Civil War-era military items will be offered in a public auction in June in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: the personal battle flag of General George Armstrong Custer and the diamond-adorned, gold and silver sword of General and later President, Ulysses S. Grant.
“Custer’s silk flag was handmade by his wife, Elizabeth, and carried with him during the final days of the Civil War battles in 1865. It was at his headquarters at Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory on June 25, 1876, when Custer led his 7th Cavalry troops to their final battle against the Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians at Little Big Horn in the Montana Territory. The flag was then passed down through several generations of the Custer family, and is consigned from the collection of Thomas Minckler of New York City,” explained Gary Hendershott, Director of Civil War auctions for Heritage.
“General Grant’s Civil War sword is a one-of-a-kind example of craftsmanship and historical significance. It was presented to him in 1864 on behalf of the citizens of Kentucky. There are 28 diamonds that spell out his initials, U.S.G., and the 33-inch blade is intricately engraved with battle scenes,” explained Hendershott.
The auction will be conducted by Heritage in Gettysburg and online, June 24, 2007. The pre-sale estimate for Custer’s battle flag is $1.8 million or more, and the estimate for Grant’s sword is $2 million or more. For additional information about the flag, sword and other items in the June 24, 2007 auction, contact Heritage Auction Galleries at 800.872.6467, ext. 272. Online: www.ha.com