Volume 13 Issue 10Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996) October 2008
Remember - be astute when you are handed change - not all the wonders of numismatics have been discovered yet - and they don't have to be shiny and new! This edition again features an assortment of 'trivia' that I think is of interest and I trust it will prove educational and entertaining to you as well.
All or any prices quoted in articles in this newsletter, unless stipulated, are estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. Please note that the photoscans of numismatic items are usually not to size or scale, but - wherever possible - they are from the authors' own collection or the extensive picture library of the 'Numisnet World' - Internet Edition.
Any comments published in this privately produced newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) nor its Editor.
Bearing in mind our public disclaimers, the Internet links selected by the authors of this newsletter are usually provided as a complimentary source of reference to the featured article in regard to: (1) Illustrations and, (2) to provide additional important information. These items may be subject to copyright.
We trust that this issue of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) newsletter will continue to provide interesting reading.
PLEASE NOTE - RE-STATED DISCLAIMER: Where on-line web-site addressess are supplied, they are done so in good faith after we have checked them ourselves - however, our readers are advised that if a personal decision to access them is made - it is at your own risk.
'NUMISNET WORLD'INTERNET EDITION
Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2008.
Please accept my invitation to make a contribution if you feel you have something numismatically themed that may appeal to a general level of interest and fulfills our stated editorial guidelines. I am always prepared to look at it - and if need be - assist in presentation.
However, not every submission will be automatically accepted for publication if common courtesy and acceptable moral standards are not upheld or the subject matter is not considered 'generic' enough for this type of newsletter, nor if the subject has already been covered in depth in earlier editions.
This is, obviously, not a scientific-style journal - our object is to educate, certainly - but, in an entertaining way for the average hobbiest collector. - G.E.P.
THE INVASION NOTES OF NIPPON 1938 - 1945
Observations of a collection that is still - 'In Progress'.
by Graeme Petterwood. © 2008
The plethora of paper money that had travelled with the Japanese invaders during WWII, does not appear, at first glance, to be worth study time.
However, these currencies do tell quite a tale for those with the patience to listen.
All sorts of paper money was brought back from WWII, by the fistful, by the victorious Allied troops who liberated places like the Philippines, Burma (now Myanmar) Sumatra (Indonesia) and the rest of the former Netherland Indies and the Pacific region.
There are many uncirculated notes still tucked away in family scrapbooks or old sideboard drawers - courtesy of those who served - most of it is only worth a few cents per note, but, the price that some people paid to obtain it - or refuse it - came at a cost that included life itself.
Often refered to as Japanese Invasion Money, or J.I.M., by numismatists - the paper currency, headed 'The Japanese Government' - in English or a major local language - flooded into areas that the armies of Japan conquered , invaded or threatened during its desperate and violent militaristic thrust into Asia during the late 1930's - early 1940's. The reasons for Japanese invasion was basically for economic reasons - to seize resources that were being denied to it because of the European conflict of that time. A proud nation, Japan, had been 'backed into a corner', economically - and, in keeping with their Bushido tradition, the military leaders (who were the power-behind-the- throne of the Emperor Hirohito), came to the conclusion that offence was a better weapon than 'losing face' or 'turning the other cheek' to former allies and powers who were treating Japan as a second-rate neutral Oriental back-water.
The overtures and alliances that had been forged with Germany meant that Japan was viewed with a jaundiced eye by the Allies - particularly when their armies invaded areas of China and proved themselves to be a bestial enemy with no mercy.
History took its course, and 'infamy' occured at Pearl Harbor - and Japan was at war with the rest of the world for 4 years and, like Germany, it was eventually beaten down, destroyed, humiliated and occupied for years.
Occupied areas of China and Korea also had been forced into economic partnership with Japan and were using money produced by 'puppet' banks since the late 1930's. All of these various occupied areas suffered loss of traditional or national currencies as the Japanese replaced the local money with paper money that they could control - on pain of death in some instances. Some notes were adaptations of national Japanese currency - often overprinted on resurrected residues.
We have told, previously, of the 'emergency monies' produced in the Philippines that was used in local areas until the Japanese arrived and took over with their own J.I.M. - which eventually proved worthless - as it was backed by the lead of a bullet or steel of a bayonet or sword.
Accepting a few pieces of worthless paper for your possessions was better that having them taken - along with your life!
At the cessation of hostilities, much of the emergency money still in circulation was not honoured by the post-war interim military dominated governments, and the J.I.M. or other Military issues - that the population had been forced to use - was just so much printed paper.
In 1967, an effort was made to redeem as much of the J.I.M. as could be gathered from the Philippines population by a Filipino organisation known as JAPWANCAP (Japanese War Notes Claimants Association of the Philippines, Inc.).
Funds were sought from the United States, but it was not a successful claim due to the amount of J.I.M. that was being found, unissued, in storage and which was being added to the pile. The notes - mainly featuring the Plantation and Rizal Monument series - were collected and were stamped with an oval blue ink-stamp. This 'receipt' stamp apparently does not detract from, or add to, the value of the note as an interesting collectible - which often appears in dealers' stocks.
Please note :- The illustrations shown below are not to scale and, occasionally, the scans I have readily available not quite in the correct order. Unfortunately at this time, I do not have every denomination of every note series issued (still required - shown in Red) - some are now quite scarce and valuable - but those shown will give readers an idea of the scope available as a collecting theme.. Catalogue numbers are from the Albert Pick listings.
Several varieties of the 'legs' of the initial 'M' in the block font are listed.
Often the plates - both front and back - were adapted to various regions and sections of each were also interchangeable. Most notes were produced on quite good watermarked paper. It is often the most simple things that we spot within the designs that make any observations so interesting.
It should be noted that some counterfeit J.I.M. was printed in Australia during the war years for use by our friends in the occupied areas - and, it is also interesting that, in recent years, some J.I.M. in various - 'not authentic' - colours have been printed in Asia for the 'tourist' trade.
There is still more than a passing interest in this currency - so don't treat it with utter disdain even it it is cheap.
(Illust. 1) - 'M' - The Japanese Government (Malaya) 1942:- 1 Cent, 5 Cents, 10 Cents, 50 Cents, 1 Dollar, 5 Dollars.
(Pick # M1b, M2a, M3, M4b, M5c, M6c)
(Malaya) - 1942 - 1944:- 10 Dollars, 100 Dollars. (Pick # M7b, M8b)
(Malaya) -1945:- 1000 Dollars. (Pick # M10)
Some of these notes incorporate either straight or 'fractional' block numbers.
(Illust. 2) - 'S' - De Japansche Regeering (Sumatra -Indonesia) 1942:- 1 Cent, 5 Cents, 10 Cents, 1/2 Gulden, 1 Gulden, 5 Gulden, 10 Gulden.
(Pick # 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125)
(Illust. 3) - 'S' - Dai Nippon Teikoku Seihu (Sumatra -Indonesia) 1944:- 1 Roepiah, 5 Roepiah, 10 Roepiah, 1000 Roepiah .
(Pick # 129, 130, 131, 132)
(Illust. 4) - 'OC' - (Oceania - Br. Commonweath Pacific region) 1942:- 1/2 Shilling, One Shilling, Ten Shillings, One Pound.
(Pick # 1, 2, 3, 4)
(Illust. 5) - 'B' - The Japanese Government (Burma) 1942:- 1 Cent, 5 Cents, 10 Cents, 1/4 Rupee, 1/2 Rupee, 1 Rupee.
(Burma) 1942 - 1944:- 5 Rupees, 10 Rupees, 100 Rupees. (Pick # 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
As with the Malayan issues, some of the Burmese note block numbers incorporate either straight or 'fractional' numbers
(Illust. 6) - Japanese Military Issues (China) 1938:- 50 Sen, 5 Yen, 10 Yen, 100 Yen. Issued on Bank of Japan Convertible notes.
(Pick # M14, M25a, M27a, M28a)
There were other series issued in 1937, 1939, 1940 and 1945 - of which I have no examples.
Values from 1 - 50 Sen, 1 - 10 Yen and 100 Yen. In most denominations, 2 different issues were made in the year.
(Illust. 7) - 'P' - The Japanese Government - (Philippines) Plantation series 1942:- 1 Centavo, 5 Centavos, 10 Centavos, 50 Centavos, 1 Peso,
5 Pesos. 10 Pesos. (Pick # 102a, 103, 104, 105b, 106, 107, 108b)
(NOTE: The 10 Pesos in this Plantation series has the JAPWANCAP ink-stamp applied to the reverse.)
(Illust. 8) - Block and Serial Numbers - The Japanese Government (Philippines) Rizal Monument series 1943:- 1 Peso, 5 Pesos, 10 Pesos,
100 Pesos. (Pick # 109a, 110a, 111a, 112a)
Another issue was made in 1945:- 100 Pesos, 500 Pesos, 1000 Pesos (Pick # 113 - 115)
(NOTE: The 5 Pesos in this Rizal Monument series has the JAPWANCAP ink-stamp applied to the front.)
The majority of the J.I.M. you will encounter will have relatively plain reverses - mainly just the numeric value of the note which will usually be enclosed within a scrollwork pattern. The reverses of smaller value notes will not have a written denomination as a rule, unless, it is from somewhere the Japanese had become well entrenched such as the Philippines, Netherlands Indies - Sumatra (now Indonesia).
Higher denominations were still frugaly decorated and the plates were often adapted to other areas under Japanese control - a case of mix and match.
If you study the illustrations provided, you many see fragments or whole design features that are 'generic' to several different notes from different areas.
In China, where some unissued Japanese homeland notes had been adapted for use, the military issues usually had block numbers only.
Typical scrollwork enclosed numeric values without denomination in low value notes..
The notes shown here are Netherlands - Indies 'S' 1942 - One Cent and One Gulden
The reverses of many low value notes were adapted for other areas - these were issued in Dark Blue for the Malaya One Cent and One Dollar.
In Burma, the colour was altered to Deep Red for the One Cent and One Rupee.
Identical reverse scrollwork on low value notes, used in the other dominated areas, were also treated the same - mainly by colour change.
left:- Malaya 'M'- 10 Dollar green reverse (showing a ship off-shore) was also adapted in purple for Sumatra 'S' 10 Gulden 1942.
right:- Netherlands Indies - Sumatra 'S' -10 Roepiah (issued in 1944)
Philippines - Block and serial numbers - 1943 - 10 Pesos (reverse of P111a shown above - bearing JAPWANCAP stamp)
The 1 and 5 Pesos notes in this Rizal Monument series had Blue and Brown simple scrollwork reverses, respectively.
Philippines - Block and serial numbers - 1943 - 100 Pesos (reverse of P112a shown above - note the poor paper alignment and smeared ink.)
The sizes of the majority of J.I.M. currency notes - no matter where they were issued - fit into certain tolerances, usually within 1 - 2 millimeters, and, sometimes, they were sized to emulate the previous currency of the area.
Some of the 'average cut sizes' of the main J.I.M. currencies are listed herewith.:
One Cent, Een Cent = 94 x 44mm.
Five Cents, Vijf Cents = 100 x 50mm.
Ten Cents, Tien Cents, Ten Centavos = 104 x 50mm.
Quarter Rupee = 105 x 50mm.
Fifty Cents, Half Gulden, Fifty Centavos, Half Rupee,= 119 x 58mm.,
One Dollar, Een Gulden, One Peso, One Shilling, Satoe (1) Roepiah = 139 x 68mm.
Five Dollars, Five Rupees = 150 x 70mm.
Five Pesos = 160 x 68mm.
Ten Pesos = 162 x 70mm.
Ten Dollars, Tien Gulden, Ten Rupees, Sepoeloeh (10) Roepiah = 160 x 76mm.
One Hundred Pesos = 162 x 69mm.
One Hundred Dollars, One Hundred Rupees = 169 x 80mm.
During the period, Japan also controlled some of the local banks, or started new ones, in occupied areas of China - and authorised the issuance of 'official' banknotes very similiar to the bona-fide circulating Chinese currency. These issuing banks are now often refered to as 'puppet' banks - with the strings being pulled by Japan.
1944 - Block letters - The Central Reserve Bank of China 10,000 Yuan (Pick # J38)
China Puppet bank note issue. Front: Portrait of Sun Yat-sen. Reverse: Mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen and various depictions of clouds.
The Japanese controlled Central Reserve Bank of China was the largest of the Chinese 'puppet' banks and it prolifically issued notes from 1940, even though the bank was not officially inaugurated until January 1941. Its higher value notes all featured a portrait of the great Chinese nationalist leader, Sun Yat-sen, in an endeavour to encourage the Chinese public to accept the currency.
Denominations in the initial 1940 release ranged from 1 Fen (Cent), 5 Fen (5 Cents) and 1, 5 and 10 Yuan - closely followed by denominations of 10 Cents (1 Chiao), 20 Cents (2 Chiao), and two lots of 50 Cents (5 Chiao). In 1942, notes of higher denomination were issued - 100 and 500 Yuan.
Low value notes (cents) featured a depiction of Sun Yat-sen's mausoleum as an obverse and the reverse featured the value written within fancy scrollwork. .
Again in 1943, a Yuan series including 1, 10, 100 (2 different notes), 500 (6 different notes), and a Cents series of 10, 20 and 50 Cents were issued.
With inflation running rampant as Japan was then starting to lose the war, the 1944 Yuan seies saw 100, 200, 1000 (5 different notes) and 10,000 (4 different notes) being issued. From mid 1944, it became practice not to use serial numbers and only apply block numbers to the notes because of the quantities being issued. Finally, in 1945, the last Yuan issues of 5000 (3 different notes) and 100,000 (2 different notes) were issued by this bank..
Numismatically speaking, most of these notes are quite reasonably priced in the market place, so do not expect to pay too much - (between $2 - $5 for small denominations would be a fair guess for a reasonable note in V.G. condition) - but like everything else there are exceptions both ways.
Do some homework - it's amazing what you will find out!
'Standard Catalog of World Paper Money'. - (Volume 2) - by Albert Pick, Colin R. Bruce II, Neil Shafer (Editor) - Krause Publication.
NUMERICS IN NUMISMATICS
It was with some interest that I had read a brief article (on page 8) in the August 2008 issue of "The Australasian Coin & Banknote Magazine"
The article, by Dr. Kerry Rodgers was entitled "Radar Notes Prove Popular at Downies RBA Public Auction", and gave some details and prices realised at a recent auction for numerically interesting Australian polymer currency notes.
For those who wonder what a 'radar' serial number is - it's like the word - it can be read the same backward or forward - e.g. 123 321.
(Normally, the serial letters are ignored and the abbreviated date numbers are not taken into consideration - but, if the two numbers in the date do fit in as well - you would be very pleased indeed to have an 8 number special.)
I must admit I have never felt like a 'compleat' collector - due to the fact I had nothing in my 17 y.o currency accumulation that fitted in with that concept of 'really interesting arrangements' of serial numbers - I had gone close on several occasions but I had not quite clicked in a way that satisfied me.
Last month, I was excited to find a $50 with the number 999919 - but, how happy I would have been - if it had been a 'solid' - 999999.
The note went the way of others - after a sigh for what might have been!
I usually checked my wallet each day - but, of late, I had slackened off and put the idea of finding a radar note on the back-burner, so to speak!
That is until a few weeks ago, when I saw Dr. Rodgers' 'CAB' article.. Out came the wallet again each night.
Suddenly, I found I was the possessor of 3 - yes three - interesting number arrangement notes that came in ' change'. - not all at once I must add.
They have turned up over the last month or so, and from various sources - and one was a radar number!
Boy! - that's made me feel sooo good !
All the notes have been in circulation for over 2 years, but, they are in Fine condition - or slightly better.
The $50.00 below - shown previously - features a 'drooling' Edith Cowan as an interesting bonus to its triple pairs repeater '646464' run of numbers
I still need a $20.00 and a $100.00 note of some sort to make up a nice mini-collection of nice numbers - so I'll be watching my polymer again from now on, even if the $100's are few and far between.. They might not all be 'radar' numbers, but, I think that any geometrical sequence of arranged numbers will make my day! - The Magpie strikes again!
'Numerically Noteworthy Numismatic Nicies!'
Australian 2006 - Polymer Five Dollars DE 06 102 102 - Double Repeater
Australian 2006 - Polymer Ten Dollars GF 06 983 389 - Radar
Australian 2005 - Polymer Fifty Dollars CG 05 646 464 - Triple pairs Repeater
THE EXCITEMENT of TOKEN COLLECTING!
The last weekend of August, each year, is the usual time when the serious trade token collectors in the U.S.A. converge to buy, sell, compare notes - and show-off their prize acquisitions from the time they last met.
Token collecting, and exonumia, has a huge following in the U.S.A. and is fast becoming a strong and growing aspect of our great international hobby of numismatics here in Australia and elsewhere..
If you are finding that waiting to obtain coinage or banknotes, of significance to your collecting criteria, has beome a little boring or too expensive, token collecting is a great alternative - and can be just as challenging. Some tokens are right up there in value and scarcity but, on the whole, this is still an affordable and fascinating secondary source of numismatic achievement. and pleasure.
As usual, our T.N.S. member, correspondent and good friend, Jerry Adams, packed his bags and headed out fromTexas to meet up with those handful of lifetime friends he has made while collecting those little pieces of metallic history, called tokens.
A brief email report from Jerry Adams
Tasmanian Numismatic Society Member #363 © 2008.
I found Omaha was really a lot of fun this year - even though the attendance, and the number of dealers, was down a little bit because of the current economy....but it was a very good year for me.
You know the old saying, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade!
I got a few nice tokens, two of which were by trade and, as you know, trades do not take place now as much as 30 years ago, but it was fun to negotiate like the old days!
All together, I came home with a nice little stack of new tokens from the show that beats out my previous scores. I think there are 8 new Texas tokens, as well as about 8 new Colorado "town" tokens (one token per town - so picking up a new token from a town not previously represented was good.)
I went fairly casual and did not dress in my typical historical attire this year, mostly due to the high air fare baggage costs - plus, it left me more time to walk the floor for tokens - and chat with the usual crowd of good friends who turned up. As you can see from these first few photos and the video clip, I had a great time. My back is a bit thrown out from carting around the weight of my own stuff, and I am tired, but it was great fun - as usual.
I'll fill you in with more details in a few days time.
As you know, the venue for the last 5 years has been in Omaha, Nebraska - and it's been good - however, there are other places to go and see - after all this is a national show. Next year's show, 2009, will be in Salt Lake City, Utah and it will be hosted by Bob Campbell.
Jerry Adams Bob Campbell
A few old post trade and canteen tokens used at various military forts. (Omaha Token Show 2008)
*** The Fort Keogh Post Exchange token was of particular interest (see articles below) so Jerry has provided a few more details.
Weight: 4.2 grams; Diameter: 23.25mm; Thickness: 1.33mm.
Most of the common old Military fort trade or canteen tokens, issued prior to 1940, are currently retailing between US$15 - $20 - but these are already starting to rapidly increase in price as fewer are available to new collectors. Scarcer Post trader tokens and canteen tokens, like some of those shown above, can now be selling between serious collectors at up about $100 - $200 or more depending on grade, scarcity - and, the story that goes with them.*
There are several time levels connected with the older military establishment tokens - for those who may be interested - and this has a bearing on price.
Sutlers were civilian merchants appointed during the Civil War. They required government approved licences or contracts, and were to provide the soldiers (usually from one particular post) with non-issue 'necessities or luxuries'. If appropriate, they sometimes loaded a wagon and even accompanied troops on campaigns to provide a service. The sutlers, and their tokens, lasted between 1861 until 1866.
In 1876, with the westward expansion and the need for amenities at the frontier forts, the system changed and a new supplier of goods known as a post trader (this could often be a commercial company operating in several locations) - but also under government contract or licence, and who issued trader's post tokens - began to operate and provide a service for the military personnel, and others, who frequented the forts.
Official post canteens began in 1888 and, finally, post exchanges started in 1895 - and, eventually, by the early 1900's these had developed into Officers and N.C.O. clubs and open Mess clubs for rank and file military personnel.
(Modern adaptations of post exchange tokens - not necessarily metal - are still in use in U.S. military establishments all over the world.)
Early birds get the best bargains - Omaha 2008
Jerry Adams with - Ron Lerch, Mike Miller, Duane Feisal and Randy Partin - Omaha 2008
Over the years, the faces and names of Jerry's token collecting friends (some shown above) have also become familiar to readers of this publication - it is their dedication to their own particular aspect of the great hobby of numismatics that keeps it 'steam-rolling' ahead - and continues to make it so exciting for those of us who have acquired a U.S. trade token or two over the years. Is it any wonder that we also find that same enthusiasm rubbing off on us?
FAREWELL, OMAHA 2008 - WELCOME, SALT LAKE CITY 2009
Courtesy: Jerry Adams© 2008.
All Omaha 2008 Pictures, U.S. post token scans, and the 'youtube' Videoclip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCufhXI54sg
'Tokens and Medals' (A Guide to the Identification and Values of U.S. Exonumia.) - compiled by Stephen P. Alpert & Lawrence E. Elman. (1st. Edition - 1992).
'Story of the Great American West' - compiled by Reader's Digest (1977)
It is of some interest that in the same year that the Government appointed Post Traders to service military personnel at their forts, General George Armstrong Custer met his demise at the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn on 25th. June 1876.
Also among Custer’s column of command at the Little Bighorn -- and those who died with him -- were his two brothers, Captain Thomas W. Custer, and Boston Custer, who was a civilian traveling with the Seventh Cavalry, his brother-in-law James Calhoun, and his nephew Henry Reed. One of Custer's senior adjutants during the battle - who also perished - was 36 year old Irish-born, Captain Myles Walter Keogh.
MYLES WALTER KEOGH
A true and gallant soldier.
Born in Co. Carlow, Ireland - died fighting at the Little Bighorn, U.S.A. - Age 36.
1840 - 1876
For many years, a fable of the 'sole survivor' of the incident was built up around Keogh's severely wounded horse, ironically named - 'Comache' - meaning 'enemy' - however, it was reported that other animals did also survive - including a yellow hunting dog, Kaiser, belonging to Custer - and quite a lot of trooper's horses were later recovered but well scattered away from 'Last Stand Hill'..
It is known that Custer's favourite dog, a bitch called Tuck, was killed - but another two greyhounds, Lady and Swift, were more fortunate as they had been left further behind.with the supply pack train.
The story of Custer's Last Stand is well-documented - but it is worth the space to tell our token collecting readers a little more about Myles Keogh - and why an ex-patriate Irishman had a fort named after him.
When token collector, Jerry Adams, forwarded some scans of the Fort Keogh token he had acquired at the Omaha Token show - it certainly opened a can of worms for me to use when fishing for ideas about a story that connected the token with an important era in the post traders' history.
I have added many sources to this article and I recommend that all should be read to get a clear picture of the life and times of Myles Walter Keogh.
Formerly known simply as Cantonment on Tongue River, the fort at Miles City in Montana was renamed 'Fort Keogh' in November 1878 after a senior adjutant of General Custer's - Myles Walter Keogh - who was also killed in the 'Battle of the Little Bighorn'.
Keogh was born at Leighinbridge, County Carlow in Ireland on March 25, 1840, and he had 4 brothers and 8 sisters.
He came from a comfortable, but never an extremely rich, background - however feeling the need for adventure, the 20 y.o. Keogh decided to leave the rural life to his brothers and seek his fortune in Europe.
In 1860, he went to Italy after the Pope called for Irish men - later known as the 'Wild Geese' - to come and help in the fight to save the Papal States.
For a young man, he was daring and, during his service, he won two prestigious medals "Pro Petri Sede" and "Ordine di San Gregorio.", and later went to Rome to join the Papal Guard, however, after the action was over, Keogh still felt the need for military excitement
In March 1862, he headed to the United States to get involved in the American Civil War.
At that time the Union was recruiting experienced European officers and Keogh was immediately given the rank of Captain in the Union Army and proved his ability repeatedly. His bravery and ability in the Battle of Gettysburg earned him the rank of brevet Major, and added to his many commendations.
Keogh took part in the western plains wars in 1863, at the revised rank of Captain, and began working under Custer's command.
He was rarely at Custer's side during the various campaigns - but he was an impressive asset to the 7th Cavalry and was capable of independent and competent command.and was used elsewhere when Custer flamboyant style would not have been of use.
Myles Keogh was a soldier's soldier - and he got results.
At the start of Custer's campaign against the Sioux, it was obvious that Keogh and Custer did not always agree about tactics - but Custer was in command..
Keogh's last minutes of battle were as tense as Custer's. He too was surrounded by Indians and stood his ground with the No. 1 company he commanded. His body was later found in the center of all of his soldiers.
Keogh's gallantry, noted during his career by the Pope, the U. S. Department of War - and by Custer before the last campaign - was also recognized even by the Indian victors at the Little Bighorn, for he was the only member of the Seventh Cavalry not mutilated by the Indians.
It may never be known why Keogh's body remained untouched - but it has been surmised that the Papal medal that he always wore around his neck was considered 'powerful medicine' by the Sioux, or it may have been that he died like a true warrior, "with his pistol blazing to the last round".
As one Indian survivor of the battle later said of Keogh, "Like the flame of a coal blazed his eyes. His teeth glistened like a fighting grizzly."
There is a sorry postcript to the story of the deaths - the reluctance of the U.S. military authorities to pay for recovery of the remains must remain a stingy blot on their humanity.
It was only after a considerable amount of time, and lobbying from the likes of General Phil. Sheridan, that the bones of Custer, Keogh and some others were recovered and brought out for proper interment. By the time the recovery teams disinterred the bones of those considered important - many of the common soldiers' remains had been scattered to the elements by wild animals.
"Sir: Referring to letter of April 18, 1877, from this office… I have now the honor to inform you that upon a reconsideration of the subject the Secretary of War has decided to pay, from the contingent funds of the Army, for the expenses of bringing in the bodies of General Custer and the officers who fell with him -- as recommended in your communication of April 4, 1877 to the General of the Army --
The Secretary of War requests that the expenses may be made as small as possible. " (the underlining was part of the official letter)
On the 25th October 1877, Myles Keogh's body was re-interred with full military honours, at Fort Hill Cemetery, Auburn, New York.
However, it was not until July 1881 - nearly four years later - and after 2 - 3 other expeditions (between 1877 - 79) were sent to bury the remaining bodies and tidy the area - that as many human bones as could be found were gathered and buried together in a properly constructed mass grave, with some sort of dignity, by 1st Lt.. Charles F. Roe of the 2nd. Cavalry .
The soil in the area is very susceptible to erosion and it is likely that the same remains were unearthed from shallow graves and reburied several times until Roe's final effort and placement of stones over the remains ensured their safety..
The area was also finally cleared of horse bones and other debris and, where possible, Roe also had erected solid markers where complete skeletons had been located - to show where the soldier had fallen. Some sites had been marked by the previous expeditions - with the names, if known, placed inside a empty cartridge case and it hammered into a wooden marker pole.
All of the wooden markers, scattered around the area, have now been replaced with marble - more suitable for a national graveyard.
Hopefully, the men of the 7th Cavalry will now be able to rest in peace.
From a Texas-born wild horse - to a U.S. 7th. Cavalry and National treasure.
Myles Keogh had been the owner of the famous 15 hands high, bay gelding "Comanche" - a horse that had seen and shared other bloody battles with him. "Comanche", a Mustang-Morgan cross, was probably born c.1861 and had been caught in a herd of wild horses in Texas, gelded, broken in and sold to the U.S. Cavalry sometime in 1868 in Missouri and then sent to Kansas..
Keogh first saw the horse at Fort Leavenworth, liked the look of him, and actually bought him to use as his battle-horse that same year..
He acquired the name “Comanche” in 1868, when he was wounded in the hindquarters by a Comanche arrow, during a skirmish in Kansas - he soon became Keogh's favourite mount and was noted for his toughness.
"Comanche" was wounded on several other occasions prior to the Little Bighorn battle but he never ever let Keogh down during a fight..
At the Little Bighorn, he was found seriously wounded, on February 26th. 1876, walking around the battlefield looking for his rider, Captain Myles Keogh. "Comanche", had suffered many gunshot wounds - between 7 and 10 - (even 12 according to some reports) - some of these were consistant to the bullets having passed through Myles Keogh's legs.
As the only living thing left on the actual battlefield, "Comanche" was given special treatment and slowly nursed back to health - to became a legend.
'Comanche' at Fort Lincoln 1887 - and with Private Gustave 'Yankee' Korn (date unknown).
As an honor, "Comanche" was made “Second Commanding Officer” of the 7th Cavalry - and, at Fort Lincoln, he became something of a pet, occasionally leading parades - and indulging in an increasing fondness for the beer which had been part of his veterinarian-prescribed recuperation diet..
Myles Keogh's famous battle-horse was never ever ridden again - not even by his German immigrant farrier and main handler, Private (later Sergeant) Gustave 'Yankee' Korn. Korn had been with the 7th Cavalry, as Keogh's orderly during the battle, and had been active as a water-carrier - but he was not at the main battle area during the final onslaught as his own horse had reputedly panicked, bolted and carried him right through the Indian lines - across to the hill 4 miles away occupied by Captain Benteen and Major Reno. As it was impossible for him to return, Korn was forced to remain under Major Reno's command.
The formal investigation, held after the event, exonerated Korn of desertion or any cowardice - he was known to have been actively doing his duties bravely under fire during the battles at both places.
Captain Frederick W. Benteen and Major Marcus A. Reno
As the senior surviving officer, Reno ended up as a 'scape-goat' - even though he was a capable man, he had no Indian-fighting experience.
"Although, Korn participated in the dash to the water, he was not among those granted a Medal of Honor. Not all of Keogh's men participated in the Custer battle. Keogh's Company I packs were left behind with Sergeant Milton J. De Lacy.
Thus, Company I men assigned to the packs such as De Lacy and Jones survived. The only survivor found at the Custer Battlefield was Comanche, Capt. Keogh's horse. Comanche suffered from multiple wounds and a loss of blood.
He was evacuated with Reno's wounded to Fort Abraham Lincoln.
Most sources, based on biographies of Capt. Grant, indicate that Comanche was evacuated with the other wounded on board the 'Far West'. Thus, as an example, Joseph M. Hanson in 'The Conquest of the Missouri', published in 1946, describes Captain Marsh making a place for the horse "softly bedded with grass" at the stern between the rudders.
Nevertheless, the 'Chicago Times', August 20, 1876, reported that Comanche was evacuated on the sternwheel steam packet "E. H. Durfee".
At Fort Lincoln Comanche was nursed back to health.
It was General Sturgis who directed that he never again be ridden."
'Comanche' actually became a 'drunk' by scrounging beer from the troops at Fort Lincoln and Fort Meade - but he presented himself to be dressed on special occasions and was always able to be led and to perform his allotted tasks. He spent his days roaming freely about the forts, where he bullied people for food and ate out of the trash and he was often known to be intoxicated and suffer badly from thrush.
Sergeant Gustave 'Yankee' Korn was killed at the 'Battle of Wounded Knee' on December 29, 1890 - possibly by 'friendly fire' (as others were) - when a series of incidents triggered an unplanned, panic-filled and extremely controversial, battle - often referred to as a 'massacre' - which involved unarmed old people, women and children as well as warriors.
The incident started while the Indians were surrendering their weapons to a well-armed 7th Cavalry force during a negoiated truce.
Amid allegations of a military 'whitewash', the formal investigation exonerated and cleared the officers and men concerned - but the debate still rages with some rancour - and it appears - some justification. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle - it is known, however, that by this time in the westwards push, some of the troops were ill-trained German immigrants - with little command of English - and others were former miners and drifters.- a ragtag group.
After Sergeant Korn was killed, 'Comanche' - who, it was reported, was near enough to hear and see the battle - commenced to fret and he became melancholy. Although another farrier, Samuel Winchester, was assigned to be his servant, "Comanche" died of colic in Winchester's arms on November 7, 1891. He was 29 years old and he was one of only two horses in U.S. history to be buried with full military honours.
However, "Comanche's" skin was saved and treated, then stuffed by taxidermists from the University of Kansas - but even that story is filled with some controversy.
"He was sent to the 1893 world expo in Chicago for his first post-mortem appearance. Tearful throngs flocked to the natural history hall, where they paid homage to the beloved war veteran.
Outside, Lakota survivors of the battle danced on the midway and across the fairgrounds at the Buffalo Bill show, cowboys and Indians re-enacted it.
The army never picked up the $400 taxidermy tab for "Comanche", so instead of being returned to Fort Riley when the fair closed, he was sent back to the University of Kansas' Dyche Natural History Museum in Lawrence, Kansas
He has been refurbished many times, surviving basement floods and souvenir hunters who have plucked hairs from his mane and tail - as always, bearing his plight in silence."
In a way - he is still the sole survivor of the Battle of the Little Bighorn - albeit refurbished once more and now safely in a protected environment behind glass on the 4th. Floor where he'll be safe for another 100 years - if the public interest doesn't wane - (refer 'garryowen' link below).
Additional - Recommended reading
GENERAL INDEX UPDATE.
TASMANIAN NUMISMATIST - INTERNET EDITION' 1996 - June 2007
'NUMISNET WORLD - INTERNET EDITION' July - December 2007
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug03.htm - 1995 - 1997 (Volumes 1 and 2)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/ept2003.htm - 1998 - 2000 (Volumes 3, 4 and 5)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Oct2003.htm - 2001 - 2002 (Volumes 6 and 7)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Nov03.htm - 2003 - to date Nov. (Volume 8 to date Nov,)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec2003.htm - Final 2003 Dec. (Volume 8 final Dec.)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan07.htm - 2004 (Volume 9)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb07.htm - 2005 (Volume 10)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar07.html - 2006 (Volume 11)
The final Index of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' (Volume 12 - Issues 1 - 6) and;
The first Index ( Volume 12 - Issues 7 - 12) of the 'Numisnet World - Internet Edition' are shown at:
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec07.htm - 2007 (Volume 12)
'NUMISNET WORLD - INTERNET EDITION' Volume 13, January - June 2008
Our on-line Archives from 2000 to date can also be accessed (by subject matter) by using the Search Engine on our Internet page.
Earlier articles or subjects, where available, may be obtained - by written or email request - from our off-line records.
'NUMISNET WORLD' - Internet Edition.
Volume 13 – July - to date 2008
Issue 7. July 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july08.htm
Monetary Mementos of the Motherland - The First Fleet and early settlement. The earliest monetary problems arose when the motherland, in this case England, held the purse-strings too tight.- and how those problems were overcome with ingenuity - and a fair bit of graft - until the 'penny dropped'!
Tradesmen's Tokens - One of the alternatives to 'coin of the realm' were circulating bronze penny-sized tokens, normally privately produced as 'advertising pieces' - so it was said.They were not legal tender but who cared - they helped address a woeful shortage of small change for many years.
United States Presidential Dollar coins - the new series started in 2007 is planned through until 2016 - but it could go on forever......!
Issue 8. August 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug08.htm
Transport Tokens - 'Fares! Please! - the system of tokens that, while still relevant to some places in the modern world, is fast being overtaken by techology.
Banknotes at a Touch - the need for user-friendly banknotes for the blind has been on the U.S. agenda for years - but it's been left in the 'too hard basket'.
Bits from the Bottom of the Bin - the title says it all. Forgotten items that really do deserve another perusal - as well as some other interesting older stuff.
Issue 9. September 2008:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/sept08.htm
'Cross my Palm with Silver!' - mainly a pictorial study of some large silver coins that have appeal to the 'magpie' who is always on the the Editor's shoulder.
'Bruised and Battered' - The Much Travelled Spanish Real Coinage. - a quick run-round of where the Old World's most popular coinage ended its journies.
Gutschein und Notgeld - Austrian and German Emergency paper money 1916 - 1923. - An extremely tiny sampling of a hugely interesting subject..
Issue 10. October 2008:-
'The Invasion Notes of Nippon 1938 - 1945'. - Due to the huge amount of material that was originally available, this is an area that was often overlooked by the experienced collectors of years past - but it has more to it than meets the eye. It would make a good economic 'theme' collection for a beginner as well!.
Numerics in Numismatics - The arrangement of banknote serial numbers is an interesting and rewarding facet that appeals to some collectors.
The Excitement of Token Collecting - Omaha 2008. - a brief report and some pics. from our US token guru, Jerry Adams.
Myles Walter Keogh - perished at the Little Bighorn with Custer in 1876 but he will never be forgotten - nor will his famous battlehorse 'Comanche'.
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