Rare photo of the Custer Monument Libbie had removed at West Point
Deep, rich tones, the photo measures 8" x 6" and is in fine condition as shown in the photograph.
"In 1879, a statue of Custer was unveiled at West Point. Five years later, because of Libbieís disapproval, it was removed and has since disappeared."
"On June 28, 1876, two days after the Battle of the Little Big Horn, the process of burying the fallen U.S. soldiers began. At the time, most of the soldiers were buried in shallow graves, but Custerís grave was accorded the traditional 6 feet. Custerís body was later disinterred, and reburied with a traditional military ceremony at West Point on Oct. 10, 1877. Later, a committee was formed to raise funds for the purpose of erecting a monument at his grave.
The Custer Statue Fund was able to raise less than $10,000, meaning they could not afford an equestrian statue. Two sculptors submitted designs, and the committee went with James Wilson MacDonald.
MacDonald created an 8-foot bronze statue with a saber in Custerís right hand and a pistol in his left. The statue was placed on a 6-foot pedestal and unveiled on Aug. 30, 1879. Libbie Custer did not attend and contended that she had never been informed about the project. She unsuccessfully tried to stop the dedication and, later, strongly urged authorities to have the statue removed.
Through her persistent efforts, she convinced Robert Lincoln, the secretary of war, to order the removal of the statue in 1884. Plans had been made to cast a duplicate statue of MacDonaldís model and display it in Washington, D. C., but because of Libbie Custerís protestations, the idea was scrapped. In 1905, Libbie Custer had a granite obelisk placed on the pedestal at West Point.
The statue remained in storage at West Point until the turn of the century when it was sent to Stanford White at the John Williams Ornamental Bronze and Iron Works Foundry in New York City. White, a noted architect, was planning to have the bust removed from the statue.
That didnít happen and since that time, no records have been found that explains the location or fate of the Custer statue."