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ZFC1492

Photo of General Custer, his wife and staff.

Sub-collection: General George A. Custer

Photo of General Custer, his wife and staff taken by William H. Bowlsby.

This is a print taken from the historic William H. Bowlsby photograph of General George A. Custer with his wife and staff at the M.Y. Mason mansion, Winchester, Virginia, on the 25th of December, 1864. Custer had made this house his headquarters in Winchester. His two guidons are clearly visible in this photo. On the left is his 3rd Personal Gudion ZFC0489 and the 3rd Cavalry Division designating flag ZFC0490.

Shortly after receiving his commission as a brigadier general and closely following the Battle of Gettysburg, George Armstrong Custer had a swallow-tailed guidon made, divided horizontally, red over blue with white crossed sabers. This standard served as his personal guidon to indicate his location on the battlefield and in camp. The first guidon was somewhat makeshift, and was replaced in the winter of 1863/1864 by an elaborate fringed silk flag of the same design and decorated with battle honors from Custer's 1863 service. In June 1864, the second personal flag was nearly captured. It was saved only by tearing it from its staff. As it was too damaged in the process for further use, in the summer of 1864, Custer's wife, Libbie, made a third personal flag, which was to become his most renowned standard.

The guidon in the photograph is that third incarnation of Custer's personal flag. Custer's third personal flag was carried by him through the remaining campaigns of 1864, including the Shenandoah Valley campaign, where Custer was photographed in front of his headquarters with his personal guidon and his 3rd Division guidon. The third guidon also embarked with the young general on the spring, 1865 campaign south of Petersburg and would be replaced by another fine silk example, also crafted by his wife, Libbie, as Custer began the final battles of the Civil War on April 1, 1865, that culminated at Appomattox Court House in April 9, 1865.

Exhibitions

University of California - Santa Cruz
Board of Councilors Meeting, Rare Flags Exhibit
Santa Cruz, CA
7 June 2012

Publication History
Katz, D. Mark, Custer in Photographs, New York, Bonanza Books, 1985. P. 35.

Madaus, Howard M.- Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict, VZ Publications, Santa Cruz, 2006. pp. 86-87.

Schrambling, Regina, "A Lifelong Pledge." Collection, Published by Robb Report, June 2014, p. 48H.


Provenance:
• Original Image created by William H. Bowlsby of General George A. Custer with his wife and staff at the M.Y. Mason mansion, Winchester, Virginia, December 1864.
• Original print at Custer Battlefield National Monument, Crow Agency, Montana.
• Official copy of print purchased by Howard M. Madaus of Cody, Wyoming, 1970.
• Acquired by the Zaricor Flag Collection from the Madaus Flag Collection of Cody, WY, in 2000.


ZFC Significant Flag
Item is Framed

Sources:



Madaus, H. Michael, The Personal and Designating Flags of General George A. Custer, 1863 - 1865, Spring 1968, Military Collector and Historian, Washington, DC.

Madaus, Howard M.- Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict, VZ Publications, Santa Cruz, 2006.

Lawrence A. Frost, The Custer Album, A Pictorial Biography of General George A. Custer, Bonanza Books, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, 1984 reprint of 1964 edition.

D. Mark Katz, Custer In Photographs, Yo-Mark Production Company, Inc., Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 1985.


Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection
Howard Michael Madaus



Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 8
Length of Fly 10

Frame

Is it framed? yes
Frame Height 13.75
Frame Length 15

Stars

Are there stars on obverse? no
Are there stars on reverse? no

Stripes

Has a Blood Stripe? no

Nationality

Nation Represented United States

Fabric

Fabric Paper

Attachment

Method of Attachment None

Applica

Applique Sides Single Sided = Design on one side only

PDF Files
Gallery Copy

Documentation

Documents
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.
Drawings
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.

Condition

Condition Excellent
Damage New print of photo
Displayable yes

Date

Date 1970

Exhibits

Exhibition Copy University of California - Santa Cruz
Board of Councilors Meeting, 7 June 2012

Rare Flags Exhibit

Santa Cruz, CA, June 7, 2012: The Zaricor Flag Collection exhibited 34 flags and artifacts at the University of California Santa Cruz Campus for the Board of Councilors Meeting.

Photo of General Custer,
his wife Libbie, his staff
and his 2 guidons

Date: 1864

Media: Photographic paper.

Comment: This is a print taken directly from the historic William H. Bowlsby
photograph of General George A. Custer with his wife and staff at the M.Y. Mason
mansion, Winchester, Virginia, on the 25th of December, 1864. Custer had made
this house his headquarters in Winchester. His two guidons are clearly visible in
this photo. On the left is his 3rd Personal Gudion ZFC0489 and the 3rd Cavalry
Division designating flag ZFC0490.
Shortly after receiving his commission as a brigadier general and closely
following the Battle of Gettysburg, George Armstrong Custer had made a swallowtailed
guidon, divided horizontally red over blue with white crossed sabers. This
served as his personal guidon to mark his location in the field of battle and in
camp. The first one was crude, but it was replaced in the winter of 1863 - 1864
by an elaborate flag of the same design made of silk, fringed, and decorated with
battle honors from Custer's 1863 service. In June 1864 this second personal flag
was nearly captured; it was saved only by tearing it from its staff. As it was too
damaged in the process for further use, in the summer of 1864 Custer's wife made
yet a third personal flag, which was his most famous.
Custer's third personal guidon, his most famous, was carried by him
through the remaining campaigns of 1864, including the Shenandoah Valley
campaign, where Custer was photographed with it, and his 3rd Division guidon, in
front of his headquarters.

Provenance: Acquired by Zaricor Flag Collection (ZFC1492) in 1970 by
purchase from photographic archival collections of The Little Big Horn Battlefield
National Monument, Crow Agency, Montana. www.FlagCollection.com
PDF for Publications
Custer in Photographs
Robb Report June 2014

Publications

Publication Copy Katz, D. Mark, Custer in Photographs, New York, Bonanza Books, 1985. P. 35.
Image of photograph.

Madaus, Howard M., Dr, Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict. Santa Cruz: VZ Publications, 2006, p.87.

General George A. Custers Third Personal Cavalry Headquarters Guidon (PHOTO)

Shortly after receiving his commission as a brigadier general and closely following the Battle of Gettysburg, George Armstrong Custer caused to be made a swallow-tailed
guidon, divided horizontally red over blue with white crossed sabers. This served as his personal guidon to mark his location in the field of battle and in camp. The first one was crude, but it was replaced in the Winter of 1863 1864 by an elaborate flag of
the same design made of silk, fringed, and decorated with battle honors from Custer's 1863 service. In June 1864 this second personal flag was nearly captured; it was saved only by tearing it from its staff. As it was too damaged in the process for further use, in the Summer of 1864 Custer's wife made yet a third personal flag, which was his most famous.
This is that very flag. Custer's third personal flag was carried by him through the remaining campaigns of 1864, including the Shenandoah Valley campaign, where Custer was photographed with it, and his 3rd Division guidon, in front of his headquarters. It also started with him on the Spring 1865 campaign south of Petersburg and was only replaced by another fine silk example, crafted by his wife, Libbie, as Custer began the final battles on April 1, 1865, that culminated at Appomattox Court House in April 9, 1865.

Date: 1864
Medium:
Black and white photograph by William H. Bowlsby.
ZFC1241