BUST VIEW CDV OF CONFEDERATE GENERAL ALBERT PIKE

$100.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 259-178

Image shows Pike with his typically long curling hair in a light civilian suit with a dark vest.

Image is clear. Contrast is good. Could be just a bit darker than it is. Mount and image have only light scattered surface dirt. Period ink inscription on bottom of the mount reads “MY DEAR OLD FRIEND ALBERT PIKE.”

Reverse is blank except for modern pencil ID.

Albert Pike was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 29, 1809. He spent his childhood in Byfield and Newburyport, Massachusetts. He attended school in Newburyport and Framingham until he was 15. Later becoming a schoolteacher in Gloucester, North Bedford, Fairhaven and Newburyport.

Pike was an imposing figure; six feet tall and 300 pounds with hair that reached his shoulders and a long beard. In 1831, he left Massachusetts to travel west, first stopping in Nashville, Tennessee and later moving on to St. Louis, Missouri. There he joined an expedition to Taos, New Mexico, hunting and trading and finally arriving at Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Settling in Arkansas in 1833, Pike taught in a school and later purchased the Little Rock Arkansas Advocate. Under Pike's administration the Advocate promoted the viewpoint of the Whig Party.

Pike began to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1837, selling the Advocate the same year. He also made several contacts among the Native American tribes in the area. He specialized in claims on behalf of Native Americans against the federal government. In 1852 he represented the Creek Nation before the Supreme Court in a claim regarding ceded tribal land. In 1854 he advocated for the Choctaw and Chickasaw. These relationships were to influence the course of his Civil War service.

When the Mexican War started, Pike joined the Regiment of Arkansas Mounted Volunteers and was commissioned a captain in June 1846. With his regiment he fought at Buena Vista. Pike was discharged in June 1847. He and his commander, Colonel John Selden Roane, had several differences of opinion. This situation led finally to an "inconclusive" duel between Pike and Roane on July 29, 1847 near Fort Smith, Arkansas. Although several shots were fired in the duel, nobody was injured, and the two were persuaded by their seconds to discontinue it.

After the war, Pike returned to the practice of law, moving to New Orleans but by 1857 he had returned to Arkansas gaining some amount of prominence in the legal field.

At the Southern Commercial Convention of 1854, Pike said the South should remain in the Union and seek equality with the North, but if the South "were forced into an inferior status, she would be better out of the Union than in it."

At the beginning of the Civil War, Pike was appointed as Confederate envoy to the Native Americans. In this capacity he negotiated several treaties, one of the most important being with Cherokee chief John Ross, which was concluded in 1861.

Pike was commissioned as a brigadier general on November 22, 1861, and given a command in the Indian Territory. With Gen. Ben McCulloch, Pike trained three Confederate regiments of Indian cavalry, most of whom belonged to the "civilized tribes", whose loyalty to the Confederacy was variable. Although initially victorious at the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862, Pike's unit was defeated later in a counterattack, after falling into disarray. When Pike was ordered to send troops to Arkansas in May 1862, he resigned in protest. As in the previous war, Pike came into conflict with his superior officers, at one time drafting a letter to Jefferson Davis complaining about his direct superior.

After Pea Ridge, Pike was faced with charges that his troops had scalped soldiers in the field. Maj. Gen. Thomas C. Hindman also charged Pike with mishandling of money and material, ordering his arrest. Pike escaped into the hills of Arkansas, sending his resignation from the Confederate States Army on July 12. He was at length arrested on November 3 under charges of insubordination and treason, and held briefly in Warren, Texas, but his resignation was accepted on November 11 and he was allowed to return to Arkansas.

Pike died in Washington, D.C., at the age of 81, and was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.  [ad]

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