BRADY VIEW OF FITZ LEE'S WEST POINT ROOMMATE, KILLED BY INDIANS IN 1858

$315.00 ON HOLD
Originally $350.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 846-155

CDV is a standing view of a young lieutenant wearing a dark frock coat with shoulder straps, bowtie and dark trousers. He has partially wrapped himself in a dark cloak.

Image has decent contrast and good clarity. Mount is good with clipped corners.

Reverse has a Brady imprint with collector information in pencil that reads “WM GASTON, CLASSMATE OF FITZ LEE AT USMA. KIA 1860 BY UTES IN WASH. STATE.”

An online biography reads in part:

William Gaston was born in 1835. He graduated from West Point at age 22 in 1856, whereupon he was shipped to the Washington territory where the Spokane Indians were kicking up a fight. There, he served as a second lieutenant with the 9th Infantry, Company E. According to all accounts he was quite popular and destined for advancement.

He was stationed at Fort Walla Walla and served under Lieutenant Colonel Edward Steptoe.

Gaston’s unit was called out on a patrol on May 6, 1858, when word came that a pair of white settlers had been killed by Spokane Indians. The 150 or so soldiers marched out, carrying 40 rounds of ammunition each and a pair of howitzers. They wandered and camped in Indian territory, apparently in violation of treaties. On May 17, fairly early in the day, an estimated 600 to 1,000 Indians from various tribes attacked from a hilltop near a creek.

It was a hot time for the men: By nightfall they had expended all but three rounds of ammunition and had lost 10 men including Second Lt. Gaston. No one knows for certain how Lt. Col. Steptoe got out of the mess; two stories circulate. In one, during a pouring rain he buried his cannon and led his men through enemy territory back to Walla Walla. In the other, the Indians allowed him to make his retreat.

Gaston was beloved enough that Fort Gaston in California was named for him.  [ad]  [ph:L]

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