Tags: george armstrong custer | lock | hair | auction

Lock of Custer's Blond Hair Sold at Auction for $12,500

Lock of Custer's Blond Hair Sold at Auction for $12,500

George Armstrong Custer and lock of his hair (Wikimedia Commons; Heritage Auctions)

By    |   Monday, 11 June 2018 07:33 AM

A lock of George Armstrong Custer's blond hair was sold at auction for $12,500, according to Heritage Auctions. It came from collector Glen Swanson who had amassed artifacts from Custer's career and the Battle of Little Bighorn.

The hair was found in a case that included Custer's sword, Fox News reported. Swanson had said in a document that Custer saved his hair after a trip to the barber at his wife’s request because she was making a wig for him.

The hair and sword apparently were lost more than a dozen years before Custer met his fate at the Battle of the Little Bighorn and also found before then.

During the Civil War, in which Custer served as a Union officer, his camp was overrun and his uniform and presentation sword were captured by Confederate troops, according to the Heritage Auctions website. The items, including the lock of hair, were later recovered.

"The sword and uniform were captured by Southern troops at the battle of Trevellian Station in June of 1864," Swanson wrote. "Libbie, his wife, requested that he save his hair when he went to the barber and to send it to her as she was making a wig from it. Inside the case was evidence that he did so. A large envelope with his hair was found, ready to send."

"Consisting of 50-plus strands, each ranging in length from two (inches) to three (inches)," was how Heritage Auctions described the “substantial” lock of hair.

"… Many years ago, Glen Swanson was involved in expertizing the ensemble, and at that time was permitted to take this small portion of the hair for his collection. His signed statement of provenance accompanies the lot."

Custer was controversial military figure, lauded for his bravery and boldness in battle, but some of his actions kept him in constant trouble with his superiors, History.com. reported. He and his troops were routed by Native Americans in the Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana in 1876.

Known as "Custer's Last Stand," his roughly 250 troopers were overwhelmed by Sitting Bull's alliance of Sioux and Cheyenne camps of possibly 2,500 braves.

It marked the most decisive Native American victory and the worst U.S. Army defeat in the long Plains Indian War, History.com said.

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A lock of George Armstrong Custer's blond hair was sold at auction for $12,500, according to Heritage Auctions. It came from collector Glen Swanson who had amassed artifacts from Custer's career and the Battle of Little Bighorn.
george armstrong custer, lock, hair, auction
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2018-33-11
Monday, 11 June 2018 07:33 AM
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