University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Earl Alonzo Brininstool Collection, 1850-1945

Descriptive Summary

Creator Brininstool, Earl Alonzo
Title: Earl Alonzo Brininstool Collection
Dates: 1850-1945
Abstract Papers consist of interviews of veterans of the Indian Wars, as well as research and materials on life in the western part of the United States during the latter part of the nineteenth century.
Extent: 3 ft., 7 in.
Language Materials are written in English.
Repository Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Biographical Note

Author of newspaper and magazine articles and books, primarily on cowboys, range and frontier life, and Indian wars. Earl Alonzo Brininstool was born in Warsaw, New York, and lived in Los Angeles after 1895. He was the author of 14 books and numerous articles on subjects related to the collected materials.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, reminiscences, memoirs, newspaper and magazine clippings, printed material, maps, and photographs collected by Brininstool, primarily between 1930 and 1939, relate to life and events in the western half of the United States in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Letters and personal narratives from 33 veterans of the Indian Wars, members of their families, and other writers and historians, including Alson Bowles Ostrander and Homer W. Wheeler, relate primarily to General George A. Custer, Major Marcus A. Reno, Major F. W. Benteen, the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Wild Bill Hickock, William Cody (Buffalo Bill), Billy the Kid, and various Indian chiefs and tribes.



Papers organized into five series by types of material:
  • Correspondence (correspondence files alphabetical by correspondent or subject and then chronological).
  • Narratives.
  • Printed material.
  • Photographs.
  • Oversize material.

Index Terms

Benteen, Frederick William, 1834-1898.
Billy, the Kid.
Buffalo Bill, 1846-1917.
Custer, George Armstrong, 1839-1876.
Hickock, Wild Bill, 1837-1876.
Reno, Marcus A. (Marcus Albert), 1835-1889.
United States. Army.--History--19th century--Sources.
Frontier and pioneer life--West (U.S.).
Indians of North America--Wars--1815-1875.
Indians of North America--Wars--1866-1895.
Indians of North America--West (U.S.)--History--19th century--Sources.
Little Big Horn, Battle of the, Mont., 1876.
Dakota Territory.
Montana--History--19th century--Sources.
Rocky Mountains Region--History--19th century--Sources.
West (U.S.)--History--19th century--Sources.

Separated Material

Five issues of Harper's Weekly:

July 1, 1876; July 8, 1876; Nov. 29, 1890; Dec. 6, 1890; Dec. 13, 1890

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Earl Alonzo Brininstool Collection, 1850-1945, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of Records


Correspondence (Classified) Files

3G468 Army, 1851-1919 & undated
Copies of letters, from Commanding Officer, Fort. Philip Kearney, Dakota Territory concerning Indian raids 1867,1867.
"Proceedings of a Board of Survey", New Mexico, to examine and fix responsibility of damage to quartermaster stores, 1869
Correspondence regarding differences in military procedure, 1869
Typescript of letter from Austin Henely, 2d Lt., 6th Cav, Ft. Wallace, Kan, reporting Indian encounter on Sappa Creek, 1875.
Letter, General P.H. Sheridan, and from General W.T. Sherman, 1876,1876
Military order from Major Chamber, Camp North Fork, Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, 1876
Newspaper report transcript about Indians 1876
Transcript of letter of Lieutenant General P. H. Sheridan relinquishing Command of the Division of Missouri, 1888
Check from Mary E. Carter, Post Trader, Fort Bridger, Wyoming Territory, to H. L. Griffin, 1884
Marksman's Certificate, 1887
Scores of Rifle Teams' Competition, Missouri, 1888
Proceedings of Board of Survey concerning loss of property, 1870
Proceedings of Board of Survey, concerning previous board, 1870
Asbury, C. H., Superintendent, Crow Agency, Montana, about Indians and markers at the Little Big Horn Battlefield, 1923-1935
Beecher Island (battleground), 1933-1940
Benteen, F. W., Maj, USA, Retired, son of Gen. F.W. Benteen, 1929-1937
Billy the Kid, Correspondence about his life and death, also about Pat Garrett ca. Jul 15, 1881,
Bisbee, Wm. H., Gen., US Army, regarding Fort Phil kearney, Dakota Territory, about General Cooke; letters written to Major O.B. Ostrander, 1866;1932
Brisbin, Willliam C. includes copy of letter, from James S. Brisbin, U.S. Army, a general at the time of Custer's Last Stand, January 1, 1892,1941
Brown, W. C., Buffalo Fight Monument; Indian stories; "Battle of the Big Horn," 1925-1934
Buffalo Bill, miscellaneous, 1926-1937
Capron, T. H., 1864-1890, 1921-1934
Chapin, A. R. about Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull; Sitting Bull;s death and burial, 1890-1939
Christensen, Sandy, about Custer, 1920-21
Cook, James, concerning Cody-Yellow Hand Duel, the Cheyenne's Big Bat, Little Bat, Gen. Charles King, Indian Lore, Buffalo Bill, 1928-1941.
Custer, George A., 1867-1845:
Copy of 1867 General Court Martial Orders, charging him with "Absence without leave" and "Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline."
Postcard, William O. Taylor, about aftermath of Battle of Little Big Horn, 1920.
Letter, E. W. Countryman, concerning the "real 'Curley' of Custer fame," Correspondence from W.L. Lansing, Van Horn, Texas, 1923;1924.
Letters, H.L. Scott, concerning battlefield comments of Curley, 1925.
Two letters from J.M. Carnahan, telegraph operator who sent first news of Custer battle to the world in Bismark, Dakota Territory. Newspaper clippings about J. M. Carnahan, 1925,1876,1938-1942.
Letters from men who were close to Custer or his command, 1925-1945, and undated.
Correspondence, 50th and 60th commemorations of "Custers Last Fight."
DeLand, Charles, Custer material; Indians; typescript about Inkpaduta Indians, by Mrs. Josephine Waggoner, an Ogallala Sioux, 1932-1933
Dixon, Olive K., Adobe Wells Indian Fight; Buffalo Wallow Fight; wrote "Life of Billy Dixon" (Scout for Gen. Miles in Texas-Oklahoma campaigns), 1923-1942.
Dustin, Fred, concerning Custer, military topics; Indians; Letters to and from Colonel Goldin 1923-1943.
Falconer, W.A, about Custer. 1923-1935.
3G469 Fessenden, F.M., Fort. Philip Kearney, Dakota Territoy, 1919-1920.
Gatewood, Charles B., related to his father's pursuing Geronimo to Mexico and arranging for Geronimo's surrender, 1925-1941.
Ghent-Brininstool Controversy, includes letters from Mrs. Ida Godfrey, R. G. Carter, W. J. Ghent, 1932.
Gibson, Samuel, Army sergeant from discusses Wagon Box Fight; Hardships of winter and his desire for military retirement pay, 1866-1904,1866-1867;1914-1925.
Gillett, J. B., discusses Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett's shooting the Kid; refutes Burnes' story of The Kid, essay on the early history of the Texas Rangers, 1923-1933.
Goldin, Theodore, relates to the Little Bighorn Battle, Custer, Indians, 1927-1934.
Graham, W.A., Colonel, Judge Advocate, U.S. Army, writer refutes Brininstool's position of when first news of the Battle of Little Bighorn was released, 1922-1940.
Grinnell, George B., 1924-1925.
Hickok, James G., "Wild Bill," 1921-1927.
Indians, 1890-1941:
Captain E.G. Fechet, "Report of the Killing of Sitting Bull ;""Story of Killing of Yellow Hair in the Hat Creek Fight Between the Cheyennes and U.S. Soldiers, 1929," as related by Beaver Heart, a Cheyenne Indian, eye witness; statement of Josie Tangleyellohair, and other letters concerning Indians. 1929;
Johnson, Albert W., concerning General Custer; his scout, Charles Reynolds; Indian Wars; copies of soldiers' and scouts' diaries, 1933-1939.
Kelly, Luther S., 1918-1928, and undated.
Kuhlman, Charles, concerns Battle of Little Bighorn, 1936-1941.
3G470 Lee, Jesse M., Brigadier General, U.S. Army, Indian agent, and Mrs. Lucy W. Lee, Daughter Maude Rethers. 1891-1930,1923-1930.
McCarthy, D., 1933.
McGillycuddy, V. P., 1925-1937.
Mercer, William A., Major, Infantry; Indian agent, 1888-1918, undated.
Merritt, T. E., 1850-1935 and undated.
Mills, Anson, 1920-1924.
Milner, Joe, 1925-1927.
North, Luther H., campaigned with General Crook, in partnership with his two brothers and William Cody on a cattle ranch where he was foreman with General Custer's expedition to the Black Hills; 1876-1877;1877-1882,18741923-1935.
Ostrander, A. B., about military life in 1860s; Jim Bridger, Bozeman Trail; his experiences as a clerk to General Philip Cooke, 1918-1933 and undated.
Reno, Marcus A., concerns copies of Court Martial Orders, both charging Reno with "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman". May 8, 1877, and May 17, 1880,1877-1941.
Reynolds, Charles, written by brother, Walter Reynolds, 1931-1940.
Root, Frank A., 1924-1930.
Ryan, John, relates to Bill Hickok and William F. Cody, 1923-1926.
Spotts, D. L., diary, 1868-18691920-1933.
Standing Bear, concerns dispute over his standing in the tribe, 1930-1935.
Strahorn, Robert E., war correspondence during 1876 Indian campaigns, 1933-1940 and undated.
Swerdfeger, C. E., one of four sisters named "German" who were captured as children by Indians, 1925-1927.
Thornton, W. Packer, M.D., Indian fighter; relates to Indian encounters, 1925.
Watson, Elmo Scott, 1926-1941.


Correspondence (General) Files

3G471 Photostat of letter written by Jesse James, May 1882.
Letter, Grenville M. Dodge, concerning Civil War battles at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, 1905.
Letter, M. Littmann, relating to "Wagon Box Fight, 1867," 1913.
Letter, Mrs. T. J. Foster, 1917.
Letter, Clark B. Stocking, 1866 Indian Fighter, 1918.
Letter, Charles King (?) mostly illegible, 1917.
Copy of letter, written by Annie Oakley to Hunter-Trader-Trapper magazine concerning Curley (Indian), 1925.
Brininstool's official appointment to National Indian War Veterans, April 12, 1916.
Letters from Lorenzo D. Walter, concerning Wyatt Earp, Bill Cody, Jesse James, 1933.
McAnelly, George M., concerning Crazy Horse's death, 1936.
Neifert, William A., concerning Custer; Indians, 1936.



3G471 Memoirs of Col. Homer W. Wheeler, undated (presented to Brininstool, June 9, 1929):
Vols. 1-3: "Indians and Other Reminiscences"
Vol. 4: "Escort to Lt. Gen. Phillip H. Sheridan from Ft. Washakie, Wyoming to Ft. Custer, Montana"
Vol. 5: Miscellaneous Indian narratives
"A Military History of Nebraska," by the Federal Writers' Project of Nebraska, 1939
Plans of Frontier Army Posts in 1876, compiled by Headquarters, Military Division of the Missouri, Chicago, Illinois
"History of the 7th U.S. Cavalry, 1866-1904"
3G472 Mrs. Frank D. Baldwin, (wife of General Frank D. Baldwin), Reminiscences
Materials about Wild Bill Hickok, by George W. Hansen, undated.
Materials about General George A. Custer: "50-Year Celebration of Custer Battlefield," by A.B. Ostrander; "Custer's Last Stand," no author, Chief Gall's Story of the Custer Fight," an Associated Press Report of undated;June 25, 1886.
"The Mackenzie Raid Into Mexico, 1873," by Captain R.G. Carter. U.S. Army.
"History of the Ninth Regt of Cavalry" by Lieutenant Grote Hutchison
With Reno at the Little Big Horn by Sgt. Thomas O'Neill (contains 7 photographs)
Killing and Burial of Sitting Bull, Sioux Medicine Man, by Captain A.R. Chapin and Captain E.G. Fechet Dec. 15, 1890
Field Diary of Lieut. William L. English, Seventh Infantry, Indian Campaign, 1876
The Story of a Rescue, by Brevet Col. L. H. Carpenter
Western and Military:
"Beecher Island Fight"
"The Story of a Rescue"
"Facts of the Life of John W. Poe," 1906
Draft notes concerning Indians of Black Hills, E.A. Brininstool
"Life and Adventure of Calamity Jane," written by Herself with notes by Frank Hilton
"The Surrender of Geronimo," by Lieutenant Charles G. Gatewood, 6th Cavalry, 1895
"The Westward March of America," 1930
"The Building of Ft. Phillip Kearney, 1866"
"Was Billy the Kid a Brave Man," no author, undated
"A Forgotten Campaign of our Indian War," typescript by Charles B. Gatewood
Notes and Fragments


Printed Material

3G473 Magazine excerpts
Newspaper clippings, bound, about the Sioux War of 1876, compiled by John H. Josselyn in 1930, taken from a scrapbook kept during the years 1874-1878.
"Indian Sketches and Pioneer History," ca. 1876 to late 1880s.
Newspaper clippings relate to Calamity Jane; Billy Dixon Wild Bill Hickok, Luther H. North.
Dover Index,The Gary Owen Trumpeter, Ft. Bliss, Photocopy excerpts of Harpers Weekly July 19, 1976;July 17, 1926;December 6 and 13, 1890.
Sagebrush Philosophy, (four periodicals) Aug. 1908-Nov. 1910
South Dakota Historical Review, (four periodicals) Oct. 1936-July 1937
The Field Artillery Journal, Jan.-Feb. 1939
The American Rifleman, May 1931
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, 1930-1931.
3G474 The Cavalry Journal, published by the United States Cavalry Association, Jan.-Feb., 1934
The Journal for American Military History Foundation, Volume 1, Spring, Summer, Winter, 1937
Texas Publications
The Prisoners of Perote, 1844
The Rise and Fall of the Mission San Saba, 1905
Old Camp Verde, the Home of the Camels, 1936
"Life of John Wesley Hardin," 1896
Authentic History of Sam Bass and his Gang, reprinted 1878,1926, 1932
"Heel-Fly Time in Texas," 1931
The Life of 'Big Foot' Wallace, 1899
Life of John Wesley Hardin written by Himself, reprinted with addition 1896,
Military History
New England War Veterans of the American Revolution and of Later Wars of Abraham Parker's family and of his Brothers, James, Joseph, John, and Jacob, William T. Parker, M.D., 1923
Destruction of the Spanish Fleet, Personal Narratives as Told by Officers of the American Fleet, in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, July 3, 1898.
The Sinking of the 'Merrimac,' Richmond P. Hobson, 1898
Across the Plains with the Donner Party in 1846, no author, undated
The Custer Battlefield National Cemetery, Quartermaser General, U.S. Army, 1937
Incidents in Aguinaldo's Capture, Colonel W.C. Brown, Retired, 1925
Gettysburg, Robert Bruce, 1920
My Personal Story, Lieut. Charles C. DeRudio, 1876
Fourth Cavalry United States Army, 1855-1930
Army Documents, Orders, Musters, Memos, 1881-1914
Miscellaneous Indian Publications
The Ghost Dance 'War', 1890
Gen. Nelson A. Miles' Indian Campaigns
When War Came to the Indian, 1932
From Dogs to Horses Among the Western Indian Tribes, 1939
The Teepee Book, 1916
The Beecher Island Annual, 1930
Tragedy of the Wahk-Shum, 1937
3G475 The Indian Warrior, P.E. Byrne, 1928
Universal Indian Sign Language, William Tompkins, 1927
Sully's Expedition Against Southern Plains Indians in 1868, General E.S. Godfrey
Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners, Ex. Doc. No. 39, 41st Congress, 3d Session, Feb. 10, 1971, bound as Speeches of 'Red Cloud.'
Some of the Indian Battles and Battlefields
"Adobe Walls Indian Ceremonials," 1941
The Carlisle Arrow, 1912
Miscellaneous Western Publications
The Last Days of Kit Carson, H.R. Tilton, 1939
The Jayhawkers of Death Valley, John G. Ellenbecker, 1938
Makers of History, compiled by F. Romer, 1926
Personal Experiences on the oregon Trail Sixty Years Ago, Ezra Meeker, 1912
Complete Story of Omaha's Disastrous Tornado, Easter Sunday, Charles B. Driscoll, March 23, 1912,1913
Across The Plains by Prairie Schooner, Frank Lockley, undated
Buffalo Bone Days, M.I. McCreight, 1939
Frontier Days, Cheyenne Wyoming 49th Annual Celebration, July 22-25, 1936
Early Days in Wyoming--A Short History of Old Fort Laramie, John Hunton, 1928
The W.M. Bogg's Manuscript About Bent's Fort, Kit Carson, The Far West and Life Among, the Indians, LeRoy R. Hafen, 1930
Through Yellowstone park with Gen. Sherman, 1883
A Souvenir History of Fort Robinson, Nebraska, Lieutenant Colonel Laurin L. Lawson, 1930
A Journal Across the Plains in 1836, a journal of Mrs. Marcus Whitman
Miscellaneous printed material (includes several pamphlets about the Overland Stage)



3S50 Photographs


Oversize material

2.325/D33c Correspondence: Schlesinger, "The Beecher Island Fight" Snyder, John F. (undated),(Mar 15, 1909)
Map of Wounded Knee Battlefield
Third and Fourth Quarterly Returns of Quartermaster Stores, New Mexico (1851)
Estimate for Subsistence Stores at Las Pinos, NM (July 6, 1866 to June 30, 1867)
Estimate for Subsistence Stores Fort Wingate, NM (Apr - June 30, 1866)
Special Requisition for Subsistence Stores, Fort Marcy, NM (2 original copies) (May 1, 1866 to July 31, 1866)
Requisition for Subsistence Stores at Los Pinos, NM (Apr 1, 1866, - June 30, 1866)
List of Reports Eminating From and Going Through or Required at Commanding Officers Office (undated)
Sunday Magazine and Womans' World (June 5, 1898)
2.325/OD11 Return of Provisions, Fort Union, N. M., January 1864