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The George Armstrong Custer Collection of the
Monroe County Library System

Custer in the News
In Monroe County and throughout the United States

CUSTER'S RELICS LEFT TO THE U.S.

(Monroe Evening News, March 2, 1934)

Mrs. Elizabeth Bacon Custer, widow of General George Armstrong Custer, left an estate appraised at $113, 581 gross and $101,492 net, which included securities worth $93, 774. Mrs. Custer, who died last April 4, left the residuary estate to Vassar College to aid daughters of United States Army commanding officers, but revoked the bequest in a codicil and left the residue to Agnes Bates Wellington of Bronxville and May Custer Elmer of 14 Park street, Brooklyn. Vassar College was beneficiary of a $5000 trust fund.

The estate included $344 in cash, deposited in the Bronxville Trust Company to the credit of the "Custer Monument Fund". The money had been insufficient for the purpose for which it was raised and the treasurer, Charles S. Bates, turned it over to Mrs. Custer's estate.

A valuation of $100 was placed on a white towel certified to be the "first flag of truce sent in by the confederate forces on the day General Lee surrendered," and on a white linen handkerchief used by General Custer as a flag of truce at Appomattox. They were bequeathed to the government and are in the War Department building.

A pine table used by Grant and Lee in the surrender ceremony and a letter written by General Sheridan presenting the table to Mrs. Custer were valued at $100. These and other mementos including General Custer's sword and scabbard, appraised at $100 were left to the Smithsonian Institution. The appraisal showed that a button described in the will as taken from the uniform of George Washington and left to West Point Military Academy was not found among Mrs. Custer's effects.

She also left tangible personal property belonging to her late husband to the government, to be placed in some memorial or museum to be erected or now in existence on the battlefield of Little Big Horn, Montana, where her husband and the battalion under his command was annihilated by Indians in 1876.

(Monroe Evening News, March 2, 1934)

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