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"Keep the last bullet for yourself!"

A vignette half-length seated view of Lt. Frederick H. Brown, 18th US Infantry, one of three officers killed in the Fetterman Massacre of 21 December 1866 near Fort Phil Kearney. The tonal quality and clarity are exceptional. M. Witts Photograph Gallery, No. 81 South High St., Columbus, Ohio" backmark. Ink script identification at bottom reverse, possibly a signature, F.H. Brown / 1st Lieut. 18. U.S Infty

Brown was from New York and enlisted in the 18th US Infantry as a private and then QM Sergt 18 July 1861; 2nd Lt. 30 Oct. 1861; 1st Lt 24 Mar 1862; Regimental QM 4 Nov 1861 to 15 May 1866. Capt. 15 May 1866. Brevet Capt. 1 Sept 1864 for gallant and meritorious service in the Atlanta Campaign.

In the winter of 1866 Brown was set to leave Fort Phil Kearney, but decided on 21 December to join Fettermans command in the relief of the wood train to get a last crack at the Indians. The entire detachment, 81 officers, enlisted men, and two civilians, were killed in what was later seen as a precursor to the Custer massacre by many.

Col. Carringtons report mentions specifically that Brown and Fetterman likely killed one another in the final moments of the battle:

"Nearly all were heaped near four rocks at the point nearest the Fort, these rocks enclosing a space about six feet square, having been the last refuge for defence. Here were also a few unexpended rounds of Spencer cartridge.
Fetterman and Brown had each a revolver shot in the left temple. As Brown always declared he would reserve a shot for himself as a last resort, so I am convinced that these two brave men fell, each by the others hand, rather than undergo the slow torture inflicted upon others."

A very hard to find image.

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