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8/22/2014
Collecting 1877-91 U.S. Indian Wars Battle Dug Relic Casings & Documenting Your Collection

 American Indian Wars is the name used in the United States to describe the multiple conflicts between American settlers or the federal governmentand the native peoples of North America from the time of earliest colonial settlement until approximately 1891. Recently MEARS Auctions was able to purchase a rather significant grouping of relic dug .45-70 caliber casings and bullets used by the United States Army during the time of the conflict that were found in the area of Southern New Mexico and Fort Craig. Per the head stamps, the bullets were manufactured during the 1877-1884 era. To document the find, MEARS recorded the date of purchase, ebay item number, and ebay seller of each shell, so that an accurate history of the origin of the casings and bullets that entered the hobby is archived.

The .45-70 rifle cartridge, also known as .45-70 Government, was developed at the U.S. Army's Springfield Armory for use in the Springfield Model 1873, which is also referred to as the "Trapdoor Springfield." The new cartridge was a replacement for the stop-gap .50-70 Government cartridge which had been adopted in 1866, one year after the end of the American Civil War. The cartridge was greatly responsible for the success of the United States Army during the Apache Wars.

                                                                          

                                                                                                 Map of the Apache wars


The Apache Wars were a series of armed conflicts between the United States Army and various Apache nations fought in the Southwest between 849 and 1886, though minor hostilities continued until as late as 1924. Its origins started a year before the first conflict when a fraction of Mexico becomes part of America in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War. Therefore the Native Mexicans had become Native Americans for the series of conflicts where a significant part of the Westward Expansion Trails in the American frontier.

Conflicts between the United States and the Apache Nation focused on the leaders Victorio, Nana, and Geronimo.

Victorio (ca. 1825–October 14, 1880) was a warrior and chief of the Warm Springs band of the Cheyenne, a division of the central Apaches in what is now the American states of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua. In April, 1880, Victorio was credited with leading the Alma Massacre – a raid on United States settlers' homes around Alma, New Mexico. During this event, several settlers were killed. Victorio's warriors were finally driven off with the arrival of American soldiers from Fort Bayard. However, Victorio continued his campaign with the attack on Fort Tularosa. In October 1880, while moving along the Rio Grande in northern Mexico, Victorio and his band were surrounded and killed by soldiers of the Mexican Army under Colonel Joaquin Terrazas in the Tres Castillos Mountains in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Some women and children escaped but were sent with Geronimo to Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma.

Nana (ca. 1800?-1896), was also known as “Broken Foot” or “Angry, He is Agitated”. Leading his people during the same era as Geronimo, Nana, and Victorio, was a Chiricahua Apache leader and the nephew of Delgadito and married a sister of Geronimo. He fought alongside Mangas Coloradas until Mangas was killed whilst in the custody of the California militia in January 1863. During the Indian wars he raided areas of Texas and Mexico with Victorio until Victorio and his band were surrounded and killed by soldiers of the Mexican Army under Mauricio Corredor at Cerro Tres Castillos. Nana and his followers had been able to evade the ambushers and escape into the Sierra Madre. Nana then formed his own war party with the Warm Springs Apache and began raiding Army supply trains and isolated settlers. Nana was captured in a surprise attack and sent to the San Carlos Reservation, but he escaped and joined forces with Geronimo in Mexico, and fought with him during his last days of resistance. In 1886, he surrendered along with Geronimo and was sent to Fort Marion, Florida. In 1894, he was allowed to return west to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Nana died at Fort Sill on May 19, 1896, at the age of 96. He had the longest fighting career of any of the Apache warriors.

Geronimo (ca. June 1829 – February 17, 1909) was a prominent leader of the Bedonkohe Apache who fought against Mexico and Texas for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars. "Geronimo" was the name given to him during a battle with Mexican soldiers. After a Mexican attack on his tribe, where soldiers killed his mother, wife, and his three children in 1858, Geronimo joined a number of revenge attacks against the Mexicans. In 1886, after a lengthy pursuit, Geronimo surrendered to Texan faux-gubernatorial authorities as a prisoner of war. At an old age, he became a celebrity, appearing at fairs, but he was never allowed to return to the land of his birth. Geronimo died in 1909 from complications of pneumonia at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

MEARS has documented the entire inventory of the find. Included are:


Group 1:
1978-82 Apache Indian Wars U.S. (45-70 Cartridge) Army Casings & Bullets (Dug Relic)
Date: July 6th
Ebay Seller: Danjer
Item Number: 131237882725

Lot Description: Lot (13) of spent casings & bullets, inside primed, all found in southern New Mexico, from a site of the Apache Indian Wars against Victorio, Nana, and Geronimo. Most have head stamped dates, as follows: R-F-5-80, C-F-4-80, C-F-3-78(2), R-F-6-82, C-F-2-78, R-F-3-81, R-F-8-81, and five (5) plain-no head stamp. All have the normal dents and dings associated with dug relics.


Group 2:
1877-81 Apache Indian Wars U.S. (45-70 Cartridge) Army Casings & Bullets (Dug Relic)
Date: July 6th, 2014
Ebay Seller: Danjer
Item Number: 131237878097

Lot Description: Lot (12) spent casing & bullets, inside primed, all found in southern New Mexico, from a site of the Apache Indian Wars against Victorio, Nana, and Geronimo. Most have head stamped dates, as follows-R-F-4-80, C-F-1-79, C-F-9-80(2), C-F-5-77, R-F-6-80, R-F-5-77, R-F-5-80, C-F-11-81, R-F-5-78, C-F-1-80, and C-F-9-78. All have the normal dents and dings associated with dug relics.


Group 3:
1978-82 Apache Indian Wars U.S. (45-70 Cartridge) Army Blank Casings (Dug Relic)
Date: July 6th
Ebay Seller: Danjer
Item Number: 121382266968

Nice lot (10) of 45-70 blank casings that were never fired, 2 are inside primed, the rest have outside primers. These were all found in southern New Mexico-site of the Apache Indian Wars against Victorio, Nana, and Geronimo. All have the normal dents and dings associated with dug relics.


Group 4:
1882-1891 Apache Indian Wars U.S. (45-70 Cartridge) Army Casings & Spent Bullets w/ Outside Primers (Dug Relic)
Date: July 6th
Ebay Seller: Danjer
Item Number: 121382249594

Description: Nice lot (14) of 45-70 casings and spent bullets, outside primed, all found in southern New Mexico-site of the Apache Indian Wars against Victorio, Nana, and Geronimo. Most have head stamped dates, as follows-R-F-3-83, C-F-10-83, C-F-11-82, C-F-10-84(2), R-F-12-84, R-F-1-85, R-F-10-83, C-F-10-82, R-F-3-84, F-12-86, F-5-86, F-1-87, F-1-91, plain. All have the normal dents and dings associated with dug relics. Always glad to combine shipping if you win more than one auction.


Group 5:
1877 Apache Indian Wars U.S. (45-70 Cartridge) Army Round (Dug Relic Found In New Mexico)
Date: July 6th
Ebay Seller: Danjer
Item Number: 121382242983

Head Stamp: Nice dropped 45-70 that was found near Fort Craig, New Mexico back in the 1960's. The copper case is in nice condition, and is head stamped R-F-5-77. (Rifle-Frankford Arsenal-May-1877). This is the earliest date I have seen for a 45-70 case. The lead bullet has surface cracking from being buried in the desert.


Fort Craig was a U.S. Army fort located along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, near Elephant Butte Lake State Park and the Rio Grande in Socorro County, New Mexico. Between 1863 and1865, Fort Craig was headquarters for U.S. Army campaigns against the Gila and Mimbres Apaches. Fort Craig was permanently abandoned in 1885.

                                                 

Each casing has been housed in a riker mount display box, with the approximate date, caliber, and location found printed on an identification tag. The information regarding the location of the find was provided by the original seller. I have documented the date of purchase and the sellers Ebay name to create accountability as to the representation of the item and to document the original source. By publishing these finding online in an article form, I am providing all potential customers/collectors the entire history of how this artifact entered the hobby.

I find it quite fascinating that 140+ years later, these items have been uncovered, preserved in the sandy, arid desert of New Mexico. Generations of rattle snakes, brown spiders, and scorpions have passed over these hidden pieces of buried history. Was the casing ejected from its father the Springfield Rifle during an Indian Battle, target practice, or attempt to harvest meat for the troops? Regardless of the exact reason of its firing and landing in the sand, it was an integral component of the life of an Indian Wars Soldier, and a tangible, surviving testament to a very historic moment in time.

Questions may be directed to Troy R. Kinunen at troy@mearsonline.com


8/21/2014
15-Minute Rule


MEARS Auctions utilizes the 15-Minute per lot closing method. Initial bids must be placed before 9:00 CST. Starting at 9:00 CST, when a single lot receives a bid(s), the 15 minute clock resets and begins to count down for that individual lot at that time.


If a lot has a single bid after the initial 15 minute countdown has expired, the lot will sell to the single lone bidder and that lot will close.


Once a single lot receives a bid during the 15 minute countdown, that specific lot’s auction clock resets for another 15 minutes. During that time, others bidders have a chance to enter another bid. If another bid is placed, the 15-Minute clock resets again. Once nobody places a bid on that specific lot during the 15 minute countdown, that lot closes.


During the 15-Minute rule, lots with zero bids may still be bid on. A single bid will then subject that lot to the 15 minute count down.


Once nobody bids during the 15 minute count down on any active lot, the entire auction closes.


NOTICE: If you are bidding on multiple items. The 15 minute countdown may be ending simultaneously. Please keep track of all your lots and place maximum bids to insure that your lot is protected.

8/4/2014
About Mears Auctions

MEARS Auctions is an internet based sales venue that operates out the 15,000 square foot MEARS Corporate Research and Conference Center located in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a separate division within the MEARS structure, we can focus almost exclusively on obtaining and offering unique and quality sports, pop culture, and Americana memorabilia for your consideration.

Our auction cycle, combining both large and small events, allows us to ensure that we can offer something to all collectors, no matter their personal interests or budget.  We do all this with the same level of commitment and integrity that collectors have become accustomed to associating with the MEARS name.

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