Colonel Elmer I. Otis: The Wood Trunk Of The Man
This is a standard U.S. Army Indian Wars period footlocker which would have been invaluable to an officer such as Otis, who was always on the move. It measures 37" x 18.5" x 20.5". Overall condition is relatively good, considering that it was being used to store feed on the front porch of a Kansas farm house. There is minor, really inconsequential damage and some slight separation of the wood, and the hinges for the lid are loose, but present. One original leather handle is still attached on one end and is in surprisingly good condition.
Elmer Otis was a most interesting character in post-Little Bighorn history. He is recognized as the officer who rebuilt the 7th Cavalry after its catastrophic defeat over the public objections of Major Reno, with whom he apparently had a long-standing feud. Imagine Reno's consternation when Otis was named to be one of his judges when he was brought up on charges stemming from the battle. Later, Otis would be one of the two judges who refused to sign an appeal to President Benjamin Harrison requesting clemency for Reno.
His army trunk, with its charming weathered patina, is a most appealing artifact from this ever-fascinating chapter in the history of the West. An inch-thick dossier of research on Otis's military career accompanies this lot.