relics from battle of little big horn for sale

A Colt .45 single action once belonging to Temple Houston, son of revolutionary hero General Sam Houston, a trunk with ties to the Battle of Little Big Horn and a pistol used in the Battle of San Jacinto are up for auction in Texas. The items, from a San Antonio estate plus select consignments, are included in one of the largest groups of significant historically-related artifacts ever sold at public auction in the state.

Batle of San Jacinto Pistol

According to documents accompanying the black powder, Model 1873 Colt Single action revolver, it is the gun used by Temple Houston to kill Ed Jennings during a saloon fight at Woodward, Oklahoma. Ed was a brother to Al and Frank Jennings who later became outlaws. Houston was considered to be one of the country's most brilliant trial lawyers and was noted for his flamboyant dress and unorthodox behavior, carrying his guns even during trial.

"We are expecting this auction to top all our previous records," said auctioneer Robb Burley of Burley Auction Gallery in New Braunfels. "The number and historical significance of the items in this auction is unprecedented." The extremely important pistol used at the Battle of San Jacinto by Michael Peveto, Jr., is accompanied by provenance including affidavits from two generations of family members and a family tree showing the relation to him. Peveto is also known for building the first house where the town of Orange now stands. He served in the 2nd Regiment Texas Volunteers 3rd Infantry Company and died in 1838 just weeks after the battle of San Jacinto. He was buried in an unmarked grave near Nome, Texas.

Other major artifacts in the sale are an officer's trunk belonging to 7th Cavalry Lt. E. G. Mathey who was in command of the supply train for Custer during the Battle of the Little Big Horn, a documented Confederate 5th Texas Calvary Sgt. Albert Wilkinson's Colt 1851 Navy, a member of Quantrill's Raiders, a knife attributed to Lakota warrior Crow Dog and the badge and Colt pistol belonging to Deputy U.S. Marshal Tom Smith, who captured one of Oklahoma's most notorious outlaws, Zip Wyatt, aka Dick Yeager, one of the last known members of the Doolin Gang. Wyatt was carrying a Winchester 1886, which was taken and kept by Marshal Smith at the time of his capture.

Both guns are well documented with sworn letters of affidavit from Marshal Smith's son, a documented chain of custody, a well as numerous supporting documents and newspaper articles dating back to the time of his capture. "This is by far some of the best documentation on any historic firearm we have seen. It is rare that you find something so well documented by the family, historians and the press," said Burley. The story is also recounted in a book "The Cherokee Strip" by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Marquis James. The documented collection in Smith's handwriting includes Wyatt's 1886 Winchester taken by him at the time of the outlaw's death in Enid, Oklahoma.

The auction features western artifacts, art, collectibles and décor items such as Texas Ranger and lawmen badges, a tintype of outlaw Belle Starr, marked gun leather and chaps, spurs, legendary San Antonio trick shooter, Ad Topperwein shoot outs, targets and posters, an 1899 Winchester calendar, early gun advertising, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show items, actress Ann Margaret's costume from the John Wayne movie "The Train Robbers," saddles, a King Ranch Saddle Blanket and a rare horn chair and mirror by another San Antonio legend, furniture maker Wenzel Friedrich. Artwork includes oil paintings by listed artists, an original 1914 Charles Russell bronze and a bronze of Frank Hamer by Robert Summers.

Other items of note in the sale are reverse-painted glass and self-framed tin pre-Prohibition beer and whiskey saloon signs, corner signs, a huge collection of country store and cigar advertising, country store bolt bin and display cases, early soda dispensers, mechanical banks, signed Texas pottery, Republic of Texas Currency, Indian baskets, Navajo rugs, beaded moccasins, bowie knives, case knives and other artifacts and décor items.

Firearms and weapons in the sale include a large collection of about 100 antique Colt and Winchester firearms such as other outlaw and lawmen guns, a factory engraved Colt single action shipped to San Antonio, an engraved Colt Bisley revolver carried by a Texas Ranger, and a rare engraved Colt 1855 revolving carbine.

The public auction is being held in New Braunfels, Texas, near San Antonio, at the Burley Auction Gallery, 134 Deborah Drive on Saturday, October 11th and Sunday October 12th starting at 10:00 am. The preview is Friday, October 10th from 12:00 noon until 6:00pm and Saturday 8:00am until auction start. If you cannot attend the live auction, you can bid absentee, by phone, or online through eBay Live. For more information and a full catalog with photos visit Burley Auction Gallery, TX Lic. #15184, at or call 830-237-3440.

Author Information

Burley Auction Group