Custer's Cook
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9965) 12 years ago
Annie Morgan was George Armstrong Custer's cook - in June of 1876 she found herself out of work and moved to an abandoned fox farm near Philipsburg, MT. In 2008 the Forest Service along with PIT volunteers completed restoration of Morgan's cabin.


More about Annie Morgan and her home near Philipsburg:

Restored Morgan-Case Homestead Cabin Opens
Rob Chaney
MISSOULIAN
October 21, 2008
http://tinyurl.com/ocgkzl



What are PIT volunteers?

Passport in Time (PIT). PIT is a volunteer archaeology and historic preservation program ran by the Forest Service.
http://www.passportintime.com/


Morgan Case Homestead Rehabilitation I
Lolo National Forest, Montana, 2007
By C. Milo McLeod, Forest Archaeologist
http://www.passportintime...ncase.html


Here's a three-minute video showing the restored Morgan-Case cabin:
http://www.youtube.com/wa...gKCI0rbIm8
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14983) 12 years ago
So was she near the battle or back at the fort?
Very interesting info.
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Posted by ike eichler (+1228) 12 years ago
Hal, Believe that Annie Morgan was RUMORED to be a cook for Custer in 1876. Rumor is the key word here. Actually in 1876 Mary Adams (also a black woman) was Custer's cook. There has been much speculation that she was along on the steamship, even to the fact she overheard Terry's final orders to Custer. She signed an affidavit to that effect. Others claim she never left FT. Lincoln. A classic example of Pro Custer historian's VS Anti.
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Posted by Andy Muenich (+26) 12 years ago
Custer had his cook along on the 1873 Stanley Expedition and that may cause some confusion. It was essentially the same route as the 1876 disaster except they didn't go to the Little Bighorn. If Annie Morgan went to Philipsburg in 1876, which is in far western Montana, she would have to go through very hostile territory, or, go back down the river and catch a train out of St. Louis or similar town which took a route through Denver and then up towards western Montana, most likely via wagon, horseback, or stagecoach. I'm not saying it couldn't be done but think it highly unlikely. My guess is she went to Philipsburg a few years later.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9225) 12 years ago
Could you clarify this Ike?

A classic example of Pro Custer historian's VS Anti.
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Posted by ike eichler (+1228) 12 years ago
If you are a student of Custer and the LBH, be aware that there are Custer lovers and haters, Thus pro and anti. None other than our Nelson Miles championed the Mary Adams document.
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Posted by ike eichler (+1228) 12 years ago
Andy,
Custer's cook in 1873 was a freed slave mamed Eliza who had been with the family for a number of years, but was not along on the Stanley 1873 Yellowstone Exp. Having remained at Ft. Lincoln. While the march was similar 73 vs 76 73 did not go south of the Yellowstone. While in 76 The march was South of the Yellowstone and turned down the Rosebud.
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+587) 12 years ago
This is very interesting. I don't know anything about Annie Morgan.

I only know of these three black Custer cooks (Eliza & Mary Adams already mentioned):

Eliza Brown Davison was with Custer during the Civil War where she was referred to as Queen of Sheba. She rode in antique carriage & was rolled off a hillside in it by some rebel troops once. She was captured twice. Brady took a photo of her with George & Libbie. (They married in 1864) She was at Ft Riley, Kansas with Libbie in 1866. Libbie fired her in 1869 for being drunk & insolent. She married Andrew Jackson Davison, a black attorney. Libbie did use her later during her writing career so they remained on some type of terms.

Mary Adams called Maria was on 1873 Custer expedition with Col David Stanley & he objected to her cast iron stove that was non military issue. She fed the troops wild game cooked on it & was popular. She was at Ft Lincoln & answered the door when Libby was notified of the battle of Little Big Horn. She later worked for Raymond family in Bismarck. She gave the famous/infamous affidavit.

Sarah A Campbell called Sally (1823-1888) was sold to Henry Choteau & he rented her out to steam boats as a cook until she sued for her freedom & won $1. She was the cook on the Custer's 1874 Black Hills expedition. She also was part of his mining company & later sold her part of claim for $500 from the Alice Lode.

The SD Historical Society says that Mary Kercheval (1833-1921) was Custer & Libby's cook & personal attendant. She later lived in Centennial Prairie.

In Libbie's book Boots & Saddles when talking about servants she said that "Mary ruled like a despot". I don't know which Mary. Perhaps there is mention in Jennie Platt Barnitz's diary "Life in Custer's Calvary". She was wife of a Calvary Captain. She did say they were waited on hand & foot at Ft Riley. I need to re-read it.
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+587) 12 years ago
Annie Morgan is hard to track. This is all I could find.

Agnes Morgan, black, married, born in Maryland about 1846, working as a domestic servant in Myles & Lottie Moylan's household at Fort Meade, Dakota Territory in the 1880 census.

At that time Moylan was a Captain in the 7th. He was brother-in-law to John Calhoun, as was Custer. So he was part of the "Custer Clan" in the 7th. He has an interesting history of his own. He retired as Major in 1893 and moved to San Diego.

I didn't find Agnes (Annie) again until 1910 with John Case as partner, Rock Creek, Granite Co, Montana- at the homestead. She was widowed. He officially filed the homestead claim June 12, 1919.
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Posted by ike eichler (+1228) 12 years ago
As all of the Custer works the more you read the more confusing it becomes.
In an article feb.9 2005 re: the Morgan Case Homestead, Annie a former slave was RUMORED to come west as a cook for Custer. No research proves that to be true.

Some historians see Eliza coming north with the Custers from down south in early 1873. Libbie say's it was Mary Adams. In a letter to his Wife 6-73 Stanley complains about Custer, and relates he carries along an old negro woman. Who really was along on the Yellowstone Exp of 1873? Another scource claims Eliza stayed with the Custers untill his death.

Skip ahead to the Black Hills Exp. of 1874. Some claim there was a colored cook named Johnson. Others Say the cook was Sarah Campbell AKA Aunt Sally.

In 1876 all accounts credit Mary Adams as the cook and the perhaps the phoney document about overhearing Terry's orders to Custer? If Mary Adams was Stanleys "old negro woman" of 1873 Where was she between 73 and 76?
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