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G. Joseph Sills, Jr. Papers: Finding Aid
mssSills papers  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: G. Joseph Sills, Jr. Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1878-2000
    Bulk dates: 1984-2000
    Collection Number: mssSills papers
    Creator: Sills, G. Joseph, Jr.
    Extent: 284 items in 2 boxes.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the research materials and correspondence of G. Joseph Sills (1931-2000) concerning the events surrounding th Battle of Little Big Horn and Custer's Last Stand. The collection revolves around not only George A. Custer, but several of his subordinates as well (Myles Walter Keogh, Frederick William Benteen, and Marcus A. Reno).
    Language: English.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. G. Joseph Sills, Jr. Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Gift of Virginia Sills, April 7, 2004.

    Processing/Project Information

    Additional Items included with Finding aid:
    • Summary of correspondence between G. Joseph Sills, Jr., Brian Pohanka and Ronald Nichols.
    • Pohanka, Brian C., 1955- (2000) A Tribute to Joe Sills.

    Biographical Note

    A member of the English Westerners Society, the Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association (CBHMA) and the Little Big Horn Associates, G. Joseph Sills, Jr. (1931-2000) of Baltimore, Maryland, was a dedicated as well as respected student of Custer’s Last Stand. Maryland’s longtime Commissioner for Workers’ Compensation, Sills brought a keen mind and impartial spirit to the study of the famous battle.
    G. Joseph Sills was born in Lima, Ohio, in 1931 and graduated from Loyola College in 1952. He received his law degree from the University of Maryland Law School in 1960. Author of an introduction to the 1995 edition of Men With Custer: Biographies of the Seventh Cavalry, he was a frequent participant in panel discussions and lectures at the CBHMA’s annual symposiums. In the early 1990s, he actively assisted in the conservation of the Custer Battlefield Historical Monument. In addition, Sills was also a lifelong Sherlock Holmes enthusiast. He died in 2000.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains the research materials and correspondence of G. Joseph Sills (1931-2000) concerning the events surrounding th Battle of Little Big Horn and Custer's Last Stand. The collection has been divided into two boxes: one containing his correspondence with various historians and National Park Service personnel, one holding his research and writings. The correspondence extends chronologically from Sills first visit to the Little Big Horn Associates annual conference in 1984 through his death in the summer of 2000. Chief correspondents include historians Brian Pohanka, Ronald Nichols, and Francis B. Taunton. A summary of the sixteen years of exchanges between Sills, Pohanka, and Nichols has been compiled by Pohanka and is at the end of this finding aid.
    The research Sills collected contains notes made while investigating the Battle of Little Big Horn at the National Archives and other pertinent archives. Much of his research was documented by hand on yellow legal pads and is contained herewith. The collection also contains photocopies of other manuscript materials with Sills’ annotation. Intensely focused on the events surrounding Custer’s Last Stand, the collection revolves around not only George A. Custer, but several of his subordinates as well (Myles Walter Keogh, Frederick William Benteen, and Marcus A. Reno). In addition, there are a number of articles--both published and unpublished--written by Sills’ colleagues and correspondents. Lastly, Sills’ various lectures and essays are included in this collection. These writings range from esoteric jottings on scraps of paper to final, typewritten drafts. The largely undated material in this box is arranged alphabetically and grouped into (1) notes and research, (2) secondary literature, and (3) Sills’ writings, manuscripts, and ephemera.

    Arrangement

    This collection is arranged in two boxes:
    • Box 1: Correspondence
    • Box 2: Research, Manuscripts, and Ephemera

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Benteen, Frederick William, 1834-1898.
    Custer, George A. (George Armstrong), 1839-1876.
    Keogh, Myles Walter, 1840-1876.
    Reno, Marcus A. (Marcus Albert), 1835-1889.
    Sills, G. Joseph, Jr.
    Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association.
    Custer Battlefield Preservation Committee.
    United States. Army. Cavalry, 7th.
    Historians -- United States -- Archives.
    Little Bighorn, Battle of the, Mont., 1876.
    Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (Mont.)

    Forms/Genres

    Articles -- United States -- 20th century.
    Essays -- United States -- 20th century.
    Lectures -- United States -- 20th century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 20th century.
    Research (document genres) -- United States -- 20th century.

    Additional Contributors

    Nichols, Ronald H. (Ronald Hamilton), 1935-.
    Pohanka, Brian C., 1955-.
    Taunton, Francis B.