24th U.S. Infantry Adjutant’s Voucher – 2nd Lt. E.S. Beacom

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Most likely made out while Lt. Beacom was stationed Fort McIntosh, Texas, dated 25 May, 1874.

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Edgard Swazie Beacom, USMA Class of 1873, joined his regiment upon graduation as a 2nd Lieutenant. Little have I found on his service record without going to great lengths, other than trying to find some details in his short career in the Army.  He resigned his commission in 1877.  Beacom died in March of 1884.

I do know he entered the Army from Pennsylvania, and was 39th in his West Point class. This voucher records as of the 25th of May, 1874, Beacom had been assigned as the post adjutant at Fort McIntosh, Tex, and also acted as the post treasurer.

He did find himself a predicament with another officer, Lt. B.M. Custer, of the 24th Infantry.  In a report to Captain Charles C. Hood, 24th, commanding Fort McIntosh, Beacom wrote on January 29, 1875, that he and Lt. Custer had stopped briefly at the officer of a doctor in Larado. Texas, and while there heard there horses being stolen, and they began their pursuit with the ad of lanterns toward the Rio Grand. The next morning they obtained permission to pursue into Mexico, by an authority at New Larado, Mexico, and all of that day was wasted in trying to obtain men to help in the recovery of the mounts. The next morning with the assistance of two soldier from the 24th, and two Mexicans, they started to follow the trail, and eventually were able to get their horses back. Beacom mentioned in his report that the Alcaldes at New Larado, and Guerrero, Mexico were most helpful to assist, and he called to attention the great credit to the two soldiers and their part in the affair.

Captain Hood’s letter to the Adjutant General, Department of Texas, stated, “….Lt. Beacom’s conduct…is deserving of great praise and public mention, not so much on account of the horses and thieves overhauled, as affording an example to others who lose property on the frontier, of what succuss may follow like persistent and properly directed efforts.”

 

Under an Act of 28 July, 1866, the 38th and 41st infantry regiments were organized, with both units made up of Black troops.  Initially all the officers were Civil War veterans, and had excellent records, showing experience under fire.

The 38th began is service guarding and scouting along the transcontinental railroads being built in New Mexico, while the 41st was stationed in Texas and Louisiana.

In 1869, under the Army’s reorganization, these two regiments were consolidated to form the new 24th Infantry, and would remain in Texas until 1880, at various post, where usually on average only two companies garrisoned those forts and camps.

Duties performed by the regiment were expeditions and scouts against Indians over the Staked Plains, construction of posts, building roads, chasing down horse thieves, and many other assignments some grueling, with others having rather mundane in nature.  By 1880, West Texas was a much safer state, with a good deal of the Indian troubles subdued, and more settlers moving into the state.

A few of the post where the 24th was garrisoned were Forts, Brown, Concho, Clark, Duncan, McIntosh, McKavett, Richardson, and several other posts and camps.

The documents is a one page voucher for postage for the 1st of November 1873 to 25 May, 1874.  The document is entirely in Beacom’s hand, and essentially comprises two autographs of this officer’s, no doubt scarce signature. The importance here lies in the location from where it was filled out, along with Beacom’s autograph.  Fine + condition.

 

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Weight .5 lbs