American Westward Expansion, Battle of Wounded Knee or Wounded Knee Massacre, Medal of Honor Recipient, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Impact on Native American Culture resulting from American's Manifest Destiny.
Author's Note: Paul Weinert was a Man of His Times, meaning that he lived his entire life within the boundaries. norms. and mores of his contemporary culture. Weinert peaked at the culmination of America's own version of Manifest Destiny, culminating in Westward Expansion at the detriment of the Indigenous Native American Culture. At that time in American History, the Native American was seen as a pediment to Westward Expansion and advancing "civilization" to the western United States. Although near the end of the protracted Native American Culture mass extinction, the near-final major blow was the Battle of Wounded Knee, now commonly known as the Wounded Knee Massacre, seen clearly in history as a retaliation to "Custer's Last Stand at the Little Big Horn". At that time in history, the white popular version of the story dominated the American Culture, and was a view that Paul Weinert believed as not only defensible, but honorable. Weinert lived his entire life as an American Hero, and while reprehensible in retrospect, it is unlikely Weinert knew anything other than adoration in his lifetime. Time lends perspective.
Significant archive of photographs and papers associated with Paul H. Weinert, one of twenty soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor for action at Wounded Knee who later joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West traveling show, comprising material associated with both of these aspects of his life and career. As a member of Battery 'E' of the 1st Regiment of US Artillery, Weinert took part in what was then called the Battle of Wounded Knee, but is now typically referred to as the Wounded Knee Massacre.
On December 29, 1890, a detachment of the 7th Cavalry, supported by a battery of Hotchkiss guns from the 1st Artillery, surrounded a Lakota encampment near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. It is said that when the cavalrymen made contact to confiscate their arms, the gun of Black Coyote-a deaf Lakota who did not want to give up his expensive rifle-accidentally went off, prompting the American troops to fire on the largely disarmed and helpless Native American Indians. When commanding officer Lt. Harry Hawthorne was wounded, Weinert assumed command and directed the artillery fire, successfully clearing out a key position in a ravine that had been occupied by Sioux warriors. He and the second cannoneer remained under heavy fire throughout the battle, advancing their gun after each discharge to attain better positions. In the end, between 250 and 300 Lakota men, women, and children were killed in the lopsided fight, which saw just 25 American deaths. Note: Author suggests further reading on the topic, including the Wikipedia page.
Weinert was one of twenty men awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry at Wounded Knee, his citation reading: 'Taking the place of his commanding officer who had fallen severely wounded, he gallantly served his piece, after each fire advancing it to a better position'. In modern times, these Medals of Honor have proven controversial-in 2001, the National Congress of American Indians passed two resolutions condemning the military awards and called on the US government to rescind them, though that has not taken place. In addition to his military service throughout the 1890s, Weinert joined the famous traveling Western show of William F. 'Buffalo Bill' Cody, serving as its cavalry standard bearer in 1896.
Three original mounted albumen photographs of the aftermath of the Battle of Wounded Knee published by the Northwestern Photographic Co. of Chadron, Nebraska, all with titles inherent to the image. Includes: an 8 x 5 photograph entitled "Gathering up the Dead at the Battle of Wounded Knee S.D.," showing a horse-drawn cart filled with bodies in the foreground, with cavalry officers on horseback silhouetted in the background; an 8.5" x 6.5" photograph entitled "Birds Eye View of Battlefield at Wounded Knee, S.D. looking North," showing Big Foot's camp three weeks after the massacre, with bodies of four Lakota Sioux wrapped in blankets in the foreground and American soldiers amid scattered debris of the camp in the stark distance; and an 8.5" x 6.5" photograph entitled "Birds Eye View of Can[y]on at Wounded Knee, S.D.", showing a wagon chassis with two dead horses in the foreground, and soldiers standing amidst the corpses of Native Americans scattered about the base of the canyon in the background.
Ten mounted albumen portraits of Paul H. Weinert throughout his military career, highlighted by a rare early oversized portrait of him wearing his newly earned Medal of Honor, affixed to a 7.75" x 10" mount. Others include two different earlier cabinet portraits of Weinert in a military coat; an early cabinet portrait of Weinert by M. Hofsteater of the Wisconsin Territory, showing him in formal attire and holding his cap with the insignia of Battery 'E', 1st US Artillery; another cabinet photo by Hofsteater, showing Weinert in uniform beside his horse; two identical cabinet photos by A. H. Baumann of Crawford, Nebraska, showing him in uniform with the insignia of Troop 'L', 1st US Cavalry, with his Medal of Honor on his chest; a cabinet photo by Fiero's Studio, showing Weinert with three medals on his chest (including the Medal of Honor); and two identical oval portraits of Weinert wearing his medals by Barrows of Boston.
Two different albumen photographs on 8.5" x 6.5" mounts showing American soldiers at their encampment.
A square albumen portrait of a cavalry officer on horseback affixed to a 5.25" x 5.25" mount, inscribed on the reverse in ink, "Compliments of Mildred, Taken Apr. 16, 1899".
A square albumen photograph showing a cavalry officer on horseback holding an American flag with a Native American Indian in front of him, affixed to a 5" x 5" mount, with a studio's backstamp, "D. J. Schmedlie, 3330 Franklin Ave".
Four 8.5" x 6" albumen portraits showing artillery batteries from afar, with ink notations to several of the images (presumably identifying Weinert), affixed to larger mounts. One is annotated on the reverse of the mount, Light Batteries E & K - 1st N. Y. Artillery, Captains Allyn Capron & J. W. Dillenback, Presidio, San Francisco, California, 1889, Presented to M. P. H. Weinert, St. George Hotel, Brooklyn, N.Y., Sept. 13th 1900".
An unusual 10" x 8" albumen portrait of American officers posing with their bicycles, Weinert identified with an ink notation, affixed to its original Spencer of Chicago mount.
A 9.5" x 7.25" mounted albumen photograph by N. L. Stebbins of Boston, showing Weinert and three others on horseback.
Two different albumen photographs of a troop, both affixed to gray 6.5" x 4.25" mounts, one showing cavalry officers standing atop their horses, and one showing the men dressed in matching white outfits with hats.
Two identical albumen photographs of a group of men in their barracks, featuring Weinert at the center with his Medal of Honor on his chest, affixed to 6.5" x 5.5" mounts.
A 6.25" x 4" albumen portrait of an artillery company (presumably the Battery 'E' of the 1st Regiment of Artillery), affixed to a trimmed Northwest Photographic Co. mount, advertising their views of Wounded Knee on the reverse.
A 4.25" x 6.5" cabinet photo of three cavalry officers by Morris of Santa Cruz, California.
An albumen photograph of the peace council between the Sioux and Chippewa at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show on September 11, 1896, affixed to its original 11 x 9.5 mount with printed caption, taken by S. W. Bailey of Ashland, Wisconsin. The reverse of the mount bears an affixed printed transcript of the council's proceedings.
An albumen photograph of the men in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, captioned within the image, "Dressing Room at Buffalo Bill's Wild West 1897", affixed to a 12" x 10" mount.
A 4.25" x 6.5" cabinet photo of legendary sharpshooter Annie Oakley by Stacy of Brooklyn, bearing Oakley's facsimile signature on the mount.
A glossy 5" x 4" photo of cowboys and Native American Indians on horseback, perhaps during a rehearsal for Buffalo Bill's show.
A 4.25" x 6.5" cabinet photo of Chief Joseph and his family by E. B. Snell, Elite Gallery, Wellington, Kansas, showing the leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of the Nez Perce at the center. Erroneously identified on the reverse in modern ballpoint as "Red Cloud".
A 2.5" x 4" carte-de-visite-style card reproducing a cabinet portrait of "Jack Red Cloud", chief of the Oglala Lakota Sioux, by Trager and Kuhn, Crawford, Nebraska, with the studio's name inherent to the image.
Also includes an assortment of Weinert family photographs.
Letters, Documents, and Ephemera:
An original admission ticket for the 1897 season of "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World," authentically signed along the bottom in ink by Buffalo Bill, "W. F. Cody."
Four of Paul H. Weinert's military commissions, dated from 1890 to 1898, with appointments including: "Corporal in Light Battery 'E' of the 1st Regiment of Artillery" (1890); "Sergeant in Light Battery 'E' of the First Regiment of Artillery" (1891); "Corporal in Troop 'C' of the Fifth Regiment of Cavalry" (1894); and "Sergeant in Troop L of the First Regiment of Cavalry" (1898).
Two of Paul H. Weinert's Army of the United States discharge papers: one discharging him from service in the "First Regiment of Artillery" in 1891, recording his military record on the reverse, which notes his receipt of the Medal of Honor, "Awarded a medal for distinguished service at Wounded Knee Creek S.D, Dec. 29, 1890 by U.S. Congress"; and one discharging him from service in the "Fifth Regiment of Cavalry" in 1895. Both certificates describe Weinert's character
Condition: In overall very good to fine condition. Various sizes. Contained in binder with pocketed pages.