• Greely Expedition Survivor Brainard Signs Spanish-American War Document

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    DAVID LEGGE BRAINARD (December 21, 1856 – March 22, 1946) was an Army officer and a famed arctic explorer, one of only six survivors of the Greely Arctic Expedition of 1881 – 1884.  The purpose of the expedition was to establish a meteorological-observation station as part of the First International Polar Year and to collect astronomical and magnetic data.


    He fought in the American Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War and World War I.  Brainard enlisted in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in September 1876 and served at Fort Keogh, Montana Territory during the Great Sioux War of 1876. On May 7, 1877, Brainard fought in the Battle of Little Muddy Creek, Montana, where he was wounded in action in the face and right hand. He was later awarded the Purple Heart, one of only two medals awarded for events of the American Indian Wars. He also served during the Nez Perce War and Bannock War of 1877 and 1878 under Col. Nelson Appleton Miles.

    In 1881, he was detailed as first sergeant for the ill-fated Lady Franklin Bay Expedition under Adolphus Greely.  Shortly before his rescue in 1884, freezing, starving and suffering from scurvy, he wrote in his journal, “Our own condition is so wretched, so palpably miserable, that death would be welcomed rather than feared.   He was awarded the Back Grant by the Royal Geographical Society in 1885.   He served as chief commissary of the military forces in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War in 1898. After receiving a World War I promotion to brigadier general in 1917, he served as military attaché of the U.S. Embassy in Portugal from 1918 until his retirement in 1919.

    Offering an 8 ¼ x 14 DS by Brainard, being an expiration of service for Private Phillip Ballard of Frank Taylor’s Co. E, 14th Regiment Infantry in the Spanish-American War. Stamped Manila, Philippine Islands, April 11, 1899.

    Brainard is number 24 in the internet photo shown in this listing. (Research included)

    Folds. Overall excellent condition.


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