Dennis Lyall (American, B. 1946) "Far West Riverboat" Signed lower right. Original Oil Painting on Illustration Board.
Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood First Day Cover for the U.S. 32c Far West Riverboat stamp issued August 22, 1996.
In June of 1876, Captain Grant P. Marsh and the crew of the Far West waited along the Little Big Horn River -- about 11 miles from where General George Armstrong Custer and his 7th U.S. Cavalry were fighting -- for news from the battleground. Suddenly, Curley, a Crow scout who rode with Custer, burst through the thicket at the river's edge and came aboard. He frantically tried to explain through sign language what had happened at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Given a piece of paper and a pencil, he drew two circles, one inside the other. Pointing to the outer circle Curley exclaimed, "Sioux!" and to the inner circle, "Absaroka!" -- a Crow word meaning "The People" used to describe the U.S. soldiers. Standing, Curley pounded his chest saying, "Poof! Poof Absaroka." The crew began to understand that Custer and his cavalry had all been killed. Word soon arrived from the battleground, ordering the Far West to wait for the arrival of 52 wounded soldiers. Once the injured had been brought aboard, Captain Marsh had a challenging and frightening task at hand, getting to the telegraph station in Bismark, Dakota Territory, quickly and safely. Traveling along the Little Bighorn River and the Bighorn, Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, Marsh and his crew made the 710 mile voyage in 54 hours. Marsh's skill and nerve, and the Far West's steampower, brought confirmation of one of history's most controversial battles, and one of the U.S. Army's most crushing defeats, to a stunned and disbelieving America.
Image Size: 14.5 x 12.5 in.
Overall Size: 17 x 14.5 in.
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