* OFFICIAL *
Regtl. Staff Chickamauga 2018
- Mar 15, 2013
This is no ordinary spur.....this one has a history. And Oh! What a history! It starts in 1836 and ends forty years later, in 1876. This is Santa Anna's spur, also known as the Huger spur, and, if this spur could talk, what a story it could tell!
On April 21, 1836, in a fight lasting less than 20 minutes, Gen. Sam Houston, leading the Texian Army, defeated Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto. It was the decisive battle that ended the Texas Revolution. The next day, General Santa Anna appeared before General Winfield Scott, and surrendered his sword. In a gesture of good-will, Scott returned the sword. Not to be outdone, Santa Anna insisted that Scott accept his ornate spurs. Crafted of steel, with an intricate gold-inlaid band and engraved with trailing vines, these were no ordinary spurs. But that is only the beginning of the story!
Benjamin Huger http://modoc1873.stores.yahoo.net/ramewarimofc.html
General Winfield Scott, in turn, presented the prized spurs to Captain Benjamin Huger, his chief of ordnance and artillery, for heroism during the campaign. Benjamin Huger pictured above.
When Benjamin's son, Francis Kinloch "Frank" Huger, graduated from West Point in 1860, the spurs became an heirloom - given, father to son. Frank is pictured below.
After graduation, Frank Huger was assigned as a 2nd Lieut 10th US Infantry, but, on May 21, 1861, he resigned his commission and cast his lot with the Confederacy. Young Huger was commissioned Captain of the Norfolk Light Artillery and was quickly promoted through the ranks. Col Edward Porter Alexander, commanding Huger and his battalion, said of Frank that he "....never shirked a care or danger or grumbled over a hardship in his life..." When E P Alexander was promoted to chief of artillery, Frank was promoted to Lt Col and took over command of the battalion. On Feb 18, 1865, Frank Huger was promoted to Colonel.
On April 6, 1865, at the Battle of Sailor's Creek, Frank Huger surrendered the remains of his battalion to his old friend and West Point classmate, George Armstrong Custer. Custer, ever chivalrous, asked his captured friend, "Frank, is there anything that I can do for you?" Huger made two requests: 1.) to keep his horse and 2.) that Custer hold, for safe keeping, the spurs given to him by his father - Santa Anna's spurs.
Frank was made a prisoner. He was allowed to remain in Richmond as a paroled prisoner and pledged the Oath of Allegiance on August 26, 1865. Custer was sent out west, where, on June 25, 1876, he was killed at Little Big Horn. On his boots that day......you guessed it! Santa Anna's spurs! When his body was recovered, only one of the spurs remained. It was returned to his widow, Libby Custer, who returned it to Frank Huger.
The spur is now in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society.