Scope and arrangement
The Hagner papers consist of typed copies of letters, diaries, articles, and court martial proceedings, as well as clippings, reprints, and pamphlets concerning General George A. Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn, 1876. The typed transcripts, bulk dates 1876-1925, are of the writings of both participants in the campaign, such as Colonel F. W. Benteen, General James Brisbin, General W, S. Edgerly, General E. S. Godfrey, and others, as well as contemporary and later commentators on the Indian Wars, including W. J. Ghent, W. M. Camp, and E. A. Brininstool. The majority of the earlier accounts, all the letters regarding the battle itself, the diaries and the court martial proceedings were typed in part or in their entirety at Hagner's expense at unknown times and locations, without indication of the ownership or location of the originals.
Among these transcripts are accounts of the battle from scouts and enlisted men; a commentary on Custer's participation in the Battle of the Washita, 1868} a transcript of Custer's 1867 court martial; a transcript of a diary, May to September 1876, by General E. S. Godfrey, a member of the Seventh Cavalry, and an acknowledged authority on the history of the Battle; as well as a copy of an early draft of Godfrey's article ultimately published in the Century Magazine. There is also a transcript of the Court of Inquiry of Major Marcus A, Reno, 1879, and a typed copy of the manuscript autobiography of Major General George Crook, another participant in the campaign that included the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Finally, in addition to these materials on Custer and the Little Big Horn, there are a variety of clippings and articles on the Indian Wars and related topics.