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Luxmoore Archaeology Collection from the Fetterman Battlefield donated to Fort Phil Kearny

February 2024

In the 1960s, Charles Luxmoore, an army veteran, mechanical engineer, and land surveyor, first
began doing archeology at the Fetterman Battlefield. It wasn’t a state historic site just yet- in
fact, it was still private land. But he obtained permission to go over the land and spent the next
fifteen to twenty years intensely working to document and research his findings.

The one hundred-plus artifacts he found help tell the story of the battle’s progression. From an
item’s condition to where it was found and what it was found near, Luxmoore described every
object in detail and what it meant in relation to the battle. In the case of cartridges, for
example, the type of gun it was fired from, what makes it unique, and the condition it was
found in (unfired, flattened, etc.) was noted, in addition to how far underground it was.

Everything he discovered told him a story, and he worked to make sure it was documented and
researched as best as it could possibly be.

Part of the agreement with the private land owners was that if a museum were to ever be
established in connection with Fort Phil Kearny, his findings would be donated to it. In October
2023, his widow Erma contacted Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site about completing the
donation. Included in the Luxmoore Collection are lead balls, casings, arrowheads, cartridges,
firing caps, buttons, buckles, and even a spur rowel, in addition to his documentation and oral

These items and his work are invaluable assets to furthering our understanding of the
Fetterman Fight, and will aid future researcher’s efforts.

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