Lloyd, Edward W.

Place of Birth: Gloucester

Date of enlistment: 30 September 1873

Age given at enlistment: 21

Rank: Private

Company: I

Location on 25 June 1876: With Custer's column



An Engineer from the Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean.

  • The personal details of the Edward William Lloyd, born June 1854 in Gloucestershire, perfectly match those of the private killed on the bluffs above the Little Big Horn River, Montana Territory on 25 June 1876.  He was a son of John James Lloyd, a tailor, and Esther Lawrence Meeke who raised a large brood of children in High Street, Mitcheldean, a small town lying on the northern edge of the ancient Forest of Dean close to the boundary with Herefordshire. Captured in the Census (2 April 1871) as a 16 year-old labourer, Edward was still living in Mitcheldean with his newly-widowed mother* and several siblings. The family’s surname was variously written as ‘Loyd’ and ‘Loyde’ which slightly hampered this writer’s research. 
  • The Forest of Dean, a valuable source of iron ore, was famous for its iron foundries and strong circumstantial evidence suggests that the future cavalryman was the Edward Lloyd, an 19 year-old moulder, who arrived in New York on 24 June 1873 aboard the ship City of Antwerp.
  • We know he was enlisted in the U.S. Army in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, by Lt Randolph Norwood, 2nd Cavalry, on 30 September 1873 when he added two years to his age, no doubt to satisfy the minimum age of entry without permission of a parent. Records show he had grey eyes, brown hair, a fair complexion, stood 5′ 6″ tall, previously employed as an ‘engineer’.
  • Lloyd was sent to the St Louis Depot and transferred to the 7th Cavalry, Company I, at Fort Totten, Dakota Territory, under the command of Captain Myles Keogh. He joined his new bunkies there on 22 October 1873 before winter had settled in.
  • In the summer of 1874 he was with his company which formed part of the military escort for the Northern Boundary Commission survey party.  
  • Lloyd was killed with Custer’s column on the first day of the Battle of the Little Big Horn and he is listed as E. W. LLOYD on the battle monument.
  • The Final Statement of Private Edward W. Lloyd signed by Captain Henry J. Nowlan, Commanding Company, at Fort Abraham Lincoln on 5 December 1876.
  •  For retained pay under act of May 15, 1872 … $8.83
  •  For clothing not drawn in kind … $26.52
  •  Proceeds of sale of effects [April 26, 1877] … $16.00
  •  For tobacco … $1.71
  •  The above statement does not take into account basic pay due for the period 1 May to 25 June 1876.

The White Horse, Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire. Edward Lloyd's father was the licensee here in 1842/43.

  • Note: (*) Edward’s father, was born in Mitcheldean on 12 December 1815, son of Thomas Lloyd, a bailiff, and Mary James Lloyd; apprenticed to a tailor in 1828; married Esther Lawrence Meeke, from nearby Lea, Herefordshire on 3 March 1836 in St Mary de Lode Church, Gloucester; and licensee of the White Horse public house, High Street,  Mitcheldean for eight months before declaring himself bankrupt on 26 May 1843. He and Esther had at least 10 children. John Lloyd died in the winter of 1869/70.  Esther Meeke Lloyd, a seamstress, and three of her children moved to 127 Edwardes Street, Kings Norton, Worcestershire, an outer suburb of Birmingham, sometime before 3 April 1881 (Census). She returned Mitcheldean in old age and died there in early 1899.
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