2 Replies Latest reply on Sep 29, 2020 9:12 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking information on "Rip" Riley


      this is written on a card with a photograph documenting a clash between soldiers and indians.  Who is "Rip" Riley? What do the letters/titles mean - Col. C.O. E.O.P.? When/what time frame is this? To whom is he referring? What Chief? A reference to Chief John Ross?  I look forward to learning about this interesting piece of history.  Thanks to all for your help.


        • Re: Seeking information on "Rip" Riley
          J. Andrew Scout

          This requires more context.  Where did you find the document?

          • Re: Seeking information on "Rip" Riley
            Jason Atkinson Ranger

            Dear Mr. Lawson,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

            The photograph is of the painting  “Custer's Last Stand” by Edgar Samuel Paxson (1852–1919), painted in 1899. Without knowing the provenance of the document, it is impossible to say anything else for certain. Riley is too common a name for us to attempt to narrow down which Riley this might be referencing. We don’t have records of officer nicknames. Also, It is unlikely that “Chief” references a Native American leader.  The term is used informally to refer to holders of various military ranks and positions, such as chief warrant officer or chief petty officer.  “Sorry about that chief” may also be a reference to the catchphrase from the Get Smart TV series. “C.O.” is likely “Commanding Officer.”  We don’t know what “EOP” might mean in this context. Experts in historical papers and ink might be able to guess at the time period if they examined the document in person, however the National Archives does not have the authority to perform this service for private collectors. We suggest that you contact a reputable antiques dealer in your area.


            We hope this is helpful.