Elizabeth Custer included the following in her wonderful book, Boots and Saddles:
"There was a Swiss soldier in our regiment who had contrived to bring his zither with him. My husband would lie on the bearskin rug in front of the fire and listen with delight as long as he ventured to tax the man. He played the native Tyrolese airs, which seemed to have caught in them the sound of the Alpine horn, the melody of the cascade, and the echo of the mountain passes. The general often regretted that he had not had the opportunity to learn music. It seemed to me that it was a great solace and diversion to officers if they knew some musical instrument well enough to enjoy practice. They certainly gave great pleasure to those around them."
Libbie was referring to 7th Cavalry musician John Burri, who enlisted in the 7th Cavalry on March 13, 1871, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Burri married Mary Haack, widow of fellow 7th Cavalryman Henry Haack, on December 8, 1881, at Fort Totten. After retirement from the Army at Fort Meade in 1885, Burri moved to a ranch west of Bear Butte where he resided until he moved to Whitewood in 1899, where he made his home until his death.
John S. McClintock, an early day Deadwood/Black Hills Pioneer, wrote the following in his highly recommended book, Pioneer Days in the Black Hills:
Mary Burri had been married twice before. First to Elisha Stuart and then to Henry Haack. She had at least one child, Catherine Stuart, who married a 7th Cavalryman herself, Jacob Horner.
|Mary Burri grave at Saint Mary's Cemetery in Bismarck, ND|