Frederick Holmstead was a clerk before he enlisted in the U.S. Army on November 6, 1872, at the age of 23. He was sworn in by Capt. Edwin Sumner in New York City and was soon assigned to Company A of the 7th Cavalry. He participated in the valley and hilltop fights during the Battle of Little Bighorn where he was wounded in the left wrist. After the battle, he returned to Fort Abraham Lincoln on the steamer "Far West." He was discharged from the Army on November 6, 1877, upon the expiration of his enlistment as a private of excellent character. On the same day, he enlisted as an independent scout for six months. He had brown eyes, brown hair, fair complexion, and was 5'8" tall. His surname has been listed as Homsted, Holmsted, and Homestead. According to the obituary published in the "Bismarck Tribune" (see photo), he was buried at Fort Abraham Lincoln. When the Fort was closed, all remains were reinterred in the Custer National Cemetery in Montana.
Information with thanks from "Men with Custer" by Ron Nichols and "Military Register of Custer's Last Command" by Roger Williams.