George Custer


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General Custer in the Civil War | Custer's Last Stand | Pictures of General George Custer | General Custer's Last Words | General Custer's West Point Funeral

Custer, GEORGE ARMSTRONG, military officer; born in New Rumley, Ohio, December 5, 1839; graduated at West Point in 1861, and was an active and daring cavalry officer during the Civil War, distinguishing himself on many occasions. He never lost a gun nor a color.

He fought early and bravely in the Civil War, joining his regiment on the battle of Bull Run. He fought in the Peninsular Campaign, with Both General Kearny and General Smith. His energy and daring, and in particular a spirited reconnaissance, brought him to the attention of General George B. McClellan, who assigned him to own staff, as a captain. A few hours later, Custer attacked a Confederate outpost and drove the rebels back. After McClellan was relieved of command in 1862, Custer returned to cavalry duty as a lieutenant. In June, 1863, he was made brigadier-general of volunteers. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Gettysburg in  July of 1863.

General George Custer

General George Armstrong Custer

When General Phil Sheridan reorganized the Cavalry, Custer kept his command, and fought in the Battle of the Wilderness, and in the Shenandoah battles.

At the end of September 1864, he was chosen to lead a division, and on October 9, 1864 he fought in the cavalry action known as the battle of Woodstock. Soon afterwards he was made brevet-major-general of the United States Volunteers.

He played an important role in the battle of Cedar Creek. He was with Phil Sheridan in the last great cavalry action of the Civil War,  and won the battle of Waynesboro, and added to his notoriety by his accomplishments at Dinwiddie and the Battle of Five Forks.

His actions were particularly noteworthy in the battles immediately preceding the surrender of Lee at Appomattox Court-house. He was exceptionally fortunate in his military career during the Civil War, and was made lieutenant-colonel of the 7th Cavalry in 1866, receiving the brevet of major-general, U. S. A, for services ending in Lee's surrender.

Custer participated in General Winfield Scott Hancock's actions against the Cheyenne Indians, and he dealt a stunning defeat to them at the battle of Washita river on the November 27, 1868.

Custer's Last Stand

In 1873 General Custer relocated to the Dakota Territory to bring war to the Sioux.

In 1876 an Custer's regiment was part of an action  against the Sioux Indians, and their allied tribes. Serving as the advanced guard for the soldiers under Terry, Custer's unit arrived at the intersection of the Little Big Horn and Big Horn rivers in Montana. Custer's force arrived on the night of June 24, and was anticipating the arrival of the main body of Terry's command on June 26th.

Custer detected the presence of what he thought to be a small isolated force of Indians. Not waiting on the balance of Terry's Army, Custer decided to attack on the 25th. He divided his troops into three parts, and advanced to surround the Sioux. Instead of meeting only a small force of Indians, the 7th Cavalry was attacked by the full forces of the Sioux and their Allies. Custer's two flanking columns were able to maintained themselves until Terry arrived. George A. Custer and 264 men of the center column rode into the midst of the Sioux warriors, led by Sitting Bull, and were slaughtered to the last man. This great battle, the Battle of Little Big Horn is popularly known as "Custer's Last Stand". In 1879 a statue of General Custer was erected at West Point.



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