Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy birthday, Gen. George Custer

It is the birthday of General George A. Custer (1839), whose reputation as an aggressive and fearless military leader during the Civil War was overshadowed by his defeat and death at the hands of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. Custer was a brash and colorful figure who cultivated publicity and dressed in flamboyant uniforms. Historians still debate the causes of Custer's Last Stand, but by all accounts Custer's troops were vastly outnumbered. Custer wrote about the Indian wars in My Life on the Plains (1874). After his death, Custer's  wife published several books about her husband, including Boots and Saddles, Life with General Custer in Dakota (1885), Tenting on the Plains (1887), and Following the Guidon (1891).

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