Last in his class at West Point. What we called the “goat”. He had some of his men executed for going AWOL, yet went AWOL himself when he wanted to. He was the youngest general in the Civil War. He was gifted the desk on which the surrender was signed at Appomattox. Custer is a controversial figure. The first trip my wife and I ever took was a road trip out to Little Big Horn– turns out she’d also been fascinated by the battle. I’d never really understood what happened until I got there. Once I saw terrain, it all fell into place.
Was Custer more focused on the upcoming Centennial and national convention in St. Louis than the matter at hand? Too much in a rush for glory?
When I was in the 1st Cavalry Division they used to play Garry Owen. And the 7th Cavalry was one of the units. I was in the 1st of the 12th Cavalry. My horse was named George. Not. Anyway– here’s some of the info on Custer:
If you’re out west and in the area, I highly recommend stopping by Little Big Horn and studying the terrain on which the battle was fought. My own theory is that Custer was among the fist wounded crossing the river and because too many people in the section he took with him had family ties to him, the command structure broke down quickly. There are other theories. The bottom line: half the the 7th Cav was wiped. The story of the survivors is also quite interesting.