Who is George Custer?

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George Custer Biography & Facts

George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876) was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars.Custer graduated from West Point in 1861 at the bottom of his class, but as the Civil War was just starting, trained officers were in immediate demand. He worked closely with General George B. McClellan and the future General Alfred Pleasonton, both of whom recognized his qualities as a cavalry leader, and he was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers at age 23. Only a few days after his promotion, he fought at the Battle of Gettysburg, where he commanded the Michigan Cavalry Brigade and despite being outnumbered, defeated J. E. B. Stuart's attack at what is now known as the East Cavalry Field. In 1864, he served in the Overland Campaign and in Philip Sheridan's army in the Shenandoah Valley, defeating Jubal Early at Cedar Creek. His division blocked the Army of Northern Virginia's final retreat and received the first flag of truce from the Confederates. He was present at Robert E. Lee's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. After the war, he was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel in the Regular Army and was sent west to fight in the Indian Wars. On June 25, 1876, while leading the 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana Territory against a coalition of Native American tribes, he was killed along with all of the five companies he led after splitting the regiment into three battalions. This action became romanticized as "Custer's Last Stand".His dramatic end was as controversial as the rest of his career, and reaction to his life and career remains deeply divided. His legend was partly of his own fabrication through his extensive journalism, and perhaps more through the energetic lobbying of his wife Elizabeth Bacon "Libbie" Custer throughout her long widowhood. Family and ancestry Custer's paternal ancestors, Paulus and Gertrude Küster, came to the North American English colonies around 1693 from the Rhineland in Germany, probably among thousands of Palatines whose passage was arranged by the English government to gain settlers in New York and Pennsylvania.According to family letters, Custer was named after George Armstrong, a minister, in his devout mother's hope that her son might join the clergy. Birth, siblings, and childhood Custer was born in New Rumley, Ohio, to Emanuel Henry Custer (1806–1892), a farmer and blacksmith, and his second wife, Marie Ward Kirkpatrick (1807–1882), who was of English and Scots-Irish descent. He had two younger brothers, Thomas and Boston. His other full siblings were the family's youngest child, Margaret Custer, and Nevin Custer, who suffered from asthma and rheumatism. Custer also had three older half-siblings. Custer and his brothers acquired a life-long love of practical jokes, which they played out among the close family members.Emanuel Custer was an outspoken Jacksonian Democrat who taught his children politics and toughness at an early age. In a February 3, 1887, letter to his son's widow Libby, Emanuel related an incident from when George Custer (known as Autie) was about four years old: "He had to have a tooth drawn, and he was very much afraid of blood. When I took him to the doctor to have the tooth pulled, it was in the night and I told him if it bled well it would get well right away, and he must be a good soldier. When he got to the doctor he took his seat, and the pulling began. The forceps slipped off and he had to make a second trial. He pulled it out, and Autie never even scrunched. Going home, I led him by the arm. He jumped and skipped, and said 'Father you and me can whip all the Whigs in Michigan.' I thought that was saying a good deal but I did not contradict him." Education In order to attend school, Custer lived with an older half-sister and her husband in Monroe, Michigan. Before entering the United States Military Academy, Custer attended the McNeely Normal School, later known as Hopedale Normal College, in Hopedale, Ohio. It was to train teachers for elementary schools. While attending Hopedale, Custer and classmate William Enos Emery were known to have carried coal to help pay for their room and board. After graduating from McNeely Normal School in 1856, Custer taught school in Cadiz, Ohio. His first sweetheart was Mary Jane Holland.Custer entered West Point as a cadet on July 1, 1857, as a member of the class of 1862. His class numbered seventy-nine cadets embarking on a five-year course of study. With the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, the course was shortened to four years, and Custer and his class graduated on June 24, 1861. He was 34th in a class of 34 graduates: 23 classmates had dropped out for academic reasons while 22 classmates had already resigned to join the Confederacy.Throughout his life, Custer tested boundaries and rules. In his four years at West Point, he amassed a record total of 726 demerits, one of the worst conduct records in the history of the academy. The local minister remembered Custer as "the instigator of devilish plots both during the service and in Sunday school. On the surface he appeared attentive and respectful, but underneath the mind boiled with disruptive ideas." A fellow cadet recalled Custer as declaring there were only two places in a class, the head and the foot, and since he had no desire to be the head, he aspired to be the foot. A roommate noted, "It was alright with George Custer, whether he knew his lesson or not; he simply did not allow it to trouble him." Under ordinary conditions, Custer's low class rank would result in an obscure posting, the first step in a dead-end career, but Custer had the fortune to graduate as the Civil War broke out, and as a result the Union Army had a sudden need for many junior officers. Civil War McClellan and Pleasanton Like the other graduates, Custer was commissioned as a second lieutenant; he was assigned to the 2nd U.S. Cavalry Regiment and tasked with drilling volunteers in Washington, D.C. On July 21, 1861, he was with his regiment at the First Battle of Bull Run during the Manassas Campaign, where Army commander Winfield Scott detailed him to carry messages to Major General Irvin McDowell. After the battle, he continued participating in the defense of Washington D.C. until October, when he became ill. He was absent from his unit until February 1862. In March, he participated with the 2nd Cavalry in the Peninsula Campaign in Virginia until April 4. On April 5, Custer served in the 5th Cavalry Regiment and participated in the Siege of Yorktown from April 5 to May 4 and was aide to Major General George B. McClellan. McClellan was in command of the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsula Campaign. On May 24, 1862, during the pursuit of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston up the Peninsula, when General McClellan and his staff were reconnoitering a potential crossing.... Discover the George Custer popular books. Find the top 100 most popular George Custer books.

Best Seller George Custer Books of May 2022

Mayflower book summary, reviews and downlod



"Vivid and remarkably fresh...Philbrick has recast the Pilgrims for the ages."--The New York Times Book ReviewFinalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History

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Away Off Shore


A book about a tiny island with a huge history, from the New York Times bestselling author of Valiant Ambition and In the Hurricane's Eye.

In the Hurricane's Eye book summary, reviews and downlod

In the Hurricane's Eye


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER"Nathaniel Philbrick is a masterly storyteller. Here he seeks to elevate the naval battles between the French and British to...

The Last Stand book summary, reviews and downlod

The Last Stand


"An engrossing and tautly written account of a critical chapter in American history." --Los Angeles Times Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Hurricane's Eye

The Loss of the Ship Essex, Sunk by a Whale book summary, reviews and downlod

The Loss of the Ship Essex, Sunk by a Whale


The gripping first-hand narrative of the whaling ship disaster that inspired Melville’s Moby-Dick and informed Nathaniel Philbrick’s monumental history, In the Heart of the ...

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The Private Journal of William Reynolds


One of the finest nineteenth-century first-person narratives of a sea voyage in existence, and a principle source for Sea of Glory, The Private Journal of William Reynolds brin...

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Why Read Moby-Dick?


A “brilliant and provocative” (The New Yorker) celebration of Melville’s masterpiece—from the bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea, Valiant Ambition, a...

In the Heart of the Sea book summary, reviews and downlod

In the Heart of the Sea


From the author of Mayflower, Valiant Ambition, and In the Hurricane's Eye--the riveting bestseller tells the story of the true events that insp...

Mayflower book summary, reviews and downlod



"Żywy i niezwykle świeży ... Philbrick przekształcił Pielgrzymów na wieki" - The New York Times Book Review Finalista Nagrody Pulitzera W roku 1620 purytańscy ...

The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World book summary, reviews and downlod

The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World


Adapted from the New York Times bestseller Mayflower! After a dangerous journey across the Atlantic, the Mayflower?s passengers were saved from certain destruction with t...

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Sea of Glory


"A treasure of a book."—David McCulloughThe harrowing story of a pathbreaking naval expedition that set out to map the entire Pacific Ocean, dwarfing Lewis and Clark with it...

Valiant Ambition book summary, reviews and downlod

Valiant Ambition


A New York Times BestsellerWinner of the George Washington PrizeA surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution and the tragic relationship...

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Travels with George


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER“Travels with George . . . is quintessential Philbrick—a lively, courageous, and masterful achievement.” —The Bo...

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The First Thanksgiving


The real story of the First Thanksgiving from the New York Times bestselling author Nathaniel PhilbrickOne of America’s most acclaimed historians takes on the nat...

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Second Wind


A charming memoir of midlife by the bestselling author of Mayflower and In the Hurricane's Eye, recounting his attempt to recapture a national sailing championship he'd w...

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Ben's Revolution


History comes alive in this gripping account of a young boy caught up in the start of the Revolutionary War. Based on an episode in National Book Award–winning author Nathaniel Philbrick...

Mayflower book summary, reviews and downlod



"Żywy i niezwykle świeży ... Philbrick przekształcił Pielgrzymów na wieki" - The New York Times Book ReviewFinalista Nagrody PulitzeraW roku 1620 purytańscy os...

Bunker Hill book summary, reviews and downlod

Bunker Hill


The bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea, Mayflower, and In the Hurricane's Eye tells the story of the Boston battle that ignited the American Revo...

In the Heart of the Sea (Young Readers Edition) book summary, reviews and downlod

In the Heart of the Sea (Young Readers Edition)


The New York Times bestselling and National Book Award winning In the Heart of the Sea, soon to be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard,...

The Mayflower Papers book summary, reviews and downlod

The Mayflower Papers


The most important personal accounts of the Plymouth Colony, the key sources of Nathaniel Philbrick's New York Times bestseller Mayflower National Book Awar...

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En el corazón del mar


En 1819, el barco Essex zarpó del puerto de Nantucket, en la costa este de Estados Unidos, con el objetivo de cazar ballenas durante dos años. Quince meses después, mientras nav...

Best Seller George Custer Audio Books of May 2022

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