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In. They Died with Their Boots on Hide Spoilers. All in all, an excellent movie from that time and source coming from Warner Brothers as it was peaking in craftsmanship and style just before WWIIprovided you don't take it at all seriously.


In his time George Armstrong Custer was a national hero and one of the most popular figures in the country due to his Civil War exploits. Today, George Armstrong Custer is remembered for one day in his life—the day he died in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, which has invariably tarnished his entire career. In his time, however, he was a national hero and one of the most popular figures in the country due to his Civil War exploits.

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In fact, his incredible accomplishments almost defy belief and are the stuff of which legends are made. He captured the first battle flag taken by the Union army and received the white flag of surrender from the Confederates at Appomattox. In between those notable events he performed a series of intrepid, truly incredible actions. He personally led electrifying cavalry charges that inspired his men and earned their adulation, and captured the fancy of newspaper and magazine writers and their readers.

It all began on the hills overlooking the Hudson River in when a slight, fair-skinned eighteen year old boy reported to a place called West Point. Four years later, he departed a man—an army officer trained in the ways of war. Many of his fellow students and instructors doubted that he would receive a diploma. After all, he had been the class clown, a prankster who had finished last in his class due to his fun-loving personality.

But Custer, who was also the most popular man in his class, would mystify observers time and again during his career and prove his detractors wrong. George Armstrong Custer came of age at the right time for a West Point graduate—the Civil War had just begun and he was perfectly suited to become a hero of that conflict.

Custer departed West Point a second lieutenant and reported to Washington for asment. In his only action of the day—three days removed from West Point—Custer was cited for bravery under fire when he rode forward to turn an every-man-for-himself retreat at a blocked bridge into an orderly formation. This gallant action led to service as an aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Phillip Kearny. Custer greatly admired Kearny, and later claimed to have learned valuable lessons in leadership as well as preparation and training procedures for his troops from this general.

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Custer usually ascended at night to a height of 1, feet for his reconnaissance. With field glasses, map, and compass, he would note gun emplacements, count enemy campfires, plot the of white tents, and sketch their locations in his notebook. On the night of May 4 he noticed that the Confederates had possibly departed their position.

George armstrong custer

He and another officer reconnoitered the area and confirmed the pullout. On balloon duty, Custer had been afforded the opportunity to view the American landscape in a manner few of his generation had ever experienced. Soon after, Custer was serving on the staff of Brigadier General Winfield Scott Hancock when the Union troops were ordered to charge into a line of Confederate soldiers at Williamsburg.

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The anxious Union troops hesitated. Custer impatiently spurred his horse and burst from their midst to lead the charge. The Union soldiers obediently followed this gallant one-man charge, which resulted in routing the Confederates into retreat. Custer later returned to friendly lines with a captured officer and five enlisted men, and—the real trophy—a Confederate battle flag, the first one taken in the war by the Army of the Potomac.

Late in MayCuster guided a raiding party along the Chickahominy River behind enemy lines. An impressed McClellan invited Custer to his staff with the brevet rank of captain. Custer remained with this man whom he greatly admired through battles at Fair Oaks and Gaines Mill, where he proved himself invaluable to McClelland as a second set of eyes and ears. Although Custer was ased as a staff officer, he became known for leading charges and rallying troops, as well as retrieving valuable intelligence, in the Peninsula, Antietam, and Chancellorsville campaigns.

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George McClellan, however, became a victim of Washington politics and was removed from command. While awaiting orders, Custer returned to Monroe, Michigan, where he had been living with his sister and her husband prior to departing for West Point.

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Although they only spoke briefly, Custer dreamed of her that night and vowed to make her his wife. Custer was from the wrong side of the tracks and the Bacon family was Monroe royalty. A despondent Custer returned to desk duty in Washington. The young lieutenant, however, desired field action to prove that he was worthy of this girl of his dreams.

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On May 6, Custer was ased as aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Alfred Pleasonton, the commander of a cavalry division. Pleasanton loves me. At the June 9 Battle of Brandy Station—the first and largest true cavalry engagement of the war—Custer, as a personal representative of Pleasonton, rode in the spearhead of the surprise attack.

Legend has it that he distinguished himself that day by assuming de facto command of three brigades after the death of Colonel Benjamin Davis. Union horsemen proved that day that they could compete with the legendary Confederate cavalry, and Custer was personally cited for bravery after having two horses shot out from under him and receiving a bullet in his boot while capturing a battery of artillery pieces.

Eight days later at Aldie, Custer was credited with a daring charge when his horse bolted and carried him through and around enemy lines, which required him to slay two Rebel cavalrymen in order to extricate himself. On June 29,to the surprise of everyone including himself, twenty-three-year-old George Armstrong Custer—upon recommendation from Pleasonton—was unexpectedly promoted to brigadier general.

He had leapfrogged captain, major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel to gain this prestigious rank and become the youngest general in the Union ranks. Custer made a memorable debut as commander of the Michigan Brigade less than a week later at the Battle of Gettysburg. On the afternoon of July 3, Confederate forces under General George Pickett were massing for an attack on the center of the Union lines. General Custer had been ased the unenviable task of defending the Union rear against this threat.

Custer assembled his 2, troops for what one officer termed a suicide mission—the Union cavalry would ride out and meet the enemy head on. This action effectively denied Stuart access to the Union rear, which might have turned the tide in that bloody battle. Newspaper and magazine reporters saw a rising star and the Custer legend was born.

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He made excellent copy—a young, dashing hero with golden curls, who wore a decorative uniform highlighted by a bright red necktie so his troops could recognize him in battle. In addition, Custer was no ambulance general—he was always several horse-lengths ahead of his troops on any charge. Custer continued to reap glory with his brilliant field generalship. His brigade distinguished itself at Culpeper Courthouse by liberating New York infantrymen—with Custer having two horses shot out from beneath him.

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He had continued his courtship of Libbie Bacon through an intermediary to whom he would write letters that would be passed on—and eventually Libbie was head over heels in love with him. He then persuaded Libbie to marry him at the soonest possible moment. Their courtship and marriage would go down in history as one of the great love stories of all time. Custer then returned to duty to command a dangerous diversionary mission into enemy territory during the ill-fated Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid on Richmond. The plan called for a force commanded by Brigadier General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick to free prisoners held in Richmond as well as cause general mayhem.

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The raid was a miserable failure, however, costing the Union men killed, wounded or captured. Papers found on Colonel Ulrich Dahlgren, who was killed, instructed the raiders to burn the city and kill President Jefferson Davis. The Southerners were incensed by this plan, which inspired within them a renewed fighting spirit. Custer, however, was commended for his successful actions, which was little consolation. Grant to change the mission of his force from support to active operations.

Grant obliged, and Sheridan planned as his first mission the elimination of the legendary Jeb Stuart, whose cavalry had been such a thorn in the side of the Union. The Confederate cavalry would never again dominate their opponents, having lost their heart and soul in Stuart. Custer a suffered a setback at Trevilian Station, where he was trapped inside a living triangle of Confederate cavalry and was obliged to fight his way out.

How the battle of little bighorn was won

This defeat cost him his headquarters wagon with all of his personal possessions—including letters from Libbie which were later published in a Richmond newspaper. Custer received orders from Sheridan to charge but believed that a frontal assault at that time and place would be suicidal. He requested that his orders be amended to allow him to choose the timing of his charge. Had most commanders made that request it would have been considered insubordination. Custer went on to rout the Confederates, taking prisoners and 7 battle flags in the process.

George armstrong custer

On September 30,Custer was awarded his second star and command of the 3 rd Cavalry Division. When all was ready for battle, Custer—in an act of bravado—rode out in front of his command where he could be seen by both sides.

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He then removed his broad-brimmed hat and swept it across the front of himself and down in a salute to his friend. Custer then commenced to hand the Confederates what Rosser later admitted was his worst defeat of the war.

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Two days later, Custer captured four Rebel railroad trains carrying vital supplies. Later that day, a Confederate messenger under a flag of truce approached Custer. He requested that General U. Grant be informed that General Robert E. Lee desired a meeting to surrender his army. Throughout the war, George Armstrong Custer had always been faithful to his West Point classmates who fought for the Confederacy. He had assisted them with kindness whenever possible, whether they had been wounded or taken prisoner, and once even served as best man at a wedding of a friend, with one of them wearing a gray uniform and the other dressed in blue.

April 9, effectively ending the war. General Grant—and permit me to say, Madam, that there is scarcely an individual in our service who has contributed more to bring about this desirable result than your husband. Custer most of the qualities which go to make up a first-class hero, and stories of his daring will be told around many a hearth stone long after the old flag again kisses the breeze from Maine to the Gulf.

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Custer is as gallant a cavalier as one would wish to see. Always circumspect, never rash, and viewing the circumstances under which he is placed as coolly as a chess player observes his game, Gen. Frank and independent in his demeanor, Gen. C unites the qualities of the true gentleman with that of the accomplished and fearless soldier. Hatch, Thom. New York: St. Carroll, John M. Kidd, James H. Longacre, Edward G.

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Louise Barnett, Historian: The conditions are just so different for him.


He led his men in one of U.


Like everything else about General George Custer, his martyrdom was shrouded in controversy and contradictions.


At the time, the United States recognized the hills as property of the Sioux Nation, under a treaty the two parties had ed six years before.