GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER Biography - Military related figures


Biography » military related figures » george armstrong custer


Name: George Armstrong Custer                                                       
Born: 5 December 1839 New Rumley, Ohio                                             
Died: 25 June 1876 Little Bighorn, Montana                                         
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 Indian Wars.   
At the start of the Civil War, Custer was a cadet at the United States Military     
Academy and his class's graduation was accelerated so that they could enter the     
war; Custer graduated last in his class. He served at the First Battle of Bull     
Run and was a staff officer for Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan in the Army of the   
Potomac's 1862 Peninsula Campaign. In 1863, early in the Gettysburg Campaign,       
Custer's association with cavalry commander Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton earned     
him promotion from first lieutenant to brigadier general of volunteers at the       
age of 23.                                                                         
Custer established a reputation as an aggressive cavalry brigade commander         
willing to take personal risks by leading his Michigan Brigade into battle, such   
as the mounted charges at Hunterstown and East Cavalry Field at the Battle of       
Gettysburg. In 1864, with the Cavalry Corps under the command of Maj. Gen.         
Philip Sheridan, Custer led his "Wolverines", and later a division, through the     
Overland Campaign, including the Battle of Trevilian Station, where Custer was     
humiliated by having his division trains overrun and his personal baggage           
captured by the Confederates. Custer and Sheridan defeated the Confederate army     
of Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early in the Valley Campaigns of 1864. In 1865, Custer         
played a key role in the Appomattox Campaign, with his division blocking Robert     
E. Lee's retreat on its final day.                                                 
At the end of the Civil War, Custer was promoted to major general of volunteers.   
In 1866, he was appointed to the regular army position of lieutenant colonel of     
the 7th U.S. Cavalry and served in the Indian Wars. He was defeated and killed     
at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, against a coalition of Native         
American tribes composed almost exclusively of Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho         
warriors, and led by the Sioux chiefs Crazy Horse and Gall and by the Hunkpapa     
seer and medicine man, Sitting Bull. This confrontation has come to be popularly   
known in American history as Custer's Last Stand.