George Armstrong Custer was a United States Army officer whoacquired recognition from his tasks as a Civil War General and a NativeAmerican gladiator in the west. He chose to go to a Military Academy whichhelped him acquire the skills he showed as a war general. George Custer wasbest known for his part in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, which was on June25 and June 26, 1876, in the Montana boundary. In this fight, also calledCuster’s Last Stand, Cheyenne and Sioux Indians murdered Custer and all of histroops. This battle gained fame because of arguments over the reasons forCuster to get murdered. George Armstrong Custer was an important figure in thefight against Native Americans and also was prominent in the Civil War (Dippie,1).George Armstrong Custer was born on December 5, 1839 in NewRumley, Ohio. He wanted to be a soldier all of his life.
In 1861, Custergraduated from the U.S Military Academy; he ranked last in his class. Custercaught everyone’s attention during the Civil War, which just started, due tohim being a courageous cavalry general. In 1863, when Custer was justtwenty-three years old, he was promoted to Brigadier General; that was aranking above colonel and below Major General. In 1865, he was promoted toMajor General which was an extremely prestigious ranking.
Custer was not fairlytraditionally intelligent, but he had a lot of talent in tactical strategy andmilitary which helped him become promoted to more superior positions in themilitary (Dippie, 1).George Custer gained recognition from his achievements during theCivil War. He was put in charge of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade and led verysuccessful efforts at Gettysburg and Yellow Tavern. His troops were importantin blocking Confederate General Robert E Lee’s retreating troops. This helpedcause the Confederates to surrender at Appomattox. Lieutenant General PhilipSheridan awarded Custer with the table used to sign the peace terms for thewar. Sheridan also wrote a note to Custer’s wife saying, “Permit me to say,Madam that there is scarcely an individual in our service who has contributedmore to bring about this desirable result than your gallant husband.” Custer gaineda lot of popularity and success in his efforts in the Civil War (Internet, 4).
There were many people who were led by Custer that praised hiscourage and success. But, there were others that saw him as cocky and as if hethought he could do anything he wanted. Custer was also called a “glory hunter”by those who were jealous of him. Custer did become hero of the north andobtained lots of attention for this. When the Civil War ended in 1865, Custerwas demoted to Captain by the Army. In 1866, Custer became a lieutenant colonelin the Seventh Cavalry Regiment.
His popularity increased greatly and hecreated more foes while battling different tribes of Indians located in theSouthern Plains region and the Dakota and Montana territories (Dippie, 2).In 1876, Custer and his men joined other troops that all weregoing to try and push the Cheyenne and Sioux Indians onto reservations. Thearea in the Montana territory where the Sioux Indians were expected to be wasreached by the majority of the Army in June of 1876.
This was where GeneralTerry believed the Indians were located. Terry ordered Custer’s troops torelocate so they were south of the Indians. Custer had sent out scouts, and onJune 25, his scouts found a Native American village that was located aboutfifteen miles from where Custer was camped.
The Native American village waslocated in the valley beside the Little Bighorn River. Believing that thevillage only had 1,000 Indians there, Custer assumed that his 650 men coulddestroy the whole village. In reality, the village had more than 2,000 warriorsfrom the Sioux and Cheyenne, which was the largest Indian gathering in westernhistory (Danzer, 412).Sitting Bull was the leader of the very powerful Native AmericanSioux tribe and also originally wanted peace for the Indians. Custer split histroops into three groups, with Captain Frederick Benteen going south, MajorReno crossing the Little Bighorn River to attack, and Custer’s troops wouldhead North up stream. Custer decided to attack, and he was very quicklysurrounded, resulting in all of his troops being killed, including him. TheBattle of Little Bighorn was an embarrassing loss for the United States. Thisloss caused the government to strengthen the army which led them to a defeat ofthe Lakota Indians.
Americans had a hard time believing that Custer, a greatgeneral, would have been killed by a group of Indians. Many believe that Custerattacked without waiting for backup (Internet, 6).George Armstrong Custer was an important figure in the fight againstNative Americans and also his role in the Civil War. Although Custer graduatedlast in his class, he learned a lot about military strategy and it showed inhis career in the military. Custer gained fame from his contributions in theCivil War and is most known for Custer’s Last Stand in the Native AmericanWars. George Custer is one of the best Indian fighters of all time and he madecontributions to our country in many different ways as a war general (Internet,8). I think that George Custer has influenced the fightingstrategies today. I believe that after he succeeded in the Civil War, hethought he could do anything and grew very cocky as a person.
Also, I think thereason he was defeated so easily was because his cockiness led him to believe thathe could beat any group of Indians, no matter how many they were. Also, of whatI learned, I do not think that the people he led respected him very much. Althoughhe was a good leader, he ended up not having a very good reputation from theway he treated and acted towards his troops.