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That Man, Custer!
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Author:  Joe Meyer [ Fri May 08, 2015 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  That Man, Custer!

I came across the following passages about George Armstrong Custer in The Personal Memoirs of Major-General David S. Stanley. Stanley commanded the 1873 Yellowstone Expedition in which Custer was a participant. In a series of letters to his wife Stanley mentions Custer a number of times.

June 28th -

"...I have had no trouble with Custer, and will try to avoid having any; but I have seen enough of him to convince me that he is a cold blooded, untruthful and unprincipled man. He is universally despised by all the officers of his regiment excepting his relatives and one or two sycophants. He brought a trader in the field without permission, carries an old negro woman, and cast iron cooking stove, and delays the march often by his extensive packing up in the morning. As I said I will try, but I am not sure I can avoid trouble with him..."

July 1st -

"...I had a little flurry with Custer as I told you I probably would. We were separated 4 miles, and I intended him to assist in getting the train, his own train, over the Muddy River. Without consulting me he marched off 15 miles, coolly sending me a note to send him forage and rations. I sent after him, ordered him to halt where he was, to unload his wagons, and send for his own rations and forage, and never to presume to make another movement without orders.
"I knew from the start it had to be done, and I am glad to have so good a chance, when there could be no doubt who was right. He was just gradually assuming command, and now he knows he has a commanding officer who will not tolerate his arrogance."

Stanley and Custer never served together during the Civil War, but both officers were friends of Sheridan.

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