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George Armstrong Custer
George Armstrong Custer
General

  • Born 5 December 1839 - New Rumley, Harrison Co., OH
  • Deceased 25 June 1876 - Battle of Little Big Horn, Montana,aged 36 years old
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On the side of Emanuel Henry Custer, born 10 December 1806 - Cresaptown, MD, deceased 17 November 1892 - Monroe, Monroe Co., MI aged 85 years oldOn the side of Maria Ward, born 31 May 1807 - Burgettstown, Washington Co., PA, deceased 13 January 1882 - Woodland Cem., Monroe, MI aged 74 years old

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Linked to: Timothy Michael Dowling, 5th cousin 4x removed
US Civil War General.
West Point US Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, New York, USA
Specific Interment Location: Section 27, Row A, Grave 1.
Cause of Death: Little Bighorn Battle.

Although better known for his Indian fighting, George Custer compiled a creditable record as a cavalry leader in the latter part of the Civil War. Graduating at the bottom of his West Point (1861) class, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the old 2nd Cavalry, later the 5th, on June 24, 1861.
His Civil War assignments included: first lieutenant, 5th Cavalry July 17, 1862); captain and additional aide-de-camp, USA June 5,1862 - March 31, 1863); brigadier general, USV June 29, 1863); commanding 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac June 28 - July 15 and August 4 November 25, 1863 and December 20, 1863 - January 7, 1864); temporarily commanding the division July 15 - August 4 and November 25 - December 20, 1863); commanding lst Brigade, lst Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac (March 25 - August 6, 1864) and Army of the Shenandoah (August 6 -September 26, 1864); temporarily commanding 2nd Cavalry Division, Army of West Virginia serving with the Army of the Shenandoah (September 26-30, 1864); commanding 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Shenandoah (September 30, 1864 - January 5, 1865 and January 30 - March 25, 1865) and Army of the Potomac (March 25 - May 22, 1865); and major general, USV (April 15, 1865).
Serving during the first two war years on the staffs of Generals McClellan and Pleasonton, Custer saw action in the Peninsular, Antietam, and Chancellorsville campaigns. Given his own star, he was assigned command of the Michigan cavalry brigade and, with it, took part in the Gettysburg, Bristoe, and Mine Run campaigns.
At Gettysburg he remained with General Gregg east of town to face jeb Stuart's threat to the Union rear, although he was previously ordered to the south. The combined Union force defeated Stuart.
In Grant's Richmond drive in 1864, Custer participated in the fight at Yellow Tavern where Stuart was mortally wounded.
Transferred to the Shenandoah Valley with his men, he played a major role in the defeat of Early's army at Winchester and Cedar Creek, commanding a division at the latter.
Returning to the Army of the Potomac in early 1865, he fought at Five Forks; and in the Appomattox Campaign. His victories against the rebel cavalry came at a time when that force was a ghost of its former self Custer was brevetted in the regulars through grades to major general for Gettysburg, Yellow Tavern, Winchester, Five Forks, and the Appomattox Campaign. In addition he was brevetted major general of volunteers for Winchester.
Remaining in the army after the war, in 1866 he was appointed Lt. Col. of the newly authorized 7th Cavalry, remaining its active commander until his deart. He took part in the 1867 Sioux and Cheyenne expedition, but was court-martialed and suspended from duty one year for paying an unauthorized visit to his wife. His army career ended June 25, 1876, at the battle of Little Big Horn, which resulted in the extermination of his immediate command and a total loss of some 266 officers and men. On June 28th, the bodies were given a hasty burial on the field. The following year, what may have been Custer's remains were disinterred and given a military funeral at West Point.(Monaghan, Jan, Custer: The Life of George Armstrong Custer)
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On 11 October 1867, at Fort Leavenworth, a court martial found Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer, Lieutenant Colonel, 7 th U.S. Cavalry guilty and sentenced him to suspension from rank and command for one year, and forfeiture of his pay for the same time.
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Charges and Specifications preferred against Brevet Major General G. A. Custer, Lieutenant Colonel 7th U.S. Cavalry
Charge first.
Absence without leave from his command.
Specification first.
In this, that he Brevet Major General G.A . Custer, Lieutenant Colonel 7th U.S. Cavalry, did at or near Fort Wallace, Kansas, on or about the 15th day of July 1867, absent himself from his command without proper authority, and proceed to Fort Harker, Kansas, a distance of about 275 miles, this at a time when his command was expected to be actively engaged against hostile Indians.
Charge second.
Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline.
Specification first.
In this, that he, Brevet Major General G.A. Custer, Lieutenant Colonel 7th U.S. Cavalry, immediately after the troops of his command had completed a long and exhausting march, and when the horses belonging thereto had not been rested, and were in an unfit condition for said service, did select a portion of such command consisting of three Commissioned officers, and about seventy-five men with their horses, and did set out upon and execute a rapid march from Fort Wallace, Kansas, to Fort Hays in the same state; the said march being on private business, and without proper authority or any urgency or demand of public business; and in so doing did seriously prejudice the public interest by overmarching and damaging the horses belonging to the said detachment of his command.
Specification second.
In this, that he, Brevet Major General G.A . Custer, Lieutenant Colonel 7th U.S. Cavalry, while executing an unauthorized journey on private business from Fort Wallace, Kansas to Fort Harker in the same state, did procure at Fort Hays in the same state, on or about the 17th July 1867, (two ambulances and) four mules belonging to the United States, and did use such (ambulances and) mules, for the conveyance of himself and part of his escort from said Fort Hays to Fort Harker in the aforesaid state.
Specification third.
In this, that he Brevet Major General G.A. Custer, Lieutenant Colonel 7th U.S. Cavalry, when near Downer's Station in the state of Kansas, on or about the 16th day of July 1867, after having received information that a party of Indians had attacked a small party detached from his escort near said Station, did fail to take proper measures for the repulse of said Indians, or the defense or relief of said detachment; and further, after the return of such detached party of his command with report that two of their number had been killed, did neglect to take any measures to pursue such party of Indians, or recover or bury the bodies of his command that had been killed as aforesaid.
Additional Charges and Specifications preferred against Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer, Brevet Major General U.S.A.
Charge
Conduct prejudicial to good order and Military discipline.
Specification first.
In this that Brevet Major General G.A. Custer, Lieutenant Colonel 7th U.S. Cavalry, while en route commanding and marching a column of his regiment, six companies or thereabouts, strong, from the valley of the Platte River, to the valley of the Smoky Hill River, did, when ordering a party of three commissioned Officers and others of his Command in pursuit of supposed deserters who were then in view leaving camp, also order the said party to shoot the supposed deserters down dead, and bring none in alive.
This on "Custer' Cavalry Column Trail," while traveling southward, about fifty miles southwest from Fort Sedgewick, Colorado, on or about the seventh day of July, 1867.
Specification second.
In this that Brevet Major General G.A. Custer, Lieutenant Colonel 7th U.S. Cavalry, did order (the following named and designated Soldiers of his regiment, viz. Bugler Barney Tolliver, Company K., Private Charles Johnson, Company K., Private Alburger, Company D., and other) enlisted men of his command, to be shot down as supposed deserters, but without trial; and did thus cause three men to be severely wounded.
This on "Custer's Cavalry Column Trail," while traveling southward, between fifteen and forty miles South of Platt River, between fifty and seventy miles Southwest from Fort Sedgewick, Colorado, on or about the seventh day of July, 1867.
Specification third.
In this that Brevet Major General G.A . Custer, Lieutenant Colonel 7th U.S. Cavalry, after the following named and designated soldiers of his regiment, viz. Bugler Barney Tolliver, Company K., Private Charles Johnson, Company K., and Private Alburger, Company D., had been summarily shot down and severely wounded by order of him the said Custer, did, order and cause the said soldiers to be placed in a government wagon, and to be hauled eighteen miles, (and did then and there neglect and positively and persistently refuse to allow the said soldiers, to receive treatment and attention from the Acting Assistant Surgeon with his command or any other Medical or Surgical attendance whatsoever).
This on "Custer's Cavalry Column Trail," while traveling southward, between fifteen and forty miles south of Platt River, between fifty and seventy miles Southwest from Fort Sedgewick, Colorado, on or about the seventh day of July, 1867.
Specification fourth.
In this that Brevet Major General G.A. Custer, Lieutenant Colonel 7th U.S. Cavalry, while commanding and marching a column of his regiment, six companies or thereabouts strong, did, on or about the seventh day of July 1867, at a point about fifteen miles South of Platt River, and about fifty miles southwest from Fort Sedgewick, Colorado, order and cause the summary shooting, as a supposed deserter, but without trial, of one Private Charles Johnson, Company K., 7th U.S. Infantry [sic], a soldier of his command; whereby he, the said Johnson, was so severely wounded that he soon after - to wit, on or about the 17th day of July 1867, at or near Fort Wallace, Kansas - did decease; he the said Custer thus causing the death of the said Johnson.
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Findings
Of the 1st Specification 1st Charge - Guilty of the Specification, substituting the words "Fort Harker," for the words "Fort Riley," and the figures "200" for the figures "275."
Of the 1st Charge - Guilty. Of the 1st Specification of the 2nd Charge - Guilty.
Of the 2nd Specification of the 2nd Charge - Guilty of the Specification, substituting the words "Ft. Harker" for the words "Ft. Riley;" omitting the words "two ambulances and," and substituting the word "four" for the word "eight," and omitting the words "ambulances and," and attach no criminality thereto.
Of the 3rd Specification of the 2nd Charge - Guilty.
Of the 2nd Charge - Guilty.
Of the 1st Specification of the Additional Charge - Guilty.
Of the 2nd Specification of the Additional Charge - Guilty of the Specification omitting the words "the following named and designated soldiers of his Regiment, viz Bugler Barney Tolliver, Co.K, Private Charles Johnson, Co K, Private Alburger, Co. D. and other," and substituting the words "three" in place of the words "the said."
Of the third Specification of the Additional Charge the Court finds the facts as stated in the specification except the words "and did then and there neglect and positively and persistantly refuse to allow the said soldiers to receive any treatment or attention from the acting assistant Surgeon with his command, or any other medical or surgical attendance whatever," and attach no criminality thereto.
Of the forth Specification of the Additional Charge - Guilty.
Of the Additional Charge - Guilty.
In consequence the Court sentenced Brevet Major General G.A. Custer, Lieutenant Colonel, 7th U.S. Cavalry, to be suspended from rank and command for one year, and forfeit his pay for the same time.
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Members of the Court
Brevet Major General William Hoffman, Colonel Third U.S. Infantry
Brevet Major General John W. Davidson, Lieutenant Colonel Tenth U.S. Calvary (excused)
Brevet Major General Benjamin H. Grierson, Colonel Tenth U.S. Calvary
Brevet Brigadier General Pitcairn Morrison, Colonel U.S. Army Retired
Brevet Brigadier General Michael R. Morgan, Major Commissary of Subsistence
Brevet Brigadier General Franklin D. Callender, Lieutenant Colonel Ordnance Department
Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Thomas C. English, Major Fifth U.S. Infantry
Brevet Major Henry Asbury, Captain, Ordnance Department
Brevet Major Stephen C. Lyford, Captain Ordnance Department
Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Robert Chandler, Captain Thirteenth U.S. Infantry, Judge Advocate

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                                                                             _____|16_Nicholas Custer 1706-
                                                   _____|8_Emanuel Custer 1754-1854
                                                  /                         ¯¯¯¯¯|17_Susanna Margaretta Hoppe ca 1710-1787/
                         _____|4_John Custer 1782-1830
                        /                        \                          _____|18_Peter Fedele ca 1733-
                       /                          ¯¯¯¯¯|9_Anna Maria Fedele 1759-1834
                      /                                                     ¯¯¯¯¯|19_Susanna Nyce ca 1737-
|2_Emanuel Henry Custer 1806-1892
|                    \
|                     \                           _____|10_Barnabus Valentine 1757-1831
|                      \                         /
|                       ¯¯¯¯¯|5_Catherine Valentine 1783-1877
|                                                \
|                                                 ¯¯¯¯¯|11_Hannah x ca 1764-ca 1836
|--1_George Armstrong Custer, General 1839-1876
|                                                  _____|12_George Ward 1724-1811
|                                                 /
|                       _____|6_James Grier Ward 1765-1824
|                      /                        \
|                     /                          ¯¯¯¯¯|13_Mary Grier 1733-1819
|3_Maria Ward 1807-1882
                      \                                                     _____|28_Rowland Rogers 1718-1787
                       \                           _____|14_Thomas Rogers 1742-1799
                        \                         /                         ¯¯¯¯¯|29_Ann x 1721-1754
                         ¯¯¯¯¯|7_Catherine Rogers 1776-1829
                                                  \                         _____|30_George Armstrong ca 1725-1785
                                                   ¯¯¯¯¯|15_Sarah Armstrong 1745-1788
                                                                             ¯¯¯¯¯|31_? ?