Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Ohio Moments


George A. Custer was brash, bold and heroic

On June 25, 1876, Ohio native George Armstrong Custer and more than 200 of his men were killed by Indians at the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Custer was born in 1839 in New Rumley in Harrison County, Ohio. He graduated last in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1861 - just in time to join Union forces at Bull Run, the first major land battle of the Civil War.

Flamboyant and brave (critics called him reckless), Custer became a brigadier general at 23 - the youngest in the Army - and a major general at 25. He took part in nearly every important battle of the Army of the Potomac, leading his troops to many victories. It was Custer who was handed the Confederate flag of truce when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, another Ohioan, at Appomattox Courthouse, Va.

In 1866, Custer took command of the 7th Cavalry. In 1876, he was part of an effort to drive Indians out of the Dakota Black Hills. Custer came across an Indian encampment in Little Bighorn Valley and attacked. He and his outnumbered men were decimated in minutes.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com or call 768-8361




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