This is a “pencil” of the cocky, flamboyant and brave, golden-haired George Armstrong Custer. A general at 23, he was one of the Union’s most celebrated cavalrymen. By 1865, the time of this reference photo by Civil War Photographer Matthew Brady, he had seen action in most engagements in the eastern theater. A subordinate described Custer as “the idol, as well as the idol of his men, the foremost cavalry officer of his time.”
With a showdown battle in Pennsylvania anticipated, the colorful 23 year-old George Armstrong Custer was jumped past most of his peers and made a brigadier general by George G. Meade. After Gettysburg, Custer fought other battles. Aside from his Civil War service, he is best known for his defeat and death at the Little Bighorn River on June 25, 1876. This is a postwar portrait, since Custer did not display the insignia of a major general until after April 15, 1865.
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