George Armstrong Custer

George Armstrong Custer a graduate of West Point Military Academy is most famously remembered for "Custer's Last Stand" at the Battle of Little Bighorn, where he died along with over 200 of his men at the hands of Chief Sitting Bull and the Lakota and Cheyenne warriors. However, Custer was first considered a military war hero nicknamed "Boy General" for having been the youngest General to fight in the American Civil War at the age of 23. His first engagement was in the Battle of Bull Run. Custer was instrumental in ending the Civil War when he captured and burned General Robert E. Lee's supply trains at Appomattox Court House. Custer's infantry was the first to receive the white flag of surrender from the Confederate Army. He was honored to attend the meeting at Appomattox in Virginia when General Lee formally surrendered to Union General Grant on April 9, 1865.

1839 George Armstrong Custer was born on December 5 in New Rumley, Ohio to parents Emanuel and Maria Ward Custer
1857 Custer enters West Point Military Academy
1860 Abraham Lincoln is elected the sixteenth U.S. President
1861 The American Civil War begins
Custer graduates from West Point
1862 The Dakota Wars begin
1863 Custer lead fighting in the Battle of Gettysburg losing over 200 men but was successful in stopping the confederacy from attacking the Union Army from behind
1864 Custer marries Elizabeth C. Bacon on February 9 in Monroe, Michigan
March 4, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Ulysses S. Grant in charge of the Union Military forces
May 5, Battle of the Wilderness begins
1864 Sand Creek Massacre
1865 Custer witnessed General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox
1866 April 14, Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth
Vice President Andrew Johnson assumes the Presidency upon Lincoln's death as the Seventeenth U.S. President
Custer and wife Elizabeth Bacon Custer moved to Kansas. Custer joins the 7th Calvary under Winfield Scott Hancock command to fight the Cheyenne and Lakota attacking settlements across Kansas and Oklahoma. Hancock's War lasted the entire summer
1868 Custer and the Battle of Washita. A surprise winter attack on the American Indian village of Chief Black Kettle and the Cheyenne. Over 100 Indians were killed during the raid by the 7th Calvary. The remainig survivors were captured and brought back.
Fort Laramie Treaty is signed, establishing the Great Sioux Reservation which included the Black Hills of South Dakota. The land was deeded in trade for hostilities against settlers and Northern Pacific Railroad workers to cease. However, Chief Sitting Bull refused to sign the treaty and continued to confront violently any westward expansion by the white man.
1869 Ulysses S. Grant is inaugurated as the 18th U.S. President
1873 Custer and the 7th Calvary are stationed at Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Northern Plains
1874 Custer and the 7th Calvary sent on an expedition to explore the Dakota territory and scout a new location for a U.S. Military Fort. During the expedition they discover gold in the Black Hills
1875 Custer wrote extensively about the Black Hills Expedition, publishing articles in a Sportsman magazine. Word spread fast of the discovery of gold. Against the Laramie Treaty, more than 15,000 miners invaded the Black Hills to mine for gold and established the town of "Custer"
President Ulysess Grant ordered the Military Generals to allow the miners into the Black Hills and not enforce the Laramie Treaty. Instead the United States Government attempted to purchase the Black Hills back from the Sioux for 6,000,000 dollars but the offer was refused
On November 3, an attempt to force the sale of the Black Hills and stop the last of the Indian resistance, President Grant declared a new American Indian policy. Giving a deadline for all Indians to register at the reservation agencies or be considered hostile and face military force
1876 The January deadline for the Indians to voluntarily come into the reservation agencies went unanswered by Chief Sitting Bull. President Ulysses S. Grant reinstates Custer to join the 7th Calvary under the command of General Alfred Terry and force the American Indians onto the reservation
May 17, Custer and the 7th Calvary left Fort Abraham Lincoln
June 25, Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of Little Bighorn
1887 The Dawes Act - Indian land allotment

Back to top of George Armstrong Custer Page

Back to American Presidents History Home Page

Connect With US =>

General George Custer

~General Custer

Historical Events