Profession: Union General
Why Famous: Although Custer graduated last in his class at West Point Military Academy, he quickly rose to prominence during the US Civil War. he became the protégé of Major General Alfred Pleasonton who appointed him Brigadier General just before the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.
As a cavalry officer Custer was known for his aggressive charges. He was one of the officers present at Appomattox Court House to receive the Confederates surrender in April 1865.
In 1876 Custer was commissioned to lead an expedition against the Plains Indians, culminating in The Battle of Little Bighorn. Otherwise known as 'Custer's Last Stand', Custer and his forces were famously cut down to a man and defeated by a larger Indian coalition made up of Lakota and Cheyenne warriors.
Contemporary opinions characterised Custer's last battle as a grand self sacrifice but more recent opinion is divided and the events of that day remain controversial.
- 1864-02-09 Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer marries Elizabeth Clift Bacon
- 1863-06-29 George Armstrong Custer, aged 23, appointed Union Brigadier General
- 1864-10-09 Battle of Tom's Brook; Confederate cavalry that harassed Sheridan's campaign is beaten by General George A. Custer & Merrit's cavalry divisions
- 1868-11-27 Battle at Washita River, Oklahoma. General George A. Custer attacks group of Native American Indians, their chief Black Kettle dies in the attack
- 1873-08-04 Indian Wars: whilst protecting a railroad survey party in Montana, US 7th Cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, clashes for the 1st time with the Sioux near the Tongue River. 1 man killed on each side.
- 1876-05-17 7th US Cavalry under General George Armstrong Custer leaves Fort Lincoln
- 1876-06-25 Battle of the Little Bighorn: US 7th Cavalry under Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer wiped out by Sioux and Cheyenne warriors led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull in what has become famously known as "Custer's Last Stand"
- 1879-01-29 Custer Battlefield National Monument established in Montana