Bremerhaven is a city at the seaport of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. It forms an enclave in the state of Lower Saxony and is located at the mouth of the River Weser on its eastern bank, opposite the town of Nordenham. Though a new city, it has a long history as a trade port and today is one of the most important German ports, playing a role in Germany's trade; the town was founded in 1827, but neighboring settlements such as Lehe were in the vicinity as early as the 12th century, Geestendorf was "mentioned in documents of the ninth century". These tiny villages were built on small islands in the swampy estuary. In 1381, the city of Bremen established de facto rule over the lower Weser stream, including Lehe therefore called Bremerlehe. Early in 1653, Swedish Bremen-Verden's troops captured Bremerlehe by force; the Emperor Ferdinand III ordered his vassal Christina of Sweden Duchess regnant of Bremen-Verden, to restitute Bremerlehe to Bremen. However, Swedish Bremen-Verden soon enacted the First Bremian War and in the following peace treaty Bremen had to cede Bremerlehe and its surroundings to Swedish Bremen-Verden.
The latter developed plans to found a fortified town on the site, much this location became the present-day city of Bremerhaven. In 1672, under the reign of Charles XI of Sweden, in personal union Duke of Bremen-Verden—colonists tried unsuccessfully to erect a castle there. In 1827, the city of Bremen under Burgomaster Johann Smidt bought the territories at the mouth of the Weser from the Kingdom of Hanover. Bremen sought this territory to retain its share of Germany's overseas trade, threatened by the silting up of the Weser around the old inland port of Bremen. Bremerhaven was founded to be a haven for Bremen's merchant marine, becoming the second harbour for Bremen, despite being 50 km downstream. Due to trade with, emigration to North America, the port and the town grew quickly. In 1848, Bremerhaven became the home port of the German Confederation's Navy under Karl Rudolf Brommy; the Kingdom of Hanover called it Geestemünde. Both towns grew and established the three economic pillars of trade and fishing.
Following inter-state negotiations at different times, Bremerhaven's boundary was several times extended at the expense of Hanoveran territory. In 1924, Geestemünde and the neighbouring municipality of Lehe were united to become the new city of Wesermünde, in 1939 Bremerhaven was removed from the jurisdiction of Bremen and made a part of Wesermünde a part of the Prussian Province of Hanover. Bremerhaven was one of the important harbours of emigration in Europe; as the most critical North Sea base of the Nazi War Navy, the Kriegsmarine, 79% of the city was destroyed in the Allied air bombing of Bremen in World War II. All of Wesermünde, including those parts which did not belong to Bremerhaven, was a postwar enclave run by the United States within the British zone of northern Germany. Most of the US military units and their personnel were assigned to the city's Carl Schurz Kaserne. One of the longest based US units at the Kaserne was a US military radio and TV station, an "Amerikanischer Soldatensender", AFN Bremerhaven, which broadcast for 48 years.
In 1993, the Kaserne was returned to the German government. In 1947 the city became part of the federal state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and was renamed from Wesermünde to Bremerhaven. Today, Bremerhaven is therefore part of the city-state of Bremen, being to all intents and purposes a state comprising two cities, while a city in its own right; this is complicated somewhat by the fact that the city of Bremen has owned the "overseas port" within Bremerhaven since 1927. To further complicate matters, a treaty between the two cities makes Bremerhaven responsible for the municipal administration of those parts owned directly by Bremen; the port of Bremerhaven is the sixteenth-largest container port in the world and the fourth-largest in Europe with 4.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo handled in 2007 and 5,5 million in 2015. The container terminal is situated on the bank of the river Weser opening to the North Sea. In the wet dock parts, accessible by two large locks, more than 2 million cars are imported or exported every year with 2,3 million in 2014.
Bremerhaven exports more cars than any other city in Europe. Another million tons of "High-and-Heavy" goods are handled with ro-ro ships. In 2011 a new panamax-sized lock has replaced the 1897 Kaiserschleuse the largest lock worldwide. Bremerhaven has a temperate maritime climate. On average, the city receives about 742 mm of precipitation distributed throughout the year, with a slight peak in the summer months between June and August; the hottest temperature recorded was 35.8 °C on 9 August 1992, the coldest was −18.6 °C on 25 February 1956. Due to its unique geographic situation, Bremerhaven suffers from a few transportational difficulties; the city has been connected
Battle of the Little Bighorn
The Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Lakota and other Plains Indians as the Battle of the Greasy Grass and commonly referred to as Custer's Last Stand, was an armed engagement between combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, Arapaho tribes and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. The battle, which resulted in the defeat of US forces, was the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876, it took place on June 25–26, 1876, along the Little Bighorn River in the Crow Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana Territory. The fight was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, Arapaho, who were led by several major war leaders, including Crazy Horse and Chief Gall, had been inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull; the US 7th Cavalry, a force of 700 men, suffered a major defeat while under the command of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. Five of the 7th Cavalry's twelve companies were annihilated and Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew and a brother-in-law.
The total US casualty count included 268 dead and 55 wounded, including four Crow Indian scouts and at least two Arikara Indian scouts. Public response to the Great Sioux War varied in the immediate aftermath of the battle. Custer's widow soon worked to burnish her husband's memory, during the following decades Custer and his troops came to be considered iconic heroic, figures in American history; the battle, Custer's actions in particular, have been studied extensively by historians. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument honors those. In 1805, fur trader Francois Antoine Larocque reported joining a Crow camp in the Yellowstone area. On the way he noted that the Crow hunted buffalo on the "Small Horn River"; the US built Fort Raymond in 1807 for trade with the Crow. It was located near the confluence of the Yellowstone and the Bighorn River, about 40 miles north of the future battlefield; the area is first noted in the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. In the latter half of the 19th century, tensions increased between the Native inhabitants of the Great Plains of the US and encroaching settlers.
This resulted in a series of conflicts known as the Sioux Wars, which took place from 1854-90. While some of the indigenous people agreed to relocate to ever-shrinking reservations, a number of them resisted, at times fiercely. On May 7, 1868, the valley of the Little Bighorn became a tract in the eastern part of the new Crow Indian Reservation in the center of the old Crow country. There were numerous skirmishes between the Sioux and Crow tribes so when the Sioux were in the valley in 1876 without the consent of the Crow tribe, the Crow supported the US Army to expel them; the battlefield is known as "Greasy Grass" to the Lakota, Dakota and most other Plains Indians. Among the Plains Tribes, the long-standing ceremonial tradition known as the Sun Dance was the most important religious event of the year, it is a time for prayer and personal sacrifice on behalf of the community, as well as making personal vows. Towards the end of spring in 1876, the Lakota and the Cheyenne held a Sun Dance, attended by a number of "Agency Indians" who had slipped away from their reservations.
During a Sun Dance around June 5, 1876, on Rosebud Creek in Montana, Sitting Bull, the spiritual leader of the Hunkpapa Lakota had a vision of "soldiers falling into his camp like grasshoppers from the sky." At the same time US military officials were conducting a summer campaign to force the Lakota and the Cheyenne back to their reservations, using infantry and cavalry in a so-called "three-pronged approach". Col. John Gibbon's column of six companies of the 7th Infantry and four companies of the 2nd Cavalry marched east from Fort Ellis in western Montana on March 30 to patrol the Yellowstone River. Brig. Gen. George Crook's column of ten companies of the 3rd Cavalry, five companies of the 2nd Cavalry, two companies of the 4th Infantry, three companies of the 9th Infantry moved north from Fort Fetterman in the Wyoming Territory on May 29, marching toward the Powder River area. Brig. Gen. Alfred Terry's column, including twelve companies of the 7th Cavalry under Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer's immediate command, Companies C and G of the 17th U.
S. Infantry, the Gatling gun detachment of the 20th Infantry departed westward from Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory on May 17, they were accompanied by teamsters and packers with 150 wagons and a large contingent of pack mules that reinforced Custer. Companies C, D, I of the 6th U. S. Infantry moved along the Yellowstone River from Fort Buford on the Missouri River to set up a supply depot and joined Terry on May 29 at the mouth of the Powder River, they were joined there by the steamboat Far West, loaded with 200 tons of supplies from Fort Lincoln. The 7th Cavalry had been created just after the American Civil War. Many men were veterans of the war, including most of the leading officers. A significant portion of the regiment had served 4-1/2 years at Fort Riley, during which time it fought one major engagement and numerous skirmishes, experiencing casualties of 36 killed and 27 wounded. Six other troopers had died of 51 in cholera epidemics. In November 1868, while
During the American Civil War, the Union Army referred to the United States Army, the land force that fought to preserve the Union of the collective states. Known as the Federal Army, it proved essential to the preservation of the United States of America as a working, viable republic; the Union Army was made up of the permanent regular army of the United States, but further fortified and strengthened by the many temporary units of dedicated volunteers as well as including those who were drafted in to service as conscripts. To this end, the Union Army fought and triumphed over the efforts of the Confederate States Army in the American Civil War. Over the course of the war, 2,128,948 men enlisted in the Union Army, including 178,895 colored troops. Of these soldiers, 596,670 were wounded or went missing; the initial call-up was for just three months, after which many of these men chose to reenlist for an additional three years. When the American Civil War began in April 1861, there were only 16,367 men in the U.
S. Army, including 1,108 commissioned officers. 20% of these officers, most of them Southerners, choosing to tie their lives and fortunes to the Army of the Confederacy. In addition 200 West Point graduates who had left the Army, including Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, Braxton Bragg, would return to service at the outbreak of the war; this group's loyalties were far more divided, with 92 donning Confederate gray and 102 putting on the blue of the Union Army. The U. S. Army consisted of ten regiments of infantry, four of artillery, two of cavalry, two of dragoons, three of mounted infantry; the regiments were scattered widely. Of the 197 companies in the army, 179 occupied 79 isolated posts in the West, the remaining 18 manned garrisons east of the Mississippi River along the Canada–United States border and on the Atlantic coast. With the Southern slave states declaring secession from the Union, with this drastic shortage of men in the army, President Abraham Lincoln called on the states to raise a force of 75,000 men for three months to put down this subversive insurrection.
Lincoln's call forced the border states to choose sides, four seceded, making the Confederacy eleven states strong. It turned out that the war itself proved to be much longer and far more extensive in scope and scale than anyone on either side, Union North or Confederate South, expected or imagined at the outset on the date of July 22, 1861; that was the day that Congress approved and authorized subsidy to allow and support a volunteer army of up to 500,000 men to the cause. The call for volunteers was met by patriotic Northerners and immigrants who enlisted for a steady income and meals. Over 10,000 Germans in New York and Pennsylvania responded to Lincoln's call, the French were quick to volunteer; as more men were needed, the number of volunteers fell and both money bounties and forced conscription had to be turned to. Between April 1861 and April 1865, at least 2,128,948 men served in the Union Army, of whom the majority were volunteers, it is a misconception that the South held an advantage because of the large percentage of professional officers who resigned to join the Confederate army.
At the start of the war, there were 824 graduates of the U. S. Military Academy on the active list. Of the 900 West Point graduates who were civilians, 400 returned to the Union Army and 99 to the Confederate. Therefore, the ratio of Union to Confederate professional officers was 642 to 283; the South did have the advantage of other military colleges, such as The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute, but they produced fewer officers. Though officers were able to resign, enlisted soldiers did not have this right. While the total number of those is unknown, only 26 enlisted men and non-commissioned officers of the regular army are known to have left the army to join the Confederate army when the war began; the Union Army was composed of numerous organizations, which were organized geographically. Military division A collection of Departments reporting to one commander. Military Divisions were similar to the more modern term Theater. Department An organization that covered a defined region, including responsibilities for the Federal installations therein and for the field armies within their borders.
Those named for states referred to Southern states, occupied. It was more common to name departments for regions. District A subdivision of a Department
General of the Army Philip Henry Sheridan was a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. His career was noted for his rapid rise to major general and his close association with General-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant, who transferred Sheridan from command of an infantry division in the Western Theater to lead the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac in the East. In 1864, he defeated Confederate forces under General Jubal Early in the Shenandoah Valley and his destruction of the economic infrastructure of the Valley, called "The Burning" by residents, was one of the first uses of scorched-earth tactics in the war. In 1865, his cavalry pursued Gen. Robert E. Lee and was instrumental in forcing his surrender at Appomattox. Sheridan fought in years in the Indian Wars of the Great Plains. Both as a soldier and private citizen, he was instrumental in the development and protection of Yellowstone National Park. In 1883, Sheridan was appointed general-in-chief of the U.
S. Army, in 1888 he was promoted to the rank of General of the Army during the term of President Grover Cleveland. Sheridan claimed he was born in Albany in the State of New York, the third child of six of John and Mary Meenagh Sheridan, Irish Catholic immigrants from the parish of Killinkere in County Cavan, Ireland, he grew up in Ohio. Grown, he reached only 165 cm tall, a stature that led to the nickname, "Little Phil." Abraham Lincoln described his appearance in a famous anecdote: "A brown, chunky little chap, with a long body, short legs, not enough neck to hang him, such long arms that if his ankles itch he can scratch them without stooping."Sheridan worked as a boy in town general stores, as head clerk and bookkeeper for a dry goods store. In 1848, he obtained an appointment to the United States Military Academy from one of his customers, Congressman Thomas Ritchey. In his third year at West Point, Sheridan was suspended for a year for fighting with a classmate, William R. Terrill; the previous day, Sheridan had threatened to run him through with a bayonet in reaction to a perceived insult on the parade ground.
He graduated in 34th in his class of 52 cadets. Sheridan was commissioned as a brevet second lieutenant and was assigned to the 1st U. S. Infantry Regiment at Fort Duncan, Texas to the 4th U. S. Infantry at Fort Reading, California. Most of his service with the 4th U. S. was in the Pacific Northwest, starting with a topographical survey mission to the Willamette Valley in 1855, during which he became involved with the Yakima War and Rogue River Wars, gaining experience in leading small combat teams, being wounded, some of the diplomatic skills needed for negotiating with Indian tribes. He lived with a mistress during part of his tour of duty, an Indian Rogue River woman and daughter of Chief Harney, named Frances by her white friends, he was promoted to first lieutenant in March 1861, just before the Civil War, to captain in May after Fort Sumter. In the fall of 1861, Sheridan was ordered to travel to Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis, for assignment to the 13th U. S. Infantry, he departed from his command of Fort Yamhill, Oregon, by way of San Francisco, across the Isthmus of Panama, through New York City to home in Somerset for a brief leave.
On the way to his new post, he made a courtesy call to Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck in St. Louis, who commandeered his services to audit the financial records of his immediate predecessor, Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, whose administration of the Department of the Missouri was tainted by charges of wasteful expenditures and fraud that left the status of $12 million in debt. Sheridan sorted out the mess. Much to Sheridan's dismay, Halleck's vision for Sheridan consisted of a continuing role as a staff officer. Sheridan performed the task assigned to him and entrenched himself as an excellent staff officer in Halleck's view. In December, Sheridan was appointed chief commissary officer of the Army of Southwest Missouri, but convinced the department commander, Halleck, to give him the position of quartermaster general as well. In January 1862, he reported for duty to Maj. Gen. Samuel Curtis and served under him at the Battle of Pea Ridge. Sheridan soon discovered, they demanded payment from Sheridan. He confiscated the horses for the use of Curtis's army.
When Curtis ordered him to pay the officers, Sheridan brusquely retorted, "No authority can compel me to jayhawk or steal." Curtis had Sheridan arrested for insubordination but Halleck's influence appears to have ended any formal proceedings. Sheridan performed aptly in his role under Curtis and, now returned to Halleck's headquarters, he accompanied the army on the Siege of Corinth and served as an assistant to the department's topographical engineer, but made the acquaintance of Brig. Gen. William T. Sherman, who offered him the colonelcy of an Ohio infantry regiment; this appointment fell through, but Sheridan was subsequently aided by friends, who petitioned Michigan Governor Austin Blair on his behalf. Sheridan was appointed colonel of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry on May 27, 1862, despite having no experience in the mounted arm. A month Sheridan commanded his first forces in combat, leading a small brigade that included his regiment. At the Battle of Booneville, July 1, 1862, he held back several regiments of
Battle of Peebles's Farm
The Battle of Peebles's Farm was the western part of a simultaneous Union offensive against the Confederate works guarding Petersburg and Richmond, during the Siege of Petersburg in the American Civil War. In September 1864, Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant planned simultaneous attacks against both flanks of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Confederate army; the eastern attack would be carried out by the Army of the James under Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler against the Confederate works at Chaffin's Farm; the western attack was to be carried out by the Union V Corps under Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren and a cavalry division under Brig. Gen. David McM. Gregg with units from the IX Corps and II Corps in support. Grant had two intentions for Warren. First was to attack the opposite end of Lee's line to relieve pressure on Fort Harrison, which Butler's forces had captured and were holding against counterattacks; the second was to take advantage of the units Lee had removed from his right to retake Fort Harrison.
Warren's attack was aimed at the fortifications guarding the Boydton Plank Road, being used to carry supplies into Petersburg from the Confederate railhead at Stony Creek to the south. This line was being extended to reach the vicinity of the Union flank at Globe Tavern. While the lines were being constructed a temporary line was held along the Squirrel Level Road. On September 30, the same day Lee was attempting to retake Fort Harrison and Gregg began marching along the Poplar Springs Road toward the Squirrel Level line in the area of Peebles's Farm and Poplar Springs Church. Lee had indeed pulled forces from this flank for the counterattack on Fort Harrison so Warren was marching against Lt. Gen. A. P. Hill's reduced corps. Around 1 p.m. Brig. Gen. Charles Griffin led the attack against the Confederates near the Poplar Springs Church. Griffin captured Fort Archer on the extreme Confederate flank and the Squirrel Level line broke and fled so that prisoners captured were minimal. Warren halted the attack to fortify the new position and not advance too far in front of the IX Corps.
The Union attack forced Lee to recall the Light Division from its march towards Fort Harrison. The IX Corps under Maj. Gen. John G. Parke moved up on Warren's left but did not make an effective link with the V Corps flank. Maj. Gen. Henry Heth was preparing to mount a counterattack, which came about 4:30 and routed the IX Corps and forced one of its brigades to surrender. Warren, who had feared a counterattack, now helped rally the broken IX Corps units and check Heth's attack and the fighting died down. Heth tried another flank attack the following day, repulsed at the Battle of Vaughan Road, as was a cavalry attack under Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton. On October 2 the Union position was reinforced by Brig. Gen. Gershom Mott's division from the II Corps. Mott spearheaded a Union attack that day, aimed for the Boydton Plank Road; the attack overran Fort McRae but was checked before it reached the Boydton Plank Road. The Confederate defenders lost works on both sides of their lines; the Union army extended the siege lines past the Peebles's Farm area, bringing them all the closer to their ultimate goal of the Boydton Plank Road.
The Union army was entrenched in the area and that month the II Corps would make an attempt to cut the Boydton Plank Road. The Civil War Trust and its partners have preserved 88 acres of the battlefield; the acreage is located within Pamplin Historical Park outside Petersburg, Va. Eicher, David J; the Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. ISBN 0-684-84944-5. Esposito, Vincent J. West Point Atlas of American Wars. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1959. OCLC 5890637. Sommers, Richard J. Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg. Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1981. ISBN 0-385-15626-X. National Park Service battle description Peebles Farm National Park Handbook CWSAC Report Update
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union known as the North, referred to the United States of America and to the national government of President Abraham Lincoln and the 20 free states, as well as 4 border and slave states that supported it. The Union was opposed by 11 southern slave states that formed the Confederate States of America known as "the Confederacy" or "the South". All of the Union's states provided soldiers for the United States Army, though the border areas sent tens of thousands of soldiers south into the Confederacy; the Border states were essential as a supply base for the Union invasion of the Confederacy, Lincoln realized he could not win the war without control of them Maryland, which lay north of the national capital of Washington, D. C.. The Northeast and upper Midwest provided the industrial resources for a mechanized war producing large quantities of munitions and supplies, as well as financing for the war; the Midwest provided soldiers, horses, financial support, training camps.
Army hospitals were set up across the Union. Most states had Republican Party governors who energetically supported the war effort and suppressed anti-war subversion in 1863–64; the Democratic Party supported the war at the beginning in 1861 but by 1862, was split between the War Democrats and the anti-war element led by the "Copperheads". The Democrats made major electoral gains in 1862 in state elections, most notably in New York, they lost ground in 1863 in Ohio. In 1864, the Republicans campaigned under the National Union Party banner, which attracted many War Democrats and soldiers and scored a landslide victory for Lincoln and his entire ticket against opposition candidate George B. McClellan, former General-in-Chief of the Union Army and its eastern Army of the Potomac; the war years were quite prosperous except where serious fighting and guerrilla warfare took place along the southern border. Prosperity was stimulated by heavy government spending and the creation of an new national banking system.
The Union states invested a great deal of money and effort in organizing psychological and social support for soldiers' wives and orphans, for the soldiers themselves. Most soldiers were volunteers, although after 1862 many volunteered in order to escape the draft and to take advantage of generous cash bounties on offer from states and localities. Draft resistance was notable in some larger cities New York City with its massive anti-draft riots of July 1863 and in some remote districts such as the coal mining areas of Pennsylvania. In the context of the American Civil War, the Union is sometimes referred to as "the North", both and now, as opposed to the Confederacy, "the South"; the Union never recognized the legitimacy of the Confederacy's secession and maintained at all times that it remained a part of the United States of America. In foreign affairs the Union was the only side recognized by all other nations, none of which recognized the Confederate government; the term "Union" occurs in the first governing document of the United States, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.
The subsequent Constitution of 1787 was issued and ratified in the name not of the states, but of "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union...". Union, for the United States of America, is repeated in such clauses as the Admission to the Union clause in Article IV, Section 3. Before the war started, the phrase "preserve the Union" was commonplace, a "union of states" had been used to refer to the entire United States of America. Using the term "Union" to apply to the non-secessionist side carried a connotation of legitimacy as the continuation of the pre-existing political entity. Confederates saw the Union states as being opposed to slavery referring to them as abolitionists, as in reference to the U. S. Navy as the "Abolition fleet" and the U. S. Army as the "Abolition forces". Unlike the Confederacy, the Union had a large industrialized and urbanized area, more advanced commercial and financial systems than the rural South. Additionally, the Union states had a manpower advantage of 5 to 2 at the start of the war.
Year by year, the Confederacy shrank and lost control of increasing quantities of resources and population. Meanwhile, the Union turned its growing potential advantage into a much stronger military force. However, much of the Union strength had to be used to garrison conquered areas, to protect railroads and other vital points; the Union's great advantages in population and industry would prove to be vital long-term factors in its victory over the Confederacy, but it took the Union a long while to mobilize these resources. The attack on Fort Sumter rallied the North to the defense of American nationalism. Historian, Allan Nevins, says: The thunderclap of Sumter produced a startling crystallization of Northern sentiment... Anger swept the land. From every side came news of mass meetings, resolutions, tenders of business support, the muster of companies and regiments, the determined action of governors and legislatures. McClintock states: At the time, Northerners were right to wonder at the near unanimity that so followed long months of bitterness and discord.
It would not last throughout the protracted war to come – or through the year – but in that moment of unity was laid bare the common Northern nationalism hidden by the fierce battles more typical of the political arena." Historian Michael Smith, argues that, as the war grou
George Armstrong Custer
George Armstrong Custer was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars. Custer graduated from West Point in 1861, bottom of his class, but as the Civil War was just starting, trained officers were in immediate demand, he worked with General McClellan and the future General Pleasonton, who both recognised his qualities as a cavalry leader, he was brevetted brigadier general of Volunteers at age 23. At Gettysburg, he commanded the Michigan Cavalry Brigade, defeated Jeb Stuart’s assault on Cemetery Ridge, while outnumbered. In 1864, Custer served in the Overland Campaign and in Sheridan’s army in the Shenandoah Valley, defeating Jubal Early at Cedar Creek, his division blocked Lee's final retreat and received the first flag of truce from the Confederates, Custer being present at Lee’s surrender to U. S. Grant at Appomattox. After the war, Custer was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the Regular Army, sent west to fight in the Indian Wars.
On June 25, 1876, while leading the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana Territory against a coalition of Native American tribes, he was killed along with over one third of his command during an action romanticized as "Custer's Last Stand". His dramatic end was as controversial as the rest of his career, his legacy remains divided, his bold leadership in battle is unquestioned, but his legend was of his own fabrication, through his extensive journalism, more through his wife’s energetic lobbying throughout her long widowhood. Custer's paternal immigrant ancestors and Gertrude Küster, emigrated to the North American English colonies around 1693 from the Rhineland in Germany among thousands of Palatine refugees whose passage was arranged by the English government to gain settlers in New York and Pennsylvania. According to family letters, Custer was named after George Armstrong, a minister, in his devout mother's hope that her son might join the clergy. Custer was born in New Rumley, Ohio, to Emanuel Henry Custer, a farmer and blacksmith, his second wife, Marie Ward Kirkpatrick, of English and Scots-Irish descent.
He had two younger brothers and Boston. His other full siblings were the family's youngest child, Margaret Custer, Nevin Custer, who suffered from asthma and rheumatism. Custer had three older half-siblings. Custer and his brothers acquired their life-long love of practical jokes, which they played out among the close family members. Emanuel Custer was an outspoken Democrat who taught his children politics and toughness at an early age. In a February 3, 1887 letter to his son's widow, Libby, he related an incident "when Autie was about four years old, he had to have a tooth drawn, he was much afraid of blood. When I took him to the doctor to have the tooth pulled, it was in the night and I told him if it bled well it would get well right away, he must be a good soldier; when he got to the doctor he took his seat, the pulling began. The forceps slipped off and he had to make a second trial, he pulled it out, Autie never scrunched. Going home, I led him by the arm, he jumped and skipped, said'Father you and me can whip all the Whigs in Michigan.'
I thought, saying a good deal but I did not contradict him." In order to attend school, Custer lived with an older half-sister and her husband in Monroe, Michigan. Before entering the United States Military Academy, Custer attended the McNeely Normal School known as Hopedale Normal College, in Hopedale, Ohio, it was to train teachers for elementary schools. While attending Hopedale and classmate William Enos Emery were known to have carried coal to help pay for their room and board. After graduating from McNeely Normal School in 1856, Custer taught school in Ohio, his first sweetheart was Mary Jane Holland. Custer entered West Point as a cadet on July 1, 1857, as a member of the class of 1862, his class numbered seventy-nine cadets embarking on a five-year course of study. With the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, the course was shortened to four years, Custer and his class graduated on June 24, 1861, he was 34th in a class of 34 graduates: 23 classmates had dropped out for academic reasons while 22 classmates had resigned to join the Confederacy.
Throughout his life, Custer tested rules. In his four years at West Point, he amassed a record-total of 726 demerits, one of the worst conduct records in the history of the academy. A fellow cadet recalled Custer as declaring there were only two places in a class, the head and the foot, since he had no desire to be the head, he aspired to be the foot. A roommate noted, "It was alright with George Custer. Under ordinary national conditions, Custer's low class rank would result in an obscure posting, but Custer had the "fortune" to graduate as the Civil War broke out. All officers were needed. Like the other graduates, Custer was commissioned as a second lieutenant. S. Cavalry Regiment and tasked with drilling volunteers in Washington, D. C. On July 21, 1861, he was with his regiment at the First Battle of Bull Run during the Manassas Campaign, where Army commander Winfield Scott detailed him to carry messages to Major General Irvin McDowell. After the battle, Custer continued participating in the defenses of Washington D.
C. until October, when he became ill. He was absent from his unit until February 1862. In March, he participated with the 2nd Cavalry in the Peninsula Campaign in Virginia until April 4. On April 5, Custer s