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George Armstrong Custer – the Civil War and Beyond - Saturday 7th May 2016


eorge Armstrong Custer – the Civil War and Beyond Our next meeting will be a double header. We are pleased that Mike Fox and Kevin Galvin from the Custer Association of Great Britain will be our guests. Mike will be talking about Custer’s command decisions at the Little Big Horn and contrasting them with his Civil War decisions. Kevin will be looking in detail at Custer in Texas post-war when he undertook Reconstruction duties. Both subjects will give us the opportunity to look at an area of ACW that we may not normally consider. Details about the CAGB can be found here. The meeting will take place at the Civil Service Club in London and will commence at 13:00 and close at 16:00. You can download the booking form by clicking here and you can buy raffle tickets for the event by clicking here. Booking is recommended as if you turn up on the day seats and refreshments cannot be guaranteed. Please return your booking form and raffle application by Saturday 30th April 2016 Recommended reading for this talk: Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America T.J. Stiles From the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner, a brilliant new biography of Gen. George Armstrong Custer that radically changes our view of the man and his turbulent times. In this magisterial biography, T. J. Stiles paints a portrait of Custer both deeply personal and sweeping in scope, proving how much of Custer s legacy has been ignored. He demolishes Custer s historical caricature, revealing a volatile, contradictory, intense person capable yet insecure, intelligent yet bigoted, passionate yet self-destructive, a romantic individualist at odds with the institution of the military (he was court-martialed twice in six years). The key to understanding Custer, Stiles writes, is keeping in mind that he lived on a frontier in "time. "In the Civil War, the West, and many areas overlooked in previous biographies, Custer helped to create modern America, but he could never adapt to it. He freed countless slaves yet rejected new civil rights laws. He proved his heroism but missed the dark reality of war for so many others. A talented combat leader, he struggled as a "manager "in the West. He tried to make a fortune on Wall Street yet never connected with the new corporate economy. Native Americans fascinated him, but he could not see them as fully human. A popular writer, he remained apart from Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, and other rising intellectuals. During Custer s lifetime, Americans saw their world remade. His admirers saw him as the embodiment of the nation s gallant youth, of all that they were losing; his detractors despised him for resisting a more complex and promising future. Intimate, dramatic, and provocative, this biography captures the larger story of the changing nation in Custer’s tumultuous marriage to his highly educated wife Libbie; their complicated relationship with Eliza Brown, the forceful black woman who ran their household and also his battles and expeditions. It casts surprising new light on a near-mythic American figure, a man both widely known and little understood."


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