The Custer Controversy Essay example

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The Custer Controversy What really happened at the Battle of the Little Big Horn has spawned countless books and opinions as to why General Custer attacked the Sioux and Cheyenne on June 22, 1876. The books and online articles that recount the facts, timeline, and who survived were written based on facts but are not all unbiased in perspective. Most of these writers want to prove that Custer was either a hero or a villain. From the perspective of the general’s men, they saw him as a fearless leader, one of the few who would ride out in front of the battle, while those on the political end interpreted the general’s actions as selfish and reckless. Custer’s last stand gave him immortal status at the price of not only his own life; but also …show more content…
Custer did not do so well in his classes and was usually involved in some form of worng-doings. Zachary Kent writes (2000), “Fellow cadet Tully McCrea said Custer’s problem was that he is too clever for his own good. He is always connected with all the mischief that is going on and never studies any more than he can possibly help” (p.18). Custer’s graduating class of 1861 nearly missed the entire last year due to the emergence of the Civil War. Custer ended up graduating last in his class from West Point and was offered a chance to help train recruits, and he reportedly said he’d rather report to a combat unit. So, as a new second lieutenant, he soon found himself at the First Battle of Bull Run, assigned to a cavalry unit. The battle did not go in his favor as the Union Army ended up retreating from the Confederate Army. Custer joined the 120,000 troops in Virginia under General McClellan, where Custer began to prove his willingness for heroism. At one point Custer was ordered to ascend in the basket of a tethered balloon with Thaddeus Lowe to make observations of enemy positions. Hesitantly, Custer took to the daring practice and made many other ascents in the observation balloon. Custer continued to impress his superiors by capturing Confederate soldiers for the Army of the Potomac led by McClellan. Major General McClellan was so impressed by Custer’s actions that he was temporarily promoted to

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