None Wounded, None Missing, All Dead: The Story of Elizabeth Bacon Custer

None Wounded, None Missing, All Dead: The Story of Elizabeth Bacon Custer

Chris Enss, Howard Kazanjian

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: 0762759690

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


On May 17, 1876, Elizabeth Bacon Custer kissed her husband George goodbye and wished him good fortune in his efforts to fulfill the Army’s orders to drive in the Native Americans who would not willingly relocate to a reservation.  Adorned in a black taffeta dress and a velvet riding cap with a red peacock feather that matched George’s red scarf, she watched the proud regiment ride off.  It was a splendid picture. 

This new biography of Elizabeth Bacon Custer relates the story of the famous and dashing couple's romance, reveals their life of adventure throughout the west during the days of the Indian Wars, and recounts the tragic end of the 7th cavalry and the aftermath for the wives. Libbie Custer was an unusual woman who followed her itinerant army husband's career to its end--but she was also an amazing master of propaganda who tried to recreate George Armstrong Custer's image after Little Bighorn. The author of many books about her own life (some of which are still in print) she was one of the most famous women of her time and remains a fascinating character in American history. 

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Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac, called George one of his "dependables."15 George and Elizabeth consistently wrote to one another. She shared news from Washington with him, and he kept her abreast of what was happening with his command. "We had a splendid review today," he noted in his correspondence, dated April 23, 1864. "General Sheridan reviewed the entire Division. My Brigade never looked better. I was more than proud of it. We compared favorably with other Brigades. I wished my

saloons . . . 'Nymphes du Pave' they are called. Sport alone was our object. At no time did I forget you."35 None of the business ventures posed to George held the same interest for him as being a soldier. In a letter to Elizabeth, he wrote that "the sound of the horse's hoofs on this road makes me think of cavalry on the march." George decided that he would hold out for another command rather than abandon the military. Elizabeth supported her husband. "If you want a regiment of cavalry and

the chiefs of the war-like tribes, when they reached that part of the country infested with the marauding Indians, was something he hoped might result in our speedy reunion."15 The Custers sought relief from the stress of their pending separation by hosting social events for George's staff and their families. Elizabeth held dinner parties, and George invited his officers over to play poker. Benteen attended the soirees, but was highly critical of the couple's behavior. He claimed that Elizabeth

In addition to the traditional subjects of literature, history, and mathematics (in which she excelled), Elizabeth took courses in gardening, art, music, and French. Her father was not only proud of her academic accomplishments, but also with how beautiful she had become. During her time away from home she had blossomed from a girl into a woman. At sixteen, Elizabeth attracted the attention of many young men; according to her journal, she was well aware of the effect she had on the opposite sex,

for George's remains to be sent to West Point. His reburial took place on October 10. George's flag-draped coffin was carried to a spot under a row of elm trees, a lone horse following the procession to the open grave.40 Elizabeth had little tolerance for any criticism leveled at her late husband. Regardless of his human frailties, which she strove to keep out of the public eye, in her estimation he remained a noble figure. She seized every invitation extended to her to speak about George's

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