Custer’s Composer

Vinatieri

Felix Vinatieri was the band leader of the 7th Cavalry, and in that job he also composed music especially for the unit’s leader, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer.

In May 1876, the musician wrote “General Custer’s Last Indian Campaign March” to celebrate the anticipated victory over the Sioux and Cheyenne. Instead, Custer’s command was wiped out the next month at the Little Bighorn. The last campaign, indeed.

Vinatieri, who had admired Custer, was distraught and left the military six months later. He never played or conducted that march again.

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