Despite his lack of qualifications Custer won a coveted appointment to West Point in 1857. He wasn’t a good student, receiving a record number of infractions that has never been broken. He graduated last in his class in 1861. Just in time to distinguish himself in something he excelled. War. Despite his lack of qualifications he won a coveted appointment to West Point in 1857. He wasn’t a good student, receiving a record number of infractions that has never been broken. He graduated last in his class in 1861. Just in time to distinguish himself in something he excelled. War. George Custer graduates from West Point just in time for the Civil. He fought in the First Battle of Bull Run and the Virginia campaigns. He displayed fearless aggression in battle which caught the eye of his commanding generals. At 23 he became a brigadier general. By 1864, Custer had been in battles from Bull Run to Gettysburg. Custer was driven to be great….famous. Everything he did from his flamboyant dress to his fearless bravery. He gets horses shot out from under him and draws attention from the snipers. He called it “Custer’s luck” and actually believed it. July 3, 1863, Custer and his First Michigan Cavalry charged hell for leather charge into Jeb Stuart’s cavalry “The Invincibles” kept the Rebs from overrunning the Union’s right flank at Gettysburg.
He stood out with his long yellow hair, velvet jacket, scarlet neckerchief, charged headlong into battle guns blazing. The 23-year old “Boy General”. The Union lines held and his charge helped win the most decisive battle of the Civil War. Daring and brash, he was the darling of the press. He was good, if often reckless. He was a small unit combat commander. He had one battle instinct; to charge the enemy. This made him a favorite to the national press but it would prove costly during the Indian Wars.
The Civil War ended in 1865 and After the War the military downsized and he was reduced from Major General to Captain. The Army downsized from about a million men to about 25,000 with ten regiments of cavalry of about 7,000.
Custer is commissioned to lead the newly formed 7th Cavalry. The 7th was mustered to the southern plains of Kansas, Oklahoma and Fort Riley, Kansas.