GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER
Important, Civil War-dated ALS, enthusiastically endorsing a new saber shield
and urging that the US Cavalry be equipped with it
Autograph Letter signed: "G. A. Custer, Brig. Genl.", 1 page, 6¼x8.
Washington, D.C., 1864 April 6. To Captain R. R. Moffatt, in full:
"Having carefully examined your 'Sabre Shield,' and having considered
its merits, as pertaining to my own branch of the service, I do not hesitate
in pronouncing it a most invaluable acquisition to the cavalry arm of the
service. I am firm in the belief that the possession of it by our cavalry
would give confidence and increases courage to those wearing it. The trifling
weight of the shield is such as to be almost unfelt by the wearer. I hope it
will be adopted at once." George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876)
graduated last in his class at West Point in 1858, but promptly redeemed himself
through his brave and aggressive cavalry leadership during the Civil War.
Earning the confidence of cavalry commanders Pleasanton and Sheridan, he rose
swiftly to the rank of brevet major general by war's end. Custer had taken
command of the 5th Michigan Cavalry shortly before Gettysburg and led it into
battle repeatedly. Five weeks after this letter was sent, Custer's troopers slew
Confederate cavalry commander J.E. B. at the Battle of Yellow Tavern. Custer
left military service briefly after the Civil War, dabbling in business and
politics, but by 1867 he was battling Plains Indians in a series of campaigns
which would end with his disastrous defeat and death at the Little Bighorn (June
25, 1876). Understandably, Custer took a keen interest in cavalry equipment,
and had himself developed a saber attachment of his own before the start of
hostilities. For cavalry units of the Civil War, however, sabers were
proving no match for pistols in close combat.
Horizontal fold creases. Moisture stains causing minor ink runs. Lightly
toned. Otherwise, fine condition.
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER
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