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Vol. 4 - No.10 October, 2022 Nooseletter Home SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Chronicle of the Old West
Dakota Livesay | Old West Historian
George Armstrong Custer had political ambitions... all the way up to the Presidency. But, he approached politics the way he did a battle... he attacked.

Continued.... (see below)
Politician Custer
There was probably no more paradoxical character than George Armstrong Custer. He was always in the front of his troops in battle. Away from the battlefield he was a strutting peacock. He could kill a man without a thought, but he would risk his life for a stray animal. He had a soft spot for Indians, but he would wipe out any Indian village that stood in his way to glory.

In addition, Custer had political ambitions… all the way up to becoming the President of the United States.

In 1876 Grant was President. He was a great military man, but a poor President. The Bureau of Indian Affairs was particularly corrupt, with Indian agents becoming wealthy from starving the Indians.

Grant was Republican and Custer was Democrat. And, there was no front-runner to replace Grant. On the sly, Custer sent “dirt” to eastern reporters.

The Democrats pressed for hearings on the Indian Affairs problem. Custer was summonsed to testify. As a hero and Indian affairs expert, he was an ideal witness.

Using the same tactics he used in battle, on April 18, Custer charged head-on into the fray. Custer not only answered questions, he elaborated, even to the point of indicting Orville Grant, the President’s brother.

Unfortunately, although politics is war, it’s a much more subtle war. And Custer was never known to be subtle. Before Custer returned west, an angry President Grant relieved him of his command. Although Custer was able to beg and grovel to get his command back, he surely learned that the Indians were easier to battle than politicians.
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