Glorious War: The Civil War Adventures of George Armstrong Custer. By Thom Hatch. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2013. Pp. 366. Cloth, $28.99.) "The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones." This could be George Armstrong Custer's epitaph as well as Caesar's. As Thom Hatch notes, Custer's death at the Little Bighorn, where five cavalry companies were annihilated, has characterized him ever since. And with the passage of time, the image of him has only gotten worse in the popular imagination: early on, the cavalry leader was seen by some as a tragic figure, whose Civil War victories were still remembered. Now he is commonly portrayed as simply a bungler. Taking his title from Custer's enthusiastic pronouncement about war, Thom Hatch examines his subject's Civil War "adventures." The noun is appropriate, for even in the midst of fierce fighting, the rapidly promoted young cavalryman could snatch moments of fun or continue his personal campaign to win one of two women back home in Monroe, Michigan. He approached everything with boundless energy and zest--and, in spite of a lackluster academic record at West Point, with military skill that caught the attention
The Journal of the Civil War Era – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Nov 8, 2014
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