CUSTER’S LAST LEMONADE STAND AND OTHER ENDEAVORS
GOODNIGHT, GEORGE AND A FEW OTHER WORDS ABOUT CUSTER
George Armstrong Custer is alive and well 141 years after his death on June 25, 1876.
Custer fought exactly two battles in the Indian Wars.
He won one and lost one.
He won the Battle of Washita Creek on November 27, 1868. Attacking a sleeping Cheyenne village at dawn, his troops, by most accounts other than his own, killed more old men, women and children than warriors.
Custer also had 675 of the village’s horses shot.
It is now, for good reason, considered a massacre.
Things didn’t go so swimmingly for Custer at the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876.
Custer last known words were, “Hurrah, boys, we’ve got them!” The “boys” didn’t get them.
He was wiped out by force a lot fiercer than sleeping old men, women and children. Custer’s Last Stand lasted all of 15 minutes. There were no survivors on the “boys” side.
The dead Custer’s ears were filled with arrows because he “wouldn’t listen” and another arrow was jammed up his penis.
Today, lots of people still write lots about Custer. There are twice as many books about Custer than the Titanic, another of folly’s disasters.
(Some people, of questionable talent and mental acuity, still make Custer Art.)
Recently, Timothy Egan wrote in the New York Times “Custer has been shorthand for hubris, ignorance, and had it coming, but in earlier decades Custer was a hero.”
Funny how time changes history.
And funny how hubris and ignorance stay in style.