General Custer, once stationed in Texas, meets his Waterloo in Montana

June 25th, 1876

On this day in 1876, George Armstrong Custer and some 265 men of the Seventh U.S. Cavalry were annihilated on the Little Big Horn River. Custer had a Texas history. After an outstanding career in the Union Army during the Civil War, he had been assigned to duty in Texas as part of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's effort to prevent Confederate retrenchment in Mexico under the emperor Maximilian. During five months in Hempstead and Austin, he alienated many in his command by strict enforcement of regulations prohibiting foraging and other army predations, while winning the gratitude of many Texans. On the other hand, he also recommended that the army retain control of Texas until the government was "satisfied that a loyal sentiment prevails in at least a majority of the inhabitants." Custer's wife, Elizabeth (Bacon), included in her memoir Tenting on the Plains (1887) a charming account of their stay in Texas. Custer's headquarters building in Austin, the Blind Asylum, located on the "Little Campus" of the University of Texas, has been restored.

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General Custer, once stationed in Texas, meets his Waterloo in Montana

June 25th, 1876

On this day in 1876, George Armstrong Custer and some 265 men of the Seventh U.S. Cavalry were annihilated on the Little Big Horn River. Custer had a Texas history. After an outstanding career in the Union Army during the Civil War, he had been assigned to duty in Texas as part of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's effort to prevent Confederate retrenchment in Mexico under the emperor Maximilian. During five months in Hempstead and Austin, he alienated many in his command by strict enforcement of regulations prohibiting foraging and other army predations, while winning the gratitude of many Texans. On the other hand, he also recommended that the army retain control of Texas until the government was "satisfied that a loyal sentiment prevails in at least a majority of the inhabitants." Custer's wife, Elizabeth (Bacon), included in her memoir Tenting on the Plains (1887) a charming account of their stay in Texas. Custer's headquarters building in Austin, the Blind Asylum, located on the "Little Campus" of the University of Texas, has been restored.

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Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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