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"Boots and Saddles"; or, Life in Dakota with General Custer
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Elizabeth Custer, nee Bacon (1842-1933) was the wife of General George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876). After his death, she became an outspoken advocate for her husband's legacy. In 1876, Lieutenant Colonel Custer campaigned against the Sioux. From Fort Abraham Lincoln in what is now North Dakota, he led the Seventh Cavalry in pursuit of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne who refused to be confined to the reservation system. After his column was wiped out at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, many in the press, Army, and government criticized Custer for blundering into a massacre. President Ulysses S. Grant publicly blamed him for the disaster. Fearing that her husband was to be made a scapegoat by history, Elizabeth Custer launched a one woman campaign to rehabilitate her husband's image. She began writing articles and making speaking engagements praising the glory of her martyred husband. Her three books, "Boots and Saddles"; or, Life in Dakota With General Custer (1885), Following the Guidon (1890) and Tenting on the Plains (1893) were brilliant pieces of propaganda aimed at glorifying her dead husband's memory.
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