After the war Custer, like many officers, had his rank reduced, but he remained a controversial and sometimes heroic figure. He was charismatic, and he knew how to generate press coverage for himself.
When Custer and hundreds of men of the Seventh Cavalry were massacred at the Little Bighorn in late June 1876, it took time for the shocking news to reach the East Coast. When the story had been confirmed, the newspapers diligently reported every detail they could gather.
- New York Tribune, July 7, 1876: Headlined "Custer's Terrible Defeat," the leading American newspaper delivered a detail account of the massacre.
- Memphis Daily Appeal, July 7, 1876: "On the Field of Glory," an account of the massacre and a warning against a "Quaker policy" with the Indians.
- The National Republican, July 8, 1876: Headlined "The Fierce Sioux," a deck of headlines and a long story describe the battlefield where Custer fell.
Note: When visiting the links above, click on the "persistent link" at the Chronicling America site of the Library of Congress to see the complete page of the newspapers.
Photograph: George Armstrong Custer, photographed during the Civil War/Library of Congress
Connect on Facebook: AboutHistory1800s
Follow on Twitter: @History1800s