I'd give it 100%, but on the general principle that you can never be absolutely sure, I'll drop it to 97%.
The photo is in the Custer Battlefield collection. It may have come from Mrs. Custer. The print in "Custer in Photographs" has handwritten IDs for 4 people, Tom Custer, "father" Custer, "Eliza,"and Greene. The quotation marks on "father" are mine; those for "Eliza" are by the writer. The use of "father" is a strong indication that the writing is Libbie Custer's.
Greene married Libbie Custer's friend Nettie Humphrey and seems to have been a family friend for the rest of his life.
In addition, there is a photo taken at Michigan Brigade HQ, Stevensburg, VA in Feb 1864. Here again Greene is ID'd and sits on the floor of the porch with feet on the stairs in almost the same position. It looks to me like the same man.
I think used copies of "Custer in Photographs" and "The Custer Album" are available at reasonable prices and are good sources of photos of Custer, his family, and officers and men. The Swanson book is also supposed to be a good source, but it's also supposed to be expensive.
I also think you ought to try your hand ant the ladies in Custer's life.
I think the man just below Father Custer is probably Bvt Maj Henry Mayell, 2nd Lt Signal Corps, Custer's signal officer who was also brought to Texas from the 3rd Div staff.
It sure looks alot like the Elliott picture in the Frost book. Other pics I've seen of Greene aren't close enough to tell if it is him. I can't make out the insignia on his shoulder straps but 2 rows of uniform buttons starts with field grade officers, major and above.
Probably Greene but it needs more research as they have gotten them wrong before. Greene was his assistant adjutant general during the cw and a col. in charge of one of the Michigan units. He was captured in 64 and held for 11 months before being exchanged a couple days before Appomattox. Greene was muster out about the same month as Custer just before Custer was given command of the 7th. Custer used to write to Greene's girlfriend and future wife in Monroe who was a friend of Libbie's when Custer was forbidden to write to Libbie. There is a Feb 64 pic on a front porch in Virginia that has Greene in it with Custer. Maybe that would be a good source for comparison.
I've found some photos of Greene on a geneology site after a search for "Jacob Lyman Greene." There is one photo from early in the War, 2 from the 1870s or 80s and one from late in life. It looks like the same man to me.
In spite of the wiskers on the man in the Texas photo, that man cannot be Elliott. Elliott was never a field grade officer during his service in the U. S. Volunteers. He received no brevets to field rank in the U. S. Vols or the Regular Army.
A letter from Libbie Custer in reply to a published article by Col. Robert Hughes accusing General Custer of disobedience of Gen. Terry's orders at the Little Big Horn, thanks to the research of herosrest, with my annotations in brackets:
New York, 342 West 14th Street June 21, 1897
I have been repeatedly requested to answer in detail the article of Colonel J. P. Hughes which appeared in "Journal of the Military Service Institution," January, 1896, in which General Custer is accused of disobeying orders at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, in which he lost his life.
Believing that such a reply would prolong an unprofitable and inconclusive discussion of many matters which are not pertinent to the one central question, I deem it best to submit a portion of a letter written me by an officer who held the closest personal and official relations with General Custer during the Civil War. [Note: This officer was Custer's Chief of Staff, Colonel Jacob Greene.]
After indorsing strongly the opinion of a distinguished officer that "the keystone of the magazine article was lacking in the fact that no order was produced as evidence to sustain his charge," He further adds, "it makes no difference what General Custer's relations were with the individuals mentioned in the article. These and other statements brought forward as arguments have nothing to do with the one question at issue. Did General Custer disobey General Terry's orders? If he did, where is and what was the order he disobeyed? It has not been produced. Its existence has never been shown. General Terry never affirmed it. His papers have never shown any reference to it. The only known order in the case is General Terry's well-known written order of June 22, 1876. He was sending against an enemy of unknown numbers and in an uncertain location a column of troops which for a time must be entirely self-sufficient and liable to come in hostile contact before support could be had. General Terry himself was to be out of reach for instructions in any emergency. He was sending in command an officer of the very highest distinction for trained ability, professional experience, practised judgment, personal coolness and bravery, and every soldierly quality, to whom, after ample discussion and mutual conference, he gives, as one possessing his entire confidence, the directions necessary to the guidance of such an one commanding a column which General Terry must have presumed sufficient for whatever he expected it to meet in any considered contingency. That was the order of June 22, 1876. It developed General Terry's plan, and was the official record of his purpose for the guidance of his subordinate, whose responsibility was grounded therein and measured thereby. The reputations of both men were concerned in the matter. General Terry was not only an officer of high rank and distinguished for ability and long service, but he was also a trained man of affairs, and he knew what was necessary for his own protection in so important a movement, and for his subordinates protection and guidance.
"It is impossible that there should have been an order contravening this one in any part, or in any way modifying it, without its leaving a clear record. Any suggestion to the contrary is a distinct discredit to both the capacity, training, experience, and personal character of General Terry. His order of June 22, 1876, directs General Custer to take his regiment and pursue the Indians up the Rosebud. Then he says, 'It is, of course, impossible to give you any definite instructions in regard to this movement, and were it not impossible to do so, the department commander places too much confidence in your zeal, energy, and ability to wish to impose upon you precise orders which might hamper your action when nearly in contact with the enemy. He will, however, indicate to you his views of what your action should be, and he desires that you should conform to them unless you shall see sufficient reasons for departing from them.'
"Then follow his views and plans, the execution of which, as far as they may be possible of execution and subject to the chances of all war, he commits to a man in whose, 'zeal, energy, and ability' he places too much confidence 'to which to impose on him precise orders which might hamper his action when nearly in contact with the enemy.' When did he disobey them? When he came nearly in such contact all things were at his discretion, and unless he failed to play the soldier and the man at that moment there is no longer a question of disobedience of orders."
Trusting that this letter will be read by the fair-minded in the spirit in which it is written, I am very truly yours,
Elizabeth B. Custer
Last Edit: Mar 1, 2019 23:29:20 GMT -5 by moderator