I read an interesting article in Smithsonian that brings to light that the horse our boy general rode during the Grand Review (where he had the horse bolt and attract a lot of attention) named Don Juan was in fact stolen by him, and through some fancy book fiddling, got away with. There is a quote from a letter to his father-in-law Judge Bacon, expecting his owner to "make effort to recover the horse, he being so valuable." "...I hope to get $10,000 for him." This was a pedigreed horse and GAC took that (on a handbill) too to add value to the horse, but later changed it a bit "citing horse racing publications to replace the implicating original." The owner did try to recover the horse and ultimately the matter rose to the attention of Gen. Grant who sent a direct order to Sheridan that Custer must "deliver up the horse". Sheridan apparently ran a little interference and covered for Custer. In 1866 Custer took the horse to the Michigan State fair to build up interest in the horse with the goal of getting the $10,000, where it won several races...but alas, Don Juan died of a burst blood vessel within the monthe. Custer was out the $10,000. Maybe that is why he elected to remain in the army? Apparently he was toying with the idea of entering Railroading or mining, even politics, especially after his somewhat disasterous 1865 march to Texas experience. And now with the loss of a potential working capital he was in a bit of financial constraint and unable to seriously consider those possibilities. Funny how fate works....
In a local book store which has a lot of limited edition stuff, there are a couple copies of "Custer's Thoroughbreds" which is a biography of all of the boy general's horses. It is a limited edition and expensive so I never bought it (plenty of other LBH related stuff there I bought first), but next time I'm down there I am going to puruse a copy and see if there is anything in there regarding this. Meanwhile I copied the article in question and put it on the appropriate shelf in my library to keep it in case something further comes up. Interesting. And yes, I wouldn't put it past him either
Robb, Seriously, what did your last comment actually add to this thread--or to the quality of the forum as a whole? I know I am certainly not the sharpest person here so perhaps I'm missing something more erudite in your posting that is above me--if so, could you (or someone) please explain what I am not understanding here with these kinds of posts?
Flexibility is a wonderful attribute in historical studies, as well as life. It tends to prevent injury to brain and limb. However, rigidity has its place, I just can't think where that would apply. Maybe you have an idea.
Riding a purloined mount, is pretty flexible. (If true)
Men and horses, eh!. Of course today it would be a Ferrari or Abrams or even a Buell. There is/was a letter somewhere from Custer which chastises one of his officers for poor care of Custer's own animals. It's not leaping to mind..... stay tuned. It was an auction item .... long ago. Hmmmm......
Last Edit: Oct 30, 2015 19:19:27 GMT -5 by herosrest
If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and looks like a duck ~ it is probably a goose.
Getting closer - Holabird-Kagin Americana is proud to announce that they are putting up for auction a ledger once owned by the "Boy General" George Armstrong Custer. This 155 page journal has entries in the General's own hand on about eight pages. The entries involve the purchases of several thoroughbreds and trotters for Custer's own racing stable. His meticulousness shows through as he notes seller, bloodlines of the steeds and their race times for varied distances.