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On campaign in western Kansas, Custer's Seventh Cavalry suffers a rash of desertions.

HD_SevthMarch67_08HW003.jpg
07/07/1867

Lieutenant-Colonel George Custer and six companies of his Seventh Cavalry undertook a six week campaign to clear hostile Sioux and Cheyenne warriors from the Platte Road in eastern Nebraska. The venture was Custer's first action against Plains Indians and did not go well.  Frustrating encounters, casualties, the suicide of his second in command, and questions over his allegedly harsh application of discipline that prompted a reported total of sixty desertions, dogged Custer to the point that he was court-martialed on his return and suspended from duty.  On this day fifteen men rode away from the column in broad daylight. An enraged Custer ordered a pursuit and five men, three of them wounded, were recaptured.  The other ten escaped.  (By John Osborne) 

Source Citation: 

Jay Monaghan, Custer: The Life of General George Armstrong Custer (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1959), 296.

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