often ask Steve questions about General Custer and the Battle of the
Little Big Horn.
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following is the most often requested writing by Custer:
When we first beheld the red man, we beheld him in his home of
peace and plenty, the home of nature. Sorrows furrowed lines were
not weakened by being forced to sleep in dreary caves and deep
morasses, fireless, comfortless and coverless, through fear of
the hunter's deadly rifle. His heart did not quake with terror
at every gust of wind that sighed through the trees, but on the
contrary, they were the favored sons of nature, and she like a
doting mother, had bestowed all her gifts on them. They stood
in the native strength and beauty, stamped with the proud majesty
of free born men, whose souls never knew fear, or whose eyes never
quelled beneath the fierce glance of men. But what are they now,
those monarchs of the west? They are like withered leaves of their
own native forest, scattered in every direction by the fury of
Red Man is alone in his misery. The earth is one vast desert to
him. Once it had its charms to lull his spirit to repose, but
now the home of his youth, the familiar forests, under whose grateful
shade, he and his ancestors stretched their weary limbs after
the excitement of the chase, are swept away by the axe of the
woodman; the hunting grounds have vanished from his sight and
in every object he beholds the hand of desolation. We behold him
now on the verge of extinction, standing on his last foothold,
clutching his bloodstained rifle, resolved to die amidest the
horrors of slaughter, and soon he will be talked of as a nobel
race who once existed but now have passed away.
G. A. Custer
Cadet U. S. M. A.
Instructor in Ethics
May 5, 1858
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