Who is George Custer?
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The following is the most often requested writing by Custer:

THE RED MAN

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 the tempest.

The 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.

Respectfully submitted,
G. A. Custer
Cadet U. S. M. A.

To Lieutenant Childs
Instructor in Ethics
May 5, 1858

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