If you’ve ever wondered what interested event occurred on this day in history, Shapell is now going to tell you. Their new program “Between the Lines: A Unique Look at this Day in History” chronicles important events through original manuscripts and historical documents.
The first piece on display, for instance, is a letter from General Armstrong Custer, the legendary American soldier and youngest general in American history. In the autographed letter signed “G.A. Custer” that was sent to General John A.J. Creswell, Custer lobbies to have his brother, Boston Custer, appointed a Second Lieutenant.
Sadly, Boston Custer, in his frail and tubercular state, wasn’t even accepted into the United States Army, let alone made a Second Lieutenant. Nevertheless, he fell at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, along with Custer’s nephew Autie Reed, his brother-in-law James Calhoun, and their other brother Tom.
The letter from Shapell and the Between the Lines program shines light on Custer’s love for his brothers and his protective nature. In the letter, while lobbying for his brother, he wrote, “I am extremely anxious to obtain an appointment from the Secretary of War of my youngest brother Boston Custer as second lieutenant in the 7th Cavalry. My brother is in every respect admirably adapted to perform the duties of a cavalry officer. He is nearly twenty four years of age, of excellent habits and character and I think would be a credit to the service.”
Later, after Custer’s request was rejected and he hired Boston on his own to be a scout at a hundred dollars a month, he wrote that we “don’t know what we would do without ‘Bos’ to tease.”