Autie Custer was only four years old when he asked his father to make him a real iron sword. Even then he knew that when he grew up he wanted to be a solider and fight the Indians.
He was an impulsive, fearless boy who much preferred to be outdoors in the woods or riding his horse to studying his lessons. When he was twelve, however, he learned that to be an officer in the Army he would have to go to West Point and that to go there he would have to study hard. So he buckled down to his books, and in 1857 he became a plebe at West Point. At the end of his fourth year the Civil War began, and Autie lost no time making his way to the battlefront. Before many months had passed the name of the tall blonde officer from Ohio was famous among the soldiers of the Union Army, and there was not one of his men who would not follow him unhesitatingly when he roared "Charge!" and spurred his horse into the thick of the fighting.
At the end of the war George Custer was far from content to settle down to be a civilian for the rest of his life. His was a restless fighting spirit that could be happy only in the heart of battle. He looked to the West where the Indian situation had become acute. Soon he had made a name for himself as a great Indian fighter, but in the end his defeat came from the Indians having learned too well from him the white man's method of war—and George Armstrong Custer fell with all his men at the Battle of Little Bighorn.
Margaret Leighton has written a thrilling story about George Custer who so valiantly gave his life to help make the West safe for his countrymen.
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