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Author Topic: LIBBY GETS MARRIED - 1864  (Read 20 times)
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« on: February 09, 2018, 09:10:17 am »

Her name at birth was Elizabeth Bacon. She was the daughter of one of the most important citizens of Monroe, Michigan. and on this date, in 1864, Elizabeth "Libby" Bacon got married. And changed her name to Elizabeth Custer.

Although he had been born in New Rumley, Ohio, and spent much of his youth there, George Armstrong Custer lived the latter part of his adolescence, and young manhood, with his older half-sister's family in Monroe, Michigan [the Custer clan was so large, several of the children, including George, were 'farmed out' to relatives]. And it was there  that a teenaged George Custer first set his eyes on Libby. He failed to impress.

And when he did impress her, he ran afoul of her father, a former Judge, while intoxicated [Custer swore off liquor at the demand of his sister after the incident, and largely adhered to his oath for the rest of his life]. So even though Libby was more than willing to marry him, Custer had to win over her father.

And he did. By becoming the youngest Major General in the Union Army [at 23]. Because George Armstrong Custer had a GREAT Civil War. He captured one of the first Rebel standards to be taken [1862]. He contributed significantly to the victory at Gettysburg at Runnel's Farm [1863]. He played a leading part in the defeat of JEB Stuart's cavalry at Yellow Tavern [1864]. And he was Phil Sheridan's favorite divisional commander.

So the Judge surrendered, and Libby Custer became a married woman. It was one of the great romances of the 19th century [Custer was convicted for, among other things, leaving his command and riding over 100 miles to be with his wife - 1867]. And, unusually for the time, Libby did not remain behind. She followed her husband , staying with him, during the civil War, and after. She followed him to the frontier, the Indian Wars, and his death.

Libby Custer lived to a ripe old age, dying in New York, where she had gone to live after Custer's death. For the rest of her life, she was Custer's most ardent defender, outraged at what she saw as an Army conspiracy to shift the blame for the Little Big Horn to her husband, and away from Reno,  Benteen, and others [IMHO she was right].

While on their honeymoon, Custer took Libby to see West Point, the placed he said was the happiest in his life. She rests with him there.     

You can get more with a smile, a handshake and a gun than you can with a smile and a handshake - Al Capone
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