George Custer married - HISTORY
Year
1864

George Custer married

On this day in 1864, Union General George Armstrong Custer marries Elizabeth Bacon in Monroe, Michigan, while the young cavalry officer is on leave. “Libbie,” as she was known to her family, was a tireless defender of her husband’s reputation after his death at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in Montanain 1876, and her work helped establish him as an American hero.

The two met in November 1862 at a party in Monroe, andcourted while Custer was on winter furlough. After he retuned to service in 1863, Custer became, at 23 years old, the youngest general in the Union Army. George and Libbie continued their correspondence, and when he returned to Monroe that winter, their relationship intensified.Custer recognized that Libbie’s good judgment balanced his brash and impulsive behavior. They were engaged by Christmas.

The bride wore a white satin dress for the wedding, which was held in Monroe’s First Presbyterian Church. The couplehoneymooned in New York, where they visited the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Custer’s alma mater. After spending time in New York City, they settled in Washington, D.C.,and soon became darlings of the social scene. While her husband was in the field, Libbie worked to advance his career by hobnobbing with prominent Republican politicians. Her influence with somemembers of Congress was helpful, and possible crucial, for Custer’s promotion to major general on April 15, 1865.

After the Civil War, Custer became a lieutenant colonel in the downsized postwar frontier army. On June 25, 1876, he and the 210 men under his command were wiped out by Lakota and Northern Cheyenne Indians at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Libbie spent the remainder of her life building Custer’s reputation and defending his actions during hisfinal battle. The enduring legend of George Custer was due in large part to the tireless efforts of his widow.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Normandie burns in New York

The Normandie, regarded by many as the most elegant ocean liner ever built, burns and sinks in New York Harbor during its conversion to an Allied trip transport ship.Built in France in the early 1930s, the Normandie ruled the transatlantic passenger trade in its day. The first ...read more

Davis Cup competition established

On February 9, 1900, the solid silver trophy known today as the Davis Cup is first put up for competition when American collegian Dwight Filley Davis challenges British tennis players to come across the Atlantic and compete against his Harvard team.Davis, born in St. Louis, ...read more

The Normandie catches fire

On this day, the largest and most luxurious ocean liner on the seas at that time, France’s Normandie, catches fire while in the process of being converted for military use by the United States.The Normandie, built in 1931, was the first ship to be constructed in accordance with ...read more

Magic Johnson returns for All-Star Game

After stunning the world three months earlier with the news he had contracted the HIV virus and was immediately retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers, basketball great Magic Johnson returns to play in the 42nd NBA All-Star game in Orlando, Florida, where the crowd greeted him with ...read more

William Henry Harrison is born

On this day in 1773, future President William Henry Harrison is born on the Berkeley Plantation in Virginia. Harrison went on to serve as the ninth U.S. president for a brief 32 days in 1841, the shortest term ever served. Harrison is also credited with the record for the longest ...read more

Elizabeth Bacon marries George Custer

Destined to be her husband’s most dedicated champion, Elizabeth Bacon marries George Armstrong Custer in Monroe, Michigan.Shortly after graduating from a Presbyterian college in Monroe, Elizabeth Bacon met the dashing young Captain Custer, who immediately began a vigorous ...read more

Alice Walker is born

On this day in 1944, Alice Walker is born in Eatonton, Georgia, the youngest of eight children born to sharecroppers. In their poor, rural community, Walker’s mother set an example of generosity and community support by taking in children whose families couldn’t care for them. ...read more

Coors brewery heir is kidnapped

Adolph Coors disappears while driving to work from his Morrison, Colorado, home. The grandson of the Coors’ founder and chairman of the Golden, Colorado, brewery was kidnapped and held for ransom before being shot to death. Surrounding evidence launched one of the FBI’s largest ...read more

Auto pioneer Wilhelm Maybach born

Automotive industry pioneer Wilhelm Maybach, who founded the luxury car brand bearing his name, is born on February 9, 1846, in Heilbronn, Germany.In 1885, Maybach and his mentor, the German engineer Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900), developed a new high-speed, four-stroke internal ...read more