All of the above appears to give a balanced view of Custer.
However Custer's AWOL misconduct and later presidential suspension are the only variables which really matters. This was the summation of a West Point professor of military history whom I communicated with in 1973.
Custer's military career was basically over after Presidential issuance of suspension. Only General Terry's intervention even allowed Custer to accompany the 7th Cavalry.
General Terry was later censored By President Grant for allowing Custer to be in command of the 7th. This was a direct violation of a Presidential order.
BTW...as a side bar of the above: President Truman issued a Presidential suspension To General MacArthur for misconduct.
It is revealing that no other General including General Eisenhower tried to intervene with President Truman for General MacArthur's reinstatement.
Evidence based research is the mechanism which defines history. It is not defined by one's opinion nor is it defined by philosophy.
Yes Custer was correctly defined by Styles with the good and the ... more
One of my favorite analyses of Custer is the last chapter of Robert M. Utley's CAVALIER IN BUCKSKIN (1988). Utley, who has devoted more time to the plains Indian wars of the than probably any other h... more