Talk:George Armstrong Custer

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Academic Links[edit]

I have added a link to the Little Big Horn Associates website [1], one of the oldest organizations (established in 1967) devoted to the study of the life and times of George Armstrong Custer. The first Little Big Horn Associates Newsletter was published in January, 1967. Their current membership includes nationally known scholars such as Dr. Paul Hutton and Dr. Robert M. Utley in addition to many other published authors. Their site contains a wealth of additional information and sources for those looking to further their research into George Armstrong Custer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Milomarch (talkcontribs) 05:07, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

As noted, it is a promotional link, which notwithstanding your assertions, you have added to several pages. Reading through WP:EL, there are several arguments against links of that nature, and so far you have (as in the preceding paragraph) relied upon arguments based on entitlement, etc., which do not address any of those points. TEDickey (talk) 09:35, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Membership does not necessarily equate to scholarly. LBHA has varied its focus over the years and isn't necessarily a scholarly research organization. It could also be seen as a POV-pushing organization. Intothatdarkness (talk) 13:47, 3 July 2012 (UTC) Also, the LBHA is more or less a link farm for other information. They don't post anything original that isn't for sale as near as I can tell. I don't see that linking to them adds anything to the article. Intothatdarkness (talk) 14:37, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
The link I put up points to the home page, which contains a number of additional pages with specifically topical information. If you would prefer me to put up a link to each of those specific pages, please let me know and I will do so. That said, after checking several other links on the George Armstrong Custer page, in particular, links to the following:

http://www.littlebighorn.info Little Bighorn History Alliance http://www.friendslittlebighorn.com Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield http://www.custerwest.org Custerwest.org:Site For Traditional Scholarship http://www.custermuseum.org Custer Battlefield Museum

I found them all to be links to a site homepage and the content of these related links differs in no way from the content you seem to object to with the Little Big Horn Associates. I don't understand why you voice objections to one organization, whose primary existence is the study of George Armstrong Custer and his times while expressing no objections to other links which do the exact same thing. This strikes me as biased. Unless you are objecting to the same thing in the sites listed above, it is not right that you single out just one link for your objections, which appear to be arbitrary in nature. Perhaps you can specifically state the reasons why you think the link to the Little Big Horn Associates website is any different from the four links I posted above, and which are also found on the George Armstrong Custer page. The Little Big Horn link I posted contains relevant historical material to the subject at hand and is no different in relevance to the 4 other links listed above. I have seen no violations of Wikipedia's terms regarding the posting of links. Unless there is some personal animosity or bias against this organization, I do not understand why you (at least Tedickey) have consistently singled out this one link against all other similar links listed for deletion. This seems neither fair nor balanced to me. If you insist on refusing to post the link of the Little Big Horn Associates, one of the oldest organizations devoted to the academic study of George Armstrong Custer and his times, then I would ask you to apply the same standards to all the other links that fall into this same category, several of which I have listed above. What applies to one link should apply to them all. I think its important to maintain Wikipedia's policy of balance and fairness and we violate that policy when we single out for deletion one link for alleged shortcomings while turning a blind eye toward all other links that share those very same shortcomings. Whats good for one, should be good for all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Milomarch (talkcontribs) 19:36, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

If you want my honest opinion, I dislike link farm websites period. LBHA contains links to historical information. Not the information itself. The same can be said for the majority of the other sites. But since they are pre-existing, I must assume that consensus was established at some point to have them. And Custerwest.org is in French. Another issue for this wiki, I think. You may have better luck if you take the academic scholarship bit out of the LBHA link. Their site isn't any more academic than the others, no matter who may on their membership rolls. Intothatdarkness (talk) 20:01, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I just took out the Custerwest.org site. It was a French language promotional site for the author's book. Intothatdarkness (talk) 20:13, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I recall seeing some issue with an editor who was associated with the site, and making a nuisance of himself by promoting it, with the result that his edits were removed. It's been a few years, and would take effort to dig it out of the related topic histories - perhaps someone can point to it. Time spent writing long "it isn't fair" messages would be better spent associating the "scholars" to demonstrably scholarly WP:RS which could be used as references. TEDickey (talk) 21:16, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Either way I think it's still just a link and not an academic link. Although, in fairness, the same could be said for half of the links there. Intothatdarkness (talk) 21:24, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I sort of brokered a compromise about 4 years ago to include custerwest.org in the link list. It was a VERY different site at that time - easy access to both French and English versions and including a large number of videos and articles on the site. The particular editor used the SN of Custerwest, and he was apparently a French academic who was part of a smallish group of academics who were interested in LBH and GAC. The group had a POV agenda - Custer as hero - but there were many NPOV sections of both original articles and excerpts from both primary sources and older books like Graham's and Vestals'. That's why I suggested the subtitle of "site for traditional scholarship" since Custerwest focused on late 19th and early 20th century sources. Custerwest the editor was also involved in some strident edit wars, as Tedickey recalls, and he often reverted sourced material that he deemed inaccurately critical of GAC. Including his link with the subtitle seemed to put an end to overtly disruptive edits from him. The site had some value before, though it was a marginal inclusion at best. I see no reason at all to keep it now. Sensei48 (talk) 22:35, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Trevilian Station[edit]

The "Valley and Appomattox" section mentions GAC's involvement in the Battle of Trevilian Station, and said he was "humiliated by having his division trains overrun and his personal baggage captured by the enemy". This is at odds with the article on the battle itself, which says (I'm paraphrasing) "after capturing Hampton’s division train (he) became cut off, and suffered heavy casualties before being relieved", which raises the question whether it was Custer’s train that was over-run or his enemies.
The battle article also highlights that he saved the Brigade's colours, rather than that he lost his personal baggage, and I have to wonder which of the two is the more important.
As this article is about Custer, rather than the battle (which has its own page) the key fact to bring out (to my mind) is whether GAC did well or badly at Trevilian Station; was he commended for his “dash”, or criticized for over-reaching? Xyl 54 (talk) 23:14, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

PS: I also notice there that Wittenberg refers to the action as “Custer’s First Last Stand” and I’m wondering if there is any mileage in that... Xyl 54 (talk) 23:17, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Citations needed & a clarification request[edit]

Although sparse in places, there is at least one citation for each section, if not paragraph, except for the "Grant, Belknap and Politics" section, where no citations at all are found. The authors should cite the materials they used in writing that section.

In that same section, first paragraph, I see:

After being "summoned to Washington to testify at Congressional hearings": After testifying on March 29 and April 4, Custer testified before the Banning Committee.

Does this mean that Custer testified before Congress AND the Banning Committee? Or does it mean that Custer testified before Congress' Banning Committee? Since this is the only place in the article where the term "Banning Committee" appears, an explanation is in order. The William W. Belknap article doesn't mention this committee; there is no separate WP article for Belknap's impeachment trial; nor is there a separate article for "Banning Committee". As casual readers, we are left slightly baffled. Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 01:51, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Slight change to intro section[edit]

I have changed the intro section slightly to hilight the fact (which I learned from this article) that GAC actually got his horsemen around Lee before anybody else did (not surprising), and his was actually the division that received Lee's flag of truce, under which he offered to surrender. This is extra interesting to me, given that GAC's was also the first division to capture a Confederate battle flag (again, according to this article). I wanted to use these two points in a nice rhetorical contrast in the intro to hilite GAC's interesting contributions to the Civil War. Apparently, User:Sensei48 disagrees, having reverted my edit twice. I have undone his reversion again, having asked this user to discuss my proposed change to the article here on the talk page, as is (I believe) the accepted method for WP:BRD (as opposed to discussion of articles in the unwieldy "forum" of edit summaries.) Eaglizard (talk) 22:58, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

  • I believe I have been mistaken. I thought I had gotten that info from this article directly, but now I think perhaps I was reading a source and meant to finish this edit later (with the above-mentioned fact about the battle flag), and add a reference. I have removed my edit, but will replace it if I can find the source I was reading. Eaglizard (talk) 23:08, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi Eaglelizard - I was going to reply at more length but don't have time to do so at the moment. I would say, though, that your points here and on my Talk page are well-taken. This is a fairly minor edit in either case, a matter of wording really. I do think that whichever edit stands, an appropriate source would be a good idea. regards, Sensei48 (talk) 04:35, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

At West Point[edit]

This article says that Custer went to West Point in 1858 and graduated a year early in 1861 due to the outbreak of the Civil War. According to http://www.general-custer.com/index.php?page=academy-years and Stephen Ambrose's Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors, ISBN-10: 0385479662, ISBN-13: 978-0385479660 (94,99) Custer was appointed there in 1857 and graduated at the bottom of his class after the standard four years.70.29.36.182 (talk) 23:55, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

    • Actually I've done some more research on this - apparently Custer's class did graduate early, but at the time West Point was a five year school. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.29.36.182 (talk) 00:39, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Custer & Causalities[edit]

I think too little is made of the huge losses Custer frequently incurred. He effectively destroyed several regiments worth of soldiers during the war and was promoted for it. He and "Kill Cavalry" Kilpatrick acted with disregard for their men. A "leader" uses their men but doesn't abuse them for his personal glory. Custer's action in the Indian Wars brought disrepute upon himself and the US Army with his unnecessary and wasteful campaign. There's a vast difference between heavy losses due to hard combat and vainglorious caprice.

Hesweeney (talk) 19:22, 19 August 2014 (UTC)