Blog Posts

The Forgotten Custer

Thomas Custer

Thomas W. Custer wearing his two Medals of Honor

Having recently read the new war-time biography of Gen. George Armstrong Custer, I became interested in the story of his younger brother, Tom. Although Armstrong is the more famous of the two – albeit mainly for the day he died at Little Bighorn – Tom would become the first individual in history to be awarded two Congressional Medals of Honor, both for capturing the enemy’s flag during the Civil War. 

Thomas Ward Custer was born on March 15, 1845 in New Rumley, Ohio. Almost six years younger than Armstrong, Tom grew up idolizing his brother and wanted to follow him into the military. Although technically too young for enlistment at the outbreak of the Civil War, the sixteen-year-old Tom lied about his age and was mustered in as a private in the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry on September 2, 1861. 

Traveller and Little Sorrel – The War-Horses of Lee and Jackson

Last Meeting (LOC)

The Last Meeting Between Gen. Lee and Jackson
Lithograph by J.G. Fay (1877)

Traveller, the war-horse of Robert E. Lee, and Little Sorrel, Stonewall Jackson’s horse, were nearly as recognizable during the Civil War as their owners. Still held in reverence long after the war, both horses’ remains were preserved following their own deaths and placed on display for an admiring public. Their skeletal remains are now fittingly buried in Lexington, Virginia, not far from the graves of their famous owners.