Come join us as National Park Service Chief Historian Emeritus Ed Bearss takes us back in time to July 25 th , 1876 to an iconic battle and a battlefield that he knows well: the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
During the Civil War, George Armstrong Custer’s courage and audacity won him many plaudits and promotions. Ever a risk taker, he led his men from the front at Gettysburg, Yellow Tavern, Third Winchester and Cedar Creek, and it was Custer’s cavalry division that cut off Lee’s last avenue of escape at Appomattox.
Always in the thick of things, Custer emerged from one engagement after another unscathed leading others to characterize his good fortune as “Custer’s luck”.
Following the war, the bold and ostentatious Custer remained in the army. Commissioned lieutenant colonel in the 7 th Cavalry and posted in the west, he participated in several campaigns against the Sioux and Cheyenne prior to the star-crossed Centennial Campaign of 1876.
It was during this campaign at the Battle of the Little Bighorn that Custer’s audacity at long last failed him and his luck, and that of 266 officers and men in his command, finally ran out.
Edwin C. Bearss is the Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service and the Director’s Special Assistant for Military Sites. A 40 year veteran of the National Park Service and its former Chief Historian from 1981 to 1994, Ed is the winner of numerous history and preservation awards including the T. Harry Williams Award, the Bruce Catton Award, the Alvin Calman Award, the Bell I. Wiley Award, the Harry S. Truman Award for Meritorious Service in the Field of Civil War History, and an award that now bears his name, the Civil War Preservation Trust Edwin C. Bearss Lifetime Achievement Award.
Author of 20 books and countless articles on the Civil War, long-time co-editor of Gettysburg Magazine, and legendary battlefield guide, Ed was recently nominated for the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal “in recognition of his contributions to preservation of American Civil War history and [his] continued efforts to bring our nation’s history alive for new generations through his interpretive storytelling.”