It was during the first Battle of Bull Run where he displayed his bravado, impressing his superiors with his rash decision making. He was soon promoted to Brigadier General of the 5th cavalry. It is important to note that Custer was actually doomed for low rank postings in the military had it not been for the urgency and understaffing caused by the Civil War. This was due to his graduating last in his class at West Point in 1861. Custer's first move in impressing his superiors and securing his image as a gallant soldier was dashing without caution into a river just to give a response to his commanding General Barnard's semi-rhetorical statement; "I wish I knew how deep it is." This act earned Custer favors to lead a division in the capture of an important general of the Confederacy. This act was considered Custer's proof of valor...
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...s a man who relentlessly wanted power and stardom caused his brilliant victories to be shadowed in doubt. The controversy on his legacy is further fueled, resembling the then-budding America's need to endlessly expand into the Native American territory for more mineral wealth and power. In as much as Custer carried out his duties effectively as a military man, it was doubted whether he had any care for the fellow men around him, having forced them to ride for 50 hours for his personal business (too see Elizabeth) at one point in time. This is almost in the same way that the White settlements felt somewhat entitled to the resources of their fellow man (Native Americans), doing whatever is necessary to attain their ends. Custer’s did become a great symbol in the era succeeding his death. His name carried the honor he had always wanted despite his controversial life.
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