The George Armstrong Custer Collection of the Monroe County Library System
Custer in the News In Monroe County and throughout the United States
MONROE RECALLS WHEN CUSTER RODE TO BATTLE WITH THIS HORSE
(Detroit Free Press, 1922)
Monroe Mich., May 27
Among the valuable negatives collected by Charles W. Hill, well known photographer of this city who recently retire from actual work after 40 consecutive years in the business, is one of "Dandy", General Custer"s favorite saddle horse, famed in history, which the General used during the Civil War and on the western plains when Custer acted as an escort for Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, who came to America on a buffalo hunt.
"Dandy" was a handsome dark brown animal, with white spots on his forehead and was somewhat injured in a cavalry charge. At the close of the war the horse was brought to Monroe and placed on the farm of Emmanuel Custer, father of General Custer, who lived four miles west of Monroe.
After the death of the general his father on a number of occasions, astride of "Dandy" led the Fourth of July celebrations here and at state fairs, invitation from the latter place reading "For Father Custer and Dandy". He was always greeted with applause by the bystanders. The horse died when about 30 years old and was buried in an orchard on the Custer farm, along the winding River Raisin. Emmanuel Custer died a few years afterwards when he was 82 years old.
As the horse was injured, the general was not able to take "Dandy" with him to the battle of the Little Big Horn, Montana, June 26, 1876, in which he, as commander of the expedition against the Indians; Colonel Tom Custer and Boston Custer, the general's brothers; Lieutenant James Calhoun, husband of Custer's sister, and James Armstrong Reed, the general's nephew, and Custer's entire command of 600 soldiers were killed by the consolidated Sioux. The horse was originally purchased in the west.
Elizabeth B. Custer, widow of the general, now lives in New York City. She is about 80 years old. It is thought she will visit here this summer.