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The George Armstrong Custer Collection of the
Monroe County Library System

Custer in the News
In Monroe County and throughout the United States



How the News of the Slaughter of the Chivalrous Custer and his Gallant Comrades was Received in this City-Adrian Mourning with Monroe.

At ten o'clock this morning a dispatch was received from one of the editors of the TIMES, who had then just arrived in Monroe, that Gen. Custer and his whole command had been killed by the Indians, and that that city was in mourning. Our bulletin announced the fact, and the terrible news spread like wild fire among the many personal friends of the gallant General in this city.

GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER was born in Monroe, and was at the time of his death about 43 years of age. In the early part of the war he married Miss Elizabeth Macon, daughter of Judge Macon of Monroe, well known in this city and throughout southern Michigan. Judge Macon died ten years since, but the General's parents are still living in Monroe. The General and his beautiful wife have many times visited in this city. The last time they were here they were the guests of Mr. W.H. Cleveland and Mr. Abel Whitney, during the fair of the National Horse Association, at which time Gen'l Custer rode his celebrated horse, "Don Juan", which afterwards died at Tecumseh. Many of his old friends were much excited, on hearing the news of the massacre, for . the later dispatches confirm it. At noon to-day the following telegram was sent to Gen. George Spaulding, Mayor of Monroe:

To His Honor, Gen. George Spaulding, Mayor of Monroe:

Adrian mourns with you in the loss of the gallant and chivalrous General Custer and his brave comrades. We, individually, condole with his amiable wife and other friends in their great bereavement.






Conductor Patterson says that at Monroe the business houses are all closed up, and a general gloom is over the place.

Adrian shares the sorrow, and many of our citizens express their willingness to help bear the burden of expenses if the remains could be brought home.


Fearful Fight with Indians.


With two Brothers, Nephew, and Brother-in-Law.

His Entire Command Exterminated.

The City of Monroe in Mourning.

At ten o'clock in the morning the following disastrous news was received, at the TIMES office by special telegram from the city of Monroe:

MONROE, July 6.-Dispatchers received here this morning report a terrible fight by Custer and command with Indians.

Custer, his two nephews, and brother-in-law are killed.

The total loss is three hundred.

A quarter of an hour later this thrilling intelligence was confirmed and supplemented by another special from the same place, to this effect.

MONROE, July 6.-This city is in mourning.

Gen. Custer's father and mother live here.

There were killed with him, his brothers, B. and P. Custer, his nephew Otto Reed, and his brother-in-law Cap. Calhoun, all residents of this city.


The first details of the occurrence which resulted so disastrously to our brave soldiers, and which will send a shock through the whole country, came to us by the following night dispatches.

SALT LAKE, July 5.-A special correspondent of the Helena (Montana) Herald writes from Stillwater, Montana, July 2. Muggins Taylor, scout for Gen. Gibbons, got here last night direct from the Little Horn river. Gen. Custer found the Indian camp of about 2,000 lodges on the Little Horn and immediately attacked the camp. Custer took fivecompanies and charged the thickest portion of the camp. Nothing is known of the operations of this attachment only as they trace it by the dead. Maj. Reno commanded the other seven companies and attacked the lower portion of the camp. The Indians poured in a murderous fire from all directions. Besides, the greater portion fought on horseback. Custer, his two nephews, and brother-in-law are all killed. Not one of his detachment escaped. Two hundred and seven men were buried in one place, with only thirty one wounded. The Indians surrounded Reno's command, and held them one day in the Hills, cut off from water, until Gibbon's command came in night, when they broke camp in the night and left. The seven fought like tigers, and were overcome by more brute force. The Indian loss cannot be estimated, as they bore off and cached most of their killed. The remnant of the seven companies and Gibbon's command are returning to the mouth of the Little Horn, where a steamboat lies. The Indians got all the arms of the killed soldiers. There were seventeen commissioned officers killed. The whole Custer family died at the head of their column. The exact loss is not known, as both the adjutants and sergeant and major were killed. The Indian camp was from three to four miles long, and was twenty miles up the Little Horn from its mouth. The Indians actually pulled men off their horses in some instances. I give this as Taylor told me, as he was over the field after the battle.

The above is confirmed by other letters, which say Custer met with a fearful disaster.


SALT LAKE, July 5.-The Times' extra, from Bozeman, Montana, July 3d. 7 P.M. says: Mr. Taylor, bearer of a dispatch from Little Horn to Fort Ellis, arrived this evening and reports the following: A battle was fought on the 25 th thirty or forty miles below the Little Horn. Custer attacked the Indian village, from 3,500 to 4,000 warriors, on one side, and Col. Reno was to attack on the other. Three companies were placed on a hill as a reserve. Gen. Custer and fifteen officers and every man belonging to the five companies were killed. Reno retreated under the protection of the reserve. The whole number of killed was 315. Gen. Gibbons joined Reno. The Indians left. The battle ground looked like a slaughter pen, as it really was, being in a narrow ravine. The dead were much mutilated. The situation now looks serious. Gen. Terry arrived at Gibbon's camp on a steamboat, and crossed the command over, and accompanied it to join Custer, who knew it was coming before the fight occurred. Lieut. Crittenden, a son of Gen. Crittenden, was among the killed.


CHICAGO, July 6.-A dispatch confirming the report sent last night, of Gen. Custer's fight on Little Horn river, has been just received at Gen. Sheridan's head-quarters.


WASHINGTON, July 6.-The news of the death of Gen. Custer and the terrible disaster reported from the west, creates a profound sensation here, particularly in army circles.

Up to noon there had been no official advices at the war department.

Secretary Cameron, Gen. Sherman, and Lt. Gen. Sheridan, are in Philadelphia.

A number of persons, anxious about the fate of friends in the Indian country, have visited the War Department to-day.

Gen. Custer, being a native of Michigan, the Congressional delegation from that state, as well as his brother army officers and others, were deeply pained by the report of his death.

Hon. T. W. Ferry, President of the Senate, who was a warm personal friend of Gen. Custer, visited the War department early, but was informed no particulars had been received.



PHILADELPHIA, Pa., July 6. Regarding the reported killing of Gen. Custer, and the massacre of his forces neither Gen. Sherman nor Gen. Sheridan, both of whom are now in the city, have received any confirmatory information.

Gen. Sherman simply says, I don't believe it, and I don't want to believe it if I can help.

Gen. Sheridan says he would like very much to disbelieve it, but his fears that it is true are stronger than his hopes that it is not. He said he last heard from the expedition from General Terry, about the 20 th or 21 st of June. Terry was then north of Rosebud, planning a campaign against the savages, frequent signs of whose near presence were discovered. It was his intention to have Custer lead an expedition of about 800 men up the stream, and to effect a junction with Gibbon's command, on the south side of the Yellowstone, at its junction with the Big Horn. This is on the southern part of Montana. It was then Terry's purpose to be himself at this Junction, when Custer's and Gibbon's forces joined. If Gibbon's reached the junction of the Big Horn and Yellowstone first, he was to march up the former, and meet Custer, who was directed to march down.

Gen. Sheridan says, from what has been reported, I infer that Custer met the savages in force on his way towards the junction and made a daring effort to cut his way through the enemy, who filled the stretch of country separating the two forces. I do not like to believe the news is as terrible as it is reported and yet there is no reason why the dispatches should not come direct from Ellis, the nearest post. The lines, I understand, were recently placed in good working order.

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