The Many Images of Elizabeth Bacon Custer
Even though her husband, General George A. Custer, is known as the most photographed general of the Civil War, many images still exist of Elizabeth Bacon Custer. The Lawrence A. Frost Collection houses a small collection of images of the Custer family. Part of this collection has been digitized and can be viewed from our Images of the George A. Custer Collection page.
One image from this collection is this rare 1850 daguerreotype of Judge Daniel Bacon, his wife Eleanor and their young daughter, Elizabeth Clift Bacon.
Judge Bacon’s daughter, who became affectionately known as Libbie, married Civil War cavalry officer George Armstrong Custer on February 9, 1864, at Monroe’s Presbyterian Church. Libbie embraced being an army wife and followed her husband as much as she could. Many pictures exist that reflect their life in the army. Below she is shown with George and his brother Tom in 1865, as the Civil War came to an end.
After General George Custer perished at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Libbie moved away from her home town of Monroe and began a new life in New York. She became a speaker and writer and used her remaining years keeping the memory of her husband alive. The portrait below (part of the Monroe County Historical Museum Archives Collection) in one of the rare moments when she returned to Monroe. The image was taken by Charles W. Hill, one of Monroe’s first photographers, around the turn of the century.
If you are interested in viewing more photographs of General George and Elizabeth Custer check out these books: