- Born: December 5, 1839
- Birthplace: New Rumley, Ohio
- Died: June 25, 1876 at Little Bighorn, Montana (battle)
- Best Known For: Battle of Little Bighorn, Custer's Last Stand
Custer developed a strong reputation during the Civil War. He fought in the first major engagement, the First Battle of Bull Run. His association with several important officers helped his career, as did his success as a highly effective Cavalry commander. Before war's end, Custer was promoted to the temporary rank (brevet) of major general. (At war's end, this was reduced to his permanent rank of captain.) At the conclusion of the Appomattox Campaign, in which he and his troops played a decisive role, Custer was on hand at General Robert E Lee's surrender.
After the Civil War, Custer was dispatched to the West to fight in the Indian Wars. The overwhelming defeat in his final battle overshadowed his achievements in the Civil War. Custer was defeated and killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, fighting against a coalition of Native American tribes in a battle that has come to be popularly known in American history as "Custer's Last Stand". After his death, Custer achieved the lasting fame that he had sought on the battlefield. The public saw him as a tragic military hero and exemplary gentleman who sacrificed his life for his country.