General Custer, once stationed in Texas, meets his Waterloo in Montana
On this day in 1876, George Armstrong Custer and some 265 men of the Seventh U.S. Cavalry were annihilated on the Little Big Horn River. Custer had a Texas history. After an outstanding career in the Union Army during the Civil War, he had been assigned to duty in Texas as part of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's effort to prevent Confederate retrenchment in Mexico under the emperor Maximilian. During five months in Hempstead and Austin, he alienated many in his command by strict enforcement of regulations prohibiting foraging and other army predations, while winning the gratitude of many Texans. On the other hand, he also recommended that the army retain control of Texas until the government was "satisfied that a loyal sentiment prevails in at least a majority of the inhabitants." Custer's wife, Elizabeth (Bacon), included in her memoir Tenting on the Plains (1887) a charming account of their stay in Texas. Custer's headquarters building in Austin, the Blind Asylum, located on the "Little Campus" of the University of Texas, has been restored.