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October 10, 2011

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Ray Girvan

He was monstrous to consider such a solution, and stupid to imagine anyone would go for it - and yet he correctly understood the power of cultural inertia. As an outsider, I find it one of the depressing aspects of US history that the North won the Civil War, yet didn't maintain any long-term supervision to stop the sabotage and collapse of Reconstruction.

John F. Ptak

Well, Ray, the failure of Reconstruction--as you probably know--is a long, miserable story of constant struggle and sorrow. // Custer was not speaking just for himself in 1864 and 1865--he was an advancement animal and would never have said stuff like that if he didn't think it would somehow benefit his position.//Custer was also not without some admiration for people like NB Forest in the post war period, and even though he had to some degree expressed support and admiration for Freedmen and liberated slaves he found in later to be repulsive to have "them" part of the U.S. Army.

John F. Ptak

And, btw, what do you think Francis Galton would've thought of Custer's hands/fingers?

Ray Girvan

They look like the hands of someone who's done manual work. Some of the accounts say Custer as a cadet had to carry coal to help pay for his board and lodging; he also, with his rather lax attitude to discipline, probably had to do a deal of fatigue duties. That might account for it.

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