Tremendous Civil War-dated ALS signed "G. A. Custer," one page both sides, 5 x 8.25, Head-Quarters Cavalry Brigade letterhead, August 21, 1863. Letter to General H. J. Kilpatrick, in full: "Commdg 3rd Div. without investigating the matter in reference to Lieut. North disregarding a certain order of the Brig. Genl. com'g the Division, I find on reading the letter, on which your endorsement was made, what I consider, sufficient grounds to warrant any officer, who understands his duty, in disregarding such order, the order was communicated to him by a citizen and that citizen a rebel. I would court-martial any officer of my command who would receive and act on any order transmitted through such channels." Custer modifies the letterhead to read, "Head-Quarters 2nd Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Div., Cav Corp." In very good to fine condition, with light toning along edges and one of the vertical folds.
On June 29, 1863, the 23-year-old Custer was commissioned to brigadier general of volunteers and assigned command of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade in Kilpatrick's division, becoming one of the youngest Generals in the Union Army. Three days later, Custer led his men in the Battle of Gettysburg where he assisted in preventing J.E.B. Stuart from attacking the Union rear. Known for his aggressive battlefield tactics, Custer displays marked consideration in the disobedience case of Lieutenant North, a soldier Custer ultimately defends given the order's treacherous origins. An intriguing letter from early in the storied military career of the 'Boy General.'
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.