George Armstrong Custer was born in December 5, 1839 in New Rumley, Ohio, to Emanuel Henry Custer (1806–1892) and Marie Ward Kirkpatrick (1807–1882). Though he graduated last in his class at West Point in 1858, Custer gained a reputation as a skilled cavalry commander during the American Civil War (1861-1865) and was promoted to the temporary rank of major general. His permanent rank reverted to that of captain after the war ended.
Custer later was sent west to participate in the Indian Wars. He was appointed lieutenant colonel of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment, headquartered at Fort Riley, Kansas. As a result of the support of General Philip Sheridan, Custer was again promoted to the temporary rank of Major General. Under the orders of Sheridan, Custer helped to establish Camp Supply in Indian Territory in 1868. Custer is most well known for his defeat and death at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. This battle is popularly known as Custer's Last Stand.