Lieutenant Colonel (Regular Army)
George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876) was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. At the start of the Civil War, Custer was a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and his class's graduation was accelerated so that they could enter the war. Custer graduated last in his class and served at the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. As a staff officer for Major General George B. McClellan, Custer was promoted to the rank of Captain during the Army of the Potomac's 1862 Peninsula Campaign, Early in the Gettysburg Campaign, Custer's association with cavalry commander Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton earned him a promotion from first lieutenant to brigadier general of volunteers at the age of 23.