June 25th, 1876
With apologizes to Rudyard Kipling
In the High and Far-Off Times of the 1870s, George Armstrong Custer, O Best Beloved, desired a fight. He had fought in the Musty-Pusty Civil War and he desired another, for he was full of ‘satiable courage, and that means he sought ever so many fights.
The President Grant, his lips to a bottle, desired that the Army should fight the Sioux Indians who did not want to live on their reservations. So Custer went to President Grant and asked him to send him to fight the Sioux, and President Grant spanked Custer with his hard, hard bottle. And still Custer was filled with ‘satiable courage! So he asked his patron General Sheridan, who appealed to President Grant on Custer’s behalf. And President Grant told Custer, with a throaty cry, “Go to the banks of the (Great Grey-Green) Greasy Grass Creek, all set about with fever-trees, and fight the Sioux!”
So one fine morning, as the Destiny was Manifesting just so, Custer went away, a little warm, but not at all astonished, to fight the Sioux. Continue reading
We’ve got a new writeup at Liquid Courage. I encourage you to check it out. I’m quite pleased with this one, for two reasons.
- This is the most direct mapping of military history onto drinking culture we’ve done yet. Rather than a drink, “Pulling a Custer” is a situation you, or someone you know, has likely done recently at a bar or a party.
- The write up is two-fold. We’ve got the regular one on the front page, but we’ve also got the story of Custer’s Last Stand, as told by Rudyard Kipling. The full title: “Custer’s Last Stand, or The Battle of the (Great Grey-Green) Greasy Grass Creek.” Kipling’s Just-So Stories, which you may have forgotten you heard as a child, can be found here.
Lastly, something I learned in the course of researching Custer: Budweiser, who apparently were a hot new microbrewry in 1876, commissioned a lithograph of his final moments and they put it up as an advert for Bud in saloons all around the country.
Custer Stood His Ground. So Should You. Drink Bud.
Today if you go into a dive bar, you’ll probably see a wall calendar featuring biki-clad bimbos straddling a Harley Davidson. Back in the 1870s, they had commissioned lithographs of the 7th Cavalry fighting Indians. This is so, so, so much cooler.