WASHINGTON, D.C. — Researchers with the National Archives announced this week that they have made a stunning discovery.
Speaking to reporters, Dr. Susan Monroe, Vice Assistant Director of the archives, said that she and her team had found a letter from General George Custer to his wife Elizabeth Bacon Custer. The letter was dated June 25th, 1876. Dr. Monroe said that pending the results of some handwriting authenticity tests, the letter seems to have been written just before Custer rode out on his famous “Last Stand” into a bloody and epic defeat at the hands of Native American resistance fighters led by Chief Sitting Bull.
Dr. Monroe said the letters were particularly striking, because they indicate that Custer might have known that he was outnumbered, and even referred to that as Sitting Bull having “rigged” the battle against him. However, the letter also shows Custer was willing to shrug off the intelligence as “skewed,” and enter the Battle of Big Horn regardless. Below, is the full transcript of the new letter.
My Darling Elizabeth Bacon,
I write to you now with a heavy, sorrowful heart. For years, I have felt that war, while not something to be sought out, was essentially a fair practice. However, Elizabeth, new details and facts have come to light that I am afraid show that to not be the case!
I fear that my next fight may be my last fight. And what is worse, my sweet wife, is that I fear the battle is rigged against me! Word is that it’s possible Sitting Bull has amassed a force larger than mine, if you can believe it. So that means that they could outnumber us, which is of course direct evidence of it being rigged against us. It is no different than if I had decided to run for office, and a larger, more considerable bloc of voters had decided to turn out against me instead of for me. That too is clear rigging of the system.
For the life of me, Elizabeth, I cannot fathom why the natives would rig themselves against me like this. Did they not get the memo? We have Manifest Destiny on our side! But word is that they’ve perhaps amassed a force that is in fact larger than mine! What the heck, Elizabeth? Why is this battle being rigged against me?
Then again, who knows? Maybe the numbers of natives are being reported in a skewed way. I bet if we unskew the intelligence briefing I got that we’d see instead a huge swing, and instead it’s me that outnumbers them. After all, I have over 200 strong, and there’s, I’m sure, a silent majority just behind us, who will wait it out until we really need them. Then, oh then, those natives are in for it.
So you know what? I’m just going to go headlong into battle, regardless of what the data suggests. Clearly it’s bad data because it doesn’t jibe with what’s in the old thinking lump, right? Well, I’m going to go win this battle now, I’ll bring you back something Little Big Hornish as a souvenir.
Gen. George Custer
Dr. Monroe indicated that the letter would be authenticated over the next several weeks. This is a developing story, and will be updated as new details emerge.
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