Missouri River Odyssey
Glimpse the other Custer
Standing at attention in his dress blues, Pvt. Obediah Bauer offers to answer questions about Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer; his wife, Elizabeth; and their time in the tidy, white-frame house looking out at the parade grounds of Fort Abraham Lincoln. "We all know 'The General' and 'Mrs. General,'" he says, carefully staying in character.
Custer rode out from the fort overlooking the Missouri, reconstructed in a state park on the outskirts of Bismarck, North Dakota, to the infamous Battle of the Little Bighorn. Obediah confesses that the post's soldiers, himself included, don't quite know what to make of the general, his specially made black velvet uniform with gold braid or the hours he spends at the small desk in his study writing love letters to his wife when she travels back East. The longest? 40 pages.