Georger Armstrong Custer’s death in 1876 at the Battle of the Little Big Horn left Elizabeth Bacon Custer a thirty-four-year-old widow who was deeply in debt. By the time she died fifty-seven years later she had achieved economic security, recognition as an author and lecturer, and the respect of numerous public figures. She had built the Custer legend, an idealized image of her husband as a brilliant military commander and a family man without personal failings. In Elizabeth Bacon Custer and the Making of a Myth, Shirley A. Leckie explores the life of "Libbie," a frontier army wife who willingly adhered to the social and religious restrictions of her day, yet used her authority as model wife and widow to influence events and ideology far beyond the private sphere.
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Leckie (History/University of Central Florida) deftly discerns Elizabeth Custer's central role in the making of the Custer legend, thus simultaneously celebrating a strong woman and deflating a frontier hero.| Read Full Review of Elizabeth Bacon Custer and th...