Broadcast coming to us live from Washington D.C. We are going to join Bill Beutel in a couple of seconds. Ready Bill…..Ok we are now sending you live to Washington…..Bill: “Custer’s Last Stand”…this rings a bell in the minds of many as you will see in tonight’s segments…”Custer Stands Again”. Tonight we will have a one on one, first time interview with General George Armstrong Custer. His death stirred up bitter controversy. Well he is with us today for one last chance to get to the bottom of everything. Let me introduce General George ArmstrongCuster. Hello General. Custer: Hello Bill, how are you doing? Bill: Fine, and how are you? You are looking very good today. I am glad you took time out of your busy schedule to spend some time with us and our loyal viewers today. Custer: Thank You for the compliment Bill, you are looking good yourself. I myself have been on a Nutri System Diet and have lost 15 pounds, I feel like a new man. Bill: Ok we have a very short time slot here so lets get the most out of this once in a lifetime interview. Are you ready?Custer: I was born ready Bill. Go Ahead, Fire!!! Wait don’t fire, I meant start asking your questions when your ready. All I have to do is answer them, you have the tough half in asking the questions.Bill: Ok, here goes, Are Those Bugle Boy Jeans that you are wearing??!!??Custer: Why yes, as a matter of fact they are. I bought them just for this show. I didn’t seem to understand that question.Bill: I was just kidding, I was just trying to break the ice between us because we will be bordering on some very touchy matters. Ok then lets get straight to the point. What are were your personal feelings towards the Indians? Custer: I believed then and I believe now that they were uncivilized and just couldn’t keep up with us Americans. They were also very dark due to the fact that they were squalid. They refused to wear normal clothing and walked around half naked. They were inferior to us in more ways than others. Bill: That is a very harsh statement that you have stated. Can you back up that remark? Custer: Well of course I can, one that pops into my mind is their use of the Bow and Arrow compared to our more advanced fire power, rifles. How could they even stand a chance against us? For such ignorance they deserved what they received!!!!! Bill: Lets back up a little and go a little off the topic for a second, if you don’t mind, can you summarize to us how you became what you were and are today? I would like to know and I am sure a lot of the viewers would like to know also. Custer: Ohh Boy, that’s going back a long way but give me a minute. Ok, it started a long time ago when I was a young lad. I did not work hard at my studies. I graduated at the bottom of my class fro the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1861, and joined the Union Forces in the Civil War. I can honestly say that I was and still am very smart but I never accerted myself, I guess you could say that I was lazy.Well, during the war I served with General McClellan in Virginia. In 1863 I was assigned to the cavalry and soon revealed daring and brilliance as an officer. As a result I was promoted quickly.When the war ended, I was made a lieutenant colonel and sent to Kansas to fight Indians. After that I did whatever I could to help the country and I soon became General.Well that was a lot to swallow I hope that you got it all. Bill: Wow, that was very interesting. Ok, when you were ruining the lives of Indians by killing them and herding them off their land, like cows, into unknown and uncharted reservations didn’t you feel any pity? Did you not have a heart!!??!! Custer: I don’t feel any pity for the Indians, not one bit. None of this was necessary if they listened to us. It was because of their ignorance that all this started. They were a backwards culture and we were a prospering one. They were holding us back and that was counter productive so we did what was in the best interest of our growing nation. We gave them every opportunity to joining with us and listen to us but they refused.Through my many years in the military forces I learned not to give into any of my personal feelings. Not that I had anything against what I did!! Bill: Well, you voiced your opinion very well. Ok does the date June 25, 1876 mean anything to you?Custer: June 25, 1876… how could I not remember that date. That was the day that made me famous. How ironic that is. Bill: What do you mean, ironic? Custer: Well all through life I wanted to be famous and looked up to by others. Well I think its ironic that I got what I wanted and became famous, after my death at the hands of my true enemies….The Indians. Bill: You mentioned something about aspirations. What was another aspiration that you had? Custer: Well I was planning and wanted to become President of The United States Of America. I feel I would have made a very good president. I would have been the best President that this country had or has or even will have. I was best fit for that position. I am sure you could see that also. Bill: Very interesting, well, If it is not too painful can you reminisce the events of that battle, which we have tagged as “Custer’s Last Stand”. Custer: Ahh, “The Battle of Little Bighorn”. My troops and I were in the Montana Territory. My troops were starting to get restless. We were out there trying to round up the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians and move them to reservations. I was under the command of General Alfred H. Terry, who was heading the expedition. General Terry ordered me to get in a position South of where he suspected the Indians to be.That morning one of my scouts found an Indian village about 15 miles away. It lay in the valley along the Little Bighorn River. I expected to find about 1,000 warriors. But I later found out that they really had at least 2,000 warriors. This group, whose leaders included Crazy Horse, Gall and Sitting Bull, was probably the largest gathering of Indian warriors in Western History. Bill: What did you do? Custer: Well I did not want to be found out and I didn’t have the time to wait for Gen. Terry. Instead of waiting, I divided my force into 3 small units in hopes of surrounding the enemy. All together I had a little more than 600 troops. I felt that we could take the Indians easily.One unit attacked and then retreated when it saw the size of the Indian force. A second never got into the fight. With only 226 men, I attacked the Indians. In hand-to-hand combat all of my band was killed with in the time period of 1 hour. Bill: I am so sorry. I hope you didn’t mind answering that question but I am sure that our viewers wanted to know what REALLY happened. Ok now, If you had a choice would you do the same thing over again and if you would what would you do different? Custer: That’s a really easy question. If I had a choice I would go back and do the same thing over again and with out one doubt in my mind. I would change a few things. One thing I would do differently is to WIN!!!! It wouldn’t be too hard to do. The second thing would be to do a more thorough job and kill them all!!! Every single one of them!!! Now after that, how can you tell me that I have no heart. Bill: There are two images of you…one of a HERO and another of a GLORY-SEEKER. Which one do you see yourself as? Custer: I don’t even think that there is a problem with that answer. Yes of course I was looking for some glory. Who doesn’t? But that wasn’t my main goal. I wanted to help my country. I feel that I am a very loyal citizen. I died for my country and I will do it again. I notice that a lot of my followers feel the same way. I am very impressed with the monument that you have made for me. I was more concerned for my country than for myself or else I would not have tried to win that battle. I am a Hero in my mind and not a Glory-seeker. I feel that we could have won that battle if it had gone the way that I planned it.Bill: What do you mean, how could you have won or why do you think you lost? Custer: We should not have lost that battle. We should have never lost any battle to the inferior Indians. I feel that if my secondary officers did as they were told and my superior officer had helped then we would have won the battle. Reno, one of my secondary officers, was a coward. He could have rescued me if he had not retreated. I also blame Gen. Terry and his aides for not knowing the size of the Indian force. All he wanted was to have glory, he didn’t care for anyone except for himself. He didn’t love the country like I did. I felt that I was a better officer than him and should have been promoted to a higher position. For all those people who believed that I disobeyed Terry’s orders it is true but I did it because I was there and I knew that I had no other choice. Well if you still want to judge me on that we so be it. Well I have to go because I have to be at West Point in another half an hour and I have to get some groceries for the Mrs’s. Bill: Thank you for the interview, General Custer. I hope that the rest of your life be long and prosperous, if I can say that. That concludes my one on one with General Custer and back to you Sue in New York. Good Night America. Bibliography Reynolds, Quentin J. Custer’s Last Stand. Random House 1951.Stein, R. Conrad. The Story of the Little Bighorn. Children’s Press. Connell, Evan S. Son of the Morning Star. North Point Press. 1983.