Chiefly known for his exploits in the Indian Wars, most significantly for his horrific defeat at the Little Bighorn in 1876, George Armstrong Custer found initial success on the battlefields of the Civil War, leading his Michigan Cavalry Brigade in more than sixty battles and skirmishes. The men were affectionately called “Custer’s Wolverines” and among them was James Kidd, a newspaperman by training. Kidd wrote a series of letters to friends and family back home between 1862 and 1865, chronicling the conditions and experiences of life in the field of battle. Kidd’s letters have been combined into this historical memoir, which tell a moving story of wartime service and shed a light onto the gallant and often brash Custer. Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman with Custer’s Michigan Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War has been hailed as one of the richest, most reliable accounts of Union cavalry operations in the Eastern theater of the Civil War, ranging from the raid on Richmond to Appomattox. Kidd provides enriching details about encounters with JEB Stuart’s cavalry, Gettysburg, his admiration for Custer and other generals he knew, such as Sheridan and Grant. This new edition of a timeless classic includes a rare photo insert, as well as an insightful introduction by Paul Andrew Hutton that places Kidd’s work in its historical perspective.
James H. Kidd (1840-1913) was a student at the University of Michigan when he ended his academic pursuits to join George Custer’s Sixth Michigan Cavalry. He rose from lieutenant to colonel during the war, and fought valiantly, having been wounded several times.