Two Friends, Mortal Enemies
Staring through his field glasses at the Confederate positions nearby, Gen. George Custer recognized his close West Point friend and battlefield rival, Tom Rosser. Trotting to the front of his lines, Custer made a grandiose salute before unleashing his cavalry division.
At first, Custer’s cavalry on the Union right had a hard time with their old foe. But with time and further maneuvering, the larger Federal force broke the Rebel lines. The active pursuit, which would become known as the “Woodstock Races” covered 20 frantic miles. Custer, who had captured his old friend’s headquarters wagon in the pursuit, later trotted in front of his men, wearing Rosser’s uniform coat as a trophy.
Building on past preservation victories, we now have the chance to save an additional 161 acres of this battlefield – the site where the Union cavalry achieved their most decisive victory in the Eastern Theater.