Custer of the west
CUSTER OF THE WEST
I didn't recognize you without your hourse. Sit down.
Thank you, sir.
Lincoln wants us to write personally...
...to the widow and grieving mother. You knew...
...Major Bridge, didn't you? - I did.
"As Commanding General, I have the opportunity...
...to know your late husband Major Bridges.
I was present at his death.
It may be of some comfort to you to know that...
...he died as the coward he was, with his back to the enemy...
...climbing a fence to get away.
- What did you write? - The usual, of course.
"He met his end unflinching...
...despite the severity of his wounds...
...and sacrificed his life so that others could live.
Etc, etc. Phillip Sheridan.
Commanding General Army of Potomac".
You're staying in the Army, aren't you, Custer?
I like the life, you know that.
You want me to find a post for you...
...someplace lively, interesting?
That's what am I here for, General?
There's some Indians out west that need killing.
That's a dirty job.
Not the sort of thing that appeals to you, is it?
No, you prefer a holy war.
The state of union.
Onward Christian soldiers, free the slaves!
Well, I suppose I can't blame you.
No one's gonna pin a medal on you for killing Indians...
...and stealing their land. - What's the matter?
I'm concerned about you, son.
You're the only man I know...
...who reached the top of his profession...
...and was on his way down before he was 30.
What happens to a boy General...
...when they don't need anymore Generals?
I don't know.
Well, I suppose the boy general should become...
...a boy farmer or boy bank clerk, or...
How about a cowboy?
Oh, I forgot you, don't drink.
You didn't forget.
You just keep trying.
All right. I'll make a drunk out of you yet.
General, you must have something I'm right for.
I've got a few jobs here, you can have your pick.
I guess you deserve it.
Occupation: Garrison in Atlanta.
Soft life, sort or like being a Prison Warden.
- No. - Here's another one.
There's an arsenal up in New York State, out of service.
They won't be making any more guns...
...but its government property so has to be protected.
I guess somebody's got to make sure the kids...
...don't throw rocks through the windows.
Here's a job as Cavalry Instructor with West Point.
Teaching the yahoos how to get off and on a horse.
No, General, no.
- Well, what do you want? - I want action!
That brings us back to the Indians.
They're on the land and we want it. Plain robbery.
You won't be able to tell yourself you're fighting for...
...a noble cause. You know there must be over a million of them.
You could be outnumbered a hundred to one.
You'd be fighting against the best legged cavalry in the...
...world and you'll have to chase those devils...
...over the roughest country in the world...
...desert, mountains, prairies.
You know, Custer? You could become...
...a living legend. Or get yourself killed.
Dead men make better legends.
It's up to you. You want to go west?
How come they didn't name the boat after you?
Take the flowers, Libby.
Are you really a General, Ody?
You think I hired this uniform?
It's true what everyone's saying...
...you won the war all by yourself.
No, I was only in 60 charges.
I know, I fought in every one of them too...
...alone in bed every night.
You're not the only hero in the family.
Did I tell you they built a statue of you...
...outside the courthouse? - How do I look?
Damned if he was getting off that boat...
I used to go out there every day and sit beside you and knit.
And I climbed down now and then?
- Where's your luggage? - On the boat
You going somewhere?
The Dakota territory. This time you're going with me.
Remember what the man said, "for richer or poorer...
...for better for worse".
My bag's in there.
Have you got a comfortable cabin?
General Sheridan sent me a message.
This time we're in this thing together, my friend.
Miners. I warned 'em.
Is this show being put on for us?
They're telling you, General Custer.
Keep the settlers out the Indian territory...
...and they'll handle things themselves.
You seem to understand the Indian point of view, Benteen?
Grab the stick, Charlie! Try to steer it!
Try to steer it! We're coming to a right turn!
Turn to the left!
To the left, go on!
Hold it steady!
We're coming to a right! Go on, watch it!
Watch it! To the right!
To the right, hurry up!
Hold it, hold it! Are you all right, Charlie?
To the right! Go on, to the right!
To the left! Go on, to the left!
Hold steady, Turn right, Charlie!
We're coming to a right! To a right!
Hurry up, to the right!
To the left, go on, to the left!
To the left, hold steady!
To the left!
Now, to the right! To the right!
To the left, go on! Hurry up, to the left!
Hold steady! Watch ahead, to the right!
To the right!
Now, to the left! To the left!
Dismount the men, prepare to fire.
The Indians are well within their rights, Sir.
The treaty gives them the authority on their territory.
All right, the Indians are out of range.
Stop wasting your ammunition.
Mayor Reno reporting, sir. Welcome to the fort.
- Troops ready for inspection. - Thank, you, Major.
I hope the parade met with your approval, sir.
- Very good, one observation. - Sir?
You only play Hail to the Chief...
...for the President of the United States.
- I'll have that corrected, Sir. - Thank you. Dismiss the men.
- Benteen. - Dismiss the troops, Sergeant.
Why'd you join the Army, Captain?
Come in, Major Reno.
Just asking the Captain here why he joined the Army.
You're a crusader, ain't you?
Serve the Union.
Now you want to serve the world.
Well, that's not the kind of Army I'm gonna run.
Now, Major, what made you choose the military way of life?
Well, sir, I was born into it.
I came from a long line of professional soldiers.
My father fought with Andy Jackson...
...and my brother was at the Alamo.
Your father a drunk, too.
I'd like to remind you sir, that I'm an officer and a gentleman.
I was wondering, Major, if you come from...
...a long line of drunkards?
By the way, that parade of yours out there, that was...
...the most stupid miserable parade...
...I ever saw in all my life.
How many drinks did you have today, Major?
One or two. Can't remember?
I can tell you why you joined the Army.
It was because the Army gave you a home.
Because blind or sober...
...know matter how much he drinks...
...you're entitled to the saloon...
...you're entitled to the respect of every officer...
...and man under your command.
Major, there's no law says you can't drink.
But if I find you drunk on duty...
...that long line of officers'...
...is gonna end right here...
...with you Major.
You like it as much as I do, Benteen?
Troops ready, sir.
- Good mornin', Major. - Good mornin', sir
My orders were for a full troop with mounts.
Yes sir. The rest of the men fell out for sick call, sir.
Get down, will you Major?
Good morning, Doctor.
Got an epidemic here, have ya?
Malingerers, every one of them, sir.
Do you mind if I have a word with your patients...
...if they're not too sick? - They're as healthy as mules.
Thank you, Surgeon.
- I want the cook. - Yes, sir.
Now then, soldier. What's your ailment?
Breathing, sir, it comes hard, my lungs, sir.
You don't look too sick to me, Corporal.
In here, sir.
Inside and rotting away.
I hear you've been in the Army a long time...
Sergeant Buckley, 15 years, sir.
This illness, come over you sudden like?
- Yes, sir. - Must be catching, eh?
- Yes, sir. - Yes, sir.
All right, Cook, any of the men skip breakfast?
- None did. - Did they have a good meal?
Yes, they did. Little onions.
- Little onions. - Pasty.
- Pasty. - Bistec.
- Bistec. - Fried potatoes.
- Fried potatoes! - Biscuits.
- Biscuits! - Pie and coffee.
Pie and coffee!
All right. Thank you, Colonel.
...this epidemic, you think it has something to do...
...with my orders to pull out against the Cheyene?
General, this epidemic is gonna last...
...as long as your orders stand.
These men need the right treatment, of course.
What would you prescribe, a little mild exercise?
Might be just the thing. I will try it.
With your permission.
Major, I want all men out here...
...in 10 minutes, gear and full packs.
- Yes, sir. - That goes for officers too.
Yes, sir. You heard what the man said.
"On the parade ground, in full field gear...
...in 10 minutes". Come on!
Keep the pace, Sergeant.
Hup, two, three.
Hup, two, three, four.
Hup, two, three, four. Hup, two, three, four.
Right shoulder, arms!
All right, soldier.
What the hell are they doing off the reservation, sir?
I don't know, but we're going to take them right back.
Pull back! Pull back!
There are too many of them.
- Sergeant Gaskin. - Yes, sir?
We'll split the columns, take the wagons up the trail.
We'll go the hard way.
We're headed straight into the desert, sir.
Hard going, dragging guns and wagons through that sand.
Harder on the men, worse on the horses.
We've got to find us some.
They killed two of our men.
We'll lose a lot more than two men if we go chasing them.
Now listen, there are 35 Indians out there.
If we lose, every Cheyenne of the reservation...
...will figures he can get away with it, too.
Six months from now, we'll be chasing...
...4,000 of them.
That's gonna be much worse on the men...
...and a lot harder on the horses, so...
...give the order, Lieutenant. - Yes, sir.
Let's move 'em out!
Come on, let's get going.
We can't move it any further.
Take it apart! Put it on runners.
Break out the tools.
- Water. - No, no, no!
Give us some water, water.
- I can't... - General's orders.
What are you doing? Get away!
Sir, the sun's got him.
Get up, soldier.
The sun will be down in an hour.
We'll all have a drink.
Come on, boy.
Out of range.
- Sergeant Gaskins? - Sir.
Sound out all the ranks, bring up the cannon.
All right, Sergeant, move them out.
Yes, sir. Move out!
- °Buckley! - Sir?
Get a rifle.
Shoot over their heads.
Knock one down.
Give them another warning.
Knock one down.
- Let me get him, sir. - All right.
Wait a minute!
Wait a minute!
They think the chief turns into a bird.
Shoot the bird down, Sergeant.
Shoot it down!
- Take care of the prisoners. - Yes, sir. Come on.
How 'bout that Indian up there, sir?
Just shot him down, Sergeant.
Don't you believe a man can turn into a bird?
Look at them, sir, they can't fight.
We took the whole Cheyenne nation...
...with 265 men.
Pizarro conquered Peru with 167.
I've come a long way to tell you men personally...
...that I'm damn well fed up with these Cheyenne raids.
The whole Army's fed up, Washington's fed up!
Give me a break, scalping, burning, butchering...
It's our job t put a stop to all it!
Put a stop to it now.
If there's any doubt about the policy...
...of my command, I'll give it to you in one sentence:
The only good Indian is a dead Indian.
Very good, General, very well put, sir.
You don't look too happy, Captain, don't you approve?
I'm afraid I don't, sir.
Steal their land and break our treaties...
...we have no excuse to murder them, too.
Another bleeding heart.
The country's full of bleeding hearts.
Now we even have them in the army!
Just for two.
That's all for now.
I don't suppose you have any whiskey?
No, I'm afraid not.
I know you don't drink it...
...but you might keep it around for those that do.
I'll save some for you from the store.
Will there be anything else?
Yes, you might tell me that you're pleased to see me.
Your husband's wouldn't be a hero if it weren't for me.
Artie and I are grateful, General...
...you know that well.
I'll skip the whiskey, it's bad for the liver anyway.
- How's your liver, George? - Fine, General.
Stay healthy, your country needs you.
You're a lucky girl.
Yes, I know I am, General.
You two must have a lot to talk about.
Now, sit down, listen to me.
There's an election coming up.
The administration needs a victory. I promised them one.
Wrong time for a victory.
Got to cross too many rivers, you know that.
I just told you it's the right time, George.
It so happens the Cheyenne have approved to the treatry.
Left the reservation.
Last month we had orders to give the Cheyenne...
...rifles so they could go hunting, now you're...
...telling me to kill them, because they've gone hunting.
I read in all the Eastern newspapers...
...that your General Custer is a great Indian fighter.
I'm told you have the best cavalry regiment...
...in the United States Army. And I'm telling you...
...go out and fight them.
You tell me how to surround 10 injuns with one soldier.
No one knows your war record better than I.
I'm betting on Custer's luck.
General, there's 4,000 Cheyenne...
...in the villages and the washes, I've got 400 soldiers.
George, how am I to know that? I can't crawl back.
I think you owe me this one.
Take a dispatch to General Sheridan.
"Despite overwhelming odds...
...a great victory was won here today.
Factors contributing to our success were:
...the Indians were asleep.
...the women and children offered little resistance.
...lndians have been winded...
...by our change in policy".
Should you require any further contributions...
...towards your election campaign...
...be so good as to let me know.
Your obedient servant. George".
- Where were these people? - They're trappers and miners.
We caught them crossing into Cheyenne territory.
There's a gold strike on the reservation, sir.
How long has this rabble been here?
Four days, sir. And we can't keep them here, sir.
With your permission, sir, I'd like to march...
...them back to the railroad and ship them back east.
Gold, Captain, gold.
Send them men away and they'll just bring back a thousand more.
We've pushed the Cheyenne's out of half their territory...
...we can't let these people take the rest of it!
Come in, gentlemen.
I've to give you this letter, it's from General Sheridan.
Thank you, dear.
Sorry to keep you waiting, gentlemen. Excuse me.
Go ahead, Captain, tell him.
Tell me what?
I brought somebody to see you, sir.
- Who? - A Cheyenne.
- Yes, in the other room. - Make him any promise?
I only promised him that you'd see him.
Speak our language?
Been to Washington twice, he's negotiated two treaties.
Both of which we broke.
I'm George Armstrong Custer.
Office of the United States Army.
The Captain tells me that you understand our language.
Is that so?
Because I want to understand me very clearly.
I know the only reason you come here...
...is to threaten me.
If I don't promise to keep the miners out of...
...the Indian territory, you're going to start killing them.
Isn't that true?
Am I speaking too fast for you?
I understand you.
I hope I can make it plain to you that...
...I won't bargain with you about the miners.
I will not be blackmailed...
...into making empty promises.
I am not in a position to make any promises.
Whatever I decide to do, I'll do it because it is right...
...according to my way.
I know you've got human rights.
Treaty rights, moral rights.
And if ever I should forget any of them...
...there's always Captain Benteen...
...to remind me of them.
But I am not a politician, not a martyr, not a creature.
When I say moral-less,, I mean...
...l'm not the best of all men.
I'm a soldier.
The only rights that concern me...
...are the rights of my soldiers.
The only duty of concerns me...
...is the duty of my command.
I'll make it very simple for you.
The fact that we seem to be pushing you clear...
...off the earth, is not my responsibility
The problem is precisely the same...
...as when Cheyenne decide to take...
...another tribe's hunting ground...
...you didn't ask them about their rights.
You didn't care if they had been there a thousand years.
You just took more men and more horses...
...and destroyed them in battle, you took what you wanted.
And right or wrong, for better or worse...
...that is the way things seem to get done.
That's history. I'm talking about history.
You are a militarily defeated people.
You're paying the price for being backward.
And whatever my personal feelings...
...I haven't said any...
...there's nothing I can do to change all this.
Do you understand me?
...see what's going on out there. Try and shut them up.
Let me in. Go away!
Put that man in jail.
What's going on here, Sergeant?
- We're going to have trouble. - What are these men doing?
We're digging for gold, sir.
This is government property, Mister.
Save your breath, we ain't stopping until you let us out.
This is a parade ground...
We're gonna keep digging until...
...there's no fort left, just one big hole.
Take that pick away from him.
Put those picks down! Put them down!
Look these men up, Sergeant.
Put them in the guardhouse.
- Did he say anything to you? - No sir, not a word.
Sir, the second platoon's gone.
- Mulligan's platoon? - They went after gold, sir.
Mulligan started it.
Get that mob out of here!
I don't care, Benteen.
Open the gate! Let them out!
You're letting them go into Cheyenne territory?
- You know that, don't you? - I know that, Benteen.
I know that.
- Get them out! - Yes, sir.
Open the gates!
Bring Mulligan back here.
Was it an important letter, the one from General Sheridan?
"Unofficially the president thinks that...
...the discovery of gold in the Dakotas is wonderful news.
Best interest of the country...
...expects you to use your best judgement".
You did what you had to.
I used my best judgment.
Yellow as butter. Did you ever see the light, Captain?
You're under arrest, Mulligan.
Crister Mulligan's the name now, sir...
...happy to see you this fine morning.
Come off it, Paddy.
I'm taking you back for desertion.
If it's men you need, Captain...
...l'll buy you one in my place. Five, fifty.
I'll buy you the whole regiment...
...and every man in it'll be named Paddy Mulligan.
Where are the others, Mulligan?
The trouble started no sooner we were out the gate.
Some wanted to go north some wanted to go south.
I should've know...
...I couldn't get them to stick to hard work.
For that matter, neither could I.
I just wanted to take off my Army boots...
...and gold mine in the clear waters of that stream.
And that's how I found the gold. Not leaving it
There's enough here for both of us, Captain.
Think of all the good things a decent man like you...
...could do with it?
Back it goes.
Sooner or later some other lucky man will find it.
...I guess I better put on my boots, huh?
I'll do you no harm, Captain.
You can have your gun back, just let me go.
All I ask is your word.
I suppose that's serious business.
At ease, Sergeant.
I was hoping you'd come to see me.
Chaplain tells me you got new evidence.
I don't know...
...how to put it into words.
Put it in your own words then.
Well, it's so hard.
I don't know where to begin.
Come on. Take your time, sit down.
Thank you, sir.
They asked me what I want, "anything...
...you like, considering it's your last request"...
...as a Sergeant.
Then I'll have strawberries.
And if they are not mature, I'll wait.
You can get them, I told him I would like them.
I hope you're not in a hurry, sir.
If there's any man with his eye on the clock, it's me.
Where was I?
Yes, new evidence.
I'll give you a drink.
- Thank you, sir. - All right, sit down.
I was talking about strawberries.
Do you like strawberries, General?
Once when I was still a schoolboy...
...a teacher asked me to show her...
...where the strawberries grew.
I was happy to oblige.
Her being a pretty thing...
...and not much older than myself.
Berry picking we went.
It was a beautiful day, the berries...
...were standing against green lights of the hills...
...and afterwards she said:
"Mulligan, you giving them all to me?"
And I looked in her basket and it was true.
And then I understood, I was in love.
It was the first time.
...if its company you want, I'll send the Chaplain.
Come morning, you'll be taking up...
...a few minutes of my time, sir.
- We must go to the matter. - Yes, sir, you're right.
Sergeant, your appeal has been appealed and denied.
Now you have got to present me with new facts.
Facts! That's right.
That's what the men all admire about you, General.
You always know all the facts.
You talking off the point.
I'm talking for my life, General.
You haven't said a single word I could get...
...to court as new evidence.
And nothing that wouldn't let me think...
...that you wouldn't desert all over again.
I'm talking about the juice in a man's veins.
I'm talking about all the good times you never had.
Off the point, you say?
The drinking, girls.
Smoking cigars, chasing rainbows...
That's the point.
You've got no feeling, General.
There's just an empty place inside.
A hole stuffed with rubbish.
The flag, the regiment the duty.
You listen to me, Mulligan.
You don't think twice...
...about the soldiers you had behind you to do your job...
...or maybe they get killed doing it.
All you ever wanted was to strike it rich.
It wasn't to get rich, I didn't desert for the gold. It was...
...for other reasons that's what I've been trying to tell you.
What is it about?
I have to go now.
Go on, General.
Your wife is waiting for you.
Sergeant, maybe you wanted too much out of life.
Maybe life doesn't have too much to offer.
- Tomorrow, sir? - Daybreak.
Mrs. Custer, I want to introduce...
...to his lmperial highness, the Grand Duke of Russia.
You know that Duke's a really nice guy.
Too bad I never know what the hell he's talking about.
Why didn't you learn French, the language of diplomacy?
You trying to tell me, I'm not diplomatic?
What's he doing here?
Well, you know we bought Alaska from the Russians.
So we're going to fight the Eskimos?
Now George, that's not fair.
The first thing he did, when he came...
...to Washington was say...
..."I want to meet Custer, the Indian fighter".
That's a fact.
You're a big man among the Russians.
You have a lot of important friends...
...in Washington. - Who?
All right, me.
What is the Duke doing here?
Well, the Duke and a lot of important people...
...are looking into investing into America's future.
Trade, gold mine, shipping.
It's a big country. You can't go to one side...
...to the other without going through the middle.
Yeah, the middle is Indian territory.
They've already had to put with miners, trapper, soldiers.
They're going to put up with bombers making a big territory.
It's a big territory but not enough for everybody.
All right, then something's gotta give, doesn't it?
You know, it's going to cost us a helluva lot of soldiers.
I'm just the messenger boy.
I got the message, now you got it.
They tell me you're not supposed to keep royalty waiting.
Sit down, General.
You said I got friends in Washington.
I got friends in New York, Boston...
...Philadelphia because anything I write...
...the newspapers will print.
Are you going to write about me?
They don't care.
You're going to tell them you don't have enough army.
They don't care.
Is there anything you care about, Phil?
I won't try to stop you. If it'll help you...
...sleep any better, go ahead and attack the railroad...
...blast the administration...
...damn the Secretary of War.
You think that's going to stop the train from coming through?
It's seems every time we get together, we get into a fight.
...how soon does the railroad come through?
It's here now.
They're laying track along the border of the trail.
The only good Indian is a dead Indian.
The Army fed that stupid line to everyone...
...they sent west.
You know something?
The Indians are doing the same thing I would do...
...if I were in his place, Fight to the bitter end.
- Do you see any hostiles? - Nope.
But they're here all right. I can feel them.
We're turning this nice Indian ground into sawdust.
Just to build a lousy railroad.
When this line gets to San Francisco...
...l'm going to take me a ride and see the Pacific Ocean.
You're never going to have enough money to buy a ticket.
Says here, they say they're talking about appointing...
...General Custer as Governor of the Dakota territory.
Can't read son of a colonel?
In my kind of business a man don't need to read.
Solid gold, my own gold mine.
These days I don't like anything but gold to touch my skin.
Even here in my mouth.
You know what?
I sure like the taste of gold.
You say it's an honor for the Mayor to back...
...Colonel Custer to become the governor he gets my votes.
He's the one who opened up the territories.
The gold territories. Yes, he sure did.
What's going on?
General Custer must protect us.
I can get the cart, we can roll down.
I'll cover you.
We're going to crash!
Appears these massacres are all over the eastern papers.
Flags are flying at half-mast.
Residents declared a day of mourning.
Tell me General.
Why did you choose the Army as career?
Telegram came from the War Department.
Shall I read it, sir?
"To General George Armstrong Custer.
You are hereby relived of command...
...and suspended from active duty.
You are ordered to report to Washington D. C...
...within 30 days from receipt of this telegram...
...to appear before a U.S. Congressional...
...Committee investigating conditions...
...in the Indian territory". Looks like Washington's...
...looking for somebody to blame for the massacre.
"Marcus Reno will assume command of this...
...regiment immediately, signed...
...Philip Sheridan. Commander".
Stand up, Major.
As the new officer in command, do you have any changes in mind?
- Yes. - I made this command.
I like it that way it is, is that clear?
When this Washington thing is over...
...l'll be back.
Make no mistake.
I'll be back.
Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
I have been listening your debate...
...about the Indian's problem during nine days.
There is no Indian problem.
There is only a white problem.
...why are we not hostile to the tribes one day...
...and kill them the next?
Why we sign treaties with one hand...
...and shoot them down with another?
The answer is...
Order! Order, gentlemen!
The American people have the right to know...
The answer is look to those...
...who are reaping in the profits from this dual policy.
There is no reason in investigating the military.
You're changing the subject.
I defy you to find a single rich officer...
...in the entire United States Army.
There is no soldier with his face stuffed with gold bonds...
...and railroad shares.
Order! Sit down!
For the guilty parties...
...you are going to have to look right here in Washington!
And you are going to have to look in high places!
I know the men who are responsible.
And I am going to give you their names.
Excuse me, but Major the mail just came in.
Hey, look at this!
The 7th regiment has made the front page...
...of the New York Herald".
Listen to this.
"Lmpeachment proceedings have been taken by Congress...
...against Secretary of War Belinknapp...
...because of General Custer's testimony.
Belinknapp has already tendered his resignation".
Can you imagine that? The Secretary of War?
Listen to this, sir.
"Orville Grant, brother of President Ulysses S. Grant...
...was accused by General Custer...
...of accepting a $1,000 bribe.
- Where? - Here.
Custer really knows to hit 'em where it hurts, don't he?
I wonder what happens to the General now?
I'll tell you what happens to Custer.
The big brass won't kick him out of the Army.
He's too popular for that now.
They got their own way of handling this guy.
You know what they'll do?
They'll probably send him off to Europe to count...
...the horses in the Russian Army. Or just leave him...
...on suspension indefinitely without pay...
...until he rots.
He'll just sit around, knock on doors...
...write letters, eat his heart out...
...and finally he'll wind up in some hotel lobby...
...talking to strangers...
...telling them what a big man he used to be.
And it will serve him right.
- Did you go for a walk? - No.
I got as far as the lobby.
Better there he started explaining to me...
...about the Battle of Gettysburg...
...so I explained to him about the Battle of Gettysburg.
Was there any mail?
- Yes, there was a letter. - War Department?
No, from Father.
- Did you see Sheridan? - No.
No, well he left me word...
...he'd see me this week for sure.
He doesn't want to see you, Artie.
What did your father write?
He wants to have a big family for Christmas.
Why don't you go home for Christmas?
It would do you good to get out of Washington.
No without you.
Things are liable to happen here, I've got to be in town.
- Let's go to Michigan. - No, I've got to stay here.
The Army needs men like me.
Sooner or later they'll find that out.
Well, General, you've seen our firepower.
Now just take a look as the armor plate.
It's two inches thick, it'll stop anything.
Why'd you bring me here?
You want your command back, don't you?
- What's this got to do with it? - Everything.
Tell the gentlemen sponsoring at the War Department.
Why'd he come to you, why didn't he come directly to me?
Any questions, General, any suggestions?
- And the place for the horses? - There won't be any.
The cavalry's a thing of the past.
The object of war is to beat the enemy, isn't it?
- And it doesn't matter how. - All right, sir.
Thank you for the demonstration.
Artie, please take another look at it.
- What for? - All right, I'll tell you.
It was Sheridan's idea. He came to me and said...
..."Have George sponsor the train.
He'll get the credit for it...
...and that will give me an excuse to bring him back".
But, it's useless.
The War Department will never accept it.
They already have. The contracts are ready to be signed.
What do you need me for, then?
Sheridan's suggestion, we're just trying to cooperate.
How about it?
War isn't just killing, you know.
It's a contest, it's a man against a man.
That's a machine. Personal guides wouldn't count...
...honor, duty, loyalty...
...everything a soldier lives by will be wiped out.
All you have left is statistics.
How many men with the machine murdered today...
...a hundred, thousand, ten thousand?
If this is the future, I don't want any part of it.
Where does that leave you?
With the idiots?
Next on the program.
It's not a program, it's an invitation from Sheridan...
...for a party.
- When? - Tonight.
That would be a good chance to talk to him.
If you want to be a soldier...
...join the 7th cavalry.
Don't you fight with General Custer...
...learn to fight for Kentucky.
You must fight for Oklahoma...
...and there's Maine and Tennessee.
You must fight for Pennsylvania.
You must fight for Missouri.
If you want to be a soldier...
...you must fight for Glory-o.
You must fight with General Custer.
You must fight for Idaho.
You must fight for Massachusetts...
...Michigan and Delaware.
You must fight for Indiana.
You must fight for Ohio.
If you want to be a soldier...
...join the 7th cavalry.
Don't you fight with General Custer...
...learn to fight for Kentucky.
You must fight for Oklahoma...
...and there's Maine and Tennessee.
You must fight for Pennsylvania.
You must fight for Missouri.
Listen, I'm going to put you in a cab.
- You're going back to the hotel. - You're not coming with me?
No. I'll go to Sheridan's party.
Have a whiskey, be one of the boys.
Not tonight. You can talk to him tomorrow.
I need a drink.
Come on, run!
This is the best seat you got.
I'm afraid so, sir, everything else is taken.
- Bring us a bottle of champagne. - Certainly, sir.
Well, when did you get here?
Six months ago, but you don't have time to see me.
Don't tell me George Custer's been drinking?
I've not only been drinking, I'm drunk.
Well good, it's about time.
Come on, sit down.
Join the group.
Calm down, this is not sarsaparilla.
I came to talk with you.
No, George, this is a party, tomorrow.
My regiment has received orders.
There'll be another war with the Indians, right?
I tried you to return to their job...
...but after you talked in the Congress, it was impossible.
The President don't want it.
Why the hell talked about his brother Orville?
Who will be in charge of my regiment?
I don't know!
You don't know?
You decide that kind of thing.
George, during the 9 days that the Congress session lasted...
...I was waiting for you to name me.
I appreciate that, I won't forget it.
But I can't with the President.
I never left you in the lurch, Phil.
During the Civil war I led 60 charges for you, 60.
I remember all of them.
You only said...
..."Go to defeat them", and I did it.
I never answer "I can't with them".
Things have changed.
No, you have changed.
How long is it since you rode a horse...
...or since they last shot at you?
You're only a messenger boy...
...for the railroads and the politicians.
You were a soldier.
I would like to see your hair...
...in my house's wall.
Listen to me, General.
When the war over you came to me looking for a job.
I offered several, but you rejected all.
You wanted action, that's what you said. "I want action".
And you get it, and you get glory too,
The only thing that you have cared for.
That's what it is. You are a glory hunter.
George, we're a little drunk now...
...so we'll forget what we have said here tonight.
Maybe you're right, Phil.
Dear, I need pen and ink.
I got to write a letter.
A letter to the President?
Would you like to dictate it?
- Yeah. - Whenever you're ready.
"To his excellency...
...the President of the United States...
...I have written to you during the past months three times...
...without the courtesy of an answer.
...you have refused me the interview...
...which simple justice demands.
Because of your intervention, I stand...
...a man condemned, a man without trial.
Get all that? Read it to me.
"Sir, my regiment has been ordered...
...to join the expedition about to move against the Indians.
I appeal to you...
...not as the President of the United States...
...but as one soldier to another.
Spare me the humiliation of seeing my regiment...
...march to meet the enemy...
...and not share in it's dangers".
One soldier to another.
...I think you might have done it.
Attention! Open the gates!
- Welcome back, sir. - Thank you, Captain.
Welcome back, General.
Let's get right to it, gentlemen.
Now then, this campaign's going to be a joint operation.
General Cook in the South.
General Gibbons from the North.
7th cavalry from the east.
Geronimo here, Little Big Horn, June the 26th.
We should've hit them three months ago.
From my scout report, there's more than a few hostiles.
True, they're building up strength everyday.
Cheyenne, Sioux, the Awpahla the Munikhanja.
- Give me the reports, Major. - Yes, sir.
General, it could be their big move...
...to push us clean across the Mississippi.
The picture here in Little Big Horn will bring the resistance.
This may be our last chance to fight, Major.
You lost a button.
I'll sew it on to you, it's only a minute.
Where's my needle? I had it a second ago.
Where is it? I just had it here.
Well, it was just here...
Dear, don't bother about it.
But it would be so simple to sew on if I had it.
Your needle was in my coat
We're covered a lot of ground, sir.
When do we make camp?
We don't, Lieutenant, General's orders.
- Keep the troops moving. - Yes, sir.
If we keep pushing at this rate, we're going to reach...
...the Little Big Horn a day before those other two columns.
He wants to win the war single handed, Benteen.
I don't think he cares whether he wins or not...
...as long as he's up there leading that charge.
Why do you want to get there first?
Because first is first and second's nobody
When we cross the river, we'll split to three columns.
Maybe 3 or 400.
- Which way are they headed? - They're just waiting.
- Sergeant! - Sir!
Have the men take cover in those trees and set up...
...a perimeter defense. - Yes, sir. Take cover!
Go to the trees!
- Did you see anything? - No, nothing.
There's about 500 Sioux behind that ridge, waiting.
- Where's Custer? - Haven't shown up yet.
We'll wait. Have your men deployed in the trees.
- Corporal! - Sir?
- Dismiss the men. - Yes, sir.
All forward! Out!
- Halt! Hawes! - Sir?
- You wait here, I'll go ahead. - Alone, sir?
- With a scout. - Could I go with you, sir?
There might be some action!
Hot for glory, ain't you Lieutenant?
You don't win a General's star staying behind, do you, sir?
Your orders are to take over unless you...
...hear from me directly, you do not advance beyond this point.
- Clear? - Yes, sir.
Cheer up. You may get your chance at promotion yet.
- Scout! - Halt!
You just lead your peoples back to the reservations.
You must go back.
I have been waiting for you, yellow hair.
There are three armies on the way.
They'll wipe you out. They'll be here tomorrow.
Today is a good day for fighting.
It's over, I tell you.
Guns that kill by thousands, no horses.
Yes, steel. No men.
This is all over.
Men, for the last time...
Sound the charge, Sergeant! We're going after Custer!
But Lieutenant, he told us to wait!
I'm in command. Sound the charge!
Yes, sir. Troops Ho!
Stay back, Lieutenant. I told you to stay put.
Sounded like you were being attacked.
Beef up your flank and get it in the middle.
You had to wait!
- Hawes! - Sir?
Take a message to Reno and Benteen.
I want those men up here quick.
You four at the end of the column, follow me.
We're gonna have to stand here.
Form a perimeter.
Okay, give the order.
- Dis-mount. - Dismount!
I can't tell you what's going on out there, Captain.
He's probably met up with those Indians...
...he's been chasing so hard.
He's found what he's looking for.
Whatever happens, Captain, it's his own doing.
He's getting what he wants. Most of us never do.
...you might say he's luckier than you and me.
Take your hands off me, Major.
All right! Go on!
But don't you forget, Captain, for the record.
I'm cold stone sober.
Hold your fire until I give the order.
He's saving you for the last.
Don't let him take you, sir.
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