Captain George D. Wallace, 7th Cavalry  (1849 - 1890)

Many of the "new" publications on Custer and the Little Bighorn are simply reinterpretations of established  material.  The dream of every Custer historian, professional or amateur, is to find that one dusty old journal lost in some attic or new letters that heretofore have eluded the researchers of the past.  It is hoped that the material found will shed some new light on a particular event or person related to Custer, Native Americans, and the Indian Wars period.

Just such a book has been recently published by John D. Macintosh.   He is  a native of Wallace's home county (York) in South Carolina and has spent many years researching Wallace's life and has self-published a biography on him. Macintosh is in the history profession (archives) so history is something he truly  loves. The softbound biography is entitled CUSTER'S SOUTHERN OFFICER and is available by contacting Mackintosh at wallacebook@yahoo.com. It sells for $15.95, 188 pages, 26 photographs, 4 maps.

I have read this book and am impressed with the new material revealed about the life of Wallace from letters and family documents that have not previously been published.  The Wallace information is appropriately balanced by enough LBH and 7th Cavalry data to keep the events in Wallace's life in perspective.  The work is well documented and has new photos of Wallace and his times.  I hate to make this trite comment, but this book belongs in the library of every serious Custer student.

(website manager)

 

CUSTER'S SOUTHERN OFFICER: CAPTAIN GEORGE D. WALLACE, 7TH U.S.CAVALRY-By John D. Mackintosh. Cloud Creek Press, 2002. Soft cover, 6 x 9, 188 pages, 26 photographs, 4 maps, footnotes, bibliography, index. Scroll to the bottom of the page for chapter titles and a photograph of the book cover.

I am the author of this recently published biography of Captain George D. Wallace, U.S. 7th Cavalry. Born in 1849, he was the son of an outspoken Unionist here in the cradle of secession. His brother, Robert, fought for the Confederacy with Terry's Texas Rangers. After the war, their father entered Congress as a Republican during the Reconstruction years. With this paternal influence, George gained admission to West Point, graduating from there in 1872 and then joining the 7th Cavalry. He accompanied Custer on both the Yellowstone (1873) and Black Hills (1874) expeditions. In 1876, he served as Officer of the March on the approach to the Little Big Horn. When Reno and Custer's battalions separated, Wallace was detached to accompany Reno into the Valley and Hilltop fights, thus narrowly missing Custer's fate.

In the aftermath of the battle, his report and testimony at the 1879 Reno Court of Inquiry helped shape history's verdict on the Custer battle. Larry Sklenar in TO HELL WITH HONOR accuses him of lying but I argue otherwise in the chapter devoted to the Reno Court of Inquiry. Wallace also fought in the 1877 Nez Perce campaign. He spent the 1880s peacefully serving at the following posts: Fort Meade, Fort Leavenworth, Fort Keogh, Fort Buford, Jefferson Barracks and Fort Riley. By 1890, he had been promoted to Captain of the 7th Cavalry's Troop K, only to be killed in action at Wounded Knee, the only officer to die there.

In writing this book, I drew heavily from his letters, army records, contemporary newspapers and his Reno Court of Inquiry testimony. It helped that I am a native of Wallace's home county in South Carolina (York) and thus gained access to some unpublished letters and photographs owned by his descendants. Included are three letters that he wrote to his hometown newspaper from the 1874 Black Hills Expedition and that haven't appeared in print since then.

If you are interested in the Indian Wars, you will find that Wallace's life and death was a fascinating one, stretching from the Custer years to Wounded Knee. I accept personal checks, money orders. Shipping is $3.00. 

Chapter I Wednesday, December 31, 1890: "Poor Wallace."

Chapter II Beginnings at Yorkville & West Point: "I Am Glad My Plebe Days Are Over."

Chaptger III The Yellowstone & Black Hills Expeditions: "A Furor Has Been Created That Will Not Subside."

Chapter IV The Long Journey to Battle: "I Believe General Custer Is Going To Be Killed."

Chapter V Collision on the Little Big Horn: "Now Was The Terrible Slaughter."

Chapter VI Campaigning Against the Nez Perce & Cheyenne: "Wallace Never Paused."

Chapter VII Wallace at the Reno Court of Inquiry: "This Witness Is A Very Important One."

Chapter VIII The Peaceful Plains of the 1880s: "Driving Off Cattle From the Military Reservation."

Chapter IX Endings at Wounded Knee: "He Was Bright and Cheery as Usual."

Chapter X Aftermath: "We All Sympathize With You."