They Died with Their Boots On (1941) Movie Script

We're new cadets, sir.
You're not cadets, and I'm not "sir."
Pull in your chin!
Stand at attention when you speak
to a noncommissioned officer!
- Brown.
- Yes, sergeant.
March these plebes to the office
for enrollment.
Yes, sergeant.
Detachment, forward march!
Keep those heads up!
Look to your fronts!
Pull in your chin!
Plebes, halt!
- New set of generals, captain?
- They're in the Army now, colonel.
- Fine-looking mess of manhood.
- About face!
Right face!
Right face! Keep those heads up.
Forward and to double time, march!
Get those heads up. Pep it up there!
Pep it up!
Get your heads up!
- You're pretty fresh for a cadet, Sharp.
- Maybe I can afford to be, sergeant.
One day, you're gonna trip up
the wrong lad...
...find yourself on your face.
Your old man's money won't help.
That's the trouble with the Army...
...makes no distinctions.
- No.
You're all alike here.
We don't say, "Welcome to West Point,"
turn out a guard in honor of any cadet.
Here's somebody you'll turn out a guard
for. Must be a brigadier general, at least.
Some foreigner calling
on the commandant.
Turn out the guard. General officer.
- Turn out the guard, general officer!
- Fall in!
Present arms!
Order arms!
Welcome to West Point.
May I direct you to the commandant?
Yes, if he's the proper person
for me to see.
I'm Mr. Custer. George Armstrong Custer
of Monroe, Michigan.
I've been appointed to the academy
as a cadet.
Welcome to West Point.
- Nice work, sarge.
- Dismiss the guard!
- What are you waiting for? Take charge.
- I'll show you to your quarters.
- Will you follow me?
- What about these hounds?
Oh, don't worry about them.
They'll follow me.
Unleash them, boy.
And here's a dollar for yourself.
Thank you, sir.
Well. I've done four hitches in the U.S.
Cavalry. I thought I'd seen everything.
But if that isn't the stra...
- You favor cavalier boots, I see.
- I'm going into the Cavalry.
An infantryman's no better
than a beast of burden.
You have definite ideas, Mr. Custer.
What made you honor the Army
by choosing it?
Glory, Mr. Sharp, glory.
I wanna leave a name behind
the nation will honor.
There's many more statues for soldiers
than civilians.
I'm sure you'll fit right in
with the statues...
...just like part of the horse.
Well, here we are, Mr. Custer.
Orderlies haven't moved Pinchbelly's
things yet.
But don't you worry, Mr. Custer,
we'll fix that right away.
- Will you give me a hand with this junk?
- Oh, certainly, Mr. Sharp.
I trust I'm not inconveniencing anybody.
Oh, no, no. On the contrary,
it's you who have been inconvenienced.
Not at all.
Well, I hope you'll be comfortable here.
- A first-year man, you don't rate a suite.
- No, of course not.
Well, confidentially, Mr. Sharp...
...these quarters are better than those
I'm accustomed to.
Oh, is that so?
My, that's a dashing-looking outfit
you're wearing, Mr. Custer.
Oh, thank you, Mr. Sharp.
Yes, we've nothing
to compare with it here.
No? Had it tailor-made in Monroe.
Wanted the folks to see me in uniform.
- Did you design it yourself, Mr. Custer?
- No, but if you've a moment...
...I'll show you where I got the idea.
- Oh, certainly.
One of the greatest heroes
who ever lived, Mr. Sharp.
Murat, the king of cavalrymen.
He was known as the Thunderbolt,
and his one tactic was:
Ride to the sound of the guns.
I must get myself a tiger skin
as soon as possible.
- Quite a fellow.
- Oh, yes.
Well, I must be running.
I'm sorry, we can't make arrangements
for the dogs until tomorrow.
Think nothing of it. They're accustomed
to sleeping with me anyway.
Oh, and thanks very much
for your kindness to me.
Well, Caesar, what do you want?
Why, you know you don't like onions.
What's the matter with you?
Oh, you want your bones, eh? Come on.
Come on. Come on.
Over here. Here, Caesar.
Come on, Hannibal. Come on.
Here you are. Here. Cleopatra.
There you are.
Here. There you are.
What the continental blue blazes is this?!
- Sorry.
- Sorry?
- I didn't hear you knock.
- You didn't hear me knock?
- Anything I can do for you?
- Yes, there is.
You can tell me what you and your
menagerie are doing in my quarters...
...why my effects have been
thrown out...
...from what asylum you escaped...
...and how you're here in that uniform
instead of at a fancy-dress ball.
Well, sir, explain!
My name's Custer,
Cadet George Armstrong Custer.
- I was assigned these quarters.
- You were, were you?
I'm Major Romulus Taipe, quartermaster
and commandeer of cadets...
...and this happens to be my quarters.
And you're an imbecile.
Who brought you here?
Well, who brought you here?
I asked you a question. Who brought
you here? What's his name?
- Mudd.
- Mudd?
There's no such name at the academy.
Are you presuming to trifle with me?
Well, don't you hear that call?
It's inspection for new cadets.
Get out and fall in!
I don't think your stay will be very long
with us, Mr. Custer.
I'm recommending you
for a mental examination.
Get out! Get out!
Get out, confound it! Get out of here!
Get out! Get out of here! Go on!
New cadets, fall in!
Get in line.
Straighten up that rank.
Prepare for inspection!
- Adjust your chin strap.
- Yes, sir.
What kind of sloppiness you call that?
Fix your belt. Take his name.
See that these men are instructed... the proper way to wear
their uniforms. Extra drill, if necessary.
Yes, sir.
Eyes front, that man.
- I said, eyes front!
- That means you, Marshal Murat.
Well, it's going to take even less time
to get rid of you than I suspected.
Put this maniac under arrest.
- Take him before Colonel Sheridan.
- Yes, sir. Right face!
Forward march!
Mr. Custer... are charged
with a very grave offense.
Didn't you know striking a superior... one of the most serious
of military offenses...
...punishable in some cases with death?
Why did you strike Mr. Sharp?
I'm afraid I can't say.
It was a personal matter.
There are no personal matters
on the parade ground.
Have you anything further to say?
No, sir.
Then I have no alternative
but to dismiss you from the academy.
I didn't know you could get fired
from the Army for fighting.
Well, you know it now.
- What is your listing, Mr. Custer?
- Listing?
Yes, listing. It's on the form.
- The form you signed in the office.
- What form?
I didn't sign any form. I haven't been
to the adjutant's office.
Do you mean that you haven't
subscribed to the articles of war?
No, sir.
In that case, we certainly can't
fire you from the Army.
You're not in the Army. You've been
lucky. Let this be a lesson to you.
- Take him over to the adjutant.
- Yes, sir.
- I'd like to thank...
- About face!
- I'd just like to...
- Forward march!
Thanks anyway, sir.
You know, Taipe, I'm glad
it turned out this way.
- There's something about that fellow.
- Yeah?
Well, I don't know what it is.
You ask me, he'll make the worst record
of any cadet...
...since Ulysses S. Grant.
At full charge, a 12-pound shell will
burst into approximately 50 fragments.
- Mr. Custer!
- Yes, sir.
You know how many fragments
will a 12-pound shell burst?
Certainly not less than two, sir.
Harold McCord.
Ronald McKenzie.
Francis Dupont.
- Congratulations, Mr. Dupont.
- Thank you, sir.
Edward Sharp.
- Good luck.
- Thank you, sir.
I never thought I'd envy that toad,
graduating ahead of me.
- I'd like to be in his boots today.
- Why?
Because if Lincoln gets elected there's
gonna be a war. Sharp will be in it.
Bunkum. It's all talk, Custer.
There'll be no war.
No? Well, you wait and see, Rosser.
I tell you, if Lincoln gets elected,
the South will fight.
You are to hear an order by a civilian
member of the national government.
Senator Smith.
Gentlemen, because of a present crisis
in the affairs of the nation...
...which menaces armed rebellion...
...and destruction of the union
established by our fathers... has been decreed by Congress
that every officer and cadet...
...shall subscribe his name
to the following oath:
"I swear to maintain and defend
the sovereignty of the United States... paramount to all allegiance or fealty
I may owe to any state or territory... help me God."
Any officer or cadet who finds himself
unable to comply with its requirements...
...will fall out to the right
of the battalion.
Gentlemen of the South, fall out!
I see I was not misinformed as to the
preponderance of traitors at West Point.
It's high time that Congress acted
to clean out this nest of secessionists.
We don't concern ourselves
with the making of wars here, senator.
Only the fighting of them.
The academy leaves each man
to his own sense of honor.
Gentlemen of the South, fall in!
United States Military Academy...
...close to the left!
Gentlemen, I'm sorry our comradeship
must end in unhappy circumstances.
We have lived as soldiers...
...and politics have had no place
among us.
Let us part then as we have lived:
In the determination to do our duty,
wherever it may lie.
- Have we your permission to move off?
- Move off, Captain Fitzhugh Lee.
Bandmaster, sound "Dixie"!
Company, left...
Eyes left!
Present arms!
Frankly, I dislike the idea
of graduating junior classmen.
Emergency or no emergency, a half-baked
officer is worse than none at all.
But I couldn't make
the War Department see.
- At least the selection is left to us.
- Take them alphabetically. Who's first?
- Cadet Percival Anderson.
- Anderson.
Doesn't seem to have made
much impression.
Anderson's not the conspicuous type, sir.
His record speaks for him. No demerits.
That might mean he's devoted himself
to keeping out of trouble.
Anderson will be the better off
for another year.
As a senior, he'd accept responsibility,
make decisions.
- I know, sir, but...
- Next!
George Armstrong Custer.
Well, there's nothing inconspicuous
about him, is there?
No, sir, nothing.
Nothing at all.
He has no regard for discipline,
organization, nor tactics.
And as for his record...
...George Armstrong Custer has the
lowest marks and the highest demerits...
...of any cadet who ever attended this
academy, including Ulysses S. Grant.
I wonder what happened to Grant.
Well, what about Custer?
He's the best rider
and the best swordsman we have.
He seems endowed
with a singular aggressiveness.
- A singular aggressiveness.
- The type that wins brawls, not battles.
- I tell you, sir, if you...
- What is your opinion of his quality?
A squadron would follow him to hell.
You're forgetting yourself, sergeant.
As I was saying, sir, Custer's the type
that wins brawls, not battles.
At this very moment, he's doing a
punishment tour for his latest escapade.
Carry that rifle properly
and quicken the pace.
- Why? Nobody's looking.
- Quiet! You're not allowed to talk...
...on punishment tour!
Move on!
I hope you won't think me bold
addressing a stranger...
...but I'm Elizabeth Bacon of Monroe,
and I think I'm lost.
Oh, but I'm speaking to you.
I'm trying to find Sheridan's house.
My father has business
at the commandant's office.
He thought he'd be a while,
so he told me to find the house myself.
Well, you see how I've found it.
It sounds silly getting lost,
but it's a big place...
...and I've never been here,
and I've forgotten all my directions.
I took that path over there
by the garden...
...and when I got in the middle,
I turned to admire the view...
Really, sir. I've been just as carefully
brought up as you have...
...and I think if I can speak
to a stranger...
...the least you can do is to reply,
particularly when that stranger's a lady.
I've told you who I am
and where I come from...
...and what my father's business is here,
and that, in an emergency...
...should be introduction enough.
And the least you can do is stand still
when I'm speaking to you. That's better.
I've never been so outrageously treated
in my life!
I thought West Point
was a place for gentlemen!
I thought our Army was
the flower of our country!
I shall tell my father about this.
I shall tell Colonel Sheridan!
Oh, you needn't start back now.
It's too late.
You can rehearse
all the apologies you like...
...but I shan't stay here to listen.
Good day.
Mr. Custer.
You're wanted at the commandant's
office. Get there at the double.
- Right. Hang on to this.
- That isn't the right direction!
Oh, yes, it is!
Miss Bacon!
Miss Bacon.
Please, you don't understand.
I couldn't speak to you.
It's against regulations.
Do you understand?
If you're looking for Colonel Sheridan's
house, this is the right way.
I'm very sorry if I seemed rude...
...but while you're walking guard duty,
you're not allowed to talk.
- Well, then why didn't you say so?
- Well, I couldn't speak.
- Oh, you mean you couldn't speak!
- No! I mean, yes! I couldn't.
Well, thank you very much, sir.
And now that I've reached
my destination...
Oh, Miss Bacon?
Please don't go inside yet.
There's something I want to say to you.
See, I'm from Monroe too.
I haven't time to talk.
I'm due at the office.
If I keep Sheridan waiting...
Tell Uncle Phil you were with me.
- Uncle Phil?
- Colonel Sheridan.
Oh, is he your uncle?
Not exactly, but he and my father
are old friends.
- When I was little, I'd sit on his knee.
- Oh, I see.
I'm certainly glad
you never sat on my knee.
- Sir?
- I don't mean it that way, Miss Bacon.
If you'd been little enough
to sit on my knee...'d be too old for me now...
I mean I'd be too old now.
Look, Miss Bacon,
I really must go now...
...but do you think if I were
to come past your house around 9:00... might be just sitting around
on the veranda?
Life is full of surprises.
And if I did find you sitting on the porch,
perhaps you and I could go for a walk.
We seem to have been walking together
ever since we've met.
I can't imagine, ma'am, if I may say so,
any pleasanter journey...
...than walking through life
with you beside me, ma'am.
I must go now.
Cadet Custer, reporting as ordered.
- Have you any idea why I sent for you?
- No, sir.
Do you know that you have
the worst record...
...that West Point has had in years?
- Yes, sir.
- Why?
- I don't know, sir.
That's been puzzling me too.
Since you can't answer that, tell me why,
on the eve of your chance to graduate... become involved in a brawl
with a civilian.
- It wasn't a civilian, sir.
- What?
Oh, no. Just a Marine.
Well, Marine or civilian...
...unbecoming for a West Point cadet
to engage in fisticuffs on a public street.
Only extreme provocation
could call for such conduct.
It was. He said he'd been through two
wars and never seen a dead cavalryman.
What? Why...
Well, I trust when he recovers
from your reproof...
...that he'll be shown the grave
of "Lighthorse Harry" Lee.
Mr. Custer...
...I suppose you had hoped to graduate
with your class?
- Yes, sir.
- And if you had, what were your plans?
An assignment to the 2nd Cavalry.
Finest regiment in the Army.
But there won't be any vacancies
if the others beat me to Washington.
In that case, I suggest you leave
on the next train.
- Sir? You mean, l...
- You're the last of the class to graduate.
The others have already received
their diplomas.
- Thank you, sir.
- I trust your future conduct... an officer of the Army
will justify my confidence.
Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
And now...
...that train leaves in an hour.
- Yes, sir.
In an hour, sir?
- I'll have to catch the late train.
- What? Why?
Well, I...
Well, I sent my laundry out yesterday,
and it hasn't come back yet, sir.
You've been running three years
to catch that train.
I suggest that you keep on running.
- Yes, sir, but...
- With or without your laundry.
Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
Oh, Father.
Hello, my dear.
Back from your walk already?
- What are you doing sitting here alone?
- A lovely night. I didn't want to go in.
Sounds as if you're falling in love with...
...West Point.
Oh, it's a beautiful place.
Especially when you have a handsome
cadet to show it to you in the moonlight.
I didn't go for my walk.
Why not?
- He didn't come back.
- He didn't come...?
Why, the young scoundrel!
A cadet is supposed to be an officer
and a gentleman. I'll speak to Sheridan.
- The insolent puppy.
- You mustn't talk like that.
- And why not?
- He's the man I'm going to marry!
- How does the adjutant general feel?
- He's barking like a fox.
- Any orders for me yet, corporal?
- No, Lieutenant Custer.
I'm sick of hanging around
to see the adjutant general.
I've written him time after time for
an assignment. I don't get any answer.
By Judas, I'm going in
to see him in person.
- He'll see no one except by appointment.
- He won't, eh?
Help! Fire!
What is all this...?
Get the fire brigade! Get water!
Get water, you idiots!
Don't let anybody in or out!
- Well...
- Why, Major Taipe.
I'm very glad to see you, sir.
Would you mind saying a word
to the adjutant general?
- I've been waiting weeks to be assigned...
- I feel you're responsible for this.
But it will serve you to no purpose...
...because I happen to be
the adjutant general.
I happen to be well aware that
you've been awaiting for orders...
...and you'll continue to wait...
...until every competent officer
has been assigned to active duty.
And then, Mr. Custer,
I may find a place for you... infantry recruits! Good day!
Ain't done much with your soup.
Don't like?
- It's all right, but you can take it away.
- Yes, sir.
Got something over here that'll excite
your palate, yes, sir.
Creamed onions.
Specialty of the house, sir.
Ever since President Andrew Jackson's
Say, waiter...
...isn't that General Scott,
General Winfield Scott?
- How do you do, Charles?
- Very well. Kind of late today, general.
These are busy times, Charles.
Busy times.
Yes, sir, that's the general.
Commander in chief.
A powerful-eating gentleman, sir.
Only time for a snack, Charles.
I'll have my hors d'oeuvres, soup,
double rib sirloin, potatoes au gratin...
...asparagus, spiced pears and, of course,
the creamed Bermuda onions.
I'm desolate, general. The last portion
of Bermuda onions just been served.
I'll prepare more myself,
if you'll just wait.
Wait, man? With the Southern patrol
at Manassas?
This is war, Charles, war.
- I'll order the sweet later.
- Yes, sir.
Pardon me, sir. Mr. Custer, sir.
I couldn't help overhearing what you said.
These onions have just been served me.
- It'd be a pleasure if you'd accept them.
- That's generous, but I can't deprive you.
That is, of all of them.
- Will you lunch with me, Mr. Custer?
- Thank you, sir.
That's a good one, sir.
You mentioned having no appetite.
How do you account for that?
I think I lost it in the adjutant's office.
Camping around for weeks
waiting for an assignment...
...all the time, the rebels rolling down.
- Indeed.
How did you do at West Point?
Well, sir, first in equitation, sir,
first in swordplay.
And studies?
I was afraid you'd ask that, sir. Last.
Confidentially, young man, I saw the
West Point examination papers myself.
The only question I could answer was,
"Name the commander in chief...
...of the United States Army."
Mr. Custer, I think you better
walk across the street with me... soon as we've disposed
of the Bermudas.
Right, sir.
- It's a fatal mistake to steam onions.
- Even when they're sealed in containers?
Under any circumstances.
You steam the best out.
General, you certainly know your onions.
Hold him here, Jones.
I may need him later.
Mr. Taipe, you're the man we want.
Post this officer to the 2nd Cavalry.
I know they have a vacancy.
I drew on them for an aide this morning.
- Yes, sir.
- You have no objections to the 2nd.
If there's a finer regiment,
someone will have to raise it.
- When are you to report?
- Tonight. Second may go into action.
I can promise you it will, my boy.
It's impossible for him to report tonight.
There isn't a horse to be had.
If there is no horse, make the order
to report at the officer's first ability.
Very well, sir.
Sorry to disappoint,
but you'll see action soon enough.
- Good luck.
- Thank you, sir.
- This is General Taipe's horse.
- My compliments. Get out of my way!
Custer. Second lieutenant,
reporting for duty.
- Glad to have you.
- Thank you.
- Mr. Custer, gentlemen.
- Hello.
- Pleased to meet you.
- Have a drink.
- Thank you.
- To bloody war and quick promotion.
You bet! A fellow ought to
come out of this a major.
- You're quite an optimist.
- Just feel lucky.
It'll take more than luck
with your grades in tactics.
- Hello, Sharp.
- You know each other?
General Blowhard and I
were at academy together.
Sure, that's right, sir. Now, there's
a face I always like to shake hands with.
Better be circumspect
with your squadron commander.
He had. You may have buffaloed through
West Point, but you'll toe the mark here.
All right, gentlemen, as you were.
Mr. Custer, sir, just reported.
Well, you arrived
at an opportune moment.
We're moving on Manassas Junction,
attacking at 4 a.m.
Four a.m.? Good! We'll have them
on the run by 4 p.m.
I knew as soon as I got down here,
things would start moving.
Come on, men! Forward!
Dismount! Prepare to fight on foot!
Skirmishes. Guide center.
What are you doing, Custer?
Retreat on Centerville.
Holding that bridge until
infantry gets across.
You had your orders.
G-Troop. Prepare to retire.
As you were, G-Troop.
I'm in command, Custer,
as long as I can stand.
That suits me.
Come on, men.
Let's take that bridge.
Ready. Aim. Fire.
- Oh, Custer, it's you. Good work.
- General Sheridan. General Sheridan.
- But you're hit, my boy.
- Yeah, I guess I am.
We can't grudge you a couple weeks
in the hospital and chance to go home.
- Now this hand.
- Ladies, please. Isn't that enough?
Florence Nightingale had 30 nurses
to take care of an army.
Takes four of you to give me a bath.
Lieutenant, we want you to
look your best when you get your medal.
I don't want a medal. I want a
beefsteak and a bottle of bourbon.
At ease.
- Hello, Custer. How are you, my boy?
- Oh, terrible, sir, terrible.
I get groomed and curried by
these nice ladies eight hours a day, sir.
One of the horrors of war, my boy.
Never mind. You'll be out of here soon.
Mr. Custer, when an officer
disobeys orders in action...
...there can be
one of two consequences:
A firing squad or a medal.
You seem to have drawn
the medal. This time.
Thank you, sir.
That kind of balances me up.
Ounce of lead in my right shoulder,
an ounce of silver on my left.
- Is there anything else you need?
- Yes, there is one thing, sir.
- What's that?
- A letter of introduction.
- To whom?
- To a Mr. Bacon, sir. Of Monroe.
- He's an acquaintance of yours.
- Yes, he is. He...
But you're from Monroe.
- You ought to know Mr. Bacon.
- I'm not from his side of town.
I see. All right, my boy.
- I'll write that letter.
- Thank you, sir.
I don't suppose you
happen to know that...
...Mr. Bacon is the father
of a pretty young woman?
Oh, is that so?
Well, take care of that shoulder.
Good luck, my boy.
Thank you, sir.
Squad, at ease.
Ladies, I owe you a debt of gratitude
that no words of mine can ever repay.
Your ministrations performed
a miracle and hastened my recovery.
Thank you, Lieutenant Custer.
And now, I'm getting up.
- Oh, no. What?
- Lieutenant, you can't. You mustn't.
- Oh, but I can and I must.
- Oh, no.
- You're not well enough.
- Squad, attention.
Ladies, I bid you a fond farewell.
Squad, at ease.
- What are we going to do?
- Lieutenant Custer, come back here.
That's a fine song, sir. What is it?
A brother cavalier, what? Butler, sir.
"Queen's Own" Butler they call me.
Late of the 5th Royal Lancers,
presently of the 1 st Michigan Cavalry.
- Very happy. Custer, 2nd U.S. Cavalry.
- Custer?
- I say, not the bloke at Bull Run?
- Yeah.
- Won't you sit down, sir?
- Thanks.
Hi, tapster. Unlimber that old spigot arm
of yours. There are pots to be tossed.
- Won't you join us in a drink?
- No, thanks.
Mustn't have liquor
on my breath today...
...but I'd be glad to buy
you gentlemen a round.
Tell me, how did you join
the 1 st Michigan?
Well, I couldn't spell Connecticut.
It speaks for itself, eh?
But, sir, you asked about the song.
The name is "Garryowen."
The 5th Royal Lancers rather fancied it
because it goes jolly well on a horse.
- I'd like to learn that song.
- I'm the lad to teach you.
All right, boys, together now.
Oh, good day, Mr. Bacon.
Oh, good day, Mr. Cartwright.
I hardly expected to meet you in this part
of town. I'm here collecting the rent.
Whenever it falls due, I wish my family
had never acquired the property.
When the lease is up, I intend to see
the new tenant puts it to better use.
That is a consummation
devoutly to be wished.
- It's a blot on the face of our community.
- Yes, yes.
- Well, good day, Mr. Bacon.
- Good day.
Tell Mr. Sullivan
I wish to see him on business.
Find him yourself. I'm busy.
How dare you address me with such
insolence? I'm here to collect the rent.
- Be quiet, you drunken riffraff.
- Riffraff?
I advise you to be
careful of your words.
I'd advise you to be
more careful of your uniform.
Bringing disgrace on it
with drunken behavior.
What? Drunken?
Why, you fat little pipsqueak.
This gentleman's a soldier.
He stands in battle and gets shot at so
sanctimonious little skinflints like you...
...can run around in safety
doing business as usual.
And if he wants to get drunk while he's
on leave, what business is it of yours?
Hear, hear. That's telling the old blighter
where he gets off, eh, what?
If you don't like our society,
why barge in on it?
I'm here because I prefer to collect the
rent of this establishment personally...
...rather than expose my clerks to such
an atmosphere of degrading debauchery.
Degrading debauchery?
The chap's quite an orator, what?
Your conduct is only what
I would expect from a foreigner.
But as for you, sir, you're a disgrace
to the Union Army.
Drum him out, Queen's Own.
- Do I have to drink the tea every time?
- Lf you want the fortune to come true.
That's the fourth time today
I done read the tea leaves.
Keep drinking tea like that, and you's
going to turn as yellow as a canary.
One. Two. Three.
There. I made my wish.
You going to get that wish all
wore out before it comes true.
Here we is, you and me,
asking our fortune from the tea.
Look in the cup and I'll see...
...what I see.
Now, now, what's this I see?
What's this?
Appears to be like a bird. Yes.
Here's his wings spreading out.
He's flying this way.
Oh, yes, Callie, I can see it's a bird,
but what does it mean?
- It's a message coming straight to you.
- From him?
Give me time, Miss Libby,
give me time.
What's that tall and straight
walking beside the bird?
- Oh, let me see.
- Don't touch it, Miss Libby.
You'll spoil the spell.
Why, I declare, it's a man.
Now, what's he doing? He's pulling on
something with his left hand.
- Now, what can that be?
- A horse. He's in the Cavalry.
No, it ain't a horse.
Ain't a gun. It's, it's...
- No, it ain't a sword, neither.
- Oh, Callie.
- I's got it, I's got it!
- What?
It's a doorbell.
- Somebody's got to answer the door.
- And that somebody ain't me.
- That's magic, that bell.
- Oh, nonsense, Callie. It's all right.
Go on, Callie, answer it.
- Go on. It's all right.
- Oh, feet, keep me from slipping down.
Get my rabbit's foot.
Brother rabbit, work your charm
Keep this child away from harm
Ain 't got time to kneel and pray
Don 't you let me down today
Here he is, Miss Libby, here he is.
Just like the dead
riding up and saying howdy.
What's the matter, Miss Libby?
You got your wish, and you're standing
like your feet is glued in molasses.
Please, Callie.
- This gentleman, Mr...? Mr...?
- Why, Custer, ma'am.
Mr. Custer hasn't stated
what he's here for.
I have a letter to your father
from General Sheridan.
- My father will be home soon.
- And an apology for you.
- Isn't it a little late?
- A little late?
Three o'clock on a bright,
shiny afternoon?
Don't get uppity, Miss Libby.
Because the tea leaves never forgets
and they never forgive.
If you'd care to wait for my father,
I'll show you into the drawing room.
But, Miss Bacon.
It was really you I came to see.
- But why?
- Because, ma'am...
...I can't imagine anything worse
than walking through life without you.
Don't propose you come strolling by
and find me sitting on the porch again.
I'm sorry. Won't you forgive me?
It really wasn't my fault.
I'm not really angry. I just thought
I should pretend to be.
I knew you when you didn't come back
you had good reason.
Yes. I had to report to Washington,
barely had time to catch the train.
And a train won't wait,
but a woman will.
Thank you, ma'am.
I was hoping you'd say that, ma'am.
Tell me, have you always lived
in this big house?
- Yes. Why?
- Oh, nothing, except I remember it well.
I'd ride by when I was a little fellow
on my way to go swimming.
There was a sassy brat
who used to hang on the gate...
...and stick her tongue out.
I pulled her pigtails for her once.
Was it you who pulled my pigtails?
Was it you who owned them?
- Oh, dear.
- What is it?
I don't see how I can smell onions
from the kitchen but...
Onions? Onions? That's funny. I don't
smell them. Don't you like onions?
Oh, I love them. I just thought that
maybe you didn't like them.
Oh, no. No, I'm very fond of them.
Callie, will you go
to the kitchen, please...
...and bring us back some of those
green spring onions?
- Onions?
- Yes, onions. You know I love them.
I knows what you love, honey.
It ain't onions.
Pardon me.
I didn't mean to touch your hand.
It's a pleasure to find somebody
who appreciates onions.
I was reading how Marshal Murat used to
demolish a whole plateful for breakfast.
Please, don't take that one.
Here's a better one for you.
See the fine, long grain in that one?
Good smell to it too. Try it.
That'll have a bite to it.
I said to the general,
"All I want is two things.
A week's leave and a letter
of introduction to your father."
...when you see Father,
all you have to do is say to him:
"May I return and call on Libby?"
No, you better say "Miss Bacon" first.
- Yes, that'd be better.
- Don't be afraid of him.
You're talking to a soldier, ma'am.
- Why, you's back early, Mr. Bacon.
- Yes, I am.
Oh, here comes Father now.
He's really a darling, though he looks
severe, so just speak up.
I will, ma'am.
- Father, dear, I'm so glad to see you.
- My dear.
- I want you to meet Lieutenant Custer.
- Custer?
- Yes. He has a letter from Phil Sheridan.
- General Sheridan. Must be important.
- How did this fellow get into my house?
- He has a letter from Uncle Phil.
So I'm a fat little pipsqueak, am I?
- I'm a sanctimonious old skinflint, am I?
- But, Father...
Hold your tongue. How dare you
come from that den of iniquity...
...that haunt of debauchery,
to pollute my home?
- Sorry, but if you'll allow me to explain...
- There's no explanation for your conduct.
- None that's fit for her ears.
- Sir, I have a letter of introduction...
...from General Sheridan...
- A letter from the president...
...would be equally offensive.
Get out of my house.
- Go on.
- I'll show him out, Mr. Bacon.
Right this way, and good riddance.
The idea of you aggravating
quality folks like them.
Mr. Bacon done ordered you out,
and out you going right now, sir.
But not for good. You is coming back.
Nine o'clock at the gate.
Brother rabbit, work your charm
And keep that big boy out of harm
It ain't unless you's colorblind.
Where is she? I thought you said...
Her papa's home with
his special kicking-out boots.
- Libby's locked in her room. Come on.
- That ugly old fossil.
He can't do that to her.
That's what she said as he turned that
lock. They had a difference of opinion.
Now she's upstairs with her opinion,
and he's downstairs with his.
- Can you climb?
- Up there? Sure.
Wait a minute. I don't want
to cause her more trouble.
We better arrange a signal
in case he comes out.
- I can hoot like an owl.
- You can?
Oh, that's fine.
- George.
- Libby.
Oh, George. Isn't it awful?
It's worse than that. Just when I have
a chance to see you, I get orders.
- What orders? I meant Father.
- Well, I meant Uncle Sam.
I've got to rejoin my regiment.
- Oh, no. When?
- Tonight.
You can't. You'll be killed.
I won't let you.
- Who's out here?
- Just us owls, sir.
- Who?
- Just me and an old owl, Mr. Bacon.
- Seen anything of that scoundrel?
- Ain't seen hide nor hair of no scoundrel.
- Well, keep your eyes open.
- Yes, sir, that's just what I'm doing, sir.
- He's gone?
- I think so.
There's always the chance
he may come back again.
Oh, Libby.
- Will you marry me?
- Yes, George.
- What did you say?
- What? I said, will you marry me?
- When I'm a general.
- Oh, lieutenant.
Oh, it's easy to become a general.
Then that old crab... I mean, that nice
old father of yours will be proud... have me in the family. He'll be at
the station with hat in hand.
Yes, general.
The old owl.
Holy smoke!
It's your father. Goodbye.
What did you have to wake up for,
you old devil?
Don't you wink at me.
Take an order, corporal.
Commanding officer,
Sixteenth Ohio Infantry.
You're required to report immediately
the percentage of...
...A, Methodists, B, Baptists, C,
other denominations among recruits.
Using form AGO 117
less Section 12 in compiling the return.
By order, et cetera, et cetera,
and initial it.
From the colonel
of the 2nd Cavalry.
He refuses to send back your horse
until Custer's return.
- That's tomorrow, sir.
- Does he?
Honor among horse thieves, I suppose.
We'll see about that. Take an order.
Lieutenant George Armstrong Custer,
2nd Cavalry.
Taipe, Lee gave us the slip.
Don't know where he's heading.
Put every cavalry unit in GHQ
in reserve on the remove.
- Get them going, Taipe.
- Yes, sir. Take an order, sergeant.
Form AGO 21.
No, use the new form AGO 201.
It isn't issued. Get it from supply.
Take his desk, Smith.
What's the Michigan Brigade
doing at Hanover?
Refitting. They lost their commander
and haven't a brigadier.
Appoint one. The senior man
listed as Cavalry colonel.
- I don't know who he is, sir.
- Find out later.
- Dictate an order now.
- Yes, sir.
Take this, corporal.
I've been instructed to inform you you've
been promoted to Brigadier General.
Proceed to Hanover and assume command
of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade.
General Scott, sir. News.
Lee has invaded Pennsylvania.
- His patrols are near Gettysburg.
- Near Gettysburg!
This means a reconcentration.
Come with me, gentlemen.
- Sign this order, sir?
- Come, Taipe.
Yes, sir.
Where the deuce is Gettysburg?
This is your tent.
I'll unpack your kit.
The officers' mess
is at the end of the road.
Excuse me, lieutenant. I represent
George Straith Limited, military tailors.
We serve General Grant,
General Sherman, General Scott.
- Any requirements? Greatcoat? Breeches?
- No, thanks.
We can cut a fine tunic
for a figure like yours, lieutenant.
There's any ideas that you have of your
own, we'd be glad to incorporate them.
- No, thanks.
- There's a shell jacket that's admired.
- Particularly by the ladies.
- Shut up and leave me alone.
You're out of sorts, but if
you'd give me a chance...
Shut up and get out!
- Welcome back, general.
- Hello, general.
General? I'll have you know, gentlemen,
I'm in no mood for humor.
Good afternoon, general.
- Orderly, I'd like a little coffee, please.
- Congratulations, general.
That's enough of this fooling.
- Next man will find a limit to my patience.
- For General Custer.
- I'll take this from anyone but you.
- Wait, we're not being funny.
The Lord knows how or why,
but you are a general.
- What do you mean?
- Orders.
A letter from headquarters to Brigadier
General George Armstrong Custer.
- Is this someone's idea of a joke?
- There are no jokes in orders.
This makes less sense to me
than it does to you.
Must be a mistake. They don't
make generals out of shavetails.
I'd ask for verification if I were you.
Well, you don't happen to be me, Sharp.
If there are four regiments of cavalry
waiting for a general named Custer...
...then they've got him.
Hi. Hey, tailor.
Hey. Tailor, come here.
Yesterday there was fighting
20 miles from here.
Our army was driven out of Gettysburg
and occupies a ridge below town.
The orders are to concentrate below this
hill marked Big Round Top on the map.
Jeb Stuart's moving
to flank us from the south.
Undoubtedly. As senior colonel,
I'll assume command...
...if this brigadier hasn't arrived
by the time we move.
Who this Custer is and why he's
not here, I don't know.
Turn out the guard.
Commanding officer.
We'll get a chance to see
what he looks like now.
Judas priest, what's that?
He's got more gold braid on him
than a French admiral.
Gentlemen, we might as well
reach an understanding at first sight.
After seeing your columns
and your transports...
...I'm here to tell you that this brigade is
through with inefficiency as of today.
It's going to learn the meaning of
smartness and orders are to be obeyed.
- Do I make myself clear?
- Yes, sir.
We're ready to move, sir.
Brigade's ordered to concentrate on
Round Top, just south of Gettysburg.
What's that?
Probably enemy patrol
raiding the supply column.
Lee's in Gettysburg,
Stuart's cavalry's in the South.
Rejoin your units. Be prepared to move
in 10 minutes. Columns headed east.
- East?
- What?
- But the orders.
- To the devil with the orders.
We'll ride to the sound of the guns.
Things look better now.
With Cemetery back in our hands
and Sickles' front restored but...
Yesterday we lost 20,000 men.
Pickett's reinforced Longstreet.
- Massing to attack our center.
- I'm not worried about that.
I'm worried about Jeb Stuart.
Why hasn't he turned
the flank at Round Top?
He knows our cavalry's
concentrated to stop him.
When did our cavalry stop Jeb Stuart?
If he turns us, the position's lost.
Washington and Baltimore will fall.
Stuart. Stuart's caught at Hanover.
It's a mistake.
- Get verification at once.
- It has been verified, sir.
He's on our rear. We're trapped.
All that stands between us
and total disaster... the Michigan Brigade.
Handful of volunteers.
But they were ordered to Round Top.
- It's on its way now.
- Then stop it, Taipe. Stop it.
Tell it to hold its ground
to the last man.
Who's the brigadier?
- Why...
- Who is he, Taipe?
Corporal Smith.
As you were. Who's the new commander
of the Michigan Cavalry?
- General Custer, sir.
- General Custer.
- Custer? What Custer's that?
- George Armstrong Custer.
Here's a copy of the order.
- What is this? How did this happen?
- Well, who is he?
Heaven help us, sir.
The Michigan Brigade is led by
the most irresponsible...
...rattle-brained second lieutenant
in the Army.
Seventh Michigan, forward.
We'll take immediate action
with Custer.
This Custer of yours is
insubordinate, all right.
Thank God for it.
He's not marching on Round Top.
- He's attacking Stuart at Hanover!
- Attacking? Attacking a whole corps?
Rather than hold his ground,
the mad fool is attacking!
That was a gallant charge,
men, even if it failed.
Sergeant, see that the wounded
are taken care of.
Senior colonel presents
his compliments.
Fifth and 6th Michigan are
formed for attack. Any orders?
Try more weight.
Fifth and 6th attack together.
Very good. Where will the general's
headquarters be located?
Headquarters? In front
of the attacking regiment.
Fifth and 6th Michigan, forward!
The order in question, being
erroneous, is hereby revoked...
...and as of today, revert
to second lieutenant.
Never mind that, Taipe.
"Consecutive attacks by 7th, 6th,
5th Michigan Cavalry...
...are repulsed by losses near Hanover.
- Enemy advance continues."
- Three regiments ruined by a fool.
Three out of our last four.
Ride, you Wolverines!
First Michigan, charge!
What is it? What is it?
Read it to me, man.
"Stuart retiring in disorder after assault
by Michigan Cavalry...
...enemy abandoning guns."
And now, gentlemen...
...if Meade can hold the ridge
at Gettysburg... God's grace,
the Union will be safe.
...about this Custer matter...
...what do you propose to do?
- Do? Do, Taipe?
Oh, yes, Custer.
I intend to walk across the street...
...and buy myself a double portion
of creamed Bermuda onions.
- Charles, good to see you.
- Welcome.
Welcome home, general. Welcome home.
We're proud of you...
...and proud to know that one of our
townsmen has won such glory.
- You're a credit to Monroe and the Army.
- Thank you, sir.
Now, the parade will form
on Elm Street...
...turn into D Street,
cross the parkway...
...and then march right up Main Street.
Kindly stay on the sidewalks.
Those wanting to march along,
do so after the committee.
The band will lead the parade,
followed by myself and General...
- Are you forgetting yourself?
- It's all right.
Everything's very proper.
We're engaged.
Well, splendid. Splendid.
- We're going to be married.
- Today.
I brought my regimental chaplain.
General Sheridan is best man.
- With your permission.
- My permission?
Well, now, of course, general,
I shall be honored to give it.
You mustn't be too impetuous.
There's the announcement, arrangement.
If you marry today, you can't have them.
I shall have General Custer,
and he's what I set out to get.
Libby, this is positively unmaidenly.
After today, that won't matter.
Where did Miss Libby get herself
such a fine, handsome man?
Why, child, I found him in a teacup.
There is two gentlemen to see
General Custer, Miss Libby.
They claim their name is Sharp.
Thank you, Jane.
Let Callie attend to the callers.
- Yes, ma'am.
- Callie, has General Custer returned?
No, ma'am, not since he left
at his usual time this morning.
I'll receive the callers here. Tell them
the general is expected soon.
I'll tell them he's downtown
taking care of some business.
I don't hold with you, Major Smith.
I don't hold with you at all, sir.
If Lee had concentrated his artillery,
and succeeded in enfilading Round Top...
...we would have been licked
at Gettysburg.
- Why didn't he, general?
- Well, who knows?
Every great soldier has a bad day,
and perhaps it was Lee's turn.
He who drinks and runs away
lives to drink another day.
Thank you. Step up to the bar, boys.
My pleasure. Set them up, Joe.
Mr. Sharp, the money doesn't matter.
What you offer is the answer to a prayer.
I'd almost given up hope of George
finding anything suitable in civil life.
We know of no one else
so well-qualified.
So you're here at last.
I'm afraid I've been boring
these gentlemen dreadfully.
They'll get no sympathy from me.
Madam, until this afternoon,
I'd envied General Custer only his fame.
Oh, Mr. Sharp.
But you'll excuse me. I have
some flowers I must cut in the garden.
I hope you'll forgive
this intrusion, Custer.
The North and South have forgotten their
difficulties. I hope we can forget ours.
May I present my father, William Sharp.
General Custer.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
Do you know, sir, I was joking with the
adjutant general about you last week.
- Taipe?
- Yes, Taipe.
You stole his horse on
one occasion, it seems.
That's right. A fine animal.
- Much too good for him. Drink?
- Thank you.
We've come from Washington
especially to see you, general.
Indeed? Why?
Because there's money in fame,
these days.
We're offering you the presidency of
the Western Railroad Trading Company... a salary of $ 10,000.
It's a corporation I organized for
developing the Dakota Territories.
...what use could I be to a concern
of that kind? I'm a soldier.
Well, you're a national hero, Custer.
Your name would make it easy for us
to get government concessions...
...such as trading monopolies
at Army posts.
It would go far
in selling stock to the public.
My name?
I see.
What's the stock worth?
Nothing, naturally, until it begins
to earn dividends.
Then I'm not interested.
My name stands for something.
I'll not gamble its meaning on
the success or failure of any business.
Not interested.
General, I'm afraid you've an inclination
to be a romantic fool.
An admirable one, no doubt,
but nonetheless a fool.
Can a man of your distinction
bear the thought of living off his wife?
- I know it hasn't occurred to you...
- It's occurred to me.
We offer a chance to serve
the nation as you did in battle.
The company will bring civilization
to a waste of territory...
...which is now in the hands of savages.
- Why, it's as fine a...
- That's enough.
I'll gamble. I'll gamble with anything. My
money, my sword, my life, if necessary.
But there's one thing I won't gamble
with, and that's my good name.
Good day, gentlemen.
You're excited, general. Now...
- It's not an offer that comes twice...
- No, once is enough.
Quite enough. Good day, gentlemen.
What did the Sharps
want of you, George?
Only my name, for a stock promotion.
Only your name?
Yes, they wanted to hire it
for $ 10,000 a year.
It's a lot of money...
...but we've five dogs
and 11 horses now.
What could we have done with it?
Well, think of all the bags of onions
we could have bought.
To keep me away from you, I suppose.
Aren't you happy here, Mr. Custer?
Mrs. Custer...
...I've never been so happy in my life.
Mrs. Custer, sir.
General Sheridan
should have warned me, ma'am.
- I thought Uncle Phil advised you that...
- He advised me of your coming.
He didn't warn me that I would meet
the most beautiful girl I ever saw.
You're very kind, General Scott.
And very embarrassing.
Upon my soul, ma'am, you make me
regret this unchivalrous age.
If ever a lady's hand deserved
to be saluted, it is certainly yours.
Forgive an old soldier.
It was the custom in his youth.
Did Uncle Phil tell you why I came,
General Scott?
No, he said it was a matter
for my decision, in any event.
- It's about my husband.
- Of course, Custer.
I should have asked,
how is the lucky dog?
Not so lucky, I'm afraid.
Well, that's bad. Is he in ill health?
Not exactly, General Scott.
But inactivity is doing something
to him.
Undermining him. George will never be
himself out of the Army.
He's not happy.
Even though he pretends to be.
General Scott, can't you put him
back into active service?
My dear, I know what eats a man who
has endured the tension of war for years.
It's like a drug.
A man can't live without it.
Please, General Scott. Please.
Mrs. Custer, I'm bound by the
seniority rule in making appointments.
The rule of the Army.
Come, come, my child.
You're unduly distressed about George.
- Time is a healer. Time will cure him.
- No, no. It will destroy him.
There's something you haven't told me.
Isn't there?
It's very difficult for me to tell you this,
but I'm afraid. So afraid.
He's been drinking.
So much. Much more than he knows.
- I see.
- I can't think of him in degradation.
General Scott, you've got to do
something to save him.
We owe him so much. All of us.
There, there, my dear.
You're quite right.
We do owe him a lot.
Yes, sir. That is a handsome piece.
Uncle Phil was sending the watch
when I popped in.
The brigade asked him to choose it.
Those are great boys. Great days.
And the little miniature
of you is beautiful.
The chain belonged to Father.
I always wanted you to have it.
It's beautiful.
- Here's your morning mail, general.
- Thank you.
That must have been a dull trip.
It wasn't so dull. I did a lot of shopping,
and it was wonderful to see Uncle Phil.
I missed you.
How do you like your eggs
this morning, boiled or fried?
- What?
- I said, how do you like your eggs?
Eggs? Sure.
Eggs. Boiled and fried.
Scrambled, poached
and rubbed in your hair.
- The man's plumb crazy.
- Libby. Libby, look.
I'm on the active list.
Lieutenant colonel, raising a regiment
of cavalry at Fort Lincoln.
They passed up 50 senior officers
to give me the job.
Oh, darling, how wonderful.
I'm so glad for you.
But where is Fort Lincoln?
In the Dakota Territory, I think. Wait.
I'll get the map. Sit down. Sit down.
Callie. General Custer and I
are going away.
You must pack the things
I mentioned this morning.
But, Miss Libby, what about all your
lovely things? Your china, your silver...
...and all your pretty clothes?
Well, I'll have to leave those behind.
...I'll have to leave you too.
Miss Libby, ain't y'all gonna have nobody
to fix for you while you're up there?
I'll get along, Callie.
It's ridiculous.
Giving up your home and your life.
I hope the general appreciates
what you're doing.
Fort Lincoln. Fort Lincoln.
Here it is, see?
You go by rail to Bismarck...
...and from then on, by wagon trail.
Move over, before I cut
the rest of your tail off.
- I beg your pardon?
- I said, move over, you dirty Ethiopian...
...son of a blue-bellied Mohawk!
You mean the horse.
Stop that, you ornery, owl-faced floozy,
or I'll spit in your ear.
You made it.
Shucks, that ain't nothing. I can spit
in a prairie dog's eye at 50 feet.
Ain't nobody in these parts can beat
California Joe when it comes to spitting.
And who's California Joe?
- That's me.
- Oh, I see.
You come from California.
No, ma'am. No.
Then why do they call
you California Joe?
Why, I guess because l...
Because I've been aiming there
for 27 years...
...and it looks like I'll be aiming there
for 27 more years, with these...
...Indians on the warpath here again.
Are we likely to see any today?
No more likely than you are to see them
soldiers in their fancy pants from the fort.
How is old California?
Taught you how to chew tobacco?
No, he's been teaching
me about Indians.
Let me tell you, he has no respect
for soldiers, sir.
He hasn't? What's wrong with him?
Everything they don't know
is about Indians.
Indians is too ignorant to fight right.
They fight wrong every time.
That's why the soldiers
always get licked.
To lick an Indian, you gotta fight them
like an Indian.
Might be something to that.
How would you like a job?
What, me?
Be a soldier,
and wear them fancy pants...
...and wash my ears with store soap
and sleep in a bed?
No, sir!
My business is shooting, not saluting.
I can't salute, anyway. I got
rheumatism in my saluting arm. L...
Well! I'm a dirty... Look!
- What's wrong? What do you see?
- Skin your eyeballs, son.
There's a redskin over
that rock yonder.
- Indians?
- One, maybe two.
On your belly, ma'am.
After them, men.
George. George.
Come on. Get out of here.
Signal your people. Drive back my
horses, or I'll hang you at the fort gate.
You give word?
- No kill with rope?
- I give word.
Now signal.
I speak.
Why you dirty, moth-eaten, cockeyed
son of a rat!
If it ain't old Crazy Horse...
...chief of the Sioux.
What a shivaree there's gonna be when
they drag you to Fort Lincoln on a rope.
We'll take him there.
He can cool off for 60 days.
Maybe he'll be good.
Tie him up. Put him in the wagon.
We better vamoose out of here quick...
...before the rest come
to get the chief.
I think you're right, Joe.
California, California.
What did she say?
She wants to know if she can
name the papoose after me.
How charming.
Turn out the guard.
Get rid of that cigar.
Guard, turn out.
Look at that guard.
Filthy as mountain goats.
They don't even know how to stand.
The regiment's just been mustered in.
- We haven't a colonel yet.
- You've got one now.
Why aren't there any patrols?
Why are you all hiding in this fort?
This fort isn't here to protect the Army.
The Army should protect the trail.
Crazy Horse's Sioux are raiding.
We've orders to wait.
You have, have you?
Bring out that Indian.
I'd like you to see,
Mr. Whatever-Your-Name-ls...
...what's been holding up
a whole regiment of U.S. Cavalry.
- Crazy Horse.
- Yeah, string him up.
Back, back. All of you, back.
Or I'll turn him loose
and let him chase you.
You give word, Long Hair.
Shoot now. No rope.
I give word, Crazy Horse.
I keep my word.
Tell off a detail.
Take him to the guardhouse.
Yes, sir.
You four men, take the prisoner.
- And see that he's well treated.
- Yes, sir.
You'll find headquarters
straight ahead, sir.
Out of the way.
California, why are Indians in the fort?
They're trading for rifles.
You go on. I'll return shortly.
California, take the wagons
on to my quarters.
Sure. Say, about that joining the Army.
I calculate I could change my mind...
...if I didn't have to wear
them fancy pants. And no saluting.
Up there, hoghead. Come on!
Where's the owner? I want to see him.
- Well, look who's here.
- You.
- Are you in charge here?
- Yep.
General manager of all
the company's trading stores.
- You turned down a good thing, Custer.
- Colonel Custer to you.
I'm in command here,
and don't you ever forget it.
- Tell me what you're selling rifles for.
- For $ 75 apiece.
Civil War surplus bought
from the government.
You're selling them to Indians?
Why are they in the fort?
They're friendlies.
I certainly hope you're right, Sharp.
These Winchesters will outrange any
of our cavalry rifles, and you know it.
Attention. Commanding officer.
Sergeant, there's two men
brawling outside.
Have them arrested for drunkenness.
They're supposed to be cavalrymen.
- Yes, sir.
- At ease, men.
Well, colonel, I hope you like
your recruits.
They're about the worst lot of rustlers,
gunmen and outcasts I've ever seen.
The scum of the earth.
It seems to be your business
to worsen them.
Now, look, Sharp.
I want this bar closed.
I want it closed now.
It is run under a government franchise.
You can't close it.
- Sergeant.
- Yes, sir?
Turn out a squad of armed men.
Close this place up.
...this bar is a lawful business.
The company's got one
in every Army post.
Now, you know your rights, boys.
Nobody can tell you how
to spend your pay, right?
Wait a minute, men.
Wait a minute.
I have to admit that what Mr. Sharp
says is perfectly correct.
I've no legal reason to close this bar.
None whatsoever.
And I won't...
...providing Mr. Sharp doesn't mind
being taken...
...and slung through the mirror
every time it's open...
...commencing one minute from now.
Close it up.
Now, listen, men...
...I'm not doing this to be a bluenose.
I know it's tough,
not being able to drink.
It's tough on me too...
...maybe it's tougher.
But when I break down and drink... when this bar
is going to open again.
I don't ask any man to stick
to something I can't stick to myself...
...and that's the way it will be
in this regiment.
Gun no work. You fix.
Safety catch. See?
What did I tell you?
Them dirty, lying, flea-bitten
friendlies let him go.
Friendlies? Any Indian with $ 75
is a friendly to Sharp.
Put a stop to that rifle trading.
I want every Indian put outside.
- Very well.
- Have the trumpeter sound the call.
Yes, sir.
You know, Joe... a way, I don't mind
that Indian getting off.
He's the only cavalryman I've seen
around. But we'll put a stop to that.
We're responsible for the protection
of 100,000 square miles of territory.
And against us are ranged thousands
of the finest light cavalry on earth.
I found that out this morning.
It's a big job, gentlemen.
And it's gonna need a fine regiment.
Our job is to make this the finest
regiment the United States ever saw.
I needn't tell most of you that a regiment
is more than just 600 disciplined soldiers.
Men die...
...but a regiment lives on.
Because a regiment has
an immortal soul of its own.
Well, the way to begin is to find it... find something
that belongs to us alone.
Something to give us that pride in
ourselves, that will make men endure...
...and if necessary, die...
...with their boots on.
As for the rest, it's easy.
Since it's only hard work...
...hard riding and hard fighting.
Thank you. I know I can count on you.
- Major Meyers, sir.
- Pleasure.
- Mr. Cooper.
- Cooper.
Captain Elliot, sir.
- Captain Thompson, sir.
- Thompson.
Butler, sir.
Butler. "Queen's Own" Butler.
- How did you get here?
- Become quite a bally Yankee.
Rode behind you at Hanover
and fancied I'd see some sport out West.
Well, I hope you do.
Do you know that you've haunted me
ever since I met you at Monroe?
- Haunted, sir?
- Yes. I've cursed you regularly.
Every time I tried to think
of that song. What was it?
Oh, "Garryowen"?
"Garryowen." Come play it for us.
Excuse me, gentlemen.
This is an important song.
What are the blighters doing,
playing ring-around-the-rosey?
The dirty, moth-eaten...
It's a signal!
They're whupped! The dirty
buzzard eggs, they're whupped!
He wants a peace powwow
with Long Hair.
Long Hair.
Crazy Horse.
Crazy Horse, war chief Sioux,
speak with Long Hair.
War chief, great white father.
- I listen to my brother.
- My people want make peace.
They've lost many braves,
are tired of war.
They will give up the plains forever.
They will give up their lodges
by the running streams.
They will give up their hunting grounds
where the buffalo graze.
They will give all up...
...but one place.
Speak. What is this place?
They will not give up the Black Hills...
...for there, the spirits
of our fathers dwell...
...and there the gods have made
their tepees.
But all else that is my people
we give up...
...but Black Hills.
I will bear my brother's words
to the great white father.
Let Long Hair return with word
of great white father...
...that no white man will set foot
on sacred soil...
...and Crazy Horse and his brothers
will smoke peace pipe forever.
If the great white father gives word
to my brother's people...
...then Long Hair and his long knives
will defend Black Hills...
...against all white men
who seek to profane them.
That is the word of Long Hair.
Long Hair's word good one.
But the word of the great white father
is broken word.
Hear me now, Long Hair.
If this word broken now...
...not only Sioux, but the Cheyenne,
the Oglala...
...the Miniconjou, the Blackfeet,
the Sans Arcs...
...and every living tribe between
mountains and great waters...
...will gather in one last battle.
It will be the end of themselves...
...their gods, the spirits
of their fathers...
...and of their enemies.
Crazy Horse spoke.
We're here because the company's
facing bankruptcy on account of...
...the idiotic treaty with the Sioux.
- You don't have to tell me.
Last year I outfitted a handful of settlers
from 20 stores.
There'll be no settlers till the railroad's
pushed on. The only route... through the Black Hills,
the gateway to the West.
A few thousand savages have stopped
the march of American civilization.
Why can't you do something
at Washington?
That was why I brought Taipe
to this job of special commissioner.
What is the job?
It's to coordinate the civil and military
administration of Indian territories.
While he's on the ground, we'll consider
local means of unlocking the Black Hills.
Well, you'll find none here.
The 7th Cavalry has every pass
and river completely covered.
It's impossible to sneak
an outfit through. I have to know.
No doubt you do, but you're talking
about single outfits.
- Suppose there were thousands.
- What would bring thousands...
...of outfits to Dakota?
- Gold.
- Gold?
Well, there's no gold
in the Black Hills.
Who can say what's to be found
in the Black Hills, huh?
Lt'd bring them in in swarms, all right.
Start a second California gold rush.
But what about the Sioux?
That's where the commissioner
comes in. Treaty or no treaty...
...we cannot allow thousands
of Americans to be massacred.
The forces of General Crook
and General Terry...
...will move between them
and the Sioux.
Well, Ned, do you see
any practical objection?
- Only Custer.
- What do you mean?
- What can he do?
- You don't know Custer.
You get him mad, and there isn't
anything he won't do.
There isn't anything his regiment
won't do.
They could blockade Bismarck,
blow up the railroad bridges.
Then we'll get rid of Colonel Custer
as a first measure, eh, Taipe?
I'm all for that.
But I shouldn't advise doing it
through official channels.
I think I know how to get rid of Colonel
Custer to everybody's satisfaction.
- Turn out the guard! Commanding officer!
- Fall in!
Present arms!
Order arms!
- Hello, Roberts. How's your wife?
- Better, sir, thanks to Mrs. Custer.
Good, good. Now, look, tomorrow...
...shine the squadron up.
I'm reviewing it for the commissioner.
Without officers? Right, sir.
Stand over there. Let me look at you.
My word, you're lovelier than ever.
George, put me down.
We've got company.
- What?
- Yes. I've got a surprise for you.
A surprise?
Mrs. Taipe, may I present
my husband, General Custer.
- A pleasure.
- Mrs. Sharp, General Custer.
- How do you do?
- Madam.
And here are some old friends of yours.
- What's this?
- Welcome home, colonel.
A little surprise for you.
Yes, this is a surprise. Haven't seen you
since you retired.
After the war, I found Army life
a trifle monotonous, Custer.
He's here as a special commissioner,
you know.
I should have paid my respects to you
as a representative of the government.
That's the regulation. But there's
no need to stand on ceremony here.
I congratulate you on the reputation
you've made for your regiment.
- Thank you.
- Let's drink a toast to it.
- Toast to the 7th Cavalry.
- Right.
You're not gonna drink
this toast in water.
Yes, this is the drink
of the 7th Cavalry.
Well, to the sober 7th Cavalry.
I'm sorry you won't see
the whole regiment on parade.
Most of it's in the Black Hills.
But I can promise you that tomorrow...'ll take the salute from one of the
finest squadrons of cavalry ever.
There'll be no officers on parade?
Very irregular, sir.
That's because I want you to see
the men who fought 36 engagements...
...who cleared and pacified
this frontier single-handed...
...who sweated and starved day
after day against impossible odds.
- There's no denying their record.
- It was an idea that made them.
An idea and a song.
You should have seen them the day
they were mustered in. Derelicts...
...criminals who joined because
they couldn't make a living.
But wait till you see them now.
Wait till you see what discipline, devotion
to duty and human understanding can do.
You'll see men who aren't afraid to look
death in the face with pride.
Not for $ 13 a month, but because
they've got pride in their regiment.
Go take the salute.
You've good reason to.
You and every other civilian
in the United States.
- What's the meaning of this outrage?
- I think I know.
If I was you, Mr. Sharp, I'd vamoose.
- Custer's liable to go loco about this.
- I'm not getting out.
Have those bung-starters handy
when Goldilocks arrives.
He'll never close this bar again.
This is none of your affair, Custer.
We... We opened by authority
of the commissioner.
The drinks were free to the men
in honor of his visit.
Stop it, Custer! You're destroying
private property. It's an order!
- This bar opened by my authority.
- Your authority?
If your men are drunken sots,
that's your responsibility.
You cheap, bootlicking...
You contemptible parasite!
I'll see that he's relieved
of his command.
He'll be in Washington
for a court martial.
I wish you'd stopped in Chicago
and seen Uncle Phil.
We'd only have been in Washington one
day later, and he might've helped you.
I don't think anyone can help me now.
I struck a representative
of the government.
And I'd do it again.
When the facts are known,
who in all the world could blame you?
- You.
- I?
Yes, I should have thought of you.
This mess has made me realize
how selfish I've been.
My dear.
Taking you away from
your home, comfort...
...peace of mind.
- Darling...
...I knew what I was doing
when I married you.
But I didn't know
what I was doing to you.
- I've made you give up everything.
- I love you.
- Springfield! Five-minute stop.
- Why don't you get a breath of fresh air?
I don't think so. There may be reporters
around, and I don't want to see anyone.
Is there anything I can get you,
magazine, cigars?
Nothing. Maybe a newspaper.
You better take a little walk yourself.
You've been cooped up here
long enough.
- Papers, papers.
- Paper.
- Have a Chicago or Washington paper?
- Chicago Record Herald, just out.
- All about the gold strike in Black Hills.
- The Black Hills in Dakota?
Yes. It's bigger than the one
in California.
Look at this.
"Strike in the Black Hills.
The stampede started when an Indian
squaw tendered gold for supplies... the Western Railroad Land
and Trading Company at Fort Lincoln."
"Thousands of people
rushing into the Black Hills."
That's what Mrs. Taipe meant. She said
thousands were coming to Dakota...
...and advised me to buy stock.
- Mrs. Taipe said that?
- Yes, the day you came back to the fort.
I didn't repeat it.
I didn't think it important.
The day I came back to the fort...
...Mrs. Taipe knew then that
these people were coming.
But, Libby, don't you see?
This Indian woman came into
the fort yesterday.
- Then that must mean...
- There's no gold. It's a conspiracy... break the peace treaty. And what
happened at the review was a part of it.
They had to get rid of me,
and no wonder.
I'd have hanged them all from
the fort gates, Taipe and the rest.
I'd have burnt the railroad bridges.
And I gave my word to Crazy Horse
that the Sioux...
The Sioux.
Why, Libby, those fools don't know
what they've done.
Conductor. Conductor.
I'm saying that the commissioner
is Sharp's bought man.
- He has an interest...
- I object.
Objection sustained.
I'm sorry, but you must confine your
testimony to actual proof of conspiracy.
I'm here to tell you Sharp's company
tricked thousands of people...
...into violating Indian territory
with a tale of gold.
- And Taipe was a party to that plot.
- That's an accusation.
What facts can prove it?
Weeks before there was talk of this
so-called gold...
...Taipe's wife said that people...
- I object to such testimony. It's hearsay.
- Sustained.
We can hear no evidence of that nature.
It's inadmissible.
Do you think you'll keep me
from testifying by legal skulduggery?
- Do you think I'd lie?
- No, colonel, but you're not a lawyer.
The testimony you're giving is hearsay,
the words of another person.
- It's never admissible.
- Never?
Except in the case
of a dying declaration...
...where words are spoken in knowledge
of approaching death.
You'll have plenty of evidence within
a few weeks. The treaty's been broken.
Within weeks, thousands
will be massacred in Black Hills.
That's why I blasted this open
in the press.
- Now you talk about legal technicalities.
- There need be no apprehension.
Generals Terry and Crook have orders
to concentrate forces in Yellowstone.
Three thousand American soldiers
should be a match for 3000 Sioux.
Why, you fool. Those troops are infantry,
useless against Indians.
And they won't find any 3000 Sioux.
The sanctuary of the entire red race
is being violated.
They'll find every tribe in the West
ready to overwhelm them.
Not only Sioux, but Cheyenne, Blackfeet,
Sans Arcs, all the rest of them.
And who's to blame them?
Not I, gentlemen.
If I were an Indian, I'd fight beside
Crazy Horse to the last drop of my blood.
It's in Custer's interest to be alarmist.
He's relieved of command...
...awaiting court martial, but the War
Department doesn't share his fears.
Especially as among the forces ordered
into action is the celebrated 7th Cavalry...
...which boasts itself able to defend
the frontier single-handed.
Colonel Custer, have you any further
testimony to place before the committee?
Then I move we adjourn, gentlemen.
Was it that bad?
I'll start assembling a division at once.
But it'll take time, Custer. Time. Troops
on the frontier will have to be sacrificed.
Including the 7th Cavalry.
What else can I do?
There's this.
Get my court martial postponed.
Get my command restored to me.
And let you commit suicide?
No, thank you.
You don't owe anybody that.
Sheridan, do you remember
what you said to me after Winchester?
You said, "If there's ever anything
you want from me...
...including my right arm,
don't ask, just take it."
I won't do it. You don't owe
those bloodsuckers anything.
I'm asking you, now.
There's Libby to be considered.
I wouldn't do it if I could.
But I can't.
Taipe would never let it get through.
The only man who could do it
is the president.
Since these charges have all
but wrecked his administration...
...Ulysses S. Grant hates the sound
of your name.
Colonel Custer.
I regret the president declines
to see you. Any business you have...
...shall be conducted through
the War Department.
I'll remind you, sir, that
I'm president of the United States.
I'm not here to see
the president, Grant.
I'm here to see a soldier.
You've caused plenty of trouble, Custer.
Sticking your nose into politics.
- I want my regiment back.
- All you'll get from me is a court martial.
To the devil with a court martial.
I want my regiment back, Grant.
Tell me why I should give it to you.
I'll tell you why.
Because you know how a man feels
when he's broken...
...when he's left behind
and his regiment's marching out.
You know how he feels, Grant...
...because you had a taste of it yourself.
Get out.
All right.
My orders was to close up
as soon as you got back.
That's all right.
I just got in.
And am I glad to see you.
I'm going bughouse in this joint.
Since you've been relieved of command,
not a soldier has set foot in this place.
That's all right. You needn't
bother closing up.
Tell Mr. Sharp I want to see him.
And leave us alone together.
Oh, it's all right. There won't be
any disturbance.
Say, Custer's outside, wants to see you.
I gave orders to close the bar as soon as
I heard you took command again.
That's all right, Sharp.
Remember I told you once
that the day I took a drink... could open the bar up?
- Yeah.
Well, I feel like drinking tonight.
Things have been pretty bad.
You wanna join me?
Why, sure, sure. Why not?
- We'll let bygones be bygones, huh?
- Sure.
Say, hitting it kind of hard, aren't you?
No point in half measures. Drink up.
L... I hear the 7th's marching out
this morning... make contact with Crook and Terry
at the Little Bighorn.
The 7th's marching out.
Let's drink to the 7th.
Let's drink to them again.
Last time I drank it in water, remember?
Well. Wait a minute, you...
Drink it.
If the outfits don't fight through, you're
liable to have lots of Sioux on your hands.
Oh, yes.
Yes, quite a lot of Sioux, Sharp.
But the greater the odds,
the greater the glory.
Come on, Sharp. Let's drink to glory.
You always were a great one
for glory, Custer.
Remember...? Remember that day
you came to West Point...
...and you talked to me
about the statues?
Yes, yes, I remember.
Well, you got glory.
And what did glory get you?
A two-bit job...
...and a... And a court martial. That's all.
Well, that's not enough.
Now we're gonna drink to something
that's... That's worth having.
Something they'll kiss your feet
for having.
Here's to money.
- And long may she jingle.
- Money.
You may be right about money, Sharp.
Quite right.
- There's one thing to be said for glory.
- And what's that?
You can take glory with you...
...when it's your time to go.
Well, now, let's see.
Anything I've forgotten?
- Field glasses?
- Yep.
- Compass.
- Got it.
- Your watch.
- Watch, no.
You know, they ought to make you
quartermaster general.
Every time I go into the field, I'm the
best-equipped man in the regiment.
Oh, look at that.
- What?
- The chain.
I won't be able to take this with me.
It'll be the first time
you've gone in without it.
Yes. Well, there's no time
to have it fixed...
...and I don't want to take a chance
on losing it.
I'll leave it here.
Not much more time.
Here's your cartridge belt.
You know, I'm sure you're the first
soldier that ever became a general...
...without letting his belt out.
But wait until we get that staff job in
Washington, after this campaign's over.
I'm gonna grow a big tummy on me
like General Winfield Scott, you know.
And we'll grow fat and happy together.
- Together.
- And people will say:
"Don't tell me life in the Dakotas
was hardship.
Look at General and Mrs. Custer.
They certainly grew fat and happy on it."
You have been happy here,
haven't you, Libby?
Don't I look happy?
Well, now. Let's see, what else?
Oh, my orders.
- I put them in that drawer, over there.
- I'll get it.
Well, what's this?
- "My life with General Custer."
- Oh, darling, that's my diary.
- I didn't know you kept one.
- It's a record of our life.
It wouldn't interest you. Just silly things
that seem important to a woman.
"Tomorrow, my husband leaves...
...and I cannot help but feel
that my last happy days are ended.
A premonition of disaster
such as I have never known... weighing me down.
I try to shut it into my heart,
but it is almost unbearable.
I pray God I be not asked
to walk on alone."
You know, I probably wrote that,
or something like it...
...every time you went away.
Even for a day's journey.
You know how foolish women are.
Every parting has its own fears
and anxieties.
Of course.
I often feel like that myself.
But it... It has its bright side too.
The more sadness in parting,
the more joy in the reunion.
Boots and saddles.
Walking through life with you, ma'am...
...has been a very gracious thing.
Sir, the regiment is formed.
Scouts out.
- Gray Eagle.
- Long Hair. Black Hills.
Go to lodge of Sitting Bull.
Let him call Sioux chiefs to war council.
Meet us on the Little Bighorn at sunup.
Well, partner, the scouts are back.
What's the report?
- Any news of Crook's column?
- Plenty of them, all scalped.
- Dead long?
- Oh, about a week, I reckon.
Crazy Horse attacked Crook's outfit
coming down a stream, massacred them.
And then Crook, he hightailed it back
to where he come from, Crook did.
He got away?
Where's Crazy Horse now?
Camped on the other side
of Little Bighorn.
Headed to massacre Terry's outfit.
Then he's between us.
And I can't reach Terry in time.
Crazy Horse must know we're here.
More darn Indians camped over on Little
Bighorn than grasshoppers in a cornfield.
Every kind of a goldarn
Indian you can think of!
You know, partner, we better vamoose
out of here, good and pronto.
We're not vamoosing.
I'm going to attack.
It's Terry or us.
What chance has he got
against thousands of Indians?
What...? What better chance
have you got?
It's a cavalry job, Joe.
I can do more damage.
And if I can do enough...'ll give Terry a chance to stand them
off until Sheridan comes from Bismarck.
I'm wondering if I'm ever
gonna get to California.
- Tell Mr. Butler I want to see him.
- All right, partner. I mean, yes, sir.
- You sent for me, sir?
- Yes, Butler.
Take this letter into
Fort Lincoln tonight.
- Me? Tonight?
- Tonight.
- It's important.
- Must be...
...if it needs your bally adjutant
to play postman at a time like this.
Why are you asking me
to go back with it?
Well, for one thing, you're
an Englishman, not an American.
Not an American? What do you Yankees
think you are?
The only real Americans are
on the other side of the hill...
...with feathers in their hair.
You're probably right about that.
But there's 6000 of them...
...and less than 600 of us.
The regiment's being sacrificed, Butler.
I wouldn't want to see a foreigner
butchered in a deal like this.
Sporting of you to think of it that way.
I'll remind you, sir, I'm a member
of the mess of the 7th U.S. Cavalry.
Fancy walking into the service club
in Piccadilly if the regiment...
Get somebody else to post
your blinking letter.
Thanks, Queen's Own.
Just so long as you know.
I'll get someone else.
You'll pay for this, Custer.
There's a law in this country against
abduction. You'll go to jail for it.
Maybe, Sharp, maybe.
What do you think you're doing?
Cut me loose.
Say, what is all this?
What does it mean?
- It means you're free.
- Free?
I don't know where I am,
what day it is.
It's about dawn on the 25th of June.
You're on the Rosebud Ridge above Little
Bighorn River. The way home's due east.
The way home? From the Little Bighorn?
Why, this whole country's
swarming with Sioux!
That's right, Sharp, it is.
Why, it's murder.
What chance will I have?
About the same chance as
the thousands of poor devils... sent in here with that lying tale
about the gold.
I say it's murder. I won't go.
You don't have to, Sharp.
It's for you to choose.
What do you mean?
You mean...
- You mean you'll leave me here?
- No.
The regiment rides in about an hour.
You can ride with it if you want.
Where is the regiment riding?
To hell, Sharp...
...or to glory.
It depends on one's point of view.
Not dead long.
Big war party go.
Forward rank, ho!
Draw saber!
Fight on foot!
You dirty yellowbellies!
Oh, looks like I'll never get to...
Maybe you were right...
...about glory.
But for the desperate attack
of the 7th Cavalry...
...Terry's force would've been
wiped out, squatters massacred...
...the whole frontier overrun,
Bismarck itself destroyed.
I'll see that the regiment gets
due recognition from Congress.
Let me remind you that
all Custer said came true.
Every Indian gathered
to defend the Black Hills...
...and the troops which you sent
against them were overwhelmed.
The public has begun to wonder
if some of the other things...
...he tried to say
might not have been true.
By what authority do you
talk to me like this?
By authority of
the U.S. President.
He had an opportunity to tell everything
at the congressional inquiry.
- He had a fair hearing.
- A fair hearing, Taipe?
I heard them tell him
that his testimony was inadmissible...
...except as a dying declaration.
Well, Custer's dead...
...but you're going to hear him speak.
You have something to say, Libby?
I have here a letter from my husband...
...addressed to the nation.
It contains nothing with which
you are not familiar.
Only a restatement of the evidence
he attempted to put before Congress.
That evidence was ruled hearsay,
mere hearsay.
My husband wrote this letter
on the morning of June the 25th... anticipation of his death
on that day.
He believed it to be what the
committee called a dying declaration...
...and as such, admissible
in a court of law.
You hear that? If that letter gets out,
we'll be lynched!
- Well, say something, man.
- It doesn't seem to matter, Taipe.
My son chose to go to his death
with the 7th Cavalry.
And I think I know why.
There is a price for which it
can be bought. Colonel Custer's price.
Well, what is it? Name it.
The company must be dissolved.
The company is dissolved.
Mr. Taipe, you must resign your office
as commissioner.
- Resign?
- And before you leave this room.
There's another price, General Sheridan.
The price the administration must pay.
The administration must make good
its promise to Crazy Horse.
The Indians must be protected in
their right to exist in their country.
I have authority to answer that from
the administration, the president himself.
Come, my dear.
Your soldier won his last fight after all.