Custer of the West (1967) Movie Script

I didn't recognize you without
your hourse. Sit down.
Thank you, sir.
Lincoln wants us to write
personally... the widow and
grieving mother. You knew...
...Major Bridge, didn't you?
- I did.
"As Commanding General,
I have the opportunity... 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,
That's what am I here for,
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,
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.
Tell me!
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.
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.
All right.
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... and you'll have
to chase those devils...
...over the roughest
country in the world...
...desert, mountains,
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?
Libby! Libby!
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... 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...
...10' tall.
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.
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
You seem to understand the
Indian point of view, Benteen?
Watch ahead!
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?
Turn left!
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!
Watch it!
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.
Present sabres!
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.
Yes, sir.
Order! Left!
- Benteen.
- Dismiss the troops, Sergeant.
Troops dis-missed!
Why'd you join the Army,
Come in, Major Reno.
Just asking the Captain here
why he joined the Army.
Sit down.
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.
Yes, sir.
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...'re entitled
to the saloon...'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'... gonna end right here...
...with you Major.
You like it as much as I do,
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?
Yes, sir.
Good morning, Doctor.
Got an epidemic here,
have ya?
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,
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?
this epidemic is gonna last... 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... 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... 10 minutes".
Come on!
Double quick.
Double quick!
Keep the pace, Sergeant.
Hup, two, three.
Hup, two, three, four.
March! March!
Hup, two, three, four.
Hup, two, three, four.
All Halt!
Troop, attention!
Right shoulder, arms!
Present arms!
Hold up!
All right, soldier.
Lieutenant, Cheyenne!
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.
Yes, sir.
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.
Come on!
We can't move it any further.
Take it apart!
Put it on runners.
Yes, sir!
Break out the tools.
- Water.
- No, no, no!
Give us some water,
- I can't...
- General's orders.
What are you doing?
Get away!
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.
Yes, sir!
All right, Sergeant,
move them out.
Yes, sir.
Move out!
- Buckley!
- Sir?
Get a rifle.
Shoot over their heads.
All right.
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,
Shoot it down!
- Take care of the prisoners.
- Yes, sir. Come on.
How 'bout that Indian up there,
Just shot him down,
Don't you believe a man
can turn into a bird?
Look at them, sir,
they can't fight.
We took the whole Cheyenne
...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.
You know?
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!
Coffee, gentlemen?
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.
Thank you.
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... 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.
Thank you.
You two must have a lot
to talk about.
Excuse me.
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.
Election time.
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... 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... 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... our change in policy".
Should you require
any further contributions...
...towards your election
campaign... so good
as to let me know.
Your obedient servant.
- 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.
Come on.
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.
All right.
Go ahead, Captain, tell him.
Tell me what?
I brought somebody to see you,
- Who?
- A Cheyenne.
He's here?
- 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... 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... 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... the duty of my command.
I'll make it very simple
for you.
The fact that we seem to be
pushing you clear... the earth,
is not my responsibility
The problem is precisely
the same... when Cheyenne
decide to take...
...another tribe's hunting
ground... 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
You're paying the price
for being backward.
And whatever my personal
...I haven't said any...
...there's nothing I can do
to change all this.
Do you understand me?
I understand.
...see what's going on out
there. Try and shut them up.
Yes, sir.
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,
Save your breath, we ain't
stopping until you let us out.
This is a parade ground...
We're gonna keep digging
...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.
Present sabres!
Sir, the second platoon's gone.
- Mulligan's platoon?
- They went after gold, sir.
Mulligan started it.
Get that mob out of here!
Where, General?
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.
Yes, sir.
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,
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,
...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,
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?
Oh, well.
Back it goes.
Sooner or later some other
lucky man will find it.
I... now...
...I guess I better
put on my boots, huh?
I'll do you no harm,
You can have your gun back,
just let me go.
All I ask is your word.
I suppose that's serious
At ease, Sergeant.
I was hoping you'd come
to see me.
Chaplain tells me you got
new evidence.
Of course.
I don't know... 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... like, considering
it's your last request"... 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.
Go on.
I hope you're not in a hurry,
If there's any man with
his eye on the clock, it's me.
Where was I?
New evidence.
Yes, new evidence.
I'll give you a drink.
- Thank you, sir.
- All right, sit down.
I was talking about
Do you like strawberries,
I'm listening.
Lovely fruit.
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.
How strange.
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,
- 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,
You haven't said a single word
I could get... court as new evidence.
And nothing that wouldn't
let me think...
...that you wouldn't desert
all over again.
Rules! Porters!
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,
There's just an empty place
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.
Go home.
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... 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... 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... 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.
Like what?
Trade, gold mine,
It's a big country. You can't go
to one side... 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,
...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.
Phil... 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.
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.
Chain too.
Ring too.
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.
Stay down!
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... appear before
a U.S. Congressional...
...Committee investigating
conditions... the Indian territory".
Looks like Washington's...
...looking for somebody
to blame for the massacre.
Go on.
"Marcus Reno will assume
command of this...
...regiment immediately,
...Philip Sheridan.
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?
Yes, sir.
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.
Order! Order!
You ask...
...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...
...who's responsible.
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... the entire United States
There is no soldier with his
face stuffed with gold bonds...
...and railroad shares.
Order! Sit down!
For the guilty parties... are going to have to look
right here in Washington!
Order, order!
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.
Yes! Yes!
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
...because of General Custer's
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.
Brother's President.
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.
Cold enough?
- 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... 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,
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... 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
Have a whiskey,
be one of the boys.
Not tonight.
You can talk to him tomorrow.
I need a drink.
Come on, run!
Excuse me.
This is the best seat you got.
I'm afraid so, sir,
everything else is taken.
- Bring us a bottle of champagne.
- Certainly, sir.
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.
You didn't.
I appreciate that,
I won't forget it.
But I can't with the President.
I never left you in the lurch,
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... 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... we'll forget what
we have said here tonight.
Go home.
Maybe you're right, Phil.
Dear, I need pen and ink.
I got to write a letter.
A letter to the President?
Any objections?
Would you like to dictate it?
- Yeah.
- Whenever you're ready.
"To his excellency...
...the President
of the United States...
...etc., etc.
Dear Sir...
...I have written to you during
the past months three times...
...without the courtesy
of an answer.
Besides... 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... 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.
Thank you.
Let's get right to it,
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... push us clean across
the Mississippi.
Right, right.
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.
Doesn't matter.
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
First squad.
Second squad.
Third squad.
Come on!
Come on!
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... 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.
Yes, sir.
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.
Our fighting.
It's over.
It's over, I tell you.
Guns that kill by thousands,
no horses.
It's over.
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.
Yes, sir.
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.
Captain... 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.
Back, back!
Alright, soldiers!
Hold your fire until
I give the order.
He's saving you for the last.
I know.
Don't let him take you, sir.