, 10 tweets, 3 min read
You’re never gonna believe this, and stop me if you’ve heard something like this before, but #OnThisDay a dashing cavalryman named George Custer found himself in a REAL STICKY PICKLE.

Yes, it was a sticky pickle even for Custer. Which, let’s face it, is SAYING SOMETHING …
After the Rebel defeat at Bristoe Station in 1863 (when Robert E. Lee told a bumbling A.P. Hill, “Well, well, general, bury these poor men and let us say no more about it,” which is also what my boss told me after a tough first day at Blockbuster Video) the Union cavalry pursued.
Leading the pursuit was Judson Kilpatrick (pictured), who was, as usual, full of his own horseshit. J.E.B. Stuart commanded the Rebel rearguard, and he saw an opportunity to bait the reckless, impulsive Kilpatrick into an attack far from the protection of the Union infantry.
Stuart put up a defense at a bridge, then fell back and allowed the Union cavalry to cross. While the lead Northern brigade hurried after Stuart, more Rebel cavalry under Fitzhugh Lee lurked nearby, waiting to block the bridge and cut off the rest of the Yankee horsemen. #Tactics
But here’s where George Custer exerted his unique brand of leadership. In the midst of a hot pursuit, what did he do? HE STOPPED FOR SNACKS. Yep, for the next 3-4 hours, his men made coffee and took snoozes.

(Bad news, Sun Tzu. Your book is gonna need another chapter.)
Cuz guess what? The leisurely picnic was TACTICALLY BRILLIANT. While the lead Union brigade chased after Stuart and fell into his trap, Custer was still throwing away his paper plates and brushing the ants off his blankets. He was literally TOO BUSY PICNICKING TO GET AMBUSHED!!!
One of Custer’s men, James Kidd, talked to Fitzhugh Lee long after the war, and told him about the impromptu picnic. Lee was FLABBERGASTED. He’d always assumed Custer had sniffed out the trap. Nope! Just some potato salad that AIN’T GONNA EAT ITSELF!
When the Rebels did attack, Custer “was a fighting man, through and through,” Kidd wrote. Custer was badly outnumbered (and not for the last time), but he “put up one of the gamiest fights against odds seen in the war.” And the picnic stop meant he never fell into the real trap.
Custer called The Battle of Buckland Mills “the most disastrous this division ever passed through." The Rebels called it “The Buckland Races,” because of the Union cavalry’s galloping 5-mile rout, “the most complete that any cavalry ... suffered during this war,” Stuart boasted.
So how did Kilpatrick, who took Stuart’s bait, react to the sobering defeat? He partied! That night, he threw a shindig at HQ, with milk-punch and music. “But the punch, palatable as it undeniably was, did not serve to take away the bad taste left by the affair,” Kidd wrote.
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with Civil War Humor

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!