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George Armstrong Custer

Custer Bows to Rosser, on Seeing his old friend across Tom's Brook on October 9, 1864

Drawing by Alfred Rudolph Waud

   Courtesy Library of Congress

Cadet Tom Rosser at West Point

Circa 1858

Fun loving cadet who, like George Custer, "marched to his own drum beat."


Photo Courtesy of Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

University of Virginia

The "Gallant" Major John Pelham (1838 – 1863)

Killed at Battle of Kelly's Ford

March 17, 1863

Pelham and Rosser were roommates at West Point

Pelham was considered one of the best artilleryman of the Civil War

 -- from either side.

Photo Courtesy Library of Congress

Major General Jubal Anderson Early

   Rosser blamed Early for the debacle at Tom's Brook

Photo Courtesy Library of Congress

Cavalry Commander Brigadier General James Ewell Brown Stuart


    Stuart took a liking to Rosser and had him transferred to his cavalry command


Photograph By Photographer George S. Cook (1863) 

Photo Courtesy Library of Congress

Tom Rosser was Custer's
best friend at West Point.
They fought each other many times during the war. Each wanted to "thrash" the other in battle, but not kill each other. They remained friends, uniting in the northwest when Rosser was leading surveying expeditions for the Northern and Pacific Railroad.
Tom Rosser entered West Point a member of the Class of 1856. He did not excel academically, finishing in the lower half of the class. He wanted to graduate, but resigned just prior to graduation when Virginia seceded from the Union. Starting out as a Lt. in the famed New Orleans Artillery. J.E.B. Stuart took a liking to him and had him transferred to command the 5th Virginia Cavalry as its colonel.
John Pelham was Tom Rosser's roommate at West Point. They were close friends and resigned from the Academy together before graduation to enlist in the Confederate army. Rosser was deeply affected by Pelham's death at Kelly's Ford in March of 1863. Rosser named one of his sons after the "Gallant" Pelham.
Major General Jubal A. Early commanded forces in the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign. He did not respect his cavalry.this contributed to his failures in the campaign. He feuded with Col. Thomas T. Munford, Brig. Gen. John D. Imboden, and Rosser.
J.EB Stuart had artilleryman Tom Rosser transferred to his cavalry command in 1862 to command the 5th Virginia Cavalry as its colonel. Rosser blamed Stuart for holding up his promotion to brigadier, which was untrue. Rosser's opinion of Stuart declined due the promotion delay and blamed Stuart for being unprepared at Brandy Station on June 9, 1863. He also blamed Stuart for the defeat at Gettysburg.
Colonel Thomas Taylor Munford
Commanded 2nd Virginia Cavalry and
at the brigade and division levels
as the war progressed.
Photo courtesy Virginia Military Institute Archives 
Colonel Munford resented being under the command of General Thomas Rosser, a man he once outranked. After the war, Munford and Rosser feuded for the remainder of their lives. Rosser even challenged Munford to a duel, but Munford declined.
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