This painting by Civil war artist Dale Gallon is one of four paintings featuring Civil War weapons.
George Armstrong Custer had been promoted from Captain to Brigadier General on June 28, 1863, and been given command of the Michigan Brigade, which consisted of the 1st, 5th, 6th and 7th Michigan cavalry regiments. Custer is shown commanding his men during the fighting with Major General "Jeb" Stuart's men in Hanover on June 30, 1863.
The description of the uniform worn by General Custer was provided by Captain James H. Kidd, Commander of Company E, 6th Michigan Cavalry. Captain Kidd is shown on the left holding binoculars.
The men of Company E are shown armed with the Army model 1860 Spencer rifle. This lever action repeater fired a .52 caliber rim fire cartridge and was accurate at 300 yards. A well-trained soldier could fire seven aimed shots in 30 seconds.
"...Looking back to see whence it came, my eyes were instantly riveted upon a figure only a few feet distant, whose appearance amazed if it did not for the moment amuse me. At first, I thought he might be a staff officer, conveying the commands of his chief. But it was at once apparent that he was giving orders, not delivering them, and that he was in command of the line."
- Captain James H. Kidd, upon seeing General Custer for the first time,Cavalry on the Roads in Gettysburg by George H. Rummell III