CWT Presents Adolfo Ovies - The Boy Generals: George Custer, Wesley Merritt, and the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac

Added to Calendar: 06/16/21


Brigadier General
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Mar 15, 2013

Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at 8:30pm EDT
CivilWarTalk Presents:
Adolfo Ovies
author of
The Boy Generals: George Custer, Wesley Merritt,
and the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac

in a Free Live Video Presentation

The Boy Generals examines in detail the steadily deteriorating relationship of two cavalrymen with opposing tactical philosophies, and how this relationship affected events in the field. Custer was a hussar—a firm believer in the shock power of the mounted saber charge—while Merritt was a dragoon, his tactics rooted in the belief that the purpose of the horse was to transport the trooper to the battlefield, where he could fight dismounted with his carbine. With these diametrically opposed belief systems, it was inevitable that these officers would clash. What has often been described as a spirited rivalry was in fact something much darker, an association that moved from initial distaste to acrimony, and finally, outright insubordination on Custer’s part.

Author Adolfo Ovies mined deeply Official Reports, regimental histories, and contemporary newspaper accounts, together with unpublished and little used primary sources of men who fought in their commands. This rich and satisfying study exposes the depths of one of the most dysfunctional and influential relationships in the Army of the Potomac and how it affected cavalry operations in the Eastern Theater. The Boy Generals will change the way Civil War readers think of the premier Union army’s mounted arm, as well as George Custer’s legacy.

Adolfo Ovies migrated to the United States from Cuba in June of 1960, making his new home with his grandmother in Connecticut. He was immersed in the New England Yankee culture and flourished as a young historian while attending Fairfield Jesuit Prep School. With Gettysburg just a hop, skip, and jump away, Adolfo, at just 10 years old, made his first trip to the battlefield. It turned out to be one of the most impactful moments of his young life. The roguish Errol Flynn’s mesmerizing portrayal of Custer in the movie, They Died with Their Boots On, not only captured the elusive nature of Custer’s flamboyant personality but provided Adolfo with an intriguing hero. In spite of the historical inaccuracies in the movie, Flynn’s larger than life characterization merited a more in-depth study of this young general. Adolfo’s book, The Boy Generals: George Custer, Wesley Merritt, and the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, springs from his lifetime passion for the Civil War, and Custer’s role in particular. Adolfo currently resides in Miami, Florida.

Seating is limited. You don't have to be a member of CivilWarTalk to attend.
Don't forget to mark the date on your calendar!
Live on Zoom Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 8:30 pm EDT.
Last edited: