Joseph William Hoffman was an otherwise good match for the South's General John H. Winder. For Hoffman, prison man-agement was a matter of efficiency, reducing the human component of men behind bars and walls to an accountant's sort of calculation on food and fuel per man ratios. Proudly at war's end he turned back to the War Department hundreds of thousands of dollars that he had saved at the expense of the health, nourishment, and comfort of his prisoners. Like Winder, Hoffman was a regular brigadier general in the volunteer service, and he wore the standard uniform of his rank, with r.o insignia or other markings to indicate the special nature or responsibilities of his service.
For some reason, both sides picked dour, parsimonious types of men to command their prison camp organizations. He was neither inept nor dictatorial, but Brigadier General
Major General G. A. Custer
Left: George Armstrong Custer seated with his wife. In attendance is believed to be his younger brother, Thomas, twice-decorated with the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions during the war.
The "Boy General" they called him, though there were a few brigadier generals on either side actually younger than George Armstrong Custer. Still, when he became a major general in 1865 at the age of twenty-five, he set a record yet to be broken. Custer was well known in the Army, and could hardly be mistaken thanks to his theatrically flamboyant manner and dress. He is quoted as having said, "Clothes really do make the man; that's why I wear velvet bought with my own money." He virtually designed his own uniform, which consisted of a dark blue short jacket, with a blue sailor-collar shirt underneath, a red cravat at the neck, blue trousers tucked into oversized cavalier-style black riding boots, and a wide-brimmed hat with his insignia of rank. Easiest of all to recognize was his long, curly blond hair. As a lowly captain, Custer did not stand out from the crowd of officers, but with his rise to prominence, he became steadily more theatrical and ostentatious in dress and manner, facts, however, that could not detract from his leadership qualities.
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