pahanna, I live 14 miles from Galena, IL which is where Grant spent a short time as a young man (the citizens of that town built him a mansion after the civil war which he never lived in which is now a "museum." Anyway due to growing up in "Grant territory" I have read much regarding him and all I can say is that at one time I admired the man but after researching his life, particularly the years he was prez, well I think his "glory days" of the civil war were long over.
In his first inaugural address, Grant pledged to rethink the treatment of Native Americans, referring to them as "the original occupants of this land." He wanted to shift federal Indian policy toward what became known as the Peace Policy. This approach attempted to move Indians closer to white civilization (and ultimately U.S. citizenship) by housing them on reservations and helping them become farmers. To address corruption in federal Indian affairs, Grant created a new Board of Indian Commissioners headed by philanthropic leaders. The board recommended the government stop using political appointees as Indian agents. Grant adopted that recommendation and turned to missionaries—especially Quakers—and Army personnel to serve as agents.
However, these changes fell short of radically altering conditions for Native Americans in the United States. White settlers, with governmental support, continued to push Indians aside to take land, and they relied on the Army to prevent Indian attacks. At the same time, Native Americans on reservations had little chance of creating farms out of desolate pieces of land and were beset by poverty and desperation. While Grant's approach marked an improvement in U.S. Indian policy, it is remembered more for its good intentions than for lasting changes. http://millercenter.org/president/grant/essays/biography/4
How could one have native people's best interest in mind by sending army personnel and
Quakers to serve as agents. History shows they screwed ndn's over big time. I wouldn't doubt for a moment that Grant was glad Custer was taken down by Sitting Bull; not for the ndn cause but because his disdain for Custer was so great. As for Custer, he was a "rock star" of the times. He graduated very low in his class from West Point however won his fame and glory thru his battle smarts during the civil war. Unfortunately for him, he was not smart enough to take on the real warriors.