History Podcasts

What if George Custer Had Survived the Battle of Little Bighorn?

What if George Custer Had Survived the Battle of Little Bighorn?

George Custer, if he is remembered at all, is a cautionary tale of hubris. He grossly underestimated Sitting Bull's forces at the Battle of Little Big Horn and he was killed in one of the American military's worst defeat in its history. This defeat clouds his legacy, which up until then was quite remarkable. During the Civil War he was known as a daring and highly successful cavalry officer. Called the “Boy General” of the Union Army, he whipped the Union army's cavalry corp into shape at the age of 23. A man loved by all, he attended the wedding of a Confederate officer (a friend from West Point) during the Civil War, dressed in Union Blues. He liked the Southerners he fought against, and appreciated his Indian scouts.

This all begs the question of what if Custer survived the Battle of the Little Bighorn? What if he became a gun-for-hire? And what if he joined forces with a troupe of cancan dancers, Chinese acrobats, an eyepatch-wearing rebel cardsharp, and a multilingual Crow scout?

These questions are answered by today's guest Harry Crocker III who is author of a new alternate history book called Armstrong.

Eager to clear his name from the ignominy of his last stand - but forced to do so incognito, under the clever pseudonym Armstrong - Custer comes across evildoings in the mysterious Montana town of Bloody Gulch, which a ruthless Indian trader runs as his own personal fiefdom, with rumors of murder, slavery, and buried treasure.

Harry and I get into Old West Frontier life, how to write in the voice of your subject, and everything else about the glorious complexities of late nineteenth century American life.

Armstrong (The Custer of the West)