Post by gregoryurbach on Dec 11, 2013 0:06:39 GMT -5
I recently published a fantasy novel called Custer at the Alamo where a portion of the 7th Cavalry is sent back in time to 1836. Many years of research went into the book to make it as factual as possible, given the time travel element, and it helped that I have a large library on both the Alamo and the Little Big Horn. I wish I'd known about the Alamo Studies Forum while doing my research, as there are many topics here that apply to my work. The book has sold well enough that I'll be doing a sequel and I hope the Forum can be used for source material and inspiration. Two questions I like to ponder when speaking with Alamo enthusiasts are: is there a manner in which the Alamo garrison might have prevailed against Santa Anna? And what would the history of the following 25 years have looked like if Texas had not joined the Union as a slave state?
Post by loucapitano on Dec 13, 2013 17:17:49 GMT -5
Welcome aboard Gregory, glad to have your contribution. As you might have already gathered reading the Alamo Forum's archives, many of us also share a deep interest in the Little Big Horn and have strong opinions on Custer and the 7th. You might also know there are several Custer websites and forums. One in particular seems bent on the Reno/Benteen/Custer controversy that is likely to never end.
I think just about every Alamo enthusiast has pondered the "what if the Texans could have won" theory. On all my childhood re-creations, I never had the heart to kill Crockett. But over more than 60 years, I've pretty much concluded the fort didn't stand a chance, although there was no reason for a total massacre. Of course, maybe a lucky sharpshooter could have picked off Santa Anna on the first day, or maybe Fannin could have arrived in time to make a difference. It's fun to let the imagination run wild.
As far as Texas not joining the U.S. or coming in as a non-slave state, we can only speculate wildly. My studies of that era lead me to believe it would be virtually impossible. But, I think many Alamo Forum members are also, like me, Civil War buffs, so you could get some lively discussions.
Again, welcome to the forum and let us know more about your novel. Lou from Long Island
Post by gregoryurbach on Dec 14, 2013 18:26:51 GMT -5
Hi Lou, thanks for the welcome. I have read nearly every mainstream book on the Alamo and the Little Big Horn, and even a few of the crazy ones. I have also enjoyed some of the alternate history books based in that era, such as Harry Turtledove's Guns of the South. It occurred to me that teaming the 7th Cavalry and the Alamo could be fun, especially if I used the years of research I'd absorbed to provide some authenticity.
In this adventure, Chief Sitting Bull knows the Sioux will win the Battle of the Little Big Horn, but the victory will result in even greater defeat for his people. He prays to the Great Spirit for a different path. Wakan Tanka's answer is to send General George Custer and a portion of the 7th Cavalry back in time 40 years, where they become involved in the Texas Revolution of 1836. Largely told from Custer's POV, they meet Davy Crockett (or David, as he prefers), William Travis, and even Santa Anna. Joining Custer is his brother Tom (twice winner of the Medal of Honor), reporter Mark Kellogg, scout Mitch Bouyer, and they meet up with a Sioux family, including a young Indian boy named Slow (Sitting Bull's name before he grew up). Custer has the advantages of the 1873 Springfield carbine and a few Winchesters, but only 120 soldiers, so the final outcome of the Alamo battle depends on a lot more than sheer firepower. All in all, I think the story is fairly thoughtful and engaging.
Post by loucapitano on Dec 22, 2013 12:54:52 GMT -5
Ah, yes! I once imagined, what if they had BARs at the Alamo. Sounds like a great yarn. I've only read one Turtledove book. But I have several collections of "what if" books. The best in my opinion is titled, "What If?" and collect essays by Stephen Ambrose, John Keegan, Dave McCullough, James McPherson and others, edited by Robert Crowley. Many turning point battles in history are included, from Salamis to the Cold War. Lot of scholarly and fascinating work. Happy Holidays, Lou from Long Island
Last Edit: Dec 22, 2013 12:56:26 GMT -5 by loucapitano: Correction of misstaetment