Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stretch Armstrong Custer

Have a look at this picture. It shows a meeting of General George B. McClellan and President Abraham Lincoln shortly after the battle of Antietam in the summer of 1862. Behind them stands an assortment of staff officers and hangers-on.

I don't think I have to point out which one is Lincoln, and it's pretty easy to guess which one is McClellan (hint: his men called him ‘Little Mac’ or ‘Young Napoleon’).

At first glance, it's a fairly unremarkable picture – McClellan looks looks like he's about to pop Lincoln on the jaw (he probably wanted to), Lincoln looks freakish (although he actually looks less like an alien in this picture than he normally does), and this being the American Civil War, almost everyone is sporting a beard you could hide a badger in.

The remarkable thing about this picture is the figure on the far right, leaning insolently against a tent pole. The silly hat and comically oversized sword give away the fact that beneath the enormous mutton-chops hides a young George Armstrong Custer – cavalryman, indian fighter, and narcissistic prick.

Look closely and you see a terrible truth that historians have hidden from the American people for years. The Hero of Little Bighorn was a three-legged mutant.

This raises all kinds of questions, not least of which is ‘how on earth did he ride a horse?’