Ways for CSA to Win Civil War?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Baconheimer, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Baconheimer Berserker of Chaos

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    I need some help for a nation game I am currently in, so I am asking you, how could the CSA win the Civil War without any ASB, and dont take foreign intervention as a given.
     
  2. hairysamarian Well-Known Member

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    A political solution is their only chance in any scenario that reflects the original history. As long as the Union is determined to keep fighting, the CSA can not win. Lincoln has to not be in office, I think, for starters.
     
  3. Ariosto Populist Republican

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    What if we have a scenario where it is the Federals that fire the first shots of the war, rather than the Confederates? Would that shift the balance of public opinion, if not political power, significantly?
     
  4. pieman97405 I need a Ford Nucleon.

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    Getting France into the war may help. Throw in a string of defeats for the Union and you may be able to get them to throw in the sponge.
     
  5. RamscoopRaider Some Sort of Were-Orca, probably an Akhlut

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    It could work...but you would need some other than Lincoln as president, maybe Seward, Lincoln was too savvy to do that
     
  6. Dustin Resident Bostonian

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    Kill Lincoln and Grant before the war really gets going then threaten Usili with nuclear weapons...:rolleyes:
     
  7. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    Simple answer:

    The Confederacy needs to hold Tennessee as well as it held Virginia - at least Middle and Eastern Tennessee. If it does so, it's going to be hard to present something (obvious) enough to justify the costs of blood and treasure in 1864 compared to OTL.

    Doing better in the Eastern theater in 1863 would be good as well - if the Army of the Potomac suffers as heavily proportionally as the ANV did OTL, or more so, that's going to hurt, especially if we get rid of important commanders.

    Getting the Union to fire the first shot - on what? Firing on the batteries ringing Sumter? What's the point?

    Getting rid of Grant and Thomas and Smith* (OTL a loss, but he needs to be one TTL) might be a big enough void in the Union high command to go somewhere.

    But it's not going to be easy. The Union doesn't have any disadvantages that the Confederacy can exploit, foreign aid more substantial than the CSA being able to purchase arms is unlikely, and the CSA is fighting with a few very nasty disadvantages of its own.

    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_F._Smith
     
  8. SargentHawk Aroooooo

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    hold the shenandoa valley, fortify the Mississippi River, try to get Britain (Canada) to join your side in any way possible, as well as see if Mexico can be persuaded to become a bullet sponge in return for a part of California and the lower west.

    Also try and get the support of the citizens in the wavering border states.
     
  9. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    1) The Confederacy did hold the Shenandoah for most of the war.

    2) And did try to fortify the Mississippi.

    3) Britain has no interest to speak of in joining.

    4) Why on earth would Mexico want to take part in the CSA's war? Even if we ignore any Confederate interest in northern Mexico.
     
  10. deathscompanion1 Eagle Baiter

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    Wasn't Mexico fighting the French at the time?
     
  11. Grimm Reaper Desperate But Not Serious

    Why would Mexico wish to serve as a bullet sponge when the CSA is talking about concessions to the USA at Mexico's expense?
     
  12. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    That too.

    And if one means Mexico as in Maximillian - he's not really in a position to offer useful aid.
     
  13. Emperor Julian Apostata

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    Perhaps a Shiloh Victory for the Confederates? That could drive the Union out of Tennessee and simultaneously potentially ruing Grant's career.
     
  14. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    Even if the Confederates inflict equivalent losses on Grant to what Grant inflicted on the Confederacy at Fort Donelson (83% killed/captured), we're looking at 80,000 Union troops that can be quickly assembled from Buell, escaping Federal troops from Grant's force, and Pope.

    And that's with an unrealistically best case scenario outcome*.

    They're not driving anyone out of Tennessee from winning at Shiloh alone.

    Plus even if you get Grant as written off as a failure, that still leaves Thomas (although Smith is probably out - he might recover from what happened to 'im, but the odds aren't good). And anyone else who I can't think of because I'm not a Western theater expert.


    Even if everything goes absolutely right, what about the next campaigns? That's the problem, there's no "Confederates win at X" that would cause the odds to favor them. At most you can build on it to reach something that gets there by election time (as the best chance to have the Republican policy cast out and replaced by something else, which may even be a peace something else).

    * drawn from Larry J. Daniel's book on Shiloh. Numbers are from memory as my copy is probably buried somewhere in a stack of books.
     
  15. JMT Emperor of the Niners

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    I don't think you can change one battle that late and keep the CS alive. Maybe, MAYBE get 1st Manassas to be the first battle in a '61 Maryland campaign. OTL Maryland's legislature contemplated secession, so a early campaign might bring Maryland in on the Confederate side and effectively trap DC behind enemy lines. Thing is, it's all about timing and logistics. 1, can the CS Army that fought Manassas invade Maryland? 2, is that early enough to get a MD secession? and 3, how fortified was DC at the time of 1st Manassas? If the answer is yes to the first 2, you can work with that. If not, might have some problems.
     
  16. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    1: No.
    2: Probably not.
    3: Enough, especially given point #1.
     
  17. Emperor Julian Apostata

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    But what if we get the Confederate victory by letting General Albert Sydney Johnston live? That gives the CSA a different general in that front, who could potentially perform better than his OTL successors did. If Thomas got appointed commander, he could always get shot by a stray bullet in one of the battles like Johnston did in OTL, killing him (and potentially causing a leadership gap that could give the CSA another victory).
     
  18. Ariosto Populist Republican

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    I meant more along the lines of Federal troops being the ones to officially initiate hostilities, rather than the Confederates. Whether it be Federal troops firing upon some random Confederate position, an invasion of Virginia, whatever, the point is the Federals are seen as the ones to have started the fighting.

    How would this effect things?
     
  19. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    (Sidney) Johnston's record up to Shiloh indicates he was a worse general in just about every way than Bragg - even in regards to subordinates, as the lack of effective work on fortifying the Tennessee shows.

    And Thomas would be very unlikely to be in a position to be shot by a stray bullet the way "I'm acting like an impulsive division commander" Johnston was.

    It's not impossible, but speaking for myself, engaging in "well, it's technically possible' gets us nowhere. It's technically possible that every Union officer above the rank of major would commit suicide on the same day, but the odds are so low as to be inconceivable.

    Thomas getting shot mortally isn't that bad - but it's bad enough.
     
  20. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    Given that the only way the Federals are doing such things is either a) something like firing on the batteries around Sumter, or b) with troops that have volunteers - the Regular Army is in no position to do anything on its own except something like the Sumter scenario - I'd say "Almost not at all".

    The "conditional Union" states left simply at the idea of volunteers called up to fight when the US had been attacked, so they're hardly going to be more hostile than OTL. The Border states aren't particularly sympathetic to the Confederacy, and foreign powers . . . aren't going to care.