AHC: Quickly end the American Civil War in 1862 with a Union victory

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Hulkster'01, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. StephenColbert27 Mason on Main Street

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Location:
    Middle of a Cornfield, Somewhere in Illinois
    Eh? Pretty sure the Union won at Shiloh. Do you mean a more complete victory, instead of just a defensive victory that drives off the Rebels?
    Overall best Pod...Hm. I would probably say a successful Peninsula Campaign or slightly better luck/more aggressive Little Mac at Antietam. Either of those things would have tipped the balance. If the Peninsula Campaign takes Richmond, that pretty much does away with the South's most important industrial center. It will become increasingly more difficult for them to fight as long as they don't have it. A better Antietam might just destroy the Army of Northern Virginia. Either would be decisive, the former in the long term, the latter in the short term.
     
  2. Mac Gregor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    As other’s have said, for the war to be wrapped up by the end of 1862 the Union needs to score a decisive victory at Bull Run and then capitalize on their gains by moving on Richmond. Somehow capturing Jefferson Davis would also help. Now, this isn’t at all likely but not impossible. If Richmond falls early plus some victories out West it’s possible the whole Confederate experiment falls apart by the end of the year. A complete Union victory at Antietam is too late in the year to end the war by the start of 1863.
     
  3. eltf177 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Sorry about that, I did mean a more complete victory...
     
  4. Paul Large Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    People keep saying Bull run as it was the first major battle. If Jackson fell atBull run the southern army would of fallen apart this allowing the north to push forward and take Richmond. How does this change things well the South fold back into the nation without slavery ending but rather it’s expansion is gone but in current states it’s alive and well. Compromise the word Americans don’t like but what they are best known for. Who runs against Lincoln in 64 is a guess I’m not prepared to make but it is worth knowing that Americans have a pattern of getting rid of there leaders after a war. Never during but if the war
    Is over so is there leaders chances
    Of staying in power. The war ending in 62 to me makes Lincoln nothing but a footnote not the great man who won the war ended slavery and was cut down in his prime.
     
  5. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2017
    I think the easiest way for a union victory is a quick crush at Bull Run followed by a march onto Richmond.

    The Northern army is really only a third of the size it needs to accomplish this task purely militarily even after Bull Run (and on top of manpower reasons there is the speed and unpreparedness issue), but the psychological effect on a quick victory might encourage many Southern commanders to trade surrenders for pardons. Remember that the Confederacy has questionable legitimacy and losing in the very first stage could very well lead to "we're sorry" instead of a fortification of Richmond.

    The only problem is that this might lead to a Northern victory at 1861. I can fix that. We'll call South Carolina full of pigheads who think the Confederacy of Seven is viable without Virginia and North Carolina and SC spends the rest of the war trying to persuade the deep south that while their state militia fights the federals. Logistics and a green army keeps the federals at bay another three months before mop-up operations can start.
     
  6. History Learner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    I find that very unlikely, given Bull Run was preceeded by weeks of combat elsewhere.
     
  7. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2017
    Was it close to either capital?
     
  8. History Learner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    No, but then again neither was Bull Run given the realities of transportation at the time.
     
    eltf177 and StephenColbert27 like this.
  9. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2017
    Realities and public perception are two different things. Another civil war for example, in the American Revolution shows the effectiveness of perception over reality. Many loyalists in areas recaptured by the British and never fell to the Patriots until the end of the war were still afraid to give overt support due to fear of property confiscation or simple beating up by thugs. The 2nd Punic War had many Romans fearing an imminent siege by Hannibal, and most of the military commanders except ex-dictator Fabius entertained that idea (Fabius knew that was an impossibility and the real problem was more Italians going traitor). And despite Prussia outmatching Austria, there is plenty of evidence that Frederick's confidence was shaken early in the war in a battle he almost lost (but his generals won), where he admitted fearing for Brandenburg.