Fenians, Brits, Mexicans, Canucks and Frenchies....OH, MY! An alternate American Civil War

First signs of peace.
Is the blockade still in place on US harbours?
The British army might get a chance to reform and rearm.
The Fenians will continue shipping arms to Ireland and planning revolt
.There could be an early escape for Freemantle by the Fenians on an American ship this time maybe more of the escape.
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If they do that then Americans can import more saltpetre and they will never win if the peace fails.
I have a feeling Victoria has put her finger on the scales to make certain that peace wins out, their European adventures are looking bleak right now. If they at least get trade started back up with both America and Canada that will probably be enough for her. Millions of British citizens unemployed is a bad look for them, it's clear their Northern American assets are gone for good. They need grain and cotton as soon as possible.
I have a feeling Victoria has put her finger on the scales to make certain that peace wins out, their European adventures are looking bleak right now. If they at least get trade started back up with both America and Canada that will probably be enough for her. Millions of British citizens unemployed is a bad look for them, it's clear their Northern American assets are gone for good. They need grain and cotton as soon as possible.
The British in ww1 continued the blockade of Germany after the ceasefire until the peace deal was signed 6 months later.
The Citizenship Clause of the 14th amendment might be looked at to limit people legally in the USA.
This should make illegal immigration to America seem less attractive in the future.
Chapter 55
October, 1864

New Orleans, Tampico, Veracruz

Having once sortied out to challenge and destroy the modest French blockading squadron of Tampico, the American Naval forces of New Orleans again ventured onto the waves and repeated their journey. Once again, they found an understrength French squadron and mauled the five ships the Emperor left exposed to the Americans.

Napoleon III was somewhat late in learning of Disraeli's overture to the Americans and had assumed that the fear of Britain's Royal Navy would keep the bulk of the American Navy near the coastal defenses. But the armistice gave the Americans at least the chance of temporary regional naval supremacy.

The assault was timed perfectly. Unlike the prior battle of Tampico Bay, the Americans did not retreat after dropping off their supplies. Instead, the lighter vessels of the New Orleans squadron would wait for the heavier ships of the American Navy to arrive.

In the second week of October, a fleet lead by the USS Dictator, USS Puritan and USS Agamenticus along with a dozen other vessels of various makes and armor. Most had been upgraded to some degree in iron and artillery.

It was a calculated risk the Americans took given that many doubted the British Armistice would truly last until spring. There was also grave doubt that some of the American ships would prove seaworthy for long voyages.

But the American fleet sailing from New York and the Chesapeake nevertheless raised anchor in late September and arrived in Tampico to join their own. In their wake came a small convoy bearing 2000 more regulars (mostly the 2nd Coloured and 15th Pennsylvania) as well as some heavy siege equipment and a large number of supplies (at the same time another large supply train completed the march from Matamoros to Tampico).

Now augmented to 21 ships of war, the fleet sailed south to the harbor of Veracruz where they fell upon the stronger French squadron. The question of if the American ships could compete with the French was soon answered as the Dictator, Puritan and Agamenticus fell upon the two heaviest armored French ships. The American "turret" system and low profile would prove superior to the French "broadside" ships. Also, the Dahlgren guns of the Americans would prove more reliable to their counterparts as well as the shells penetrating deeper through the enemy vessels.

Within three hours, it was apparent that the enemy had had enough. Both battered, the two strongest French ships withdrew away from Veracruz, leaving her dozen sister ships to their fates. Now, the heavier American ships joined the melee against the lighter French vessels and the victory turned to a route. Four of the twelve were sunk and four more struck their colors. Two fled for the open sea and two more for the suddenly hemmed in harbor of Veracruz where the main armaments had not truly been upgraded since the French conquest.

The victorious Admiral Dahlgren and Vice-Admiral Porter would wait until the following day to make repairs and then force the harbor. The remaining French warships and large number of merchant ships surrendered with nary a shot fired (many had dispatched their crews overnight leaving only skeleton crews). The only real resistance came from several batteries from the fortification. The heavy guns of the American fleet silenced these soon enough.

Eventually, the Americans would anchor just out of shooting distance of the fortification and send officers ashore to make contact with General Lee, whose army remained committed to besieging the fortification.

It turned out that the battle had cost the Americans much as well. Beyond the three vessels lost during the battle, two more were so battered that they were escorted back to Mobile for repairs. Worse, the rickety engines of the Dictator would nearly burst and require a full teardown in drydock. At length the American Admirals would order the Dictator towed back to Mobile as well.

This brought Dahlgren's fleet down to 14 vessels though two more would arrive in the next week from Tampico. Intelligence reports had hinted at a major French reinforcement of Mexico. A worried Lee assured them that this had not yet occurred. He was elated, though to learn that siege artillery had been delivered to Tampico and the Navy sent a fast frigate north to escort the cargo south as quickly as possible.

Making matters better for the General was the arrival of General Longstreet and his Brigade. The victorious Americans also attracted another 3000 local Mexican patriots who had been less than enthused about showing their allegiance until it was obvious who won the (land) battle of Veracruz. The presence of President Juarez and General Zaragoza would also encourage the rebels to unite under one banner. By October, Lee's army had swollen to over 20,000 men.

Lee, Thomas, Dahlgren and Porter would determine to reduce the fortification as quickly as possible lest they be interrupted by a French convoy.

November, 1864


The arrival of Dahlgren's wounded ships in Mobile coincided with the distribution of news of the French naval defeats in Tampico and Veracruz. As the southern telegraph network had largely been repaired, this news reached Lincoln within hours of the American vessels dropping anchor in Veracruz Harbor.

The elections were only weeks away and Lincoln's republicans did not waste their cue. They spread the news far and wide, ensuring an even greater margin of victory than expected.

General Hancock had opposed the President on the Democratic ticket but few expected him to win more than a few states. Even Hancock, whose party historically drew much of its support from the south, dared not speak of returning the Southern States to full citizenship as so early a date. He'd probably have been strung up.

By October, Hancock knew he would lose badly but, upon reflection, was content to leave Lincoln in command of the immense problems likely to be encountered by the wounded and bitter nation as it attempted to emerge into a new age.

The rebellion of the South had to be reconciled.
The status of the Negro must also be ascertained.
The peace with Britain and France must be made on good terms.
The economy must be buffeted and huge war debts paid off (probably the work of a generation of tax payers).
And, most of all, the nation must never again be put into a position in which it may be so easily threatened.

Yes, let Lincoln deal with that.

Hancock suspected that the mid-term elections of 1866 would go rather differently for the Republicans.
Chapter 56
December, 1864


William Seward found his opposite number, Lord Derby, a preening aristocratic jackass, but an intelligent one. He was not be surprised that Derby considered him a pompous windbag.

In truth, neither man found the other offensive and, after the usual rounds of pleasantries came the usual rounds of recriminations and demands.

Once that was out of the way, the two got down to business.

Seward informed Derby, whom must have known very well the American position, that Britain had declared war, Britain had ravaged helpless cities from the sea and Britain had aided the Confederate cause directly by arming them with powder, weapons, etc which was the only way that the rebellion had lasted two years.

Seward demanded restitution for hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

Derby demanded that Canada (now two sovereign countries) and the western lands (Ruport's Land, British Columbia and Vancouver) be returned to Britain.

Both knew damned well that none of these things were going to happen. Thus, after two weeks, the Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary would hammer out the same agreement which both knew was inevitable the moment they set foot upon Spanish soil.

America kept her conquests in British North America, Britain would recognize Quebec and Canada as independent nations (if they could be assured that the people WANTED independence) and America would drop her absurd claims.

Derby knew damned well that the French and Russians must soon take precedence over America. Besides, through neutral traders, the impending arrival of American grain and cotton had already lifted spirits in the lower classes, especially the Midlands.

The closest either side would receive in compensation was an American promise that loans from prior to the war by British Banks, private individuals, etc. would be paid. Even Derby didn't dare voice the opinion that debts owed by the Confederate government be paid by the Americans.

Neither side voiced anything remotely like an apology amid the standard well-wishing and good tidings for future relationships (eternal friendship and the like).

The peace treaty would find no shortage of detractors in both countries but the respective leaders, knowing the folly of extending hostilities, would press ahead anyway hopeful that future voters would just be glad the entire incident was over.

The Hijaz

It turned out that the europhile Khedive Isma'il Pasha would not possess his grandfather's military skill. With forces already committed to seizing Ottoman Syria, the Khedive also dispatched units to seize the Hijaz and Yemen. While the war in Syria proved generally successful, the Egyptian forces in Arabia would effectively be massacred by the local polities.

With the reverses, Isma'il Pasha withdrew his forces from the Red Sea and reconsidered encroaching on the border of Ethiopian as planned (He was uncertain what his French or Russian friends would think of that anyway).

Debts were already beginning to rack up despite French and Russian subsidies. The projected revenues of the Suez Canal, if they panned out at all, were still four or five years away. The Khedive determined to keep his expectations more level. Already the French bankers were closing in.


Edward de Stoeckl would quietly approach Lincoln regarding the status of Russian America. The vast land had been largely furred out over the years and no longer possessed any utility for the Czar. Prior to the American war, de Stoeckl would encourage the Czar and Americans to purchase the northern lands but the War between the States ended the conversation. He was certain that Great Britain was likely to grasp it sooner or later and, if peace between Britain and America was nigh, that the latter would soon form a threat. Rather than risk a breech in relations between Russia and America, the Ambassador sought to prevent such an event from happening.

President Lincoln, despite the hardships his people were suffering economically, responded with enthusiasm and assured de Stoeckl that he would press for Congressional approval the moment the wars with Britain and France ended, no matter the economic situation.

This worked for de Stoeckl as well as France, being Russia's pseudo-ally, was still at war with America and Russia selling land to the Emperor's enemies may prove quite offensive in some quarters of Paris.

However, the seasoned diplomat in de Stoeckl wondered how long such an alliance was set to last.

Over the past half-decade, Napoleon III of France had betrayed Britain, Spain, Mexico, Austria, Denmark and the Vatican without any apparent remorse. How long would it take before Russia joined THAT list?

Eastern Anatolia

Having seen her armies crushed in the field without a single ally arriving with promised aid (Britain, France, Italy, Austria), the Ottoman government (of the moment) in Ankara would seek peace with Russia. Mass numbers of refugees were spilling across Anatolia's borders. Europe was being emptied of Turks (and most Romanian, Bulgarian and Greek Muslims, for that matter) while the Russians had crushed the Ottoman armies in Eastern Anatolia.

Even the Turkish populations in the Levant were being summarily thrown out by that Jackal, the Khedive of Egypt.

Her government and economy in tattered, what was left of central authority ceded the Armenian, Greek, Wallachian, Moldavian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Kurdish, Alevi, Assyrian, Albanian, Arab, etc, etc, etc, lands to whoever the Czar's agents stated.

The Ottoman Empire had come to an end with a speed no one within or without could possibly have imagined.


Though offended that Russia deemed proper to keep Eastern Thrace and Constantinople to herself, the King of Greece was happy to seize those lands north of her borders in Macedonia and Albania.

The latter country, Albania, would be broken into three units: Greek Albania (mostly Orthodox), Muslim Albania and North Albania (Catholic).

To the north, another new nation, Bosnia, would bear her own struggles attempting to mix her Muslim Majority to the Serbian Orthodox Minority....when Bosnia no longer had a strong Muslim sponsor to protect her interests.
Chapter 57
December, 1864


Expecting the French reinforcements any moment, the American Army and Navy moved rapidly with their allies to seize Veracruz. Finally receiving his siege artillery and a decent supply of shot, shell and powder, Lee pounded the outer fortifications of Veracruz while the Navy entered the harbor and eliminated any significant resistance among the French defensive positions.

Still fearful that reinforcements may also arrive from Mexico City, Lee dispatched Jackson with 4000 Americans and 2000 Mexicans to cut off any such descent.

He needed have bothered as Bazaine had more than his hands full in Mexico City. The "Patriots" had launched an omni-directional assault on French positions, ensuring that the lion's share of non-deployed French and "Junta" troops were occupied. A large-scale relief by land was not likely.

To Lee's delight, Grant arrived just days into the bombardment of Veracruz. Grant had determined that staying in San Luis Potosi was a waste of time and made for Tampico which provided him with much needed supply. He marched south just in time to see the walls of Veracruz fall and Longstreet lead the Americans into the city.

The French and Mexicans inside would fight bitterly for a full day, falling back a street at a time. However, they soon ran low on ammunition and the French commander forced to seek terms.

A week later, the French relief force arrived and witnesses the American and Mexican flags waving above Veracruz. A quick consultation with his subordinates led the French Admiral, stunned at the speed of the American advance, to seek retribution by wiping out the American fleet present.

However, Dahlgren would have his own ace up his sleeve.

The USS Dictator and a smaller Frigate had just returned from Mobile, her engines finally repaired, and led the American fleet into battle one more time. And one more time, the USS Dictator's engines would burst, leaving her largely defenseless. However, by this point, the French flagship Gloire, had been shelled into submission as were two smaller vessels. Seeing the futility, the French fleet withdrew, taking their cargo ships and transports with them.

January, 1865


Already in a good mood from the early reports of Veracruz' fall (he would not know about the naval battle with the French for another two weeks), Lincoln was flat out elated when he received Seward's communique from Madrid. Though he knew that there would be resistance among the public and backlash by opposition politicians stating THEY could have done better, Lincoln took the peace that was handed to him.

Even the Armistice had allowed America to regain some semblance of economic normality. Grain and cotton went out, vital goods like niter brought in. In the latter's case, the quantities would allow America to wage another six month of battle. Much of this niter was supplied by Russia but also procured by various third party sources.

Lincoln already had the war department working on a long-term solution to producing a local niter supply or some adequate substitute. That Sword of Damacles must not hang over America's head again.

February, 1865

Seeing no reason to wait, Grant took leave of Lee and marched westward with his 15,000 Americans and 6000 Mexicans led by Zaragoza. Puebla awaited. After that, Mexico City.


Crowds would form by the tens of thousands in Quebec and Montreal, elated to learn that Great Britain had given them their freedom. For the first time in a hundred years, Englishmen would not dominate their future. And even before that, there had been a King.

Quebec's future seemed........bright?

There were some who doubted that the American soldiers stationed along the St. Lawrence would, in fact, depart as they promised. Some claimed that, once the Queen formally ceded Independence, America would claim her as a new State or Territory.

But Lincoln was adamant that Quebec was to see the last of foreigners on her soil and dispatched a letter to Prime Minister Cartier to work out the timing of the American withdrawal.

Ottawa, Canada

Perhaps less enthusiastic were the English-speaking Canadians. Had they been given a truly free choice, no one could honestly say if Canada would have opted for independence. It had been required given that they had 50,000 Americans occupying their cities. And now, with Quebec also liberated, the effectively landlocked Canada could hardly expect to receive any protection from Great Britain. More likely, they would suffer from the tie to the Mother Country in some future feud between America and Britain.

Like their French counter-parts, the Canadians shared a sliver of doubt that America would not just march back into their lands once that country's soldiers were no longer needed against the British or French.

Like Quebec, though, Lincoln would dispatch messages of good tidings, promising to remove the last of the Americans from the Welland Canal region by summer and Canada left entirely to the natives.

By Fall, the Canadians would deem it a good idea to move their Capital from Ottawa to Toronto in order to keep the seat of government too close to the American border. This level of suspicion would be maintained for a full generation.

In the meantime, the 10% of Quebec and Canada that was Irish Catholic would disproportionately migrate south into America where free land was to be had. No longer bound to Queen Victoria or her "other" subjects in Ireland, both Quebec and Canada could monitor her immigration and become more "pure" according to what they desired their nations to be.

The Rio Plata

Though it took a few months, President Lopez of Paraguay would soon enough turn upon his "allies" in France, Brazil, Uruguay and the Argentina (minus the State of Buenos Aires). From Buenos Aires, the British and their ally Mitre would look on in amusement as the French alliance fell apart.

Both looked for some advantage to wrestle control of the region north of the Rio Plata from the French.
Chapter 58
March, 1865

Mexico City

Grant's army seized Puebla with only a modest fight from some "Junta" forces. Seeing the 15,000 men of his army, plus another 6000 under Zaragoza, the "Junta" forces chose the better part of valor.

The American noted that his Mexican counterpart looked wistfully at the city and belatedly recalled the man had won a great victory in this city early in the French invasion.

Stragglers of the French and Junta forces painted a dire picture of what was happening in Mexico City. Evidently, a faction of "Junta" aristocrats attempted to overthrow the French Viceroy. This ended badly and Bazaine would execute several dozen Junta members. This would ensure virtually no Mexican support for the 12,000 or so French garrison in the Capital and adjoining cities. Without local forces, the French were being cut off by the Patriots.

Eventually, Bazaine would pull most of his forces into Mexico City, whose borders he could control. In truth, Bazaine knew his own position was hopeless without MASSIVE reinforcements which, by rumors of the great American naval victory at Veracruz, he was not going to get.

Abandoned even by his Junta allies, the best Bazaine could do is wait for Grant's inexorable approach and hope for a miracle. If Grant made it to Mexico City unmolested, Bazaine's only option would be a negotiated surrender.

He was sure Grant would be happy to negotiate an honorable retreat and agree to the Frenchman's terms.

Washington DC

Lincoln did not require any additional votes to get Congressional approval for several western counties of North Carolina to secede from that state and join their new neighbors in Nickajack. This naturally led to charges of Gerrymandering and hilarious accusations of "secession" from former Confederates.

What was more disconcerting to some was the division of the states of Texas and Florida into new polities. Seeking to grant Negroes as many opportunities as possible, the relatively lightly populated lands of west and south Texas as well as south Florida, would be broken out and huge swathes of land appointed to Freedmen and the large urban poor population, including large numbers of immigrants which were already starting to flow into America despite the peace with Britain still unofficial as of yet.

Naturally, large numbers of Irish and Germans continued to arrive.

Scandinavians, while hardly scarce prior to the war, would be arriving in large numbers in the 1760's to 1880's in a boom of population increase in Northern Europe credited to "the peace, the potato and the smallpox vaccine".

Oddly, what would turn out to be a 75 years influx of Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Ruthenians, Jews, etc began to arrive in some numbers from Eastern Europe. Within the decade, the repression of the Czar would lead to this trickle becoming a flood.

Oddly, both the Scandinavians and Eastern Europeans (who had often been enemies) would heavily migrate to the northwest and Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakota Territory and Ruport's Land (name change pending).

The Negroes would predominantly be moved to the western "Black Belt" of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, the territories carved from Texas (largely desert, not exactly a reward after a life of slavery) and the new territory sliced from Florida.

Of course, they spread all over America. Despite government attempts to find plots of land for them in their native South, the President's position of "letting them up easy" would prohibit....say......seizing all land from known Confederates (which would be most). The loss of the slaves would be devastating to most southern aristocrats and many would lose their patrimonies anyway to their creditors. But having their lands taken from then would likely spark a new War between the States. This Lincoln wished to avoid. Fortunately, there was seemingly unlimited land to settle the freedmen, if farming was what the Negroes wanted.

So many Negroes seeking shelter in northern cities was already leading to a backlash among urban dwellers who did not want another poor underclass (they already had the Irish). By 1865, nearly 30% of the black population in the southern states had departed the former Confederacy for other locales. The exodus would continue over the next decade.

Of course, Lincoln had other things to do:

1. He must finish out the war with France. By most intelligence coming from Mexico, that was coming soon. France had only declared war upon the United States to cover their diplomatic flank with Britain. Lincoln doubted the Emperor would have the balls to act as such if America hadn't been distracted and Britain otherwise occupied.
2. He was seeing to the reduction of the Union Army. Already down to 400,000, it would fall another 100,000 by September (assuming the peace with Britain held). Even without an official peace with France, it seemed unnecessary to keep a massive army. Napoleon III did not look upon American soil with avarice.
3. If the army was less of a priority, the navy was not. America had seen her coastal cities bombarded and failed to protect them. The navy must be raised to legitimately challenge the British and French at sea.
4. He must somehow come up with the funds to pay for Russian America (another name to be determined in the future).
5. The National Bank, approved by Congress, must actually be embodied.
6. The new territories of the former British North America must be explored. Oddly, among the volunteers was the infamous Confederate cavalryman, Nathan Bedford Forrest.
7. The massive debt of America must commence being addressed. Few people enjoy paying taxes but Americans particularly loathed the process. The wartime taxes were expected to be retired....but the country could not afford this.
8. How would the South be reintegrated into America? How would the Negroes? What of suffrage for the Negroes? Lincoln was sure that he could no longer accept the idea of States determining citizenship as it had in the past.

So much to do. Lincoln was uncertain if he could accomplish it all in four more years (tradition held that American Presidents only served for 2 terms). But then, he realized, whatever happens in the next four years could hardly be worse than the past four.
Map of America - 1865
Map of the United States, 1865. States in White, new states or territories in
Dark Grey, territories in Light Gray

Fenians - 1865.png
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