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

Chapter 74
  • August, 1866

    Jamaica

    Though no resident of Jamaica longed for the days of slavery, that did not mean that things were going well. The high "poll tax" intended to keep common Jamaicans from voting irritated the majority of the electorate while competition from Brazil had largely killed the sugar trade.

    Efforts to move agricultural staples from sugar to cotton proved too fleeting and did little to improve the unemployment rate.

    A series of protests would lead to a savage series of repressions which resulted in 400 dead over the course of a month. Given that there was no actual rebellion, this figure would shock many in Britain while others complimented the Royal Governor for keeping a tight lid on the situation.

    Galveston / Houston

    The waves of immigration appeared unending. With the unrest in Germany, large numbers of unemployed Germans (mostly from the German Confederation and Prussia) would start trickling into Texas after the War Between the States and the French and Mexican War ended. By 1866, this was becoming a flood.

    Germans had long migrated to Texas, though many thousands had fled in the War Between the States as they were predominantly Unionist and Abolitionist. Most of these had long since returned by 1866 and they would welcome nearly 10,000 of their fellows per month arriving from Europe. Land remained cheap, particularly around the growing cities of Texas, Aranama (Southern Texas) Territory and Mescalero (West Texas) Territory. This influx would reach 15,000 per month in 1867.

    Rome

    Henri Gilbert was not a well man. Over the course of his life in Marseille, he'd been convinced at various times of being the anti-Christ, the reincarnation of Napoleon Bonaparte I and, of course, Joan of Arc.

    However, in his latest fevered daydreams, he'd become convinced that God wanted him to protect the rights of Kings. When Jefferson Davis was killed in the streets of Paris, Gilbert had determined that it was HIS duty to avenge this American King.

    While he knew next to nothing about Americans, the famous General Grant was in Europe (ostentatiously avoiding France) going from Capital to Capital with his family. After four straight years of war, he was inclined to see some of the world and smoke the endless quantity of cigars his admirers had shipped to his home while he was in Mexico.

    Gilbert learned that a tall American with a beard had killed "King" Jefferson. Grant apparently met that description and the Frenchman assumed that this must be his man. Gilbert travelled to Rome, where the General was expected to be in August and laid in wait. The Italian papers announced that the General and his family would be visiting the Vatican on the 17th and, carrying a small pistol in his pocket, waited outside the Vatican gates.

    More by luck than any skill, it was less than a hour later that Grant and his family emerged, their eyes no doubt struck by God's Greatest Cathedral. For a moment, Gilbert wondered why the man had not been felled by the hand of God for defiling such a holy place but then realized that HE was the hand of God.

    This eliminated any doubt. Grant was accosted by a few reporters, no doubt waiting for him to exit as well. He was among the most famous men in the world at the moment and even Italian, Hungarian and German Newspapers dispatched local reporters to get a quote.

    While the man was somewhat patiently waiting for someone to finish asking a question in broken English, Gilbert crept forward, pushed the reporter aside and leveled his weapon at Grant.

    Julia Grant screamed as the weapon fired. The General grunted and went down. Elated, Gilbert looked on, his weapon still pointed forward when he felt the sharp crack of a heavy walking cane coming down on his forearm. It took a long moment before the Frenchman realized his arm had snapped like a twig. A few seconds later, the pain emerged and Gilbert joined Grant on the ground.

    The Frenchman looked up and saw the face of a withered friar repeatedly crossing himself, probably begging God's forgiveness for causing harm to another man.

    Through the pain, Gilbert was mentally forgiving the Priest, who obviously did not know that he was interfering with God's own hand. The thoughts had just crossed his mind when one of the reporters kicked the Frenchman in the face and all went black.

    Louisiana

    General Philip Sheridan was taking his carriage from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Usually, he rode his own horse but Mrs. Sheridan (a local Louisiana lady) had become a friend to James Longstreet's wife in recent years. Longstreet, after years of service in Mexico, had returned to America in 1865 to New Orleans where Louisa Longstreet had been raising their children.

    Sheridan and Longstreet had long known one another and become friends in the past year themselves. The diminutive Irish cavalryman was still in his thirties and had been commanding the Reconstruction government in Louisiana for the past year. While he loathed politics enormously, Sheridan was personally asked by Lincoln to assume this role due to the rise of anti-Freedmen Hate Groups.

    If ever there was a man to hunt these people down, it was Sheridan.

    On this particular evening, the Sheridans and Longstreets were on their way to the opening of the new "State University of Louisiana" which had been largely funded with Federal money. Sheridan had backed the idea in 1865 while Longstreet, who had been consulting with the Federal Government for years, would support it as well. Just as important was the Chancellor, William Tecumseh Sherman, who, like Longstreet, had regained his prestige in Washington after siding with the Confederacy by serving under Grant in Mexico.

    The previous iteration, Louisiana State Seminary, had been located in Pineville but had been shut down during the war. Sherman had been its Chancellor and now would open the new institution.

    Unfortunately, the Sheridans and Longstreets would not arrive to see the event. As the carriage rumbled over a bridge over a burbling creek, one of the local anti-Freedman fanatics, who'd been tipped off on the soldiers' plans, detonated a large amount of dynamite wired to the bottom of the bridge. The blast immediately killed the all four passengers as well the the driver and draft horses. The pair of Negro Cavalrymen escorting them thirty feet behind would be thrown completely off their mounts.

    The assassin prepared to leap forward and kill the Negro Cavalrymen as well but fled upon the arrival of several wagons from the opposite direction. A local farmer and his five sons were taking their goods into New Orleans for sale at the market and happened to be at the right place at the right time.
     
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    Chapter 75
  • September, 1866

    Curupayty, Paraguay


    George McClellan's eyes bulged at his bickering Generals, each demanding to lead THEIR forces against the enemy line. This was perhaps the stupidest thing McClelland had ever heard. If there was one thing he'd learned in 4 years of war in North America, it was one DID NOT ATTACK AN ENTRENCHED POSITION DIRECTLY.

    And that was what Lopez and Diaz were inviting him to do.

    Over the past months, McClellan's intelligence on the Paraguayan materials shortages were compounded with each prisoner taken. Between the obsolete weapons, critical shortage of powder and devastated navy, the Paraguayans were on the backfoot.

    Indeed, with the loss of their Navy, the entire pretext of the Paraguayan War had vanished. They simply lacked the capacity to project their forces back to the Rio Plata without a Navy and thus were no threat to the allies. That they were still fighting was more a matter of mule-headedness or desperation.

    Or, McClellan thought sourly, General Lopez merely hoped that the allies would fall part. Not exactly a forlorn hope given the obvious divisions between the allies.

    The Paraguayans had found as strong a position as they could. The Curupayty River was to the west while wide lagoons blocked the east of the battlefield. Lopez had chosen his place to make his stand well. Having dug up a wide ditch with a large earthen battlement, the Paraguayans had significant cover the length of the mile-wide battlefield.

    The American had seen FAR TOO MANY men die in the War Between the States by charges into such defenses. Given the allied artillery advantage - both and sea - this may be the Paraguayans' best chance to seize victory in this war. But only if the McClellan danced to Lopez' tune.

    There was no way McClellan was going to order a direct attack on the defenses. Instead, he ordered his artillery to switch to shell and bombard the defenses while he ordered his cavalry division and two brigades of Argentine and Uruguayans to march around the wide lagoons to the east.

    The predominantly Brazilian fleet along the Curupayty River would then then carry the bulk of the Brazilian forces two miles down the river to a safe landing spot. Caught between three forces, the Paraguayans would be caught.

    The implementation of the complex plan did not go well. The Argentine and Paraguayans would get bogged down and take twice as along as expected to march to the Paraguayan rear while the Brazilians took nearly a full day to unload their supplies down the river.

    Still, Lopez attempted to engage each of the three split forces in isolation. He would inflict 100 casualties on the Argentines while a group of Paraguayan cavalry took a few dozen prisoners among the Brazilian in his rear.

    But Lopez could not be strong everywhere and McClellan saved his best for last. After nearly a day long artillery barrage, the American left the impression that he was not going to attack and, as Lopez was forced to pull more and more of his forces from the main line, McClellan would launch a daring night attack right at the end of the line less than 100 feet from the shores of the Curupayty.

    Led by the French forces, hundreds of allied soldiers would managed to ford the ditch and the earthen walls. These men would be armed with the repeating weapons and the heavy rate of fire issued forth in the free-for-all would allow hundreds of more allies across the breach.

    Unfortunately, both General Lopez and his best commander, Diaz, were leading the assaults against the other allied formations and a mass counter-attack by the Paraguayans was ordered too late.

    The line broken and allies torching their precious supply train, the Paraguayans were forced to withdraw, quickly retreating northwards through the broken terrain. McClellan intended for the Brazilians under the Count of Puerto Alegre and the Argentines/Uruguayans under Flores to cut off the enemy retreat. However, only about 750 captives were taken, much to the American's disbelief.

    Though McClellan was convinced that the Paraguyans had equal numbers of his 20,000 men, in reality they only managed to raise 5000. Later historians would concede, however, the capture of so much of the Paraguayan supply train would be of vital importance.

    Within days, the fortress of Humaita would be besieged from the landward side while the Brazilian Navy prepared to speed by the massive fortress and isolate it from Asuncion, the Paraguayan capital.

    Rome

    General Ulysses Grant would received a series of visitors during his recovery in Rome from a gunshot to his left collarbone. Fortunately, the mad Frenchman's weapon was aged and underpowered. A Colt at that range would cut straight through the American.

    Among Grant's visitors would be the American Ambassador to Italy, the great Italian General Garibaldi, Crown Prince Umberto and, astonishingly, Pope Pius IX. Apparently, a famous man being shot on the Vatican's doorstep merited a private visit.

    Though the doctors feared some sort of blood poisoning, the General would recover well enough to return to his tour of Europe by October.

    Washington DC

    President Lincoln would be shocked at the assassination of Generals Sheridan and Longstreet and their wives. Even most Southerners were appalled at the murder of women. Within days, a massive manhunt would comb the state of Louisiana but the assassin would not be discovered.

    In retribution, the assorted Union Reconstructionist Military governors would hunt down the "raiders" which had been so vexing the Freedmen population.

    In Louisiana itself, Lincoln ordered General Rosecrans to replace Sheridan. Though not a "fighting General" of Sheridan's reputation, Rosecrans was an able organizer and administrator. He would ruthlessly hunt down any semblance of irregular resistance.

    London

    First Lord of the Treasury Benjamin Disraeli would learn of the French "intervention" in Siam and the Joseon Kingdom , the latter in conjunction with the Russians, in October of 1866 via a fast ship back from Asia.

    For all Britain's occasional bluster, the government never had the slightest intention of forcibly opposing Russia in the Eastern Mediterranean without numerous allies. Yes, the Royal Navy could probably wipe the Russian Black Sea Fleet (it may have been renamed the "Mediterranean Squadron" by now) but that would not alter the fact that Russian forces occupied much of the Balkans and did not lack for allies even if one did not count France.

    Britain had recently learned to her dismay that controlling the high seas did little to intimidate a nation the size of a continent. Unless that Navy power could be matched with landward military forces, any conflict would prove futile and only put Egypt, Greece and the other eastern nations further into the Russian-French camp.

    There may be little Britain could do about the fait accompli in the Eastern Mediterranean but there was damned well something they could do in Southeast Asia. If the French thought that the resources they could bring to bear from Indochina could compete with those of the British Raj, they would be very, very disappointed.

    Madrid

    Worse for Britain, even Spain was looking increasing problematic.

    Queen Isabella had rejected any entreaty from Britain for an alliance, seeing no reason to antagonize France. This would initially not vex anyone in London as an "alliance" with Spain would likely provide few actual benefits and probably draw Britain into other conflicts.

    However, the Spanish Queen had her own colonial aspirations. News from the Chincha Islands west of Peru did not paint a positive picture as Chile, Peru and Ecuador were apparently allying against the Queen's forces. In truth, the Spanish Government had no real plans on the South American mainland but were willing to test throwing their weight around.

    Much more importantly, the "reconquest" of Hispaniola would continue to suction the already limited Spanish resources. Had it not been for the wave of volunteers from Europe seeking land-grants for their service and the tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans and Cubans served as irregulars, the Haitians would probably have pushed the Spanish back into the Dominican by now.

    With most of the Haitian cities having fallen, the inland campaigns were proving disastrous for all involved. By most estimates over 20,000 "Spanish" troops had died (this was actually a gross underrepresentation with the actual number), at least half to disease.

    The Haitians, of course, suffered much, much worse as the conquest had led to mass slaughter. Lacking much in the way of modern weapons and powder, the Haitian irregulars would resort to using spears and clubs. Even the most conservative estimates held that 100,000 Haitians had been directly killed by the invaders and perhaps twice that of disease, starvation and exposure.

    The population retreated inland where there were few supplies to be had. Malnutrition led to disease and greater and greater death. Even when the Haitians were taken prisoner, they were relegated to fenced compounds in which disease ran rampant.

    By fall of 1866, no semblance of central government was left though Faustin II controlled the massive Citidelle Laferriere which the Spanish never bothered to assault. It was too far inland and there were more important things to do than besiege the Masada of Hispaniola. Thus Faustin II would use the fortress to raid outward among the other Haitians for supplies. Indeed, the "Emperor's" forces spent vastly more time feeding off their countrymen than opposing the Spanish.

    The suffering would only grow worse and worse over the season as virtually no crops were being sown, no harvest collected and certainly no food imports reaching the population.

    More importantly to Britain, the Spanish were also starting to covetously eye Morocco as well.
     
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    Map of North America - 1866
  • Fenians - 1867 - North America.png
     
    Chapter 76
  • November, 1866

    Washington DC

    Well, Lincoln thought in disappointment as he reviewed the mid-term election tallies, it could have been worse.

    It truly could as the nation was enduring a bit of an economic slump and post-war exhaustion. The huge amount of weight placed upon the black suffrage movement also lost the Republicans some support. High tariffs to pay the exorbitant war debt and limited funds for investment were also key factors in why the Republicans lost 30 seats in the House and 5 in the Senate.

    Yes, it could have been worse. At least the necessary number of states had approved the 15th Amendment late summer. That guaranteed over 750,000 new voters who were quite certain they knew who to thank for their suffrage. Unfortunately, most of those new voters were also residing in Southern States which had not yet been readmitted to Congress. Oh, well.

    Still, Lincoln had done his best and the Republicans maintained a significant majority in both Houses of Congress. That was something.

    In addition to the litany of complaints leveled against him by the Democrats, he had been accused of "Gerry-Mandering" by fast-tracking the statehood of Lafayette and Washington DC. The former only BARELY approved a referendum requesting statehood while the latter had long been presumed never to be raised to statehood.

    Of course these were a wash as the French residents of Lafayette largely supported the Democrats (though their biggest domestic issue, beyond NOT WANTING to be Americans in the first place, was America's requirement of secular schools) while Washington DC, with its large black population, large military garrisons and number of bureaucrats would vote overwhelmingly Republican.

    Given the massive Republican Majorities of the past four years, this return to the equilibrium may be deemed inevitable. Still, Lincoln would miss those majorities.

    Unfortunately, there remained many accounts of intimidation of black voters in generation and unrest on the whole. Too many changes in too short a period of time had that effect. But most of the black men of the north successfully voted (for Republicans) and that had offset losing so many of the "Anti-Confederate" Democrats which had supported the Republicans during the war years.

    Speaking of, Lincoln had a meeting this afternoon with two Senators of the same name, but certainly not related.

    Stephen Douglas had long been Lincoln's rival in Illinois. However, the Democrat, having lost the 1860 election, did not hesitate to back Lincoln to preserve the Union. The President would never forget that fact and always treated Douglas with respect.

    The new Senator from Washington "State", as the District of Columbia was now known, was Frederick Douglass. Elected as the "Senior" Senator of the new State, Douglass was the first black man to sit in the Senate. Four other black men had already been elected to the House of Representatives.

    "Senator, Senator," Lincoln addressed them both, finding them an odd couple. While not a "fire-brand" Democrat, Stephen Douglas had not been overly concerned with the status of the slaves prior to the war. He just wanted to preserve the Union by compromise. Given the deplorable number of dead in the War Between the States, that seemed a reasonable concern. Frederick Douglass, on the other hand, was chief among the agitators for equal rights and was not remotely done doing so. With the greatest platform in the land, Douglass did not intend to shut up anytime in the near future.

    That both Senators were willing to be seen with one another perhaps was a good thing. Separated by race and party, the two still had maintained a cordial relationship.

    "Gentlemen, how can I help the senior Senators of Illinois and Washington?" The President greeted them warmly as John Hay came forward with coffee.

    Both accepted and quietly sipped for a few moments before Douglass rumbled in his deep baritone, "I shall take only a few minutes of your time, Mr. President. The lack of Freedmen being granted Federal Jobs and Contracts prove that they are not yet getting a fair deal as you recall promising. The Federal shipyards, postal positions, etc, etc continue to allocate ALL positions to whites....as you may well know."

    Lincoln nodded, admitting the same problem. Though he never wanted to produce some sort of "quota" system, it seemed necessary. "Yes, Mr. Douglass.....er, Senator Douglass, I fear I must concur. Though I am not certain how to change this, plainly something must be done."

    "I quite agree, Mr. President," Senator Douglas intoned, much to Lincoln's surprise. He still hadn't figured out why BOTH of them were there together. "The Federal hiring system must be upgraded to hire the most qualified."

    So, THAT was it. The Spoils System created under President Jackson had turned Federal Employment into a partisan affair. Even time a party left power, the postal workers and various bureaucrats were liable to be fired and replaced by members of the incoming party. It was a regrettable system and Lincoln admitted it had to change. Of course, during the sixty-year domination of the Democrats, this was not a problem beyond the occasional Whig President. However, it now appeared that the Republicans were the favorites to remain in office for a generation and that would keep Democrats out of Federal hiring. No wonder Lincoln's fellow Illinoisan wanted to support reform. Siding with Douglass only meant furthering his own party's ends.

    Lincoln allowed both to carry on for some time before holding up his hand, "Gentlemen, I already survived ONE Lincoln-Douglas debate and have no intention of experiencing a Lincoln-Douglas-Douglass debate. You have my support if you can bring a bi-partisan bill before Congress."

    Surprised, both Senators thanked him and departed without expected acrimony. Lincoln was amused at how such differing people could make such common cause.

    Despite the improving economy, there seemed to be no shortage of problems. The sheer vastness of the migration out west by Freedmen in particular and Americans in General had strained the government's resources. The Freedmen had been promised provisions, seed, tools and an animal. Initially, this had not been a problem as there were so many surplus army pack animals. However, by 1866, this was costing the nation no small amount. The horse, mule, oxen, cattle, sheep, goat and various other animal producers in Texas in particular were making a mint off of the Federal largesse supplying this exodus.

    The Navy continued to spend money hand over fist as it decommissioned old ships and built expensive new ones. The heavy two-turret battlecruisers were being launched every three months while trials on new submersibles continued apace. This seemed a good coastal defense idea. Unfortunately, two of the submersibles had been lost in accidents with all hands over the past year, bringing the idea into some disrepute. Still, key members of the admiralty remained in favor and they represented a small part of the research and development budget so Lincoln was willing to continue to experiment though under safer terms.

    With the new "State of Washington" rising up in the district of Columbia, the "Washington Territory" out west, which would probably be fit for statehood sooner rather than later, would require a name change. Given how political such things tended to be, Lincoln was content let Congress hash that out. They'll probably name it after the biggest local river or Indian tribe. Rumors that the President was going to rename the territory "Lincoln" were almost absurd and probably cost him some votes in the last election.

    As it so happened, the large Negro town in Nebraska (as well as towns in most states and territories) had been named after him. Lincoln was not so vain to actually advocate a state being named after himself.

    Seward was Lincoln's next appointment. The Secretary of State had been the frontrunner for the Republican nod in 1860 and initially there was a frostiness between the two. However, that had warmed to a mutual respect and loyalty. Besides, Seward was almost as ugly as Lincoln and the President appreciated that.

    "Mr. President," Seward began without preamble, as was his wont, "I'm getting increasingly concerned about this matter in Hispaniola. The reports that I am receiving paint a stark picture of mass slaughter in Haiti."

    Lincoln frowned, "Spain has been perhaps the only European power with whom we have no quarrel....and does not seek to undermine us. I would hate to burn that bridge as well."

    "Nor would I, Mr. President," the Secretary of State intoned, "but I cannot stay silent as hundreds of thousands of people are murdered. Even accounting for some exaggeration, it would seem at least a quarter of the population of Haiti is dead. Entire districts are being wiped clean of adult males and rapine of the Haitian women by Spanish, Dominican, French, Cuban, Puerto Rican....etc..... are simply too numerous to discount."

    Lincoln sighed, "Send an envoy to Haiti, then. Perhaps your son would be interested. I would like a first-hand account by someone impartial. Just the facts, please."

    Taking the victory for what it was, Seward nodded and departed without asking another boon leaving Lincoln to wonder if he wanted to kick up another foreign hornet's nest. The Haitians had been nothing but trouble since independence, both for themselves and their neighbors. While no doubt brutally oppressed for generations in bondage, the first half century since independence did not speak well of black government. Warlords, coups d'etats and other violence seemed to be endemic to that region.

    When SPANISH government, of all things, was viewed as the more stable, it was a bad situation.
     
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    List of States and Territories - 1866
  • States at time of Civil War:
    Maine
    New Hampshire
    Vermont
    Massachusetts
    Connecticut
    Rhode Island
    New York
    New Jersey
    Delaware
    Pennsylvania
    Maryland
    Virginia
    North Carolina
    South Carolina
    Georgia
    Florida
    Ohio
    Indiana
    Michigan
    Wisconsin
    Minnesota
    Iowa
    Kentucky
    Tennessee
    Alabama
    Mississippi
    Louisiana
    Arkansas
    Kansas
    Missouri
    Texas
    California
    Oregon

    States since the start of the Civil War:

    Kanawha (western 60% of Virginia)
    NIckajack (eastern 40% of Tennessee and western 15% of North Carolina)
    Arizona
    Nevada
    Lafayette
    Washington (DC)

    Likely to reach statehood in the near future:
    Nebraska
    Calusa (southern 60% of Florida)
    Mescalero (western 40% of Texas)
    Aranama (southern 30% of Texas)
    Columbia
    Washington (new name pending)
     
    Chapter 77
  • December, 1866

    Asuncion, Paraguay

    With the fall of Paraguay's capital, McClellan had assumed the war to be over. However, President-General Lopez was intent apparently on tearing his nation down to the studs.
    Fortunately, General Jose Diaz would be more willing to talk. Having served well in the Paraguayan Army for years, Diaz was tired of the poverty and death of the hopeless war and was willing to take a deal. Diaz agreed to use all his influence to end the war in return for guarantees on the territorial integrity of the nation.

    As there remained exceptionally vague national borders in the region, even McClellan had to admit this was nearly impossible. Worse, he swiftly realized that Brazil did not want its "ally" Argentina to be augmented to the point where they could be a threat to Brazil.

    The bickering allies were worse than the Paraguayans. Finally, McClellan was able to wrangle a moderate compromise which kept the worst of Argentina's advances at bay. Only a small amount of land would be turned over while the bulk of the nation would remain independent.

    Thus, by Christmas of 1866, the allied army of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, France and now General Jose Diaz marched into the hinterlands to hunt down the bulk of Lopez's diehards.

    It would take nearly 4 more months but Lopez was finally cornered in northeastern Paraguay and gunned down by his former subordinates.

    McClellan would do his best to keep the worst of the invader's depredations from the general population but was appalled by the carnage. Whole villages lay bare and depopulated. The American had thought he'd seen the worst of war with the bombardment of Manhattan.

    But this was an entire different level.

    Hispaniola

    Major Augustus Seward and Assistant Secretary of State Frederick Seward were livid at having been refused entry to Haiti. The Spanish officials merely stated that they had no right to be there an demanded that they return home at once.

    The sons of Secretary of State William Seward, the brothers had been dispatched to investigate the alleged abuses to the Negro and Mulatto population of Haiti. There was relatively little opposition to Spain attempting to conquer the area. After all, Haiti had tried and succeeded in conquering the Dominican twice. Turnabout was fair play and Haiti's government was reportedly so unstable as to be a direct danger to its own people.

    But as tales of massacre, plunder and rapine abounded from the region, the Americans had sought to grasp the true nature of the situation. Unfortunately, Queen Isabella's government seemed disinterested in anyone interfering from the outside.

    The brothers returned home in January, intent on demanding that their father implement the "Monroe Doctrine", though this was a very, very loose interpretation of the intent of the Doctrine.

    With a military crackdown occurring in the former Confederacy as the army searched for anti-Freedman partisans, problems on the Great Plains with the native tribes and the Mormons causing issues in Utah, the attention of the government was not easily focused on this remote and desolate place where the Haitians were fighting for their lives.

    Washington

    "Yakima", Lincoln asked, his tongue attempting to work around the unfamiliar word.

    John Nicolay, one of his secretaries, nodded, "Apparently, it came down to that or "Tacoma", both are Indian Tribes or places names or something of the such."

    "As long as it doesn't mean "I hate Lincoln" in some Indian tongue, it is fine with me," the President joked.

    After months of debate, apparently Congress had settled on a name for the former Territory of Washington. "Yakima" seemed an odd choice, for some reason "Tacoma" sounded better, but the President really didn't care all that much when all was said and done.

    If the locals were happy with it as well, then so be it, he thought. But maybe "I hate Lincoln" would have been better. At least he'd been remembered in posterity.

    Setting aside his morbid sense of humor, Lincoln read through the rest of his correspondence.

    1. The Southerners were outraged that so many Negroes were departing the cotton states to the point that there were not enough sharecroppers to harvest the cotton. This was amusing as the past few years were spent being outraged that there were free Negroes around.

    As there wasn't Lincoln could do about the matter short of re-enslaving the Freedmen, this was set aside.

    2. Formal requests were made and granted for the formation of Territorial Governments in Calusa, "Yakima" and three or four other Territories. This was no doubt a precursor to a request for formal statehood in a few years. The President saw no reason to reject any of the requests though he did make a point that he expected the Territorial Legislatures, once embodied, offer a resolution of support for the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments.

    3. The Naval department requested funds for a new class of battleship, apparently making even the Massachusetts class still in development obsolete. Though he regretted the expense, Lincoln knew he must seek Congressional support.

    4. President Juarez was apparently livid at hearing that General Santa Anna wanted to return from his exile to his home in Mexico. Too much blood had been shed to allow that man back on Mexican soil. Lincoln would order that President. An American squadron would intercept his vessel and politely tell the man he was likely to be executed if he showed on Juarez' watch. Thus Santa Anna would return to his quiet exile in Cuba.
     
    Chapter 78
  • Might I ask why DC became a state? Isn’t the whole point of DC that it is not a state? If there’s voting issues return all the residential areas to Maryland and Virginia and keep the Federal stuff Federal. Or grant DC the voting rights of a state but not the autonomy of a state. Maybe they have only one Senator for example or very little electoral votes.
    I think the idea was always there but, in OTL, large numbers of the population were black and therefore not part of the electorate. That was probably why it had never become a state. By the time of the 60's, the Capital was entirely dependent upon Federal funds and few wanted to risk that funding for statehood.

    In this TL, the 15th Amendment is being actually enforced thus I found it more likely.
     
    Chapter 78
  • March, 1867

    Asuncion


    30 miles north of Asuncion, President Lopez was finally cornered with a few dozen of his waning supporters in a grove of trees. Having formed what would later be called a “cult of personality”, Lopez had dominated every facet of Paraguayan life.

    However, the allied assault would crack the Paraguayan army in 1866 and the partisan campaign did not last long against the allies and the turncoat General Jose Diaz.

    It had been the fortune of Diaz to find Lopez. Though no doubt someone had raced off to inform McClellan, the Paraguayan knew that Lopez was too dangerous to keep alive. Thus, he ordered his forces to surround the small woods and attack from all directions.

    By the time McClellan and his Argentine and Brazilian allies arrived, there was a photographer taking pictures of Lopez’ corpse.

    The Paraguayan War was over.



    Chincha Islands

    Having quietly purchased one of the new Kalamazoo-Class ships from America, Peru’s navy spent weeks in training before sailing out to the Chincha Islands to confront the Spanish invaders.

    Supported by half a dozen Chilean and Peruvian warships, the “Lima” would thoroughly outclass the Spanish forces available. Not expecting the Peruvians to field one of the most modern warships on earth, they would learn quite quickly when the “Lima” blew holes in the Spanish flagship on the first exchange. Almost immediately, she began to settle.

    The other Spanish vessels deemed that discretion was the better part of valor and opted to retreat north towards Mexico and let the diplomats clear up the incident.

    One was only so willing to fight over islands of guano. The birds can always crap more.



    Siam

    As the East Indies Squadron received heavy reinforcement from Europe including the Prince Alfred, Royal Oak, Bellerophon and the Monarch. Tragically, the HMS Captain had foundered on the voyage and was lost with all hands.

    Once reaching the East Indies station, Admiral Leopold Heath assumed overall command and sailed to Siam with a fleet of 12 of Britain’s most modern warships.

    The French had not believed that such a vital number of Royal Navy vessels would be assigned away from European waters.

    Badly outgunning the French squadron blockading Bangkok Harbor, Admiral Heath issued an ultimatum. If the French forces (2000 French soldiers, 800 Marines and 2500 Vietnamese Sepoys) did not withdraw within 72 hours, then the Royal Navy would wipe their French counterparts from the sea.


    The French commander demanded to know if this was a declaration of war. Heath shrugged and told him to take it however he liked but France WOULD NOT get a free hand in Siam.

    In truth, that WAS what the French had assumed. Napoleon III had betrayed Britain’s (and Spain’s) trust by using their common “intervention” in Mexico as a path to conquest. They’d openly thrown support to protect Russian naval operations against the Ottoman. The Emperor forged an alliance in South America in contravention of British interest. The French were now trying to force open the Joseon Kingdom.


    But Napoleon III simply underestimated British paranoia regarding even the slightest threat to India. What was more, British impatience with French aggression had reached the breaking point.

    If the French did not withdraw….it would be war. But there was no question of the deadly British earnestness.
     
    Chapter 79
  • April, 1867

    Mexico City

    By 1867, Ignacio Zaragoza had largely managed to purge the old Conservative political element from the army and hunted down the last of the regional warlords and outlaw gangs. Oh, there would always be the odd band of brigands but the nation was not remotely as lawless as it had been only a few years prior.

    President Juarez was now secure in his office from any coup d'etat NOT led by Zaragoza. Feeling confident that his cadre of Republican officers would not betray the President, Zaragoza announced his retirement without fanfare, turned over his papers to his staff and departed Mexico City for an extended tour of America and Europe. He still had many relatives in Texas (and the territories carved from Texas) and enjoyed finally being at peace for a change.

    Juarez, who had come to depend upon Zaragoza, would nevertheless breath a sigh of relief as there seemed no other threat to his office beyond Zaragoza himself. Though genuinely appreciative of the soldier's great contributions over the past decade, the President was happy to see the man into retirement.

    Siam

    Though outraged by the British high-handedness in demanding that the French abandon their play at conquering Siam, the French Admiral Fourichon knew that the political stakes were higher than a mere naval battle. Having seized the capital of Siam months before, the French had dug in.

    Yet even the strong French squadron was not going to be a match for the British Armada, which held a number of heavy ironclad ships. The battle was not going to go well there. But the aging Admiral and French colonial governor (who was to be the first French governor-general of Siam) could not accept backing down.

    The Admiral would ordered several of his own fleet (the older and more expendable vessels) ships scuttled at various key points in Gulf of Thailand near the mouth of the Chao Phraya River. The guns of these ships had been removed and placed upon high ground near the Mouth of the River, ensuring that any ship that dare attempt to sail up (mostly lighter ships) would have a hard time of it. The surplus sailors were pressed into the army to man the guns.

    Having invaded with 6500 French and 4500 Vietnamese soldiers, the Admiral now had another 3000 French sailors on hand plus the inevitable "native volunteers", usually dissidents or political opponents of the King. Regional warlords offered aid or at least neutrality provided they were left alone.

    The old Frenchman knew the game well enough.

    By spring 1867 (not that "spring" meant much at this latitude), the French commanded the capital and could bring in supplies overland from Cambodia and Vietnam.

    To the best of Fourichon's knowledge, the British Armada did not come with an army in tow. This led him to believe that the Queen's men did not plan on actually invading Siam but merely would be happy to expel the French. This gave the Admiral a certain advantage.

    Now striped of the obsolete vessels, the French ships determined to break out in the middle of a starless night. The eight remaining vessels would be split into pairs, four sailing east to Vietnam and four west for the Sinai (unfortunately, the Suez Canal was still two years from completion but Egypt remained on good terms with France).

    Under strict orders NOT TO FIRE FIRST, the French ships fled. In the dark, the unexpected maneuver took the British by surprise and several British ships fired upon the French as they fled. Two of the French ships would be stricken and force to strike though the other six escaped.

    The news of the British attack on a French fleet would reach Europe within weeks and kick up a global firestorm.
     
    Chapter 80
  • May, 1867

    Rio de Janeiro

    Emperor Pedro II would announce that his "great fighting General" McClellan was to be ennobled as the "Count de Parana" for his contributions in the Paraguayan War. He was also granted land in Brazil (which McClellan promptly sold) as a boon and granted a mansion in Rio de Janeiro. McClellan's wife Ellen arrived in the capital just in time to witness her husband entitled in the Brazilian nobility. She brought their six year old daughter and two year old son as well.

    The Argentines, seeking not to look cheap, also granted McClellan lands though it was so remote as to be worth scarcely anything.

    The French alliance of the Rio Plata was already falling apart as the natural enemies Brazil and Argentina were already at one another's throats over the spoils of Paraguay (Brazil refused to allow much encroachment by Argentina) and their long-standing rivalry in Uruguay. The latter country was already battling internally (again) while the Buenos Aires and British alliance looked on in amusement.

    Feeling "appreciated" in Brazil in a way that he never felt in America, McClellan decided to remain in Rio to partake in various business ventures (he was effectively given stakes in several railroad and insurance companies by admiring leading citizens) and glorying his accomplishments in his memoirs.

    Washington DC

    For the first time, Lincoln was finally ready to consider returning "certain" Southern States to the fold in Congress. Tennessee and Texas had both reformed their Legislatures with minimal disruption from anti-Freedman factions and approved the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.

    It seemed none of the other former Confederate States were inclined to do so, a fact which made Lincoln more than happy as it meant continued majorities for the Republican Party.

    Over the past year, the Union Governor-Generals had ruthlessly hunted down the southern partisans and, by and large, the "raiders" were less and less of a threat. But Lincoln knew that seeing Freedmen openly voting would be something very, very different. The President doubted that any election would be truly free anytime in the near future.

    Publicly stating that the 1868 Presidential Election would be "closely monitored" and the results forfeited if any form of public intimidation were witnessed, Lincoln was ready to allow a couple of test cases for readmitting the Southern States as full-fledged members of the Union.

    Tennessee, like Virginia, was a mix of north and south. It had a high industrial base, the loss of which had been as crippling to the Confederate cause as losing Virginia. It was not a "cotton state" and, while Tennessee had many slaves, they tended to be on smaller farms rather than large cotton or tobacco plantations.

    Texas was another unique state. While a "cotton state", it was also lightly populated and the post-war mass immigration to the region would ensure that, only six years after the Confederate surrender, the pro-Confederate white population was well outnumbered by Pro-Union Whites, Freedmen and foreign immigrants (Germans being the most common with Mexicans and Irish after that).

    Lincoln made it known that both Texas and Tennessee would host large garrisons of troops during the election to ensure free participation. The Democrats of the north half-heartedly objected though they knew well that Lincoln had a point. Only through Federal control would violence be avoided. And perhaps not even then.

    The additional soldiers of the occupying army would be eligible to vote as well. This mattered little in Tennessee which had a population nearly a million souls but Texas, which had already been divided into three territories, would fine 15,000 disproportionately black Union soldiers to be a significant portion of the electorate.

    In the meantime, Calusa, Columbia, Yakima, Mescalero and Aranama were all agitating for statehood.

    In the meantime, America was about to get another internal headache out west.

    Utah Territory

    In 1849, the Mormons of Utah Territory had proposed "Deseret" for statehood. This was rejected due to, among other reasons, that sect's use of polygamy. It was this tradition which had caused the Mormons to be evicted from eastern states (Illinois and Missouri among others).

    The Territory remained quiet through the war though, by 1867, it had reached a population of 70,000 about 2/3's Mormons.

    Brigham Young, the leader of the Mormons since the death of the Prophet, would create a "shadow government" in the Territory. But the Comstock Lode would bring many non-Mormon settlers and the arrival of the railroad even more. It became apparent that, within a few years, the Mormons would be outnumbered by non-believers.

    In 1867, fanatics under the nom-de-guerre of "Nauvoo Legion" would seek to halt this trespass by damaging the railroads being laboriously constructed along the plains. This was enough for Lincoln to dispatch 10,000 soldiers under Custer and Stuart to Utah Territory to reassert control. The Territorial Legislature was abolished and polygamy outlawed. While some Mormons spoke of rising up to fight, Brigham Young forbade this.

    Seeing the futility, he would order his followers to depart with him for lands which would not hinder their faith. This saw a split in the Church as the remaining Church of Latter Day Saints would formally forbid polygamy upon penalty of excommunication from the Church.

    The 20,000 or so polygamist followers of Young would migrate west and sail from San Francisco for Hawaii, where the King of Hawaii and his British "advisors" would welcome white settlers on Oahu and Hawaii ("Big Island"). They would be less thrilled in years to come when the practice of Polygamy was cracked down upon by the government.

    Paris

    Emperor Napoleon III would waste no time tearing into the British Ambassador for Queen Victoria's "vulgar display of aggression" which resulted in the deaths of dozens of French sailors in the Gulf of Thailand.

    The Emperor demanded restitution and the immediate withdrawal of the Royal Navy squadron blockading Siam's capital of Bangkok.

    The Ambassador, who had been well prepared, calmly replied in the negative. France's continual acts of omni-directional aggression could no longer be tolerated. Britain took the better part of valor in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Rio Plata and Mexico.

    NOT so close to the borders of India.

    The line was being drawn. If the Emperor decided to cross it, then let it be upon HIS head.
     
    Chapter 81
  • June, 1867

    London


    Benjamin Disraeli's government would issue a formal warning to the the Emperor. Their blockade of Bangkok would not be broken until the French agreed to withdraw from Siam. Disraeli would have preferred to go into this crisis with Lord Derby but health problems had forced the man to retire. While now without question the absolute leader of the Conservative Party, Disraeli missed his old ally.

    He would miss Derby's steady council as events threatened to spiral out of control.

    Paris

    Napoleon III had seen many of his machinations falter over the past few years, including Mexico and now the Rio Plata. But the Emperor could not back down from British bullying.

    However, he was not excited about facing the British ALONE. He spend weeks attempting to gauge if Russia was inclined to assist in any way. The Czar's response was...quite simply....Siam was none of his business and that Napoleon III got himself into this situation, he could get himself out.

    The Emperor did not take well to this response as the French fleet had given Russia a layer of protection against the Royal Navy when the Czar was conquering the Ottoman. But, of course, the Emperor did not do that out of the goodness of his heart as the Czar knew well enough.

    After a few weeks of posturing, Napoleon III was planning on finding a way to back down when he received a rather heartening message from the Czar. Apparently events had changed rather rapidly.

    A group of Greek patriots had sailed under cover of night to Crete, where the British garrison ruled the Greek peoples of the island, on board a trio of Russian flagged ships. A horde of weapons and ammunition in the first ship's hold would be discovered by chance by a pair British cutters, the Argyle and the Clarence, patrolling the island. Seeing their compatriot captured, the other two Russian-Greek ships attempted to flee. Their chances were not bad given these were modern and fast merchant ships, among the first "steam only" ships in the merchant fleet, while the British cutters were old and obsolete.

    Having discovered the evidence of gun-running in the hold of the first ship, the Captain of the Clarence immediately gave chase and pursued the 2 remaining merchants towards Greece. Believing that they could outpace the British vessel, the Russians and Greeks made a run for it only to discover British gunnery had not faded with time. It would not be immediately certain of whether or not the British cutter had intended to destroy the 2nd Merchant ship or if it was an uncannily lucky shot. Either way, the shell somehow managed to find the gunpowder store and an explosion of enormous power ripped the ship in half. Only four sailors and 3 Greek passengers survived to be picked up the next day, ironically, by an Ottoman fisherman.

    The British cutter then turned to pursue the other fleeing merchant, firing at extreme range and managing several hits as the ship entered Greek waters. However, at an inopportune time, the boilers of the Clarence blew after hours of strain attempting to keep up with the more modern vessel. The wounded Russian-Greek ship escaped into the darkness.

    As the British sailors feverishly attempted to repair the engines through the following morning (they had raised sail to catch the meager wind), the specter of a Russian heavy cruiser arrived on the horizon. At last one of the boilers was returned to operation and the speed increased. However, it soon became apparent that there would be no escape for the Clarence. The Russians pulled alongside and an exceptionally fierce....but short....firefight ensued. Outgunned more than 10 to1, the British ship was battered to a pulp until she struck her colors, half of her crew dead.

    Reports of the series of events would echo throughout Europe until both the British and Russians were worked up into a lather.

    The British were outraged that Russian merchants were providing Cretan rebels with arms and the immolation of the Clarence while the Russians were livid at the death of dozens of Russian and Greek sailors.

    Almost overnight, Europe became an armed camp.

    The Czar suddenly seemed more willing to back his French ally.

    Washington "State" (District of Columbia)

    The President was pleased to finally be getting the nation back to normal. The budget had finally been balanced and progress made towards the mountain of debt.

    The National Bank had finally been embodied and the previous rickety banking system well along the process of being replaced.

    As many as a half dozen new states would be joining the Union in 1868's Presidential Election and perhaps two or three more returned to the fold.

    The nation was stronger and more secure than ever.

    Exhausted after four harrowing years of war and three more of peace, Lincoln would announce in the summer of 1867 that he would follow in the example of Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe and decline to seek a 3rd term. While not wanting to be a "lame duck" as the term would later be coined for an entire year of office, in truth, Lincoln knew that his own Party needed the better part of a year to settle on a candidate. Caucuses were coming earlier and earlier as electioneering grew more sophisticated and the President wanted his own allies to have time to put their case to the Party before putting it to the voters.

    Besides, Lincoln had already accomplished the key goals of his Presidency:

    1. Preserve the Union.
    2. Expel the invaders.
    3. Liberate the slaves.
    4. Settle the issue of Freedman citizenship.
    5. Put the economy back upon a sound footing.
    6. Maintain a strong navy.

    For the most part, Lincoln had succeeded beyond even his expectations. It was time to step away gracefully....before the voters may do it for him.

    Almost immediately, several candidates were mentioned in 1868's election:

    For the Republicans:
    Secretary of State Seward
    Vice-President Hamlin
    There was even talk of bringing back General Grant from his extended world tour.

    For the Democrats:
    Kentucky Senator Andrew Johnson
    Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas
    General Hancock

    More would throw their hat in the ring over the next year, no doubt. Lincoln was already counting down the days to his well-earned retirement.



    Almost immediately, both Republicans and Democrats began jostling for position for the 1868 election.
     
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    Chapter 82
  • July, 1867

    Paris


    With a great deal of hesitation, Benjamin Disraeli consulted with the Queen and dispatched a message to Emperor Napoleon III that, if the French agree to evacuate Siam by the 31st of July, the British Empire would consider itself to be in a state of war with France.

    As an olive branch, the British First Lord would agree that BRITAIN would also not seek any further concessions in southeast Asia, including Upper Burma and Siam itself. They would remain as a buffer between the two Empires.

    However, Napoleon III, eager to strike while his alliance with Russia was likely to bear fruit, would reject this entreaty and demand that Britain pay reparations for the loss of French life in the "Battle of Siam".

    Unsurprisingly, Disraeli didn't even bother to reply to this. On the 31st, he ordered the Admiralty and General Staff to commence war operations immediately against France. Fortunately, they British had several months to prepare a plan of war and had dispatched some resources to the periphery of the Empire to act with all due speed.

    Still hoping to avoid a conflict with Russia via diplomatic means, the British government specifically excluded the Russians from their declaration of war.

    It would turn out that was a forlorn hope and both France and Russia were similarly preparing for war.

    On July 31st, Disraeli's government was presented by a formal declaration of war by Russia.

    By that point, the ships were already sailing.

    Rio de Janeiro

    Emperor Pedro II faced unexpected backlash from his public statements calling for the gradual end of slavery. The powerful slave-owning classes would be outraged.

    Brazil was somewhat different from America in its slavery. Throughout its history, manumission of individuals had been common and, by the late 1860's, nearly half the men and women of color were already free. Thus there was not a particularly powerful abolition movement despite Brazil and the islands of the Spanish Empire the only "European" bastions of slavery left.

    President Lincoln would write the Emperor to encourage him not to give up and continue fighting for emancipation "within the system". Pedro knew full well what happened when American slaveowners even THOUGHT their institution was being threatened. The last thing he needed was a Brazilian Civil War.

    As it was, the Emperor was also encountering problems with the Church. The Brazilian government had long dominated the Brazilian Catholic Church. As it was the state religion, the salaries of priests were paid by the government. For the past several decades, Brazil had fought to improve the education of priests. This was a successful effort but that also meant that the Brazilian Catholic church was becoming more and more agitated for independence from the government.

    Through it all, the Emperor strongly backed the secular government in all things.

    Rumblings of discontent emerged throughout the nation despite Pedro II's personal popularity.

    Gangwa Islands - Joseon Kingdom

    After months of blockade, the Russian and French ships had settled into a routine. Based on Gangwa island, the allies would quietly go about organizing trade within China. Since the Joseon King was intent on ignoring the foreigners, they may as well put their time to good use.
     
    Chapter 83
  • August, 1867

    Basse-terre, Guadeloupe


    Augmented by 2400 British regulars from the Home Islands, another 1500 from the Maritimes, 1600 local militia from the west Indies and 400 Marines, the Royal Navy would sail into the harbor of Martinique with little opposition.

    The British squadron may not be the Cream of the Crop, most of the most modern Ironclads and new steel-hulled vessels were restricted to Europe, but it was still a powerful force built around the HMS Resistance. The small French squadron had been informed in due time of the pending potential hostilities but had not been augmented.

    This gave the British a local superiority at sea. Within an hour, the six smaller French vessels had been been sunk, taken or driven off by the more modern Royal Navy ships.

    The fortifications of the island had not been significantly upgraded in over 30 years. In truth, the French had not made a profit in the remnant of their West Indies Empire since the abolition of slavery. Only the status symbol of being Imperial possessions kept the islands of interest.

    The old masonry of the fortifications and obsolete guns were no match for the British heavy naval weapons and the sporadic French defense was silenced within a few hours and the British were able to land largely unopposed.

    However, the French cause was not totally lost nor were they completely unprepared. The French governor and senior military commander had been informed of the hostilities and knew quite well that the capital could not be defended against a strong British force. The largely black militia and 2000 or so French regulars would retreat into the hills where the bulk of the French supplies had been shifted in the past few weeks.

    It the British wanted this island, it would not be so easy.

    Fort-de-France, Martinique

    The situation in Ford-de-France was similar to Belle-Terre. The once-rich sugar island had suffered depression in recent years and probably cost more to administer than France received in any form of utility. Therefore, the island was starved of investment and her fortifications allowed to lapse into ruin.

    But, like in Guadeloupe, the Governor of Martinique had been advised that any attack at sea could not be repulsed and the harbor defenses of the Capital were sure to fail.

    Very well, let the British find out how much they enjoyed a land campaign in the tropics. Given that most of the defenders of Martinique were natives (augmented by 1000 French regulars which had largely also been recruited from the natives), the threat of tropical disease would no doubt be less than the invaders.

    Unless, of course, the majority of the invaders were the British tropical regiments from Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda and Jamaica. Nearly 4000 British "West Indies" regiments raised from the overwhelmingly black natives and local militia were dispatched from the adjacent Caribbean islands to support a core of 600 Marines to invade Martinique.

    Victory would be gleaned from winning the countryside.


    St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands

    With reports of war in the wind, the American "West Indies" Squadron would huddle in the very embryonic St. Thomas dock and witness a battle only a few miles out from American waters (if that) between the French and British Navies.

    The United States Virgin Islands had been purchased to give the Americans a base in the West Indies. At the moment, it only seemed to put them on the front line.

    West Point

    The "United States Military Academy Reorganization Act" had been approved in 1866 but the first class of students not to be "recommended" by Congressmen as boons would arrive in 1867. This was part of the greater Civil Service Reform.

    Once the bastion of the elites, West Point would be merit-based from now on.

    In addition to a number of lower class individuals who never had the contacts to be accepted into West Point were the first eight black enrollees in its illustrious history.

    Cyprus

    Isolated from the rest of British Mediterranean territories, Cyprus was loosely held by the British Army against a resentful Greek population (much akin to Crete). With the entire Black Sea Fleet at their disposal and a French squadron on hand, the Russians sailed from the Dardanelles to Cyprus with a dozen ships of the line and fifteen lighter vessels.

    Leading the way were three "Uragan" class ironclads and the brand new "Pervenets" class Kremi. The French Ironclads Belliqueise, Invincible and Normandie.

    A host of smaller ships which had been refurbished from old sailing vessels and cut down into ironclads followed. Even larger ships had seen decks removed to drop weight and reduce their profile.

    It was a massive squadron intended to crush any British fleet short of the Channel Squadron. With half a dozen bases throughout the Mediterranean, the British forces could not consolidate and the twelve British vessels stationed in Cyprus could not hope to withstand the entire armada. After a brief battle which cost two ships lost on either side, the British wisely withdrew.

    This left Cyprus open for invasion. 10,000 Russians and Greeks would arrive along the eastern coast, causing a massive rebellion by the Cypriots against the comparatively small British occupational army of 4000 soldiers, Marines, stranded sailors and administrators.
     
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    Chapter 83
  • September, 1867

    Calcutta


    Sir John Lawrence had served ably for years in India and been a key force in putting down the Mutiny. Intelligent, energetic and concerned for the welfare of the common Indians, Lawrence was popular both in India and in Britain. A Baronet since 1858, Sir John was elevated to Viceroy of India in 1864 for a five year term. Rumors abounded that the large, fleshy man could look forward to a peerage when his term was completed in 1869.

    But that seemed very, very far away as Sir John read the news of the commencement of hostilities with both Russia and France. In truth, the Viceroy was not overly worried about what either could do to threaten India. The Russians were not going to march through Afghanistan to invade Indian nor did he believe even the combined French and Russian fleets in Asia could overcome the Royal Navy. Even if they DID, that wouldn't necessarily vex India that terribly much.

    The only thing that concerned the Viceroy and the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of India (usually considered the British Army IN India plus the armies of the three Presidencies of Bengal, Madras and Bombay, plus regional or princely formations like the Punjab Frontier force or the Hyderabad Contingent) was a recurrence of the Mutiny if large numbers of Indian soldiers were ordered overseas to Siam or Vietnam. Equally concerning was if the the 70,000 British soldiers (either in the British Army itself or serving in the various Raj formations) were to be withdrawn to other theaters.

    The ghost of the Mutiny haunted all.

    But the Viceroy and Commander in Chief did their duty. They organized a force of 15,000 British Regulars and Bengali units specifically selected and organized due to their willingness to serve overseas (mostly Muslim).

    When the Queen demanded her soldiers, these would be the first line of defense.

    Melbourne, Victoria

    Throughout the past 15 years, Victoria would exceed 500,000 souls and receive the Queen's blessing for self-government. In the meantime, the other colonies of the Continent and the offshore islands of Tasmania and New Zealand appeared stunted.

    The New Zealand wars had ravaged those islands and proven to the Crown Minister in London that the New Zealand government only existed due to the presence of Crown Troops.

    In the years leading to the current problems, various petitions would be cast about to unify these disparate colonies into a single sovereign government. Most of the colonies seemed interested with the exception of Perth and New Zealand. The latter would, in 1867, discover the limits of their power when a French fleet sailing out of New Caledonia arrived in Auckland to annihilate the few Royal Navy vessels on hand, seize every merchant vessel and then issue a casual bombardment of the town which promptly commenced a massive fire.

    As several regiments of British troops had been withdrawn from the Islands in anticipation of a larger war in Siam (another 5000 were being prepared to sail from Melbourne and Sydney), the Maori tribesmen rose up on their greatest rebellion yet. By Christmas, the colonists had been forced to retreat to the cities and the countryside once again fell to the natives.

    So remote from the center of power, the raids by French and Russian vessels over the next few years would lead to great demands for Confederation throughout the region's British colonies.

    Washington

    President Lincoln would summon the British, French and Russian Ambassadors and inform them that America's neutrality would remain paramount. The United States Navy would patrol their coastlines and repulse any raiders or "blockades" which may be set up.

    He also promised that "war material" would not be distributed to combatants by America's government or private citizens. The French and Russian Ambassadors pointed out that America's grain exports (and that of Canada and Quebec) were, by nature, war material.

    Hoping to keep the peace, he announced that American ships would not convey grain to any of the feuding parties (though he left the door open to BRITISH ships carrying shipments of grain).

    This was a brilliant ploy by the allies as Britain was dependent upon North American grain while both Russia and France were self-sufficient.

    Crete

    Having seized Cyprus from the British (the garrison held out for a month before surrendering), the Russians, French and Greeks would set their sights on Crete.

    For unknown reasons, the British fleet defending Cyprus had not automatically sailed to Crete (the logical destination) but all the way to Malta. This granted the allies a great opportunity to overpower another small British garrison dominating a sullen Greek peoples.

    In a rather remarkable repeat of the previous month, the allies used their numbers, armor and guns to overwhelm the British navy flotilla and land an army of 5000 Greeks and 3000 Russians to rapturous Cretan civilians. Soon, the British were reduced to holding only a few fortifications and isolated outposts.

    While it was assumed that Cyprus and Crete would be turned over to Greece, this was not explicitly stated by either France or Russia. However, the now-armed population backed by Greek soldiers considered this a fait accompli.
     
    Chapter 84
  • October, 1867

    British Ionian Islands


    Having seized Cyprus and Crete in such quick succession created a sense of euphoria among the French, Russian and Greek allies (particularly the latter).

    Over the course of the past year, the Royal Navy had been stretched to the breaking point, particularly among her precious ironclads (some of which had been specifically built while others were reconstructions upon the bodies of older, wooden vessels. In, the British had produced 24 Ironclads in the past seven years, an impressive feat on any level.

    However, four of these had been lost fighting the Americans while two of the others were not seaworthy and intended only for testing (one had sunk while sailing to Siam). That left 18 ironclads in the British service, which nearly matched the British in numbers. All of the British ships would be "broadside" ironclads or the redesigned "central battery" ironclads. The first of the British turreted ships akin to the Americans would not arrive until 1868 with the HMS Monarch.

    Of the 18 ironclads technically in service, three were unavailable undergoing repairs or redesign. Of the remaining 15, only 9 were in European waters as 3 had been sent to the Caribbean to aid in the assaults on Martinique and Guadeloupe and 3 others were stationed in India (or blockading Siam).

    The French, on the other hand, had completed 18 ironclad warships in the same timespan and lost only two of these to the Americans while two more were stationed in Asia and two under refit.

    Thus the French alone outnumbered the British 12 to 9 in ironclads stationed in Europe. Most of both navies weighed in the 6000 ton displacement category.

    The Russians had built a number of monitors meant mainly for river defense but these were not intended to confront heavier ships at sea and largely were restricted to the Dardanelles. The three ships of the 3000 ton Pervenets class were similarly not intended as ships of the line.

    However, the Russians DID have two large ironclads of similar size and firepower in the Sevastpol and Petropavlavsk (ironically built in London as Russia did not yet have facilities to construct their own warships of this class). These had been heavily invested in the attacks on Cyprus and Crete.

    Leaving moderate squadrons to protect the harbors of Cyprus and Crete, the massed French and Russian fleets, sailed for the next logical strike: Corfu.
    , The British commanders of Cyprus and Crete had made the error of retreating to Malta. If the Cyprus squadron had instead retreated to the next most likely point of attack, Crete, then the naval engagement off that island may have gone quite differently. Instead, both British squadrons had been defeated in detail by overwhelming force.

    Having determined by September that effectively ALL the heavy ships of the Russian and French fleets had already sailed for the Mediterranean, the government made no objection when the British Admiralty dispatched another 4 of their precious ironclads to the Mediterranean (bringing the Mediterranean squadron based in Malta up to seven ships.

    Many in the government objected, stating that this left the home islands up for invasion.

    However, even the non-Ironclad Royal Navy was immensely powerful and likely more than capable of defeating an invader sheer size and firepower. Besides, there had been no noticeable preparation for invasion, therefore there was time for the Admiralty to take a risk. To keep 6 of the 9 British functional Ironclads based in Europe in the Channel while the entirety of the Russian and French fleets attack the British Mediterranean positions was utterly unacceptable. This would almost certainly guarantee the eviction of the Royal Navy from that body of water.

    By October, all six of the British heavy Ironclads had gathered at Malta along with over 24 British warships of all makes and models (and levels of armor). Admiral James Hope, an exceptionally charismatic and capable office, would assume command and sail directly to Corfu without delay. He was certain that the enemy was not ready to assault Malta and, even if they were, the powerful fortress island would hold on for quite some time.

    Instead, the Admiral from his command ship HMS Black Prince led the Valiant, Agincourt, Northumberland, Caledonia, Ocean and twelve powerfully armed, "lightly-armored" wooden-hulled ships to Corfu.

    His timing could not have been better as he actually caught the allied vanguard in sailing steadily north into the Ionian Sea. Not intending to allow the enemy to gather their forces, Hope attacked at once, his powerful ironclads at the fore.

    For the first time since the Battle of New York, there would be a mass clash of ironclads. British attacked in three formations, the ironclads in the middle while the lighter ships served in the wings.

    The French and Russians attempted to form a similar profile but made a terrible hash of it, instead only managing to form two lines. This allowed the lighter British vessels to face only one enemy volley which the French and Russian faced the volley's of the heavy British ironclads from within and the heavy guns of the older wooden warships from without.

    Almost immediately, the battle lines would collapse after the first pass. Hope did not hesitate to issue the "general melee" order and count upon British seamanship to see his sailors through.

    Within an hour, it was apparent that the French ironclads of the Provence class were under-armored with only 4 inches of armor at the beltline. Worse, the French vesselss were actually wooden-hulled ships without the excellent flood-prevention upgrades now common to British ships. The upgraded British muzzle-loading cannon easily smashed through this relatively flimsy protection.

    The Heroine, the Savoie and the Flandre were sunk outright while the Russian heavy warship Sevastpol was battered so badly she was forced to strike her colors. She sank hours later. Captured after furious battles were the Russian Perventet class Ne Tron Menia and two lighter French ships.

    For his part, Admiral Hope lost only the Ocean, one of his heavy wooden ships-of-the-line and a small frigate.

    Nearly as humiliating as the French and Russian warships scattered, the following armada of cargo and transport ships bearing 8000 Russian and Greek troops sailed heedlessly forward. One Russian frigate, three transports bearing 3400 men and two cargo ships were seized before the fleet managed to turn away.

    It had arguably been the most decisive victory at sea for Britain since Trafalgar and halted allied progress in the eastern Mediterranean.
     
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    Chapter 85
  • November, 1867

    Washington


    Abraham Lincoln had just spent two hours skimming the litany of legislation proposed by Congress. Virtually overnight, that body seemed to give up on constantly demanding favors and support for every bit of legislation. "Lame Duck" status did have some perks but it also meant that the members of Congress no longer considered Lincoln important enough to bother.

    Exhausted with the details of educational reform and distribution of resources on Indian reservations, the President was entirely overjoyed to see John Nicolay escort into Lincoln's office the new Secretary of the Navy Dahlgren, the Swedish ship-builder John Ericsson and an unfamiliar gentleman with a long beard.

    Dahlgren had recently retired from the Navy and assumed the mantle of Secretary of the Navy with the retirement of Gideon Welles. Ericsson remained hard at work on the new generation of ocean-going ironclads.....er.....if that was still the name as the hulls would be constructed of steel.

    The President warmly embraced the interruption. At least Dahlgren and Ericsson could be counted upon to show him something interesting beyond dry figures.

    "Gentlemen," Lincoln shook their hands, "Always welcome. And who is our new friend?"

    "Mr. President," Dahlgren nodded, "I have the pleasure of introducing Mr. Robert Whitehead, born of Britain and lately resident of the Austro-Hungarian Empire."

    Lincoln nodded and extended his hand to the forty-something. "If you are new to our shores, sir, please be welcomed."

    "I am overwhelmed, sir," the Englishman returned, clearly taken aback at being granted an audience by the leader of a vast country. "Though I have only arrived these three weeks, I have been warmly received."

    Lincoln signaled the men to sit and settled into his own chair. The efficient Nicolay brought coffee and, obviously as a courtesy to the Englishman, tea.

    "What brings you to the Presidential Mansion today, gentlemen?"

    Dahlgren explained, "Mr. President, Mr. Whitehead is perhaps the world expert on the self-propelled torpedo. For the past several years, he's been managing a weapons concern in Austria-Hungary and, this year, presented a rather remarkable advancement in the mechanics of the torpedo."

    Ericsson broken in, his already thick Swedish accent deepening in excitement, "You may recall, Mr. Lincoln, that the Confederate's used a submersible called the CSS Davis to effect during the Rebellion and the Union countered with the USS Alligator, that last one sank multiple ships in the Chesapeake."

    The President nodded. He recalled the excitement at the time but had heard little since regarding submersibles.

    "And did the Navy department continue its research in the field?"

    Dahlgren nodded. "Yes, sir. Mr. Ericsson and other engineers had been experimenting for the past several years and greatly improved the air pumps, the initial manually propulsion and even have a working prototype of a powered motorized submersible. However, the biggest problem has been the creation of a reliable torpedo. The previous designs required the submersible to maneuver close enough to a ship's hull and affix the torpedo manually. Then the submersible would retreat far enough away and detonate the bomb by wire."

    "A very dangerous occupation, if I recall correctly," the President intoned. He'd gone down in a test run of one of the prototypes during the war. Beyond being so cramped his back locked up, the President also had the misery of Mrs. Lincoln's anger for the following week.

    "Indeed," Ericsson broke in. "There are also ways to counter the submersible, ideas which we and most of the naval powers of the world have been working on."

    Catching the drift, Lincoln inquired wryly, "And Mr. Whitehead here has resolved that problem?"

    "More than resolved," Dahlgren replied, "his invention may vastly improve the effectiveness of the torpedoes and safety of the crews. HIs powered torpedo may be launched hundreds of yards from a ship. It has a contact trigger which would automatically explode when reaching the hull of an enemy ship. It also has a mechanism which causes it to stay BELOW THE WATERLINE and strike the areas of the hull beneath the standard iron shielding."

    The President was warming to the idea. "Do you have a demonstration for me?"

    Dahlgren smiled, "Both of Ericsson's new submersible and Mr. Whitehead's new torpedo. While still both prototypes, the potential is amazing. I am also reviewing a proposal to adapt the Torpedo to be fired from very small, fast gunboats. Such weapons would make blockades very, very difficult in the future."

    The President nodded, "And the cost of this research?"

    Ericsson was smug, "I've built half a dozen submersibles, kept several engineers, not counting Mr. Whitehead, on permanent staff of these projects and still the total cost of the program is less than it costs to operate a mid-sized ship for a year. Best of all, the small size of the ships and torpedoes would mean that they could be produced vastly more quickly, cheaper and in greater numbers than the ironclads being produced today. In time of war, this could prove quite useful."

    Lincoln turned to Whitehead, "Mr. Whitehead, this is your invention. Do you have any qualms with working for a foreign nation on contract?"

    Whitehead shrugged, "I had no problem serving Austria, Mr. President, and I certainly would not hesitate to serve England's American cousins. If the royalty agreement Mr. Dahlgren prepared is approved, I'll be happy to continue to develop the torpedoes for your naval office."

    "Wonderful, gentlemen. Schedule your demonstration on my calendar. I look forward to witnessing these weapons in action."
     
    Chapter 86
  • December, 1867

    Paris


    Emperor Napoleon III was not liking the sudden turns in the war. First, Guadeloupe and Martinique had been invaded by superior British forces and may have fallen by this point.

    Then, the victories in Cyprus and Crete appears to be have been following by a route at Corfu.

    Despite the Emperor's explicit commands, the French and Russian Admirals in Asia remained convinced that any attempt to break the British blockade in Siam would be futile and only result in the destruction of the allied Pacific fleet.

    If they don't intend to fight, what was the point of having them? The Emperor thought sarcastically.

    Without the capacity to resupply by sea, the French garrison in Bangkok would be starved for munitions and powder while the British could casually prepare for invasion by utilizing their enormous resources in India. This was NOT a winning proposition. A tenuous land-ward resupply would be required through the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia, two new colonies which were hardly under unquestioned control by French forces.

    Indeed, the military governor of Bangkok had been forced to summon reinforcements against the anticipated British invasion from Vietnam, Cambodia and the French Sphere of Influence in China. Native troops in each region had been raised and would even now be making their way to Siam under French officers.

    Would it be enough?

    Even the alliance in South America which France had sponsored and led to victory over Paraguay had come to little as Brazil and Argentina were at one another's throats again and Uruguay had returned to its Civil War.

    The British, from their perch in Buenos Aires, were probably laughing.

    But not all was lost:

    The French forces in Algeria had marched westwards into Morocco. In previous years, the British had steadfastly refused to allow any French or Spanish encroachment upon the North African nation due to its proximity to Great Britain's precious Gibraltar. But, with war already in full swing, nothing halted the French invasion from the east. By Christmas, the French North African forces were expected to reach Fez and Tangiers.

    Again, as this was predominantly a land campaign without the benefit of railroads, the stretched logistics of the operation were its greatest danger, not the armies of the Moroccan King.

    Washington

    "I am afraid the facts are clear, Mr. President," Secretary Stanton would grumble through his beard. "There are no shortfall of recorded incidences of voter intimidation or even flatout murder in Tennessee's election to reembody the State Legislature."

    Lincoln was morose about the matter though hardly surprised. Texas and Tennessee had been the first two former Confederate States to be granted approval to reform their State Legislatures. This was intended to lead to participation in the national election of 1868.

    While Texas passed the initial tests (partially due to the high number of Union soldiers versus the low population, only a minority being pro-Confederate whites (due to black migration, foreign immigration, etc), Tennessee failed miserably. There was no way that Lincoln could validate the election with a straight face.

    Of course, this would lead to cries of partisanship from the Democrats, who would almost certainly carry the truncated Tennessee in any election as black Tennesseans now made up less than 25% of the state population due to resettlement West and North.

    "This will cause enormous problems, Lincoln mourned. The only vindicating point was that HE probably wouldn't have to deal with it for long as the 1868 election was less than a year away and the Caucus only six months.

    It appeared that at least Texas would be returned to fold, though with a much higher German and Freedman population than before. Indeed, the sheer volume of migration to the region was stunning.

    Texas would be joined in Congress by six new states: Calusa, Mescalero, Aranama, Yakima, Columbia and Nebraska. Each of these had been granted Statehood in the past months and called their first State Legislatures the past November. While there were some cases of intimidation, particularly in Calusa, Lincoln did not believe than the votes should be reversed. Even in Calusa, there was a general position that the Freedmen were more intimidating to the Whites (the former being more numerous and backed by the army).
     
    Chapter 87
  • February, 1868

    Washington


    With the Republican Party Caucus scheduled for May, the Democrats opted to pull theirs forward to April to give additional time to agree upon the Platform and candidates.

    Naturally, the politicking had already commenced. To the shock of virtually everyone, two of the top candidates removed themselves from consideration:

    Stephen Douglas had become quite ill in the past year and announced that he was not yet able to run. Others cannily pointed out that Douglas' "illness" coincided with an election which the Illinoisian the Democrats had "no hope of winning".

    Similarly, General Winfield Scott Hancock, a popular Democrat with an impeccable reputation as a Unionist but also respected "states' rights". However, at only 44 years and never holding public office, he was advised by no less an expert as Douglas that gaining the nomination of a doomed election may doom his political career from the start.

    This would leave a fairly shallow group of nominees in April. The names near the top were somewhat shocking:

    Clement Vallandigham was the leader of the "Copperheads", midwestern Democrats sympathetic to the South, and was effectively exiled to Canada for nearly two years. Now out of office (he lost reelection badly in 1862), Vallandigham would form a Corp of "Redeemers" who of Northern Democrats who refused to acknowledge the propriety of the war. This was intended to, of course, bring in Southern Democrats as well and Vallandigham spent much of the past four years deriding Lincoln's refusal to return the Confederate states to the political fold.

    The other frontrunner, if one could call it that as such an early stage, was a man who had been a key member of the Republicans over the past few decade (and a Radical one at that).

    Salmon Chase had served as Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury for 4 years and then 4 years on the Supreme Court. In that time, he'd not only greatly served the country but in-exhaustively served his own ambitions for President. Lincoln finally got tired of this and replaced him in 1864.

    While still a staunch believer in Freedman's rights, Chase somehow drifted back to the Democrats and offered an "anti-slavery" wing of the Democratic Party a standard bearer. Unlike Vallandigham, nobody ever accused Chase of being a traitor. He WAS however accused of not being a Democrat.

    Other men would put their names forward in the next months, but the stark lack of candidates around whom a party may rally was not looking good.

    Paris

    Napoleon III was livid. While his attempts to lure Spain into the anti-British coalition had predictably failed, that didn't bother the Emperor much.

    However, seeing his "client states" of the Northwest German Confederation and the Kingdom of Italy abjectly reject entreaties to join the war....or even provide some resources....was somewhat disconcerting. The King of Hanover stated to the effect that "France's Emperor got his country into this without German assistance, he can get it out without German assistance". The King of Italy effectively demanded that France hand over pieces of North Africa seized in the past few decades, namely those lands west of France and Russia's "ally" Egypt. France had taken Cyrenaica and Tripolitania after the collapse of the Ottoman and certainly would not give it up.

    Still, the French Navy still had a slight edge in Ironclads as the first two of the 3500 ton displacement Alma-Class (the Alma and the Almide) had been commissioned in the past two months as had the newly 7000 ton displacement French ironclad, the Ocean (the first of her class).

    These would salve some of the sting of losing four Ironclads at Corfu.

    Of course, the Emperor had other problems. While the massed ironclads of all three fleets - Britain, France and Russia - were largely concentrated in the Mediterranean, the older, lighter warships of the Royal Navy were picking apart the allied counterparts in the North Sea, the North Atlantic and the Caribbean.

    Reports of fading French resistance in Guadeloupe and Martinique were reaching the press (those newspapers were naturally shut down).

    Thus far, the only victories of the war for the allies were Cyprus and Crete. However, those islands were largely now held by Greek and Russian troops and the King of Greece, presumably with Russian approval, announced "enosis" with Greece. Neither "ally" had bothered to discuss this with the Emperor.

    Granted, the true gain of Cyprus and Crete was the removal of those islands as British bases, but the war had not gained France itself anything at the moment.

    The Emperor could only hope that the battle of Siam was going well. If not....then what was the point?

    A desire to make gains in Africa was part of the impetus of this war. Morocco was the last major non-French client in North Africa. If Britain could be separated from her bases in the Mediterranean, then the Sea would become little more than a French lake.

    In the meantime, the Foreign Minister would announce that the French (and Russian) attempts to encourage insurrection in India had failed miserably. With total British domination of the Indian Ocean (at least west of Indochina), there was little opportunity to deliver arms and....much more importantly.....few rebel contacts to whom to deliver them. Any Rajas of the subcontinent still on their thrones owed this to their loyalty to the British crown. Beyond finding some random unhappy peasants and giving them weapons, there was no real path to formenting rebellion.

    If India was to rebel again....it would be entirely on THEIR terms, not the Emperors.
     
    Chapter 88
  • March, 1868

    Former Confederate States


    Six years after the defeat of the Confederacy and four since the peace with Britain and France, the South remained in economic and political turmoil.

    There had been SOME improvements. The infrastructure of ports, railroads, bridges, etc. had been repaired and, in some cases, improved. Towns and cities had been rebuilt.

    Agricultural production had grown from the stagnant war years.

    However, the loss of so much of the former enslaved workforce had caused great grief in the region. There simply was no easy way as yet (nor would there be for decades) of removing the cotton fiber from the plants except by arduous manual labor. The next census would not be until 1870 but it was already estimated that 1.25 million of the Confederate-era 3.5 million slaves had departed the region. That didn't even count the number of Freedmen who moved to new territories (future states) carved FROM the old Confederacy like Kanawha, Nickajack, Calusa, Mescalero, Aranama and Wichita.

    Oddly, the labor price for picking cotton by free sharecroppers, once fully calculated, would not be much higher than the slave-era plantation labor cost. One didn't have to spend hundreds of dollars to purchase a slave only to have them die or run away. The plantation owners also didn't have to pay for housing, food and care for slaves during the relatively quiet "down months" when the seed wasn't being sown or the crop harvested.

    Slavery had been profitable.....but so could free labor for the landowners. However, the quantity of laborers on hand continued to drop year after year.

    Reconstruction (or Yankee "Occupation") varied somewhat by state. Some of the Northern Confederate States like Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina were quietly taking advantage of the Reconstruction. The economies of Tennessee and Virginia in particular as much resembled ante-bellum northern states as southern.

    But certain holdouts remained. The Southern whites in Georgia, what was left of Florida (the southern half split off into Calusa), South Carolina and Alabama were particularly resistant to any Reconstruction efforts beyond fixing their infrastructure (even that often drew resentment).

    Attempts to settle Freedmen on small plots of land often drew Raiders throughout the night. Thousands of black homes, schools and churches had been burned to the ground. Union military governors would be ordered to hunt down these "Night-raiders" without mercy. The predominantly black 150,000 man occupation army would not hesitate to do so. Ringleaders were arrested and imprisoned (if they survived "arrest" by outraged black soldiers). That all of this was counter-productive was beside the point. The southern whites didn't want Freedmen around....but also could not survive without their labor.

    By 1868, several Confederate States had not even been allowed to reform their State Legislatures so they may vote formally approve the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments (no longer necessary as adequate numbers of states had approved them but Lincoln insisted that the individual states approve as a matter of course). President Lincoln had high hopes that Tennessee and Texas might serve as examples for the other states but black vote suppression had forced the government to annul the Tennessee ballots (naturally, the opposition would cry foul).

    In other cases, internal political rivalries within the southern states not related to white and black relations would spring up. The creation of the future states of Kanawha and Nickajack was but a continuation of structural differences within states which often had been ongoing for centuries. The plantation-dominated lowlands and predominantly white highlands had long been at one another's throats politically. Even if the "mountain peoples" of the Appalachians didn't care a bit about slavery, they DID care about being politically dominated by coastal elites.

    Almost as notable as the split between east and west in Virginia-Kanawha and Tennessee-NIckajack was the political division between north and south in Alabama. Most of the northern Alabaman counties had rejected secession in 1860 but that did not stop their southern kin from abandoning the Union. Had Union troops been available in 1860 in Northern Alabama as they had been in Western Virginia and Eastern Tennessee, there may have been another new state carved from the rebel stronghold.

    While north and south Alabama was economically and structurally not QUITE as different East and West Virginia, the political divide was every bit as deep. Northern Alabama preferred the Bell's Unionist platform in 1860, not the radical South's secession plan. This would result in years of finger-pointing and, in some cases, outright glee on the part of the Northern Alabamans in seeing the troubles of their Southern Alabamans in losing their workforce. Indeed, only lightly populated Florida and Louisiana (proximate to new territories giving away land and supplies to Freedmen) would lose a higher proportion of their Ante-bellum black populations.

    By 1868, the political divide between north and south Alabama over resources, the "Night-raiders" and willingness to abide by Union rules towards readmission to the Union had become as much a factor of personal political vendettas after years of abuse than any realistic structural reason.

    In 1867, the northern counties would issue a referendum on seceding from Alabama which would pass with a surprising 67% majority. This referendum was non-binding and only allowed with the permission of the military governor who found the Nightraiders, led by southern Alabaman elites, detestable.

    The result was forwarded to Washington where President Lincoln was unsure what to do about the matter. He had already agreed to split off Kanawha and Nickajack, but that was during the war years. Texas had been divided AFTER the war but that was also a huge state with wide swathes of open land in the north and west. It made sense there.

    But would THIS lead to endless redrawing of state maps every time an internal political dispute arose within a state? Is this the legacy Lincoln wanted to leave to his successors?

    In the end, Lincoln referred the issue to Congress, essentially passing the buck in his Lame Duck year. In truth, the President doubted that the measure would pass and, if so, probably not be implemented for the 1868 election.

    He would prove to be wrong on the last part.

    However, he was right that this would lead to an unnecessary (in Lincoln's eyes) politicization of what he considered to be a legal issue. Some Democrats would wail of more "Gerrymandering" by the Republicans while Republicans wondered why they should create ANOTHER southern state which would probably vote Democrat anyway. Did America WANT two more Democrat Senators in Congress. That was the likely result.

    This would prove to be one of those rare extremely contentious bits of legislation which somehow got out of committee and voted on in a relatively short period of time. With 60% of the vote in both Houses, the measure passed in March.

    Naturally, many southern Alabamans condemned this measure as an attack on them.....while just as many would publicly rejoice at the severing of their buffoonish northern kin. The northern Alabamans, perhaps not expecting their referendum to be taken seriously, much less approved, found themselves organizing the election of a state legislature for a new "Territory" which had yet to have a name.

    A hasty election was called for the sweltering June to embody a State Legislature which would review the new Constitutional Amendments. It would also bear a referendum as to what to call this new State. After a short debate, the committee nearly settled on "North Alabama" but, in the end, wanted a clean slate from "Alabama". Cahaba and Coosa, these being the main rivers of northern Alabama which fed into the Alabama River to the south, were chosen to bring to the voters directly. Cahaba, which ran nearer to the new State Capital of Birmingham, would chosen with 56% of the vote.

    The Maritimes - British North America

    Since the defeat of Great Britain in the "American War", the fate of the three remaining British colonies on North America's mainland had been hotly debated. Given the overwhelming regional population superiority of the aggrandized United States, the Disraeli Government would seek any advantage he could get in keeping the remainder of British North America under the Queen's dainty hand. In 1867, the Disraeli government would encourage the three remaining colonies - New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland - to unite into a single nation.

    However, the colonial governments would reject this out of hand. Even the idea of a Confederation leaving each colony to handle much of their own affairs was too much for Newfoundland.

    Thus, the initiative went nowhere.

    Due to the commerce raiding already common by early 1868, the three British North American colonies were trading more with America than Britain.

    Hispaniola

    Throughout 1867, the violence in Haiti only escalated as Queen Isabella approved a method to increase the number of troops in Hispaniola without having to pay for them. Still considered the "Pearl of the West Indies", the once most lucrative land on earth was hardly wealthy these days but the reputation lived on. Men cam in great numbers with the promise of 100 acre plots in prime Haitian Coffee and Sugar plantations. They came from Spain, the Dominican, Cuba, Portugal, Italy, Puerto Rico and the South and Central American mainland.

    In early 1868, the Queen formally withdrew any recognition or promises of respecting land ownership in Haiti. All land was to be redistributed to her servants who fought in her name. The "Dominican Republic" had been formally abolished in favor of the united "Colony of Hispaniola".

    This indeed brought tens of thousands more men into the Queen's service, men willing to do anything for their reward. The influx was necessary as the French, in 1867, withdrew their remaining 2000 French Foreign Legionnaires (and the 3000 still in the Rio Plata Region) back to Africa to assist in the subjugation of Morocco.

    The carnage by 1868 was inconceivable. Virtually any male Haitian over the age of 10 would be killed outright by the marauding bands of mercenaries. Even the Conquistadores of old were never so ruthless. Women of breeding age and children were taken back east into the former Dominican as "servants". Other women would be claimed as "war brides" by the various soldiers and forced into servitude in the army.

    Disease and starvation ran rampant. The elderly and young, left to their own devices, were usually the first to succumb.

    Faustin II remained in his inland fortress while over half the population of pre-war Haiti had been exterminated directly or indirectly by the invaders still marching inexorably inland with their Chassepots, Dreyse Needle guns and Winchesters. Lacking any real weaponry, the Haitians resort to fighting with bows, spears and axes.

    The result was nothing short of predictable. The Haitian men were utterly slaughtered. Killed wherever found, adult males were often outnumbers in various districts by Haitian women by a factor of up to 10 to 1.
     
    Chapter 89
  • May, 1868

    Morocco


    Gambling that the British would be unwilling or unable to dispatch forces to Morocco in any numbers, the French army marched against the King of Morocco, crushing them in several battles as Fez, Tangiers and other cities fell under French sway.

    While the French army had largely stood down since the "Prussian War", the system of rapid deployment adopted from the Prussian General Staff over the recent years paid dividends. As Napoleon III had no real interest in invading Britain nor did he fear an invasion BY Britain, that allowed him to use his superior forces on the offensive in the Mediterranean.

    In 1866, both the French and British Armies numbered roughly 200,000. However, this is deceptive as nearly 60,000 of the British forces were stationed in India and another 30,000 in the Maritimes, the West Indies, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, South Africa, etc. Another 30,000 remained in Ireland as garrison troops against an insurrection.

    This meant that relatively few experienced British troops were available for European conflict.

    France, meanwhile, maintained the majority of her 200,000 (roughly 3/4's) on French soil as well has having several hundred thousand veterans of the Prussian War on hand for rapid callup. Fearing no British invasion, the Emperor was able to dispatch as many troops as necessary to conquer Morocco.

    While Morocco had not been an aggressor in this war, the truth was that, otherwise, the French soldiers would be sitting around doing not much of anything while a predominantly naval war was waged around them.

    The invasion of Morocco was carefully planned to allow for a strictly land campaign in which there was no guarantee that supplies could be brought in via sea should the British gain full command of the Mediterranean (not an unrealistic consideration).

    The Arab-Berber cavalry armies had once been the scourge of Christendom. No more.

    By 1868, the French army had largely upgraded their infantry to Chassepot Rifles and Krupp Cannon. This would prove devastating to the sword-wielding Berber cavalry. In short order, the King of Morocco's forces would be routed and pressed further west. 35,000 French soldiers would march northwest to Rabat and Casablanca where the cities would face a siege from the landward side for the first time in memory.

    The King of Morocco would retreat to Marrakesh, hoping to find some sort of sanctuary. Largely cut off from the sea, there seemed to be no realistic chance of victory.

    Marseille

    Months after their drubbing at Corfu, the French fleet gathered at Marseille for another go. Armed with three new ironclad ships fresh from the shipyard, the fleet would sail to Corfu for another round with the British (most of their "ally" Russia's fleet remained in the eastern Mediterranean).

    Numerous reports would hold that the British Royal Naval resources in the Mediterranean remained near Corfu. This made since as, without heavy naval resources, Corfu could not be defended. Gibraltar and Malta, on the other hand, could withstand a lengthy siege until help arrived.

    Led by the new flagship, Ocean, the French sailed for Corfu with 8 of their precious ironclads and sixteen smaller or older vessels. There would be no trailing invasion fleet as of yet. If the naval battle was lost, an invasion was impossible. If control of the waters was won by the French, then a land invasion could proceed later.

    Baltimore

    The Democratic Caucus would convene in Baltimore on April 25th. As expected, candidates for the Presidential Ballot would be lighter than most elections. Stephen Douglas, a Democrat power-broker through and through but also a committed Unionist, begged off for "health" reasons.

    Horatio Seymour, former governor of New York, also expressed no interest in the nomination and actually withdrew from his chairmanship of the

    One of the few Highly-ranked generals loyal to the Democrats, Winfield Scott Hancock, had been assigned to the Department of the Pacific where he stated "he was not prepared to enter civilian life as of yet".

    Given that the Republicans were expected to win in a landslide regardless of who ran, this was hardly a surprise. Even the most optimistic figures had the Republicans winning 60% of the electoral votes. Pessimistic figures projected closer to 90%.

    The economy had largely recovered in the past two years. Even the outbreak of war in Europe had not severely damaged the nation. The rapid expansion of the mining and textile industries of the north would consume a large number of workers while the reduction in transportation would ensure that southern cotton disproportionately went to northern mills and the flood of immigrants to the cities would slow to a trickle for a year or two.

    The debt was slowly but steadily being reduced. People were moving westward to better lives in droves.

    Best of all (or worst for the Democrats), Lincoln received great public support for his handling of this new war and keeping America's borders safe while also remaining neutral.

    Just as disastrously for the Democrats, the party remained largely regarded as a "pro-secessionist or Copperhead" party. This would not be a good thing in the polls.

    With the strongest potential candidates effectively running from the office, that left the door open for the oddest options:

    Clement Vallendigham had been a Congressman from Ohio who led the Copperhead faction of the Midwest which was pro-slavery and even considered secession themselves. Exiled to Canada, the man had done little the past few years beyond condemning the government in newspaper column. Even most northern Democrats considered him a traitor. He may have found some support among Southern electors in the previous system....but those electors had yet to receive back their right to vote.

    Another small faction was led by Salmon Chase. A Republican for a decade, a Whig before that and a longtime anti-slavery campaigner, Chase would point out that the Freedmen were going to get equal rights eventually and there was no point to fighting it. By voting for Chase, the Party may get back a number of the Unionist Democrat vote lost over the past eight years.

    In truth, neither of these men were overly popular candidates and the Democratic Caucus would spend weeks seeking a mainstream candidate with at least a chance to win. However, one after another (Seymour was so besieged by supporters that he left the Convention on the pretext of "a family illness").

    So egregious was the lack of qualified candidates that the Caucus decided on a bizarre course of action. They would nominate the last two Democratic Presidents, the aged Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire and James Buchanan of Pennsylvania. Neither had any significant part of politics for the past eight years and would not only refuse but laugh at the idea of running again. However, the Caucus accepted that there was no chance in winning the Presidency in 1868 but there was a chance to avoid a slaughter of down-ballot Democrats in Congress if they had two well-known names at the top, ones that lacked the personal loathing of the few men who wanted the office.

    On June 3rd, after nearly 6 weeks of internal negotiations, the Democrats opted for Pierce for President and Buchanan for Vice-President.

    Of course, the entire business would be for naught as hearing the news caused Pierce to suffer an immediate heart attack and the old man expired immediately. News never reached Buchanan at all as the Pennsylvanian had died on June 1st of a stroke (the news had been delayed by a telegraph line in Pennsylvania out of commission for over a week after a late spring snowstorm.

    The Caucus was on the verge of breaking up when they received the news. Embarrassed, those still in attendance would finally chose between the two men willing to admit to wanting the office.

    The choice, by a narrow margin, was the traitor and secessionist Clement Vallendigham. Upon hearing this, Salmon Chase deemed the Democratic Party beyond redemption and returned to the Republicans (knowing his political future was largely over, he remained on the Supreme Court for the rest of his life).

    Even the most partisan Democratic papers launched a series of editorials that it would have been better for the Party to simply no field a candidate than field one which had been a traitor to his country. Even those in agreement with Vallendigham's actions knew he would severely damage the Party prospects down the ballot.

    Winfield Scott Hancock, now commanding the Army of the Pacific, would be quoted widely stating that he should have hanged Vallendigham in Canada when he had him in 1863. He also stated he would not be voting in the 1868 election if THIS was the best the Democrats could do.
     
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