Has the World Gone Mad! - A Co-Op TL

This is a TL me and Superman have been researching and writing for days, hope you like it.

Has the World Gone Mad! - A Co-Op TL

By: Josef Stalin and Superman

Today will be known as BLACK MONDAY. We are utterly and disgracefully routed, beaten, whipped by secessionists. -Union diarist George Templeton Strong​

By 1861 the world was radically different from a the year previous. The United States had lost 11 states due to secession. The first seven: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, formed the Confederate States of America on February 4th, 1861 in Montgomery, Alabama as Lincoln took the Oath of Office in DC 791 mi away. After South Carolina forcefully seized Fort Sumter on April 14th 4 more states joined the Confederacy: Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee. With this the battle lines were drawn and war began. Due to popular opinion to quickly take Richmond and end the war Irvin McDowell led a unseasoned army in Virginia. As they approached a small town called Manassas they ran into a Confederate Army led by P. G. T. Beauregard. The First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas in the South) had begun.

Union President Lincoln

Confederate President Jefferson Davis

In the beginning the Battle was going awesome for the Union. A attack on the Confederate flank was going great and it looked like the Battle would go to them, then General Johnston showed up. Confederate General Johnston showed up and halted the Union advance with a brigade of Virginians led by Thomas Jackson. Jackson's brigade stood their ground in wake of a Union advance and a unknown soldier shouted "Look at Jackson, standing like a stone wall!", giving Jackson the name "Stonewall". With the Union advance halted the Confederates pushed back and forced the Union forces into a retreat. The retreat was pretty orderly at first but then they arrived at Bull Run Crossings where the retreat was poorly managed by Union officers. When a wagon overturned due to artillery fire everyone panicked and fled in the general direction of DC, where they met a crowd of Washington elite who gathered to watch the battle, this only helped to disorganize the Union retreat even more. Washington lay defenseless if the Confederates advanced. On the 24th of June Thaddeus C. Lowe was sent up in a balloon to recon the Rebels and what he found was astonishing, nothing. The Confederates were just as disorganized as the Union and were showing no indication of a advance. Before he could float to safety he was forced down by Confederate gunfire and captured, depriving the Union of valuable intel. Lowe would spend 4 years in a Confederate prison near Andersonville.

President of the CSA Jefferson Davis (he came to watch the Yankee retreat), General Johnston and General Beauregard got together and planned an Invasion of Maryland. On June 28th Operation: King Cotton was put into action and Confederate forces clashed with Union forces outside Washington. The Union forces were slowly beaten back and within 6 hours Confederate forces were charging up Pennsylvania Avenue to capture the White House. As they ran up the lawn the White House erupted in gunfire and they were forced back. Cannons on the roof of the WH were used to take out droves of them before being destroyed by Confederate Artillery. The Union eventually abandoned the White House and DC all together. Even though there were hostile locals and the occasional sniper President Davis came into DC and sat in the Oval Office and wrote a message back to Richmond "We have taken Washington, the Damn Yankees are on the run!". When news reached Richmond there was limited celebration. Although they won this battle it came at a great cost and showed this war would be long a brutal.

Confederate forces fighting for Washington
Abraham Lincoln just barely escaped the Confederate advance and formed a new Capitol in Philadelphia. In his haste he forgot a very important document in a self in his desk, the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln hung his head, what was the use now, Washington had fallen and the road to Philly was open to a Confederate advance. As he sat thinking about what his next move was he got startling news from Congress, we was to report for impeachment proceedings. The frown lines on his face grew deeper and he slowly rose from his chair. As he left his temporary residence he had only one thought "Has the World Gone Mad!". After a short hearing and numerous speeches by Democratic Senators and Representatives Lincoln took to the stand. His speech was 20 minutes long and was electrifying. He preached for continued unity even in the face of abandoning the Capitol and he also laid out plans for reconstruction after the War and even gave a, abet re-written, Emancipation Proclamation. When asked why he was planning Reconstruction and freeing slaves in enemy territory so early in the war he responded "If we don't plan for the future there won't be one." After a vote it was settled, Lincoln would stay, but only by one vote. Later on of his aides said "This was a very humbling experience for Lincoln and showed him how unpopular he was.".

On July 4th, 1861 the Confederates held a military parade in Washington DC. The Embassadors for England and France were in attendance along with Jefferson Davis and Confederate Secretary of War Judah P Benjamin. After that was over Jefferson Davis and the English and French ambassadors went to Richmond for discussion of official recognition. Meanwhile in DC Confederate Generals Beauregard and Johnston began a push to Baltimore where there was strong Confederate sympathies. The Battles of Silver Spring and Burtonsville were massive Confederate victories and not long after that the Confederates had surrounded Baltimore with the 6th Volunteer Militia still inside. A relief force under General Benjamin Butler was sent to relieve Baltimore on the 19th. On April 24th the Confederates clashed with Union forces on the outskirts of Towson. The battle lasted for 3 hours and in the end the Union carried the day and the Confederates broke the siege. As Butler entered Baltimore though, expecting a jubilant crowd, he was rushed by a mob of Confederate sympathizers. Butler fled the city as not to cause a open revolt, but it was too late. The sympathizers seized the state Capital and declared Marylands support for the Confederacy, soon followed by Delaware. The Confederates (who were camped out in Annapolis) rushed forward and slammed into Butler outside Baltimore. The Confederates were supported soon after by a loyal group of Militia from Baltimore and ended up carrying the battle, forcing Butler out of Maryland. A referendum was held in Dover and Baltimore and both states voted to join the Confederacy (although recent research shows more people voted than there were in the state at that time). Lincoln was furious and sent General Grant after the advancing Confederates who were now pushing deep into Pennsylvania. He also ordered Kentucky to be invaded to open support lines for pro-Union rebel groups in Tennessee and a seaborne Invasion of Delaware.

A Union force comprised of 30 000 men under James H. Wilson landed in Bowers and began marching to Dover. 20 000 Confederates from Maryland rushed in and entered Dover, erecting makeshift barricades and stockpiling for a siege they expected to come. When Wilsons force did make it to Dover, Wilson overrode his advisors and ordered an attack. The attack was a rousing success, restoring a pro-Union government led by Wilson. The Confederates decided not to retaliate and decided to attempt to starve the state into submission.

Confederate General Johnston swung around as another General, Beauregard went up the coast in a attempted pincer movement. Johnston attacked Camp Curtin near Harrisburg early dawn on July 30th. The Union soldiers panicked and rushed to their guns but they were too late. The Confederates blew a hole in the wall and rushed through. The Union soldiers were slaughtered and the ones that weren't were marched off to the life of a POW, Harrisburg fell soon after. The morale of the Union Army plummeted after the Fall of Harrisburg and men started to desert or defect. A engagement at the small hamlet of Lebanon, Pennsylvania saw a General defect to the Confederates. With resistance against them crumbling the Confederates closed in on Philadelphia. As the Confederates attempted to enter the city the met General Grant who managed to sneak a entire army in behind Johnston. The Battle was a pyrrhic victory for the Union but a victory nonetheless. The Confederate advance had stalled at the gates of Philadelphia.

Confederate forces attacking Fort Curtin

Elsewhere in the country Confederate forces under General Braxton Bragg invaded Kentucky. General Sherman bid his time and allowed for Confederate forces to advance far into Kentucky before striking in Danville. The Confederates had advanced to far for their supply lines and tried to hold while they rushed forward. Bragg personally led a charge against the Union forces and managed to break their right flank near the Church. Sherman tried to save it by pulling forces from the center but soon regretted it. As the soldiers left the center Confederate artillery opened up and punched holes in the Union line. The barrage was followed up by a cavalry charge that sent the union center into a full fledged rout, soon followed by the left flank. Before long Sherman was sacked and Robert Anderson replaced him. Anderson reformed his ranks in Lexington and prepared for a Confederate attack but was stupefied when none came. The Union Army waited for a month before a CS Army offensive caught them off guard and captured Lexington and Frankfort. Afterword the Confederacy installed a Confederate leaning governor. Another loss for the Union, another opinion tanking for Lincoln.

Back east the stalemate continued as more Confederate forces poured in from the South and more Union forces were ferried in by sea. The Confederate Navy tried blockading Philadelphia but was turned back. When asked why he didn't evacuate the city Lincoln responded "I have nowhere left to go." As men piled up the danger of a successful Confederate attack mounted. July turned to March and then to April and men on both sides mounted. On April 3rd Grant was tired of waiting and proposed a breakout plan to Lincoln. While they were discussing this a telegram came in from both London and Paris. The English and French had recognized the CSA as independent and demanded the US cease hostilities. As Grant and Lincoln looked over the telegrams the Rebel Yell floated across the air, they got the same one. This was soon followed by gunfire and cannon shots, Lincoln dismissed these as mere celebration. A aide rushed into the room and began to speak "Mr. President, General Grant, the Rebels have begun an offensive against the city. We are crumbling!" Grant shot up and out of the room and ran onto a horse to go lead his troops but found traversing the streets impossible due to the sheer number of bodies running the other way. He pushed on through and eventually managed to reach Union HQ on the other side of town.

When he entered he saw only panic and disarray, people were running every which way shouting orders that nobody was following. Grant stood in the door and shouted "EVERYBODY BE QUIET!" and they did. "Now tell me what the hell is happening out there." General Hooker was the first to speak "Well General. The Rebels have launched two separate attacks, one from the West and one from the South. The southern attack has been halted just outside the city with a generous amount of naval support. The one from the West however has met little to no resistance." Grant shook his head "Damn. What do we have to work with?" General Burnside was the one to respond "We have three battalions of infantry of roughly one thousand men, two squads of calvary and 20 cannon." Grant stroked his beard "Do we have any clue what we are facing?" "No Sir" General Sumner said. Grant let out a deep sigh and went to a table. "So how many men are tied up in the South?" a aide ran to him and gave him a sheet of paper "Ok, so we have two free battalions, no free calvary and 10 cannon. Try to evacuate the President and Congress that is first priority. How far into the city is the Confederates from the West?" "They have been stopped at the Schuylkill River but not for long." said a faceless voice from the back. "Good, concentrate cannon-fire on the bridges across.", someone ran out to tell the cannoneers. "From this moment on nobody speaks unless spoken to! Is this clear!" Grant shouted "Sir yes Sir!" the room said in unison. "Good. How many Generals are in this room?" Generals Joseph Hooker, Edwin V. Sumner, Fitz John Porter and Ambrose E. Burnside all came to the front of the room "You all stay here, the rest of you get the hell out!" The room quickly emptied. Grant relaxed some "Good. Now I want Hooker and Sumner to head South and keep them at bay at all hazards." They quickly ran off "Porter, I want you to evac the President and Congress." He left "The rest of you are here for the duration of the Battle in the West so get comfy."

The Battle dragged its feet for a month as Grant masterfully stopped every Confederate advance. In May of 1861 General Lee was brought to the field of battle and the tide turned rapidly. The Navy was forced to evacuate as cannon from the shore began to return fire collapsing the Southern front and a nighttime landing in the West caught the Union off guard and by the next night Philadelphia had fallen.

The Union holding the Line in the South
Last edited: