Junk Bin - Merge deleted threads here.

Do you have interest in chinese culture?

  • Yes.

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  • Yes, i want to china.

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The Final Revolt: A Revolutionary Alternate History

link to discussion thread: https://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=213836




The Final Revolt


A Revolutionary Alternate History




Prologue


The 1930’s were both good times and bad times for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Following the untimely death of Lenin due to a stroke in 1924, Stalin gradually rose to power in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). By the late 1920’s Stalin had become the next supreme leader of the Soviet state. Immediately scrapping the highly unpopular New Economic Policy (NEP), Stalin would go on to create a series of controversial yet effective five-year plans which would come to be part of his legacy.
The first five-year plan of 1928 would set in motion a slew of policies inside the USSR that would forever shape it’s destiny. Heavy industrialization and communization of peasant farmland would characterize the first plan, and although it would sow the seeds for a future economy rivaling that of the United States, the Soviet people would suffer greatly.
However, the greatest event that would change the country forever would be the German invasion of Russia on July 22, 1941. On this day Adolf Hitler would unleash the German war machine en masse on the Motherland. The Nazis came dangerously close to capturing Moscow in the same year, but fortunately were repulsed by a determined Red Army counter attack. Future brave counter attacks by the Red Army, supported by the powerful Red Air Force, would turn back the Nazi victories, which at first had allowed them to travel as far south as Stalingrad and as far north as Leningrad.
But it was the failure of D-Day that allowed for the Soviet Union to finally become the powerful nation we know today. D-Day was the codename for the attempted Allied invasion of northern France, spearheaded by a combined American, British, and Canadian offensive on the beaches of Normandy. The fierce assault would be drowned in the blood of thousands of soldiers, who gave their lives in a noble attempt to liberate France from Nazi tyranny.
Although Stalin was the one who had originally convinced the western Allies to go through with the invasion following the surrender of Italy, and had fretted at first once he heard of it’s tragic failure, D-Day would soon turn out to be a double edged sword for the Soviets. With their forces freed up from France and elsewhere in Europe as a result of the failure of D-Day, the Germans were able to reverse many of their defeats that came about with the retreat from Stalingrad. Even though the Germans lost the entire Third Army during the retreat, the extra troops pouring in from France allowed them to reinforce the buffer zone in and around Eastern Europe, which if it faltered would spell doom for the Third Reich.
The Germans were also able to field such technological marvels as the Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe, the world's first fighter jet aircraft. But the superior technology of the Germans would be no match for the Soviet's numerical superiority. Pushing aside the Nazi armies, the Soviets would be in Berlin by late 1947. With the fall of eastern Europe and the Third Reich, the USSR would be in control of over half of Europe. Following the end of the war the USSR would, after briefly occupying France following the fall of the Third Reich, allow for General Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle to return to Paris to continue the exiled French Third Republic as to avoid a costly war with the west. The next several decades would be instrumental for the USSR in it's struggle against the enemies of Socialism.


Part One: The post-war European order and the USSR's early struggles against the United States


The victory over the Third Reich at the hands of the Soviets would forever shape the history of Europe as we knew it. One of the first order of businesses that the USSR attained to was planning on how to deal with a defeated Germany. The initial stage was easy. The USSR would dissolve the Third Reich as an effective government, while making Austria independent from Germany. The country for some time would be put under full Soviet Red Army control, until one year later when the country would be made semi-independent with the creation of the Democratic Republic of Germany.
Like her east European counterparts, Germany would be subjected to harsh communization efforts by the new ruling Communist government propped up by the Soviets. These efforts would be met by massive resistance from the German people, who did not take kindly to having their farmland seized by the state. Protests would break out from time to time, but tended to be disorganized and easily suppressed by the new ruling Communist authorities. However, the protests and general all around unpopularity of the communization efforts caused, by the mid to late 1950's, a serious lack of economic transformation in all Soviet occupied European countries.
Besides Germany to worry about, there was also Greece. Finding itself embroiled in a bitter civil war between the KKE(Greek Communist Party) and the Greek government recognized by the UK and the USA shortly after the end of WWII, the civil war could not have been far from Joseph Stalin's mind.
Supported by the USSR and other pro-Soviet Balkan nations, the armed wing of the KKE, the Democratic army of Greece, numbered in the 50,00's at the beginning of the civil war in 1948. Despite this numerical advantage, the Greek government, formally in exile following the defeat of Greece by the Axis powers, would prove to stand well on its own as well as with support from foreign allies.
Stalin knew that if the Greek government survived and the KKE was defeated, then the western powers would receive in return a base of operations in the Balkans with which they could use to project a considerable amount of power over the Mediterranean. So for the next several years as the civil war intensified, Stalin would ramp up his support of the Democratic army of Greece.
By 1950-51 these tactics had begun to bear fruit, especially when combined with a number of major defeats for the Greek government military forces across the country. By 1952 the KKE was in control of most of the country, and by July of the same year launched one final assault on Athens. The Greek government would once again go into exile, fleeing the capital to Crete, where it would be propped up and supported by Britain and the United States throughout the Cold War in the event that they would be able to return to Greece.
With the “fall of Greece to Communism,” the USSR could now exercise it's power over the warm waters of the Mediterranean sea, giving Stalin an edge over the west that his country would enjoy until the very end of the Cold War.
In the meantime the Soviet Union would detonate it's first atomic bomb on August 29th, 1949, known as First Lightening. The atomic bomb test scared the Americans, who would start work soon on a new type of bomb, the hydrogen bomb, to counter the USSR's atomic bomb.
For the most part, the period following the end of WWII was a peaceful period. Yet, a new type of war was brewing up amid this era of peace. The proxy war. As a result of Stalin's ideological divide Cold War strategy, Korea found itself divided into a Socialist north and Capitalist south Korea. Never before had the tiny Korean peninsula found itself in such a pitiful position.
When war broke out on the peninsula between the two countries, Stalin was quick to send fighter pilots over to the north to aid the war in the air, as a counter to the superior air power of the south. The Americans also sent in forces from Japan, in the form of a NATO peacekeeping force, which arrived to Busan at the last minute to save the war weary south Korean force that had been pushed back all the way to the southern most portion of the country. In a series of counter-attacks, the South Korean-NATO force pushed the north Korean army all the way back to Pyongyang.
Eager to finally “liberate” the north from the clutches of Communism, the South Koreans were prepared to do anything to take over the rest of the north. China was not pleased. China would intervene on behalf of north Korea if the south did not withdraw its forces. Knowing all to well that it was never a good idea to get involved in a land war with China, the south Koreans obeyed reluctantly, and eventually a white peace treaty was signed between the two halves of the peninsulas. However, up until this day the two sides are still technically at war.
This was a major blow to the USSR. Stalin had hoped to spread Socialism to the rest of the peninsula, which would have threatened Japan and kept the Americans constantly on their guard. But, at least the north Korean regime had been preserved. A worst case scenario would be for the whole of Korea to be annexed to the south, threatening both the PRC(People's Republic of China) and the USSR.


Still, the Cold War must go on.


Part Two: Beria takes charge


On March 5th, 1953 Stalin would be dead. Killed by a stroke. Beria, the chief of the Russian secret police(NKVD), would succeed him. His first act was to first and foremost continue Stalin's legacy. He would rapidly speed up communization, which by 1953 had been slow to be developed in the iron curtain. To do so all dissent had to be crushed across Europe. The secret police of every Soviet occupied European nation would intensify their efforts to crush dissent, while the army of each respective nation would quell any peaceful or violent act against the government. These totalitarian acts would characterize Beria's rule until his death at the age of 94, thirty years after coming to power.
Khrushchev and others in the party deemed disloyal to the Motherland would be rounded up and receive each a bullet between the eyes for their long servitude to the party. Such were the politics of Stalin's right hand man. Under Beria's rule, the USSR would not only send the first man into space, but would also by the late 1960's land the first man on the moon as well. The Americans would frantically try to keep up in the space race, attempting to one up the USSR at every turn. The intensification of the space race in the 1970's is often cited by historians as a reason for why the United States lost the Cold War. It simply could not compete with a totalitarian nation hellbent on winning the Cold War at the expense of its population. Democracy would prove to be the USA's undoing.
From across Soviet-Europe, revolt after revolt against Beria's totalitarian police state was violently crushed. The final revolt would occur in Berlin, and end when the tanks came rolling down the streets, killing indiscriminately. The Soviet Union would be preserved indefinitely, but at a great cost in human life.


Part Three: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Today


The Soviet Union still survives as of this time of writing despite a massive debt problem and spiraling inflation. Living standards are kept artificially low to save money, while any sort of public gathering is outlawed outright in Beria's constitution. Much like before under Joseph Stalin's rule, party indoctrination is commonplace among people of all ages. And while the USSR still adheres to orthodox Marxism-Leninism as its official ideology, the USSR is a far cry from the democratic, Communist values it was founded on way back in 1922.
Despite a normalization of relations between east and west in the 1990's, the United States and the Soviet Union still hold somewhat of a grudge against each other. The space race has long since ended with a victory for the USSR, but the arms race has for the most part still been raging on, although to a much lesser extent then during the Cold War. A series of treaties signed in the early 2000's reduced significantly the number of warheads both sides posses, but nonetheless they both still have enough to eradicate all life on the planet.
In terms of foreign relations, the USSR enjoys significant influence among the tyrants of the world, socialist or not. Still toting the anti-imperialist line, the USSR has good relations with Gaddafi's Libya, which has made preparations for quite some time to unify all of Africa in a European Union styled network of alliances.
Cuba enjoys plenty of support from the USSR, as well as immense popularity from idealist Marxists the world over, while South America's FARC continues to win a string of victories against the weakening Colombian government. The Shining Path of Peru has slowly made a resurgence, and there are reports of clashes with a new, young breed of Shining Path rebels in the jungles of Peru, who are eager to create a “Marxist state” in their country to serve as a beacon to the international Proletarian movement.
The USSR's relationship with India is intense. Already notorious for clandestinely aiding the Nepal Maoists, who overthrew the monarchy and formed their long awaited Socialist, new Nepal, secret documents by the whistle blower website Wikileaks revealed Soviet involvement in Naxalite owned regions of India. Although the Soviets denied all involvement, it was clear from the documents that the USSR was and is still committed to spreading revolution worldwide, or at least that is what the US and Indian leadership both assert.
Is this the best Communism has to offer? The far Left is divided on how to collectively assess the USSR. Some cling to the idealistic notion that the USSR is still a proletarian state dedicated to world revolution, with Beria being not only a hero of the USSR but a fighter against revisionism, which some have claimed has cropped up inside the CPSU recently.
Others assert that the USSR's commitment to world Socialism had died shortly after Lenin's death, and that the country is but a shell of its former self. Those critical of the USSR note its rampant levels of poverty and even mass starvation, totalitarian government, and tendency to imperialistically get involved in other countries affairs.
And an even smaller faction of the far left claim that the only way forward is to through mass action to overthrow the rotten Soviet regime and usher in true worker control of industry around the world. Critics point out the unrealistic goals set forth by these Marxists, saying that the Soviet Union will likely never fall.

One thing is for certain, and that is that the Soviet Union will continue for a long time.




October 25th, 2018
 

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For Want of a Rail

For Want of a Rail
A Timeline
Prologue: January 6th 1903
The Secretary of State drummed his fingers on the lunch counter of the train as he spoke, staring at the gathering crowd. “The atheist Communists will destroy this country, if we don't do something about it!" he shouted, indulging his famous temper as he slammed his fist on the counter. The crowd stared, nodding approvingly. “Those filthy radicals may take over countries in Europe, but America shall remain free of their pollution.” The Secretary stood up. He was more corpulent then when he was young, but his face still burned with what others called a righteous passion. “When I was first elected to public office I promised the country that I would eradicate those southern and western fools.” The train was turning a corner, the gears squeaking, but the crowd gazed in rapt amazement upon the man who had risen extraordinarily fast in politics. “And by God and our great american party I will do so! Those progressives will rue the day they ever profaned these United States of America. Goddamn that Franklin...” With a shriek, the train overturned, killing Theodore Roosevelt instantly…
It was a bright early morning in Wessex, Assiniboia Territory, and Thomas Wilson[1] sighed. Another day of, as his father had intoned so frequently, improperly cold weather for any southerner. Of course, after the War of Division [2], his family had deemed it best to move up north. He’d become moderately successful in territorial politics, but a mix of lack of application and an overly formal appearance meant that he’d never gone far. However, he still had his connections, as he thought when he saw one of his neighbors, Mr. McGregor, running toward him. “Have you seen the news?” Sensing Thomas’ surprise, McGregor continued. “There’s war! The Fascists have declared war on Britain!” “The world must be made safe for democracy.” Thomas murmured. “It must.”

Part #1 In which we learn the consequences of our butterfly
Polked and Pierced

“They could do worse, and probably will”-Thomas Reed OTL

As inauguration time neared in 1853, America watched the President-Elect anxiously. Pierce, at 48, would be the youngest president yet, and the first from New Hampshire. However, the caprices of fate changed all that when, on January sixth, Pierce was a first of a wholly different kind: the first president to die before his inauguration. The nation was shocked to receive the news that Pierce’s train had derailed near Andover Massachusetts, sparing his wife and son but killing the President-Elect [3]. Vice President King also got another record made. He had the shortest presidential term when he died a week after his inauguration from tuberculosis. So, to the dread of northerners throughout the nation, the new acting president of the United States was David Rice Atchison. His term made sure that Pierce and King would be overshadowed by their successor.
Atchison was aware that his time as acting president would be short: the constitution mandated an election for the remainder of the term in November. However, the new president, the youngest in the nation’s history, was not one to go down without a fight. The first test of his power came with the proposals for a transcontinental railroad.
-Passage from “Missouri Ruffian” by Eoin McWilliams, Cambridge Press, Banff
The unfortunate death of President-Elect Pierce, though shocking to the American people, was but a brief impediment to the progress of railroads. In the same year, an American proposal for a transcontinental railroad would pass. This titanic chain of events started during the term of President Fillmore, when Senator Thomas Jefferson Rusk proposed a bill creating two transcontinental railroads, one with a northern route and one with a southern route. The bill called for the president to select where the routes of the two railroads would be. Initially, the bill, and its amended version failed, but with the succession of acting president Atchison, an amended version was passed [4]. The railroads would once again ignite a great political issue, this time, about their location.
-Passage from “The Railroad Industry: Volume 8: The March of Progress” by Ulysses Bircher, Titan Press, Avonlea
Senator Stephen Douglas saw in the new northern railroad a chance to support his home state of Illinois economically. If the eastern terminus was given to Chicago, the state would undoubtedly benefit. Whereas, if it was given to Des Moines or Milwaukee, Chicago might have a dangerous rival. Douglas thus exerted all his efforts on Atchison’s behalf, to curry political favor.
However, with the troubles in Nicaragua, Spain, and especially Mexico, Douglas increasingly worried that he might have made a Faustian Bargain.
-Passage from “Illinois: State History: Volume 7” by James McLaggen, Fremont Press, Springfield
Atchison’s diplomatic choices were volatile, to say the least, and the most volatile were the Southern Trifecta. The pact of Soule, Borland, and Mason, traveling to Spain, Nicaragua, and France respectively, went a long way in ensuring that the U.S. would be embroiled in foreign difficulties by the end of Atchison’s term. Ironically, however, the U.S.’s troubles started with the seemingly innocuous topic of the newly created railroad. The southern route of the railroad seemed off to a good start. The railroad was backed by important southerners such as Secretary of War Jefferson Davis and Supreme Court Justice Judah Benjamin [5]. There was a far southern route that seemed flat and would connect major southern cities with the pacific. The only problem was, the proposed route passed through Mexican territory. In 1853, the Mesilla valley was under the control of Mexico, as such having the best route for a southern railroad. In March, New Mexico Territorial Governor William C. Lane claimed the valley for New Mexico. Atchison, shrewd as always, backed up the Governor in his claim [6], demanding the valley. However, the newly back in power Santa Anna in Mexico was aware of the fragility of his position; he desperately needed money, and if he handed away Mexican land for free, he would undoubtedly be deposed. Negotiations started, but as an agreement was about to be reached, it all slipped away.
-Passage from “President as Diplomat” by Herbert Williamhouse, Dervish Press, Floride
William Walker had recruited a force in San Francisco, composed of mostly southerners. He now returned to New Mexico territory and (some say supported by the territorial governor) marched across the border, talking control of the valley. Walker’s initial idea was to establish a buffer colony to protect from Indians, but his invasion snowballed into something much larger than that. In Washington, a jubilant Atchison told the Mexican envoys that, owing to U.S. control of its territory, he saw no need to pay the Mexican government money. In Mexico City, Santa Anna was furious as he realized that his money for the army was now lost. He decided to get the backing of the army by another method; leading a campaign against Walker.
-Passage from “Man of Destiny” by James Earl, Dominion Press, New Montgomery
Despite what Northerners have later said about him, Atchison knew that Walker’s move into Mexico would cost the Democrats northern votes. The reason Atchison still supported Walker was the fact that, as he stated to his Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, in his mind “One patriotic southern vote is worth that of two northerners.”[7] This sentiment, as heartfelt as it undoubtedly was, was paired with a shrewd realization that northern rivals in the party would also be tarred with the proslavery brush. So it was initially at the Democratic Convention of 1853.
As the Convention started, the list of challengers could be viewed as thus:
James Buchanan and William Marcy, both favorite sons of their respective states,
Stephen Douglas, formerly candidate of expansionists until Atchison usurped that position, and Lewis Cass, the candidate in 1848, and supported by many northerners.
Douglas assumed that his stance had been adopted by Atchison, and with what looked like little chance of winning he bowed out gracefully, in exchange for help from Atchison in the future. This left Cass, who was weakened by the northern favorite sons, and by his implicit support of Walker.
Democratic Presidential Ballot
Ballot-Atchison-Cass-Marcy-Buchanan-Others
#1 101 76 29 65 15
…………………………………………………
Atchison thus started out with a plurality of the vote, little more than one third. However, as the balloting continued Atchison and Cass, the two respective extremes of the Party, began to slowly rise, hurting the other candidates.
…………………………………………………
#10 123 92 13 47 11 Cass’ high tide
…………………………………………………
Then Cass began to sink, as it became clear the other northern candidates were not going to surrender their delegates to him, the most radical candidate. Atchison continued to rise, and in desperation the northerners tried to unite behind Buchanan, the most moderate candidate.
…………………………………………………..
#22 148 0 0 124 12 Switch to Buchanan
……………………………………………………
This too stalled, and then the Illinois delegation, split between Buchanan and Atchison, made a move…towards Douglas. Atchison had not bothered to get the Illinois senator to issue a formal declaration of support, but as Douglas began to rise in the balloting, Atchison tried to get him to drop out. Douglas continued making evasive statements to Atchison, as he saw his numbers continue to rise. Finally, on the thirty first ballot, a tired Atchison heard the news about his defeat. For vice president was Senator Thomas Rusk of Texas, now famous for originating the railroad proposal.
………………………………………………………….
#31 60 0 0 31 0 193 Douglas’ Victory
…………………………………………………………..
The Little Giant was about to be a major candidate indeed.

The Whigs also held a convention in 1853, and unlike the divided Democrats, they were a newly invigorated party. The candidate in 1852 had been Winfield Scott, but the severity of his defeat the previous year ruled him out of consideration. As Daniel Webster had recently died, this left as the only notable candidate former president Millard Fillmore, who was nominated on the first ballot over a few votes for Scott.
The Whigs stood on a platform of repudiating the Gadsden Purchase and in general opposing the democrats. Although the Whig vice presidential candidate, William Graham, was a southerner, the Whig platform in general didn’t appeal to the south. Thus campaign of 1853 was the first to founder on the slippery slope of sectionalism.
-Passage from “Democratic Election Atlas”, by John Mason, Debs Press, Centralia
Atchison, disconsolate at the fact that he had been defeated as the party’s candidate, nevertheless did his part to support the Democrats. He dutifully attacked Millard Fillmore as a “New York Abolitionist”, despite the fact the Fillmore had been president before. However, the best way Atchison was to help his party was to let his policies take their effect.
Shortly after both political conventions, news began arriving from the Mesilla Valley. William Walker, surprised by the resistance from the Mexican government, had retreated into Arizona Territory. Santa Anna, hoping to gain prestige and avenge himself on the Norteamericanos, followed suit. Soon, the U.S began screaming of a Mexican invasion over the border. Atchison, even though he wasn’t running for reelection, began to scream with the press. Historians have criticized Atchison for his duplicitous behavior, but the simple explanation is that he was unaware of the consequences of his actions. Atchison’s lame duck period was not destined to be boring.
When the U.S’ Mexican difficulties came, the blundering Atchison had not sown fertile foreign ground. Atchison’s appointment of Soule, a fervent revolutionary, and Mason, a Virginian Slavocrat, had not gone over well with France and Spain. Europe might even have intervened physically, were it not for the Crimean War arising. As it was, European relations with the U.S. were poisoned.
-Passage from “Atchison and Walker”, by Leonard Wood, Union Press, Boston


[1] Someone’s had a different time from OTL
[2] Not the universal term
[3] Pierce is killed instead of his son.
[4] In OTL nothing came of it.
[5] No, Benjamin is technically not Supreme Court Justice yet; the author is making a mistake.
[6] Pierce renounced Lane’s claims in OTL, and replaced him.
[7] In this ATL the remark will be seen as…interesting in light of the future.
 
Part VII: You Say You Want A Revolution....

The Royal Harvard History of the War of Independence by William Parnall, Royal Harvard Press-Cambridge, MA 1999


On April 4, 1775 Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Carleton, his nephew Captain Christopher Carleton, Henry Grattan, The 2nd Duke of Leinster, and their families arrived in the city of Quebec in British Canada fleeing the aftermath of the New Year’s Day Rebellion of 1775. There Lieutenant Colonel Carleton introduced Grattan and Leinster to his brother Colonel Guy Carleton, the British Governor of Quebec, although for how long only God and Lord Germain knew.

The Carletons along with Leinster and Grattan spent most of the 4th and the 5th discussing the Rebellion in Ireland in detail from the Leinster-Flood Proclamation down to General Sir William Howe[1] heavy-handed suppression of the rebellion on the orders of King George III, Lord North, and the 12th Earl of Suffolk despite protests by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the 1st Earl of Harcourt and liberal members of Parliament led by Charles James Fox, MP for Midhurst. Carleton already feeling quite frustrated with the Ministry of Lord North became almost angry after hearing his brother’s accounts of Howe’s method’s. He left the meetings with his brother and Leinster and Grattan quite troubled with the situation in London and his native Ireland.

If we are to consider a psychological profile of Colonel Carleton one could easily say that his mind was ripe to be shaped a molded by an influential man....


Henry Grattan: A Life by Henry William Robert Grattan, the 7th Marquess of Kildare, Harcourt Press-Kildare, ON 2010 [2]

....After the end of the first day of meetings with Carleton, Grattan retired to a tavern in central Quebec City, where he sat down for a drink and began conversing with a man sitting next to him, who spoke with an accent which was peculiar to Grattan’s ears.
The man was John Brown, from the town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts and a member of the Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence. Brown had been sent to Quebec by Samuel Adams and Dr. Joesph Warren, both of the Massachusetts Committee, to begin to open communications with those who would be interested in taking up the Patriot Cause.
He had arrived in the City of Quebec the previous day on a ship sailing from Yarmouth present day Arcadia [3], and had been planning on departing for Montreal early the next morning when he had stopped for a meal and and drink in a tavern in what is now downtown Quebec City.
In fact in 1876 when a new Provincial Parliament building was being constructed, the remains of a tavern cum inn were discovered and was thought by historians brought in from the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivieres to be Brown and Grattan’s Tavern, the original name being forgotten in the dustbin of history, regrettably. Interestingly enough several bottles of wine and other liquors were discovered during the construction. Several of the bottles of the wine discovered by the construction crew still sit in wine cellars of some of the Federal Kingdom’s more prominent terroirs and some of the eminent families of Quebec as well as the Royal Family. Oenology aside....
Grattan and Brown spent several hours discussing the Rebellion in Ireland and the Leinster-Flood Proclamation, as well as the closure of the Port of Boston via the Boston Port Act that had been pushed through Parliament by Lord North and approved of by King George III along with the latest Brown had heard from the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Grattan and Brown both began to see the parallels that led caused the Rebellion in Ireland, but this time if it came to Rebellion it would occur not across the Irish Sea, but across the Atlantic.
That was not to say that Grattan was hungry for rebellion against Britain, as much as he felt that he had no other recourse. The Ministry of Lord North did not seem to be willing to do anything to mitigate the grievances of either Ireland or the North American Colonies and it seemed to have popular support too, with the only notable individuals opposing Lord North being the moderate William Pitt the Younger and the radical Charles James Fox.
Before Grattan retired for the night he agreed to introduce Brown to the Duke or Leinster and even possibly Governor Guy Carleton. When he returned to the residence Carleton was using as his official residence and where he and Leinster were guests he spoke with Leinster and updated him on the events transpiring to the south in Massachusetts as well as in Philadelphia.
After consulting with Leinster and Thomas Carleton, Grattan introduced John Brown to Guy Carleton. Much to the mutual surprise of both men, they seemed to have a common view on the issues affecting Britain and her North American colonies. Brown informed Carleton, to a fairly great risk as he later recorded in his personal journal, that a Second Continental Congress was forming in Philadelphia.
Guy Carleton was initially reluctant to attend the Congress, he was still after a loyal subject of his majesty and the Congress could be misconstrued as treason, especially by his enemies in Parliament such as Lord Germain, the Secretary of State for the Colonies. It was his brother Thomas that encouraged him by saying, “No great harm has ever come of talking, brother of mine, this is not Dublin, and from what Mister Brown has told us these men, although they call themselves Patriots do not appear to be advocating independence from Britain.”
With that Governor Carleton made his decision, he would go to Philadelphia himself and attend the Congress. He asked that his brother attend with him as well as the Duke of Leinster and Henry Grattan so they could offer their insight. His nephew, Captain Christopher Carleton would come along as well as the Governor’s official secretary, and indeed it is the writings of Captain Carleton that are referenced by many historians today when they seek to understand the mindset of the Second Continental Congress. John Brown, on the other hand decided to continue on with his tour of British Canada and departed for Halifax in Nova Scotia and the new town of Charlottetown, the capital of St. John’s Island.
Carleton, his brother Thomas, his nephew, Christopher, Henry Grattan, and the Duke of Leinster departed on a ship bound for New York and overland from there to Philadelphia and the Second Continental Congress. John Brown of Pittsfield, Massachusetts also left Quebec, but bound to Halifax. The date was April 18, 1775 and down south in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts events were unfolding....


The 15th Colony: Nova Scotia and the War for Independence by H.N. McCall, University of Nova Scotia Press-Halifax, 1978 [4]


Nova Scotia, at the time of the Battles of Concord and Lexington was demographically more similar to New England than it was to Quebec, in that the bulk of it’s population was made up of Anglo-Saxon Protestants, with a smaller number of immigrants from Ireland brought to Nova Scotia by men like Alexander McNutt.
Therefore it was not surprising that Nova Scotia joined the Rebellion and sent representatives to the Second Continental Congress, albeit belatedly. The most famous of the Patriot leaders in Nova Scotia being the Reverend Henry Alline and the prominent Halifax merchant, Rupert Reilly. These two men had very different motivations for wanting independence from Britain, but as the old adage goes, war makes for very strange bedfellows....
....Allline was born into an old stock New England family, which proudly traced its roots back to the Mayflower, in Newport Rhode Island in June 1748. In 1760 at the age of 12 his family along with over one hundred other inhabitants of Connecticut and Rhode Island moved to a land grant on the north bank of the Avon River, giving birth to the town of Falmouth, today known for being home to the Alline Theological College and the Nova Scotia Agricultural and Mechanical University, or Nova Scotia A&M as it is vernacularly known.
Alline had always had an interest in Christianity and the tents of Christian education. On a cold, rainy, and blustery day in late March 1775 he returned to his home after spending several hours wandering the fields surrounding the burgeoning community of Falmouth, and opened his Bible and turned to Pslam 38. Shortly thereafter he read a copy of a letter sent by the First Continental Congress beseeching Nova Scotia to send delegates to the Congress in Philadelphia [5]. He later recorded in a diary entry that he felt “...the word of God enter him and shepherding him into a new calling...” His new calling of course would be revolution and what he called “a crusade against the tyranny of British rule in America. A holy war to restore the rights God himself has granted to all men, but that have been usurped by false men pretending to be followers of our Lord for their own gain.” After several days of intense writing he fell asleep and awoke a day later a changed man, with renewed vigor. Little did he know how his soul which burned with fury would one day cause the entire world to burn, many, many years later when a troubled French art student would pick up his writings in a cafe almost a century and a half later....
....Nova Scotia’s second flame of revolution started in Halifax. Many of Halifax’s wealthy merchant class were just as unhappy with the Navigation Acts as there peers in Boston. When Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence member John Brown of Pittsfield arrived in Halifax many of the merchants were perfectly happy to hear him out, especially given the unpopularity of Nova Scotia’s Royal Governor, Francis Legge. Both the Assembly and Council opposed Governor Legge and when word of the Congress to the South reached their ears, they were more than happy to act. Many alternate historians speculate that had a different Royal Governor been sent to Nova Scotia the merchant oligarchy and certainly the Council and Assembly would not have been moved to revolution in the same way the common people were by the words of Reverend Henry Alline and the early days of the Revolution would have been a great deal more bloody....
Within weeks of Brown’s arrival in the colony the Assembly and Council voted overwhelmingly to send delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, several weeks later St. John’s Island voted likewise.
From Georgia in the South to Quebec and Nova Scotia in the North, the War for Independence was beginning....





[1]Howe was knighted for his actions in putting down the 1775 New Year’s Day Rebellion.
[2] OTL's Toronto, ON
[3] OTL’s Maine and New Brunswick
[4] Quebec being the 14th and St. John’s Island (OTL’s Prince Edward Island being the 16th
[5] In OTL letters were sent by the First Continental Congress to Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, but only Quebec received it’s letter.
 
Part VII: You Say You Want A Revolution....

The Royal Harvard History of the War of Independence by William Parnall, Royal Harvard Press-Cambridge, MA 1999


On April 4, 1775 Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Carleton, his nephew Captain Christopher Carleton, Henry Grattan, The 2nd Duke of Leinster, and their families arrived in the city of Quebec in British Canada fleeing the aftermath of the New Year’s Day Rebellion of 1775. There Lieutenant Colonel Carleton introduced Grattan and Leinster to his brother Colonel Guy Carleton, the British Governor of Quebec, although for how long only God and Lord Germain knew.

The Carletons along with Leinster and Grattan spent most of the 4th and the 5th discussing the Rebellion in Ireland in detail from the Leinster-Flood Proclamation down to General Sir William Howe[1] heavy-handed suppression of the rebellion on the orders of King George III, Lord North, and the 12th Earl of Suffolk despite protests by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the 1st Earl of Harcourt and liberal members of Parliament led by Charles James Fox, MP for Midhurst. Carleton already feeling quite frustrated with the Ministry of Lord North became almost angry after hearing his brother’s accounts of Howe’s method’s. He left the meetings with his brother and Leinster and Grattan quite troubled with the situation in London and his native Ireland.

If we are to consider a psychological profile of Colonel Carleton one could easily say that his mind was ripe to be shaped a molded by an influential man....


Henry Grattan: A Life by Henry William Robert Grattan, the 7th Marquess of Kildare, Harcourt Press-Kildare, ON 2010 [2]

....After the end of the first day of meetings with Carleton, Grattan retired to a tavern in central Quebec City, where he sat down for a drink and began conversing with a man sitting next to him, who spoke with an accent which was peculiar to Grattan’s ears.
The man was John Brown, from the town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts and a member of the Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence. Brown had been sent to Quebec by Samuel Adams and Dr. Joesph Warren, both of the Massachusetts Committee, to begin to open communications with those who would be interested in taking up the Patriot Cause.
He had arrived in the City of Quebec the previous day on a ship sailing from Yarmouth present day Arcadia [3], and had been planning on departing for Montreal early the next morning when he had stopped for a meal and and drink in a tavern in what is now downtown Quebec City.
In fact in 1876 when a new Provincial Parliament building was being constructed, the remains of a tavern cum inn were discovered and was thought by historians brought in from the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivieres to be Brown and Grattan’s Tavern, the original name being forgotten in the dustbin of history, regrettably. Interestingly enough several bottles of wine and other liquors were discovered during the construction. Several of the bottles of the wine discovered by the construction crew still sit in wine cellars of some of the Federal Kingdom’s more prominent terroirs and some of the eminent families of Quebec as well as the Royal Family. Oenology aside....
Grattan and Brown spent several hours discussing the Rebellion in Ireland and the Leinster-Flood Proclamation, as well as the closure of the Port of Boston via the Boston Port Act that had been pushed through Parliament by Lord North and approved of by King George III along with the latest Brown had heard from the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Grattan and Brown both began to see the parallels that led caused the Rebellion in Ireland, but this time if it came to Rebellion it would occur not across the Irish Sea, but across the Atlantic.
That was not to say that Grattan was hungry for rebellion against Britain, as much as he felt that he had no other recourse. The Ministry of Lord North did not seem to be willing to do anything to mitigate the grievances of either Ireland or the North American Colonies and it seemed to have popular support too, with the only notable individuals opposing Lord North being the moderate William Pitt the Younger and the radical Charles James Fox.
Before Grattan retired for the night he agreed to introduce Brown to the Duke or Leinster and even possibly Governor Guy Carleton. When he returned to the residence Carleton was using as his official residence and where he and Leinster were guests he spoke with Leinster and updated him on the events transpiring to the south in Massachusetts as well as in Philadelphia.
After consulting with Leinster and Thomas Carleton, Grattan introduced John Brown to Guy Carleton. Much to the mutual surprise of both men, they seemed to have a common view on the issues affecting Britain and her North American colonies. Brown informed Carleton, to a fairly great risk as he later recorded in his personal journal, that a Second Continental Congress was forming in Philadelphia.
Guy Carleton was initially reluctant to attend the Congress, he was still after a loyal subject of his majesty and the Congress could be misconstrued as treason, especially by his enemies in Parliament such as Lord Germain, the Secretary of State for the Colonies. It was his brother Thomas that encouraged him by saying, “No great harm has ever come of talking, brother of mine, this is not Dublin, and from what Mister Brown has told us these men, although they call themselves Patriots do not appear to be advocating independence from Britain.”
With that Governor Carleton made his decision, he would go to Philadelphia himself and attend the Congress. He asked that his brother attend with him as well as the Duke of Leinster and Henry Grattan so they could offer their insight. His nephew, Captain Christopher Carleton would come along as well as the Governor’s official secretary, and indeed it is the writings of Captain Carleton that are referenced by many historians today when they seek to understand the mindset of the Second Continental Congress. John Brown, on the other hand decided to continue on with his tour of British Canada and departed for Halifax in Nova Scotia and the new town of Charlottetown, the capital of St. John’s Island.
Carleton, his brother Thomas, his nephew, Christopher, Henry Grattan, and the Duke of Leinster departed on a ship bound for New York and overland from there to Philadelphia and the Second Continental Congress. John Brown of Pittsfield, Massachusetts also left Quebec, but bound to Halifax. The date was April 18, 1775 and down south in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts events were unfolding....


The 15th Colony: Nova Scotia and the War for Independence by H.N. McCall, University of Nova Scotia Press-Halifax, 1978 [4]


Nova Scotia, at the time of the Battles of Concord and Lexington was demographically more similar to New England than it was to Quebec, in that the bulk of it’s population was made up of Anglo-Saxon Protestants, with a smaller number of immigrants from Ireland brought to Nova Scotia by men like Alexander McNutt.
Therefore it was not surprising that Nova Scotia joined the Rebellion and sent representatives to the Second Continental Congress, albeit belatedly. The most famous of the Patriot leaders in Nova Scotia being the Reverend Henry Alline and the prominent Halifax merchant, Rupert Reilly. These two men had very different motivations for wanting independence from Britain, but as the old adage goes, war makes for very strange bedfellows....
....Allline was born into an old stock New England family, which proudly traced its roots back to the Mayflower, in Newport Rhode Island in June 1748. In 1760 at the age of 12 his family along with over one hundred other inhabitants of Connecticut and Rhode Island moved to a land grant on the north bank of the Avon River, giving birth to the town of Falmouth, today known for being home to the Alline Theological College and the Nova Scotia Agricultural and Mechanical University, or Nova Scotia A&M as it is vernacularly known.
Alline had always had an interest in Christianity and the tents of Christian education. On a cold, rainy, and blustery day in late March 1775 he returned to his home after spending several hours wandering the fields surrounding the burgeoning community of Falmouth, and opened his Bible and turned to Pslam 38. Shortly thereafter he read a copy of a letter sent by the First Continental Congress beseeching Nova Scotia to send delegates to the Congress in Philadelphia [5]. He later recorded in a diary entry that he felt “...the word of God enter him and shepherding him into a new calling...” His new calling of course would be revolution and what he called “a crusade against the tyranny of British rule in America. A holy war to restore the rights God himself has granted to all men, but that have been usurped by false men pretending to be followers of our Lord for their own gain.” After several days of intense writing he fell asleep and awoke a day later a changed man, with renewed vigor. Little did he know how his soul which burned with fury would one day cause the entire world to burn, many, many years later when a troubled French art student would pick up his writings in a cafe almost a century and a half later....
....Nova Scotia’s second flame of revolution started in Halifax. Many of Halifax’s wealthy merchant class were just as unhappy with the Navigation Acts as there peers in Boston. When Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence member John Brown of Pittsfield arrived in Halifax many of the merchants were perfectly happy to hear him out, especially given the unpopularity of Nova Scotia’s Royal Governor, Francis Legge. Both the Assembly and Council opposed Governor Legge and when word of the Congress to the South reached their ears, they were more than happy to act. Many alternate historians speculate that had a different Royal Governor been sent to Nova Scotia the merchant oligarchy and certainly the Council and Assembly would not have been moved to revolution in the same way the common people were by the words of Reverend Henry Alline and the early days of the Revolution would have been a great deal more bloody....
Within weeks of Brown’s arrival in the colony the Assembly and Council voted overwhelmingly to send delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, several weeks later St. John’s Island voted likewise.
From Georgia in the South to Quebec and Nova Scotia in the North, the War for Independence was beginning....





[1]Howe was knighted for his actions in putting down the 1775 New Year’s Day Rebellion.
[2] OTL's Toronto, ON
[3] OTL’s Maine and New Brunswick
[4] Quebec being the 14th and St. John’s Island (OTL’s Prince Edward Island being the 16th
[5] In OTL letters were sent by the First Continental Congress to Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, but only Quebec received it’s letter.
 

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For Want of a Rail

For Want of a Rail
A Timeline
Prologue: January 6th 1903
The Secretary of State drummed his fingers on the lunch counter of the train as he spoke, staring at the gathering crowd. “The atheist Communists will destroy this country, if we don't do something about it!" he shouted, indulging his famous temper as he slammed his fist on the counter. The crowd stared, nodding approvingly. “Those filthy radicals may take over countries in Europe, but America shall remain free of their pollution.” The Secretary stood up. He was more corpulent then when he was young, but his face still burned with what others called a righteous passion. “When I was first elected to public office I promised the country that I would eradicate those southern and western fools.” The train was turning a corner, the gears squeaking, but the crowd gazed in rapt amazement upon the man who had risen extraordinarily fast in politics. “And by God and our great american party I will do so! Those progressives will rue the day they ever profaned these United States of America. Goddamn that Franklin...” With a shriek, the train overturned, killing Theodore Roosevelt instantly…
It was a bright early morning in Wessex, Assiniboia Territory, and Thomas Wilson[1] sighed. Another day of, as his father had intoned so frequently, improperly cold weather for any southerner. Of course, after the War of Division [2], his family had deemed it best to move up north. He’d become moderately successful in territorial politics, but a mix of lack of application and an overly formal appearance meant that he’d never gone far. However, he still had his connections, as he thought when he saw one of his neighbors, Mr. McGregor, running toward him. “Have you seen the news?” Sensing Thomas’ surprise, McGregor continued. “There’s war! The Fascists have declared war on Britain!” “The world must be made safe for democracy.” Thomas murmured. “It must.”

Part #1 In which we learn the consequences of our butterfly
Polked and Pierced

“They could do worse, and probably will”-Thomas Reed OTL

As inauguration time neared in 1853, America watched the President-Elect anxiously. Pierce, at 48, would be the youngest president yet, and the first from New Hampshire. However, the caprices of fate changed all that when, on January sixth, Pierce was a first of a wholly different kind: the first president to die before his inauguration. The nation was shocked to receive the news that Pierce’s train had derailed near Andover Massachusetts, sparing his wife and son but killing the President-Elect [3]. Vice President King also got another record made. He had the shortest presidential term when he died a week after his inauguration from tuberculosis. So, to the dread of northerners throughout the nation, the new acting president of the United States was David Rice Atchison. His term made sure that Pierce and King would be overshadowed by their successor.
Atchison was aware that his time as acting president would be short: the constitution mandated an election for the remainder of the term in November. However, the new president, the youngest in the nation’s history, was not one to go down without a fight. The first test of his power came with the proposals for a transcontinental railroad.
-Passage from “Missouri Ruffian” by Eoin McWilliams, Cambridge Press, Banff

The unfortunate death of President-Elect Pierce, though shocking to the American people, was but a brief impediment to the progress of railroads. In the same year, an American proposal for a transcontinental railroad would pass. This titanic chain of events started during the term of President Fillmore, when Senator Thomas Jefferson Rusk proposed a bill creating two transcontinental railroads, one with a northern route and one with a southern route. The bill called for the president to select where the routes of the two railroads would be. Initially, the bill, and its amended version failed, but with the succession of acting president Atchison, an amended version was passed [4]. The railroads would once again ignite a great political issue, this time, about their location.
-Passage from “The Railroad Industry: Volume 8: The March of Progress” by Ulysses Bircher, Titan Press, Avonlea

Senator Stephen Douglas saw in the new northern railroad a chance to support his home state of Illinois economically. If the eastern terminus was given to Chicago, the state would undoubtedly benefit. Whereas, if it was given to Des Moines or Milwaukee, Chicago might have a dangerous rival. Douglas thus exerted all his efforts on Atchison’s behalf, to curry political favor.
However, with the troubles in Nicaragua, Spain, and especially Mexico, Douglas increasingly worried that he might have made a Faustian Bargain.
-Passage from “Illinois: State History: Volume 7” by James McLaggen, Fremont Press, Springfield

Atchison’s diplomatic choices were volatile, to say the least, and the most volatile were the Southern Trifecta. The pact of Soule, Borland, and Mason, traveling to Spain, Nicaragua, and France respectively, went a long way in ensuring that the U.S. would be embroiled in foreign difficulties by the end of Atchison’s term. Ironically, however, the U.S.’s troubles started with the seemingly innocuous topic of the newly created railroad. The southern route of the railroad seemed off to a good start. The railroad was backed by important southerners such as Secretary of War Jefferson Davis and Supreme Court Justice Judah Benjamin [5]. There was a far southern route that seemed flat and would connect major southern cities with the pacific. The only problem was, the proposed route passed through Mexican territory. In 1853, the Mesilla valley was under the control of Mexico, as such having the best route for a southern railroad. In March, New Mexico Territorial Governor William C. Lane claimed the valley for New Mexico. Atchison, shrewd as always, backed up the Governor in his claim [6], demanding the valley. However, the newly back in power Santa Anna in Mexico was aware of the fragility of his position; he desperately needed money, and if he handed away Mexican land for free, he would undoubtedly be deposed. Negotiations started, but as an agreement was about to be reached, it all slipped away.
-Passage from “President as Diplomat” by Herbert Williamhouse, Dervish Press, Floride

William Walker had recruited a force in San Francisco, composed of mostly southerners. He now returned to New Mexico territory and (some say supported by the territorial governor) marched across the border, talking control of the valley. Walker’s initial idea was to establish a buffer colony to protect from Indians, but his invasion snowballed into something much larger than that. In Washington, a jubilant Atchison told the Mexican envoys that, owing to U.S. control of its territory, he saw no need to pay the Mexican government money. In Mexico City, Santa Anna was furious as he realized that his money for the army was now lost. He decided to get the backing of the army by another method; leading a campaign against Walker.
-Passage from “Man of Destiny” by James Earl, Dominion Press, New Montgomery

Despite what Northerners have later said about him, Atchison knew that Walker’s move into Mexico would cost the Democrats northern votes. The reason Atchison still supported Walker was the fact that, as he stated to his Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, in his mind “One patriotic southern vote is worth that of two northerners.”[7] This sentiment, as heartfelt as it undoubtedly was, was paired with a shrewd realization that northern rivals in the party would also be tarred with the proslavery brush. So it was initially at the Democratic Convention of 1853.
As the Convention started, the list of challengers could be viewed as thus:
James Buchanan and William Marcy, both favorite sons of their respective states,
Stephen Douglas, formerly candidate of expansionists until Atchison usurped that position, and Lewis Cass, the candidate in 1848, and supported by many northerners.
Douglas assumed that his stance had been adopted by Atchison, and with what looked like little chance of winning he bowed out gracefully, in exchange for help from Atchison in the future. This left Cass, who was weakened by the northern favorite sons, and by his implicit support of Walker.
Democratic Presidential Ballot
Ballot-Atchison-Cass-Marcy-Buchanan-Others
#1 101 76 29 65 15
…………………………………………………
Atchison thus started out with a plurality of the vote, little more than one third. However, as the balloting continued Atchison and Cass, the two respective extremes of the Party, began to slowly rise, hurting the other candidates.
…………………………………………………
#10 123 92 13 47 11 Cass’ high tide
…………………………………………………
Then Cass began to sink, as it became clear the other northern candidates were not going to surrender their delegates to him, the most radical candidate. Atchison continued to rise, and in desperation the northerners tried to unite behind Buchanan, the most moderate candidate.
…………………………………………………..
#22 148 0 0 124 12 Switch to Buchanan
……………………………………………………
This too stalled, and then the Illinois delegation, split between Buchanan and Atchison, made a move…towards Douglas. Atchison had not bothered to get the Illinois senator to issue a formal declaration of support, but as Douglas began to rise in the balloting, Atchison tried to get him to drop out. Douglas continued making evasive statements to Atchison, as he saw his numbers continue to rise. Finally, on the thirty first ballot, a tired Atchison heard the news about his defeat. For vice president was Senator Thomas Rusk of Texas, now famous for originating the railroad proposal.
………………………………………………………….
#31 60 0 0 31 0 193 Douglas’ Victory
…………………………………………………………..
The Little Giant was about to be a major candidate indeed.

The Whigs also held a convention in 1853, and unlike the divided Democrats, they were a newly invigorated party. The candidate in 1852 had been Winfield Scott, but the severity of his defeat the previous year ruled him out of consideration. As Daniel Webster had recently died, this left as the only notable candidate former president Millard Fillmore, who was nominated on the first ballot over a few votes for Scott.
The Whigs stood on a platform of repudiating the Gadsden Purchase and in general opposing the democrats. Although the Whig vice presidential candidate, William Graham, was a southerner, the Whig platform in general didn’t appeal to the south. Thus campaign of 1853 was the first to founder on the slippery slope of sectionalism.
-Passage from “Democratic Election Atlas”, by John Mason, Debs Press, Centralia

Atchison, disconsolate at the fact that he had been defeated as the party’s candidate, nevertheless did his part to support the Democrats. He dutifully attacked Millard Fillmore as a “New York Abolitionist”, despite the fact the Fillmore had been president before. However, the best way Atchison was to help his party was to let his policies take their effect.
Shortly after both political conventions, news began arriving from the Mesilla Valley. William Walker, surprised by the resistance from the Mexican government, had retreated into Arizona Territory. Santa Anna, hoping to gain prestige and avenge himself on the Norteamericanos, followed suit. Soon, the U.S began screaming of a Mexican invasion over the border. Atchison, even though he wasn’t running for reelection, began to scream with the press. Historians have criticized Atchison for his duplicitous behavior, but the simple explanation is that he was unaware of the consequences of his actions. Atchison’s lame duck period was not destined to be boring.
When the U.S’ Mexican difficulties came, the blundering Atchison had not sown fertile foreign ground. Atchison’s appointment of Soule, a fervent revolutionary, and Mason, a Virginian Slavocrat, had not gone over well with France and Spain. Europe might even have intervened physically, were it not for the Crimean War arising. As it was, European relations with the U.S. were poisoned.
-Passage from “Atchison and Walker”, by Leonard Wood, Union Press, Boston


[1] Someone’s had a different time from OTL
[2] Not the universal term
[3] Pierce is killed instead of his son.
[4] In OTL nothing came of it.
[5] No, Benjamin is technically not Supreme Court Justice yet; the author is making a mistake.
[6] Pierce renounced Lane’s claims in OTL, and replaced him.
[7] In this ATL the remark will be seen as…interesting in light of the future.

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Anna
“Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States”-Porfirio Diaz attributed

Santa Anna marched over the U.S. border [1] along with his army, following Walker.
In Washington, Walker, with Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, clamored for war. Atchison got it when, on the 7th of June, Congress declared war on Mexico for “An Unprovoked Invasion of American territory.” Douglas and Fillmore, the two major presidential candidates, were ironically both against the war; Fillmore because the Whigs opposed expansionism, and Douglas because he saw Atchison’s leadership of the Democratic Party as at odds with his own status as candidate. However, although the U.S. might look divided, Mexico was on the verge of civil war. For although the American declaration of war hardened the resolve of Mexican conservatives; Mexican liberals saw Santa Anna’s recent actions as needless provocation of the Americans, and certainly near insanity. The Mexican Liberals, however, had two of their main leaders, Ocampo and Juarez, stranded in the U.S. Juan Alvarez and Florencio Villarreal thus had less leadership than they might have hoped for when they rose against Santa Anna.
Still, as Santa Anna continued to chase Walker north, the U.S. army in the region began to move. General William S. Harney had command of Military department Number Five, which controlled most of the region, and led an army 3000 strong toward the Mexicans. Walker retreated into Fort Fillmore, and his small force desperately tried to hold the fort against the Mexican army. However, the battle would not be a repeat of the Alamo, as Walker’s forces were much smaller and more disorganized. The only reliable reports of what happened are from Harney’s army when they arrived at the scene.
-Passage from “Harney: Western Man” by Bud Anthony, Sorting Press, New Boston

“Only when I came to and noticed that the appalling scene around me wasn’t hell, did I take in the mayhem around me. The dirt wall had fallen in, partly burying me, what luck, and frenzied inspection assured me that my blood came from a wound in the ear, not seriously marring thank g-d. I saw William Walker nearby, kneeling down at the wall, and when I cried out he crawled near me. “Well” murmurs he, “You and I are the last of them, Jones [2]!” “Oh stop that!” shouts I, assuming the bluff Jonesy persona. “And while you’re at it, a flask!” He handed it down to me, and I pushed the thing to my lips, chugging like a Mississippi river captain. Walker leaned down near the wall, and began scrawling something. I could see it from where I was, and though it looked might interesting, I heard a chorus of Si’s and Filibustero’s no less, so I decided to roll over and play dead, my belly squirming with fear. As I heard the steps come closer, I cursed to god that I’d ever fallen for that California minx and gone on Walker’s foolish mission. Then I heard a bullet and I fainted, out of fright I dare say. When I woke up the soldiers were gone, and I took the time to hotfoot it, scrawling Jonesy out of Walker’s last writings on the way. I hadn’t felt any hatred for Walker, you see, but anyone who has that much passion for conquering either has an unfit head on their shoulders; or is a political leader. I don’t suppose he felt he was conquering, just establishing a new home for the southern man, but anyone who’s got that much fighting spirit isn’t much company for a coward like Jonesy. If I known then what I knew now, I never would have headed east. But eastward I went.
-Passage from “Jones at the Hill”, by Harry Morrison, Cambridge Press, London

Walker’s famous scrawl was scratched into the clay wall with a knife, and was as follows: ***** and I, the last survivors, here dictate our travails. Upon arriving at this fort, we were set upon by the Mexicans, and our struggles were hopeless. To the U.S army who finds this, we hope that they may avenge our hopeless band, and may make the s**********aven in the new world. May the Union t**umph and may there be peace. They are upo***. Several questions are raised by this passage. Why would Walker write a last sentence on the wall in the midst of desperate fighting? And why wouldn’t he have stopped writing when he heard approaching soldiers? In the actual text, scholars have tried to discern what Walker’s other last survivor might have been, with the common opinion being that it was one of the multiple bodies found near the wall. The wall was later destroyed by the American army, which raises the question of whether the whole story was a creation by General Harney, or whether the content was severely altered in the retelling to the president. A famous story has Walker telling Harney what to say to President Atchison, then riding of into the distance. Nevertheless, Walker’s scrawl was true on one point. The Union would triumph.
-Passage from “Famous Last Words” by Arthur Boothby, Greenson Press, Latimer

In Europe, the U.S. was not gaining sympathy from Walker’s actions. Minister Soulé received infamy in Spain when he remarked that the only two powerful nations were the U.S. and Russia that everyone else was rotten, and they would be crushed if they didn’t seek an alliance with one of the behemoths [3], a remark that was resented by Spain, generally leaning toward France. Soulé’s conduct certainly didn’t help at a time when the U.S. had declared war on Mexico. Spain, France, and Britain sent the message to the U.S. Called the Aberdeen Doctrine by Americans who believed Britain had masterminded the scheme, the document said that in the event of U.S. invasion (not war but invasion) of Mexico, Britain, Spain, and France would intervene. This put Atchison in a tricky predicament. Atchison ultimately declared, in a feat of legal minutiae, that the U.S. conflict was only with Santa Anna’s government, not with that of Mexico. This got the U.S. out of the immediate crisis, but Santa Anna’s army remained on the loose.
-Passage from “British-American Relations, from War to Peace to War” by Nelson Raulfield, Palmerston Press, London

Even as Atchison had his hijinks abroad, Douglas was prepared to work for the future of the United States. In all the hubbub, what most politicians had forgotten was that there was a northern route as well, one that needed territories to be organized for it to pass through. Douglas was determined that the railroad would benefit Illinois, and he thus came up with a scheme for a railroad skirting the southern border. The problem with his railroad was, it passed through what was then unorganized territory. The issue of the Nebraska Territory was soon to begin.
First however, came the campaign of 1853. Millard Fillmore and the Whigs ran at first a campaign calling solely for the end of expansion abroad. However, opposing American growth, except in radical New England, had little appeal. Douglas, a persuasive speaker, phrased the question as one of Americans versus Mexicans, and his appeal for the cause of the west seemed to contrast with Fillmore’s East Coast heritage. Also complicating the election was the Free Soil candidate, John Hale, who stood for an abolitionist platform.

In the end, Douglas won by the convincing margin of 210 electoral votes to 86 for Fillmore.
However, in the popular vote, the results were aligned less convincingly.
Douglas/Rusk: 50.38 %
Fillmore/Graham: 45.32 %
Hale/Julian: 4.29 %
Douglas had the barest of majorities, while the Whigs had regained around two percentage points. The Free Soil party had actually lost slightly, most of its support going to the Whigs. Still, the Democrats had won for the next ten years, although during Douglas’ term they would live to regret it.
-Passage from “U.S. Election Atlas”, Rose Hugo, Butler Press, New Boston
Of course, there was a lame duck period between the election and Douglas’ inauguration, as Douglas would be constantly reminded of. First came the news from Mexico. Harney’s army caught up to that of Santa Anna at the modern day town of Lordsburg, New Mexico Territory. The American army, though smaller, was better equipped and less tired than the Mexican army. Santa Anna still decided to do a daring attack on the American army to cow them. As he quickly learned, his ill-equipped, near mutinous troops were no match for the Americans, filled with bloodlust after discovering Fort Fillmore. The battle became a defeat, which became a rout after Santa Anna himself was hit. Although the dictator managed to escape home, he arrived to news of liberal revolution.
-Passage from “Douglas’ Term” by John Cartwright, Arkham Press, Albany

On the 31st of May, the Turkish Government was informed by Russia that if it did not agree to the terms of the Russian agreement in eight days, Russia would move into the principalities. Nicholas met with British ambassador Seymour, where he restated his belief that the crisis was only due to the machinations of Stratford Canning.
However, now Nicholas was almost weekly changing his feelings. In a meeting with the French he told them that Britain was the cause for the crisis. On the 30th of May, the cabinet voted to order Dundas’ squadron of warships to proceed to Besika Bay, near the entrance of the Dardanelles, and Stratford Canning was given the authority to order them around in the event of Russian attack. Throughout the summer of 1853, war fever began to grip Britain. When the ultimatum expired, the Russian troops, readied at the River Pruth, crossed into Turkey.
At this stage, Austria made its move. Franz Josef had recently been attacked and seriously wounded by a Hungarian nationalist, but Buol-Schaenstein, Foreign Minister, proposed the Vienna Note. Austria wished to stay neutral, as it was historically pro Russian, but wary of Russia’s ambitions across the Danube. As such the proposal was a compromise, giving Russia the right to be the protector of the Ottoman Empire’s Christians. However, other parts of the treaty curtailed Ottoman sovereignty too much for it to be accepted. So although the major European powers had approved, Turkey rejected it, and made counter demands which were unacceptable to the Russians. A key part of the Turkish decision was the promise of British and French naval support, which doubtless influenced them. Buol made multiple other proposals, all of which failed, too weak for one side or the other. On the 4th of October Turkey declared war.
Britain and France were displeased with the declaration, but as time passed war came closer and closer. There was a short crisis with America over Mexico, but when it passed with the election of Douglas, Britain remained focused on Russia. News arrived of a Russian victory in the Black Sea; a warship had sunken an Egyptian sailing ship. Britain was aware of the importance of the Black Sea to Russian strategy. Without naval control, Gorchakov’s position on the Danube was insecure. Also, Russian forts in the Caucasus would be unable to be supplied. Most importantly, the British and French attack, in case of war, would almost certainly be through the Black Sea. Turkish military successes were powerful enough for the Porte to reject Stratford’s Note. On the 27th of November, Britain and France signed a defensive alliance with Turkey. With the fleet in the Bosporus, all sides could see that peace was an unlikely hope. [4] In the Cabinet, Aberdeen stood for peace, arrayed against Russell, Clarendon, and Palmerston, who as the most bombastic of the three had declared, echoing Virgil “Peace is doubtless greater than war, but if we have peace now I see rivers foaming with much blood”
-Passage from “Crimea: The Great Game” by Douglas Watson, Cambridge Press, London
[1] They are technically in Mexican territory at this point, however the U.S. is claiming it.
[2] He…has an interesting backstory
[3] Soulé said this in real life too
[4] Everything to now is basically OTL

Crimea and Punishment

“War is a great Misfortune” -Palmerston
Britain awoke on the morn of the 11th of December to discover that a great naval battle had been fought in Turkey; and lost. Russia had already been slowly gaining steam in the principalities, but the battle of Sinope was to propel Britain into the war. The small Ottoman harbor was hosting a Turkish flotilla carrying troops to the Caucasus front. Russian Admiral Pavel Nakhimov noticed the fleet, and realizing his force was too small, called for reinforcements. The reinforcements hadn’t arrived, but as Nakhimov waited, he realized that the Turkish fleet was beginning to leave the harbor. Nakhimov knew that the reinforcements were about to appear, so interposed his ships to block the Turkish fleet.
At first the bombardment of the land artillery at Sinope and the fleet itself enacted grievous losses on Nakhimov’s three ships. However, Nakhimov’s ships used shell projectiles instead of cannon shot. The shells were very unpredictable, but when they hit the enemy ships, they did great damage. So when six ships under the command of Vice-Admiral Novosilski arrived, the result was massacre. The Ottoman fleet caught on fire, and the whole flotilla was destroyed. The fire soon spread to the harbor, and as British captain Adolphus Slade said “Mayhem had done her worst. Not a ship was left whole or standing. We found above a hundred injured in every stage of suffering.”
For the Russians it was an astounding victory. An enemy squadron carrying men and materiel to the battlefield had been stopped by the daring of Nakhimov, right under the noses of the British and French. Stratford Canning, British ambassador to the Ottomans, sent an angry dispatch to Clarendon, Foreign Minister. Clarendon, and all of Britain, was indeed angry when the news arrived. The Times and other newspapers expressed outrage at the fact that Russia had won its victory on the waves, the British province in warfare. The Russian behavior was seen as duplicitous. The Cabinet began to lean toward intervention, distracted only by a bizarre sideshow in which Palmerston temporarily resigned over the reform question, before being brought back in a few days later. The Cabinet continued to shilly-shally over declaring war.
The problem was that Sevastopol, the main Russian base in the Black Sea, was on closer inspection near impregnable. Also, the British army had sunk bitterly from its triumph at Waterloo. Lord Howick had introduced some reforms, but commissions were still purchased, and the senior commanders were getting rather long in the tooth. As such, the average officer was rich and not that strategically minded, and the average General had last served about forty years ago. Lord Raglan, Master-General of Ordinance, was sixty five, Viscount Hardinge, Commander in Chief, was sixty seven Other high echelon generals, such as Burgoyne, Brown, and DeLacy Evans, were also past modern retiring age.
The French army at least had recently fought a Guerilla war in Algeria, and their commanders were young and experienced. In Algeria the French army had reformed, and at least had basic logistics preparations. Of course, there was also the Ottoman Army, which the Europeans discounted as lethargic and weak. Against these was arraigned the Russian behemoth. On the 5th of January the British and French fleet entered the Bosporus. The Russians naturally responded with anger, demanding the immediate withdrawal of the fleet. By now, both sides were making war preparations, with the British choice of Lord Raglan to lead the expeditionary force being prepared. Raglan was fluent in French, loyal, yet with some will. Also, he had served under Wellington and it was hoped some skill had rubbed off on him. As for France, their choice of Saint-Arnaud, an able Algerian general, yet one who was slowly dying of stomach cancer. The British also sent Charles Napier to command the Baltic Fleet. In February, France and Britain sent an ultimatum to Russia demanding that its forces leave the Ottoman principalities. Two days after the ultimatum expired, March 20th, Britain and France declared war.
Russia was already invading through Dobruja, the Ottoman strip of land along the Danube. The Russian army started its siege of Silistria, hoping to capture the heavily fortified town, and then march on Constantinople. Meanwhile, the British and French dispatched an army to Gallipoli in the Dardanelles. The armies arrived to find just a hint of the filth and chaos that would pursue them throughout the war. There was also present the leadership that, with mixed benefits, would be there for the army. The Duke of Cambridge, Victoria’s cousin, was given command of the first division, despite Aberdeen’s doubts about sending a member of the royal family on the battlefield. DeLacy Evans was given command of the 2nd Division. Lucan, arrogant and short tempered, but knowledgeable of the Silistrian region, was given command of the 3rd Division. Command of the Cavalry Division was given to the Earl of Cardigan. Cardigan was famous in the worst way possible; he had dueled, persecuted, and cheated on the wives of fellow officers. The remaining senior generals were undoubtedly old, but lower down there were skilled men such as Colin Campbell and J.L. Pennefeather.
Upon arrival, there was quickly fraternization between the French and British soldiers, even if their commanders had difficulties getting along. More importantly, the British government began to learn that the war was not to be a quick colonial campaign like planned. Silistria, the main fortified city the Ottomans had in Dobruja, was captured by the Russians. In April the garrison of twelve thousand troops inside had been surrounded by a Russian army. Gorchakov, the field commander, initially tried to dislodge the Ottomans with just bombardment. However, the fort was manned by skilled Ottoman troops, and the siege turned into a series of great Russian assaults. Finally, a Russian mine under the main defense works exploded, and with it came the decisive Russian assault.
-Passage from “Crimea: The Great Game” by Douglas Watson, Cambridge Press, London

At night our soldiers generally worked on the trenches, but that night a terrible noise woke me up and alarmed me-for good reason- the mine had exploded. The explosion was a truly beautiful spectacle, especially at night. I quickly saddled my horse, for as I thought, an assault was taking place. Defeats are all defeats in their own way, but victories are all alike. This victory just meant more than most.
-Passage from “Sevastopol Sketches” by Lev Tolstoy, Palmerston Press, London

Franz Josef, healing from his back injury, must not have been happy when he heard the news of Silistria. Austria had just made a defensive alliance with Prussia, and its purpose, to contain Russia, had seemingly failed. So the young monarch went to his last recourse, sending the Austrian army to the Transylvanian border. At this time, it was a matter of terrain changing history, for Paskevich, triumphant over Silistria, moved onward.
Raglan was forced to move his army north to meet the Russians. Ahead of him he sent the cavalry division, commanded by Cardigan, as well as some Bashi-Bazouks. The French sent their 1st division. As the troops marched north, they began to run into difficulties. The country they were marching in was dry, hot, and almost deserted. The British and French soon suffered from the heat and from thirst, as did the Russian army they were trying to find. Soon, cholera epidemics hit both armies, and the Allies lost around ten thousand men. The Russian losses were even more grievous, but official records are not available to show the casualties. Faced with horrendous losses, and the displeasure of the Austrian government, Nicholas was forced to order the retreat of the forces. With the heinous losses, and the retreat of the Russian army, many in the British army began to hope that the war would shortly end. They were to be disappointed.
In Britain, professional correspondents such as William Russell began to bring the news of the horrible reverse to the British public. And so the first British doubts about the war began. The Government itself was irritated by the fact that they often received the news from newspapers before they got news from Stratford; man on the spot but slow responder at best. So the move to Sevastopol was decided.
Sevastopol was the obvious objective in the southern area of Russia, as it controlled the Black Sea and all Russian naval power there. It was also relatively isolated, at least on a map, being on the Crimean peninsula. Of course, the British proposal to isolate Crimea using warships at the Isthmus of Perekop would have undoubtedly failed (the sea was three feet deep in the region [1].) Still, Crimea was relatively easy to attack, so the allied armies, after stalling due to illness and lack of preparations, sailed into the Black Sea. The problem was that the army couldn’t decide where to land. There was undoubtedly a Russian force expecting them, the question was, where? There was of course also weather and geography to take into account. There were the possibilities of landing at the mouths of the Katcha, Alma, Belbec, and Bulganek rivers, with Katcha the most likely possible, yet also vulnerable because the Russians saw it as the most likely landing site. There was also Eupatoria farther to the north, and some commanders proposed that the British fleet sail to Kaffa, east of Sevastopol, and stay there for the winter. As the British and French fleet sailed toward Crimea, they still could not decide on the landing spot. The fleet was becoming dangerously exposed, with the British fleet and the slower French ships spread out over a wide area.
The Russian commander Gorchakov, recuperating from injuries in Silistria, took his chances, and with the Russian fleet in Sevastopol he attacked the allied fleet in what became colloquially known as the battle of the Black Sea. The Russian fleet sailed out in what was somewhat of a suicide mission, attacking through the Royal Navy warships. However, the fleet was exposed enough that the Russians did some damage, mostly to the exposed French ships. However, the Russian losses far outnumbered the allied losses, with all but one ship; with a disobedient commander, lost, as well as Gorchakov. The French fleet had been hurt the most, but for the British Raglan became seriously ill from over exertion and a fall (he was one armed after all.)
The two commanders for the allies were both prostrate in bed when they finished planning the landing place. With the armies so dispirited by the naval battle, Raglan decided to go the overall preferred location, the mouth of the Katcha River. So the British and French landed, bringing their dispirited soldiers. The landing degenerated into a muddle quickly, perhaps inevitable due to the recent battle, and the terrain of the area, so inviting from the sea, also proved to be inhospitable. However on the bright side there were no Russians present. This was not to hold true for long, as the reinstated Menshikov began to move his troops. Menshikov was seeking a decisive battle that would end the British army once and for all. Of the two commanders against him, both were dying, and in the British ranks Cardigan was a loose cannon. Understandably, the first battle would go well for the Russians.
-Passage from “Historical Blunders” by John Doughty, Newman Press, Latimer
There was of course also British naval action in the Pacific. In August, an allied flotilla under the command of David Price arrived off the Russian port of Petropaulovsk. Price drew up plans to invade the town with marines and shell it from the sea. At this point, Price went into his cabin and shot himself [2]. However, the plan succeeded, and the navy captured the town. There would be more actions to follow.
-Passage from “The Pacific in Wartime” by David Bright, Sandwich Press, Honolulu
[1] This plan was also proposed in real life, but failed for the same reason
[2] Up to this point everything in the Pacific is from real life
Two Authors and a Character
“The Lion can roar, but the Bear’s got the teeth of the two”-former President Atchison

Lev Tolstoy strode impatiently around the camp. Menshikov, reinstated, was planning an assault on the British, but so far nothing had happened. Suddenly a burst of artillery fire broke out, and Lev began to hear the shouts of fellow soldiers. He walked over to his horse, and waited, wanting to be sure the assault had begun, as a previous time he had been humiliated for saddling up prematurely [1]. As he saw Russian soldiers streaming past him, he quickly mounted. No one wanted to look a coward. The British soldiers had landed; unwisely he thought, at Katcha, close to Sevastopol but within bombarding range of several cliff tops along the shore. His horse cantered up to those same cliffs as he stared over the British camp. The cliffs receded into shorter hills away from the coast, but the British forces were still well and truly trapped.
………………………………………………………………………………………………
“Haw Haw” shouted Cardigan, as he cantered impatiently. He bent down to look at my message. “We are to investigate the Russians on the far hill, Raglan says.” he drawled. “Well, let us investigate.” My stomach lurched, a mixture of bad Russian champagne and the horrid sea voyage. Cardigan began what was an undoubtedly slow meander, then turned around to look at me, paused at the bottom of the hill. “You will follow me as to give Raglan a message of what is at the top of the hill.”
“But sir!” attempts I.
“That is an order” shouts he, and worse, he said the goddamn first name too.
I had half a mind too attack him, but mutilating your commanding officer undoubtedly won’t help your reputation, and I got in line.
The Russians were beginning to fire now, but my fearful mind wasn’t troubled much, on account of their guns were thankfully inaccurate. As I focused as heroically moving my horse to the back of the line, I saw that the Russians were right in front of us, worse, Cardigan saw it too.
“We shall proceed forward” he drawled, and I rode up.
“Sir, Raglan hasn’t told us to-”
“Never mind Raglan, we shall engage before reinforcements arrive [2].”
As I stared in horrified disbelief, I noticed that his eyes seemed fogged up.
“Sir, with your injury (which thankfully he didn’t know was my fault)-”
“Draw Swords!”
I gulped and tried to move to the back of the division again.
“Skirmishers in, Trot!”
We began to proceed, far too quickly for my tastes, toward the Russian position. Then a shell dropped in the midst of us, and my horse spooked, then started running toward the Russians. As one glory struck newspaper correspondent put it “The brave Jones, to the horror of his comrades, was first in the charge for the Russian position. Picture the dismay of Cardigan and others as his manly heart, swelled with British pride, decided to attack the fiendish enemy.” I was lucky they didn’t write me an obituary. For as I moved closer I could see that the Cossacks weren’t isolated. We were charging straight into the Russian army.
………………………………………………………………………………………………
Tolstoy stared in amazement. The British cavalry was charging headlong into the Russian army. “For men to act like that, they must be drunk [3]. No, they could only be drunk on glory.” As Tolstoy stared he had to admit it was glorious. Russian fire was beginning to rain down on all sides, but yet, the charge was continuing. Even from his relatively far off vantage point, he could see red slicks of blood on the hill. The military maneuver was… showing the thought put into it. “It’s certainly glorious, but even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six.”
................................................................................................................................................
I’d seen Cardigan go down, a bullet to the torso, and despite all the hatred I’d nursed for the wretch, I almost felt sorry. I would have liked to see the look on his face when he reported to Raglan. I had to settle for seeing one of raglan’s messengers charging up the hill behind us, foolish fellow.
“For the love of god, retreat!” he bellowed.
“Raglan’s orders are to retreat!” he bellowed again, tears streaming down his face.
Now, I’m not ordinarily one to listen to those tear struck with duty, but I will always follow a retreat order and I bellowed to the men “Get back! Raglan’s orders!” doing my best to look like I was irritated to be retreating. To my credit as a persuader, the men did start to fall back. But we had gone too close to the Russian position, and now I could see them surging forward, with bloodlust on such a foolish foe. Shot and shell kept careening into the soldiers, as I thought how Sam Grant, despite his protestations of hating the soldier’s life back in San Francisco [4], would have loved to be fighting right now. But instead it was just poor Jonesy, sick with fear as he manfully retreated as fast as he could. The retreat was quickly turning into a rout around me, but I, not one to be beat, managed to go slightly faster than the other soldiers. I could see the other divisions now moving to meet us, Lucan, Evans, and Bentinck, as that goddamn lucky Cambridge had retired before we crossed the Black Sea, moaning about danger as only a member of the royal family is allowed to. I would be lucky if I got out of the battle alive.
………………………………………………………………………………………………
Tolstoy was charging into battle now, feeling like all of Russia was beside him. The British were being drawn into battle by their cavalry, and now the other divisions, unready and just landed, were facing the triumphant Russians. The hills around the mouth of the Katcha River were swarming with Russians, and the British and French forces looked increasingly hemmed in. Tolstoy grinned. “They had better hope their boats work”
................................................................................................................................................
Dickens paused, hearing what sounded like shouting behind him. He resumed his tread, as the recent rain swirled in the gutters of the street and began to collect in the folds of his coat. “Bitter cold weather it is. Hasn’t been this bad in weeks. Still.” Dickens stopped and stared at a copy of yesterday’s newspaper, lying in the street. Battle on Russian Soil: The Cavalry Division lost and the advance believed to be stalemated
The news had undoubtedly put a chill in many Englishmen’s homes. Dickens looked down, then with a shiver plucked his head up. He mournfully walked on, and then turned, to be greeted with the ink of the letters swirling in the rain.
………………………………………………………………………………………………
The battle of Katcha was a classic example of the effect of personalities in warfare. Every Russian schoolboy is aware of the futile British charge on the Russians at the beginning of the battle, and how it wrecked the British cavalry. Yet, they are not aware that the whole charge originated in the blind aggressiveness of one British commander: Cardigan. Cardigan was noted for the frequent scandals he got into with brother officers, yet he was still given command of the prestigious cavalry Division. If Raglan had looked beneath the surface he would have seen a furiously aggressive man, hoping to earn a victory against the Russians. Of course, in the superficial realm of British generalship at the time, the insubordinate Cardigan was given a highly important command. As Cardigan died, and his gambit began to draw the British into a battle for which he was not ready, the other British Commanding Generals were now to show their skill. Raglan probably did not have much of an impact on events, as he was still ill and the battle was so sudden. His subordinates were thus tasked with leading an army of tired, just arrived troops, to face Cossacks charging down the hill. They manfully snatched stalemate from the jaws of defeat. Evans was a superb general, and the other generals were at least competent. There were also excellent subordinates at hand. As the Russians charged, they were thus met by a strong British army, supplemented by the French which managed to push them back, in a series of charges. Ultimately, another personality came into play as Menshikov, always timid, ordered his troops to retreat, fearful of the energy of the opposing armies. Menshikov has been criticized for his decision, but those who say he could have one a victory by pressing the allies ignore that fact that Menshikov by nature was cautious, and with the British and French seemingly recovering from their near defeat, he had every right to flee. The Allied armies were in no state to follow, and rested, as best they could, on the bloody beaches and shore of the battlefield. Although technically the battle wasn’t that bad for the British, the initial news was a shock to the populace. For those who had been expecting a short colonial campaign against the Russians, they awoke to news of grievous losses and stalemates. By the standards of later wars the death toll was relatively small, but at the time it seemed enormous.
-Passage from “Crimea: The Great Game” by Douglas Watson, Cambridge Press, London

The whole battle of Katcha is famous in popular literature of the time, but the immortal verses of Tennyson are what stand out to one today.
“Retreat, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Yes for the soldiers knew,
They’d been defeated
Their retreat from that dell,
Was from the jaws of hell
So no more shall we tell,
For from the valley of death
No soldiers have retreated
The later stanzas dwell more on the same subject, but this verse is the most famous, and rightly so for it represents the mindset of the British and to a lesser degree the French. Although the song is somewhat inaccurate (most of the fighting happened on a hill, not in the valley), it does represent the public opinion that the British army, facing death, had no retreat. Of course the war has been portrayed in other literature also. Lev Tolstoy recounts multiple battles in his autobiographical Crimean Sketches,and who can forget the British portrayal in Jones on the Hill.
-Passage from “War in Literature” by James Dorset, Arkham Press, Albany

In Britain, a chorus of complaint had rose against the government, with men such as Richard Cobden, John Bright, and Benjamin Disraeli all criticizing the Peelite government. A threat by Lord Russell to resign had led to Palmerston replacing Newcastle as the secretary for war. Aberdeen’s coalition survived, but the durability was desperate. Sooner or later their was going to be a crack. The one thing all agreed on was the Duke of Cambridge’s disgraceful position. The Duke had temporarily left the army before it crossed the Black Sea, complaining that the invasion seemed terribly risky. As such, he had missed both the naval battle and the subsequent battle of Katcha. Although few went so far as to believe the conspiracy theory that Cambridge had been forewarned in advance by the Russians, most still doubted the Duke’s ability to lead a division of the Army. Aberdeen, who had always doubted the wisdom of sending the Duke to the battlefield asked the Queen if the Duke might be persuaded to generously resign. Ultimately the Duke stayed on, but the affair was to put an end to any future military hopes of his. Aberdeen thus managed to also irritate the Queen, in a time when he was soon to need her support.
-Passage from "Prime Ministers: A History" by Horace Tuttell, Cambridge Press, London

[1]As stated in Tolstoy’s OTL memoirs
[2] This is what Cardigan wanted to do in OTL at the Bulganek; however Lucan managed to delay him enough so that a message from Raglan could arrive.
[3] This is what the Russians first thought in OTL
[4] It is a footnote of history that Ulysses S. Grant, on the way to his company in Humboldt Bay, California, would probably have met with William Walker in San Francisco

Amber Waves of Pain
“Douglas was sworn in, Atchison swore out”-a diary description of the inauguration

Douglas’ inauguration was notable for the length of his speech. The Little Giant, always a famous orator, made a speech for the ages, in which he spoke out against partisanship, both in the north and in the south. Douglas went on to say that the true direction for the nation to be focused was the west, a land of opportunity. In general people in the U.S hailed the speech, although in the north there were disturbing murmurs, and in the South many thought that Douglas was betraying their previous support for him. Douglas, however, revealed his colors when in early 1854 the Kansas Nebraska Act was proposed. An earlier attempt to divide the territory in 1853 had failed, largely because southerners objected to new free states being created. In 1854, Augustus C. Dodge, founder of the original bill, reintroduced it to the states and territories committee. This time, the committee, with President Douglas’ firm support, tailored the bill so that the same conditions as for the Utah and New Mexico territories applied; slavery was implicitly allowed. As the Nebraska territory encompassed five degrees of longitude this opened slavery to a great deal of new western land. The northern Whigs erupted in outrage as soon as they heard of the bill. However, at this point they took a step that would only exacerbate the situation. Abolitionists Salmon Chase and Joshua Giddings violently attacked the proposal, in language claiming that it was the first step to the continent languishing in decades of decades under slaveholding despotism. Many leading northern Whigs such as William Seward supported the appeal. The southern Whigs had been lumped in with other southerners. They were to be the northerners’ implacable foes, and from then on, the northern Whigs would have to go it alone. There was a titanic struggle in the senate, but the presidents great oratorical abilities, and the large majorities enjoyed by the Democrats, ensured that the measure slipped through by the substantial majority of thirty three to eighteen. The northern democrats were decisive in their alliance with the south. However, in the house, where delegates were apportioned in regards to population, the North had a far greater chance of defeating the bill. But there too the northern democrats tended to hold with the south, and the measure eked through by one hundred and eight to one hundred and five. Douglas started the walk down the slippery slope to worst president for the next fifty years.
-Passage from “American Conflict” by Jonathan Veese, Greenson Press, Latimer

John Brown’s heart had been filled with patriotic northern feelings when he heard of the death of Elijah Lovejoy, an abolitionist killed by violent southerners. John decided, in a sentiment ahead of his time, that he would make the slavocrats pay. John was aware however, that going to the south would accomplish little, as the population there would undoubtedly fight him to a man. After two of John’s sons were brutally murdered by southerners in Kansas, John had an epiphany. The secret supporters of the south, those who gave them their backbone, were traitorous men of the north. John set his sights high, and decided to meet with the very president himself. Stephen Douglas is thought of as the worst president of all time for a reason. He was the chessmaster, so to speak, that had planned the southern invasion of Nebraska. John traveled by train to Washington, and, as historical evidence has shown, he brought no gun. At the time, it was common for presidents to go out unprotected, before developments made the practice unfeasible. Douglas was going on just one of these walks when he heard gunfire behind him. As he turned, he saw the southerner Preston Brooks advancing toward him. Brooks, formerly a U.S representative, was holding a gun, pointed at Douglas’ chest. The southerner was a representative for South Carolina, one of the most extreme members of the house, and had made remarks about Douglas’ ambiguity opening the door for the north. At this point, John Brown, seeing his president threatened (he had gone to see Douglas himself) tackled Brooks. The two men rolled to the ground, before another gunshot went through Douglas’ lower leg. Brown at this point shouted something and slammed Brooks head into the ground. In a convulsive reflex, brooks fingers tightened on the gun (still in his hand), shooting John Brown through the chest. Bystanders heard the shooting break out, and rushed to find the president lying prone. No major blood vessels had been hit, and the only sign Douglas would carry was a scar and a limp the rest of his life. Brown however, was not so lucky. An artery had been severed, and in an ironic last victory for him, the villainous Brooks had almost drowned in Brown’s blood by the time citizens got to him.
-Passage from “Unsung Martyrs” by Arthur Brown, Fascist Press, New York

John Brown was born in 1800 in Torrington, Connecticut. Brown’s early life was insignificant, interspersed with family deaths and poverty. In 1837, however, his life was to change forever. That year, Elijah Lovejoy, an Illinois publisher, was murdered for being an abolitionist. Brown publicly vowed that from that time he would dedicate his life to the destruction of slavery. For a life dedicated to the destruction of slavery, Brown did surprisingly little, helping the Underground Railroad in Springfield, and becoming a relatively successful businessman. Brown did found an extreme anti abolition league, the Gileadites, which accomplished little. However, in 1855, Brown received news from Nebraska. His sons Owen and Salmon, adult settlers in Nebraska, had both been killed in minor skirmishes. Brown at that point became a man possessed. His goal was one of the most despicable in American history. Brown wished to kill the president. Douglas had a tendency to stroll the Washington streets, and on one of these strolls he heard gunshots ring out. The president then saw Brown burst out of the bushes, tackling the nearby Brooks and shooting again at the president. Douglas was hit and staggered, but he still clearly saw Brown shoot again, only for the brave Brooks to wrestle the pistol from him and shoot him in the chest. Bystanders arrived and managed to save both the president and the brave representative. Although Brown was obviously the one who attempted to assassinate the president, there was still vigorous debate. To this day, no one is exactly sure what happened. It was the first time political battle had spilled into violence in American history. It would not be the last.
-Passage from “Forgotten Heroes” by Arnold Brooks, Southern Press, Montgomery

The expedition to save Walker, having begun with a bang, ended with a whimper. Faced with the steadfast opposition of northerners and also the European disapproval, Douglas had to finesse his way out of a war that he had never really wanted. Douglas then made the convoluted argument that his goal had not been to fight Mexico, but rather, the U.S. had only declared war on Santa Anna’s regime. As that regime looked to be toppling, there was no need for a U.S. invasion. Some southerners grumbled, but for the most part Douglas had managed to worm the U.S. out of a bad situation. However, the situation in Nebraska Territory was about to get worse. For although only a few people grumbled over the ended invasion of Mexico, a disproportionately high amount was in the western armies that had been sent down there to fight. Seeing victory snatched from their grasp, after having found the horrors of Fort Fillmore, the soldiers were understandably irate with Douglas. Although the vast majority of troops were from Texas, other troops had been brought down from other areas of the west in an attempt by Atchison to reinforce the army. Among the troops was one Albert Sidney Johnston. He had served bravely in the battle and been promoted to command of the 2nd dragoons, which were posted in Kansas. This appointment was perhaps one of the most important events to occur as a result of the expedition. The swell of happiness over the war with Mexico, although helpful, did not save Douglas from heavy losses to the Whigs in the north. The parties were becoming more and more sectional.
-Passage from “Douglas: The Upside” by Arnold Douglas, Mason Press, Boston

“I was among the regiments sent down south as reinforcements for Harney’s army. Although the regiment never came near the battle, the travel reinforced my desire to stay in the army. It was upon hearing of Douglas’ assassination that I first took any of an interest in politics. By inclination I was a Whig, and had sympathized with Fillmore. But upon hearing of the president treacherous assault I was troubled, for the men in my company increasingly seemed to side with Brown or Brooks. It was to be an important sign for the future.”
-Passage from “Personal Memoirs: Ulysses S. Grant” by Ulysses Grant, Custer Press, New York

It was my third year that I ran into some trouble. I had not been a very good student, I confess, and my grades were among the lowest in the class. I remember that after a particularly bad time in chemistry, whereupon I had confused Chlorine as a solid, and based on this I was brought to the superintendent. Despite later events, I still harbor a high opinion of Lee for his service at West Point. Lee was characteristically lenient, but I remember as I was first brought in he looked troubled; I did have a long list of demerits. “Well James” he said, in a manner less kind then usual “can you give me a satisfactory explanation for why you should be retained? I should like to be lenient but...”His voice trailed off as he raised an arm over his head in his disconcerting manner. I had never been too much interested in the army, but the recent business in Arizona and in Kansas had captured my attention. “Well sir, I figure that the way things are going now (I of course had only conceived of the troubles in Nebraska), the U.S. may need more soldiers in the future.” I had thought Lee’s face looked sad, but now he looked positively sepulchral. His next words, even to my unschooled ears, carried overtones of his grandfather in law. “You may be right Whistler, but which side shall they be on?” he was mostly speaking to himself and he sent me back to West Point with a smile, but to this day I have never forgotten those words.
-Passage from “Memoirs of a General” by James M. Whistler, Greenbay Press, Augusta

Missourians began to swarm into Nebraska by the thousands, not as settlers, but to illegally participate in the election for the territorial representative. At the same time, northerners, many supported by the New England Emigrant aid Company. These New England settlers founded the cities of Thayer, Holliday, and Manhattan. Had it come down to a fair popular election, the Northerners undoubtedly would have won. But the Missourians had no intention of making it fair. Former president David Rice Atchison, a popular force in Missouri politics, exhorted Missourians to kick the abolitionists out of what was rightfully southern territory. Skirmishes became frequent, one of which killing the sons of John Brown…Of course, after Brooks was absolved of all blame there was even more temporary Missourian migration, and when the elections for the territorial legislature happened, a strong proslavery majority was formed. Douglas, embittered against the south after Brown, refused to contest the results. However, Northerners suddenly realized a loophole that would stop Douglas dead in his tracks. The language of the act meant that the Missouri compromise ban might apply until the territorial legislature was formed, in which case no slaveholders, a disproportionately high amount of legislators, would be allowed on the legislature [1]. The Nebraskan elections ground to a halt, as that conflict began to enter its bloodiest stage yet.
-Passage from “”Western Settlement” by Boston Custer Jr., Custer Press, New York

[1] Southerners caught this pretty early on in OTL, so it didn’t matter

Get your kicks on the route to ‘56
“If America chooses its best and brightest for the presidency, God have mercy on the United States of America”-Supreme Court Justice Judah Benjamin

Douglas was recuperating from his leg wound when he heard the news; In Nebraska Territory abolitionists had discovered a legal loophole that practically guaranteed that the territory would go to antislavery forces. The worst part was, Douglas couldn’t do anything about it. The elections of 1854 had hit the Democratic Party in the north so badly (Whigs had even taken a Senate seat in his home state) that the house could no longer be counted on to vote for Democratic measures. Douglas did however, have a somewhat undemocratic solution. Douglas claimed that the act had been misinterpreted, and that slaveholders were allowed. The act wasn’t explicit, so technically it could have meant that slaveholders were allowed, but the modern consensus it that the loophole was valid. However, over in Nebraska the abolitionists weren’t willing to listen to Douglas, and convened a territorial legislature banning all but the most moderate southerners. Douglas, to his credit, agreed and bowed to the inevitable. Douglas however, did make a fateful speech, claiming that “Events in Nebraska have not gone as this administration would have liked. Albert Sidney Johnston took the sentence and ran with it.
-Passage from “Douglas’ Presidency” by John Paxton, Lyon Press, New York City

Albert Sidney Johnston, commanding U.S. troops in Nebraska, was a fiercely proslavery man. He had been born in Kentucky, and later in the proslavery republic of Texas had been Secretary of War and commander of the army. It is not surprising that Johnston, upon hearing of Douglas speech, became incensed against the free soilers. What is surprising is the actions he took from then on. The military, especially in the west, still retained a disregard for Douglas due to the abrupt end of the Mexican Expedition. It is alleged that Albert Sidney Johnston made a speech to his men, urging them to march on the abolitionists. One of the few surviving veterans recorded that “Johnston urged us to save Nebraska from decades of darkness under the Abolitionists. To a man we agreed, and so it had been decided. We would march on the legislature.” The Territorial legislature had convened to the south in Thayer, founded mainly by New Englanders. Johnston and his men moved south, determined to quell the abolitionists. Johnston and his men moved southward, arriving at Thayer a week later. The legislature was inclined to back off, seeing soldiers with guns, rifles, and cannons. Luckily for the legislature, Nathaniel Lyon had arrived. The fervently antislavery commander had a command in Kansas as well, and upon hearing of Johnston’s march, had decided to stop him. It was thanks to Lyon’s remarkable charisma that his men agreed, and they arrived in Thayer in the nick of time. So when Johnston called on the legislature to disperse, he was answered by Nathaniel Lyons. Their exchange was sadly not recorded, but what is recorded is the fact that a shot, fired from where god only knows, started a battle. Johnston’s forced were larger, but worse commanded, and the populace of the town supported Lyon. Lyon’s forces were gathered in a pocket behind the legislature, and as Johnston urged his men forward, enfilading fire emerged from all sides. Johnston however drew his ceremonial sword out of its holster, and raising it high above his head shouted “Charge”. At this point one of the freaks of history happened. In 1837 Johnston had suffered a pelvis wound in a duel over whether he was to be in charge of the army of the Republic of Texas. The wound although minor, impaired nerve function in his right leg, meaning that he did not have a sense of feel. In ordinary circumstances, this would be fine. However, in ordinary circumstances one does not charge into battle in the middle of a town. The second freak accident happened when, a bullet hit Johnston in the right shoe and stirrup, glancing off but turning his foot askew and tearing the stirrup. Johnston did not notice, and that is why as he rode into battle he was quite surprised when he slipped under his horse. His men were also surprised at the ignominious fall and trampling of their leader, and the charge quickly lost momentum. Lyon rounded up the dispirited troops and marched them to the town prison. When news arrived in Washington the administration was understandably, unsure what to do. Lyon was an abolitionist, reviled throughout the south, yet Johnston had technically been disobeying the government. Douglas ultimately decided to do nothing, a decision that only further weakened his presidency. In the south, Albert Sidney Johnston was idolized as a hero for the cause of slavery, with a northern wag mocking that he would “Make the saddle as glorious as the cross”. Jefferson Davis, former Secretary of War, contributed to the absurd aspect of everything when he built a memorial as a tribute to his friend. The Albert Memorial briefly became a popular tourist destination on Brierfield Plantation is Mississippi, but the townsfolk didn’t mind when fascist soldiers marching through the town tore it down to use as a shelter from the rain, and, it is alleged, an outhouse.
-Passage from “Bleeding Nebraska” by Elbert Jones, Freedom Press, New York City

In the north, Lyon became an instant hero among Whigs, and a black horse candidate for the election of 1856. At first however, there appeared to be a bizarre spoiler in the form of the Know Nothing Party. The party was a somewhat secretive anti immigrant organization, who had gotten their name by responding to all questions about the organization with the same phrase. They had a large enough following in the north that it looked like they might deprive the Whigs of the election. However, as the elections rolled around, it became clear that the Know-Nothings were doomed. Despite a convention which nominated George Law, a steamboat entrepreneur nicknamed “Like-Oak George”, and which officially named the party the American Party, the split between north and south was fast becoming irreconcilable. George Law found (no pun intended) that in the north the party was losing steam. The Democrats were the next to have their convention, and President Douglas looked to have a tough fight on his hands. His implicit support of Lyon had angered the south, while in the north the Democrats were reviled for being the party that had passed the Nebraska Act. Still, when Douglas heard of the first results of the convention, he was surprised by the level of opposition. On the first ballot, Douglas had less than James Buchanan, a major candidate in the last convention and with less firm political opinions than Douglas. The main candidate representing the south however was James Guthrie, the former secretary of the treasury and a moderate Kentuckian. Douglas had simply eroded his political support away too much, and his delegates were quickly subsumed under Buchanan or Guthrie. The two drifted into an attritive battle for delegates, which neither seemed able to win. The final shift towards Buchanan came when Andrew Johnson, a dark horse candidate for the south, gave up his votes to the northerner. Douglas, however, chose to do what was to eviscerate the Democratic Party. He started an independent campaign, claiming that only he could forge a compromising path between the North and the South. The last convention to meet, only a few days after the democrats, was the Whigs. By now, all but a few Whigs in the south had left, and it was a largely abolitionist party that met to discuss the candidates. William Seward, senator from New York, and one of the leading abolitionists, was by far the choice of the rank and file of the party, and after a brief fight with Fremont, a quixotic western candidate who had barely entered politics, he won the nomination. To appease the Fremont supporters, the vice presidency was given to Nathaniel Lyon, a fellow western military man. Who then could have guessed how much would depend on this appointment? After nominating the candidates, the Whig Party went on to its second most important thing, writing a platform that guaranteed the freedom of Nebraska.
-Passage from “The End of the Whigs: 1856” by Colby Clemens, Freedom Press, New York City

Kane arrived weary from the Arctic in time to hear the results of the various presidential conventions. Much had changed since he had left with the death of Pierce in 1853. Kane was an instant celebrity upon his arrival, and there was even a brief movement by the Democratic Party to make him a candidate on a fusion ticket. However, with Kane’s typical disregard for politics this amounted to nothing. Kane was one of the few men to be happy when they looked upon the maelstrom of presidential politics in 1856. He saw that his military services might be needed. The same was true of two soldiers in California, one a captain and the other an adjutant. The three men were to become linked together in ways they could hardly have imagined.
-Passage from “Kane: The Glorious Man” by David Eisenhower, Victory Press, Cleveland

“I was at the time a man in quite some state of poverty, but I saw the current state of affairs and was sure that I could get a career before too long. Nonetheless, I followed the campaign of 1856 with some interest.”
-Passage from “Personal Memoirs: Ulysses S. Grant” by Ulysses Grant, Custer Press, New York

And so, as the election of 1856 rolled around, the candidates seemed to be:

James Buchanan, James Bayard: Democratic Party
William Seward, Nathaniel Lyon: Whig Party
Stephen Douglas, Alexander Stephens: Union Party
George Law, Andrew Donelson: American Party
Foreign observers thought that Buchanan would win, judging by the fact that the past three presidents were Democrats. The Democratic branches, Buchanan and Douglas, mainly campaigned on keeping the Union together, while the Whigs criticized recent designs on Cuba by Douglas and Buchanan. The Know Nothings, seeing their support dwindling, abandoned a nationalistic policy and focused almost exclusively in the south.
The campaign quickly began to drift into slander, with Buchanan being ridiculed as “Old Buck”, Douglas as “The Big Dwarf”, Law as “Burnt-Oak” and Seward as “Wayward”. The other parties generally attacked the Whigs as sectional, while the Whigs claimed that the Democrats were only after their self interest, and everyone claimed that the Know Nothings were unjust persecutors. The nation thus marched into 1856 with one of the dirtiest campaigns yet, and the U.S. split between four different parties.
-Passage from “The end of the Whigs: 1856” by Colby Clemens, Freedom Press, New York City

“At this time, I was working as a printer in Philadelphia, and I of course saw Buchanan’s speech. The elderly gentleman was shouting, it seemed to me, like the riverboat captain who yells “Mark Twain”, that is to say, very quickly. I was up near the front, and suddenly I noticed his pallor change. At first I thought it was just a symptom of his vitriol, but the he clutched a hand to his chest. We began to stir in the audience, and Buchanan raised his head one last time, shouted “King!” and collapsed to the ground.
-Passage from “Anecdotes by Samuel Clemens” by Samuel Clemens, Riverside press, Toronto

Buchanan and Pierce are seen as the two great what ifs of American history. Historians have seen then as patriotic northern gentleman who would have healed the divisions in the United States, and have prevented the war of division. Almost everyone agrees that they would have been about the best candidate s the U.S. could hope for in those times, firm men who would have stood up to the south but not been extreme. Of course, it was not fated to be. Pierce died in a train crash before his inauguration, while Buchanan never regained consciousness after suffering a heart attack in Philadelphia. The U.S. was left with the aftermath.
-Passage from “Contrafactual History, Some Possibilities” by Andrew Thomason, Cambridge Press, London

The Election of 1856
“Our forefathers said “Give me liberty or give me death.” Give me slavery or give me death is to me a less compelling cry”-Abraham Lincoln

As Buchanan tottered on the platform in Philadelphia and fell, the Democratic Party as a cohesive organization was also breathing its last gasps. The party had never before experienced the death of its candidate so soon before the election. The result; naturally, was a crisis. Bayard was ridiculed as too northern and anti slavery, while some members grouped around Douglas as a unification candidate, and some supported Guthrie as a supporter of the south. However, on the fringes there was also Lewis Cass (now growing old but still with support in the Northwest) and Robert Hunter, the favorite son of Virginia. A few even thought that Andrew Johnson, the famously Jacksonian governor of Tennessee, should be the candidate. The party was unable to cope with such pressures and split. The split can be dialogued as such.
Bayard, Cass, Johnson: Northerners, Northwesterners and generally the poorest nonslaveholders in the south. Their faction was ultimately controlled by Bayard
Guthrie: Moderates who had mainly supported Buchanan and now supported Guthrie
Hunter: most of the ardent southerners who now supported Hunter as a way to protect against the North
Douglas: Those whose main goals were to heal the Union and didn’t mind reattaching with the unpopular president.

With the four way Democratic split before Election Day, there was little doubt as to which party would win. The Whigs, after all, were the only ones with any sort of large plurality…
Results in the south
Hunter, with his extremist policy, only won radical South Carolina and the two western states of Texas and Arkansas, both disaffected with the Democratic Party since the botched invasion of Mexico. Hunter got a total of sixteen electoral votes. Hunter came close to winning Alabama, but that state went to Guthrie, as did Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Missouri, all states in the more moderate areas of the south, giving Guthrie sixty three electoral votes. The American party, as descendants of the Whigs, exploited the Democrat split to win the states of Louisiana, Tennessee, Maryland and Kentucky, getting thirty electoral votes. The Bayardites won only Bayard’s home state of Delaware.
Results in the North
Douglas won his home state of Illinois and New Jersey as a result of coalitions with the Bayardites, getting eighteen electoral votes. The Whigs won every other state in the north, as well as California in the west with a narrow plurality, to get 158 electoral votes, and win the election.
-Passage from “Democratic Election Atlas”, by John Mason, Debs Press, Centralia

Historians have often noted that the Whigs would have lost if there had been any sort of unity among the Democrats. The northern states which did have coalitions among the Democrats, Illinois and New Jersey, were easily won by Douglas. The population as a whole was clearly not ready for the Whigs. However, the Whigs did win the Electoral College with a majority, and it was an elated Seward that prepared to travel to Washington. The southern democrats began to make mutinous noises. Seward had been one of the more ardent antislavery members of the Whig party, and the new Whig platform was expressly antislavery.
Despite later events, the cause for the original secession of southern states was slavery, not states rights as some southerners have tried to pretend. States Rights at this stage was nothing more than a protection method against abolitionism in the north. As long as the north made no attempt to coerce the south, things worked out fine. However, now that the north had an abolitionist agenda, the south would not, could not, let them tamper with slavery. One must understand that at the time the south actually had a rich economy, based on cotton and with slaves as the overall support. Although the Whigs were not seeking to abolish slavery in the states that already had it, their attempts to ban slavery from the western states was just an attempt to subtly kill off the “peculiar institution.” This was all futile however, as in 1856 there was no surefire majority for secession. The forces of Guthrie, Law, and Bayard could all be said to be anti secession, and even large elements of Hunter’s support were pro Union.
However, the Governors of the various southern states did feel threatened enough to take several measures. The governors of the various Deep South states all supported a convention [1] and as such momentum consistently built up for one throughout the tail end of 1856. Douglas sat impotently, his frustration with the Whigs and with the secessionists almost equally matched. Finally a convention met in January, with delegates from eleven different southern states. The convention was almost similar to the Nashville Convention in 1850 except in one important respect; it submitted an ultimatum. The southern delegates had, unlike the previous convention, decided to make a firm stand. The convention, led by radicals such as Jefferson Davis, former secretary of war, demanded of the north that a new slave state be formed out of all of California south of the Missouri compromise line. Fatefully however, the convention decreed that “No amendment to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including those described in second section of the first article of the Constitution as "all other persons," shall originate with any State that does not recognize that relation within its own limits, or shall be valid without the assent of every one of the States composing the Union.

This ultimatum of the convention, if approved by the north, would guarantee slavery virtual perpetuity in the south. The chance that all southern states would have voted to get rid of slavery was miniscule. A few northerners would have assented to this, among them president Douglas, but this was the something the main body of the Whigs could not, would not, accept. President Seward was amenable towards making the southern half of California a slave state, but he too realized that without the issue of slavery, the new Whig party was eviscerated. It was thus with a heavy heart that President Elect Seward had to respond in the negative to the southern proposal. The consequence, however, was that the convention had also added resolutions in such a case. It was not for no reason that various state conventions in the south were called in January of 1857. The convention had drafted what was a plan for general secession from the union in the case that their ultimatum was rejected. When the southern envoy Alexander Stephens heard of Seward’s rejection, his claim that “One man has just drenched a whole continent with blood” was indeed correct. The first state to secede was South Carolina, the most radical, only three days after hearing the news. It was shortly followed by the rest of the Deep South states, in a band stretching from Florida to Texas. The crucial states of Tennessee and
Arkansas also seceded. The state it would all come down to, however, was Virginia. The state had sent a large amount of delegates to the convention, but they were still at the fringes of the south. Men such as John “Bison” Botts were powerful supporters of Unionism. That state, however in a climactic vote, decided to secede by a majority of two votes. Scholars have poured out endless volumes of ink on what would have happened if the vote to secede had failed. The forces of Botts and other unionists were charismatic, and the Union still lingered in the hearts of many Virginians. A failure for Virginia could have stopped the train of secession in its tracks. Without crucial middle south states, the War of Division would have undoubtedly been shorter and less divisive. Instead, however, Virginia seceded, followed by North Carolina as soon as it learned it was hemmed in. At this stage, the seceding temporarily stopped. The southerners at this time hoped for time to form a government and perhaps for a peaceful secession. A provisional congress, called for in the convention, now formed. The new nation, its supporters decided, was to be called the Confederate States of America. So far in U.S. forts there was a kind of uneasy truce. The U.S. had not declared war yet, and the Confederates were hoping that it would give up the forts voluntarily. However on a little fort in Charleston harbor, the war was about to begin.
-Passage from “A History of the War of Division” by Benjamin McNeely, Union Press, Boston

Seward’s Cabinet
Vice President: Lyon
Sec. of State: Everett
Sec. of Treasury: Corwin
Sec. of War: Fremont
Attorney General: Ewing
Postmaster General: Sherman
Sec. of Navy: Hamlin
Sec. of Interior: Smith

Seward’s cabinet choices were for the most part minor Whigs [2], with the obvious exception of Fremont, who had been tossed Secretary of War as a necessary bone for his support. None the less, the cabinet was for the most part competent. Everett had been one of the few Whig secretaries of state in the past; Corwin was a former senator from Ohio and a famous orator, while Hamlin, Ewing, and Sherman were all generally talented.
-Passage from “Cabinets, the Furniture of Government” by William June, Misty Press, London

I knew then that I was staring into my political open grave. Lincoln had been elected in Illinois, the abolitionist Seward had been elected president over me, and my beloved democratic party had been split. In the process I had broken my own doctrines, incited needless war in the territories, and been attacked by madmen from both sides of the country. The candidate of my own party had first usurped me then died. When I had been inaugurated I had never thought things could sink so low. Little did I know that they would sink even lower. “
-Passage from “My Solemn Life” by Stephen Douglas, Democrat Press, Pittsburgh

My army life, which had seen such sights as William Walker and which had so entranced me in the Mexican War, was temporarily coming to a close. In the late summer of 1855 I rejoined my family, to find in it a son whom I had never seen, born while I was on the transit through Panama. I was now to endeavor, at the age of thirty three, to keep my family supported. My wife had a farm near St. Louis, which I had no means to stock, as well as a house needing to be built. I worked very hard, never losing a day because of severe weather, and accomplished the object in a moderate way. If nothing else could be done I would load a cord of wood on a wagon and bring it to the city for sale [3]. At the time of Presidential election of 1856,-the first in which I was able to vote- party feeling was rising. It was evident to my mind that the election of a Whig President in 1856 meant the revolution and secession of all the slave states. Upon the election of Seward I was not surprised to find that such occurred, although it troubled me just the same. However, at the time my region in Missouri was quite troubled by the event, and as the town knew of my American proclivities I was forced to return to Illinois. There I was to return to the army. A new phase of my life was thus entered.
-Passage from “Personal Memoirs: Ulysses S. Grant” by Ulysses Grant, Custer Press, New York

[1] Whereas in OTL South Carolina had a strong governor, Gist, who opposed it
[2] As opposed to Lincoln who started a trend by choosing strong political rivals, Seward follows the tradition of the time by choosing nonentities
[3] Yes. In OTL Ulysses S. Grant was poor enough at one point to sell wood at street corners

Seward’s Folly
“No battle plan survives contact with the government”-Winfield Scott

Stephen Douglas traveled across the country, continuing to give speeches in support of the union. The situation, however, sunk continually lower, and after the news at Fort Sumter he was mocked wherever he went. Douglas made a crucial decision. Douglas’ vice president, Rusk, had become the first vice president to commit suicide when he shot himself in despair over the death of his wife and the illnesses he had. Congress in the immediate session was compliant in that it passed a succession law allowing the president to nominate a vice president [1]. Douglas nominated Seward as vice president, and resigned that December, allowing Seward to take over several months earlier. It was one of the worst decisions Douglas made. He himself would regret it for the rest of his days.
-Passage from “Douglas’ Term” by John Cartwright, Arkham Press, Albany

When the confederate convention met in Nashville to draft the temporary constitution, they naturally took the U.S. constitution as a starting point. The committee (only a few people) decided to skip most divisive issues as these would be dealt with in the formal constitution. Alexander Stephens made the etiquette rules for the future congress, which actually was stricter on politeness than the previous U.S. congress. The constitution gave the president a line item detail for vetoes, and took the clause from the convention that forbid tampering with slavery, with aside from that few differences yet. The convention then had to choose a provisional president, and the debating became furious. At this point in time the Confederates had control of all the lower south states as well as Arkansas and Tennessee. The most important factor, however, was Virginia, which teetered on the brink of seceding and would be vital to the confederate cause. As such, the constitution offered the provisional presidency to Virginia governor Henry Wise, with the assumption that he would also be the nation’s first president under the permanent constitution. Wise at that stage declined the provisional presidency, with the reason that he was too busy coordinating secessionist forces in Virginia. Wise did however; accept the president once there was a permanent constitution. Until then, the convention needed an amiable nonentity to fill the role. Louisianan politician Charles M. Conrad was a candidate not even well known in his home state of Louisiana, who the convention decided would fit the role perfectly. So C. M. Conrad became the provisional president of the Confederate States. The Confederate Congress was left unicameral for the moment.
-Passage from “Constitutions in History” by Duff Remmel, Lyon Press, Hartford

The president had ordered the commander of the army, Winfield Scott, to send an armed force to hold the forts in the south still controlled by Confederates. As commander, Scott made the horrible decision to send Robert E. Lee. On the surface, Lee showed many good qualities. He had been superintendent of West Point true, and while at that august institution he had been exemplary. Lee’s service throughout the Mexican war was also excellent. However, when it came to temperament the Lee family in general was unsteady. Lee’s father had left his family when Robert was just a baby, and had been in debtor’s prison for a time. The main problem, though, was that Lee was pro southern. He was no slavering slaver, per se, but he was intensely loyal to his home state of Virginia. So when Lee received news that Virginia had seceded, his loyalties were torn. He and his mostly northern force were on the old decrepit Fort Moultrie in Charleston harbor. Lee at first decided to resign his commission, before stopping out of residual loyalty. Lee then decided, to forestall conflict, that his forces move to the uncompleted, but stronger, Fort Sumter in the harbor. As the evacuation began, Lee hesitated again, and his forces were dangerously divided. In Charleston harbor, however, there were commanders with resolve. The War of Division to many officially began that January night when the city of Charleston attacked Lee’s force. The force was so small, and divided due to Lee’s incompetence, that they could do little but abjectly surrender under the city’s fire. Lee ultimately returned to his native Virginia, his career tarnished beyond repair.
Facing the defeat in Charleston harbor, Scott began to formulate a general war plan against the Confederacy. Scott realized that the country’s lifeline would be its commerce. As such, Scott’s plan called in part for a blockade of Confederate ports. A holding force was also of necessity required to protect Washington. Aside from that, though, the U.S. should, Scott felt, have one massive invasion into the heart of the confederacy. Scott saw no better means of invasion then down the Mississippi river, the Union forces coming out at New Orleans. However, the president had his own ideas on the topic, one of which being that a serious effort should be made to capture the capitol in Nashville. The president, along with the support of Secretary of War Fremont, proposed that an entire second invasion be through Nashville, and the rest of Kentucky and Tennessee. Reluctantly, Scott agreed, with momentous consequences.
-Passage from “A Military History of the War of Division” by Robert Panthera, Lyon Fascist Press, New York City

Throughout the Confederates were organizing a constitutional convention for their new nation. Far larger than the previous gathering, the Confederates met in the city of Nashville. The committee going over the finalized constitution made several important changes as it went. Notable confederates had long admired the parliamentary system of Britain, where cabinet members were chosen from the House of Commons. As such, in the new confederate constitution, members of the cabinet were allowed to hold seats in congress. The new constitution still supported the abolition of the slave trade, with only extremists disagreeing. The means of electing a president also were left undetermined. One issue, however, surmounted all others. Absurdly, a matter of great concern to the Confederates was what to do with the Free states that wished to join. The issue started when a member from South Carolina proposed a ban on free states, arguing that so many free states might join that slave states would be in a minority and then the conflict would happen all over again[2]. In another resemblance of parliamentary government, the president would be chosen by a majority vote of the Congress, where if no majority could be found would go to a vote with each state delegation getting one vote, with a plurality winning that. On ideological grounds, there was a clause which permanently banned any abolitionist laws. All in all, the document gave greater power to the states and less to the government than the U.S. constitution.
-Passage from “Constitutions in History” by Duff Remmel, Lyon Press, Hartford

Judah Benjamin had been nominated as Supreme Court Justice by Atchison in 1853. Benjamin had reluctantly accepted as a show of intraparty solidarity. The Supreme Court had faced few important cases since then, and Benjamin was growing tired of the lull in his public life. Nevertheless, his loyalties were deeply torn when the south seceded. He decided, at least for the moment, to stay with the north. His main goal was to protect the constitution from the Whigs, which, as he was on the court, he found himself in a unique position to do so.
-Passage from “Supreme Court Justices: The Infamous” by John Caldecott, Myrtle Press, New York City

Seward received the news of his surprisingly early inauguration at his New York estate. He immediately went to take the first train to Washington he could find, which, fatefully, passed through Baltimore. Seward thus became the second president to be killed aboard a train and the second to die before his inauguration. However, whereas Pierce, his predecessor, had died in an innocent accident, Seward was the first president to be assassinated. History has not recorded who struck the fatal blow. What is known is that a fellow occupant of the train also took a walk along the carriage of the train to find Seward. Seward’s stabbing was similar to the previous attempted assassination of Franz Josef in that the assailant had stabbed at the neck. However, unlike Franz Josef, Seward was not wearing a collar strong enough to repel daggers. The dagger apparently sliced into his neck, causing a fatal wound. The president’s body was carried into Washington in a funeral procession where it lay in state in the national rotunda. The United States was left with a unique constitutional conundrum. As Seward had acceded to the presidency upon Douglas’ resignation, he had no vice president. Ordinarily, as had happened with Atchison the succession would go to an acting president who would serve out the term until November. However in this case there was a vice president, Lyon, who was going to be inaugurated in a few months. The United States of America thus came to one of the nation’s most crucial choices in its history.
-Passage from “Douglas’ Term” by John Cartwright, Arkham Press, Albany

In the Far East, most of the Russian forces under Puniatkin had been captured along with the port of Petropaulovsk. However, due to the strange circumstances of the siege, some ships had escaped along with their commander and Captain Nicolson went after them. The Russian fleet escaped through the Tartar strait. This was even better strategically than it appears, because the fact that Sakhalin was an island was a carefully guarded secret of the Russians [3]. Nicolson thus had to take the longer route around the coast of Sakhalin. However, the Russians had also wrecked a few ships in the strait. The British finally caught up with the Russians at Castries bay, slightly to the north of the straight, where they conclusively wrecked the Russian fleet.
The British land forces, however, were incredibly tired men after the Battle of the Katcha, and they took an incredibly risky chance by resting and setting up their camps. Menshikov, however, was not to exploit it. The commander had lost his nerve when he saw the brilliant effort of the allied forces. The allied soldiers now had a kind of initiative. It was lucky for them that they were led by commanders who shared that feeling.
The official commanders of the French and British, Raglan and Saint-Arnaud, were not in much of a position to influence events. Raglan was desperately ill, and shortly after the battle Saint-Arnaud resigned. Canrobert brought new life to the allied forces, and they began a movement south, towards Sevastopol. The city, in an unsurprising oversight by the Russians, had no serious efforts of fortification attempted [4]. Menshikov’s forces were thus in one of the greatest military turnarounds in history. As the British troops marched forward, happy for once with the lack of resistance from the Russians, events were not proceeding so smoothly at home. Aberdeen’s government finally collapsed on the resignation of Lord Russell, who did not believe he could stick with the government in good faith after a feud with Palmerston. Russell however could not amass enough support to govern. Derby attempted to create a coalition with Palmerston as secretary for war, which fell apart with Clarendon as a sticking point. Palmerston would not serve without Clarendon and Clarendon would not serve with Derby. Offers to Clarendon and Landsdowne both failed, for different reasons, and finally the queen, recuperating from the birth of baby Augustus [5] was forced to accept what she had dreaded. Palmerston became prime minister, and Britain took its next step toward fighting the war.
-Passage from “Crimea: The Great Game” by Douglas Watson, Cambridge Press, London

[1] ITTL the deaths of Pierce and King, and the near assassination of Douglas, have influenced the view on succession laws
[2] In OTL they were also worried about this
[3] Also true in OTL, however after these battles the British and French have figured out that it’s an island
[4] Todleben died in Silistria, a major change so far as the war goes
[5] Augustus Robert Octavius Albert is an ATL version of Beatrice somewhat. However, he is born roughly a year earlier

Vice’s Virtues
“I approve the selection of Lyon as vice president” -famous “Seward Letter”

Robert Murray Law was born on a bright and early morning in July 1858, edging out his great rival Theodore Roosevelt by a few days. Law’s parents had actually been of the Maritimes, but bad economic circumstances in the years before his birth had forced his parents, crucially, to move to the United States [1]. Theodore Roosevelt was born into drastically different circumstances. His father, Theodore Roosevelt senior, was a rich reformer and philanthropist in New York City, and was overjoyed to hear of the birth of a healthy baby boy. Theodore’s wife however, Mittie Bulloch, was a southerner through and through, and her relationship with Theodore during the war was undoubtedly a factor in the young boy’s childhood. Roosevelt typically sided with his father, and later was always to be ashamed of his southern heritage.
Passage from “Law and Roosevelt” by James Hanson, Philby Press, New York

As Seward’s body lay in state, the government faced a political crisis on its hands. Seward had died without a vice president, therefore leaving the succession, presumably, to the president pro tempore of the senate, Sidney Breese. Breese was a democrat from Illinois, Douglas’ successor to his Senate seat. Breese was dedicated to his country and the constitution, but he himself came up with an ingenious solution. Breese’s fellow Illinois senator, Abraham Lincoln, a leading Whig had a letter from President Seward, addressing his thoughts on the platform and nomination. The “Seward Letter”, as it came to be known was not an unusual thing at the time, as political figures often wrote correspondence to others in their party. What was unusual about this letter is how it was exploited politically. Breese did not feel that as acting president he had the power to appoint a vice president. However, when he hit upon the letter he realized that it could be treated as a posthumous appointment of Lyon for the vice presidency. In questionable constitutional mechanics, this was accepted, and Lyon was made vice president. Breese then resigned. Finally America’s wartime leader had arrived. Lyon’s first moves in the war were decided for him by the Confederates. Wise was a strong supporter of Offensive strategy, and with a strategic view centered on his home state of Virginia he naturally thought that the Confederates great attack of the war should be at Washington, the heart of the cursed federal government. If Wise had focused more on the west and the Confederate capital of Montgomery [2], who knows what the results would have been. At the moment, however, Wise found who he thought was the perfect general for the job.
David Twiggs had served in the war of 1812, and since then had a subsequent military career in which most notably he was Military Governor of Veracruz. Twiggs was a Brigadier General when the war broke out, and thus the highest ranking officer in the U.S. army to defect to the South. Accordingly, he was given the command of what Wise thought of as the most important army, the Confederate army of the Potomac. Twiggs dutifully drew up a plan for no less than a Confederate attack on Washington. The plan, crucially though, involved him linking up with his subordinate, the hero of Ft. Sumter himself, Braxton Bragg [3]. Facing Twiggs and Bragg were two extremely old veterans. The command of the North’s new army in Virginia had gone to Brigadier General Joseph K. Mansfield. In the Shenandoah, forces were commanded by Brigadier General Sylvester Churchill [4]. Churchill has been called “The unsung hero of the War of Division” by his great relative, and although hyperbolic the remark is in some ways true. Churchill had the vital role of keeping the army of Bragg separate from that of Twiggs. Had he failed, the combined Confederate forces would have been stronger then Mansfield’s army. However, Churchill succeeded, and as a result a gloomy Twiggs was forced to attack the Northern positions outside of Washington isolated. The result was understandably a defeat. Twiggs’ multiple mass attacks on the Northern position all failed, and he was forced to desultorily retreat. Historians have criticized the North for failing to exploit the battle and end the war then. Reluctantly though, I must concur with the minority which disagree. The North was understandably doubtful that the Confederates could have done such an attack without any backup waiting. The capital trembled to fears of cavalry advancing on the rear of Washington or Bragg’s army marching down the valley. This context explains why Mansfield was fired despite having won a victory, while Twiggs was lauded by the Confederacy in defeat. Mansfield’s firing was important in one regard. His young staff member Ulysses S. Grant [5] returned to the west as one of the few then with any strong conceptions of what not to do in battle. Twiggs, on the other hand, retired to Montgomery as commander in chief, leaving his loose cannon subordinate Bragg in control in Virginia.
Even though the first attack for the Confederates had failed in the east, in the west they were overjoyed to learn that the St. Louis arsenal had been captured. The arsenal was the third largest producer of guns and munitions in the United States, and with it came control of most of the city of St. Louis. Ironically, the city had been captured by nothing more than a collection of Missouri volunteer militia, who were, however, led by capable political generals. Missouri Governor Sterling Price had organized the pro secession force and his attempt looked to have seceded. The U.S. commander for Missouri, Harney, was himself a southerner and he ultimately resigned under a cloud of implications. Taking his place was the eminently capable general John E. Wool. Wool had fought in the War of 1812, and since then had a record as an excellent general. Wool’s first move was to order a subordinate of his, C. F. Smith, to move to retake the city. C. F. Smith’s forces did indeed take St. Louis back, but at a cost. Inherent delay on the Northern side meant that Confederates had time to carry away large amounts of the munitions, and what they couldn’t keep they burned. But as Smith walked into the burning St. Louis he was one of the few heroes for the North in 1857.
In the Middle West, in Kentucky, the North was dealt another blow. Secretary of War Fremont resigned to taking a leading position in the Northern army. His plan was to lead an army south through Kentucky and Tennessee, capturing the Confederate capital of Montgomery. Unfortunately, Fremont did not have the planning to match his aspirations. His capture of Louisville, while successful, was the first move of either South or North into the state. Kentucky accordingly took steps toward secession. Fremont then decided, rather than try any pacifying movements, to move west on the state capital, Frankfort. Opposing Fremont was Confederate forces led by General Quitman of Mississippi, whose army moved into southern Kentucky a few days after Fremont. Fremont’s forces began the move east toward Frankfort. However, there was a wellspring of support for the South in Kentucky, and southern supporters set up artillery (some of the munitions which were captured from the St. Louis arsenal) on a hill to the southwest of the city with a commanding position over the city. Fremont’s tired forces marched into an almost evacuated Louisville, and before they even had time to rest their commander ordered them to attack the Confederate positions. The tired troops were massacred as they climbed up what came to be known as Magoffin Hill. Worse news was to arrive. The legislature, protected at Danville by the Confederate army, had officially voted to secede.
Passage from “Beginning of War: 1857” by Ronald Yeager, Custer Press, New York

McClellan arrived home from his position as military attaché at the very beginning of 1857. He thus lost vital time in joining the Northern armies. However, he did have influential political conflicts, and it showed as he became one of the many new Brigadier Generals created. He participated in the Battle of Washington, and despite the doubts of some did a fine job, his ability to inspire his men being a large part of his success. His excitement for the invasion of Kentucky, which he himself had made suggestions for, lapsed when he learned of the shocking defeat of Fremont at Magoffin Hill. It was one of the many things that informed him of the danger of hasty assaults.
Passage from “McClellan: Hero of the West” by Anton Hautz, Suffrage Press, Boston

Grant successfully became a member of Mansfield’s staff, and during the Battle of Washington was able to watch commanding methods, as well as an example of what not to do in warfare. Grant however, had lost valuable time in getting a command of his own, and when he returned to the west he subsequently became a subordinate to C. F. Smith. He had witnessed battles in the past. Now he was going to change them.
Passage from “The Sublime Grant” by John Grant, Custer Press, Boston

Kane, returning hero from the Arctic, naturally became one of the first Major Generals of the war, once his support for the Union was known. His forces however, were stationed in western Virginia at the time and, although they played a minor role in keeping Bragg contained, had to do little to maneuver the cautious commander Joseph Johnston south. Kane was spoiling for some serious action, and soon it looked like he would get it.
-Passage from “Kane: The Glorious Man” by David Eisenhower, Victory Press, Cleveland


In summary; 1857 had three important battles for the North. All were technically victories, but all were to some degree defeats. The Confederate attack on Washington, although it was a repulse, did not seriously harm the Confederate army, and gave the North and Europe undeserved impressions of strength in the east. In Kentucky, the battle of Magoffin Hill was technically a victory, as the North retained Louisville and the Confederates retreated after the battle. However, in terms of relative losses Fremont’s troops were slaughtered. The Confederates in Kentucky also had a major victory as that vitally positioned state had seceded. In the far west, the Northern recapture of St. Louis still left the city destroyed and many of the munitions gone. There were some good results for the North though. Generals who were to be valuable in the future had gotten battlefield experience; some, such as C.F. Smith, even got into command. The next moves of the war, as is obvious were largely better because of the change in Northern command. The South’s grandiose plans for invasion were to be parried with northern brilliance. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the first campaign of General Bragg.
In a strategic sense too, the two sides had learned of the worthlessness of headlong assaults and the value of burning down cities, although these lessons would not always be remembered by the generals. Finally, the most important change was that Lyon was in control. Unlike Seward, he realized that the South, if it was to be defeated, had to be totally defeated. Part of this was to change his cabinet to include firmly radical Whigs.
Passage from “Review of the War of Division” by Dubuque Smith, Fascist Press, New York
Lyon’s Cabinet 1857
Vice President: Stockton
Sec. of State: Everett-replaced with Chase
Sec. of Treasury: Corwin
Sec. of War: Fremont-replaced with Lincoln
Attorney General: Ewing
Postmaster General: Sherman
Sec. of Navy: Hamlin
Sec. of Interior: Smith

-Passage from “Cabinets, the Furniture of Government” by William June, Misty Press, London

[1] Its improbable, but no more improbable than returning to Britain
[2]With a Virginian as president, the Capital is made Montgomery as a concession to the Deep South
[3] Beauregard instead is commander of Louisiana forces, and Wise sends Bragg to fire on Ft. Sumter
[4] A real character, and before you ask, yes he is related to Winston
[5] Grant wanted to serve as a staff member for McClellan in OTL. McClellan rejected him as a has been (he also didn’t know him very much) but Grant has some acquaintance with Mansfield so it is likely that he would be accepted.

Hireling and Slave
“Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”-Wise on Lyon’s speech
Among the earliest acts of 1858 was nonmilitary in nature. The Whig dominated Congress voted to divide Nebraska territory into two smaller territories each with two and a half degrees of height. The southern territory was called Kansas, after the river that had already given its name informally to that region [1]. The split, along with the statehood of Oregon later that year, started a trend for many western states, with river borders or straight lines. Later, though, the Whigs themselves would prevent this plan from coming to fruition.
-Passage from “”Western Settlement” by Boston Custer Jr., Custer Press, New York

In Virginia, Braxton Bragg waited impotently. Promoted to command of the Confederate Army of Virginia, he (and his subordinate Magruder in the Shenandoah) was blocked by the larger northern armies of Halleck and Kane. The earlier attempt to unite the Confederate armies had failed, as had the drive on Washington. Bragg accordingly chose a different objective. After the destruction of the U.S. arsenal in St. Louis, the U.S. still had two comparatively sized arsenals. One was in Springfield, Massachusetts, far beyond the wildest dreams of the Confederates. The other arsenal, however, was in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, in the very northernmost part of the state bordering the Potomac. This, Bragg decided, was an eminently achievable goal. Bragg and Magruder formulated a complex strategy designed to snag this arsenal for the Confederacy. Magruder’s forces, situated in the Shenandoah, would aim north and slightly east towards the arsenal, while Bragg’s forces would move west. A fraction of Bragg’s forces would then break off, meet up with Magruder’s force, and attack the arsenal, while the rest of Bragg’s forces were to bombard from across the river. The plan was difficult for untrained soldiers and inefficient in that a large part of Bragg’s army would have nothing to do but bombard the arsenal from across the river. However, the plan still might have worked had it not been for one man.
Elisha Kent Kane had first gained fame as a Mexican war hero who saved a Mexican major from bleeding to death…by using a fork tine. Kane then participated in several Arctic expeditions, doing death defying feats along the way. His Arctic mission had failed, but his heroic reputation had served him well when he returned to the United States. When the War of Division broke out, Kane quickly took control of Northern forces in western Virginia. While there, though, he faced little opposition from the opposing general, Joseph Johnston. It was thus Kane’s connections, not his innate skill that got him the position as Churchill’s replacement for the Army of the Shenandoah. Unlike Halleck, however, appointed at the same time for the Army of the Potomac, Kane was to prove a resilient fighter.
Kane learned of the movement of Bragg and Magruder earlier than either had expected, and was faced with a dilemma. Bragg’s army was currently over two times as big as his, at sixty two thousand men, while Magruder’s army was instead slightly over half his size. However, reinforcements from Bragg’s army were arriving that would make both armies bigger than his. Kane realized that his survival depended on keeping the Confederate armies divided. He thus split off a brigade of his already small army, and sent the brigade to delay Bragg’s advance. Kane now marched his men south at record pace to attack Magruder’s army. The two forces met near Charles Town and Magruder retreated, in an attempt to circle around and meet Bragg’s army. Bragg’s army was now bringing its overwhelming force to bear on the brigade, commanded by William Tecumseh Sherman. But Sherman managed to hold the force off for ten bloody hours, earning the nickname “Stonewall” before Kane’s force arrived. Inexplicably, Bragg assumed that Magruder was already at Harper’s Ferry, and decided to continue with his original plan. The fraction of his army that was left to fight Sherman and Kane was devoured piecemeal. By the time Bragg did realize that his plan had gone horribly wrong, Magruder’s army careened into Kane’s force, only to be crushingly defeated yet again. With the slow movement of General Halleck, Bragg was forced to retreat, his gambit in ruins. In what became referred to as the battle of the Shenandoah, the total casualties were a whopping ten thousand men, by far the most deadly battle in American history. Over half of the soldiers were from the split off branch of Bragg’s army, and overall Confederates lost around two thirds of the men. Kane’s army, though, had lost over an eighth of its men, including almost the entire brigade commanded by Sherman. And in the west, the North had little news to make it happy.
Upon the Northern movement into Kentucky, the Confederates had seized the vital ports of Paducah [2] and Columbus in the west. The two ports gave the Confederacy control of the Tennessee and Mississippi rivers. If the North had control, they could be daggers into the Confederate heartland. However, with the Confederates having possession any offensive would stall without them. So General Wool designated two prongs to take the cities. The one aimed at Columbus was commanded by the more trustworthy C. F. Smith, while the prong aimed at Paducah was unfortunately, commanded by General Pope. The young officer had served in Mexico, but politics was what had given him such a high command and he was an aggressive braggart. Of course, the opposing commander at Paducah was not much worse. P. G. T. Beauregard was a French Creole with a taste for Napoleonic gestures. Although his record is on the whole undistinguished, his defense of Paducah was successful. It could hardly have failed, as Pope’s tactic was to charge headlong at the fortified town, in the process losing one fifth of his troops. Beauregard suffered barely any casualties, and Pope himself died at the height of his charge. For the other prong, however, C. F. Smith managed to capture Columbus after a brief siege. The South had lost control of a portion of the Mississippi, but the north for the first time was defeated in the “Southern Quadrilateral”. Of course, it was events in Kentucky that were to define the war.
Fremont’s army now had a difficult choice. With the official secession of the state, Kentuckians were streaming into the Confederate armies. As his opponents armies were replenished, Fremont found his own army pursued by guerillas. To stay in one place meant slow destruction by the guerillas, to move meant possible defeat by the opposing army led by Quitman. Fremont took a choice that would revolutionize politics; and the
war.
-Passage from “A History of the War of Division” by Benjamin McNeely, Union Press, Boston

The text of Fremont’s Proclamation
“In order, therefore, to suppress disorders, to maintain
as far as now practicable the public peace, and to give se-
curity and protection to the persons and property of loyal
citizens, I do hereby extend, and declare established, mar-
tial law throughout the State of Kentucky. All persons who
shall be taken with arms in their hands within the lines of
the army of occupation shall be tried by court-martial,
and, if found guilty, will be shot. The property, real and
personal, of all persons in the State of Kentucky who shall
take up arms against the United States, and who shall be
directly proven to have taken active part with their en-
emies in the field, is declared to be confiscated to the pub-
lic use; and their slaves, if any they have, are hereby
declared free.”
-Passage from “A Military History of the War of Division” by Robert Panthera, Lyon Fascist Press, New York City


Fremont’s proclamation revolutionized the war. It was now, the proclamation said, a war in which slavery was no longer out of bounds. The war in Kentucky, and for that matter the entire south, had just crossed over from limited to total. Some of Lyon’s detractors have claimed that he was going to repeal the proclamation before news arrived from Kentucky; no one can say he tried to repeal it afterwards. For as Lyon rose to make a cautious first speech as president, he received news that Fremont had been shot in a rebel raid on Louisville. The man captured, William Quantrill, had confessed to shooting the General, and it was clear that his motives were those of a southern plot. Lyon’s eyes, a witness later said “burned” and in the view of the whole crowd he dropped his carefully prepared notes. What he said next would enter the pages of history.

“Friends, Americans, Countrymen, lend me your ears! We have lost an American Caesar today, and I will be d-mned if we do not come here to praise him. Fremont was one of the finest and most honorable men our country has produced, and the south has shot him down in cold blood. We have caught the culprit responsible-interrupted by cheers in the audience- and he has been hung. But the evil that men do lives after them. I shall avenge Fremont in the only way I can, the only way our country can. I hereby state Fremont’s doctrine to be absolute and total across the whole of these United States!

The news of Lyon’s proclamation spread like wildfire, and so did the effects. It was first felt, like an earthquake, around the epicenter.
-Passage from “Great Speeches of History” by Jim Jones, Cambridge Press, London

Massachusetts regiment arriving, led by Massachusetts politician Benjamin Butler was attacked by a stone throwing mob. The soldiers were forced to fire upon the mob, infuriating other southern sympathizers in the area. A mob marched towards the White House, which luckily had basic defenses in place. The North was forced to call its nearest force in, from the south. Halleck’s army of the Potomac had done virtually nothing during the battle of the Shenandoah, and was now taken by complete surprise. Halleck nonetheless did his best and his sixty eight thousand strong army marched into Maryland. The base of revolt was Baltimore, where the legislature had moved to decide to vote on secession. Halleck’s army moved in crushing force through southern Maryland, part of the army being detached to rescue the president. They marched into the city to meet the remaining stragglers of Butler’s regiment.
-Passage from “Historical Blunders” by John Doughty, Newman Press, Latimer


[1]In case people are wondering why I used the term Kansas in previous updates
[2]Grant had the initiative to seize this in OTL
 
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