New Civil War Alternative History

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by geneofva, May 15, 2019.

  1. geneofva New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2019
    I am a new member of the group, and I wanted to note that my new alternative history, "Lincoln, Antietam and a Northern Lost Cause: What If a Union Victory Did not End Slavery?" is now available in ebook and paperback on amazon.com. Here is my author's site, which provides a link to this book, as well as my first Civil War book, "Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era."
    https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

    I look forward to discussion of the book.
     
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  2. Odinson Talk Nerdy To Me

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    Welcome to the board. Just a heads up, I think this post would more appropriately fit in the "upcoming alternate history books" thread.
    But, seeing as this thread is already created, you want to tell us a bit more about it? What's the point of divergence?
     
  3. geneofva New Member

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    May 15, 2019
    Thanks for your interest. In sum, I posit that if the Union had won overwhelmingly at Antietam (a very real possibility), complete with the surrender of Lee and his entire army, it might have led to a total collapse of the Confederate military effort. At that point, some Confederate leaders would have recommended that the South accept the terms of the Emancipation Proclamation. The latter freed the slaves only in states in rebellion as of January 1, 1863. If the states reversed their resolutions of secession before that, they could keep slavery (or according to the terms of the Proclamation, be compensated if them manumitted the slaves). This, I note, would be the ironic result of an overwhelming Union victory. Granted it is a speculation, but that is what alternative history is supposed to be -- "What if"? I would also note that this book is an outgrowth of my talks to Civil War Round Tables about my first book, "Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era," which was published in 2014 by Ohio University Press. When speaking about Cox, I would note that he commanded the left flank of the Union at Antietam, and if he had attacked an hour earlier than he did, Lee would have not been able to defend against him -- and A.P. Hill would have arrived an hour too late.

    Hope that helps the readership to understand the new book. Any questions? Buy the book!! All the best, Gene
     
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  4. Odinson Talk Nerdy To Me

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  5. Greenhorn Well-Known Member

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    Aug 25, 2018
    I don't know if the Union attacking the Confederate right (which would be the Union left flank) would have delivered the knockout blow you need. McClellan still seems to want to attack across the Middle Bridge, just an hour earlier if I'm not mistaken? Toombs' Brigade had a pretty strong position along there, and I'd imagine the Union would still find itself in trouble like it did IOTL. Even if they broke through earlier the Confederates could have reinforced with elements from their left which, IOTL, Lee refused to do hoping AP Hill would arrive. If this is an hour earlier, Lee may very well make a different decision and reinforce the Georgians. Even if this isn't enough to contain the Union advance, it very well could have stalled them long enough for AP Hill to arrive, at which point the Confederate may have had more men there then they did OTL. The best would be if McClellan decided to send his reserves in after the breakthrough at Bloody Lane. That could have potentially destroyed Lee's army.

    As for whether or not that would have been enough to end the war, I doubt it. Davis isn't one to throw in the towel, and such a Union victory could only be won through a lot of bloodshed and resources that would make McClellan sit north of the Rappahannock for a while. That's all invaluable time the Confederates have to draw reinforcements up from the Carolinas and what remains of Lee's army, and establish a defensive position somewhere north of Richmond. They wouldn't be in the position to attack north, but they wouldn't be in one to call it quits, not before they've had one last go defending Richmond and not before Bragg is defeated out west, which could still take over a year.

    Still, it sounds like a very interesting scenario to have slavery persist that much longer and for there to be a Northern Lost Cause instead of Southern. I'd imagine that pro-Confederate sentiment and nostalgia would be a lot stronger ITTL with the seemingly moral leadership, or at least more easily defendable leadership, no Reconstruction, and a divided Northern public opinion between the diehard abolitionist types and the moderates. I'm certainly interested in hearing more.
     
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  6. geneofva New Member

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    May 15, 2019
    Greenhorn, thanks for your thoughts. Your scenario/speculation is as valid as mine. I just chose a different one. One difference -- in mine there is no significant remnant of Lee's army to block McClellan from taking Richmond. The entire army on the field -- or those not dead or wounded -- surrenders wholesale. There are a few of A.P. Hill's men who don't make it to Sharpsburg, but they are few and far between. As for Lee reinforcing his right from his left, that in fact happens in the book, but the Union sees that and makes a new advance in the Center by Franklin. Lee by then was down to a thin gray line (excuse the reference), and it was on the verge of breaking at any point. In any case, I hope you and others will read the book.

    I would note that one of my first readers was Princeton Professor Emeritus James McPherson, and he had many positive thanks to say -- needless to say, I have his comments on the book's "blurb" page. All the best, Gene