Colorized photo of a German infantry battling Russia in the east.
Who’s picture is that really?Note: I had originally wanted to do a full fan biography on Featherston, but I changed my mind when I realized that it would not have enough time to completely finish it in a short amount of time and that some ideas may not be well-received by other fans, so I decided to do a summary based on Adolf Hitler's Wikipedia article and from Turtledove wiki as a template.
A Wikipedia-like Summary of Featherston in TL-191
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Featherston during the last year of the Second Great War
Jacob Winfield Scott Featherston (English Pronunciation: [ˈdʒekəb ˈwɪnfild ˈskat ˈfɛðərstən]; 3 March 1886 - 7 July 1944), also known as Jake Featherston and Jake the Snake, was a Confederate politician and leader of the Confederate Freedom Party (CFP). He rose to power by first becoming the presidential candidate for the CFP during the Confederate Presidential Elections of 1921, 1927, and 1993 until he won and became dictator of the Confederate States serving as President from 1934-1944. During his dictatorship from 1941 to 1944, he initiated the Second Great War in North America when the Confederacy invaded the United States through Ohio during Operation Blackbeard on 22 June 1941. He closely supervised military operations during the war and by August 1941 had full control of all strategic decisions and was central to the perpetration of the Devastation.
Featherston was born in Virginia—then part of the Confederate States—and was raised in Richmond. He joined the Confederate army in 1904 and was decorated during his service in the First Great War between 1914 and 1917. In 1918, he joined the Freedom Party (FP), the precursor of the CFP, and was appointed leader of the CFP that same year. In 1919, he was able to help elect several Representatives, a Senator, and one Governor to the Confederate Congress during the congressional election. During the 1921 Confederate Presidential Election, the Confederate Freedom Party National Convention was held in New Orleans and gave the nomination for Presidential candidate to Featherston, along with Ferdinand Koenig, a founding member of the CFP who practiced law before the war, as his vice-presidential candidate. Despite losing the election to the Wade Hampton V, who was the Whig candidate, Featherston was able to gain a significant number of votes and scored second place, which surprised Confederate politicians, while the Radical Liberals won third place. During the 1921 election, Featherston gained popular support by attacking the peace treaty between the USA and CSA and promoting Confederate Nationalism, Racism against Blacks, anti-establishment ideas and anti-socialism with charismatic oratory and CFP propaganda. He frequently denounced the ruling aristocracy of the Confederacy and the Black Confederate population as the main causes for the defeat of the CSA during the First Great War. He used veterans of the war as his own personal loyal enforcers, called Stalwarts, who would go and disrupt other meetings done by rival political parties.
Featherston continued to campaign for his party and still enjoyed popularity until June 1923, when President Wade Hampton V was assassinated by a disturbed member of the CFP, Cady Calkins, during a speech in Birmingham. Throughout the rest of the 1920’s, the CFP’s membership and influence in Confederate society decreased, but the party's message continued to be heard with the help of wireless.
The Great Depression of 1930 caused the Confederate economy to suffer greatly and Featherston took advantage of the situation by feeding into peoples’ desire for change by pointing the blame on Black Confederates, the Confederate ruling elite, and the USA. This allowed the CFP to regain popularity and influence in Confederate politics once again. During the 1933 Confederate Presidential Election, Featherston won and became the 13th President of the Confederate States of America on March 4th, 1934. Once in office, he was able to industrialize the Confederacy, improve irrigation systems, dissolve the Confederate Supreme Court, re-arm the country, standardize an aggressive type of secular education, and strengthen diplomatic relations with Ultranationalist Britain, Actionist France, Tsarist Russia, and Imperial Japan. All of this helped reinvigorate the Confederate economy and allowed Featherston gain a large amount of popularity.
Featherston advocated for the return of Confederate lands that were lost after the end of the First Great War (a piece of U.S.-New Mexico, the State of Houston, Sequoyah, and Kentucky) and for the creation of a stronger Confederacy that would be influential in world politics that would overshadow the USA. To avoid war and ease tensions between the USA and CSA, President Alfred E. Smith met with Featherston to allow the states of Houston, Kentucky, and Sequoyah to have a plebiscite so that they may decide in which country they wanted to belong, on the condition that no more land requests be made and that the states be disarmed for a period of 25 years. This was done with the Richmond Agreement on January 7, 1941. Even though Featherston agreed to the conditions after Kentucky and Houston returned to the Confederacy, he reneged on the Agreement and began to re-arm the returned states, claim that Sequoyah’s results were fraudulent, and demand more land from the USA.
When war began between Germany, Britain, France, and Russia several days after the death of Kaiser Wilhelm on June 4th, 1941, the relationship between the CSA and USA became strained until Featherston launched a Confederate invasion of the United States through Ohio on June 22, 1941, and eventually to other parts of the nation. Despite winning battles and conquering territories, the strength of the Confederacy began to weaken by the end of 1942 after the Battle of Pittsburgh and the USA gained the advantage after pushing back the Confederate army into the Confederacy and performed a counter-invasion deep into the heart of the CSA. Featherston escaped from Richmond in 1944 but was eventually discovered by a Black Confederate named Cassius Madison, who shot him to death after recognizing his voice on July 7th, 1944. The Confederacy under Donald Partridge surrendered on July 14th, 1944 and the country ceased to exist.
Under Featherston's leadership and racially-motivated ideology, the Confederate-Freedomite regime was responsible for the genocide of an estimated 6-8 million Black Confederates and millions of other victims who he and his followers deemed as enemies of the CSA, called the Devastation or Population Reduction. Featherston and his regime were also responsible for the torture and/or killings of prisoners of war. In addition, he was responsible for allowing the Confederacy to eradicate nearly half of the population of Haiti and for the Bombing of Philadelphia. The number of civilians and soldiers killed during the Second Great War around the world was unprecedented in warfare, and the casualties constitute the deadliest conflict in history.
Featherston's actions and ideology are almost universally regarded as evil. According to German historian Martin Broszat, "never in history has such ruination—physical and moral—been associated with the name of one man."
A more realistic version of this in TL-191 would show the National Flag of the Confederacy, but the Battle Flag is also plausible.