Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Xanthoc, Aug 31, 2019.
Loved the drunk history and radio programs.
The pun-praise is appreciated comrade.
Two things: is Oklahoma a full state of the Confederacy? And is Missouri still being counted despite only being half there?
Missouri is counted due to the evacuation of civilians north and the functioning state government in St. Louis. Tennessee is an open warzone under martial law, and the general populace of Tennessee is far less loyal, with most importantly very minimal turnout.
Oklahoma has become a state of the Confederacy, but its situation is... complicated.
Oh yeah, I just came across this timeline a half hour ago - after reading the first couple chapters I do believe it's going to be a good one... the South wins independence and then goes Red? I like this... Nice job so far, and keep the chapters coming!
Uhhhhh... Anyone notice yet beyond me that the next election is being held in 1867 and NOT 1868? It also definitely looks intentional, since the original election box already had 1868 there...
ATTENTION BROTHERS-IN-LABOR! THIS IS A WARNING SYSTEM TEST! DO NOT BE ALARMED! THIS IS A WARNING SYSTEM TEST!
KEEP CALM! GO ABOUT YOUR AFFAIRS NORMALLY! THIS IS A WARNING SYSTEM TEST!
Quick question, will the Confederates be marxists, or will they be something like nazbols?
Part #3: Comedy of Errors
“By some strange operation of magic I seem to have become the power of the land.”
- President George B. McClellan
“Many people judge President McClellan too harshly. Firstly, let us examine the situation he began his presidency with. We cannot forget that McClellan was not inaugurated until March 4, 1865. People, including some historians, mistakenly begin laying blame on McClellan on events occurring after his election. We cannot forget that Abraham Lincoln remained president until that time, and that he and McClellan were constantly at odds, and it was Lincoln who laid the foundation for the military situation by March.
Ironically, by this point Lincoln and McClellan had achieved a sort of begrudging respect. After Lee’s shelling of Washington, the President admitted that he had begun believing that perhaps McClellan was right, that the military situation was not as it seemed to a lawyer from Illinois. McClellan, meanwhile, spoke frankly to Lincoln that he felt the man was a better speaker, and a better politician. It was to that end that McClellan promised Lincoln a place in his administration, a move which aided in mending tensions between their political supporters.
As I had stated, McClellan made preparations for his ascension to the Presidency, and meanwhile, his general orders still faced some tampering by Lincoln. Sherman was given command of the Army of the Potomac, and he began to properly fortify several points along the Potomac, at Arlington, and in the Shenandoah Valley, hoping to prevent a land invasion. McClellan had his doubts about Sherman, and was upset to hear that Lincoln had appointed him to command without his approval. However, Sherman’s immediate actions brought him and McClellan to a quick understanding; as much as Sherman was aggressive, he knew that risking the Union line was far too risky. After establishing the so-called Sherman Line, he immediately requested command of his forces be given to his trusted friend and ally General Burnside. Meanwhile, Sherman had his remaining men from his Kentucky operations brought out of Tennessee. He formed a strong force that had a prominent cavalry presence, his Outlaws again at his side.
Then, while his plans were hesitantly approved by McClellan, it was Lincoln who gave Sherman the order to take his army across the Potomac in the midst of winter. Lee was at that moment busy trying to reclaim Tennessee from Rosecrans and Custer, whose numbers were depleted by Sherman’s plans. This was not Lee’s choice, but instead a decision of President Davis, another case of civilian leadership being woefully unqualified for rule in war-time. Sherman began what would be a lengthy campaign of briefly fighting and avoiding JEB Stuart, eventually forced to hunker down near the Virginia peninsulas, resupplied by the US Navy throughout the Winter. It would only be in late February that Sherman began making headway towards his objective.
As McClellan’s inauguration was being prepared, Sherman was in the process of retreating further south into North Carolina. The new President had only been in office for two weeks when word arrived of Sherman’s actions; he had managed to repel Stuart in a decisive battle, and was right at Richmond. As the Confederate government was made to evacuate, Sherman did as Lee had and shelled Richmond repeatedly. Then, he gave the civilians of the city two days to leave. After that, he had the city destroyed. Fires were lit, artillery was fired endlessly, and when all was done he had the last standing structures, including the Virginia State Capitol, blasted by cannonfire. Of the event, Sherman said, ‘So long as a foundation stands firm, anything can be rebuilt. And so I have shattered the foundation of the Southern rebel government. Even if they win, they will never recover.’
Certainly, Sherman, wise as he was, would prove correct. The Confederate government, when it established its new capital after the war, built it as a fortress. A fallen capitol haunted them, and its successor would ever hold in its walls a paranoia of the same fate. But amongst contemporary Americans, the act was harsh and radical, and the blame was not laid on Sherman. It was on McClellan, for taking his mad dog off the leash. Already, a number of critics revoiced concerns of letting a military man stand as the supposedly civilian leader of the Union. But Richmond was Lincoln’s mess. He evaded blame, though thankfully the McClellan administration regained some national trust by naming Lincoln Secretary of State.
His top priority became ensuring that the French and British remained out of the civil war. The South had yet to become rabidly desperate, but the fall of Richmond was impactful, and yet their successes was feared to embolden foreign powers into believing they could back a sure bet. Lincoln would be lauded for his masterful diplomacy, securing first an agreement from the British to denounce the Confederacy, and then in gaining the French to reject an official request by the Confederates to intercede on their behalf. While all of this is commendable, I wish to reiterate that Lincoln is who dropped into McClellan’s lap the situation he is so often blamed for…”
- A Re-Examination of the McClellan Administration by Walter J. Graves
 There is a lot of fatalism TTL, seeing the situation as being too far lost at some point. Some say that was before the election, others after the election, others not until some point after inauguration.
 This is a very optimistic interpretation by a very pro-McClellan historian. The election remained close and Lincoln has had reinforcement of his support thanks to anti-Southern sentiment. McClellan would be incentivized to play nice.
 Sherman is more defensive TTL thanks to Kentucky, but still more aggressive, and Lincoln putting him in command hurts the idea that he and McClellan buried the hatch so quickly.
 Oh I didn’t forget about Custer. Keep an eye on him.
 Sherman, and some of the public, know a loss is possible; so their mentality is to win by any means, as then even a loss means getting a few good licks of revenge if nothing else.
 This was always a major goal for Lincoln, but now its his main job. Its also a harder task than OTL thanks to Confederate successes.
“Now I understand that a lot of people nowadays think decently, or at least hold a mixed opinion, of George B. McClellan. That’s largely in part because of the policies of the Roosevelt Era, and the works of Late 19th Century writers like Olivander Louison, Waistill Monroe, and Walter J. Graves. But I think he was a goddamn idiot. Paranoid, pompous, and discriminatory on the basis of race and religion. I’m not alone in this thinking either. I’m a partriot, hell I served time fillibusting as a freebooter in the African Horn. But McClellan was an idiot.
Now Graves especially concocted the idea that Lincoln and the other generals had created an unwinnable situation that McClellan inherited. Except, oh yeah, McClellan had been in charge of the whole damn thing for years! His order created that situation! And I know, Lincoln gave Sherman the okay for Richmond, but if McClellan wasn’t wasting his time acting as a perfectionist, trying to build his entire White House cabinet before he was even President, he could have easily overruled Lincoln, could have taken more than a passing glance at Sherman’s plans. But he didn’t. Richmond was McClellan’s mess, as people back in 1865 rightfully believed.
Now let’s look at his next big blunder that blew up later; Norton and California. Who was Joshua Norton? Anybody?”
“Some crazy guy from San Fran.”
“Ha! Mostly correct. Norton was eccentric as all hell, but not crazy. He was making a political point in his Imperial Edicts, even in calling himself Emperor of America. Norton was a smart man, who wanted to make a spectacle of himself. Why? Because he had nothing left. Lost all his money investing in rice, living penniless, his ‘royal uniform’ coming from the post office. He didn’t have wealth or connection or even fame to ensure his voice was heard. So instead he tried infamy. And it worked. Once the Civil War was underway, he started getting even more active. He criticized Sherman, Beauregard, Sickles, Lincoln, Davis, and McClellan. A litany of errors from the ever botched war front made their way into his writings.
That pissed McClellan off. He didn’t like the immense criticism coming his way. Norton challenged the very idea of handing the reins of a democracy to a military commander. Today we see this as normal and rational, but Norton and many other countries today don’t. He wrote that he, as Emperor, wanted to have McClellan dismissed as President, both the Democratic and Republican parties dissolved for their idiocy, and that a new election be held. Where Norton went too far was in calling upon his ‘most loyal subjects’ of San Francisco and California, to refuse to listen to the orders McClellan gave them as President.
To McClellan, that sounds like treasonous speech. Like secessionist rhetoric. Especially after he was told, and I’ll admit very much mistakenly, the Norton held large influence in San Francisco. Regardless, however, his reaction was too far. McClellan ordered that his men in California, who’d just finished repelling Confederates, move in and investigate Norton as a secessionist conspirator, and to arrest him if that proved true. Naturally, the troops in California balked at this. They went to San Francisco and Norton was asked to hold his tongue to avoid trouble. Norton went on a tirade. Now, he rarely broke his ‘Emperor’ character, this guy. But for McClellan he did. His criticisms were scathing and long, culminating in Norton’s defense of his words and actions, painting McClellan as a man who would piss on the Bill of Rights, and arrest every American who dared criticise him, speak their mind, or live in a, quote, ‘fashion which the Great Commander does not deem appropriate or proper to his panicking sensibilities.’
And a lot of people thought Norton made some good points. Especially in San Francisco and eventually in California itself. Norton went from local oddity to state and even national phenomenon. This part here is the real kicker. In Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, Eureka, and Bakersfield, there were men, and one woman, who declared themselves to be Dukes, Duchess, and Counts of their area, who as lords and ladies declared that they were vassals of the Emperor. They became the Emperor’s Court, effectively a political club advocating for various reforms, criticizing the government, and generally benefiting their communities, all while pretending to be stuffy eccentric aristocrats to gain press coverage.
Pretty harmless, right? Even fun.
McClellan tried to have them all arrested. And this time, the national guard didn’t just hesitate and use excuses to get out of it. They said no. Point blank. And the State of California’s government said much the same, appalled at the dismissal of state sovereignty, even if a lot of them didn’t like Norton themselves.”
“Didn’t McClellan back down?”
“Yes, but the damage was done. Especially what happened at the Emperor’s March. And I know McClellan wasn’t President then, but it would be his orders that caused that shitstorm. But let’s look back at the war. In Summer, McClellan finally took some initiative from Sherman. Sherman’s destruction of Richmond had been decried by some as cruel and excessive, and pretty much ensured that the South and North were never going to reconcile as peoples. But it was also the most powerful and potent military victory in the whole damn war. McClellan’s appointment of Sherman as general-in-chief was lauded. Here in the North, most people viewed Richmond as having deserved punishment for being the center of the vile enemy. Now Sherman went too far to a lot, but some people even saw the extra mile Sherman went to as justified by stories of the terrified people of Arlington and Washington when Lee was there shelling indiscriminately. Tit for tat, and all.
Now Sherman finally got McClellan to again let him try something bold and risky. He and McClellan both knew that the Southern defensive line had grown too strong — mostly because McClellan’s idiotic hesitation had let them build it up. So the plan was a lot like Sherman’s last one, but bigger, better, and taking a page from his buddy Burnside’s early war accomplishments. Rosecrans, Burnside, Custer, Chamberlain, and Thomas were all prepared to begin a sudden aggressive attack in both Theatres. The idea was to get the Confederates believing that McClellan had finally committed to an all out assault, commanded by Sherman. But this was all a distraction. Sherman and his own men would instead board several ships from the US Navy, who would push their way to get a landing in either Georgia or Florida depending on what was easiest. Then Sherman was going to do his March From the Sea, carving up from the mostly untouched Southern heartland.
He was going to split the South, destabilize it, maybe even catch their government again. Generals would be without orders, governors without advisement, supply lines severed, and the Confederate army would have no choice but to break away from their defensive line, turning the South into a brutal free for all. At least… that was the plan…”
- Dr. Matthias Guggenheim, American Political History Post-Graduate Course, Rothschild University
 This is a bit harsh. Given the war and the general situation, McClellan was smart to try to build his administration before the reins were handed over. He also likely expected to trust his generals and Lincoln not to lose the entire war in the time he was busy. But I felt it fair, after giving you a very excessively pro-McClellan piece from TTL, to give you an overly critical one.
 Joshua Norton was a former businessman who one day declared himself Emperor of America and started sending ‘edicts’ in the mail. Some people think he was crazy, but he showed a great deal of intelligence, having proposed and advocated for a bridge to Oakland long before it happened, and having rather apt criticisms of the government at the time. The town of San Francisco played along, and he was a town celebrity, and shops even took his fake money, knowing he was actually poor. When he died of disease, he was found penniless and lively in poverty despite his typical mirthful show, and the town mourned him.
 And boy does he have more to write about.
 What this means is that one of McClellan’s advisors totally blew how much sway Norton had out of proportion, making a local oddity out to be an influential rabble-rouser.
 “You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it.” - Alan Moore
 This is in reference to his invasion of North Carolina, which TTL he was pulled from early due to failures in the Western Theatre.
 This is the opposite of Sherman’s OTL March to the Sea, but it has the same basic idea.
“Sherman landed not far from Jacksonville. The city was seized and lightly plundered before Sherman moved on. He marched first West, defeating a local militia at the Battle of Okefenokee, before attacking Tallahassee. Again, as quickly as he had come, he was gone. He employed the tactics his Outlaws had cultivated in Kentucky, destroying telegraph lines and ditching roads, ruining railways and raiding caravans as he moved into Georgia.
For Sherman, things had been going perfectly. He was halfway through Georgia, and after a month he had yet to encounter any major opposition. There was little contact with the North, but by local accounts, Burnside and Thomas were engaging Lee and Jackson valiantly, never crushing him but whittling at his army again and again. Meanwhile General George Custer was finally winning the Western Theatre, still holding Tennessee despite Kentucky’s neutrality, and his usage of the Mississippi allowed him to start chipping into southern Missouri.
This is why General Sherman was in high spirits. He kept moving through Georgia, planning to first pierce up into Union controlled Tennessee before swinging West to try and take the Confederate capital of Montgomery. His March From the Sea had been doing wonderfully in its effect of breaking Southern morale and deteriorating the Confederate defensive line. It would be at the Battle of Cedartown that Sherman encountered an unlikely foe; Robert E. Lee. He was not supposed to be there, not with Burnside fighting him. Sherman at first believed that Burnside had succeeded in securing western Virginia, hence why Lee had retreated and instead gone for the more pressing threat.
It is for this reason that Sherman went on the offensive, and morale remained high. This had technically been expected, if not so soon. His scouts had spotted Lee getting closer, and Sherman launched an attack. The battle was short, but ultimately decisive; Lee’s men broke, retreating as the great general tried in vain to rally a charge toward Sherman’s flank. This was partially because they had not been Lee’s usual Army of Appalachia, and partially because Sherman’s reputation was such in the South, that if the Devil cursed Sherman’s name, the town would buy him a round for his courage.
With Lee retreating before too many men could be lost, Sherman pressed on. The battle depleted his supplies, and his men needed rest. They rushed on into Tennessee. There, they saw a peculiar sight. Union soldiers were sitting around in Chattanooga, which still had a Union flag above it. But Confederate troops surrounded and patrolled the town. Furthermore, all seemed peaceful. As Sherman rode closer, a messenger came informing him to report to nearby Fort Cass. Confused, the general-in-chief did so, and it was there that he was face to face with his old friend Burnside.
It was there that he learned that Burnside had been eventually beaten back by Lee, chased into Tennessee. He learned that while the offensive had been pushed, General JEB Stuart had taken his own small force and embarked on several CS Navy vessels. These ships had no issues slipping into Union waters after so many ships had been pulled to secure Sherman’s landing. Stuart had made a quick trip North, landing in Maryland, and he quickly marched upon a still recovering and practically undefended Washington, DC. Sherman learned that McClellan had evacuated, learned that Stuart had taken the capital in a bloody charge. He learned that Lee had not been coming to attack him, but to deliver him a message. He learned that the Battle of Cedartown had occurred effectively after the war was over. He learned that the Union had lost.”
- Sherman by J. Edgar Thomas
 There are some dramatics here; Sherman had probably learned of the attempted attack on Washington earlier, but believed it would fail. It also took Stuart more than one push at DC to take it.
“Stuart’s surprise attack on Washington shouldn’t have succeeded in normal circumstances. However, McClellan had sent the men defending the capital south, hoping to create a defensive line a few miles away. These men were to fallback to the capital in they began to fail in holding the enemy. McClellan had also left the navy in the South, trying to use small landings to draw Confederate troops towards the coast and away from the main front, giving Sherman more time to march North unharassed. Stuart’s attack, which three assaults before victory, was also still costly. But he had failed to repel Sherman in the past, and held an intense anger for the fall of Richmond. His action were without Presidential approval; he acted rapidly and without confirmation from the Davis administration, seeking revenge above anything else.
But his gambit worked. Washington was taken, and as McClellan fled to Philadelphia, his Vice President George Pendleton, a Copperhead Democrat favoring peace, convinced him that surrender was the best course of action. After four years, little had been gained. McClellan caved to Pendleton’s words, and sent a message to Stuart, who then carried that message to other generals. That message was telegrammed to Georgia and then couriered to Montgomery. The Union carried it to the Virginian front and to the Western Theatre. It was a ceasefire, to be effective immediately, while the two governments met in staunchly neutral Kentucky.
The Treaty of Lexington took a week before anyone came into agreement, with President Davis storming out in protest more than once. In terms of territory, the results were as follows:
West Virginia: Recognized as a state separate from Virginia and a part of the Union.
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas: Recognized as States of the Confederacy
Oklahoma: Recognized as a ‘Dependent Autonomy’ of the Confederacy.
Arizona/New Mexico: The Confederate Territory of Arizona recognized south of the 34°N parallel. The Union had the remainder of the region joined into the Union New Mexico Territory.
Missouri: A border was to divide the state, moving diagonally from the Mississippi River at Sulphur Springs to the Missouri River, then following the Missouri until the town of Huntsdale, at which point the border continued along the 38°54 Parallel. The territory south of this border was recognized as the Confederate State of Missouri (later renamed the State of Ozark), while the territory north of this border was recognized as the Union State of Missouri (later renamed the State of Jefferson). The Missouri River along the shared border was to be shared in usage.
Kentucky: After a great deal of debate and the staunch persistence of Governor Magoffin, Kentucky was to be recognized as an independent buffer state between the Union and Confederacy. It’s Constitution was to stipulate its neutrality and to include a referendum every 10 years to decide if it was to join the Union, the Confederacy, or remain independent.
There were also a number of issues concerning trade and the transference of prisoners of war. Most crucially was the Runaway Slave Clause, which stipulated that any slave that escaped to the North was to be returned to the Confederacy…”
- Simply Explained: The American Civil War by Jeremy Fox
 This was a given. It wasn’t Confederate held at war’s end and staunchly Unionist.
 This means that while without a voting member in Congress, they do have a representative, have more autonomy to a state, and legal protection from an Sooner-style colonizing effort. Fun fact, Okla Humma means ‘Red People’ and was proposed as a name by Choctaw leaders in favor of Indian Territory when they wanted a state for themselves. The Confederates accept the name. They don’t want it as a state, but expansion is presently not on their mind, and there is a general gratitude to the “civilized red men” who fought (and are now in charge as slavers).
 The Union originally divided Arizona and New Mexico into East and West just to deny the Confederate claims on the North and South division. With Arizona lost, its back to one long territory.
 The protracted conflict in Missouri also sees Unionists fleeing to the northern regions and secessionists fleeing south. Keeping it one state would be difficult after such bad blood, like WV and VI.
 With such animosity towards both sides and over a year as effectively a sovereign nation with its own army, this solution is feasible, though clearly seen not intended to last. Kentucky will see the Union and Confederacy try to court it for years to come.
 Will said Clause be fully obeyed? Stay tuned to find out!
“As soon as the press got full copies of the Treaty of Lexington, the public went mad. There was protesting, debates, even rioting. The banks saw a scare erupt, creating the Panic of 1865, and George B. McClellan was suddenly in charge of a nation falling apart at its seams. That is partly hyperbolic, of course, but it was how people felt. Economic downturn, the entire South leaving, families realizing that their sons and fathers were dead for nothing, and the President ordering the arrest of any further ‘secessionists’.
Making things worse, the natives of the West realized that the United States was weak. Raids increased as the Sioux began a campaign of warfare, offering alliances to other native tribes as they took advantage of the military’s general disarray. Many men resigned, deserted, or refused to renew their service. McClellan was aware of this, but had riots in the Midwest to handle, and murmurings amongst the Mormons of Utah. Many of them began to wonder if they might be able to establish Brigham Young’s dream of a sovereign Mormon state. This triggered yet another kneejerk response from McClellan, who had his remaining men under the command of General Custer go march into Utah and intimidate them into compliance…
...This strategy might have worked well if it weren’t for the growth of the Colorado War. During the Civil War, several native armies from Oklahoma marched north and aided members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes against various Colorado Militias. In doing so they eventually were able to make headways into both Colorado and New Mexico, relieving Confederate troops entering Arizona. When the Civil War ended, the 1st and 2nd Oklahoma ‘Brave Brigades’ gave to the Cheyenne a large endowment of weapons and supplies. Their war dragged on, with Colorado Colonel John Chivington increasingly a general-in-chief for the colonists himself. Governor Evans of Colorado spoke passionately to General Custer when he and his men arrived in Denver on their way to Utah. He pleaded that they offer some assistance.
Custer was torn, and ultimately agreed to delay his departure two days in order to aid in an attack on a large native presence that had taken control of Fort Stephens, a small outpost in Southern Colorado constructed by Confederates. Custer bit off more than he could chew, however, and sustained losses in the battle, arrogantly believing he’d be facing savages with arrows, meeting instead cannons and rifles in the hands of skilled marksman. This meant, in short, that when Custer moved on to Utah, his numbers and supplies were far lower than he had originally set out with. His arrival angered the territory’s government, understanding it for the threat it was. He would then be forced to leave by a militia that dwarfed his.
He wrote to President McClellan that Utah was rife with secessionist traitors, and that the savages of Colorado were a horde of uncountable warriors, armed with weapons he presumed they had picked from Confederate and Union corpses. This rather excessive aggrandizement created a panic in the country, and western migration effectively froze. No new settlers were coming, no men to serve as reinforcements for the militia. Attacks on railways were soon in effect, particularly after Custer attempt at a ‘negotiation’ with the Mormon militia turned into a massacre after a shot fired by a zealous young officer. Soon the Mormon and Indians were both hitting telegraph lines and railways, taking control of them in the case of the former and destroying them in the case of the latter. California, Nevada, and Oregon were effectively cut-off from the rest of the United States. Naturally, the smaller two states gravitated towards the California as they tried to maintain normalcy.
The few messages that did come from the East were poorly received. As he had in Pennsylvania and Kansas when they rioted, McClellan's fears of secessionists and chaos saw him issue a state of martial law to the Western States...
...Before much of the chaos in the West went on, it was decided by several states in Congress to hold Congressional elections early, hoping to rejuvenate faith in Congress, and several Congressmen resigned after the war. Liberals blamed the slow ideals of moderates Republicans and Democrats for losing the war, while conservatives blamed the Radical Republicans for starting the war, and blamed the War Democrats for either needlessly extending it or for failing to win it. Thus, in the throughout the Summer and Autumn in 1866, Radical Republicans and Copperhead Democrats flooded into Congress, creating a heated environment just barely won by the Republicans.
This is when McClellan finally attempted to deescalate the country’s situation. He called for unity between party and people, and situated Custer in Denver, keeping the Mormons contained until a proper pacification could be arranged, and in his free time Custer was allowed to defend the Colorado frontier. Martial law was rescinded from Kansas and Pennsylvania after rioting quieted down, and though it was officially maintained in the West, McClellan informed the state governments that it was a status intended to empower sitting governors to keep the peace until railways and telegraph could be repaired built in more secure territory.
A final moment of light, McClellan finally saw praise for his administration. The war had been lost, and the immediate aftermath ugly, but it seemed the general at least knew how to help keep the peace. He vetoed bills from Copperheads and Radicals alike that he felt went too far, including legislation intended to abolish slavery. McClellan still believed the South would rejoin in time. If the Union pursued illegalizing slavery, he felt it would turn Southern independence from temporary to permanent. While this angered abolitionists and hardline Republicans, it was felt that stability was creeping back. And then someone did the unthinkable…”
- Post-Bellum America by Thomas MacGregor
 Because if Custer is good at one thing, it’s subtle uses of militarist diplomacy.
 The Colorado War is real, and did begin during the Civil War. The lacking success in the Western Theatre sees an Oklahoma that is taken over and rallied to the Confederate cause by deals offered by the Confederacy after several native tribes offer to form militias. This leads to Oklahoman support for the natives in Colorado.
 Custer was a braggart and quick to defend his errors. This feels in character for him to do as a defense of not only why he chose to delay his mission, but why he lost the fight and so many men.
 This is a very pro-Union historiography. Mormons might see it as forming militias to protect themselves from Confederates, Indians, and bandits, only to be threatened by the Union, and then shot at by them in ‘unprovoked’ slaughter.
 With such a messy war and political landscape, I don’t subscribe to the idea that a Southern victory creates such a one-sided political scene. During the war, many people just wanted peace and others wanted to win but both blamed the Republicans, others wanted to win or wanted peace but blamed the Democrats for starting it. A poor showing in a dragging war means finger pointing goes round and round; was the war pointless, if so who to blame? Could the war have been won, if so who is to be blamed for the loss?
 McClellan is a planner. His hand was forced and he panicked, made grave errors. But with time to think and strategize, I believe more sensible decisions would come.
“It was a quiet Winter evening. President McClellan had felt it to be a productive day. He’d met with a representative from California to discuss how to address British encroachment into the Washington Territory, then he had tea with Lincoln on bringing their parties to heel to pass economic relief bills, and he’d even visited Pendleton. He and the Vice President hadn’t been on the best of terms after McClellan blamed Pendleton for convincing him to surrender. But the man had been deathly ill, and had been useful in whipping the Copperheads to toe McClellans line.
The visit had been pleasant, though few believed Pendleton would survive the year. Lincoln had effectively become his replacement, an odd rivalry-friendship developing now that they relied on another in politics. McClellan stepped out of his carriage, looking up at the theatre. A final bit of relaxation after a long day. As he approached the entrance, someone called after him.
‘Mr. President! Mr. President, might I have a word for the papers?’
McClellan let out a small sigh. He was presently alone aside from his bodyguard Howard, though there was a crowd outside the theatre waiting for admittance, Nelly looking after May and Max, the former feeling ill and the latter too young to be left alone. The president had been asked to be accompanied by others, but he’d wanted a night to himself. Howard was a friend, but even he had agreed to keep some distance.
He turned to face the reporter. The man was a scrawny thing, red haired and clearly of Irish stock. ‘My boy, I am tired and have no desire to speak to the press.’
The Irishman smiled. ‘I understand, sir. But, honestly, I’m here to make you silent.’
The strange statement made McClellan furrow his brow. Before he could even process it, the Irishman shot him. A small gun had been hidden in his sleeve, and he fired once into the President’s gut. As the leader of the Union fell forward, a second bullet rang out, and hit him on the top of his skull.
The assassin ran, the crowd panicking. Howard made to chase him, but turned to check on the President. ‘Mr. President!’ he called, but George B. McClellan was already dead...”
- Killing McClellan, a Novel by Beatrice Purdue
 This is a dramaticized historical fiction novel. No one can truly know what was said or what happened in full. The basic idea is the man walked up, well-dressed and allowed near the President, getting his attention before shooting him twice with a small gun before running. The author adds drama as the novel uses the assassination as a prologue to its main story of the conspiracy and manhunt before and after the killing.
“[The crowd murmurs as NORTON stand at their head, staring down CAPTAIN MONROE. The wind blows lightly. The DUCHESS of SAN DIEGO approaches from the crowd. She and NORTON whisper to each other.]
DUCHESS: What do we do, Joshua?
NORTON: We will not back down.
DUCHESS: Joshua, they have guns…
NORTON: [Speaking louder] They do have guns, but we have our rights!
[NORTON speaks in a booming voice]
NORTON: They have their bullets! We have our words! They march to a drumbeat! We march to the call of freedom! We are Americans, we are endowed by our creator with inalienable right to live as we wish, and to speak our minds! My good subjects, do not fear! For while these cowards have guns, we have our rights! Let them shoot! Let them reveal the true nature of their black hearts and vile masters!
CPT. MONROE: Norton! Surrender, you madman! Come into custody and tell your cult to disperse!
NORTON: A cult he says! Do you hear that, my subjects? He calls it crazed religion to believe in Liberty!
CPT. MONROE: I will give you to the of five to order them to leave and surrender yourself. One!
NORTON: Is violence all you know?!
CPT. MONROE: Two!
CPT. MONROE: Three!
NORTON: We cannot be afraid. Not anymore.
CPT. MONROE: Four!
DUCHESS: I’m not afraid… But I just need to tell you I l—
NORTON: I know Louisa… I know. I love you too.
CPT. MONROE: Five! Damn it, you loon! Fire, men!
[As CAPTAIN MONROE’s cavalry sword comes down, there is a hesitation amongst the National Guard. Three men then pull the trigger. Each bullet finds a target. WALTER FREEMAN is struck in the throat. ABIGAIL PAULSON is hit in the stomach. The aged DUKE of EUREKA is hit in the chest. The other guards recoil, and they look at the three who fired. LT. DANIELS grabs the gun from one of the murderers, and hits him in the face as the protestors tend to their own.]
CPT. MONROE: What are you idiots doing?! I told you to fire!
LT. DANIELS: And we won’t!
CPT. MONROE: Daniels, know your place!
LT. DANIELS: I know my place! And it sure hell ain’t over here. It ain’t shooting people for speaking out of line!
[LT. DANIELS marches up to CAPTAIN MONROE and grabs him, detaining him]
CPT. MONROE: What are you doing? Why?! Why?!
LT. DANIELS: For freedom, sir.
[LT. DANIELS nods his head over at NORTON]
LT. DANIELS: And for the Emperor.”
- Excerpt from NORTON, award-winning SA drama
 Another dramatic piece with fictional dialogue. The film also portrays Daniels as a fan of Norton torn between duty and beliefs. His words ‘for the Emperor’ are to convey that he always felt Norton was on the right side of the law, not that he’s a monarchist converted to a cause that second. He is mocking Monroe, who has hated Norton and took on orders to break up ‘secessionist movements’ with tyrannical gusto.
“After the assassination of President McClellan, the Union seemed to be at the edge of an abyss. His Vice President, George Pendleton, had been deathly ill for several weeks, and few expected him to make a recovery. When he was informed of McClellan’s death, he made the decision to decline the Presidency, allowing Congress to determine his successor.
Officially, the Act of 1792 was the document to refer to. However, the bill only addressed the circumstances wherein both the President and Vice President were vacant positions. Technically, Pendleton had decline the Presidency, and certainly no one wanted to force it on him. However, he was still Vice President, and he refused to relinquish the position as doing so would inevitably mean a radical Republican was bound to take his place. He also held out hope for recovery and, if not, he believed whoever was chosen as President would do well to determine their own Vice President.
This meant that Congress was in an unprecedented position. The solution was contested, and certainly many worried about the backlash. But the nation needed a leader, and it was determined that said leader, though only until the November 1867 emergency election, was to be the Secretary of State. And that was Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln himself had not motioned for the decision, but accepted it. He was hesitant, and rightfully so. He’d been president before, had then lost the election, and had only recently achieved any kind of recovery of his national credibility, thanks in part to McClellan’s praise of his duties. There was a hope that, with the war lost and McClellan’s presidency rocky at best, that people might accept Lincoln to serve at least temporarily. A full candidacy in the election wasn’t even discussed.
In general, the first reaction to the return of President Lincoln was mixed. But estimation of public opinion had been correct. People recognized the move as temporary, acknowledged that he was not entirely responsible for the war, nor blamed for its ultimate loss. He also represented a form of solidarity. The first criticism to hit his brief administration, however, was when he had Pendleton resign as Vice President. The man was getting sicker from stress, and Lincoln felt he might have a chance of recovery if he stopped attempting to perform duties. In the meantime, the position was left vacant, as Lincoln was personally against running for election, and had no desire to allow some other politician to saddle-ride him to national fame. But this made some accuse him of monopolizing power, most not yet seeing that Lincoln, while a Republican, had increasingly more in common with the War Democrats than he did the Radical Republicans.
But Lincoln’s term was doomed from the start. Two months had elapsed, and McClellan’s killer was finally caught and identified. He’d forced a shootout, but wasn’t killed himself. His name was Peter O’Hara. Irish by descent, his family was three generations American, and he had briefly served in the war, and counted himself a Radical Republican and an abolitionist. He confessed that his actions had been motivated by McClellan’s refusal to stop slavery, his losing of the war, and his tyrannical actions in his first year and a half as President. O’Hara stated his hope was to bring a Republican presidency into existence, having known Pendleton to be at death’s door.
This shook the country. Many had been shocked by O’Hara’s motivations, but worse they now looked at Lincoln as proof that he had succeeded. Lincoln was caught in a bind. What he did next has been lauded by many historians and politicians as a mark of his good character. He, as President, ordered that O’Hara be executed swiftly and publicly by hanging, with a stipulation that while he would observe and confirm that McClellan’s murderer had been brought to justice, he would be stepping down as Acting President.
Unfortunately, many in Lincoln’s party were far less honest men. It was not that they held malice or desired the end of their country. But they saw the Copperheads as fools who would let the South become strong enough to one day absorb the Union, and saw the War Democrats as biggoted imbeciles who lost the war, while their own moderate wing simply lacked the conviction needed to do what need be done. The Radical Republicans knew they would be taking a gamble. But their plans to end slavery, to militarize the Southern border, to form economically embargo the South, and to regain control of the West would win them approval in the end, at least in their own minds.
When Lincoln resigned, he had no Vice President. Congress could have ignored the Act of 1792 and crafted a new line of succession for the time being. But instead, through their slim majority in both Houses and the inability for the Democrats to come together on a single set of candidates, the Act was instead ruled to be in effect. This meant that the present President Pro Tempore of the Senate was to become Acting President, while the Speaker of the House was to become his Vice President. And that meant, that quite suddenly, in May of 1867, Benjamin Wade and John C. Frémont were now the heads of the Executive Branch, men who defined the meaning of Radical Republican.
The response was immediate. The public cried foul, and even then some went so far as to accuse the pair of having been involved with O’Hara in killing McClellan. After all, it would have been they who ascended to the Presidency if McClellan had died and Pendletons soon after. Or so was the claim. In truth, Frémont had only become Speaker a few days before McClellan death, even if he had a grudge with McClellan. Wade, meanwhile, had little direct malice with McClellan and had only been President Pro Tempore for a few months. But the idea had been planted, and regardless many feared the dangerous precedent it set for a killer of the President to have succeeded in his aims. Things might have calmed down, and Wade might have gotten some bills passed, had Norton’s March in California not ended in bloodshed and mutiny, the national guard not even aware of who was President, only acting on continuing orders to suppress ‘secessionist’ groups. This affair trickled East, paralyzing Wade from doing little beyond rescinding any kind of martial law, governor-directed or otherwise, from the West, and even had Custer’s raids into Utah halt…
...In a comically horrid run of luck, the next event to strike the Wade Administration was proof of a conspiracy between Peter O’Hara and the Republicans. It was claimed by O’Hara’s neighbors, who had purchased his estate, that they had discovered documents that spoke of meetings with ‘prominent Radical Republicans’ who aided him in gaining not only a discreet weapon despite recent poverty, but access to the President’s private schedule and arranging a carriage for his escape. It made sense to many, especially as it was only one wrong turn and a pothole that had broken O’Hara’s carriage wheel that foiled his northward escape. In having to run on foot, he was tracked to several locations before his final capture. Had all gone well, he would have committed the perfect crime.
This discovery came in July, leading some to hold suspicion over the veracity of the documents. Regardless, an investigation was spearheaded by Andrew Johnson and George Pendleton, who had made a recent recovery and who was surging forward as a possible candidate for the ‘67 election. And soon enough, Wade was being hit with a possible impeachment. The bills he had wanted to pass all died in the water, his own supporters unwilling to commit political suicide in his name. Wade’s saving grace came after a search of Frémont’s home uncovered a letter from O’Hara himself. Wade was effectively exonerated, Frémont was impeached, removed, arrested, and executed. Many experts believe this may have been falsely done. The letter from O’Hara does not match the handwriting of the killer, nor did it seem written by someone with the same mannerisms. The timing is also suspect, and it was recently ruled by a panel of experts that it was a forgery. Some think the Radical Republicans wanted to make it seem one man’s plan to move blame away from the party as a whole, others look at Wade directly as the culprit, and others still believe it may have been the work of investigators wishing to create a clean narrative for the good of the country.
We may never know the truth. Regardless, Wade did nothing once free of accusations. His bill to end slavery remained dead, and the election was fast approaching. The election’s candidates reveal much about the direction of Yankee politics. The War Democrats rallied around Andrew Johnson, while the Copperheads threw it all behind George Pendleton, who had recovered and made himself a known name during the turbulent months. In the other party, the Radical Republicans tried to push Thaddeus Stevens, but he was quickly rejected by the moderates in favor of Schuyler Colfax. Colfax, however, failed to garner much national acclaim, and the Republicans, despite being united under a candidate, simply lost a wave of voters after what became known as the O’Hara Conspiracy. The election thus became anyone’s game…”
- The 1867 Crisis by Todd Hunt
 For reference, the President’s cabinet and the Secretary of State were excluded because the Federalists refused to make Jefferson the successor to Adams or Washington, ironic as that is.
 Saddle-ride means to ride someone’s coattails TTL, a phrase whose current meaning originated in the US far latter than the PoD.
 There’s a direct demonizing here that fails to account for the lack of strong candidates, the desire to adhere to legal precedent, doubt over O’Hara’s claims, and the dangerous threats being made by the Radical Republicans’ political opponents.
 That even in this instance the Copperheads and War Dems can’t agree on someone to step in lends to the idea that the Radicals were low on happy outcomes and just bit the bullet and hoped for the best.
 Wade is President Pro Tempore here thanks to resignation, while Fremont is Speaker thanks to various elections and Radical Republican’s slight majority.
 Again the Radicals avoid making waves. That this was a vicious power grab should be suspect, but then so should it be suspected of being so based on reasons this author provided (ie, the bad precedent).
 That O’Hara’s neighbors were Democrats who hated his guts is going unmentioned here.
 All of that happening rapidly, almost like someone else were hoping to tidily close any loose ends and prevent the Vice President from voicing himself too much.
 I’m focusing a lot on Union politics for a TL based around the Confederacy, I know. But it’s important, and the next part will be about the Confederates for the most part.
They will be Marxists, but they will have a strong national identity despite that; the South has always had a strong identity that their victory TTL will only foster further, as you’ll see in Part #4
Everyone's gangsta till Norton converts the national guard.
I love the use of contrasting narratives and biases in the ‘sources’. It really helps make them feel realer, and highlights the uncertainty of many events in real history!
Amazing how things have literally gone to hell. This is just, wow!
Sherman's attack through Georgia coast into the heartland of the Confederacy is not surprising, but Stuart's simultaneous attack at DC followed by MCClellan's catch22 capitulation surprised me a hell of a lot. In fact, it des surprise me that the Union didn't keep Virginia at all...I guess I was kindof expecting a more rump-state confederacy sans Virginia andKentucky, essentially having the norther/southern border detailed along the Carolina-Tennesse/VIrginia-Kentucky line.
The Union did pretty much control Virginia, but Lee and other Virginians would never had stood for Virginia swinging to the Union, and the population would be staunchly anti-Union.
Glad you’re enjoying the TL! I’m trying to keep it surprising but feasible (as anyone whose read Nation On A Hill knows I like to do).
Well, obviously after Sherman, yeah, its most likely not going to be pro-Union at all.
Given that I am usually one of the people who is skeptical about the whole Confederate independence (even if it is always fun to speculate) I was intrigued by the "Red Confederacy" and thought, yeah, this I have to see.
I totally understand skepticism. I myself doubt any one thing could have saved the South. Let’s not forget that in this TL, to have the South win I:
- Killed Grant entirely
- Killed Hooker
- Killed Halleck
- Made Pope a leading figure before killing him
- Removed Joshua Chamberlain
- Killed Meade
- Made Sickles of all people a leading figure.
- Kept McClellan in command for far longer
- Kept Stonewall alive
- Trapped Sherman in Kentucky
- Pulled Burnside from NC, breaking the strength of the Anaconda Plan
- Presumed the CS Congress would be smart enough to pass famine relief
- Had Oklahoma press on Colorado
- Gave Stuart motivation for a nearly suicidal plan to end the war quick.
I effectively had the Union roll a 1 and critical failure most the war until it was too late.
I’m pretty certain that without all of this, Northern victory would still have been possible. Even by just strengthening the embargo and starving the Confederates out, the North could have won with a protracted war, perhaps ending in 1867 or 1868. As much as Alternate History authors like to claim its all cause and effect from one PoD, ultimately we use a PoD to justify our narrative and creative decisions. Grant failing to secure the Western Theatre early does alter entirely the strategies and planning of the North, but I chose for them to proceed to act a certain way, a way I feel is feasible and plausible, but also suiting my interests. Someone could take my same PoD and have created a very, very different war.
I think the main difference between multiple and one POD is that with one you're working harder to mask the illusion. Numerous unrelated POD's make it more clear that the author is changing events in order to get a specific result which would've been hard/impossible otherwise (in this case a Confederate victory), instead of just working within the confines of a single change even if it's big. Because of this I'd argue that multi-POD TL's are inherently weaker from a pure speculation perspective, but by no means necessarily worse than a single-POD. For instance, this timeline's really good so far. That North-South border is gonna be an absolute mess, especially as you go farther west.
A lot of POD's generally require several pages talking about the validity of the POD itself, especially in Confederate Independence timelines...but the two Confederate TL's that I have loved so far the most are TastySpam's one, and Johnrankins "Land of Cotton" because they don't spend too much time on the POD itself, or at least just say "Confederate Independence happened, its done, lets discuss the after effects". Frankly I wish a lot of TL's actually did that.
For instance a TL can be well researched and detailed even if the POD is scetchy, or makes no sense. Example off the top of my head is Tom Cotton's Weber's Germany which had Hitler killed by a time traveller, yet was still a well detailed ATL of World War II. In fact its still one of the Better post-1900 WW2 tl's on the site.
Having said that, this TL is phenomenal because of the detail.
Here's a suggestion for the flag of Oklahoma
it was a flag of the Cherokee iotl.
Separate names with a comma.