Saratoga of the South: An Alternate History of America

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I'm enjoying the butterflies this has produced so far.
Thanks. Cornwallis dying is going to change a lot of things, especially because his working relationship with Clinton was strained, especially during the Yorktown campaign. O'Hara being in command is going to be interesting. Anything you want to ask about that I haven't addressed?
 
Thanks. Cornwallis dying is going to change a lot of things, especially because his working relationship with Clinton was strained, especially during the Yorktown campaign. O'Hara being in command is going to be interesting. Anything you want to ask about that I haven't addressed?
There is a date I noticed now rereading the first post that says 1871 rather than 1781. Does Nathaniel Greene live longer i this timeline, perhaps entering politics? Also, I suspect that Washington's feigned attack in NY won't go as intended....
 
There is a date I noticed now rereading the first post that says 1871 rather than 1781. Does Nathaniel Greene live longer i this timeline, perhaps entering politics? Also, I suspect that Washington's feigned attack in NY won't go as intended....
Thanks for catching the typo. Greene does live longer, but I won't say what his future is going to be to avoid tipping my hand. Yes, attacking New York is going to be difficult especially because of the lack of ships.
 
Thanks for catching the typo. Greene does live longer, but I won't say what his future is going to be to avoid tipping my hand. Yes, attacking New York is going to be difficult especially because of the lack of ships.
Do historians in this alternate timeline see early on the parallels between Guilford Courthouse and Saratoga?
 
Chapter 5: A Nest of Vipers
Chapter 5: A Nest of Vipers

The Southern theater of the war is often remembered for Guilford Courthouse, and the campaigns in Virginia and the Carolinas involving Greene’s army fighting at (Redacted) and (Redacted), which were interesting from a tactical perspective. Those battles are still studied at the U.S. Military Academy to this day. But the South was more than just the traditional set piece battles and sieges that were so common during the 18th century. The war in the backwoods was also interesting, and often involved little to no British involvement.

The entire reason for the Southern strategy for the British was predicated on the idea that there was a large Loyalist population that would turn out to fight for and support them, and this informed a lot of the British plans. However, the war in the backwoods was more complicated than that, and was different than a lot of other parts of the war. Most of the battles between the Loyalist and Patriot militias were smaller in numbers, and often based off grudges and feuds that spanned years, and the British often didn’t understand that. There was a lot of raiding, and those combatants would often be fighting away from the major battles in the theater.

The fighting was often characterized by hit and run battles, and ambushes. These fights were nasty, as there was often little quarter given and left a trail of destruction across the rural parts of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia. The commanders of these militias often had a fractious relationship with the main army commanders. It was common for Greene, Cornwallis, and O’Hara to complain in their correspondence that it was like pulling hairs to figure out how to integrate the militias into the main armies when they seemed more focused on fighting these backwoods scuffles.

There is a strong consensus among historians that the real impact of Guilford Courthouse was that it emboldened the Patriot militia. Like Saratoga in the north, Guilford Courthouse raised hope that the French would intervene further in the war effort, and when news of the Newport Conference trickled down, there was a notable increase in the size and enthusiasm of the Patriot militia, and Greene’s army swelled in size. There was a real sense among those men that there was a lot of blood in the water. On the flip side, the Loyalists were discouraged. Although O’Hara was a competent officer who would go on to have a distinguished career, it took time for Loyalist leaders to develop a working relationship with the new commander. As a result, when O’Hara needed reinforcements during the battles to come, he would find it difficult to get the men that he needed.

It has been only in the past few decades that the backwoods war has been brought into the wider national discussion by popular historians. With the publication of a treasure trove of primary source documents in recent years with the (Redacted) Insurgency in the (Redacted) Intervention, there was a lot of discussion centered with comparing the (Redacted) Administration’s comparison to Washington and Greene’s decisions during the war.

Author’s Notes: And we are back. I wanted to discuss the backwoods war a bit because in OTL was a part of the war, and almost the first Civil War in the history of the country. The Redacted pieces are to avoid spoilers, and will be revealed in due time. Sources used were the same ones listed earlier, plus Wikipedia. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share. And thanks for reading this timeline. Hopefully it is worth the click and time investment on your end.
 
They're not enough TLs about the American Revolution. Glad to see this back! Idk what your plans are for the end of the war, but it would be interesting if the war ends in a slightly different shaped US. Maybe Britain is able to hold on to Florida or something. Anyway looking forward to it!
 
They're not enough TLs about the American Revolution. Glad to see this back! Idk what your plans are for the end of the war, but it would be interesting if the war ends in a slightly different shaped US. Maybe Britain is able to hold on to Florida or something. Anyway looking forward to it!
Thanks for the nice words. I'm not going to spoil how the end of the war goes in order to keep it a surprise, but the US is going to look different down the road.
 
Chapter 6: A Diplomatic Improvisation
Chapter 6: A Diplomatic Improvisation

Far from the battlefields of America, another fight was going on. This one didn’t involve soldiers and sailors, but was one of the most critical battlefields of the war. That was the diplomatic front, and America had done a lot of work already. Despite disagreements among the American diplomats, they had managed to secure a military alliance with the Bourbon kingdoms of France and Spain, and had continued to get assistance and money that had been critical to the success of the American war effort.

But the French in particular were growing tired of the constant pursuit of their money. The Continental Congress lacked the power to raise taxes from the states, and the governmental infrastructure was still young. Benjamin Franklin knew this well from his years of being in France. What made his mission difficult was that he was caught in between two opposing missions. On the one hand, he had to keep a good relationship with the French foreign minister the Comte de Vergennes to keep the French aid rolling in. On the other hand, he had to make sure that the Congress got that aid, and they would often send him a lot of requests. These lists of requests were fairly constant, and Vergennes and Louis XVI were constantly asking why the last shipments seemed to not satisfy the Americans. Louis XVI was going into debt supporting the Americans, and he wanted to see a major victory to give France a chance to get something out of this war that would stave off the murmurs of discontent that were festering underneath the surface of France at this time.

When news reached Paris during the summer of 1781 of Guilford Courthouse, it caused a groundswell of confidence in Franklin. This was coupled with the news of the Newport Conference. This was in addition to the news of Gibraltar. These two victories caused the Allies to change their wartime strategy to be more offensive. Franklin was able to secure a few more French ships and an additional 7,000 soldiers that would be sent to America, sailing from the port of Brest. If they were not needed in Gibraltar, they would link up with whomever needed help in the three-pronged assault upon the British armies in the Americas.

But it would have to be done in secret. Paris in 1781 was a hive of spies and information was their currency. Franklin and Vergennes knew that British agents would pass along any information to Lord North’s government. The battle between the various spies would be later dramatized in the television series Turn: Spies of the Revolution which was inspired by the book of the same name. So, the Allies came up with a cunning plan.

What their plan was that they would leak a plan to invade the British Isles, which was unlikely. The Home Fleet was well-supplied, and was on the lookout for any sign of an invasion fleet. Yes, John Paul Jones had been able to cause destruction to shipping and raid Whitehaven, but those were more useful in forcing the British to commit resources in ways that they weren’t anticipating. So, they passed the rumor around. And the British spies bought it.

Lord North and his government made the decision to concentrate more of their naval forces in the Channel, while a French fleet was able to sneak away to America. Where it would sail would soon be put to good use.

Author’s Notes: Okay, this chapter was pretty interesting to write. I included a new source in addition to those sources already listed in older chapters. The new source is A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, by Stacy Schiff. It’s a great book about Franklin’s time in France, and it is a very good book even if you aren’t interested in this time period. In fact, it is one of the best history books I own. What I have enjoyed the most about this timeline is that I’ve gotten to reread some good books. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share them. Thanks for reading, and have a good rest of your day.
 
So does this mean there will be major victories for the US-France-Spain alliance on BOTH sides of the Atlantic?
Where will Holland come in?
League of Armed Neutrality, does it end up fighting Britain in this TL?
 
So does this mean there will be major victories for the US-France-Spain alliance on BOTH sides of the Atlantic?
Where will Holland come in?
League of Armed Neutrality, does it end up fighting Britain in this TL?
Thanks for reading, and for the questions. I'll answer them one at a time.

Yes, there are going to be major victories in North America, though not likely in Europe. France and Spain have to defend Gibraltar, and that will tie down plenty of resources.

The Dutch will come in later in the war, and things with them have been going as OTL.

As for the League of Armed Neutrality, it is going to be focused as in OTL on freedom of the seas for countries that are neutral.

Hopefully that helps to answer the questions. I like to keep some things a surprise for the readers, and don't like to tip my hand too much.
 
I always love to see minor POD's like this get used, as the consequences often develop much more slowly than a larger and more drastic one. And as someone who doesn't know nearly enough about the Revolutionary War as I should, I look forward to the next update!
 
I always love to see minor POD's like this get used, as the consequences often develop much more slowly than a larger and more drastic one. And as someone who doesn't know nearly enough about the Revolutionary War as I should, I look forward to the next update!
Thanks for the kind words, and glad to see you are enjoying the timeline. The butterflies should be flapping faster as we go along.

Will a certain short man from Corsica ascend to tall station ITTL?
Said Corsican is still in military school as in OTL, and I have plans for him. A lot is depending on TTL Treaty of Paris and how France responds to the debt crisis.
 
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