Stonewall Jackson's Way: An Alternate Confederacy Timeline

What Timeline Should I Do Next?

  • Abandon the Alamo!

    Votes: 9 47.4%
  • We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists

    Votes: 8 42.1%
  • Old Cump and Pap

    Votes: 2 10.5%

  • Total voters
    19
Chapter Sixteen: The Post-War Presidency of Jefferson Davis
Chapter Sixteen: The Post-War Presidency of Jefferson Davis

President Jefferson Davis
With the war over, and the CSA now fully independent and recognized by the great nations of the world, many expected that Davis would have a more relaxed presidency. This was not be, however. He remained ever vigilant, still focusing most of his attention on the military, as he had done during the Civil War. He feared that the United States was going to declare war on his country at any minute, despite Pendleton being in office. Because of this, in 1866, he would order the raising of more troops, 21 brigades to be precise, with 20 being infantry and one being cavalry. This had the support of the Confederate Army, but the public outcry against this was fierce. It also caused James Seddon to resign from his post as Secretary of War, which he claimed was because he feared he lacked the strength and skill to fulfill it, but likely was because he wanted to avoid being associated with the negative public outcry, and desired the position of Senator from Virginia, which he would get, replacing Allen T. Caperton in the next senatorial elections. Davis would look for a man to fill the now vacated position, and found it in John C. Breckinridge, a general from Kentucky who was currently serving as a representative from Virginia, his new adopted home state. He would accept the post, and rapidly go to work.

James Seddon and John Breckinridge

Breckinridge would quickly set to work reforming the Confederate Army, starting first with the new men. It was decided that the new commands created by the newly raised brigades would mostly be given to officers who had been wounded though out the war, and were returning to the CSA Army looking for a command, with only a few going to officers seeking transfer to infantry command. The decision for the commander of the cavalry brigade would be a simple one, with it going to already a Confederate legend Turner Ashby. For the men to command the infantry brigades, Breckinridge would turn to the army. He would select three of the brightest young officers--Robert E. Rodes, William Dorsey Pender, and John B. Gordon--to form a committee to decide on who to give the commands to. The fact that these three officers were all from the Eastern Theater can help explain why so many of their selections were men from that theater [1]. The three officers would present their report to Breckinridge, who brought it to Davis, who approved it. The most interesting change that resulted from this would involve the Texas Brigade. The Texas Brigade was currently under the command of Van. H. Manning, a native of Arkansas. Seeking to return the brigade's command to a Texan, Senators Louis Wigfall and William Oldham approached Davis with a plan. One of the men who had returned to command was John Gregg of Texas. Their plan was for Gregg to be transferred to command of the Texas Brigade, and for Manning to receive Gregg's command. Davis, looking for support for his military expansion, would agree, much to Gregg's joy and Manning's annoyance. Nonetheless, Manning would stay with the army, and the Texas Brigade was again commanded by a Texan.

The members of Breckinridge's selecting committee: Robert E. Rodes, William D. Pender, and John B. Gordon

Another one of Breckinridge's reforms were to bring all the CSA cavalry forces into one command, the Cavalry Corps. To no ones surprise, command of this corps went to J.E.B. Stuart, who would also receive a Lieutenant General's commission with it. Stuart would be thrilled by the news, with many commenting that it rivaled the joy he felt after his successful action at Gettysburg, but his joy was short-lasting. The cavalry corps brought together two different types of cavalry, with very different views of the purpose of it, with them being referred to as the "Raiders" and "Cavaliers" by modern historians. Among the Raiders were men like Nathan B. Forrest, Joseph Wheeler, John H. Morgan, and William E. Jones. Among the Cavaliers were men like Wade Hampton, Fitzhugh Lee, Turner Ashby, and Rooney Lee. The friction between the two groups was fierce, and it rubbed Stuart the hardest. Soon, order became hard to maintain, and it rapidly became clear to Stuart that he was going to have to side with one group or the other. Stuart would side with the group he knew best, the Cavaliers, and as a result, the Raiders began both a whisper and newspaper campaign against him. The final snapping point for Stuart was when he discovered a petition being passed around the senior officers of the Cavalry Corps intended for Breckinridge and Davis. Its request was that Stuart be relieved of command of the Cavalry Corps. At first, Stuart was not disturbed or surprised by the list of men whose name were attached, as all were known raiders. The name that brought Stuart to despair was that of Wade Hampton, who it is believed signed the petition as revenge for his brother's death at Brandy Station, which he believed could have been avoided if Stuart had been more vigilant. Stuart would show the petition to several of his closest officer confidants, including Fitzhugh Lee, Tom Rosser, Channing Price, and John S. Mosby. Eventually Stuart would be so depressed by the now constant newspaper attacks against him that he tendered his resignation to Breckinridge, and returned to his Virginia home, never again to engage in public affairs. Breckinridge would then give the command to Nathan B. Forrest.

Nathan B. Forrest

One more event would rock the army during Davis' presidency. General William "Extra Billy" Smith was still smarting from being relieved of command during the CSA assault on Washington, but he remained in the army. He, however, had a growing hatred towards the army's senior officers, then Davis, and eventually the CSA as a whole. He believed he had been better off living in the United States, and decided to become a traitor. He promised that in exchange for the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army, he would reveal as many of the South's military secrets as he knew. Unfortunately for Smith, this letter would become public knowledge when Pendleton would reveal it to Davis, hoping to make it appear that he had no ill-will towards the South. This would lead to the treason trial of Smith, which was unprecedented in CSA history. Breckinridge decided that there would be twelve seats in the court, with one for an officer from each CSA state, and an additional one to represent the officers from the border-states. When Smith learned of this, he requested that no West-Pointers, a group he despised, be appointed to a seat, which was denied. He later would request that Jubal Early, who appeared likely to receive Virginia's seat, would not be given it. This time, Smith's request was granted [2]. Smith would know that his fate was essentially sealed before the court-martial even started, so he decided to spite Jefferson Davis in his choice of a lawyer. He would choice Edward Pollard, a man with a history of anti-Davis articles. As Smith and almost everyone predicted, the court-martial was rapidly decided, with a unanimous decision that Smith was guilty of treason, and that his punishment should be execution by hanging. Smith's execution would be done in private, with only one captain, and four privates being a witness to it.

Governor and General William "Extra Billy" Smith, 1797-1866

Overall, the Davis presidency was generally held as a success by the general populace, though they were certainly not by all, and most of his popularity stemmed from his successful execution of the war. With a single term limit, it remained unclear who would take up the reigns of the Confederate presidency when Davis left office in 1868, thus leading to one of the most bitter and hard-fought presidential elections in CSA history.

[1] The men the committee selected are as follows: John Pegram, George B. Anderson, Charles Winder, Barnard Bee, Robert Hatton, Maxcy Gregg, Charles Field, Victor Girardley, Richard Griffith, William Starke, Lawrence Branch, Samuel Garland, Elisha F. Paxton, John Gregg, William S. Baylor, William Cox, Zebulon York, Chatham Wheat, Thomas Garnett, and Philip Cook.
[2] The members of the court are as follows: Robert Rodes of Virginia, William D. Pender of North Carolina, Patrick Cleburne of Arkansas, David Lang of Florida, John B. Gordon of Georgia, Benjamin F. Cheatham of Tennessee, John B. Hood of Texas, Cullen A. Battle of Alabama, Richard Taylor of Louisiana, Richard Anderson of South Carolina, Benjamin G. Humphreys of Mississippi, and John G. Walker of Missouri.
 
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Chapter Seventeen: The CSA Election of 1867
Chapter Seventeen: The CSA Election of 1867

A depiction of people voting in the election

The CSA Election of 1867 would be one of the most divisive in the history of the South. It was the first term there was ever two major candidates up for election, and both had very different views on how to run the country. It would see the formation of two main political ideologies, which would lay the ground works for the political parties of the future. It would also help set the CSA on the path it would go on. Overall, while it was also divisive, it was also among the most decisive elections in the history of the CSA.

With Jefferson Davis leaving office, he figured that the two main candidates in the election would form from the camp of people for him, and against him. Knowing as such, Davis made sure he had an important voice in selecting the candidate from the camp of people supporting him. The person Davis first approached would be a man sure to win election if he ran, Robert E. Lee, who was like a Washington to the South. Lee, however, would decline, stating that he wanted spend time with his family at home after having been gone so long. The next two people Davis approached, George H. Thomas and Stonewall Jackson both declined, with Thomas famously saying “I will not accept if nominated, and will not serve if elected, as I do not think myself equal to the role.”, which is where the Thomas Tongue, which is when someone declares clearly he will not run for an office, derives its name. Thomas also claimed that he was spending time looking for a new wife, and that he wanted to spend more time with his family, who had helped him through the death of his previous wife only a month into their marriage. Davis would then consider Judah Benjamin, but it was pointed out that Benjamin was already a rather unpopular man, and that they were going to need all the support they could muster. Finally, Davis asked a candidate who agreed to run, John Breckinridge. Breckinridge had both experience as a politician, having served as vice-president, senator, and representative in the U.S. and secretary of war and representative in the CSA, and was a war hero, having played an important role in the Battle of Chickamauga. Breckinridge would run with Benjamin Hill, a very pro-Davis senator from Georgia. They ran on a platform of easing of relationships with the North, while maintaining and reforming the army, expansion and settling on the West by poor whites to stop the banditry and U.S. excursions currently plaguing it, and increasing industry and trade while moving away and becoming less dependent on the plantation system.


John Breckinridge and Benjamin Hill
The anti-Davis faction of the South would also organize, and for their candidate, they managed to convince one the main men in forming the South to run for them, Robert Toombs. While Toombs had an impressive political career in the U.S., serving as both a representative and senator, his career in the CSA had been less so. He had served as the first secretary of state for all of six months before resigning to join the Army of Northern Virginia, in which he served inconspicuously except at Antietam. He ran with Henry S. Foote, who had served as Mississippi's governor and senator in the U.S. before serving as a representative for it in the CSA. He was known to be fiercely anti-Davis, perhaps the most anti-Davis of anyone in the CSA Congress. Toombs and Foote ran on a platform of low tariffs and increasing and trying to spread the plantation system, while maintaining the cold relationship with the U.S.

Robert Toombs and Henry Foote
The campaigning for the election took a fierce turn almost immediately. Toombs began to immediately attack Breckinridge at where they most disagreed, the plantation system and whether to expand or slowly phase it out. Toombs accused Breckinridge as trying to destroy the CSA by destroying a key part of it, even going so far as to call Breckinridge an abolitionist. Breckinridge would respond to these attacks by pointing out that the plantation system was an incredibly risky thing to place your economy upon, as there were always the chance of a bad season or a infestation of vermin or insects. He also tried to appeal to poorer Southerners by saying he would see to it that they receive land out west to increase their economic prosperity, while Toombs wanted to give all the land to his wealthy allies. This appealed to many poor Southerners, and seemed to threaten to turn Toombs' home state of Georgia into Breckinridge's favor. This was only aided when Howell Cobb, a man well respected in Georgia came out in favor of Breckinridge. Breckinridge also gained the favor of the army with his promised reform. Nonetheless, Toombs appealed to many of more rich in the South with his promise of maintaining plantation rule. It remained unclear who would win the presidency by the time election day arrived.

A political meeting held in Georgia to discuss the two candidates
As everyone expected, the election was extremely close. In the end, however, Breckinridge would manage to narrowly secure victory, receiving 47 electoral votes to Toombs' 29. Breckinridge had won five states, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, while Toombs won six, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. While Toombs had won more states, Breckinridge had won more popular and electoral votes. The results would set Toombs off in fume, particularly against Howell Cobb, whose campaigning for Breckinridge had cost Toombs his own home state. The CSA had chosen the path it wanted to follow.
 
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Surprising that Toombs lost his home state of Georgia. What did he do to drive them to Breckinridge?
Three main things drove Georgia into Breckinridge's camp. First, Toombs has many rivals in the state from his long history of politics in it. Second, Breckinridge promised lands in the west to the poor whites in the state. Third, Howell Cobb brought himself into Breckinridge's camp and campaigned hard for him. While Georgia did go for Breckinridge, it was his closest won state.
 
"land in the west"? unless the CSA either conquers or purchases more of Mexico then all they've got in the southern half of modern New Mexico and Arizona - which is mostly desert, high desert, and Mountains, with a small amount of arable land.
 
Chapter Eighteen: The US Election of 1868
Chapter Eighteen: The U.S. Election of 1868

A picture of New York City during the election, with several people talking about who they plan to vote for
With election of 1868 rapidly approaching, Pendleton was begin to doubt if he could retain his seat as president of the United States. Despite quickly bringing a war to an end, he was becoming rather unpopular within his own party, due to appointing Midwesterners to jobs that the Democratic leadership, focused mostly in the East Coast wanted to be given to their men. There was also the rising star of the Democratic Party, Daniel Sickles. Despite failing to recapture Washington, Sickles maintained his popularity both with the general populace and his soldiers by his reported heroics in the battle, and all the awards and better conditions he gave to the men under his command. He also had a long history with the Democratic Party, and knew many important people. When the convention came, it rapidly became clear that the popular Sickles, not the increasingly unpopular Pendleton would receive the nomination. The Democrats, however, acknowledged that a large reason for their current domiance stemmed from support from the Midwest, and to acknowledge this, they nominated Daniel Voorhees, Pendleton's popular and well-liked secretary of state for the vice-presidency. When Pendleton left the convention, he famously commented, "I formed the Black Guards to protect me from assassins. Now I wish I had formed an organization to protect me from Sickles."

Daniel Sickles and Daniel Voorhees
The Republicans, while still a party with some force, had been forced mainly into a New England enclave. The party turned to many of its oldest members to take up the party banner, including William Seward, Charles Sumner, Thaddeus Stevens, and Benjamin Wade, but they all declined. Salmon Chase was very interested in the post, but Wade was quick to point out the reason why he had declined, being that Ohio was the heart of the Democratic power base in the Midwest. Despite this, Chase continued to try and receive the nomination, but the party heeded Wade's advice. Eventually, they found someone willing to take the position that was not an Ohioan. Henry Wilson was currently serving as a Massachusetts senator, and despite having no illusions about his chances of winning, he still agreed to be the candidate. The Republicans still hoped to get some Midwestern votes, and nominated former representative and Speaker of the House from Indiana Schuyler Colfax as Wilson's running mate. Neither man really believed they stood a chance, and it was generally agreed they formed a weak ticket.

Henry Wilson and Schuyler Colfax
Despite his opposition being ambivalent about the whole election, Sickles campaigned as if he was the Republican candidate in terms of the amount of effort he put in. He constantly attacked them as "those abolitionists who couldn't win a war, so they tried to stay in power by freeing the slaves and giving them the vote." In one of the few moments of retribution campaigning the Republicans did against Sickles, Wilson would point that, yes the Republicans hadn't won the war, but neither did Sickles when given the command of Army of the Potomac. They also attacked the fact that he had murdered his scorned wife's lover, and was quite the player. All Republican campaigning, however, came to a temporary halt with the death of Thaddeus Stevens, one of the party's oldest and most outspoken members in August. While the Republicans were mourning, Sickles continued his campaign, even attacking the now deceased Stevens. This made some people turn up their nose at Sickles, but the general public loved Sickles' personal attacks, and never seemed to care how far or who they attacked. Sickles would also travel all the way to the West to campaign, making speeches in California, Oregon, and Nevada. The election would also witness an assassination attempt. While campaigning in Missouri, which was still very divided since the Civil War, Sickles would deliver a speech proclaiming he was the president of law and order. Suddenly out of the crowd would appear an assassin, who fired at Sickles on the platform. The shot would fatally hit Silas Woodson, Missouri's governor, who was standing next to Sickles. Sickles would quickly pull out a firearm of his own, and dispatch the assassin with a shot to the head. Sickles would then finish his speech, before leaving the platform to a huge public cry of support.

A photograph of one of Sickles' rallies in California
Like the previous election, the results of the election of 1868 surprised none one. Sickles had won decisively, gaining 174 electoral votes to Wilson's 39. Sickles would carry Oregon, California, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Wilson would only manage to carry New England, winning Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Sickles had gained the highest position in the land, and was ready to "fix" America from all the mistakes the Republicans (and in his opinion, Pendleton) had made.
 
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Chapter Nineteen: The Breckinridge Presidency
Chapter Nineteen: The Breckinridge Presidency

President John C. Breckinridge
Upon assuming office, Breckinridge immediately set to work. A problem immediately brought itself before the new president. One of his main campaign promises was to give land to the poor whites out west, and currently, the sum of Confederate territory in the West was the Arizona territory. While Breckinridge was fine with the territory's rather arid environment, as he hoped it would encourage the settlers to pursue occupations beside plantations, he knew that more land was needed. Luckily for him, to the CSA's south was a poor, weak Mexico under Maximilian. Breckinridge would diplomatically approach him with offers to buy Chihuahua, Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur, offering 10 million dollars for the land, as the CSA was hardly better off than Mexico financially. Maximilian would refuse the offer, requesting more money if he wanted the territory. Breckinridge would decide on an alternative option, and bring two corps of the CSA Army to the Mexican border, and made it abundantly clear that he was not above helping the rebels currently against Maximilian. Seeing no other alternative, Maximilian would relent, accepting the 10 million in exchange for the 4 provinces, which Breckinridge brought into the CSA as territories. Breckinridge had gained the land he needed, and Maximilian had brought himself into the ire of President Sickles of the U.S., who opposed Breckinridge's attempts as expansion.

Maximilian
Even before he secured the Mexican provinces, Breckinridge had had another idea in mind for the CSA. Hoping to connect the country east to west, Breckinridge was planning a transcontinetal railroad. During the last few weeks of Pendleton's presidency, Breckinridge would secure a trade agreement with him, in which U.S. steel for Breckinridge's railroad would be traded for Southern cotton for the North's textile industry. The deal, in addition to providing the CSA with a much needed resource, also served to help another one of Breckinridge's goals, bringing the U.S. and CSA closer together. With the steel Breckinridge needed now coming steadily in, he would turn to a new company, the Confederate Pacific company, which had been founded by former general Joseph R. Anderson when he learned of Breckinridge's goal, and give him and his company the contract to build the railroad. Work would begin immediately, and would finish in 1874, the year Breckinridge left office.

Joseph R. Anderson, President of Confederate Pacific
With the steady settlement of the West under Breckinridge's supervision, and new problem was rapidly emerging. Born from the Bushwackers that came from the Civil War, a new type of criminal was becoming prevalent. Men who had been Bushwackers during the Civil War were moving out West with the follow of men, and rapidly becoming outlaws, with such men as "Bloody Bill" Anderson, Champ Ferguson, Frank and Jesse James, William Quantrill, and Jim and Cole Younger, rapidly becoming a threat to Breckinridge's goal of westward expansion. Many of these men would have their base in the south of the wild Indian Territory, which was already suffering from U.S. excursions to the North, and would hassle settlers moving through the territory out to the new land Breckinridge acquired, and also sometimes raid towns in the Arizona territory. When it became clear that regular law enforcement officers could not stand up to the outlaws, Breckinridge decided that the CSA Cavalry Corps under the rough and ready Nathan B. Forrest were the men for the job. In what would become known as the Outlaw War, Forrest would root out many of the outlaws, and establish martial law for the duration of the war in the Indian Territory. Eventually, the banditry was put to a stop, and Forrest and the Cavalry Corps returned to the East. In addition to rooting out the outlaws, the Outlaw War also saw the resignation of many of the remaining Cavaliers in the Cavalry Corps, most of whom joined politics.

William "Bloody Bill" Anderson, who was among the most notorious of the outlaws
Breckinridge would begin work in industrializing the South, with several new factories laying down in their foundations under his supervision in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia. He would also try to lay the groundworks for more of these factories in the Deep South, but knew he would have to be patient, as they still clung fiercely to the plantation system as their main economic source of income. By the end of his presidency, Breckinridge was quite satisfied with what he had achieved, having expanded the CSA, rooted out the outlaws, and began industrialization of the South.

Breckinridge and his cabinet:
President: John C. Breckinridge
Vice-President: Benjamin Hill
Secretary of State: Howell Cobb
Secretary of the Treasury: James M. Mason
Secretary of War: Simon B. Buckner
Secretary of the Navy: Stephen Mallory
Postmaster General: John H. Reagan
Attorney General: Judah Benjamin
 
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How in the world does Sickles have time to campaign in the West? There is no transcontinental railroad and unless he travels by Pony Express, it's months to get to the coast. Otherwise, I like what you are doing with the he TL. Keep it up.
.
 
How in the world does Sickles have time to campaign in the West? There is no transcontinental railroad and unless he travels by Pony Express, it's months to get to the coast. Otherwise, I like what you are doing with the he TL. Keep it up.
.
Sickles has time to campaign in the West, as he really had no need to campaign at all (most campaigning back in those days were done by the candidate's supporters, not the candidate himself, until roughly Garfield in OTL). He really didn't not have to do it, but he wanted to do it, and having no real reason against it, the Democratic Party approved the trip, so he basically spent most of his campaign season in the West, while his supporters did the little campaigning that was necessary in the East (It is on his way West that the Missouri assassination incident mentioned in the chapter happens). He basically did the campaign out West as a both "look how tough I am" and get a more down to earth reputation for himself, as he is associated with New York corruption.

How does Sickles carry Maryland? Did it not secede after the fall of Washington?
Thank you for pointing this out. When I was originally creating this timeline, I did not have Maryland joining the South, but eventually it developed that way, and it appears I forget to change that detail.
 
Chapter Twenty: The Sickles Presidency Part One
Chapter Twenty: The Sickles Presidency Part One

President Daniel E. Sickles
With the entry of Sickles into the White House, Tammany Hall had final gotten one of their men into the most powerful position in the land. Sickles was all that the Democratic leadership of the East Coast could want. He fully embraced the spoil system, turned a blind eye to their more corrupt actions, and made sure that they were rewarded for supporting him. In fact, all but one of Sickles cabinet (not including the Vice-President) were New Yorkers, and all of them were East Coast men. Sickles also seemed to have an ability that Pendleton lacked. While Pendleton failed in party conversion, Sickles excelled at it, turning many Democrats turned Republicans back into Democrats, with the most notable example of this being his Secretaries of War and the Navy, Simon Cameron and John Cochrane respectively. While in domestic policy, Sickles let the Democratic leadership reward themselves for gaining power, and effectively let them guide him, in other aspects, Sickles was a much more independent man.

Tammany Hall, where Sickles got his political beginnings and a crucial Democratic power base
One area of the presidency were Sickles quite enjoyed himself was foreign policy. One thing he did was make it appear that he had plans on invading Canada as retribution for Britain recognition of the CSA, which he had no plans to, but he kept the appearance nonetheless to force Britain to spend money on reinforcing the Canadian border, which Sickles did view as revenge for Britain's role in the Civil War. Another major foreign policy event in Sickles' administration was his involvement in Mexico. When Maximilian sold four of his provinces to the CSA, this enraged Sickles, who wanted the CSA to stay a weak country, which was in relation to his dream of eventually leading an army to reconquer the South, which he had no intent on doing now, but was a goal for the future. In response to Maximilian's actions, Sickles would start secretly sending money and weapons to the men who currently rebelling against Maximilian, which proved enough to give them the ability to overthrow, and eventually execute Maximilian. It is said that Sickles smiled when he received news of this, and said, "Now the nations will now not to aid the South".

A Harper's Weekly illustration of Maximilian's execution, with Maximilian at center, General Tomás Mejía at left, and General Miguel Miramón at right.
Sickles would have one more interesting foreign policy moment. Russia had long since abandoned hopes of making a successful colony of Alaska, and was looking a country to sell it to. Pendleton had turned down all of Russia's previous offers of Russia, considering it a wasteland, whose purchase would only further hurt his already decreasing popularity. Sickles, meanwhile, was eager to expand the U.S. in response to the CSA's expansion, and was able to secure Alaska for 7 million dollars.

The first page of Tsar Alexander II's ratification of the treaty
Sickles also ended Pendleton's policy of attacking kindly towards the South. While he did not break the trade agreements that existed between the two nations, as they had benefits to the U.S., he expanded the size of the U.S. Army, and secretly approved more excursions into the CSA Indian Territory, and even did nothing when a U.S. fort, Fort Custer, was established in the territory by Colonel George Custer, who claimed it was for protecting Western-bound settlers from attacks, and had it garrisoned with the whole of the 7th U.S. Cavalry. Fort Custer nearly started a second civil war, as Forrest requested that he be allowed to attack and destroy the fort which was violating the CSA's borders during the Outlaw War, but Breckinridge ordered him not to. Sickles would also start the American conquest of the West, sending troops to force the Native Americans out.

The officer quarters of Fort Custer, which was the first building built, even before the walls
When Sickles reached 1872, an election year, he had little to fear concerning his reelection in his opinion. While he had done nothing great or memorable in the minds of the Americans while in office, he was just a war hero who they trusted enough to give executive power to, which he did not think had changed in their minds since 1868. He had alienated the Midwest with his full support and acceptance of the East Coast Democrats, but it seemed that they would still support him. The Republicans had not found a figure heard to rally around yet, and they remained for the most part a New England enclave.

Sickles and his cabinet:
President: Daniel Sickles
Vice-President: Daniel Voorhees
Secretary of State: Horatio Seymour
Secretary of the Treasury: Emanuel B. Hart
Secretary of War: Simon Cameron
Attorney General: Daniel Butterfield
Postmaster General: Thomas F. Meagher
Secretary of the Navy: John Cochrane
Secretary of the Interior: William "Boss" Tweed
 
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G-6

Banned
The confederacy made a enemy out of Mexico by buying land from someone Mexico see as usurper/illegitimate ruler
 
Chapter Twenty One: The U.S. Election of 1872
Chapter Twenty One: The U.S. Election of 1872

A Democratic political poster during the election. No mention of Vice-President Voorhees shows just how much Sickles had come to dislike his politically necessary vice-president
With the election of 1872 rapidly approaching, it was clear who the Democratic candidate for president was going to be. Sickles remained popular in the party, and was nominated on the first ballot, although not unanimously as in his previous 1868 nomination, as some Midwestern delegates instead cast their vote for Pendleton and Voorhees. The vice-presidential nomination would prove to be more contentious. Sickles would actively campaign against his current vice-president Daniel Voorhees, hoping to get an East Coast man in as his running mate, as he had come to dislike Voorhees, who disapproved of Sickles and viewed him as a corrupt fool. Despite this, the Democratic Party would renominate Voorhees, albeit narrowly, after five ballots. The Democratic ticket was made.

As part of his campaign, Sickles would hand out images of himself in uniform, like these above images, to remind the country of his "heroic" service
The Republican Party had revitalized since the 1868 election. One thing that particularly excited the party was their breaking of the Democratic stranglehold on the Midwest's senators and representatives. Two Republicans, John A. Logan of Illinois and Frank Blair Jr. of Missouri would manage to gain election to the Senate for their home states, along with a Republican leaning independent, David Davis of Illinois. Adding to their joy was the Republican gaining representatives in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, with Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, William B. Hazen, Jacob D. Cox, and James Garfield being the Republicans from Ohio, Oliver P. Morton, Nathan Kimball, Benjamin Harrison, and Joseph Keifer being the Republicans from Indiana, and Lyman Trumbull being elected in Illinois. This highlighted to the Republicans the necessity of nominating former soldiers to office, but the Repubicans would try one more attempt at career politicians. They would nominate George F. Edmunds of Vermont to be their presidential candidate, and Oliver P. Morton of Indiana for vice-president.

George F. Edmunds and Oliver P. Morton
With the Republicans feeling a new hope for chances, Sickles realized this election would take more effort, and he could not treat it like the last election, where he spent almost the entire campaign season on one rather small demographic. Sickles would attack Edmunds as out-of-touch politician impossible to work with. Republicans would in turn attack Sickles as a corrupt buffon in the hands of the Democratic leadership, and also attacked his war record, with Morton mockingly pointing out that "if he was so great and gallant of a general, then why is this great nation's government meeting in Philadelphia, and not Washington?" It is said that Sickles wanted to duel Morton over the remarks. When world of this reached Morton, he would jab further. He inquired if Sickles planned to murder him next time they met, similar to how he had murdered Philip B. Key in 1859. Morton's remarks are what are believed to have caused the assassination attempt on his life during the campaign, when gunman tried to kill Morton while he was waiting at a train station. When the news of this spread, Morton would make yet another attack on Sickles, saying, "It looks like Sickles is to much a coward to try and kill me, so he has sent one of his cronies instead!" While the assassination attempt was never definitively linked to Sickles, it is not beyond the realm of belief that is was on his orders, or at least met with his approval.

An depicting of the attempted assassination of Oliver P. Morton
When the results of came in, Sickles had managed to win reelection, but barely in terms of the popular vote. While Sickles would dominate with electoral votes, with 191 electoral votes to Edmunds' 55, the popular vote in several large states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Missouri were extremely close, and it showed the Republicans were back on the rise due to Sickles' preference to East Coast men and the the perceived Democratic corruption. Sickles would win Oregon, California, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Edmunds would win Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Indiana. With the results of the election, it became clear that the Republican Party was still a force to be reckoned with, and the Democratic hold on the Midwest was ever weakening. Sickles was said to have murmured after seeing the election results, "Once the Democrats don't have me, they better prepare for the age of Republicans."
 
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Chapter Twenty Two: The Sickles Presidency Part Two
Chapter Twenty Two: The Sickles Presidency Part Two

An idealized painting of westward expansion. In real life, moving west a brutal and difficult endeavor, not aided by Sickles' policies
With his second term in office now secured, Daniel Sickles began turning his attention to westward expansion. Spurred by the Homestead Act of 1862, and a generally desire to leave the past and memories of the Civil War, many people began moving west. Unfortunately for these people, Sickles and Democratic corruption spread into their goals of new land. Under his administration, the process of receiving the land became harder and took longer. For those who managed to acquire land, then there were the perils of the journey, which were only made worst by the wars with the Native Americans, which the general public blamed Sickles for starting. Soon moving west had become a harder, longer, and more dangerous endeavor than before, and it slowly started to decline. Many people, particularly Midwesterners, with ambitions of moving out west and staking their claim on new land, grew resentful against Sickles and the Democratic Party for ruining, in their view, the process. This also lost of him significant support among the people who originally helped spur him to the top, former soldiers, many of whom had wanted to move west to escape their past.

A picture of a family of pioneers

It was under Sickles second term in office that the thing that populous hated turned from losing the Civil War to ever increasing government corruption, and now the Democrats were the ones associated more with the hatred. They began viewing them as elitist, stemming from the ever growing wealth divide of the U.S.'s Gilead Age. The anger culminated in something that nearly ended Sickles' presidency. For the second time during his career, Sickles was the target of an assassin. While walking with Secretary of War Simon Cameron back to the executive mansion after a lunch, a man who had been hiding behind a tree jumped out a would fire his weapon at Sickles. The weapon would misfire, however, allowing Sickles to draw the same revolver he had used to kill the last attempted assassin, and quickly fire a shot, which lodged into the man's stomach, knocking him to the ground, and causing him to drop his weapon. Sickles would then finish off the would-be killer with a second shot to the heart. Despite the sympathy Sickles expected for having been attacked, the Republicans would manage to bring the attempt on Sickles' life into their favor. They would point out the increased political violence that was happening in the U.S. under Democratic rule.

The second assassination attempt on Daniel Sickles

It was under Sickles' second term in office that the Indian Wars really started to break out. It was also under him that the largest battle of the war would be fought. Following Grant's resignation to join politics, Brigadier General William T. Sherman would be promoted to Major General, and Commanding General of the United States Army. It was under him that the largest U.S. force brought out against the Indians was constructed. At its head was newly appointed Brigadier General James B. McPherson, a favorite of Sherman's. Under his command were the 1st through 10th U.S. Infantry Regiments, commanded by Colonels Thomas J. Wood, Edward R.S. Canby, Andrew J. Smith, John McArthur, Alfred Terry, Thomas Sweeny, Orlando B. Willcox, John M. Brannan, Absalom Baird, and Christopher C. Augur. Also given to him to command were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd U.S. Cavalry, lead by Colonels George Crook, Benjamin Grierson, and David McM. Gregg, and the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Artillery under Colonels Henry J. Hunt and William F. Barry. This force was to battle the battle the Native American coalition of Lakota, Dakota, and Northern Cheyenne under Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull. The two force were to meet near the Little Bighorn River in the Montana Territory.

The Leaders: William T. Sherman, James B. McPherson, Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull

The battle would begin would the with the 1st Cavalry and the 6th and 7th Infantry being sent to scout ahead. At the sight of this weakened force, the Native attack would begin, and the Natives mounted on horses would begin to charge and shower arrows down on the advanced men. Knowing that they could not hold out, Crook, who being the senior officer of the forces took command of them and left Lieutenant Colonel Wesley Merritt to command the 1st Cavalry, would order them to fall back after a single volley of returned fire, hoping that they could reach the rest of the forces, who had established makeshift fortifications out of boxes and barrels. Crook and his men would be able to reach this point, but not before losing several dozen men, and only inflicting roughly a dozen causalities on the Natives from their sporadic volleys they fired. With the initiative now in their hands, the Natives decided to continue their charge, and hopefully breach and break the U.S. lines. The tide, however, now turned into the Americans' favor, as the fire of repeating rifles, revolvers, Gatling guns, and cannon decimated the Native ranks. Several Native charges were repulsed with bloody effect, and after a fourth charge, McPherson would order his cavalry to charge into the Native flank. With this, the Native force broke and fled, ending the Battle of Little Bighorn. Roughly 100 Americans would become causalities in the fight, with both Colonels Sweeny and Willcox being killed in action, with Lieutenant Colonels Joseph Mower and Thomas E.G. Ransom now leading their regiments, and even McPherson would receive an arrow graze to his right arm. For the natives, the causalities would be worse. They would suffer over 450 causalities, including Crazy Horse killed and Red Cloud being wounded and captured. Sitting Bull would be left to direct the retreat of the remaining Native forces, and to try and rally them for more action. Ultimately, McPherson would push on to destroy Sitting Bull and his force, and eventually cornered them against a river. Sitting Bull would surrender himself and his men to McPherson, thus ending the Great Sioux War of 1873.

Guts and Good Marksmanship by Kevin Rocco, depicting the Battle of Little Bighorn

McPherson's success, however, would be overshadowed by the Panic of 1873, which caused even more damage Sickles and the Democratic Party's reputation. As the people viewed it, while Sickles and his Democratic cronies sat fat and wealthy, they were out in the streets starving and broke during this major economic recession. Despite their best attempts of the Democratic Party to salvage its reputation from this, it only got worse when Sickles order the police to break up rioting mobs of people, many of whom were former soldiers of his. The damage caused by this was only furthered when the one policemen killed a ex-government clerk who was among the rioters. The man who they killed was Francis E. Brownell, who had become famous and beloved to the American people for killing the man who killed the also beloved Colonel Elmer Ellsworth during the Civil War. The Democratic Party would try in vain to stop the ever growing hate of the American people towards them, but it was in vain. Vice-President Voorhees would sum it up succinctly with his comment to Sickles, "You better enjoy your desk now, as I doubt any Democrat while enjoy for quite the while."

Rioters during the Panic of 1873 and Francis E. Brownell, 1840-1873
 
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Chapter Twenty-Three: The CSA Election of 1873
Chapter Twenty-Three: The CSA Election of 1873

A meeting of the leaders of the newly formed Liberty Party
With Breckinridge's term coming to a close, it also marked the end of the second and last presidency of a political independent in the South. Two main parties had formed in the South, the Liberty Party and the Democratic Party. The Liberty Party is the party that Breckinridge that would join after his presidency, and it supported his policies and platform from his 1867 election. The Democratic, on the other hand, were party that followed Toombs' platform from that election, and had the goal of maintaining the South as it was during the antebellum years, with an economy built an plantations and little industrialization. The Liberty Party's symbol would become a dove, and the Democratic Party's a hawk, in reference to their views on interaction with the United States, with the meaning of each symbol being self-explanatory.

The 1873 Democratic Party nominating convention
For the 1873 election, the Democratic Party had an easy time selecting their presidential candidate. Robert Toombs was more than willing to accept their nomination, leaving only the vice-presidential nomination to be decided. Henry S. Foote was considered, but it was decided he was too unpopular. Toombs personally wanted his son-in-law Georgia representative Dudley M. DuBose, but the Democrats wanted a more balanced ticket. South Carolina Governor Milledge Bonham and Virginia General Jubal Early were both considered, but ultimately they would settle on Tennessee Governor Isham Harris. Toombs got along better with Harris than his previous running mate Foote, and they were considered a stronger ticket.

Robert Toombs and Isham Harris
For the Liberty Party, their convention was much harder. When the convention began, there were three main and distinguished candidates. They were President Pro Tempore Robert M.T. Hunter of Virginia--who had held this position since the organization of the CSA government--, Speaker of the House Zebulon Vance of North Carolina, and former general and current Senator Wade Hampton III of South Carolina, who held a strong influence in South Carolina, a state that looked like is was going to a be swing state. The competition was fierce, and it seemed any might receive the nomination, but none could secure the necessary majority. Eventually, the deadlock was broken by the entry of a dark horse candidate: former general and current Senator John B. Gordon of Georgia, who was a distinguished war hero and a rising political star. After much competition and many ballots, John B. Gordon would manage to secure the nomination for president. The fighting started again, however, over who was to be the vice-presidential nomination. Eventually, a compromise was reached. Vance would be Gordon's running-mate, Hunter would be given the position of Secretary of State, and Hampton would be given the position of Secretary of the Treasury. With everyone's feeling somewhat assuaged the Liberty Party came out with their candidates.

John B. Gordon and Zebulon Vance
With the Election of 1873, it only seemed like three states mattered to the candidates: South Carolina, Texas, and Louisiana. This is because Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia were securely in Gordon's camp, as they were states following the path of industrialization, and Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi seemed secure in Toombs' camp of remaining in the plantation life style. If either candidate could bring these three states to their side, they would win the election, so the candidates focused almost all their effort of these states. Tragedy, however, would strike the nation during the campaign season. On the same day, April 17, both Generals George H. Thomas and Robert E. Lee would die of natural causes. The nation mourned the loss of two of their greatest heroes, and campaigning was temporarily put on hold, and their shared funeral would be the largest in the CSA's history. The 16 pallbearers of the two caskets were 8 of the South's most important politicians and 8 of their greatest generals [1]. Lee and Thomas were so beloved by the South over a hundred people tried push past the guards to come see them for the last time during their private wake. Eventually campaigning would resume however, and by the time election day arrived, no one seemed sure who would win the three states.

A picture of the people trying to crowd into Lee and Thomas' wake
When the results of the election came through, one candidate had managed to win all three of the swing states: John B. Gordon. Winning the election with 69 electoral votes, John B. Gordon would be the third president of the CSA, winning Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Texas. Toombs would manage to win 28 electoral votes, from the states of Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, and was to have said after the results of the election, "Well, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Texas have caught the industry bug. All the Democratic Party has to do is wait for them to realize how bad of a disease it is."
[1] The following people served as the pallbearers as the joint Lee-Thomas funeral: Politicians: former President Jefferson Davis, former Vice-President Alexander Stephens, President John Breckinridge, Vice-President Benjamin Hill, President Pro Tempore Robert MT Hunter, Speaker of the House Zebulon Vance, Secretary of State Howell Cobb, and Secretary of the Treasury James M. Mason Generals: General Joseph E. Johnston, General P.G.T. Beauregard, Lieutenant General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, Lieutenant General James Longstreet, Lieutenant General William J. Hardee, Lieutenant General D.H. Hill, Lieutenant General Edmund Kirby Smith, and Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell.
 
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