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 Twenty-Six: The Hazen Presidency and the Gordon Presidency Part Two
Chapter Twenty Six: The Hazen Presidency and the Gordon Presidency Part Two

President William B. Hazen
With the election of Hazen, it marked the rise of two things. First was the foreseeable conclusion, which was the return of the Republican Party to power, with Rutherford B. Hayes being elected Speaker of the House, David Davis being elected President of the Senate after a stiff contest with Roscoe Conkling, Oliver Morton receiving the position of Chairman of the House Ways and Mean Committee, and the four Republican leaders most responsible for his nomination, Blaine, Edmunds, Dawes, and Logan, receiving positions in his cabinet. Second was a more unexpected result, which would be the a rapid rise in relations between the U.S.A. and CSA. The reason for this stemmed back a decade. During the Civil War, William B. Hazen had been a general, and had been wounded during the Union Assault on Washington, and had been left on the field after the Union rout. After the battle, CSA forces were sent out of their fortifications to bring in the Union wounded, and Hazen had been brought in personally by General John B. Gordon, who had been commanding a brigade in that battle. Gordon saw to the care of Hazen, and soon the two of them became good friends. Now with the friends holding the positions of chief executives of their respective countries, they quickly sparked up their friendship again and brought the two nations closer together, focusing particular on demilitarization, as would be expected from former military men. They would accomplish this objective during meetings in Louisville, Kentucky, where both of them attending, and worked out a treaty which saw a shrinking of the army from both sides.

A modern day image of the Peterson-Dumesnil House, where the two presidents met, as they wanted to be out of public eye during the negotiations
One provision of the treaty stated that the U.S. would halt all incursions into CSA territory, and remove all troops currently within CSA borders. This would mean that Fort Custer, which was located in the CSA Indian Territory, would have to be abandoned by the U.S. When its commander, Colonel George A. Custer of the 7th U.S. Cavalry, heard of this report, he was fuming that a fort with his name attached to it would be handed over to the CSA. On the day when the fort was to be abandoned, Custer brought the 7th Cavalry out of the fort for a final review, leaving only a dozen men under Captain Marcus Reno inside of the fort. During the review, the fort's gunpowder stores exploded, killing all the men inside the fort with only the exception of three men, including Reno. Nonetheless, Custer finished his review, and led his men, now on foot since their horses were killed during the explosion, back into U.S. territory. Once there, Custer court-martialed Reno for negligence leading to the destruction of Fort Custer, and Reno was dishonorably discharged from the army. Many nowadays, however, blame Custer for planning out the explosion, as it was known he disliked Reno, he brought out all of his horses to graze before the explosion, and he was known to hate the idea of a fort with his name attached to it falling into CSA hands.

George A. Custer and Marcus Reno
Both men would face backlash from their home countries for the treaty. The CSA Democrats would label Gordon as a secret Unionist, and that he purposely weakening the CSA so the United States could quickly reconquer it. Hazen, meanwhile, would face attacks from his own party, many of whom were still in favor of eventually reconquering the CSA. Nonetheless, the treaty passed in the CSA Congress, and narrowly in the U.S. Congress, making it official. Many Republicans leaders, however, grew resentful against Hazen for this. Hazen, who was quite the disagreeable person himself, would refuse to relent his position, and many assumed he would not receive the Republican nomination for the next election. When asked what he thought of this, Hazen replied, "Why should I care what those unconnected Republican bosses think. I am my own man, and am doing what is best for my country. If they do not renominate me, I shall not care, as I have grown to despise this position anyways." With his position made clear, his rivals in the U.S. Congress, led by Roscoe Conkling, blocked many of his initiatives during the rest of his term, with his only real achievements for the rest of his presidency being minor ones, like reforming westward expansion and making it easier and more accessible to common Americans. When his term came to a close at 1880, he made it clear he had no intent of running for a term in office, leaving the position for the next leader of the Republican Party up for grabs. Meanwhile, Gordon and the Liberty Party still remained popular, and it seemed like the next election would likely go in their favor.

Hazen and his cabinet:
President: William B. Hazen
Vice-President: William A. Wheeler
Secretary of State: James G. Blaine
Secretary of the Treasury: George F. Edmunds
Secretary of War: Ulysses S. Grant
Attorney General: Jacob D. Cox
Postmaster General: Benjamin Harrison
Secretary of the Navy: John A. Logan
Secretary of the Interior: Henry L. Dawes
 
Chapter Twenty-Seven: The CSA Election of 1879
Chapter Twenty-Seven: The CSA Election of 1879

A newspaper image of election day in New Orleans from the the Chihuahua Territory, which still had a good deal of Spanish speakers
With the election of 1879 approaching, it became a question of intense debate in the Liberty Party of who would fall the intensely popular dark-horse Gordon as their presidential candidate. Once again political big names Vice-President Zebulon Vance, Secretary of State Robert M.T. Hunter, and Secretary of the Treasury Wade Hampton III were major candidates at the convention. This time, however, a fourth candidate challenged them: Lieutenant General James Longstreet. Longstreet saw little future in the army since it is was shrunk by Gordon, and was convinced by friends to put his name up for consideration at either the Democratic or Liberty convention. Longstreet decided to throw his hat into the ring with the Liberty Party, and soon found himself as a major candidate. Despite this, Vance, Hunter, and Hampton all had large bases of support, and the convention would be even harder fought than in 1873. Eventually, on the 51st ballot, Longstreet would secure the necessary majority by one vote. Many wanted Vance or Hunter to put their names up for consideration for vice-president, but both men declined, stating that they preferred to return to the legislative positions they had before Gordon's presidency, with both of them succeeding in their return. This left Hampton, who beat out Secretary of the Navy Albert G. Brown and Virginia Senator James Seddon for the vice-presidential nomination.

James Longstreet and Wade Hampton III
The Democratic Party was still stinging from their defeat of their prominent candidate to a dark-horse in the previous election. This time, they declined Toombs' advances to be their candidate, leading a much publicized outburst of Toombs against the Democratic Party, which some people assumed was a result of him being drunk. This left Mississippi Governor John M. Stone, former Tennessee Governor Isham Harris and former South Carolina Governor Milledge Bonham as their main candidates. Stone seemed to be the likely candidate at first, but was associated with corruption, which was a word that drove many voters away. Eventually, Harris received the nomination. Their vice-presidential contest was more easy, as they had only two major candidates: Major General Jubal Early, who, similar to Longstreet, was dissatisfied with his new post in the shrunk army, and former Mississippi representative Henry S. Foote. When Foote died during the nominating process, it cleared the way the for Early's nomination. Overall, there was not much excitement in the Democratic Party over their rather weak ticket.

Isham Harris and Jubal Early
Overall, the campaigning in this election would not amount to much. The Liberty Party was extremely popular for increasing the economy, creating new jobs, and easing tensions with the North. This combined with the general lack of enthusiasm from the Democratic Party help lead to this result. In the end, the result everyone expected occurred, with Longstreet decisively defeating Harris come election day, garnering 78 electoral votes, including Maryland's, with this election being their first as the South finally decided to give Maryland's citizens full citizenship as a symbol of the growing trust between the U.S. and CSA, to Harris' 28. Longstreet would win Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and Maryland. Harris won Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi, the Democratic Party's traditional power base, with even the voting going narrowly in their favor in Florida and especially Arkansas. Many assumed that after this election, the Democratic Party would fall from the public stage, and clear the way for one party rule until another party rose in their stead.
 
I’m confused about Maryland. If they acceded to the confederacy of their own free will then why weren’t they granted Citizenship? And what does allowing members of a Confederate state to vote in Confederate elections have to do with warming relations with the U.S.?
 
I’m confused about Maryland. If they acceded to the confederacy of their own free will then why weren’t they granted Citizenship? And what does allowing members of a Confederate state to vote in Confederate elections have to do with warming relations with the U.S.?
Probably because Maryland wasn't one of the original states that seceded to form the CSA. They joined after the victory (or defeat for the North) at Washington. I'm guessing the CS government was worried about the possibility of Secret Unionists voting in National Elections.
 
1. The Gulf of Mexico has never, and I'll venture here to say will never, hold the same level of importance as the Mediterranean.
2. A large reason for the Mediterranean impact on Rome was the fact that it fostered much faster travel, only a very small portion of the empire was particularly far from the Mediterranean, and that part was an island anyway. Meanwhile, the vast majority of the Confederacy, even in a timeline where they conquer Mexico and Central America, would either be more mid-Atlantic, Pacific, or inland oriented than gulf-oriented.
3. Even if they won the war in stunning fashion, taking 10-1 casualties and sparing the south from 99% of the economic destruction it faced IOTL, the South would still not have the population, industry, or economy to remotely compete with the United States, and likely be eclipsed or destroyed within 50 years.
4. France and Austria already involved in Mexico and most imperialist European powers would likely turn harshly against the Confederacy in the instance that they were to get involved. The Union, who supported Juarez, would also likely use it as an excuse to destroy the Confederacy.
5. States within the Confederacy chafed against the rule of Richmond IOTL, and likely would do so far more when the immediate threat of destruction would be gone. If any state were to secede from the Confederacy, most likely Georgia or South Carolina, then they would be heavily funded and armed by the Union.

The most that the Confederacy could've hoped for, having gained independence, would be a lucky stream of competent leaders managing to prevent the country's collapse at the hand of international and internal pressure, and stop the economy from completely imploding. Slavery is eventually abolished in the 1890s or so, and the country slowly industrializes, losing relevance and getting eclipsed by the United States, but not so badly that the Union decides to launch an invasion. It becomes like a somewhat richer, smaller Brazil- an upper mid-tier power with a diverse population, enormous wealth inequality, and political corruption. In fact, I would hardly be surprised if the Confederacy and Brazil were allied in such a timeline, in a bid to prevent the US from totally dominating the Americas and solidify trade relations. Coffee for tobacco, cotton for sugar. That type of thing. Enough of my diatribe, I just find the subject to be interesting. This isn't my thread, anyway.

I like your analysis. Most people don't appreciate just how weak the Confederacy would have been. I like to say it would have been the world's greatest Banana Republic. I also don't see the Union ever giving up on the Mississippi River. The CSA holding the Father of Waters leaves the Midwest land locked. Rail Roads may have mitigated some of the economic effects, but to this day the Mississippi is vital to the economy of the USA. President Jefferson said that it would be intolerable for any foreign power to hold New Orleans. The pro French Jefferson would have formed an alliance with Great Britain, in order drive out the French. The Louisiana Purchase ended the need for that. Beyond New Orleans the USA came to regard Cuba as the Mouth of the Mississippi. Spain was a weak power, but if Britain came to control Cuba it would have been a cause for war.

A USA War to take the Mississippi Valley would cut the CSA in half, just like in the actual Civil War. That would force the Western States to rejoin the Union, leaving the CSA States as Virginia, North & South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and parts of Tennessee. The CSA losses Texas, with it's cattle, and future oil, along with the oil of Louisiana. With British Cotton from India, and Egypt coming on line, and a Boll weevil infestation starting in the 1880s the CSA would lose it's major export crop, and source of foreign exchange. These events happened in the OTL, and left the South impoverished for generations. Without the benefit of being part of the USA, the economy of the CSA would have been even worse then in the OTL.

The economic weakness of the CSA has always made me skeptical of any scenario were they win the Civil War. With 4 times the free population, constantly reinforced by immigrant, and freed slave manpower, the Union was never going to run out of men. The Union Industrial Base was many times larger then the CSA's, and was growing rapidly. The Union had shipyards that built a fleet that could challenge even the Royal Navy. The Union had a developed banking, and financial system, the South didn't. The Union had the gold of California, the Silver of Nevada, and the Iron of Minnesota. The Union had food in abundance, the South was going hungry.

What the Confederates had was good leadership, at all levels, and rugged rural men, who made tough infantry, and cavalry. Strategically the Union had the harder task of invading, and occupying the South. The weaker side just needs to survive, and make the price of victory too high for the invader, and that just wasn't going to happen in the American Civil War. The Union was just too strong, and determined to let the South succeed. The North just loved the South so much divorce was never an option.
 
Chapter Five: Gettysburg, Day 2

A 1906 painting by Howard Pyle depicting the second day of the battle of Gettysburg, currently hanging in the visitor's center of Gettysburg National Military Park
With two corps of his army in shambles, two corps commanders along with several division commanders killed, and the Army of Northern Virginia possessing the high ground and interposing itself between the Army of the Potomac and Washington D.C., General George Meade announced a council of war on the night of July 1 in his headquarters located near where a portion of Rock Creek splits off to Power's Hill. All of his corps commanders would be in attendance, with John Newton taking over command of the I Corps and John Gibbon leading the II Corps. By this time, all of Meade's army was lined up along Rock Creek facing the Confederate lines, within the exception the V Corps and VI Corps, which would arrive on the morning of July 2. At the meeting, Meade and his generals discussed their plans for the next day. A plan was proposed by Generals Gibbon, Slocum, and Sedgwick in which the I, III, V, and, XI demonstrated along Lee's front, while the II, VI, and XII Corps would attack Lee's position from its left flank of Benner's Hill. The plan held the support of all the corps commanders with the exception of Daniel Sickles, who wanted to be involved in the flanking movement, and Oliver O. Howard, who also wanted to be involved in order to salvage his reputation tarnished on the first day of fighting. The debate would settled, however, when Meade revealed a telegram he had received before the council of war started. In a message which was sent with the name of General-in-Chief Henry Halleck attached, orders were given for the Army of the Potomac to clear the hills between themselves and Washington. This order met the instant disapproval of all the men present, with the exception of Sickles and Howard once again. Despite his reservations about the plan, Meade told his corps commanders it was to be enacted, not revealing the further information in the telegram promising his relief if he did not take immediate action the next day. With it made clear what the general plan was, the details were planned out. The III, II, VI, and V Corps would attack against the Confederate positions on Culp's Hill, Cemetery Hill, Cemetery Ridge, and Little Round Top in that order. Meanwhile, the battered I and VI Corps would protect the Union right, and attack against Benner's Hill. Finally, the XII Corps would guard the left, and attack against Round Top. With the plans in order, the generals readied themselves for the next day of battle.

Meade's Council of War, July 1, which hangs in Gettysburg National Military Park

With the arrival of the V and VI Corps on the field on the morning of July 2, the plan that was forced upon Meade and his commanders was put into motion. The Army of the Potomac lined up as ordered, and upon the order, they began their charge towards the Confederate line. Crossing across the shallow Rock's Creek, long range artillery fire began. At first, the long distances made most of the shots miss their mark, but as the Union drew closer, the Confederate artillery soon starting taking a heavy toll, with the Union guns too far out to support the assaulting infantry effectively. Once the Union soldiers reached the base of the crests, they broke into a running charge, as musket fire and canister shot began to fire into their ranks. Shredded by such heavy fire, the Union infantry was unable to reach, let alone breach, the Confederate lines. With many senior officers down due to leading from the front, and his corps shredded, Meade would have to act quickly to save the battle from being an utter Union rout.

A Daniel Troiani painting depicting the charges of the Union line against the Confederates' position

Seeing the command structure gutted, order completely lost, and his men in a complete panic and rout, Meade decided he most personally rally his troops. Inquiring of his staff which corps of his army remained in the best condition, he was informed the V Corps seemed to have the most men still combat ready. Upon this information, Meade set about rallying his old corps, until some order was brought about in it, and they could perform one last charge. Deciding to personally lead his men in the charge, Meade's assistant adjutant general Seth Williams tried to stop him, fearing that his commander would be killed. Meade would respond, "These men, my men, need me leading this charge for it to succeed. If I am to die, let it be on the battlefield, rather than the death of a coward who succumbs to a thousand congressional investigations, and a dishonorable relief from command." Seeing his commander's determination, Williams would accompany Meade in his charge. The V Corps would again charge, this time focusing on Cemetery Ridge. The Meade's final attack would be slaughtered, with Williams dying rather early in the charge, and Meade falling killed mere yards from the Confederate lines at the height of the charge. The charge would come to be known as Meade's Charge.

A Currier & Ives lithograph of Meade's Charge, with an inaccurate depiction of Seth Williams on the horse at left, and Meade on the horse at right.

Seeing the entire Union line crumbling, Lee would order Thomas, Jackson, and Longstreet to charge down from their positions, with the hopes that Jackson and Longstreet could pincer the routing Union forces. The orders were put into place, and the charge began. The movement would have its desired effect, and Jackson's and Longstreet's corps crushed the flanks of the Union corps trying to form up in front of the Confederate position.

A painting by David Nance, the third of the triumvirate of major modern day Civil War painters, depicting the advance of the Confederates

With the Union infantry in a headlong rout off the field, a rearguard was needed to cover their retreat. Chief of Artillery Henry J. Hunt and Cavalry Corps commander Alfred Pleasonton would try to provide this by forming a long line of Union artillery, which having gone unused for the most part in the battle still had plenty of ammunition, supported by dismounted cavalry. The artillery fire would blunt the Confederate infantry's attack, and for a moment, it seemed that the Union infantry would receive the rearguard they required. This dream was shattered, however, by the arrival of J.E.B. Stuart and his Cavalry Corps on the field. Still smarting from Brandy Station, Stuart would charge the Union position without orders. The Confederate cavalry slammed into the Union artillery and dismounted cavalry in a whirling but ultimately one-sided melee. Dismounted, the Union cavalry was unable to face their mounted opponents.

A painting by Daniel Troiani depicting Stuart's charge

However, Pleasonton had kept one of his cavalry brigades mounted as his last reserve. Seeing the Union rearguard collapsing and an opportunity for glory, newly appointed Brigadier General George A. Custer would charge his mounted cavalry brigade against the CSA cavalry brigade of Wade Hampton. The fighting between the two brigades was brutal, and Custer seemed to be able to hold back Hampton, but the attack of the cavalry brigades under Fitz and Rooney Lee on his flanks decimated his command, with himself only narrowly escaping. With no more Union reserves to face, Stuart was free to bring the full force of his cavalry into chasing the routing Union men. The Battle of Gettysburg ended with Stuart's cavalry chasing down routing Union soldiers in what Stuart would call "the finest day in the history of Confederate cavalry." In fact, when Stuart met with some of his officers after the battle ended, he would call the meeting "the greatest concentration of cavalry talent the world has ever seen." [1]

A painting depicting Custer's first last stand by Matthew Kunstler

The Battle of Gettysburg had been a disaster for the Union in all senses of the word. The Army of the Potomac would lose almost 41,000 men, with the high number due both to the fact of the extreme dangers the soldiers had faced in the battle, and that Union forces on the field had routed twice with no rearguard. Officer losses had also been terrible. The price of senior officers leading from the front had been paid in full during the battle, with no other battle in the war even rivaling the amount of Union senior officer losses [2][3]. The list of Union regimental commanders lost at Gettysburg could also be considered a list of some of best Union regimental officers in the Army of the Potomac, with Joshua Chamberlain, Harrison Jeffords, James Rice, Kenner Garrard, Patrick O'Rorke, Rufus Dawes, Nelson Miles, and St. Clair Mulholland among them. The losses of the day are probably best summarized by a quote from the diary of George T. Strong, made famous by it being featured of Kaden Burns' famous documentary, The Civil War, “As Rome had her Cannae, and France her Agincourt, the United States of America has her battle of national disgrace in the form of Gettysburg. Like of the fields of Agincourt on that October 1415 day, the gallant leaders of her army lay slain, with the enlisted men right beside them.”

A photo by Matthew Brady of the Union fallen at the battle of Gettysburg

Despite suffering much fewer casualities, roughly 9,500 to be exact (mostly from the first day's fighting), the Confederates also had their share of losses, with such gallant officers as Harry T. Hays, Evander M. Law, and James K. Marshall falling slain as a result of the battle. The low loss of men of Confederate side could likely be attributed to both their defensive role for most of the battle, and that the Union army spent two large portions of the battle in utter rout. The Battle of Gettysburg shattered the Army of the Potomac as it had existed, with it pulling back into Philadelphia to defend it. With the Army of the Potomac no longer a threat for now, Lee prepared to move South for his ultimate goal: capturing Washington D.C.

[1] The men present at this meeting are as follows: J.E.B. Stuart, Wade Hampton III, Fitzhugh Lee, William H.F. "Rooney" Lee, William E. "Grumble" Jones, Beverly Robertson, Albert Jenkins, John Imboden, John Pelham, James B. Gordon, Thomas T. Munford, John R. Chambliss, Thomas L. Rosser, Lunsford L. Lomax, William C. Wickham, Pierce M.B. Young, Matthew C. Butler, Laurence S. Baker, Dennis D. Ferebee, Richard L.T. Beale, William H.F. Payne, Elijah V. White, Harry Gilmor, Rufus Barringer, John S. Mosby, William H. Chapman, William L. Jackson, James Breathed, Roger P. Chew, Channing Price, Heros von Borcke, Henry B. McClellan, John E. Cooke, Robert F. Beckham, William D. Farley, Joel "Banjo" Sweeney, Gustavus W. Dorsey, and William P. Roberts.
[2]Here is a complete list of Union army, corps, division, and brigade commanders killed or mortally wounded at Gettysburg: Army: George Meade Corps: John Reynolds, Winfield Hancock, John Sedgwick, Oliver Howard, Henry Slocum Division: James Wadsworth, John Robinson, Abner Doubleday, John Gibbon, Alexander Hays, David Birney, Andrew Humphreys, Romeyn Ayres, Samuel Crawford, Horatio Wright, John Newton, Francis Barlow, Adolph Steinwehr, Alpheus Williams, John Geary, John Buford Brigade: Edward Cross, Patrick Kelly, Samuel Zook, John Brooke, Alexander Webb, Strong Vincent, Frank Wheaton, Samuel Carroll, George Greene, Joseph Carr, Thomas Smyth, Norman Hall, Hiram Berdan, Emory Upton, Alfred Torbert, George Willard, William Gamble, Joseph Bartlett, Lewis Grant, Davis Russell, Philippe Trobriand, Henry Baxter, Stephen Weed, Adelbert Ames, Elon J. Farnsworth, Freeman McGilvery
[3]Here is a complete list of Union generals captured at Gettysburg: David Gregg, Henry J. Hunt, Wesley Merritt.
Sorry I just can't take this version of Gettysburg seriously. You made a major effort to list the names of commanders, and based the outcome on who was killed. Your first day is pretty historical up till the Confederates casually routing 11th Corps on Cemetery Ridge, and Culps Hill. Yes Howard, and Hancock did argue over command, but it had no effect on the tactical situation, Howard was holding his position. If Hancock had been killed, it would've simply settled the argument in Howards favor. The debate about an evening assault on the Union Hill top positions will never be fully settled, but a better argument can be made that it would have failed. The ground is very difficult terrain, and it was strongly held, with artillery covering the approaches to the main positions.

So, at the start of the second day you have the Confederate Army holding Cemetery Ridge, Culps Hill, and the Round Tops? So instead of retreating to the good defensive position at Pipe Creek Meade decides to commit suicide, and throw his whole army into a mass assault, despite orders to fall back. Doctrinally Gettysburg was the perfect battle for the Union Army. They got to form a strong defensive position, and repelled the enemy assault. In the whole war the Union Army never even thought about what your having them do, launch a do or die attack, putting the whole army at risk. Nether side was ever so reckless, only Hood at Nashville comes even close.
 
Chapter Five: Gettysburg, Day 2

A 1906 painting by Howard Pyle depicting the second day of the battle of Gettysburg, currently hanging in the visitor's center of Gettysburg National Military Park
With two corps of his army in shambles, two corps commanders along with several division commanders killed, and the Army of Northern Virginia possessing the high ground and interposing itself between the Army of the Potomac and Washington D.C., General George Meade announced a council of war on the night of July 1 in his headquarters located near where a portion of Rock Creek splits off to Power's Hill. All of his corps commanders would be in attendance, with John Newton taking over command of the I Corps and John Gibbon leading the II Corps. By this time, all of Meade's army was lined up along Rock Creek facing the Confederate lines, within the exception the V Corps and VI Corps, which would arrive on the morning of July 2. At the meeting, Meade and his generals discussed their plans for the next day. A plan was proposed by Generals Gibbon, Slocum, and Sedgwick in which the I, III, V, and, XI demonstrated along Lee's front, while the II, VI, and XII Corps would attack Lee's position from its left flank of Benner's Hill. The plan held the support of all the corps commanders with the exception of Daniel Sickles, who wanted to be involved in the flanking movement, and Oliver O. Howard, who also wanted to be involved in order to salvage his reputation tarnished on the first day of fighting. The debate would settled, however, when Meade revealed a telegram he had received before the council of war started. In a message which was sent with the name of General-in-Chief Henry Halleck attached, orders were given for the Army of the Potomac to clear the hills between themselves and Washington. This order met the instant disapproval of all the men present, with the exception of Sickles and Howard once again. Despite his reservations about the plan, Meade told his corps commanders it was to be enacted, not revealing the further information in the telegram promising his relief if he did not take immediate action the next day. With it made clear what the general plan was, the details were planned out. The III, II, VI, and V Corps would attack against the Confederate positions on Culp's Hill, Cemetery Hill, Cemetery Ridge, and Little Round Top in that order. Meanwhile, the battered I and VI Corps would protect the Union right, and attack against Benner's Hill. Finally, the XII Corps would guard the left, and attack against Round Top. With the plans in order, the generals readied themselves for the next day of battle.

Meade's Council of War, July 1, which hangs in Gettysburg National Military Park

With the arrival of the V and VI Corps on the field on the morning of July 2, the plan that was forced upon Meade and his commanders was put into motion. The Army of the Potomac lined up as ordered, and upon the order, they began their charge towards the Confederate line. Crossing across the shallow Rock's Creek, long range artillery fire began. At first, the long distances made most of the shots miss their mark, but as the Union drew closer, the Confederate artillery soon starting taking a heavy toll, with the Union guns too far out to support the assaulting infantry effectively. Once the Union soldiers reached the base of the crests, they broke into a running charge, as musket fire and canister shot began to fire into their ranks. Shredded by such heavy fire, the Union infantry was unable to reach, let alone breach, the Confederate lines. With many senior officers down due to leading from the front, and his corps shredded, Meade would have to act quickly to save the battle from being an utter Union rout.

A Daniel Troiani painting depicting the charges of the Union line against the Confederates' position

Seeing the command structure gutted, order completely lost, and his men in a complete panic and rout, Meade decided he most personally rally his troops. Inquiring of his staff which corps of his army remained in the best condition, he was informed the V Corps seemed to have the most men still combat ready. Upon this information, Meade set about rallying his old corps, until some order was brought about in it, and they could perform one last charge. Deciding to personally lead his men in the charge, Meade's assistant adjutant general Seth Williams tried to stop him, fearing that his commander would be killed. Meade would respond, "These men, my men, need me leading this charge for it to succeed. If I am to die, let it be on the battlefield, rather than the death of a coward who succumbs to a thousand congressional investigations, and a dishonorable relief from command." Seeing his commander's determination, Williams would accompany Meade in his charge. The V Corps would again charge, this time focusing on Cemetery Ridge. The Meade's final attack would be slaughtered, with Williams dying rather early in the charge, and Meade falling killed mere yards from the Confederate lines at the height of the charge. The charge would come to be known as Meade's Charge.

A Currier & Ives lithograph of Meade's Charge, with an inaccurate depiction of Seth Williams on the horse at left, and Meade on the horse at right.

Seeing the entire Union line crumbling, Lee would order Thomas, Jackson, and Longstreet to charge down from their positions, with the hopes that Jackson and Longstreet could pincer the routing Union forces. The orders were put into place, and the charge began. The movement would have its desired effect, and Jackson's and Longstreet's corps crushed the flanks of the Union corps trying to form up in front of the Confederate position.

A painting by David Nance, the third of the triumvirate of major modern day Civil War painters, depicting the advance of the Confederates

With the Union infantry in a headlong rout off the field, a rearguard was needed to cover their retreat. Chief of Artillery Henry J. Hunt and Cavalry Corps commander Alfred Pleasonton would try to provide this by forming a long line of Union artillery, which having gone unused for the most part in the battle still had plenty of ammunition, supported by dismounted cavalry. The artillery fire would blunt the Confederate infantry's attack, and for a moment, it seemed that the Union infantry would receive the rearguard they required. This dream was shattered, however, by the arrival of J.E.B. Stuart and his Cavalry Corps on the field. Still smarting from Brandy Station, Stuart would charge the Union position without orders. The Confederate cavalry slammed into the Union artillery and dismounted cavalry in a whirling but ultimately one-sided melee. Dismounted, the Union cavalry was unable to face their mounted opponents.

A painting by Daniel Troiani depicting Stuart's charge

However, Pleasonton had kept one of his cavalry brigades mounted as his last reserve. Seeing the Union rearguard collapsing and an opportunity for glory, newly appointed Brigadier General George A. Custer would charge his mounted cavalry brigade against the CSA cavalry brigade of Wade Hampton. The fighting between the two brigades was brutal, and Custer seemed to be able to hold back Hampton, but the attack of the cavalry brigades under Fitz and Rooney Lee on his flanks decimated his command, with himself only narrowly escaping. With no more Union reserves to face, Stuart was free to bring the full force of his cavalry into chasing the routing Union men. The Battle of Gettysburg ended with Stuart's cavalry chasing down routing Union soldiers in what Stuart would call "the finest day in the history of Confederate cavalry." In fact, when Stuart met with some of his officers after the battle ended, he would call the meeting "the greatest concentration of cavalry talent the world has ever seen." [1]

A painting depicting Custer's first last stand by Matthew Kunstler

The Battle of Gettysburg had been a disaster for the Union in all senses of the word. The Army of the Potomac would lose almost 41,000 men, with the high number due both to the fact of the extreme dangers the soldiers had faced in the battle, and that Union forces on the field had routed twice with no rearguard. Officer losses had also been terrible. The price of senior officers leading from the front had been paid in full during the battle, with no other battle in the war even rivaling the amount of Union senior officer losses [2][3]. The list of Union regimental commanders lost at Gettysburg could also be considered a list of some of best Union regimental officers in the Army of the Potomac, with Joshua Chamberlain, Harrison Jeffords, James Rice, Kenner Garrard, Patrick O'Rorke, Rufus Dawes, Nelson Miles, and St. Clair Mulholland among them. The losses of the day are probably best summarized by a quote from the diary of George T. Strong, made famous by it being featured of Kaden Burns' famous documentary, The Civil War, “As Rome had her Cannae, and France her Agincourt, the United States of America has her battle of national disgrace in the form of Gettysburg. Like of the fields of Agincourt on that October 1415 day, the gallant leaders of her army lay slain, with the enlisted men right beside them.”

A photo by Matthew Brady of the Union fallen at the battle of Gettysburg

Despite suffering much fewer casualities, roughly 9,500 to be exact (mostly from the first day's fighting), the Confederates also had their share of losses, with such gallant officers as Harry T. Hays, Evander M. Law, and James K. Marshall falling slain as a result of the battle. The low loss of men of Confederate side could likely be attributed to both their defensive role for most of the battle, and that the Union army spent two large portions of the battle in utter rout. The Battle of Gettysburg shattered the Army of the Potomac as it had existed, with it pulling back into Philadelphia to defend it. With the Army of the Potomac no longer a threat for now, Lee prepared to move South for his ultimate goal: capturing Washington D.C.

[1] The men present at this meeting are as follows: J.E.B. Stuart, Wade Hampton III, Fitzhugh Lee, William H.F. "Rooney" Lee, William E. "Grumble" Jones, Beverly Robertson, Albert Jenkins, John Imboden, John Pelham, James B. Gordon, Thomas T. Munford, John R. Chambliss, Thomas L. Rosser, Lunsford L. Lomax, William C. Wickham, Pierce M.B. Young, Matthew C. Butler, Laurence S. Baker, Dennis D. Ferebee, Richard L.T. Beale, William H.F. Payne, Elijah V. White, Harry Gilmor, Rufus Barringer, John S. Mosby, William H. Chapman, William L. Jackson, James Breathed, Roger P. Chew, Channing Price, Heros von Borcke, Henry B. McClellan, John E. Cooke, Robert F. Beckham, William D. Farley, Joel "Banjo" Sweeney, Gustavus W. Dorsey, and William P. Roberts.
[2]Here is a complete list of Union army, corps, division, and brigade commanders killed or mortally wounded at Gettysburg: Army: George Meade Corps: John Reynolds, Winfield Hancock, John Sedgwick, Oliver Howard, Henry Slocum Division: James Wadsworth, John Robinson, Abner Doubleday, John Gibbon, Alexander Hays, David Birney, Andrew Humphreys, Romeyn Ayres, Samuel Crawford, Horatio Wright, John Newton, Francis Barlow, Adolph Steinwehr, Alpheus Williams, John Geary, John Buford Brigade: Edward Cross, Patrick Kelly, Samuel Zook, John Brooke, Alexander Webb, Strong Vincent, Frank Wheaton, Samuel Carroll, George Greene, Joseph Carr, Thomas Smyth, Norman Hall, Hiram Berdan, Emory Upton, Alfred Torbert, George Willard, William Gamble, Joseph Bartlett, Lewis Grant, Davis Russell, Philippe Trobriand, Henry Baxter, Stephen Weed, Adelbert Ames, Elon J. Farnsworth, Freeman McGilvery
[3]Here is a complete list of Union generals captured at Gettysburg: David Gregg, Henry J. Hunt, Wesley Merritt.
Dismounted cavalry do fine against mounted cavalry, just like infantry. The Union Cavalry were armed with breech loading carbines, and the 5th & 6th Michigan had Spencer repeating rifles, with 7 round magazines. The Confederates had muzzle loading carbines, pistols, and shotguns. Again like the rest of the army you have the Union Cavalry acting with complete incompetence. On the second day most of the Union Cavalry was sent to the rear to protect the supply trains, and prevent just what you have happening. The battle at Hanover happened on the third day because the Union Cavalry was doing it's job. They detected Stuarts Cavalry moving miles south of the Round Tops, and moved to intercept them.

The Union Army was nether incompetent, or suicidal. The senior officers learned their trade from McClellan. Careful deliberate moves, if anything Meade was overcautious, preferring to fight a defensive battle. His caution held him back during Lee's retreat, to Virginia. He might have destroyed Lee's Army at Williamsport, but to the frustration of Lincoln he let Lee cross the Potomac in safety. Meade was nether stupid, suicidal, or on a quest for glory, he understood what was at stake.
 
Chapter Five: Gettysburg, Day 2

A 1906 painting by Howard Pyle depicting the second day of the battle of Gettysburg, currently hanging in the visitor's center of Gettysburg National Military Park
With two corps of his army in shambles, two corps commanders along with several division commanders killed, and the Army of Northern Virginia possessing the high ground and interposing itself between the Army of the Potomac and Washington D.C., General George Meade announced a council of war on the night of July 1 in his headquarters located near where a portion of Rock Creek splits off to Power's Hill. All of his corps commanders would be in attendance, with John Newton taking over command of the I Corps and John Gibbon leading the II Corps. By this time, all of Meade's army was lined up along Rock Creek facing the Confederate lines, within the exception the V Corps and VI Corps, which would arrive on the morning of July 2. At the meeting, Meade and his generals discussed their plans for the next day. A plan was proposed by Generals Gibbon, Slocum, and Sedgwick in which the I, III, V, and, XI demonstrated along Lee's front, while the II, VI, and XII Corps would attack Lee's position from its left flank of Benner's Hill. The plan held the support of all the corps commanders with the exception of Daniel Sickles, who wanted to be involved in the flanking movement, and Oliver O. Howard, who also wanted to be involved in order to salvage his reputation tarnished on the first day of fighting. The debate would settled, however, when Meade revealed a telegram he had received before the council of war started. In a message which was sent with the name of General-in-Chief Henry Halleck attached, orders were given for the Army of the Potomac to clear the hills between themselves and Washington. This order met the instant disapproval of all the men present, with the exception of Sickles and Howard once again. Despite his reservations about the plan, Meade told his corps commanders it was to be enacted, not revealing the further information in the telegram promising his relief if he did not take immediate action the next day. With it made clear what the general plan was, the details were planned out. The III, II, VI, and V Corps would attack against the Confederate positions on Culp's Hill, Cemetery Hill, Cemetery Ridge, and Little Round Top in that order. Meanwhile, the battered I and VI Corps would protect the Union right, and attack against Benner's Hill. Finally, the XII Corps would guard the left, and attack against Round Top. With the plans in order, the generals readied themselves for the next day of battle.

Meade's Council of War, July 1, which hangs in Gettysburg National Military Park

With the arrival of the V and VI Corps on the field on the morning of July 2, the plan that was forced upon Meade and his commanders was put into motion. The Army of the Potomac lined up as ordered, and upon the order, they began their charge towards the Confederate line. Crossing across the shallow Rock's Creek, long range artillery fire began. At first, the long distances made most of the shots miss their mark, but as the Union drew closer, the Confederate artillery soon starting taking a heavy toll, with the Union guns too far out to support the assaulting infantry effectively. Once the Union soldiers reached the base of the crests, they broke into a running charge, as musket fire and canister shot began to fire into their ranks. Shredded by such heavy fire, the Union infantry was unable to reach, let alone breach, the Confederate lines. With many senior officers down due to leading from the front, and his corps shredded, Meade would have to act quickly to save the battle from being an utter Union rout.

A Daniel Troiani painting depicting the charges of the Union line against the Confederates' position

Seeing the command structure gutted, order completely lost, and his men in a complete panic and rout, Meade decided he most personally rally his troops. Inquiring of his staff which corps of his army remained in the best condition, he was informed the V Corps seemed to have the most men still combat ready. Upon this information, Meade set about rallying his old corps, until some order was brought about in it, and they could perform one last charge. Deciding to personally lead his men in the charge, Meade's assistant adjutant general Seth Williams tried to stop him, fearing that his commander would be killed. Meade would respond, "These men, my men, need me leading this charge for it to succeed. If I am to die, let it be on the battlefield, rather than the death of a coward who succumbs to a thousand congressional investigations, and a dishonorable relief from command." Seeing his commander's determination, Williams would accompany Meade in his charge. The V Corps would again charge, this time focusing on Cemetery Ridge. The Meade's final attack would be slaughtered, with Williams dying rather early in the charge, and Meade falling killed mere yards from the Confederate lines at the height of the charge. The charge would come to be known as Meade's Charge.

A Currier & Ives lithograph of Meade's Charge, with an inaccurate depiction of Seth Williams on the horse at left, and Meade on the horse at right.

Seeing the entire Union line crumbling, Lee would order Thomas, Jackson, and Longstreet to charge down from their positions, with the hopes that Jackson and Longstreet could pincer the routing Union forces. The orders were put into place, and the charge began. The movement would have its desired effect, and Jackson's and Longstreet's corps crushed the flanks of the Union corps trying to form up in front of the Confederate position.

A painting by David Nance, the third of the triumvirate of major modern day Civil War painters, depicting the advance of the Confederates

With the Union infantry in a headlong rout off the field, a rearguard was needed to cover their retreat. Chief of Artillery Henry J. Hunt and Cavalry Corps commander Alfred Pleasonton would try to provide this by forming a long line of Union artillery, which having gone unused for the most part in the battle still had plenty of ammunition, supported by dismounted cavalry. The artillery fire would blunt the Confederate infantry's attack, and for a moment, it seemed that the Union infantry would receive the rearguard they required. This dream was shattered, however, by the arrival of J.E.B. Stuart and his Cavalry Corps on the field. Still smarting from Brandy Station, Stuart would charge the Union position without orders. The Confederate cavalry slammed into the Union artillery and dismounted cavalry in a whirling but ultimately one-sided melee. Dismounted, the Union cavalry was unable to face their mounted opponents.

A painting by Daniel Troiani depicting Stuart's charge

However, Pleasonton had kept one of his cavalry brigades mounted as his last reserve. Seeing the Union rearguard collapsing and an opportunity for glory, newly appointed Brigadier General George A. Custer would charge his mounted cavalry brigade against the CSA cavalry brigade of Wade Hampton. The fighting between the two brigades was brutal, and Custer seemed to be able to hold back Hampton, but the attack of the cavalry brigades under Fitz and Rooney Lee on his flanks decimated his command, with himself only narrowly escaping. With no more Union reserves to face, Stuart was free to bring the full force of his cavalry into chasing the routing Union men. The Battle of Gettysburg ended with Stuart's cavalry chasing down routing Union soldiers in what Stuart would call "the finest day in the history of Confederate cavalry." In fact, when Stuart met with some of his officers after the battle ended, he would call the meeting "the greatest concentration of cavalry talent the world has ever seen." [1]

A painting depicting Custer's first last stand by Matthew Kunstler

The Battle of Gettysburg had been a disaster for the Union in all senses of the word. The Army of the Potomac would lose almost 41,000 men, with the high number due both to the fact of the extreme dangers the soldiers had faced in the battle, and that Union forces on the field had routed twice with no rearguard. Officer losses had also been terrible. The price of senior officers leading from the front had been paid in full during the battle, with no other battle in the war even rivaling the amount of Union senior officer losses [2][3]. The list of Union regimental commanders lost at Gettysburg could also be considered a list of some of best Union regimental officers in the Army of the Potomac, with Joshua Chamberlain, Harrison Jeffords, James Rice, Kenner Garrard, Patrick O'Rorke, Rufus Dawes, Nelson Miles, and St. Clair Mulholland among them. The losses of the day are probably best summarized by a quote from the diary of George T. Strong, made famous by it being featured of Kaden Burns' famous documentary, The Civil War, “As Rome had her Cannae, and France her Agincourt, the United States of America has her battle of national disgrace in the form of Gettysburg. Like of the fields of Agincourt on that October 1415 day, the gallant leaders of her army lay slain, with the enlisted men right beside them.”

A photo by Matthew Brady of the Union fallen at the battle of Gettysburg

Despite suffering much fewer casualities, roughly 9,500 to be exact (mostly from the first day's fighting), the Confederates also had their share of losses, with such gallant officers as Harry T. Hays, Evander M. Law, and James K. Marshall falling slain as a result of the battle. The low loss of men of Confederate side could likely be attributed to both their defensive role for most of the battle, and that the Union army spent two large portions of the battle in utter rout. The Battle of Gettysburg shattered the Army of the Potomac as it had existed, with it pulling back into Philadelphia to defend it. With the Army of the Potomac no longer a threat for now, Lee prepared to move South for his ultimate goal: capturing Washington D.C.

[1] The men present at this meeting are as follows: J.E.B. Stuart, Wade Hampton III, Fitzhugh Lee, William H.F. "Rooney" Lee, William E. "Grumble" Jones, Beverly Robertson, Albert Jenkins, John Imboden, John Pelham, James B. Gordon, Thomas T. Munford, John R. Chambliss, Thomas L. Rosser, Lunsford L. Lomax, William C. Wickham, Pierce M.B. Young, Matthew C. Butler, Laurence S. Baker, Dennis D. Ferebee, Richard L.T. Beale, William H.F. Payne, Elijah V. White, Harry Gilmor, Rufus Barringer, John S. Mosby, William H. Chapman, William L. Jackson, James Breathed, Roger P. Chew, Channing Price, Heros von Borcke, Henry B. McClellan, John E. Cooke, Robert F. Beckham, William D. Farley, Joel "Banjo" Sweeney, Gustavus W. Dorsey, and William P. Roberts.
[2]Here is a complete list of Union army, corps, division, and brigade commanders killed or mortally wounded at Gettysburg: Army: George Meade Corps: John Reynolds, Winfield Hancock, John Sedgwick, Oliver Howard, Henry Slocum Division: James Wadsworth, John Robinson, Abner Doubleday, John Gibbon, Alexander Hays, David Birney, Andrew Humphreys, Romeyn Ayres, Samuel Crawford, Horatio Wright, John Newton, Francis Barlow, Adolph Steinwehr, Alpheus Williams, John Geary, John Buford Brigade: Edward Cross, Patrick Kelly, Samuel Zook, John Brooke, Alexander Webb, Strong Vincent, Frank Wheaton, Samuel Carroll, George Greene, Joseph Carr, Thomas Smyth, Norman Hall, Hiram Berdan, Emory Upton, Alfred Torbert, George Willard, William Gamble, Joseph Bartlett, Lewis Grant, Davis Russell, Philippe Trobriand, Henry Baxter, Stephen Weed, Adelbert Ames, Elon J. Farnsworth, Freeman McGilvery
[3]Here is a complete list of Union generals captured at Gettysburg: David Gregg, Henry J. Hunt, Wesley Merritt.
My apologies, I misread the order from Halleck, about clearing the hills, thinking it was an order to retreat, not attack. I would think Meade would ignore such an order, for the obvious reason that Halleck wasn't there, and didn't understand the situation. For his part it would be totally inappropriate for the Chief of Staff to interfere in the tactical operations of an army in the field, engaged in a major action. The president appointed Meade to command the army, trusting in his judgment. Trying to direct an army from Washington would be unheard of. The closest it ever came to this kind of interference was at Nashville, when Lincoln was losing faith in George Thomas, and ordered that if he didn't attack immediately he would be relieved. The general who would have been his replacement saw the situation, and gave Thomas the chance to attack when he thought he was ready. The result was one of the greatest victories of the war.
 
Chapter Six: Gettysburg's Fallout

A group of Union in camp around Philadelphia following the defeat at Gettysburg

With Gettysburg being the terrible defeat that it was, calls for someone to place the blame on grew loud. Horace Greeley would write for his New York Tribune, “Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and even Chancellorsville have been outdone in showing the idiocy of the Army of the Potomac’s high command and their commander-in-chief Abraham Lincoln. It remains to be seen what more disasters await with them at the helm of the ship of state.” With many of the Army of the Potomac's senior officers now dead as a result of Gettysburg, public outrcry was mostly aimed at Lincoln, who remained firmly entrenched in the White House due to the Republican Congress. The blood lust of the public would finally be satisfied when during his testimony before the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, Daniel Sickles revealed the fateful order Meade had received from Halleck ordering the attack. With a name of someone still alive attached to the orders for the attack, the public cried for his dismissal. Facing little other choice, Lincoln would dishonorably strip Halleck of his command, and dismiss him from the army.

Former Major General Henry W. Halleck, U.S. General-in-Chief July 23, 1862-July 23, 1863

What Lincoln did not reveal to the public was the further information he knew about the order. The order had originally been drafted by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, but when he brought it before Lincoln and Halleck at the telegram office, they both espoused the folly of it, and Lincoln ordered the order not to be sent before leaving. From what Lincoln gathered, after his leaving from the office, Stanton threatened Halleck into sending the order with his name attached under the threat of his relief of command, resulting in Meade receiving the fatal order. After Halleck's relief, Lincoln's first stop was to a meeting with Edwin Stanton at the War Department office, in which he revealed how he knew Stanton went behind his back and forced the order. In another quote made famous by Kaden Burns' documentary, Lincoln would say to Stanton, "I hope, and the country demands, that you be able to rectify the mistake you made on that July 1 night." When Lincoln left the meeting, it was said that all weapons not being used by the guards had to be taken from the building to prevent Stanton from committing suicide.

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton

Despite all the public outcry of Gettysburg, a war still had to be fought. Realizing that the Army of the Potomac would need reinforcement from other theaters, Lincoln ordered all offensive operations in the Western Theater to halt, ordering General Rosecrans and the Army of the Cumberland to remain where they were, and for Generals Grant and Banks to pull back from their sieges into Union territory, along with an order for Quincy Gillmore to stop his planned assault on Fort Wagner. Banks would immediately follow the order, ending his 41 day siege of Port Hudson. Grant, on the other hand, fiercely resisted Lincoln's order, and begged for a few more days, as he believed that the Confederate forces were near capitulation. Lincoln would give Grant one week to win the Siege of Vicksburg. Unfortunately, news of both the victory at Gettysburg and Lincoln's deadline would reach the defenders inside Vicksburg, increasing their determination to hold out. Lincoln's deadline came and passed, and angrily Grant pulled back, with the news of his promotion to Major General in the Regular Army and asssignment to Halleck's position a few days later doing little to appease him. News that two corps, the XIII Corps under Edward O.C. Ord and the IX Corps under John G. Parke were being stripped from his command to be added to the rebuilding Army of the Potomac brought him further anger, with the assignment of Banks and the XIX Corps to his command doing little again for Grant.

The Winners and Losers of the Sieges of Port Hudson and Vicksburg: Generals Franklin Gardner, John C. Pemberton, Nathaniel Banks, and Ulysses S. Grant

The shell of the Army of the Potomac limped into Philadelphia following Gettysburg's crushing defeat. With the threat of the Army of Northern Virginia larger now than ever, Lincoln had to call on all his possible sources to rebuild it. First, a commander had to be decided on after the death of Meade. Ultimately, the command of the army would be handed to General George Sykes, a man with no spectular achievements or failures under his belt. Second, the lack of experienced corps and division commanders was addressed by the return of Generals Darius Couch, James Ricketts, Charles Griffin, and Gouverneur Warren to field command. Third, men to rebuild the Army of the Potomac were required. Lincoln would draw from many sources, mainly the Western Theater for it. Ultimately, Lincoln's plan for the Army of the Potomac was to have the shells of the army corps condensed into two corps, the III Corps under Daniel Sickles and the VI Corps under Darius Couch, the XXIII Corps under Ambrose Burnside to be transferred from the Department of the Ohio, the XXI Corps under Thomas L. Crittenden to be brought in from the Army of the Cumberland, and the above mentioned XIII Corps under Edward O.C. Ord and the IX Corps under John G. Parke coming from the Army of the Tennessee. This, in addition to the Cavalry Corps, which was to be brought back to full strength by reinforcement from the cavalry in the Department of the Susquehanna was Lincoln's intentions. However, Sykes still feared this would be insufficient, so Lincoln also order the transfer of Michael Corcoran and his division from the VII Corps, and Truman Seymour and his division with Thomas Stevenson's brigade attached from X Corps. This would be Lincoln's last order to Sykes before Confederates cut the telegram lines connecting Washington to the outside world. Without the nucleus of military matters, troop movements moved slowly, and it would take a while for the Army of the Potomac, which currently only constituted the III, VI, and Cavalry Corps, to form up. Lee would not give them this time as he swiftly advanced on Washington, and prepared for what he hoped would be the decisive battle of the war.

General George Sykes, commander of the Army of the Potomac
Why wouldn't they retreat to the defenses of Washington? It was heavily fortified, with small forts, with overlapping fields of fire. Lee would have to reduce each fort to get into the city, and with perhaps 40,000 field troops supporting the 20 or 30,000 men defending the forts the Army of Northern Virginia would have been mauled attacking the defenses. Why not a draft call for 100,000 men? Lincoln understood the importance of Vicksburg, besides it fell on July 4th, so a Confederate victory at Gettysburg is just too late to change that. Port Hudson fell about 10 days later. There's nothing that can be done in that time frame.
 
Hey, I’ll agree that this TL has it’s share of issues, but it’s a fun read. Wankish, but not ASB level.
I’m guessing you are binge reading this and posting replies as you go.
If individual replies had been posted between installments it would come across less harshly than posting a bevy of things weeks or months after the original chapters came out.
 
My apologies, I misread the order from Halleck, about clearing the hills, thinking it was an order to retreat, not attack. I would think Meade would ignore such an order, for the obvious reason that Halleck wasn't there, and didn't understand the situation. For his part it would be totally inappropriate for the Chief of Staff to interfere in the tactical operations of an army in the field, engaged in a major action. The president appointed Meade to command the army, trusting in his judgment. Trying to direct an army from Washington would be unheard of. The closest it ever came to this kind of interference was at Nashville, when Lincoln was losing faith in George Thomas, and ordered that if he didn't attack immediately he would be relieved. The general who would have been his replacement saw the situation, and gave Thomas the chance to attack when he thought he was ready. The result was one of the greatest victories of the war.
A few things about your points:
First, if you read the next chapter, you would realize that Halleck sent the order under threat of relief from Secretary of War Stanton.
Second, at this point in the American Civil War, Halleck was serving as General-in-Chief not Chief of Staff, making ignoring an important and clear order from him roughly equivalent to Meade tendering his resignation.
Third, concerning your arguments about the first day and the Eleventh Corps, the reason the Union forces on the field were able to entrench and prepare defensive positions was because the CSA forces were applying no pressure to them during that time. ITTL, the CSA forces are applying severe pressure to already routed Union troops. As such, they continue to rout and abandon the high ground, allowing the CSA troops to occupy it.
Fourth, concerning the Union cavalry’s last stand, they had thrown together a hasty and unprepared defense ITTL, and were in way prepared for a CSA cavalry charge. Also, the two regiments you mentioned as having repeating Spencers, the 5th and 6th Michigan Cavalry, were being held in reserve by Pleasanton, as they are in Custer’s brigade, which I mention in the chapter as being Pleasonton’s reserve. These repeating riflemen are eventually beaten by being attacked from the front and both flanks, also mentioned in the chapter
Fifth, the reason why the Union troops retreated to Philadelphia is two-fold. First, it is in the direction which they retreated. Second, there was much chaos and lack of leadership after the battle, so what was left of the Union high-command was just on for the ride, with very little influence over their men. When order was restored, Philadelphia was much closer to the routed men than Washington, so Sykes brought his bedraggled army to recover there.
Sixth, you asked why Lincoln did not draft 100,000 more men. First, the time required to both recruit and train the men was not available to him. Secondly, even if he did order a draft, draft riots and resistance would put an end to any effective results or benefits. OTL, the Union won Gettysburg, and they still had draft riots. With as severe a defeat as this timeline's Gettysburg, draft riots would be much worse to the point of any men they would raise would be probably have to be used to point the riots down.
Seventh, concerning Vicksburg and Port Hudson, Lincoln merely had to send Grant and Banks a telegram to convey his orders. He needed their troops to defend the north, as he could not simply just raise more as explained above. Vicksburg's garrison holds out longer first because word reaches them of Lincoln's order, and secondly word reached them of Lee's victory, raising their morale.
Nonetheless, thank you for your feedback, and for reading my timeline. Even if you disagree with some points of it, I hope you can still enjoy it.
 
I for one enjoy it. Any CSA victory TL is a tall order.
To overcome historical factors, you pretty much have to save the good CSA generals and Franklin level massacre the competent Union Generals.
 
At the rate this is going would this even be necessary? The Confederacy is already making its way towards DC and unless the Union can pull a 180 in a few days the war is basically over. The army has lost some of it's best and the disastrous PR after the defeat at Gettysburg is likely going to force Abraham Lincoln's hand. What's left of the army is going to have to win the upcoming battle or her majesty's navy is just going to add salt to an open wound. At this point, even with a win, the south should have European support so the Union is boned six ways to Sunday.
In mid 1863 the USN can stand toe to toe with the RN, in American Waters. The USN had a class of commerce raiders, that were faster then any major warship in the RN, and would have been mass produced. In the Revolutionary War American Privateers captured or destroyed 1,100 British Merchant Ships, in the War of 1812 it was 1,300. The British Merchant Marine would have suffered massive loses, and would have quickly lobbied the government to end the war. The working classes in England, and the Irish Catholics were pro Union. Irish Catholics in America would just love to fight the British. Upper Canada would have been invaded by State National Guard units from 3 directions. It's not the War of 1812, the Union is many times stronger in 1863, the British would have had their hands full.

The fact is that the Union never fully mobilized, for political reasons. Has Shelby Foote said the Union was fighting with one arm behind it's back. If the Confederacy did much better that other arm would have come out. His point was the South always had only a very small chance of success. 40% of all Union troops were foreign born, with the biggest ethnic group being Germans, then Irish. More native born troops could have been mobilized, to face a foreign foe, and "Colored" Regiments were starting to be raised, the Union still had massive untapped resources.
 
In mid 1863 the USN can stand toe to toe with the RN, in American Waters. ...
Chanting Muria , Muria , Muria does not make things so. A RN with the MN as allies can deploy more ships to the theater in 5 weeks ( time for the first class reserve to get there ) than the USN has total ( ocean going ). Since they include ships like HMS Warrior and Black Prince which totally outclass anything the USN has , the USN gets beat if it comes out. Like to see the specs on these commerce raiders since it sounds like you mean ships like the Alabama which was a) Confederate and b) built in Britain.

You are missing from the naval picture that merchant ships have to buy/sell their cargoes, with Britain and France hostile just getting to a open European port would be an adventure. Sailing past Britain not so easy and Gibraltar closes off the Med for starters. US is also cut off from South America by a combination of the RN operating from British bases in the Caribbean and the CSA.

As for land , well the Prussians regarded both sides in the Civil War as brave but in the main rabble. British regulars in defensive positions would rip them apart ( range advantage ) before they got anywhere. Attacking Canada is a lot harder than it looks as its very defender friendly. US can try and raise troops but what is it going to arm them with? Even in 1863 a lot of weapons were imported and gunpowder is a problem as Chilean Nitrates would be cut off. Pesky thing called money also raises its head, its OTL one of the reasons for the limits on mobilization , troops need paying and workers being soldiers means less taxes ( with trade crippled by blockade/closed ports and external finance reduced, this is a far bigger issue than OTL.)
 
Chanting Muria , Muria , Muria does not make things so. A RN with the MN as allies can deploy more ships to the theater in 5 weeks ( time for the first-class reserve to get there ) than the USN has total ( ocean-going ). Since they include ships like HMS Warrior and Black Prince which totally outclass anything the USN has, the USN gets beat if it comes out. Like to see the specs on these commerce raiders since it sounds like you mean ships like the Alabama which was a) Confederate and b) built in Britain.

You are missing from the naval picture that merchant ships have to buy/sell their cargoes, with Britain and France hostile just getting to an open European port would be an adventure. Sailing past Britain not so easy and Gibraltar closes off the Med for starters. US is also cut off from South America by a combination of the RN operating from British bases in the Caribbean and the CSA.

As for land, well the Prussians regarded both sides in the Civil War as brave but in the main rabble. British regulars in defensive positions would rip them apart ( range advantage ) before they got anywhere. Attacking Canada is a lot harder than it looks as its very defender friendly. The US can try and raise troops but what is it going to arm them with? Even in 1863 a lot of weapons were imported and gunpowder is a problem as Chilean Nitrates would be cut off. A pesky thing called money also raises its head, its OTL one of the reasons for the limits on mobilization, troops need paying and workers being soldiers means fewer taxes ( with trade crippled by blockade/closed ports and external finance reduced, this is a far bigger issue than OTL.)
Sounds to me that the US would have a hard time dealing with British ships. This of course only gets worse if anybody else watching this mess says the south has passed the test we'll aid them. What was the French opinion on the Civil War? Would they enter on the side of the South if they had won more battles? If so the US is unlikely to do anything. If they can't get the ammo for their guns which they would likely face ordering more troops isn't going to do anything but cut down what money you have. As far as I can tell the US lost the war at Gettysburg. The PR nightmare that would have followed that loss and the loss of DC would've made it pointless.
 
it May not technically be necroing a thread to post a bunch of replies to posts from weeks ago just because the thread is active but it sure feels like necroing a thread
 
it May not technically be necroing a thread to post a bunch of replies to posts from weeks ago just because the thread is active but it sure feels like necroing a thread
I'm fairly sure that's if it's been inactive for 6 months a few weeks isn't really necroing a thread but I will say it is a bit of an odd thing to be doing to posts so old. I don't mind replying to anything but by now the wars over and has been for years so talking about things that were at the tail end of the war is kind of weird
 
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Another lost cause timelines. Would be nice if the author would also cover how the south is treating the slaves.......
 
Another lost cause timelines. Would be nice if the author would also cover how the south is treating the slaves.......
Given the fact that the war was won and some of the states are modernizing, I would guess by the 1880s or the 1890s that the number of slaves would have dropped. Now how they are viewed is a matter that I don't think as been covered as of yet but should make for a fascinating read should he feel like covering that part of the life in the CSA.
 
A few things about your points:
First, if you read the next chapter, you would realize that Halleck sent the order under threat of relief from Secretary of War Stanton.
Second, at this point in the American Civil War, Halleck was serving as General-in-Chief not Chief of Staff, making ignoring an important and clear order from him roughly equivalent to Meade tendering his resignation.
Third, concerning your arguments about the first day and the Eleventh Corps, the reason the Union forces on the field were able to entrench and prepare defensive positions was because the CSA forces were applying no pressure to them during that time. ITTL, the CSA forces are applying severe pressure to already routed Union troops. As such, they continue to rout and abandon the high ground, allowing the CSA troops to occupy it.
Fourth, concerning the Union cavalry’s last stand, they had thrown together a hasty and unprepared defense ITTL, and were in way prepared for a CSA cavalry charge. Also, the two regiments you mentioned as having repeating Spencers, the 5th and 6th Michigan Cavalry, were being held in reserve by Pleasanton, as they are in Custer’s brigade, which I mention in the chapter as being Pleasonton’s reserve. These repeating riflemen are eventually beaten by being attacked from the front and both flanks, also mentioned in the chapter
Fifth, the reason why the Union troops retreated to Philadelphia is two-fold. First, it is in the direction which they retreated. Second, there was much chaos and lack of leadership after the battle, so what was left of the Union high-command was just on for the ride, with very little influence over their men. When order was restored, Philadelphia was much closer to the routed men than Washington, so Sykes brought his bedraggled army to recover there.
Sixth, you asked why Lincoln did not draft 100,000 more men. First, the time required to both recruit and train the men was not available to him. Secondly, even if he did order a draft, draft riots and resistance would put an end to any effective results or benefits. OTL, the Union won Gettysburg, and they still had draft riots. With as severe a defeat as this timeline's Gettysburg, draft riots would be much worse to the point of any men they would raise would be probably have to be used to point the riots down.
Seventh, concerning Vicksburg and Port Hudson, Lincoln merely had to send Grant and Banks a telegram to convey his orders. He needed their troops to defend the north, as he could not simply just raise more as explained above. Vicksburg's garrison holds out longer first because word reaches them of Lincoln's order, and secondly word reached them of Lee's victory, raising their morale.
Nonetheless, thank you for your feedback, and for reading my timeline. Even if you disagree with some points of it, I hope you can still enjoy it.
Thank you for your reply. To any man of integrity fear of being relieved of command is nothing compared to having your command destroyed. Only a moral coward, unworthy of being a general officer would be intimidated by such an order. "If you want you can court marshal me later, for now stay out my damn way, and let me fight this battle." Again Halleck wasn't there, he didn't know what the local situation was. Just what kind of mental breakdown did Stanton suffer? Why would he do such an insane thing?

So what was Pleasanton's Cavalry doing on the second day? How did Stuart catch them with their pants down? The criticism of Stuart was that he left the army blind. That's not really true, he left 2 brigades with Lee, that were underutilized. You have Pleasanton just standing in place, guarding gun batteries. Their job is recon, and as I said they protected the supply trains. Civil War Cavalry don't make mass charges against artillery batteries, the losses are too high, those are Napoleonic tactics, and it was risky then.

On retreating to Philadelphia, there's a lot of terrain between Gettysburg, and Philadelphia. It's about 30 miles to York, and the bridge over the Susquehanna River. The river isn't very deep, but it's a mile wide. How does Lee cross it, with troops on the other side? Besides you have Lee heading south toward Washington, not east toward. Why would the Union Army cross the river into Lancaster County, and keep retreating another 100 miles when nobody's chasing them?

Yes a new draft call takes time, but you'd do it anyway. The draft riots in New York were brutally crushed, the NY Guard, and Navy could do that, though Meade did send a Corps to NYC to help. Your assuming a Union collapse of moral, rather then a defense of your home ground, your now under invasion. Many state militia units were held back, for political reasons, many of them would be released for federal service, because of the Gettysburg Crisis. In 1864 Grant culled out tens of thousands of troops for his march on Richmond. He lost 60,000 men in two months, and then replaced them, with more troops.

The scope of the Union defeat on July 2 wouldn't be understood in Washington till the next day, at the earliest. Lincoln wouldn't be changing the whole Union Strategy in 24 hours. The Confederates at Vicksburg wouldn't know what happened at Gettysburg, they were under siege. How would they know about what orders Lincoln sent to Grant? They surrendered because they were starving, and couldn't hold out more then a few more days. Neither Grant, or Banks could send any of their troops to Washington for weeks. Lincoln understood that giving up on the Mississippi campaign would set back the Union cause by a year, for no advantage. Recalling Rosecrans Army is more realistic, he can move troops by railroad, to Pennsylvania.
 
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