Long time lurker, first time TL poster. For a quick description of what I'm hoping to accomplish is a TL where Reconstruction is truly radical and led by two generals in the White House. While I'm no expert in the Civil War, I've been sure to research at the very least the basics of the international situation in the 1860s. While I do hope to be able to make my characters, dialogues, and PoDs to seem as realistic as possible, I mostly hope to make a nice, flowing narrative so there may (mostly will) be some elements of handwavium inserted. In the end, the purpose of this narrative is to explore a world where Radical Reconstruction goes along much better (at least at the federal level), railroads get even more support, and the Great Powers receive their own shakeup (with emphasis on greater unification movements).

The main PoD is on May 31st,1864 but there may be some minor PoDs that occur before this date that affect the lives of some famous and influential people of this era, mostly focused on health issues and the like.

I hope to receive as much constructive criticism as possible to see how far as I can take this!
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May 31st, 1864: In the dark and austere atmosphere of the White House, President Lincoln's somberly looked upon the strategic maps presented to him, these detailing the complex strategies undertaken by the generals of the Union within the ongoing Civil War. A man elected to the presidency at the height of the slavery crisis, the president felt how every day of the job weighed heavily upon him day after day. Though the death of the Southern Rebellion was soon to come, many former Democrats and conservative Republicans had become exhausted due to the high cost of the war, and as such wished for a negotiated settlement with the South to bring peace back to the country. Opposing War Democrats and more moderate Republicans saw themselves needing a union between both forces to ensure that Union efforts had the consensus of the nation, calling for a National Union Party.

The president, always having been a Moderate Republican, did not wish for the Radical Republicans to gain control of the party, yet found the growth of their influence insurmountable. The loss of the Moderate's power within his own party and the extreme stress of this war led to Lincoln being haunted for a week straight by nightmares of him dying in office, with the Union still torn asunder, no one strong enough to unify it in his place. These fears were still heavy on his mind when he received telegram reports of the beginning of the Battle of Cold Harbor, a union attack undertaken by the Commanding General of the Union Army and Major General George Meade to take New Cold Harbor, which was 10 miles northeast of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. With bated breath, President Lincoln saw himself gripped by fear and tenuous hope at the potential of General Grant’s victory. Seeing how frayed his nerves became at the mere telegram, he saw the necessity of selecting a proper successor to the presidency, the candidates soon to be presented at the National Union convention having been given to him, seeing the necessity vetting each candidate personally, and would do so throughout the week.
President Lincoln would send out a coded message to General Grant, stating: The eyes of Washington are upon you, Lieutenant General. Be ever vigilant of your surroundings and bring this war ever closer to its end, for the fate of our Union rests upon it. [1]


[1]Abraham Lincoln was well known to suffer from bouts of depression, and the war weighed heavily upon him. It was hoped that he would unite the multiple War Factions to keep the Union together, and as such would select a new VP. In this case, he finds himself affected physically by the stress of the office and realizes that whoever is nominated to the Vice-Presidency would be his successor which when combined with the fainting spell, would convince him that he would have to drop his name from the ticket if he wanted to enjoy any semblance of a life outside of the Presidency.
 
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This TL is shaping out to be interesting. From what I gather, Lincoln is not going to choose Johnson as his running-mate, and will instead go with a more radical general. If this is going to happen, then, from what I can gather, there were four generals considered at the 1864 Republican National Convention (of course excluding Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt, who held the rank of colonel): Benjamin Butler, Lovell Rousseau, Ambrose Burnside, and William Rosecrans. Of these men, I suspect the most radical Benjamin Butler is going to be the VP, going of course with the general theme of the TL that I am sensing.
 
@TheRockofChickamauga Nice guess! You're half-right! Great instinct on the VP pick! Been reading up a lot on Benjamin Butler and he seems like a great selection for the post, especially since it means he'll be off the battlefield and will be a great balance against the President, all things considered (plus, I'm thinking of making the Greenbacks an actual political force ITL, not to spoil too much.).
 
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Chapter II: Struggles of the Virginia Campaign, the Battle of Cold Harbor
This is the battle which Lincoln's hopes rested upon this day (The Battle of Cold Harbor) and its success would determine Union strategy for the coming months since it would determine the positioning both sides would hold within Mechanicsville, Virginia plus its surrounding areas. This battle and the surrounding conflict will teach the Union Army the importance of appropriate reconnaissance and scouting.

I'm no expert in tactics or strategy, and this one will require a lot of lucky breaks for the Union to pull off things just right but will make sense politically when the time comes.

(I would definitely love to hear how to better write wars and troop movements to make things sound better.)

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May 31st, 1864: Lieurtentat General Grant, having just received the President’s orders, sent forward riders to order all his commanders to conduct reconnaissance around their areas to ensure proper knowledge of the area they were to meet the Confederates in battle. Having seen the success at the crossroads by Brigadier General Alfred. T. A. Tobert, Grant would send an emergency rider to Major General Philip Sheridan to not move Tobert under any conditions; luckily which came just in time, as Sheridan was about to send the order for Sheridan to move back to Old Church out of concern due to the mass of Confederate forces near Tobert. [1] Followed up with an order to Brigadier General Horatio Wright to move his VI Corps to move in the direction of the Old Cold Harbor crossroads, from Wright’s position at the right flank of the Totopotomoy Creek. This move ensured a strong and powerful presence of Union soldiers at the south of Confederate reach, something which opposing General Robert E. Lee knew all too well, and Grant was about to find out. [2]


[1] Historically, Sheridan got nervous due to the high amount of Confederate troops that had massed in the area and ordered Tobert to retreat to Old Church. Sent back to his position, Tobert was lucky as the Confederates had not noticed his retreat, but he ended up returning at 1:00 am. ITTL, he remains in place and fortifies his position while his troops rest and run basic reconnaissance.
[2] This is partially OTL, however, Wright moved his troops at 6 pm, and the attack occurred at 6:30 pm, which was already too late to join up the attacking armies… had he not gotten lost on his way to the battlefield. ITTL, he arrives much earlier and his command is integrated into the surrounding troops.
 
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Chapter III: June 1st, Battle of Cold Harbor truly comences
Told first from the Confederate side, at least a small understanding from the point of view of the Union. In other words, this is what the Union sees the Confederates doing to counter their attacks. Later on, the details of the battle are not the best but are hopefully competent enough for a first time writer, and am more than willing to hear corrections.
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June 1st, 1864: Attempting to use his new infantry forces to break through Union lines, Robert E. Lee had tried to coordinate an attack against the small forces of Union cavalry in the area. His subordinates not having communicated properly, the Confederate attempt at breaching the Union position at Old Cold Harbor had failed, forcing a slight Confederate retreat. [1]
[1] Same as OTL.
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June 1st, 1864: General Grant, though wishing for Wright to begin the attack, knew that his men were tired and as such ordered for the construction of fortifications and rest while ensuring that V Corps would send reinforcements to Wright and Smith’s corps; this reinforcement would come in the form of a division led by Brigadier General Henry H. Lockwood, though regarded as an incompetent commander, Lockwood’s timely arrival would make for a critical difference in the attack soon to be conducted at 6:00 pm that evening. [1] Finding themselves under heavy fire, Wright and Smith engaged in a slow advance against Confederate lines, their advance being sped along slightly by the increased numbers in their units due to Lockwood’s division, which slightly alleviated the pressure put upon Brigadier General Emory Upton’s units. As the battle raged on, a fortunate brigade led by Colonel William S. Truex found the gap that the Union so desperately needed and was able to advance through a previously scouted swampy ravine which had had some of its brush cleared by the scouting party. Truex, having had maps (however rudimentary they may have been) of the area was able to deftly navigate it until breaching the gap between the Confederate divisions of Brigadier Generals Thomas L. Clingman and William T. Wofford. [2] Due to Emory Upton’s improved position, Clingman was unable to spare any troops to face Truex, forcing Brigadier General Eppa Hunton to march his brigade from his corp’s reserve and face Truex. Being able to make minor fortifications and prepare for Hunton’s advance, Truex was able to check his forces, which followed by Upton’s units who had been given an order of a final push alongside surrounding Union forces upon Wofford and Clingman, would lead to a collapse in their collective forces, meaning Truex would rout Hunton’s force, while Upton’s quickly energized men would chase after Clingman’s forces, with backup from Eustis’ troops to bolster those lost in the advance. Slightly to the North, Truex’s success would see Smith’s troops joining him in pursuing the attack against Hunton, ensuring Wofford’s defeat. The rapid Union victory was offset by a combination of exhaustion and a near draw in the North, meaning that Union troops, though advancing onto Adams, New Cold Harbor, and Gaines’ Mill, would no longer be able to press the advantage after such battle, unable to capture the vital Mechanicsville Road. [3] The success of the Union attack stunned generals on both sides and would instill the importance of good reconnaissance upon Union generals, who were currently fighting in unfamiliar territory while teaching the Confederates the importance of proper battle communication and ensuring a lack of gaps in their defense. In the end, the Battle of Cold Harbor would go down as a costly, yet crucial battle in the course of the Civil War, facing harsh losses on both sides: 9,648 losses for the Union, with 7, 337 for the Confederates, the high losses, especially compared to usual proportions in regards to Union losses explained by the harsh losses of Hunton, Wofford, and Clingman’s troops. [4]


[1] IOTL, Lockwood’s troops were not present at the battle due to their late departure (IOTL they left to reinforce at 6 pm and the battle begun at 6:30 pm, which starts 30 minutes beforehand due to Lockwood’s troops being already and place, and to be able to have greater visibility due to sunlight) and then Lockwood getting lost (which got him discharged IOTL). ITTL, due to Lockwood’s lower rank, his command is used to bolster the attack by the Union, which would bolster Upton’s forces, which would help Truex keep up the pressure from his flank penetration.
[2] ITTL, Truex has a lay of the land as is able to more quickly navigate the ravine and exploit the gap he had available IOTL, meaning he is able to reach a vantage point before the Confederate generals can properly react.
[3] IOTL, Truex’s forces were surrounded by the three Confederate generals mentioned, and though he would be forced to retreat, he was able to take hundreds of prisoners. ITTL, due to Upton’s increased performance, Clingman is unable to send the two regiments he sent IOTL, while due to Truex’s quicker arrival, he’s able to prepare and slightly dig in against Hunton’s brigade.

[4] IOTL, Union losses were: 12,378 total, which ITTL are lower due to better Union strategy, while Confederate losses were 5,287 total IOTL, which are much higher ITTL due to the rout of the Southern flank of Confederate troops, and the troops captured by Truex’s success.
 
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Chapter IV: June 2nd-5th Lincoln's choice and Butler's redemption
@TheRockofChickamauga Here the big reveal is up! Yes, Benjamin Butler will be VP... just not Lincoln's. In this case, the stress of the war falls upon Lincoln quite hard and sees Grant's and Butler's successes as an assurance that the end of the war can be reached without him leading the country. In this case, Butler avoids one of his major embarrassments in the war and instead turns it into a shining victory, restoring his reputation in DC.
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June 2nd, 1864: President Lincoln, happy at Grant’s victory, was assured that his political ploy would succeed and as such, prepared the speech he would give at the Nation Union convention in the following days. Having chosen his successor, Lincoln would have the note listing his next Vice-President in his pocket, and as he was putting his clothes away and ready to enter his bath, he suddenly felt faint, and would nearly pass out in the bathtub, being helped to not drown. Lincoln, coming to an epiphany regarding his health and the effects the Presidency was having upon him, promised to step off the head of the ticket for the next election, and fresh off a victory, he knew just the man to end the war…

June 5th, 1864: The town of Petersburg, Virginia had served as a crucial point in the supply of the Confederate capital of the Confederacy at Richmond due to its rail system and other resources. The man who had the responsibility of taking the town? Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler, a political appointment to the Army, and Radical Republican extraordinaire, who had even received a Vice Presidential nod by Abraham Lincoln in early 1864, yet he had turned it down. Generally considered an incompetent and timid commander in addition to a corrupt brute due to his actions in Louisiana, Butler had not endeared himself to General Grant and was in clear danger of being recalled, something which he (naturally) hoped to avoid, he would need the perfect opportunity to shine, and he would find it, making him a national hero. [1]

Two soldiers, entirely drunk, had come from the outskirts of the town of Petersburg, looking for the company of women and alcohol supplies, or at the very least a calm and quiet place to drink their stresses away. As they came back to the army camp, they were both reprimanded by their commander, who when asking where they were, was absolutely stunned by their answer. Running to Major General Butler, the NCO had just found a way to ensure a quick end to the war or at least a quicker resolution to the Virginia Campaign. [2] The disorder in the Confederate forces after been heartily checked at the battle of Cold Harbor, Butler had been renewed with a sense of bravery, this bolstered by the information of the lack of proper fortifications on behalf of the defenders, and hastily prepared an attack for the next day. [3] Preparing his generals properly, and ensuring that the brave(r) Brigadier General Edward H. Hinks commanded, even over the protestations of Major General Quincy A. Gillmore due to the man’s seniority over Hinks. [4] The attack, properly coordinated and with the Union men bolstered by the news of Grant’s victory, a steady advance would occur against the Confederates who were led by Brigadier General and former governor of Virginia Henry A. Wise and General P. G. T. Beauregard, outnumbered on a factor of 1.8:1.0 in favor of the Union (4,500 to 2,500) stretched thin over long defensive lines. [5]

The battle for the control of Petersburg would be one of difficult advance, yet with Union morale up and proper coordination between Gillmore and Hinks (who was relieved that if the attack resulted in failure, it would not reflect poorly on him, and would bounce on to Butler and Hinks). Yet, the Union would win, inflicting horrific losses upon the Confederate forces (at a rate of slightly over 3.3 Confederate losses per Union soldier), around 750 Union losses to the Confederate’s entire force (mostly captured, with a small number dispersing into the surrounding environment, never to fight for the Confederacy again) due to their defense advantages and Beauregard’s obsession of fighting to the end. In the end, Benjamin Butler would hold onto Petersburg, taking its garrison and the two commanders prisoner turning him into an overnight hero across the Union. [6]


[1] All true IOTL.
[2] Totally made up, but set up as a way to (hopefully realistically) set up a way to find out the disorder in the Petersburg defense, which was true, but Butler’s timidity allowed him to be boxed in by P. G. T. Beauregard’s inferior force.
[3] A bit of a butterfly here, seeing as how Union attacks have been successful in the area, and knowledge of a weakness in the Confederate defense, he saw it as a way to potentially redeem himself in the eyes of Grant and Lincoln, and to ensure his command.
[4] IOTL, Butler originally designated Hinks for command, yet yielded to Gillmore’s protestation that he had a higher rank and should lead, which would help lead to operation’s failure due to Gillmore’s failure to appear on time and his timidity. Butler’s regret in letting Gillmore lead would be expressed in the following quote: “I was fool enough to yield to him.”
[5] Butterflies make the Union more confident in its attack, Troop numbers and commanders are exactly OTL.
[6] IOTL, the attack was a total failure, where the Union soldiers barely faced Confederate soldiers, with 80 Union losses and 40 Confederate losses, for a totally inconclusive battle. ITTL, while the town of Petersburg is naturally heavily defended, the better coordination between Union forces and a braver performance by Hinks would lead to a costly conquest of the vital city. Naturally, a victory that led to the conquest of said town and the capture of the famed P. G. T. Beauregard alongside the former governor of the state would turn him into a national hero.
 
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Costly but still much better then our timeline. Still big enough that Grant will realize some of his lessons from our timeline too, when he felt like he had just thrown troops away he had lost so many.

You can do slightly longer updates, this is better than the first ones because there is more tlo it, but I can understand you wanting to be specific on troop movements especially in a battle like this where I didn't realize the nuances existed that could have caused the union to do better.

There are some good Civil War battle animation showing where troops were and such, I wasn't sure what you were using but while I forget the address I know some exist that could help you even more, although you are doing a great job at describing battles now.
 
Chapter V: Lincoln, the National Unity Party Convention and the 1864 ticket
Now that the Civil War has been shown to go much smoother and the two most visible generals in the army have been responsible for some solid successes, Lincoln felt assured that the campaign (both political and military) was assured and as such could rest easy leaving the presidency in their control.
@DTF955Baseballfan Would love a link to that battle animation if you can find it since I'm not currently not using anything to simulate these battles, I'm just following my gut right now since I'm not aware of any tools right now. In the case of battle movements, I'm no expert, but I wanted to illustrate the changes that would occur with said improvements, and show how bad Union (and Confederate) tactics and strategy were clearly deficient at times, especially in the knowledge of the terrain and inter-officer communication departments. Thanks for the critique! The chapters will be getting longer, just wanted to post piecemeal at first to gauge audience reaction so didn't want to post too much at first, but I got enough material for a couple more chapters set, including one hell of a shakeup in Greece!
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June 7th, 1864: Abraham Lincoln had felt an extreme wave of relief, the Union Army effort had succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, and his choices for succession had been more than vindicated in their respective combat roles, which would make their ascension easier to the National Union ballot of 1864.

The convention held in Baltimore, Maryland held great weight since it was known that Hannibal Hamlin would most likely not be renominated for the Vice Presidency, and as such, a new Vice President would be selected to unite the nation. The convention was tense, the atmosphere was thick with the suspense surrounding the future of the (formerly named) Republican Party and the Civil War being carried out in addition to the national reconciliation which would be needed after the end of the war. The President had asked that on his behalf the selection of the Vice-President was to be done before the vote for the President, and with none of the other delegates present aware of his plans for stepping down, they agreed, sure that Lincoln would be renominated. Lincoln would speak positively of the successful Major General Benjamin Butler (politics involving notoriously short memories, many were impressed due to the Major General’s recent impressive battlefield feats), as such the convention would find it quite an easy vote for Butler, granting him 500 votes out of the necessary 260, the rest of the votes being allocated towards War Democrat Andrew Johnson and Hannibal Hamlin out of loyalty to the previous Vice President. After successfully getting his Vice Presidential pick, Lincoln would allow the first Presidential ballot to proceed, where the results would be 494 towards Lincoln, 22 votes for Ulysses S. Grant, with 3 votes abstaining. [1] Seeing his popularity be so high, yet finding that his successor at least had a small base of support, Lincoln called for a speech before the ballot was finalized, and knowing that the delegation of Missouri would switch its 22 votes to him so as to not seem as if they had gone against the President, Lincoln, a man weighed down by time and the extreme burden of the office, stepped to the podium and would greet the gathered audience to let them know he would not be seeking reelection.
President Abraham Lincoln: “My fellow Americans, I thank you for approving my presidency to continue for a next term, but the office of the presidency has weighed upon me much too heavily. The cost of both life and treasure of this war between our great Union and the secessionist Confederacy has been a great burden for me to bear, a burden that I can not bear to hoist upon my shoulders anymore. As such, I officially withdraw my nomination for the Presidency and nominate Commanding General Ulysses S. Grant, the victor of the Battle of Cold Harbor to succeed me in the role of the Presidency and prosecute this war to its very end and oversee our Union’s reunification. Thank you all, and I hope we can stand behind our new nominee.”
Afterward, the convention would adjust its first presidential ballot to reflect a count of 516 votes, out of the necessary 260, with 3 votes still abstaining. As such, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Benjamin F. Butler would form the new ticket for the National Union Party to contest the 1864 election. [2]

Seeing the news of this revelation, and the nomination of two Radical Republicans, John C. Fremont, and the Radical Democracy Party would cease their campaign and support the National Union ticket due to their ideological similarities and would fuse back with their party. Being snubbed at the convention, the War Democrats would unenthusiastically support the ticket seeing as how Andrew Johnson would remain as Governor of Tennessee, ensuring their small power block remained within the party rather than allying with the surely doomed Democratic campaign. Their support, while unenthusiastic due to being politically shunned, the War Democrat's support would also move up and down depending on how the war was going, and seeing how well Grant and Butler's military actions had gone so well, their bitterness towards the exclusion was decreased, at least momentarily. [3]


[1] IOTL, Andrew Johnson received 492 votes int the revise 1st ballot, with the remaining votes going to Hannibal Hamlin and Daniel S. Dickinson, ITTL, Butler’s astounding military victories would make his nomination even more lopsided, with the remaining votes being split by the War Democrats who wanted to symbolically support Andrew Johnson and those who wanted to show loyalty to the soon to be ex Vice-President Hannibal Hamlin.
[2] The vote totals and the Missourian delegation voting for Grant are from OTL. ITTL, with Lincoln asking for complete unity behind the candidate he wanted, the convention gave him what he wanted, and voted unanimously for Grant (as they did for Lincoln IOTL).
[3] IOTL, the Radical Republicans viewed Lincoln as both ineffectual and too moderate and formed their own party and nominated John C. Fremont as their candidate. They failed to gain much traction and in exchange for Lincoln accepting Postmaster General Montgomery Blair’s resignation for their rejoining the National Union Party which they also did as a result of not wishing to be spoilers for the upcoming election. ITTL, due to Grant and Butler both being Radical Republicans, they would inspire confidence in the splinter party, and they would rejoin the party with no preconditions, seeing as how Grant’s cabinet would be reorganized anyway. War Democrats would feel quite shunned, yet, for the most part, would remain loyal to the party due to a combination of Grant and Butler’s military successes, and Butler’s former status as a War Democrat, combined with a realization that the war would be inevitably won, and the Democratic Party would not get the white peace settlement they hoped for, regardless of what George B. McClellan stated in regards to how continuing the war would be in vain.
 
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I wish I remembered, it seems like it was something like CivilWaranimated. Com or org, but when I clicked the link for that after searching it said the page could not be found.

Battlefields.org might help, not the same as the other site I remember but stillgood.

Edit: Okay, historyanimated gives the same 404 error as civilwaranimated, but also says the site may have been renamed. So, perhaps battlefields.org is the new, improved version.
 
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@TheRockofChickamauga From what I've read of him, he clearly seems to be deserving of a Major-General promotion, so for practical effects, consider this another one of those minor PoDs I mentioned that will impact individuals but not necessarily much of history, George Henry Thomas has been a Major-General effective September 25th, 1863, Lieutenant-General on December 22nd, 1864 and will become General of the Army on March 4th, 1865.

From what else I've read, the only other major changes are that he will be named Lieutenant-General and later on General in Chief, with his death delayed by a bit more than a month so he can publish his retort against John McAllister Schofield.
(Reason is, I believe every man should be able to reply to any insult they receive, so a month or two isn't too much to give the man.)

@DTF955Baseballfan I checked the site, and it's great for information and I'll certainly be sure to check with it, but since I don't have access to any accurate simulators, I'll be using numbers as appropriately as possible, with different battles getting numbers that may seem reasonable. If you or anyone else finds any issues with my new numbers, feel free to mention it and provide sources.

I'm really happy for the reaction, it's much better than I expected. Do please share it as much as possible to get new interactions, corrections, and reviews!
 
@TheRockofChickamauga From what I've read of him, he clearly seems to be deserving of a Major-General promotion, so for practical effects, consider this another one of those minor PoDs I mentioned that will impact individuals but not necessarily much of history, George Henry Thomas has been a Major-General effective September 25th, 1863, Lieutenant-General on December 22nd, 1864 and will become General of the Army on March 4th, 1865.

From what else I've read, the only other major changes are that he will be named Lieutenant-General and later on General in Chief, with his death delayed by a bit more than a month so he can publish his retort against John McAllister Schofield.
(Reason is, I believe every man should be able to reply to any insult they receive, so a month or two isn't too much to give the man.)
Thanks for what you did with Thomas. It looks like he is getting the promotions he deserved IOTL.
 
@TheRockofChickamauga From what I've read of him, it seems he does, and due to his... short post-war career, the generals who would take the position of General in Chief will most likely still get it.

In the end, if you've got more information on him, I'd highly appreciate it.

For the record, this TL will deal with a total reconfiguration of term limits in the American public consciousness, and as such, not necessarily follow the usual linear logic of "a long time in office/many elections = authoritarianism or election fraud".
 
Now that the Civil War has been shown to go much smoother and the two most visible generals in the army have been responsible for some solid successes, Lincoln felt assured that the campaign (both political and military) was assured and as such could rest easy leaving the presidency in their control.
@DTF955Baseballfan Would love a link to that battle animation if you can find it since I'm not currently not using anything to simulate these battles, I'm just following my gut right now since I'm not aware of any tools right now. In the case of battle movements, I'm no expert, but I wanted to illustrate the changes that would occur with said improvements, and show how bad Union (and Confederate) tactics and strategy were clearly deficient at times, especially in the knowledge of the terrain and inter-officer communication departments. Thanks for the critique! The chapters will be getting longer, just wanted to post piecemeal at first to gauge audience reaction so didn't want to post too much at first, but I got enough material for a couple more chapters set, including one hell of a shakeup in Greece!

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June 7th, 1864: Abraham Lincoln had felt an extreme wave of relief, the Union Army effort had succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, and his choices for succession had been more than vindicated in their respective combat roles, which would make their ascension easier to the National Union ballot of 1864.

The convention held in Baltimore, Maryland held great weight since it was known that Hannibal Hamlin would most likely not be renominated for the Vice Presidency, and as such, a new Vice President would be selected to unite the nation. The convention was tense, the atmosphere was thick with the suspense surrounding the future of the (formerly named) Republican Party and the Civil War being carried out in addition to the national reconciliation which would be needed after the end of the war. The President had asked that on his behalf the selection of the Vice-President was to be done before the vote for the President, and with none of the other delegates present aware of his plans for stepping down, they agreed, sure that Lincoln would be renominated. Lincoln would speak positively of the successful Major General Benjamin Butler (politics involving notoriously short memories, many were impressed due to the Major General’s recent impressive battlefield feats), as such the convention would find it quite an easy vote for Butler, granting him 500 votes out of the necessary 260, the rest of the votes being allocated towards War Democrat Andrew Johnson and Hannibal Hamlin out of loyalty to the previous Vice President. After successfully getting his Vice Presidential pick, Lincoln would allow the first Presidential ballot to proceed, where the results would be 494 towards Lincoln, 22 votes for Ulysses S. Grant, with 3 votes abstaining. [1] Seeing his popularity be so high, yet finding that his successor at least had a small base of support, Lincoln called for a speech before the ballot was finalized, and knowing that the delegation of Missouri would switch its 22 votes to him so as to not seem as if they had gone against the President, Lincoln, a man weighed down by time and the extreme burden of the office, stepped to the podium and would greet the gathered audience to let them know he would not be seeking reelection.
President Abraham Lincoln: “My fellow Americans, I thank you for approving my presidency to continue for a next term, but the office of the presidency has weighed upon me much too heavily. The cost of both life and treasure of this war between our great Union and the secessionist Confederacy has been a great burden for me to bear, a burden that I can not bear to hoist upon my shoulders anymore. As such, I officially withdraw my nomination for the Presidency and nominate Commanding General Ulysses S. Grant, the victor of the Battle of Cold Harbor to succeed me in the role of the Presidency and prosecute this war to its very end and oversee our Union’s reunification. Thank you all, and I hope we can stand behind our new nominee.”
Afterward, the convention would adjust its first presidential ballot to reflect a count of 516 votes, out of the necessary 260, with 3 votes still abstaining. As such, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Benjamin F. Butler would form the new ticket for the National Union Party to contest the 1864 election. [2]

Seeing the news of this revelation, and the nomination of two Radical Republicans, John C. Fremont, and the Radical Democracy Party would cease their campaign and support the National Union ticket due to their ideological similarities and would fuse back with their party. Being snubbed at the convention, the War Democrats would unenthusiastically support the ticket seeing as how Andrew Johnson would remain as Governor of Tennessee, ensuring their small power block remained within the party rather than allying with the surely doomed Democratic campaign. Their support, while unenthusiastic due to being politically shunned, the War Democrat's support would also move up and down depending on how the war was going, and seeing how well Grant and Butler's military actions had gone so well, their bitterness towards the exclusion was decreased, at least momentarily. [3]


[1] IOTL, Andrew Johnson received 492 votes int the revise 1st ballot, with the remaining votes going to Hannibal Hamlin and Daniel S. Dickinson, ITTL, Butler’s astounding military victories would make his nomination even more lopsided, with the remaining votes being split by the War Democrats who wanted to symbolically support Andrew Johnson and those who wanted to show loyalty to the soon to be ex Vice-President Hannibal Hamlin.
[2] The vote totals and the Missourian delegation voting for Grant are from OTL. ITTL, with Lincoln asking for complete unity behind the candidate he wanted, the convention gave him what he wanted, and voted unanimously for Grant (as they did for Lincoln IOTL).
[3] IOTL, the Radical Republicans viewed Lincoln as both ineffectual and too moderate and formed their own party and nominated John C. Fremont as their candidate. They failed to gain much traction and in exchange for Lincoln accepting Postmaster General Montgomery Blair’s resignation for their rejoining the National Union Party which they also did as a result of not wishing to be spoilers for the upcoming election. ITTL, due to Grant and Butler both being Radical Republicans, they would inspire confidence in the splinter party, and they would rejoin the party with no preconditions, seeing as how Grant’s cabinet would be reorganized anyway. War Democrats would feel quite shunned, yet, for the most part, would remain loyal to the party due to a combination of Grant and Butler’s military successes, and Butler’s former status as a War Democrat, combined with a realization that the war would be inevitably won, and the Democratic Party would not get the white peace settlement they hoped for, regardless of what George B. McClellan stated in regards to how continuing the war would be in vain.
Nice set up for your post war RADICALREPUB timeline
 
@TheRockofChickamauga I was hoping for anything regarding the generals who had the most Radical Republican views regarding abolition/freedmen, and which ones had the best (or least bad) views on Native Americans since I'm hoping to either reduce how bad the Indian Wars were or at the very least have it be something of an actual movement of people rather than just constant slaughter.
If you can give me a pros and cons list I'd love you all the more for it.

In the end, I'm looking for inspiration for the Grant administration, though I'll most likely keep on Edwin M. Stanton and William H. Seward, though I'm not sure Elihu B. Washburne was good enough to merit an earlier appointment to the post. In the end, my hope is to avoid the needless scandals that plagued the administration rather through a combination of being more accustomed to a "War-End" Presidency which transitioned directly to an "Early Peace" Presidency rather than being elected to an almost entirely Peace Presidency, which coupled by Butler's... knowledge of underhanded techniques, could help Grant be more aware and prepared to avoid corruption in his administration.

@SwampTiger Sorry for that, I was just hoping to distinguish them from the regular text by size, but I'll change it back.

@Coley Thanks! I am hoping to properly set up things for a "better" America. (Better meaning African-Americans don't suffer as many institutional disadvantages after slavery.)
 
@TheRockofChickamauga I was hoping for anything regarding the generals who had the most Radical Republican views regarding abolition/freedmen, and which ones had the best (or least bad) views on Native Americans since I'm hoping to either reduce how bad the Indian Wars were or at the very least have it be something of an actual movement of people rather than just constant slaughter.
If you can give me a pros and cons list I'd love you all the more for it.

In the end, I'm looking for inspiration for the Grant administration, though I'll most likely keep on Edwin M. Stanton and William H. Seward, though I'm not sure Elihu B. Washburne was good enough to merit an earlier appointment to the post. In the end, my hope is to avoid the needless scandals that plagued the administration rather through a combination of being more accustomed to a "War-End" Presidency which transitioned directly to an "Early Peace" Presidency rather than being elected to an almost entirely Peace Presidency, which coupled by Butler's... knowledge of underhanded techniques, could help Grant be more aware and prepared to avoid corruption in his administration.

@SwampTiger Sorry for that, I was just hoping to distinguish them from the regular text by size, but I'll change it back.

@Coley Thanks! I am hoping to properly set up things for a "better" America. (Better meaning African-Americans don't suffer as many institutional disadvantages after slavery.)
Knowing the attitude of the RR when it comes to the big planters,I could see them give parts of the old Confederacy to the freedmen,after hanging the old owners for treason,building up an African-American militia to help the occupying military hunt down holdouts,it's going to get nasty,the Klan or its alternate will be a deep underground organization,and lots of atrocities and generations of hatred,probably keeping the USA off the world stage (no Spanish American war or Carribean Big Stick)the Stick needs to be used in the South.Of course the rebellion will lead to terrorism in old Union.
 
Chapter VI: Final Months of the Campaign
This update is a bit condensed because I'm not entirely sure how to properly write the big campaign, and from what I can tell, there wouldn't be many new changes from the campaign other than in Virginia, with the other campaigns just being sped up by a few weeks or a month or two at most.
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June 1864- January 1865: The Union found itself enjoying its successes in Virginia, having captured Petersburg and surrounding the capital of Richmond in a siege that would end up lasting many months, with Confederate General Robert E. Lee digging into previously built fortifications within the city that were being upgraded to endure the inevitable Union siege and possible attack. Meanwhile, the Union army. cutting off Lee from both Petersburg and Cold Harbor had stung Lee's forces hard and made a longterm defense of Richmond much less tenable than before, it was understood that the Confederate government would have to move deeper and deeper south, otherwise, the campaign would be lost before the election, In the end, while it was clear South could reliably hold on to Richmond for a period of many months on its own, it was understood that it would only become a bastion of the Confederacy in a sea of Union troops and as such, it would be preferable to live to fight another day in North Carolina. [1]

Generals and now Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates Grant and Butler had a major task up ahead of maintaining Union confidence high and ensuring a quick victory in their battles without entirely throwing caution to the wind or being overly wasteful in regards to their men's lives. [2] Leading armies that outnumbered the Confederates in large amounts, Grant knew that his armies merely had to wait for the Richmond garrison to starve, as they were cut off from the supply points from the Petersburg railroad, something which Lee knew all too well. Three months later, Lee grew desperate and seeing as the loss of Confederate territory in cities like Mobile, Alabama and the dire situation in Montgomery, Alabama, surrender or escape seemed to be the only options available to the General. [3]

In the end, Lee would attempt to exploit any gap he found through the Union siege, and when finding it, would exploit it, slithering like a snake between walls, his army would retreat into North Carolina, meeting up with Joseph E. Johnston’s Army. [4] Hoping to make a last stand in the city Raleigh, the state’s capital. Though Johnston’s Army was rested and entrenched with adequate supplies to last for the long months of hard and proper siege, the arrival of Lee’s tired, demoralized and hungry forces proved too much for their supplies to last longer much longer past the beginning of the coming year. Enduring a long siege since the beginning of October, the city of Raleigh would become an impenetrable fortress filled with many scared, desperate young men lead by frightened officers who clearly understood the Confederacy's cause was a doomed as any chance of reliving the siege was hopeless. In the end, the great power the Union, one which had been eluded by the great Lee and held back by the readied forces of Johnston, would achieve victory after months of having been hot on the trail of the Confederacy's last mobile and semi-competent armies that had any supplies would lead to the end of hostilities. At the end of January, a Confederate envoy would come bearing a white flag and a notice of surrender to General Grant's tent, which was immediately sent back with a letter of acceptance, with all soldiers being put under guard while all officers would be held at the outskirts the Raleigh State Capitol, with all commanding officers of both sides meeting in the State Capitol. The surrender by the Confederates would be confirmed in the governor's office of the Raleigh State Capitol, with Grant and Butler sitting on the Governor's side of the desk, Lee and Johnston on the opposite. [5]


[1] Even though their surprising successes in the battles Cold Harbor and Petersburg, Virginia, the Union Army was too tired and the Confederates were too well entrenched to result in the glorious frontal battle which Grant dreamed of, and which Lee dreaded with every waking thought, both aware of the result such a battle would have. In the end, it was understood that the Confederates would be able to hold out for a long time on their own but would be cut off from escape, and as such, Richmond would be abandoned by September seeing as how any longer, and Richmond would become the South's grave.
[2] As best said by Clausewitz: “War is the continuation of politics by other means.”
[3] ITTL, the campaigns in Alabama are sped up, leading to a quicker capture of the state, with Montgomery still receiving minimal damage. This occurs due to a lack of availability of troops to defend the state, all being sent to North Carolina to help Joseph E. Johnston’s defense.
[4[ IOTL, Lee wanted to link up with Joseph E. Johnston’s Army in North Carolina, hoping to stop in either Danville or Lynchburg for resupply, to march upon North Carolina.
[5] ITTL, while Lee was able to reach the state capital of North Carolina, due to the Union Army’s purist, they were unable to stop to properly resupply, meaning that they arrived tired, hungry, and poorly supplied to Johnston’s command. Due to the desperate situation faced by Johnston, he only had enough supplies to properly back up his command for a matter of months (around 3-6 months, depending on rationing), which Lee’s arrival would make the consumption of supplies multiply so that supplies would only last 6 months under the most extreme of rationing and the desertions it would cause, with full supply and battle readiness only being sustainable for a measly 1.5 months. As such, seeing their command totally untenable, Johnston would talk to Lee, and both, understanding the gravity of their situation, would ask for terms from the commanding generals, which for political reasons, are Grant and Butler. In this case, the war ends months earlier due to supply losses from a lack of access to Petersburg’s railroads, which would speed up the siege of Richmond by a few months, making the campaign last only 6 months instead of OTL’s 9. As such, the war would end in late January, and the famous Appomattox Courthouse image would be replaced by Grant and Butler sitting on the executive’s side of the Governor’s desk with Johnston and Lee on the opposite side, signing the peace at North Carolina’s State Capitol at Raleigh.
 
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