Great update. Bragg was a really nice portrait of someone who, without any particular great evil, is just a real shit who makes the world a worse place because it's easy. I also liked the little glimpse at who the totemic faces of evil TTL are at the end in par
 
Stupid little shit. There’s free horse blood all over everything, my blood all over everything, and you just had to try and get a drink out of my neck.
There’s a remark about accidental metaphors for this whole debacle somewhere in this line, but for the life of me I can’t find it.
 
The fact remains, however, that of the 203 people kidnapped by slavers during the ill-fated invasion, only eight were of entirely non-African ancestry. It is sheer historical accident that one of them happened to be Anil Malakar…
Hmmm.... we've seen him before.
Anil Malakar turned 10 years old April 30. He speaks Bengali, passable English and a smattering of Hindi and Seminole. His family has a farm along the Hillsborough River, and his father sometimes works with the crews rafting hickory, pine and cypress down to Trafalgar.
Anil is deeply curious about God, which worries his family more than you might think. They’re deeply versed in Sufi traditions, but they haven’t seen a teacher of Islam since they came to Florida, nobody in his tiny community even has a Quran and Florida is full of all sorts of weird idolaters that no one back in the Ganges delta had ever heard of. That, at least, they don’t need to worry about—Anil is already quite clear on the oneness of God.
“Let those with voices sing! Let those with legs dance! Let those with minds meditate!” — Anil Malakar

Because nobody ever sets out to create a new ethnic group. Different tribes and nations can and do exchange ideas, skills, the odd strand of DNA, and even whole languages with each other, but as Anil Malakar will one day say, “Identity and pride—whether it be that of an army, a faith or a people—are forged by the Creator in the fires of shared travail.” British Florida is hardly a generation old, and apart from the bad hurricane back in ’28 and a couple of outbreaks of yellow fever, it’s not a place where much shared travail has happened… yet.
 
Hmmm.... we've seen him before.

One of my favorite parts of this timeline is seeing all the people whose birhts were mentioned earlier on show up later, even if I often can't keep track of all of them. I remembered that alt-Bragg was mentioned earlier on, but didn't remember who Amil Malakar was. I'm sure we'll get more of those future famous people later on.

Something like that incident was probably inevitable, I was always wondering what exactly the US was going to do with those groups (Indians[1], Chinese, etc.) in Florida that didn't exactly fit into the Old South's racial system, should it have been conquered.

I've been enjoying this timeline, keep it up. I'm curious to see how the War of 1837 settles. Probably not a complete loss, given the repeated implications that the US and Britain will go to war yet again down the line, so the US must gain at least something, or at least not lose significant territory. On the other hand.,it seems that Louisiana will remain independent (IIRC it was mentioned their culture still has influence, which I'm not sure the US would let happen) and Florida will stay British (given that it seems what the US is about to do down there will forge a new national identity which, again, I doubt would survive a hypothetical US occupation for long). Plus, there will be resistance from the people down there, and I'm not sure the US can install any friendly government in annexed or occupied territory without mass resistance. For instance, is there really anyone in Louisiana willing to play "Quisling" if the US overruns the Republic, given the events leading to its independence in the last war?

On another note, are the governments in either Spain or Mexico preparing for a potential war with the US, or otherwise reacting to the current conflict? After all, Texas is on Berrien's "places to secure for the US and for slavery, not necessarily in that order" list...

[1] The ones from India, not the Native Americans. Has to be confusing having two different groups referred to by a similar name in the colony.
 
Well, well, these last couple chapters have been quite a ride! I'm fascinated by how the little changes of history can be so different! Loving where you're going with this!
 
I feel so bad for her.
 

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So I take it this invasion is not actually meant to achieve that much? Namely their goal is a revenge raid in force, to punish the British and the people of Florida for the 'audacity' of raiding the USA with Colonial troopers?

There will definitely be hard feelings in the North when word gets out the Army was used for a slaving raid.

Well written as ever.
 
So I take it this invasion is not actually meant to achieve that much? Namely their goal is a revenge raid in force, to punish the British and the people of Florida for the 'audacity' of raiding the USA with Colonial troopers?

There will definitely be hard feelings in the North when word gets out the Army was used for a slaving raid.

Well written as ever.
Thank you. If you were to ask Berrien, Poinsett, or Twiggs, they'd tell you that this is the spearhead of the invasion and that they're expecting reinforcements, but not right away because the railroad doesn't yet reach as far south as Georgia and canal boats can only go so fast. All of these people have made the mistake of thinking that only British soldiers, Creeks and Seminoles will fight, so they've seriously underestimated what they'll need even for a spearhead. And while some of the U.S. commanders are thinking and acting like professional soldiers, Hart's militia and Fannin's regiment (which is so new, with so few trained officers, that it's not much better than a militia unit) are just there to catch slaves.
 
Thank you. If you were to ask Berrien, Poinsett, or Twiggs, they'd tell you that this is the spearhead of the invasion and that they're expecting reinforcements, but not right away because the railroad doesn't yet reach as far south as Georgia and canal boats can only go so fast. All of these people have made the mistake of thinking that only British soldiers, Creeks and Seminoles will fight, so they've seriously underestimated what they'll need even for a spearhead. And while some of the U.S. commanders are thinking and acting like professional soldiers, Hart's militia and Fannin's regiment (which is so new, with so few trained officers, that it's not much better than a militia unit) are just there to catch slaves.

Well isn't that a recipe for success? For the Empire that is.

Grab the popcorn, this' gonna be good.
 
South for the Winter (2)
September 6
St. Marys River, south bank

Being kidnapped like this had given Anil Malakar a new understanding of what was and was not in his control. There was no way here to do the ritual bathing—or, alas, any other kind of bathing. Nor was he always free to stop in place for prayer, and even when he was he had no prayer rug. But the inside of his head was his own province to govern in the name of al-Malik, the King. The Yankees could not prevent him from cultivating the intention to pray, so he concentrated on that.

It was hard to figure out which way he should kneel. Sunrise was easier—you just pointed yourself a little south of where the sun was rising. (This had the added benefit of making it clear that you were definitely not worshipping the sun, but the One who had made it.) There was probably some inaccuracy there, but so long as you put the effort into getting it right, the Omniscient understood your intent. And here, the river seemed to be pointing more or less in the direction he wanted to pray.

When he did kneel to pray, someone usually came along and hit him with something, which was a distraction. But right now everyone was here, on the bank of the river, waiting for a boat. Now was about noon, the right time for the Zuhor.[1]

Anil prayed in Arabic. He did not know the language, but he knew what each phrase meant. As his mouth ran through the words, he let his spirit shape the thought: God, Your will is paramount. But you are merciful. And I wish to live through this. I wish to see my home again. I wish to see my family again. Whatever happens, I will never let my courage falter.

As his prayer was ending, he heard an outcry from up ahead. The rest of the people in this crowd were the sort of people he’d never thought much of—they weren’t Bengali and their hair looked like black wool. But the Creator had made them, and it seemed that in the eyes of some white men, they and he were similar enough. And they were courteous enough not to interrupt him in prayer.

Now that he was back on his feet, Anil could see what the fuss was about. There were ships coming up the river—not the biggest ones he’d ever seen, but they had gunports along the sides, and the Union Jack flew overhead. For some reason, the two ships had what looked like sheets and strips of wet sailcloth hanging over the side, with holes cut in them that Anil could see the gunports through as they approached.

The Yankee boats on the north bank launched. They were small—basically longboats, and clearly no match for the British vessels—but Anil could barely make out something on the boats that looked like tripods. The Yankees fired six rockets from those tripods, one after the other.

Five of them missed, exploding too far away to do any harm[2]. The sixth hit the side of a ship in a burst of flame that scorched the wet sailcloth.

And then… it took a moment to be sure what they were doing, but the Yankee boats were retreating to the north bank.

Alaahu akbar!” Anil shouted. Another captive shouted it with him. Of the rest, about half looked at him funny. Of course. Very few of those here were of the Faithful, and for some, he had the honour of being the first Muslim they’d ever met.

One of them turned to the others and said, “That means ‘God is the greatest!” This was followed by cheers of and something that sounded like “Well, ‘Ah-loo akbar’ then!” which made Anil wince. It’s just noises to them. They know what it means because he told them. But am I any better? The only Arabic I know is the prayers and names of God that Father and Mother taught me.

For that matter, how do I know I’m saying it any better? Or my parents? I’ve never in my life heard a native speaker of Arabic. And is not God as far beyond my understanding as He is beyond theirs?
Anil tried to find occasions to use the many names of God, as a way of trying to expand his own understanding of what God truly was, but he knew that understanding would never come within an infinity of the reality.

One day, I would like to go to Mecca and Medina. It didn’t seem likely—his family had had to borrow money even to leave Bengal. And he wasn’t going to earn that kind of money harvesting rice or picking fruit, which was most of what he knew how to do.

In the meantime… the crowd, made up of Christians and Hindus and all manner of strange idolaters, was chanting “God is the GREATEST! God is the GREATEST!” in the only language they all shared. And who could find fault with this? (From the looks on their faces, the white men on horseback found fault with it, but with boatloads of other white men with guns coming from the British ships on the river, they had more important things on their mind—like getting ready to flee.)


September 7, 1837
An hour after sunset
St. Johns River, east bank

The moon was one day past half, heading for full. At the moment, a patch of cloud blocked its light, leaving the sky a deep, dark blue and the paddies and the river beyond them as black as the inside of a cave.

The mosquitoes were as thick as ever, especially around the campfires, but Bragg could understand why Benning had led them here. Where do people go when they want to hide? If it’s just for a few hours, or a day, they can hide in the woods. But if they want to hide out for weeks or months, they look for some place that has walls. A town.

And the nearest town is Pilaktakta. That’s a few miles upstream, across the river. We’ll get there tomorrow.


It was also a few miles further out of their way than they already were. Anything could be happening downstream, on the road to St. Augustine. If the Injuns and the Brits surrounded the real army while we were in the middle of nowhere playing at being slave-catchers… then we sure wouldn’t be able to do anything about it right here. So forget about it and concentrate on keeping watch so everybody else can get some sleep.

But the more he sat and listened, the more sure he was that there was somebody out there. There was a breeze from the west—not enough to shift the mosquitoes, alas—so you’d expect a steady sort of whispering from the rice stalks brushing against each other, but he kept hearing noises that didn’t quite sound like that.

The other soldiers noticed it, too. Some thought it was alligators or big cats. Others whispered stories of ghosts and haunts that, well, haunted the swamp.

Only when Bragg finally decided it was time to take a look did he realize what a mistake it had been to stay so close to the campfires. He couldn’t see a damned thing.

But he could smell something—more smoke. And it smelled wrong, fouler than the good woodsmoke of campfires. Are they burning the paddy fields? Shouldn’t they be too damp to burn?

The smoke was stinging his eyes, making them water. Bragg had never experienced any smoke—not woodsmoke, gunsmoke, or the foulest excuse for tobacco ever grown—that stung so badly. It was actually burning his skin wherever it touched it. That’s not right. This isn’t just smoke. There’s some kind of poison in it.

“We’re under attack, men!” he said. “Follow me.” He led his own troop, and whoever else cared to follow, into the pitch blackness of the paddy fields. He had no idea where the enemy was, and with his eyes watering so much he could barely have seen them in daylight, but he was certain that if he led them in the direction of the smoke, it would be thicker but less spread out and easier to avoid.

Sure enough, there was a bundle of something on one of the raised paths up ahead, giving off clouds of smoke and little tongues of flame that stood out in the dark. Just by the light it was giving off, Bragg could see that whatever was burning was wrapped in old newsprint.[3]

Somebody got ahead of him and kicked it into a paddy field. An arrow whizzed by him.

Another private said, “I saw something!” and fired his gun. Bragg had no idea whether he’d hit anyone, but three arrows that he could see were fired in response. One of them hit the private in the shoulder.

Bragg turned to his men. “Don’t anybody fire a weapon,” he said, keeping his voice as low as he could. “Injuns can’t see in the dark any more than white men can, but they can spot a muzzle flash.” He’d bet that was why the Creeks were shooting arrows when everybody knew they had rifles.

“Sir,” said a man whose eyes had swollen shut, “if we can’t shoot and we can’t stay here, what can we do?”

There was only one answer. “Go north.” He stepped back and turned to the north. There was another one of those bundles on the path, maybe twenty meters ahead, burning fiercely. His first thought was to walk up to it from windward and kick it into the water. Then he came up with a better idea, which was not to do anything that would let the little fire illuminate or silhouette him even for a moment. He led his men into the paddy fields, motioning for them to duck their heads… exactly the way those boys had done. Not a comparison he liked to think about.

When he had a chance, he looked at the wounded soldier. The private still had the use of that arm, so it couldn’t be too bad. Sure enough, the arrowhead was just below the skin.

“Private,” he said, “this will hurt.” Then he pushed it through the skin and pulled the arrow out of the body.

As a couple of the other men were tearing up the man’s shirt to make bandages out of, Bragg held the arrowhead up to the moonlight. There was something thick and white on it under the blood. He threw it away.

If we had whiskey or clean water, we could wash out the wound. I could try to suck the poison out of his shoulder, but I don’t know if I dare get any in my mouth. He swatted at another mosquito on his neck. Fuck Florida. Poison smoke and poison arrows and mosquitoes and cottonmouths and alligators. If Hell got waterlogged, this would be it.


[1] Known in Arabic as the zuhr
[2] Considering they’re trying to hit moving targets from not-entirely-stable moving platforms, this isn’t bad.
[3] The Creeks are burning leaves and twigs of the manchineel tree. The arrows are also coated with manchineel sap, which is believed to be what killed Ponce de Leon.
 
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Well is young Anil going to be rescued here? We certainly are seeing the group barriers erode in shared travail. And as expected th British are trying to conter the rockets sooner than later.

Bragg has a good head on his shoulders, his men might avoid total disaster. At least they are heading North. Solid tactics from the Creeks, the poison smoke sounds like something from a movie. I get the feeling bitter feeling from campaign will leave quite the mark on the South.

And of course the big question is how the main US army in Florida is faring.
 
South for the Winter (3)
The reinforcement that Russell had ordered to Florida, commanded by General Esmé Steuart Erskine[1] turned out to be a relief force. It arrived at Fort Amelia on September 6, just five days after the invasion, and moved quickly to cut off the American army from reinforcements.

By sheer luck, General Twiggs was not in Florida—he had crossed the St. Marys again the previous night to begin organizing the invasion of Apalachicola and Muscoguea. It is unlikely that he could have organized the scattered and outnumbered Americans already in Florida into something capable of holding its own. The result was (after the burning of the Naval Academy) the second major humiliation of U.S. armed forces…

Eric Wayne Ellison, Anglo-American Wars of the 19th Century

“Fools! You took notes on your own criminal conspiracy?”
—David Levy Yulee, overheard during the Fannin trial

September 11, 1837
Fort Colborne

I’m sick for three goddamn days and everything falls apart, thought Bragg. Who knew I was so important? The truth was, he was still feeling ill, but the worst of the fever had passed and now he had the strength to stand upright.

But it still astonished him how little time it had taken for the Creeks and Seminoles to round up the whole scattered army and imprison it here. From his point of view, it hardly seemed as though there had been a fight. The day after his retreat from Pilaktakta, his wound had been red and burning, as if soaking it in the St. Johns had done something to it. He and some of the people who’d taken a little too much of that damn smoke in their eyes or lungs had been left behind.

When that Indian leader—what was his name? William… Osceola? Something like that—had told them to surrender or die, Bragg and his sick, half-blind crew had seen no reason not to comply. He figured they’d be rescued soon enough. Instead Osceola had led them here, throwing Bragg over a saddle when he was too sick to walk. And while Bragg had been pretty much out of it for a couple of days, he couldn’t help but notice more and more of his fellows were being shepherded in by Brits or Indians or recruits from St. Augustine—“joffies,” the Creeks had called them, or something like that—or mobs of those dark-skinned peasants with sickles and big cane-cutting knives. The minute the Brits got in the river and cut us off, the whole countryside went from being the hunted to being the hunters. Whose bright idea was this campaign? Whoever it was, I hope they locked him in a smokehouse full of that poisonous shit and smoked him through like a ham.

Now that he was on his feet, they’d made him stand out in the yard in front of the fort along with everybody else. Someone named Captain Davidson was haranguing them about the slave-taking and what the authorities meant to do about it.

“This was not war,” he was saying as he paced up and down in front of them. He was almost in front of Bragg right now. “These were crimes which no civilized nation can tolerate within its borders. You sought to steal away our neighbors, our friends, our families—”

Bragg couldn’t resist. “Your family?” Davidson was quite obviously a white man.

The captain turned to him with the unmistakable expression of a man about to do violence. Bragg raised his fists—and found himself flat on his back with a feeling of shock in his jaws. He wasn’t sure what had just happened, but it had been very fast and there had definitely been an uppercut in it somewhere.

“Yes. My family. My stepfather. My half-siblings. Do you have something to say about that?”

Bragg propped himself up on one elbow and spat on the ground. He was trying for a haughty, targeted spit of contempt, but what came out was the undignified, splattering spit of a man trying to get a lot of blood out of his mouth all at once.

“I didn’t think so.” Glancing around the yard, Bragg saw that the other prisoners were silent. From the looks on their faces, it was less that they were intimidated by the captain than that they were shocked at what he’d just told them all, and the fact that he’d said it without a hint of shame. If he’d dropped his trousers and fucked a mule in front of the whole crowd while singing “God Save the King” at the top of his lungs, their reactions would have been much the same. What the hell kind of place is Florida? And what were we thinking, trying to take it over? Who told us we wanted it?

“We have a list of those who participated in this vile scheme, obtained from the very men who ran it.” What is he talking about? Bartow never said anything about a list. But it made sense—if they had enough names, they’d have to write them all down somewhere.

“Every man whose name is on that list will be taken to the city of Trafalgar, put on trial, and—if found guilty—hanged by the neck until dead.”

“I beg your pardon,” said Major Lee. “We are prisoners of war, sir.”

“Some of you are, yes, and you will be treated as such. Others are slave-taking brigands and bandits, and will most certainly be treated as such.” With that, he began reading off the list, starting with the As. At every name, the guards stepped forward and dragged a man away.

“Lieutenant John Francis Bartow.”[2] He pronounced it the funny British way (why the hell do they think there’s an F in lieutenant?) but Bragg would know the man they were dragging forward anywhere—that mustache could not be mistaken. If they had him, there was no hope of escape.

“Captain Henry Lewis Benning.” The blond officer shouted in protest as they pulled him out of the row.

Bragg was on his feet again, still trying to have the air of a man about him in spite of the circumstances. If they’re doing the Bs now, they’ll get to me pretty soon.

“Private James Jonathan Berry.”

“No! I’ll be damned if I’ll let you—oof!” They walloped the private a few more times, then dragged him off.

Am I ready to die?

Well, it’s not like they’re going to shoot me out of hand. There’ll be some kind of trial first.

And I knew when I joined the Army we might be doing things that were dangerous.
But there was something different about the prospect of being hanged like a common criminal, something that made it more horrible than other, more painful ways to go.

“Sergeant Natchez Boyd.”

“Please! I got a wife and a baby back in Macon!”

“Shouldn’t have tried to steal somebody else’s, then.”

This is it. I’m going to die. The least I can do is show a little more courage than these wretches.

“Private Thomas Henry Caldwell.”

What? Bragg did his best not to look surprised. Is this a trick? How can I not be on the list?

“Private John Randolph Charlton.” Bragg shut his eyes and pictured Bartow’s face again—not terrified as he was right now, but solemnly assuring him that he would get his share. Bartow, you lying bastard. You tried to cheat me out of my money, and you might have just saved my life.

“Lieutenant Howell Cobb.” Cobb at least had the dignity to step forward of his own free will.

Or maybe they let the boy go. Maybe they decided he wasn’t a proper nigger, or he was too dangerous. They wouldn’t pay me in a case like that.

Or they decided I’m Hooper Bragg and they’d as soon keep a promise to an Injun or a nigger as keep one to the likes of me.


Bragg kept still as scores more names were read off. Col. Fannin was called, but Major Lee was not, and Cols. Johnston and Trousdale were not. None of them were anybody he knew, still less anyone he called friend. Nearest and dearest to his heart was the fact that none of them were him.

Then Private Yingling was dragged off, sobbing uncontrollably… and just as everybody was about to breathe a sigh of relief, Davidson said, “We’re not done here.”

“Now what?” Bragg muttered.

Davidson turned to him. For a moment Bragg thought he was going to get another punch in the face.

“I’m glad you asked,” he said. “We have witnesses. Some of your victims have agreed to come forward and testify. We will see if any of them recognize you.”

There were many witnesses. Most of them were black. A few of them were sort of not-blacks like the boy he’d fought, which made Lee protest that surely none of his men could have been so uncouth as to attempt to enslave someone who wasn’t a Negro. The majority of them were women, and some of these cried or spat as they pointed out a man—Bragg had no trouble guessing why. But most of them didn’t point out anybody. Most of the people were on that list.

One last escapee was being let into the yard. No. I was out free and clear. My luck can’t be that bad.

But it was. There was the boy. Someone had shaved his head—whether to get rid of lice or to hide the straightness of his hair, Bragg didn’t know—smacked him across the mouth to make his lips swell, and punched him in the nose to break it and make it look flatter, but you never forgot somebody who’d sliced your brisket for you.

The boy walked up the row, looking each man up and down, then moving on to the next. Maybe he can’t tell one white man from another. Especially since I’m damn near as beat-up as he is, and lost a few pounds besides.

But Bragg didn’t have his shirt on. The boy glanced at the stitched-up wound on Bragg’s chest. He must remember making that cut.

He looked Bragg in the eye. Bragg still remembered the murderous fury with which he’d wielded that damned sickle.

They knew each other.

Bragg could feel the seconds ticking by as they looked into each others’ eyes. I will not look away. He’ll point me out and they’ll hang me and there’s nothing I can do about it. But I will not look away.

Then the boy walked back to Davidson.

“He is not here, sir.”

What?

“You sure?”

“I am sure. He is not here.”

What the hell?

Davidson glanced at Bragg, then said, “Then I’ll take your word on it.”

Bragg tried not to look shocked, but he had a feeling he was failing. Why would he do that?

Part of Bragg’s mind thought he didn’t dare testify against a white man. The rest of his mind replied: so how do you explain the others? They had no problem pointing the finger at a white man and letting him swing. He chose to let you go.

Why? Yes, it’s the sort of thing Jesus said to do, but Jesus said to do lots of things nobody ever does. Why?

Maybe to make himself look good?
As much as Bragg wanted to believe this, he couldn’t make it make sense in his mind. Look good to who? Everybody else here thinks we all need to be put down like mad dogs.

Before they went back to their tents, Davidson took Bragg aside. “That young man left a note for you.”

“For me? By name?”

“Of course not. He said it was for ‘the man I looked at, with the cut on his chest.’” Davidson handed him the letter. It was unsealed, a single folded piece of paper. Bragg was sure Davidson already knew what was in it.

What it said was so confusing that he found himself reading it aloud. “‘Sir: May the All-Compassionate and Most Merciful guide your steps—’ wait. The All-Compassionate and Most Merciful what?”

“He is speaking of God, which I’m told is the same God we Christians worship. Mohametans have many… titles for Him, I suppose you could call them.”

“Huh. ‘May the All-Compassionate and Most Merciful guide your steps on the path of compassion and mercy all the days of your life.’ It’s signed… A nil? Anal?”

“Ah-neel.”

“‘Anil… Malakar.’” Bragg was pretty sure he’d mispronounced the last name too.

“‘The path of mercy and compassion.’ To that I can only say, ‘Amen.’ This Mohametan appears to be a better Christian than most I know. You may still be a prisoner of war, Sergeant Bragg, but you have your life. And soon enough you’ll be out of my hair.”

“Are they letting us go?”

“No. You will be taken to a prisoner-of-war camp. There you will wait until this war is over, or until you can be paroled or exchanged.”

Bragg nodded. It would be good to get away from this bastard… but even then, the man’s mere existence raised questions he didn’t really want to think about. This fellow’s mother married a nigger—had children with him, even—and he holds his head high among white men. And here you are, cringing and begging for favors from planters’ sons because your father works with his hands and people spread damnable lies about your mother. You’ll be twenty in January—are you a man yet, or aren’t you?

And this was on top of the really big question. Why did that boy let me go?


[1] This is in fact the British ambassador’s son.
[2] Some of these are actual historical figures or their allohistorical brothers. Others I just made up.
 
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A few of them were sort of not-blacks like the boy he’d fought, which made Lee protest that surely none of his men could have been so uncouth as to attempt to enslave someone who wasn’t a Negro.
Lee, you might want to shut up right now.
“Fools! You took notes on your own criminal conspiracy?”
—David Levy Yulee, overheard during the Fannin trial
Wow. Even Berrien, in all his magnificent ineptitude, can only aspire to such heroic levels of failure.
 
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Many acts of justice, and then an act of mercy. The results of the mercy are what intrigue me the most. What will you take from this Mr. Bragg.

And it speaks well of young Anil. May his bet on humanity pay off.

Huh, and what will the Americans do now? They could spin the Academy fiasco as at lest crippling the British squadron, but to quote a fellow "I hope you realize this is only a total defeat." -Elmo Sputterspark

The South will of course cry foul over this. They wanted this war for rebel slaves just walking free, now this? But the North will take a rather dim view of slaving being done on taxpayer dimes. The abolitionists will be furiousm their contrition of Britain allowing slavery in Louisiana has nothing on this with the Union's army raiding like this.

Berrien will be called on his sponsors to do somrething but what can he do? Defintely he will want to transfer forces from the North South. Canada is nice as a conquest, but the South is what he was elected to protect and twice American arms have been humbled there.
 
Well, this is punch two from the UK and, going by last updates, punches three and four are soon in coming as well. I can only imagine the uproar soldiers being executed for taking slaves will cause in the US, especially since they left a paper trail condemning themselves as well. What were the actual chain of events in Florida? The American forces spread out too fast and too far, allowing the British reinforcements to work with the Florida military forces to sweep them all up?
 
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