Frankly it feels like this war will end soon. The Empire and its allies aren't set up to try and press things ;and the Union is losing its will to fight it seems in the face of this nation shaking scandal and the repeated failures on the fronts.

My guess for what next?:

A final grand blunder. Berrien forgoes the New Brunswick offensive that was planned and reduces the troops in Canada too make a final grab for Louisiana. Even most Northerners would support opening the Mississippi and reclaiming 'rightfully American' territory. And they may hope Wellington won't be ready as only a fool would invade the Republic in the summer. And as God is his Witness, Berrien is that fool.

Final offense fails, and the war ends up in a white peace Berrien not even trying to get any of Canada as damage control against the North's displeasure. Berrien stays in office as no one else wants the taint of the humiliating peace, and not give away the advantage of criticizing it after the fact. Daggett dies of some cause or other and when Berrien resigns in exchange for avoiding impeachment Webster is appointed president via the line of succession.

And wile the Empire and allies celebrate having held against the invaders the real troubles start to brew in the USA after such a costly and in the end pointless war with each faction blaming the other and a large numbers of angry veterans flocking to the various sides.

For Canada most of the rebels will never trust the USA again after their government screwed up so badly and then abanoned them. not to say they re suddenly Loyalists, but Canadian republicanism will be much more nationalistic than any desire to unite with the lot down south going forward.
 
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Frankly it feels like this war will end soon. The Empire and its allies aren't set up to try and press things ;and the Union is losing its will to fight it seems in the face of this nation shaking scandal and the repeated failures on the fronts.

My guess for what next?:

A final grand blunder. Berrien forgoes the New Brunswick offensive that was planned and reduces the troops in Canada too make a final grab for Louisiana. Even most Northerners would support opening the Mississippi and reclaiming 'rightfully American' territory. And they may hope Wellington won't be ready as only a fool would invade the Republic in the summer. And as God is his Witness, Berrien is that fool.

Final offense fails, and the war ends up in a white peace Berrien not even trying to get any of Canada as damage control against the North's displeasure. Berrien stays in office as no one else wants the taint of the humiliating peace, and not give away the advantage of criticizing it after the fact. Daggett dies of some cause or other and when Berrien resigns in exchange for avoiding impeachment Webster is appointed president via the line of succession.

And wile the Empire and allies celebrate having held against the invaders the real troubles start to brew in the USA after such a costly and in the end pointless war with each faction blaming the other and a large numbers of angry veterans flocking to the various sides.

For Canada most of the rebels will never trust the USA again after their government screwed up so badly and then abanoned them. not to say they re suddenly Loyalists, but Canadian republicanism will be much more nationalistic than any desire to unite with the lot down south going forward.

This does sound likely enough alright. After something like this scale of blunders, the US isn't going to really look forward to fighting and offering Berrien as a scape goat of sorts to do an ugly peace works. After which, he's going to be full lame duck.

And I see Berrien is at least being honest with someone. I do wonder if his comments will be leaked out in some manner, although they'll probably just confirm what everyone already knew more than anything else.
 
Poinsett reminds me somewhat of a quote from Yes Minister, "You have to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back."

Necessary, I imagine he thinks given everything, but still a betrayal.
 
What strikes me here is that Berrien seems to maintain a delusion that the Southern Plantation "lifestyle" is the only proper, correct, and 'civilized' one, and that the North would adopt the South's "peculiar institution" the minute it became profitable-- completely ignoring not only the moral dimension antislavery groups have rightly seized upon, but also the profits Northerners derive from their factories and shipping, and that the Southern 'institution' wouldn't be nearly as profitable without those factories and shipping businesses. I honestly hope that he gets caught espousing such sentiments in public somehow, or someone intercepts and publishes letters from him stating those views, driving even more of a wedge between North and South. Perhaps it would lead to harsher treatment of the South by Northerners seething about how "shiftless, whip-cracking would-be aristocrats" who have "never worked an honest day in their lives" hold the "honest, free, hard-working Northern man" in contempt. I could even envision accusations that the Southern Quids are plotting to "replace our democracy by the people, for the people" with "a republic... of self-proclaimed noblemen, exercised by the Southern Planter, for the Southern Planter-- and for the slave-owning Southerner alone... placing the Northern man in chains only slightly less literal than those that bind the helpless negro under the whip of his tormenter."

(Please note, use of the word "negro" is in a historical context for purposes of quotation, as these are not meant to be my direct words.)
 
Final offense fails, and the war ends up in a white peace Berrien not even trying to get any of Canada as damage control against the North's displeasure. Berrien stays in office as no one else wants the taint of the humiliating peace, and not give away the advantage of criticizing it after the fact. Daggett dies of some cause or other and when Berrien resigns in exchange for avoiding impeachment Webster is appointed president via the line of succession.

That's how I see it going down too - Daggett is ancient and likely to keel over, and then the DRs have every reason to push for impeachement once the war is over. Berrien has violated the constitution as well as governing norms and no Congress worth their salt is going to let him get away with such a disasterous powergrab. That is, of course, assuming that Berrien doesn't get assassinated by an angry veteran or someone else in the hightened emotions of the time. Which does, leave Webster holding the bag for the rest of the term; which I feel bad for - as a dedicated Anglophile, Webster would really have his work cut out for him trying to patch up relations between the two nations right after such a needless war.
 
Has any President died in office yet? If not, Daggett might be made "acting president" rather than a full president like some proposed John Tyler would IOTL. Alternatively, John Tyler might break off and for TQ Party 2, and Daggett might join him.
 
That's how I see it going down too - Daggett is ancient and likely to keel over, and then the DRs have every reason to push for impeachement once the war is over. Berrien has violated the constitution as well as governing norms and no Congress worth their salt is going to let him get away with such a disasterous powergrab. That is, of course, assuming that Berrien doesn't get assassinated by an angry veteran or someone else in the hightened emotions of the time. Which does, leave Webster holding the bag for the rest of the term; which I feel bad for - as a dedicated Anglophile, Webster would really have his work cut out for him trying to patch up relations between the two nations right after such a needless war.

Oh, I can see how that would kick off something called 'The Troubles'. Entire swathes of the South saying that Berrien had essentially been couped in favour of the more northern Webster. That'd cause a ruckus.
 
Is Webster SecofState? Or Speaker? I forgot who is next in line....

Anyway, looks like Webster would have some form of guilt by association and be unable to run in 1840.

Which makes me wonder who would run in 1840 fir the Dead Roses...
 
I honestly hope that he gets caught espousing such sentiments in public somehow, or someone intercepts and publishes letters from him stating those views, driving even more of a wedge between North and South
It was always publicly espoused by people like Calhoun and Rhett, but I assume you mean a President directly espousing it from the office....
 
It was always publicly espoused by people like Calhoun and Rhett, but I assume you mean a President directly espousing it from the office....
Basically. I've often wondered if there was any sentiment among the Southerners of the time towards attempting to force slavery on the Northern states if they could just get enough votes for it... and what kind of mess that would have lead to.
 
Before they’d even made it into Arkansas, Taylor had gotten a notice from Speaker of the House Daniel Webster,
Is Webster SecofState? Or Speaker? I forgot who is next in line....

Anyway, looks like Webster would have some form of guilt by association and be unable to run in 1840.

Which makes me wonder who would run in 1840 fir the Dead Roses...

There you have it, Daniel Webster is Speaker of the House at present.

Why would he have guilt by association?
 
Basically. I've often wondered if there was any sentiment among the Southerners of the time towards attempting to force slavery on the Northern states if they could just get enough votes for it... and what kind of mess that would have lead to.

Um, the mess is that Abraham Lincoln gets elected President and the Southern States secede.

Seriously, the South trying to ram slavery down the North’s throat is what caused things to escalate as badly as they did in the first place.
 
Basically. I've often wondered if there was any sentiment among the Southerners of the time towards attempting to force slavery on the Northern states if they could just get enough votes for it... and what kind of mess that would have lead to.
It happened. It was called the Fugitive Slave Laws and the Dred Scott decision.
 
I think one group we might be overlooking is the Reform Party. They are closest to the Populists it seems in agenda with the very notable exception of slavery, where they wish to reform/limit the peculiar institution rather than abolish.

They grew in numbers in the House in the last election, and with the Quids getting so much egg on their face many Southerners both voters and politicians may flock to an alternative banner of Southern leadership. Men Like Hooper Bragg come to mind being increasingly fed up with the planter dominated Quids and looking for new options.

And who knows maybe the Reform Party can be moved to the side of abolition over the coursre of the Troubles, becoming more a regional relatively progressive party? If the Quids fail hard enough the Reform Party may end up as the new party of the South.
 
Just from his brief appearance there....I wonder what it would be like to have Zachary Taylor as president in the 1840s. A whole decade earlier that OTL. 😆
 
I think one group we might be overlooking is the Reform Party. They are closest to the Populists it seems in agenda with the very notable exception of slavery, where they wish to reform/limit the peculiar institution rather than abolish.

They grew in numbers in the House in the last election, and with the Quids getting so much egg on their face many Southerners both voters and politicians may flock to an alternative banner of Southern leadership. Men Like Hooper Bragg come to mind being increasingly fed up with the planter dominated Quids and looking for new options.

And who knows maybe the Reform Party can be moved to the side of abolition over the coursre of the Troubles, becoming more a regional relatively progressive party? If the Quids fail hard enough the Reform Party may end up as the new party of the South.
Party of abolition, white populism, and the TTL equivalent of Jim Crow?
 
Just caught up.

I still think it would be funny if the US gets Canada, the one place Berrien doesn't want.

Also I am intrigued as to what the Troubles will truly entail. Certainly slavery is weaker than OTL and the Cherokee are in the south and the freedmen in Oklahoma...hmmm
 
Dead of Winter (8)
Party of abolition, white populism, and the TTL equivalent of Jim Crow?

Two out of three. The Reformists really do think slavery can be saved, but they increasingly have a problem with the aristocracy it empowers.


Despite the weather, neither the loyalist Canadians nor the United States were idle during the winter of ’37-’38. In Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Lower Canada, new volunteer regiments formed to fight the invaders. Possibly the most formidable of these were “Prince Rupert’s Ghost,” the “Écorcheurs,” and the “Wolverines,” which were composed of trappers who knew how to move and survive in the Canadian winter, as well as Cree and Innu warriors willing to make common cause with them. After a series of hit-and-run attacks on the Americans stationed along the west bank of the St. John failed to force them to retreat, these three regiments decided on a strike into American or American-held territory itself. For Prince Rupert’s Ghost, the target was northern Maine[1].

Katahdin Lookout was a watchtower and stockade fort built on a mountain (now called Mount Battle) some 17 km north-northeast of Mount Katahdin itself. It was manned by a company of the Maine state militia under the command of Col. Joshua Chamberlain[2]—and in spite of the dismal reputation that militia units in Maryland and Georgia had earned, this was one of the more professional militia forces, and every bit as capable of enduring the cold as the Ghost.

January 12 dawned cold but clear and bright. Since the intended target was a watchtower in the middle of mostly-unpopulated timberland, guarded by one reputedly understrength regiment with no help coming, the Canadians decided that a surprise attack was neither possible nor necessary and marched directly across the frozen First Lake to the north. The attack continued in that vein, with the only surprise being that the militia unit was not understrength, but was at full strength and had been equipped with Congreve rockets that the Army had no further use for. The Canadians lost 89 men to the Americans’ 24, but were able to retreat in time to find shelter before the blizzard of January 20-23.

The Écorcheurs and Wolverines enjoyed more success. The northern edge of the same blizzard that hit Maine, Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick hit Bytown at about the same time. The Canadians, guided by friendly locals, used it as cover when crossing to the flat southern bank of the Ottawa. At dawn on the 24th, they attacked.

The Second Battle of Bytown was almost an anticlimax. The unprepared American garrison was quickly overwhelmed and forced to retreat. They were, however, able to retreat in good order, and to send down the frozen Rideau for reinforcements before they did so. Meeting these reinforcements, they halted the advancing Canadians at Sondergaard’s Mill[3] on the 26th…


Since the War of 1812, the U.S. Army had known it would be fighting in the north again—in Canada if it was lucky, in New England and New York if not. This being the case, an important part of officer training was marching, fighting, and above all managing logistics in cold climates. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, the Adirondacks, and the forests of northern Michigan and Wisconsing provided ample training grounds. Sledges and sleighs were cheap to build. The hardest part was obtaining suitable draft animals in sufficient number, but by 1837 the War Department had imported enough Greenland dogs and (at some expense) Icelandic horses to form the basis of breeding populations.

With this, it was possible for the Army to keep its men fed and, if not comfortable, at least alive through the Canadian winter. Even the spring mud season, when all that snow melted, was manageable with Conestoga wagons if they were not too heavily laden—Secretary Poinsett, who had traveled in Russia, had good advice to give on the subject. And, of course, the Army had the help of the Upper Canadian secessionists whose rebellion had been the official casus belli in the first place…


Well before what Berrien and Poinsett intended as the official beginning of the northern campaign season, U.S. forces had made certain movements. As soon as the ice on the Great Lakes had melted enough for canoes to make their way across, the Michigan militia seized the undefended (and largely uninhabited) island of Manitoulin. Henry Dodge led the Wisconsing militia to take Port Harmony, the inhabitants of which chose to resist Dodge by peaceful defiance rather than guerrilla warfare.

But these were relatively small engagements. General Armistead, headquartered in Kingston, had heard of Second Bytown and Sondergaard’s Mill, and was adjusting his plans accordingly. The forbearance the U.S. Army had shown toward Lower Canada was a result of not knowing which side the inhabitants of that province would choose in this war. Judging by the fleur-de-lys on the Écorcheurs’ colors, they had chosen to join the British side and were therefore fair game.

Armistead sensed that Canadians would be expecting an attempt to retake Bytown, and on March 12 he took advantage of a clear day to begin his march up the Rideau with 12,000 men. His progress was slowed not only by occasional snowstorms, but by what appeared to be an excessive concern with taking on supplies.

This was a feint. When his army reached Sondergaard’s Mill on the 21st, they made camp there that night and the next day—but the night after that, the skies were clear and starry. Armistead and his whole army made a night march to the east, into the woods. The Canadians were not expecting such a maneuver on a night just after the new moon, and despite the size of the army soon lost track of it. As a young Lt. Quincy Grissom, accompanying him on this march, said, “I could well believe the enemy had no idea where we were. We certainly didn’t. And thanks to all those supplies we’d taken on, we could spend up to a week away from our baggage train. And we needed that week.”

And indeed Armistead emerged from the woods on the afternoon of the 26th, well south of where he intended to be—at South Glengarry, only a little ways north of the border with New York. This gave the locals time to warn Montréal before he found the river and marched up it.

Montréal (governed by committee while still waiting for Papineau’s return) tried to mount a defense at Vaudreuil, but Armistead’s army—as tired as it was—was simply too large and too well-equipped for them to fight. After taking Vaudreuil, he crossed the St. Lawrence and took the island of Saint-Timothée, then the town of Beauharnois on the opposite bank. Rather than seek to control the whole province, he had found the one place the enemy could not allow him to remain—the gateway to Upper Canada. Now he was digging in…


Her Majesty’s government spent March through May of that year transporting 50,000 men to Canada in preparation for the expected summer offensive. It was an army composed primarily of new and untested volunteer regiments, and—unusually for the time—was almost entirely infantry and artilley.

This was for two reasons. One was that there was no more cavalry to be had. Between America, Bosnia-Rumelia, and Persia, the Empire’s regiments of horse were already fully occupied—and while a year was more than enough time to turn a young farmer, drover, or millworker into a soldier worthy of any battlefield, or to manufacture cannon and powder and shot as needed, it was not nearly enough time to breed, raise, and train an additional supply of warhorses. The other reason was, of course, the much greater difficulty in transporting whole regiments’ worth of horses across the Atlantic. For this reason, the only cavalry regiments were two regiments of Hessian Hussars serving as auxiliaries.

Brougham and Russell had foreseen this problem. They chose to work around it by encouraging some of these regiments to emphasize speed and/or endurance in their training, thereby recapturing some of the mobility of cavalry. Over the winter of ’37-38, these regiments went on long, steady marches of forty kilometers or more over the English or Irish countryside. They gave themselves grimly proud nicknames like the “Footsore,” the “Night-Walkers,” the “Boot-Killers” (whose motto was “Thirty Miles a Day”) and—for a regiment trained to sprint across the battlefield—the “Royal Cheetahs.”

In addition, there were five new batteries of the Royal Artillery. The last to arrive was equipped with the first of the new Woolwich[4] rockets (known afterward as the Woolwich 1838s to distinguish them from later models) that would turn the tide of battle on the first day at Silistre next year. These were not copies of the Henry-Hunt rocks, but Congreve rockets with their nozzles modified after those of the American weapon.

Nonetheless, it was an army far better suited to defense than offense. Kerrison, now in overall command of this front, adjusted his plans accordingly. At Moncton, Sherbooke, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and above all at Montréal, he would stand on the defensive and let the Americans break themselves against him, then move into Upper Canada when they were no longer capable of resistance…


Admiral Perry’s[5] plan was a bold one—send the USS Georgia[6] and Mount Hope[7] into the Bay of Fundy, apparently on a mission to support General Kearney in New Brunswick, accompanied by the steam-frigates USS Robert Fulton, John Paul Jones and Stephen Decatur. They would inevitably be spotted by Royal Navy scouts, of course, but even if the RN suspected a trap, they could hardly resist the temptation to retake two of their former vessels intact. Commodore Harker’s fleet, five ships of the line and eight frigates—including his flagship, the 120-gun HMS Roxbury—would sortie from Yarmouth.

At which point, the trap would be sprung—a fleet of a dozen sloops-of-war would strike the Yarmouth sortie. Each would be armed with one of Henry and Hunt’s new “rocket-pots[8],” rocketchambers that allowed ships to fire rockets with minimal risk from the backblast, along with twelve rockets and three black crates, each carrying four bombheads full of Stabler’s No. 23. One such crate of bombheads had spelled the doom of HMS Canopus at Fort Severn, and only 98 of these crates are documented to have been in existence at this time[9]. For this mission, no lesser incendiary would do.

Everything went according to plan… until, on the morning of May 25, with the main part of the British fleet just over the horizon, the sloop USS Concord caught fire.

How this happened is one of history’s minor controversies. Captain Levin Powell, who commanded the fleet of sloops, insisted that the bombhead in question had been flawed in a way that allowed the contents to be exposed to the air, while the Stabler brothers insisted that someone must have dropped or otherwise damaged it. Like the Belfield disaster in April of that year[10], the burning of the Concord proved that the Stablers’ superweapon could be as dangerous to its user as to the enemy.

What is not in question is that the fire quickly raged out of control, forcing the evacuation of the Concord and creating a column of smoke that could not be hidden—so much smoke, in fact, that from over the horizon it appeared that a much larger ship was burning, such as a French or Italian freighter. Judging his forces more than sufficient to put paid to the Americans, Commodore Edward Harker allowed the 110-gun HMS Princess Amelia, under command of Captain George Ferguson, to investigate and rescue any survivors.

When the Princess Amelia appeared over the hoizon, Captain Powell immediately realized that the plan had gone wrong. His flotilla of sloops, naval ensigns on proud display, could not be disguised as anything else. As soon as the larger ship was within range, he gave the order to fire. Every sloop within range of the first-rate obeyed this order, resulting in eight rockets firing at the Princess Amelia, five of which struck and one of which exploded.

Ferguson sent up his distress rockets, prompting Harker to put aside his pursuit of the Georgia and the Mount Hope and send his fleet to investigate. His lookout reported the sides of the Princess Amelia burning, the crew evacuating, a dozen American sloops beyond them—and, unmistakable even at this distance, the dreaded white fire that had devoured the Canopus. Seeing that weapon being used so profligately, Harker immediately intuited that the only possible target for this attack was his own fleet.

Just as later navies would use escorters[11] to protect the venators and propugnators[12] from dolkers[13] and subsurfacers, Harker also quickly realized that a frigate’s bow chaser could crack open a sloop as easily as the mighty carronades of the Roxbury, and the smaller ships were both more maneuverable and less expensive to lose. He ordered the frigates to swathe[14] their bows and sides and attack.

Powell ordered his flotilla to move the rocket-pots to the stern and retreat, firing at any ship that came too close. But the frigates’ long nines had an even greater range than the rockets, and they were able to put holes in USS Kettle Creek, Kings Mountain, and Bennington before the other sloops escaped. When HMS Vernon was struck by a rocket after its bow swathing had been burned away by a previous rocket, Lieutenant Hugh Brontë, brother to the famous literary sisters and later an admiral, saved the ship by leading a crew to hack the burning timbers away with axes.

Ironically, Perry’s “bait” fleet was nearly caught at this point. When Roxbury, now at some distance from the main body of the fleet it was supposed to be flagship of, stumbled across Perry’s force, Commodore Harker put his ship alongside the Georgia and attacked. The only thing that saved the Georgia from being overwhelmed by the larger ship was the Fulton. Captain Joel Abbot ordered the steam-frigate, which was virtually ahead of the Roxbury, to turn in place and launch a broadside at the first-rate’s bow. During the maneuver, the axle broke, and the Fulton was unable to unfurl its sails quickly enough to avoid a collision amidships. The Fulton sank, and the injured Roxbury had to return to Yarmouth, where the damage to the keel proved irreparable and the ship was ultimately scrapped.

Although the British suffered the loss of both first-rates, the Battle of the Bay of Fundy was neither a tactical nor a strategic victory for the Americans. Before the battle, the U.S. Navy had been confined to Boston Harbor; after the battle it was confined to the harbors of Boston, Portsmouth, and Portland, and the Georgia was under repair for the remainder of the war. The Royal Navy sent new ships to replace the ones lost in the battle, and control of the waters off the New England coast remained uncontested.

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


[1] This will make more sense if you remember that Maine’s northern border is further south than IOTL.
[2] Not the hero of Little Round Top, of course, but his father. And if you’re wondering why a colonel is in charge of a company instead of a regiment, militias weren’t great about this sort of consistency.
[3] OTL Watson’s Mill, here founded in 1821 by an immigrant fleeing Prussian-ruled Denmark.
[4] Actually manufactured at Waltham Abbey, but the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich was where they figured how to make them in the first place.
[5] Commodore Matthew C. Perry IOTL
[6] The warship formerly known as HMS Powerful
[7] née Poictiers
[8] So called because they’re partly ceramic.
[9] For obvious reasons War Department keeps very close tabs on this stuff.
[10] As of April 1838, Belfield, Va. (Emporia today IOTL) is as far south as the Richmond-Raleigh railroad has gotten. In April a train carrying supplies to Fort Sumter—including gunpowder and several crates of No. 23—derailed at the north edge of town, possibly as a result of cheap, hastily-laid tracks made of iron-capped wooden rails. The resulting explosion and fire killed over a dozen people, and burning debris set fire to several houses in the town itself.
[11] Destroyers
[12] Battleships
[13] Torpedo boats. ITTL, “torpedo” means landmine and “dolk” means naval torpedo.
[14] Cover with wet sailcloth, leaving holes for the guns. Naval jargon has had to adapt as quickly as everything else.
 
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