The Pig War: A TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Veranius, Apr 25, 2016.

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  1. Threadmarks: 1 - Part 1

    Veranius Emperor of Romania-Hispania, Lusitanian Dynasty

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    Hello people! I've been a fan of AH.com for a while now, and I felt I should contribute with some ideas of my own. I am a junior in high school about to go into AP testing while simultaneously working towards Eagle in Boy Scouts. I am interested in history, so alternate history seems like a fun challenge. Hopefully, this timeline can go to the present day. I guess I've rambled on too much, so here it goes.

    The Pig War

    1- Of a Pig and Potatoes
    The Pig War was one of the strangest wars ever fought. It began over the disagreement between the United States and the British Empire over their border in the Northwest, specifically the San Juan Islands near Vancouver Island. Both nations claimed the islands, and each sent settlers to the islands to stake their claim. Both nations, however, did not wish to fight a third war in less than a hundred years, so they tried to make Boundary Committees to settle the disagreement. And yet, tensions reached a boiling point, all over a pig. An American farmer, Lyman Cutlar, shot and killed a pig that he found in his yard eating his potatoes. It turned out that the pig was owned by an Irishman, Charles Griffin, with whom Cutlar had lived peacefully with up to that point. While Cutlar offered $10 for compensation, Griffin wanted $100. Cutlar didn’t want to pay that much, as the pig had been transgressing on his land. However, Griffin claimed that it was Cutlar’s duty to keep his potatoes out of the pig. The situation escalated when British officers threatened Cutlar with arrest, after which Cutlar called for American military protection.

    The commander of the Department of Oregon sent a force of American troops under Captain George Pickett to the islands. When the British reacted by sending a force of warships to the islands, Pickett said he’d turn the islands into another Bunker Hill. More American and British forces were sent to the island, but no shots were fired, as each force had been given orders to not fire the first shot. The British admiral in the area refused to attack the Americans, not wanting to start a war over a silly issue like a pig (1). However, a group of American settlers took matters into their own hands, and killed a British soldier they claimed had been trying to appropriate supplies from them. Recently, the validity of that story has been put into question, with several other potential causes to the conflict put forward. No matter the cause, by the time American General Winfield Scott arrived to defuse the situation, the San Juan Islands were a warzone. In the face of superior naval forces, the American troops were driven from the islands, losing most of their troops, including George Pickett, to naval gunfire.

    The incident was soon resolved in the Vancouver Accords, in which the islands of San Juan and Orcas (and the surrounding isles of Shaw and Blakely) were awarded to the British, while Lopez Island (and the surrounding isles of Decatur and Cypress) were given to the Americans. This was only after a joint Anglo-American surveying team mapped out the islands, though the exact location of the border was still unknown until satellite imaging solved the issue permanently. The incident, while damaging to both nations prestige, showed clearly the resolve the two nations had to prevent another war between them. It also showed to Britain a potential worrying flaw. Britain relied primarily on imports to feed their country, and a major exporter of food was the United States, mainly in grain. In the event of war between the two nations, Britain could be faced with major starvation. France, using the somewhat friendly relations resulting from the Crimean War, offered to replace the United States in imports, even though France was in no way capable of supplying Britain entirely. This was one of the several attempts Napoleon III made to Britain, trying to form a strong alliance to offset the rising power of Prussia. This new alliance would be formalized in the Entente Cordiale in 1874.

    One of the other ways Napoleon III cemented his alliance with Britain was in his interventions in Syria and China. Both times, Anglo-French troops fought side by side, furthering the comradeship between the two nations. Napoleon III maintained a very pro-British stance throughout his time as Emperor of the French, refusing to intervene in the American Civil War without British assistance, and constantly seeking British aid for their endeavors across the globe.

    (1)- Up to this point, it actually happened.
     
  2. Threadmarks: 2 - Part 1

    Veranius Emperor of Romania-Hispania, Lusitanian Dynasty

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    2- Dreaming of Poland

    With the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, the Anglo-French bloc was in a quandary. While the aristocracy favored the insurgent Confederate States, the common people, especially in Britain, favored the Union. However, neither nation really cared that much about the war, instead switching their focus to the Continent once it was seen the Confederacy would never survive. In fact, Union victories in the beginning of the war even caused the French to reconsider a planned invasion of Mexico, as a resurgent Union could smash their possessions easily. Instead, France and Britain recognized the co-belligerency status of the Confederacy, and traded earnestly with them, until the Union blockade disrupted it. Although some in the Confederacy wished to halt cotton exports to bring France and Britain to their knees and force their hand, others understood the need for money, thus ensuring the cotton trade was kept open. With the relatively slow decline of Confederate cotton shipments reaching France and Britain, it allowed the two nations to easily search for other sources, namely Egypt and India.

    France and Britain’s attention was finally diverted to the Continent in the beginning of 1863, when the oppressed Poles erupted into revolt. Prussia offered to Russia the use of Prussian railways to aid in the suppression of the revolt, which Russia gladly accepted, along with timely Prussian military assistance. Napoleon III, having secretly agreed with the Poles to help them out, found another reason to intervene, as he was wary of the power of Prussia. Austria, though beaten by France a few years earlier, joined with France to counter both Prussian dominance in Germany and Russian influence in the Balkans. Napoleon III was unable to get the Ottomans to join against Russia though, yet British diplomacy got Denmark and Sweden-Norway into the fray. Italy wisely refrained from fighting, as it needed time to consolidate its hold on the Italian Peninsula. The so-called “War of the Great Powers” began in earnest in the summer of 1863, during which Prussia scored several resounding victories over Austria. However. a combined Anglo-French-Swedish-Danish army that landed in Copenhagen smashed aside a Prussian army in the Battle of Hamburg, as the Prussians had deployed more towards the Rhine, the expected avenue of approach for France. This, coupled with a slight Austrian victory over the Russians in the Battle of Lemberg, allowed for the Great Powers to think about an invasion of Prussia.

    Before an invasion could happen, Britain and France called for a conference. Both were afraid of what may happen in the ensuing power vacuum if Prussia was crushed, as well as the fear of an Austrian collapse if they were defeated again. So, in the palace of Versaille, the War of the Great Powers drew to a close with the Treaty of Paris. An independent Poland was created, formed from Congress Poland along with Krakow, with its capital at Warsaw. As many of the Polish leadership for the uprising had been killed by the Russians, the Great Powers settled on the relatively unknown Cyryl Skala, a Polish nobleman living in exile in London, as Poland’s new leader. Many in Poland were dismayed at having a foreign leader, but Cyryl proved to be quite capable, laying the groundwork for his great-grandson Bernard to proclaim the Polish Empire. Also, the German Confederation was dissolved, replaced by the United Federation of Germany, containing all the German states except for Austria and Prussia. The Russian territory of Alyeska was handed over to the British, receiving the new name of Alaska. Finally, Denmark retained control over Schleswig, losing Holstein to the United Federation of Germany. The war helped drive Prussia and Russia into an alliance, an alliance offset by one between Austria and the Ottomans and another between Britain and France.
     
  3. TimTurner Cartoon Phanatic

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    Cool stuff. :)
     
  4. tuxer I am not a Grammar Nazi, I am a Alt-Writer

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    Interesting idea. Subscribed.
     
  5. Threadmarks: 3 - Part 1

    Veranius Emperor of Romania-Hispania, Lusitanian Dynasty

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    3- Centreville

    The American Civil War was one of the most transformative events in American history. However, in retrospect, the secessionist Confederate States of America never stood a chance. The defining moment for the Confederacy's demise was not long after their secession. Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, had put out a call for volunteers to reestablish control over the Confederacy. These volunteers were formed as the Army of Northeastern Virginia, led by Irvin McDowell. McDowell led his army into Virginia in late August of 1861, after a Confederate spy named Rose O’Neal Greenhow was caught in Washington trying to send McDowell’s battle plans to the Confederates. McDowell spent the time organizing his six division army and preparing for his plan, which was to swing around the left side of the Confederate force at Manassas Junction and cut them off from Fredricksburg, all the while maintaining communications with Washington. Opposing McDowell was the Confederate Army of the Potomac, led by Gustave Toutant Beauregard and consisting of eight brigades, about three quarters the size of McDowell’s army. Beauregard was unable to count on another Confederate force, the Army of the Shenandoah led by Joseph E. Johnston, as it was preoccupied with holding down Robert Patterson in the Shenandoah Valley, who had just begun to advance towards Winchester when McDowell made his move.

    Amid mounting public pressure McDowell’s force marched slowly to Centreville, reaching it by September 1st. As McDowell’s force was filing in, Beauregard arrived. Beauregard had also been prompted by mounting pressure to attack, and he settled on Centreville as a rendezvous point for his army, splitting his force in half for better mobility. Thus began the Battle of Centreville, a battle neither side wanted to happen. The US Second and Third Divisions blundered into the Confederate Fifth and Seventh Brigades, a fight which rapidly degenerated into hand to hand combat after commanding officers couldn’t restrain soldiers long enough for them to load their guns. With the arrival of more US troops in the area, Confederates were forced to fall back and lick their wounds. McDowell seized on the opportunity he had been given and sent two more divisions after the retreating Confederates, which led them to the main Confederate force. Finally, commanding officers were able to unleash massed volleys, which shredded the front ranks of both sides. But just as McDowell was going to send in his remaining two divisions, the rest of the Confederate army appeared. They had heard sounds of battle and rushed to Centreville, leaving them tired but in high spirits. However, that was about to change when they slammed into McDowell’s reserves. A ferocious defense by William T. Sherman halted the Confederate advance, which contributed to Sherman’s nickname of Stonewall after Erasmus Keyes told his men to “rally with Sherman, standing there like a stone wall.” Eventually, Beauregard relented, and retreated to Bristoe Station in good order, before falling back first to Warrenton Junction then Rappahannock Station when false reports claimed McDowell was hot on their tails. McDowell was unable to capitalize on his victory due to general inexperience of his soldiers, but he contented himself to the capture of most of the Confederate baggage train. Confederate President Jefferson Davis narrowly avoided capture himself, as he arrived on the battlefield to observe his generals. The battle cost each side nearly three thousand casualties (killed, wounded, missing, and captured), the bloodiest battle in North America to that point.

    The response to the battle was intense jubilation across the entire North. In the South, the response was frustration, which Davis used as justification for sacking Beauregard as commander of the Army of the Potomac. He then reorganized the army as the Army of the Rappahannock, led by former US engineer Robert E. Lee, and tasked it with defending Richmond from the Union. Meanwhile, Lincoln renamed the Army of Northeastern Virginia into the Army of Northern Virginia, giving McDowell command of the entire Eastern Theater. Other commanders were proposed, such as George McClellan, fresh off his victory at Rich Mountain, but he was rejected and put in charge of the Army of Appalachia, formed from Robert Patterson’s command.

    The international ramifications from this battle were immense. As Britain and France saw the Confederates lose one of the first battles of the war, they were less inclined to treat their diplomats, and soon their attention was totally wrested away due to the War of the Great Powers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  6. Threadmarks: 4 - Part 1

    Veranius Emperor of Romania-Hispania, Lusitanian Dynasty

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    4- Situation in the East

    Confederate Order of Battle in the East by February 1862:

    Army of the Rappahannock- Robert E. Lee (approx. 75,000), based in Rappahannock Station
    First Corps- James Longstreet
    Second Corps- John Magruder
    Third Corps- Richard Ewell
    Fourth Corps- D.H. Hill
    Cavalry Corps- Wade Hampton
    Artillery Corps- William N. Pendleton

    Army of the Shenandoah- Joseph E. Johnston (approx. 25,000), based in Front Royal
    First Corps- Thomas J. Jackson
    Second Corps- Barnard Bee
    Third Corps- Edward Johnson
    Cavalry Corps- JEB Stuart
    Artillery Corps- Edward Porter Alexander


    Union Order of Battle in the East by February 1862:

    Army of Northern Virginia- Irvin McDowell (approx. 110,000), based in Centreville (I Corps: Joseph Hooker, II Corps: Fitz John Porter, III Corps: Samuel Heintzelman, IV Corps: Edwin Sumner)
    1st Division- Daniel Tyler (I Corps)
    2nd Division- David Hunter (I Corps)
    3rd Division- Ambrose Burnside (II Corps)
    4th Division- William T. “Stonewall” Sherman (II Corps)
    5th Division- Darius Couch (III Corps)
    6th Division- William B. Franklin (III Corps)
    7th Division- George Sykes (IV Corps)
    8th Division- John Sedgewick (IV Corps)

    Army of Appalachia (former Departments of Pennsylvania and Ohio)- George B. McClellan (approx. 30,000), based in Winchester (V Corps: William Rosecrans, VI Corps: Nathaniel Banks)
    1st Division- Alpheus Williams (V Corps)
    2nd Division- George Cadwallader (V Corps)
    3rd Division- Charles Sandford (VI Corps)
    4th Division- William H. Keim (VI Corps)
     
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  7. LordTerra Well-Known Member

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    This is a really intersted scenario. Subscribed.

    Just wondering why Sweden-Norway joined the war for seemily no gain. I get why France, the UK, Denmark and Austria joined, they all have their own reasons for wanting to limit Prussia or contain a Prussian-Russian Alliance.

    I may of missed the reason Sweden-Norway joined If so then I apologise
     
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  8. Veranius Emperor of Romania-Hispania, Lusitanian Dynasty

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    Yeah, Sweden historically hates Russia as in the Great Northern War Russia dismantled the Swedish Empire. Also, Britain wants another power to offset the Baltic naval presence of Russia and Prussia.
     
  9. Threadmarks: 5 - Part 1

    Veranius Emperor of Romania-Hispania, Lusitanian Dynasty

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    5- Border Blues

    When the Southern states seceded and formed the Confederate States, Kentucky was divided as to which side to join. Kentucky was in a strategic location for both sides, as the Confederates could use the Ohio River as a natural defense, while the Union could use Kentucky as a staging point to take back Tennessee and the Deep South. Therefore, the state followed neutrality, vowing to join either country when the situation was most favorable. Both sides respected that decision, as seen when Jefferson Davis denied Leonidas Polk’s proposal for seizing Columbus Kentucky. Instead, Polk fortified Island Number Ten at New Madrid Missouri, which proved to be a major thorn in the Union’s side. Kentucky eventually declares the “Central Commonwealth”, their pseudo state that they align with. When it became clear that the Union is winning, Kentucky declared for the Union.

    However, the Central Commonwealth held one of the more bizarre events in the American Civil War. As the war dragged on, citizens in western Virginia wished to secede from Virginia, as they felt they weren’t getting represented equally and the fact that Union leadership wished to preserve Virginia in one state. So, at the Wheeling Convention, they declared the State of Kanawha and joined Kentucky in neutrality. Later, when political pressure mounted, Kanawha seceded again from the Central Commonwealth and joined the Union as West Virginia, after the names of Vandalia, Sylvania, and Appalachia were rejected.

    With the neutrality of Kentucky, focus in the west turned to Missouri. While some in Missouri called for neutrality on the same scale as Kentucky, events caused that to be impossible. For one, Missouri held a strategic location in the center of the United States, and also controlled the junction of the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri Rivers. Confederate forces swiftly occupied the southern portion of the state, with their defensive line anchored on the Mississippi at New Madrid. Following Nathaniel Lyon’s capture of St. Louis and Jefferson City, Union forces controlled the northern part of Missouri. This led to the formation of the “two Missouris”, two governments claiming to represent the real Missouri. The Southern Missouri lost significant traction after the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, in which Lyon’s outnumbered command resisted several attacks by a Confederate force led by Sterling Price. Wilson’s Creek was also the first time the Rebel Yell was uttered, purportedly when Price urged his troops to “yell like furies” when they charged. Despite attempts later in the war, Southern Missouri is known for being the only state in the Confederate States to have never controlled any of its claimed territory.
     
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  10. Threadmarks: 6 - Part 1

    Veranius Emperor of Romania-Hispania, Lusitanian Dynasty

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    6- Situation in the West

    Confederate Order of Battle in the West, February 1862

    Army of the Mississippi- Albert Sidney Johnston, (approx. 70,000), based in Corinth, Mississippi
    First Corps- Leonidas Polk
    Second Corps- William J. Hardee
    Third Corps- Sterling Price
    Fourth Corps- John C. Breckenridge
    Fifth Corps- Braxton Bragg
    Sixth Corps- Patrick Cleburne
    Cavalry Corps- Nathan Bedford Forrest
    Artillery Corps- John C. Pemberton


    Union Order of Battle in the West, February 1862

    Army of Illinois- Don Carlos Buell, (approx. 50,000), based in Cairo, Illinois (VII Corps: Ulysses S. Grant, VIII Corps: John McClernand)
    1st Division- George Thomas (VII Corps)
    2nd Division- James McPherson (VII Corps)
    3rd Division- Alexander McCook (VIII Corps)
    4th Division- Thomas J. Wood (VIII Corps)

    Army of Missouri- Henry Halleck, (approx. 40,000), based in Jefferson City, Missouri (IX Corps: Lew Wallace)
    1st Division- James A. Garfield (IX Corps)
    2nd Division- Thomas Crittenden (IX Corps)

    Army of the Frontier- John C. Fremont, (approx. 30,000), based in Topeka, Kansas (X Corps: John Pope)
    1st Division- Samuel Curtis (X Corps)
    2nd Division- James G. Blunt (X Corps)
     
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  11. Threadmarks: 7 - Part 1

    Veranius Emperor of Romania-Hispania, Lusitanian Dynasty

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    7- Lightning Jackson

    The campaigning season for 1862 got off to a start in a big way. Johnston, under orders from Davis to clear the Shenandoah Valley, made a drive to recapture Winchester from the Union. He thus sent Thomas Jackson’s corps on a diversionary mission towards Moorefield to draw Union attention away from Winchester. Yet when Jackson arrived at Moorfield, he found no Union forces, as they had been drawn towards Winchester per McClellan’s orders. So Jackson continued on and ambushed a Union supply train in Romney. There, he learned of Johnston’s defeat at Kernstown, where McClellan had halted his advance in bloody battle. Jackson took it upon himself and his troops to avenge Johnston’s defeat and rapidly crossed the Allegheny Mountains, crashing into McClellan’s rear at Middletown as McClellan slowly pursued Johnston’s army. McClellan freaked out when he heard of Confederate reinforcements, yet kept his cool and ordered his forces to turn and give battle to Jackson. By then, Jackson was gone.

    His force then showed up at Harper’s Ferry, capturing the arsenal, then he made a mad dash for Leesburg on the Potomac before swinging around the Blue Ridge Mountains back to Front Royal. McClellan frantically detached three of his four divisions in pursuit of Jackson, who were supplemented by another two scrambled from around Maryland and Pennsylvania to prevent Jackson from possibly taking Washington. Jackson surprised them all when his force, joined once again with Johnston, smashed Nathaniel Banks’s force at Winchester, attacking from the south. McClellan ordered a hasty retreat to Martinsburg, especially when wrong intelligence reports said Lee was heading to reinforce Johnston. Jackson received his famous nickname of Lightning Jackson during the Battle of Winchester, when a reporter reported that upon hearing Jackson was there Banks said, “Why that man’s like lightning!”.
     
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  12. DanMcCollum P-WI

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    Great job so far! I started mucking around in AH at about the same age, and its always good to see someone put their love of history to some less than standard uses. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing this develop further!
     
  13. Saphroneth Just don't ask me to write a normal world Banned

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    Allow me to complement you on completely dodging the minefield of British-US wars in the 19th century by making it about three weeks long and exploring the repercussions. I'm impressed.
     
  14. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    Lightning Jackson! I love it :D
     
  15. TimTurner Cartoon Phanatic

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    Veranius your well-written TL is getting rave reviews.
    Keep it up.
     
  16. blackswordzero Donor

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    Interesting the British received Alaska.
     
  17. Threadmarks: 8 - Part 1

    Veranius Emperor of Romania-Hispania, Lusitanian Dynasty

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    Thanks for all your support!

    8- Fredericksburg

    With Johnston and Jackson occupying Union attention in the Valley, Davis made it clear to Lee that he had to push Union forces out of Virginia. So, Lee left his base in Fredericksburg and swung around to Culpeper, intent on striking McDowell’s flank. However, as he did this, McDowell also moved. Due to mounting pressure from both Lincoln and the public, McDowell marched towards Fredericksburg. When Lee arrived at Warrenton, McDowell had crossed the Rappahannock and taken Fredericksburg after token resistance from a small force Lee had left behind. McDowell now had a clear shot to Richmond. Despite Davis practically screaming in his ear to get between McDowell and Richmond, Lee decided to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia from where McDowell didn’t expect, then capitalize on the opportunity to threaten Washington, hopefully causing an end to the war. McDowell was having the same problems, with Lincoln both overjoyed and frightened. McDowell spent some much needed time preparing defenses around Fredericksburg, focused on Marye’s Heights. When Lee arrived by mid-April, McDowell found himself in a unique predicament, with the South attacking from the north. Against the better judgement of his commanders, especially James Longstreet, Lee decided to attack. Crossing the Rappahannock on pontoons brought by the Union, Lee launched a massive frontal assault on Union lines.

    What happened can only be described as one of the most one-sided battles of the entire American Civil War, with Lee suffering nearly 25% casualties, a total of 20,000 men of his almost 80,000 man army. McDowell, on the other hand, lost only 5,000 casualties, mostly from trying to hold Fredericksburg. Concentrated cannon fire and massed volleys from trenches signalled then end of the infantry charge in a single bold stroke. Fredericksburg was forever known as the bloodiest day in American military history.

    Following the defeat, Davis accepted Lee’s resignation and appointed Longstreet as leader of the Army of the Rappahannock. Longstreet expertly maneuvered his army to Culpeper, yet slammed into the Army of Northern Virginia as McDowell marched through the Wilderness at Spotsylvania, intent on keeping Longstreet from Richmond. The battered and demoralized Army of the Rappahannock rapidly dissolved, with Longstreet ordering his corps commanders to split. About 20,000 men under John Magruder’s leadership returned to Culpeper, while the remaining 30,000 under Longstreet snuck around McDowell in the middle of the night and arrived at Richmond. The Confederate Eastern front was shattered.
     
  18. TFSmith121 War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen ... Banned

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    Certainly creative,...

    Certainly creative ... Malvern Hill on the Rappahanock.

    Best,
     
  19. rob2001 Well-Known Member

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    McDowell did what Burnside failed to do at Fredericksburg, in the OTL. Control the heights, outside Fredericksburg.
     
  20. Threadmarks: 9 - Part 1

    Veranius Emperor of Romania-Hispania, Lusitanian Dynasty

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    9- The Battle of Pig Run

    One of the more bizarre stories of the American Civil War is the “Battle of Pig Run”. After the Battle of the Wilderness, McDowell sent Andrew Humphreys out to reconnaissance the area around Culpeper. There, he encountered a Confederate scouting force under Richard Anderson, and he prepared his men to fight. However, before the fighting could begin, a large group of pigs broke loose from a nearby farm and ran across the battlefield. The farmer, James Thompson, asked both sides to help retrieve his pigs. Humphreys and Anderson both agreed, and the two sides launched a friendly competition to see who could gather the most pigs. In the end, the Confederates clinched a victory, reclaiming 59 of the 100 pigs, while the Union gathered only 32. The farmer himself caught the remaining 9. Both Humphreys and Anderson then agreed to return to their armies, with neither of the military objectives complete.
     
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