“Lord John Keane, also 2nd Baron Keane was an able commander and during his time in the East India Company had made a name for himself as a very capable commander. The East India Company was a large company, and maintained a massive army of 220,000, larger than even many standing armies of Europe. Around a quarter of the army were made of Europeans whilst the rest were indian recruited ‘sepoy’ troops. Nonetheless, working in the sepoy ranks was a fine business for many Indians as it gave them employment and money that was not available in many other jobs presented to the Indian community. These sepoys and Europeans formed an army of 21,000 merged from the Bombay and Bengal Presidencies which gave Keane an army to invade Afghanistan from Sindh.
General John Keane.
Thankfully, the perennial enemy of the British in India, the Sikh Empire was no friend of the Afghans either, and was more than happy to see them brought a notch down by the British and made no move to aid the Afghans. Keane in late 1838 invaded the Afghan Emirate and the lands of the Afghan Emir, defeating the small Afghan tribal garrisons in the region and moved north to reach Kabul from the Sindh area. After a month of marching, the Afghans finally managed to give Keane a challenge at the Battle of Bolan Pass, led by General Hyder Ali, a member of the Afghan Royal Family.
Hyder Ali had chosen the pass to stand and fight for a reason as it negated the British technological and numerical advantage and would allow the Afghans to fight the British on their own terms. Keane wanted no part of it, and after some light skirmishes, retreated from Bolan Pass, and instead moved around the pass, moving through the city of Quetta. Quetta’s garrison gave a good fight, however in a plain area where British advantage could not be negated, the garrison fell and the British flag was hoisted by the city soon after. Hyder Ali was outsmarted by Keane and the man rushed to retake the city and using the element of surprise stormed the city of Quetta and briefly retook the city from the British forces, however the British soon surrounded the city and outflanked his forces, forcing Hyder Ali to abandon the city and retreat back into the Afghan mountains once again.
British troops enter Ghazni Fortress.
On March, 1839, Keane and his army finally reached the infamous Ghazni Fortress, a massive fortress that was said to guard the heart of Afghanistan itself, and according to Afghan propaganda impenetrable. Impenetrable or not, the British engineers recognized the thick walls of the fort and advised Keane to wait until the British heavy guns could arrive before laying siege of the fortress walls. Keane who was an impatient man decided to attack immediately and attacked the fortress head on with scaling ladders being used by the British forces to scale the fortress walls. Unfortunately for Keane and the British troops, the Fortress lived up to its name and the attempts to take the fortress without heavy artillery proved fruitless as the Afghans deflected attempts to do so for a month. Keane, chastened by this defeat instead now opted to take the advice of his engineers and waited for another two weeks until his heavy artillery arrived and then began to bombard the fortress.
The blasting of Ghazni.
The heavy artillery that Keane had brought with him were new and modern heavy artillery that was constructed in Britain, and made for fighting European enemies. The modern artillery used revolutionary new techniques in engineering and used heavy artillery shells which slowly peeled the fort’s walls with ease. The fortress started to give away and in early May, a gaping hole was blasted through the southern sector of the fortress, allowing the Bengali sepoys to storm through the fortress and slaughter the Afghan garrison of the fortress. Most famously Hyder Ali was killed during the chaos of the melee and battle.
Despite his success and propaganda victory for the British, for they had captured Afghanistan’s ‘impenetrable’ fortress, they had serious problems to face. British reinforcements consisting of men, supplies and equipment had been defeated by Afghan Balochi reinforcements at the Battle of Kalaat and now Keane and his army was dangerously out of reach from British logistical supply. His generals and subordinates advised Keane to retreat back to the Bolan Pass and the city of Quetta for the moment until proper logistical lines could be rebuilt for the British forces. Keane decided to gamble and a took a leaf out of John Coffee, the Vice President of America at the time, and decided to move his army out of the reach of the logistical supply of the army and to ‘live off the land’ before reaching Kabul.
And live off the land his army did. They moved north towards Kabul, and managed to capture the Afghan supply stores in Oadarkhel and Jaghatu before being replenished by the supplies. The British troops then finally met the last Afghan resistance at the Battle of Maidan Shahr. Here the Afghan Army was led by the Afghan Emir, Dost Muhammad himself, and while the Afghan army fought bravely they were fighting on the end of their resources, having used up their supplies and the ones which were not used up having been stolen by Keane and his army. The Afghan army was defeated in the battle in late July and the city of Kabul was surrounded by the British on all sides. Keane knowing that his army would be out of supplies soon led the army into one desperate storm of the capital of Kabul and managed to luckily break the citadel center of the city which broke the resistance of the Afghans. Kabul fell and the British entered victorious. In the aftermath of the chaos of the fall of the Afghan capital, Dost Muhammad was captured by the British troops and brought before Keane, who had been given operational autonomy by the British.
Keane forced Dost Muhammad to sign the Treaty of Kabul which stipulated that southern Afghan Balochistan, as well as the Quetta region would be annexed into the Bombay Presidency of the East India Company, and forced Dost Muhammad to abdicate in favor of his pro-British cousin, Shah Shujha. Shah Shujha was then made Emir of Afghanistan, and Afghanistan was officially made a British vassal state. Britain then withdrew most of the troops from Afghanistan, keeping up and maintaining a strength of 6,000 troops in Kabul.
Shah Shuja, the new Afghan Emir, a British puppet.
The Afghans resisted the new British puppet on their throne and the British influence in the country but all for naught. There was little that they could do. Britain and the new pro-British Afghan government controlled all of the urban cities and the passes and routes of the country, and the small rural areas of the country which were under guerilla country were useless countryside territory. In Shah Shujha’s own words “The rebels can keep those useless lands for all I care.”
Nonetheless, whilst the Anglo-Afghan War had been a victory for the British, the embarrassing defeats at the Battle of Kalaat and the loss of logistical support in Afghanistan raised massive eyebrows in the War Ministry back in London, and the British Army was forced to undergo reforms as a result of the Anglo-Afghan war.” A Brief History of the Anglo-Afghan War: The Graveyard of Afghan Freedom. University of Bombay, 1999
“Prince Felix of Schwarzenburg, the Minister-President of the Austrian Empire had made great strides in the Austrian Empire ever since he had been able to become the leader of the government of Austria. After the death of Emperor Francis I of Austria, Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria, who was to put it mildly, unhealthy to rule and govern personally unlike his father, had tacitly agreed to aid Prince Felix’s reforms. The successful endeavor of the Austrians in the island of Madagascar also made the country all the more proud, and the Austrian population was reaping the benefits of economic prosperity as the country slowly industrialized alongside the rest of the European great powers as well.
Prince Felix, was a conservative, yet modern man. He knew that the world was entering the age of Nationalism, and considering the Austrian Empire was chock full of various nationalities, feared that the age of nationalism would dismantle the centuries old Habsburg Empire. As such he tried to work against the age of nationalism by appealing the moderates of all nationalities, and making a unitary federal structure in the empire. The Congress of Salzburg in 1829 gave the provinces of the empire more autonomous power, and increased the representation of all ethnicities in the local diets based on population proportion rather than plain old nobility.
The 1st Congress of Salzburg
The Educational Reform of 1833 also decreed that Austrian German would be studied alongside the ethnic language of the people, in order to please the population, which it did. The government made schools a nationalized matter of the state, and the curriculum was nationalized as well, so that the government could implement its educational reforms on a better platform. Of course sectarian schools which taught in Latin continued to exist, but other forms of education in the Austrian Empire was now controlled directly by the government.
However whilst Felix knew that he would have to please the nationalists of the empire, he didn’t wish to give them too much power either. The famous idea of dividing the provinces of the empire based on ethnic maps of the empire was shot down by Felix. He argued that dividing the empire’s provincial boundaries based on ethnic lines would simply give the ethnic groups a platform to secede later on. On this matter, he was correct. So, in order to subvert such topics, he began laying the foundations of reforming the provinces of the empire along the lines of making no single ethnic group a majority in one province. The only places where he could not apply this principle was in the Province of Graz and the Province of Buda, where Germans and Hungarians made up the majority of the population with no other ethnic groups present, however other than that all other proposed provinces had no single ethnic majority. Instead Felix espoused the ‘Right of Individual’ which stipulated a ‘National Personal Autonomy’ Law.
In the second Congress of Salzburg before the important members of the Austrian state in 1835, Prince Felix defined his National Autonomy Law.
“Let us consider the case of a country composed of many several national groups, for example, Poles, Czechs, Magyars, Croats, Jews etc. Each national group would create a separate nationalist movement. All citizens belonging to a given national group which would join a special organization that would hold cultural assemblies in each region and a general cultural assembly for the whole country. The assemblies would be given financial powers of their own: either each national group would be entitled to raise taxes on its members, or the state would allocate a proportion of the overall budget on all of them based on population. Every citizen of the state would belong to one of the national groups, but the question of which national movement to join would be a matter of personal choice and no authority would have any control over this decision on part of the citizen. The nationalist movements would subject to general legislation of the state, but in their own areas of responsibility they would be autonomous and none of them would have the right to interfere in the affairs of the other.” – Prince Felix during the Second Congress of Salzburg in 1835
Basically, Prince Felix was stating that ethnicity was tied to the person and not to land. For the reformist minded, liberal minded and moderate minded people of the empire, this was a revolutionary new theory and philosophy. For the radicals of course, this theory was bad, however we will get to them in a bit.
Within the empire itself, the Czechs, the Jews, Poles, Austrian Germans, rural Hungarians, Croats and Romanians alongside the Jews were the fiercest proponents of the National Personal Autonomy law. The urban Hungarians, Italians and Ukrainians were however not exactly enthused with the idea, as the proposed law would basically strip them off their power.
However two groups found the proposed law absolutely dreadful. The Hungarian Magnates and the Venetian Oligarchs found the proposed bill absolutely dreadful, as it would basically topple them from power. Felix had included some clauses to make them calm down, such a diet of magnates and a guild charter for the Venetian oligarchs and elites, however the two factions blinded by their anxiety simply did not read those clauses properly. Seeking to protect their power, the Hungarian magnates gathered in Pest on August 16th, 1839 and declared the union between Austria and Hungary annulled and declared the independence of the State of Hungary.
The Venetians followed suit on August 20th, 1839 and declared the secession of the Sublime Republic of Venice.
The Hungarian Magnates
Hilariously, or ironically, many people in the government, and within Venice and Hungary itself thought that the declaration was a joke. The authority of the Magnates within Hungary extended nowhere out of the province of Pest, and the Venetian oligarchs only had power in the city of Venice itself, and nowhere else in Venetia.
Prince Felix however soon found out that the situation was indeed serious. On September 15, 1839 during a ball in Vienna, a Magyar supporter of the magnates crept up to the Austrian empire, and in broad daylight with many of the nobles of the realm and Europe watching in abject terror, stabbed Emperor Ferdinand I multiple times across the chest before being shot by the Count of Transylvania, an Austrian Romanian nobleman from Transylvania. Emperor Ferdinand I who had always been beset with ill-health had managed to stave off his madness for a few days, and had managed to come to the social gathering only to get assassinated.
The assassination stunned the Austrian realm and Europe. Prince Felix denounced the assassination and fired the inspector general of Vienna for the assassination, as it was the duty of the inspector-general to take care of the security in Vienna. Prince Felix rushed the succession and the heir to Ferdinand I, his brother Franz Karl was declared Franz II of the Austrian Empire.
Francis II of the Austrian Empire.
Francis II who was more of a kind type, and who did not wish to get involved in court politics, and instead remain above politics, gave authority to Prince Felix to ‘take care of the magnates and oligarchs as he saw fit’. Francis II instead sought to do damage control in the public arena, conducting reassuring public visits in the empire. Prince Felix turned his vengeful eye of the magnates and oligarchs. The Hungarian assassin of Emperor Ferdinand I was found to be the son of a minor Hungarian magnate supporting the secession and this made him all the more angrier.
The Austrian IV Army was mobilized and invaded the province of Pest. The problem for the Magnates however was that the Magnates were expecting the normal Hungarian population to aid them and support the secession. This did not happen. The Hungarian population was horrified at the assassination of Ferdinand I and was supportive of the reforms proposed by Felix. As such, the Hungarians in the province did not resist the invading IV Army and many even joined the army and aided them. The IV army reached the city of Pest on December 4, and laid siege to it. The urban population of the city rebelled against the magnates and the Magnate secession was over the next day as the Austrians restored their authority in the city. The rebelling magnates were stripped for their noble titles and holdings and the highest offenders were thrown to jail while the rest were sent to house arrest.
The Venetians however proved to be a higher challenge than the Hungarians. The Venetians had closed themselves to the mainland under Austrian rule and had stockpiled for a long siege. General von Radetsky was called out of retirement and he led an army of 20,000 to lay siege on the city of Venice itself. An epic 7 month long siege waited for the city and the army and the city finally surrendered on March 25th, 1840 and Austrian rule was restored to the city.
The Siege of Venice.
This short term instability had made the economy of the country fumble and stop its previous impressive progress, and Austria’s enemies of Prussia and France considered Austria to be a fragile power now. And this situation made Felix extremely angry. He lambasted the radicals at the 3rd Congress of Salzburg and basically handed the congress an ultimatum on May 28th, 1840. It was time to make a decision. The Felixian Ultimatum was delivered.” The Great Ultimatum and Compromise of the Danubian Empire, Imperial University of Vienna, 1991.
“Under the goading of King Carlos II of Argentina, the Mapuche population of Patagonia found themselves at war with the New English, starting the 1st Mapuche War.
Prime Minister Joseph Smith managed to organize a semi-war economy in the nation pretty fast and began preparing an expeditionary army to the southern cone of the south American continent. 10,000 troops were gathered, and the Commonwealth Navy began to transport them to the south cone.
Meanwhile in New English Patagonia, the island of New Eire (otl Tierra Del Fuego) was the bastion of New English resistance to Mapuche attacks.
On the Patagonian mainland, the Mapuche led by fierce generals and war chiefs managed to fight the small petty New English garrison of 2000 pretty easily. The first major battle of the 1st Mapuche war took place on January 27, 1839 during freezing conditions near the small New English settlement of St. Gregory. St. Gregory was a small but burgeoning town in New English Patagonia, and the small platoon of 80 New English troops in the town were besieged by 300 Mapuche troops, armed with Argentinian arms and guns. The New English troops gave battle trying to desperately fight their way out of the town and to regroup with the New English troops at the frozen shore. However the Mapuche were ruthless, and cut the New English down without mercy as they fought desperately in the cold snowy weather of the southern cone.
The Mapuche defeated the New English platoon and took control of St. Gregory, forcing the small population of people living there to flee the town and back to New Eire.
The New English presence on the western end of the Patagonian cone was much stronger, and 800 New English troops led by Colonel James Cooper managed to flank the Mapuche forces and moved north where they met a major Mapuche detachment of 1000 troops at the Battle of Lake Blanca. Here it was that the Mapuche handed the most embarrassing defeat for the New English. The Mapuche divided their forces, and a force of 400 went towards the east to reinforce their lines whilst a force of 600 gave battle near Lake Blanca to the New English forces led by Colonel James Cooper.
The numerically superior New English troops were pushed back by the Mapuche, and the Mapuche slowly started to move their stance and positions to the west much to the confusion of Cooper. What Cooper did not know was that the Mapuche was forcing the New English forces to have their backs to the cold freezing lake. After they managed to reach a proper position, the Mapuche roared forward, taking the new English by surprise, and many New English troops were drowned in the lake. In the cold and freezing temperatures, such a fate was instant death. The New English troops, humiliated withdrew back to Port Zebulon, the last New English port on the Patagonian mainland.
The Battle of Tehuelches
At Port Zebulon, the New English mounted a desperate defense, with the remnants of the 2000 troops being reduced to just a meager 250. The 250 troops defended the port fiercely and using barricades, and the cold weather to their advantage they managed to hold the Mapuche onslaught off and sallied out of the city and managed to win a battle at the Battle of Tehuelches. Even though this battle was in reality a draw, it was a tactical New English victory as it bloodied the Mapuche enough for there to be a manpower shortage to siege Port Zebulon. For now Port Zebulon was safe.
And then on July, nearly half a year after the 1st Mapuche war began, the expeditionary forces sent by Smith landed ashore on Port Zebulon, ready to take revenge for their embarrassing defeats during the starting of the 1st Mapuche War.” The Mapuche Wars of Patagonia, Forged in Blood, University of New Eire, 1998, Republic of Patagonia.
“The invitation of the Qing Dynasty to the British, inviting British advisors managed to offset the loss of manpower for the Qing dynasty as so many troops defected after the loss of Formosa to the British. However the Tian Dynasty was also all the more willing to play the proxy game, and this time, invited French advisors from French india, (mainly Pondicherry) and promised the French commercial and economic rights in Tian china in return for aid.
King Louis XIX of course knew the implications of such an endeavor. Having China under French influence would a massive boon to the informal French empire that was slowly being cultivated under his rule and the rule of his father. Louis XIX agreed to the trade and the Treaty of Guangzhou confirmed French economical, commercial and entrepreneurial access to Tian China and in return France sent advisors and weapons as well as equipment to Tian China.
During this now proxy conflict between Britain and France, the British were caught by absolute surprise in regards to the French. The French advisors and equipment slowly started to turn the tide, and Prime Minister Zhang Lexing, using French advice, led a daring assault on the capital of the Qing Dynasty, Beijing, and in a move that surprised everybody, managed to capture the city. The Qing Royal Family, barring the Xianfeng Emperor had managed to escape to the north and managed to escape to Harbin safely however the Xianfeng Emperor was captured by Zhang Lexing.
Tian troops enter Beijing. The French advisor can be seen clearly.
Meanwhile other things were happening that hurt Qing legitimacy. The Russian Empire had long coveted the Tuvan region and the Amur region of the Qing Empire, and 9,000 Russian troops invaded Tuva and annexed the region into the Russian Empire on September 12, 1839. 2,000 Russian troops also annexed northern Amur into the Russian Empire in the far east, with the small Manchurian tribes in the region unable to do anything about it.
As news of these reached the people, the people started to revolt with more intensity and on December 18, 1839 after months of goading under house arrest, the Xianfeng Emperor finally abdicated the Celestial throne to Kong Fanhao, declaring him the new emperor of the Middle Kingdom. In return the Qing Dynasty would be granted the title, the Duke of Manchus, an honorary title within the new Tian Dynasty.
Qing loyalists fought on after the surrender, and last Qing remnant army was defeated at the Battle of Kashagar in the Sinkiang Province on March 1840. The Rule of the Qing Dynasty was over, and the Tian Dynasty took power in the middle kingdom.” Rise of the Tian Dynasty, Royal University of Peking, 1896.
so i am starting to write a vignette for this tl. On what topic do you think the first vignette should be about?
Your choices are:
1. A normal guy in the Mexican Empire living in the 'Wild North'.
2. An American settler in the Prairie Territories
3. A New English trooper in Patagonia.
4. A Chinese guy under the New Tian Dynasty
5. An Indigenous Taiwanese in British Taiwan
6. A colonial citizen in British Borealia
7. A normal citizen under the successful restorationist Bourbon dynasty in France
8. A Louisianan Cajun under the House of Orleans
here is the map of the american prairie territories.
The star represents Calhoun City
The green areas depict major native american reserves
The red line depicts the major 'prairie road' for american settlers in the region
The pink line depicts the path of tecumseh which is a road leading to mishigama for fleeing natives (covered in one of the previous chapters)
Not as good as @Basileus_Komnenos's maps but it conveys the point
And now a Vignette created with permission by the Author:
FARMING THE PRAIRIE:
James Caney sat under the vast sky of the prairie looking out over his land and taking a smoke break with his pipe, even taking off his hat to better take in the fading days good weather. Description and images in the post could never quite capture the feeling of being out on the prairie where even trees became a precious rarity. Why even with all the land he owned, and his tenants worked, the house at his back was made of sod brick rather than expensive wood.
He still called it a good house, a head and half better living conditions than most of his hearty tenants, who along with him had busted sod and worked plows long and hard to turn this stretch of savage prairie into farmland; with a side business of dairy cattle he had hopes might pay dividends in the future.
Yes, he lived in a 'house of dirt' as some of his fellow great landowners mocked him for, but his finances were more stable than most for his trouble. Like most of them he came from a respectable Southern family and with seed money from the family had set his sights out West to make his own fortune. But while so many of his peers were obsessed with rebuilding a genteel way of life such as their fathers had back east, his eyes were on the money.
Expensive wood aside he had also refrained from trying to build a proper plantation. Slavery was all well and good in the South, but these near untamed lands brought out the savagery in even White men. Introducing a mass of slaves too it would be foolish for that reason alone, inviting trouble. But add in the knowledge that freedom awaited among the Mexicans and the British, and well you would waste too much time watching or chasing to turn any profit.
And besides, much as he was loath to admit it, slavery could be more trouble than it was worth. He was no firebrand or foreign agitator but the uprisings and the poverty of so many White men these days made him question if there wasn't a better way for America to achieve her rightful wealth and power.
But having no patience for the salon crowd he had decided to do the checking himself. Hence Big Skies, his parcel of land was worked by white tenant farmers, who lived much like the homesteaders but in exchange for rent he also offered them a certain patronage. The only slave on his property was Jacob, his personal slave who had been with him since he was sixteen.
Jacob was a good fellow, who in the absence of a wife kept James house and saw to the cooking while James saw to his business. Why when General Gaines went mad and freed every slave he could find on the Prairie Jacob had accepted the decree, but remained in his place; and once the real army restored order Big Skies had gotten back to their business as if nothing had happened.
Which reminded James, he really needed to do something significant for his man; to reward that loyalty. Because as Gaines had reminded America, loyalty could be a rare and precious thing. For James himself a more personal reminder was held in his hand. A letter from his fiancee, or rather ex-fiancee.
He had not married her or let her accompany him west. He had made it clear it was all for her sake, that until he could accommodate her as befit a fine lady she would best stay in her father's house.
And he was on his way. He was! Yes his crop had only recently started turning a considerable profit, but compared to so many big landowners going bust, especially after the slaves walked off or burned them out thanks to Gaines, he stood to one day be the toast of Calhoun city.
But no, like his own father she questioned if he would ever be more than a man living in the dirt; and broken their engagement off for a lawyer of all things.
Did no one remember how America became great to begin with? It was by men taking bigger risks, working harder, and living rougher than anyone back home was willing too; to tame a savage land, and turn it into America. Why it wasn't just his own fortune at stake here, he and his people were securing this corner of the continent for the stripes and eagle. The Frenchies who had betrayed not only the country but liberty itself by crowning a European king, of all things, over the Mississippi lurked greedily to the South. And the British longed to make the continent kneel to them again. And of course the British held a dagger to America's throat in Tecumseh's kingdom to the east; where the Indians ever plotted revenge and and destruction against America.
The previous generation had grown complacent, and squandered what the Founding Father's had won. Jackson was a right bastard who wouldn't make any respectable church's list of saints; and the fool had tried to dump all those Indians on them as if they didn't have enough trouble with the locals bands. Truth be Jams liked living out here in part to be away from Jackson and his goons, and men like his father who saw no problem with throwing your neighbor under a carriage just because he was a Catholic. But Jackson was right that America's enemies were all around them, and even had wizened up to actually get rid of one problem by having the army drive the savages off American land for good.
America had to keep pushing, or they'd get pushed over themselves and be subjects of one crowned head or another and the dream of free citizens would vanish into a fable of history. Jackson was a poor choice in leaders for such a time in James mind, but if the only other option was madmen like Gaines, he'd swallow his pride and salute the bastard.
He was here in Big Skies, and James Caney wasn't going anywhere, except up. Putting the letter away and pocketing the ring that came with it, he resolved to sell the ring when next in town and use the money to buy Jacob a new set of clothes including a new pair of boots. The letter he'd have Jacob scrape the ink off of it tonight, they could reuse it.
It might not be much to look at, he decided tapping out his pipe and getting to his feet. But this prairie was his future and America's he reflected putting his straw hat back on. They'd stun a doubting world yet by making something worthy of boasting from it.
Sorry if i have not been so active lately. I'm getting married and had to go to nepal for the marriage, and everyone including me are busy for the marriage. The pre-written chapters will be uploaded by the end of the week (hopefully) however after that i cannot guarantee a chapter for sometime. Nonetheless, do not fret, this timeline will continue, and will continue to be updated, just at a slower pace than before.
“The Russians reacted to the Afghan defeat in the Anglo-Afghan War negatively. This brought the British sphere of influence and its frontiers into the central plains of Central Asia, near the gateway into Russian Central Asia and Russian Kazakhstan. Something that Tsar Nicholas I was extremely wary off. He knew that in a conflict with Britain in the future, Britain could possibly reinforce Central Asia and invade Russian Central Asia, though Britain itself never had any motives nor any plans to do so. Therefore, Tsar Nicholas I then turned towards the three Central Asian emirates and decided to use the three as buffer states between Russian Central Asia and Anglo-Afghanistan.
The Khanate of Khiva
The Emirate of Bukhara, the Emirate of Kokand and the Khanate of Khiva were the three central Asian emirates of Central Asia and Tsar Nicholas I deemed Bukhara and Kokand important to be left alone as buffer states, whilst he was eager to annex the Khanate of Khiva, which had been a pain for Russian authorities in Central Asia with repeated Turkmen raids into Russia taking place via Khiva. In early 1840, Nicholas I ordered around 9,000 Russian troops in Central Asia to be mobilized into battle formations and war readiness to probe into Khiva and attack the Khanate. The Khanate was ruled by the ill leader and old, conservative khan, Allah Quli Bahadur, who had some Nepali and Tibetan blood in him from his mother’s side. This added the delight in the eyes of the Russians for a cause to attack Khiva, as the Empire of the Himalayas was a staunch British ally, and attacking Khiva before Himalaya could rope Khiva into an alliance using their marriage links, it could be eliminated as a threat to Russia.
Russia had previously attacked Khiva two times, both of which had been abject failures. In 1602, a Cossack invasion was kicked out by the Khivans with the aid of the Persians and Ottomans whilst in 1717 a second invasion was headed and led by Alexander Bekovich-Cherkassky and was soundly defeated with only a few men escaping to tell the tale. As such among the Central Asian Russians, Khiva had somewhat of a mystical and mythical reputation of being unconquerable and ill-equipped for war.
Count Vasily Perovsky
On January 4th, 1840, Tsar Nicholas I gave Count Vasily Perovsky mandate to lead the 9,000 men into Khiva and conquer it in the name of the Tsar and the Russian Empire. On February 18 the letter from the Tsar arrived to Orenburg where Perovsky was situated at and the next day the invasion started. Perovsky and his army was resisted with little to no resistance at the borderlands until the point at which they reached Aq Bulaq, where they were attacked by around 2,000 to 3,000 Khivans led by the son of the Khan himself. The Khivans fought bravely, but unfortunately, gunpowder spoke stronger than swords and the khivans were routed in the battle, and the only reason why half the arm survived to retreat was because the baggage train commanded and trained by Kazakh troops, staged a mutiny demanding equal rights to the ethnic Russians within the army and logistical corps, which Perovsky squashed within a few days.
A few weeks later after several harassing attacks from the Khivans, the Russian attack force reached the Khivan stronghold of Fort Emba. Fort Emba was a massive fort, built by the Safavids in their heyday and the Khivans had upkept the fort, with aid from Qajar engineers, and Afghan deserters who had fled to the Khanate. The Russians knew that even with their heavy guns, the fort would not go down easily so Perovsky ordered everything to be fired at without holding back, and a three week long bombardment took place by which time the fort was starting to crumble.
Despite the crumbling of the fort however the garrison held strong repelling many Russian and Kazakh attempts to breach the walls completely and throwing the Russian invaders out. Ottoman and Qajar filibusters arrived to the fort within a few weeks and managed to resupply the fort with small amounts of food, weapons and ammunition providing a small relief to the garrison. However it was a traitor that broke the fort as the Russians bribed the guards of one of the fort sectors and entered the fort quietly at night and slaughtered the garrison. The fort soon fell. With the fall of Fort Emba, the Khivans knew there was no real point in resisting anymore as the capital of Khiva was right open now. The royal family fled into Qajar Persia where they received refugee status and Russian formally annexed Khiva into the Russian Empire.
Using this force of war as his platform, he quickly negotiated a border treaty with Kokand and Bukhara forcing them to remain neutral in the conflict brewing between Britain and Russia, in return for Russian guarantees of their independence.” Central Asia During the Great Game: The Forgotten Front, Penguin Publishing 1997.
“On May 28, 1840 after years of reform and compromises, Prince Felix, the Minister-President of Austria had finally had enough, especially after the attempted secession of Hungary and Venice. He presented the Congress of Austria and the nobles of the realm with the infamous Felixian Ultimatum which asked for the following points:
With the assassination of his Imperial Grace Ferdinand II of Austria, and the attempted war of independence in Buda and Venedig, the situation must be solved immediately with the assent of the noble estate. We, the government of the empire, demand:
The implementation of the Personal National Autonomy Law
The legalization of ethnic languages within the school system to be respected
The recreation of the empire to protect the rights and represent each and every ethnicity equally.
The creation of an Imperial Diet that is elected by males of the empire 35 and over to function as the lower legislative house of the empire
The creation of an Imperial House of Lords consisting of all nobles of the realm to function as the upper legislative house of the empire.
The creation of an Imperial Council to function as the tricameral house of the empire.
The renaming of the empire to become ‘the Danubian Empire’ with the prior permission of his Majesty Francis II of the empire
The creation of local diets within every province as created by the 3rd Congress of Salzburg and its provincial boundaries
The conservative members of the nobles spluttered and protested against the ultimatum however Francis II was fully behind the idea, and as the imperial army swore allegiance to him and owed loyalty to him, his position was unassailable, and as Felix was an ally of Francis II, so was Felix.
The remaining Hungarian magnates, who were present in the congress of the nobles were the most fierce opponents of the ultimatum and pointed out to the other nobles that Felix was going above his bounds as Minister-President by literally handing an ultimatum to the nobles of the empire and that his actions were causing instability, which made France and Prussia eye up the nation and its disputed territories. The Prince of Schwarzenburg countered ferociously and ruthlessly calling many of the magnates betrayers by pointing out the attempted secession by many of the Magnates from Buda and Pest without the support of much of the Hungarian population.
The hungarian magnates
The Venetian Nobles also opposed the law but in a more calmer manner and pointed to the congress that whilst they were not against reform, the ultimatum was too radical and attempted to do all things at once, and it would be more prudent to commit to the reforms in a slow and steady manner. Francis II himself rebuked this statement calling out to the former 1st and 2nd Congress of Salzburg which while managed to hammer out the idea of a unified country in Central Asia, failed to implement it properly and pointed out that the time for reform as at the present and not in the future.
The provinces of the Danubian Empire. The Crownlands of Lombardy-Venice were separated
Finally without much choice in the matter, and with the support of the Croatian, Slovene, Romanian, Ruthenian, Polish and Bohemian nobles, the ultimatum that was presented to the congress was accepted and Francis II declared the Austrian Empire null and void, and declared himself with the aid of Prince Felix, Emperor Francis I of the Danubian Empire with a separate coronation ceremony taking place in Vienna on June 6th, 1840. The Austrian Empire was dead, however the Danubian Empire had taken its place. The Austrian golden and obsidian flag was brought down and the Habsburg obsidian and gold flag was raised as the new flag of the empire. A new era had started in the Europe.” The Great Compromise and Ultimatum: Felix’s Masterpiece, Imperial University of Krakow, 2004
“The island of Sakhalin always had an ambiguous history before 1840. The Russians and the Qing had struggled to take control over the territory ever since the 1600s and the Sakhalin Aino largely paid tribute to both the Tsar and the Celestial Monarch. Then the Japanese got into the picture as well in the 1700s with some Tokugawa engineers and mappers mapping and exploring the island.
As the Chinese faded away from power briefly due to the Tian War, the Russians and the Japanese signed the Treaty of Chumikan in which both the Tsardom of Russia and the Tokugawa Shogunate agreed to allow Russian settlement in the northern tracts of the island and to allow Japanese settlement in the southern tracts of the island, and decided to keep the political situation of the island ambiguous.
The French King Louis XIX took advantage of this. With his growing rivalry with Great Britain over influence in China and Asia, as well as his growing rivalry with the Russians over influence in the European mainland as the main land power on the continent, he needed to be able to have a firm base of command on the eastern pacific and the Sea of Okhotsk provided an opportunity for this ample amounts. Prime Minister Victor de Broglie too was eager for a secure French base of commands in the eastern pacific.
On July 7th, 1840 a group of French flotillas in Pondicherry was given royal approval and the approval of the French Chamber of Deputies to create a permanent colony and settlement in the island of Sakhalin and to create a secure anchorage, and naval base in the area. Around 20 French ships departed Pondicherry carrying some 400 French marines and administrators. Four months later, in the month of October, the French ships arrived on the coast of Sakhalin near the southern shores, which was inhabited by a small amount of Japanese, Russian and Aino residents. As no government held authority in Sakhalin, the French marines and troops came ashore and declared the island French in the name of Louis XIX and the Kingdom of France.
the extents of the aino people.
The settlement was called Nordville by the French (in otl Poronaysk) or ‘Northern City’ in English and was settled down by around 60 Frenchmen. The Aino and Japanese living near the area found the settlement an upfront to their new homeland and was extremely angry at the colonization attempt, and gathered around 200 warriors and attacked the settlement in late November, amidst heavy snowfall. The French marines held the attackers away and managed to successfully defeat the warriors and managed to drive them away and into the interior of the island, forcing the Aino and Japanese to give up on the area next to Nordville.
This colonization attempt sparked massive anger and worry in St. Petersburg and Kyoto. The Russian government saw this colonization as a flagrant attempt to seal the Russians in the Sea of Okhotsk and to alienate Russian from Russian Alaska. The Russians were not at all happy with the colonization attempt and Tsar Nicholas I demanded the French ambassador to withdraw its colonial territory in Sakhalin calling it a fragrant disregard of the Treaty of Chumikan. France refused, and Prime Minister de Broglie basically told the Russian Emperor through letter correspondence that the treaty had no effect on France because France was not a signatory to the treaty.
The Japanese State of the Tokugawa Shogunate also expressed its massive misgivings regarding the colonization and the attack against ethnic Japanese in the area by the French marines. France, naturally was not going to listen to an Asian power and did not respond at all, inflaming tempers in Kyoto. This opened the avenue for the Russians to court the Japanese. British influence in the Japanese isles were waning in favor of the commercially more beneficial Ryuku and Formosa, and the Russians found it easy to court the Japanese court.
The Treaty of Kyoto signed on May, 1841, solidified a new era in the Far East as the Russo-Japanese Alliance was born in order to combat British and French influence in the Far East.” The Russo-Japanese Alliance: The Anomaly of the 19th century. University of Nordville, Republic of Sakhalin, 2019
“On December 25th, 1840, on an auspicious day, so to speak, right on Christmas, the King of All Louisianans, King Louis Philippe I died of lung disease. He had been sick ever since 1836 and his health had deteriorated. His eldest son had died in a small campaign against the unruly plain natives and his heir apparent diverted to his second son, Crown Prince Louis, the Duke of St. Louis.
Louis II of Louisiana
Crown Prince Louis was not as popular as his deceased older brother or his father, however he was still accepted, and he ascended to the Louisianan Throne as Louis II of Louisiana on January 1, 1841, becoming the second monarch of the nation. Under Louis Philippe I, the nation of Louisiana had flourished and had managed to become an economic trade center with the nexus of New Orleans acting as one of the most important trade centers of North America.
Louis II ascended the throne during a troubled time for the kingdom. The kingdom was being forced to look for another patron as France became increasingly distracted with China, Austria and Britain and as relations with Mexico and America remained cool. The old Minister-President of Louisiana, Jacques Dupre also resigned after his father’s death and a snap elections elevated the Progressive Party to power, and Andre D. Roman assumed the premiership of the kingdom and was made head of government. Roman and Louis II were good friends and coordinated with one another on administration and foreign policy. In regards to their patronage, both discerned that either Britain or Russia would be a good choice, considering Britain had a vested interest in the commercially highly valuable New Orleans and a Russian duchess was now the Queen of Louisiana.
However both Britain and Russia spurned the diplomatic approaches of Louisiana. Britain did not wish to alienate its Mexican ally and felt that Louisiana would be too vulnerable to become a reliable ally, and Russia, with its growing rivalry with France, felt that Louisiana was too close to France to become a reliable ally. As such, Louisiana was forced to remain alone. This scared the living daylights of the Louisianan government, and this prompted Louis II into action.
Andre D. Roman
Louis II and Andre D. Roman passed several laws into place to make sure that the country could industrialize faster. The government took several loans from Spain and Portugal and invested the loaned money into lucrative industries such as maritime trade in the Mississippi and the budding rail lines in the nation. Compulsory military conscription was made law and ‘Military Independence’ was made a top economic priority of the nation. The navy was also developed slowly but surely to make sure that the country could defend the Mississippi river and its portion of the Gulf of Mexico. The country soon became a heavily militarized state and would eventually be called the ‘Prussia of North America’ due to its heavy industrialization focus and military focus as it became diplomatically isolated.” A Military and Economic History of Louisiana, University of New Orleans, 1999
“The Ottoman position in the Balkans was weakening in front of nationalistic sentiments. Whilst Mahmud II had done his best and had managed to overhaul the country and its systems the uprisings in Hungary and Venice had sparked new nationalistic sentiments among the Serbian and Bosnian population of the empire. There was also another problem. Sultan Mahmud II himself held the loyalty of the people, and when he died in 1839 the people didn’t consider their loyalty transferable to his successor and son, Abdulmejid I viable unless the new sultan proved his mettle for the people.
Abdulmejid I certainly tried and inaugurated the first Ottoman General Elections in 1840 in which the results were:-
Young Ottomans Party: 48% or 276 seats
Muslim Conservative League: 18% or 103 seats
Greek Nationalist Party: 14% or 80 seats
South Slavic Nationalist Party: 13% or 74 seats
Christian Democratic Party of Armenia: 5% or 28 seats
Independents: 2% or 14 seats
The elections allowed men of age over 38 to vote in the elections and the major victories of the Greek Nationalist Party and the South Slavic Nationalist Party was very worrying as the Serbian region and the Epirus region showed massive nationalist sympathies. The Young Ottomans and the Christian Democratic Party of Armenia formed a coalition government formed the government of the Ottoman Empire.
Meanwhile religious riots broke out in ottoman Serbia against the results of the election and tried to force a recount of the ballots, calling the ballot counters ill-equipped to count the votes. The situation turned into deadly ethnic riots as the Ottoman Serbs in the region began to turn against the local Turkish, Rumelian and Muslim population in deadly ethnic attacks against them.
On 13 July, 1840, the London Straits Convention was signed under pressure from the European Countries which deprived Russia of its right to block warships from passing into the Black Sea in case of war, and the black sea was now wide open for British and French ships as well. Tsar Nicholas I was also very aggressive in his expansionist policies, and his public proclamation of solidarity with the Serbian orthodox population made tensions between the Sublime Porte and Russia rise up by a significant amount.
The Straits Convention had also deprived Russia of a key economic asset and the military was eager to regain it, through means of war as well, and aggressive military exercises on the border in the Caucasus and the Besserabia forced the Ottomans to reinforce their borders. This military threat from Russia united the erstwhile foes of Great Britain and France together against the Russians. Mikhail Pogodin, a professor in Moscow University writes in a letter to Nicholas I:-
France continues to take more and more from the Mauritarian coast of Africa, and settles in Sakhalin. Almost every year, a new indian principality is added to Britain’s empire; none of this disrupts the balance of power, but when Russia acts in its interests much like France and Britain that disturbs the balance of power. The English and French quarrel in China, but that doesn’t disrupt the balance of power and no one else has the right to intervene, but Russia is obliged to ask Europe permission if it quarrels with its neighbor. England threatens Greece and the Sublime Porte to support the false claims of a miserable jew, but that is a justifiable action it seems whilst Russia demanding a treaty to protect the orthodox population of the Ottoman empire is unjust and not justifiable it seems. We can expect nothing from the West but blind hatred and malice.
Nicholas I replied by simply stating ‘That is the whole point.’
Meanwhile as tensions rose over the Sakhalin Dispute and the Russo-Japanese alliance, Louis XIX sent a French fleet into the Black Sea in February 12, 1842 thereby violating the straits convention and using French economic power within the Ottoman Empire, forced Sultan Abdulmejid I to accept a new treaty in which France’s monarch was made the supreme authority over Catholic holy places in the Ottoman Empire. Inflamed that Russia’s own offer for the very same just for Orthodox Christians had been rejected but France’s proposal for Catholics had been accepted, the Russians began to move troops to the border. Nicholas I sent a bunch of abrasive diplomats to Constantinople where the diplomats demanded the handover of the Danubian principalities to Russia and the independence of Serbia and Bosnia. Abdulmejid I was amicable to religious rights however firmly said no to the occupation of the Danubian principalities and independence of Serbia and Bosnia supported by the French and British ambassadors.
Using this as justification, Nicholas I declared war on the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire declared war on the Russians in return. Citing his duty to support the Catholics of the Ottoman Empire, the Kingdom of France under Louis XIX declared war on Russia, and in order to protect the Straits Convention, Britain declared war on Russia. The Ottoman vassals of Egypt, Attica, Moldavia, Wallachia and Algeria too declared war on Russia. The Eastern War had started.” The Eastern War of 1842-45, the Great Deluge, University of Sinope, 1999.
Chapter 44: The Battle For the Danubian Principalities
Excerpts from Britain’s Political History and Apparatus
“…….Immediately after the British declaration of war, Grey’s government started to fall apart. After that 1837 General Election, the Whigs had led forward a minority government in the House of Commons that needed the support of the independents in parliament to survive. Many of the independents in parliament were outraged by the declaration of war and did not support the declaration of war against Russia, and instead told Grey that he had been rash alongside his parliament in declaring war on Russia.
Grey defended his actions by stating that Britain could not allow Russia to gain supreme hegemony over the Balkans, as that would allow the Russians to gain a port in the Mediterranean and then hamper British naval dominance and trade in the Mediterranean Sea, which would be a massive problem unlike any other. He also pointed out that this was the most opportune moment to cement British influence in Central Asia during the height of the Great Game. The opposition Tories who were tired of sitting on the opposition benches for far two long (two long decades in fact) rebelled against the act and demanded a snap election to take place in the UK. Grey worried that such an act would hamper the war process of the British war machine against the Russians, however the Tories, led by Sir Robert Peel agreed to allow the government to administrate the doings of war before holding the elections.
After wartime measures had been put into place by March 21, 1842, the parliament passed legislation for a new snap election to take place. The elections took place on April 15 to 20 throughout the country and was fiercely contested between the Tories and Whigs. The Tories mainly campaigned on the strengths of Peel’s leadership which had proved itself after the London Police Reform which had been spearheaded by Peel, whilst the Whigs emphasized an impersonal platform of reforming the import duties on agriculture and replacing the existing sliding rate with a uniform rate of sliding pricing. The Whigs however were losing support. The Eastern War brewing in the Balkans was unpopular and many blamed the Whigs for dragging them into the war. The Irish regionalist party, Irish Repeal Party led by Daniel O’Connor. Ireland’s economy was mostly agricultural, and even though industrialization was growing in Dublin, Belfast, Wexford, and Limerick, the rest of the country was still agrarian, and as such needed a mixture of balanced protectionism and free trade to grow economically. The total slant towards free trade championed by the Whigs led to a decline in Irish economics and as such the Irishmen were more willing to vote for the Tories than the Whigs.
Grey unfortunately lost the re-election stand and the Whigs came in second in comparison to the tories who retook power. Sir Robert Peel was later sworn in as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Sir Robert Peel, the first Tory PM of UK in a very long time.
Peel immediately promised to execute the war on a more efficient footing and allow the UK to come out of the war faster and victorious as well……”
“……..As soon as conflict was declared, the Danubian Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia were caught between a rock and hard place. Both were Ottoman vassal states, however Moldavia had been occupied by the Russians partially ever since 1812, and the Wallachian Principality held little love for the Ottoman Turks which had subjugated them since the 1400s. On April 7th, the Moldavian Principality declared themselves for the Russians, under pressure from its pro-Russian government and people, and the Wallachian Principality declared themselves in favor for the Ottomans, unwilling to have its lands occupied by a new oppressor. In the mind of the Wallachians, better the devil that they knew, i.e. the Ottomans, rather than the devils they didn’t know, i.e. the Russians. This allowed the gathering Ottoman Army in the Balkans, a 58,000 strong army led by Heyreddin Pasha, a veteran of the North African War and the Albanian Revolts to enter Wallachian territory. On April 15, Heyreddin Pasha and his army entered Bucharest where they were joined by a Wallachian Army some 15,000 strong bolstering the numbers of the Ottoman army. However Heyreddin Pasha, who had been accustomed to the empire’s professional army troops after Mahmud II’s reforms found himself disgusted with the poorly equipped and poorly trained Wallachian Army, and instead ordered the Wallachians to become the rearguard of the Ottoman Army. The Wallachians, affronted by the slight, nonetheless agreed knowing they would not be able to stand up to the Russians in head to head battle.
At the same time a Russian army led by Prince Mikhail Gorchakov numbering some 70,000 entered Moldavia and grouped with the 9,000 strong Moldavian Army, bolstering its own numbers. Gorchakov was a strong leader, and a strong commander, much like his counterpart, Heyreddin Pasha, however was a more cautious general. He instead started the construction of multiple redoubts and defensive positions in Moldavia and instead settled on the defensive until his defenses and logistics could be brought up to speed for an offensive campaign.
And as Gorchakov settled down for a defensive war, Heyreddin Pasha smelled weakness and instead in a daring move decided to cross into Moldavia and attack the Moldavians and Russians head on in their garrison centers and their defensive positions. He split his army into two, with he himself leading some 40,000 men whilst his second in command, Omar Pasha, led an army of 33,000 consisting of the Wallachian Army as well. Heyreddin Pasha ordered Omar Pasha to stay put in Wallachia and form his reserve corps, whilst Heyreddin Pasha moved north to attack the Moldavian positions.
At the border with Moldavia, at the Buzau River, he encountered a small Moldavian and Russian garrison guarding the path to Posta Calnau at Maracineni and attacked the redoubts at Maracineni forcing the Moldavians and Russians back, mopping up resistance at the border, and moved inland in Moldavia, plundering the area.
Whilst many Romanian nationalists look at the plundering as an act of atrocity and in many levels it was, Heyreddin Pasha did not commit the plundering without cause. The local resources of the area was re-supplying the Russians, and he wished to plunder the area so that the Russians would not be supplied, thus starving them out of the area. He moved north and neared the regional town of Sarat, which was an important Russian and Moldavian town, and strategically and militarily very important as well.
Gorchakov was caught off guard by the Ottoman advance, however he immediately rallied his army south and managed to muster an ad hoc defense of Sarat and the nearby area. He managed to rope in Mikhail Sturdza, the Prince of Moldavia to lead the Moldavian Army in the battle as well, wishing to raise the morale of the Moldavian troops as well. When Heyreddin arrived on the outskirts of Sarat, he found the Moldavian and Russian soldiers ready to meet them. Heyreddin was certainly annoyed by this new development, however he was not deterred, and did not seem to remember his own numerical inferiority. He commanded a force of 41,000 against the Russo-Moldavian force of 63,000.
Heyreddin commenced the Battle of Sarat on April 27th, 1842 when he released his light Rumelian and Macedonian cavalry to probe the Russian defenses and the Moldavian redoubts to find a sign of weakness. The Russians and the Moldavians managed to repel the probes and stood their ground however Heyreddin managed to notice something. He found that his cavalry found it easier to probe and break into the Moldavian lines than the Russian lines, and as the Moldavians held the left flank of the Russian defenses, an idea started to bloom into the head of the Ottoman commander. He ordered his Anatolian and Epirot infantry to move forward and pin the Russian forces down and instead moved his heavy cavalry and heavy infantry troops to his own left flank in a move to attack the Moldavians.
Prince Mihail Sturdza
The Epirot and Anatolian soldiers (both Greek Anatolians and Turkish Anatolians) moved forward and attacked with fierce courage and pinned the Russians into place, and manage to engage them. The Heavy Rumelian and Macedonian cavalry then raced forward, with the heavy elite Ottoman troops trailing behind to attack the Moldavian flanks and attacked. The Moldavians at first managed to hold their ground against the heavy Ottoman attack, however soon amidst the battle, their commander, Prince Mihail Sturdza, the Prince of Moldavia was struck by a cannonade, and his hand was separated from the rest of his body. Dying from blood loss, the loss of their head of state demoralized the Moldavian army heavily. The Moldavian militiamen had been coerced into fighting by the government and the Russians and had little interest nor goal in fighting beyond protecting their home, their way of life, and their families. Without their leader to command them and hold them together, the Moldavian units quickly disintegrated and left the Russian left flank wide open.
Russian troops during the battle.
Heyreddin Pasha cashed in on this immediately and ordered the cavalry and infantry on the left flank to attack the Russian’s exposed flanks and the cavalry cut right through the Russian center like a knife going through hot butter, killing several Russian troops along the way. Although Gorchakov tried to restore order among the troops, and tried to rally them together, the panicked troops ignored his orders, and the Russians were routed by midday, and the battle was effectively over after that. Some rearguard fighting took place after the initial battle, however the Russians were forced to retreat from Sarat and the Ottomans entered the town victorious the next day……..” Excerpts from The Ottoman War in the Principalities during the Eastern War
“While Mahmud II had left behind a truly massive and powerful Ottoman Army, the Sultan had neglected the modernization of his navy, and whilst the Ottoman Navy remained a powerful force, in comparison to the French, Russian and British navies, the Ottoman navy was paling. Pavel Nakhimov, the Admiral of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and the Russian Admiralty knew this. And they also knew that they had to attack before the Anglo-French navies entered the Black Sea.
Admiral Pavel Nakhimov
Tsar Nicholas I and the Russian Admiraly ordered Nakhimov to muster the Russian Navy in Sevastopol and to interdict the Ottomans. From 1 to 23 April, the Russian naval squadrons were dispatched to the Black Sea, and to establish control. Two ottoman vessels, the Osman Pasha and Beirut were defeated by the Russians easily and captured by the Russian in small, detached and short engagements. Russia was able to establish operational and naval control of the naval sea lanes in the Black Sea using these small sea lanes. Nakhimov also knew that Osman Pasha, the Kapudan Pasha of the Ottoman Black Sea Fleet was somewhere in the South Black Sea escorting convoys for the upcoming battles in the Caucasian mountains. On 12 May, Osman Pasha’s flag was sighted returning to harbor at Sinop, and Nakhimov immediately ordered his ships to deploy themselves into a blockade and sent a frigate back to Sevastopol to ask for reinforcements from the rest of the Black Sea Fleet.
On 20th of May, Vice Admiral Fyodor Novosilliski rallied six more ships to Nakhimov completing the Russian naval force in a loose semi circle in a blockading maneuver. Additional ships were requested as well, however Nakhimov decided to act before the Ottomans got wind of the trouble they were in. Osman for his part was well aware of the Russian presence using scouting ships, however received outdated information of the Russian fleet before Novosilliski had reinforced it, making him believe that the Russians would not attack, especially at port in Sinop. Sinop had substantial harbor defenses and forts with interlocking fields of fire, and ample cannon. Osman did little to break the weak Russian blockade either, and even allowed many of his crewmen to disembark and walk around to refresh themselves.
On the 24th of May, Admiral Nakhimov decided alongside his officers that this was the moment to attack the Ottoman fleet before the British and French navies could reinforce the Black Sea. Strengthened by reinforcements, Nakhimov consolidated over 700 cannon in six ships of the line, two frigates and three armed sloops. The ottoman forces included seven frigates, three corvettes, and two armed sloops. The Russians deployed their ships in two columns and started to advance to within close range of the enemy vessels before dropping anchor and opening fire. Under Nakimov’s command, the 84 gun ship of the line, Imperatritsa Maria was the first to engage when she fired on the 44 gun Ottoman flagship, Auni Allah.
Nakhimov had placed his ships ingeniously. The dual triangular maneuver that his ships were taking part in made sure that his ships were in between the Ottoman vessels and the Sinop harbor defenses, covering the entire harbor with interlocking fields of fire. Russian gunners then began to attack all scores of Ottoman targets among the ships and harbor defenses. The Ottoman crews were taken by surprise, and panic seized them as they tried to douse the growing fires instead of firing back at the Russians to drive them away from the port.
The Battle of Sinop.
Only one Ottoman vessel, a small corvette named Taif e Islam managed to escape the battle properly using her fast sails to escape from port from the rear while all the others were sunk or purposely ran ashore to prevent sinking. She fled to Constantinople, and arrived on June 2, informing the Ottoman government of the disastrous naval defeat. Once the enemy fleet surrendered, the Russians fully engaged with the Ottoman shore batteries and destroyed most of them before retreating back from the harbor, having won a massive naval victory. During the fighting, around 47 Russians were killed, and around 258 were wounded and 1 Ship of the Line (2nd Rate) had been sunk. The Ottomans by contrast lost some 2200 men killed, 150 taken prisoner, and their leader Osman Pasha was also captured.
The attack was seen as a massive affront by the French and British governments, both of whom prided themselves for their naval prowess in battle, and there also remained the fact that around 60 Britons had also died or had been wounded in the shore bombardment, alongside 35 Frenchmen. This act and battle strengthened the war faction of the British government, and allowed the new government under Robert Peel to actually seek war.” Excerpts from Naval Combat in the Black Sea during the Eastern War.
“Like all Russo-Turkish War before the Eastern War, the Caucasian Front would remain a secondary front to the Balkan theatre, however nonetheless the government of Abdulmejid I and the first democratically elected Grand Vizier, Ali Suavi. The government knew that the Caucasian front was advantageous to the Ottomans, as the people of the Caucasus, consisting of the Chechens, Ossetians, Dagestanis and Circassians were all Muslims, and more inclined to aid the Ottomans than the Russians, as they were caught in a multi-generational conflict with the Russians known as the Caucasus War. When war was declared, the leader of the Caucasian Immamate, Imam Shamil, the Imam of Grimly, immediately ordered the Immamate to be on the side of the Ottomans and declared a renewed holy war against the heretic Russians invading their homeland.
The Russian troops in this region was commanded by Prince Mikhail Vorontsov and had around 40,000 troops under his command. Vorontsov was infamous in the Chechen, Circassian and Dagestan regions for his brutal manner of warfare which led to multiple guerilla bands being snuffed out against the full might of the Caucasian Russian Governate. The Ottoman troops in the region, commandeered from the Kars vilayet was led by Mehmed Ali Pasha, another veteran of the North African War, and commanded an army of 37,000 of mixed Turkish, Iraqi, Syrian, Armenian, and Lebanese troops. He was given the order to advance up to the Caucasian mountains and attack the Russian positions, and group up with pro-Ottoman muslim tribes in the region.
Prince Mikhail Vorontsov.
Mehmed Ali Pasha invaded on May 27th, 1842 and marched through the mountains using the growing summer season to his advantage and pushed through the mountain passes, taking the Russians by surprise. The Ottoman Army Reforms were showing their results in full as the Ottomans pushed the Russian garrisons on the border backwards and forced the Russians to flee back to the Erivan Oblast, where Vorontsov was based at. Vorontsov was worried by the sudden blitz that Mehmed Ali Pasha was leading in the Caucasian mountains and decided to lure the general into a major battle near the Erivan Oblast’s borders in Gyumi and its surrounding areas.
Mehmed Ali advanced through the Yerlivak region and entered the Armenian town of Voghji amidst great cheers from the Armenian populace. Everyone knew of the ongoing democratization of the Ottoman Empire, and the newfound freedom of Armenians in the empire. In contrast, the Russian Empire continued to be a feudal absolutist and oppressive empire which the Armenians hated. Many in Armenia now called for the Ottoman Empire to liberate the Armenian peoples of Russia, and form a new Armenian state under Ottoman suzerainty. Abdulmejid I’s brother, Sehadze Abdul Hamid, enthusiastically backed this proposal, and formed the Armenian Militia Regiments (AMR) which was soon filled with 3,000 Armenian volunteers. After Voghji, Mehmed Ali led the Ottoman army down south towards Voskehask, and fought the small garrison placed there, and defeated them. He then turned to the east, intent on capturing Gyumi. However there, Prince Vorontsov was already preparing a defense, and was going to stand his ground there. He prepared defenses at Arapi, and Azatan, the western approaches to Gyumi and placed his reserves within Gyumi itself, and faced the 40,000 strong Ottoman army, numerically equal to his own Russian force.
The Ottomans attacked first on June 4, 1842 and after heavy fighting drove the Russians away from Akhurik and forced the Russians back to their second line of defense in outer Arapi. Vorontsov reinforced outer Arapi with Cossack reinforcements and sent a message for aid and reinforcements from his fellow generals and commanders based in Lusabhyur in the east. However it is here that the Chechens and Circassians became necessary, as the Chechen and Circassian raiders, working on the side of the ottomans, intercepted the message and killed the message convoy column, making the other generals in Lusabhyur clueless to Vorontsov’s needs and orders.
Down south, the Ottoman Armenian divisions attacked headlong into Azatan, and the Russians repelled their attacks with ease at first. However when Mehmed Ali allowed the Ottoman 2nd and 3rd Divisions to fly the Armenian Colors of Tigranes of the Great, the Armenian troops present in the Russian army started to slink off and desert, or even defect. The colors had been made meticulously by Ottoman Armenian artisans and Mehmed Ali, displaying Tigranes’s crown consisting of the star of divinity, and two birds of prey, associated with Tigranes’s Khvarenah, i.e. kingly glory. It also displayed the colors of the ancient Indo-Iranian deity associated with Tigranes, Verethragna. This gap in the Russian lines was soon filled to the brim with Ottoman troops, and the Ottoman sappers exploded the Russian defenses beneath them, and with the Ottoman troops attacking, Azatan was lost as well, forcing Vorontsov to withdraw back to the city of Gyumi itself, and readied himself for a last stand to protect Russian western Armenia. The Black Fortress was manned and defended and the Ottomans laid siege to the Black Fortress, which protected Gyumi.
Russian and Ottoman cavalry clashing near Azatan.
Then soon night fell, and the battle entered a small stalemate. The next day however, the news was exceedingly bad for the Russians. Ottoman heavy artillery had arrived from Erzurum and the 48 pounder guns pounded the Black Fortress, creating small breaches where plugged in by the Russian garrison, but the distraction of Russian forces proved to be fatal, when Mehmed Ali moved his last reserves, the 5th Lebanese Division towards the southern front near the fields of Shirak, and attacked the Russians from there, breaking the Russian flanks, and breaking the Russian lines entirely. Seeing that his army was breaking, Vorontsov managed to rally his army and thankfully led a successful evacuation of Gyumi and led the battered remains of the Russian army, now reduced to only 23,000 fighting men back to Vanadzor.
The Ottoman army reforms undertaken by Mahmud II were showing their fruits in battle and now the Russian Caucasus was wide open for the taking.” Excerpts from The Ottoman Wars in the Caucasus.
i. The Battle of Sinop ITTL is very similar to otl, however somewhat different as well.
ii. Ottoman army performed well due to Mahmud II's reforms, however focus on the army also led to disregard of the navy.
1. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland: 24 million
England and Wales: 16.6 million
Scotland: 3.1 million
Ireland: 4.3 million
2. Kingdom of France: 35 Million
3. Kingdom of Spain: 12.7 Million
4. United Kingdom of Portugal, the Algarves and Amazonia: 6.7 million
5. Kingdom of the Netherlands: 3.4 million
6. Kingdom of Prussia: 16 Million
7. Danubian Empire: 32 Million
8. United Kingdom of Sweden-Norway: 4.2 million
Sweden: 2.8 million
Norway: 1.4 million
9. Kingdom of Denmark: 1.1 million
10. Russian Empire: 47 Million
11. Ottoman Empire: 29 Million
European portion of the empire: 9 million
asian portion of the empire: 17 million
african portion of the empire: 1 million
12. Tian Dynasty (china): 416 million
13. Tokugawa Shogunate: 24 million
14. Empire of the Himalayas: 4.7 million
15. Qajar Persia: 11 million
16. British North America: 1.9 million
17. Commonwealth of New England: 2.9 million
18. United American Union: 11 million
19. Kingdom of Louisiana: 1.2 million
20. Kingdom of Mishigama: 1 million
21. Empire of Mexico: 11.3 million
22. Empire of Brazil: 6 million
23. Kingdom of Argentina: 4 million
24. Republic of Paraguay: 1 million
25. Spanish Colonial Empire in the New World: 41 million
“……After defeating Prince Gorchakov at the Battle of Buzau, the Ottoman army under Heyreddin Pasha paused. There was a three-fold reason for this. First and foremost, Heyreddin Pasha did not wish to pursue the Russians for he didn’t know the troop placements of the Russians, and the Russian reinforcements could ambush his army with ease if he underestimated them. Second of all, the logistical support of the Ottoman army was waning, and supplies were falling low over the flurry of the war. As such, he had to stop to allow the caravans of supplies some amount of military support as well. The final reason was because even though war had been declared, backdoor negotiations were taking place between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire regarding a probable withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldavia. News had also arrived of the disastrous Battle of Sinop in which the Russian navy devastated the Ottoman Black Sea fleet, making the Ottoman supply situation even worse, as supplies now had to traverse overland, something that was more dangerous, and took a whole lot more time than sea travel.
the ruins of the defenses of Foscani today.
Heyreddin Pasha then having found out that the Moldavian authorities weren’t acquiescing to peace, fearful of Ottoman retribution for betraying the Porte, he decided to focus on his new goal. Kicking Moldavia out of the war, and throwing the Russians away from the Danubian principalties. His eyes eventually turned to the strategic city of Foscani. The city was in the middle of everything, and was a tripoint of the Moldavian North, Moldavian South and the Carpathian Romanians, making it an important junction point. More interestingly and importantly however, the city was also home to several defenses, which basically protected the capital Iasi from Ottoman attack and counter-attacks. As such, Heyreddin Pasha decided to focus on the city of Foscani. The Russians weren’t fools either, and Prince Gorchakov decided to fight and stand at Foscani, and led his army towards Foscani, alongside what remained of the old Moldavian army.
On June 9th, 1842, Heyreddin Pasha felt that his troops had rested enough and had been supplied enough and started to move north, cautiously marching his army through the fields and pathways, cautious of any ambush from the Moldavian and Russian armies. He soon found himself facing the rearguard of Prince Gorchakov’s armies and found himself engaged in several small skirmishes and engagements with the Russian rearguard near the area and moved north of the Romanian plains. He used his cavalry advantage, and the Rumelian and Anatolian cavalry met the charges of the Cossacks head on attacking and defeating them in several instances. As the reputation of the Cossacks was one that of legend and was legendary throughout of all of the civilized world, these victories against the Cossacks played right into the hands of the victorious commander, Heyreddin Pasha who used the victories as propaganda material and used it to raise the morale of his troops. Meanwhile as the Ottoman mobilization continued, the Ottomans found out that they had a definite mobilization advantage over the Russians. First and foremost, the Ottoman provinces were closer to the fight than the Russian ones, so the Ottomans could supply their troops more effectively and could send their troops to the front faster than the Russians could. Second of all, and most importantly, the Ottoman Military reforms of 1827-36 under Sultan Mahmud II had placed logistics at the very top of the needed reform quotas, and the Ottoman supply system was radically overhauled. Far from using local resources like the old system, a system of empire wide depots were created, and maintained regularly by active troops, and these depots were placed on very strategic locations, making it easier for the Ottomans to resupply their troops. An intricate system of dispatches was developed to make communications easier, and supply more fast and efficient. As a result, the Ottomans had a massive logistical advantage over the Russians, who found their territories in Ukraine lacking in logistical support south of the city of Kiev. As a result, a new Ottoman army of 20,000 formed under Omar Pasha Latas managed to catch up to Heyreddin Pasha’s army very quickly and joined the army, bolstering Ottoman numbers.
Finally on July 2nd, 1842, the Ottoman army now numbering some 65,000 men reached the outskirts of Foscani, which was heavily defended. Foscani itself was defended by 8,000 Moldavian troops and over 20,000 Russian troops, making any siege a very costly affair almost guaranteed. More than that Prince Gorchakov was personally commanding the defenders, which made Heyreddin Pasha realize his job would more hard than what he expected at first.
a painting and depiction of the Siege of Foscani showing Ottoman and Russian troops.
The defenses of Foscani was divided between an inner citadel with an outer ring of ten forts. On the 5th of July, the vanguard of the Ottoman forces under Omar Pasha Latas and his assistance, Muhammad Ali Pasha, arrived at the outer fortress ring and commenced the siege by building entrenchments. The Ottomans then detached around 6,000 of their cavalry troops and tried to surround the town to deprive it of supplies, however this failed as last minute Russian deployments and reinforcements from Iasi arrived just in time to repel the Ottoman encirclement attempt, which allowed the Moldavian and Russian forces to keep the town and garrison supplied. On the 22nd of July, Ottoman General, Abdulkerim Nadir Pasha arrived on the scene of the siegelines to personally take command on the orders of Sultan Abdulmejid I, who found him to be an able commander.
On the 26th of August, 1842, a sally attempt was made by Russian divisions led Russian General Dmitry Selvan, who led the Russian and Moldavian troops out of the fort and attacked several key outworks of the forts that had been captured by the Ottomans. However the attackers were left without proper support, and were ordered to withdraw, losing some 300 men in the attack in total. During the sally however, the Russians managed to attack and kill the forces of Ottoman commander Musa Pasha, who himself was killed in action and was subsequently replaced by British lieutenant Charles Nasmyth.
A British satirical comic strip on the Siege of Foscani.
However the Russians continued to defend doggedly, and the Siege of Foscani started to settle down into a general siege as hopes for a fast siege died out.” Russian Forces in the Eastern War, Osprey Publishing, 2009.
“Meanwhile on the 25th of August, 1842, around four months after war had been declared by the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of France, around 48,000 French troops and 20,000 British troops landed with aid from the British and French navies, as well as the remnants of the Ottoman Black Sea Fleet on the port of Varna. The French forces were commanded by General Thomas Robert Bugeaud whilst the British forces were commanded by General Hugh Gough. The French and British governments had agreed that both would be in overall command with comparable autonomy from one another.
General Thomas Robert Bugeaud
Both commanders began discussing the idea of a naval invasion somewhere in Southern Russia and Ukraine to force the Russians to sue for peace. These plans soon became centered on the Crimean Peninsula, which served as the major hub of the Russian army and navy in the Black Sea. The idea that came up in the minds of the two generals was to land troops in the small town of Alshutia, on the southeastern bank of the Crimean peninsula, which would completely bypass the Russian defenses on the peninsula. This plan was agreed upon, however as the Black Sea was still being contested, the plan to invade Crimea was postponed to March 1843, with the Ottomans promising to give aid in the manner of 20,000 troops as well.
Meanwhile in the north, the Anglo-French navies paid the toll free over the Oresund to both Denmark and Sweden-Norway and entered a commanding force of over 90 warships into the Balkans, which was commanded by British Admiral Charles Napier. Napier’s plan was simple. Sweep the Russian Baltic Fleet away and gain naval dominance in the Baltic, giving time for the British marines to attempt landings and conquests of the several Russian islands (mainly Finnish islands) on the Baltic sea. His secondary goal was goad Sweden-Norway into entering the war, by enticing the Swedish population of Finland, still a good fifth population of Finland, into armed rebellion against the Russian state, whom they had never liked anyways. The Danish and Swedish governments gave consent to the massive navy entering the Baltic Sea on September 3, 1842.
British Admiral Charles Napier led the Anglo-French navies in the Baltic Sea.
The Russians were extremely frightened by this massive naval presence. Fearing a naval invasion in Finland and Estonia as well, the Russian government under Nicholas I gave permission to the Grand Duchy of Finland to re-establish a standing army based on the allotment system similar to one that existed when Finland was still a part of Sweden. At the beginning of the war, the army in Finland only consisted of 1 Guards Regiment and 1 Grenadier Battalion. This was to expanded into 10 regiments by the end of 1843 and the Karelian winter forces stationed in Karelia, numbering some 5,000 men were ordered to march into Finland and take up defensive positions as well. Due to the antiquity of Russia’s Baltic fleet, most of which had not been upgraded after the Napoleonic Wars, Russia was not able to resist properly, and effectively, however considered its ships as a platform for their cannons and as an additional protection layer for their war ports such as Suomenlinna and Kronstadt.
Meanwhile negotiations between Britain, France and Sweden-Norway had opened up. The British and French flowered Sweden and king Oscar I with promises to give Finland back to Sweden. Oscar I for his part had reformed the Swedish and Norwegian militaries slowly, however had given emphasis to the navy, based on Sweden’s growing colonial project in West Africa. As such the Swedish-Norwegian Army paled in comparison to the Swedo-Norwegian Navy; for which there was no use in war as the French and British navies swept the Russian one away like nothing. However anti-Russian sentiment exploded in Sweden over the expulsion of Swedish speaking Finns and the general arrests of Swedes that the Russians had made in the Swedish minority of Estonia and Finland, fearing Swedish intervention. Oscar I was also the King of Swedes as per his title, and many jingoistic members of the Riksdag pleaded for joining this war, as their only real chance to regain Finland. Oscar I finally accepted the offers of joining the war, however on the condition that Britain and France would provide 7 million pounds in economic support, and Sweden would only join the war the next year.” The Northern Front of the Eastern War: How Swedish Vaasaland came to be. University of Abo, 2018.
“After his defeat at the Battle of Gyumi, Prince Vorontsov instead moved his troops down south towards the important city of Erivan, which was the capital of Russian Armenia, having conquered it from the Qajar Persians during the Russo-Persian War of 1828. The city was filled to the brim with military supplies and equipment as well as men, as Prince Vorontsov tried to find a way to defend the Erivan Oblast from the incoming Ottomans. He only had 23,000 men now, and the Ottomans now numbered 35,000 men, bolstered by Armenian volunteers who were volunteering for the Ottomans as soon as the Ottomans had pleaded and requested them.
Things further declined for the Russians when on September 9th, 1842, Sultan Abdulmejid I on the insistence of the Ottoman Senate, signed the September Declaration which declared that the Ottomans would try to force Russia into releasing the Oblast of Erivan and restoring the Kingdom of Yerevan as a separate Armenian polity, though it would recognize Abdulmejid I also as the King of Armenians and its state’s monarch. This basically meant that the Ottomans were now backing an Armenian state, an independent Armenian state for the first time in over 600 decades. The ottomans weren’t particularly worried about their own Armenian population either. The Armenians interested in independence could immigrate to this new kingdom, and the rights of the Armenians would respected as Abdulmejid I would not only be Caliph of All Muslims, and Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, but also the King of All Armenians, making him the Armenian sovereign. This move was backed by the British and French enthusiastically. When word of this leaked into the Armenian population in Russia, desertions and defections became commonplace and the defections in the Armenian section of the Imperial Russian Army ramped too high for the liking of the Russians.
Mehmed Ali Pasha and his army reached Lake Mantesh on October 2nd, 1842, as snow started to fall onto the Caucasian region. Mehmed Ali Pasha knew that he would have to capture the city of Erivan before the full onset of winter came, as otherwise, the winter would force the Ottomans back and annul the gains made the Ottoman Caucasian Troops. Mehmed Ali Pasha therefore chose to make a daring strategy. He knew that the Russians under Prince Vorontsov was started to converge on Mt. Aragats where the terrain suited the defenders extremely well. As such, he deployed his 35,000 troops into three columns. The main column, his center consisted of 10,000 infantrymen and 5,000 cavalrymen. His right and left flanks consisted of 8,000 infantrymen and 2,000 cavalrymen each and formed his flanks and Mehmed Ali Pasha then immediately attacked and assaulted the Russian positions near Mt. Aragats.
The Russians were taken by surprise by the sudden attack led by Mehmed Ali Pasha. Mehmed Ali Pasha intended to destroy the Russians at Mt. Aragat and then lay a quick lightning siege to Erivan and take the capital of Russian Armenia, no matter the costs. As such, despite horrendous casualties that the Russians inflicted on the approaching Ottoman troops, Mehmed Ali Pasha simply told his troops, his most iconic quote “Make Them Despair. For a Free Armenia.”
Mehmed Ali Pasha himself was borne to an Armenian mother, and knew the Armenian tongue well, and it had been one of the reasons why he commanded the Caucasian front. His personal charisma brought the Turkish troops towards him and his Armenian half ethnicity brought him the loyalty of the Armenians. Using local Armenians, he found a way to outflank the Russian positions in northern Mt. Aragat near southern Shirak, and had Ottoman Turkish Mountaineers scale the mountain side to take over the Russian watchtowers in the area.
Prince Vorontsov panicked however. He had only lost the northern most sector of the island. Here it was that the infamous Russian information inaccuracy came to play as reports came to his desk telling him that the Ottomans had amassed some 30,000 men in the northeast and another 40,000 men in the northwest, when in reality half the given numbers was more accurate. These numbers made Vorontsov panic and he ordered the Russian troops to all retreat back to their last line of defense on Mt. Aragat, the lake of Kari. Adorned and surrounded by ankle deep snow, the area would be hard to defend.
Lake Kari in Mt. Aragats today. Once the scene of brutal fighting between the Ottomans and Russians during the Great Eastern War.
Mehmed Ali Pasha knew this as well, and did not wish to have himself lose time in a costly siege. Instead he detached 10,000 of his men and gave them to his subordinates to command. His second in command, an Ottoman Armenian general Garabet Amira Balyan to take the 10,000 troops and capture Erivan, whilst he laid siege to Prince Vorontsov and his 23,000 troops near Kari Lake on Mt. Aragats. Balyan accepted his orders, and detached his corps from the Battle of Mt. Aragats and instead moved south to secure Erivan.
On October 10, just as heavy snow started to fall, Balyan reached Erivan, and managed to defeat the small 3,000 garrison of the city and took the city by the storm, forcing the garrison out of the city. The Ottoman flag was then lifted to the city’s citadel and flown as the Russian flag was torn down from the citadel. Meanwhile Prince Vorontsov found out about this ploy and the capture of Erivan on October 14 through infiltrators, and found out that he had been played by Mehmed Ali Pasha as the Russian and Ottoman troops continue to clash with each other near Kari Lake, this time in knee deep snow. Swallowing his pride, Vorontsov ordered the Winter March, which ordered the remaining Russian troops, some 14,000 to march over Tifilis where the Russians could be reinforced and have shelter once more. It was a daring ask from an army already famished by a lack of food, undersupplied with ammunition quickly drying up, and scores dying from the cold.
However on October 19th, the Russians gave up Mt. Aragats, basically giving the Ottomans their hard won victory and Prince Vorontsov led his army through raging snowstorms and tribal ambushes and 1 month later, a haggard Russian force of around 10,000 men arrived with Prince Vorontsov at its head at Tifilis. Prince Vorontsov for his part in the safe retreat was given credit, however his disastrous defeat which led to the fall of Russian Armenia made his career doomed, and he was stripped of his command in the Imperial Russian Army, and was replaced soon after by Count Vasily Perovksy who had returned from his ordeal in Khiva.
Meanwhile as Erivan fell, the Ottoman court began to begin preparations for actually respecting the word they had written down in the September Declaration. An independent state in Erivan was in the works.” Mehmed Ali Pasha: Lion of the Caucasus: A Biography. University of Angora, 2013.
“In early September, news arrived to the government in Washington led by Andrew Jackson that the European continent was starting to become embroiled in a war that spanned the great powers of Great Britain, France, Russia and the Ottoman Empire. This was big news for the Americans, as the Americans knew that they could not move against either New England, Louisiana, Mishigama or Mexico with Great Britain, Russia and France breathing down on America’s neck.
Many warmongers and warhawks in the government, and the now purely advisory senate asked President Jackson to conduct a war against Louisiana, with France occupied, many deemed it necessary to regain Louisiana during this time and period when France was truly distracted. Jackson refused to entertain such thoughts. He pointed out that while Louisiana and Mexico weren’t the best of friends, and sometimes downright hated each other, Mexico and Louisiana were allied with one another against the American republic, and attacking the Louisianans meant war with the Mexicans, something that could be fatal to the republic.
He also pointed towards the state of the American military. Under his careful guidance, the American navy which had been decimated in the War of 1812 was slowly starting to grow again, however with slow results. It did bring good results, however they were slow, and Jackson did not wish to rush the results along, fearing imperfection if he rushed the projects along. Jackson however was more worried about the American Army. It had taken all of Jackson’s dictatorial power to force the people to accept a legislation which would see the American army’s militias abolished in 1840, and instead the American Army was being merged into a fully professional corps of 40,000 men under the careful guidance of bought military supervisors from Prussia and Portugal. Prussian military tradition was something that Jackson hoped would be passed onto the American military, and grudgingly he had allowed some more military industries to be created in the country. Though, of course normal industries were still not allow more than what was needed, as per his anti-industrial doctrine.
American naval officers overlooking naval procurement ships in Wilmington, circa 1840
He pointed out that the American Military was still going under reform with aid from the Prussians and the Portuguese privateers, and that attacking when the army was in the middle of a reform could have disastrous results. Instead he wished to look for more vulnerable targets. Some pointed towards New England. Whilst it was true that the American army would probably be able to defeat the New English army head on, Jackson knew well that the New English navy was still at least twice as powerful as the American navy and as the American nation was a trade oriented economy, he didn’t wish to have his republic’s economy completely devastated whilst he regained a wartorn new England. The payoff didn’t seem worth it for the dictator.
An American Army Unit training under Jackson's 1841 Military Reform Plan in the Prairie Territories.
Instead news was arriving from Spain that Prime Minister Antonio De Saavedra, the charismatic Spanish Prime Minister who had restored Spanish influence in southern Italy and the one who had led the reconquest of Charcas, had died, and had been succeeded by General Tomas Zumalacarregui. News also filtered that the unrest in the Spanish colonies that had been silenced by Ferdinand VII and Saavedra had erupted again and the colonial population bristling with unrest. It didn’t help that Zumalacarregui’s own policies didn’t seem exactly popular with the Spanish or the Spanish colonial population. An idea filtered into Jackson’s mind. He would wait for the agitation against Spain to grow, thus allowing the American economy to grow as well, and for the military reforms to end as well, and then…..he would strike the Sick Man of Europe once and for all. ” Jackson’s Gambit With Spain. University of Richmond, 2011.
“Meanwhile on January 6th, 1843, news arrived to the court in Kyoto, in Japan that war had started between its ally in Russia and the powers of France and Great Britain. The Ottomans didn’t interest the Shogunate, after all, the Ottomans basically had no interest in the eastern pacific, barring a few nominal vassals in the East Indies, which submitted to the temporal authority of the Ottoman caliphate. Instead the Japanese were interested in the fact that this was the perfect time to divide Sakhalin with Russia, and get rid of British influence in their country, which they found overbearing, once and for all. Since Britain was also the guarantor of Ryukan independence, it also provided a chance for the Japanese to finally conquer Ryuku once and for all with the pesky Sho Dynasty of Ryuku being able to do anything about it.
However this was a dangerous move. Many in the Japanese court advise caution, and pleaded with the privy council to only declare an embargo in support of its Russian ally and not actual war. However the war-happy samurai population of japan was bristling for war, and the warhawks had become too powerful in Japan with the aid of Russian money and backers. The Tokugawa Shogunate declared a ‘state of conflict’ between the Japanese Empire and the French and British kingdoms, and shut down the dispatches of the French and British diplomatic services within Japan, informing them of the war, and sending them back under neutral ships back to British Taiwan and French India.
There was nothing the French could really do about the Japanese, as their power projection in the pacific was hilariously weak. However the British colonial government in Formosa, bristled at the declaration of war, and instead declared mobilization of the British Formosa Fleet, some 40 ship modern fleet. The Japanese had 120 vessels within their own navy, however only 11 vessels could really compare with their European counterparts and knew that in a serious head on conflict the British royal navy would sink the Japanese navy without a real thought. So the Japanese settled on a blitz campaign. They planned to land troops in French controlled parts of Sakhalin before the Royal navy could disrupt them, and planned to create a link with the Russian Far East to keep them supplied.
Lord Durham, Governor-General of British Borealia.
As this was going on however, news also arrived in British North America, specifically in British Columbia and British Borealia about the ongoing war with Russia. This presented the British with the perfect opportunity to nab Alaska, which had been the prize that many British politicians in the area wanted, as the Alaskan Fur Trade was very lucrative for the Borealian economy. The Governor-General of the Colony of Borealia, Lord Durham, declared mobilization of around 5,000 troops, and ordered General Thomas Copper, the local general to invade and conquer Alaska after the winter had finished. The British conquest of Alaska was to soon follow as the winter soon died out.” The Pacific Front of the Eastern War: The First Real Great War. University of Oregon, 1992.
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“The fighting in the Balkans and the Caucasian Mountains was on the frontiers of Russian logistics, and as such maintaining an army for the Russians in the Danubian principalities and the Caucasian mountains was a very hard task for the Russian Empire and its Imperial Army. However the situation was very different in the Baltic and Finland region. St. Petersburg, the capital of Imperial Russia stood on Ingrian shores, and the Baltic and Finland was connected directly to this region of the country. As such, the logistical support for the Imperial Russian Army was very high in this region. Finland could be reinforced by 100,000 troops at a minute’s notice from Ingria and Novgorod, as well as Pskov.
The Typical Swedish and Norwegian trooper during the Eastern War.
Throughout the winter, no fighting had taken place in earnest as both sides decided to take an unofficial break from the whirlwind fighting that had taken place in 1842, and decide their next steps of war in 1843. Britain and France hoped to divert Russian reinforcements from the Black Sea back to the north by having Sweden-Norway enter the war. Sweden-Norway and King Oscar I for their part were no fools. They knew that the Russian Army would be far stronger in their theatre of war rather than the Black Sea. As such they had taken precautions. The Swedish Army numbered some 40,000 well trained professionals and the Norwegian Army numbered some 25,000 well trained professionals as well, and in particular, the Norwegian Army was suited for amphibious warfare, whilst the Swedish Army was suited for direct confrontational warfare. Oscar I and the Swedish government intended to use this to their advantage.
The Swedish fleet had managed to link up with the Anglo-French navies at the ending months of 1842 before the Baltic Sea froze up, and the Swedish Navy had been unofficially aiding the French and British navies in navigating the ice free areas of the Baltic sea throughout the winter. The Swedes were waiting for the ice to break as attacking during the icy season could allow the Russians to simply march over the ice and capture Swedish cities, as they had done in the Finnish War of 1808 and 1809 which saw Sweden lose Finland to the Russian Empire.
By mid February, 1843, the ice was peeling away and the remaining ice was too unstable for any army to cross. As such, King Oscar I decided to honor his new alliance with London and Paris and called the Norwegian and Swedish parliament and asked them for their permission to declare war. The Swedish parliament was more willing to go to war, and immediately handed legislation to Oscar I, whilst the Norwegian parliament debated for a week before handing the appropriate legislation giving him permission to declare war on the Russian Empire. With legislation in place, on February 27, 1843, the Kingdom of Sweden-Norway declared war on the Russian Empire, citing its alliance with France and Britain.
The first action of the Swedes and Norwegians during the war actually happened one day before the declaration of war, which had been ordered to take the Russians by surprise. From Stockholm and Oregrund, as well as Forsmark, 10 Swedish warships, led by the Swedish flagship, HMS Gustav Adolf II managed to cross the Alands Sea, and appeared on the shores of Eckero, the western most side of the Aland Islands. The Swedish warships opened fire at the Russian naval defenses in the area and after eliminating them through a massive bombardment, the 5th Norwegian Marine Regiment, 8th Norwegian Marine Regiment, the 3rd Swedish Marine Regiment and the 1st Swedish Infantry Regiment, a total of 5,000 men landed at Eckero to conduct a ‘liberation’ of the islands. The Swedish population of the islands certainly did not like the Russian government and in many cases aided the landing enemy forces.
The Aland Islands.
By the end of March 10th, 1843, the islands had been cleared out of Russian presence in the islands, and the islands were fully occupied by the Norwegians and Swedish. At the Town’s Hall in the capital of Aland, Mariehamn, the legislative members of the Aland Islands declared their allegiance to the Swedish government once again after 36 years, and declared King Oscar I to be their sovereign, and not Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.
Whilst Sweden-Norway was successful in the Aland Islands, the Russians were more than welcoming for the Swedes to try an invasion of the rest of Finland. A small Swedish force of 3,000 probed the Swedo-Russian border at Tornio where they found a Russian contingent of 5000 troops and were defeated at the Battle of Tornio, forcing the Swedes to stay at their side of the border for the moment. Oscar I halted any invasion attempt before the army could be sufficiently mobilized and sufficiently prepared for a grueling long invasion of the Finnish coastlines.” Oscar I the Great of Sweden and Norway: Crimean War Edition, Kalmar Publishing, 2008
“The idea of the Ottomans sponsoring an independent Armenia was not a new idea, nor was it a novel idea. It had been floated around in the court of Constantinople too many times for it to have been a new idea. During the countless Ottoman-Persian Wars, the Ottomans had tried to create an Armenian state acting as their vassal state in the north, and in the wars that followed with Russia, the Ottomans had tried to appeal to the Armenian populace as well. As such the Ottoman government was fully aware of the case of an independent Armenia.
On January 29, 1843, the Ottoman government declared the State of Erivan to be an independent state, and that the boundaries of the state would be that of the Erivan Oblast within the Russian Empire. Garabet Balyan, the Ottoman Armenian General who had captured Erivan the previous year was declared the first Ottoman Governor-General of Erivan whilst the population of Erivan elected one Akabe Arakelian to be their first Prime Minister. The new legislative assembly of Erivan declared Sultan Abdulmejid I of the Ottoman Empire to be the Grand Duke of Erivan, and the saint of the Erivan Coptic Church, pulling the two states into a personal union. Abdulmejid I formally accepted the offer in a public assembly in Burs on February 14.
flag of the Grand Duchy of Erivan
Basically a copy pasted flag of the Antiquity Armenian kingdom.
This declaration had profound affects throughout the rest of Europe. Within the Ottoman Empire itself, volunteer centers for the army in Anatolia were swamped by enthusiastic Armenian volunteers so much so that Minister For War For the Exalted Ottoman State, Mehmed Cebal Pasha, jokingly stated that ‘Our army is full of Armenians now. We need no one else’.
Within Russia itself, the declaration was met with aghast expressions. Whilst the majority of the Russian Armenian population was centered in and around the area of the Erivan Oblast, there were quite a few of Armenians, majority even, in some places like Karabakh within the Karabakh Oblast, and in the eastern Tifilis area. The Russians stamped down on the Armenians left in their territory by pushing forward the anti-Coptic Laws in early 1843 which discriminated the state against the Coptic Armenian population of the state, and basically surprised the identity of being Armenian within the empire. Many in the empire, at least the reformists, warned Tsar Nicholas I that doing such an act could embolden the Russian Armenians to move against the Russian state even further, however most of the state heartily agreed with Nicholas I’s new anti-Armenian drive as Armenian printing press’s were closed down and Coptic Church’s were converted into Orthodox cathedrals.
Jan Zygmunt Skrzynecki
The idea of an independent Armenia also reared its nationalistic head somewhere else as well. Namely, in the Polish territories of the Russian Empire. One Jan Zygmunt Skrzynecki, who had once commanded the Duchy of Warsaw’s forces within the Napoleonic Wars, asked why was Poland a part of Russia? It was supposed to be independent, after all. Even though formally on paper Poland’s autonomy remained, in reality the de-facto situation that existed within Poland was that the autonomy was meaningless, as it was a farce of epic proportions. Zygmunt knew that there were around 1000 Polish exiles within the Ottoman Empire fighting for the freedom of Poland by siding with the Ottomans. Zygmunt decided he would follow these 1000 exiles, and conferred his idea with other prominent Polish marshals and generals, namely Henryk Dembinski and Maciej Rybinski. Rybinski and Dembinski agreed with Zygmunt’s plan, and the three generals defected from Russian command and formed the Polish Legions, fighting for the Ottoman Empire, and around 6,000 Polish Legionnaires would escape from Russia and enter into service within the Ottoman Army, which formed the Ottoman Polish Legions to fight against the Russians. Famously Maciej Rybinski converted to islam after reaching the Ottoman empire, and entered service formally as an Ottoman general, when he was given the name Mehmed Rybinski Pasha.
All of these efforts were of course supported by London and Paris. Louis XIX of course knew that France had massive pro-Polish sympathies, as many within France hadn’t forgotten how the Poles had fought for the French Empire loyally, and within London itself, anti-Russian sentiment meant that they would support any and all anti-Russian separatism that existed within the boundaries of the Russian Empire.” The Armenians and Poles: A Forgotten Legacy of the East, Osprey Publishing 1998.
“Emperor Ninko of Japan hadn’t been enthusiastic to go to war in all honesty however, he was overruled by the very enthusiastic Japanese Imperial Diet, who were fed up with overt European, mostly Dutch, British and French influence in the Japanese State. The Shogun of the Empire, Tokugawa Ieyoshi, was certainly not pro-west and instead was a proponent of creating an all-Asian faction and alliance against European encroachment in the continent, favoring an alliance with the Tian Dynasty, the Himalayan Empire, and the powers of Siam, Dai Viet etc. It seems that Ieyoshi had forgotten that the Tian Dynasty was loosely allied with the French Kingdom, the Himalayan Empire was allied with the British, and that Siam and Dai Viet was a hot ground of influence between the competing French, British, Dutch and Danubian traders of the region.
Nonetheless, Ieyoshi, after having taken power in 1837 had led the Japanese Empire into a time of modernization. In 1838 he had promulgated the Tenpo Reforms, in concert with Emperor Ninko, which was aimed at converting the Japanese economy from a peasantry based economy to that of a banking and credit economy much like the rest of Europe. Using Dutch and Russian observers, the Japanese managed to convert their economy fully by 1841, with the Imperial Kyoto Bank, being created in 1840 as the central bank of the Japanese Empire. There was some idea among the western influenced sections of society for promulgating elections within the empire as well however Ieyoshi tramped down on this notion with the aid of the Daimyos and the Samurai, all of whom knew that elections would mean the end of their power and influence in the state.
Nonetheless, administratively, Ieyoshi and Ninko started to create a more western modeled system. The provinces of the Daimyos were made into full provinces, and a modern taxation system was also implemented, with a portion of the taxes going into the Daimyos, who became hereditary governors of the provinces, for a lack of a proper term. The Samurai formed the aegis of the new Japanese Armed Forces, and many Samurai entered service into the new and reformed Japanese Army which was formed in 1838. Economically, the Japanese were willing to conduct a full industrialization scheme, however they didn’t have the money to conduct a full industrialization scheme until much later, so for the moment, the Japanese government had pursued a home industrialization movement, creating a industrial movement from the grassroots level.
The Japanese Army however was not ready for a full war with any European power in 1843. The most they had done for training was going off to Hokkaido and defeating the technologically backward Aino rebels in the area. The Samurai Legions as they were being called, were professional and dangerous if used properly, however they were still rife with clan and Daimyo loyalties instead of loyalty to the state, and the supply and creation of modern weapons was in very small amounts. The situation of the navy was even worse. Around 120 vessels of war existed in the Japanese Navy, however only 11 of these were capable of handling and fighting European vessels. The rest would be like sitting ducks for the Royal Navy and the French Navy. Marshal Kuroda Nagahiro, the Daimyo of Fukuoka, was given command of the 10,000 expeditionary army they were forming to invade Sakhalin. Nagahiro himself protested against the war, stating that there was not a chance in hell that they could take on the French and British on proper terms and come out victorious.
Kuroda Nagahiro in 1870
Nonetheless, he accepted command, and 3000 Japanese troops led by Nagahiro landed on the shores of French Sakhalin on February 18th, and started to fight it out with the French garrison present there.
The Japanese government also had another motive during the fighting. The Russo-Japanese Alliance was an alliance of convenience, and nothing more, however a clause in the treaty explicitly ended the free movement of Russians and Japanese in the island, and the Russo-Japanese Alliance Treaty had divided the island into half, with the northern half of the island being given to Russia, whilst the southern half of the island was given to the Japanese, as a part of their alliance and goodwill with one another.
On the other hand, both sides needed each other a lot. Japan needed Russia to be their gateway to the European world, and to export their science, technology and information back to Kyoto. On the other hand, Russia needed Japan to be a semi-powerful ally, enough to distract the western powers and its enemies so that their own holdings in the far east could be secured. As a result, the alliance became one of convenience. The two sides weren’t even communicating with each other when Nagahiro landed in Sakhalin, whilst a small Russian landing party of 100 men landed completely unaware in northern Sakhalin that their Japanese ally was doing the same in Southern Sakhalin.” The Russo-Japanese Alliance: The Rising Sun and the Bear. University of Kyoto, 1988.
“Around 5,000 men under Lieutenant Colonel David Price set off from British Borealia and decided to commit themselves towards an invasion of Russian Alaska on March 3rd, 1843 as the snow lessened enough for a military invasion to take place. The British had intelligence that the Russian garrison in Alaska was only 2000 strong, and centered around Novo-Archangelsk. This intelligence was wrong. The Russians had neglected Alaska for far too long, and the garrison on Novo-Archangelsk was truly only about 800 strong. However what made the Russians a canny opponent was the fact that the Russians had defensive entrenchments in and around the area, and more importantly, the British could not transport heavy guns and artillery through the snow, whilst the Russians had the heavy guns present in their forts to attack the enemy. The navies of both sides would be completely useless with one another as the frozen tracts of the area made the navies of the area unable to navigate the surrounding sea lanes. The Russian naval warships at port as well were partially frozen, however they at least could be used as artillery carriers against the invading British troops.
The british however also knew that they basically only had to capture Novo-Archangelsk, or in British terms, Sitka, and then the battle for Alaska would be over, as the Russians didn’t have a real presence else where in Alaska other than a few whaling outposts in the region for trade with the native population.
Novo Archangelsk in 1838
The 5,000 men marched up the British Colombian Coastline entering Russian territory wearing heavy clothing but taking less amount of ammunition to allow themselves to move quickly. On May, as the ice gave out completely, the troops arrived to Kuiu Island, which was an island away from the Sitka island, which harbored Novo-Archangelsk. The British troops now numbered only 3500, as around 500 had died from the cold and supply situation, whilst around 1000 were left behind in secure areas and depots as protection against native raids in the area.
The 3500 troops then began to construct boats in order to cross the sea towards Sitka island and with the aid of the British Pacific Fleet which steered north after the ice gave away, managed to commandeer around 20 ships and used the 20 ships to cross from Kuiu island onto Sitka.
The British landed in Baranof Lake, right at the mount of the pass between two major mountain ranges, with the pass moving towards Blue Lake, which overlooked Novo-Archangelsk on the other side of the island.
The British passed through the passes in the mountain following Baranof river, and eventually made their way to Blue Lake, arriving on May 27th on the area.
The Royal Navy appeared from British Borealia in order to aid the British forces, and around 6 warships of the British Pacific Squadron began to bombard the port of Novo-Archangelsk under the command of Captain Richard Price, who was the cousin of David Price. The bombardment distracted the Russians enough for David Price and his men to overcome the first entrenchments and enter the second line of Russian defense. A small landing party of 40 marines was arranged by Captain Richard Price as well, and the marines landed in Novo-Archangelsk harbor and destroyed the port facilities, and caused general havoc, diverting Russian attention even more. Finally after three days of bombardment, and after the British troops entered the citadel of the city after fierce hand to hand cold weather fighting, the Russian commander, Vladimir Agapov, the garrison commander, surrendered the town to the British forces.
Thus, the British conquest of Alaska had ended.” The British Conquest of Alaska, The Eastern War, 2018.
“Andrew Jackson within the United American Union was being caught up in what Jackson called the Spoils System. In politics, and government, a spoils system is a practices in which a political group after winning a victory, give governmental civil service jobs to its supporters, friends and relatives as reward for working towards the attained victory and as an incentive to keep working together – as opposed to a merit based system, where offices were awarded on the basis of some measure of merit, independent of political affiliation.
The term was derived from the phase ‘to the victors go the spoils’ by New Jersey Filibuster and Senator, William L. Marcy, referring to Andrew Jackson’s victory in the aftermath of the Gaines Rebellion with the term spoils meaning goods or benefits taken from the loser in a competition, or victory. Similar spoils systems were and are common in other nations that were traditionally based on tribal organizations and other kinship groups and localism in general.
a canadian satire of Jackson's spoils system showing jackson riding a pig.
Jackson’s Spoils System also directly affected the Barnburner and Hunkers Factions within the political system of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Barnburners and Hunkers were the name of two opposing factions of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania independent senators and congressmen. The main issue diving the two factions was that of slavery and the question of favoring the current dictatorial government or not, with the barnburners being the anti-slavery, and anti-governmental faction. While this division occurred within the context of Pennsylvanian and New Jersey politics, it reflected the national divisions in the American Union in the years preceding the First American People’s Movement.
The Barnburners were the radical anti-governmental and anti-slavery faction. The term barnburner was applied and derived from the idea that someone who would burn down his entire barn to get rid of a rat infestation, instead of applying rat traps. In this case it applied to men who were thought to be willing to destroy all governmental corporations, in order to root out their abuses.
The Barnburners opposed expanding the public debt, and were opposed to the power of the large state established corporations. They also stood up for proper state local control without interfering with the federal government. Prominent American politicians such as attorney general Silas Wright Junior and financial theoretician John Adams Dix etc were members of the Barnburners.
The hunkers on the other hand were the pro-governmental faction. They opposed the barnburners, favored state banks, internal improvements, and creating a compromise between the agrarian economics and industrial economics of the country.
This issue became a burning one because of the fact that whilst Andrew Jackson was dictatorial, he hadn’t taken away power from the local councils of the government, and retained the local council system, and maintained its semi-democracy within the country, making it the only real democratic system left in the country. The Barnburners would eventually apply for aid from the Democratic Union of American Youths or the DUAY, and came into contact with Robert E. Lee and his group of political dissenters. The Barnburners and the DAUY held several meetings in 1841 and 42, wherein the two sides decided to ally with one another. This alliance with define the coming 1st American People’s Movement.” Origins of the American Peoples Movements. University of Richmond, 1993.
“Lincoln’s first session in the colonial legislature of Lower Canada took place and ran from 1834 till 1835. In preparation for the session, Lincoln borrowed some 100 pounds from one of his richer friends in the area, and spent around 25 pounds to buy his first suit of classical formal clothes. As the second youngest legislator in Colonial Canada, and one of the thirty six first time attendees, he was willing to make a good first impression. Lincoln was primarily an observer, however many of his friends, colleagues and acquaintances soon recognized Lincoln’s oratory skills and with his newfound ease in bilingualism between English and Quebecois French, and asked him to draft bills for them becoming an intermediary of sorts.
When Lincoln announced his re-election bid in 1836, he addressed the controversial hot topic about suffrage within the colonial election schemes. Many in the opposing Hunter Party wished to expand suffrage to all white males within the party. The Hunter Party simply wished to gain the votes of the incoming Irish immigrant population and the Bonapartist immigrants who had fled to Quebec after Louis XIX started to crack down on them in metropolitan France. Lincoln supported the traditional Patriot position of expanding voting suffrage to naturalized immigrants with property ownership.
Lincoln was re-elected in 1836 and as the top vote getter in the Montreal delegations, surprising many of the Quebecois nationalists who found an Anglo now winning most of the votes in one of Quebec’s most prestigious cities. Lincoln continued to support for more economic reforms within the Colony of Lower Canada, and persuaded the legislature to perhaps look into an inquiry to aid the American refugees coming from America. This is of course attributed to the fact that Lincoln himself was an American immigrant, and Lincoln wished and hoped that other American immigrants would get a proper living in British North America.
In 1839, the Colony of Lower Canada and Upper Canada both signed into action, the American Refugee and Immigration Act that would create refugee hotels and areas for the American immigrants and refugees to become naturalized into, slowly integrating within the Canadian lifestyle and system. Lincoln for his status as a former American and an American immigrant was deemed to be the best man to handle the Lower Canadian Refugee Committee formed after this act. Lincoln took up this position in 1839 and became the Director of the Lower Canadian Refugee Committee and mostly oversaw the naturalization of the francophone American refugees into Lower Canada.
Meanwhile however, Lincoln’s infamous luck came into play n 1840 when he continued his job as both colonial MP and director. One of the new chief immigrants from America was former President Nathan Sanford and his family. Sanford was only willing to take refugee status as he was still very much an American man and American patriot, even old as he was however he filed for Lower Canadian citizenship for his children and grandchildren. Sanford’s name was of course well known in the political apparatus of the Canadian colonies. Lincoln met with the now old and wizened Sanford face to face, and with his oratory skills managed to impress the old president of the United States. It was during this meeting that Lincoln met with his future wife, Charlotte Sanford. Lincoln would soon court her and marry her in late 1841.
Charlotte Lincoln nee Sanford.
Lincoln becoming director and his well-managed management of the immigration and refugee crisis made him well known at least within the political bodies of the colonies, and when a small financial panic erupted in British North America in 1840, he stood alone as some of the few calm MPs during the panic. He proposed that the colony buy public lands at a discount from the central government in London, and then sell them to new settlers at a profit. Next he proposed a graduated land tax that would have shared the tax burden instead of heaping them on peasants and farmers. His ideas were adopted alongside a slew of other economic reforms called the Reformes d’Amelioration or Betterment Reforms in Lower Canada. His proposed reforms worked perfectly as intended, making his policies and political stances all the more popular.
When war between Russia broke out in 1842, suspicion grew among the Canadian born Canadians about the American immigrants, and how they were disloyal against the British crown and the mother country. Lincoln disabused this notion, and became one of the proponents of sending 5,000 specialized engineers to fight against the Russians in aid of the British. Whilst this plan didn’t go through, his willingness to stand with Britain was noted.” Lincoln: A Biography of Canada’s Father. Ottawa Publications, 1987.
“Throughout the winter, of 1842 and 43, the British government had persuaded Queen Victoria that she needed to marry someone. The country was at war, which was not popular, and the people needed something to distract themselves with. A marriage of a popular prince to their popular queen would be just that. Queen Victoria herself had been becoming close to a german prince named August Victor Louis of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Interestingly unlike the other Saxe-Coburgs, Prince August was a member of the Hungarian branch of the family. Queen Victoria agreed and proposed Prince August on January 19th, 1843 and asked his hand in marriage to become King Consort of Britain, on the condition that he converted from Roman Catholicism to Anglicanism. Prince August, a very devout man, was hesitant at first, however soon agreed to convert and converted from Catholicism to Anglicanism in a church ceremony in Canterbury on January 24th.
Prince August himself was a popular man within Britain during his frequent visits to Queen Victoria. Prince August had used the freedom given to Catholics after the Catholic Emancipation to construct new catholic cathedrals, and he had sympathized with Irish catholics, and had started a small Irish school in Wexford, which he had personally funded. His lineage was also prestigious, being the younger brother of Ferdinand II of Portugal, who was the King-Consort of Portugal to Queen Maria of Portugal. He was also the nephew of Prince Leopold, the unfortunate husband of Princess Charlotte and as such he was well liked in Britain.
Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland.
News of the marriage spread like wildfire throughout Britain and the population were indeed diverted from the war and became more and more involved in the upcoming marriage. On February 27th, 1843, Queen Victoria married Prince August in a lavish ceremony held in Britain alongside members of the Saxe-Coburg Gotha dynasty which had arrived to attend the marriage. The British Nobility and the government attended the lavish ceremony as well and after the ceremony was over the new couple went on a carriage tour of London where the common folk came out to see their new King Consort. After the lavish affair, the two withdrew to their new honeymoon which was arranged by the British government to take place in the Isle of Mann, a beautiful place, and far away from the hassles of urbanized Britain for the royal couple. Nine months later a prince would be born.” The Victorian Era: How It Defined Modern Britain, Liverpool Publishing, 1999
“On May 17th, Prince Gorchakov was being reinforced with over 50,000 Russian troops from Ukraine and Belarus swelling his army numbers from 90,000 to 140,000 creating a powerful army force now. As the Ottomans laid siege to Foscani, and their rears were now exposed, Prince Gorchakov decided to take a risk and attack. Nonetheless, he was stopped when he was sacked by Nicholas I for the blunders of 1842 and was replaced by Prince Nikolay Muravyov, who was deemed a younger and more stronger general by Nicholas I and the Russian Ministry of War, who wanted a stronger leader in the Balkan Front, which they deemed the best front to gain a victory in this increasingly unwinnable war.
Prince Nikolay Muravyov
Prince Muravyov continued with Prince Gorchakov’s plan for a massive offensive and began to plan an attack against the Ottoman forces near Foscani. He decided to march his army from Chisinau all the way to Foscani and vice versa to give the Ottoman Commander, Heyreddin Pasha, a false sense of security against the meager Moldavian forces in and around of the area. As such, Heyreddin Pasha, unfortunately became complacent in fighting against the sieged Moldavians and that was when Muravyov hatched his plan and trap. His army took a sudden turn against the Ottomans and their forces as the Ottoman lines thinned and he moved the Russian army towards the rear at Golesti. Heyreddin Pasha, who was now weakened to only 70,000 men after months of sieging, was forced to give battle on terms that he did not prefer nor like.
The Battle of Golesti.
The Ottoman troops were stationed on the area near in and around of Golesti whilst the Moldavians and Russians came from the north near Sud and Caerdac with the Milcov river diving the two armies from each other. Heyreddin Pasha could immediately see that his 70,000 strong army was outnumbered by the 100,000 strong Russo-Moldavian army which was taking up positions across the river. Angry at himself and his foolishness, as well as arrogance, Heyreddin Pasha decided that he would retreat and defeat the Russians on his own terms. He formed a rearguard of 20,000 men to screen the actions of his other troops and as the 20,000 troops formed up against the Milcov river, the rest started to slink away in an ordered manner, conducting a retreat till Buzau, where Heyreddin Pasha would make a stand against the invading Russian army.
On May 25th, the Russian columns began to stream across the Milkov river and started to hurl themselves in a massive confused melee against the Ottoman rearguard’s lines and forced the Ottoman rearguard to abandon one section of their defenses which allowed the Russians to capture a beachhead on the other bank. Soon enough more Russian reinforcements as well as Moldavian troops began to pour into the beachhead as the Ottoman rearguard formed up against the beachhead as well. The Ottomans then counterattacked intending to drive the Russians behind the river again, however their counter attack floundered as the Ottoman cavalry amidst the rearguard was in small amount and not able to attack the Russians properly. The Russians capitalized on this ottoman weakness and pushed the Ottoman counterattack away, and made their beachhead even stronger as the disoriented Ottoman troops gave way for more Russian encroachment. The Ottomans then took measures to a more defensive stance and took positions in hastily made redoubts which were unlikely to hold out for more than a day. The Russians decided to bombard the redoubt positions and to take the redoubts easily after that. The bombardment combined with the fact that the Ottoman artillery had largely withdrawn with the rest of the 50,000 troops as well made the Ottomans unable to counter attack properly and by May 26th, Omar Pasha, who led the rearguard action after Heyreddin Pasha withdrew with the bulk of his army decided that it would be prudent to withdraw now. By midday the Ottomans were in headlong retreat and the Russians had come out victorious in the Battle of Golesti which ended the Siege of Foscani in Ottoman defeat as well.
Prince Muravyov was then promoted to become Field Marshal for his victory at the Battle of Golesti. He would become one of russia’s most youngest marshals and took personal command of the Russian forces in the Balkans and then turned the tide of war within the front.
After the victory at Golesti, he proclaimed on behalf of the Russian government, with the actionable autonomy vested into him by the Russian Ministry of War that Russian would support a united and independent Romania, free of Ottoman rule, with solidarity with the Orthodox Christian faith. He called upon the electors of the Prince of Moldavia to choose a new monarch for ‘Rhumania’ and called for the Rhomani to join up in arms against the Ottoman Moslem Oppressor, even though the latter wasn’t exactly true anymore. The effects of this was profound. A reverse Armenian declaration if you will. Wallachian units rebelled against the ottomans and open insurrection took place in Wallachian towns and villages in support of their perceived Russian ‘orthodox brother’. Ottoman garrisons had to stamp down on the riots and rebellions quickly and efficiently, and in sometimes gory methods, which added fuel to the growing fire.
On June 20th, Prince Muravyov after being reinforced by 9,000 Moldavian troops decided to move against and moved south, forcing his army to march at faster pace than before. On June 31st he arrived at Buzau where Heyreddin Pasha was willing to give battle in what culminated into the Second Battle of Buzau.
The Ottoman troops were concentrated south of the Buzau river, near the citadel of the city whilst the Russians concentrated their forces into two halves, at Maracineni and at Gura Calnaului. The Russians then decided to start a massive carronade to depict their starting of the battle on the morning of the 1st of July which saw the Russians bombard the cross bank Ottoman positions without real mercy at all. The Ottomans reacted with kind with their own cannonade which bombarded the Russian positions. A massive confused melee of artillery fire on both sides added to the growing confusion sowing within the troops and near 10 am the Russians started to cross the Buzau river using plankton bridges. The Russian engineers had worked hastily throughout the previously night to construct the bridges and now the Russians used that to their advantage to cross the Buzau river in rapid succession. The Ottomans got wind of this and attacked, however the frontline Russian Cossacks and elite mountaineer regiments held the lines firmly allowing for more and more Russian troops to cross the river. The Ottomans were steadily pushed back.
The Battle of Buzau (2nd)
However during the afternoon a freak Russian cannonade struck Heyreddin Pasha and killed the man and commander instantly and struck a hard blow onto the Ottoman morale. Ottoman morale plummeted and the Cossacks managed to penetrate into the Ottoman center and destroyed it, forcing the Ottomans to fall into complete disarray. Disarray which they could not recover properly from. Omar Pasha took up command, however he was still sure that victory could be achieved and ordered the disorganized Ottoman troops to counter attack. The counter attack led by disoriented Ottoman troops was a massive disaster which was not only pushed back, but Muravyov even conducted a pincer movement which encircled around 6,000 Ottoman troops near the Buzau Citadel. The troops were massacred and Omar Pasha recognizing the futility of further attack decided to retreat back towards Ottoman Rumelia, deciding to abandon Wallachia to its fate.
On August the Ottomans retreated wholesale from Wallachia, abandoning it to defend Ottoman Bulgaria instead. Wallachian Prince Gheorghe Bibescu denounced the abandonment and using the pretext of abandonment to annul the vassalage to the Sublime Porte and gave his full support to Rhomanian unification. He switched sides and declared himself for Russia and declared war on the Ottoman Empire. For this action, Abdulmejid I sacked Omar Pasha and replaced him with Cukrulu Pasha and ordered him to conduct the defense of the Ottoman Balkans.
State of Romania flag
The Russians would try to break into the Ottoman Balkans, however the Ottomans would use the Danube River to defend the peninsula and the Russians would not be able to penetrate into the Ottoman Balkans. However the Ottomans had lost and this was obvious when on September 29th, 1843, the State of Romania was declared from Bucharest.” Ottomans in the Balkans. Belgrade Publishing, 2009.
“Florida under Spanish rule was a place that many called ‘The Decaying Peninsula’. This was not surprising. Under British Rule, Florida had expanded, and the infrastructural strength of the region had grown in such amplitudes that had never been seen before. However the handing over of Florida by Britain to Spain in 1783 led to the old inept Spanish colonial administration coming back, which was met with hesitant ambivalence by the Floridan population. Made up of a mixture of Anglos, Hispanics, Blacks and Native Indians (Seminoles and Creeks in majority), Florida remained on the backburner for many in the Spanish government. The Spanish Reconquista of much of Latin America in the late 1810s and early 1820s left the growing nascent Floridan nationalism seem like a lost cause, and many decided to abandon that in favor of a pro-autonomist approach. This was received with fierce opposition from King Ferdinand VII who threatened military force on Florida more than once during his reign. The dispatching of General Venegas to Florida with 12,000 men during the American Civil War was also an attempt to subtly threaten the Floridan population, and the people knew it. Not wanting to become a new version of the Lima Massacre during the Spanish re-conquest of Peru, the Floridan population slowly started to drop their autonomist demands, reluctantly consigning themselves to live with their lives.
St. Augustine in the 1830s.
However all was not well in Florida by 1843. Like much of the other Spanish colonies, the death of Ferdinand VII and the loss of his charisma which held the Spanish Empire together, the countryside and colony fell into whispers of rebellion once again. The young and inexperienced boy king Alfonso XII was basically a puppet of the Spanish Prime Ministers, an ironic fact considering that the Spanish prime ministers had previously been puppets of Ferdinand VII. In 1837, under Santiago Hernandez, the Florida Nationalist Movement was established in St. Augustine and was supported by the Black and Anglo population of the peninsula. Hernandez was inspired by the late and tragic figure of Simon Bolivar who had died in the March Across the Andes, and proudly proclaimed himself, privately of course, as the Bolivar of Florida. Despite his proud proclamations, Hernandez was competent and by 1843 he had managed to organize several riots, and protests against the colonial government, raising the slogan ‘No hay regla sin responsabilidad’ which translates roughly into ‘No rule without accountability’.
Unlike the Governors of Charcas, New Granada, Peru, Chile and Cuba during this time, all of whom were moderates and maintained colonial autonomy, unfortunately for many Floridans and Spain as well, the colonial governor of Florida at them time was one Leonardo Lopez. Coming from a proud aristocratic family, and Lopez was basically a hardline unionist with Spain and cracked down on any nationalist movement with tyrannical ruthlessness, and was called by the British and Mexican Press as ‘The Butcher of St. Augustine’ as he converted the once beautiful city into a military camp to stamp down on nationalistic fervor. The free black population of the peninsula were also bristling with rage over the Spanish refusal to aid the blacks of America, who were precariously close to the Floridan border during the insurgency of the Black Army under the Gaines Rebellion and though themselves betrayed by Madrid over this.
Prime Minister Tomas Zumalacarregui did not make things better with his ultra conservative views. A masterful battle commander he may have been, however politics would be his undoing. In 1842 he ordered the controversial Import Act which levied heavy tariffs on the Floridan economy in order to stimulate government incomes and revenue from the colony which infuriated the Floridan population. In February 12, 1843, the Floridans came out to the streets to protest against the ruling of Zumalacarregui and began to shout out for responsibility for the government. Lopez thought that they were calling out the accountability slogan sprouted by Hernandez and opened fire at the protestors. Much like the Boston Massacre, it was like lighting a barrel of gunpowder, and the entire Flordian population exploded with anger, with decades of pent up anger and frustration making itself known.
Hernandez was also a fool. Despite his founding of the basis for an independent Florida, he turned towards the United American Union as a means to gain independence. The UAU was certainly not a great power, however it was a regional power, despite its controversies, and hosted a strong 50,000 professional army, which could swamp the paltry 2,000 garrison soldiers in Florida easily. The small naval presence in St. Augustine wasn’t much of a threat either, though the Spanish squadrons in Havana, Caracas and Saint Domingo were definite threats.
In early 1843, President Andrew Jackson received a letter from Hernandez asking for UAU intervention against Spain to secure Floridan independence. Jackson was more than happy to oblige. He was getting old, and in his eyes he needed to sort out the American borders before he died, and he wanted to do this by the end of the decade, after which he believed he would die and leave this plane of existence. He began arming the Floridan nationalists and militias and sent American arms through smuggling and managed to goad the Floridans in their favor. Jackson also showed masterful diplomacy when he managed to unite the squabbling factions of the Floridan Nationalist Congress and managed to make them form a united front against Spain.
Spain which was still undergoing heavy upheavals within its latin American colonies, as well as armed resistance in Charcas, was unable to respond properly to the impending threat. After secretly mobilizing the army under the command of William J. Worth the army of around 12,000 men, consisting of the entire Southern Command was sent to the Florida border.
American invasion of Florida.
On May 18th, 1843, the United American Union, with aid from the Floridan Nationalist Movement and Floridan Nationalist Congress, invaded Florida, as the American Navy also set up a small blockade of the peninsula. The American Conquest of Florida was soon to follow.” History Pamphlet of the Floridan Nationalist Party before the Florida Independence Referendum of 1979, which established an independent Florida after 2 centuries of struggle.
And now a Vignette created with permission by the Author:
THE BUSINESS OF EXPANSION:
If you took care of your shop your shop would take care of you, that was a saying Gontran Desmarsis had from his father who had it from his and so on back to France herself. It had seen his family's store thrive in New Orleans through many changes in flags, and it had served him well here in Harperville(1) with his general store.
The store was empty of customers at the moment, typical for the time ad day, but that let him observe it with a critical eye. The shelves were properly stocked, the rows were orderly, the jars of sweets and other delicacies upon and behind the counter were shined to a polish and the barrels stood firm as they ought too. He even admitted the announcements written on the chalk board by the door were acceptable.
His assistant of two years now, Thomas Flynn, had improved in writing French if not speaking the refined tongue. Even now the young man was diligently sweeping the far end of the store.
Gontran clicked his tongue recalling how other businessmen on the street had sneered at him employing an Anglo, even a Catholic whose family had escaped Bloody Andy's tyranny. He was old enough to remember when Louisiana was part of the USA, and while he did not miss the USA he knew full well it had been better than the Union of today. He could not blame decent folks wanting to escape that mess; and feeling that way refusing a man who just wanted honest work to feed himself and his family seemed unreasonable in both being a Christian and a businessman.
"Its a lovely day Tommy, I'm stepping out," Monsieur Desmarsis said.
He was not worried as he went on to the boardwalk of Tommy slacking. A good man with a decent wage will work hard to keep it. Slave owners might harp on but as far as this man was concerned business told, as well as morality, that it was better for a boss and worker to shake hands on a contract as men rather than stare in mutual unease with shackle and lash between them.
After all looking around the street starting to bustle wasn't this city proof? Harperville had fewer slaves than New Orleans or Saint Louis yet the city grew more with each year. When he had pulled up stakes from New Orleans his father and everyone had bemoaned him setting out for a savage frontier. He had not found a savage land, but as he had thought a place of growth and opportunity on the Arkansas River.
He couldn't have afforded to set up shop in such a fine neighborhood as this had become back down in the delta, or upriver for that matter.
The Arkansas River was still a rougher country than the Father of the Waters, but it grew more civilized by the year both as settlements grew along its length and settlement further west grew and the river was their link to the Kingdom proper. Even the tragic death of the dauphin, the Lord keep his soul, had not stopped civilization's advance along the rivers course.
Of course it was not without flaws, Harperville; yes there were not as many proper Frenchmen as he would like. Many Catholic Anglos like Thomas found themselves more welcome the further they were from the border, and Harperville was the finest city to be far from the great river in the kingdom. Freedmen had also taken to the city as a destination for new beginnings. There were still more slaves than Freedmen but overall the institution was thinner on the ground here, and it was less an odd sight than elsewhere for a prosperous man to be "dark enough to match his suit" as the saying had sprung up.
And there were the Comanche as well. Though very few had taken the city as home their presence was often felt. While many tribes preferred trade outside even towns, more and more came like proper customers.
In fact turning his head to a minor hubbub he smiled to see rumors of the morning were true, with a band of Comanche coming down the street. You could tell locals from outsiders with how they reacted. Typical Delta dwellers, can hardly see a native, much less a group of them, without making a fuss of it.
Recognizing the young Comanche man leading the group he put on his best business smile and stepped further into the street giving a greeting in the customers' own tongue before returning to the Cajun French so many of them knew well, to welcome them back and commence with business.
Money was money, and anyone with money they were willing to spend was a customer. His father had not taught him that lesson, but he took his prosperous income from regular customers of all colors as proof of concept.
Now if only the government wasn't stealing his sons off to the army, he thought as he ushered the Comanche men into his store and snapped for Tommy be at the ready.
So like my graduate finals are coming up in 2 weeks and i am already pretty far behind. Because of that i will be taking a 2 month hiatus from all of my TLs on this site. Don't worry though this TL is not going to be abandoned! Please just do have patience.
A Thesis of American Literature under the Destitute Era
Perhaps the most prolific writer of the American Destitute Era would be Edgar Allan Poe. He was an American short story writer, poet and critic. As the son of a poor New English Unionist Immigrant, he was spat down upon, and his chances for work were always poor. In 1826 amidst the American Civil War he joined the American Army and became a colonel in the army before being discharged in 1829 after a small slave rebellion in Alabama left him unable to shoot a rifle properly with his right hand. He failed to earn a living by writing and much of his works were further exacerbated by the fact that the government censored them. In 1849, he lost his life by siding with the Democratic Union of American Youths when the Secret Police of the Destitute Era barged into his home and put the poor writer to the sword. His wife managed to escape with their children all the way to New England, taking up refuge there in what became a precursor to the 1st American People’s Movement.
His fiction and poetry are gothic in nature, his style characterized by his fascination with the grotesque and macabre. He uses this style with cunning and good use to describe the Destitute Era with his multiple books and poems.
Case Study Story – The Heart that Tattled.
Note: The Heart of the Bloodied was written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1844 during his tenure as a special lieutenant engineer in the American Army during the invasion of Florida. In it, he describes the horrible realities of war, slavery and the Destitute Era.
True! – Nervous, very nervous I had been and am. But would you say I am mad? For I am not I can assure you on that. My arm was weakened, but I was gifted in other ways after the strength of my arm was taken from me. God had sharpened my senses. My smell and my acute hearing. I heard all things above in heaven, here in earth and down along the ridges of hell. How, then am I mad? Hearken! Ad observe how healthily and calmly I can tell you this story.
It is impossible to say when the idea first entered my mind but once it was conceived it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old Colonel of our regiment. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold, I had no desire. For his luxurious and beautiful daughter, I had no love or lust! I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture, reckon that’s how he climbed the ranks in the army during the war, a pair of pale blue eyes, whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees-very gradually-I made up my mind to take the life of the Colonel and thus get rid of the eye once and for all forever!
On the first day we encountered Spanish troopers defending a ridge with all they had. The colonel told our regiment to hunker down and start a small siege of the defensive positions that the Spaniards and their Seminole allies had taken up, in a nearby old fort as well. The Colonel asked me take command of the explosion corps and to destroy the fortifications with my prowess in explosions. Now this is the point!
You fancy me mad! Madmen know nothing! But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely made up my cunning plan with which I would kill the Colonel and defeat the Spaniards simultaneously! Every night for the two week long siege, the Colonel went out on the siegelines of the battle, and inspected our artillery and explosives. And every night, I followed him. Oh you would have laughed to see how cunningly I followed the Colonel, not making a noise at all, and remaining ahead of him at every step! I would remain quiet and observe his inspections for hours on the end, and moved very very slowly, so as to not disturb the man’s inspection. Ha! Would a madman be as wise as this? No they would not!
After the small inspections, the Colonel would retreat back to his tent, and sleep. Every night for the rest of the week, I followed him into his tent, and remained there, until the old man finally fell asleep in his makeshift bed. Then, I would undo the lantern I held in my arms so cautiously – oh so cautiously – so that a single ray of light fell upon his vulture eye. And I did this for eight long nights – every night it was at around midnight - but I always found the vulture eye to be closed, and so it was impossible to kill him. For it was not the Colonel that had wronged or vexed me, but it was his vulture eye. And every morning, when dawn broke out, I would shove past his unwitting guards, and greet the Colonel boisterously, calling him by name and speaking in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he had passed the night.
Finally on the ninth night, I struck gold. A letter had arrived from the War ministry. Something about reinforcements from Cuba for the Spaniards. The old colonel was unsettled by the news. He hid himself inside his tent and settled down onto the bed unsteadily. I shrugged past the sleeping guards quietly, and applied Tricholoromethane  onto my handkerchief and knocked the sleeping guards unconscious and pushed them towards the wayside. I then entered the tent quietly. However the old colonel may had noticed something and he spreang out of his bed and cried out – “Who’s there?”
I kept still in my hiding space and said nothing and did nothing. For an entire hour I hid in my hiding place, sitting still, and breathing slowly so as to make the noise of my breath simmer down! Would madmen be as wise as this? No I think not!
Presently, I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of grief or even pain – oh no! – it was the groan of fear and terror, it was the low stifled sound that arises from when the soul knows that it is being hunted upon. The Colonel had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: It’s the night guards making the noise, its those bloody Spaniards and Seminoles making these dastardly noises, etc etc…….but found them all to be in vain! All in vain! Death was approaching the colonel and stalked his black shadow and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel – although he neither saw nor heard – to feel the presence of body in the tent.
After the old man fell asleep –finally! – I slowly lit my lantern again. And finally! Finally! The ray of light fell upon his eye, which was wide open, his mouth hanging agape as he looked at me – I was still recognizable in the dark due to the lantern after all – With a silent yell I threw open the lantern and leaped onto his bed. He shrieked once for nary a second before I dragged him to the floor and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But for many minutes, the heart beat went on with a muffled sound. This did not vex me. Not at all. I slowly dragged the body to the small cabin next to the now deceased Colonel’s tent, which was being used as the Engineer’s camp, my camp and buried the body by dismembering it and hiding it beneath the planks.
It was the perfect crime! I cleaned the tent and my cabin for hours before I settled down for a nap at around 4 in the morning. The camp woke up like it did everyday when the artillery corps began to shell the Spanish positions. The disappearance of the Colonel was of course known and felt and that afternoon the Ordnance sent the High Commissioner of Discipline, an extension of Jackson’s secret service in the army to investigate the disappearance. By the evening it was my turn. I invited the Commissioners into my temporary cabin and laughed heartily with them, debating the disappearance.
I bade them to search and search well. In my enthusiasm, I brought chairs into the room and desired for them to rest in my Head Engineer cabin, while I myself sat down and chatted with them amiably. The Commissioners were sure of my innocence, I was singularly at ease, and my manners had convinced them. They decided to take me on my offer, and sat down drinking cold water and discussing how to divide the old Colonel’s slaves back in Atlanta. I am proud to say I managed to bid myself 8 slaves! And one of them according to a picture, was as beautiful as a European princess, her black texture aside. I was proud of the fact and the Commissioners bemoaned at me in slight jest that I was too lucky with the slave draw.
But ere long, I felt myself getting more and paler, and wished the commissioners gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: But the commissioners still sat and smiled and chatted. The ringing became more distinct as time went on! No doubt I had become very pale. I tried to deflect it by speaking in higher tones, but the voice and its rhythm simply became larger. What could I do? It was a sound as low, dull and quick – much such a sound as a watch makes when it is enveloped in cotton! It grew louder! Louder! LOUDER! And still the commissioners smiled and laughed with me. Was it possible that they had heard? Almighty God! – No! NO! – they had heard! They knew! The Commissioners had weeded the loyalists and federalists in the army by using twisted psychological methods, and saw around 10,000 former servicemen killed or imprisoned! And now they were doing the same with me! They knew! They were making a mockery of my suffering and my inordinate guilt. This I thought and this I think. But anything was better than this silent agony. Anything, even Commissioner Imprisonment was tolerable than this derision! I could not bear those hypocritical, mocking and twisted smiles any longer! I felt that I must scream and die And now – again! – hark! Louder! Louder! LOUDER! LOUDER!
“Villains! Hypocrites! Spies of Jackson!” I shrieked. “Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! – tear up the planks! Here here! – it is the beating of his hideous heart!”
A/N: This is a parody of the Tell-Tale Heart written by Edgar Allan Poe in otl adapted for this timeline. I have no rights to it. All claims and copyrights belong to Edgar Allan Poe
I find literature an underappreciated part of Alternate History and this is my take on it!