The Stars at Night: A Texas Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Sicarius, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. lothaw Texan Nationalist

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Nice to see it's back. A civil war with an independent Texas is interesting. I see a lot of "unofficial" civillian aide going over the Texas/Southern border. Ships will be sailing into Galveston full of munitions and supplies and sailing away full of cotton. :p
     
  2. Sicarius yeeeeehaw

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiii-

    Yeah it's been pretty shameful, but I'm wrapping up grad school so it's kind of a tornado of bullshit lately. I've got the next bit more or less done, but I think I want to get a little further along so it doesn't become a once-a-month deal.

    I appreciate that y'all are enjoying it, though! I'll do my best to get some good stuff coming along as soon as I can!
     
  3. Sicarius yeeeeehaw

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Aw fuck it, here we go!

    As we segue from the end of the American sideshow back to Texas...

    Part 16
    Dixie Dregs

    President Reagan peered over his desk at his first official foreign visitor. Maybe. Mr. Pendleton Murrah, ambassador of … The Republic of South Carolina?

    “Mr. President, I am pleased to offer you the laurel of friendship, extended from all the people of the great state of South Carolina. Today we stand alone, but soon a mighty Confederacy shall rise, a new power and a natural ally of the Texian Republic!”

    “I see,” the President said. John Reagan was a more thoughtful type than usually occupied the President’s office - certainly more so than the only just departed Burleson, who seemed happy to leave. President Burleson had held a hard line against the Indian problem, but he found pulling the trigger on legislation just wasn’t as fun as pulling the trigger on a rifle.

    [​IMG]
    ♫ Big John! Big JooOOOoohn! Big bad John. ♫

    Murrah was talking again. Texas didn’t have much of a foreign policy, per se. There was France, of course. For all the problems that’s starting to cause, Reagan thought. “No Taxation, No Representation!” was the unofficial slogan of the equally unofficial anti-foreigner Texian Party, a crude knockoff of the American Party. Know-Nothings, they’re called up north. Accurately. French trade had filled Texian coffers and French forts had effectively neutralized the Mexican threat. If anything, Mexico was the one that was worrying these days, about France. But beyond Mexico and France, there wasn’t much in the way of foreign relations. No foreign entanglements, as Washington said, Reagan thought. Texas relations with the United States had been cordial yet cool, more or less empty formalities, since the the Mexican War. Burleson had hardly worked to improve that, but Reagan was hoping to begin to repair the situation. And now this. What did this mean for Texas? Was Pendleton right? Was America about to split into two republics, slave and free? Texas had the support of France for now, despite its particular institution. But down the road, who knows. It might be in Texas’s interest to have a fellow slave power nearby.

    “Mr. Murrah, if I may. I have a single question, which perhaps you are best equipped to answer.”

    “Please ask, sir, I am your servant.”

    “Do you actually think you can win?”

    ***

    “OF COURSE WE WILL TRIUMPH!” Robert Rhett was nearly scarlet. “The people of the South will rise up in one voice and say NO to the so-called Freedom Party! NO to an Africanized America! NO to the tyrant William Sewer! The only problem, I put it to you, will be keeping the ‘free’ states out of our Confederation!” [1]

    The delegation from Alabama wasn’t sure they were buying it. President Cass had yet to move against the secessionists, and it looked like he would simply allow his term in office to draw to an ignominious close. But when Seward became President, would the might of the United States be directed against the secessionist cause? Many in the South were calling to join the South Carolinians, but many more were unconvinced. Thus, Robert Rhett’s “good will” visit. Rhett, a longtime advocate of leaving the Union, was utterly convinced of his rightness, and the sheer force of his character certainty seemed to draw others in. If nothing else, he was definitely loud...

    ***

    [​IMG]

    “We must endeavor to keep this quiet,” Jefferson Davis said. The nation had dragged itself into 1857 with a heavy sense of dread. Alabama and Mississippi had joined South Carolina in departing the Union, and all assembled were only waiting for the formality of Florida finishing its convention. Senator Davis looked around the table at his fellow diners - Congressman Robert Toombs of Georgia, Senator R.M. Taliaferro Hunter of Virginia, and Senator Judah Benjamin of Louisiana. A small group, but one that Davis felt could speak freely and privately. They had assembled in the National Hotel to discuss what they, elected members of the United States congress, were to do in light of the crisis.

    “I maintain,” said Hunter, “that it is still possible to preserve the Union as an equal partnership between North and South. My correspondence has kept me abreast of developments in Virgina - many are not ready to so soon leave the Republic. They feel that radicalism has distorted the thinking of their Southern brethren.”

    “It is too late,” Toombs said, fixing Hunter with his baleful stare. “Georgia shall soon join with the secessionists. As it should; you know that I have endeavored for too long to restore this nation to its rightful balance, but this illegitimate election has rendered reconciliation impossible. I will not stand for negro equality, nor negro citizenship, nor for the white race to be degraded by racial mixing. My correspondence shows the same feeling in Georgia; we will meet the Unionist force upon the border with the sword in one hand and the torch in the other.”

    “Oh, good!” Judah Benjamin hadn’t eaten in hours. “Yes, don’t worry, you’re not interrupting,” he said to the waiter who had appeared a tactful distance from the private table. “Please go on.”

    “Sirs,” the waiter said, “we have for dinner tonight two excellent dishes - an sublime cut of steak, and a fresh fillet of the finest fish.”

    “I shall have the fish,” said Davis.
    “I as well,” said Hunter.
    “Fish,” said Toombs.
    “I’m in the mood for steak! All this heavy talk requires a fortified mind,” said Benjamin.

    The table fell into that temporary silence which follows a waiter’s departure. Davis allowed it to hang, deep in thought. Toombs was right, he knew. Virginia and the border states were not yet ready to commit, but the far South would not tolerate the abolitionist President. However, when the Union troops began to march across their borders to deprive their brothers of their god-given right to Property, their minds would change. They would look more kindly on a Southern Confederation. And the Second American Revolution would need a leader, as did the first. And Jefferson Davis had a good idea of who that would be. He could feel it in his gut.

    ***

    “Waiter! A pot of coffee for me, if you will. Tell me, have my associates yet appeared?”
    “S-sir? Have you not heard?”
    “Heard what?” Judah Benjamin asked.
    “Something terrible has happened...”

    ***

    WASHINGTON EPIDEMIC
    Mysterious ‘National Hotel’ Disease Claims Two Senators, Congressman, Dozens More
    [2]

    ***

    “It is at least a comfort that he died in peace, and did not linger from disease. He may be the last to see peace in Virginia for some time...”
    “He is with your mother now,” Robert E. Lee said, as he stood with Mary over the grave of George Washington Parke Custis. Robert was the executor of the Custis estate. It was ironic, he thought, that he found himself (by the terms of the will) freeing almost 200 slaves, as men in Richmond debated sundering their ties to the Union over keeping men in bondage. Idaho and Louisiana had joined the ‘Confederacy’, and many in Virginia wished to do the same. Lee soon would be in Richmond, but only to manage some minor financial issues. He would take no part in revolutionary talk. May God avert that evil from us, he thought. As a military man and a Virginian, it was a difficult time for Lee. If the Union is dissolved, and the government disrupted, I must stay with my native state and share the miseries of my people; and, save in defense, will draw my sword on none.

    [​IMG]
    Robert E. Lee. Just barely outside the shot: An AK-47 given to him by time-travelers.

    ***

    I did not come to bring peace, but a sword! For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. The word of the Lord!” Louis Wigfall thundered at the assembled crowd. A shout of “hurrah” went up, along with several hats and more than one bullet. The South Carolina native had not been chosen to participate in the secession convention. In fact, those who supported immediate secession were the minority in the convention [3]. So Wigfall was determined to make himself heard one way or another. Never the most level-headed guy, he figured whipping up a crowd into a bellowing frenzy was a very literal way to be heard. [4] The audience was at this point mostly the kind of people who like hearing someone yell about secession for 20 minutes, but there was also a decent-sized crowd of Unionists, yelling “boo!” and “shame!” [5].

    Wigfall was just getting to a really good bit about Southern Honor and Natural Rights and all that when the first punch was thrown. A Unionist and a secessionist went down in a kicking, biting heap, and the crowd went wild. Wigfall was still trying to yell out his speech as the onlookers rapidly became rioters. The Unionist contingent was beaten into submission and chased down the street, before someone noted that there was a tavern owned by a prominent Unionist just blocks away - rather close to the convention. The crowd began to surge, and Louis Wigfall decided this was it - it was his time!

    [​IMG]
    The Notorious W.I.G.fall. Played here by Brian Blessed.

    Robert E. Lee was coming out of a lawyer’s office when a man whose face was covered in blood collided with him.
    “Good Lord!”
    “I’m blind! Oh Jesus, I’m blind!”
    “You’re not blind, sir!” Lee wiped the blood from the man’s eyes with a rag. He knew from his time in Mexico how frightfully even minor head wounds could bleed. “What is happening?”
    “It’s the rebels, sir! The revolution has begun! They’re like animals!”
    Lee put the man’s hand over the rag. “Hold this to your head. I shall summon the authorities.” The Virginia militia was notably hanging around town, just in case. With the heightened mood, people were worried about the worst happening. And now it had.
    "Good luck!" said the man. "The officers are gone! They've either fled or joined the mob!"

    The rioters had torn the tavern to pieces, and a few were trying to set it ablaze. The rest had appropriated the liquor for the people’s revolution. Wigfall was just rousing them to make it the rest of the way to the convention when he saw the militia.

    “Halt!” cried the bearded man in front.
    “We represent the will of the Southern people, sir! Join us in our cause!”
    “Anarchy is not the will of the people! Stand down!” Robert E. Lee stood at the front of the few militiamen he had found milling about. Whether their officers had joined the fray or been misdirected to another part of the town, he did not know. But someone had to take command. “We stand only in defense! Withdraw and there need be no more violence!”
    “If you stand against us, you stand against Virginia!”
    “I stand as her protector.”
    “Forward!”
    “Halt! HALT!”

    “FIRE!”

    ***

    “The Fort has been entirely consumed by flames, Mr. President.”
    President Seward put his head in his hands. He had not wanted it to come to this - why wouldn’t they listen when he told them?
    “I told you!” Vice-President Speed. “I said that peace could not solve this! And now the rebels have fired the first shot!”
    “They do claim that the attack was a response to ‘Unionist suppression’ in Virginia,” volunteered Attorney General Lincoln.
    “That is nonsense,” said Speed. “Virginia’s convention has rejected anarchy, through democracy. The slavers have lost the vote, and they will lose on the battlefield! We are in the right, and we will triumph!”

    [​IMG]

    ***

    “Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances!”
    “President Rhett, we must leave!” cried Secretary of State Henry Jackson. “Our lines have collapsed, Montgomery is lost!” Even with Rhett’s tight grip on the press, and tendency to intern any who questioned the Confederacy’s success, thousands of civilians had already poured out of the besieged capital.
    “The British will intervene. They cannot abandon us; I have told them we will turn to France otherwise.”
    “The British are not coming! They have denied our ships port, seeking favor with the Union. Sir, this nation is more than a sick man. It is a dead man walking.”
    “Bragg’s force is destroyed. Pillow has been crushed by Jubal Early. Only Price’s force has held out, and Lee has blocked them from aiding us,” said Secretary of War Kirby Smith.
    Rhett knocked a tower of papers from his desk. “I will not give up! I will not surrender! Not until the last drop of blood is shed! I will not let them beat me! I will not lose!

    [​IMG]
    Revisionists take note: Their money had goddamn slaves on it.

    ***

    “You have won fairly. Let this bloodshed end.” Wade Hampton handed his sword to Robert E. Lee.
    “It is well that war is so terrible,” Lee said, “otherwise we should grow too fond of it.”

    ***

    President Reagan had grown fond of Pendleton Murrah over the past two and a half years, and it pained him to see his friend this way. Murrah was a shambles, both physically and emotionally - tuberculosis was wracking his lungs, and his beloved Confederacy was all over, as they say, except for the crying.

    “I am sorry more could not be done,” the President said. Texas had served as something of a free port for Confederate goods, especially cotton, during the war. But between an active and largely unimpeded US Navy and British political opposition to Confederate cotton, it had not been enough to save the south. Texas had even established a semi-secret arms facility, under the control of Samuel Walker. Reagan was wary of angering the United States too much, so he hadn’t pushed the shipping issue. But as friendly as France was, it couldn’t hurt to give Texas an independent arms manufacturing base, especially one underwritten with Confederate gold.

    But there was only so much to be done, and Murrah knew it as well as he. The Confederacy was small, facing a mighty industrial foe, and burdened with a mad egoist of a President. The Confederate ambassador (former ambassador?) bore Reagan no ill will.

    “I am sorry about a great many things, these days,” Murrah said with a wan smile. He coughed into a handkerchief and rapidly refolded it, not quite quickly enough to hide the red blots from Reagan. Murrah was embarrassed.

    “What... what are your plans now, Pen?”
    “We will keep fighting,” the ambassador said, in a firey voice that clashed with his sad eyes. “We will continue the war against the Yankee until the end.”
    “Yes, but... I believe you are too ill to return to the south, especially in such a trying time.” Murrah was loathe to acknowledge this, but sat silent. “Indeed, I think a great many people might wish to depart the South some time very soon. And I think Texas may be a hospitable new home.”
    Murrah focused on Reagan with a new intensity.
    “And I think perhaps I might seek aid in the integration of such a mass from someone who is expert in both matters of Texas and the South.”

    It looked like Texas couldn’t have a mass of slave owners across the border. But maybe they’d be just as useful within the border.

    With blood-flecked teeth, Murrah smiled for the first time in weeks.

    [1] He thought this OTL, as well. How pwecious.
    [2] The time and place of the disease are OTL. The victims, less so.
    [3] As in OTL. But here, the lines are more sharply drawn between radical secessionists and strong Unionists. There is still a vital block of undecideds, though.
    [4] Wigfall was a bit of a maniac, and fond of elevating conflicts to the duel level. During one duel, he was shot through both legs by none other than cane-beater Preston Brooks. One can assume Brooks did NOT receive a congrats letter from the Wigster upon his acquittal.
    [5] Alas, too early for “Freebird!”
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  4. CaliBoy1990 A bright future is still possible! =) Donor

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    El Pueblo, East Texas
    It's a nice map but why the hell is OTL's Oklahoma called Idaho? Hmm.......I wonder if we should move this to the ASB section........:p
     
  5. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

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    Location:
    AUS
    So Lee remains with the North. Oklahoma is now Idaho and you seem to love Tarkin:p;):D
     
  6. Plumber جعل أميركا أكبر مرة أخرى

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    北京
    Awwww yeah it's back!!!
     
  7. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    This was covered in an earlier section--the Indian Territory entered as a slave state, and got named what somebody SWORE was the proper "Indian" name.
     
  8. Hero of Canton The Man They Call Jayne

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Location:
    An undisclosed location in the NM Desert.

    YO TAMBIEN AMIGO! :D

    Hero of Canton
     
  9. Errnge I'm back, bitches

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    YESSS!!!!! Look what a little bit of necromancy can do ;)

    epic update, i can certainly see some ex-confederates making their way into texas. the war was two years long? i'd be interested to here what were some of the battles.

    also, has france begun its invasion of mexico as OTL? i'm expecting texas to be VERY invested in that :cool:
     
  10. Mirza Khan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    The Baptist Vatican
    Nice update!

    Just curious-are you going to have Texas gain Sonora and the rest of OTL Mexico from the US? I figured you were going to have it happen in the Civil War, but obviously I misread the hints.

    I must say, this is one of the best-written TLs I've seen here.
     
  11. Arachnid Arachnid once more.

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    I understand why Tennessee remained with the Union, they were one of the most divided states but why did Arkansas. I thought they followed the rest of the deep south and were all for secession.
     
  12. lothaw Texan Nationalist

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Also, how did Thomas Jackson remain with the South if Virginia remained loyal? To say nothing of him apparently commanding an army as he was surrendering to Lee? Jackson always struck me as the type who was great at getting things done, but needed someone to tell him what needed doing.
     
  13. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    AUS
    I wouldn't have thought that Jackson would have been overwhelmingly on the slavers side. He struck me more as a Lee type of person, maybe less so, but i do not think he would have gone totally for the South/slavery.
     
  14. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    10 miles north of 10 miles south
    Very interesting. I guess Virginia had its own Civil War like Missouri or Kentucky OTL. (And maybe Arkansas in the ATL.)

    I was thinking Jackson was from further South, but I was probably thinking of Longstreet. I wonder if TTL's Virginia had a 2nd, secessionist government in the way Missouri did; given that the first shots were fired there, it would make sense. Perhaps this would explain jackson leading an army himself and surrendering to Lee, too.

    The Western theater is probably much more important here; I wonder who the top U.S. general was. Winfield Scott *might* have been healthy enough to lead a few campaigns, but his gout and weght gain had gotten bad by 1861, I'm not sure if 4 fewer years is enough to let him command. It might be, though.
     
  15. Sicarius yeeeeehaw

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Rather like Virginia, Arkansas was actually majority Unionist (if weak Unionist) before conditions drove them into the secessionist camp. Here the slightly more dithering Seward, the wackier Confederate government, and the Virginia pro-Confederate uprising (which gets played up a lot on both sides) sees them narrowly stay in.
    Unfortunately Rob Rhett's steam-powered Death Star was unable to move into orbit in time for the climactic battle :D




    Also, having Stonewall be a Confederate TTL was a stone-cold (if you will) cockup that was meant to be fixed in the editing process (the Virginia uprising originally was a much broader mini-war). Embarrassing! He was meant to be replaced with Wade Hampton, who is both slightly younger than he was in OTL's later war, and a South Carolinian, a group which has a lot of prominence in TTL's Confederacy (taking out Virginia deprived them not only of Lee and Jackson, but a lot of their top tier talent). And thus I wave my wand and make it so! I should really leave more noticeable placeholders, but it would impact the narrative even more when I forget and leave in "OH GOD NOT STERLING PRICE" as the surrendering avatar of the Confederacy. Who, notably, also came from a state not in the Confederacy, but joined up over a similar outrage as in OTL.

    EDIT:
    I considered having Louis Wigfall be the Confederate governor-in-exile of Virginia, having been shot in the legs even more during the fight with Lee, but sometimes I worry about things being a bit too silly...
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  16. Leistungsfähiger Amerikan Angry American with Guns

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    Location:
    America City(Washington DC)
    Loved the update, keep on going.
     
  17. wannis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    With more slave states staying in the Union than IOTL, what is the post-war settlement on slavery? Still total abolition or some compromise scheme (phasing-out or compensation, at least for the loyal states)?
     
  18. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Total abolition probably isn't happening. That said, any slaveholder with any sense has probably realized that the Peculiar Institution's days are numbered and planned accordingly.

    Those without sense are moving to Texas.
     
  19. Errnge I'm back, bitches

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    i'd bet it would be slow but sure.

    at first federal law might say you can only own this many slaves. then they say any slave/former slave who joins the army becomes a citizen. then they make slave trade illegal. then they free all the slaves. then they give them all equal rights under the constitution.
     
  20. Sicarius yeeeeehaw

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    A rule of thumb in any time period.

    And onnnnn with the show!

    Part 17
    The Road to El Confederado

    The rapid collapse of the Confederacy was in some ways a blessing for the people of the south. Though there was widespread devastation, with some locations suffering multiple battles, a longer war would have seen many more deaths - both from combat and destruction of southern infrastructure. It’s rather hard to sell this idea to a bunch of people who just saw their crops burned, their towns sacked, and their sons limp home with less limbs than they left with. Even those that had been against secession were still for the south in a more general manner, and bristled under Union occupation, especially in the regions under the control of Jubal Early, who was kind of an ill-tempered wacko.

    William Seward was devoted to winning the peace as quickly as he had won the war. While radical Freedonians - notably including Vice President Speed - called for a ‘Redemption’ of the south and an indefinite period of military occupation, Seward wanted to patch up America’s wounds rapidly, so the country could focus on his dreams of national expansion. In May 1859 he gave a speech to that end, to a drowsy crowd in Louisville, Kentucky. Kentucky had never been a part of the Confederacy, but there had been significant pro-Confederate feelings there, and a guerrilla campaign had caused major headaches for the Union. Seward hoped to signal by his visit that reconciliation was beginning, without raising too much ire from the 'Redeemer' faction. The Redeemers, however, weren’t who he should have been worrying about.

    As Seward departed the podium, a polite crowd gathered - you’d be polite too, if there were armed Union soldiers lingering around. Seward was in an ebullient mood, though, and stepped forward to shake some hands and pat some backs. A small voice called out “Mister President! Mister President!” and Seward leaned forward to smile at a local boy, adorable in his dirty clothes and lack of shoes. History doesn’t record Seward’s last words to the young man, uttered seconds before the boy lashed out with a previously concealed knife, opening the President’s throat. The startled Union soldiers were slow to react, and by the time their guns were raised, the boy had darted into the crowd. Later identified as Marcellus Jerome Clarke, age 16, the boy escaped into the woods of Kentucky, and despite a massive manhunt, was not apprehended.

    Newly elevated President James Speed played it close to the vest for most of his truncated term. Speed had disagreed with Seward frequently, leaning more towards the radical Freedonians. The gulf between them was well-known, and there were even (totally false) rumors that Speed had orchestrated Seward’s death, in his home state of Kentucky. A place where a.) Speed wasn’t especially popular, and b.) His connections to knife-wielding teenage boys were probably slim to none. But that’s rumors for ya.

    [​IMG]
    Another rumor about Speed was that if his horse carriage ever dropped below 50 miles per hour, it would explode. This was true.

    But behind the scenes, Speed tightened the Union grip on the former Confederacy. He worked to undo Seward’s steps towards reconciliation, strengthened the occupation, and finally announced (with the backing of his Congressional allies) that the former rebel states would not be voting in 1860. The election of that year was closer than it should have been so soon after a victorious war, with most of the upper south going Democrat, but Speed managed to defeat New York’s Horatio Seymour [1].

    With re-election secured, Speed, his Freedonian allies, and some Democrats began pushing for his first major goal: The total abolition of slavery. The going was rough. The border states resisted the idea, and there were scares of the rebellion re-igniting. In Virginia, General Lee was one of the voices that helped calm the storm. As he wrote to one concerned political group, “In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil even to the white man than to the black race.” Privately, Lee and other moderate border staters argued that if Speed couldn’t pass the Amendment lawfully, there was a danger he would use extralegal measures to ram it through. And with that Pandora's box opened, he could push for even more radical measures, such as giving the freedmen the vote.

    Thus it was that the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed, freeing all slaves in the former Confederate states, all slaves under 18, and all slaves in the United States by the year 1875, with a Congressional option to free them earlier with fair compensation to owners. Freedmen were also made citizens by the amendment, as was anyone born in the United States except untaxed Indians, but there was no stipulation as to their voting rights. Speed was ebullient at what he considered an early victory (despite the fact that the Amendment was obviously the result of tortuous compromise), thinking it a sign of greater things to come. It wasn’t. Especially after the 1862 elections returned an uncomfortably large number of Democrats - and perhaps more worrying, a number of ex-Whigs, American Partiers, and even some Freedonians, under the creative name The Opposition Party.

    But what of that Deep South? It was full of angry young men and disappointed old men, all disgusted at how fast the Confederacy had folded, and at Freedonian domination [2]. Some went guerrilla, hiding out in the back woods and taking potshots at Union troops. Others headed west, with little idea where they were going. But General Sterling Price, late of the Confederate army, had a better idea. Heading one of the few surviving southern armies of the rebellion (it’s better to be lucky than good), Price received a very interesting letter from Pendleton Murrah. Weeks later, he crossed the Red River and arrived in Texas - with his entire army [3].

    Price’s men were the first wave of what were later to be known as Confederados. In the ten years following the end of the rebellion, it’s estimated some 35,000 Confederados left their southern homes for Texian climes [4]. This was obviously going to have a big impact in Texas, which at the time had a population of roughly 750,000 [5].

    Such a large influx raised concerns among some Texians, but by and large, most of the population was in favor. Despite 20 years of independence, Texas still had a lot of Dixie in its culture. Incoming President Albert Johnston, Kentuckian by birth, approved of former President Reagan’s open door policy towards the Confederados, and in his new role as Secretary of State, Reagan’s duties largely involved continuing that policy. The ever-burbling malcontents known as the Texian Party also approved, because these were the kind of immigrants they actually liked. Not some swarthy Frenchmen leeching off our taxes or thuggish Germans with their weird “religious tolerance” or “humanism”, off making beer in the hill country. These were good ol' Southern boys, speakin’ English - and if English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it ought to be good enough for Texas.

    [​IMG]
    President Johnston is rocking those epaulettes.

    Well, at least, most of them were good ol’ boys. Of course, there was the whole matter of why the G.O.B.s were leaving in the first place. Along with thousands of Confederados came thousands of slaves. Somebody had to carry all the stuff. And slaves didn’t just come with the initial wave of Confederados fleeing the Union and forced emancipation. As the deadline for freedom rolled over the upper south, some decided to pack up and move rather than give up their chattel.

    (And despite long-lasting rumors, the Confederates did not also bring over any vast secret stores of Confederate Gold. Nevertheless, Rhett’s Secret Stash has been a popular trope in fiction, such as in Abe Stoker’s Quincey Morris novel The Ecstasy of Gold. No, there’s a very simple reason why the Union didn’t find any gold when they took Montgomery: The Confederates were shit broke.)

    The greatly increased slave population inflamed an issue that had been irritating Texian politicians for some time. As stated in the Texian constitution, “[No slave-holder shall] be allowed to emancipate his or her slave or slaves, without the consent of Congress, unless he or she shall send his or her slave or slaves without the limits of the Republic. No free person of African descent, either in whole or in part, shall be permitted to reside permanently in the Republic, without the consent of Congress.” Manumission was not an incredibly common occurrence in the Republic, and as one can imagine, it was even less so among people who specifically fled there so they could keep their slaves. But some people had really only fled there out of hatred of the Union, or fear of retribution. Some had interesting religious talks with freethinkers (damn Germans!). Some, on their deathbeds, realized “Holy shit, maybe slavery … is bad?!” A negligible number, but there you are.

    But what to do with these freedmen? Often there was no one left after the owner who freed them died, or those who were left didn’t want or couldn’t use them. There really wasn’t anywhere to send them, despite repeated calls by the radical Lamar/Burnet descended faction for Texas to grab some of Africa. Some freedmen were shipped to Haiti, and others were just plopped across the border into the US or Mexico. Some unfortunates were auctioned off at county courthouses. A few were allowed to remain, and eked out a living as laborers or sharecroppers. But the lack of a unified policy, and the fact that every single time it came up in Congress it caused a huge ruckus, called for a solution. Representative Andrew Jackson Hamilton had one [6].

    [​IMG]
    A 1860 Texian slave auction. They don’t look as happy as Confederate dollars told me they would!

    Comanches are never fun. They’re not the kind of guys you want to show up to your slumber party (although they were really good at hair braiding). But they had been particularly bad in the last few years, launching raids from the tippy-top of the panhandle all the way down to the Mexican border [7]. But it was well known that their main base of operations was in far north Texas, although no one was entirely sure where. It was Hamilton who proposed an audacious idea: A buffer of free blacks in north Texas, a bulwark against the Red Menace. It solved several problems, he argued. Not only did it answer the question of what to do with freedmen, it protected whites against indians, and who knows, maybe it will teach the indians how great agriculture is! (No one actually believed this would happen. The assumption was, worst case scenario, a bunch of blacks and indians kill each other - which was a pretty good scenario in these guys’ minds). And, of course, if the blacks actually pacified the region, Congress could always revoke their land grants.

    Parts of this plan appealed a bit to everyone. People who wanted better treatment for blacks rationalized that at least they’d be free and have land. People who hated indians and blacks figured they’d wipe each other out (this was probably not going to go in blacks’ favor, since they weren’t allowed to own firearms). Immigrants didn’t like the idea of competing with free blacks for wages. And politicians were glad to have a way to settle a troublesome and recurring issue. Therefore, in late 1860, the Texian Congress passed “An Act for the Settlement of Free Negroes”, which established government-owned land allotments between the Canadian and Red Rivers ... [8]








    [1] Suddenly Seymour? Despite OTL being the Dem candidate in 1868, his name was floated as early as ‘56, and again in ‘60. Here, he won his second term as Governor of New York (which he lost OTL by 309 votes), and is driven to accept the nomination because of Speed’s policies. Seymour disagreed with (OTL) Lincoln’s policies, and he saw way worse writing on the wall with Speed.

    [2] A large number of people who would have been dead OTL either didn’t die due to the rapid failure of the Confederacy, or never joined up with the more radical Confederacy at all. But with the military occupation and President Speed, they’re certainly not happy now.

    [3] In reality, Price took his soldiers to Mexico - where no one wanted them - before catching Montezuma’s Revenge, returning home, and dying.

    [4] OTL, something between ten and twenty thousand Confederates fled to Brazil alone (Many eventually returned, although some are there to this day! See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1bVqB7gGKk). There were also colonies in other spots, like Mexico. Texas is closer, speaks English, is influenced by Southern culture, and still has slaves. Between that and the fact there are more pissed off people running around, and others who just want to hang on to their slaves, Texas gets quite an influx.

    [5] Higher than OTL due to increased immigration, especially from people who might have otherwise gone to the Union during the recent war years. Plus the inhabitants of the lands Texas has annexed, and the French treaty settlers. Of the 750,000, about 200,000 are slaves.

    [6] OTL, AJ Hamilton was a post-War Radical Republican, favoring abolitionism and black education. However, when that didn’t work out for him politically, he dumped those views. Spending his adult life in the very different political climate of the Republic, where ending slavery isn’t even on the radar, he’s a different man politically. He still thinks he’s going to help the blacks, though. Kinda. In his own way.

    [7] The Comanche are doing better here than in OTL. The treaty that ended the Mexican War deadlocked over the issue of patrolling for Indian raids - Texas didn’t like the idea of lots of US troops constantly being right near their border, especially when they felt the treaty had already screwed them out of the coveted western lands. The ever-charming President Burnet felt that if the US was going to take the land, they’d have to deal with all the problems that came with it, and therefore purposefully obstructed international cooperation against the Comanche. This, of course, came back to bite everyone in the ass. With a split policy and three countries that didn’t entirely trust each other, and certainly didn’t trust each others’ troops to be running over their borders, the Comanche had plenty of places to flee to. They also found a lot of sympathy and shelter in Idaho. Furthermore: Due to butterflies of the later Mexican War, there’s no devastating 1849 cholera epidemic among the Comanche.

    [8] Nearish, though not at, the location of OTL Amarillo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011