The Story of a Party 2.0

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Utgard96, Nov 29, 2011.

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  1. Utgard96 basically a load of twaddle about freedom

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    Anyone have any thoughts or comments?
     
  2. Unknown Member

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    This is a good timeline so far, Ares96.

    Keep it up!!!
     
  3. Utgard96 basically a load of twaddle about freedom

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    Since I'm suffering from writer's block on the American front, here's an update on what's happening in Europe.

    ***

    Story of a Party - Chapter IX

    "I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor food; I offer only hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart, and not merely with his lips, follow me."
    - Giuseppe Garibaldi

    ***

    From "A Guide to 19th Century Europe" by John Julius Cooper
    Star Publishing, 1994

    "Chapter IX: Risorgimento

    The Revolutions of 1848 resulted in liberal reform in most of the Italian states, but the conservative leadership repealed most of the reform laws within a few years. A notable exception was Sardinia, where the king, Charles Albert, had implemented a liberal constitution, gone to war against Austria, and, when he failed, abdicated the throne in favour of his son, Victor Emmanuel II, who continued the liberal reforms.

    However, in 1859, things were set in motion once again. King Victor Emmanuel stood ready to oppose Austrian rule in Lombardy seriously, and once again, he had popular support…"

    ***

    Milan
    Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, Austrian Empire
    29 March, 1859

    Pietro stood behind the desk of the butcher's shop, looking out at the tumult out on the street. This time, the ruckus was worse than ever, and the imperial troops had been called out to defend the governor's palace from the rioters. Pietro certainly sympathised with them, but what was the use of getting oneself killed in a fight with no hope of winning.

    A man in a long brown coat entered the shop, and took off his hat. It was signor Nenni, a doctor who had his clinic near the shop, and whose services were often bought by Pietro's family.

    "Ah, signor Nenni," he said, as the doctor approached. "How can I help you today?"

    "Have you got any smoked ham?"

    "Of course." He went into the back room and fetched a pound. "That will be one florin."

    "Here you go."

    "Thank you."

    "By the way, have you heard the news? A patient told me that he saw some shady-looking men walking around the city, carrying French-made guns. If you remember, the French are allied to Piedmont…"

    "Does this mean that the Piedmontese are sponsoring rebellions out in the country? If so, it seems like a good omen."

    "Definitely. Maybe Napoleon III is planning to attack the austriacos?"

    "Let us hope."

    "Well, we shall have to look and see. Give my regards to Emilio, and to your mother."

    "Good-bye."

    ***

    From*"Risorgimento: The road to Italian unification, 1789-1866" by Emilio Marconi
    Translated into English by Junius B. Walker
    Popolo d'Italia Printing Company, 1987

    "In early May, the blow was finally struck. As the Sardinians [1] could not find a way to provoke the Austrians into declaring war, they started to quickly and visibly mobilise along the Ticino River, gaining the attention of the Austrians. This prompted the governor of Lombardy-Venetia, the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian [2], to send Cavour an ultimatum, demanding the withdrawal of troops from within ten kilometres of the border or face war. When no reply was given, war was declared by Vienna, and the Austrian army crossed the Ticino. Days later, Napoleon III declared war on Austria in support of Sardinia, and prepared an army of his own to cross the Alps.

    The two armies met in battle at Vercelli, on the 21st of May. The small Sardinian force of 15,000 infantry, backed by only 18 6-pounder guns, faced off against an Austrian force of 23,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry and 59 guns. However, unlike the Count Gyulai's Austrian troops, which consisted mainly of parade-ground troops and officers chosen for social standing and inexperienced in battle [3], the Sardinian troops were gruffier, but more willing to die for their cause, and many of the officers were veterans of the last war. As a result, they did quite well in battle, and although they lost, the Austrians suffered heavy casualties. Count Gyulai now decided that the original strategy of moving quickly and capturing much of Piedmont before the French could arrive could not be executed properly, or (as he wrote to Archduke Ferdinand in a letter) "we shall be knee-high in the blood of our lost comrades"; as such, he advanced slowly, capturing Vercelli by the 2nd of June.

    By now, of course, almost the entire French expeditionary army had arrived in Turin, by rail, under Napoleon III's personal leadership, bolstering the Sardinian lines with 134,000 men and over 300 guns. Having heard news of this, and of an alleged enemy plan to attack his southern flank, Count Gyulai decided to retreat across the Ticino. This is where it started to go wrong for the Austrians.

    As events would prove, the French and Sardinian armies were not to Gyulai's south; that was a rumour spread by the Sardinians to deceive the Austrians. To support this, the French had sent a corps of their army south, to attack the Austrians at Lungavilla; this happened, and only served to strengthen Gyulai's resolve to defend his southern flank [4]. However, this would prove fatal; the Franco-Sardinian army was largely to his north, and stood poised to strike at Gyulai as he turned north to cross the Ticino.

    Napoleon III decided to make a bold move, by crossing the Ticino at Novara and deciding to rout the Austrians as they crossed the river. This was done, using railroad transport to great success, and large portions of the Franco-Sardinian army took up positions at the railway hub of Magenta, west of Milan."

    ***

    Cinecittá, Milan
    Piedmont, Italy
    2 July 1958

    Alberto Prodi stood on the small hillock in his independence-era uniform, pointing toward the "enemy lines" built a few hundred metres away. He shouted: "Why do you hesitate, why do you stand here, why do you not march forward to make your country great?"

    The others stood still, watching the bloodshed in the distance. One of them pointed to the battle, indicating the simple answer to Prodi's question.

    "The blood runs deep, and the death is great, but they die for a worthy cause. So, we should not fear, for so long as we are willing to give down our lives for humanity, the life of our fatherland is eternal."

    The men in front of him started cheering, and soon they were out of their positions and running for the enemy lines. The scene had gone well, and as they approached the set backdrops made to look like the battle of Magenta, the director yelled "Cut!" and the filming of "La Nascita della Nazione" finished its twelfth day of filming.

    ***

    From "Risorgimento: The road to Italian unification, 1789-1866" by Emilio Marconi
    Translated into English by Junius B. Walker
    Popolo d'Italia Printing Company, 1987

    "After Magenta, the rebellions in Lombardy grew stronger and louder, and between them and the harassment by the Franco-Sardinian army, Gyulai found himself unable to advance, and his position gradually became untenable. As such, he and the Archduke abandoned Milan to the enemy on June 9. The Franco-Sardinian victory at Melegnano kept the Austrians in flight until they reached the Quadrilaterals, the great chain of fortresses that guarded Venetia from outside attack. However, before reaching the fortresses themselves, Gyulai decided to come back and strike at the Franco-Sardinians before they could follow him. However, he had made a miscalculation in predicting that the enemy would move slower than it did, and so at Ceresara the two armies found themselves attacked by each other, with the Franco-Sardinians believing that they only opposed the enemy rearguard, and the Austrians that they were only facing the enemy vanguard. The situation at the outbreak of battle was a confused one, and over the course of the day, with the lines moving back and forth over more than fifteen kilometres of land, the situation didn't improve much for either side. [5]

    Eventually, the battle ended in defeat for the Austrians, but with heavy casualties on both sides. Napoleon III, believing Sardinia incapable of continuing the war without France (this would likely have been the case), now proceeded to Verona to sign an armistice with the Austrians, by which Lombardy, including Mantua but not the other Quadrilateral fortresses [6], was ceded to France (Austria did not want the humiliation of ceding land to the Sardinians), and the Dukes of Parma and Modena were to be restored, having been ousted by rebellion at the outbreak of war [7].

    The Sardinians were outraged by this stroke of treachery on the French part, and Cavour even threatened to resign over the matter; however, cooler heads prevailed, and he stayed on as Chief Minister*[8]. The Great Powers, other than Austria and France, also felt that something should be done to reverse this, and called a conference at Geneva in November. There, the situation was mediated, and, thanks in part to Cavour's diplomatic skill, and in part to being backed by Prussian Minister-President Otto von Bismarck [9], the Sardinians got to keep Lombardy, as well as Savoy and Nice, and plebiscites were to be held in Parma, Modena, the Papal Legations and Tuscany, over whether to keep their old rulers or join Sardinia. It was a resounding diplomatic victory for the Sardinians, and when all four plebiscites ended in an overwhelming victory for integration, only the Two Sicilies and the Papal States lay in the way of Italian unification. Now, the Sardinians settled down to consolidate their gains, but Giuseppe Garibaldi would not have it. In early May of the next year, as another rebellion against Bourbon rule broke out on Sicily, he set out from Genoa with a thousand volunteers to come to the rebels' aid. This was the famous Expedition of the Thousand…"

    ***

    [1] For those of you who are unfamiliar with 19th century Italian history, in a political context, "Sardinian" and "Piedmontese" are interchangeable. However, as military and cultural matters are concerned, "Piedmont" refers to the OTL Italian region of Piedmont, and also those parts of Lombardy located west of the Ticino, as these were considered part of Piedmont at the time.
    [2] The future Maximilian I of Mexico.
    [3] This was the case IOTL as well.
    [4] This was largely what happened at Montebello IOTL; however, with the slight number of butterflies, the location is changed to Lungavilla, which is located a couple of kilometres north of Montebello.
    [5] This was all true for Solferino IOTL as well.
    [6] Here, things begin to diverge significantly from OTL. By the OTL armistice (which was signed at Villafranca), the Austrians got to keep Mantua; however, ITTL Napoleon III pushes harder and gets his way. Rest assured, however; he won't get so lucky in the future.
    [7] This part, however, is as per OTL.
    [8] IOTL Cavour did resign, so this is another divergence.
    [9] Another rising diplomatic mastermind. More to come.
     
  4. Unknown Member

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    Good update, Ares96.

    Keep it up!!!
     
  5. Iserlohn Amateur Cartographer

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    A severe need for a bump, considering it is a really fun timeline, Ares. Keep it up, please! The combination of good writing, awesome maps and overall epic proportions... Subscribed!
     
  6. Utgard96 basically a load of twaddle about freedom

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    Thank you both.
     
  7. Mac Gregor Well-Known Member

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    Great TL Ares, Keep up the good work.
     
  8. Kitiem3000 Donor

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    Very well written. I'm always surprised at how likable the Republican Party is in the 19th century.
     
  9. Utgard96 basically a load of twaddle about freedom

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    Happy April Fools day, everyone!

    To mark the occasion, I absolutely won't give you all an update…
     
  10. Utgard96 basically a load of twaddle about freedom

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    APRIL FOOLS!

    Story of a Party - Chapter X

    "Stop quoting laws, we carry weapons!"
    - Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great)

    ***

    From "The Civil War" by Kenneth Burnside
    University of Illinois Press, 1948

    "The capture of Pensacola and Mobile in February of 1862 meant that Montgomery was now closed in on all sides. In the north and east was McPherson and the Army of the Ohio; in the south there was Lee and what remained of the Army of the Tennessee, bolstered with new Texian recruits; in the west were Grant, Burnside and Johnston. With Bragg and Forrest routed by Johnston, the struggle west of the Mississippi was largely over. The only Confederate general besides Longstreet who was in close proximity was Samuel Cooper, whose Army of Mississippi was currently in Jackson, Mississippi, protecting the state government there from Union attack. When he found out about the Union surrounding Montgomery, however, he abandoned position and retreated into Alabama, where he positioned himself between the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers, waiting to stop the Union offensive coming up the Mobile.

    Lee promptly marched north, and met Cooper's forces at Dixons Mills. Now, the battle for the survival of the Confederacy was on. Longstreet sent some forces down from the capital, but he soon found his own positions under attack by McPherson, which made continued reinforcements an impossibility. The battle raged for three days, and although it took place between the two smallest, most battered armies of the war, it proved a bloody affair. It ended in a tactical draw, but the Confederates still considered it a strategic victory, since the horrid state of Lee's Army of the Tennessee after the battle made it impossible to advance further.

    Meanwhile in Virginia, Sherman had finally gotten reinforcements to his artillery, and on the night to March 13, he started shelling the Confederate positions. He proceeded with this for five hours before advancing, as he wanted the Confederates broken and disorganised before his attack. His strategy worked, as the Confederate lines were in total confusion by morning of the 13th. The Union forces advanced, and captured Petersburg within two days. Now, Richmond lay open to the Army of the Potomac. The struggle for the Virginian capital had lasted two years, but now the Union was finally prevailing. Even the heroic actions of J.E.B. Stuart, the leader of the Army of Northern Virginia's V Corps, which was left in the pocket after the Union capture of Petersburg, could not save the Virginian capital, which fell into Union hands on the 21st.

    With Virginia more-or-less secured, Sherman left George Meade's Army of Appalachia with the task of securing the remaining Confederate holds in the Piedmont of Virginia, while the Army of Potomac would advance south along the Atlantic coast to capture New Berne, Wilmington and Charleston. This, it was predicted, would knock the Atlantic South out of the war, leaving only Alabama, Florida and Mississippi in Confederate hands. The only Confederate armies left in the east were the increasingly misnamed Army of Northern Virginia under Joseph Johnston, and the Army of the Carolinas under Wade Hampton, who had been reassigned after his Army of the Atchafalaya was mauled by Grant and Albert Sidney Johnston. Both forces were weak, and even combined could not hope to stand up to Sherman's 50,000-man Army of the Potomac; the Army of Northern Virginia was utterly broken from the fighting (although the period of trench warfare had lasted only three and a half months, nothing compared to the events of the First European War [1], there had been man casualties, and Sherman's rout had decimated the army), and the Army of the Carolinas was not much more than a glorified militia. Sherman hoped that this would make his campaign easy, but he would have no such luck.

    The Army of the Potomac left Richmond on the 2nd of April, and proceeded south along the railway lines, past Petersburg and across the border with North Carolina. Johnston pursued a defensive strategy, giving up whatever land he did not need to the Union advance and trying to secure a defensive line north of Wilmington. This strategy proved very successful, as Hampton arrived to the west and coordinated the defensive effort. Sherman tried and failed to attack the lines, but was content to sit out another siege, as the Navy was on blockade off Cape Fear, and the Confederate government was in no state to send reinforcements anyway.

    The city eventually gave way in late May. Johnston and Hampton were able to flee before Sherman took it, and moved into South Carolina, trying to at least defend Charleston and Columbia from the relentless Union advance.

    The Confederate Corps of Engineers had spent the last few months building up the fortifications at Charleston, getting materials from blockade runners, and the city was now nearly impenetrable. Johnston arrived on June 6, and prepared his defence of the city against the Army of the Potomac. After a brief battle, Sherman did as he did at Wilmington, allowing the city to be sieged instead of trying to assault it. However, this time the defence was much more successful. Johnston's forces were in a better state than at Wilmington, the fortifications were better, and the Union blockade was less effective. Charleston held its own for over a month.

    As August turned into September, however, a message arrived from Montgomery. President Quitman was relieving Johnston from command, and placing the leader of the Cavalry Corps, Joseph Wheeler, in overall command of the Army of Northern Virginia. The reason cited for this drastic act, which some call "the death knell of the Confederacy", was that Johnston had failed to advance against the Union.

    This would seem puzzling, considering that his mission was to defend the Carolinas from the Union; however, Quitman had bouts of dementia in this period, attributable to Rosenfeld's disease [2] by modern medicine, and recent research shows he made several strange orders, ranging from the consideration of Congress upon a new "Union Supporters' Repudiation Act", which would punish everyone who gave aid to or actively supported Union forces by a prison sentence, to such outlandish ideas as the replacement of Longstreet with Winfield Scott, who was technically still alive, but who was not only in far too bad a state to even leave his bed, let alone command a field army, but also a strong Union supporter. This time, it was actually not intercepted by the presidential secretary, through a mistake; we are lucky that it was not something worse that got out.

    Wheeler assumed command, and decided to leave the forts and engage the Union army, if not for any other reason then because he couldn't be accused of failing to try to mount an advance. This ended in disaster, as the Union forces were still much stronger than the ANV. Charleston was taken within the week, and the war in the east was over.

    ***

    [1] More to come later.
    [2] Alzheimer's disease.

    ***

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  11. Utgard96 basically a load of twaddle about freedom

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    No comments?
     
  12. Unknown Member

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    Finally.

    That is a good update.
     
  13. Utgard96 basically a load of twaddle about freedom

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    Thanks! Sorry about the wait. Writer's block and all that.
     
  14. Kitiem3000 Donor

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    It doesn't seem the war can last much longer.
     
  15. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

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    No matter what Johnston always seems to get replaced. Just because he is the master of defensive warfare - which is actually needed at a time like this - he can never seem to catch a break, can he?
    And the President of the CSA certainly doesn't look like he could hold out much longer...definitely something to look out for. I would say the war is almost over, the only question is how much longer it will last, and what the ramifications will be.

    Also: odds on Fremont securing a third term? I'd say high, though perhaps 50/50 on actually going for it.
     
  16. Utgard96 basically a load of twaddle about freedom

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    The Republicans will win in 1864, although it won't be Fremont who runs. With the war over, he's done his part, as he sees it.
     
  17. Tonymecury Well-Known Member

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    Unless there has been a major development, torpedoes were actually mines.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  18. Utgard96 basically a load of twaddle about freedom

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    Really? All of the accounts from Mobile Bay IOTL mention torpedoes.
     
  19. Tonymecury Well-Known Member

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  20. Utgard96 basically a load of twaddle about freedom

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