I was originally not going to post this at all until I completed it but then I gave in and decided to post parts of it as I went along. This is a revised version of a timeline I have on the Alternate History Wiki. So here it goes. Note: I acknowledge this is simply an exercise in alternate history and while I may have been inspired by Turtledove at times, I've been trying to avoid many of the same cliches he ran into. Part 1: Victory in Maryland By the middle of the summer of 1862, United States President Abraham Lincoln had completed the Emancipation Proclamation (a document that declared the freedom for all Confederate slaves). The plan was to issue it later that year and for it to take effect on January 1, 1863. At first, crushing the Confederacy seemed like an easy task, as the Union had a much larger population and industry to go with it. But after several unexpected and demoralizing losses, including both Battles of Bull Run, it became clear the Confederacy would not go down without a fight. Because of the seemingly desperate timing, Lincoln’s cabinet feared to release the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln decided to wait until another decisive Union victory to issue it. Meanwhile, the midterm elections of November 1862 were coming up, and things were looking highly uncertain for the Republican Party. Frustrated with the course of the war and Lincoln’s policies that addressed it, Democrats attempted to launch an anti-war campaign in order to win control of Congress. As all of this unfolded, Confederate General Robert E. Lee also recognized dissent among Lincoln’s ranks. He hoped that a Confederate battle victory on Union soil might further erode the support towards Lincoln and his cause. In Europe, France and Great Britain were watching the conflict from the sidelines. As both countries were enduring cotton shortages at this time, while the South was gaining the upper hand, they considered recognizing the Confederacy and supporting its claim to independence. After Lee thwarted the plans of Union General George B. McClellan to lay siege on Richmond in the spring and summer of 1862, a highly inept and demoralized McClellan retreated. Hoping to take advantage of McClellan's mental and emotional state, Lee chose to push his army across the Potomac into Frederick, Maryland, later that summer. On September 9, 1862, General Lee issued Special Order 191. This plan defined his “Maryland Campaign." The plan was to enter northern territories that bordered the South (mostly in Maryland and West Virginia) and divide his army by sending them to Boonsboro and Hagerstown in Maryland, and Harper’s Ferry and Martinsburg in West Virginia. After the Confederates, on September 13, abandoned their Frederick campsite around Frederick and McClellan’s army moved in, they left no trace of Special Order behind. Thus, Union Soldiers were not able to discover these plans. McClellan remained in hot pursuit of the Lee until they gave up September 17, 1862, as the Confederates seemed to have vanished without any visible trace. By the end of the month, much of Maryland and western Virginia laid in Confederate hands. Ultimately, the Emancipation Proclamation was never issued, and the Confederate slaves would remain enslaved indefinitely, with the future bleak and uncertain.