This Guilty Land: A Post-Civil War Timeline

Prologue: How The South Was Won
"I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land can never be purged away but with blood. I had, as I now think, vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed, it might be done."
-John Brown, Abolitionist​


Prologue: How The South Was Won

History diverges in subtle ways. Contrary to popular thought, the actions of a single man rarely alter history significantly. Victory in a single battle, the bravery of a certain soldier, or the loss of a crucial piece of intel are nothing individually. History is dictated by trends, not events. However, when compounded, events create trends.

As alternate historians, we tend to focus on a single point of divergence. In truth, this is frequently a healthy outlook. The assassination of a notable figure, awell-timed blow, or a policy decision can genuinely create an alien world. Sometimes, however, it’s not enough.

There are few individual moments which could save the self-proclaimed “Confederate States of America”. Some imagine that a certain battle being won or lost could have completely shifted the course of history. Dr. Turtledove imagines that the delivery of Lee’s Special Order 191 would have led to victory by virtue of pulling in Anglo-French support. I must respectfully disagree. While Turtledove’s chosen point-of-divergence serves its purpose dutifully, it overlooks the general difference in attitude required on the part of the European powers to lead to intervention. While Gladstone and many members of his regime sympathized with the so-called Confederacy, intervention would have been met with overwhelming scrutiny by the British, at this point against the practice of slavery on principle. Thus, Turtledove’s point-of-divergence does not hold up to scrutiny.

Turtledove likely did not intend for it to. There was no strong alternate history community at the time, and compared to the genuinely fanciful work of his predecessors, Turtledove is rather modest in his demand for the suspension of disbelief.

In writing this story, I came to realize that no single moment could have guaranteed a confederate victory. Instead of a Point-of-Divergence, an alternative trend would have to be devised.

Thus, the South of this world did not win its freedom through victory at Gettysburg, nor through the assistance of foreign powers, nor the brilliance of any individual. The South won primarily through luck, as well as a different approach to warfare.

The primary factor which wins the rebels their desired independence is a decision on their own part. That being, a primarily defensive strategy when it comes to their revolt. The South was a land with a much stronger military culture. This is one reason that the slaveholders’ rebellion is generally thought of as having better generals. With this military culture came a sense of chivalry, one which often led to an offensive strategy. This, along with smug aristocratic confidence led to the Southern leadership making costly attacks against the North.

Instead, this world’s South used their familiarity with the terrain to their advantage. They would wear down the yankees, making them tired of fighting. Using the land to their advantage, the men of Dixie used Muhammed Ali’s famed strategy of “let them hit you ‘til they’re tuckered out”. While this did bring on a certain degree of scrutiny by their own people (the same people whose communities were serving as the battlegrounds of the war), it did not waver the desire among the Southerners for their independence. The South struggled through this, and supplies ran low, but this alone did not guarantee their victory. In reality, a purely defensive strategy could not have won the South the war. The South had been on the defensive early-on OTL.

No, it was simply a lack of Northern morale that won the South their freedom ITTL. The North, on their end, had much less passion than they did in OTL. While radical republicans, progressives, and Northern blacks led the charge against the rebels, unrest consumed the Union. As in reality, riots and hate crimes occurred, with a divided populace. This unrest was far worse ITTL, and signaled to Northern leadership that the people did not care enough about continuing the union of the states to continue to fight for it. While areas of the CSA were captured, as well as states in a state of revolt but not actually confederated, did fall under Union control, there was fierce resistance in these areas, and many Northerners were utterly convinced the war was hopeless.

Cassius Marcellus Clay, the famed “Lion of White Hall”, also did not survive the 1843 attempt on his life as he did in our reality; Clay, whose would-be assassin felt the bite of the Lion in our world, was rather unlucky in this alternative reality. The assassin’s bullet was not deflected by the scabbard of Clay’s blade, and thus the lion fell prey to the hunter. Without Clay, the Union failed to curry Russia’s favor, and there was no counterbalance to the threat of European intervention on the side of the slaveholders. While the British and French empires still refused to intervene, the threat of such an intervention was more present in the mind of the North’s leadership, and reinforced the gusto with which the rebels fought. Without Clay, Lincoln also lacked the pressure to proclaim emancipation, and the document remained unspoken.

The North was tired of war. Lincoln failed to regain his Presidency, with General McClellan achieving the office. McClellan was more outwardly open to the possibility of peace with Dixie, cynically tapping-into the frustration of the Yankee populace. He had also seen the fervor with which the Southerners fought, and came to believe that the war was hopeless. President McClellan’s administration opened peace negotiations in September of 1865, and thus abandoned the hope of reunification.
The temporary fate of America was decided in the treaty of Little Rock, where Jefferson Davies’ and McClellan’s appointees determined the future. As in reality, areas of the Confederacy had been captured by the Union. In particular, much of Northern Arkansas and areas of Virginia. These areas had been under military occupation, but the occupation was largely unsuccessful, with many still resisting Union control. In the Peace treaty, the Union was permitted to keep these territories. As well, the South was forced to renounce its claims on these areas, as well as to any other Northern States. Similarly, claims on the Indian territories were renounced. Any black soldiers captured as slaves by the Confederates were to be returned as well. Both sides exchanged prisoners, and recognized the independence of their new neighbor.

Neither side was pleased with these terms, least of all the South. Yet, they were viewed as the only terms possible. The North feared drawing out the war, while the South feared that the Union would finally crack their shell. Neither side was happy, but the South felt that they had achieved their goals. Surely, the 20th century would be the age of Cotton, when Dixie stood ascendant, the colossus of the New World. Propagandists and patriots dreamed of a Southern Empire, which would encompass the Caribbean, Mexico, Cuba, hell, maybe even Africa! Surely, this was the winter of their content. The Union had brought the Jubilee, and it was insufficient. Jeff Davies did not hang from a rotten apple tree, and surely, John Brown’s soul had stopped marching on. “One Thousand Years of Dixie!” proclaimed the front page of The Whig.
Surely, this was the beginning of an age of Southern Victory…
Last edited:
And so begins my first TL. A few notes:
I am not a neo-confederate. I'm not even from the USA, and I detest slavery, racism, and all of their insidious relatives. This timeline is explicitly intended to show the horrible realities of a Confederate victory, and just how destructive it would be. This is not a white supremacist timeline, this is a timeline about fighting and destroying white supremacy.
As well, I am not a historian, just someone who studies it. I studied English and History in school, and the studying never really stopped once I graduated. That said, I'm not expert on writing or on history, and I am absolutely open to criticism.
Finally, this timeline's format will be a bit fluid. It'll have narrative elements as well as more "history book" style segments. This is because I like writing in both styles, and also because it's easier to tell the story that way.
Anyway, more to come soon! I have more written that just needs some fine-tuning.
Alright, this has my interest. You've got a strong writing style and your passion for the subject comes through (sorry if that praise sounds a bit too 'teachey-y' - I'm a former English teacher and am doing my PhD in History so ... well, I am what I am :D ). Can't wait to see where you take this, and how you see a post-war CSA and Union develop.
Chapter One: Unrest In The Union
Chapter One: Unrest in the Union

December 1st, 1865
“George, dear, don’t be like that.” Ellen was behind George, her hands resting on the back of the chair he sat upon. Her husband had just sat down and opened a letter he had received. The letter was from Mr. Pendleton, but Ellen didn’t read anything else written on it. Some formal document, she assumed.

“Ellen, I’ll be finished in but a moment. I must read this letter from Pendleton.” He never looked away from its contents. Ellen sighed and strolled out of his office. They’d only been living here a few months, and Ellen couldn’t decide whether she missed the old home or not.

She knew she missed the man her husband used to be. Before all of this, they’d been newlyweds, and hoping they may someday have children. The war changed their lives, as it had the lives of so many others. Even now, with the war over, they still had little time to be together. They hadn’t had a child, hadn’t tried in what felt like an eternity. George’s work had consumed him, and she had a strong sense that this wouldn’t change anytime soon. Maybe once things calmed down, she hoped. She wondered how things were between Pendleton and his wife. Her thoughts were interrupted by George:

“I’m finished now.” He folded up the letter. “Shall we be off?”

Ellen smiled. She’d been worried he’d try to avoid going, that he’d feign fatigue or say he felt queer and needed to go straight to bed. Instead, her husband put on his boots, his coat, his hat, and took her hand in hers. For a moment, it was like they were still courting.

In that moment, George McClellan was the perfect gentleman. None of it mattered, the presidency, the war, none of it. She was his and he was hers.

Thus, with their bodyguard John Edwards, the President and First Lady headed towards the Ford Theatre, off to see some play neither of them could remember the name of.

(excerpt from A Political History of the United States, Ronald Finch, Dalhousie University Press, Halifax, Nova Scotia, The Maritime Union (1925))*

The account of how the United States’ youngest President also became its first to be assassinated is legendary in the nation’s history, as well as beyond its borders. George B. McClellan, hero of many a battle in the war against the South, was also the man to sign the death warrant of the Union as it had existed since 1776. At home, opinions were mixed regarding young McClellan (not even 40 years of age at the time!). Many moderate Republicans and Northern Democrats felt relieved that the General-turned-President had ended the tiresome and unwinnable war. Contrary to this, many of the more radical of Lincoln’s party felt McClellan had betrayed the cause of freedom and cut short the war due either to cowardice, greed, or pure and simple populism. Whatever cause McClellan had for ending the war, it was undeniably a turning point in the nation’s history, as was the young President’s death.

On the evening of December 1st, 1865, George McClellan and his wife Mary Ellen attended a performance at Ford’s Theatre of The Indian Princess, a musical comedy popular in its own day but nowadays mostly only known for its association with McClellan’s demise.

As the play ended, McClellan, his wife, and bodyguard John Edwards left and walked to their carriage. They were preparing to exit the premises when the first lady realized she had left her glove inside. McClellan offered to return and get it, but Edwards insisted he do it. With the President and his wife sitting in the carriage, no party involved suspected that anything foul could occur. Edwards went to fetch the glove, while the President and Mary Ellen sat, discussing the performance. Allegedly, McClellan's last words before his death were, “Those were some mighty fine Indian costumes.” McClellan heard a knock on the door of the carriage, and, instinctively and without thinking, opened the door slightly to peek outside, when he was shot directly in the head by the man on the other side.

The Assassin was a mister William D’arcy (1835-1865). D’arcy hailed from Utica, New York, and was the son of abolitionists inspired by Orange Scott. One of five children, all boys, William had been quieter and more reserved than his boisterous brothers. William had gone off to seminary school, but been expelled for poor grades and occasional fits of rage. D’arcy had been drafted during the war, but was injured in the war and honorably discharged. His injury, a wound to his left arm which left the appendage unreliable, made him unfit for most work. Living rather destitute, his few friends described D’Arcy as having been increasingly frustrated with his surroundings. D’Arcy frequented brothels, where he would allegedly never engage with the women on any physical level but instead recite poetry to them. It is unknown why D’Arcy did this, but it seems to have been one of his few joys in life.

When the war had ended, D’Arcy had become ill-tempered once more. One of D’Arcy’s few friends was an usher at Ford’s theatre, and had casually mentioned that McClellan would be in attendance at the December 1st performance of The Indian Princess. D’Arcy waited for hours in the bushes with a gun he’d stolen from a friend, undetected and waiting to strike. He was lucky in having arrived at the carriage when he did; D’Arcy had no idea Edwards had reentered the theatre. D’Arcy knocked on the door of the President’s carriage, waited until he could see the pink of McClellan’s skin through the slightly-open door, and shot the President in the face.

McClellan was dead. D’Arcy was tackled to the ground and held in place until the police arrived. D’Arcy was interrogated extensively, revealing himself to be a genuine madman, his killing seemingly devoid of any complex ideology and motivated primarily by insanity. He was hanged eight days later.

The lack of a discernible ideological bent to D’Arcy’s act did not prevent those who hated McClellan from declaring him a martyr to their cause. Many hoped that George Pendleton would prove a more admirable President, but the majority had no real faith in the man, and held out hope that someone with a backbone would be elected come the next round.

*Asterisk denotes that this is a fictional source
William D'Arcy is a fictional character of my own invention.
Last edited:
Wonderful. I've always been fascinated in an independent confederacy due to the fact that there are so many trajectories it could take ranging from Communist to South Africa.
Alright, this has my interest. You've got a strong writing style and your passion for the subject comes through (sorry if that praise sounds a bit too 'teachey-y' - I'm a former English teacher and am doing my PhD in History so ... well, I am what I am :D ). Can't wait to see where you take this, and how you see a post-war CSA and Union develop.
Thanks! Not too teacher-y at all. :D
Chapter Two: Sovereign and Independent Character
Chapter Two: Sovereign and Independent Character

(excerpt from Losing The Peace: A History of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1919, Ivan Bornstein, Cambridge University (1937))*

Winning the Second American Revolution was but the first hurdle for the newborn Confederacy. The nation, forged from the fire of a nation similarly smelted by Britain’s tyranny, stood triumphant over the United States, and was now a rising power in the American continent. Yet, navigating the peace they had won was to be their struggle.

Soon after their victory, those nations once perceived as potential allies, namely Britain and France, turned on them. Seeking to strangle the newborn in its grave, these powers condemned the continuance of slavery guaranteed in the Confederate constitution. This constitution served to drive a separation between North and South. Mostly, however, these differences were fairly minor. Wording of passages differed, for example, and the Confederacy more strongly asserted both the autonomy of the states and the connection the states had to God. Whereas the people of the United States stated in their constitution that they sought simply to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America", their Southern neighbours added “invoking the favour and guidance of Almighty God”.

More significantly, however, the Confederate constitution prevented foreigners from voting in elections, altered the means by which states would be admitted, and limited the President to one 6-year term. Two passages in particular stood out as issues, however. Namely, those which pertained to slavery. The document central to Confederate government prohibited any illegalizing of slavery - ensuring slavery’s eternal legality - and allowed for the Confederacy to procure slaves from their Northern neighbor. While the latter would not be overtly problematic at first, the former proved to be an issue.

With few allies, the Confederacy was in a rough situation. While they could continue for the time-being to trade with Britain, they could never truly ally themselves with the hegemonic Brits due the Empire’s disdain for slavery. Britain was, for their part, unwilling to press the issue in an meaningful way- they wanted trade with the Confederacy and did not wish to aid the United States. Most other nations feared the wrath of Britain and, as such, would not allow themselves to be seen as anything more than business partners with the Confederacy. The Confederacy’s strongest ally was Brazil, though Dom Pedro II was unhappy with the arrangement. Beyond Brazil, however, many other powers viewed the Confederate States as a welcome addition to world politics. France and Austria exploited Confederate nationhood as a means to secure their establishment of the Second Mexican Empire, (covered in more detail in chapter 8).
Domestically, circumstances seemed, at least on the surface, a bit more certain. Not easy, not even necessarily stable, but certain. The main issues were the rebuilding of property and infrastructure damaged in the war, as well as maintaining cohesion in the new nation. The unyielding defense of the South which had won them the war was not without consequence; many had died in the act of secession, and amends would have to be made. Winning a war is one thing, but convincing the victors that their victory was worthwhile can sometimes be difficult.

Jefferson Davis, the first President of the CSA, was of little help. A man content to relegate duties to others, who felt as though his job had been completed, Davis had a perhaps overly hands-off approach to governance. With the aforementioned restriction of only one term, Davis and many of his successors had no need to maintain popularity in order to seek reelection. Thus, Davis set the precedent that Confederate Presidents should do little and rely on others for the administration of the nation.

Of course, this was what the founders of the Confederate States had hoped for. Without a strong centralising figure, the powers of the individual states could not be tampered with. After all, the election of Lincoln, perceived as a strongman, was a major factor in the secession to begin with.
As such, the Confederate leadership’s ideal President was a man without strong ideals, strong ideology, and shallow enough to seek the Presidency and yet be utterly devoid of a plan beyond that. Davis was not exactly that, but he would do for the time being.
In the meantime, a massive reconstruction effort was implemented, seeking to rebuild what had been lost to the Yankees. It was also decided that a strong land army was necessary to secure the continued independence of the South. Robert E Lee, as the Commanding General of the Confederate Army, was placed in charge of maintaining the continued defense of the CSA. One reason that this was vital was that illegal raids were still being made by Northerners and Abolitionists. The border would have to be carefully defended.

There was another matter which would need to be addressed as well: expansion. Many Southerners had long dreamed of Mexican control, whether through annexation or as a client state. This so-called ‘Golden Circle’ was a fantasy, of course, but one which lingered in the minds of many Southerners.

(excerpt of a speech given by an unknown member of the Knights of the Golden Circle to his fellow members at an 1866 meeting. Recovered by Historian Morris T. Blackwood)*
"My comrades, who have so valiantly defended our culture and our way of life in the face of Northern aggression, hear my words! I have caught word from amongst you that our order is no longer of use, that our most righteous of duties have been accomplished, and that the time has come for us to lay down our swords, content in knowing that we have licked the damyankees once and for all. I pity thee, of little faith! Do we now rule Mexico? Does our flag now fly proud and unwavering over Havana? Have we created the empire we sought to come together and create, that will win us dominion over God’s creation?

"Even now, the British, traitors to our race that they be, refuse to allow us our ways. Just as they did in the war! When we sought our freedom, the bastards were content to allow the hordes of Lincoln and McClellan to burn our land, to rape and pillage as they pleased! To take our property and dress it up in uniforms and give it illusions of equality!

"The French, cowards all of them, will similarly kowtow to Britain. “Yes massa”, the Frenchman says, refusing to aid in the defense of the white man’s destiny for fear of a lashing by Victoria.

"Without an avenue to diplomacy, we must be vigilant, and expand our borders as we have long dreamed. I say we cannot give up dreams of greatness at the first sign of victory. The Confederacy is a stepping stone on a path towards the Golden Circle. As the papers read on the day of our victory, one thousand years of Dixie!"

Yes, obviously that speech is a bit dramatic, but these are the guys who decided to call themselves "The Knights of the Golden Circle" IRL. Writing that nonsense made me a little sick to my stomach, to be honest.
Chapter Three: News From Around the World
Chapter Three: News From Around the World

The Other Confederacy​

Charlottetown, September 7th, 1864
“Why do you think the Canadians were uninterested?” Edward Barron Chandler asked. The delegates were filing out of the room now, as a recess had been called. Samuel Leonard Tilley sighed. He knew the answer, but the matter left him displeased on the whole.

“They said,” Tilley began, trying to find the words to best describe the situation, “that with the direction affairs seem to be heading to the south of us, they feel as though ‘manifest destiny’, as you will, is no longer a threat.”

“I see.” The two men sat for a moment in silence. Then, Chandler’s voice ended the quiet moment. “Do you think it’ll last without them?”

Tilley was unsure himself. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia seemed keen on uniting, but Prince Edward Island was far from a sure thing. Newfoundland, who hadn’t even sent delegates, could probably be counted out entirely. A union of only two provinces, which looked more and more like the direction things were heading in, did not really accomplish their goal. In order to survive in the new North America of Lincoln and Davis, all of the maritime colonies would be needed.

Nobody had really expected the Canadians to express interest; they were generally unconcerned with the affairs of their fellow colonies. Yet, their interest may have aided in achieving the desired outcome. Tilley felt the truth come to him, and it was both a relief to uncertainty and a great disappointment.

“I think we may have been too quick on the proverbial draw, Mr. Chandler. Perhaps in the future we will unite our colonies, but not today.”

Athirst, but not for Wine​

Berlin, May 7th, 1866

This was it. Ferdinand was excited to the point of nearly trembling. The revolver was loaded, and would soon be emptied into the body of the warmonger. The oppressor would fall, Ferdinand knew it. Even if they killed him, even if he did not live to see it, the Empire would fall. Once the people had seen the warmonger dead, they would be filled with a desire for freedom. His stepfather would be proud, he knew. His sister would be too. He had not seen them in so long. Ferdinand made sure to send Mathilde a letter, he felt she was owed an explanation.

From his hiding place, Ferdinand saw the warmonger coming. He felt the pistol, given to him by Eric, and kept in mind what that man had taught him. Eric, a friend of Ferdinand’s for close to a year now, had fought for the newly-independent Confederate States of America. They’d met at a party, and though their views differed, it was Eric who had taught Ferdinand how best to aim a gun. Ferdinand had been a pacifist, and still was to a certain extent, but now saw the necessity of an act such as this.

Eric, like Ferdinand, was disgusted by the warmonger, and his abuses of the various states that composed his domain. It had been such flagrant abuses of smaller entities which had led the CSA to secede from the North, Eric emphasized. Without Eric, Ferdinand doubted he’d have planned to kill the tyrant.

Soon, the warmonger would seek to use the children of Prussia for his own goal, as pawns in his game of deadly chess. That was what Ferdinand was fighting against. The weapon was good, a strong instrument of death. Death would be needed if they were to achieve peace, an irony not lost on Ferdinand. He was not the most religious of men, but Ferdinand still felt himself muttering the Shema under his breath. If this was the day he died, he might as well say it.

And so, on that day, Ferdinand Cohen-Blind became the man who slew the Minister-President. Bismarck lay dead, and Prussia mourned. Cohen-Blind took his own life soon after. A new day dawned over Europe, and Cohen-Blind was its herald.

His last words had been simply, “sic semper tyrannis”.

Outside Circumstances​

(excerpt from The Revolutions, Jorge Luis Guzman III, University of San Lucas, San Lucas (1975), translated to English)*

Over 3,000 Confederates took part in the Napoleonic invasion. The US, for its part, was openly hostile to the French intervention but was unable to send any official support to Mexico. Confederate leadership had been focused on rebuilding and defending the nation, and thus would not dedicate armed forces to officially aid the French, but was willing to encourage, unofficially, volunteers.

Napoleon III was deeply disappointed by this, but was placated somewhat by the CSA’s agreement to lend supplies, weapons, and recognition of France’s legitimacy. This was motivated largely by a desire to anger the United States, who repeatedly denounced French intervention.

Many Confederate veterans who desired further combat took part, aiding the French in the installation of Maximilian I. President Davis played no small part, urging citizens to take up arms in defense of the new regime. The Knights of the Golden Circle and those in their camp were divided when it came to how best to view the intervention. Some believed that a friendly, European-dominated, right-wing regime in Mexico was a fair arrangement, cheaper and easier than setting up their own control over the nation. Others strongly disagreed, believing that anything less than direct control over Mexico was a betrayal of their cause.

Regardless, the Confederate government formally recognized the Hapsburg government as the legitimate Mexican ruler. With little in the way of foreign support, and with nations like the Confederacy feeding troops to the Empire, Mexican Republican forces were largely broken by the end of 1867.

"Eric" is, yet again, a character of my own invention. Bismarck's fate is the result of many proverbial butterflies being crushed under heel.
Chapter 4: New Boss, Same as the Old Boss?
New Boss, Same as The Old Boss?
To say that George H. Pendleton was not the President the United States needed in order to defeat the Confederate States is comparable to saying that a man with alcohol poisoning probably shouldn’t have another beer.

Pendleton, the 18th President of the nation, was a Democrat and a staunch supporter of white supremacy. Having become President following the assassination of McClellan, Pendleton fought emancipation, and did what he could to prevent Congress from legislating the end of slavery. He was a strong supporter of the rights of individual states, and claimed that his opposition was for the benefit of the state governments. Many were skeptical. McClellan had, by his own account, sought peace with the rebels in order to save lives and prevent further conflict between North and South. Pendleton did not display a sense of pragmatism, but instead one of sympathy. The perception was that Pendleton had supported peace due to being a supporter of secession.

Pendleton quickly sought to establish positive relations between the two nations that were once one. He met with Confederate officials and discussed a potential agreement, a declaration of friendship. The nations were separated, but there was no need for it to be a messy divorce, was there?

The President, against the wishes of congress, issued a Presidential Decree ordering demilitarization, hoping that by doing so, the South would follow suit. Former Vice President Hannibal Hamlin wrote in a letter to his brother Elijah that “the president is surely trying to lose us the war all over again!” This sentiment was not uncommon. In late 1866, a group of 35 Confederate veterans attacked Princeton, West Virginia in full uniform and waving the Confederate battle flag, killing three and injuring ten more. This became a major scandal, with President Davis and his administration refusing to investigate, apologize, or otherwise do anything to make amends. Pendleton, for his part, was silent.

Pendleton seemed to genuinely be of the opinion that the South was justified in seceding, that the federal government had overstepped its boundaries, and that the rights of the Southern states really had been in jeopardy. While some agreed, many US citizens were, regardless of their personal feelings concerning abolition, bitter regarding the loss of the South. To Americans who had lost limbs, friends, loved ones, and/or family in the war of secession, Pendleton was a traitor at best and a secret Confederate at worst.

Indeed, abolitionists and radical republicans published pamphlets proclaiming Pendleton as a spy, a double agent sent by Richmond to infiltrate the Union and keep it weak. While these allegations are, by most historians’ accounts, completely false, they were not unpopular, and grew more popular during Pendleton’s impeachment trial.

On January 17th, 1868, the United States House of Representatives officially resolved to impeach Pendleton. The cause of this is the now infamous Pacific Railroad Scandal. During the construction of the Transcontinental Railway, Pendleton’s administration was accused, and later found guilty of, accepting bribes from Collis Potter Huntington, a powerful railway magnate, in return for increased control over the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad. Huntington, with aid from the President and his administration, gained disproportionate power over the railroad’s construction.

Pendleton had been questioned before congress as to whether he had, in fact, been aware of these bribes having been made. Pendleton denied any involvement, a claim which would later add to the many articles by which he was impeached.
The trial following Pendleton’s impeachment was one of great intensity and pressure. The defense argued that Pendleton (who, as advised, did not plead his own case), had not known of the bribes. This directly contradicted the testimonies of the anonymous whistleblower, an employee of Huntington’s, as well as those of others in Pendleton’s administration who had corroborated the whistleblower’s claims. According to these individuals, Pendleton had not actively sought bribes, but had allowed and approved of the bribes, and had willingly accepted them.

Pendleton’s defense also questioned the validity of the members of Pendleton’s administration who had turned on the President when the scandal broke, and who served as witnesses to the alleged bribery.

Despite all of these arguments, the results of the April 19th vote were 35-17 in favor of conviction. Pendleton was removed from power, though many rejected the decision. Conspiracy theories emerged, and in some cases persist to this day, that Pendleton was either framed, or that the vote was rigged.

Pendleton, for his part, retired to a quiet life in New Brunswick, becoming a resident of Saint John. This, he shared with Benedict Arnold, a trait which had led many of Pendleton’s detractors and subsequent historians to label the 18th President “America’s Second Judas”.

Others will quickly remind them that America already had plenty of traitors; an entire nation of them on their Southern border.

I will try to use photos more often going forward. I think they're rather neat!
Last edited:
Good stuff so far, watched. Very strongly reminded of TastySpam's "Dixieland" TL which had a similar premise of the South becoming independent more through dragging out the war than any brilliant campaign on their part. Let's see if the CS becomes as much of a clusterf*ck as it was in that TL...
IMO, the rump North should be more progressive in the long run, both socially and economically. I mean, it would be more homogenous and at the same time more industrialized, more urban - simply a perfect long-term breeding ground for progressive politics.