TLIAW: A Short History of the Confederate States: 1861-1930

TLIAW: A Short History of the Confederate States: 1861-1930


While the circumstances and causes surrounding the Second American Revolution will be familiar to all our readers, a need for a primer for school-age children has been a constant feature in education throughout the Confederacy. In this, the sixty seventh year since our nation won its independence, this volume has been assembled in the intention that it be able to serve in the needed educational capacity. While written with educational use in mind, it is the hope of the author and publisher that the volume can be read and enjoyed by all ages, both by those still in school, those who have passed on to university or to the working force or those interested in a condensed history for their own enjoyment and understanding.

Dr. James Longstreet Long

University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, Virginia, March 1931

Chapter 1: Foundation of the Confederacy and the Second American Revolution

Upon the election of Abraham Lincoln as president of the United States, the first states which would eventually form the Confederate States of America met in Montgomery, Alabama in a Provisional Congress on February 4, 1861. Though all the deputies who met were in agreement that secession was the only recourse they had to Lincoln’s election, there were several different differences of opinion in those present. From those who had advocated secession since the Nullification Crisis of the 1830s to those who had striven to preserve the Union at almost any cost, men of widely differing thoughts and opinions were selected to attend the Provisional Congress upon the secession of the first seven Confederate States. These seven states were South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. Throughout the initial meetings of the deputies of the attending states several important decisions were made which would prove important to both the course of the coming war and to the future of the Confederacy.

As President, the Convention selected Robert Toombs of Georgia in a move that surprised many of the attendees and many observers as well. Though an accomplished lawyer and politician, Toombs’ acerbic personality offended many and his personal life was not above reproach. Despite these flaws the assembled deputies knew his sharp legal and political mind and instinct for making the correct decision at the key moment would stand them in good stead in the struggle that many saw approaching over the horizon. The choice, shocking at the time, would indeed prove to be fortuitous. The next choice of the Convention of Robert Barnwell Rhett of South Carolina as Vice-President also shocked many who thought the extreme fire eating views of Rhett were more appropriate to the newspaper editorial than the political realm. Further, the concentration of executive power in the neighboring states of South Carolina and Georgia worried many of the western deputies who had sought the two highest offices for favorite sons of their own, notably Mississippi, which had advocated for Jefferson Davis to assume the Presidency. Though there were some questions which had to be answered and feelings which had to be soothed, the Convention eventually united behind their new executives and their new nation and adjourned with a provisional constitution in place.


Confederate President Robert Toombs

President Toombs wasted no time in the following months as meetings continued in Montgomery. The most important decision which faced the president in the early months was whether or not to allow the South Carolina and Confederate forces in and around Charleston, South Carolina to attack Fort Sumter. The refusal of the US government to evacuate the fort once South Carolina had seceded was a continuous point of irritation and provocation to the newly independent state. Nevertheless, while Toombs sympathized with the feelings of the South Carolinians present in his desire to see the United States give up the fort, he was unwilling to have the Confederacy fire the first shots in the crisis. He knew that the advantages of the South would only continue to accrue to them so long as they stood on the defensive and appeared to be the injured party. If the forces in Charleston began a bombardment, the Confederate States would look like the aggressor in the eyes of the North and the eyes of the rest of the world and this Toombs would not allow. In a speech to the Provisional Congress, Toombs said:

“At this time to attack Sumter is suicide, murder, and will lose us every friend at the North. You will wantonly strike a hornet's nest which extends from mountain to ocean, and legions now quiet will swarm out and sting us to death. It is unnecessary; it puts us in the wrong; it is fatal."

This decision allowed President Lincoln to send a ship to resupply the fort under Confederate guns. South Carolinians and fire eaters, most notably Vice-President Rhett, loudly decried this development and accused the President of being afraid to provoke the North. Supporters saw instead the cool, steady hand of one attuned to more than the wishes of the fire-eaters and war hawks and the President’s policy was confirmed in the months to come.

After the call for 70,000 volunteers by President Lincoln on April 20, 1861 many of the deputies felt that the seat of government should be moved to Richmond, Virginia as an inducement to that state to secede and join the Confederacy. Toombs, along with others, refused and narrowly pushed through a resolution confirming Montgomery as the permanent capital. The President had only to look at a map to see that Richmond was far too close to the United States to safely serve as the seat of the new government. Further, he knew that Virginia, with or without the lure of hosting the national capital would sooner or later be compelled to secession. This prediction came true on April 27 when the states of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Arkansas all passed ordinances of secession and joined the Confederate States. Lincoln’s resort to force and coercion against the heretofore peaceful South was the primary cause of these further gains for the Confederacy. Many have wondered what pushed Lincoln to this decision and while opinions differ, the most commonly accepted explanation is that without any hostile act by the South he was forced to manufacture a resolution to the crisis to continue to justify his policy to his Cabinet and his party against the Confederacy. Regardless of his reasons, the North only reluctantly armed itself and began to build the army Lincoln had called for. Volunteers filled the numbers that the President had called for but many state militia units were reluctant to serve under Federal orders.


The Confederate Capital, Montgomery, Alabama

Meanwhile, President Toombs had himself requested an army of 100,000 men to be enlisted for a year or for the duration of the current crisis. Many thought that that war, if it were to come, would be over in a matter of weeks or months. In fact, said many both in and outside of government, one big battle ought to show the Yankees that they were no match for Southern manhood and should be enough to secure freedom for the Confederacy in a few hours. The President simply nodded and smiled and continued to press his own policy of enlistment on the Congress. With so many who thought it would not be necessary to have an army for longer than a year Toombs’ proposal was passed and the Confederate Army quickly began to grow. The knowledge that the needed force would not melt away upon the expiration of yearlong enlistments allowed Secretary of War Jefferson Davis to build the Confederacy’s army, appoint officers to command and dispatch forces to Virginia and Tennessee to watch the growing Union armies across the border. The President also saw to it that the new nation would have a Navy worthy of its thousands of miles of coastline and appointed Stephen Mallory of Florida as Secretary of the Navy. The new Secretary was authorized to recruit as many men as he deemed necessary and to seek to purchase ships and materials for a navy in Europe. The seizure of Harpers Ferry by Virginian and Confederate forces before the vast naval stores there could be removed or destroyed by the retreating US forces greatly aided in this project and allowed the CSA to equip a small but strong naval force in a relatively short time.

The war that many in the South and the North as well had hoped would not come finally arrived on Southern soil with the invasion of Virginia in July, 1861. Union forces marched south and were met and repulsed by General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Virginia near Manassas Junction. A series of running battles throughout the northern portion of the state led finally to the Union forces being forced to withdraw after Johnston’s decisive victory near Culpeper, Virginia. In the Shenandoah Valley General P.G.T. Beauregard likewise conducted a skillful defensive campaign in which he prevented successive Union forces from uniting against him. These battles likewise ended with Union withdrawal from Virginia. The initial campaigns in the East were not without cost as Confederate casualties across the theater were over 35,000 in 4 months of active campaigning and included several officers of note who had won fame in the First Mexican War, among them Brigadier General Thomas Jackson of Virginia.

The Eastern Theater, however, was not the primary focus of the Union war effort in the first year of war. The conventional wisdom was that if the Confederate capital could be taken then the war would be speedily brought to a conclusion. This led many Union planners to focus the majority of their manpower and attention on the West and a drive to Montgomery. In this attempt the US made several blunders which would prove fortunate for the CSA and the outcome of the war. The state of Kentucky, though it, along with Missouri, had sent delegates to the Provisional Congress (now a permanent body with the coming of war) had not seceded and had in fact declared itself a neutral in the conflict. This was unacceptable to Union politicians and generals, who saw a drive through the state as the most direct path to Tennessee and thus to Montgomery. With this overarching strategic goal in mind, Union forces invaded Kentucky in August, 1861. This ill-timed move served to swing public opinion away from neutrality and towards membership in the Confederate States. Kentucky formally seceded on August 18, 1861 and petitioned the Confederacy for membership soon after, a membership which was soon granted and which brought the total number of Confederate States to 12. After so serious a blunder, the situation was compounded by the ham-fisted campaign of Union general U.S. Grant, who attempted to bludgeon his way south to Alabama seemingly over the corpses of his own men. With Confederate river ironclads able to keep the Mississippi mostly free of Union interference and thus allowing CS reinforcement and supply to flow easily, Confederate General James Longstreet conducted a brilliant campaign of defense, inflicting 40,000 casualties on Grant in three months. The final straw was Grant’s ill-advised assault on entrenched CS troops outside Paducah which led to 10,000 US casualties and the General’s own death as he drowned while trying to withdraw to Illinois under fire from CS artillery. Thus ended the initial campaigns in the West.

1862 came with Confederate fortunes in the field at a high tide. Union offensives in East and West had been defeated and the accession of Kentucky to the CSA brought needed manpower and industrial resources to the new nation. The winter season was not spent idly by either side as both continued to raise new armies, seek new strategies and search for ways to bring the war to a speedy conclusion. Early 1862 saw the first Confederate diplomats reach Europe. While purchasing agents for the Navy had been present in European, principally British, cities since mid-1861, formally recognized diplomats had still not been received by any of the nations of Europe. President Toombs sought this recognition as a necessary precondition of forcing the Union to the peace table, as President Lincoln had repeatedly denied the existence of the Confederate States as an independent nation. Toombs’ foreign policy, ably directed by Secretary of State Judah Benjamin, sought to gain diplomatic recognition for the CSA from the United Kingdom, France, Prussia and Russia. While the South had enough trained diplomats to court all four of these nations, the blockade thrown around the Southern coastline by the United States was extremely effective in closing off trans-Atlantic travel and commerce in all but a few cases. The Hampton Roads area, home of Norfolk and the primary Confederate naval shipyard was open to traffic, due to Secretary Mallory’s crash program of ironclad construction which saw a squadron of Southern ironclads led by the flagship CSS Virginia break the Union blockade there and sink the rival US ironclad USS Monitor in late 1861. Union efforts to interdict licensed British shipments to the port city were warned off by British warships which escorted the vital naval machinery. This action, not strictly in keeping with the British policy of neutrality, was justified by the Prime Minister as the Confederacy was clearly acting in self-defense. Lincoln’s invasion of the South opened the conflict and Northern troops and ships fired the first shots of the war, which helped the Southern pleas in European capitals that they were merely fighting to defend themselves immense credence.

Despite this local success, several Confederate ports were effectively closed but for the efforts of blockade runners and so President Toombs was forced to concentrate his efforts of those nations which could bring the most aid the quickest, ergo Britain and France. Diplomats in both countries were received with some warmth but official recognition was not in the offing while the war was still in doubt. Mediation in the conflict without recognition was somewhat more palatable to the two European powers but both waited to see what gains they themselves could gain before they sought to commit themselves to such a course.

As spring began, the Union forces again took the field. The Confederates in western Texas had organized an expedition to the Arizona Territory to try and conquer the sparsely settled land for the CSA. The Territory was claimed by both Union and Confederacy and while Union military resources in the far West were few, they were enough to blunt the Confederate drive and repel the Southerners back into Texas. In the Indian Territory, likewise claimed by both sides, Cherokee, Creek and Choctaw tribes aligned with both nations fought a swirling and ever changing series of battles for control of the territory. Pro-Confederate Cherokee tribes under General Stand Watie took over effective control of half the territory but pro-Union tribes along with some Kansas cavalry units prevented the CSA from cementing control of the Territory. The two sides were essentially locked in a draw which would last until the end of the war.

Missouri was also a battleground, though one not nearly as agreeable to the Confederate government in Montgomery. While a slave state which had sent some delegates to Montgomery, the majority of the state’s population was opposed to slavery. The pro-secession governor, Claiborne F. Jackson, attempted to take the state out of the Union and into the CSA but pro-Union forces throughout the state seized arsenals, called out the militia and with the assistance of irregular forces evicted Jackson and his pro-secession government from the state. These actions effectively ensured Missouri would remain in the United States and though Missouri troops joined others in the Confederate Department of the Trans-Mississippi the possibility of the entire state coming over to the Confederate side was ended.

At sea, though the Confederate Navy was able to keep Norfolk, Virginia open and control the Mississippi, it was unable to resist the much larger Union Navy when it began to assault several of the Sea Islands off the coasts of North and South Carolina. These victories for the Union helped to bolster Northern morale and gave the Union bases from which they could threaten key Southern ports. The most damaging and dangerous Union naval operation was the amphibious invasion and seizure of New Orleans, the gateway of the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and one of the South’s most important cities. Despite strong resistance from the city’s defenders and a valiant but doomed effort by the Confederate Gulf Squadron the US Navy swept the Confederates from the seas, landed 15,000 men and seized the city. The US Navy then attempted to drive upriver but luckily CS river ironclads were able to bottle up the Union forces south of Nachitoches. Despite this success, the loss of the Crescent City was a heavy blow for the CSA.

The opening offensives in Virginia saw Federal General Burnside leading his 80,000 strong Army of Maryland back into Northern Virginia. General Johnston and his Army of Virginia again skillfully applied the ideas of a strategic defense coupled with a tactical offense and, despite giving up ground, he inflicted several sharp defeats on Union forces culminating in a final, decisive victory at Fredericksburg which evicted Burnside from Virginia and lost him his command. After months of fighting in the Old Dominion Burnside had lost 35,000 casualties and taken some important towns but Richmond remained unconquered and Johnston’s move to cut Burnside off from his supply base in Maryland forced him to return to the North with nothing to show for his efforts. In Western Virginia, however, Union forces scored decisive success. The western portion of the state had never supported secession and leaders in that section had almost immediately organized themselves to counter-secede from the Confederacy back to the United States. An army under Virginian Robert E. Lee invaded the western part of the state and won several small victories using Lee’s daring tactics of splitting his small force to outmaneuver and attack the Federal units in the new Union state. On the cusp of a final victory which could have brought the westerners back into Virginia proper the Federal commander, General George McClellan, wisely concentrated his forces, defeated all three of Lee’s numerically inferior columns in detail and drove the Confederates out of western Virginia with Lee himself falling during the retreat. This ultimate Union victory resulted in the state formed from the western counties naming itself Appalachia and entering the United States.

In the west Union forces again attempted to penetrate Kentucky, cross Tennessee and take the capital at Montgomery. General Longstreet, in overall command of the Army of the West along with his capable subordinates Generals J.E.B. Stuart, Robert Rodes and Barnard Bee effectively resisted the 100,000 men of the Union’s Army of Ohio as they pushed into Kentucky. Longstreet kept his army concentrated and centrally located in Kentucky while the Union commanders moved with little coordination which allowed Longstreet to meet each thrust, defeat it and reform and maneuver into position to meet the next Union attack. By the end of summer three Union offensives had come to grief with nothing to show save for the capture of Louisville, an important city but not vital to the war effort. In return for this Longstreet had inflicted 45,000 casualties while sustaining only 28,000 himself. In addition, except for the Union forces surrounded in Louisville the rest of Kentucky was free of Yankees with the rest of the invading armies having ignominiously retreated back across the Ohio.

As winter 1862 set in and the year’s campaigns drew to a close the Confederacy stood in a strong position. Despite setbacks in Arizona, Missouri, Appalachia, the Sea Islands and most damaging in New Orleans the main Union attacks had been repulsed with heavy losses and little gain. Total US casualties in the war so far were over 160,000 while Confederate losses were approximately 110,000. The policy pressed home by the President, that of drawing Union forces into the South and then inflicting punishing blows once they were exposed, was paying heavy dividends. The selection of generals willing and able to pursue this strategy ensured that Southern armies remained as well supplied as rudimentary Southern manufacturing could keep them while fresh manpower continued to flow to the fighting fronts. The successes of the Confederate Navy kept the Union blockade from completely closing down Southern shipping and ports and prevented the Union from ignoring their new Southern rival. Most importantly, the heavy Union losses along with the introduction of conscription in the United States led to a huge upswing in anti-war sentiment, especially in the Midwest. Lincoln had imprisoned several journalists and anti-war politicians but this only heightened the sense among many in the US that their president had started a war unnecessarily, was now becoming a dictator and was only fighting to save face and to keep his campaign promises. Republicans now found themselves in danger of losing power as meteorically as they had gained it and voices inside the party began to murmur that perhaps it was time to seek peace before things got any worse. Lincoln, typically, wouldn’t listen to reason and continued to insist that the South had to be returned to the Union for there to be any chance at peace, at the point of a bayonet if necessary.

In Montgomery, President Toombs began to hear encouraging words from his agents in Europe. The UK was still not ready to formally recognize the CSA despite Palmerston and Gladstone’s favorable opinion of the Confederacy, bolstered by the war being caused by Union aggression. The string of Confederate victories and the successes of the Confederate Navy in keeping some of the South open to British trade likewise influenced the opinions of these two eminent statesmen. France under Napoleon III, however, was much more open to formal recognition as Confederate agents in Paris promised advantageous trading deals, Southern cotton for French mills at favorable rates. A second inducement was the possibility of Confederate troops entering Mexico to support the French client emperor Maximillian once victory over the US was secured Though the French emperor was his usual canny self, the Confederate diplomats reported to Toombs that the offer enticed the French emperor and could continue to be pursued.

The final year of the Second American Revolution opened in 1863 with new Union generals on both of the principal fronts. In the East, General Meade took command of the Army of Maryland, in the West General Hooker took the Army of Ohio. In this season, however, the Confederates struck first. Longstreet moved against Louisville and in ten days isolated the city from the Ohio River, surrounded it and compelled the Union forces to surrender. In Virginia Johnston, prodded by Secretary of War Davis, moved to invade Maryland. Despite his reluctance the Army of Virginia moved north with 68,000 men and succeeded in crossing the Potomac and taking Frederick, Maryland. This forced Meade to act and he moved to eject Johnston from the first Northern state to feel the presence of Southern arms. In three days of battle Johnston expertly positioned his forces to counter the succession of Yankee attacks and drove Meade’s attacking army of 80,000 from the field with 15,000 casualties in a near rout. The reserve divisions under General John Bell Hood attacked Meade’s rearguard and caused the Army of Maryland to nearly disintegrate as it withdrew north into Pennsylvania. Panic gripped Washington DC as the Confederates turned south and moved towards the capital. In desperation, Lincoln threw fresh forces against the victorious Southerners and forced his armies in the West to press into Kentucky once again in an attempt to draw Confederate attention away from the East. At this point the brittle Union morale of the last two years finally cracked. Widespread mutinies occurred in most of the field armies. State militias called out to stem the Confederate tide melted away at first contact with the warriors in gray. Draft riots made further conscription impossible. Faced with disaster in the East and defeat in the West as Longstreet again pummeled Union forces attempting to cross the Ohio the Republican cabinet and members of Congress finally abandoned Dishonest Abe and forced him to seek a peace treaty. On June 11, 1863 Lincoln telegraphed Montgomery requesting an armistice. President Toombs agreed. Johnston halted his army 20 miles north of Washington and fortified his position while Longstreet built defenses on the shores of the Ohio. On June 13, the armistice went into effect. On June 18, France officially recognized the CSA, followed by the UK on June 21.

Union and Confederate diplomats met in Washington to formalize a final treaty from July 6-18, 1863. The South, flushed with victory at first demanded harsh terms, as the war was entirely the result of Northern aggression. Claims on Maryland, Appalachia, Delaware, Arizona, Missouri and the Indian Territory were all pressed, most vociferously by Vice-President Rhett. President Toombs, however, exercised his vaunted discretion and sagacity in pressing only mild terms. The final provisions of the Treaty of Washington were remarkably mild, which led to some anger in Southern circles, particularly the fire eaters. Toombs, and many other, however saw that the two nations would need to live alongside one another from here on out and a harsh treaty was the shortest way to another war.

The provisions of the Treaty:

  • The independence of the 12 states of the CSA formally recognized by the USA
  • The CSA renounced all claims to Maryland, Missouri, Appalachia and Delaware
  • The Indian Territory awarded to the CSA
  • A commission appointed to survey the Arizona Territory and recommend a final settlement within two years of the treaty coming into effect
  • An indemnity of 20 million US dollars payable in specie from the USA to the CSA over a period of three years
The final signing of the Treaty occurred on September 1, 1863. With that, the Second American Revolution came to an end.

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Final territorial settlement at the end of the Second American Revolution
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Chapter 2: Peace and Reconstruction: 1863-1872

With the signing of the Treaty of Washington the Confederate States took its rightful place among the family of nations. While the new republic already had diplomatic representation in the UK and France, the Latin American nations and the rest of Europe had yet to recognize the CSA by the end of the war. This was the first order of business of the Secretary of State and Confederate ambassadors to the USA, Prussia, Russia, Austria, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina were quickly chosen and dispatched to their new posts.

Several issues which had been set to the side while the war was ongoing now needed to be addressed and the President along with his Cabinet ministers and the Congress took to the resolution of these issues. Firstly, the implied quid pro quo for French recognition, Confederate armed intervention in support of the French client emperor in Mexico, needed to be resolved. President Toombs and Secretary of War Davis were in favor of keeping the implied promise though many in Congress and Secretary Benjamin were opposed. Congress thought that military expenditures could be cut now that the war was over and Benjamin did not want to antagonize the USA or the UK so soon after independence had been won. The immense public support that Toombs had earned through his successful leadership in the Revolution however allowed him enough influence to push through a Confederate Army of Observation of 11,000 men commanded by General E. Kirby Smith. Smith had headed the Department of the Trans-Mississippi during the war and gave up this position to take command of the CEF as it set sail from Corpus Christi bound for Vera Cruz. Once ashore the CAO marched with Maximillian to Mexico City along with French troops then moved to the northern Mexican states to secure the area from Mexican rebels loyal to Benito Juarez.

The issue of the CAO was intertwined with the wider issue of a standing army and navy. The US had never had a large standing force of either and many Confederates thought that after they had won their independence they could likewise exist without large standing forces and could simply return to their farms and plantations, shut the rest of the world out and go about their business. Though not yet a political party, these thinkers took the name of ‘Agrarians’. On the other side of the issue were the extreme fire eaters. Some of them thought that, now that the weight of Yankeedom had been shed, the CSA could build itself a ‘Tropical Empire’ that would stretch from Mexico to Colombia and include the Caribbean. These ‘Imperials’ as they were named thought that the new nation should arm itself to the hilt and set out to conquer itself an empire to rival that of the British and the French among the Catholic nations of the south. In the middle of these two extremes were the majority of the public and the politicians, embodied by President Toombs and his ‘Whigs’. The President and the Congress were in general agreement that because of the proximity of the USA a standing army of some strength had to be maintained along with a Navy able one day to defend the coasts and challenge US naval supremacy. The Standing Forces Act of 1864 set the army’s establishment strength at 80,000, of which 11,000 were sent to Mexico. The Navy was given a manpower strength of 30,000 along with an authorization to build 10 modern armored frigates on the model of HMS Warrior as well as a number of smaller cruisers.


The CSS Independence, first armored frigate of her class during her maiden voyage, May 17, 1864

Another item for consideration was the industrialization, or rather lack thereof, of the South. While there were some manufacturing centers, mostly in the Upper South, for the most part the CSA was an agrarian nation and proud of it. Wealth and political power was concentrated in the hands of wealthy planters who grew single crops, mostly cotton, on vast plantations worked by slave labor. The rest of the free white population were mostly small yeoman farmers with a scattering of professionals. The idea of working for wages was mostly foreign to the Southern white man, unlike his Northern counterpart. The ideal which had been romanticized ever since Thomas Jefferson was that of frontiersmen claiming and taming their own plots to establish family farms that grew enough food for subsistence and a surplus large enough to sell and cover all the things a farmer needed that he couldn’t make himself. This setup did not lend itself to a rapid industrial development and it was apparent to almost everyone by the end of the Second American Revolution that to defend itself the South must have an industrial base. Several leading politicians and generals privately commented that had the Yankees had the will to continue to fight that the South would have inevitably been swamped by greater manpower and material. To bring this industrial development about, it was necessary first to convince Southern whites that working in a manufactory was not beneath them and that it could provide a decent living. While the government couldn’t make this a law, per se, they did try to move society in that direction, first by encouraging foreign investment in factories in the CSA from friendly foreign powers. Investment bonds for Confederate industrialization were floated in the Paris and London stock exchanges and slowly gained a reputation for good return on investment. Planters, though overwhelmingly the top economic group in the country were notoriously “land rich and cash poor”. The government of President Toombs sidestepped this by allowing planters to invest in manufactories in return for a promise from the government to assume a portion of their total indebtedness. With domestic investment buoying the market, foreign investment could be raised to match it. In addition, the specie reparation payments from the US helped to spur construction of several industrial complexes which were vital for national defense. What all this meant is that by the last year of the President’s term factories began to grow around existing plants in Richmond, Virginia, Selma, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia as well as in several other states. As time went on industrial development continued throughout the rest of the nation. In this, French investments quickly overtook British concerns, though the naval plants which sprung up in coastal towns still had a markedly British influence. The close relationship between the Confederacy and France would only continue to deepen as the years passed.


Skyline photograph of Atlanta, Georgia, 1872

The Confederate Constitution was modeled after the US document to a large degree with a few differences. The most notable one in the early years was the proviso that Confederate presidents could only serve a single six-year term. As post-war developments moved forward, some supporters of President Toombs put forward the idea that his term should begin, not in 1861 when he was inaugurated under the Provisional Constitution but instead in 1862 when the permanent government was formed. This idea of a possible ‘stolen year’ if Toombs chose to start his term dating from 1862 quickly swept through the political and educated classes with partisans on both sides taking the field in defense of both positions. Ultimately, Toombs himself set the beginning of his tenure as 1861 so the first peacetime election for President was held in 1867. While political parties as such were still in their infancy, each of the three factions which would eventually form into the parties we know today put forth candidates. For the ‘Agrarians’ Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Stephens of Georgia was selected. The ‘Imperialists’, soon renamed the ‘Nationalists’ supported Senator Louis Wigfall of Texas. Finally, the ‘Whig’ faction behind President Toombs put forth General John Breckinridge of Kentucky as their standard bearer. After a gentlemanly contest General Breckinridge was elected second President of the CSA in November, 1867. Former Vice-President R.B. Rhett, incensed at having gained no party’s nomination, retired to Charleston, South Carolina where he penned several articles attacking the Whigs and pushing for a ‘Tropical Empire’. In the United States the Republicans were heavily defeated throughout the country at all levels and Democrat Stephen A. Douglas captured the White House in 1864 and again in 1868.

After the end of the war much of the CSA, especially Virginia, Kentucky and the Carolina coasts, had seen much loss of property and devastation. Homes, farms, businesses and sometimes entire towns had been swept away by the tempest of war. The national effort known as Reconstruction begun in 1863 helped to finance recovery, rebuilding and in many cases new construction where none had existed before. A priority of this movement was the development of the Confederate railroad net, in actuality not a net at all but several scattered, ill-maintained and unconnected rail lines throughout the country. With the help of foreign, mostly French, engineers, reparation payments and substantial European investment by 1871 the CSA had gone from 9,000 miles of track to 15,000 and still growing. All this economic development and activity helped to set the Confederacy up for the next phase of its history and the further steps it would take in the Western Hemisphere and on the world stage.
Chapter 3: The Gentleman’s Agreement: 1872-1884

In 1872 the United States elected a Democrat as President for the third time in a row after the Republicans led the nation to defeat in the Second American Revolution. Ohio Congressman Clement Vallandigham easily won election to the Presidency on a platform of military preparedness, territorial expansion and closer diplomatic and economic ties to the CSA. These goals appeared to be mutually exclusive to many but Vallandigham had remained friendly to the Confederacy throughout the Second American Revolution and had in fact been imprisoned by President Lincoln for forming a faction of the Democratic Party, dubbed the Copperheads, which had advocated a peaceful settlement of the war. After independence Vallandigham had revived his political career and been a key supporter in the two terms of President Stephen Douglas before he gained the Presidency for himself. The fact that this election outcome would change the history of the Confederacy as well as that of the United States was not expected at the time but it is truthful to say that Vallandigham did more to build the modern Confederacy than many other politicians in the CSA itself.

The 1873 election in the CSA saw three parties vying for control of the Presidency and Congress. The results of the election were not clear to observers for several weeks after the fact as the vote total was extremely close. At the end of the day, the Nationalist Party and its’ candidate Senator Louis Wigfall assumed the Presidency and a thin majority in both houses of Congress. This signaled a turn both in Southern public opinion and in both foreign and domestic policy. The Nationalists had been advocates of continued expansion ever since their founding in the days after the Treaty of Washington and public mood was such that a plurality of Confederate citizens wished for their nation to expand as well. While some called for a new war with the USA to claim Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, Appalachia or Arizona this view was in the decided minority. Clear heads realized that the USA, despite Confederate economic, military and demographic growth, still outweighed the South by a large margin. Any war of conquest against the Union was bound to be a fool’s errand. To the south, however, were many possible areas in which the CSA could expand its’ wings and win an empire and it was to the South that Wigfall and the Nationalists turned Confederate attention as they took power.


Louis T. Wigfall, third President of the CSA

The new President found a ready ally in the US President Vallandigham who had been awaiting the outcome of the CS presidential election to extend his offer. In a move which would have been thought impossible a few years before Vallandigham made a state visit to the CSA, loudly proclaiming his wish for friendship and stronger ties with the Southern nation, He pointed out, correctly, that despite secession and the Second American Revolution that the two great North American republics had much more in common than they did not. While he expressed regret that the war had been necessary he blamed it all on the Republicans in general and Lincoln in particular. Commerce and trade between the two nations had rebounded quickly after the war and was indeed greater than it had ever been when the two sections were in one nation. Despite the political cleavage, economically the two republics were natural partners, the South still providing mainly raw materials, despite its growing industrial sector, while still a consumer of the finished products of the North. Economic necessity had helped to heal the wounds of political disunion. While disagreement and resentment still remained to some degree on both sides, the idea of the two nations having some sort of eternal enmity towards one another was one that just didn’t make much sense to many on both sides of the border. To use a metaphor common at the time, now that the quarreling brothers no longer had to share a house, they could be better neighbors than they had ever been roommates. To these entreaties, President Wigfall was an enthusiastic listener. He had no desire for a war with the US which would, even if successful, only bring more disagreeable Yankees into the Confederacy. The nations of the Caribbean and Central America would however bring a tractable workforce along with increased agricultural bounty. All of this was in line with Nationalist thought.

The series of meetings between the two Presidents in Montgomery during the spring of 1874 hammered out a blueprint for what would come to be known as the ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’. There were several specific articles but what the agreement was in short was first, a delineation of spheres of interest in the Western Hemisphere as well as an outline of desired territorial gains for both sides. Secondly, the two nations pledged not to go to war with one another or to ally with or give aid to any third power which either of the two might find itself at war with. Essentially, the Agreement was the USA and CSA staking their claims and agreeing to let one another pursue those claims without interference from each other.

Vallandigham returned to the US capital at Hamilton (formerly Washington DC, renamed for Revolutionary War hero Alexander Hamilton, who was not a Southerner as Washington had been) with carte blanche to pursue his plans for territorial gains without having to worry about his southern flank. He and other Democrats had formulated a plan to invade British Canada to compensate themselves for the states lost to the Confederacy. While the power of the British Empire was respected by the Democrats, they considered that on land the US Army could overcome any expected assortment of forces the British could realistically bring to bear. At sea, the US Navy would be no match for the Royal Navy if the British brought all their power across the Atlantic to North America but this was seen as unlikely. Indeed, British naval facilities in Canada could not accommodate the larger Royal Navy combatants. The immediate war aims of the Vallandigham government were the annexation of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland while Quebec would be freed and set up as a client nation. In conjunction with this the British Bahamas, Jamaica and the other British West Indian possessions were seen as tempting targets for the expansionists.

In addition to this planned campaign, the Democrats sought to annex the Dominican Republic to given themselves an outlet to the Caribbean since the loss of the South had effectively shut them out from this lucrative trade. President Lincoln had briefly considered annexing the island nation during the Second American Revolution but military failures at home had prevented this from happening. Finally, a joint war with the CSA against Spain in which the US would seize Cuba in the Caribbean and the Philippines and Guam in the Pacific was also planned. All of these plans Vallandigham kept secret from the public while he engaged in a campaign of public opinion to gird the US people for war. While clearly ambitious the US President did not propose to launch all his campaigns at once but to ease into them sequentially in concert with Confederate actions. Of course, in Montgomery President Wigfall had plans of his own.

The fate of Mexico was the Confederate President’s most pressing concern. Ever since the Confederate Army of Observation had gone to Mexico to support French puppet Emperor Maximillian Southern interest in acquiring Mexican lands had grown. The CAO had fought for seven years in Mexico, securing the northern Mexican states solidly for the Emperor, gaining valuable knowledge about the country and its resources and building an infrastructure for military operations. When Maximillian had finally abdicated and returned to Europe in 1871 it was not because of the failure of Confederate arms but of his own, as well as the declining French interest in the adventure when faced with a growing threat from Prussia closer to home. The withdrawal of the CAO in 1872 ceded control of northern Mexico to the Mexican Republic, not altogether to the pleasure of the inhabitants, who having seen vigorous and effective government and administration for the first time sought to return to the protecting arms of the CSA. Wigfall meant to return to Mexico, take the northern states and also intervene in the Yucatan, where plantation owners in many ways similar to Confederate planters sought protection from the Maya Indians native to the province and wished to protect their way of life. In addition to this, the President also desired Spanish Cuba and Puerto Rico. However, he had no desire to fight the British whatsoever. While he was willing to let the USA have a war with the Empire he was cognizant of the aid Britain had granted the CSA during the Second American Revolution. Though the French had been better friends and faster in their friendship British recognition had been vital to Confederate freedom as well and the infrastructure of the Confederate naval industry was almost entirely British in origin. For these reasons President Wigfall made no moves to try and gain British possessions in Central America or the Caribbean.

The fact that the CSA could contemplate such wars of aggression was due to several factors. The first and most important was the growth of domestic industry which allowed the Confederacy to comfortably equip its armed forces with modern weapons and equipment while also able to provide any volunteer or conscript forces with equivalent arms. The second was the demographic growth in free white population and thus in military manpower. After independence the Confederacy had quickly set up immigration agencies in several European countries to encourage migrants to move to the CSA. The growth of domestic industry in the Confederacy which needed workers was an inducement to many to emigrate while generous land grants in the more sparsely populated states as well as the Indian Territory served as a lure for emigrants who wished to farm or own land. In addition, religious intolerance in the CSA was markedly less than it was in the USA. Charleston, South Carolina, in many ways the ‘spiritual’ capital of the nation had long had a reputation for religious tolerance emphasized by the churches and synagogues of dozens of denominations seen in its skyline. Because of the warm relationship between the CSA and France, Catholic immigrants were welcomed and not overly discriminated against, the largest communities being French followed closely by Irish. Many French professionals had chosen to stay in the CSA after they had originally come over to set up industrial plants, railroads and other businesses and the many charms of the South were dutifully reported back to France which led to a substantial French population in several Confederate states by 1874. Jews also found a warm welcome in the South. The United States’ first Jewish senator, David Yulee, had hailed from Florida and Judah P. Benjamin was a highly respected Cabinet member and also Jewish. Thousands of Ashkenazi Jews flocked to the Confederacy and found welcome there as fully fledged members of the white race, where their racial makeup was more important than their religious affiliation. Protestant immigrants hailed mostly from the German states, Scandinavia and Scotland where the inducements of jobs for city dwellers and good land for country folk resonated most strongly. The sum total of this concentrated effort by the Confederate government to build its demographic base was a growth in white population of some 1,100,000 in the years from 1863 to 1874. This represented a huge increase in both economic and military potential for the Southern republic and allowed the Wigfall administration to move forward with its plans to enlarge and glorify the Confederacy.

The opening shots in the wars bred by the Gentleman’s Agreement were fired by Mexican soldiers who took offense at Confederate border patrols in Texas which they claimed had strayed into Mexico. The commander of the Department of the Trans-Mississippi, General J.E.B Stuart, responded quickly and moved an army of 25,000 south over the Rio Grande and into Nuevo Leon. Simultaneously, the CS Navy escorted a second army of 20,000 commanded by General E. Kirby Smith on transports into the Gulf of Mexico. This army conducted an amphibious assault on Vera Cruz and took the city as a base for the Navy to interdict what little Mexican shipping there was as well as to drive on Mexico City itself. In the north, Stuart’s Army of Texas swept aside weak Mexican resistance and smashed a hastily gathered Mexican army north of Monterey before it took the city on July 5, 1874. Stuart gathered reinforcements and turned east, aiming at Ciudad Victoria while a second force left West Texas and marched on Saltillo. Smith likewise gathered reinforcements, including several volunteer regiments in Vera Cruz before he struck west for Mexico City.

The northern states fell like dominoes to the irresistible force of valiant Confederate arms. Within eight months the Mexican states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas had been conquered by the CSA. Kirby Smith had battled his way to the gates of Mexico City by September while a squadron of the Navy escorted an army of 8,000 to the Yucatan where it quickly seized control of the apparatus of state and gained support from the planters of the region. The Republic of Yucatan declared its independence from Mexico on October 11, 1874 and was recognized by the CSA the next day with a treaty of alliance signed the day after. Almost concurrently, the Army of Mexico under General Smith surrounded and took Mexico City in a week of the bloodiest fighting of the entire conflict. Smith’s 38,000 men fought an even number of Mexicans who resisted more fiercely here than anywhere else during the war. Despite this they were clearly outclassed and the city finally fell on October 21. While the Mexican government had fled the city the Confederates continued their conquest of the north, aided in many parts by those who had settled in the regions during the CAO’s days of activity. Guerilla activity took the place of pitched battles as the Mexican Republic’s regular forces could not stand against Confederate armies but by this time there were almost 70,000 CS troops in Mexico and resistance was futile. Finally, on April 23, 1875 the Mexican government, cornered in Puebla de Zaragosa had no choice but to bow to the inevitable and surrender.

Diplomats from both sides met in Mexico City in May and the final Treaty of Mexico City was signed in the National Palace. The terms were fair to the defeated Mexicans, who had after all started the war, but were decried as harsh by several foreign powers who were jealous of the feats of Confederate arms. The five northern states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas were annexed to the CSA and the independence of the Republic of Yucatan was confirmed. The former states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon were merged into one and renamed Washington, while Coahuila became Jefferson, Chihuahua was renamed Madison and Sonora became Toombs. Thus renamed, the new states were formally admitted to the CSA in June, 1875. As part of the negotiations the Confederacy, in a show of magnanimity, did not require reparations from the Mexicans and this had some effect in muting criticism of the war in foreign capitals. With this final act the Second Mexican War came to a close.

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Territorial settlement at the conclusion of the Second Mexican War
Chapter 3: The Gentleman’s Agreement: 1872-1884 (continued)
The end of the war with Mexico brought jubilation across the South. For a price of slightly under 20,000 casualties the Confederacy added four new states, a loyal client in the Republic of Yucatan and a friendly new president in Mexico in the person of Porfirio Diaz. Diaz, a longstanding rival of the defeated and disgraced Benito Juarez, was more than happy to take his cues from Montgomery in return for the presidency he had so long coveted, Confederate investments and promises to modernize the Mexican economy. In the newly conquered lands the Confederate writ was quickly established in a relatively short amount of time and without much difficulty. This was true for several reasons; the new states were used to Confederate rule, the border with Mexico remained open to internal migration so those disgruntled with CS rule could easily move away, the CS forces had familiarity with both the physical geography and the local conditions prevalent and finally the Confederates had several advantages over any local resistance movements which might spring up. They were armed with modern rifles and artillery, close to their logistic bases and possessed of unique units which could police the vast desert areas of the new acquisitions in the form of four cavalry regiments equipped with camels at their mounts. These strange units were first proposed by former Secretary of War Jefferson Davis while he served as US Secretary of War and had been adopted by the CSA not long after independence to serve in West Texas. The Mexican campaigns of the CAO and the Second Mexican War saw the units come into their own and pay dividends with their usefulness in the harsh terrain.

While the CSA was fighting and winning its war against Mexico the USA was not idle. A force of US Navy ships along with US Marines and Army units landed in Santo Domingo and quickly ousted the sitting Dominican government in summer 1874. The “quick little war” was begun and ended almost before word could be printed in Yankee newspapers and the US public rejoiced in what was seen as a return of American power and pride after their defeat in the Second American Revolution. President Vallandigham then turned his attentions to his primary concern, Canada and the British Caribbean possessions. Why the US president was so eager to challenge the world’s most powerful empire has never been fully explained, some attributed it to pride, some to a desire to see the US enthroned as the preeminent power in the Western Hemisphere, others to a desire to add stars to a flag which had lost 12 when the CSA seceded. Whatever the case, the President pushed ahead with his designs for war against any who tried to oppose him. To this end, US engineers descended on the new US Dominican Territory in droves, improving infrastructure to allow for both land and naval forces to be based on the island in preparation for a Caribbean campaign. In Michigan, New York, Minnesota and Maine US troops massed while US Navy flotillas converged on East Coast harbors as well as Pacific anchorages to prepare for war. The UK was not blind to these preparations and quietly bolstered the defenses of their Canadian possessions throughout the remainder of 1874. By April 1875, Vallandigham and the United States were ready. An incident involving US fishermen under harassment by British ships off Newfoundland provided a convenient pretext and the United States duly declared war on April 23, 1875.

The newspapers of the time liked to portray the parallel wars of the USA and CSA as essentially similar, though this was not ever the case. A cursory examination of the combatants on both sides should have been enough to show the folly of any such comparisons but the US press spilled oceans of ink showing that if the CSA could knock Mexico out in 8 months then the USA should be able to do the same against the British Empire. Of course the reality, that the CSA took on a country weaker than itself in every respect to liberate peoples who yearned for Confederate governance while also able to claim its rightful place on the continent while the USA arrayed itself against the world’s strongest power for lands to which it had never had any claim was never brought up. The course of the resulting conflict would soon show just how different the two contests would be.

Initially, US troops had the advantage as the initiative of the attacker gave them the choice of when and where to strike. Also, the Yankee troops heavily outnumbered the Canadian and British defenders and in a series of battles through the spring and summer US troops succeeded in pushing deep into Ontario and Manitoba while isolating Quebec and overrunning New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island completely. Though casualties were high the momentum of the advance could not be effectively broken by the Canadians and British in the first season of the war. The first setbacks for the United States came late in summer when the amphibious invasion of Newfoundland had to be called off after a Royal Navy squadron inflicted a heavy defeat on US Navy ships forming up to convoy the needed troops to the island. Similarly, Royal Navy gunboats on the Great Lakes swept US boats almost entirely from those waters and bombarded several lakeside towns, including Buffalo, New York and Cleveland, Ohio. Still, US land forces kept rolling forwards even as the weather worsened and casualties began to mount. The high water mark of 1875 came with the US capture of Winnipeg in October, 1875 against ferocious Canadian resistance. The city fell just in time as the winter weather was already in evidence and US forces were quick to go into winter quarters as temperatures plummeted.

Naval defeats off Newfoundland and in the Great Lakes were somewhat mitigated by the naval battle off Boston in February 1875. While a British force which was intended to bombard the city and perhaps put ashore Marines and army troops (accounts differ) was turned away by the US Navy, the losses on both sides were such that both fleets withdrew their vessels from active service while the notorious winter weather in the North Atlantic held sway. This did not stop British reinforcements from sailing to and arriving in Canada throughout the winter despite US efforts. Despite all this, the United States held the upper hand in the war thus far, essentially unstoppable on land while on the defensive on the waves. As winter had called a halt to offensive operations both sides took the opportunity to reinforce, rebuild and make plans for the coming spring.

The spring of 1876 opened with fresh US offensives aimed at Ottawa and Quebec. The drive on Ottawa was stopped cold while US forces, aided by Quebecois irregulars armed, drilled and financed by the United States, reached the outskirts of Montreal by early summer. The push into the city was halted and a siege began. Meanwhile in the west British and Canadian forces, aided by troops quickly dispatched from British India, swept down into the Oregon Territory and took several key towns situated on the Pacific Coast and Puget Sound including Seattle. This move was unexpected by those in Hamilton and virtually unopposed. The Royal Navy reigned supreme in the Pacific and fears that British troops could be landed in California with little to nothing in place to stop them quickly led to hasty movements of troops towards the west. The rest of the campaigning season was somewhat anticlimactic as the US Presidential election was set to take place in November and President Vallandigham was keen to run on his successful prosecution of the war to win reelection. Thusly, the aggressive moves made by the US in the early parts of the year were curtailed to keep casualties down and to allow the Democratic press to continue to emphasize the US victories won thus far without the need to mention any possible defeats. Despite the fact that the war had not concluded as quickly and satisfactorily as initially expected and that casualties had topped 100,000 by this point, the successes of Vallandigham and his administration could not be effectively countered by the rival American Party and Clement Vallandigham easily won reelection. Additionally, the vote of confidence in the President and in the war helped to secure a stronger Democratic majority in Congress than had existed prior to the vote.

The fall of Montreal in March 1877 along with Quebec City in May was in retrospect the moment which ensured the British would not be able to get out of the war without changes coming to British North America. Though Newfoundland and Labrador were secure and US forces had not as yet taken Ottawa, the loss of Winnipeg, the Maritime Provinces and Quebec more than outweighed the British successes in the Pacific Northwest and the Royal Navy’s advantages in the Atlantic and on the Great Lakes. Events in Europe after the French victory in the Alsatian War of 1875 were an increasing concern in London at this time. The war in North America was seen as an increasing drain on resources which could be needed much closer to home if the newest drive for French hegemony on the continent were to lead to war. Further, though the Royal Navy had performed admirably, the US Navy had not been totally defeated nor swept from the seas leaving the possibility of trying to supply Canada indefinitely an increasingly unlikely proposition. After an acrimonious debate within the Cabinet it was agreed to tentatively approach the US to see what their terms to end the war would be.

The Democrats seized the opportunity offered by Britain quickly. While the Canadian campaigns had gone well, the same could not be said of US efforts in the Caribbean, which had ended in a total debacle. US naval forces had been destroyed, US troops had been defeated and the one amphibious assault which had been attempted on Jamaica had led to a total rout. The single bright spot was that a British attempt to seize the Dominican Territory in 1876 was beaten off, though just barely. Back in Canada, the Republic of Quebec had been proclaimed in Quebec City in May 1877 while US forces had occupied that part of Quebec south of the St. Lawrence River, claiming that the river was the natural boundary between the new nation and the United States. This deeply angered the Quebecois, who felt that the US had negotiated with them in bad faith and made promises they knew they would not keep. In spite of this anger, by this point they knew that there was no alternative but to continue to cooperate with US forces. The American representatives in London demanded the Maritimes and the independence of the Republic of Quebec under US supervision. While the British public was against these terms and in fact was prepared to continue to prosecute the war, the facts on the ground convinced the government after many starts and stops that peace was the best option, though a bitter pill to swallow. The government reluctantly agreed to US terms in August 1877 and the Treaty of Fredericton which formally ended the Canadian War was signed on September 7, 1877. After two years of war at a cost of millions of dollars, nearly 150,000 casualties and a much reduced Navy Vallandigham had his victory.

Thus the two North American republics had each won their wars and enlarged themselves at the expense of their neighbors. While the Confederacy’s war was justified, that of the United States was considerably murkier. Though some saw the Yankee actions as blatant land grabs the fact that the United States had taken on one of the world’s preeminent powers and won was a source of great pride to the US and could not be disputed in the halls of power around the world. The precedent that Britain could be challenged and indeed beaten was one that opened many eyes and had a profound effect on the course of events throughout the rest of the 19th century and into our current century as well.

Now a period of peace replaced that of war in both the CSA and the USA. Vallandigham’s victories all but ensured Democratic control of the US government for the foreseeable future while the Nationalists in the Confederacy were likewise all but certain of maintaining the reins of power in the Presidential election of 1879 and the Congressional elections as well. A second meeting between the two Presidents took place in 1878, this time in Hamilton, and the successes which had flowed from the Agreement reached in Montgomery in 1874 justified the pride both men felt in what they had accomplished. With the freedom to ignore the long border between themselves each had been able to fulfill foreign policy goals which might have seemed impossible only 5 years before. While Wigfall would be leaving office the next year Vallandigham meant to seek a third term for himself in 1880 in defiance of a long standing precedent in US politics. With an eye towards this goal he pushed for the immediate declaration of war on Spain by both nations as soon as possible. Wigfall, though eager for Cuba and Puerto Rico, demurred, it would take time for the world community to digest the rapid changes wrought by the two republics and to move against another European power so quickly might damage the relations the Confederates enjoyed with their European friends.

In the event, he need not have worried. Spanish atrocities in both Cuba and Puerto Rico had earned the opprobrium of the entire civilized world. When the new Confederate President Jefferson Davis declared war on Spain in 1881 the world applauded the return of law, order and civilization to the benighted Caribbean islands. Though Vallandigham had thought to take Cuba for the United States the Confederacy was able to invade the island first after the sharp defeat of a Spanish naval squadron by the CS Navy outside Havana Harbor. Confederate Marines and army troops stormed ashore and seized the city in fierce and bloody fighting while the US Caribbean Squadron, frustrated in its initial target, diverted itself to Santiago de Cuba and landed troops there. The rapid collapse of Spanish resistance across the island led to CS and US troops meeting near the midpoint of the island in 1881 and an agreement to split the island satisfied both but pleased neither. The new US President Fernando Wood, who had dethroned Vallandigham from his leadership of the Democrats after charges of the Ohioan’s desire for a dictatorship for himself and then won the election of 1880, turned US forces against Spanish possessions in the Pacific. Meanwhile, CS troops seized Puerto Rico in 1881 while the United States invaded Guam and the Philippines and was able to secure both by early 1882. The Spanish throne, almost bankrupted by the war and with a string of military defeats, agreed to sell the lost possessions to the CSA and USA in the Treaty of Santiago de Cuba, signed in March 1882. With the the passage from power of the two architects of the policy in 1879 (Wigfall) and 1880 (Vallandigham) and the end of the Spanish War (the Pacific War in the US) in 1882 the era of the Gentleman’s Agreement and friendly CS/US relations came to an end in 1884. From this point on a new rivalry between the CSA and the USA emerged as ambitious men on both sides of the border sought to assume dominance of the Western Hemisphere.

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North America at the end of the Gentleman's Agreement era, 1884
Chapter 4: The Changing Confederacy: 1884-1896

After the wars of the 1870s and early 1880s the Confederacy settled down to digest its victories. The nation had come a long way since its independence in 1863. From a breakaway republic formed from the dissolution of the Union to a major power in North America the course of the CSA’s history thus far seemed to show the hand of Divine Providence in its’ blessings. If this were true, the years following 1884 would show many of the problems which had been kept from view by the meteoric rise of the South.

The first problem and one which had its roots in the foundational economic organization of the CSA was the increasing lack of productivity of large scale single crop plantation agriculture. This system was enshrined in the very foundation of the Confederate States and the way of life espoused by the wealthy planters and aspired to by the millions of middle-class and poor whites who made up the bulk of the free population was held up as the pillars upon which the edifice of state were built. And indeed, the nation was built on that framework. As time went on however the ultimate flaw in this design became more and more apparent.

To begin with, much of the rich cotton producing soil of the original Deep South states was already becoming exhausted by the beginning of the Second American Revolution. The drive to the west and the Mississippi which saw the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana formed was in part a reaction of planters who saw their returns diminishing year over year and to whom the only solution was to find new land which cotton had not leached of its’ vitality. This was, of course, a short term and amazingly short sighted solution. Though the new states in the southwest did indeed provide ample bounties of cotton as well as other crops the same principles which had worn out the soil of the original slaveholding states held true in the new. Large plantations worked by hundreds of slaves planting the same crop year after year was the same recipe which had worn out older lands and yet the system was transplanted root and branch to the new states. Much of the reason for this was social, planters were the top echelon of society from which almost exclusively sprang the political, economic and military leaders of the South. Members of the class understandably wanted to continue their dominance. Those who wished to join the class found the easiest way to do it was to emulate those they wished to become. In such a way did the dangerous cotton monoculture spread across the American South and from the South to the new Confederacy.

This system endured despite its economic drawbacks and would have perhaps continued to endure except for the introduction of the boll weevil in 1882. This insect, native to Mexico and Central America, came to the Confederacy from the increased commerce and travel between the CSA and its southern neighbor following the Second Mexican War. The infestations spread like wildfire, within 8 years the insects had spread from Texas to Georgia, destroying cotton crops, bankrupting planters and throwing the entire economic system of the South into turmoil. The reactions at first were dilatory and dismissive, the pest was thought be simply a minor irritant but as the destruction of much of the Deep South’s economic base continued efforts increased to combat the plague. They were singularly ineffective. The planter class faced extinction seemingly overnight, not from politics or societal displacement or war but from a tiny bug. The effects of this change were monumental.


The boll weevil, scourge of the planters

The first of the major institutions to feel the effects was that of slavery. The Confederacy had seceded from the Union over the issue of states’ rights, the primary one of which was the right to continue to practice slavery. In 1885 the population of the CSA was 13 million, 8.5 million free and 4.5 million slaves. The practice was present in every state in the Confederacy though much less prevalent in the New Southern states (Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Toombs) due to the area not being suitable for large scale slave based operations. Indeed, the Confederate Constitution explicitly protected the rights of slave owners and prevented any law being made which would impede that right. This stance on slavery had not won the Confederacy many friends. The United States had freed theirs in the aftermath of the Second American Revolution in 1865. Of all the nations of the world, only Brazil still held slaves in 1885. The CSA enjoyed friendly relations with Brazil on this account but the issue strained the diplomatic relations of the nation with all the rest of the world. In particular, the UK was extremely eager to see slavery die in the CSA. Though Britain had helped the South gain its independence through its recognition and even more directly through its sale of vital naval materials and expertise during and after the Second Revolution public opinion in that country was extremely anti-slavery. France, the CSA’s primary trade partner and closest diplomatic ally, was likewise anxious that the Confederacy discard the use of African slaves, though it was less overt than the British. The French were happy to publicly call for the abolition of slavery while in private assure Confederate leaders that the issue was not one which would essentially damage the special relationship between the two countries. The sum total of this was that the continuation of the slave system in the CSA was a diplomatic malus that the nation had to struggle against more and more as time went on.

Economically the system was not much better. Slavery was only really practical in large scale enterprises where cheap unskilled labor was useful. That limited it to agriculture and at that only plantation agriculture could make money while using the system. Cotton and tobacco were the only two products employing large numbers of slaves by 1885. While the growing numbers of industrialists attempted to experiment with slave labor in industry the idea never took off for many reasons. The primary one was that the Confederacy was active in attempting to recruit white immigration to come to the nation and work in the burgeoning industrial sector. These foreign workers and those native born Confederates who likewise sought work in industry were totally unwilling to have their occupations compared in any way to slave labor. They wanted good wages, job security and a social status that recognized their superiority to the slaves and the vital role these workers played in the growth of the national economy and the CSA’s power. For all of these reasons the industrial sectors were diametrically opposed to the use of slaves. That then left agriculture as the only useful outlet for the millions in bondage.

The boll weevil swept that justification away as plantations collapsed under the weight of debt, depleted soil and diminished production. The first reactions to this came from the states affected the earliest, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. A law passed in the Mississippi legislature in 1887 allowed slave holders to “manumit” their slaves and change their legal status from enslaved persons to “sharecroppers”. This innovation served several purposes. Instead of the need to pay for all the needs of their slaves; housing, clothing, food and so forth, by converting slaves to sharecroppers the planters could now pay their former chattel a salary – and then deduct portions of that salary for the expenses incurred in the sharecroppers’ upkeep. The more enterprising owners turned employers even set up commissaries where their employees were required to buy all their necessities. By this step what had once been a financial drain was converted into at the very least a bandage to stop the bleeding and in some cases a way to put now unprofitable enterprises back into the black, if only just barely. Sharecroppers were legally registered to a certain location and thus while technically free they had to maintain residence at an address of their employer’s choosing. Their services were legally backed by contracts which they all signed and which could be transferred at the will of the employer to anyone they found suitable. This system did not technically infringe upon the right of slavery as written in the Constitution and thus the Mississippi law became a blueprint adopted by every state in the CSA by 1894. By this time the weevil had spread throughout the rest of the country and the need for planters to unload slaves they no longer needed led to the mass “sharecropperization” of the African work force. A huge number of slaves were now free to be employed in the entire agricultural sector in smaller numbers than had ever been viable before as well as to be used in more dangerous industries such as mining.


Sharecroppers in Alabama, 1889

The economic dislocation of the weevil scourge was thus somewhat abated. With this step the CSA could announce to the world, and did, that they had freed their slaves and reap the diplomatic benefits this seismic change entailed. Technically this was true, sharecroppers were not property but employees and thus not legally slaves. The system allowed the black population to continue to be supervised without the need to treat them as equal to the white population. Despite these changes, the economy of the Confederacy entered a deep period of contraction which lasted throughout the later 1880s and into the 1890s as society, government and the economy adapted to the new realities.

At the same time as these developments came laws which clarified the status of the new Mexican, Cuban and Puerto Rican residents of the nation as well as the Indian tribes. The unsettled status of some of these groups was the second issue which came to the forefront with the end of the era of the Gentleman’s Agreement. Though some called for Hispanics to be given some lesser legal status vis a vis white Confederates the Hispanic and Indian Citizenship Act of 1889 granted full citizenship to both groups. Proponents argued that to take away citizenship rights from the Hispanic inhabitants the CSA had taken under its wing would be a gross violation of the law of decency and further would only lead to trouble. These populations had already been citizens and in the case of the Cubans and Puerto Ricans had been cruelly used by their former Spanish overlords. The right of citizenship thus conferred was a gift for which the Hispanics would rightly praise the Confederacy in the years to come. In the case of the Indian tribes of the former Indian Territory, since 1887 the state of Cherokee, they had fought valiantly for the CSA and so enjoyed the full rights of Confederate citizenship since independence. The tribes of the Southwest, primarily the Apache and Comanche, were granted the same rights by the Act of 1889. The martial qualities of these tribes were undoubted and many of them served as valuable scouts and border guards on the borders with both the United States and Mexico. These justifications made their granting of full citizenship an easy decision to make.


Cherokee veterans at a reunion of the Sons of the Revolution veterans' group, 1895

The third group affected by the changing times in the CSA were the immigrants. Over a million in number by 1885 the new arrivals had brought a rich tapestry of religious, cultural and economic diversity to the South. While there were some nativist sentiments, though nowhere near those expressed in the United States, for the most part the growing population of the CSA was seen by all parts of society as a good thing. The most important effects of this wave of migration have already been discussed. Two laws came from this era which helped to define the status of immigrants in the CSA. The first, the Abrahamic Religion Act passed by Congress in 1885 was simply a codification of the language in the Confederate constitution in the preamble, to wit:

"We, the people of the Confederate States, each state acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity — invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God — do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America."

The Act simply limited immigration to the Confederate states to Christians and Jews. This had the admirable effect of ensuring the nation would continue to be of a high minded and Godly character as opposed to those nations which opened their borders to all sorts of Eastern cults and religious traditions, ideas which always lead to the decay of Western institutions and morals back to the time of Alexander. The Act did not seek to establish a state church by any means but simply required that any prospective immigrant belong to a Christian church or a Jewish tradition.

The second law, the Immigration and Citizenship Act of 1886, established a national standard of fluency in the English language, passage of a written test on the history and institutions of the CSA, Abrahamic religious belief and residence in the Confederacy for at least three years as the necessary benchmarks that must be met by immigrants seeking citizenship. The act was made retroactive so that those immigrants already resident in the CSA longer than 3 years could be granted citizenship immediately.

The period after the Second Mexican War, the Spanish War and leading into the closing years of the 19th century saw a host of changes to the Confederacy which helped to transform it into a modern nation ready for the challenges of the 20th century. Despite the many trials and tribulations our great nation had already passed through in years prior, the years 1896 and onward would test the temper of our steel as a people and a nation like never before.
Chapter 5: The North American War and the False Peace: 1896-1912

By the year 1896 both the CSA and the USA had weathered the storms brought on by the series of wars the two nations had fought during the 1870s and 1880s. While the Confederacy had had the most tumultuous times in the years following the Gentleman’s Agreement, ending slavery, adjusting to economic dislocation, pushing through a program of industrial growth and assimilating the masses of immigrants lured to the country the USA had not been stagnant during the period. Domestic politics in the northern republic had shifted strongly to the right with the election of successful Second Revolution General George McClellan to the Presidency in 1884 as the standard bearer of the American Party. Known as the Know-Nothings during their first period of existence in the 1840s the American Party reemerged as a political force after the dissolution of the Republicans in 1868. It elected its first members to Congress in 1872 and captured numerous state legislatures and governorships before fielding Presidential candidates in 1876 and 1880. Victory came in 1884 as the party established itself as the rival to the Democrats. The party was expansionist, more so even than the Democrats, virulently anti-Catholic, strongly nativist and most ominously revanchist against the CSA. With McClellan’s victory the relations between the USA and CSA began a long period of decline which would culminate in a second war between the two nations in 1896.

This happened for several reasons. The policies of cooperation followed by several Democratic administrations were seen as too friendly to the CSA. Many thought that a policy of continued antipathy between the two nations might have prevented the successful Confederate wars during the late 1800s and thus kept the CSA weak. Many in the American Party wanted another war to outright annex the entirety of the CSA back to the Union. The religious toleration of the Confederacy was another source of American hatred for the South. The nativist tendencies of the reborn party saw any groups which were not Anglo-Saxon and Protestant as inferior. In particular, Catholicism was seen as a front for worldwide Papal domination. Dozens of American Party writers and philosophers expounded the view that the Catholic Church was not in fact a religion but simply a cabal of Satan worshippers masking itself behind a thin veneer of supposed Christianity. The practitioners of Catholicism were seen as dangerously misguided at best and active agents of Satan at worst. Thusly, the policy of the CSA, that Catholics were welcomed and even encouraged to immigrate, was widely denigrated in American Party publications and in official US policy as well once the Americans seized the reins of federal power. Finally, the American Party saw the Second American Revolution as a war that should have and could have been won. They denied the outcome and declared that secession was illegal and that the CSA had no legal basis for existence. They further claimed that all the states of the Confederacy were rightful US territory. With party positions such as these, war was only a matter of time.

The CSA took note of these developments of course but spent the majority of the 1880s and 1890s putting their own house in order. The end of slavery brought a diplomatic renaissance to the Confederacy and while the cotton crash led to the extinction of most of the big plantations cotton cultivation on a smaller scale never went away and in fact began a slow, difficult recovery starting in the late 1890s. Industry continued a slow but steady growth as foreign investment picked up again. The issue of just where all the new sharecroppers would find work was a difficult one as the plethora of small agricultural enterprises did not require as much labor as the large plantations had. Solutions were found in areas of industry which didn’t require education or which were too dangerous for white men to want the jobs. This bred resentment even so and clashes between white workers and industrial sharecroppers, or “croppers”, intensified as more and more blacks found work in the industrial fields. This social tension would ebb and flow with the economic conditions but would not entirely find an outlet or disappear for some time.

The need for the armed forces to stay modern and strong was hammered home by the increasingly violent rhetoric coming out of Hamilton as the 1880s ended. To this end Whig President James Longstreet and his successor President G.W. Custis Lee authorized several military missions to be sent abroad to observe and report on the arms, organization, tactics and strategies currently in use by the Great Powers. Missions to France, the UK, the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and Russia duly set out and compiled masses of material on current European developments in both land and naval warfare. The army focused on France, victorious in the Alsatian War of 1875 and current master of the Continent through its alliance with the South German Federation, Italy and Russia. The French were more than happy to allow CS officers to study their war plans and current equipment. The navy looked to Britain, undisputed master of the world’s oceans. The British were somewhat reluctant to entertain Confederate advisors as some in that nation blamed their losses in the Canadian War on Confederate ingratitude but the end of slavery saw a rise in British opinion which outweighed earlier negative opinions. The missions to other nations found varying levels of welcome and support but all gained valuable knowledge which would stand the CSA in good stead in the years to come.


US President George McClellan's inauguration photograph, 1884

There was nothing preordained in the war which broke out in 1896. Though relations between US and CS were frosty the prospect of war was no closer than it had been for the preceding 12 years of American Party rule. The immediate cause of the war, boundary disputes between Appalachia and Virginia and Missouri and Cherokee were simply pretexts used by the US to gain what they had wanted for years, war. When it came, it hit the CSA like a lightning bolt.

After a declaration of war from the United States on May 19, 1896 massive US armies slammed into the Confederate States. Over a million men moved south along a front spanning 1100 miles divided into 3 main armies, attacking south from Maryland to clear the Confederate positions overlooking Hamilton before marching on Richmond. A second US force crossed the Ohio River, surrounded and took Louisville, Kentucky and moved south towards the center of the state. A third US force jumped off from southern Missouri and punched into northern Arkansas with the goal of conquering Little Rock and then moving down the Mississippi to sever the CSA in two. In Kansas and the Arizona Territory mobile US forces demonstrated against Confederate garrison units to pin them in place and prevent their reinforcing the more threatened theaters. The sheer mass of manpower was a shock to the Confederate Army, which at war’s start numbered only 225,000. Equipped with modern high caliber artillery along with a number of stutter gun battalions and highly motivated the US forces everywhere punched through the initial Confederate defenses and sent the defenders reeling.

Confederate President Lee reacted with remarkable speed given the sudden strikes inflicted on his nation. He proposed and Congress enacted a general mobilization across the nation, an innovation adapted from the French and Germans. While the initial border armies retreated southwards Lee ordered them to regroup and assume defensive positions while he scraped reinforcements from other parts of the nation and sent them to the threatened areas while the mobilization timetables swung into action. The ferocity of the US assault which swept all before it had one positive result, US casualties were extremely high. In the Second American Revolution the total US dead were 240,000 to 180,000 for the CSA. During the wars of the 1870s and 1880s the USA lost approximately 130,000 killed to 38,000 for the CSA. In the first month of the North American War almost 100,000 Yankees were killed in action. Stubborn defenders who refused to withdraw until the last possible moment and the introduction of stutter guns to Confederate units the previous year helped the stalwarts in gray to carve bloody chunks out of the aggressors who dared to strike their homeland.

Despite taking a huge toll from the attacking Yankee hordes, by November 1896 the three main US armies were all deep inside the Confederacy. Richmond was under siege and Kentucky was split in half with Yankees near the northern border of Tennessee. In Arkansas the front lines were only 20 miles from Little Rock. A great naval battle off on Hampton Roads had seen the CS Atlantic Fleet defeated and forced to withdraw to Charleston. Nearly 6,000 sailors were killed with the loss of 3 battleships, 7 cruiser and 18 torpedo destroyers, almost half of the Atlantic Fleet’s strength. While the US Oceanic Fleet was unable to capitalize on the victory by pursuing the CS fleet to complete destruction owing to its own losses it was still the largest naval defeat suffered by the Confederacy in its history.

The winter respite gave the Confederacy time to build its armies, shift its industry into war production, activate alliance and make plans to combat the Yankee juggernaut. In the far west the front was mostly quiet and Confederate planners took advantage of this to launch an offensive of their own into Arizona Territory. The purpose was to drawn US attention and troops away from the main fronts and to boost Confederate morale which had taken a hammering due to the quick advances of the United States. From Cherokee the Indian tribes faithfully flocked to the banner once again and rode north, breaking US cavalry forces in Kansas and setting the state alight. In Cuba, Confederate troops moved into the US-held portion of the island. To accomplish this with the small number of CS troops on hand however, the Confederates had to promise Cuban leaders that if they aided the South in their war and helped CS forces take the eastern half of the island then Cuba would gain its independence at the close of the war. Montgomery opposed these terms but Governor of the territory Wade Hampton on the ground in Havana quickly agreed, enlisted thousands of Cuban guerillas alongside his small regular forces and swept through eastern Cuba like an avenging angel. By early summer 1897 all US forces had been evicted from the island and as a bonus the small US Caribbean Squadron had been met and destroyed off Santiago by the combined Confederate Caribbean and remnants of the Atlantic Fleets. Confederate diplomats were not idle either, assurances from Mexico that 3 divisions would be sent north to aid the CSA were welcome and while neither France or the UK were willing to enter the war at once, both promised to sell any needed war materials and small bands of volunteers from both nations flocked to fight under the flag of the Confederacy in 1897.

Back in the main theaters the Yankees attacked again, with the expectation that they could break through as rapidly as they had the year before. While Confederate forces were reinforced and entrenched, the weight of Yankee manpower and steel was able to hammer away at the South throughout the summer as Yankee scouts reached the northern border of North Carolina in central Virginia. Richmond, the first Confederate state capital to fall, surrendered in September. In Tennessee US armies pressed down on Nashville while in the west Little Rock, Arkansas was the second state capital to succumb to the Yankee heel of oppression, taken in bloody fighting in October. All these advances came at great cost to the United States but Confederate casualties were high as well, surpassing the total killed in the first 30 years of the nation’s existence as the second war year came to an end.


Richmond after its fall to US forces, September 1897

While the military situation was dire, the nation went to the polls to select their president and elected for the first time an Agrarian, Benjamin Tillman of South Carolina, as President. Known for fierce nationalism, a commitment to the lower class whites and the struggles they faced and a combative personality, Tillman came to Montgomery and infused the government with a needed shot of vitality which helped to steady the nation despite the fall of both Richmond and Little Rock. Successes in Arizona, Cuba and Kansas could not outweigh the losses but skillful public relations by the President and his new Cabinet calmed the nerves of the battling nation as winter fell and 1897 came to a close.

As 1898 dawned the Confederacy was at its most dangerous point in its history. The US Navy had almost complete control of the Atlantic (though it dared not press into the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico), US armies were deep inside the CSA and Confederate arms had only a string of comparatively unimportant victories to offset the scales. The crisis was indeed dire and President Tillman met it with his accustomed fortitude. The needs of the army meant that manpower was at a premium. The CSA had by this point lost over 350,000 men killed. If the war continued on and losses continued at such a rate it was possible that white manpower would be unable to keep up with demand. Many factories had already been forced to bring in croppers to take over positions formerly held by whites who had been called up just to keep the nation’s industries from collapse. While this social revolution was underway an actual revolution among the millions of black residents of the Confederacy was also brewing. Fomented by US agents who spoke of a revolution against the white masters of the CSA and who promised a homeland for blacks carved from the defeated South if the United States were victorious many of the disaffected croppers began to organize, arm themselves and plan for an uprising. The plans, though hard to discern at this point, seem to have been a rising coupled with fresh US offensives that would have put the Confederacy between the hammer of Yankee troops and the anvil of armed and insurrectionary blacks.

Thankfully, this crisis was averted. While many of the blacks were rebellious and unhappy with their lot in life there were many who were treated well and who felt still the old bonds of paternal affection for their employers. The conspiracy was revealed to agents of the Internal Security Service in early 1898 and acting with alacrity they swept in and were able to capture, kill or put to flight the leaders of the stillborn rebellion. An incident connected to this was to have a profound impact on the course of the present war and indeed the future history of the CSA. A loyal band of croppers mustered with their employer, a colonel in the Georgia state militia, and insisted on accompanying him as he rode to deal with the would-be rebels. The colonel, a local man of some note named Jonathan Holmes, swore the croppers into the militia ‘for the duration of the crisis’, armed them and led them against the rebels. When a firefight broke out, the croppers stood their ground and fought manfully, winning the gratitude and admiration of Holmes and many others who witnessed the incident. When publicized in the Atlanta Constitution newspaper the next week, the story elicited many others of its ilk from across the nation. A quote which was published in an account substantially similar to Holmes’ from Tallahassee, Florida three weeks later opened the eyes of the nation. Though the speaker was never identified, his words have become rightly famous. Speaking to a reporter after a brief battle with rebellious workers in the cigar factories of the Panhandle, an armed cropper said, “You white folks forget, it’s our country too. If you’d give us a chance, we’d show you.” These words, the press of war and the necessity of the times would all combine to shift the Confederacy onto a path unimaginable to the men who had founded the nation.
Chapter 5: The North American War and the False Peace: 1896-1912 (continued)

While the rebellions fomented by the US were quashed with minimal difficulty, many of the questions raised by them needed to be answered. With over 350,000 dead and twice that number wounded in the 2 years of war, the Confederacy desperately needed manpower for both the home front and the battlefronts. Many industries had already begun to fill their ever-increasing vacancies with croppers eager to find steady employment for a good wage. While pay scales for blacks were lower than for whites, the money a new industrial worker could expect to earn was much more than he could have earned working in agriculture. While this was a groundbreaking change, even more changes were receiving serious consideration for the first time in Confederate history. The idea of using blacks in the military had been seriously raised for the first time. The black population of the CSA at this point was around 7 million and while they were extensively used in digging fortifications, sutler work and other ancillary duties that any army in the field needed that required labor they had not ever been organized into armed units. This is not to say no blacks had ever borne arms for the Confederate States. Even in the Second Revolution manservants accompanying their masters to war had often found themselves in the firing lines. In the wars since it had not been unheard of for other blacks in support roles to be pressed into the line whenever manpower was short or the enemy pressed close. Despite this, large scale employment of the black population as soldiers had never been advanced as viable except by those few radical Agrarians in the 1870s and 1880s.

Now the issue stared the President and the nation in the face. Thousands of blacks had just taken up arms and fought against the Confederacy. Thousands more had joined their employers to put said rebellion down. On both sides blacks had displayed just as much fortitude and courage as whites. The fact could not be ignored except by those of such narrow minded bigotry as to be unreachable by any facts which did not fit their preconceived notions of the world. Because of the increased calls from several sides, President Tillman took the unusual step of asking Congress for legislation to allow blacks to fight for the CSA.

The issue was brought into sharp focus as spring 1898 campaigns begin. By this time the Yankee mass wave attacks which had brought them such movement in the first two years of the war had ceased to be effective. Confederate forces were present in sufficient numbers, deeply entrenched, armed with stutter guns and supporting artillery and unwilling to allow any more of the sacred ground of the Confederacy to fall into Yankee hands. Offensives in Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas all saw US forces slamming into Confederate defenses that would bend but not break as they had under pressure in the two previous campaign seasons. US losses were horrendous and the American Party resorted to ever more strident propaganda to rally their populace to war. They also began to introduce units made up of elite troops hand-picked for their battlefield records and their political reliability. These units were removed from the lines, trained intensively to infiltrate and break through Confederate defenses and armed with new weapons which the industrial might of the United States was beginning to produce. Built on the principles of the stutter guns already in widespread use on both sides, the new weapons were carbine-sized and able to be carried by troops on the attack instead of being emplaced. While the new weapons were capable of large rates of fire which allowed these ‘firetroopers’ to score several initial successes, the small size of the units and the depth of CS defenses as well as the unreliability of the new weapons in field conditions did not constitute a war-winning measure as hoped by the US high command.

While the armies grappled in the Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas theaters the CSA gathered an army in the Trans-Mississippi with an offensive of their own in mind. Comprised of the 2 CS cavalry divisions still in existence after the slaughter of cavalry brought by the stutter guns at the beginning of the war and supported by the 3 Mexican divisions sent by President Diaz as well as 2 brigades from the Republic of Yucatan and a brigade of Cuban volunteers, the Confederate Seventh Army attacked from occupied Arizona with the purpose of invading California. The West Coast had not seen any fighting and while the theater was not one that threatened the CSA, it was one in which the mobile and light forces represented by the CS divisions and the allied contingents could be used effectively. It would also threaten the increasingly important West Coast industrial areas as well as hopefully draw manpower away from the eastern fronts. In conjunction with this the Indian tribes of Cherokee continued to push into the Yankee Plains states. This campaign was not one of conquest but rather one of destruction, intended to wreck Yankee infrastructure, industrial capacity and to again draw men away from the more important theaters.

Casualties continued to mount on both sides in the meat grinders of the East. While on the defensive the CSA still was losing men at a rate which could not be indefinitely sustained. After the cataclysmic Three Battles of summer 1898 over 180,000 Confederate casualties finally cut through the deadlock in Congress from President Tillman’s request and an act that allowed blacks to serve in the Confederate Armed Forces was finally written and passed through. The Black Service Act authorized the Confederate government to enlist black soldiers and form them into units to be led by white officers until such time as blacks of sufficient education could rise to become officers themselves. As a concession to the change in status this would inevitably bring for blacks, upon honorable completion of service and the successful conclusion of the war those veterans would be granted honorary citizenship. Heretofore, black residents (excluding free blacks, those who descended from blacks who had been free at the time of the Confederacy’s independence) had been classified as residents, subject to taxation and some limited legal protections and responsibility but ineligible to vote, hold office or own property. With honorary citizenship, those who served would become legally equal with whites, able to testify in court and own property. The Congress balked at the idea of giving the vote to the black population at this time and public opinion would probably not have stood for even the truncated freedoms of the act had they insisted. Had it not been for the weight of the war and the burden which was steadily grinding down the Confederate military population, this legislation likely would have been delayed for years or never passed at all.

The voice of President Tillman, who was in favor of the act, served to pass it to the population as peacefully as possible. As governor of South Carolina Tillman had been a loud voice on the side of the poor whites and the lower classes, including the mass of croppers in the state, against the entrenched interests of the old planter aristocrats and industrialists best embodied in the Whig Party. Though in private Tillman was no especial friend to the black man, he did acknowledge that a great deal of the nation’s labor and economy depended on them. Further, he often said that he would never hesitate to trade “a thousand Yankees for the lowest, meanest, most scurrilous Negro in the whole Confederacy.”

With the Black Service Act, the Confederacy’s biggest hurdle to complete war mobilization was removed. Within days of opening the Army and Navy to black servicemen thousands flocked to recruiting offices. Several hundred college educated Afro-Confederates stepped forward and volunteered to serve as officers. In conjunction with this, the Industrial Maximization Act empowered employers to allot up to 40% of their positions to black workers. While this law had little practical effect, the central government unable to mandate hiring practices to private employers, it did ease societal pressure to prevent too many blacks from taking industrial jobs vacated by mobilized white workers. This revitalization of the war effort came as Yankee offensives petered out on the main fronts and the Confederate Seventh Army struck into California and quickly threatened San Diego. The city fell quickly as US forces in the area were small and ill-equipped and did not expect Confederate offensives on their front.

Throughout the winter of 1898-1899 the CSA gathered itself with several black divisions undergoing training and joining the main field armies. An additional Mexican division, another brigade from the Yucatan and additional Cuban irregular regiments also joined the Confederate armies in Virginia where the high command was planning the first large scale Confederate offensive of the war. In addition, an innovative firearm invented in Mexico and manufactured in the CSA began to be distributed to those veteran divisions which would lead CS efforts in the coming season. The Mondragon attack rifle was a semi-automatic rifle which allowed Confederate forces to have a much larger rate of fire than their Yankee foes. It would have a decisive effect in the battles to come.


The AR-1896 Mondragon attack rifle, Confederate War Museum, Montgomery, Alabama

Large forces massed on the eastern and western sides of the US salient which split Virginia in half. The plan was for converging armies from the eastern part of the state to attack northwest while forces in the west screened by the Shenandoah Valley would attack northeast to isolate and destroy the main US armies in the east. The offensive kicked off in April 1899 and smashed through thin US flank forces. CS commanders pressed the momentum and in a series of battles assisted by amphibious assaults by CS Marines the two Confederate armies joined hands in May, 1899, surrounding US forces of over 300,000. In Tennessee, CS assaults pressed the Yankees hard, the fresh black divisions, new arms and increased morale leading to victories which ejected the US forces from Tennessee and relieved the pressure on Nashville. The Arkansas front was the least reinforced and thus did not have as much movement as the other two campaign zones but Confederate forces pressed northwards and threatened to retake Little Rock. In California, the CS army swept northward and took Los Angeles, the largest US city to fall in the war and a huge blow to West Coast morale and desire to participate in the conflict.

The partial collapse of US fortunes was due to several issues. Losses in the war were nearing the 1 million mark as attacking US commanders spent lives needlessly in successive offensives. The home front and the American Party rhetoric was beginning to show signs of losing its appeal to the US populace. The prominence of the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, the paramilitary enforcement arm of the Party, led to widespread disaffection with the ruling party through its illegalities and excesses. In addition, the strident anti-Catholic rhetoric of the American Party alienated a large part of the US immigrant population. Irish and Italian immigrants were barred from service and were continually persecuted while the nominal US ally of the Republic of Quebec only supplied 3 divisions to the war effort and those formations quickly crumbled when they came under CS attack in Virginia. The industrial production of the US likewise dropped throughout the war years as prohibitions on employing too many Catholics hurt the ability of US arms makers to keep their production high. While many ignored the laws in order to keep filling their orders, the negative effects were still profound.

By the end of 1899 the US had clearly lost their momentum. The US forces surrounded in Virginia surrendered during the winter which freed CS armies to advance on Hamilton. The state government in California was seeking a separate armistice with the Confederate occupying forces. A secession convention hastily assembled in Tucson voted to take the Arizona Territory out of the US and join the CSA. US forces in Kentucky and Arkansas were under continual attack by irregulars and partisans as well as increasing pressure from regular CS forces. Wort of all from the US perspective, increased British naval and troop movements into Canada seemed to presage an imminent British attack. With a large portion of the internal population of the United States in open defiance of the American Party and CS forces advancing towards Hamilton with few regular US forces available to stop them, US President Andrew Mellon reluctantly asked for an armistice on March 29, 1900. President Tillman accepted, contingent on the immediate withdrawal of all US troops from the territory of the Confederate States. Mellon prevaricated until Confederate offensives in Kentucky sent his forces into retreat and he was forced to accept the terms on April 19.

The Treaty of Ottawa, signed in the new Dominion of Canada on September 15, 1900, ended the bloodiest war ever fought on the North American Continent. Between all the combatant nations, the United States, Republic of Quebec, Confederate States, Republic of Yucatan, Mexico and Republic of Cuba, over 2.5 million men lost their lives, with an additional 7 million wounded to some degree. The US delegation, anxious to sign as the coming election was clearly going to end with the American Party losing power and sentiment on the West Coast to secede from the US was on the rise, agreed to all the terms advanced by the Confederate States, which was diplomatically backed by France and the UK. The terms:

  • The United States to assume full responsibility for the war and to pay an indemnity of 100 million dollars.
  • The Arizona Territory to be ceded to the Confederate States.
  • The Republic of Quebec to be granted the right to join Canada, the United States or to cut all ties with the United States without penalty.
  • The US to agree to a demilitarized zone all along the US/CS border to a depth of 30 miles.
  • The US to renounce all claims to the Confederate States in perpetuity.
While the terms were not harsh given the destruction and bloodshed wrought by the Yankee warmongers, Confederate calls to seize other US states were ignored. Despite the victory, no CS forces stood on US territory other than the armies threatening Hamilton from central Maryland and the Seventh Army in California, at the end of an extremely long supply line. To attempt to annex US states by force would be folly and only the Nationalists seriously advocated for it. With the great war behind them, the Confederacy turned inwards to rest, rebuild and see for the first time what their radically changed society would mean for them moving forward.

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North American at the end of the North American War, October, 1900
Chapter 5: The North American War and the False Peace: 1896-1912 (continued)

The period for 1900-1912 was a tumultuous one throughout the world and throughout North America especially. After the devastation and destruction of the North American War some societal dislocation was inevitable but the sheer scale of the troubles experienced by nearly every nation in North America led to the period being dubbed ‘The False Peace’. While the war was officially over, the struggles brought to the surface by the conflict were in many ways just beginning.

In the United States the break of the American Party’s monopoly on power brought about by the US’s defeat in the War was highlighted by the Democratic victory in the 1900 elections. Pennsylvania Congressman James Thayer captured the Presidency while the Democrats likewise regained majorities in both houses of Congress. The first act of the new government was to abandon Hamilton as the capital of the US and move the seat of government to New York City. With the departure of Hamilton’s whole reason for existence, the city began a quick decline as soon the marble monuments of the old capital increasingly stood vigil over a ghost town. In party politics the American Party, while it did not disintegrate as completely as the Republicans had in the aftermath of the Second Revolution nevertheless saw widespread defections and the formation of several smaller splinter parties in the years after 1900. Through a continual process of amalgamations between the smaller parties the fluid US political scene was eventually stabilized by the formation of the Social Republicans in 1905, a fusion of European socialist thought with old Republican calls for labor and racial equality. This party stood on the left while the truncated American Party survived as the party of the reactionary right with the Democrats the centrist-conservative party of the majority. All of this was accompanied by numerous demonstrations, riots, pitched battles between armed wings of all three parties and several instances of Federal troops called in to restore order across the nation. In addition, religious disorders wracked the US as Catholics, discriminated against for so many years under American Party rule, reasserted themselves and began to seek redress of grievances and a return of their rights. While many emigrated, primarily to Canada, the CSA or Quebec, many more stayed in the US and fought, sometimes with words and sometimes with bullets, for religious equality.


Policemen in Philadelphia attack Catholics protesting for religious equality, 1910

The US possessions and former clients were not immune to these troubles either, as a revolution against US control broke out in Dominica and raged on unquenched throughout the period of the False Peace while Quebec broke all ties with the United States. The republic did not wish to return to Canada and had even less desire to join the US and though the US blocked its attempts to formally ally with the CSA it nevertheless developed friendly relations with Montgomery throughout the post War years.

Finally, the order of the day was uncertainty and tumult, most especially in the states of the West. The West Coast had begun to drift away from the dominant East and Midwest ever since the Canadian War when British troops ran rampant over the Western seaboard with little effort to stop them by the government in Hamilton. In the years between that conflict and the North American War the economy of the Western states had increasingly been tied more to the Pacific than to the rest of the nation as the drive to rearm and get revenge on the CSA led naturally to a focus on the East and the Midwest. Subjected again to foreign invasion during the War by the valiant troopers of the Confederate Seventh Army which had taken San Diego and Los Angeles and had been poised to strike deeper into California at war’s end the West felt even more isolated and abandoned by the distant government in Hamilton than it had before. After peace was declared many prominent men in California, Oregon and Adams began to agitate for independence from the US so that their interests would not be so casually discarded again. Several armed groups which advocated secession formed and while no actual revolution broke out clashes between the groups and local, state and Federal forces were common in the years following the end of the War.

In the Confederacy, though she had won a gallant and hard fought victory, there was still great uncertainty and dissatisfaction throughout the nation. To start with, the states of Virginia, Kentucky and Arkansas had been occupied by US troops for most of the war and large swaths of all three were devastated. Major Confederate cities, Richmond, Little Rock, Louisville, Frankfort and a score of smaller cities and towns had been wrecked in the bloody fighting. The cost of rebuilding was not known but it was certainly going to be expensive and take quite a long time to complete. Though the CSA had won Arizona that territory was sparsely populated and no compensation at all for the destruction wrought by the hated Yankees. The roll of the honored dead was long as well and every family in the nation had lost a husband, son, brother or uncle.

The biggest challenge facing the nation however was the new uplifted status of the black population. Suddenly catapulted into citizenship, albeit honorary, Afro-Confederates felt for the first time part of the nation they lived in. This enthusiasm was for the most part encouraged and accepted by the white population but in some cases old attitudes died hard. A secret group clad in hoods and robes and dedicated to returning the Afro-Confederates to their previous status through force and terror was born in the mountains of North Carolina in 1903. The White Legion soon came to be a watchword for bloody attacks on black communities, veterans and factory workers across the CSA. While the group had a level of support which fluctuated depending on circumstances, it was never supported by the majority. In fact, many whites realized how essential to victory the black population had been, both in the factory and on the battlefield and the primary opponent of the Legion came to be the veterans’ group the Sons of the Revolution.


Artist's depiction of members of the White Legion near Knoxville, Tennessee, 1906

Formed as a fraternal organization for the veterans of the Second American Revolution the Sons accepted all veterans of the Confederacy’s wars after 1879. The leadership voted to allow Afro-Confederate membership in 1902 and while some all black veterans groups existed, the majority of the black veterans joined their white counterparts in membership in the Sons. After the first spate of White Legion attacks in 1904, the Sons quickly armed themselves, organized the nation into districts and took arms against Legion atrocities. Joined by local and state law enforcement as well as mobilized CS troops on at least three occasions, the Sons battled the Legion across the CSA in what can only be described as a domestic war between 1904 and 1911 when the remaining Legion members burned the membership rolls and faded back into the population. The fractious fighting, though harmful to efforts to rebuild and destructive of property and lives, had the unintended effect of welding whites and blacks together in disdain and opposition to its lawlessness and its ideas of a pure white master race forever exploiting ignorant blacks forever. This fusion was to fuel the remarkable Confederate reconstruction of the post War years and lead to a flowering of Southern art, literature and education which continues to this day.

In Cuba, the newfound independence guaranteed by the CSA was cause for joy, though some Cubans wanted a complete break from relations with their former masters. While not a large conflict in the context of the rest of the troubles during the period 1900-1912 the Cuban Insurrection was only finally put down with direct assistance from CS Marines in 1908. The Yucatan Republic likewise saw some anti-Confederate agitations though the troubles there never rose above the level of protests and riots quickly quelled with a combination of concessions and force.

Mexico however, saw a full-fledged civil war break out upon the death of the President cum dictator Porfirio Diaz in 1909. The nation was split into several warring factions, most notably the south, under the control of Mayan Socialists, the capital city and central Mexico under Diaz’s chosen successor Manuel Cervantes and the northern tier of Mexico and Baja California under a right wing military junta. The Mexican Civil War was brought on by several causes which varied with the combatants; a desire of the Mexican people to rid themselves of the stultifying pressure of Diaz’s decades in office, to cast off the unpopular alliance with the CSA which had led to some 40,000 Mexican deaths during the North American War, to form a Socialist government which could retake all the areas lost by Mexico to the Anglos or to form a Third Mexican Empire which could expand throughout Central America and take its place as a major power without the oversight of the CSA. While the three sides all held geographic areas of dominance the areas occupied generally had populations which were loyal to all three of the competitors in the war. This meant that not only was the War one of armies attacking and defending across Mexico in a traditional war of conquest but also a war of neighbor against neighbor, a war of vendetta and reprisal. All this led to an especially vicious conflict that claimed 200,000 Mexican lives before the CSA authorized intervention in 1911. Under the command of General Alvaro Obregon the Confederate Army of Mexico quickly smashed the forces of the military junta in the north, established domestic peace in its area of operations, united with Cervantes’ forces in central Mexico and spearheaded the drive which destroyed the Mexican Socialists in 1913. The brilliant generalship of Obregon was decisive in the quick conclusion of the bloody war and when Cervantes assumed the office of President of Mexico in 1913 the CS Congress authorized Obregon’s army to stay in-country to train a new Mexican Army which would be professional, committed to the new regime and capable of restoring peace to the country.

Though the post-War years North America sought to find a new equilibrium in which it could deal with the realities brought about by the result of the North American War. The degrees of success enjoyed by each nation varied but by 1912 the False Peace was finally ending and a return to domestic and international quiet after so many years of violence and disorder was on the horizon.
Chapter 6: The Confederacy Triumphant: 1913-1930
By the time 1913 rolled around the Confederate States had weathered the post-War years, battered but whole. The political, social, industrial, cultural and military fabric of the nation had been mended following the rends torn by the North American War and a stronger weave which bonded all the peoples of the CSA together was the result. The election of Calhoun Dennison of Florida in 1913, the third Agrarian President to assume the nation’s highest office, saw a whole host of changes sweep across the country as the CSA fully joined the 20th Century.

Dennison’s primary aims in office were to modernize agriculture and industry, update the aging infrastructure of the Confederacy, introduce legislation that would facilitate the spread of primary and higher education throughout the country and update the equipment of both the Army and Navy. In all these endeavors he proved singularly successful. A self-made man from the middle class, he was by turns an attorney, soldier, farmer and small businessman before he entered the world of politics. A popular and successful governor who brought prosperity to Florida as well as an increase in the state’s population through the renovation of previously inhospitable lands Dennison seamlessly moved into the national political spotlight in the last months of 1912 with a message which appealed to a broad spectrum of the CS voting public. He seemed to offer something for voters of all political opinions while remaining true to the core Agrarian interests and his six years in office saw Confederate industry reach its highest production totals ever and agriculture rebound from the slumps of the late 1880s and 1890s with new agronomical techniques, fertilizers and the beginnings of farm mechanization. Education flourished as never before as every Confederate state passed laws enacting state funded primary education for all children and Dennison’s pet project of agricultural and mechanical colleges throughout the nation led to two dozen A&M and state universities breaking ground during his tenure. The rail net of the Confederacy was modernized, upgraded and expanded while the first highways built specifically for motorwags soon spread through the more urbanized and developed parts of the country. Finally, the Army received funds sufficient to modernize its equipment and fortifications while the Navy was built up with the goal of contesting the Atlantic and winning against the US should war ever break out between the two nations again.

Technology continued to move apace, impacting the Confederate life no less than any other modern, civilized nation as motorwags quickened travel, aeroships took to the skies and shrunk the vast distances of the world and radio and telephony allowed communication to reach unimaginable numbers of people with a speed that would have been thought impossible to our fathers. In all these areas and many more besides the Confederacy joined the front runners in many fields to form a truly modern state.

In addition to all these new trends, cultural and societal mores began to change as well. The honorary citizenships of the Afro-Confederates led inevitably to calls for full citizenship, meaning the right to vote, for that race. In this the most vocal opponents of such a change were the Hispanics and Indians, along with reactionaries in all three parties, who argued that the black population, though undoubtedly brave and loyal, had not reached the full maturity that would allow them to intelligently exercise the franchise. While the debate raged on, and indeed continues to, the discourse on both sides, though at times heated, did not led to an outbreak of widespread or endemic violence, a monumental change from what would have happened even 5 years before the North American War.

In other matters as well the Confederate culture continued to develop in ways unique to the Southern character. The increase in religiosity brought on by the War and the False Peace was puzzling to many outside observers, many of whom hailed from lands which had turned from the saving graces of Christianity to modern heresies as varied as Socialism, Scientificism and Dynamism. The faith in God which had sustained the South during the darkest days of the War and the way in which the Confederacy had navigated the years of the False Peace in spite of all the evils rampant through the land only served to confirm the peoples’ faith in our Lord and Savior whose Hand has guided and delivered us throughout our history. Other nations have embraced the advances in man’s knowledge and understanding as proof that God is not real while others have seen the horrors of war and likewise concluded that God does not exist. We Confederates know better and the strong Christian faith of our fathers and forefathers has allowed us to navigate the troubled waters of this imperfect world with wisdom while other older, more established and richer nations have fallen by the wayside.

The final triumph of Dennison’s term was the foundation of the North American Cooperative Organization, or NACO, an organization which bound the CSA, Mexico, Cuba, the Yucatan and Nicaragua in a mutual defense alliance which would obligate all the nations to defend any of the others in event of an attack upon them by any other power. While the Republic of Quebec wished to join the US would not allow it, even threatening war, so Quebec was forced to take a seat as an observer and not enjoy the benefits of full membership. The membership of Nicaragua was solely due to the necessity of defending the French-Russian-CS joint Nicaraguan Canal which had linked Atlantic and Pacific in 1918 and was likewise protested by Russian and French diplomats who did not wish to be deprived of their investments and controlling interests in the canal. Feelings were soothed with the assurance that the canal would remain a tri-administered entity regardless of Nicaragua’s membership in NACO. This alliance offered increased security for the Confederate sphere and also made it easier to guide other nations looking for enlightened partnership towards association with the alliance.

While the Confederacy was primarily concerned with itself in these years the events in the wider world could not be ignored. In China, a coalition of Western powers forced that empire to allow an Open Window which opened that vast nation to trade and economic activity for the rest of the world. The Nipponese Empire shocked the world with its defeat of the French Empire in the jungles of Indochina, wresting that far-away colony away from Napoleon IV and joining the ranks of the Major Powers. In contrast to that defeat French interests in Africa slowly but surely pushed out British influence in much of the continent as the strains of a rebellious India ground away slowly at British power. The most contentious arena, however, was in Europe itself where the Grand Entente of France, the South German Federation, Italy and Russia warily eyed the League of Hanover, consisting of the UK, Germany and Austria-Hungary. The two power blocs had a host of territorial and diplomatic grievances against one another and the tension caused by the world situation was such that war was inevitable.

It broke out in 1919 as the CSA was preparing for their next election and the League struck first, with German and Austrian forces invading the SGF while British and German troops invaded the Low Countries in an attempt to sweep into France. The Entente responded with French troops pushing across the Rhine into Western Germany while both Russians and Italians invaded Austria. The SGF was bolstered by men from all its allies and the entire continent plunged into the fiery holocaust of war. Fighting spread from there throughout the world as all the colonies and dependencies of the warring powers were drawn in on the sides of their masters. Within weeks the war had become the Global War.

Amid this maelstrom the CSA went to the polls and elected the first Nationalist President since 1885 when they selected Nathan Bedford Forrest II of Tennessee as president. Son of a successful cavalry colonel during the Second American Revolution and prominent businessman after the war, Forrest II was likewise successful in business and had served as an officer in the Navy during the North American War. An avowed advocate of expansion of the armed forces and a forceful diplomatic presence in the Americas and elsewhere, Forrest introduced the first peacetime conscription upon taking office in 1920. He also began a massive expansion of the Navy, his first and perhaps only true love, while Confederate diplomats in Paris entered into talks with the government of Napoleon IV on the preconditions for Confederate entry into the Global War. As this was happening the Germans were trying to entice the US into assisting the League but the UK was highly opposed to this as they saw the US as little better than France after the shock of the Canadian War even 35 years after the fact. The only thing accomplished by German overtures was to incite nationalist fever in the US and allow the American Party to recapture the Presidency for the first time in 20 years when Pennsylvanian Lamar Banks narrowly took the election in 1920. Ironically, Banks was more concerned with ending the still ongoing Dominican Rebellion and with bullying Quebec back into dependence on the US than he was with entering a global conflagration. A singularly ineffective executive, any impetus for US action was soon lost in political infighting as the Social Republican led House of Representatives stymied Banks at every turn.

By 1921 the once fluid war had settled into bloody trench stalemate with both sides taking millions of casualties as stutter guns, mass armies and even poison gas froze the front lines into inactivity. British-German forces were stymied in Belgium, French troops halted on the right bank of the Rhine and Italians dying by the thousands in the unforgiving mountain battlefields with Austria. Only in the SGF, where League forces were evicted with colossal effort, and in the East where Germans held the line against the Russians in East Prussia while Russians rampaged through Austria-Hungary, was there movement. Into this cauldron did the Nipponese step with surprise attacks on British, German and Austrian enclaves in China coupled with successful assaults on British Singapore and Malaysia. In Africa, British forces were reduced to holding East Africa and South Africa while India broke out into full-fledged rebellion, encouraged and armed by the French and the Russians.

As 1922 dawned the League of Hanover was wobbling but had not yet fallen. In Paris, Confederate diplomats inked a secret deal which would transfer ownership of French Guiana to the CSA in return for Confederate entry into the war. While Guiana was (and is) not densely populated or economically important, the prestige of adding territory to the CSA was too much for the Nationalist Forrest to resist and he agreed. When he came to Congress to ask for a declaration of war he made much of the debt of honor owed the French people by the CSA and rather less of the territorial grab. The affirmative vote was extremely close but in the end Forrest got his war and 300,000 Confederate troops were headed across the Atlantic by spring. The CS Navy promptly proved the wisdom of both Dennison and Forrest when it defeated British naval forces sent to harass the troop convoys and the Atlantic Fleet united with the French and Italian Fleets in the massive Battle of the Channel when for the first time in 350 years the Royal Navy was decisively defeated and French and Confederate troops landed in Ireland. The island was overrun and declared independence from the UK on November 24, 1922 as the Irish Republic, guaranteed by CS and French troops. On the European battlefields CS troops served admirably in ejecting the League from Belgium and in pressing forward the Rhine front nearly 15 miles by the end of the year.


Confederate troops advance in Belgium, 1922

The war in Europe soaked up more and more Confederate manpower and material and while Forrest was happy to indulge his French allies the Confederate public began to question the wisdom of entering the war. Only the warm feelings felt towards France and her people and the decision by Confederate leaders not to attack British possessions in the Western Hemisphere kept the South in the fight, as well as the typical Southern sense of honor which would not allow them to abandon an ally once their word had been given. Still, the casualties were horrendous and the presence of the US to the north was never far from paranoid Confederate thoughts.

Luckily, 1923 saw the decisive battles of the war as the UK, defeated at sea and on land, bowed out of the war in March. Alone, Germany and Austria could not hope to resist, though both continued to do so until Entente troops occupied western Germany and Russians took Galicia and were threatening Budapest. Even the Italians, stiffened by a Confederate corps, succeeded in taking Trieste and the Austrian Littoral. Exhausted, defeated and with millions dead, the League sued for peace.

The terms were surprisingly light after so much blood and treasure had been spilled. France assumed a protectorate over Belgium, Ireland’s independence was guaranteed, some British possessions in Africa were returned though France kept the lion’s share and the Nipponese refused to return any of their Asian conquests. Russia took Galicia and some Austrian border regions, Italy kept all her spoils from the tottering Austro-Hungarian Empire and the SGF was awarded Frankfurt, Coburg and German Hessen as well as surrounding lands to make the acquisitions contiguous. The CSA gained French Guiana. Indemnities were set at 3 billion for Germany and Britain and 2 billion for Austria-Hungary to be divided among the Entente powers proportionally to their contribution to victory. Thus ended the Global War with a total death toll of around 35 million on all sides, the worst war in human history.

The Confederate troops returned as heroes, the Navy was lionized and President Forrest experienced a brief surge in popularity at the acquisition of Guiana though only the Nationalists thought the game was worth the candle. Disillusion set in at the war’s cost and though the Confederate role in freeing Ireland did help tilt the scales, the dissatisfaction with the war was evidenced with the Nationalist loss in 1925 to Jonathan Holmes, Whig of Georgia and most vocal friend to the Afro-Confederates then in politics.

The rest of the 20’s passed in peace and prosperity as the established order continued in power in both Europe and North America. The independence of the Dominican Republic in 1927, recognized by US Social Republican President Knorr Madison, brought that nation quickly into the NACO alliance and the Territory of Puerto Rico was granted statehood in 1928. Guiana was organized as a Territory after the war and continues to be administered as such to this day.


The NACO alliance, 1928

Though the modern world as of the time of this writing is haunted by the creeping specters of Socialism, Communism, Irredentism and Dynamism on the edges of civilized and uncivilized nations alike, the triumphant march of the Confederate States of America through history continues on. From the Founding Fathers through the time of Gentleman’s Agreement to the heroes of the North American War and the defenders of the legitimate order of the Global War, the inventors, planters, farmers, workers, soldiers and sailors of all Confederate peoples have come together to create the world’s greatest nation. With the guidance of Providence, the steadfast valor and virtue of our men in arms, the unceasing pursuit of prosperity for all Confederates and the love of justice and righteousness, the Confederacy will continue to shine as a beacon of hope for all of the Western Hemisphere and indeed, the world.
Presidents of the CSA:

1861-1867 - Robert Toombs, Georgia (Whig)

1867-1837 - John C. Breckinridge, Kentucky (Whig)

1873-1879 - Louis T. Wigfall, Texas (Nationalist)

1879-1885 - Jefferson Davis, Mississippi (Nationalist)

1885-1891 - James Longstreet, South Carolina (Whig)

1891-1897 - G.W. Custis Lee, Virginia (Whig)

1897-1903 - Benjamin Tillman, South Carolina (Agrarian)

1903-1909 - Montague McDaniel, Alabama (Whig)

1909-1913 - Richard MacArthur, Arkansas (Agrarian)

1913-1919 - Calhoun Dennison, Florida (Agrarian)

1919-1925 - Nathan Bedford Forrest II, Tennessee (Nationalist)

1925-1931 - Jonathan Holmes, Georgia (Whig)

Presidents of the USA:

1860-1864 - Abraham Lincoln, Illinois (Republican)

1864-1868 - Stephen Douglas, Illinois (Democrat)

1868-1872 - Stephen Douglas, Illinois (Democrat)

1872-1876 - Clement Vallandigham, Ohio (Democrat)

1876-1880 - Clement Vallandigham, Ohio (Democrat)

1880-1884 - Fernando Wood, New York (Democrat)

1884-1888 - George McClellan, New Jersey (American)

1888-1892 - George McClellan, New Jersey (American)

1892-1896 - James Garfield, Ohio (American)

1896-1900 - James Garfield, Ohio (American)

1900-1904 - Andrew Mellon, New York (Democrat)

1904-1908 - Paul Kinkaid, Indiana (Democrat)

1908-1912 - Randolph Hearst, Nevada (Democrat)

1912-1916 - Randolph Hearst, Nevada (Democrat)

1916-1920 - Sinclair Mayes, California (Social Republican)

1920-1924 - Lamar Banks, Pennsylvania (American)

1924-1928 - Knorr Madison, Wisconsin (Social Republican)

1928-1932 - Knorr Madison, Wisconsin (Social Republican)

1930 Census:

Population of the Confederate States: 46,317,467

Top 15 Most Populous Cities:

1. New Orleans, Louisiana
2. Houston, Texas
3. Atlanta, Georgia
4. Dallas, Texas
5. Charleston, South Carolina
6. Louisville, Kentucky
7. Birmingham, Alabama
8. Memphis, Tennessee
9. Sequoyah, Cherokee
10. Monticello, Jefferson
11. Montgomery, Alabama
12. San Antonio, Texas
13. Richmond, Virginia
14. Norfolk, Virginia
15. Jacksonville, Florida

Population of the United States: 82,175,305

Top 15 Most Populous Cities:

1. New York City, New York
2. Chicago, Illinois
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4. Detroit, Michigan
5. Los Angeles, California
6. Cleveland, Ohio
7. St. Louis, Missouri
8. Boston, Massachusetts
9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
11. San Francisco, California
12. Buffalo, New York
13. Minneapolis, Minnesota
14. Newark, New Jersey
15. Indianapolis, Indiana