What's the PoD for this?
Good TL, BTW...
Good TL, BTW...
What could possibly go wrong with this, I wonder...Yet, if he dispatched such a message on a slow ship, he could conduct a campaign to smash the rebels in Victoria, then dispatch a second message via a clipper that would present the issue as already resolved. He felt this the best approach. If so, he had to move quickly and to that end planned to move troops down the Great South Road, a grand name for something resembling a bullock track further South, diverting a smaller force by ships to a landing point at Flooded Plains, from there to advance on Melbourne from the East.
This should be threadmarked.4 November 1854, Toorak House, Melbourne, Colony of Victoria
It had all gone wrong very rapidly for Sir Charles Hotham, Governor of Victoria. On reflection, he was now the former Governor of Victoria, thought Peter Lalor. Lalor himself had rapidly realised the importance of moving as quickly as possible. Telegraph communication was the key. It would take 60-70 days for any news of such a rebellion to make it to England, however, new would reach Launceston in only 1-2 days, Sydney in a week.Allowing two days to bury the dead, they had left Ballarat on the 2nd November with a force of 1000 men, 250 of which were now armed with rifles or British Army muskets. 400 men, 50 armed with long-arms, marched to Bendigo via Talbot and Maryborough under Brydges that same day.
Moving through Ballan and actually gaining some 50 extra men, they overnighted at Taylor's Creek, camping at the property of Scotsman William Taylor. The following morning they marched on Government House at Toorak. It was an unequal struggle. Melbourne was garrisoned by only 88 men of the 11th Foot and 51 police, backed by 38 civilian volunteers, Colonel W.A Anderson's Melbourne Volunteer Rifles, only just in the process of forming and consisting of some 34 men and lastly the late arriving Geelong Volunteer Rifles, consisting of 16 men commanded by Horatio Wills, the former Governor. What's more, the more able of the police had already been dispatched, the men left being of less utility.
The two forces met near the Hay, Corn and Horse Market, close to the bridge on Flemington Road, where the loyalist forces had set up barricades. It was a disaster for the Governor's forces. Initially able to hold the rebels, after 30 minutes they realised that their left flank had been turned. The rebels had taken position on Arden Street. Horatio Wills Geelong Volunteer Rifles had sided with the rebels, taking up positions inside the Royal and Parkside Hotels.
The rebels lost 27 dead and 31 wounded at the barricades, the loyalists 24 dead and 18 wounded. More were picked off as they began a confused retreat that ended in a rout, many men surrendering in place. By noon on the 4th November, the Governor was in custody and by 2.30pm all Government forces had laid down their arms. The rebels were in total control of "marvelous Melbourne and it 112,000 population.
Lalor rather dramatically climbed out the skylight to speak to the assembled citizens of Melbourne from the roof of the Post Office in Bourke Street later that day.
“Liberty! That is why we are here, that is what we have fought for.
Fellow Citizens, we can no longer be but outraged at the unaccountable conduct of this Governor and his corrupt officials, we take it as an insult to our manhood and a challenge to the determination to pay the usurious taxes foisted upon us by this grasping administration. We can no longer tolerate the use of this country as a dumping ground for those unwanted in England, those transported against their will by the tyranny of the Crown and of old England. Make no mistake, they will call us traitors, attempt to call us to account, but if you wish to forge your own destiny, brothers and sisters, then you must cleave to the course that we wish to follow.
That course proposes we follow no more than the basic rights of any free man or woman, the right to choose one's own destiny, the right to be free of oppression, to chart ones own course. That is what I propose we do. I propose we chart our own course in this great Southern land. That we longer be beholding to the whims of London, that our wishes be no longer overridden, that the tyranny spewing for from the entitled few in Sydney also be curtailed. You see our flag, the Southern Cross. Swear a solemn oath by our standard, be not a coward at heart. I order all persons who do not intend to take the oath to leave the meeting at once, you will not be molested and public notices will be issued as to the future direction of this colony within the next two days. For those of us that remain, for those that want a new future free of oppression, for those that wish to see us masters of our own destiny, I call on you now to swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other, and fight to defend our rights and liberties."
The amount of men that came forward, and some women, far exceeded the numbers that Lalor had envisaged. Lalor knelt. "Comrades, assist me to pray for the safety of these men. Bless these men that go to fight for their rights and liberties. May Heaven shield them from danger. I charge you to commit no violence to the peaceably disposed. I will shoot the first man who takes any property from another except arms and ammunition and what is necessary for us to use in our defense. March behind our standard.”
Two days later, leaflets circulated all Melbourne homes.
"In the light of circumstances that had previous existed within the previous Colony of Victoria, in light of the patient sufferance of this colony, in light of the oppression suffered, it now constrains us to alter our former system of government, having in direct object the rejection of tyranny over this State.
To that end, I, Peter Lalor, state the following, namely, this Colony is now a free and independent State; it is absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown and all political connection between it and the state of Great Britain, is totally dissolved. To that end, I announce the following appointments for the new Southern Cross Republic:
President and Minister for External Affairs: Horatio Wills
Minister for War: Peter Lalor
Minister for Mining and Postmaster General: Duncan Gillies
Lord Protector: Richard Plantagenet- Brydges
Minister for Trade: Foster Fyans
Attorney General: Adye Douglas
Treasurer: Raffaello Carboni
Love this update you wrote three four great stories that are now books. Is there any ideas for your future timelines alternate history or self insert ideas? One idea I have is self insert McClellan we’re he makes him a better general cause you don’t see many stories that make McClellan a better general. That’s my ideas keep up the good work!👍👍