Until Every Drop of Blood Is Paid: A More Radical American Civil War

Badass

Excited d to see what happens now

I feel kinda bad for Breckenridge reading his bio

Excited to see how things get from here
My guess is this is where both sides really start to go mad monkey on each other

It was a painful choice for everyone. Breckinridge must be especially pained because most of his state decided to side with the Union. And, (spoilers, I guess) since the Union will win at the end, he chose the wrong side.

Thanks! And yeah, here's where both sides take off the gloves.

McClellan Delenda Est! The idiot must be removed.

Unfortunately many already see him as the possible savior of the Union. Lincoln will not defer to him as much as in OTL, but Little Mac probably will fuck up once more before people realize he's not the man for the job.

There are bigger idiots, far more horrible people and worse generals in the war but none get under my skin quite like McClellan.

Hmmmmm, are there any TLs where secession is averted (at least in the short term) or the slavers get beat down so hard and so fast that slavery sticks around as a bleeding ulcer in the union for a while longer? Seems like would make for an interesting TL.

I think it's the arrogance, the belief that he was superior to everyone and that everybody was in a giant conspiracy against him. I've had to deal with people like him, unfortunately. After reading Ethan S. Rafuse's McClellan's War, I think I understand him better, but I still dislike him.

Now this is a WAR.

Truly @Red_Galiray you manage to make the slog of ACW battles interesting to the reader.

Thank you! I worry constantly about the battles themselves being boring, so I'm glad to see they are narrated well enough to be interesting.

So, in the end, after losing tens of thousands of men combined, neither side achieved anything meaningful. Their respective superiors are bound to be less than happy about that.

For the Confederates, things could have gone a lot worse, but they don't need simple stalemates but actual victories if they want to win. The Union leaders, for their part, must be furious about losing their general and so many men without even taking Washington.

Damnit McClellan.

You can almost read his letters, congratulating himself on "defeating" the Confederates and saving the Army after McDowell died.

McClellan seems to be like a World War II British general, Arthur Percival, in that both were good as staff officers but, when they became commanders (Percival commanded British forces in Malaya and Singapore), they were in way over their heads and wound up losing their battles...

If he had been quartermaster general or limited himself to a staff position, he probably would have gone down in history as one of the saviors of the Union, instead of one of its most incompetent officers.

so McDowell was the commander of the whole union army there, I don't think it realistic from him to go up to the front lines and try to rally the troops that would have been a lower general jobs or some other officer not the commander of the union army. There have been case of general who commanded division and doing something like this but the commander of the while union army who has 60,000 troops would have not done such a thing.

Aside from Arnold d.c.'s points, it was because the Southerners rushed forward, sending the Union lines into a retreat and reaching McDowell's headquarters. He was hit by the bullet before he could retreat to a safe location. I think I will change it to a sharpshooter, however, because you raise a good point.

An outstanding chapter as always! I hope McClellan doesn't assume command of the Army of the Susquehanna. It seems that his timidity has transferred over from OTL.

Thank you! Unfortunately, McClellan's probably next in line.

To steal a quote:

“No other army fought so well or so long under so many mediocre commanders—the first of whom was its creator.”

Eagles led by doves?

So, McDowell comes to an end which causes his reputation to be considerably better for him than OTL, having won Baltimore and having had a chance to win a second time, though something like what McClellan did is sadly very likely from him. (I can see the jokes now, cartoonists of the day claiming the because he was at Annapolis, McClellan wouldn't attack till he had a navy with him. :) ) Some might even blame McClellan for McDowell's death, claiming that if he hadn't been so reluctant and come when he should have, McDowell wouldn't have felt the need to rally the troops himself, though that is a little harsh since it was one of those fluke things like mentioned about with other generals who died rallying the troops.

Washington does seem easy to defend, especially when Lee comes up, but if Washington falls early and Lee is responsible for the loss, it may tarnish his legacy enough the Confederates don't have a determined war horse to rally around, no general who really seems to get into the4 Union soldiers' heads and inspire Grant's future line, "Don't think about what Lee is going to do to us, let's think about what we're going to do to him."

McDowell will probably be remembered as a great hero. Some people may even offer disingenuous praise, despite having criticized him harshly before. And yes, I can see McClellan being blamed for McDowell's death. Take into account that McClellan talked against McDowell very openly. Some may say that he wanted McDowell to fail, so that he could take over.

Lee's career would completely hinge on his performance now. He already lost at Kanawha (West Virginia) and couldn't do much in South Carolina. Another failure, and he may be exiled to the Trans-Mississippi.

Great battle! I see a mix of Second Bull Run and the Valley Campaign. McDowell's death puts a bit of a damper to the victory won and means that McClellan is responsible for the push to Washington. I see that Lee and Longstreet are coming up to Richmond and that Johnston is about to get sacked, but does that mean who is taking over whose responsibilities? Lee does have seniority over Longstreet (and seniority was such an important thing for the US Army before and during the American Civil War), so I assume that Lee is taking over Johnston's responsibilities. Lee makes a pretty good military advisor as he understands how to explain plans to politicians and Longstreet makes for a good commander (tho his record as independent commander is rather shaky.)

As for attacking Washington, that's bound to be a formidable challenge for the Union Army. There are solid positions to defend the city so I wonder if McClellan tries to land behind Washington and trap the Confederate Army north of the Potomac like the Peninsular Campaign or the Urbanna Plan. Then again, the politicians may scream at the idea of an indirect approach as it would open the road north and McClellan might balk at the prospect for similar reasons.

Eh, it's fairly plausible for army commanders to come under fire. Lee rode to rally his army when it was on the verge of disintegrating at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House; Grant came under artillery fire when he observed the front line at Spotsylvania, and Corps commanders like Polk and Sedgwick were killed when they thought they were safe from enemy fire (artillery for the former and sharpshooters for the latter).

Honestly, I don't think Breckinridge would care as much about seniority as Davis or other people would do. He was a very unconventional politician in many ways, and though he'd probably respect seniority if only not to offend the sensibilities of military men, he may be willing to breach it if he believes it's necessary to save his Confederacy. Personally, I think Longstreet as General in-chief and Lee as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia would be a good combination, since Longstreet could template some of Lee's Napoleonic ambitions, and pay more attention to the West. But their actual positions are to be determined.

Due to McClellan's obsession with maneuver and his fear of actually facing the enemy, an attack up the Potomac seems possible. Lincoln, of course, would demand he leave a force behind to protect Baltimore and prevent an invasion of the North. Of course, McClellan would probably argue then that he did not have enough men...

I don't remember if this was discussed before but will Lincoln's correspondence with Marx have chance to effect a more radical republican party.

I still believe that labor is the most probable cause of a split within the Republican Party after the war. That and Civil Rights, of course. Some Republicans will side with business, others with the workers. I don't think that correspondence is enough to cause such a radical change within the Party. But this more progressive Lincoln may be more willing to enact pseudo-socialist policies. Perhaps an expanded homestead act?
 
Jumping off the question about Marx.
@Red_Galiray

How are the 48'ers getting on ITTL politics. There were a couple of them in Congress around this time, but they seemed to be a mixed bag on the slavery issue. I figured that with the slightly more agitated politics that they might end up sliding in one direction or another.

To be honest, I don't know much about the 48'ers. But since the Confederates have cracked down hard on the Germans of Missouri and Texas, it's possible that the community as a whole has become radical.

Jackson is a genius like always, but union numbers take the day. Still, I'd call it a Pyrrhic victory for the union unless they can take Washington

Even more pyrrhic in hindsight, since they lost McDowell and are now under McClellan. Whatever his faults, McDowell was never as timid or arrogant as McClellan.
 
McClellan is going to get more power after this? Damn, this war will be won in the Western and Missisipi theaters I guess. Hopefully Sherman and whoever's out by the river are able to get some more morale boosting victories. By the way are there any plans underway for an amphibious invasion of Louisiana?
 
I still believe that labor is the most probable cause of a split within the Republican Party after the war. That and Civil Rights, of course. Some Republicans will side with business, others with the workers. I don't think that correspondence is enough to cause such a radical change within the Party. But this more progressive Lincoln may be more willing to enact pseudo-socialist policies. Perhaps an expanded homestead act?

maybe try an experiment with agricultural communes or something of the like with land out west and the land taken from the southern plantation owners?
 
McClellan is going to get more power after this? Damn, this war will be won in the Western and Missisipi theaters I guess. Hopefully Sherman and whoever's out by the river are able to get some more morale boosting victories. By the way are there any plans underway for an amphibious invasion of Louisiana?

Yup! But here are where some changes become apparent, because many people in the Confederacy itself and the border states who were not willing to fight for the CSA in OTL side with them now. Breckinridge is also better at logistics. The result is that the Confederacy has more men in the Trans-Mississippi, and thus the Battle for New Orleans may be more hard fought.

maybe try an experiment with agricultural communes or something of the like with land out west and the land taken from the southern plantation owners?

That seems like a good idea!


By the way, would anybody mind if some military campaigns are basically the same in concept as in OTL? In the West, Corith and then Vicksburg are the only logical choices, but I'm talking if anybody would mind if there is an alt-Penninsula campaign or if Sherman still marches through Georgia (personally, I want a march to the sea!). Of course, the execution and context would be radically different.
 
I'd actually be dubious if things were wildly different- cutting the Confederacy in two by a march through Georgia is good military sense in both timelines, for instance. The temptation to try for a quick descent upon Richmond similarly.
 
By the way, would anybody mind if some military campaigns are basically the same in concept as in OTL? In the West, Corith and then Vicksburg are the only logical choices, but I'm talking if anybody would mind if there is an alt-Penninsula campaign or if Sherman still marches through Georgia (personally, I want a march to the sea!). Of course, the execution and context would be radically different.


For better or worse having certain events happen as per OTL, even with the smallest of changes is not that far out of context of the Civil War. This is a TL where the war will still be similar/familiar but different.

Using the Mississippi and cutting the Confederacy in two makes sense.
Marching into Virginia to take Richmond also makes sense.

I mean this McClellan already has had a different career, even if he still has a case of the slows and is cautious (and even still we have 2020 hindsight) but he could slightly be a bit more aggressive in some battles, and cautiously worse in others in other battles.

Hell, even having certain commanders swapped over might make battles different. Don't know if you have Grant and Sherman as a partnership again, but you could have Thomas transferred East, maybe even Rosecrans or Buell, Or Reynolds transferred West. I mean, things like that could be interesting.

In all honesty though, go with what you know and make it feel somewhat different.
 
Military campaigns are something that is pretty logical - like you say, Corinth and then Vicksburg are the logical choices, so why worry? You can even hurry things along a bit then so we can reach the end of the war before the end of next year :) (I do enjoy this but it will speed up your writing a bit and probably make you more productive if you don't have to write wholly different campaigns in certain spots.)
 
The only way that the u.s. government can touch property rights is by "confiscating it from traitors/criminals" or something like that, we american reaally love our property rights.

The thing is, there will be plenty of abandoned farms from people fleeing the meatgrinder, so postwar the government shouldn't really have a problem with setting the freedmen in the south.

Places like the lower Mississippi valley and Delta (good quality farmland) are still mostly swamp at this point, hell the government can just "settle the lowlands" with the freedmen. As a bonus it would make the states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi 70 percent or more black majority, garunteeing Republican control to the mouth of the Mississippi river.
This has the added benefit of harnessing the very racial animus which the National Unionists exploit - claim that unless the Freedmen can be settled on land belonging to their former owners or to nobody at all, they'll almost certainly head north and compete with white laborers in the Northwest.
 
What Chickpea said. Some things just make military sense, and you shouldn't make everything different just for the sake of difference.

See, way back when I picked the username SenatorChickpea as a Cicero reference but I was greatly amused to discover that everytime some one quotes me it's like they're talking to their favourite little alternatehistory user, who's the favorite?
 
This has the added benefit of harnessing the very racial animus which the National Unionists exploit - claim that unless the Freedmen can be settled on land belonging to their former owners or to nobody at all, they'll almost certainly head north and compete with white laborers in the Northwest.
Yes, but using racism would also bring the difficult question of the whites being replaced. While the larger plantations would be easier to do, as reparations to slaves, the many small abandoned farms would have been run by poor whites without slaves, and I think if those are replaced too, that the white population might hate the Union after reconstruction. You would have to somehow stop the Lost Cause Movement from happening, when it probably would have an easier time of spreading.
Also, what would the different be between this and sharecropping? Just the lack of rent/crops given to the white landowner, right?
 
I'd actually be dubious if things were wildly different- cutting the Confederacy in two by a march through Georgia is good military sense in both timelines, for instance. The temptation to try for a quick descent upon Richmond similarly.

Yes, but I sometimes worry about things being too close to OTL, especially since military action updates seem to be more popular than updates about the social or political landscape. I myself prefer the socio-political aspect much more, but I wouldn't want the military side to just be a retelling of OTL.

What Chickpea said. Some things just make military sense, and you shouldn't make everything different just for the sake of difference.

I guess you're right. For some things to be different, the people in charge would have to act in a stupid manner and I'd like to think that all decisions and events thus far have been realistic.

If i remember right the original plan was to march through Mississippi and Alabama to Atlanta, but then the troops got sent on the red river campaign instead

March to Atlanta doesn't have the same ring, does it? Also, I'm planning on having a march to the sea whatever happens. For extra points, the chapter will be named "While we were marching through Georgia!".

For better or worse having certain events happen as per OTL, even with the smallest of changes is not that far out of context of the Civil War. This is a TL where the war will still be similar/familiar but different.

Using the Mississippi and cutting the Confederacy in two makes sense.
Marching into Virginia to take Richmond also makes sense.

I mean this McClellan already has had a different career, even if he still has a case of the slows and is cautious (and even still we have 2020 hindsight) but he could slightly be a bit more aggressive in some battles, and cautiously worse in others in other battles.

Hell, even having certain commanders swapped over might make battles different. Don't know if you have Grant and Sherman as a partnership again, but you could have Thomas transferred East, maybe even Rosecrans or Buell, Or Reynolds transferred West. I mean, things like that could be interesting.

In all honesty though, go with what you know and make it feel somewhat different.

I think timidity and fear of failure are such central parts of McClellan's character that he can't get over them. For that to happen he would have to acknowledge his flaws, and he would never do so.

Grant and Sherman are indeed working together now. It's just such an iconic team up and friendship that I could not leave it out. Thomas and Buell will both remain in the West, but their assignments will be different. Rosecrans is in the East though.

As I'm not an American, all of this is new to me anyway. Write whatever makes sense.

Thanks. Reflecting OTL's campaigns is useful because I have extensive information as to what could have happened.

Military campaigns are something that is pretty logical - like you say, Corinth and then Vicksburg are the logical choices, so why worry? You can even hurry things along a bit then so we can reach the end of the war before the end of next year :) (I do enjoy this but it will speed up your writing a bit and probably make you more productive if you don't have to write wholly different campaigns in certain spots.)

I must admit, it does distress me to think that it's been a year since I started the TL and we're only at the first year of the war. My own lack of productivity probably doesn't help, but I would like to get to Reconstruction as quickly as possible. Nonetheless, I will not rush things and I will dedicate time to everything I believe deserves it.

when in doubt follow the most logical course of action

Thank you! That's simple, but good advice.

This has the added benefit of harnessing the very racial animus which the National Unionists exploit - claim that unless the Freedmen can be settled on land belonging to their former owners or to nobody at all, they'll almost certainly head north and compete with white laborers in the Northwest.

Since many Republicans also expressed racism, that seems like a line of attack that could work.

Yes, but using racism would also bring the difficult question of the whites being replaced. While the larger plantations would be easier to do, as reparations to slaves, the many small abandoned farms would have been run by poor whites without slaves, and I think if those are replaced too, that the white population might hate the Union after reconstruction. You would have to somehow stop the Lost Cause Movement from happening, when it probably would have an easier time of spreading.
Also, what would the different be between this and sharecropping? Just the lack of rent/crops given to the white landowner, right?

I have plans regarding the future collapse of the Confederacy to greatly weaken the Lost Cause narrative, but still, these people are veterans of the Confederate Army or their relatives. No matter what, they would feel some bitterness over their lost, especially since the Union isn't just going to abandon the Freedmen like in OTL. In any case, I firmly believe that the only way of achieving a successful Reconstruction is somehow integrating White Southerners into the new South, so I think that land confiscation should be limited to prominent traitors, while the poor man gets to keep his farm or perhaps even receives some land from the Republican governments. As @MorningDew has previously mentioned here, the main land that should be distributed should be already empty, which could result in Louisiana or Mississippi having Black majorities.

I want the freedmen to actually own the land, but some form of sharecropping would probably arise anyway.
 

iddt3

Donor
Yes, but I sometimes worry about things being too close to OTL, especially since military action updates seem to be more popular than updates about the social or political landscape. I myself prefer the socio-political aspect much more, but I wouldn't want the military side to just be a retelling of OTL.



I guess you're right. For some things to be different, the people in charge would have to act in a stupid manner and I'd like to think that all decisions and events thus far have been realistic.



March to Atlanta doesn't have the same ring, does it? Also, I'm planning on having a march to the sea whatever happens. For extra points, the chapter will be named "While we were marching through Georgia!".



I think timidity and fear of failure are such central parts of McClellan's character that he can't get over them. For that to happen he would have to acknowledge his flaws, and he would never do so.

Grant and Sherman are indeed working together now. It's just such an iconic team up and friendship that I could not leave it out. Thomas and Buell will both remain in the West, but their assignments will be different. Rosecrans is in the East though.



Thanks. Reflecting OTL's campaigns is useful because I have extensive information as to what could have happened.



I must admit, it does distress me to think that it's been a year since I started the TL and we're only at the first year of the war. My own lack of productivity probably doesn't help, but I would like to get to Reconstruction as quickly as possible. Nonetheless, I will not rush things and I will dedicate time to everything I believe deserves it.



Thank you! That's simple, but good advice.



Since many Republicans also expressed racism, that seems like a line of attack that could work.



I have plans regarding the future collapse of the Confederacy to greatly weaken the Lost Cause narrative, but still, these people are veterans of the Confederate Army or their relatives. No matter what, they would feel some bitterness over their lost, especially since the Union isn't just going to abandon the Freedmen like in OTL. In any case, I firmly believe that the only way of achieving a successful Reconstruction is somehow integrating White Southerners into the new South, so I think that land confiscation should be limited to prominent traitors, while the poor man gets to keep his farm or perhaps even receives some land from the Republican governments. As @MorningDew has previously mentioned here, the main land that should be distributed should be already empty, which could result in Louisiana or Mississippi having Black majorities.

I want the freedmen to actually own the land, but some form of sharecropping would probably arise anyway.
You aren't compelled to do the timeline lineraly. If you've got it mapped out, you can always jump forward and back.
 
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