Until every drop of blood is paid - A more radical American Civil War

For some reason i stopped following the tl i think i wanted to wait till there was more to read then for some reason just dropped off, so catching i only read the tl skipped all the discussion to catch up but good job.

Whats happening with my bois.the southern unionist they sre criminally neglected they effectively won the war from the beginning for the union by seizing the border states, starting a massive gorilla campaign and raising massive troop numbers for the union? So far no mention of them. I can remember this US is more north south divide but the southern unionist this doesn't matter they were driven by southern loyalty the USA and federal government seeing there fellow dixies as traitors or abolishment.

Can they plz get some justice even if they are smaller here.
 
Whats happening with my bois.the southern unionist they sre criminally neglected they effectively won the war from the beginning for the union by seizing the border states, starting a massive gorilla campaign and raising massive troop numbers for the union? So far no mention of them. I can remember this US is more north south divide but the southern unionist this doesn't matter they were driven by southern loyalty the USA and federal government seeing there fellow dixies as traitors or abolishment.
A bit of an exaggeration to say they won the war for the Union, don't you think? There were about 100,000 Southerners who enlisted in the Union army - 4.5% of the total Union enlistments. Their "massive guerilla campaign" was more about helping draft dodgers escape the authorities and was limited to local struggles (not statewide struggles). As for seizing the border states: it was only in Missouri that Southern Unionists were needed to restore Federal control of the state as there were not enough Regular Army troops in the area. Maryland was more or less seized by the Union volunteers and Kentucky was driven into Union hands by Confederate errors.
 
A bit of an exaggeration to say they won the war for the Union, don't you think? There were about 100,000 Southerners who enlisted in the Union army - 4.5% of the total Union enlistments. Their "massive guerilla campaign" was more about helping draft dodgers escape the authorities and was limited to local struggles (not statewide struggles). As for seizing the border states: it was only in Missouri that Southern Unionists were needed to restore Federal control of the state as there were not enough Regular Army troops in the area. Maryland was more or less seized by the Union volunteers and Kentucky was driven into Union hands by Confederate errors.
Ah sorry typing on the underground so i missed alot of words i meant they won the war early also i left out the union (would win the war no matter what) Just that the southern loyalist played a key role early on. There role is often forgotten so i just want them to get justice.
Their "massive guerilla campaign" was more about helping draft dodgers escape the authorities and was limited to local struggles (not statewide struggles)
There most intense gurilla campaigns were in remote areas where the union could offer little help.
 
A bit of an exaggeration to say they won the war for the Union, don't you think? There were about 100,000 Southerners who enlisted in the Union army - 4.5% of the total Union enlistments.
The 100,000 presumably white enlistments do not mean 100,000 whites joined the union army. Rather, it meant that there were 100,000 enlistments.

Thus, men re-enlisting, or serving in multiple regiments were counted several times. A good number of unionist regiments were 90 day, three country area, rear area security only type regiments which facilitated multiple enlistments. In the end, a lot of unionist regiments had either written or unwritten rear area security only clauses in their contracts. Unionists were not afraid to complain or desert if they felt that this promise was being broken.

There were some notable exceptions though: 1 Alabama Cavalry US and 8 TN infantry US were known to be very dedicated to the union cause. So was the 1 Ark Cavalry US- but they had an "Arkansas only" understanding. Other unionists regiments were in the middle regarding dedication and union commanders were willing to make allowances. For example, two unionist regiments served in Stoneman's raid in 1865. But.... union commanders allowed men unwilling to fight offensive actions to discretely excuse themselves from the raid. About half the men in each regiment did so.
 
Just a reminder we're still thinking of you - something timely to the end of Lincoln's terms and what I read was his wish to visit Jerusalem someday, which I felt I had to write after hearing our pastor tell part of this story at the start of today's message...
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Pastor Phillips Brooks, of Holy Trinity church, met the President near the end of his 2nd term. "If I hadn't known better," Brooks said softly as he shook Lincoln's hand, "I'd have sworn you were in office for eight terms, not eight years."

Lincoln chuckled. "The office does age one; Polk's hair went from jet black to snow white in only four. It is only by divine providence I lasted this long, as we won the war and then secured the peace."

"THe men sat casually as another minister gathered the children for their Christmas performance. Lincoln was glad to see Octavius Catto, the Civil Rights leader, in the audience - though segregated, the church, like Philadelphia, was starting to integrate slowly thanks to his work. After a few moments of small talk, Lincoln broached the topic he'd come to discuss.

"I came to know your church through some of its members while we were forced to use PHiladelphia as a temporary capital. I understand your church sent you on a trip to the Holy Land in 1865," he remarked. "I decided there are two places I would love to see once I leave office. One is California. The other is Jerusalem. I would like to hear some about your journeys."

"Certain." As the minister expounded upon the trip, and all he had seen, a low murmur died down as the performance was about to begin. He finished just before they began. "As I entered the city on Christmas Eve via horseback, in fact," he whispered, "This little number came to me. You are privileged to be the first to hear it. I hope it - and your future trip - brings you as much joy as it did me."

As he finished, the children began singing lowly...

O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we se the lie;
above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.
 
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Just a reminder we're still thinking of you - something timely to the end of Lincoln's terms and what I read was his wish to visit Jerusalem someday, which I felt I had to write after hearing our pastor tell part of this story at the start of today's message...
----------------

Pastor Phillips Brooks, of Holy Trinity church, met the President near the end of his 2nd term. "If I hadn't known better," Brooks said softly as he shook Lincoln's hand, "I'd have sworn you were in office for eight terms, not eight years."

O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we se the lie;
above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.
Oddly enough I've spent most of today studying the other American made Christmas carol of the 19th century that has survived well: Far Far Away on Judea's Plain.. (Which leads to the standard question, any significant change in relations with the Mormons?)
 
That's interesting, I don't know if I've heard that one, I'll have to look it up.

I'm glad everyone liked my idea - I edited a bit to include Octavius Catto being present, since there will be more of a push toward slow integration hopefully TTL, and LIncoln will be glad. Whatever Red chooses to do from here on out, it's clearly going to be good. (ANd, if the thread does die naturally, it helps add to some sort of finale, though I suspect it will continue.)
 
Chapter 26: We must free the slaves or be ourselves subdued
The Second Maryland Campaign was not the magnificent success that people were hoping for. It was a severe blow against the rebels, that is true. However, the Union Army had not managed to take Washington, and the Southern Army could still fight. The war would go on, and it was time for reform and change. Now it was clear that a lot of blood and treasure would have to be spent to put down the Rebellion. All Americans, whether National Unionist or Republican, Black or White, Southern or Northern, knew that a Union victory would not and could not result in the restoration of the Union as it was. At the very least, slavery would have to die. But to assure such a result, the Federal arms had to emerge victorious from the struggle. And increasingly, President Abraham Lincoln became convinced that an Emancipation Proclamation would be needed to secure victory.

This conviction was born out of the political failure of Lincoln’s Border State strategy, his lack of faith in McClellan and Halleck, and military failure, or at the very least the fact that military operations didn’t fulfill his sanguine expectations. The pressure of Radicals and Abolitionist for immediate military emancipation also contributed, as well as the actions of Black people themselves, who continued to flee to the Union Army, thus resulting in the slow but sure erosion of slavery as an institution. Events in Kansas and Baltimore would also contribute, as the people didn’t wait for Lincoln to make up his mind but instead fought against slavery with renewed vigor.

Maryland, now almost completely under Union control, was of special interest. The President’s plan for compensated emancipation with Federal assistance had failed in the face of fiery conservative opposition. It was clear that the Administration could find no cooperation in the current Maryland government. But the prospect for bringing a new Southern Republican government into power in the Old-Line State seemed brighter than ever. The idea of creating a Southern Republican party that could reform the Slave States from within was a cornerstone of the Radical Plan for Constitutional abolition. Now such an organization was being formed, composed of artisans, professionals, small independent farmers, and enlightened reformists – the Republican’s base constituency.

Marylander Republicanism was embodied in the figure of the Radical Henry Winter Davis. Like most Maryland Republicans, he was firmly against the pre-war elites, whom he regarded as slavocrats who preferred “aristocratic privilege over republican equality”. The disdain these Southern Republicans (soon to be known as Scalawags) showed towards the slaveholders of the Chesapeake counties was intensified by the fact that it was them that pushed half of Maryland towards secession and thus made their state a battlefront. “Each fallen tree, each devastated farm, and every drop of blood spilt over our soil, is because of those traitors”, acerbically declared a Baltimore newspaper. Pre-war resentments also played a part, for, as one slaveholder noted, “it seems to give great satisfaction to the laboring whites, that the non laboring slave owners are losing their slaves, and they too will be reduced to the necessity of going into the fields.”


Henry Winter Davis

The experience of slavery’s disintegration and the presence of the Union Army also led to greater support for abolition and a complete reform of the state. An anti-slavery leader remarked that the “great army in blue, comes together with a great army of ideas.” Events in Baltimore contributed to this internal revolution, for the brief period of Confederate rule followed by Union occupation caused a profound impression. “Should the rebels triumph,” a speaker loudly exclaimed, “aristocracy and privilege will rule the day. The laborers of this city have already experienced such a despotism. Are you ready to suffer through it again?” A newspaper agreed, declaring that Confederate rule had “been a disaster for the working man.”

The pivotal role that Blacks played in the capture of the city aroused different, confusing feelings. Some, perhaps a majority, of Maryland’s Republicans were ready for emancipation not because they felt any sympathy for the Negro, but rather because they believed that the introduction of free labor into Maryland would result in a booming economy and social development. Baltimore, under the direction of General Benjamin Butler, became a focal point of racial tensions. As contrabands flocked to the city, the inhabitants saw their worst nightmares come true – “an infestation of African savages”, a resident described it.

However, the presence of the Union Army and interaction with the Black population, even as it strengthened prejudice in some people, weakened it in others. Some came to the natural conclusion that without the assistance of the Black population during the assault on Federal Hill, the rebels would have won, and Baltimore would have remained under the control of traitors. Others worked side by side with Black people reconstructing the city, or observed the success of teachers and other Northern philanthropists. Mostly women, these idealist reformers flocked to Maryland to help educate the freedmen and assure the success of the Revolution in Maryland.

In any case, even if the formation of a Republican Party in Maryland gave hope to Republicans, it also showed that the way for reform and abolition laid not through appealing to the pre-war elites. Rather, it would have to be accomplished by forming a coalition of laborers and artisans, people committed to the complete Reconstruction of the South in all aspects. While these people were ready to embrace change, the slavocrats clung to slavery. In areas already liberated by the Union Army, they were quick to pledge loyalty in order to gain trading permits and do business with the North. But the ones that remained in Confederate areas were ardent supporters of the rebellion. “Our vilest foes,” an army officer said with evident disgust, “now proclaim themselves to be true and loyal friends.”

Whether on the side of the government or the rebellion, these slavocrats had something in common – their total, unified and unconditional opposition to emancipation or any kind of reform. They were convinced by the development of Radical ideas in the North that it would not stop at emancipation, and feared racial equality or Black suffrage. Their stern refusal to accept Lincoln’s proposal for compensated emancipation or create their own plan for gradual abolition resulted, eventually, on the uncompensated destruction of slavery in Maryland. But that laid in the future, and for now Maryland slaveholders clung to the hope that the Union could be restored with slavery untouched. However, this hope was frankly seen by Northerners as disloyalty, for they had come to believe that a Union victory could not result in the “Union as it was.”

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Political cartoon showing Butler's administration of Baltimore

The beginnings of Maryland’s Republican Party taught Lincoln that he could not rely on the pre-war Southern leadership if he wanted to assure the end of slavery, for they would fight tooth and nail to conserve it, spurning every attempt at compensated emancipation. Lincoln had pleaded with them to adopt his emancipation plan, saying that if they did not it would be “impossible to foresee all the incidents which may attend and all the ruin which may follow.” “You can not if you would, be blind to the signs of the times”, the President implored, but the Border State leadership remained willingly blind. If the South was to be Reconstructed and slavery abolished, the rebellion would have to be defeated first, and new leadership brought to power.

Under normal circumstances, the events in Maryland would probably renew Lincoln’s commitment to compensated, gradual emancipation instead of pushing him towards military measures. Some moderates had hoped that leniency and a pledge not to touch the South’s institutions would allow Unionists to reassert themselves and Reconstruct the Confederacy from within. If it had seemed like the Union was about to defeat the Confederacy, such a plan would have been practicable. However, after a year of war, Lincoln and most Republicans had stopped to believe in the existence of a secret Southern Unionist majority. The war was still far from over, and Lincoln increasingly viewed the liberation of the slaves not as something to be done after its end, but as a weapon to assure a Union victory.

The early Reconstruction of Kansas, on the other hand, taught important lessons about the potential of Black people as soldiers. After years of living under a Slave State government that they saw as corrupt and illegitimate, Kansans had become committed Radicals dedicated to the destruction of slavery and its social system. Thus, they had no qualms in employing Black troops. Lincoln ignored the existence of these Black regiments because he did not want to meet the issue of Black soldiers yet. Likewise, he did not execute the provisions of the Second Confiscation Act, which allowed the use of Blacks in "any military or naval service for which they may be found competent."

But the Negro regiments still proved pivotal in expulsing the final vestiges of the old slave government. The well-publicized deeds of these Black soldiers increased the pressure on the Administration and probably helped convince many Northerners that Blacks could be employed to suppress the rebellion. As Hunter commented, "no officer in this regiment now doubts that the key to the successful prosecution of the war lies in the unlimited employment of black troops.” In the South Carolina sea islands, where an experiment on free labor was being conducted with the help of the same Northern philanthropists that now crowded Baltimore, the prestigious writer Thomas Wentworth Higginson took part in the quiet organization of a Black regiment, something that the New York Tribune declared would weaken American’s “inveterate Saxon prejudice against the capacity and courage of negro troops.”

As a result of these events, Lincoln stopped pushing for compensated emancipation with Federal assistance, and decided to instead allow erosion and the rising new political classes to Reconstruct the Border States. But he would also take a more active role in the destruction of slavery in the Confederate States. An Emancipation Proclamation would enormously weaken the rebels, allow for the rise of new Unionist leadership, and assure the destruction of slavery – all goals dear to Lincoln’s heart. This was something that all Republicans recognized. George Julian, for example, declared that the slaves "cannot be neutral. As laborers, if not as soldiers, they will be the allies of the rebels, or of the Union." Other Republicans declared that "the mere suppression of the rebellion will be an empty mockery of our sufferings and sacrifices, if slavery shall be spared to canker the heart of the nation anew, and repeat its diabolical deeds."


George Washington Julian

Due to this, Lincoln and the rest of the Party became “prepared for one to meet the broad issue of universal emancipation”, as Senator John Sherman said. Even a conservative Republican journal admitted "a year ago men that might have faltered at the thought of proceeding to this extremity [emancipation] are in great measure prepared for it now." Republicans also supported the harsher war measures that the Lincoln Administration now sought to adopt. The time for “white kid-glove warfare” was over, and, an officer added, "the iron gauntlet must be used more than the silken glove to crush this serpent.” Yet, if they wanted a General to enact this hard war measures, they had mistaken their men, for neither Halleck nor McClellan were the ones for this task.

Halleck, despite his reputation for being an intelligent and capable officer, turned out to be “little more than a first-rate clerk”, as Lincoln would later say bitterly. He was a cautious man, who, John Hay declared, “hates responsibility; hates to give orders.” Instead of the active General in-chief Lincoln had hoped for, he had a military bureaucrat who did little to assist him in winning the war. Instead of being able to focus on the political and social aspects of the war while Halleck managed its strategic and tactical sides, Lincoln was forced to oversee all aspects – an enormous pressure for a man untrained in the military sciences. Halleck’s incapacity probably did much to erode Lincoln’s early deference to professional military men.

McClellan, however, was worse in many respects. For one, he resented the fact that he had not being appointed General in-chief, despite his political maneuvers. When he received scathing criticism due to his performance at the Second Maryland Campaign, he dismissed it as the work of “deceitful and conceited men”, instead of accepting it and improving. For yes, it was true that McClellan’s slowness had probably limited the success of the Union Army. Some even whispered that McClellan had purposely held back to make McDowell would fail, thus securing the command of the Army of the Susquehanna for himself. At their worst, some critics even called him a murderer, asserting that McClellan’s failure to act had resulted in the death of one of the Union’s premier commanders.

Lincoln, though saddened by McDowell’s demise, was at first willing to accept McClellan as the new commander of the main Union Army in the East. He hoped that Little Mac would bring energy and strength to a command that seemed to lack both under McDowell. And at first, it seemed like he would. The dispirited and tired soldiers welcomed McClellan with enthusiasm:

“Men threw their caps high into the air, and danced and frolicked like school-boys. . . . Shout upon shout went out into the stillness of the night; and as it was taken up along the road and repeated by regiment, brigade, division, and corps, we could hear the roar dying away in the distance. . . . The effect of this man's presence upon the Army of the Susquehanna . . . was electrical, and too wonderful to make it worth-while attempting to give a reason for it.”​

Indeed, McClellan brought dynamism to a broken army. McDowell was capable, but McClellan was a superb organizer who quickly obtained a devoted following among the soldiers. The fighting men hoped that McClellan would break the bloody pattern of months of inactivity followed by hellish battles established since Baltimore. At first, his leadership seemed to instill pride and discipline in the men. “McClellan forged the Army of the Susquehanna into a fighting machine second to none—this was his important contribution to ultimate Union victory—but he proved unable to run this machine at peak efficiency in the crisis of battle”, comments historian James McPherson.

Time would show that McClellan was not the “man of destiny” that he believed himself to be. It’s possible that his early success convinced him that Providence had brought him to the world to save the Union. Raised by an affluent family, he had been admitted to West Point by a special permit, for he was two years under the minimum age. He would proceed to find success in all his endeavors, earning distinction in the Mexican War and success as a civil engineer and businessman. Now that he finally assumed an important command, McClellan was convinced that he was the only man that could win the war. "By some strange operation of magic I seem to have become the power of the land," he commented to his wife. The adulation of newspapers and National Unionists, and the seemingly friendly intentions of the Republicans only bolstered his ego.


After McClellan's death, his wife published their correspondence, which paints a rather unflaterring portrayal of McClellan. Some have suggested that she actually resented her husband, especially because they married only due to her father's insistence. Previous to their wedding, she had wanted to marry A. P. Hill, who would join the Rebellion as a Confederate officer.

Despite all this, Republicans would quickly grow disillusioned. McClellan “had never known, as Grant had, the despair of defeat or the humiliation of failure. He had never learned the lessons of adversity and humility.” He was arrogant and sometimes downright insubordinate. He was paranoid, believing that everybody was arranged in a vast conspiracy against him. He especially grew to detest Stanton and Halleck, and although his relation with Lincoln could sometimes be more cordial, McClellan still had little faith in his Commander-in chief, whom he called a “baboon” and “gorilla” behind his back. Infamously, when Lincoln, Seward and Hay visited McClellan to confer with him, McClellan refused, leaving them to wait in his living room. The President and his entourage were only told that the General had gone to sleep, without even the courtesy of greeting them.

More worringly, McClellan was a Conservative National Unionist who wanted simply to "dodge the nigger—we want nothing to do with him. / am fighting to preserve the integrity of the Union. . . . To gain that end we cannot afford to mix up the negro question.” McClellan’s commitment to his old Whig ideals of moderation and his distaste for Radical Republicanism would show time and time again, as he refused to become the instrument through which emancipation and the destruction of the old South would be enacted. He was not the man to carry out into execution these plans for a Radical, hard war. His first orders to his men showed this, for he reminded them “that we are engaged in supporting the Constitution and the laws . . . we are not engaged in a war of rapine, revenge or subjugation; that this is not a contest against populations; but against armed forces and political organizations.” Her laid the greatest flaw in McClellan’s generalship – he never managed to grasp that the conception of the war had fundamentally changed, and that it was now a War between Peoples.

Active and aggressive commanders were especially needed in the face of apparent lack of success. Aside from the West, where the dynamic Grant kept pressuring the rebels, the Union Army did not meet much success in the aftermath of the Second Maryland Campaign. Plans were being drawn for the capture of New Orleans, but there was no telling whether they would succeed. The Union did achieve a relatively small victory, driving back Sterling Price’s Missourians out of the state and into Arkansas. They then proceeded to win another small victory, that is worth mentioning because it was one of the few occasions on which the Confederates outnumbered the Federals.

In early March, the hardened rebel Earl Van Dorn had arrived to take command of the Confederate troops there, intending to "make a reputation and serve my country. . . . I must have St. Louis—then Huzza!” But he ran into the Union Army of Samuel R. Curtis at Pea Ridge, which, although smaller, was better equipped and trained. Imbued with Lyon’s hate for the rebels that had brought so much devastation and chaos to Missouri, they shattered Van Dorn’s line and scattered the Southerners, bringing Van Dorn’s raid to an early end. The troops, however, managed to regroup and head to Corinth, where Albert Sydney Johnston was waiting for them.

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Earl Van Dorn

Even if their commanders were rather conservative and ineffective, the experience of war also brought changes within the Union ranks. Many of them were farm boys who were now widening their horizons and learning about the world, and encountering contrabands was their first experience with Black people. Rare was the soldier that declared, as a Wisconsin private did, that he had “no heart in this war if the slaves cannot be free.” Most probably felt like a New York private who wanted to “first conquer & then its time enough to talk about the darrid niggers.” An officer in the Army of the Susquehanna echoed his feelings when he wrote that if Lincoln made it “an abolition war [,] . . . I for one shall be sorry that I ever lent a hand to it. . . . This war [must be] for the preservation of the Union, the putting down of armed rebellion, and for that purpose only.”

The differing opinions of the Union soldiers show in how they treated contrabands, both before and after Congress produced legislation to guide the process. In Maryland, many slaveholders bitterly denounced the hostility they found whenever they tried to retake their slaves. One, for instance, described how the soldiers “threatened me and applied opprobrious Epithets such as Negro stealer until I was obliged to leave the ground, without finding my servant.” Another Maryland slaveowner was stopped by “a large crowd” that “got around him and knocked him about throwing small stones and dirt at him and otherwise ill treating him and finally driving him out of the camp without allowing him to take his Negro.” A Missouri “gentleman” was forced to desist from his attempt to take back his slave by “an officer who threatened to shoot him if he persisted.”

On the other hand, Billy Yank often also engaged in acts of abuse or contempt against the contrabands. Some soldiers welcomed them so that they would have “Negroes to do all fatigue work, cooking and washing clothes." But other soldiers were downright monstrous. A soldier described an incident that made him “ashamed of America”: "About 8 - 1 0 soldiers from the New York 47th chased some Negro women but they escaped, so they took a Negro girl about 7 - 9 years old, and raped her." Officers, especially Democrats from the Border State, also abused the contrabands. A Kentucky officer, for example, expulsed contrabands from his camp just before the winter, a “cruel and barbarous treatment” that, Stanton reported, “greatly grieved” Lincoln. In some cases, Negroes suffered due to the fact that the Army was simply not equipped to serve as a welfare agency. A colonel, inquired by Butler about reports of the bad condition of the contrabands, responded that he had “been trying to-day to secure suitable shelter for them, but they have come in upon me so fast I have found it very difficult.”

Despite these missteps and the often tragic consequences that arose from them, finding contrabands also served to weaken the prejudice of the soldiers and convince them of the necessity of Emancipation. An Iowa private became convinced that it was necessary. "I believe that Slavery (the worst of all curses) was the sole cause of this Rebellion, and untill this cause is removed and slavery abolished, the rebellion will continue to exist.” An Ohio comrade agreed, saying that "We are now fighting to destroy the cause of these dangerous diseases, which is slavery and the slave power. The war will never end until we end slavery.” Soldiers who had gone South already arrayed against slavery had their opinions reinforced, such as a Pennsylvania man who declared "I thought I hated slavery as much as possible before I came here, but here, where I can see some of its workings, I am more than ever convinced of the cruelty and inhumanity of the system.” Seeing the horrors of slavery also converted many soldiers, such as an Indianan who confessed that he was “no abolitionist," but “the more I see of slavery in all its enormity the more I am satisfied that it is a curse to our country. . . . It’s a cruel system, an insult to God, and a curse to progress and civilization."

Some soldiers expressed these opinions because they also had become convinced of the need for a hard war. "We have been . . . playing with Traitors long enough. We have guarded their property long enough, now is the time for action”, said one. A colonel fierily declared that "we [must] teach these ingrates that we can punish with a rod of iron, that we can not only meet and vanquish them on the field but that we have the nerve and the will to sweep them & all they hold dear clear off from the face of the earth. . . . Slavery is doomed.” In general, although there was still a large group of soldiers who opposed emancipation in all its forms, the Army, soldiers and officers both, were starting to believe that universal military emancipation would be needed to win the war.


Contrabands of war

Just as the thinking of the people, soldiers and politicians was evolving with regards to the slavery question, so was Lincoln’s. The failure of his Border State strategy and the realization that unless slavery was killed first it would survive the war convinced Lincoln that a general Emancipation Proclamation would be needed to suppress the rebellion. In February 18th, a fortnight after the end of the Second Maryland Campaign, President Lincoln met with his full Cabinet and presented three orders, all of which executed the provisions of the Second Confiscation Act. The first allowed military commanders to seize civilian goods to live off the land; the second authorized the use of Blacks as military laborers and to garrison forts; the third was an early draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The move was not completely unexpected. After the passage of the Second Confiscation Act, Secretary Stanton had assured Charles Sumner that “a decree of Emancipation would be issued within two months.” After the Second Maryland Campaign, Lincoln told Secretaries Seward and Welles that he would issue an Emancipation Proclamation, liberating all slaves held by rebels in accordance with the Act’s dispositions. Lincoln declared that he had come to the decision that Emancipation was “a necessity, absolutely essential to the preservation of the Union. We must free the slaves or be ourselves subdued.” He went on, saying that the Border States “would do nothing”, and that it would be unfair to ask them to give up slavery while allowing the rebels to keep it. Thus, "the blow must fall first and foremost on [the rebels]. . . . Decisive and extensive measures must be adopted. . . . We wanted the army to strike more vigorous blows. The Administration must set an example, and strike at the heart of the rebellion”.

Lincoln started that fateful cabinet meeting with one of the funny anecdotes that he loved. Everybody laughed, or at least chuckled, except for the perpetually serious Stanton. Then he adopted a serious tone, and read his three orders. The draft for the Emancipation Proclamation was brief, barely two paragraphs. It cited the authority of the Second Confiscation Act, and then proceeded to threaten that it would go into operation unless the Rebel states agreed to “cease participating in, aiding, countenancing, or abetting the existing rebellion.” If they did not, Lincoln, under his authority “as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,” would, “as a fit and necessary military measure”, proclaim “all persons held as slaves within any state ..., wherein the constitutional authority of the United States shall not then be practically recognized,... forever ... free”, effective as soon as the Proclamation was issued.

The President was quick to inform his cabinet that he had “resolved upon this step, and had not called them together to ask their advice, but to lay the subject-matter of a proclamation before them.” Speed and Stanton urged “immediate promulgation.” Chase was surprisingly cold, admitting that the plan went “beyond anything I have recommended,” and that he would have preferred emancipation by local military commanders, but he still pledged to support it. Blair was opposed; Welles remained silent, though he recognized later that the Proclamation would bring “a revolution of the social, civil, and industrial habits and condition of society in all the slave states.”


James Speed

Secretary Seward, an ardent opponent of slavery, was the only one that managed to change the President’s opinion. The Union Army had achieved success, but after a year of war the Federal capital still remained in the hands of the enemy, the economic position of the government was shaky, and the rebellion seemed far from over. To issue the Emancipation Proclamation from such a position would be an “act of desperation”, that would embolden the rebels, demoralize the Border States and the Army, and possibly bring about foreign intervention. “Our last shriek on the retreat”, Lincoln described it, saying that “the wisdom of the view of the Secretary of State struck me with great force.”

Lincoln adjourned the meeting, resolving that he would issue the Emancipation Proclamation after a great victory had been achieved. It would then be the final strike of a victorious government, a final blow against the rebellion. Lincoln hoped that General McClellan would be able to mount a campaign and retake Washington, from where he could issue the Emancipation Proclamation. The Proclamation, after the great victory that Lincoln would hope for, would demoralize the rebels, perhaps make them surrender, and would set the stage for a harder, Radical war for Union and Liberty. Thus, Lincoln set aside the Proclamation and waited. But the wait would prove to be a long one.
 
OMG it's back!

So, the rebels have shat their bed with their commitment to slavery, and must now lie in it. Meanwhile, the Union has well and truly realized there can be no half-measures, and slavery must be crushed.

“Should the rebels triumph,” a speaker loudly exclaimed, “aristocracy and privilege will rule the day. The laborers of this city have already experienced such a despotism. Are you ready to suffer through it again?” A newspaper agreed, declaring that Confederate rule had “been a disaster for the working man.”
What was the Confederate rule over Maryland like for urban whites, anyway?
Political cartoon showing Butler's administration of Baltimore
I can't tell if this is supposed to be positive or negative.
Plans were being drawn for the capture of New Orleans, but there was no telling whether they would succeed.
I am salivating. The slaver's port will fall! Even in OTL the union built a good support network amongst blacks and poor whites, in TTL this may well become a model on how to occupy a southen city.
Lincoln hoped that General McClellan would be able to mount a campaign and retake Washington, from where he could issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
Fat chance with McClellan, more likely the Great Victory will either come in the west again, or from the capture of New Orleans.
 
“Each fallen tree, each devastated farm, and every drop of blood spilt over our soil, is because of those traitors”, acerbically declared a Baltimore newspaper. Pre-war resentments also played a part, for, as one slaveholder noted, “it seems to give great satisfaction to the laboring whites, that the non laboring slave owners are losing their slaves, and they too will be reduced to the necessity of going into the fields.”
If this culture can be held onto, Maryland has a bright future. This might be a bit too early to tell, but it seems like the "War Between Brothers" sentiment regarding the war isn't going to get off the ground. The enmity is running deep and early at that, the peace is going to be a harsh one if this is representative of a rising trend.
However, this hope was frankly seen by Northerners as disloyalty, for they had come to believe that a Union victory could not result in the “Union as it was.”
Another toxic myth getting thrown out. The Civil War is usually seen as a restoration/rectification. They way we're taught about and understand the war, the most substantial things done during the Civil War and Reconstruction was make an effort to make the United States less hypocritical to its own foundational myth/ethos. "All Men Are Created Equal" and all that.

We don't really have a notion of the US antebellum as a bad place. Bad stuff just happened there, but it was still America and all it took was a few good men to make it so that that (good) America shined through more. But this very pointed recognition that the war has to be about fundamental change (not just strictly on slavery either) is going to have a lot of knock-on effects in how people perceive the war. There's no going back, and whatever the normal happens to be after the war, it won't be Cassablanca.

A hard break ITTL will do everyone some good; with less mental gymnastics to square away degenerate slavocracy with enlightenment ideals.
 
Great to see you back. I have a feeling New Orleans will be the major victory.

Nice to see the way in which poor whites are starting to slowly being able to see themselves as on the same side as the freedmen, it will take a while to Blossom but once it does it is an ideal that will greatly benefit society. The elites will no longer be able to make them think that as long as they are above the former slaves they are okay. They will see themselves as partners with the former slaves in achieving equality.
 
Hell yeah, now we're cooking with oil. And I have to agree that the Emancipation Proclamation being read after taking back Washington DC is a strong message.

Radical Republicanism should have a lot more steam after the war, especially how people are pissed at the southern plantation elites, but I wonder how they'll deal with the problems of the South differently.

Everything is up in the air when it comes to how this timeline could succeed were we failed: to the botched Reconstruction, the early end of Reconstruction used as a political chip, Wealthy Plantation owners retaining their power, Jim Crow laws, the ealy KKK, the migration of Black Americans from the South (making it so that there would never be a black majority state), political manipulation to keep Democrats in power, Lynch mobs killing black men with impunity, bank/housing redlines designed to keep neighborhoods defacto segregated, and so much more we failed by letting it happen.
 
I'm usually not a fan of Northern victory TLs because most of them are just OTL with extra steps, but this one is so different. Especially after the last update, now I can see just different Reconstruction is looking up.
It's weird, but even though the battles are my favorite part of TLs I almost want you to skip it so we can see how Reconstruction plays out.
 
I want thigns to hurry up more because if McClellan doesn't recapture Washington, who does? If there's a major fight for it and then someone else takes control of the Army of the Susquehanna, could that person end up leading the army? Because Grant will be needed in the West for a while and isn;'t quite as well known yet.

Reynolds was offered it later (before Gettysburg) and declined because he didn't want to be involved in all the politics - I wonder if he'd have a different view TTL - it might not be quite as political if they're more focused on winning. Of course more people - like Hooker - must come first. (Hmmm, Burnside is busy, maybe Hooker ends up there early and crafts a good plan and takes D.C., he seemed to be skilled, it's just he lost a bit of nerve once he went into battle at Chancellorsville, even before the concussion.) Then, he might wind up losing the command when he can't get Richmond fast enough.
 
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Well guys, after dealing with some personal problems and sorting out my studies, I am back. Updates should resume the normal schedule of one every two weeks. Thank you all for the support you've showed me, I really appreciate it. Now, onto the TL. I've decided to focus more on politics, mostly because I am also itching for getting to Reconstruction. The military side will still be important, but more condensed. Also, an important change, West Virginia now will remain part of Virginia throughout the war and to the present day, this to give Virginia a center of White, upcountry Unionism.

Thought this be relevant for discussion for reconstruction after the civil war or possibly internal union politics.
Frederick Douglass’s Vision for a Reborn America
In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, he dreamed of a pluralist utopia.
Oh, for the future Reconstruction period, here's an interesting article on what they think the USA should have done to the CSA.
Gotta remember these two for future discussion down the line. Thank you.

okay this is probably gonna sound like a lost causer but..foresst really wasn't that much of an ideloge post war
he later on denounced the KKK (although lying about founding it) give speeches to black audiencea and said that whites who kill blacks should be"exterminated "

he's more of a corrupt dude who will say and do anything to save his reputation

if the union play there cards right and give a few concussions they can have him going around preaching for unity and black rights .

now the war IITL is well going to be more radical so the list of who should hang will probably be different but i think like happened in AMPU .


avoid hanging high ranking officers expect those who committed the most war crimes hang the high ranking poliltcans including davis and blame the southern rich for the war while going ahead with reparations to former slaves and poor whites.
The subject of hangings will be a controversial one. Even a more radical Lincoln will not be seeking vengeance. On the other hand, he's likely to turn a blind eye if radical governments in Virginia, Tennessee and Mississippi decide to hang the rebels. Of course, then what happens to John Breckinridge becomes an open question, because there's no way in hell Kentucky hangs him. As for Forrest, dammit I hate the guy, and he definitely deserves to be hanged from a sour apple tree for his war crimes. He may be even worse ITTL.

Another option os just getting as many slavers to leave as possible. A number ended up in Brazil IOTL and if you up it a bit that'll help , especially as if there are established communities abroad you'll get more chain migration later on.

But rather than killing a lot of officers you could confiscate their land and hand it out.

Although not really just maybe the most politically pragmatic approach would be to give a lot of plantation land to poor whites and move more ex-slaves out west. Historically there were a shit ton of black cowboys. A bigger push in that direction could lead a lot of independent black communities out west.
Moving out the entire Black population to the west is obviously unfeasible, but there's also the fact that most Whites saw the West as theirs to take. Republicans especially saw the public lands as a "valve", where the poor of the Eastern cities could go to make a respectable living. I, for one, am in favor of breaking the power of the ante bellum elites through confiscation of the lands of high ranking officers, both military and civil. Most of that land will be in the Black Belt, and help along to my goal of economic self-sufficient Black communities. Poor whites must go unpunished, but they have to benefit from the new Republican governments for Reconstruction to be succesful.

For some reason i stopped following the tl i think i wanted to wait till there was more to read then for some reason just dropped off, so catching i only read the tl skipped all the discussion to catch up but good job.

Whats happening with my bois.the southern unionist they sre criminally neglected they effectively won the war from the beginning for the union by seizing the border states, starting a massive gorilla campaign and raising massive troop numbers for the union? So far no mention of them. I can remember this US is more north south divide but the southern unionist this doesn't matter they were driven by southern loyalty the USA and federal government seeing there fellow dixies as traitors or abolishment.

Can they plz get some justice even if they are smaller here.
Thanks! I did wonder why you dropped the TL. Glad to have you back. As for Southern Unionists, I have big plans for them, especially in Texas. This last update should have made clear that Unionists are an important part of my Reconstruction plan.

don't you think? There were about 100,000 Southerners who enlisted in the Union army - 4.5% of the total Union enlistments. Their "massive guerilla campaign" was more about helping draft dodgers escape the authorities and was limited to local struggles (not statewide struggles). As for seizing the border states: it was only in Missouri that Southern Unionists were needed to restore Federal control of the state as there were not enough Regular Army troops in the area. Maryland was more or less seized by the Union volunteers and Kentucky was
Dissension within the Confederacy was still an important factor in its defeat, while guerrilla warfare in Texas, Missouri and Kansas is about to get ugly.
 
West Virginia now will remain part of Virginia throughout the war and to the present day, this to give Virginia a center of White, upcountry Unionism.
Do the folks that in OTL would form West Virginia instead declare themselves to be the rightful Virginian government? Because I can't see them not wanting to get out of that mess.
 
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