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

An Indiana Jayhawker

“emed to agree, for she stepped back and allowed Molly to hug him as if it were the last time (and it very well might be).
-

And in that moment, he decided he’d return to the Army to exterminate all traitors in order to protect them, not seeing how Mother and Laurie and Molly were crying horrified at the actions of the lynch mob he was leading.
I normally press "like" but to like this doesn't seem quite right. Well written and unflinching.
 
The great picture of ptsd. With this being a mush more violent Civil War, hopefully some efforts will be made to understand it better, even just as I showed with my version of Annie for this timeline a few other things will be a few decades ahead of where they were in our timeline.

Even treated it can be very hard. I knew a father of some kids in our youth group who had it from Afghanistan, while he didn't go off in rages he still had nightmares and things like fireworks would cause him to cower in Terror. I still remember the one girl telling how the previous Fourth of July she had been so scared by seeing her dad in the bathroom like that when people were setting them off in the neighborhood. Thankfully with a lot of prayer he got a lot better from even that. But it really is frightening.
 
The most tragic thing about Ted is that he probably isn't at the end of his tether, that he could probably make a significant recovery if he just stayed home with his loved ones. He is obviously is suffering from jumpiness, nightmares, a normalised attitude to violence/increased aggression, but those in themselves are not as crippling as untreated PTSD can be, and these have a chance of diminishing or wearing off with a period of simple rest. He's probably past his prime as a soldier, anyway, so the Army really shouldn't need to send in on another tour. But, with the understanding of PTSD as it is, and the priority being to keep as many men of experience as possible, he will likely get back into war if he wants it. Best case, he gets back home, probably with even more severe and more irreparable trauma that he carries with him for life. Worst case, he becomes a liability on the battlefield and gets himself or his comrades killed. Let There Be Light is a film that shows an unflinching portrayal of just how crippling PTSD can be for veterans.


On the topic of PTSD, there is also the related condition of complex trauma disorder, or C-PTSD. From the condition's Wikipedia:

In addition to the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, an individual with C-PTSD experiences emotional dysregulation, negative self-beliefs and feelings of shame, guilt or failure regarding the trauma, and interpersonal difficulties.

In contrast to PTSD, which results from seriously traumatic events (like a battlefield), C-PTSD typically results from very long periods of sustained, inescapable trauma.

Like slavery.

Given the additional sympathy that white Unionists here have to black Americans, and the likelihood that a lot more soldiers are going to push themselves to breaking point in a more radical civil war, there is a chance, in my opinion, that doctors treating these two groups pay more serious attention to these conditions, and even notice the similarities.

Hopefully, it is at least recognised that what sufferers need is, first, an environment of safety, followed by opportunities to come to terms with their trauma, and to connect with loved ones, a community, and to society. A while ago we considered the possibility of a national gendarmerie, a new service branch with the mission of upholding law and order against crime and terrorism and to ensure Reconstruction is followed in the occupied South. Having this new service do this, rather than the Army, means it can be staffed from evaluated transfers from the Army and with green recruits, who are probably more psychologically fit for a long low-intensity war against white nationalist guerrillas than exhausted vets that are now too used to facing and dishing out volleys of lead. As much as we sympathise with the freeman ready to take the rifle off from the mantlepiece and die for his family should the Klan stage an attack, it's for the best of everyone if he and his family can just feel safe, and trust that the gendarmes will deal with any Neo-Confederate uprising, just as survivors of the Holocaust needed the protection of the Allied occupying armies to start repairing their lives. After a lifetime of slavery, the worst-affected can only heal if they are able to think about things other than survival.

Dr. Judith Lewis Herman, in her book, Trauma and Recovery, proposed a complex trauma recovery model that occurs in three stages:
  1. Establishing safety
  2. Remembrance and mourning for what was lost
  3. Reconnecting with community and more broadly, society
Herman believes recovery can only occur within a healing relationship and only if the survivor is empowered by that relationship. This healing relationship need not be romantic or sexual in the colloquial sense of "relationship", however, and can also include relationships with friends, co-workers, one's relatives or children, and the therapeutic relationship.

It will be very difficult, and the odds are stacked against it, but the project of overcoming the traumas of both the civil war and of slavery could establish a positive relationship between the white Unionist and black communities of the South. As hinted at by Ted's distressing thoughts, he, like many veterans, may face difficulties in having his loved ones at home be able to understand what he went through; in fact, the two groups who he is most likely able to feel 'normal' around is other veterans and the formerly enslaved. It could be within the common goal of settling the peace after the civil war, and of beginning a civil society that can have a part in, where veterans and freed people can move on from shared trauma and come to see each other as equals. From the Wikipedia of Contact Theory, which I have mentioned earlier:

"[Prejudice] may be reduced by equal status contact between majority and minority groups in the pursuit of common goals. The effect is greatly enhanced if this contact is sanctioned by institutional supports (i.e., by law, custom, or local atmosphere), and provided it is of a sort that leads to the perception of common interests and common humanity between members of the two groups."
— Gordon W. Allport, The Nature of Prejudice (1954)

In other words, four conditions under which intergroup contact will reduce prejudice are:
  • Equal status. Both groups must engage equally in the relationship. Members of the group should have similar backgrounds, qualities, and characteristics. Differences in academic backgrounds, wealth, skill, or experiences should be minimized if these qualities will influence perceptions of prestige and rank in the group.
  • Common goals. Both groups must work on a problem/task and share this as a common goal, sometimes called a superordinate goal, a goal that can only be attained if the members of two or more groups work together by pooling their efforts and resources.
  • Intergroup cooperation. Both groups must work together for their common goals without competition. Groups need to work together in the pursuit of common goals.
  • Support of authorities, law or customs. Both groups must acknowledge some authority that supports the contact and interactions between the groups. The contact should encourage friendly, helpful, egalitarian attitudes and condemn ingroup-outgroup comparisons.
 
The most tragic thing about Ted is that he probably isn't at the end of his tether, that he could probably make a significant recovery if he just stayed home with his loved ones. He is obviously is suffering from jumpiness, nightmares, a normalised attitude to violence/increased aggression, but those in themselves are not as crippling as untreated PTSD can be, and these have a chance of diminishing or wearing off with a period of simple rest. He's probably past his prime as a soldier, anyway, so the Army really shouldn't need to send in on another tour. But, with the understanding of PTSD as it is, and the priority being to keep as many men of experience as possible, he will likely get back into war if he wants it. Best case, he gets back home, probably with even more severe and more irreparable trauma that he carries with him for life. Worst case, he becomes a liability on the battlefield and gets himself or his comrades killed. Let There Be Light is a film that shows an unflinching portrayal of just how crippling PTSD can be for veterans.


On the topic of PTSD, there is also the related condition of complex trauma disorder, or C-PTSD. From the condition's Wikipedia:



In contrast to PTSD, which results from seriously traumatic events (like a battlefield), C-PTSD typically results from very long periods of sustained, inescapable trauma.

Like slavery.

Given the additional sympathy that white Unionists here have to black Americans, and the likelihood that a lot more soldiers are going to push themselves to breaking point in a more radical civil war, there is a chance, in my opinion, that doctors treating these two groups pay more serious attention to these conditions, and even notice the similarities.

Hopefully, it is at least recognised that what sufferers need is, first, an environment of safety, followed by opportunities to come to terms with their trauma, and to connect with loved ones, a community, and to society. A while ago we considered the possibility of a national gendarmerie, a new service branch with the mission of upholding law and order against crime and terrorism and to ensure Reconstruction is followed in the occupied South. Having this new service do this, rather than the Army, means it can be staffed from evaluated transfers from the Army and with green recruits, who are probably more psychologically fit for a long low-intensity war against white nationalist guerrillas than exhausted vets that are now too used to facing and dishing out volleys of lead. As much as we sympathise with the freeman ready to take the rifle off from the mantlepiece and die for his family should the Klan stage an attack, it's for the best of everyone if he and his family can just feel safe, and trust that the gendarmes will deal with any Neo-Confederate uprising, just as survivors of the Holocaust needed the protection of the Allied occupying armies to start repairing their lives. After a lifetime of slavery, the worst-affected can only heal if they are able to think about things other than survival.



It will be very difficult, and the odds are stacked against it, but the project of overcoming the traumas of both the civil war and of slavery could establish a positive relationship between the white Unionist and black communities of the South. As hinted at by Ted's distressing thoughts, he, like many veterans, may face difficulties in having his loved ones at home be able to understand what he went through; in fact, the two groups who he is most likely able to feel 'normal' around is other veterans and the formerly enslaved. It could be within the common goal of settling the peace after the civil war, and of beginning a civil society that can have a part in, where veterans and freed people can move on from shared trauma and come to see each other as equals. From the Wikipedia of Contact Theory, which I have mentioned earlier:
Put two problems together and sometimes you come up with a solution to both
 
Interesting stuff, thanks.

My great-uncle may have suffered for decades from nightmares and not told anyone. He was on a ship that was hit by a mine in the Adriatic soon after World War II when he was with the merchant marines, having graduated in 45 and then enlisted right after that. He liked to tell the story saying several times "the doggone war was over" in shock, like "what was a mine doing there," but he also always thought at least several men had died in the explosion. They were separated because they all had to get on individual lifeboats and were at sea for several days, but everyone survived. I found out about it from the ship name he gave on the internet maybe 8 to 10 years ago and he was so thankful and relieved to know that no one had died.

It makes me think too of those who would never even talked about the war, who just mentally left everything over in Europe or Asia. I imagine they felt no one would understand except their comrades. Perhaps finding that the former slaves understand them here, it will also help veterans to recover.

Interestingly, I wonder if this could jump-start psychology in general. It would be interesting to see the beginnings of psychology from a different point rather than from Freud.
 

Hoyahoo9

Donor
That may well have been your best individual chapter. It was a hauntingly insightful window into the “war madness” mindset.
 
It makes me think too of those who would never even talked about the war, who just mentally left everything over in Europe or Asia. I imagine they felt no one would understand except their comrades. Perhaps finding that the former slaves understand them here, it will also help veterans to recover.
It could be the basis for a TTL very influential book, play, or even film - to borrow from 1946's The Best Years of Our Lives, it would be interesting to see how an alcoholic army officer, a crippled sailor, and a traumatised slave-turned-Union scout meet following the war and bond over their shared struggles to process what they went through and find a place in the new country they helped create.
 
It could be the basis for a TTL very influential book, play, or even film - to borrow from 1946's The Best Years of Our Lives, it would be interesting to see how an alcoholic army officer, a crippled sailor, and a traumatised slave-turned-Union scout meet following the war and bond over their shared struggles to process what they went through and find a place in the new country they helped create.
That would be very interesting. I wonder who would be the best author for it. Perhaps Stephen crane who wrote Red Badge of Courage in our timeline. (cool, I remembered decades later who wrote it :) )

I had heard of the movie but had never looked into what the plot was exactly like. Very interesting, when I included mention of an amputee in this post-Annie fanfiction, I was thinking they probably still used hooks for hands and wasn't even sure what they did for arms like the fiance of one of the former orphans lost. So I just have him still struggling with what to do when I have him appear in the last chapter. Dealing with the amputation would make things even trickier than just normal post-traumatic stress.
 
I had heard of the movie but had never looked into what the plot was exactly like.
Well, I will say, it is well worth watching, especially considering it can be watched for free with a quick search on YouTube. I suppose it's up to interpretation, but for me the most affecting scene is when Homer is explaining just what it means for him to have no hands. Little spoilers, it's one of the most beautiful scenes I've ever had the pleasure to watch. For real, I've heard of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who were affected by this film, and I think @Red_Galiray would find it worth it to watch on a spare evening to explore the mindset of the ACW veteran, if they haven't already.
 
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Its almost sad as Ted becoming the sort of guy who probably be shouting " i was just following orders" in the Hague one day. Through I love how he keeping himself together by justifying it with he needs to keep his family safe.

The road to Hades pave with good intentions I guess.
 
Davis was extreme delussional IOTL. I wonder how Breckinridge handle it? He may have less illussions, but he has to expect the total dismantiling of the old southern order. So he see a fight till the end as only option.
Breckenridge is anything but a bitter-ender. If he believes the war is hopeless, he is likely to be like Stephens and Campbell - that is, try and end the war in a conditional peace that may yet retain at least some of the South's political and economic power. The question is, would that be possible?

That is a well-written look into the mind of a man with severe and untreated PTSD. Well done.
Thanks! I think it's worth it to examine the psycological wounds that a harshes, bloodier war is bound to leave in the people who experienced it.

Prussia's swift (four weeks, effectively) victory shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone who had really been paying close attention to these developments. But no one was. Even after the war was over, Phil Sheridan did not really seem to grasp (1) and (2) at all despite serving as the US Army observer with the Prussian Army and unfettered access to all operations! "Nowadays war is pretty much the same everywhere, and this one offered no marked exception to my previous experiences.”
It seems that the lessons of the Franco-Prussian War, and, to a lesser extent, the ACW didn't sink in until their natural conclussions came about during WWI.

Whole lot of that going around then, even if no one had a name for it. This is a good stab at illustrating it.
I do wonder if this alternate Civil War may result in a better understading of the effects of trauma in people. Given how unusually literate the armies on both sides were, more regard to their experiences may result in early attempts to catalog post-trauma disorders. But, I believe, the science is not there yet. I hinted at a possible evolution in saying how "Yankee doctors" were calling it "War Madness". But I unfortunately don't know enough about psycology to explore this idea to its fullest conclusions.

I normally press "like" but to like this doesn't seem quite right. Well written and unflinching.
Like it anyway, please! I think the likes are simply there to show appreciation for what's done. I am really glad you liked this little piece.

The great picture of ptsd. With this being a mush more violent Civil War, hopefully some efforts will be made to understand it better, even just as I showed with my version of Annie for this timeline a few other things will be a few decades ahead of where they were in our timeline.

Even treated it can be very hard. I knew a father of some kids in our youth group who had it from Afghanistan, while he didn't go off in rages he still had nightmares and things like fireworks would cause him to cower in Terror. I still remember the one girl telling how the previous Fourth of July she had been so scared by seeing her dad in the bathroom like that when people were setting them off in the neighborhood. Thankfully with a lot of prayer he got a lot better from even that. But it really is frightening.
Oh, I feel so sorry for that man... I am glad to hear he was able to find comfort and healing. Maybe similar scenarios could be found here. Who knows, maybe there's a Third Great Awakening in the horizon, what with the necessary expansion of the Black Church and returning veterans engaging in religion to try and cope with war-time experiences.

Hopefully, it is at least recognised that what sufferers need is, first, an environment of safety, followed by opportunities to come to terms with their trauma, and to connect with loved ones, a community, and to society. A while ago we considered the possibility of a national gendarmerie, a new service branch with the mission of upholding law and order against crime and terrorism and to ensure Reconstruction is followed in the occupied South. Having this new service do this, rather than the Army, means it can be staffed from evaluated transfers from the Army and with green recruits, who are probably more psychologically fit for a long low-intensity war against white nationalist guerrillas than exhausted vets that are now too used to facing and dishing out volleys of lead. As much as we sympathise with the freeman ready to take the rifle off from the mantlepiece and die for his family should the Klan stage an attack, it's for the best of everyone if he and his family can just feel safe, and trust that the gendarmes will deal with any Neo-Confederate uprising, just as survivors of the Holocaust needed the protection of the Allied occupying armies to start repairing their lives. After a lifetime of slavery, the worst-affected can only heal if they are able to think about things other than survival.
Yeah, at the end of the day we cannot expect the freedmen to live in constant fear and violence. That's bound to generate another kind of intergenerational trauma, instead of the healing needed for true harmony and equality. I've been thinking about the National Gendarmerie, and if instead of traumatized veterans it used committed abolitionists it could be both more effective and more radical.

That may well have been your best individual chapter. It was a hauntingly insightful window into the “war madness” mindset.
Thank you! I really appreciate your comment :)

Well, I will say, it is well worth watching, especially considering it can be watched for free with a quick search on YouTube. I suppose it's up to interpretation, but for me the most affecting scene is when Homer is explaining just what it means for him to have no hands. Little spoilers, it's one of the most beautiful scenes I've ever had the pleasure to watch. For real, I've heard of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who were affected by this film, and I think @Red_Galiray would find it worth it to watch on a spare evening to explore the mindset of the ACW veteran, if they haven't already.
I'll be sure to check it out, thanks for the recommendation.

Its almost sad as Ted becoming the sort of guy who probably be shouting " i was just following orders" in the Hague one day. Through I love how he keeping himself together by justifying it with he needs to keep his family safe.

The road to Hades pave with good intentions I guess.
Yeah, it's really tragic. But as always, someone's terrorist is someone else's freedom fighter. Because Ted is on the winning side, he probably would be seen, and see himself, as someone who gallantly fought against the real terrorists.
 
It seems that the lessons of the Franco-Prussian War, and, to a lesser extent, the ACW didn't sink in until their natural conclussions came about during WWI.

I think it varied by country. The French, not surprisingly, seem to have taken the most to heart, even if Joffre would end up neutralizing some of it with an untenable tactical doctrine.

I do wonder if this alternate Civil War may result in a better understading of the effects of trauma in people. Given how unusually literate the armies on both sides were, more regard to their experiences may result in early attempts to catalog post-trauma disorders. But, I believe, the science is not there yet.

Your last sentence holds the key, I think. Alas.
 
Perhaps there could at least be a vague understanding that trauma exists and isn't any kind of moral or character flaw, but is akin to an injury or disease. Even if they have basically no idea how to actually treat it, removing the social stigma around trauma and other forms of mental illness could be revolutionary. In particular, it would facilitate the creation of support groups that could not only provide a lot of help on an informal basis, but lobby for the government to fund research into mental illnesses. Having even that level of understanding in the 1800s would prevent an incalculable amount of suffering.

Perhaps some prominent clergyman, having spent time trying to console traumatized soldiers, gives a sermon about "Injuries of the Soul".
 
Sorry if this has been already discussed but I remember that for this timeline, Lincoln goes on to survive and fully serve his 2nd term.
I'm glad for it of course, but I'm curious... what shall become of Booth's attempt though? Will it simply not happen? Perhaps somebody catches on to the conspirators earlier and rats them out?
 
Sorry if this has been already discussed but I remember that for this timeline, Lincoln goes on to survive and fully serve his 2nd term.
I'm glad for it of course, but I'm curious... what shall become of Booth's attempt though? Will it simply not happen? Perhaps somebody catches on to the conspirators earlier and rats them out?
Perhaps Booth just doesn't shoot in the spit he did in real life, but still wounding Lincoln?
 
I do wonder if this alternate Civil War may result in a better understading of the effects of trauma in people. Given how unusually literate the armies on both sides were, more regard to their experiences may result in early attempts to catalog post-trauma disorders. But, I believe, the science is not there yet. I hinted at a possible evolution in saying how "Yankee doctors" were calling it "War Madness". But I unfortunately don't know enough about psycology to explore this idea to its fullest conclusions.
As an aside to this, the American Hobo freight hopping culture grew out of veterans from both sides that for whatever reason never went home after the war.
 
“We ought to hang him!”, he said, the begging of the man silenced by the bloodthirsty screams that ensued. “I’ve seen what these men can do if they are allowed to roam free! Traitors must be exterminated!” At that moment, the mob went forward and seized the man, stabbing him and then lifting him to the lamppost, where he was given a strong hemp necktie like all traitors deserved. And the mob cheered, but Ted didn’t hear them, only watching the man as he bleed and suffocated. He remembered scenes from Kentucky, of burning towns, desecrated corpses and desperate people being cut down, and decided that it couldn’t happen there, not to Mother or Laurie or Molly. And in that moment, he decided he’d return to the Army to exterminate all traitors in order to protect them, not seeing how Mother and Laurie and Molly were crying horrified at the actions of the lynch mob he was leading.
I did not expect that. I thought he would be the voice of reason as I read the build up.
 
Sorry if this has been already discussed but I remember that for this timeline, Lincoln goes on to survive and fully serve his 2nd term.
I'm glad for it of course, but I'm curious... what shall become of Booth's attempt though? Will it simply not happen? Perhaps somebody catches on to the conspirators earlier and rats them out?
We talking here about massive butterflies. Maybe with Washington and Baltimore for some time under confed controll, Booth openly join the southern cause. If not, his pro-southern attidute will get him in trouble in a more radicalized North.
 
As an aside to this, the American Hobo freight hopping culture grew out of veterans from both sides that for whatever reason never went home after the war.
If even a few of them did so because they realize they're in no shape mentally to go home to a family with small children or something, then perhaps that could be part of the group that is studied in an attempt to understand this war Madness. The science could just grow naturally, sort of like Piaget studying children's behavior and development. I seem to recall he really started by studying his own children.

They don't have to get everything exactly right. They only have to get the start of it, saying that "these people have something in their brains that is missing, just like those who are missing a limb." And trying in there limited understanding to find a suitable "prosthetic" as it were.

Maybe with Washington and Baltimore for some time under confed controll, Booth openly join the southern cause.
Very plausible. He was from Maryland and I can imagine him, even if he chose not to be a soldier, being involved in the massive riots and devastation of Baltimore.
 
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