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

While Lee's surrender at Appomatax did help pave the way for the military side of the Lost Cause (i.e. the idea that the North only won because numbers and industrial capacity), he was against the sort of memorial glorification of the confederacy that serves as a key part of the lost cause today.

The irony of ironies: It happened despite Lee's wishes!

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Thinking about Appomattox in this context always brings me back to Jay Winik's April 1865. Winik is making argument that the United States really was reborn in the spring of 1865 at Appomattox, and Durham, and Citronelle, and, well, Lincoln's presidential locus, since that's where the policy that made these amicable surrenders possible was really decided - or, at least, enabled. But more immediately it reads to me like an encomium to Grant and Lee. Grant, for being so generous in offering terms; Lee, for actually accepting them. Because there was nothing inevitable about either. A quick glance around the rest of the western world in the 19th and early 20th centuries will tell you that. And Americans of those generations did the glancing.

Over the past decade, it's come to look like less of a great deal, because the focus now is so often on the price that deal came with, which was a century of Jim Crow, and its attendant legacy. I don't think we should be so ready to accept the argument that that price of Appomattox was inevitable, but I am open to the idea that it became considerably more probable. And I think there's a sense in which @Red_Galiray is taking that...probability as read, which is why I think he's exploring a harder war and a harder termination to increase the probability of getting instead a Reconstruction that's actually worthy of the name, rather than trying to thread some post-Appomattox needle. And I find this project fascinating to watch unfold, because it's seldom been explored.

I think the only concern I have been trying to get at in my last few posts is the risks that come with a hard war/hard peace trajectory like this. It unleashes furies deep in human hearts you may not find so easy to control. And this would be the case not just among southern bitter-enders, but a lot of Northerners, too. You can put yourself in the place of Lincoln, or his successor, and work out the ideal Reconstruction plan, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to keep control of the politics, or the armies, to consummate it. Think about Thaddeus Stevens and his idea of Reconstruction, as laid out in his September 1865 address in Lancaster. He advocated treating the South as conquered provinces, where the Constitution would have no effect; this would make it possible for the government to confiscate the estates of the largest 70,000 landholders there, those who owned more than 200 acres. Most of this property he wanted distributed in plots of 40 acres to the freedmen (no mention of a mule, but maybe that was in the footnotes); other lands would go to reward loyalists. Now, that wouldn't hit too many white yeoman farmers; but maybe it's not so hard to imagine events unfolding such that demands that the confiscations go a lot deeper, maybe to every single property owner who fought for the CSA, and you're unable to stop those demands. Before long, maybe, you've got a Cromwellian resolution dropping in your lap, and even Thaddeus Stevens starts to look like a bleeding heart. Cromwell made his resolution stick, to be sure, but aside from the, uh, immediate genocide, it required the enforcement at bayonet point of an Anglo-Irish military caste habituated into treating the surviving natives as something like vermin for the next 265 years.

Of course, that would be a fascinating timeline to read, too...
 
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Can't wait to see the week days
Would the rebels try to hold the capital like the Germans in 1945 or abandon it to attempt a guerrilla resistance. I mean with how paranoid the planter class has gotten, I can see them attempting to hold on until the bitter end.
Is Jesse james going to be around afterwards
I wonder if there going be many outlaws after the war
I hope there one last epic battle to end it
 
Of course, that would be a fascinating timeline to read, too...
It would be indeed. Go up to around the late 1900s, and examine history as the south develop there national identity, how does the north react: More crackdown or deescalation? How do the Carpetbaggers and Freeman new class manage to get up from this point? It be a very interesting way to examine both nationhood, and how to move on from history.
Phil Sheridan would likely be passing out the party favors!
Funny thing about Phil, when the Franco-Prussian War broke out, he actually went over to the Prussians as a advisor and rode around going "Yeah,lol, go shoot those franc-tierurs, you guys are great" and wrote home about how awesome Prussia was.
 
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It would be indeed. Go up to around the late 1900s, and examine history as the south develop there national identity, how does the north react: More crackdown or deescalation? How do the Carpetbaggers and Freeman new class manage to get up from this point? It be a very interesting way to examine both nationhood, and how to move on from history
Flood the area with carpetbaggers and make sure half the locals are part of a group with a vested interest in staying in the union? Inculcate a tradition of military service among the freedmen? Hawaii was an actual other country, but what are the odds of independence for them, really?
 
Flood the area with carpetbaggers and make sure half the locals are part of a group with a vested interest in staying in the union? Inculcate a tradition of military service among the freedmen? Hawaii was an actual other country, but what are the odds of independence for them, really?
The issue with Hawaii was that Hawaiians were a minority in Hawaii even before they were annexed to the United States. I don't think there's any reasonable way to make Southerners a minority in the South as a whole without genocide, although there were definitely some states where it might have been possible, and perhaps you could make a combination of freedmen and northern migrants a large enough minority that they make resistance impractical.
 
Funny thing about Phil, when the Franco-Prussian War broke out, he actually went over to the Prussians as a advisor and rode around going "Yeah,lol, go shoot those franc-tierurs, you guys are great" and wrote home about how awesome Prussia was.
And imagine if Thomas Jordan, the Confederate general I mentioned earlier as having a chance to make France...less bad in that war, thus not losing Alsace and Lorraine, and Phil Sheridan wound up leading men against each other.
 
Funny thing about Phil, when the Franco-Prussian War broke out, he actually went over to the Prussians as a advisor and rode around going "Yeah,lol, go shoot those franc-tierurs, you guys are great" and wrote home about how awesome Prussia was.

And imagine if Thomas Jordan, the Confederate general I mentioned earlier as having a chance to make France...less bad in that war, thus not losing Alsace and Lorraine, and Phil Sheridan wound up leading men against each other.
Who's to say that ex-Confederate and Union officers won't make their way over to Europe? You could end up with military attaches pitted against their former comrades or engaging against their adversaries again. It would also make for an odd diplomatic situation if a wanted Confederate general escaped capture by fleeing to Mexico and thereon to France to act as an advisor, only to later meet a Union officer sent over by the US to France as a gesture to improve relations.
 
Funny thing about Phil, when the Franco-Prussian War broke out, he actually went over to the Prussians as a advisor and rode around going "Yeah,lol, go shoot those franc-tierurs, you guys are great" and wrote home about how awesome Prussia was.

Phil Sheridan, always the "hard war" man!

But it's also fairly clear that the U.S. Army may not have gotten much return on its investment sending Sheridan as observer to the Franco-Prussian War. His conclusion: "Nowadays war is pretty much the same everywhere, and this one offered no marked exception to my previous experiences... Following the operations of the German armies from the battle of Gravelotte to the siege of Paris, I may, in conclusion, say that I saw no new military principles developed..." In terms of tactics, he probably had a point. But it's remarkable how he passes over in silence the work of the Prussian General Staff in preparing for the war and moving all the troops and supplies around so efficiently and quickly - yes, even better than anything Herman Haupt could manage.

The U.S. Army would not establish a general staff until 1903.

And imagine if Thomas Jordan, the Confederate general I mentioned earlier as having a chance to make France...less bad in that war, thus not losing Alsace and Lorraine, and Phil Sheridan wound up leading men against each other.

I think it's hard to appreciate how difficult it was to convince French Army leadership of *anything* in the 1860's. Decades of parochial officer selection and vapors of fading Napoleonic glory had produced a staggering calcification in the French officer corps by the time of the Second Empire. As Dallas Irvine famously put it, the French promotion system "was almost completely effective in excluding the army's brain power from the staff and high command."

And this would apply doubly to the idea that they might have anything to learn from Americans.

Only the curbstomp they suffered in 1870 could produce the kind of shakeup needed to make the French Army into a competent instrument of war once again. (Competent, that is, for anything but colonial wars and meatgrinding second rate Austrian generals.)
 
Who's to say that ex-Confederate and Union officers won't make their way over to Europe? You could end up with military attaches pitted against their former comrades or engaging against their adversaries again. It would also make for an odd diplomatic situation if a wanted Confederate general escaped capture by fleeing to Mexico and thereon to France to act as an advisor, only to later meet a Union officer sent over by the US to France as a gesture to improve relations.
This sounds like the premise for a historical buddy comedy I'd pay money for, ngl.
 
This sounds like the premise for a historical buddy comedy I'd pay money for, ngl.
The climactic final scene showing the two men in a trench, staring down a rushing Prussian attack.
"Never thought I'd die fighting side by side with a damnyankee."
"What about side by side with a friend?"
"Aye... I reckon I could do that."
 
South Carolina and Mississippi were African-American majority in 1860, so these seem at least possible to do something with.
I think Louisiana was as well, or close, and Florida was thinly populated enough that it might have been possible to just flood out the old inhabitants with new Yankees. It might have been possible to think of something for Kentucky and Tennessee as well, perhaps also Virginia if West Virginia wasn't a separate state. But yes, those states were precisely the ones I was thinking about...rather ironically, given their trajectories IOTL towards being unassailable fortresses of reactionary neo-Confederism.
 
Why would Union officers help France at all, even if France were willing to accept them? France was aiding their Mexican puppet empire, which was fighting the US-backed Republic.
 
Why would Union officers help France at all, even if France were willing to accept them? France was aiding their Mexican puppet empire, which was fighting the US-backed Republic.
Which they gave up on in 1865, once the Union had won...AFAICT, it was pretty quickly back to smiles and roses after that. France had an imposing (though not really deserved) reputation, and there was a traditional Francophilic attitude due to its intervention in the Revolutionary War that was only gradually starting to switch to general Anglophilia at this point (not that Anglophilia hadn't previously existed, but the general trend in high society was Francophilic instead).
 
Which they gave up on in 1865, once the Union had won...AFAICT, it was pretty quickly back to smiles and roses after that. France had an imposing (though not really deserved) reputation, and there was a traditional Francophilic attitude due to its intervention in the Revolutionary War that was only gradually starting to switch to general Anglophilia at this point (not that Anglophilia hadn't previously existed, but the general trend in high society was Francophilic instead).
Also, all the west pointers were taught about how awesome Napoleon was and the attitude was passed on fairly hard.
 
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