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

It surprises me how many people would think the British and French would come to the aid of the CSA despite having no real reason to. Cotton isn't much of an issue and I doubt they would want to associate themselves with the CSA anyway.

Meanwhile, it's time for the Southern slave supporters and traitors to be reminded about liberty...
Dude, the British wouldn't be touching that with a ten foot pole at this point... the British public was overwhelmingly pro-union OTL, and with an even more fervently anti-slavery President in charge than OTL, that would be enough to get the House of Commons to stand firm against any aid to the Confederacy.
What we're really talking about here is not so much the risk of Anglo-French military intervention, as to try to halt the war through mainly diplomatic means.

And the fact is that - even setting aside the Trent Affair - that actually was not improbable in *our* timeline, especially in the late summer and fall of 1862:

McClellan’s failure on the Peninsula, Pope’s inglorious campaign resulting in his crushing defeat at the second battle of Bull Run, during the summer of 1862, had a profound influence on the governors of England. The correspondence between [British Prime Minister Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount] Palmerston and [British Foreign Secretary Lord John Russell indicates that they were about ready to propose to the Cabinet that England should take the initiative and ask France, Russia and the other powers to join her in some intervention in the struggle in America. The Federals “got a very complete smashing,” wrote the Prime Minister on September 14; and if Washington or Baltimore “fall into the hands of the Confederates,” as “seems not altogether unlikely,” should not England and France “address the contending parties and recommend an arrangement upon the basis of separation?” Russell replied: “I agree with you that the time has come for offering mediation to the United States Government with a view to the recognition of the Confederates. I agree further, that in case of failure, we ought ourselves to recognize the Southern States as an independent State.” He suggested, moreover, a meeting of the Cabinet, and if a decision were arrived at, to propose, first, the intervention to France and “then on the part of England and France to Russia and the other powers.” When Palmerston replied to this letter, he was watching the Antietam campaign, and thought that if the Federals should sustain “a great defeat” it would be well to proceed with the project of mediation; but if “they should have the best of it we may wait awhile and see what may follow.”

Gladstone, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the third member of the Cabinet in importance, was well aware of Palmerston’s and Russell’s attitude and, feeling certain that such would develop into the policy of the government, anticipated this probable event in a speech at Newcastle on October 7, wherein he expressed positively the view of the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary as well as that of most of the aristocracy and higher middle class. “There is no doubt,” he declared, “that Jefferson Davis and other leaders of the South have made an army; they are making, it appears, a navy; and they have made what is more than either—they have made a nation. We may anticipate with certainty the success of the Southern States so far as their separation from the North is concerne, Hd.”

(James Ford Rhodes, History of the Civil War, 1861–1865, Ch. VII)
And mind you, the Palmerston government was Liberal, not Tory!

It's true that there was little appetite in Britain, especially in the wake of the Crimean War, for a major foreign military intervention, especially against a major industrialized power (one which by 1862 had the capability to overrun most of settled Canada, as @Gaius Julius Magnus point out). It's also true that slavery made the CSA in particular a less than appetizing ally, no matter how many Lancashiremen the cutoff of Southern cotton put out of work.

But it was also the case that even among British liberals, there was much about "Yankee democracy" that was deeply off-putting - its crassness and mob-ishness, to say nothing of the growing threat the United States posed to British trade, industry, and its interests in the Americas and East Asia. There might not be broad enthusiasm for the South, but there was also plenty of interest in seeing the United States, such as it remained, taken down a peg or two.

Palmerston's idea was to offer a mediation once it seemed clear that the Union could not prevail militarily. If the Lincoln Administration turned it down flat, the threat would be made that Britain and France would formally recognize the CSA - with the possibility of trade and aid, and plenty of other European powers soon following Britain's and France's lead. Politically, even just that would be a deep blow to the Union war effort, because it would grant a much greater legitimacy to the Confederate cause, even setting aside whatever tangible assistance it might gain out of the situation: the Northern peace movement would be greatly emboldened. After that, the next risk of escalation would be that the British and French navies might try to break the Union blockade (something certainly within their capability, though it would become a steadily more expensive proposition with each season that the Union Navy built up its strength) - another lever to try to force Lincoln to the table, and put an end to the war.

But let us distinguish between late summer 1862 OTL and spring 1861 in Red's timeline. It's a less "mature" situation in America, and Palmerston's government has had far less time to come to grips with the crisis; and the CSA has not had a couple full campaigning seasons to prove its mettle or give flesh to Gladstone's claim that "the leaders of the South have made an army; they are making, it appears, a navy; and they have made what is more than either—they have made a nation." But if weeks and then months go by with Confederates in control of Washington and Baltimore, they might reach a decision that it is time to offer mediation a lot sooner. The North looks pretty hapless; the rebels look potent enough to occupy even the federal capital, with the fourth largest city (Baltimore) in the old U.S. into the bargain.

And it really does depend on what Britain does. Napoleon III might have had a greater incentive to see the Union whipped, but he also made it pretty clear throughout the war that he was unwilling to move forward without the British doing so, too.
 
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The ring of fortifications indeed doesn't exist. Union engineers desperately built some makeshift "forts" to try to protect the city. One of those was Fort Bunker Hill, which is barely more than some earthworks and trenches. That Fort Bunker Hill is different from OTL's, being closer to D.C., and also located slightly more to the west. Beauregard was in charge of the main thrust. He didn't use Rock Creek Road because there were many Union gunboats, which he feared would be able to bombard his army, and also because the Union Soldiers had done their best to fortify that road. He decided instead to advance through Rockville Road, a mile to the Northwest, which was undefended. Once there, he sent Jackson to link up with the Maryland Militia, which was North of Washington D.C. at the Seventh Street Road, mostly for the purpose of optics. He couldn't risk leaving the Maryland Militia alone, because if they were defeated by Union soldiers it would seem like the Confederacy was untrustworthy and unable to protect Border South secessionists. It also divided the already thin Union forces, preventing them from concentrating against Beauregard around the Rock Creek.
OK - some of this was not clear in the original post.

Honestly, I will have to say here that I do not think the Army was even capable of some hasty earthworks, because there was no Army to speak of in Washington in April, 1861. But I suppose it matters little, the results are the same...

Did the Navy even *have* gunboats on the Potomac in April 1861?
 
If any more confederate victories happen, the author might end up writing himself into a corner where the only plausible outcome is that the confederates win.
 
One small note... this sentence in Chapter 13 was left unfinished: Still, the sheer force of numbers and the ferocity of the Confederates pushed the Union soldiers to the breaking point, and a rout took place. Lincoln was forced to evacuate, taking a boat down the Potomac together with Scott, many important archives and art pieces, and th.
 
OK - some of this was not clear in the original post.

Honestly, I will have to say here that I do not think the Army was even capable of some hasty earthworks, because there was no Army to speak of in Washington in April, 1861. But I suppose it matters little, the results are the same...

Did the Navy even *have* gunboats on the Potomac in April 1861?
I think occasional ambiguity is one of my main shortcomings as a writer.

The Army and the Navy were basically whatever Lincoln managed to scrape together. In the case of the Army, it was actually militia and civilians. The militia included Maryland Unionists, Pennsylvania Militia, and the three regiments that managed to arrive. Their earthworks and forts were little more than desperate measures that merely annoyed the Confederates. As for the Navy, Lincoln ITTL took the fleet that Gustavus Fox, Montgomery Blair's brother-in-law, wanted to use OTL to reinforce Fort Sumter. Since Fort Sumter is basically a lost cause when Lincoln takes office, and due to the danger of Virginia and Maryland, Lincoln instead concentrated every available vessel and naval gun around the Potomac. Still, this "Navy" was pathetically small. That's part of why Lincoln was unable to evacuate any soldiers or much of the art.

If any more confederate victories happen, the author might end up writing himself into a corner where the only plausible outcome is that the confederates win.
Don't worry. This is the high point of the Confederacy. It's all downhill for them from here on. Starting with Maryland and Baltimore, there's no way the South can hold them for long.

One small note... this sentence in Chapter 13 was left unfinished: Still, the sheer force of numbers and the ferocity of the Confederates pushed the Union soldiers to the breaking point, and a rout took place. Lincoln was forced to evacuate, taking a boat down the Potomac together with Scott, many important archives and art pieces, and th.
Thanks for pointing that out. I'll finish it as soon as possible.
 
I can just imagine the romantic paintings of Liberty and Columbia shielding Lincoln as he flees down the Potomac. I also completely see a myth starting where Lincoln makes a prophecy that he will return.
 
If any more confederate victories happen, the author might end up writing himself into a corner where the only plausible outcome is that the confederates win.
Eh, it's still early into the war. I can easily see the Confederacy, riding high off of capturing DC, make a strategic blunder like trying to take the fight further north and suffer a defeat akin to a reverse First Bull Run. The armies are still mostly full of amateurs and inexperienced recruits at this point.
 
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I can just imagine the romantic paintings of Liberty and Columbia shielding Lincoln as he flees down the Potomac. I also completely see a myth starting where Lincoln makes a prophecy that he will return.
I imagine the whole war will be mythologized in this way, seeing as it is a true crusade against the horrors of human bondage from the very start.

Can't wait to have stuff like a massive painting of Lincoln being given the fiery Broadsword of Liberty by an angelic John Brown decending from heaven while flanked by rows of fierce freedmen-soldiers in an ITTL monument.

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If any more confederate victories happen, the author might end up writing himself into a corner where the only plausible outcome is that the confederates win.
This would be true, if the north were like otl

But they're not. They are PISSED at southern dominance in the federal government and how the south just quit when they lost a single move. The more offensive nature of ttl confederacy means that they aren't just trying to get out of the union (which places like new England didn't realllllllly care about), they are actively trying to destroy it. The north wants it's country back, and everyone knows how hard it is to stop a runaway train.

For example NYC iotl and ttl will grumble throughout the war because of how the war affected their economy. But ttl there won't be any draft riots because all the feds need to do is say "remember d.c." and everyone will be sent into a howling rage.

Side note: I hope my house is alright (I live on Capitol Hill)
 
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But let us distinguish between late summer 1862 OTL and spring 1861 in Red's timeline. It's a less "mature" situation in America, and Palmerston's government has had far less time to come to grips with the crisis; and the CSA has not had a couple full campaigning seasons to prove its mettle or give flesh to Gladstone's claim that "the leaders of the South have made an army; they are making, it appears, a navy; and they have made what is more than either—they have made a nation." But if weeks and then months go by with Confederates in control of Washington and Baltimore, they might reach a decision that it is time to offer mediation a lot sooner. The North looks pretty hapless; the rebels look potent enough to occupy even the federal capital, with the fourth largest city (Baltimore) in the old U.S. into the bargain.
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Aside from obvious symbolic reasons, recapturing D.C. as relatively soon as possible will also be important because the Confederates might try to make it as fortified it as it was in OTL and so make any attempt to retake city a very bloody proposition.

Though the capture of DC will probably be way more of a rallying cry in the timeline than Fort Sumter was in OTL, and that was already a massive rallying cry in our world.
 
Side note: I hope my house is alright (I live on Capitol Hill)
Likewise I am curious about where are my best friend from college lives, I wonder if there will be civil war memorials and Battlefield things at College Park and Hyattsville.

I've mentioned on these boards that 2 German ancestors went from Brooke County Virginia to join Ohio regiments in mid-1862, when they are seen as having joined. They might well leave months earlier in this timeline.
 
Aside from obvious symbolic reasons, recapturing D.C. as relatively soon as possible will also be important because the Confederates might try to make it as fortified it as it was in OTL and so make any attempt to retake city a very bloody proposition.
The main issue with that is the fact that unlike attacking it from Virginia, DC is on their side of the Potomac if they attack from Maryland. If they play their cards right, they can pin the Confederates up against the Potomac River and keep them from resupplying, leaving them with only the options of trying to swim for it, surrender, or going down fighting.
 
The Confederates' only realistic path to victory would be via foreign intervention.
The author has stated that this will not happen, and I don't think avoiding it will be hard or at all implausible.

Confederate troops in Washington are a step towards the Great Powers (primarily Britain, France and Russia) offering mediation to the US and CS, but the war is too young for them to jump straight there. If the Confederates are clearly on the back foot by the time the Powers are ready to offer mediation, they will hold off.
The thing is that in offering mediation, the Powers are committing to escalate if the mediation is refused or if one party to the mediation goes back on their word. It's a multi-step process, but it ends up with war on the recalcitrant party - so it's not a step to take lightly.
I don't think any of the Powers has a huge amount to fear from the United States at this stage, still less to fear from the Confederates, but that doesn't mean they're eager to get involved in a war either.
And unlike the Greeks when they were fighting the Turks, where the Greeks were Christians fighting for freedom from Muslim oppression, and had all the glories of classical Greece to harp upon, and were the plucky underdog, the Confederates started the war after they lost an election and are doing it all over slavery. The emotional pull isn't there.
IOTL the Union included slave states, and was not committed to ending slavery (at least at the start of the war), so even abolitionists in Britain could potentially back independence for the CSA - the argument being that the Union would then abolish slavery, and that an independent Confederacy would be more easily bullied into abolition when standing alone than when part of the Union. If the Union is full-steam-ahead for abolition from the early days of the war, abolitionist sentiment will be for the Union to conquer and enforce abolition at the muzzle of a rifle musket.
 
Don't worry. This is the high point of the Confederacy. It's all downhill for them from here on. Starting with Maryland and Baltimore, there's no way the South can hold them for long.
Oh, no question, Southern logistics are going to be as feeble as ever here; and maintaining any kind of establishment north of a major river like the Potomac (the South will have what amounts to one bridge, one ford, and whatever it can scrape together for ferries) ever so risky given the difficulty of staging troops or supplies across it. And it's not like it has much in the way of equipment to send in the first place so far!

No the difficulty lies in the thin line between rage and despair. Blows like these could very quickly step from the former to the latter. Sumter generated rage and not despair because nothing essential was lost (just an untenable fort); even Pearl Harbor cost the United States nothing essential to its strength or ability to overcome its loss - it lost not an inch of territory, at least not east of the Date Line. Losing your capital and a key border state is something far more substantial, and Northern votaries have no offsetting victories, achievements, or leaders to sustain themselves through such catastrophes in the way they did through Bobby Lee's 1862-63 run of triumphs. The anti-slavery passionistas (which would include nearly all of my paternal ancestors alive at the time) might be even more passionate than in OTL, but they need the broad middle of Northern society to commit themselves, too. They have no rivers of blood to redeem yet.

Likewise, the Union in OTL 1862 had tangible means of overcoming the setbacks of the the Valley Campaign, the Seven Days, Second Manassas, and Bragg's Kentucky invasion because it had at least knitted the sinews of war in the form of major standing armies and infrastructure to support them, some of them even competently led; here, in April 1861, it has virtually nothing. It will need months to assemble any worthwhile force, and any professional generals it names, from Scott to McDowell to McClellan to even Sherman and Grant, will insist on taking the time to do it right - we know this from what they said and did in OTL. In OTL, it took until early summer to put together what amounted to oversized militia forces (like the one that got its ass kicked at First Bull Run); serious regular forces did not come into being until the autumn. The CSA might not have much in Maryland, but Lincoln has nothing to kick them out, either - and the attacker has to be much more robust than the defender to prevail.

Likewise, secessionists in Maryland will be tremendously emboldened, and Unionists downcast, meaning that any Union reconquest will likely have to fight not only regular CSA forces but a much more restive local population, at least in the eastern part of the state. This will have similar knock-on effects in Kentucky and Missouri as well.
 
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No. The Union still has the overwhelming advantage in industry, and the sentiment is for war. Instead, the war will be bloodier, and probably last longer.
Oh, absolutely. There is no question - no question at all - that in terms of capability, the North has an enormous advantage - they have 20 times the industrial base and over three times the white manpower!!

The problem is the risk of cracking Northern willpower.

The South never had any chance of beating Northern means. Its only hope was in beating its will. In OTL, that will never broke, but a few times it came a little closer to doing so than we like to recall.
 
Britain and France would not want to invest much in the CSA though any potential problems could see other European problems, especially if anyone wanted to known Britain nd or France.

Granted, any involvement on their part would leave gaping anger in the USA for that act of treason. I also predict that Mexico could be involved, either after the war or later. Perhaps a more radical Lincoln would be more friendly to Mexico and their counterpart.
 
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