Up With the Star: A different kind of Civil War ATL:

A/N: This initial post is from an ATL history book called "The Hammer and the Anvil: Grant's Hanover Campaign of 1864:

One little-known aspect of the War of the Rebellion is that the Union at one point considered putting Vice-President Butler as army commander of the Army of the James. In reality, President Lincoln, facing challenges from the Copperheads and the Radicals, decided on an unusual means to outfox them both. He chose General Benjamin Butler to be his Vice-Presidential Candidate, while picking the military governor of Tennessee, Andrew Johnson, to be his intended next Secretary of State, replacing the unpopular Seward.

In offering this plum position to Southern Unionists, and replacing Johnson with Brownlow, Lincoln is generally recognized as having in the short term strengthened Tennessee Unionism. However there is a general tendency to see the possibility of Butler as leader of the Army of the James as an if that would have won the South the War.

I personally do not see this as the case, as Grant's victories would have happened with or without that army, and certainly Sherman's campaign was moving forward all the same. All the same, there is something instructive in how Grant's Hanover Campaign disproved the assertion about the Civil War that battles did not display an operational grasp like that seen in the later wars in Europe.

Instead, the Hanover Campaign fully justified faith in the victor of Vicksburg and Chattanooga, though the Confederate government proved the lesson the European armies later learned, that overwhelming victories on the battlefield do not of necessity end the existence of governments........


So.....comments? The TL proper starts after I post a couple of chapters in my Star Wars TL I'm starting back up again.
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Part I:

May 5th: As per OTL the Union Army of the Potomac, Army of the James, and the Department of West Virginia start their expeditions against the Army of Northern Virginia. As per OTL the Army of the Potomac begins the Battle of the Wilderness, with the same results as OTL. But ITTL, Hunter, having command of the Army of the James, is not made timid by the attack at Arrowfield Church, but orders an immediate follow-up.

Thus by May 7th as Grant moves south toward Spotsylvania, the Army of the James has reached the city of Petersburg, having brushed aside all Confederate opposition. Aware of orders and deciding not to rush at the fortifications outright, General Hunter orders his army to cut the railroad.

General Lee by this point has learned that the Army of the James has 30,000 men near Petersburg, where only 5,000 men defend this vital junction of the Confederacy. He has also learned that this large Yankee army had been impetuously attacked only for the huge "abolitionist horde" to attack 4,200 attackers with 14,000 soldiers and that Yankees now bestride the Richmond-Petersburg railroad, where they are literally entrenching.

Not liking where this is going to end, Lee now faces a true dilemma. He is absolutely sure that the Yankees have moved up north given that he outfought them near the previous fight. But he cannot leave *those people* on a railroad that matters. Lee that evening comes to the key decision of the war:

Supremely confident that like all his predecessors Grant will retreat north of the Potomac, Lee orders the Army of Northern Virginia south toward Petersburg. He's already whupped Grant, so surely he'll be able to send this abolitionist reeling too........(;):D).


This is where the military butterflies start rolling. Benjamin Butler was a very cautious general when facing opponents who were an actual match for him. Black Dave Hunter is very much the opposite and barrelled past Confederate resistance, sitting on the Richmond railroad when IOTL the Army of the James even under Butler had gotten there. Lee, as per OTL, expects Grant to retreat, misunderstanding Grant, and thinks that he's already whipped the Yankees once, he can do so again..........not realizing that as he's thinking this and leaving the battlefield in his own right, Grant's currently on the move toward Spotsylvania. Falling into the McClellan Trap, Lee dismisses the cheers as the Army of the Potomac moves south as a sign that the soldiers are too afraid of his own troops to fight on......:rolleyes:

Before I go too far into it, I will note that the Union armies will not be wanked here any more than the Confederacy will be anti-wanked. Confederates will have strokes of luck, Union troops will make mistakes and have the Slows, and there will be no one battle and the ANV and the war both are over scenario.
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Part II:

Lee, having fought for three days an offensive battle near the Wilderness has begun to head southwest to Petersburg, there to arrive with numerical preponderance and defeat the abolitionist "miscreant." However, to start this, Lee decides to recoup ammunition losses, and then in a quick night march on the 8th starts to the southwest.

As he does this, Ulysses S. Grant has begun to move to follow him, in accordance with Grant's orders to Meade "where Lee goes, you will go also." Lee for the time being dismisses this as signs that the Yankee army is in true despair, only starting to realize something's not right when General Custer launches the impetuous raid at Yellow Tavern, defeating JEB Stuart, who escapes with his horse having been shot out from under him.

Lee stops his army near Guinea station, while Grant sends a messenger to the Army of the James, summoning it to an attack on Lee's rear while he begins to face it from the front. Lee, learning that the Bluecoats are turning out in force, switches his troops around and decides to divide his army. With 52,000 men available against Grant's 100,000 and Hunter's 30,000, he decides to detach 20,000 men to strike at Hunter's forces, unbeknownst to him they have disembarked immediately toward Guinea station itself.

However a fortunate moment occurs for the Confederacy when a local reports to Lee that the Army of the Potomac is heading directly for his smaller army. Lee enhances the fortifications thereby and creates a line that forms a semi-circle, thereby able to negate the Army of the Potomac's numerical superiority with firepower, and hopefully to crush Grant's army.

Thus on the 9th of May, as Lee prepares to fight the Army of the Potomac near Hanover Junction, the Army of the James has managed to cross the James and is currently headed for the South Anna, pushing with full speed against an Army of Northern Virginia which remains confident it can inflict a Fredricksburg again against the Army of the Potomac.

For his part, Grant intends to face these Confederate lines by organizing his own flanking move, to hit a more vulnerable right flank commanded by General Allegheny Johnston, assigning for his purpose General Hancock's II Corps for this task.

And so on May 10th begins the Battle of Hanover Junction when Hancock's II Corps launches a sudden morning attack against the forces of Johnson's Stonewall Brigade.......


One butterfly in favor of the Confederacy here is that due to the more improvised nature of the Yellow Tavern battle in this ATL and the Confederates serving as a rear-guard to mask the move toward the Army of the James, Stuart survives that battle where he died IOTL. So also due to an absence of the battle of Spotsylvania ITTL are there a lot of Confederate divisions intact that were not after that battle began. Of which the first is Allegheny Johnson's division. To go after the Army of the James Lee has sent the Corps of A.P. Hill to attack that army, though he recalled it once the Battle of Hanover Junction's begun ITTL.

Lee believes he can whip the Army of the Potomac in a defensive battle and then turn to defeat the Army of the James. The Wilderness has not ITTL soured his Victory Disease yet. Lee also marched to Hanover Junction as fast as he did due to having better knowledge of the terrain and JEB Stuart to conduct smokescreens for his withdrawal, a butterfly as noted in the Confederacy's favor. In favor for the Union is that due to no Spotsylvania they are actually amped up by Grant's decision to continue the withdrawal and a knowledge to some extent that Lee's going to be in a bit of a bind if the Army of the James comes up from behind him.

So both Confederate and Union generals are amped up, and both have a slightly improved leadership class.
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Part III: The Battle of Hanover Junction, May 10-16:

The first part of the Battle of Hanover Junction had co-incided for the Confederacy with the quiet evacuation by Jefferson Davis of the capital of the Confederacy. Davis had managed to re-establish Confederate authority in Danville, while General Cooper, in his first field command, provided a military government for those who had not joined the government in its exodus.

On the first day of the Battle of Hanover Junction, the Union II Corps had launched a surprise attack on the Stonewall Brigade. Due to this being one of the only open-field parts of this battle, the casualties for both sides were high, however for the Confederacy the initial tactical victory and repulse of the II Corps was a strategic defeat, as the Army of Northern Virginia had to strengthen its right wing with troops from its left.

General Burnside's Ninth Corps, attacking the left of the Army of Northern Virginia on the 11th displayed a competence that enabled them temporarily to break through the Army of Northern Virginia lines under General Cadmus Wilcox, however a strong counterattack by Heth's Corps managed to restore Confederate lines by nightfall.

After two such tactical achievements, Lee's blood was up, and so on the 12th he prepared for an assault to be launched by Jubal Early's Second Corps against the IX Corps. This attack, launched as one of Lee's infamous headlong charges into Breastworks proved a Malvern Hill-style failure. By this point General Grant had arrived, having been delayed by a conference with General Halleck following the defeat of General Sigel in the Valley.

Grant immediately took charge of the situation and encouraged a deceptive strategy, seeking to encourage Lee to attack again on the 13th. By this point advance elements of the Army of the James, including one of the USCT units were arriving near Hanover Junction, while General Custer's cavalry kept General Stuart's attention busy for a time.

Upon learning of their arrival, Grant sent five messengers to the Army of the James, with one messenger given a deceptive plan to be found by the Confederates. The plan would encourage them to believe that Union troops were intending to withdraw and head straight for Richmond, while in reality the intention was to hit the Confederates from both flanks with both armies.

The deception plan worked almost perfectly. The almost was that JEB Stuart on the 14th detected Union movements that indicated an assault, not a retreat. The resulting confusion and a mis-timed order by Lee kept the two armies in a morass of large-scale skirmishing.

Encouraged by the news of Sherman's victory at Rocky Face Gap, Grant that night issued orders for the Army of the James to make a surprise attack in the Confederate rear at dawn, the Army of the Potomac to attack a quarter-hour later.

On the 15th, Lee derived from the skirmishing that Stuart was in error, and so was conversing with him and General E. Porter Alexander early in the morning when in a surprise move, the 41st USCT attacked at dawn, capturing Generals Lee, Alexander, and Stuart in one fell swoop.....and upon realizing this the confusion in the Army of Northern Virginia was compounded by a sudden rush of the Army of the Potomac, emboldened by the tentative Confederate response.......and in this moment, the 41st USCT becomes forever known as the Hanover Regiment.


It should be noted that given Davis has already established the Confederate government in Danville, that the future direction of this war can be gathered. If anyone believes Davis wouldn't continue the war, he intended this IOTL and was only prevented from doing so by being captured. Ironically in this case Lee's army being taken out leaves quite a few Confederate troops across the Deep South and the Army of Tennessee intact, with Sherman barely in Georgia. However there are some things that will be played up more in this alternate 1864 as time goes on......
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I might note that in this particular TL, also, it becomes damn near impossible to write USCT out of the historiography of the Civil War even for the Lost Cause, which will be having....interesting....butterflies for the Reconstruction era. Suffice to say that in the alternate timeline's military history, Hanover Junction is treated as an example of Grant's strategy turning into an immediate and unexpected success.

The next few entries will detail the results of the Battle of Hanover Junction in regards to the broader cultural-political impacts, particularly WRT Lincoln's re-election campaign.....:D
Does this mean that East Tennessee will pull a West Virginia and become a new state?

That's part of the broader picture yet to be written. Suffice to say that in the aftermath of Hanover Junction the political scene completely changes from OTL. In particular it's hard to claim the Republican strategy for the war is a failure when Grant's just destroyed the Army of Northern Virginia in his third battle with it. :D

Of course Jefferson Davis just like OTL is not going to give up the war, Lee or no Lee, Richmond or no Richmond. Of course what this means for the peace party in the Confederacy itself is interesting, particularly as far as places like western North Carolina are concerned.

I intend to continue this past the Civil War and Reconstruction, at least up for a little while.

As this is not going to butterfly away Union weaknesses in the Valley, or the failure of the Red River Campaign. Despite the defeat of the Army of Northern Virginia, in fact, the Confederates still have victory and their other, largest army all but intact under General Joe Johnston, whose strategy of course is also butterflied away by the reality that the Army of Northern Virginia no longer matters as a battlefield force.......

Though ITTL there's enough of it that survives together with the rest of the armies under General Cooper that the Confederate military in Virginia is not *completely* destroyed, there's at least a Bentonville-level fight left for it.

Too, this TL is working to be realistic. Grant does not win a singular decisive battle with Lee, Longstreet's injury in the Battle of the Wilderness and the damage taken at Spotsylvania, plus Lee falling into the kind of wishful thinking that typified the Battles of Five Forks and Fort Stedman are required for Hanover Junction to work as it did. Too, the defensive firepower available to Confederate armies and Cooper getting a freer reign than usual for Confederate generals with Davis in Danville will mitigate, at least temporarily the results of the one battle.

Grant's not going to be a http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MaryTzu and the Confederate defeat here is due to defects in Lee's generalship and his OTL behavior as a general, not due to his manifesting the Idiot Ball worse than IOTL.
Part III:

Abraham Lincoln sat at his desk, hands steepled in thought. It had been a time since he had selected Ben Butler as his Vice President. The decision to conciliate the Radicals had been key here, and to conciliate them further he'd appointed General Hunter to command the Army of the James. As he'd hoped, General Grant had not objected to the appointment.

Lincoln was not used to generals not behaving like the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral, not demanding the impossible. He rather liked being aware that Grant was not going to turn back and that there would hopefully be good news. He knew that the Radicals were not likely to challenge him, but he feared instead that the conservative element of the party would try to back Fremont against him.

Then he heard a knock at the door. His secretary, John, stuck his face in the door.

"Mr. President, we have news from General Grant."

Lincoln took a look at the telegram and his mouth fell open in shock.

"This is real?"

"Yes Mr. President. The Army of Northern Virginia has been delivered a decisive defeat. We have captured General Lee. If I may, Mr. President, the way General Grant has put it seems to be good copy. Perhaps a suggestion to Mr. Greeley as to a headline?"

"Why yes, John, that sounds perfectly fine."

Lincoln had been anxious learning of the defeat in the Valley and of Davis's escaping Richmond. But his satisfaction all came from Grant's simple, wonderfully phrased telegram:

"The Gray fox is captured. With him we have captured almost all of the high-ranking officers of the Chief Secesh Army. The capture was made by the Negroes of the Army of the James. Will send the next telegram from Richmond before too long I should expect."

For the first time since Chattanooga, Lincoln smiled.......


The next day, Clement L. Vallandigham awoke to one headline he absolutely had not seen coming: "The Gray Fox is captured! Rebel Army in Virginia Destroyed!". His thoughts were rather more profane and worried. As now that damned abolitionist from Illinois was likely to be re-elected no matter what the Democrats did. :mad:


And in still another part of the United States, Frederick Douglass wrote a famous article in the North Star "They who should be free have struck the Blow! Lee defeated in Virginia!". Northern free blacks who had not yet volunteered all started to read the lines in both the white and the black papers, recording that in the sixth day of battle near Hanover Junction the "Fighting 41st" as Garrison had dubbed them had captured the Rebel who'd done so much harm to the United States. In a country where they had feared they would all be slaves, such news seemed impossible, it seemed the world turned upside down.

From Dred Scott to Hanover, and it seemed for US blacks in that sudden euphoria that society *must* change......
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Part IV: The rest of May of 1864:

In the immediate aftermath of the capture of the Army of Northern Virginia's leadership, one entire Corps of this army under command of Jubal Early escapes the battle, there joining the rest of the Confederate forces there under Inspector General Cooper, the Northern-born highest general in the Confederate army.

While defeat of Lee's army is a huge morale blow to the South, the Southern victories at Fort Pillow and against General Banks prove morale boosters. Ironically in this initial phase, Joe Johnston preserving the Army of Tennessee intact serves to soften initially the impact of the destruction of Lee's army. General Cooper manages a hard-fought defensive campaign that yields much of Virginia to the Union by the end of May, a defensive campaign aided more by recurrence of the McClellan slows than the strength of Confederate defensive works.

The attempt to form a Union Party* under Fremont is aborted ITTL as the immediate impact of the capture of Lee is immense. However a great deal of the Confederacy remains unoccupied, and Jefferson Davis, having seen from the first fighting near Richmond how the Virginia war would go, re-establishes the Confederate government at Montgomery.

He gives the eloquent "Montgomery Address" demanding from Southerners that in their "Valley Forge of Gloom" that they rally for their independence. However in East Tennessee, the Tennessee Unionists meet and propose the formation of the state of Franklin on the lines of West Virginia, with the added bonus of a friendly Tennessee military governor in Parson Brownlow*.

Grant, having defeated Lee's army much more rapidly than he predicted*, now ponders his next move. Joe Johnston's army is the largest remaining Confederate force, yet the sheer expanse of the Confederacy remaining, while drastically attenuated in sheer demographic and industrial power, is quite an expanse indeed.

Grant, however, is pondering this even as he reads of Lincoln's announcement on the White House steps that "the capital of the Confederacy has fallen. Surely the re-unification of our one common country is in sight." Having heard of Davis's speech and understood the determination of Davis to fight even when logic would dictate not to, Grant is less sanguine about the war ending simply or smoothly.

These thoughts fade as General Grant, in Richmond, greets a tall, gaunt man with a top hat and a beard, who stepped out into still-shellshocked Richmond.

"Hello, General Grant" sounded, joyfully even, the man's high, thin voice.

"Hello, Mr. President. Welcome to Richmond......" and with that, General Grant escorted Lincoln into the Gray House for one of the most famous photographs of the Great Civil War: the President of the United States, photographed by Matthew Brady at the desk of the Confederate President, looking somberly into the camera.

In Montgomery, Jefferson Davis does finally something that was not done before, he re-organizes the Confederate departments, and much as it is a bitter pain to do so, he gives Joe Johnston true power to direct the armies in these departments. As, he reflected, he had trusted Lee much more than he did Johnston*, but now Grant was in Richmond and he was in Montgomery......


I should note that Davis's evacuation is partially helped ITTL because Lincoln actually expected him to flee the country, believing Davis would see the war as lost (most people in the North do at this point think he thinks thus). Davis, OTOH, just like IOTL is going to try to keep the war going on as long as possible. I should note also the main reason that the CSA has an army left in Virginia at all is that Jubal Early's surviving part of the Army of Northern Virginia (dubbed a Corps more for propaganda than for what it really amounts to) is the largest military unit left, and that their strategy is not to win, merely to delay the Union. Which they do because On to Richmond Fever hits big-time.

Of course without Virginia and with the possibility of a state of Franklin......the prospects for this much-shrunken Confederacy are dim at best. And of course this is good news for Lincoln and the GOP, bad news for Vallandigham and the Democrats. :D

*The OTL Radical Democratic Party, which obviously has to choose a different name given that the convention was going to be held. The disgruntled Republicans bow out and the attempt collapses because the Peace Democrats have just been handed a major propaganda problem.

**One butterfly of Lincoln promising Andrew Johnson the position of Secretary of State is that Parson Brownlow is now military governor of Tennessee, with greater tact and skill than Johnson had in this position. Too, East Tennessee was a major goal of Lincoln for the Union army, and he's much more willing to accept Franklin than he was at first with WV.

***Grant did not expect an immediate victory, he expected a much more lengthy campaign. The more rapid victory in Virginia ITTL actually *is unexpected* and thus requires him to retool his strategy. Occupying Virginia is also going to require manpower, which is something he has to set up while planning the broader campaign across the rest of the Confederacy. Too, Lee was captured, but the Army of Northern Virginia has not as a unit surrendered, it was shattered Nashville-style. This means as will be detailed in other entries that units with origins in the Deep South and the Trans-Mississippi are trying to get into the Deep South, to keep fighting.

****Davis still dislikes Joe Johnston ITTL, he however is too unwilling to yield his Presidential power to let that lose him the war. It's very much teeth-clinched teamwork and a factor that adds to the things already favoring the Union ITTL.
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Very interesting timeline, Snake, I can't wait to see what the butterflies do.

Thank you. :) Some early butterflies are going to be appearing soon, as a more pro-Radical Lincoln and Brownlow-governed Tennessee will give Franklin more legitimacy at the time and afterward than West Virginia had IOTL at the time. The results of two Southern Unionist states will be interesting for Reconstruction-era politics, as will the aversion of a Virginia campaign that goes from the Wilderness to Petersburg.

The Confederates, however, are down but not (all the way quite) out. It's not going to be too easy to advocate against war measures when the Union armies are moving down South in increasingly greater numbers, benefiting from majority pro-Union areas like western North Carolina.....which ironically strengthens the Deep South effort in a limited sense from what OTL did.

The CSA's doomed, of course, as it can't fight with just the Deep South and the Trans-Mississippi against the Union for very long.....which will itself have even bigger butterflies for Reconstruction.
Part IV, June 1-5th of 1864:

Abraham Lincoln returns to Washington D.C. where he issues a speech before both houses of Congress:

"There are still those of you who say that this should remain a white man's war, not a war for the Negro. Yet the Negro has fought for you. The Negro troops that captured the Rebel generals at Hanover Station have struck mighty blows for liberty, blows which all Americans should rejoice in. In this month a year ago, Vicksburg was besieged, and Pennsylvania run amock by Rebel armies. A year ago we had the great riots in New York, and the sudden turn-around where our armies captured Vicksburg, and where our armies triumphed on the battlefields in Tennessee and at Gettysburg.

You say you will not fight for the Negro, but it was Negroes who captured the leaders of the most powerful secessionist army. Shall you not consider this, shall you not consider the tides of time? I ask again that you distinguished members of the House of Representatives reconsider this amendment, and that you pass it.

The tides of time run on, and it is a sign that these United States are indeed a country where all men are created equal that we do this."

Four days later, after a fulsome debate and much arm-twisting by President Lincoln and by Secretaries Stanton and Seward, the House of Representatives, with all its Republican members and barely enough Democrats, most of from the Midwest, passes the 13th Amendment, sent to the states for ratification from thereon out.

The first states to ratify it are Illinois, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Democratic opposition on the national stage is limited at this point with the party still in the immediate disarray from the sudden and unexpected Union victory in Virginia, which has increased the divisions between War Democrats such as McClellan and the Peace Democrats such as Vallandigham.

The passage of the 13th Amendment is celebrated in the North, and the Tennessee government of Brownlow, the Louisiana one of Hahn, and the prospective one of the state of Franklin all indicate full willingness to accept the 13th Amendment. In Montgomery, Davis condemns this Amendment as another "example of tyranny by the abolitionist tyrant in Washington, seeking to despoil the South by forcing upon us servile war and bandy-kneed negroes marrying our daughters."

But for blacks in the North and in the South, these are momentous events. For the victories of the North have meant that freedom is coming......


I should note that ITTL the 13th Amendment is passed this rapidly mostly because the Democrats aren't all agreed on how to respond to Lincoln's sudden move here. While they are all opposed to rights for blacks, War Democrats are not entirely sanguine about standing against the North in the aftermath of the Virginia victories, and it's mostly War Democrats in a rare instance of breaking party lines which makes this possible. It's not going to stay this way in peacetime......

There are also other consequences to this, as ITTL the Eastern War's gone from Lee's Pyrrhic victories and the Gettysburg defensive victory to a relatively short campaign that's enabled Union armies to travel victoriously across the entirety of Virginia. The Eastern War is not quite a string of good luck for the Confederacy ITTL, which will affect the ATL's military histories of the war. This obviously will have major cultural/literary butterflies for the postwar/19th Century and onward.
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Fremont was a rabid abolionist, wasn't he? I don't think he would want to associate with the Copperheads. I wonder if he'd take command of an army composed of USCT regiments.
Fremont was a rabid abolionist, wasn't he? I don't think he would want to associate with the Copperheads. I wonder if he'd take command of an army composed of USCT regiments.


That, however, was IOTL when the Radicals felt rather more disenchanted with Lincoln. Where ITTL he's appointed Butler and the Union's effectively ended the battles in Virginia, so Fremont will be requesting command of Union armies. He was certainly the type of general to do so.

Grant, given the number of Generals he extended that to IOTL would accept ITTL, as it's too late in the war for Fremont to fuck anything up, essentially.

One butterfly that's already occurred to me is that there is no destruction of the Shenandoah Valley as a granary ITTL. Postwar Virginia will thus be spared one consequence of the OTL war that actually will *aid* Southern economic recovery.
Part V: The wider effects of the Hanover Campaign of 1864:

From The Standard History of the War of the Rebellion, published in the ATL 1950s:

"The effects of the 1864 campaign on the United States as a whole are impossible to deny. In the previous three years of war in Virginia, US offensives had been halting and slow. Never did a Federal army stay on the offensive after a single battle. Where the Western armies fought and won battles at Donelson, in the Tullahoma Campaign, and in Vicksburg, the Confederate armies were able to stymie for years the offensives of the Federals chiefly due to unwillingness to press on in a single battle and adequate failure to support formations.

By contrast, when in May of 1864 General Grant embarked on the Hanover Campaign, expectations of the same phenomenon recurring had been thwarted. The rapid and expected fall of Petersburg and long-term problems with the Army of Northern Virginia's leadership culminated in the famous, though mythologized, capture of the Army of Northern Virginia's leadership by the Fighting 41st.

Globally this one campaign, which added to its record the complete establishment of Union military superiority in Virginia, was the moment that Confederate dreams of recognition came to a sudden and impromptu crash and burn. The moment where the Confederate envoys to France were allowed to leave through Cherbourg has become synonymous in the Lost Cause with the failure of Confederate diplomacy and one of many examples of how Jefferson Davis's support of cronies and toadies weakened the Confederate cause as a whole.

Too, the rapid defeat of the major Confederate armies in Virginia caused the French to rethink how far the Maximilian misadventure was going to go through. French troops, despite winning initial battles, were hesitant given that the Union armies had proven able to bring the decisiveness and flair for maneuver of Vicksburg and Pea Ridge to Virginia.

Thus Maximilian bowed out of the scheme and returned to Austria-Hungary, and by 1865 that scheme petered out, to become favored in contemporary science fiction counterfactuals.

The ultimate short-term foreign impact, however, was a steadily more stringent restriction of Confederate foreign-born blockade runners, who were relatively less enthusiastic about trying to run the blockade with the Confederate armies in free-fall.

Thus it can be said that the Confederate dream began to fade at Antietam, was mortally wounded at Gettysburg, and a pipe dream after the Hanover Campaign."


One feature of this timeline is going to be ATL documents of this sort. The immediate butterflies geopolitically are relatively limited. Long-term ones are going to be more interesting......:cool:
Part VI:

The rest of June 1864:

In June of 1864, Abraham Lincoln was re-nominated as the Republican Party's Presidential candidate. On the aftereffects of the sudden and overwhelming successes of Federal arms and the steadily-widening number of states that were ratifying the 13th Amendment, as Maryland, New York, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kansas had all ratified it, the Republican Party platform was relatively magnanimous.

While it pledged a "war until the full re-unification of the United States and the full abolition of slavery" the topic of suffrage for blacks was limited mostly to pre-war free blacks and USCT regiments, to mark the victory won at Hanover. In most cases the platform represented typical free-soil activism, though having a few more explicitly Republican goals bolstered by the full establishment of Union military power in Virginia.

Significantly, too, many of the mostly-mountainous and Unionist counties, as well as a few of the more secessionist ones were welcomed as the State of Franklin, the Tennessee referendum of 1864, albeit conducted with charges of "bayonet democracy" dividing Tennessee in two. Where West Virginia had been considered dubious, this creation was accepted in the North and the South, where the Confederate government issued an unfortunate statement that helped to embitter the remaining Yeomen in the Confederacy about "relief at being rid of treacherous Yankee-lovers."

With the admission of Franklin, the Union now had the new states of Kansas, West Virginia, and this new state, what in later histories would be termed "the Free-Soiler Three." In a portent of the later crux of Reconstruction politics, the Franklin legislature immediately passed a Black Code directly patterned after the one from Illinois.

This, however, did not distract the Union army from the major tasks ahead of it.


At this point in the war, the Union consists of the 22 OTL states, including Kansas and West Virginia, while occupying all OTL Trans-Mississippi territories, Tennessee *and* Franklin, and has secured control of Virginia, where Confederate resistance is now mostly the partisan warfare waged by the likes of John Mosby.

The Confederacy consists of Kirby-Smithdom and the strip of the South comprising what parts of Mississippi are not under Federal occupation, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and the two Carolinas, where the possibility of Federal occupation once the occupation of Virginia and the new strategic situation from Franklin is secured, of Federal moves into it have dramatically enhanced the power of William Holden's peace movement against Governor Zebulon Vance, however Vance has become a much more hardcore pro-Confederate than IOTL.

To keep Holden from too much mischief, Vance, after Jefferson Davis suspends the writ in North Carolina imprisons Holden and a few of the peace movement's leaders immediately. This serves to give the Union a propaganda rallying point, decrying ironically "Confederate repression aimed at the man who professes peace."

With the logistical changes and strategic changes necessitating a temporary tactical pause, both sides are re-grouping for further battles. The steadily plummeting morale and increasing Unionist activity in the Confederacy receives a further boost from news of the Confederate defeat at Cheurborg, yet another victory to join with those already lightening the year for the Union.

In the Union, the emergence in full of the economic boom and the string of victories increases determination to see this war through, with War Democrats steadily taking over from Peace Democrats, their emphasis a more subtle "soft peace" platform that is a code for a peace that ends without abolition. However the Republican tide is rising high, and with Vice-President Butler and War Secretary Stanton the Radicals are at least for now in the upswing where Republican factions are concerned.

In the Confederacy the brief cheer stirred by the Battles of New Market, the Red River Campaign, and Brice's Cross Roads are vastly overshadowed by the loss of Virginia and the Shenandoah, increasing the stress on already overworked Southern poor farmers, who are also increasingly starving and less enthusiastic to serve in the Confederate armies. Too, the reality that even Chickamauga had not been enough to turn the tide, and that Generals Meade and Sherman are soon to begin moving further into the South is creating a steady erosion of Confederate military power even as Union veterans who'd not wished to fight in this struggle after so long of worthless fighting and dying are rushing to re-enlist at large numbers, wishing to be in at the death, and to take part in these final victories.

Making matters worse for the Confederacy is that the US Army's victories in Virginia are tightening the blockade on the remaining ports still further, while Confederate financial systems, in contrast to the US greenbacks, are increasingly collapsing altogether.

The Confederacy awaits whatever Grant intends no longer in hope of victory, but merely in a fatalistic hope that if they can use terrain and distance to bleed Northern armies the more realistic Confederate politicians hope for a more favorable peace.