Wrapped in Flames: The Great American War and Beyond

What... does this mean? Will my hometown be Russian?

The mid 1860s promise to be interesting. I've had to split the 1864 World in Review chapters in two for a reason! But don't quite expect Russia to invade Japan in the 1860s, merely do something else alarming!

Going through my notes, I've realized I'm gonna have to work at making it to the 1868 election I have so many world events I need space to touch on!
 
I'm not quite sure how this slipped under my radar for so long, but it did. I'm about ten chapters in so far, and I just wanted to say that I'm somewhat in awe of the level of detail and your research skills. I'll be muddling my way through by and by, and eventually I'll catch up to the current updates, but I wanted to go ahead and extend the compliment. Bravo!
 
I'm not quite sure how this slipped under my radar for so long, but it did. I'm about ten chapters in so far, and I just wanted to say that I'm somewhat in awe of the level of detail and your research skills. I'll be muddling my way through by and by, and eventually I'll catch up to the current updates, but I wanted to go ahead and extend the compliment. Bravo!

Many thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying the TL, just want to say yours is also excellent and I'm behind but quite enjoying the work you've put into it! Genuinely love your take on an independent Confederacy!
 
And with EC's patronage I have another TL on the watch list...

Now you've got me curious about Alaska too, I hadn't given any thought to it until now. I was going to ask if any potentially Canadian/British Alaska would have the panhandle be part of British Columbia or the Alaska Territory... but then I remembered a little Easter egg you left with the Red River chapters, which made me realize Canada's provinces are not going to be the same as OTL. Hmmmm...
 
And with EC's patronage I have another TL on the watch list...

Now you've got me curious about Alaska too, I hadn't given any thought to it until now. I was going to ask if any potentially Canadian/British Alaska would have the panhandle be part of British Columbia or the Alaska Territory... but then I remembered a little Easter egg you left with the Red River chapters, which made me realize Canada's provinces are not going to be the same as OTL. Hmmmm...

Glad someone saw that, even if I spelled "Hesperia" wrong and need to fix it...

However, as the makeup of Canadian politics is now different, the incorporation of different provinces are also going to be different. And needless to say, the events of 1863 are going to have an effect on how things turn out in the West. The Metis are going to have some expectations on how they get treated, but the settlers may have other ideas.
 
Glad someone saw that, even if I spelled "Hesperia" wrong and need to fix it...

However, as the makeup of Canadian politics is now different, the incorporation of different provinces are also going to be different. And needless to say, the events of 1863 are going to have an effect on how things turn out in the West. The Metis are going to have some expectations on how they get treated, but the settlers may have other ideas.
Hmm, I might have an inkling where you're taking things in the 1870's, but I'll hold my tongue and wait for more chapters first. I'll also do it just to tease the others because why should you have all the fun? 😜
 
It's also of interest to note that we are now coming-up on the most severe winter of the War, at least in regard to precipitation, in spite of a relatively-mild, even balmy, autumn. The winter of 1863-1864 was probably colder. The winter storm of 9 December 1864 crippled operation everywhere, from the Weldon Railroad to Nashville. January was the absolute nadir of the season. Even Sherman's armies were unable to negotiate the bottomless roads and unfordable streams then, in spite of the later astonishment he caused Lee and Richmond by his march from the Savannah to the Neuse.
 
It's also of interest to note that we are now coming-up on the most severe winter of the War, at least in regard to precipitation, in spite of a relatively-mild, even balmy, autumn. The winter of 1863-1864 was probably colder. The winter storm of 9 December 1864 crippled operation everywhere, from the Weldon Railroad to Nashville. January was the absolute nadir of the season. Even Sherman's armies were unable to negotiate the bottomless roads and unfordable streams then, in spite of the later astonishment he caused Lee and Richmond by his march from the Savannah to the Neuse.

It did make for something of an unenviable operational pause that year. Honestly a winter campaign might have killed much of the Confederacy earlier in OTL without the harshness of the weather.

What is interesting is how much these winter weather events necessitated operational pauses. In my research, I realized I had to hinder TTL's British campaign into northern New York to an extent as the winter of 1862-63, unlike the previous, was cold enough that the St. Lawrence did not open to the sea until early May, which would have made moving a large army difficult without fresh supplies. Then TTL "Generals January and February" as I describe from chapters 44-45 is what helps force the Union to fall all the way back to Toronto in early 1863, putting the Canada West front into a stalemate well into 1864.

Its further interesting that, hypothetically, had war broken out in that period between Britain and the US that Britain would have been in even more of a pickle because unlike the relatively mild 1861-62 winter which allowed them to march a good chunk of men overland (in some accounts I've read it compared to the winter of 1837-38 which let Britain march thousands of men into Canada to help deal with the rebellion) causing the timing to be quite serendipitous! Britain is able to shift men to Canada just as the US is least prepared to counter them.
 
Chapter 99: An October Surprise
Chapter 99: An October Surprise

I looked to the South and I looked to the West,
And I saw old Slavery a coming,
With four Northern dough facers hitched up in the front,
Driving freedom to the other side of Jordan.

CHORUS:
Then take off coats and roll up sleeves,
Slavery is a hard foe to battle;
Then take off coats and roll up sleeves,
O, Slavery is a hard foe to battle.
I believe.

Slavery and Freedom they both had a fight,
And the whole North came up behind 'em;
Hit Slavery a few knocks with a free ballot box,
Sent it stagering to the other side of Jordan.
Then rouse up the North, the sword unsheath,
Slavery is a hard foe to battle!” - Slavery is a Hard Foe to Battle, Hutchinson Family, 1855


“Forrest’s depredations in Kentucky had, for months then, been a thorn in Grant’s side. Between the opening of Grant’s campaign in late April and up to the Battle of Barbourville, it was estimated Forrest had burned 346 wagons, carried off over 1,000 head of cattle, 900 horses, killed, wounded or captured 1,677 men, and burned half a dozen supply depots that Grant’s forces depended on, forcing Grant to halt often so his forces could allow more supplies to catch up. These delays considerably extended Grant’s campaign, much to the general’s annoyance.

With the success at Barbourville, Grant extended his army to attempt a forced crossing of the passes through the mountains. Bragg, anticipating such a move, had dispersed his own forces to forestall any easy access. The now widely dispersed army was even more dependent on Grant’s extended supply lines. No commander had thus far proven capable of riding the Union rear of Forrest’s troopers who were, by that point, regarded as some of the best light cavalry in the world for their wide ranging attacks on the Union rear.

The world had not yet met Phillip Sheridan.

Sheridan was a career military officer. Enlisting in 1848 much of his pre-war career had been spent on the frontier. His duties had involved small skirmishes against Indians, making him well suited to the kind of riding and raiding that he would take on. In 1863 he had been appointed to lead a “Special Brigade” in Canada, keeping a lid on the smouldering guerilla movement in what would become Ontario. He had been well suited to the task, destroying a number of guerilla bands and making the area safer for American troops.

When peace between the United States and Great Britain had been signed in 1864, he had spent two months organizing the withdrawal of troops and stores from the country, earning his promotion to colonel. When Grant’s Overland Campaign had started, his troops had been quickly re-routed to take control of the rear areas, which were under constant attack by cavalry and Confederate partisans. Sheridan had worked hard to crush these groups, engaging in dozens of skirmishes across the state, and leading cavalry raids of his own into Tennessee, earning his promotion to brigadier general.

When Grant had called on him to take Forrest to task, he was the right man for the job…

Forrest’s raids had peaked in intensity by October 9th. His forces had ridden north through Bowling Green, causing general uproar in central Kentucky, before turning north and east towards the dense railroad network south of Louisville. The burning of trains and locomotives had continued at such a pace that by early September the railroad became all but unusable…” - On the Bleeding Edge: The Overland Campaign of 1864, Micheal Burgess, Lexington University, 1992

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Phillip Sheridan, circa 1865

“That sublime summer of 1864 was a cavalryman’s paradise. Mr. Lincoln’s horsemen were for sure improving their skills, but the best of theirs was not a match for a single man of ours.

When General Grant launched his campaign down to the Cumberland, we were ordered by Bragg to turn about and play a merry game of cat and mouse with our Federal counterparts. The people of Kentucky were, at this time, much excited against the Federal government. Years of brutality, executions, and ‘requisitioning’ had taken their toll. Not a man or woman had not felt privation from the strict rules imposed by Burbridge, and many who had simply wanted to sit the whole war out were compelled by Federal cruelty to take up arms[1].

So when we went riding in August of ‘64, we had guides and outriders from the Bluegrass State who gave us their all…

…Word reached us in Jamestown that there was a great wagon train leaving Lexington, more fiercely guarded than any before it. General Forrest felt it would be fine sport to gather the command and prove that no Federal train, no matter how well guarded, could deter him…

We shadowed this train as it went south. I think that the commander was, at first, greatly pleased to have received such little harassment through his journey. No doubt he thought that the great guard he had brought with him was going to keep old Forrest at bay. Poor fool! A hunter seeks the fat game not the skinny. The General was pleased by the slow pace, and for a long time we passed many tempting targets tracking our quarry…

By the time the train had reached Cuba, the plan was set in motion. We had camped at Mt. Gilead, and prepared to strike as the train reached the lowland on the morrow. Forrest would lead a force through the treacherous lands to get behind the train, while General Chalmers would take the second division up the main pike and take the guards head on in the most dangerous of charges to seal their fate.” - I Rode With Forrest, Ephraim S. Dodd, Houston, 1899

“The Battle of Cuba was one of the largest cavalry actions in the Western theater. Forrest had brought the bulk of his command, almost 3,000 men, to attack the Federal train. The defenders numbered 1,500, counting armed drivers, guards, and the sizable force of cavalry detached with them. It was a tempting lure, and one Forrest simply could not ignore.

Showing admirable restraint, Forrest had spent time simply monitoring this great mass of wagons. On the 4th of October 1864, he decided the column was advanced enough that engagement was warranted, and maneuvered his force to cut off the train and destroy it completely. By the 5th he was in position to do so, and he maneuvered to the fight.

What Forrest had failed to discern, was that the whole column was followed closely by the 1,500 men of Sheridan’s “Special Brigade” which he had meticulously kept behind the column. Forrest, either from overconfidence or a lack of proper reconnaissance, did not notice this second column until it was too late. However, some evidence suggests he was aware of its existence, and merely hoped to trap the whole force in battle. Whatever the case, when the fighting began on the 5th, Sheridan’s men were riding over the proverbial hill to the battle…

…the exact nature of the duel lies shrouded in the fog of war. In the telling, many tales have emerged regarding the resultant clash between Forrest and Sheridan. Through the chaos of battle there is no way that the two men would have known one another, let alone actively sought out such a contest. Both Northern and Southern accounts exaggerate the lead up, to the degree that no truly reliable account of those fifteen minutes exist.

However, an objective historian may say three things. Firstly, Forrest, as was usual, had galloped into the thick of the frey, laying about with pistol and saber. It is known Forrest had, before this point, killed nearly thirty men in single combat. That day he added two further, but was taken by surprise when his command party was countercharged by another group. Secondly, we may say that Phil Sheridan galloped into the fight. In the aftermath, Sheridan himself merely claimed that he had charged in order to “rally flagging morale” and that he hoped his men would turn the tide of battle. That his charge took Forrest by surprise is certainly true. The third thing historians now agree on is that Phillip Sheridan killed Nathan Bedfort Forrest…” – Cavalry in the Great American War, MG Amos Morrell (Retired), 1978, USMA

“It can be universally attested that no man bested Forrest. Despite pernicious propaganda and slander from north of the Mason-Dixon line that continues to this day defame that brave horseman, Forrest was never bested in single combat. He had killed two further men that day, and witnesses attest that it was a gunshot, not a saber, that took Forrest’s life.

Sure, we might hear yearly that some braggart from West Point laid Forrest low in a duel, but such lies ought not to be believed. I do not give the notion a short ape bested Forrest. In dash and bravado, only Stuart came close to matching the true skill of Forrest, but that this Sheridan did? Preposterous. Yes, Forrest was killed in a melee, but it was by bullet and not blade.” - I Rode With Forrest, Ephraim S. Dodd, Houston, 1899[2]

“Forrest’s death had an immediate impact on his command. As word spread, the troops he commanded steadily backed away from the battle. Without his personal command, the action devolved into a serious of burnings and pursuits, with his men riding over 40 miles before regrouping.

Sheridan’s actions that day drove not only a physical, but psychological blow that the previously unmatched Confederate cavalry in the West would not recover from. Until the end of the war, Sheridan’s command would overcome every Confederate cavalry force they came against. Sheridan himself was reputed to have ordered that when engaging units of Forrest’s cavalry a black flag was to be raised, which would signal this was the man who killed Nathan Bedford Forrest. Even the normally brave Confederate horsemen would not engage on equal terms with this unit to the war's end.” – Cavalry in the Great American War, MG Amos Morrell (Retired), 1978, USMA

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Nathan Bedford Forrest 1821 - 1864


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“For over a month Grant prodded and pushed at Bragg’s mountain defences to no avail. Numerous small actions, ranging from brigade to divisional were fought along the mountains and mountain passes in August and September 1864, with limited gains, but a strong and stubborn defence by the Confederate forces always managing to hold the line. Frustrated, but not deterred, Grant determined to do by subterfuge what he could not accomplish by brute force.

The whole of Logan’s XI Corps maneuvered in full view of the Confederate scouts towards Jonestown in Central Tennessee, leading Bragg to believe that Union forces were shifting the campaign to that theater. However, he could not be certain, and merely detached Hindman’s Corps to cover that section of the theater, which while helping secure his flanks, weakened his already shrunken forces. It did however, show he understood at last to not underestimate Grant.

Grant himself had concentrated his forces for a blow. The IX Corps, now under John Palmer, a hero of the early war in Canada and a capable division commander in his own right, was concentrated against the Cumberland Gap, looking for all the world like it was about to try and breach the vital passage by force. Instead, he surreptitiously gathered the strength of VIII and XIX Corps near the border with Virginia from east to west at Pennington’s Gap, Cranke Gap, and the Murray Pike.

The region was defended by Cleburne’s Corps, protecting the region between the Cumberland Gap and in garrison through Powell’s Valley. Hardee’s troops were concentrated in the defence of the Cumberland Gap itself, with Smith’s troops guarding lesser passes in conjunction with Wheeler’s cavalry screen. Jackson’s troops had spent a month recuperating in reserve at Tazewell. Bragg believed he had matched the best Grant could do to him before the onset of winter. Once again, he would be proven wrong…

The forces which forced Pennington’s and Cranke Gap were simply too numerous for the Confederate forces to stop. At the extreme end of their lines, Grant had emphasized that they must “conquer or die” in their efforts to rupture the Confederate lines themselves. MacPherson did not disappoint, and the lines were breached…” - On the Bleeding Edge: The Overland Campaign of 1864, Micheal Burgess, Lexington University, 1992

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Grant's army breaches the Cumberland Gap

“Bragg once again found himself caught off guard by Grant’s offensive. Having learned enough to not send off his entire force, Bragg could send Jackson to Murray’s Gap along the Tennessee-Virginia Border, allowing him, he hoped, time to regroup and fall on Grant’s forces before they could consolidate. However, his dispositions meant he was calling Cleburne’s troops back while leaving Hardee firmly in place to protect his flank.

Instead of facing a consolidated attack, he found troops streaming through gaps and mountain passes as he maneuvered Cleburne to join Jackson. The VIII and XIX Corps joined at the crossroads of Jonesville, before moving south, joined in fits and starts by independent columns…

The sharp action at Murray’s Gap drove Bragg back once again, necessitating a retreat towards Knoxville. The goal of Grant’s campaign at last became clear…” - The Cannon and the Lash: Braxton Bragg and the Confederacy, William Hozier, New York University Press, 1999

“With this masterful maneuver, Grant forced the Cumberland Gap without a shot being fired. He now entered an area of Union support, much different from his experiences in Kentucky and Mississippi. The men of East Tennessee turned out in droves to cheer the advancing Union columns, much to Grant and the army’s pleasure. He found reliable guides and a surprisingly sophisticated underground network of spies and informants who could tell him the exact maneuvers of the Confederate army. Buoyed by such success he would write to his wife that “I will have Christmas in Knoxville or Hell!

Grant became aware of Bragg’s moves seemingly even as Bragg was telegraphing them. Indeed, Grant had spies who were “tapped in” to the telegraph network, and with almost mystical clarity he could chart Bragg’s retreat from Murray’s Gap to Tazewell, and then further south towards Knoxville…

Disdaining another mountainous march, Grant moved the army south to the flatter land along the Holston River. He was bolstered by being able to keep much of Palmer’s IX Corps with him, having gathered 3,000 Ninety Day Man who were charged with guarding his rear, alongside a further 2,000 men spared from garrison duty in Louisville. With the death of Forrest, and Sheridan’s ascendancy in his rear, Grant gambled he could keep his supplies following at a reasonable pace through the Cumberland Gap, and use Tazewell as a base of operations…

Through the actions at Bean’s Station and Newmarket, Grant combined his forces, preparing to again move with unified purpose. Reaching the outskirts of Knox County, he began sounding out Bragg’s forces.

Here, Grant came to an unenviable position. On the north bank of the Holston River, the army was naturally funneled towards the Grassy Valley, constricting Grant’s freedom of movement. Hoping to instead draw Bragg to yet another field battle, Grant moved further inland, coming to the base of McNally’s Ridge.

Bragg determined, at last, to meet Grant in battle. This time, he managed to make the right of it. Instead of passively falling back on Knoxville, he was determined to make a stand north of the city. Despite poor morale, Bragg used every means at his disposal to create a position Grant “would not soon desire to attack” which began to take shape even as Grant was advancing. Slaves dug entrenchments along the Tazewell and Washington road, entrenching firmly into the rocky ground.

Placing his headquarters at Maloneyville, Bragg planned for the attack. Establishing his lines, Bragg created a series of deep defensive works which stretched from Copper Ridge on his left, to an anchored flank at House Mountain which dominated the ground approaching Nashville. Cleburne’s forces stood on that summit, preparing to meet any flank movement, while the center was held by Kirby Smith’s battered men. The left was held by Hardee’s relatively fresh troops who were to hold against any attack. Predictably, Jackson was left as the reserve, but Jackson for once had no complaints, merely his own plans…

When Grant came upon these positions on October 24th, he pushed the corps out to meet the enemy. Palmer’s troops were deployed against Hardee, with the strong forces of MacPherson in the center and Schofield on the right to mask the Confederate works on House Mountain. He had brought 48,000 men to battle, facing Bragg’s slightly numerically superior 50,000 men.

The Battle of House Mountain[3] opened with Palmer’s men advancing up Copper Ridge, brushing aside the early fire. Hardee’s men fought tenaciously on the heights, not giving an inch despite the skillful deployment of Palmer’s divisions…

MacPherson’s center assault gradually pushed Smith’s troops back. Bragg, fearing an attritional destruction of his forces, ordered Jackson in. Jackson however, complied, but not exactly how Bragg desired. Pulling his troops around an imposing hill named Squire’s Mound, he left Winder’s division there, pushing D. H. Hill into the line, but he also signaled that Cleburne’s troops should attack. This was, however, not Bragg’s intent, but without his knowledge, Cleburne accepted the orders as genuine, and his corps surged down House Mountain.

Initially, Bragg saw Cleburne charging down the mountain and was furious. The Irish general’s men had left their positions, now his flank was in serious danger. Demanding to know who had given the order, initially he could find no one who would take responsibility. However, as one aide said of Cleburne’s men "When those fellows get started, all hell can't stop them." However, as the messages became clear, Jackson’s own counterattack put the Union left in serious danger…

Winder’s division, initially in reserve, was finally called to join the assault. This fresh influx of troops turned what might have been a stalemate, into a Union defeat. Schofield, despite a good handling of his forces, now held no reserve to block another attack and the fighting began to open a gap between his lines and those of MacPherson’s in the center…

Grant watched the whole potential envelopment of the XIX Corps at first with concern, and then general alarm. The whole right flank of the Confederate line was effectively creating a separate battle. Taking a risk, he pulled Newton's division from Palmer’s corps, but as the day wore on, Hardee’s own men began advancing, moving down Copper Ridge. Seeing this, Grant, grudgingly, gave the order for Macpherson to begin withdrawing…

A hard night’s fighting saw Grant “slip the noose” as Hardee would later write. With his base of supply far back at Tazewell, he was forced to begin withdrawing his force. Logan was recalled to bolster his army in case of Confederate pursuit. This news reached Bragg on November 1st, and instead of withdrawing Hindman, he ordered Smith’s troops to move to join Hindman in another invasion of Kentucky, aiming to capture Bowling Gree and force Grant to retire from East Tennessee…” - On the Bleeding Edge: The Overland Campaign of 1864, Micheal Burgess, Lexington University, 1992

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The Battle of House Mountain was Grant's darkest day of the war

“Despite winning a signal victory at House Mountain, Bragg could not help but continue feuding with his subordinates. Rather than be pleased at Jackson’s battle saving initiative, he castigated the brilliant general for insubordination. Cleburne was only spared Bragg’s wrath because of the firm disavowal of Jackson.

Davis, despite being pleased by the victory, had to call back Jackson’s battered 6,000 men to the east regardless. He needed them to bolster Lee’s army in the face of any attack in the east come the spring of 1865. Bragg was only too happy to see him go. The remainder of the winter would be spent coordinating his forces, keeping Smith from exceeding his instructions, and using numerous grudges to keep himself warm. However, with Hardee and Cleburne to support him, Bragg thought he could make a quick campaign in the winter to drive Grant back across the Cumberland Gap.” - The Cannon and the Lash: Braxton Bragg and the Confederacy, William Hozier, New York University Press, 1999


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1] Let it be declared that Dodd does his best to minimize his involvement in this telling of how much “requisitioning” his own men did. Much like the book this telling is based off.

2] There is a lot of mythologizing how Forrest dies TTL. Sheridan kills him in single combat which Forrest's troopers - and future Southern propogandists - simply refuse to accept. The Wizard of the Saddle couldn't be taken down by a stocky little guy from New York! And yet he was.

3] As you can see, the battle doesn’t just take place there, but it's probably the most convenient placeholder considering.
 
And that's the (official) end of the 1864 campaigning season! Stay tuned for some minor updates (I have a military odds and sods chapter before the official end of 1864) but for now, I'm locked in to writing the 1864 election!
 
2] There is a lot of mythologizing how Forrest dies TTL. Sheridan kills him in single combat which Forrest's troopers - and future Southern propogandists - simply refuse to accept. The Wizard of the Saddle couldn't be taken down by a stocky little guy from New York! And yet he was.
Hey, it could always be worse for him. He could've died of yellow fever while trying to conquer Cuba... ;)

Good update and look forward to what you have planned coming up next.
 
Bosworth Field in the Bluegrass bathed in the golden light of October. Probably going-down as the most romantic scene in American military history.

Hey, it could always be worse for him. He could've died of yellow fever while trying to conquer Cuba... ;)

Good update and look forward to what you have planned coming up next.
At least he never met the ignominious fate of John Morgan.

Bragg's discomfiture in defending mountainous terrain is too well-known, although House Mountain is quite the position from which to oppose an enemy advance on Knoxville. Albeit, Grant's proximity to the East Tennessee Railway and Saltville/Wytheville will nonetheless continue to cause Davis trigeminal pain, although there is some six weeks' of fine marching weather remaining for some renewed debouch into Kentucky.

By the way, what is the strategic situation in Virginia by November? Is Lee preparing to winter in the Lower Valley?
 
Can't wait to see the election unfold!

We're splitting it into two parts! Part I will describe the conventions and choices for president from all sides. Part two will do the lead up through September - November and the vote tallies will roll in.

After that a few odds and sods to finish off 1864. Then we'll get up to what's been happening in the rest of the world.

Hey, it could always be worse for him. He could've died of yellow fever while trying to conquer Cuba... ;)

Good update and look forward to what you have planned coming up next.

Thank you! Here's hoping it continues to entertain.

Bosworth Field in the Bluegrass bathed in the golden light of October. Probably going-down as the most romantic scene in American military history.

Romantic in the tragic sense at the very least!

At least he never met the ignominious fate of John Morgan.

He died facing his foe at least! If you were to interview Forrest in hell, he'd say he died doing what he loved, trying to kill or be killed then getting mercd by a plucky son of Irish immigrants with a saber. Sheridan of course has taken a grim satisfaction in killing his enemies, and will shed no tears for Forrest!

Bragg's discomfiture in defending mountainous terrain is too well-known, although House Mountain is quite the position from which to oppose an enemy advance on Knoxville. Albeit, Grant's proximity to the East Tennessee Railway and Saltville/Wytheville will nonetheless continue to cause Davis trigeminal pain, although there is some six weeks' of fine marching weather remaining for some renewed debouch into Kentucky.

Well, in all fairness, it was not Bragg who really won the battle. Grant can still be very annoying to the Confederates, and doesn't plan on abandoning all of East Tennessee, but Smith's men sneaking up through Central Tennessee and back into Kentucky are going to be a pain in his ass. I'll cover it in passing, but its one more headache before winter sets in.

By the way, what is the strategic situation in Virginia by November? Is Lee preparing to winter in the Lower Valley?

I am working on a map of the lines come November/December, Lee though has taken his army to winter quarters as he (rightly) believes that Pope will not make another attack after his thrashing at Pipe Creek. His hope is to nurse his forces back to a respectable health and in doing so prepare for a campaign in 1865 which will either buy the Confederacy time or win the war through attrition.
 
Definitely had to kill of Forrest for TTL's Union forces to continue on in Kentucky (Won't lie, I think you did the Cavalryman dirty) . Especially with Jackson being around, and able to repel Grant's forces. I'm definitely interested to see how both theaters of the war continue. Also, will these victories and shifting if initiative have Bragg's men in better spirits I wonder.

Lee desperately needed General Winters help to reconstitute his forces and make the Eastern Theatre even close to anything other than the slow slaughter of Pyrrhic Victories.
 
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Definitely had to kill of Forrest for TTL's Union forces to continue on in Kentucky (Won't lie, I think you did the Cavalryman dirty) . Especially with Jackson being around, and able to repel Grant's forces. I'm definitely interested to see how both theaters of the war continue. Also, will these victories and shifting if initiative have Bragg's men in better spirits I wonder.

Lee desperately needed General Winters help to reconstitute his forces and make the Eastern Theatre even close to anything other than the slow slaughter of Pyrrhic Victories.
South of the Mason Dixon Line, Winter is no higher than a Major (though in the Virginia Mountains, *may* be a brevetted Colonel.)
 
Damn Forrest always gets the shortend of the stick in these timelines, although what he did post war I can't say he didn't deserve it.

Stonewall Jackson's still alive, ain't he? If Forrests death isnt romantic enough then I wonder who the south will memorialize as the martyr of the old cause, there needs to be some name in those ballads.
 
Damn Forrest always gets the shortend of the stick in these timelines, although what he did post war I can't say he didn't deserve it.

Stonewall Jackson's still alive, ain't he? If Forrests death isnt romantic enough then I wonder who the south will memorialize as the martyr of the old cause, there needs to be some name in those ballads.
What he did post war? The man presided over the Fort Pillow Massacre.
 
Especially with Jackson being around, and able to repel Grant's forces. I'm definitely interested to see how both theaters of the war continue. Also, will these victories and shifting if initiative have Bragg's men in better spirits I wonder.

Lee desperately needed General Winters help to reconstitute his forces and make the Eastern Theatre even close to anything other than the slow slaughter of Pyrrhic Victories.

Jackson and Bragg wouldn't have gotten along, I think, and it definitely had the potential to be even more egregious than I described. Bragg's feuding with the normally taciturn Longstreet is legendary in how it wrecked the Siege of Chattanooga. Getting to use Jackson just in time to send him away (even if it was really Jackson that won the battle rather than vice versa) is about right for Bragg I think.

Lee desperately needs Jackson back to bolster his forces. After collecting his wounded and sick who can rejoin the ranks, alongside whoever else can be drafted into the army in 1865, besides the garrison at Annapolis, Lee is going to have about 60,000 men ready for duty for the 1865 campaigning season. His army suffered 32,000 casualties from May to November (this includes Jackson's losses) reducing the army considerably!

However, the Army of the Potomac faces similar issues. The 1862 enlistments will be expiring across 1865, and only units that are ready to keep fighting for the long haul will be eager to go in. However, since May of 1864, the Army of the Potomac has suffered 54,000 casualties out of an initial strength of 135,000 men. Only drafts or men freed up from elsewhere can increase the army from its much reduced strength in total.

Damn Forrest always gets the shortend of the stick in these timelines, although what he did post war I can't say he didn't deserve it.

Well he was a slave trader before the war and the founder of the KKK OTL, so I'm not too concerned about having him go out in single combat with my favorite Civil War commander Phil Sheridan ;) Little Phil was a helluva soldier, and I plan to keep him right on soldiering through the 19th century!

Stonewall Jackson's still alive, ain't he? If Forrests death isnt romantic enough then I wonder who the south will memorialize as the martyr of the old cause, there needs to be some name in those ballads.

Alive and kicking. So is J.E.B Stuart TTL alongside Albert Sidney Johnston (the collapse of his health after the nasty Siege of Corinth notwithstanding. I've tried to not be too indiscriminate with people killed TTL, but generally been even handed in handing out death to both sides. Sherman and Judson "Kill Cavalry" Kilpatrick have all kicked the bucket.

What he did post war? The man presided over the Fort Pillow Massacre.

The Fort Sherman Massacre here! Among other outrages.
 
Nice to see Grant having a frustrating campaign, though I wonder how more frustrating it would be if it were Jackson and not Bragg commanding the Western Theatre, not that Lee could afford to lose his services permanently like that. I get the feeling however that even though Thomas is out of the picture, Kirby is going to get a thrashing when he heads off but we'll see.

Also you're splitting the election into  two parts? You bastard, you're going to leave me frothing at the end of Part I.
 
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