Wrapped in Flames: The Great American War and Beyond

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by EnglishCanuck, Mar 29, 2016.

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  1. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    If I could make a request, could you do more updates that include cabinet meetings where they talk about the course of the war and their plans? I know you've had a few of those, but I personally really enjoy them. I don't think we've seen one from London in a good while.
     
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  2. Old1812 Reactionary Monarchist Twit

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    I haven't looked back at the chapter, but I'm pretty sure I remember you saying Beriah Magoffin escaped to Union lines with the state gold reserves. Magoffin IOTL was pro-South, and I doubt he would do so without being forced to. Did you intend for this to be a different governor (likely Speaker of the Senate John F. Fisk), or did you intend for him to escaping South?
     
  3. Teiresias Well-Known Member

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    The other really annoying myth is that the US would (in the event of the British helping the Confederates become independent) be willing to spend the next century pursuing vengeance against Britain. After all, the US helped Panama become independent from Columbia, and Columbia didn't do that.
     
  4. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    That is something I intend to try and do (and in the purely narrative format I hope to one day write, I would be doing that pretty often). There will be one or two coming up, one in London in Chapter 49.

    That is correct. IIRC, Magoffin was OTL pro-South until Polk occupied Columbus, when he felt rather betrayed by Davis who had pledged to not occupy the state and respect its neutrality. Add to that George Johnson was with the army invading Kentucky, I suspected that Magoffin would flee the state rather than submit to a rival government, and deprive them of its gold reserves.

    That is a myth which needs to die too. Anglo-American relations here are sure to be strained for the next half century, but the US is going to have far better things to do rather than pursue vengeance against Britain for this war. While you can kiss the 'special relationship' of TTL goodbye until maybe the 1960s-1970s, it's not going to be Washington plotting on how to screw over London at every turn from 1862 to doomsday. Nations just can't afford to hold eternal grudges.

    Hell, geopolitics had France and Britain (France under a Bonaparte no less) fighting against Russia not fifty years after the end of the Napoleonic wars! Truth is stranger than fiction.
     
  5. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    If we're talking about myths of TLs like these, the myth that after a successful CSA independence war, that the US would go into super REVENGE mode and make it its life goal to reannex the CSA. Also, the fact that they would realistically annex the CSA anyway. After a while, the Confederacy is doing to have a completely separate culture and identity. Sure, they'll have similarities to the north, but they'll be vastly different. The two may have conflicts in the future, but the idea of the north reannexing the Confederacy has always seemed like nonsense to me.
     
  6. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    I agree. Unless the Confederacy collapsed within a generation of its creation by the time 1900 rolls around an entire generation will have grown up knowing nothing but the separate North and South. The US would be expending enormous effort to go all revanche on the South, and with other issues across the continent to worry about like settling the West, intercontinental railroads, extending American influence in the Pacific, ect, there's little reason to look at the South with covetous eyes. Geopolitics might dictate an antagonistic relationship, but it might not. So much can change between 1861 and 1900.
     
  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 47: A War of Conscience Pt. 1

    EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    Chapter 47: A War of Conscience Pt. 1

    “The Constitution itself. Its language is "we the people"; not we the white people. Not even we the citizens, not we the privileged class, not we the high, not we the low, but we the people. Not we the horses, sheep, and swine, and wheel-barrows, but we the people, we the human inhabitants. If Negroes are people, they are included in the benefits for which the Constitution of America was ordained and established. But how dare any man who pretends to be a friend to the Negro thus gratuitously concede away what the Negro has a right to claim under the Constitution?” – Frederick Douglas, The Constitution of the United States: Is It Pro-Slavery or Anti-Slavery?, 1860

    “By October of 1862, with the passage of the initial Emancipation Proclamation and the now well publicized reports of the Canadian Colored troops at Mount Pelion, the denial of service to men of color was viewed as absurd in many circles. Though many officers were critical of arming black men in what was seen by many as a white man’s fight, this was roundly lambasted in abolitionist circles and Republican newspapers.

    The passage of the Emancipation Proclamation on February 22nd opened a new stream of volunteers into the Federal Armies. Though Congress had passed laws in July 1862 for the enrollment of colored troops, the War Department did not begin formally enrolling units until March 15th 1863. At that point, under pressure from the Radical wing of the party along with the president himself, they established the Bureau of Colored Troops.

    Placed under the charge of Major Charles W. Foster, a Republican volunteer from Ohio, the Bureau set about recruiting colored men into the ranks. Though first, they corrected a number of emerging irregularities. Within the District of Columbia itself roughly a brigade of armed blacks existed, and they were rapidly rechristened the Columbia Guards Brigade (though later in 1863 changed to the 1st United States Colored Brigade) and consisted of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd United States Colored Troops Regiments, soon supported by the 4th raised in Philadelphia and were placed under the command of Brigadier General Rufus Saxton. These units were largely recruited from former slaves and contrabands who had fled the rebel states and had been employed on some service or another by the government since late 1861.

    Though these units were relatively easy to employ, it was concerning among some that at first black enrollment seemed low, but that was soon solved by the vocal support of Frederick Douglas and that seminal figure, Major Martin Delany…” – The Colored Troops, Isaiah Devlin, University of Boston, 2003

    “Born in 1812 to Pati and Samuel Delany in Charles Town Virginia, Martin’s father was a slave and his mother a free woman who had argued for her son’s freedom under Virginia’s then existing slave codes. From an early age Martin had showed a remarkable tenacity in seeking out education and higher learning…

    In 1860 Martin had been in Liberia exploring the hurdles of the potential colonization of portions of Abeokuta in Libera, but the outbreak of the Southern Rebellion brought him back to North America….

    Alongside Frederick Douglas, his co-founder of the North Star newspaper, he would be one of the driving proponents of organized African American regiments. In tandem with the venerable Douglas, he began speaking tours throughout the north in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Ohio, galvanizing white abolitionists and black men into creating and officering the new colored regiments. While he maintained ties with the various men financing his colonization schemes, he was partial to Douglas's belief that “once let the black man get upon his person the brass letter, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth that can deny he has earned the right to citizenship” and was soon espousing similar beliefs. The idea of black citizenship appealed to him, and his 'Romanesque' ideas of rewarding black men with land and citizenship for service, soon had him swimming in the prominent Radical circles in Washington politics.

    Delany’s speaking would earn him the attention of President Lincoln who invited him to the White House in March of 1863. There the two men would discuss the nature of the crisis and the effort to arm men of African American descent. Delany was largely concerned with the fact that the highest rank held in any mustering unit of African Americans was that of Captain, while the highest ranks were reserved for white men. Both he and Douglas had made reservations about functionally capping the advancement of colored men in the ranks, but Lincoln assured him that it was for far more pragmatic reasons.

    There was some truth to this. No black man had commanded a regimental sized unit in the 1860s, and many of the recently freed slaves and contrabands then enlisting had almost no experience with military life beyond the camps in 1863. Even the free blacks who had served in the navy were little familiar with the methods of infantry and cavalry.

    Though accepting this practical reason, Delany argued passionately for the advancement of black men. Lincoln, was struck by the wisdom of his words saying he was “a most extraordinary and intelligent man, suited by his passion to the command of others.” This conversation would leave a lasting impression on Lincoln, and the pleasant afternoon he passed with Delany and Mrs. Keckly, is likely among the things which prompted him to request Delany be promoted to Major within the Union armed forces in the aftermath of the 1863 campaigns…” – The American Moses, Martin Delany and Black Nationalism, Henry Moise, Monrovia Press, 1965

    [​IMG]
    Major Martin Delany, circa September 1863

    “The enrollment of Colored Troops represented both an old and a new problem for the Lincoln administration. Committed Democrats and general run of the mill racism meant that there was a general opinion amongst most Northerners that blacks could not, and would not, fight. Despite the fact that black men had served in the Navy since the Revolution and the reports from the Battle of Mount Pelion, the prejudice amongst white Northerners was greatly exacerbated by Democratic newspapers who decried Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and his enrollment of black troops.

    The greatest opposition to this proclamation, came from Kentucky. Though many Union men had supported the North, seeing it as the protector of the slave based order. However, many saw the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation as a betrayal of the cause of the war, to keep the Union as it was. One frustrated Kentucky soldier would write “I enlisted to fight for the Union and the Constitution, but Lincoln puts a different construction on things and now has us Union Men fight for his Abolition Platform and thus making us a hord [sic] of Subjugators, house burners, Negro thieves, and devastators of private property.”

    Lincoln however, was wily enough to side step many of the major hurdles thrown his way. When the Kentucky state government under Magoffin hiding in Louisville refused to move to enroll black regiments, Lincoln acquiesced with their refusal and ordered no Colored Volunteers to be raised from that state, but informed the War Department that black men from Kentucky should not be discouraged from enrolling in other regiments. When the inevitable doubters emerged to question his position, he would always casually remark about how they were having little trouble filling the units enrolling then across every state. When fed up with men he would often pointedly ask them if they would take up the arms he meant to give the black men so they then would not have to serve, making this sentiment public by writing “You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you; but, no matter. Fight you, then exclusively to save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time, then, for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes.” Inevitably, the conversations ended after that…” – Snakes and Ladders: The Lincoln Administration and America’s Darkest Hour, Hillary Saunders, Scattershot Publishing, 2003

    [​IMG]
    The Colored Volunteers

    “The success of raising regiments varied by state. Whether it was the 1st Kansas raised by Senator James Lane to guard the frontier, the troops recruited by Senators Benjamin Wade and John Sherman, or the famous 52nd and 53rd Massachusetts’s Infantry, the states which had larger abolitionist movements tended to do well. By contrast, Kentucky’s absolute refusal to do so and the tepid response by New York, Delaware, and Indiana, were perhaps indicative of the hostility which existed in those states.

    Where allowed and encouraged, black men turned out in droves to enlist. Though often receiving the dregs of the meager weapons supplies available to the Union (famously the 9th Regiment of Colored Troops in Ohio was issued shotguns) they were no less eager to participate in the fighting.

    One of the first examples of just such a battle can be seen with the aforementioned 1st Kansas. The leading six companies had been empowered to watch the border with the Indian Territory then under Confederate control. On the 19th of May 1863 a detachment of Confederate cavalry (in reality, Creek raiders crossing to harass their former tribesmen) crossed the state border and made for Fort Belmont where some 1,000 Creeks were encamped under government protection. For the men of the 1st Kansas, this was to be their baptism by fire.

    The Confederate Creek were led by Major Chilly Macintosh, some 200 strong. Their goal was to raid and burn their old enemies out, and disrupt any Union troops present. The two companies of the 1st Kansas under Captain Richard Ward, were only some 140 strong. They received reports of the raiders on the morning of the 18th, and stood to, bringing their older Napoleon guns to bear to drive off the raiders, while ordering the Creek refugees to flee.

    The fighting began at 1pm, and would last the better part of an hour. Ward wisely stood in his defenses and used his position to snipe and shell the raiders who fruitlessly charged and circled the fortifications before breaking off towards the Indian Territory, leaving 6 men dead and 7 wounded behind. In return the 1st Kansas suffered only 3 men wounded.

    Though only a small skirmish, Lincoln was allegedly pleased to read of this report and declared that it could not be said a negro could not fight…” – The Colored Troops, Isaiah Devlin, University of Boston, 2003
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  8. Jon Crawford Well-Known Member

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    Amazing as always!
     
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  9. SenatorChickpea Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. The tone of the history books to my ear suggest Lincoln administration steers the country through the crisis, which leads me to hope for a Canadian victory* followed by terrible American retribution upon the south.

    *This would also entail British imperial victory, of course, but some things can’t be helped.
     
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  10. naraht Well-Known Member

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    Sort of an odd question: In regards to University of Boston, is it Catholic like OTL Boston College (founded 1863) or Methodist like OTL Boston University (founded in 1839 and granted the name Boston University in 1869)
     
  11. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    Thank you! I hope people enjoyed this update! I've got some fun stuff on the way with the Colored Volunteers.

    Lincoln, was a master of the political game OTL. One of the only conceits I've made TTL is that he was wrong about some things OTL (for instance, he was surprisingly blase about the Trent affair and had to be convinced by Seward that backing down was the best option, which really improved their relationship) but with the recruitment of black soldiers he was almost always 100% on the money, and here he's moving in an even more radical direction than he did OTL. He's not yet in the Radical Republican camp, but you can bet by TTL's 1864 he will be more in line with people like Charles Sumner than people like Montgomery Blair.

    The Methodist one :)
     
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  12. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    What exactly is making Lincoln more radical? Is it the death of his wife? Because Lincoln was definitely not a radical OTL. I mean, the radicals were calling for executions of southern leaders. So, how radical are we talking?
     
  13. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    The death of his wife, foreign war, larger interaction with people like Ms. Keckley, Douglas, and Delany, as well as my alluded to religious awakening from the death of his wife. OTL Lincoln was inching closer to the Radical platform by 1865. That is, using the army to enforce civil rights, full on black citizenship (15th Amendment) abolishing checks on voting rights (14th Amendment) and maybe even would have been willing to support limited land distribution by breaking up the plantations. The last one is pure speculation, but something like the 14th and 15th Amendment would have passed under a second Lincoln term had he lived.
     
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  14. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    I think it's both his desperation and him trying to drive a wedge between the CSA and Britain
     
  15. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    Less desperation, more of a way to include/induce a new pool of soldiers to stave off a politically unpopular draft, and an effort to spread his growing belief that African Americans can fight. He's basically using the reports from Mount Pelion to beat people over the head that 'yes, negroes will fight for the Union, they fought for the Queen didn't they' and silence the naysayers of that plan.

    Diplomatically, he is trying to drive the two apart, and we will have more on that in the future.
     
  16. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    Imo, they're fighting a war together at this point, so I don't see Britain suddenly abandoning the CSA at this point. They have invested too much at this point to just abandon the war.
     
  17. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    For all intents and purposes, the two are still fighting a separate war. The only proposed cooperation currently is that they try and work together to strike a blow on the US using the Confederate army and the Royal Navy, but that is at present the extent of the cooperation between the two sides. They're co-belligerents and not allies.
     
  18. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    I understand that, but imo, cooperation is going to be required in order to see the war come to a successful conclusion. I'm sure Confederates are aiding in the blockade, however minimal their help may be. And I'm sure British supplies are pouring into Confederate ports. For all intents and purposes, their allies in this war whether it's on paper or not.
     
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  19. RodentRevolution Chewer of Wires

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    The thing is that the Confederacy is toxic to a large swathe of the British public at large and electorate in particular. It is one thing for business as usual type sales to go ahead, another thing to discover British officials are co-operating with the slaver states. It might happen but it will have political blowback in the shires.
     
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  20. fernerdave on the boat now

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    Are the British still ramping up the cotton production in India and or Egypt?
     
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