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. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    Why rump? The CSA is actively fighting in Kentucky made sporadic pushes into Maryland. The CSA is closer to getting all of the border states than none of them.
     
  2. RodentRevolution Chewer of Wires

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    I have a horrid feeling that Britain could be overreaching on at least one of its offensives.

    Further this is the kind of conflict that could leave everyone weaker without any of them realising it. The US might have a bigger army and navy. The Confederacy might still be a thing (a loss for humanity if ever there was one) and Britain may have a symbolic victory (even a de facto one) over the USA and yet each will be paying far too much for that 'success'.
     
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  3. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    I honestly can't see how the Union wins this war. They had a tough enough time OTL with just the CSA. CSA + Britain? It's only a matter of time. Plus the CSA is even stronger in TTL since the absence of a blockade means they can freely import any supplies they need. Union is doomed imo.
     
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  4. SenatorChickpea Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that the British and the CSA share an enemy, but not a definition of victory. If the USA and UK sign a peace deal, even one favorable to the British, it is quite possible that the UK cheerfully leaves their co-belligerents overextended and alone.
     
  5. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    They should be running out of lead and gunpowder soon enough, domestic production of lead was insufficient to meet the demands of the Army and gunpowder production was essentially non-existent; there was shortages in 1862 even with access to British supplies.
     
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  6. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    Even if something like this happens, the CSA will still be vastly stronger than OTL due to the time they had where they could freely get supplies.
     
  7. RodentRevolution Chewer of Wires

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    They may need to slow the tempo of operations and may need to adopt a more defensive stance but you should not assume that supplies are the same as zero in the US in this period, if you have been following this thread for a while you know there has been some considerable discussion on the exact effects of supply and the potential for boosting domestic production of gunpowder. As to lead you need to ask yourself just how many lead roofs, lead soldiers, lead pipes and lead caskets there are in the Union States in this period? Not very economical but if the demands of war require it.

    While I would agree with you that the Union here is in a bad way I would just recommend keeping your mind open to a range of possible outcomes.
     
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  8. King Nazar Rex Imperator

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    Where's the CSA getting their powder from?
     
  9. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Domestic production of gunpowder wasn't established until late 1863 and consisted of about 500 pounds despite efforts being underway since the Trent Affair in late 1861. To put that to a comparison, in a single year period the Army alone was using several million tons. Lead production was about 13,000 tons and that, again, is equal to about a year's worth of consumption by the Army.

    Largely Britain, and some domestic supplies; 60:40 IIRC.
     
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  10. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    I could see the British losing in northern New York and not making it to Albany. Even then, the illusion of the situation might be more important than the actual situation. Albany being theoretically threatened is almost as bad as Albany falling if you're signing the peace treaty. Especially if the Confederacy is threatening Washington.

    There's no doubt that both Britain and America come out worse off. Always having to watch your back is going to limit opportunities for both sides, not to mention the blood and treasure spent on the actual fighting.
     
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  11. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    I mean, that's true for almost all wars. Many felt that way about the Civil War OTL. I happen to strongly disagree that a Confederate victory would be "a loss for humanity if ever there was one" but that's besides the point. The war will give Britain more prestige and further its influence in North America (this is assuming they win). Also the French will be likely be successful in Mexico, furthering their power and influence. The big losers here will be the USA and maybe Canada if the US hurts them enough. That's my two cents.
     
  12. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    I still fail to see how Britain comes out worse off. If they win, they've gained prestige and created a likely ally in the CS. And why would they be watching their backs any more than normal? I don't subscribe to the idea of the US going full revanche mode after a lost civil war. They have more to gain by building trade relations with the CS and continuing trade with Britain. Tensions may rise over certain western possessions and islands in the Caribbean, but I don't think it'd be some dystopian world by any means.
     
  13. Big Smoke Banned

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    CSA should win in this scenario, IMO, I cant see the Union win under a full blockade, with New York, Boston, and Baltimire under bombardment. CSA would be well off, and, with British and economic pressure get rid of Slavery in 10 maybe 20 years.
     
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  14. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree.
     
  15. Threadmarks: Chapter 50: The Armies in Virginia Pt. 1

    EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    Chapter 50: The Armies in Virginia Pt. 1

    Army of the Potomac

    “Since the Battle of Fairfax, McClellan had nurtured his army in winter quarters at Centreville. Running in a line from the Shenandoah Valley at Harper’s Ferry to the pickets of Mansfield’s two divisions along the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg, the six corps comprising the army had been in a defensive position since December. However, there had been a significant shake up in command…” - I Can Do It All: The Trials of George B. McClellan, Alfred White, 1992, Aurora Publishing

    “The defeat at Fairfax, for all its lack of strategic goals, had greatly unsettled the Lincoln administration. In effect it had shown that some commanders were now unfavorable in the field and Stanton moved “with all the grace of a sledgehammer” according to Franklin, to ‘trim’ the ranks of generals seen by Washington as lacking in proper skill and command.

    The first to go was McDowell. Long under a cloud of suspicion since First Bull Run, his late arrival along the Rappahannock in August, and his feckless command of McClellan’s reserve at Fairfax saw him relieved and called to Washington. In his place Major General William B. Franklin was appointed to command the IV Corps and was in turn replaced in his division by Henry Slocum. Another McClellan loyalist, Stanton had his reservations, but Lincoln would not countenance jumping the chain of command in this position.

    In the III Corps Hooker had maintained his command, but having been disappointed by Butterfield’s performance in the field, raised him to his staff, appointing Major General Cuvier Grover to command the division thanks to the superb showing he had exhibited in the field.

    Porter’s XIV Corps would see Jacob Cox resign from command in the 3rd Division in February after falling ill and under Stanton’s influence he would be replaced by Brigadier General Alfred Pleasanton.

    By far the largest change in the army came to the cavalry arm. Having been used wastefully in the preceding campaigns, McClellan would be pressured to allow his cavalry commander, George Stoneman, to establish a purely cavalry division. Whereas previously McClellan had seen the cavalry as an extension of his signals corps and scouts, attaching them primarily to his brigades, Stoneman had pushed to establish a purely cavalry division. McClellan had initially resisted. The embarrassment faced by the Union army from Stuart’s numerous ‘joyrides’ around their lines had finally seen him acquiesce to these demands.

    The new Cavalry Division was established with four brigades, some cavalry remaining attached to the individual corps and headquarters. The 1st Brigade was placed under the command of Major John Buford with the 8th US Cavalry, 9th US Cavalry and 2nd US Cavalry. The 2nd Brigade was commanded by Col. John Farnsworth with the 3rd Indiana, 8th Pennsylvania, 15th Pennsylvania and 9th New York. The 3rd Brigade was commanded by BG William Averell with the 12th Illinois, 10th New York and 1st Massachusetts. Finally the 4th Brigade was commanded by Brigadier General George Bayard who commanded the 1st New Jersey, 1st Pennsylvania, 1st Massachusetts and 2nd New York. The horse artillery was grouped under the command of Major James Robertson…

    Come April the Army of the Potomac had been reorganized as such:

    I Corps, Mansfield, with the divisions of Stevens and Sherman at Fredericksburg

    III Corps, Hooker, with the divisions of Grover, Sickles. And Kearny at Centreville

    IV Corps under Franklin, with the divisions of Slocum, McCall and King at Centreville

    V Corps under Rosecrans, with the divisions of Ord. Whipple, and Reno at Centreville

    XIV Corps under Fitz John Porter with the divisions of Morell, Sykes, and Pleasanton at Centreville

    XII Corps under Sigel, with the divisions of Schenck, Steinwehr, and Schimmelfennig spread between Harper’s Ferry and Centreville, guarding McClellan’s rear and communications.

    It was with these forces McClellan was charged with defending the capital and stopping any major Confederate thrust in 1863…” – The Maryland Campaign, Tom Hutchins, University of Pennsylvania, 1981
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  16. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    And with that we come to Chapter 50. My sincerest apologies it has been delayed. I intend to post Chapter 51 and 52 before 2019, but then the stated break so I can do all the nitty gritty plotting (which in rough is already completed) will continue into mid January.
     
  17. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    Well I can say for certain that the army that fought at Little Big Horn in OTL's 1876 will bear remarkably little resemblance to the US Army of TTL's 187

    I would argue that for any understanding of a hypothetical war with Britain in this period, this is key. Britain and the CSA do not have the same goals, and their goals align only so far as it serves British foreign policy. The Confederacy may think the British are coming to save them, but the British certainly don't think that!

    Both nations serve a means to an end for one another. Unlike the French in 1777 however, the British in 1862 are not plunging into what amounts to a European War to help a rebellion in the far flung regions of North America. They can exit the conflict at their leisure, but the CSA is engaged in a fight to the death.

    The US has come remarkably close to what we would consider 'total war' footing without actually being at 'total war' footing. The fact that their basically scooping up feces to make powder ought to be indicative of the lengths they are willing (and must) go to in order to keep the rest of the war going. The civilian economy in the North has been extremely discomforted by the war. Whether that is the lack of iron to make new stoves, the lack of salt and saltpeter for domestic meat packing and mining, the lack of coffee and other luxury goods, the lack of coal to heat homes and businesses, or the dislocation of East - West and North - South trade to ensure the armies in the field survive, people are making more sacrifices in this war than they did in OTL's 1863. It simply isn't a case of reading about the war over a cup of chickory coffee, people are feeling acute losses of what they were used to having in peace time.

    There's a reason TTL Democrats won more seats than OTL's 1862 elections, and why Democratic governors are in charge in New York and New Jersey. And there's a few states whose governorships could go Democratic in 1863 as well.

    Where @History Learner said. Though I would note that even if Britain backs out of the war, the idea that the US could just up and blockade the CSA again is very much in doubt!
     
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  18. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    I have to say that I disagree with you on one thing. I believe that the Brits definitely want the CSA to win their independence. It benefits them to weaken the United States and gain a potential ally in the Confederacy. So I disagree with the opinion that the British aren't fighting to aid the CSA in their independence. A war where the CSA ultimately still loses will be viewed as a loss for the British. Of course, this is all imo. Also, isn't Millard Fillmore the current NY governor? That's VERY cool and interesting.
     
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  19. GDIS Pathe Well-Known Member

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    Britain didn't start the war to weaken the US. Britain started the war over a diplomatic incident in the Atlantic, the British government doesn't and didn't care jack about the CSA until the war started and right now only cares about them because they're a co-belligerent in a war. If Britain can sign a peace treaty with the US that leaves them satisfied why in the world does the Confederacy losing harm them in any way shape or form?
     
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  20. Sceonn Peace at a Bargain Price

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    How do/will the average Northerner feel about the the South and Britain in this very bitter, esp. to Northern civilians, TTL War? And with active War propaganda to boot.
     
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