Wrapped in Flames: The Great American War and Beyond

If you are going to introduce Harry Flashman, then how about a French Military observer like Brevet Major General Patrick-Henri Lassan, Vicomte de Seligliese.

The Patrick Henry jokes alone would be worth it. (Not to mention the subtle dig at Tsouras)
 
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Well whose to say no one would pick up on Harry Flashman and use him to write some amusing/swashbuckling takes on the time period in the future? Always a possibility to use that as a 'historical source' to allude to the popular fiction and perception in the future TTL...
Like Ol' Jack Aubrey
 
What dig?
One of Tsouras's faults in his Civil War AH is the inclusion of Bernard Cornwell's fictional character of Richard Sharpe as if he were a real historical character, I admit its a petty irritation compared to the other flaws. However, it can be used as an example of Tsouras's chronic mis-characterisation.
Patrick-Henri Lassan is Richard Sharpe's son, technically illegitimate, and appears in Cornwell's own Civil War Series, unfortunately currently in hiatus.
 
If you are going to introduce Harry Flashman, then how about a French Military observer like Brevet Major General Patrick-Henri Lassan, Vicomte de Seligliese.

The Patrick Henry jokes alone would be worth it. (Not to mention the subtle dig at Tsouras)

While I won't be introducing any fictional characters as real, I'm definitely not averse to having a Harry Flashman type character be introduced as a fictional character that gets picked up by TTL future author down the line who is exploring looking back on the Victorian Age through a particular lens. Flashman was originally created in 1857 by Thomas Hughes and expanded on later by George Fraser; which means it isn't outside the realm of possibility someone picks up on the same idea.

Now if this TL ever does get its novel form that I'm thinking about, Flashman might be more acceptable :p though for TTL I'm strictly sticking to the real people.
 
You don’t need a fictional one - try General Henry Ronald MacIvor

By TKI’s calculation it’s more like service under 18 flags...
 

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While I won't be introducing any fictional characters as real, I'm definitely not averse to having a Harry Flashman type character be introduced as a fictional character that gets picked up by TTL future author down the line who is exploring looking back on the Victorian Age through a particular lens. Flashman was originally created in 1857 by Thomas Hughes and expanded on later by George Fraser; which means it isn't outside the realm of possibility someone picks up on the same idea.

Now if this TL ever does get its novel form that I'm thinking about, Flashman might be more acceptable :p though for TTL I'm strictly sticking to the real people.
For a real life equivalent there is always Frederick Burnaby a massively, in more ways than one, larger than life character.

If you need to introduce some more eccentric characters, there is always Charles "Chinese" Gordon "of Khartoum" a noted philanthropist, and ardent anti-slavery campaigner. For a character that everyone can love to hate there is Frederic Thesiger, later Lord Chelmsford ... and one John Arbuthnot Fisher has recently past the Lieutenants exam and been posted to HMS Warrior.
 
You don’t need a fictional one - try General Henry Ronald MacIvor

By TKI’s calculation it’s more like service under 18 flags...

My God, I may have to find some use for his talents somewhere! Since it seems he is already fighting for the Confederacy, I may indeed need to find something for him to do.

For a real life equivalent there is always Frederick Burnaby a massively, in more ways than one, larger than life character.

If you need to introduce some more eccentric characters, there is always Charles "Chinese" Gordon "of Khartoum" a noted philanthropist, and ardent anti-slavery campaigner. For a character that everyone can love to hate there is Frederic Thesiger, later Lord Chelmsford ... and one John Arbuthnot Fisher has recently past the Lieutenants exam and been posted to HMS Warrior.

Oh some of those characters will be appearing I assure you. Charles Gordon has some part to play in the Pacific, though in this timeline he's going to have a very different epithet, Charles "Hawaii" Gordon is still going to capture the attention of the public the world over...

As for Fisher, I am currently undecided on him, but I do think his experience in the war will fundamentally give him some influences he did not have TTL. He still has a role to play later in the TL.
 
If you are going to introduce Harry Flashman, then how about a French Military observer like Brevet Major General Patrick-Henri Lassan, Vicomte de Seligliese.

The Patrick Henry jokes alone would be worth it. (Not to mention the subtle dig at Tsouras)
or a certain Gerard..
 
Actually, I like the idea of them becoming fast friends as young men, forged in the shared crucible of war et cetera et cliched cetera.... only for them to fall out and have an even worse rivalry than OTL.
 
Happy Halloween all! A probably accurate statement for this TL!

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Chapter 62 is underway, hopefully going to be up in November along with Chapter 63! Then we get back to the fighting out East, wrapping up June and July for 1863...
 
Many months since my last reply, but I just want to assure readers that this story is not dead! As you may see I have been putting a lot of energy into my other story on the board, but I assure you I've been writing away on this story (in one form or another) as well. Chapter 62 is nearing completion, with Chapters 63-64 outlined. I've found a sad surplus of time recently so I hope to bring you more of TTL as soon as possible!
 
Chapter 62: Plight of the Ironclads
Chapter 62: Plight of the Ironclads

"The bravest man feels an anxiety 'circa praecordia' as he enters the battle; but he dreads disgrace yet more." - Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Life of Nelson: The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain, Volume 2. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1897

“Since the fight at Grand Junction in early February, Johntson had been cautiously entrenched behind his fortifications at Corinth. He did not know Grant’s intentions, and for the first time in the war he seemed at a loss for how to conduct his forces….”– On the Shores of the Mississippi: The Western Theater of the Great American War, Francis MacDougal, University of Boston, 1996

“Though the army was well entrenched at Corinth and the infantry sluggish or inert, Forrest and our cavalry were not. With 7,000 of perhaps the finest horsemen in the world under his command, Forrest was determined to make up for any loss of face the army had suffered at Grand Junction. Though General Johnson remained behind his works, he felt it necessary that the enemy should not have it all his way.

On the 4th of March he authorized Forrest to sweep out and discomfort the Federal army. It was suspected that the Federal army would use the Memphis and Louisville Railroad to aid his advance northwards, perhaps to take our recaptured forts on the Tennessee from the rear. General Forrest decided it would then be better to deny him that vital line. Riding for Paris, the division broke in two, Armstrong’s 1st Division sweeping south to distract our Federal counterparts, Wharton’s men, coming down on the town of Paris. The area was in much alarm at the prospect of a Federal advance, but Forrest was far more feared thanks to his willingness to do what needed doing when it meant destroying the enemy.

We swept southwards, scattering Federal patrols like turkeys. I dare say that the Federals would have been hard pressed to miss our intentions, but we tore up miles of track before coming into contact with the main Federal army. As predicted, they were moving along this track towards the Tennessee River. We skirmished and withdrew, leading Grant’s generally ineffective cavalry scouts on a merry chase along the line. Forrest wrote to refer to General Johnston that now would be a grand time to come and humble Grant from the flank. The mighty army and its host of infantry remained inert however, and Forrest was forced to fight on his own. We could not stand against the foe in the field and so were compelled to withdraw southwards…” I Rode With Forrest, Ephraim S. Dodd, Houston, 1899

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USS Cairo in 1862

“Grant’s goal in the early campaign season was, in line with directives from Washington, to bring Johnston’s army to battle and inflict a ‘decisive blow’ on it in order to try and staunch the Confederate forces in the West. With eastern Kentucky still in Confederate hands, and the thought of Johnston moving north to threaten Louisville fresh in the minds of all in Washington, it was thought some Federal offensive would be necessary to keep pressure on the Richmond government, and potentially draw forces away from the Virginia front…

The plan drawn up for March was to try and force Johnston to battle by threatening Nashville. Grant however desired to present a more tempting target. To that end, he convinced Foote to split the Mississippi Squadron in half taking some ships and a number of transports north, they would shoot around and threaten the Confederate forts from the river while Grant’s army would threaten them from the landward side. It was then hoped this would draw Johnston out of his entrenchments to the south…

The fortifications built up by the Confederate engineers from the end of 1862 to March of 1863 were far more formidable than those which had confronted Grant only a year previous. Fort Johnson[1] was built on to the high ground across the Tennessee River in Kentucky, and mounted newly imported Whitworth and Armstrong guns, the same as those which now adorned the reoccupied Fort Donelson. The garrison had drilled with them, and those few men who remembered the previous year, were quite determined to show off their new weapons.

As Foote’s fleet steamed into range, the guns opened up on pre-sighted targets. Foote’s small flotilla, consisting of Cairo, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Essex drove into a ‘hail of screaming metal’ one crewman on the Cincinnati would write. Foote would gamely exchange fire with the Confederate forts, running the guns. However, this was where disaster would strike. A shot from a 110pd Armstrong cannon would blast Cairo at less than 200 yards. The round shattered her bridge, sending the craft veering wildly out of control, and killing all men there, including Foote…

The Mississippi Squadron retreated north after seeing to it that Cairo sank, and hastily began trying to get word to Grant about the Battle of Fort Johnson.” – The Western Flotillas of the Great American War, Ambrose Benson, University of Louisville, 1979

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Andrew H. Foote, 1806 - 1863

“Grant would wait at the crossings of the Tennessee for Foote for five days before the news reached him of the defeat. Disgruntled, and very aware of the threat of both the reinvigorated Tennessee River Squadron and the Confederate army to his rear, Grant would remove himself to Paris Tennessee, and send his horsemen out to protect his supply lines.

Pondering the question, he realized he faced two options:
  • He could abandon his line of advance into Tennessee from the interior and return to the line of the Mississippi, potentially leaving Johnston’s army in the rear or
  • He could advance directly against Johnston and try to defeat him at his works.
Weighing his options, he would, after brief consultations with Washington, decide that his course was now set for Corinth Mississippi, while George Thomas would march south into Kentucky to deal with Kirby Smith and his Confederate Army of Kentucky…” – On the Shores of the Mississippi: The Western Theater of the Great American War, Francis MacDougal, University of Boston, 1996

-----

1] Named for George Washington Johnson, not the general
 
Great update, could we have a small reminder of the position of troops and how war-weary all the various states are at this point of the war?

So i'm only going to do the Western Theater for now, as the last few chapters provide the troop dispositions in the East, and the war weariness in Eastern states will be more addressed as we continue onwards:

So the Union armies in the West are currently laid out as such:

Army of Western Tennessee (VIII Corps)

MG Ulysses S. Grant

1st Division MG John McClernand

2nd Division MG Lew Wallace

3rd Division BG Stephen Hurlbut

4th Division BG William Tecumseh Sherman

The Army of Western Tennessee is currently charged with the occupation of the lines of supply stretching back to Paducah. Currently it is marching back from its previous position looking across the Tennessee River and towards Corinth, with the Divisions of McClernand, Lew Wallace and William Tecumseh Sherman leading the charge. Hurlbut's division, after the hard fighting at Grand Junction, is holding Memphis in conjunction with the navy.

Army of the Mississippi (XI Corps)

MG John Pope

1st Division BG David S. Stanley

2nd Division BG Schuyler Hamilton

3rd Division Eleazar A. Paine

Pope's corps, after helping with the victories at Island No. 10 and the fall of Memphis, is marching south towards Grenada. However, even facing the weakened Confederate Army of the Mississippi (god what a problem for correspondents!) he still would have trouble threatening the Confederates at Vicksburg due to the now stronger Confederate Mississippi Squadron and the terrain difficulties. He has some of the supplies from Memphis (Grant could hardly say no) but they would need a significant amount to hope to interdict the Confederate army.

Army of the Ohio (IX Corps)

MG George H. Thomas

1st Division BG Robert Latimer McCook

2nd Division MG Alexander McCook

3rd Division BG Thomas L. Crittenden

4th Division BG Thomas J. Wood

The four divisions of the Army of the Ohio under George Thomas have been principally engaged in defending Louisville and western Kentucky from Confederate encroachment. Wood and Robert McCook's divisions are engaged in garrisoning Louisville and the supply lines while Alexander McCook and Crittenden accompany Thomas south to try and take Frankfort. More on that in Chapter 63...

Army of the Missouri (XVI Corps)

MG Samuel R. Curtis

1st Division BG Jefferson C. Davis

2nd Division BG Alexander Asboth

3rd Division MG* Frederick Steele

Concentrated primarily in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri, the XVI Corps is largely engaged in tit for tat raiding north of Little Rock, while having just provided support to Grant's campaign against Memphis, (*hence Steele's promotion) but currently hopes to drive the Confederate forces to the south of the state to further force the front line towards Vicksburg.

These are the major Union forces operating in the Western theater. There are however, three Confederate armies opposing them:

Army of Tennessee (Gen. Albert S. Johnston)

1st Corps (Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk)

1st Division: Brig. Gen. Charles Clark

2nd Division: Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Cheatham



2nd Corps (Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg)

1st Division: Brig. Gen. Daniel Ruggles

2nd Division: Brig. Gen. Sterling Wood



3rd Corps (Maj. Gen William Hardee)

1st Division: Brig. Gen. Thomas C. Hindman

2nd Division: Brig. Gen. John C. Breckinridge

The Army of Tennessee is the major striking force of the Confederacy in the East, however, it is currently paralyzed by indecision and sitting firmly in entrenchments around Corinth. Commander Johnston has been facing severe criticism in the press, and is getting urgent telegrams from both Richmond and Beauregard's headquarters at Grenada.

Army of the Mississippi (P. T. Beauregard)

2nd Division (Corps): MG Earl Van Dorn

3rd Division (Corps): BG Floyd Tighlman

Though Beauregard has grandiously claimed he commands two corps, each is only a division in size. The 1st division under Sterling Price has been completely destroyed or captured following the fall of Fort Pillow and Memphis, and Van Dorns division is badly out of position holding Nashville and the rivers, and effectively cut off from its home. A new and very green division under Tilghman is all that stands between Pope and Grenada along the Tallahatchee River.

Army of Kentucky (Kirby Smith)

1st Division (MG Thomas Churchill)

2nd Division (BG Patrick Cleburne)

3rd Division (BG Henry Heth)

4th Division (BG Carter L. Stevenson)

The Army of Kentucky holds Eastern Kentucky and the capital at Frankfort and garrisons Eastern Tennessee. Currently four divisions strong it is backed by new Kentucky volunteers and recruits from across the south. Largely spread in garrison, it is now faced by an advance of Thomas's Army of the Ohio.

These are the forces both the Union and Confederacy have going into the spring and summer of 1863.

Currently Missouri and Kentucky have small scale civil wars of their own as Unionists and Confederates battle through the backwoods and raid the lines. East Tennessee is restive, but with the Confederacy far into Kentucky the partisans are largely spying and sabotaging the rail tracks. Of these three states, Kentucky is the most upset. Divided between two effectively military governments (since the flight of Governor Magoffin civilian rule has been absent from Kentucky) and the Confederate Governor Johnson has little real civil authority where Smith's troops aren't standing, the people are subject to mass requisition and the whims of local military commanders. Both sides desperately wish for peace and whoever will give it to them has their ear. So far, none is to be had.

War weariness is running high, very high, in Kentucky.
 
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Man, Grant is in for a bloodbath.

This might be it for the Confederacy in Kentucky though, Smith was a solid leader and Cleburne is no slouch but Thomas has 2x the divisions.
 
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