The strike into California, long planned and prepared for, was finally executed with the Army hitting fast and completely by surprise. California was shocked by the speed of their opponent, scrambling to defend themselves as the unexpected attack shook them like the hardest of blows. The surprise however, came not from the east, but the south. Mexico had struck under the orders of King Antonio who had long seen the Juntist Republic as a mere Ally of convenience, ready to discard at a moment’s notice. The Kingdom of Mexico barely even bothered to declare War, the troops marching into the doomed Republic. They concentrated largely in the west, in the southern portions of California and the Arizona area, aiming for regions with some Mexican population left over from the days before the Revolution.
The strike was aimed towards the city of San Diego with the line stretching east to the Imperial Valley to the Gila River, following the course of the river along its southern bank to the New Mexico region where it dipped south, following a line to San Antonio in Mexican Texas. The assault, limited in the west while branching further in the east, was designed to grab as much territory as possible without overextending Mexican forces. It was masterfully pulled off, Californian forces, already struggling to prevent an invasion from US soil were thrown into disarray as news of the attack spread. Almost driven mad by the news, General Manta tried to split the Californian forces in order to deal with the threat in the south.
Upon hearing this, the US Army wasted no time and struck west, blasting away at the remaining Californian Army and marching across the border. The month ended with California in chaos and being overrun by its enemies. It appeared that nothing could save the Juntist Republic from the outward threats. But it wasn’t from the outside that the death stroke would be applied, but within.
The Juntist Reformist Prison outside San Francisco was the toughest prison and most notorious with roughly a third of residents worked to death under brutal circumstances. It was there that Josiah Norton had been kept for several months due to his opposition to the War against the US. Now however, a group of people, sick of the War and feeling that the Revolution had been betrayed, stormed the prison, demanding the release of Norton. This was met in turn by a riot within the prison by those incarcerated inside. The guards were soon overwhelmed and even butchered by several… overenthusiastic participants.
With Norton’s break-out, a series of events overtook California as general resentment against the Juntist regime exploded with the Mexican assault. Riots struck all throughout the Juntist Republic of California as the Government finally started to lose control. The final nail in the coffin came with news of the battle of Cannon City just across the border of the Californian Republic. A Californian Army of 15,000, retreating from the encroaching US forces, attempted to get past the Royal Gorge and back into friendly territory. They were beaten in their race by an American Army, numbering 17,000 and forced into battle. The American Army included an experimental regiment within its numbers, the 76th Brigade or, as it was mockingly referred to by some, the ‘Negro Brigade’.
The 76th was made entirely from slaves who had been recruited in the days when America’s Army was busy in New England and needed numbers in the west to prevent total collapse on that front. Largely the creation of early days panic in the War, the 76th was later ignored as immaterial and useless, despite the cost having gone into it, the owners of the slaves being paid for losing their assets. They had been instrumental throughout the push west despite the negligence against them as they had been at the forefront of the march, fighting as hard as any other unit. The idea of them fighting for their freedom from slavery being a huge factor in their determination when they fought.
The Battle of Cannon City saw the 76th Brigade at the forefront of the battle, ordered to be the first unit to march forward against the Californian Army. When the battle begun at 11:28 AM with a general march against the Californian position, the 76th Brigade was the first to march on the order, placing it directly in the line of fire of California’s artillery. The artillery shot their ranks to pieces as they marched forward, the casualty rates being horrific with every step. Although the infantry throughout the line suffered, the 76th took the brunt of the punishment due to its position.
Despite the artillery and infantry bombardment on the US infantry, they kept on advancing until they were within range to attack. The shots fired from them also wreaked havoc on the Californian lines, the demoralised force unable to prevent the attack on them. The pressure was added to by a cavalry probe that hit the Californian rear. The line steadily disintegrated but not without a spirited defence. When the Californian Army was finally forced to retreat at 2:46 PM, the 76th Brigade in particular had been devastated with their numbers halved. The victory did gain them some attention however with anti-slavery campaigners highlighting the role played by the 76th.
The battle of Cannon City was the last final death blow to the Californian Juntist State as open opposition to the regime was now commonplace with Josiah Norton becoming the leader of it. The 20th saw San Francisco being overrun by anti-Government forces which soon spread throughout the country. The end of the month saw the last pro-Juntist forces being destroyed in Northern California and General Manta being arrested for crimes against the state. With Norton being proclaimed temporary President of the Californian Republic, he instantly sent out word to the US and Mexico, name your terms, California was ready for peace.
The Cease Fire was agreed to by all three countries and Waterloo in Texas was used as the basis of negotiations, the Texan Juntist Republic collapsing just as fast as the one in California with US troops flooding the area. Realising that his country would be torn to pieces if it was too belligerent, Norton adopted a very conciliatory tone with the negotiations, preparing to accept large losses for peace. Negotiations commenced and would go on for some time as California attempted to salvage what it could.
The Treaty of Waterloo, the Treaty which ended the New Jersey War was signed and brought into affect on the 29th July, 1861. Oddly enough, it was also the same day General Manta was executed for crimes against the state, putting to an end to his brand of Juntism. The Treaty was fairly harsh on California as Mexico was allowed to keep the land it had taken, much to a gleeful King Antonio’s pleasure. The victory for Mexico boosted his already high popularity and he was able to act with impunity in regards to politics, ruling largely by decree. For America however, the cost was somewhat lighter, albeit still hard. The country had to swear off any and all interference in Texas, pay indemnities to the US and settle for some minor border adjustments to the US, the border being pulled back to share a similar line with Wanci Oyate.
The status of Texas was an interesting question as Lincoln had hoped to make the entire region a new US state but anti-US sentiment still left over from the Texan Rebellion. But as it couldn’t function as an independent state due to the multiple partitioning and conquests which had inherently weakened it. A compromise was therefore gained when the Commonwealth of Northern Texas was created. Made from the remaining territory not in the hands of Mexico, the Commonwealth was a nation within a nation. It had great autonomy and freedom but was itself tied to the US economically and diplomatically to such an extent that it was to all intents and purposes, a province.
The minor adjustment of the border was due to a problem the US Government had been pushed out its own borders, the Mormons. Due to the prejudice against them in the US, California had become the refuge for Mormons to live in, mainly settling in the Eastern regions. Their political neutrality had seen to the Juntist movement gaining power as well as providing a staple of soldiers to fight in their Armies. They had gained a reputation of being greatly anti-US and any attempts to annex a large Mormon area would have provided Lincoln with far too many problems. The liberation of Texas was played up as the major cause of conflict between the US and California. To a public already spoiled with victory, this was definitely enough.
Lincoln was hailed as a national hero for the outcome of the War, being hailed as a second Washington by many except for two groups, those who lived out west and the slaves. The Westerners were furious at Lincoln for obvious reasons while the slaves were indignant at the idea that their opportunity of freedom had been squandered due to being betrayed by Lincoln. The 76th Brigade had been an anomaly that showed no signs of progressing towards other slaves. A seething resentment against Lincoln and the National Party was born out of the slave’s sense of betrayal and would later have destructive consequences for them.
In California, the Treaty of Waterloo was greeted with sullen resignation by many people. They knew the War had been lost but it was a bitter pill to swallow for many nonetheless. Josiah himself got down to business, seeing to it that the Californian Republic was able to recover from what had happened to it. All the while, whispers were heard of Norton’s ambition, the want to take power all for himself. Due to his popularity and the anger against the former Government, many were beginning to think ‘why not’?
In Japan, the seeds of Civil War, long since planted, started to bloom as the Imperial Court, furious at the Shogunate for its continued conciliatory stance on foreign powers, issued a decree telling all loyal Japanese to force the foreigners from their shores and kill all those who disobeyed. This was the final straw for the Russians who gave the Shogunate a choice, defy the Imperial Court, or defy them. The choice was an intolerable one to make but eventually, the obvious course of action was seen, Japan could not risk a full scale invasion lest it be destroyed and annexed. The split between the Shogunate and Imperial Court was soon pronounced on all sides as both started to gather their forces for the upcoming War, one which would split Japan and almost destroy it. All it would take was one more push…