War Between Brothers - The Story of the War of Southern Independence

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Tigerdovefan34

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Jan 28, 2020
Hopefully, this will be the first Alternate History Timeline on these forums if anyone would be interested in assisting me with making this, please let me know. Anyways, let's get on to "A Failure to Negotiate"
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In the year 1860, one issue among all others was tearing the United States apart.

The Issue of Slavery.

Ever since the Nation's founding in the year 1776, with the Declaration of Independence, the statement of "All Men are created Equal" was under scrutiny as by the turn of the century, about 17% of the Population were slaves, men in bondage who themselves or their ancestors were shipped from Africa to the Americas to work under harsh conditions for little to no pay while also suffering cruel treatment, such as lashings for being disobedient. By the 1850s, the population of slaves took up around 14% of the population, though it had increased in sheer numbers by 258.584% since 1800. By 1860, the population of slaves took up about 13% of the population, but had increased by 342.452% since 1800 and a 23.3887% increase since 1850, with the all of these slaves being located in the southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia as well as the Nation's capital of Washington D.C. and this led to many to question the inherent contradiction of the United States as a whole. How could over 10% of the population of a supposedly free country where all men was created to be as equal as the man next to him be placed in bondage and considered property?

However, during the early years of the United States, the Founding Fathers themselves believed that Slavery had been on its way out, as the South at the time was slowly releasing their slaves to keep up a profit. However, in 1793, a device was invented by one Eli Whitney, the Cotton Gin, which allowed for the production of the South's cash crop, Cotton, to be more profitable to harvest and thus, as a result, made Slavery more profitable than it once was. Despite this, the Founding Fathers still believed the institution was on its way out, with the first major idea of its end being in January of 1807, when both Northern and Southern Congressmen voted to end the infamous triangular trade's portion of the Americas and Africa, ending the importation of New Slaves from the Old World Continent. This, however, was simply kicking the issue down the road for future generations to deal with.

What followed next was a series of compromises from the 1820s-1850s that continued to kick the issue down the road for the next administration to deal with, all the while the nation was slowly falling apart. The first of these infamous compromises in the XIXth century was the Missouri Compromise of 1820, banning slavery in the remains of the Louisiana Purchase north of the north of the 36° 30’ parallel, with Missouri being added as a slave state and Maine being split off from Massachusetts to become a Free State, keeping the number of states in perfect balance at 12 slave and 12 free. What came next was the Gag Rule, which prevented discussion on Abolitionist Petitions from 1836-1844. Following the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848 as well as an agreement to divide the Oregon Territory between the United States and Britain, the country finally touched the Pacific Coast was stretched across the American Continent from sea to sea. With the War and the expansion cam the addition of two new states : Texas as a slave state and California as a Free State. This had the balance be 17 free and 15 slave, giving an unequal balance between the two sides.

In 1850, the Compromise of 1850 was passed by Congress brought in the idea of Popular Sovereignty, meaning that a territory could choose for itself about whether or not it would be free or slave along with the infamous Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that allowed Southern officials to enter the North and return runaway slaves back to their masters. In 1854, the final compromise that passed was the Kansas-Nebraska Act split the massive Unorganized territory into two parts : The Southern Kansas Territory and the Northern Nebraska Territory, with the idea of popular sovereignty being used for these two territories. Almost immediately, abolitionists and slave owners flooded the territory, looking to make the state join their side. From 1854 to the state's admission into the Union in 1861, a time known as "Bleeding Kansas" occurred as both sides fought and massacred one another to see their own way pushed on the territory, with a major figure of this time being one John Brown, who'd become important years later.

In 1857, a decision that rattled the nation unfolded. A freed slave by the name of Dred Scott was born in the state of Virginia in 1799 before his plantation owner moved to Alabama in 1818 before giving up on farming, moving to live in St. Louis, Missouri and selling Scott to U.S. Army surgeon Dr. John Emerson. With Scott in tow, Emerson would move north to Fort Armstrong, Illinois, a free state, before moving further north to Fort Snelling in what would become Minnesota, another free state. In 1837, the Army had recalled Dr. Emerson to Jefferson Barracks Military Post south of St. Louis, forcing the doctor to leave Scott behind, leashing their services to Fort Snelling for a profit. later, Emerson would order his slaves to return south, which they did so. For the next eight years, Scott and his family would continue to serve the Emerson family before attempting to purchase his and his family's freedom in 1846. For the next eleven years, Scott would continue to pursue his freedom until his case finally reached the Supreme Court of the United States in Dred Scott v Sandford. In a landmark ruling, the Court would vote 7-2 against Scott, with Chief Justice Roger Taney writing a statement that said the following : "...We think...that [black people] are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word "citizens" in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States..." [1], making it clear that the Constitution never applied to any black person, enslaved or freed.

The President at the time, Democrat Pat Buchanan of Pennsylvania, had hoped that the case would finally quell dissent on the issue of Slavery that had been festering for decades, as how could anyone argue against the highest court in the land? Instead, however, the abolitionist cause became even stronger and even more fervent in their beliefs that Slavery as a morally bankrupt and unjust institution that needed to be abolished and many stating that the case was a case of Southern Bias due to the fact that Chief Justice Taney and several of his colleagues were slave owners, supporters of slavery, Southerners, Democrats, or (in the case of Associate Justice Robert Cooper Grier, a Northerner who was a friend of the President) pressured by the President to vote with the Majority. The two dissenters, Associate Justices Benjamin Robert Curtis and John McLean, were both northerners and Republicans, as well as against the institution of Slavery. This decision, as well as the publishing of the novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin' by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852 that showed the world the true horrors of slavery, would divide the Democratic Party by sectional lines, the nation among regional lines, and would strengthen the ever growing radical and abolitionist Republican Party, founded in 1854.

The Republican Party had been formed from the ashes of the Democratic Party's old enemy, the Whigs. Mainly, from Northern Abolitionist Whigs. The Party was formed after the Kansas-Nebraska Act that enraged many in the North and had quickly gained steam, winning 33 seats in the House, the Senate Seats of Connecticut, Vermont, Wisconsin, and both of New Hampshire's seats during the 1854-1855 Congressional Elections, giving them 37 of 234 seats in the House (Making them the fourth Largest Party there) and 7 seats out of 62 seats in the Senate (3rd Largest party there; James Harlan (Iowa), Amos Nourse (Maine), and Henry Wilson (Massachusetts) became members of the party), giving them 44 out of 296 seats in Congress, making them the third largest party in the Opposition Coalition in the 34th Congress' Start. In 1856, they would run their first Presidential Campaign, selecting former California Senator John C. Fremont as their Presidential Candidate with Former New jersey Senator William Dayton serving as his running mate. The Party would preform quite well in the election, winning 114 Electoral Votes, 11 States, and 33.1% (1,342,345) of the National Popular Vote, making them the second best performing party behind the Democrats.

In the 1858 midterms, however, after the chaos of the bleeding Kansas, the disaster of Dred Scott v Sandford, the unpopular stance on the issue of slavery by the Buchanan Administration, and the rising tensions of the country, the Republicans took control, winning 26 Seats in the House (giving them 116 Seats) and 5 Seats in the Senate (giving them 25 Seats), meaning they were now the largest party in one chamber and second largest in the other following the dissolution of the Whigs (Many of whom joined the Republicans) during the 36th Congress. Combined in their seat total, they were the largest body in Congress and were staunchly opposed to the compromises that had been made for Decades.

All the tensions showed signs of bursting when, in October of 1859, a failed businessman turned abolitionist looked to start a major slave rebellion by taking the armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, arming local slaves, and moving South. However, the raid was topped cold by the Virginia Militia, led by Mexican-American War Veteran Robert E. Lee. The raid showed that tensions were fit to burst and that was finally shown in the 1860 Presidential Election.

The first convention to be held was the Democratic Convention. Held in the South Carolina Institute Hall at Charleston, South Carolina, the galleries were packed with pro-slavery spectators who wanted a firebrand as their nominee. However, the front runner was Illinois Senator and perpetrator of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Stephen A. Douglas, was a moderate on that specific issue. His narrow victory over a Republican in 1858 for re-election was due to his Freeport Doctrine, a de facto rejection of Dred Scott v Sandford, in a debate against his opponent. This stance caused many militant Southerner Fire-Eaters, including the influential Former Alabama Representative William Yancey, making many predict a split in the party with the election ultimately being won by then Republican Front-runner, New York Senator William H. Seward.

Under the influence of Yancey, the delegations of seven southern states (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Florida) left the convention due to them being unable to stop Douglas from imposing a pro-slavery message on the party platform, with only one delegate from Arkansas and 2 from Delaware remaining. The delegates that had left went to the Front Street Theater & Maryland Institute, declaring they would hold their own convention for the Democratic Party in the South. This meant that it looked as if the path to Douglas' nomination was now clear. Despite this, Douglas still had five other opponents : Former Treasury Secretary James Guthrie of Kentucky, Virginia Senator Robert M. T. Hunter, Oregon Senator Joseph Lane, former New York Senator Daniel S. Dickinson, and Tennessee Senator Andrew Johnson, each of them proving a challenge in their own right. After 57 Ballots, Douglas finally received the Democratic Presidential Nomination and had Former Georgia Governor Herschel V. Johnson selected as his running mate.

The next party to hold their convention was the Constitutional Union Party, made up of Moderates and ex-whigs who didn't join the Republicans. The party's platform was all encompassing and made no mention of slavery at all, making them considered as a non-serious party. The two main frontrunner were Texas Governor Sam Houston and Former Tennessee Senator John Bell, Though Bell would win the Nomination relatively quickly. His running mate was selected to be Former Massachusetts Senator Edwin Everett.

The third party to hold their convention was the Republican party. Held in The Wigwam at Chicago, Illinois, the party's platform was entirely anti-slavery (though not for the wholesale abolition of the party), the creation of a protective tariff, enactment of the Homestead Act, freedom for immigrants and the granting of citizenship to these immigrants, the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act, the construction of a Pacific Railroad, and the preservation of the Union. With the platform settled, the convention then went on to look at the candidates, with New York Senator William H. Seward expected to win the Nomination and for the Republicans to win massively in November due to the Democratic Split. However, as balloting began, a relaization was made as many realized that Senator Seward had perhaps tied himself to the radical wing of the Republican Party a little too much. Another issue was that many in the party believed they could only win with the West and only one man was a prominent westerner : the kentucky born former Illinois representative and Douglas' opponent in 1858, Abraham Lincoln. The man had a national reputation due to his debates with Senator Douglas in which he opposed slavery while avoiding a position that could alienate moderates. Even before the start of the convention, he had the clear support from the delegations from Illinois and Indiana. Despite this, Seward's victory seemed likely and inevitable.

During the night of May 17th-18th, Lincoln's representation to win the anti-Seward delegates for their candidate and used some examples to win them over, from saying he already was the second best candidate to making a deal with Pennsylvania Senator Simon Cameron of giving him a cabinet position when Lincoln won, leading to Lincoln winning Pennsylvania's delegates. On May 18th, when voting began, Seward won the first ballot but did not receive the Nomination. The second ballot would see Lincoln win Pennsylvania and some other delegates, allowing him to tie with Seward. On the third ballot, even more delegates switched and Lincoln won the Republican Nomination, with Maine Senator Hannibal Hamlin being selected as his running mate.

The final party to hold their convention was that of the Southern Democrats in Baltimore, who walked out of the Charleston Convention. They adopted a radical pro-slavery platform, making them very appealing to the South and, after much pushing, was able to get the moderate and relatively popular John C. Breckenridge to accept their nomination, selecting Oregon Senator Joe lane as his running mate.

The general election was one of the most tense in United States History, with Lincoln not appearing on the Ballot in 10 Southern States. Those who advocated leaving the Union threw their support behind Breckenridge, who himself wanted to preserve the Union. Senator Douglas himself campaigned on the message of keeping the Union united and was widely despised by the South for that position. In the end, Lincoln would win in a landslide with 180 Electoral Votes, 18 states, and 39.8% (1,865,908) of the Popular Vote to Breckenridge's 72 Electoral Votes, 11 states, and 18.1% (848,019) of the Popular Vote, Bell's 39 Electoral Votes, 3 states, and 12.6% (590,901) of the Popular Vote, and Douglas' 12 Electoral Votes, Single State (Missouri), and 29.5% (1,380,202) of the Popular Vote.

1860 Election.PNG


The 1860 Election had the highest turnout in history due to the realization this would be the last election the United States would vote as one.
The result was almost immediate as on December 20th, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. It wouldn't be the last however. And for Vice President Breckenridge, the 1860 election wasn't the end of his political career either. Following the secession of South Carolina, he advocated for Kentucky to be neutral despite his southern sympathies and, secretly, as a back up, he was convinced to purchase a settlement in Alabama and sent most of his stuff and his family to the new home. [2] It turned out he was right to be worried as on December 27th, he was told by a concerned citizen that several unionists were considering on marching to his residence and executing him for treachery. [3] Panicked, Breckenridge quickly got onto a nearby horse and fled Kentucky for his new home in Alabama, where he would arrive the day before the state became the fourth one to secede from the Union (following Mississippi and Florida). The day after, he declared himself a citizen of Alabama and was quickly sent as a member of Alabama's delegation to a congress of the states that had seceded from the union, with Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas having joined them at this point, on February 4th, 1861. On that day, the Confederate States of America was declared and Breckenridge decided to declare himself a citizen of the new nation.

For the next three days, the new nation's provisional government would create the new constitution and founding laws in Montgomery, Alabama. On February 9th, the provisional government opted to elect two persons to the office of Provisional President of the Confederate States of America. The two leaders for the presidency was Former Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis and the Former Union Vice President himself. Davis, uncomfortable with politics, endorsed Breckenridge and thus, the former Vice President of the Union was chosen as the Provisional President of the Confederacy. [4] His Vice President was voted to be President of the provisional Congress Howell Cobb of Georgia.

Upon taking office, Provisional President Breckenridge took a very cautious stance, not wanting to seem like the aggressor in any possible war against the Union. Throughout the South, there were various positions that the Union President had refused to abandon.Thus, sieges were brought on and both sides turned their guns on one another, with the biggest and most impactful being at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. For months, Union and Confederate men held a standoff as the Union harassed shipping heading for Confederate ports. It was silent until finally, on April 14th, a soldier from inside the fort, perhaps anxious about was might happen, accidentally lit his cannon and opened fire on the Confederates. [5] Almost immediately, the Confederacy returned fire and within a day, the fort had fallen. Without even knowing it, the young Union soldier had effectively started the War of Southern Independence.

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The Battle of Fort Sumter, the first battle, unofficially, of the War of Southern Independence

Almost immediately, Provisional President Breckenridge sent a letter to Lincoln to request a formal apology, in an attempt to avoid war, only for Lincoln to refuse to apologize. Breckenridge sent him another two letters, only for Lincoln to continue to reject them. In fact, in Early May, The United States Congress began to raise troops, with Lincoln calling for 75,000 men with the order to crush the rebelling states. Because it was the Union who fired first and not the Confederacy, the states of Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland all voted to leave the Union However, almost immediately, troops were sent to halt the secession of Kentucky and Maryland as the president believed both would be vital to the Union War Effort. Due to this occupation, resentment would build up against the Union as the other states joined the Confederacy and recognized Breckenridge as their new President, along with the exiled governments of Kentucky and Maryland. For 3 hours, Breckenridge, gave an impassioned speech condemning the Union for all that they did and Lincoln's refusal to apologize for the instigation of Conflict and almost immediately, the Confederate Congress voted in favor of war, thus leading Breckenridge to officially declare war on the United States on June 17th, 1861 and hours later, Breckenridge called for 100,000 men. The declaration took the world by storm and Europe watched as America began to fight in a war of brothers. A war that would last for several years and end with the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the independence of half the Untied States, had begun.
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[1] - Dred Scott, 60 U.S. at 404–05

[2] - This is something made up that I had Breckenridge do as a Just in Case Scenario

[3] - This never happened and ITTL, there was never going to be attack on the Vice President when on his residence, but no one would want to tempt fate like that, especially when considering the lead up to the Civil War

[4] - I think it's true that Davis never really wanted the job of President but he was thrust upon it. Here, they have someone acceptable, Breckenridge, as a contender, so Davis has no real need of running.

[5] - This is too make the Union Aggressor, though so far, this is the only major change for most of 1861 asides from Breckenridge being CSA President. The votes of MO, KY, and MD happen as a result of it do to them now seeing the Union as an aggressor in a war that they declared neutrality in. Delaware is left in a weird state of limbo while KY and MD is occupied.

And so ends the first post of hopefully the first timeline on these forums. Really hope you guys enjoyed this. As for the explanation, this was really just the background information with the end having the important changes from OTL. This post serves as an introductory into the Timeline and by 1862, the first real changes will begin. If anyone wants to help me with this Timeline (Such as Armies, Commanders, etc, etc.) feel free to message me here and I'll send you a message to my Discord profile. Any reviews/critiques are welcome. Thank you and ttyl!
 

Tigerdovefan34

Private
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Post 2 of the Timeline. Like I said, most things will go as OTL, with some changes happening in Missouri (ensuring the Confederacy doesn't fail in a state that actually voted to join them due to the Union being the Aggressor), Kentucky (Same case as Missouri, though the Confederacy, mainly Polk, doesn't stupidly invade and instead allows the Union Occupation to sour the state's opinion on the US), and, ofc, Breckenridge being President and being officially elected as President. The next post will be about the Western Theatre and will be the first main POD of the ACW.
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Before the official declaration of war by the Confederate Congress, fighting had already broken out after the aftermath of Fort Sumter, with the Confederacy winning each engagement that was relatively small and minor in the grand scheme of the conflict. [1] The first major battle would take place at a little known city called Manassas in Northern Virginia. Following Union President Lincoln's call for volunteers and Congress allowing it, the peacetime army of 15,000 quickly grew in size and scope and the Union President later accepted a further 40,000 volunteers and increased the Army to 20,000 and these actions are what caused every remaining border state excluding Delaware (which had yet to decide where it's loyalties lie) to vote to secede. Lincoln, fearful of what may happen should the Nation's capital be surrounded by the Confederates and how powerful the Confederacy would get with the manpower of Kentucky, sent forces to occupy the capitals and specific cities in those states (Baltimore and Annapolis in Maryland, Louisville, Lexington, and Frankfort in Kentucky) to keep them in the nation. These occupations would see Anti-Union Sentiment rise as rumors spread about likely false massacres done by the occupiers, leading to Anti-Union insurrectionists being formed and harassing their forces across the states before disappearing back into the Civilian Population. Every other border state, excluding Delaware, had been failed to be properly occupied, though Missouri had lost St. Louis to Union Forces shortly after they transferred the cache of small arms, perhaps the largest in the midwest, from their arsenal to be placed deeper in the territory, placed under the command of Lieutenant General Richard Taylor. [2]

While the occupations were taking place, both sides officially began to get ready for war. As thousands of Volunteers rushed to defend the Union's Capital of Washington D.C., General in Chief and Mexican-American War Hero, Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, drafted a plan to bring the south back into the Union. His goal was simple : With an army in the tens of thousands, the Union would use St. Louis as a base of operations to capture the key cities of Memphis, Vicksburg, and finally New Orleans, capturing the vital Mississippi river and cutting the Confederacy in two while the Union Navy would blockade Southern Ports along their coastline, though many ridiculed his Anaconda plan and instead suggested they just needed to take Richmond, Jefferson, Nashville, Little Rock, and Raleigh to bring the border states back into the fold before taking Montgomery, which would end the war. By July, thousands of men were camped in and around Washington and Lincoln, knowing full well that General Scott was unfit to lead the Army physically, looked for an official military commander.

His choice came upon the suggestion of his Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, who suggested that fellow Ohioan, Major Irvin McDowell, become the Union commander. However, a major problem came with choice, as despite the fact McDowell was a West Point Graduate, he was little more than a staffer with no substantial combat experience as opposed to his contemporaries. Lincoln still gave him command in May after promoting him three grades to Brigadier General of the Regular Army and assigning him the leadership of the Department of Northeastern Virginia. Immediately, the new general organized the department into the 35,00 men strong Army of Northeastern Virginia and created five separate divisions for them. Due to public pressure, however, McDowell was unable to properly train his forces for battle. However, he was given reassurance by the president, who said "You are green, it is true, but they are green also; you are all green alike." [3]

Unbeknownst to the Union President and generals, however, was the fact that they had a pro-southern traitor in their midst. From July 9th to July 16th, Union plans were leaked to Confederate General of the Army of the Potomac P. G. T. Beauregard, including their military movements for the future battle. On July 16th, McDowell left Washington with the largest army ever gathered on the North American Continent at the time. The plan was to move west in three columns and launch diversionary attacks at Bull Run, a tributary of the Occoquan River while he continued to march south for the State Capital of Richmond. He hoped to reach the town of Centreville by the 17th but the troops, not used to the idea of marching, continually stopped while moving to gather food or water despite their officers ordering them otherwise. After two days of marching ins weltering heat, the Union army finally reach their destination and was allowed to rest. However, McDowell was fearful of how quickly the Confederate Army could grow in the size thanks to the presence of Joe Johnston's Army of the Shenandoah being in the Area and the ninety day enlistments of most of his regiments were nearing its expiration. In fact, on the morning of July 19th, two units under his command , marched back to Washington to be mustered out of service.

By July 20th, both forces were in sight of each other, with Joe Johnston's force joining Beauregard's in near entirety, with only those under the command of Brigadier General Edmund Kirby Smith, who was still in transit. The battle that occurred the next day would be seen as the bloodiest battle in American History at that point as civilians went out to picnic and watch what they thought would be a relatively short battle. By mid day, both sides had been exhausted from fighting and it seemed as if McDowell was about to make a major breakthrough. However, the sudden appearance of Brigadier General Thomas Jackson and his Virginia Brigade by Noon, gave hope to the confederate ranks, with the general standing on the field like a stonewall besides his men, giving him the name of 'Stonewall Jackson'. By the end of the battle, the Union's cannons had been captured and the Army of Northeastern Virginia was routed off the field of Manassas. By the end, the Union suffered almost 3,000 causalities while the Confederacy suffered nearly 2,000.

800px-First_Battle_of_Bull_Run_Kurz_&_Allison.jpg


The First Battle of Manassas was the first major Battle of the War of Southern Independence, but it wouldn't be the last
The union retreat left them in disorder and for several days after the battle, the Union Capital was left open for attack. However, President Breckenridge ordered Johnston and Beauregard to halt once it was clear the Union forces were leaving Virginia, stating "We have already won the battle and there is no need for further bloodshed beyond that." However, his biggest fear was that Washington D.C. seemed too good a prize to be true and feared that if the Union Capital fell into Confederate hands, then the full might of the Union military would be quickly brought to bear onto Virginia, something he didn't want to risk.

Eventually, the Union Military was able to reorganize and command was instead placed under the command of the cautious Major general George B. McClellan, who founded his own force, the Army of the Potomac, that was created from the remnants of the Army of Northeastern Virginia. Meanwhile, the armies of the Potomac and the Shenandoah were merged into the Army of Northern Virginia and placed under the command of General Johnston as Beauregard was transferred Westward to assist General Albert Sidney Johnston in building his Army of the Mississippi. A month after the First Battle of Manassas, the Confederates won in Missouri, taking St. Louis after defeating pro-Union forces across the state. In thanks for his victory, Taylor was appointed Commander of the Army of Missouri. These two victories put a major dent into Union Morale. Already, they had lost the first Major Battle of the War and their first chance of taking a southern state back had failed. It seemed like Confederate victory would be inevitable. This also meant that General Scott's Anaconda plan couldn't really focus on the Mississippi river for the time being anymore, instead restricted to a blockade.

The rest of the year of 1861 was failed with minor engagements that had little to no impact on the war at large, with the Union only succeeding in the capture of Coastal Forts, though it wasn't anything major as compared to the battles in the middle of the year. Instead, what occupied the time of many in the South was their first presidential Election. Indeed, Provisional President Breckenridge decided to run for a full term as President out of a sense of Duty to his young nation. He would keep Cobb as his Vice President and no other man dared to challenge him in the campaign, though ballots were placed for Davis, Robert Toombs, and Alexander H. Stevens instead in North Carolina. Breckenridge would win all the states that had joined the Confederacy as of May 1861, though the governments of Kentucky and Maryland that were in exile at the time did hold separate votes recognizing Breckenridge as their choice for President while Missouri was unable to send its electors to Montgomery in time.

CSA Election 1.PNG


The Official Election as Breckenridge as Confederate President would make the War between two separate nations seem official, even if there wasn't a single nation that officially recognized the Confederacy at the time
While the South was holding it's first Presidential Election, the North would continue to rebuild and re-plan for the War. After Manassas, it was made clear that the war would be much longer than anyone believed it could've been. With this in mind, Lincoln set about planning for the rest of the war, with his biggest hope being for quick victory over the South by the 1862 midterms, with the main targets of the planned offensives being the cities of Nashville, Richmond, and the Confederate Capital of Montgomery.
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[1] - Really minor thing, but yes, the CSA basically wins everything between Sumter and Manassas

[2] - OTL, the Missouri Gov forgot to do this. Here, they did do that and Taylor was given command early on.

[3] - Detzer, p. 77; Williams, p. 21; McPherson, p. 336; Davis, p. 110, attributes the remark to general-in-chief
Winfield Scott

Post 2 of the Timeline finished. Again, as I said, not much different from OTL 1861 with only a few minor changes that doesn't affect the timeline until much later in the War. Feel free to give comments/vote in the poll and if anyone wants to help me with the Timeline, feel free to contact me on discord at Tigerdovefan34#2178 as any help would be greatly appreciated. TTYL!
 
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Tigerdovefan34

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Joined
Jan 28, 2020
What, two posts in one day? You best believe people!
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Following the First Battle of Manassas, two beliefs over took the Union. The first was the idea that the war would be won in the East, by capturing Virginia and North Carolina, while the second was the idea that the war would be won in the West by capturing Tennessee and taking Montgomery, Alabama, the capital of the Confederate States. The President, instead of choosing one side or the other, instead opted for both ideas at the same time, pushing for a major offensive in the East and in the West, hoping to overwhelm Confederate forces completely. Despite this push, however, during the months of December 1861-January 1862, there was little to no battles that could be considered major. Instead, it was minor engagements that had little to no impact on the War at large. However, that would change when, in February of 1862, a little known Brigadier General by the name of Ulysses S. Grant planned to march South into Tennessee from Union Occupied Kentucky, then continue to march South to capture most of Mississippi and then East to finally take Montgomery. All in all, it was believed that by late 1862, if everything went right, President Lincoln would be wandering the streets of Montgomery as the Confederacy officially surrendered.

Grant had made somewhat of a name for himself thanks to the Battle of Belmont, Missouri in November in which he captured and destroyed Confederate supplies near Cairo, Illinois, saving Illinois from an attack that, in hindsight, was unlikely to come. He had become known as a hard headed general who was a drunk yet also had the uncanny ability to rally his men to the unlikeliest of victories, as seen in the Mexican-American War. Commanding the Army of the Tennessee from the District of Cairo, Grant would march south along the Tennessee River, capture Nashville, and continue to advance South to complete his objectives.

At the same time, however, the Confederacy knew a major offensive was taking place. Reports came in from the border that Union Forces had began marching into Tennessee in Early February, with their objectives being clear to all. In response, President Breckenridge had entrusted Generals Beauregard and Albert Sidney Johnston to create an Army capable of repelling Grant's forces. Thus, on March 5th, the Army of Mississippi was born, consisting of a little over 40,000 men, though General Johnston had ordered the withdraw of the garrisons of Forts Henry and Donnelson Days before the Union's arrival at the suggestion of Secretary of War George W. Randolph, who considered the forts of little strategic value. This, coupled with the fact that he also ordered the supplies within Nashville be transferred to his base of operations in Corinth, Mississippi, another suggestion of Randolph and also of President Breckenridge, bolstering his ranks to 74,000 men in the city of Corinth.

The organization of the Army of Mississippi was astounding, to the least, with General Johnston creating 5 Corps (I, II, III, IV, and Reserve), which consisted of 2 Divisions, and those Divisions consisted of 3 Brigades each. At the head of Each Corps was a Major General, with Major General Leonidas Polk leading the First Corps, Major General Jefferson Davis leading the Second Corps [1], Major General William J. Hardee leading the Third Corps, Major General Braxton Bragg leading the Fourth Corps, and Brigadier General Gideon Johnson Pillow leading the Reserve Corps. At the heads of these Divisions were Brigadier Generals Charles Clark, Benjamin F. Cheatham (I Corps), Daniel Ruggles, Jones M. Withers (II Corps), Lloyd Tilghman, Simon Bolivar Buckner Sr. (III Corps), Bushrod Johnson (IV Corps), John S. Bowen, and John B. Floyd (Reserve Corps). In these brigades, the most important were considered to be Brigiadier General Alexander P. Stewart (2nd Brigade, First Division, I Corps), Brigadier General Patrick Cleburne (2nd Brigade, First Division, II Corps) [2], and Colonel Nathan B. Forrest, all of whom looked to be strong candidates for future promotion. In fact, Cleburne and his overall commander, Major General Davis, grew a close friendship and took the advice of one another quite seriously, with Davis at one point writing "This Irish born Arkansan is perhaps one of the greatest military minds in our army, even when at such a low command." and it was Davis who would continuously push for Cleburne's promotion in the years following. [3]

However, weeks before General Albert Johnson began his plan to march into Tennessee to challenge Grant, who had decided to camp at Pittsburgh Landing near Shiloh Church on the banks of the Tennessee River and await for reinforcements from Army of the Ohio General Don Carlos Buell, a message was leaked by the pro-Southern spy network in Washington, revealing that the Union was planning, at some point, to launch an attack on the key port of New Orleans and hopefully take it. Knowing the city key to hold onto in order to continue to hold the mighty Mississippi River, President Breckenridge held a meeting with his Secretary of War and the two came to an agreement. A letter arrived in Corinth on March 26th addressed to General Beauregard. His orders were simple : Go West and hold New Orleans from any Union threat. The general, a native of Louisiana, knew the layout of the state and the city itself to the littlest detail and was an expert in engineering and artillery, as well as Defensive works and with more than half a year before the Union assault actually began, which allowed him to build up a substantial defense network that locals nicknamed it 'Fortress Orleans' in late 1862. [4]

On April 3rd, General Johnston began moving his forces to Pittsburgh Landing to launch a surprise attack on Grant's forces while he left 15,000 men behind to defend Corinth. The weather was relatively clear on the march with no signs of a storm and the Army of Mississippi was able to march North relatively unscathed by Union patrols and, in fact, almost no patrol had caught wind of them, with only a single patrol catching a glimpse of a regiment marching past late in the evening, but the report of the patrol was that they believed it was a trick of the eye [5] allowing the Army to continue to march unabated. By 10:30 PM, the Army arrived at their destination and settled in for the night as Johnston drew up Battle plans.

He knew attacking Grant head on would be near suicide and instead devised a much better plan that his subordinates understood to the letter. [6] He would first deploy the I, II, and III Corps, with the IV Corps and Reserve Corps being held back to remain fresh and ready for battle. With the first three corps, he planned to strike at Grant's left in order to dislodge them from Pittsburgh Landing, the Tennessee River, and their gunboat support on the river, and he would continue to drive it west into the swamps of Snake and Owl Creek, where he could hopefully destroy Grant's forces before moving to destroy Buell's Army with support from Van Dorn's 20,000 strong Army of the West coming from Arkansas. The attack was planned to take place at 2:30 in the morning on April 5th after two long days of resting. Due to the lack of skirmishes from both sides, the Union forces had no idea of the Confederate forces encamped near them. [7] In order to make sure surprise was kept, the general routinely traversed the camp, making sure the soldiers kept their noise to a minimum. This allowed for the Union to be unaware of the enemy encampment just 3 miles away. Finally, at the time given, Johnston gave the order to advance quietly, starting the Battle of Shiloh, one of the few engagements where Confederate Forces outnumbered Union ones. [8]

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Shiloh Church, the building for which the battle will be named after
For 30 minutes, the III Corps, under the command of Major General William J. Hardee marched silently, sneaking up on the informal Union camp near Shiloh Church. The commander of the camp, Brigadier General and close friend of Major General Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, personally believed that the Confederates had a major assault force nearby, discounting a southern attack in favor of one from the West, in the direction of Purdy, Tennessee. [9] Because of this and the lack of any skirmishes and no defensive works laid out due to General Grant being unwilling to start any engagement without battle until the arrival of Buell's forces. There was consideration of sending out a patrol at Midnight, Just before Johnston launched his attack, but Sherman rejected the idea, again refusing to believe there was no major confederate force in the area, so there was no need for reconnaissance. [10]

While this wasn't the mutual feeling across the army, there was a lack of any recon due to orders from Grant to get a good night's rest. With the Union Army still too distracted to focus, Johnson ordered the II Corps under Davis to assault the Union Center, under the commands of Brigadier General Benjamin M. Prentiss while the I Corps under Polk was ordered to assault the Major General John A. McClernand and a portion of the IV would attack Grant's left, with Johnson personally overseeing the assault. at 7 AM, the first shots were fired near Shiloh Church and immediately, the battle began.

Sherman's units were taken completely by surprise, with many still just waking up compared to the well rested and eager Confederate soldiers ready for battle. Almost immediately, Sherman's position was overrun by the III Corps and the same could be said for McClernand's position. In a matter of minutes, Sherman and his units were surrounded and destroyed with Brigadier General Sherman himself being shot attempting to get on his horse and rally the troops in the panic and confusion of his men. [11]. Just minutes later, Sherman's forces would surrender to the III Corps under Hardee. Upon receiving the news and hearing that Causalities had been relatively limited thus far for the Confederates due to the element of surprise [12], Johnston famously smiled and said to the courier "By the end of this day, the Union Army shall be no more and we shall be able to crush their reinforcements." With success on the left flank starting the battle, Johnston ordered more of the IV Corps to move up and the Reserves to look over the new prisoners. With a mighty infamous yell, the Union Center and Right was struck harshly, with the Right Flank being the one targeted most due to Johnston's plan. With the relatively united and organized Confederates pushing, Grant's Right and Center, much like McClernand, was forced to fall back or be destroyed. By 9 AM, the Union forces, mainly those under the command Prentiss and Brigadier General W. H. L. Wallace, fell back to a position called the Hornet's Nest.

However, instead of attacking it, Johnston ordered the First Division of Davis' II Corps to hold form and had Artillery batter the position for two straight hours [13] as the rest of the Army of Mississippi marched past it. As the Reserve marched forward, a few regiments were given to Ruggles' Division in preparation for their later assault before continuing on. As the Army of Mississippi continued to push harder and harder on the Union position at Pittsburgh Landing, Grant was forced to withdraw deeper and deeper. At 11 AM, after the long bombardment, Ruggles ordered his Division to attack in full. The Union forces holding the Hornet's Nest was simply exhausted and had their morale almost completely gone. However, they still continued to fight and even got to hit Ruggles directly in the chest, instantly killing him [14], which left command to the only other Brigadier General in the Division, Patrick Cleburne, who led the Division into the thick of the fighting and, by 11:25 AM, after nearly a half hour of fighting, the First Division had taken Hornest's Nest and Prisoners before moving to link up with the main Army of Mississippi [15]. This was achieved five minutes after noon as the Division took a 10 minute respite before continuing forwards.

By the time the Division arrived, the battle was almost over as the Union had now been forced back to the swamps that they wouldn't be able to maneuver in. Upon being told about what had happened, Johnston allowed Cleburne to maintain Command of the Division until the Battle and, likely, the battle after that one, was finished and ordered a general halt on all major infantry and cavalry assaults, only continuing to batter away at the Union Line with Artillery for the next hour. Finally, at 1 PM, Johnston ordered a final charge with him taking lead of it personally. Grant attempted to rally his broken and confused men, but it was to no avail. By 1:10 PM. the battle was over and the Confederates had achieved near complete victory, though Grant, McClernand, and a few of their brigades and regiment were able to escape the resulting slaughter., marching westward through the Swamp. The Union retreat was in such a mess that Grant would fail to send proper warning to General Buell of the Army of Mississippi, allowing Johnston to properly set up lines to hold against the Army of the Ohio upon its arrival. [16]

The Battle on April 5th was some of the deadliest fighting seen in the war at that time, with the Union army of almost 45,000 was decimated, getting 2,764 killed, 9,349 wounded, and 4,351 captured and a following 467 missing, likely having deserted, while the Confederate Army of 59,000 suffered a small amount of causalities despite being larger than the Union forces. Around 1,472 were killed, 4,274 wounded, and 219 missing or captured. Combined the Causalities numbered around 22,896 combined, with the near destruction of the Army of the Tennessee being a major effect of the battle. At the time, it would be the bloodiest single day of battle in the War. Two days later, Buell arrived to face well entrenched enemies or almost annihilated the Army of the Ohio. On the April 7th Battle, 1,858 Union soldiers were killed, 2,452 wounded, and 985 were missing/captured while 617 confederates were killed, 236 wounded, and 83 captured/missing. In the end, as April 8th dawned, the total casualties combined amounted to 29,127, making it the bloodiest battle of the war at that time. [17]

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The Battle of Shiloh was one of the most decisive battles in the War of Southern Independence as it greatly weakened Union Forces in the region until very late in the year.
Following the bloody Battle of Shiloh, the Union had no real organized force left in Tennessee and instead saw the remnants of Buell and Grant's armies flee into Illinois and Ohio, being harassed by Pro-Confederate insurrectionists in Kentucky as they did so. At the same time, General Albert Sidney Johnston had now been granted the opportunity of a lifetime and he refused to let it pass him by. On April 11th, the City of Nashville fell back into Confederate hands. Following this major victory, the Army of Mississippi would wait for a full week until they linked up with Van Dorn's force and marched north, pushing into Kentucky. With the major Union forces in the region devastated in a single battle, all major Union garrisons in the state surrendered and on May 15th, Louisville was the last Kentucky City to fall to Confederate hands.

Six Days later, Missouri was officially recognized as a member of the Confederate States and would be allowed to hold their elections for the Confederate Congress and by the end of the Month, Kentucky's state government returned and was admitted into the Confederacy. President Breckenridge believed the battle a gift from god that showed the Confederate fight was indeed very righteous. However, for the Union, it showed the opposite.

The hope of a quick push to Montgomery by Union forces were dashed and with the stalled Penninsula Campaign and the failure to capture forts near New Orleans thanks to General Beauregard, things looked bleak for the Lincoln administration. Calls for Grant to be relieved from his post after the disaster were loud from his generals while Northern Democrats and the Populace cried aloud for peace. The president's popularity plummeted to an all time low and many believed that when the Midterm elections delivered the Democrats the White House, the War would be all but over. However, there was still an entire year left before that happened and Lincoln was determined to make sure that he wasn't the President to be known to history as the man who lost the South.
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[1] - Remember, he isn't the Confederate President here. He was almost placed as Secretary of War before Breckridge decided he'd be better suited on the field. From what I can tell, he seemed to be an about average small united commander to the M-A War and likely, under the leadership of ASJ, he could improve some.

[2] -In OTL, he was in Hardee's Division. Here, Davis traded his First Division's 2nd Brigade for Cleburne's Brigade shortly before leaving Corinth.

[3] - The relationship between Cleburne and Davis will be very important later on in the Timeline. You'll just need to continue reading to find out how.

[4] - P. G. T. is really good at defensive warfare, as evidenced by when he had command of the coastal forts. Battlefields ins't really his forte. Also, this ensures the AoM leaves on schedule.

[5] - Made up thing, but it prevents the Union from getting warnings of Confederate forces until April 5th. Grant and his generals just have a feeling that a confederate army is moving, but they don't know from where. Also, there isn't any rainstorms that happen, allowing for the march to Shiloh not to get bogged down.

[6] - In the OTL Battle, there was a lot of confusion because P. G. T. mucked up the plans. Here, that doesn't happen, however.

[7] - Again allows the Confederates complete and total surprise in the battle.

[8] - Remember, here, the AoM is a little over 59,000 men while the AotT is close to 45,000 men. True, the AotO's near 18,000 would've made the Confederates outnumbered, but since the attack on the Union is the day before OTL's Shiloh, they can't really arrive in time.

[9] - Sherman, as I think many of you would already know, really believed this. Both here and OTL, it cost him.

[10] - Feel free to make a DBWI of Sherman not being so Stubborn during the Alternate Battle of Shiloh.

[11] - At this point in time, Sherman was on the front, which made it easier for him to get fired upon, especially when his units are in a panic.

[12] - Total Surprise was key for Johnston's plan and here, this is achieved, the Union left has been quickly overwhelmed and the rest of the AotT would need to pull back or risk encirclement.

[13] - OTL, they foolishly charged it multiple times. Here, ASJ decides to just bomb them before attacking as the rest of his army continues to attack.

[14] - IIRC, it was common to see BGs be wounded or killed in action, especially early in the war.

[15] - Cleburne taking command of the Division is plausible from what it seems but if it isn't feel free to let me know in the comments.

[16] - It's hard to send a message when you're disorganized, especially when you have tens of thousands of men to calm down.

[17] - They'll be bloodier battles than this later in the TL, but yeah, it'll be hard to surpass Shiloh levels.

Post three now finished. Hope everyone enjoyed reading and if anyone wants to help me, feel free to message me here or on Discord. Either works. Ciao!
 

Tigerdovefan34

Private
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Post #4 of the Timeline, this time dealing with the Eastern Theatre all the way to TTL's Battle of Malvern Hill
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As war raged in the West with Generals Grant and Buell marching South to capture Tennessee and the Confederate Capital of Montgomery, the East was being thought out more thoroughly. Following the humiliating defeat at First Manassas, President Lincoln believed it was time to reorganize the Union Army and thus, on August 20th, 1861, Lincoln placed Major General George B. McClellan, a soldier who was able to win at the Battle of Rich Mountain on July 11th, 1861 and a smart man at logistical capabilities, in command of the newly formed Army of the Potomac, consisting of nearly 50,000 men, though he was the man who indeed founded it. As leader of the Army of the Potomac, McClellan greatly improved the organization of his army and increased morale by frequently visiting the troops to review their training and encourage them to continue. This made many in the AotP feel as if he was the Army itself and that if he fell, the Army would too. Knowing Washington would be a major target in any future Confederate endeavor, McClellan crafted a nigh impenetrable defense network for the Nation's Capital, consisting of 48 forts and strong points with 480 guns in total manned by 7,200 men. This severe defense network would reach Confederate President Breckenridge in Montgomery and convinced him to be against any advance on Washington D.C. to avoid significant causalities before warning severe consequences for any who disregarded his orders.

On November 1st, 1861, General-in-chief, Winfield Scott, retired and President Lincoln appointed McClellan to replace him, though he expressed grave concern of the man's ability to handle to massive tasks at the same time, though the General insisted that he could do it without rest. On January 12th, 1862, McClellan revealed his plans for the campaign in the East. He would first transport the Army of the Potomac to Urbana, Virginia on the Rappahannock River to outflank any Confederate Forces near Washington before proceeding 50 miles overland to capture the state's capital of Richmond. The Union President believed the plan was sound and on January 27th, he ordered that all Union Forces in the East would conduct offensive operations on February 22nd, the Birthday of George Washington. 4 days later, on January 31st, he issued a supplementary order for the Army of the Potomac to arch overland and engage Confederate forces at Manassas Junction and Centreville. McClellan immediately responded with a 22 page letter giving a detailed objection to the President's order and pushing for his Urbana plan instead. Despite thinking his plan superior, Lincoln stood down and allowed McClellan to continue on with his plan, relieved that the cautious and careful general was now moving.

He was still reluctant of the Major General's Resolve, however, and on March 8th called a Council of War with McClellan's Subordinates, asking if they were confident in the Urbana Plan, with the result being mixed. Following this meeting, Lincoln issued another order, naming specific officers as Corps Commanders to report to McClellan despite the man's initial reluctance to do so before the campaign had even started. However, the thing the plan wasn't counting on was the withdraw of Confederate forces near Washington on February 19th, which reached Washington on March 8th, several hours after the council of war had taken place. Initially, many historians believed spies had struck again and revealed McClellan's plans just like they had done with New Orleans, but this was not the case. Instead, Confederate President Breckenridge, ever the cautious man, feared a possible Union Assault on Richmond that would trap the Army of Northern Virginia and so instead, he sent a telegram to General Joseph E. Johnston to turn back and defend the State's Capital in Mid January.

This movement would completely nullify McClellan's Urbana Plan, forcing the Major General to retool the plan, instead having his forces land at Fort Monroe, Virginia and advance up the Virginia Peninsula to Richmond. However, he came under extreme criticism from the press and the United States Congress when it was discovered that the Army of Northern Virginia had not only slipped away unnoticed for weeks, but had also fooled the Union through the use of Quaker Guns, wooden logs painted black, to convince them that Confederate Forces were still in the region. Another, even more complicating matter for the campaign, was the emergence of the first Confederate Ironclad Warship, the CSS Virginia, which devastated any union support operations on the James River. During the Battle of Hampton Roads (March 8th-9th), the Virginia destroyed Union Ships blockading the Harbor of Hampton Roads, Virginia, including the frigates, the USS Cumberland and USS Congress on March 8th, which made many call into question the viability of the use of Wooden Ships against Ironclads. The following day, the Union's first Ironclad, the USS Monitor, challenged the Virginia in the famous first duel of the Ironclads. The battle would end in the Monitor's destruction, though it did receive worldwide publicity and made it clear that Ironclads were the future of Naval Warship with both Union President Lincoln and Confederate President Breckenridge ordering the construction of more, with Lincoln looking to improve the blockade while Breckenridge sough to increase the defenses of the Mississippi River, New Orleans, and the many tributary rivers of the Mississippi.

On March 11th, Lincoln removed McClellan as General-in-Chief, leaving him as command of only the Army of the Potomac so that the Major General could focus all of his efforts on Richmond. Despite supportive comments from Lincoln the entire time, McClellan saw the move as an act of sabotage so that the planned campaign would fail. All the while, the Army of Northern Virginia was busy setting up a number of defensive positions around Richmond, hoping to make any Union attack on the city bloody. At the same time, forces in the Shenandoah Valley would play an indirect role in the campaign. Nearly 50,000 men under the command under Major Generals Nathaniel P. Banks and Irvin McDowell that were originally planned to assist McClellan in his advance by marching overland to Virginia was instead pushed by Lincoln to engage Major General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's 17,000 strong force that looked to be much larger than it actually was and could pose a threat to Washington, though the Major General had no intention do doing so thanks to orders from General Joe Johnston and President Breckenridge to not even try it. Because of this, Jackson's much smaller force was able to prevent 30,000 men under McDowell from joining McClellan from March to June of 1862.

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The Battle of Hampton Roads, First Clash of the Ironclads, was a key moment in the Peninsula Campaign
While waiting at Fort Monroe, the Army of the Potomac grew from the original 50,000 men that it began with to 121,500 before McClellan began operations with the Army being organized into three Corps : II Corps (Under the command of Brigadier General Edwin V. Sumner), III Corps (Under the command of Brigadier General Samuel P. Heintzelman), and IV Corps (Under the command of Brigadier General Erasmus D. Keyes), with other units scattered about. McClellan's forces would set sail from Alexandria, Virginia on March 17th in an armada that dwarved all previous American expeditions, transporting the Army of the Potomac, 44 Artillery Batteries, 1,150 Wagons, over 15,000 horses, and ton of supplies and equipment, with many calling it the movement of a giant. However, with the CSS Virginia still in service and currently unchallenged, the U.S. Navy would not be able to properly aid McClellan's operations on either the James or York rivers, rendering his initial plan of amphibiously enveloping Yorktown, where America won it's independence from Great Britain 81 years prior, obsolete and instead, he ordered an advance up the Peninsula on April 4th.

On April 5th, the same day that the horrendous Battle of Shiloh began in the West, the IV Corps of the Army of the Potomac battled Confederate defensive works at Lee's Mill, where McClellan had hoped to advance through unchallenged. As Yorktown was besieged, the Confederate Commander of the City, Major General John B. Magruder, ever the fan of theatrics, set up a brilliant deception campaign with his 13,000 strong force. By moving just one company in circles through a glen, he made it seem as if there were endless lines of reinforcements marching to relieve him while also spreading his artillery far apart, ordering it to fire sporadically. This had the intended effect of convincing the federals that his works and Yorktown was held by an army of nearly 100,000 was under Magruder's command. As an artillery duel sprung up, reconnaissance indicated to Brigadier General Keyes about the strength of Confederate fortification, causing him to warn McClellan against assaulting them. Taking Keyes' advice, the Major General ordered siege fortifications to be constructed and brought forward heavy siege guns to the front. As this was going on, the Johnston reinforced Magruder. By April 14th, news reached the Eastern Threatre of the Battle of Shiloh, bolstering Confederate Morale and slightly lowering federal resolve. Hearing that two large forces of theirs were practically destroyed and the West almost completely left open to attack for a time wasn't the best motivator and McClellan himself knew that the overall effect would be Lincoln focusing even more on the Western Theatre than on the Eastern Theatre, a fear that would soon come to fruition.

Despite the result of Shiloh in the West, the Peninsula Campaign continued unabated. McClellan chose not to attack Magruder's position without more reconnaissance and ordered the Army of the Potomac to instead entrench parallel to Magruder's positions before initiating a siege of the city. While reacting to the reports of Keyes, the Major General also received reports from the I Corps, under Major General Irvin McDowell, would be withheld to defend Washington due to the threat Jackson seemed to pose. In addition with Jackson's campaign, Union President Lincoln believed McClellan had left an insufficient force to defend the capital and that the general had been deceptive in reporting of the force situated to defend Washington while counting troops that were deployed elsewhere. McClellan pleaded with Lincoln that he didn't do such a thing and requested that resources be sent to him immediately to run a major campaign, but with Lincoln refusing the budge on the issue, he was forced to move anyway.

For the next 10 days, McClellan's men continued to fortify their positions while Magruder maintained a steady stream of reinforcements. By mid April, he commanded 35,000 men, just enough to defend his line. Despite McClellan's doubts about his own numerical superiority, in large part thanks to Magruder's earlier theatrics, he believed his artillery was indeed superior, with the siege preparations at Yorktown consisting of 15 batteries with more than 70 heavy guns which, when fired, would send over 7,000 pounds of ordinance directly into the enemy. On April 16th, Union forces probed a point in the Confederate line at Dam No. 1 on the Warwick River near Lee's Mill. Magruder, realizing the weakness this presented for his line, ordered it to be strengthened. Three Regiments under the Command of Brigadier General William Mahone with six other regiments nearby, improved their position on the west bank that overlooked the Dam. McClellan, fearful of what an entrenched enemy may do, ordered his men to conduct a general assault.

A battle took place between Georgians and Vermonters for the Dam that would end in Vermontian victory by 5 PM, with the Union holding the Dam. For the rest of April, the Confederates, now numbering 57,000 men and under the direct command of General Joe Johnston improved their defenses while McClellan continued to focus on siege works, planning to deploy specific batteries on May 5th. The Confederate general, aware that the bombardment would likely spell the end for his force, sent supply wagons to Richmond on May 3rd. Despite escaped slaves reporting this to McClellan, he dismissed them, believing that Johnston, who he estimated having an army of 120,000, would fight to the bitter end. On the evening of May 3rd, the confederates launched a brief bombardment before their guns fell silent as, contrary to what McClellan believed, they retreated back towards Richmond.

Early the next morning, Brigadier General Heintzelman ascended in an observation balloon and found out that the Confederate fortifications were empty. McClellan, stunned by the news, ordered Cavalry under Brigadier General George Stoneman in pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia and told Brigadier General William B. Franklin's Division to reboard navy transports and sail up the York river, hoping to cut off Johnston's retreat even though the CSS Virginia was still a threat.

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The Siege of Yorktown (1862) would be the first major engagement of the Peninsula Campaign
From May 5th-27th, the Army of Northern Virginia would retreat towards their defensive works near Richmond while the Army of the Potomac remained in hot pursuit. The two sides would have portions of their forces engage at Williamsburg (May 5th), Eltham's Landing (May 7th), Drewry's Bluff (May 15th), and Hanover Court House (May 27th) before the AoNV finally reached it's destination. By this point in time, Kentucky had been captured by the Army of Mississippi under General Albert Johnston, leading to an even larger strengthening of Southern Morale, though this would make the Union Invaders more determined to capture Richmond, as the fall of the city could lead to a quicker end to the War. General Joe Johnston knew he would be unable to survive a massive siege of Richmond and instead decided to attack McClellan. His original plan, an attack on the Union right flank, was scrapped upon learning his main cause of concern, the Corps under McDowell, was diverted to the Shenandoah thanks to Jackson.

General Johnston decided against attacking against his natural defense, the Chickahominy river, and planned to capitalize on the Union Army's position near the river, attacking two corps south of the river, leaving them isolated from the other three corps. With the plan in mind, this would Johnston would engage 2/3rds of his army (51,000 Men) against the 33,000 men of the combined III and IV Corps. However, the plan was complex and was doomed to fail from the start with vague and contradictory orders and he failed to inform his subordinates about the chain of command. By June 1st, the battle had ended inconclusively, with General Johnston being wounded in the fighting. Both sides claimed victory in the battle of Seven Pines, but they had roughly equal causalities, with the Union suffering 5,031 to the Confederacy's 6,134.

It was due to this battle that McClellan's advance on Richmond was halted, allowing the Army of Northern Virginia to fall back into Defensive Positions. Despite claiming victory, McClellan had been shaken by the carnage of the battle and redeployed his army, except for the V Corps, south of the river, though he planned to continue to siege Richmond. He would never regain the initiative to do so, however. For the Confederates, President Breckenridge sent a telegram that his war adviser and one of the most brilliant minds in the Confederate military, Robert E. Lee, was to take command of the Army of Northern Virginia effective June 1st. For almost a month, Lee extended his defensive lines and organized his forces while McClellan sat passively in front of him, awaiting for dry weather and roads until the start of the next phase of the Campaign, the Seven Days Battles. Lee, who advocated caution early in the war, knew he had no numerical superiority over McClellan but he did indeed plan for an offensive that would characterize his nature for the Seven Days.

Lee's attack plan, much like Johnston's, was complex and needed his subordinates to work in tandem, but he knew he had no chance against McClellan in a siege. Developed in a meeting June 23rd, the plan was to cross the Chickahominy river with the bulk of the Army to attack the Union's northern flank, commanded by Brigadier General Fitz John Porter and held by the V Corps. This would mean two divisions (under Major Generals Benjamin Huger and Magruder) would be left to defend entrenchments against McClellan's Superior Strength. This plan would concentrate around 65,500 men against 30,000, leaving only 25,000 to hold off the other 60,000 and protect Richmond. The Confederate cavalry, under Brigadier General J. E. B. Stuart, observed Porter's right flank and reported to Lee that it was very much vulnerable.

Lee intended to use Stonewall Jackson, who was returning from the Shenandoah Campaign, and his men to attack Porter's right flank early on the morning and Major General A. P. Hill would move from Meadow Bridge to Beaver Dam Creek to advance on federal trenches with the hope that Porter would leave the defenses when under pressure. Following this, Major Generals James Longstreet and D. H. Hill would go through Mechanicsville and join the battle. As this was going on, Huger and Magruder would provide diversions on their fronts to distract McClellan from Lee's true goals. Hoping that Porter would be overwhelmed from two sides by 65,000 men, Lee planned to have the two leading divisions would march on to Cold Harbor and cut off McClellan's communications from White House Landing. McClellan, due to a failure in intelligence reporting, was unaware of Jackson's arrival and thus continued to focus on besieging Richmond. [1]

Because of this, the Battle of the Chickahominy went off without a hitch between June 26th and 27th, with Lee's plan going almost flawlessly despite the poor coordination in the Confederate Army due to the mismatch of troops from across Virginia to defend Richmond. Porter's corps was overwhelmed relatively quickly and in the chaos of him trying to rally his men, he was killed, hit by friendly fire. [2] However, as the battle continued, McClellan was able to move south from Richmond and begin retreating in the direction of Harrison's landing and the two divisions that were meant to cut him off were unable to thanks to stiff Union resistance. Thus, most of the Army of the Potomac was able to escape, with command of the V Corps falling towards Brigadier General George Sykes. One of the men who really took initiative was Brigadier General Phillip Kearny of Heintzelman's III Corps, attacking Huger, Magruder, and Longstreet's forces and keeping them distracted for a long enough time for the V Corps to march with 3/4ths of their initial force. McClellan, realizing the initiative was lost, ordered the army to withdraw to to a secure base at Harrison's Landing on the James River. This was despite the fact that news had reached him that an Army of Virginia had been created and sent south to assist him, sending a telegram to the United States War Department, stating "If I save this Army now I tell you plainly that I owe no thanks to you or any other persons in Washington—you have done your best to sacrifice this Army." [3] though the last part was removed.

Further battles at Savage's Station (June 28th) and Glendale (June 29th) would force the Union to withdraw even further, with Brigadier General Sumner being mortally wounded at Glendale and having to be replaced by Brigadier General Israel B. Richardson for command of the II Corps. [4] By July 1st, the Army of the Potomac had been pushed back to Malvern Hill. The Hill, a plateau-like elevation, provided an excellent military position just two miles north of the James River and had steep slants, meaning that while a defending army would have a clear, open field, an attacking one would be unable to find any cover. When the AotP arrived on the hill, they were just 54,000 strong, a far cry from how they were at the start of the campaign. On the Morning of June 30th, the IV Corps under Keyes amassed atop the Hill as the II Corps and V Corps were allowed to recover from the three prior battles while the III Corps was position in positions that wasn't held by the IV Corps. With Artillery Batteries placed and defensive works laid out, the Union Defense seemed strong and unassailable.

On the morning of July 1st, McClellan inspected his line and became concerned at the lack of coverage at the Right Flank laying behind Western Run, an area necessary for the Army to relocate to Harrison's landing. Out of fear of an attack on that position, McClellan placed Brigadier General William Franklin's VI Corps and Kearny's Division of the III Corps as well as the strongest parts of the ruined II and V Corps to defend it. The rest of the army was held in a general reserve. McClellan believed his army was not ready for battle and hope Lee wouldn't give him one. Nonetheless, he left the hill and traveled downstream the ironclad USS Galena to inspect Harrison's Landing. Due to him not delegating an interim commander in his place, the Corps Commanders selected Heintzelman to be the general for their side.

With 55,000 men, the Army of Northern Virginia just barely outnumbered the Federals by 1,000. Lee, believing this was his chance to deliver one decisive victory in the East that would match Albert Johnston's Shiloh in the West, planned for an aggressive, decisive strike to finally destroy the Army of the Potomac. His attempts to do so in the prior three battles had failed for one reason or another, but his belief was that the Union Army was demoralized and one strike would shatter them for good. In the morning leading up to the battle, he would meet with his Lieutenants, including Jackson, Longstreet, Magruder, and D.H. Hill. Hill, upon looking at the terrain and layout of the land, stated "If General McClellan is there in strength, we had better let him alone.", being cautious against such an obviously good military position. Longstreet simply laughed and said "Don't get so scared, now that we've got him [McClellan] whipped." [5]

Lee choose the commands of Jackson, D.H. Hill, and Magruder, all of which having been well rested due to their little participation at the two battles on June 28th and 29th while Longstreet and A. P. Hill's own commands were kept in reserve due to them being mauled. According to Lee's plan, the Army of Northern Virginia would envelope the Army of the Potomac on the Hill with a Semi-circle as D. H. Hill's five brigades would serve as the Confederate center with Jackson and Magruder serving as the left and right flanks respectfully. With most of the confederate army filled with inexperienced officers thanks to the three brutal battles.

After monitoring the Hill, Lee met with Longstreet and the two agreed that two grand battery like positions would be placed on both sides of the hill and that hopefully, the crossfire would hopefully so the infantry could break them. However, Lee's orders were not at all well crafted due to his chief of staff being vague when writing them. At 1 PM, Union Artillery pounded the Confederate line first, focusing on the infantry in the woods before going for the artillery that was moving into position. Eventually, however, the Confederate Left Flank was able to open fire on the VI Corps that began a fierce firefight. One of the most key moments of the battle happened when, at 1:45 PM, the USS Galena was hit by a torpedo and capsized, sinking near Harrison's Landing. It would be a little over a day before Heintzelman would find out McClellan's fate and even longer before Washington itself learned. [6]

The rest of the battle eventually ended inconclusively with both sides claiming victory. Some parts of the Hill had been taken by the Confederates but Western Run remained in Union hands. Further more, two hours before the battle was ended, General Lee, who had been inspecting the assault on the Hill personally, was hit by friendly fire. Earlier in the day, Kearny's division had been able to push back a Confederate one at a steep cost and fear had spread amongst the camp that his division was nearby, even though it had actually retaken position back at Western Run. With gun smoke heavy in the air, it was difficult to make out friend or foe and so a few dozen rounds were peppered into General Lee on accident. Within minutes, Generals Jackson and Longstreet were alerted as to what had happened, forcing both to leave their positions and back to the encampment. At 8:45 PM, 15 minutes after the end of the battle, General Robert E. Lee passed away, leaving behind a disorganized and battered army. [7]

Despite the strength of being upon Malvern Hill, Heintzelman feared that his forces would not be able to last another Confederate assault and wary of what they could've been planning if he chose to march towards Richmond, began moving the Army of the Potomac to Harrison's Landing. With morale low following the death of Lee, Longstreet prevailed and allowed the Army of Northern Virginia to rest despite Jackson pushing to advance on the Union as they withdrew. It was only on July 5th that the Army of Northern Virginia began to march to Harrison's Landing. While it didn't take long to reach, the AotP was almost completely aboard transports and thus, the AoNV was turned around and moved back to Richmond, ending the Peninsula Campaign.

Sneden_watercolor_of_Battle_of_Malvern_Hill.jpg


The Battle of Malvern Hill ended the Peninsula Campaign with the Wounding of Confederate General Joe Johnston and the Deaths of Union General George B. McClellan and Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the impact of which would leave a lasting impact on the war
Following the aftermath of the Peninsula Campaign, Confederate President Breckenridge placed James Longstreet in Command of the Army of Northern Virginia while Union President Abraham Lincoln granted Samuel Heintzelman command of the Army of the Potomac, with both giving up their respective division/corps to Brigadier General Richard H. Anderson (Longstreet) and Brigadier General Phillip Kearny (Heintzelman) upon the orders of their Presidents. Following the disaster that was the Peninsula Campaign, Lincoln ordered Major General John Pope, commander of the newly formed Army of Virginia, to devise a plan to march South and capture Richmond overland. As soon as the Army of the Potomac arrived back in friendly territory, Heintzelman was convinced to allow Pope to borrow the III, IV, and VI Corps for his eventual campaign. At the same time, Breckenridge ordered Longstreet to turn Virginia into a fortress that would be difficult to attack overland. The newly promoted General Longstreet, a very defensively minded man, did as ordered and began construction of fortifications all across the State while Splitting 20,000 men to fall under the Command of General Jackson in his own Army. It would be the rivalry between these two men that would nearly cost the Confederacy Virginia in August 1862.

Meanwhile, the result of the Campaign was felt nationwide as Lincoln began to push for a draft, which was rather unpopular among the American populace and Breckenridge began to consider a draft for the Confederacy as well. One of most horrifying things for the Union happened when on July 11th, after becoming convinced of an eventual Confederate Victory, the government of Delaware, initially reluctant to support either side in the war, voted to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy. Almost immediately Lincoln ordered a portion of McDowell's men to occupy the state as he had done to Maryland and Kentucky before. The state government, fearing of what would happen, fled to the Confederacy, which would recognize them as an official state in the Confederacy on July 26th. [8]

As this was going on, more plans were becoming realized. In the West, the Armies of the Ohio and of the Tennessee were merged with some new units into the Army of Indiana with the order to strike at Kentucky as soon as possible. At the same time, The Army of Iowa was formed to retake Missouri and a final army, the Army of the Gulf, was ordered to take Montgomery as quickly as possible from an advanced position in Mobile Bay, which had fallen to Union fleets on July 13th. Meanwhile, President Breckenridge had, at the request of Major General Jefferson Davis, promoted him to General and gave him command of the newly formed Army of Southern Alabama with his friend Patrick Cleburne taking over his corps after excellent service in the rather short Tennessee and Kentucky campaigns, with that corps becoming the first one in the new Army. [9] At the same time, General Joe Johnston, who had been wounded at Seven Pines, was placed in command of the Army of Missouri while the former Commander of the army, Richard Taylor, was transported and given command to the newly formed II Corps in the Army of Mississippi. It was clear that Early and Mid 1862 wasn't going to be the year the war would be decided, but it would be when the war truly turned in favor of one side or another. In a speech given to his cabinet on July 16th, President Breckenridge famously said "My fellow patriots, we must not get overconfident. Sure, we have secured Kentucky, Missouri, and Virginia, but only for the moment. The war is a long way from being over and I'm afraid many more will have to die before Lincoln sues for peace." This idea would become the reasoning behind the later Confederate mindset.
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[1] - First Change from OTL. In our history, he did notice it.

[2] - As you'll see, this'll be a common occurrence as to what happens in battles when everything goes to hell

[3] - Burton, Extraordinary Circumstances, p. 151; Rafuse, p. 225; Burton, Peninsula & Seven Days, p. 88; Esposito, map 46; Time-Life, pp. 47–48.

[4] - Keeps the stubborn Sumner out of command for a while without full on death for a time.

[5] - Burton 2010, p. 314

[6] - I got this idea from a TL I read on Alt History.com, though I've already changed some things about it to make it more interesting.

[7] - I did this mainly to have Longstreet, Jackson drama cause iirc, they couldn't stand each other and Lee was the only one who was able to stop them fighting.

[8] - Delaware is doing this mainly because it looks like the South will win and they're afraid of what might come of them should that happen and they remain in the North.

[9] - Again, more Cleburne love, though if anyone wants to correct me on these things, feel free too.

I'll probably start writing the next post tomorrow because this one took me all day. As you can tell, I'm only covering the really big battles in this TL at least until we get into the later dates of late 1862 and beyond as that's when things get interesting. Anyways, feel free to give thoughts. Ciao for now!
 

Tigerdovefan34

Private
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Post #5 is going to be worked on and later posted and it'll detail the first part of the campaign in Alabama. Post #6 will detrail the Missouri Campaign, Post #7 will detail the Northern Kentucky Campaign, Posts #8 and #9 will deal with alternate North VA and Maryland Campaigns, Post #10 will detail the second part of the Alabama Campaign, Post #11 will detail the Alternate Fredericksburg Campaign, Post #12 will detail another Kentucky Campaign while Post #13 will detail another Missouri Campaign, Post #14 will detail the alternate Chancellorsville campaign, Post #15 will detail an Alternate Gettysburg Campaign, Post #16 will detail what has been going on in New Orleans, the Coasts, and the New Mexico and Indian Territories since the start of the war, and Post #17 will detail the last part of the Alabama Campaign.

Anyways, remember to vote in the poll.
 
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Tigerdovefan34

Private
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Post #5, detailing the March to Montgomery Campaign
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The aftermath of the Peninsula Campaign had left a bad feeling for many in Washington. Just half of the once mighty Army of the Potomac returned, battered and unfit for much action, as well as the death of it's commander. However, hope could not be allowed to end at the moment, as at the time, Union Generals were making new plans to once again advance into the Confederacy. While they had been beaten back twice now, first in the West and now in the East, Union President Abraham Lincoln was still determined to see the war to its end. The 1862 Union Midterms were coming up and the threat of the Republicans losing control of Congress could mean a forced peace and recognition of the Confederate States as a sovereign nation, something he was unwilling to witness. One way or another, he believed, the Union would remain as one.

His first plan was to create three new Armies for the late 1862 campaigns. The first army, the Army of Indiana, was a merger of the remnants of Grant's Army of the Tennessee (25,213 strong by the time they returned into Illinois) and Buell's Army of the Ohio (10,015 strong by the time they returned into Ohio) with a newly formed Army of Indiana under the command of Major General William Rosecrans. The second army was the Army of Iowa, placed under the command of Major General John C. Fremont, and the final army, the Army of the Gulf, was placed under the command of Major General Benjamin Butler. The armies consisted of 90,000 Men (Army of Indiana), 60,000 Men (Army of the Gulf), and 42,000 Men (Army of Iowa) with there being 4 corps in each army, each consisting of 22,500 Men each (Army of Indiana), 15,000 Men Each (Army of the Gulf), and 10,500 men each (Army of Iowa).

With the new armies were formed, plans were drawn up for the campaign season. As General Pope planned to march his Army of Virginia overland to Richmond with the 3 Corps of the Army of the Potomac gifted to him by Major General Heintzelman, the Army of Indiana led by Rosecrans would strike Louisville, Kentucky and attempt to retake the state from there, the Army of Iowa would march into Missouri and hopefully take the state capital of Jefferson City before securing St. Louis. While these two offensives would hopefully bring back three of the seceded states back into the Union by late 1862, the most important task would be left to the Army of the Gulf. Their orders were to set sail from Alexandria, swing around the Confederate coast, and seize the Capital of Montgomery before moving east towards Atlanta. Many hoped that if the two cities fell, then the South would surrender and the war would finally be over.

On July 18th, the day before the planned Northern Virginia Campaign would begin, two days before the Kentucky campaign began, and a week before the Missouri campaign, the Army of the Gulf set sail from Alexandria, Virginia. First, the armada that carried the army and it's supplies and equipment left the immediate coastline and went into the open ocean, where the confederate ironclads could not follow. Then, they continued southwards before reaching Mobile, Alabama on August 2nd. Mobile had actually fallen to Union Ships on June 26th falling a prolonged bombardment and blockade when it was deemed less risky than New Orleans and it had been under Federal Control ever since. Butler's hope was that Alabama would be only be defended by the state's local militia, no major force, and he could quickly advance and capture Montgomery by the end of the Month. For the next three days, he allowed his men to rest and prepare to advance.

Unbeknownst to the Union, the Confederates had anticipated this maneuver and placed the newly promoted Jefferson Davis and his II Corps of the Army of Mississippi into the newly formed Army of Southern Alabama. The Army was the newest of the main Confederate Army and consisted of three Corps under the commands of Major Generals Cleburne, McCown, and Withers along with a Reserve Corps under the command of Brigadier General Alfred Mouton and a Cavalry Brigade under the command of Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke. Combined, the army amounted to 36,000 Men when the three major corps were combined (12,000 men each) while the Reserve Corps had 3,500 men and the Cavalry brigade had 500 men. In full, the Army of Southern Alabama had a strength of 40,000 men.

Though outnumbered by the Union Army by 20,000 men (1.5:1), General Davis was determined to keep his nation's capital safe. Ever since his arrival to Alabama in Mid July, he had began constructing a vast series of fortifications and defensive and had gotten an effective layout of the land and thus, was ready for any Union offensive. On the night of August 5th, despite receiving information of the Army of Southern Alabama being in the state, peeled off the III Corps under Brigadier General Quincy A. Gillmore to flank to the East, into the Florida panhandle, as his army marched Northeast to Montgomery from Mobile. In response, General Davis, convinced by his staff, peeled off his I Corps under Major General Cleburne and sent it to engage Gillmore's men as the rest of the Army would attempt to halt the Union's advance. The Gulf Theatre had officially opened and the first campaign, the March to Montgomery, had begun.

Confederate Order of Battle.PNG


Union Order of Battle.PNG


Confederate and Union structure for the Gulf Theatre of August 5th, 1862-July 5th, 1863. Note : The March to Montgomery Campaign would see Cleburne's I Corps and Gillmore's III Corps be split from their armies, though Gillmore would eventually meet up with the Army of the Gulf outside Montgomery
By August 9th, the Army of the Gulf had arrived at their first destination of Jackson, 134 miles southwest of Montgomery. Initially, the army planned to arrive to the city by August 7th but poor roads and heavy rains led to slow progress on the Union's part. They arrived at Jackson by 9:24 PM after non-stop marching and so, Butler had to allow his army to get some rest. At the same time, however, the Army of Southern Alabama's Cavalry brigade reported to Jefferson Davis at Fulton 24 miles northeast of the Union Army's position. The Confederate General that a frontal assault on the Union's line would lead to disaster and that if they met on the battlefield, the Army of Southern Alabama would be destroyed yet again. Instead, he decided to march 7 miles southwest to Grove Hill and entrench his forces there. Grove Hill was 17 miles northeast of Jackson and due to bad weather continuing for the next few days and even more bad roads and worse, woodlands, the Army of the Gulf had great difficulty getting there.

In Fact, on August 11th, Canby's II Corps got lost in the Alabama forest and retreated back to Jackson until word arrived from Butler that the Army of the Gulf had reached Thomasville, the next designated location for the Campaign so he could properly link up with the Union Army. What was initially planned to be a 6-7 hour march instead turned into a day and a half long march due to all the setbacks previously mentioned as well as the Union Supply Line having a hard time keeping up. By the time Butler's men reached Grove Hill, the Army of the Gulf was exhausted and several hundred men were either sick with disease or had gone missing, likely deserting. In total, He had at least 29,430 combat effective men compared to the 45,000 he had when he first began marching (though this was in large part due to the II Corps pulling back towards Jackson). Only the I Corps of the Union Army was at full strength and could carry out an effective assault.

By August 12th, Butler's forces had arrived to find a well entrenched and well rested enemy of 28,000 compared to his own fighting force. Initially, his officers told him to send messages to Jackson and await Canby's arrival to do a proper assault but General Butler was steadfast. "Even if we outnumber them very slightly," He began when speaking to Brigadier General Christopher C. Augur, the commander of the 1st Division of General Bank's I Corps, who addressed concern at attacking such a fortified position with only a small numerical advantage, "We need to destroy Davis' Army here and now to reach Montgomery quickly!" thus by 1:15 PM on that day, the Battle of Grove Hill took place. The battlefield was mostly open, with it being flat woodland stretching 5 square miles. However, the woods would be a distinct disadvantage to Union Forces as when they marched, their united would split up into squadrons to maneuver through them, ruining Unit Cohesion. Meanwhile, the Confederates had successfully entrenched themselves and set up three lines, one behind the other. The first line consisted of some of the best riflemen and sharpshooters in the army and was designed to inflict as many causalities on the advancing federals before the enemy was within half a mile of the first trench. When that happened, the first line would quickly withdraw and meet with General McCown's II Corps that was to hold the second line of trenches that had artillery laid out in a crossfire pattern. Once Union forces were within half a mile of the second lined, the II Corps was to withdraw back and meet up with General Withers' III Corps, that had much the same layout as the second line of trenches. If needed, General Mouton's Divisions left in reserve would be sent forward to assist in the defense of the third line, as General Davis that if it fell, then the battle would be lost.

The Union plan was to simply launch a wave attack with most of the I and IV Corps with the hopes to quickly drive Davis from the battlefield. As this was going on, General Marmaduke's Cavalry brigade was sent to record the layout of the land at several key points and attack Butler's supply line from Jackson and Mobile. The Battle of Grove Hill was a bloody disaster for the Union with the only success of the battle for them being the capture of the First Line of trenches by 3:09 PM, at a cost of 178 killed and 329 wounded. The battle would continue for another 7 hours, ending at 10:30 PM. The final cost for the Union was 956 killed, 2,043 wounded, and 256 missing/captured compared to the Confederacy's 86 killed, 104 wounded, and 79 missing/captured. By all measures of the word, the Army of the Gulf had been defeated and was now slightly outnumbered by Davis. Butler, realizing his position was now untenable, withdrew southwest towards Jackson in defeat, being harassed by anti-union guerrillas along the way. By the time the force arrived back there, the Army of the Gulf that began Grove Hill at 29,430 had reached 23,674. Butler linked up with the II Corps of his army once again and allowed the army to rest in Jackson for three days from August 16th-19th. The battle had made it clear to him that Montgomery wouldn't fall by the end of the month and he was even concerned that Montgomery, much less Atlanta, wouldn't fall by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, for the Army of Southern Alabama, the victory had brought great joy to General Davis as his relatively low causalities ensured the army could continue fighting for another day. With Cleburne's Corps distracting Gillmore's Corps in the east, both his army and Butler's had somewhat fewer men, but he was also aware that Butler still had the II Corps that he could command in his stead and knew that when Butler returned to Grove Hill, the battle would likely end in a Union Victory and the crushing of the Army. On August 14th, Davis ordered the army to withdraw towards Camden, 73 miles southwest of Montgomery, and would have that be his new base of operations. The reason for this is because he saw that the closer he could bring in Butler, the thinner his supply lines would become and the thinner they were, the easier it would be to demoralize his army. On August 20th, Butler began marching towards Thomasville, a position he wouldn't reach until September 2nd. News had yet to reach Butler of the other theaters of the War, where the Union had done anywhere between poorly and excellent and because of this, the General was unaware of what was happening outside of his campaign.

With I, II, and IV Corps under his command, the army numbered around 39,000 and he had failed to receive any word of the III Corps' progress in its march Eastward thanks to Cleburne's harassment. However, Butler did send out reconnaissance missions to investigate the area between him and his next destination, Furman. Meanwhile, Davis' own reconnaissance reported to him that the towns of Pine Hill and Yellow Bluff would provide excellent positions for defensive battles. He could only choose one, however, as he knew that two battles would be disastrous for his army when they're in a short time frame, and he choose the town of Yellow Bluff near the Alabama River. The local area was incredibly swampy, filled with several ponds and creeks that made it difficult to maneuver. However, Davis was not concerned with being on the offensive and instead set out his line in a defensive style much like Grove Hill. His plan would to simply allow the union forces to exhaust themselves whilst marching through the swamps, though cannon fire would rain upon them from the Confederate position.

Davis was given plenty of time to rest up his forces and entrench them at Yellow Bluff as Butler didn't Thomasville until September 6th and wouldn't arrive on the battlefield until September 12th. An 18 mile march that shouldn't have taken so long was weighed down by an unstable supply line and the woods and swamps of Alabama, though the weather had indeed cleared up enough to allow for a proper Union advance that didn't get stuck in mud or lost in the rain. The Battle of Yellow Bluff ended inconclusively with both sides claiming victory. Yet again, General Butler had ordered his men to attack in a wave while the Confederate orders were to simply hold the line. The II Corps achieved a breakthrough on the Confederate Right, routing half of the II Corps, and was about to move until the IV Corps was repelled by the Confederate III Corps and the Confederate Reserve Corps was sent to retake the Right Flank as the battle in the Center stalemated. At the end, the Union suffered 1,763 dead, 3,085 wounded, and 752 captured/missing while the confederates suffered 1,015 dead, 1,899 wounded, and 216 captured/missing. After the long 8 hour battle that lasted from Noon to 8 PM on September 12th, both sides went back to their camps. After suffering moderate losses, Davis believed it best to withdraw Northeast towards Hayneville, 23 miles southwest of Montgomery, to set up as his newest base of operations. It was unknown to him that Hayneville was also Butler's final destination before Montgomery.

From September 13th-September 21st, both forces marched until they arrived at the destination and gave one last battle at Hayneville on September 22nd that lead to a Union Victory, inflicting 2,115 dead, 4,080 wounded, and 954 captured/missing for the confederates while suffering 1,287 killed, 3,304 wounded, and 254 captured/missing. What made victory even better for Butler was the arrival of the battered but still in tact III Corps on September 23rd while Cleburne's own corps was nowhere to be found. Fearing of what would come next, Davis pulled his forces back to Montgomery, ordering the Confederate Government to flee to Atlanta, though President Breckenridge refused to leave. "If the Confederacy is to lose it's capital, then I will go down with it." And, carefully, the Confederate president would form a quickly made force of 10,500 men and placed them under his direct command. Known as the Presidential Guard, they would assist the Army of Southern Alabama in the defense of the Confederacy's Capital. On October 10th, the Army of the Gulf arrived at Montgomery and planned for battle with the enemy. Just before engaging, however, a problem arose, concerning General Cleburne and the Union Headquarters of Mobile.

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The Battle of Yellow Bluff, while Inconclusive, showed the Army of Southern Alabama was in serious danger
Shortly after Cleburne's corps had been peeled off from the Army of Southern Alabama at Fulton on August 8th, he began to track down the Union's II Corps with the goal of trapping it and destroying it. General Gillmore, meanwhile, advanced east into the Florida Panhandle and received extra supplies and men from the recently captures city of Pensacola. Now leading a corps of 24,000 men, he began marching north, hoping to attack Montgomery from the South undetected. Upon reaching the town of Falco on August 14th, unburdened by the troubles that his superior officer was suffering, a cavalry regiment placed in Cleburne's second division that was commanded by Brigadier General Patton Anderson reported to the general of Gillmore's advance and he moved from his position at the town of Monroeville to the town of River Falls on August 16th as Gillmore's II Corps rested at Falco.

On August 18th, the Union forces began marching North and reached River Falls by the 20th. Without the troubles of his commanding officer, General Gillmore's force arrived in relatively good condition but he had arrived by the Conecuh River without any pontoon boats. This presented a problem to the union corps, as they saw well entrenched Confederate soldiers on the west bank and the ruins of the bridge connecting both banks, destroyed by Cleburne to slow down the Union advance. It wasn't until proper rafts were constructed by mid September that the II Corps was able to row across the river and take the town. On the morning of August 29th, the II Corps of the Union Army began rowing across the river only to be met with volley after volley of Confederate rifle and cannon fire. Despite the heavy defense and bombardment, the II Corps' third division under Lieutenant Colonel James B. McPherson and assaulted the Confederate positions.

Upon reaching them, however, the confederate forces gave little to no resistance and a few minutes before they actually arrived on the west bank, the artillery fire had ceased. It did not occur to the Union that Major General Cleburne had actually set up a better defensive position near the town and had ordered the 2nd brigade under his 1st division, under the command of his personal confidant Colonel Samuel Clemmens, or as his friend would later call him, Mark Twain, to defend the western bank until the Union Force was nigh upon them. And so, Colonel Clemmens forced the Union into a bloody battle that costed the Union several hundred lives while his own brigade suffered only a couple dozen. By 1 PM, the entire II Corps had arrived on the West Bank while Cleburne had consolidated his I Corps within the town and was determined to hold it. His men, trained in the same fashion as the British, was considered to be some of the best in the Confederacy and that would be a key advantage coming into this battle and future ones.

By 2:45 PM, General Gillmore ordered an assault on the town, believing that the outnumbered Confederates would simply be overwhelmed and surrender. Instead, however, for the next 6 hours and 15 minutes, the Union Corps was consistently sent back as the Confederate Corps held their line. By 9 PM, as the sun was setting, Gillmore ordered his men to retreat across the river and instead march east to Heath. The Battle of River Falls was yet another bloody defeat for the Union, something they were seeing all too often early in the war, with 1,852 dead, 2,705 wounded, and 762 captured/missing compared to Cleburne's 95 dead, 134 wounded, and 25 captured/missing. While it wasn't a total defeat, it did give Gillmore a bloody nose and made him concerned enough that he wouldn't reach Butler in time to assist in the Siege of Montgomery.

From August 30th-September 10th, Cleburne and Gillmore would face off in several more battles (Gantt (August 31st), Patsiliga Creek (September 2nd), Red Level (September 4th), Poplar Creek (September 7th), and McKenzie (September 9th)), all of which were decisive Confederate victories that forced General Gillmore to march in jagged lines, which would disrupt his supply train to Pensacola. On September 11th, however, Cleburne decided it was time to change his strategy and marched south, directly to Pensacola. General Gillmore, hearing of the Confederate movements, quickly followed after him in a desperate attempt to stop the cut off of his supplies. However, this was exactly what Cleburne had planned for, as his forces encamped itself at Escambia Farms, 47 miles south of the Union position at Clearview and 90 miles northeast of Cleburne's main target, Pensacola.

The two forces engaged one another on September 15th, with it being clear neither side would leave with a decisive victory. By 11 PM, the Confederates had won a close victory, suffering 1,852 dead, 2,872 wounded, and 311 captured/missing to the Union's 2,009 dead, 3,208 wounded, and 817 captured/missing. While a bloody battle and a costly defeat for the Union, it kept Gillmore's supply lines opened for just a bit longer as Cleburne was forced to pull back his corps or risk encirclement. On September 17th and 20th, he would win two more decisive victories, however, at Wallace and Beatrice before he disengaged the battered Union II Corps. When it started engaging Cleburne, it had 24,000 men, but by the time it would join Butler's forces at Hayneville on September 23rd, it was a mess of 7,421 men, with only 5,211 combat able.

Meanwhile, for the Confederates, due to his diversionary campaign, Cleburne had become somewhat of a hero and was able to gain men and supplies because of that. What once was a corps of 12,000 soon swelled to 19,000 by September 24th. Three days later, Pensacola would fall to his units and by October 2nd, he would begin to besiege Mobile, cutting off Butler from his supply lines. Once news of this reached the Major General on October 12th, he didn't know how to react and he and his staff were locked in a stalemate, unsure of whether to continue to siege Montgomery and then move on to Atlanta or if they should re secure Mobile. While the first option would continue the campaign, it was likely to destroy their army and be a pyrrhic victory at best, whereas the second option would effectively end the campaign for the time being by would ensure the army could live on to fight another day. For 4 days, the Union army was locked in stalemate about what to do when the Confederates decided for them. From October 16th-17th, the Battle of Hope Hull occured with the Confederate Army of Southern Alabama and President Breckenridge's personal force combating the Army of the Gulf. The battle would end at 3:25 PM on October 17th when the Confederate Army drove the last Union Brigade off the field. A bloody affair, there were around 9,843 causalities combined for both sides, with the Union taking the brunt of the damage. Two days later, as Butler marched back to Mobile with his tattered and devastated army, Davis sent a telegram to Cleburne and his crops, which had swelled to 21,000 during the siege of Mobile, to withdraw, fearful of a possible envelopment and destruction of the I Corps.

Cleburne relented and on October 20th, a week and a half before Butler returned to Mobile, lifted the First Siege of Mobile. Though the I Corps would briefly engage with the Union Army on October 29th, in which both sides only suffered a few dozen causalities, there would be no further engagements. On November 2nd, Cleburne would arrive at Montgomery to rejoin the Army of Southern Alabama. Cleburne had become somewhat of a regional hero in Alabama and when news of his diversion of the much larger Union II Corps was spread across the Confederacy, he became a National Hero, with many dubbing him the Stonewall of the West. Day later, on November 6th, Butler would return to Mobile and camp there until early 1863. The March to Montgomery Campaign had ended in defeat for the Union and never again would a federal force get to besiege Montgomery.

March to Montgomery Campaign Area.PNG


A modern view of the March to Montgomery Campaign Area. A disaster for the Union, this would pave the way for future Confederate Victories in the war
The aftermath of the March to Montgomery Campaign was immediate. Though it occurred after most of the 1862 midterm elections, there was still the 1863 elections that also was a knife in the back of the Union Cause. While they had seen victories at specific points in the West and East, their defeats in the Gulf was becoming unbearable. As the Confederacy celebrated and President Breckenridge considered the promotion of Major General Cleburne to a full on General for his actions, Major General Butler pleaded with lincoln for just some more time, stating in a message sent on November 12th "Mr. President, all I need is some more men and supplies and I can definitively take Montgomery. By March of Next Year, you'll be walking through the Confederate Capital as we discuss the South's surrender." Despite warriness on the Union President's part, he allowed Butler to continue his operations in the Gulf Theatre and sent around 16-20,000 men to reinforce him at Mobile. As the Army of the Gulf settled in with the reinforcements in Late December, tragedy arrived that shook many of the Officers and wavered morale in the army.
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Post #5 is finally finished and is my first fully original work. Credit goes to @John Wolf Smith for helping me construct the command structure of the Armies of the Gulf and of Southern Alabama. Thank you everyone for reading and remember to leave a review about what you've seen so far. TTYL!
 

Tigerdovefan34

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Jan 28, 2020
Ok, so I attempted to post the next bit here twice now and twice it has been rejected. If anyone is curious, I am Genyodectes from Alternate Timelines if people is using that site, hence why I'm posting it both here and there. I guess until I can get this whole thing settled, feel free to go there and read the updates for this Timeline. At the same time, if anyone wants to make a Double Blind Timeline of this Timeline so far, feel free to. A Double Blind what-if is basically a what-if of a what-if.
 
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