Wrapped in Flames: The Great American War and Beyond

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Generally, I'd say that the British have the competency/tech to overcome the Union on the field of battle, but the Union has responded to that by 'digging in' when they go up against the British because the men have realized that standing in the open and letting the British shoot at them is a great way to die.
Which should then of course result in British countermoves, like turning movements where possible or artillery support when not. Not in every single battle, of course, but as a general rule; it's what the British already have in their toolkit.
There was also discussion in RUSI in IIRC 1859-60 about the merits of suppressive mass rifle-musket fire, specifically noting that this would have been beneficial at the Alma.
 

CanadianCanuck

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Which should then of course result in British countermoves, like turning movements where possible or artillery support when not. Not in every single battle, of course, but as a general rule; it's what the British already have in their toolkit.
There was also discussion in RUSI in IIRC 1859-60 about the merits of suppressive mass rifle-musket fire, specifically noting that this would have been beneficial at the Alma.

Generally the last few battles were won by the simply enormous superiority in British guns. All the American blocking attempts leading to Ticonderoga failed. British rifle superiority has definitely helped. The biggest problem leading to Ticonderoga was the Union bottlenecked the only viable passage south, though it didn't really help in the end.

Suppressive rifle fire and "over the head" artillery fire has been used at Ausable River notably, and then fire superiority won at Bosworth Mountain, with only uphill fighting making the British have such a costly time of it.

At Saratoga though, other than the morale value, it's past the natural bottlenecks so they haven't really done much but briefly stop the British momentum.
 

CanadianCanuck

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Chapter 72: Parting the Waters

“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained.” - Exodus 14:27-28

“Months of ineffective siege would finally end on August 1st. Grant, his army sick and exhausted, ordered a withdrawal in the night. The men would rest throughout the day, but at midnight would begin marching north, back to Memphis and the succor of the river fleet.

Johnston, with many of his own men ill and needing to reorganize after the siege, chose not to pursue. He happily let Grant go. Disease had weakened both sides, and it would be months before Johnston made his own movements north. Grant’s retreat though, did compel the withdrawal of men from the lines at Grenada, concentrating the Federal army at Memphis. Johnston responded by moving to Jackson Mississippi at the end of August, combining with Polk and Beuregard’s troops there…” - A Mire of Blood: The Siege of Corinth, Michael Sullivan, Kansas City Press, 1999

“The growth of the Confederate Mississippi flotilla was in stark contrast to the diminishment of the Union fleet. Since early 1862 Confederate agents had been busily purchasing weapons and warships in Britain. Chief amongst these agents was James D. Bulloch. He had negotiated multiple contracts with private firms in Britain, in Liverpool especially. The outbreak of war between Britain and the Union made his negotiations much simpler, and he was able to rapidly secure permissions to build vessels for riverine and oceanic warfare for the Confederacy. His main obstacle came from the sudden influx of government contracts for vessels for the Royal Navy.

Recognizing the need to, at least indirectly, support the Confederacy, London made certain allowances for warships to be constructed for the Confederates. That allowed for contracts Bulloch had placed to be laid down and delivered. However, with the need for government warships to be constructed, deliveries were delayed until the middle of 1863.

Bulloch had prioritized the delivery of seagoing warships, which paid dividends, but had also contracted for three riverine warships to supplement the Mississippi River Flotilla. This allowed for the delivery of the warships Memphis(7), Vicksburg(7) and Baton Rouge(9). These augmented the growing fleet on the river...

Hollins, since the Battle of Riddle’s Point, had husbanded the strength of the flotilla. In order to support the needs of the army, he had been forced to retreat to Vicksburg as Memphis fell. There he had helped keep the Federal army and navy at bay, shelling and skirmishing with his counterparts in the Federal squadron.

The Federal squadron had been effectively decapitated at Grant’s attempted crossing of the Tennessee River after Confederate guns had sunk Cairo and killed Commodore Foote. In the aftermath Foote had been replaced by Rear-Admiral Charles H. Davis, who had been forced to detach some of his fleet to the mouth of the Tennessee River to protect against the small, but growing Confederate Tennessee River Squadron.

Davis, leaving the ironclads St. Louis and Essex alongside the new turret ironclad Neosho[1], managed to rally his remaining ironclads and gunboats to protect Grant’s retreating forces at Memphis. He had the Philadelphia(Flag), Benton, Carondelet, and Cincinnati available to him now. Unaware of the extent of the Confederate purchases, he believed he had at least parity with the Confederate river flotilla, and as such, was unafraid when Hollins’s squadron appeared south of Memphis on August 30th.

Knowing he had to defend the position for the Federal army, Davis sortied with his full squadron to meet Hollins. By the time observers from shore could warn him of the threat posed by true Confederate ironclad numbers, it was far too late to change course…” - On the Shores of the Mississippi: The Western Theater of the Great American War, Francis McKean, University of Boston, 1996

“The fight below Memphis was brutal and short. The Confederate weight in guns and iron was immense. Though the Union was able to turn their own land based defenses on the Confederate vessels, sinking a wooden cottonclad and heavily damaging the Baton Rouge, the Confederate flotilla swept it’s Union adversaries upriver.
Most notably, the Confederate ironclad Arkansas would once again engage its rival Cincinnati. The two vessels, insofar as was possible, squared off in the confines of the river, their commanders almost straining to take shots at one another. The Arkansas fired upon Cincinnati at near pointblank range, while the Union ironclad did likewise. The fire was immense, but each was so well armored that they damaged each other little. The battle, once again, proved inconclusive, and Cincinnati would retreat north with her sisters when the order was given to withdraw.

For now, the Confederates stood victorious on the Mississippi…




cincinnati1861-65-jpg.jpg


The Cincinnati at rest in late 1864.

After supply failures had compelled his withdrawal from the ineffective siege around Corinth, and the untenable situation at Memphis. Grant was painfully aware that the only option open to him now was to attempt to turn back whatever follow up blow Johnston would place against Kentucky. In doing so, he ordered the destruction of anything which might give succor to the advancing Confederates telling his subordinates to “scorch the earth so that Johnston may find only ashes between Memphis and Paducah.

His major points to defend were Columbus, and all the other military and industrial centers beyond it. To do so, he prepared outposts along the highlands of the 35th parallel that divided the border between Tennessee and Kentucky, and the Mississippi Squadron withdrew beyond Island No. 10. Grant expected to stymy Johnston’s advance on the river and on land, and he knew one location Johnston could not ignore, Union City, Tennessee. Squatting on the major roadways and railroads, it was an area that any Confederate army would have to march through, and Grant intended for them to have to march over his dead body.

It was here that Grant would mount his defence of Kentucky. The appropriately named Union City would be the lynchpin of the combined armies under Grant’s command (VIII Corps, IX Corps and XII Corps) and blocking Johnston’s path, the Confederate general would have no choice but to commit to battle. Johnston was not long in obliging. On the 19th of September, the similarly united Army of Tennessee and the Army of the Mississippi would be brought to bear.

Having determined that the defenses of Corinth had repelled his own forces, Grant determined that a fortified position would do well to “waste away” the enemy before him. Rudimentary entrenchments circled the town, and Grant covered the roads in and out of the city. With no choice but to attack, Johnston pushed the combined armies forward. Almost predictably, he broke his teeth on Grant’s fieldworks, and over two days of battle was exhausted, leaving his troops easy prey for a counterattack late on the 20th.

Forced to withdraw to Memphis, Johnston put his battered troops on rest, looking for another way to drive Grant entirely from Tennessee…” To Arms!: The Great American War, Sheldon Foote, University of Boston 1999.

“May of 1863 saw much Federal success in Kentucky, thanks to the brilliant maneuvering of Thomas and his subordinates. He had outmaneuvered Kirby Smith and was in a great position to cut off and isolate Confederate forces in the East of the state. However, with the crisis at Washington, the Lincoln administration needed a proven commander to rectify the situation in Maryland, and recalled Thomas to take command on the Susquehanna. Thus, command of the Army of the Ohio fell to Gordon Granger, Commandant of the Post of Louisville. Granger was a veteran of the Mexican War and had seen action as a staff officer and cavalry commander under John Pope, before being assigned to the Post of Louisville following the Battle of Bardstown. Thus far he had not seen much major action besides frustrating cavalry actions against Forrest’s cavalry.




gordon_granger_-_brady-handy-jpg.jpg


Gordon Granger, commander of Union forces in Kentucky


Granger wanted to defend Louisville, but political pressure forced him to hold at least some of the gains Thomas had made that May. To hold such a front, he would have needed two corps. However, he only had on hand the divisions of Thomas Wood and Horatio Van Cleve, formerly the garrison of Nashville.

With the siege of Corinth ongoing, and the truly titanic fighting in New York and across Maryland raging, there was little possibility of reinforcement, and Granger had to contend with what he had.

Meanwhile, the Army of Kentucky under the cantankerous and glory hungry Kirby Smith, had been refitting and reforming after the embarrassing defeats inflicted by Thomas in May. Taking the time to re-arm his men with proper rifles and take on new Kentucky volunteers, he began to bring the Confederate army up to strength for what he hoped would cement control of all Kentucky, but especially the greatest prize, Louiseville.

Smith also began to receive reinforcements. Two brigades arrived from Mississippi, an all Texan outfit under James Deshler, and a part Tennessee and part Texan brigade under John Gregg. Gregg’s men were veterans of the surrender of Fort Donelson, and had been on garrison duty near Vicksburg whilst their paroles were in place. While in the area, the 10th Tennessee, a predominantly Irish regiment already, received new companies from Irish dock workers from New Orleans, who helped swell the regiment’s strength up to around 800 men. The men took pride in their Irish roots, their green regimental flag bearing the signature golden harp and bearing the words “Sons of Erin”; thus, when they discovered they would serve under an Irishman named Cleburne, the men were ecstatic to serve under one of their own for once.

The Texans of Deshler’s Brigade, however, were anything but ecstatic. His command, mostly dismounted cavalry regiments who wished to defend their home state, were unhappy with being sent across the Mississippi to fight in Mississippi. When they had arrived in Vicksburg, they caused trouble with the locals and began a minor riot, before the men were put under arrest by the order of P. G. T. Beauregard. Because of their behavior, they were sent to Kentucky instead of to the much closer Corinth, because none of A. S. Johnston’s subordinates wanted them under their command. They would soon learn to appreciate this, as many grew attached to their new commander.

Smith added these two brigades to his army, Gregg’s to Cleburne’s division, bringing his division up to 10,000 men. Meanwhile, Smith also received Carter L. Stevenson’s 3 brigades from Central and Eastern Kentucky to reinforce his command. Finally, Smith got the cavalry division of John Hunt Morgan to help counter Sanders’ Horsemen, bringing his Corps-strength army up to 26,000 men and 50 guns. It was with this force Smith moved to try and claim all of the state in late 1863.




general_john_h-_morgan_2-jpg.jpg


John Hunt Morgan, the daring commander who helped make the war international.


Morgan’s Cavalry pushed forward to Shelbyville, to make a direct threat to Louisville. However, Morgan ran into Sanders’ entrenched and well equipped cavalrymen. In what would become known as the Great Shelbyville Races, Sanders utterly routed Morgan’s command. Sanders pursued Morgan’s command on to Frankfort, before being halted by Churchill’s Division.

However, this action was merely a ruse, as Smith marched Cleburne’s and Stevenson’s divisions east to Lexington, south to Nicholasville and on to Danville, where they pushed out Union cavalry videttes attached to Beatty’s Division. This alerted Granger, who had ordered Rousseau to move north to support Sanders near Shelbyville, to the true Confederate intention, and ordered Rousseau and Sanders south to join Beatty at Perryville.

At Perryville, Terrill pulled his small command West of Doctor’s Creek. He placed his 2nd and 3rd Brigade on high ground overlooking Sink Hole Valley, whilst Samuel Beatty’s 1st Brigade on the south side of the Mackville Road. His command was small, with barely 5,000 men in the ranks to 18,000 Confederates.

Cleburne put forth his lead brigade, under John Gregg, to lead the assault across Doctor’s Creek, straight into Sink Hole Valley. Here, the federals cut down Gregg’s command, wounding the commander and resulting in the loss of 600 men. However, on the left, Polk’s and Liddle’s Brigades struck Beatty’s Brigade, which collapsed after a heavy melee in open ground. Cleburne followed up by launching his one brigade of Cavalry, under Colonel Adam Johnson, to run down the fleeing Federals. Cleburne then turned Liddle’s and Polk’s Brigades to the right, encircling Terrill’s remaining troops. Terrill was killed, and Brigadier Walter Whitaker, the ranking officer remaining and already wounded himself, surrendered the remnant of his command, resulting in the surrender of around 2400 men.

After this, Smith began processing the captured men to the rear, when a courier reported Rousseau’s division marching down the Benton Road. Smith sent forth Stevenson’s Division to take and hold the Open Knob. Rousseau managed to overrun Tracy’s and Barton’s Brigades, before coming upon Widow Gibson’s Hill, where Stevenson had placed Cumming’s Georgian and Alexander Reynolds’ mixed Virginia and North Carolina Brigades, as a second line. The fighting was brutal, but eventually, with Barton’s and Tracy’s men reforming to support Stevenson’s line, as well as supporting fire from the right from Liddell’s Division, Rousseau was forced to withdraw his command, seeing that the situation was irreversible.

The Battle of Perryville was a well fought victory by General Smith,: at the loss of around 2750 men, Cleburne had destroyed Terrill’s division, capturing 2500 men and 18 guns, and inflicting another 2900 casualties upon Terrill and Rousseau. Beatty’s 1600-man Brigade, the sole remaining contingent of Terrill’s command, soon was forced to surrender to Adam Johnson’s Cavalry Brigade at Lebanon, after Johnson had employed stovepipes to mimic real canons and making Beatty believe the full Confederate army was about to destroy his force; for this, Johnson’s command became known as “The Stovepipe Brigade”, and it’s commander, promoted to Brigadier General, became known in the press as Stovepipe Johnson.

The disaster at Perryville unsettled Granger. Fearing that Cleburne’s command would fall upon Louisville and unseat the last bastion of Federal control in East Kentucky, he pulled back Rousseau to Louisville, with Sanders fighting a rearguard at Shepherdsville. Only now did Granger receive authorization to move Horatio Van Cleve’s Divisions to his aid. Thus, Smith was unable to move to exploit the success and take Louisville. However he had denied any possibility for the Federals to take the offensive in Kentucky.” - The War in the Bluegrass State, Luke Freet, University of Columbia 1985[2]

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1] TTL the materials which would go to building her sister ship have been detailed elsewhere to provide for the Lake Ontario Squadron and Lake Champlain Squadron. The Union is woefully behind on ironclads in the Mississippi.

2] Attribution to this section to @Luke Freet which I thought was too cool not to include, with some light edits overall. Thanks for being a big fan!
 
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Luke Freet

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Location
Palm Coast, Florida
Chapter 72: Parting the Waters

“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained.” - Exodus 14:27-28

“Months of ineffective siege would finally end on August 1st. Grant, his army sick and exhausted, ordered a withdrawal in the night. The men would rest throughout the day, but at midnight would begin marching north, back to Memphis and the succor of the river fleet.

Johnston, with many of his own men ill and needing to reorganize after the siege, chose not to pursue. He happily let Grant go. Disease had weakened both sides, and it would be months before Johnston made his own movements north. Grant’s retreat though, did compel the withdrawal of men from the lines at Grenada, concentrating the Federal army at Memphis. Johnston responded by moving to Jackson Mississippi at the end of August, combining with Polk and Beuregard’s troops there…” - A Mire of Blood: The Siege of Corinth, Michael Sullivan, Kansas City Press, 1999

“The growth of the Confederate Mississippi flotilla was in stark contrast to the diminishment of the Union fleet. Since early 1862 Confederate agents had been busily purchasing weapons and warships in Britain. Chief amongst these agents was James D. Bulloch. He had negotiated multiple contracts with private firms in Britain, in Liverpool especially. The outbreak of war between Britain and the Union made his negotiations much simpler, and he was able to rapidly secure permissions to build vessels for riverine and oceanic warfare for the Confederacy. His main obstacle came from the sudden influx of government contracts for vessels for the Royal Navy.

Recognizing the need to, at least indirectly, support the Confederacy, London made certain allowances for warships to be constructed for the Confederates. That allowed for contracts Bulloch had placed to be laid down and delivered. However, with the need for government warships to be constructed, deliveries were delayed until the middle of 1863.

Bulloch had prioritized the delivery of seagoing warships, which paid dividends, but had also contracted for three riverine warships to supplement the Mississippi River Flotilla. This allowed for the delivery of the warships Memphis(7), Vicksburg(7) and Baton Rouge(9). These augmented the growing fleet on the river...

Hollins, since the Battle of Riddle’s Point, had husbanded the strength of the flotilla. In order to support the needs of the army, he had been forced to retreat to Vicksburg as Memphis fell. There he had helped keep the Federal army and navy at bay, shelling and skirmishing with his counterparts in the Federal squadron.

The Federal squadron had been effectively decapitated at Grant’s attempted crossing of the Tennessee River after Confederate guns had sunk Cairo and killed Commodore Foote. In the aftermath Foote had been replaced by Rear-Admiral Charles H. Davis, who had been forced to detach some of his fleet to the mouth of the Tennessee River to protect against the small, but growing Confederate Tennessee River Squadron.

Davis, leaving the ironclads St. Louis and Essex alongside the new turret ironclad Neosho[1], managed to rally his remaining ironclads and gunboats to protect Grant’s retreating forces at Memphis. He had the Philadelphia(Flag), Benton, Carondelet, and Cincinnati available to him now. Unaware of the extent of the Confederate purchases, he believed he had at least parity with the Confederate river flotilla, and as such, was unafraid when Hollins’s squadron appeared south of Memphis on August 30th.

Knowing he had to defend the position for the Federal army, Davis sortied with his full squadron to meet Hollins. By the time observers from shore could warn him of the threat posed by true Confederate ironclad numbers, it was far too late to change course…” - On the Shores of the Mississippi: The Western Theater of the Great American War, Francis McKean, University of Boston, 1996

“The fight below Memphis was brutal and short. The Confederate weight in guns and iron was immense. Though the Union was able to turn their own land based defenses on the Confederate vessels, sinking a wooden cottonclad and heavily damaging the Baton Rouge, the Confederate flotilla swept it’s Union adversaries upriver.
Most notably, the Confederate ironclad Arkansas would once again engage its rival Cincinnati. The two vessels, insofar as was possible, squared off in the confines of the river, their commanders almost straining to take shots at one another. The Arkansas fired upon Cincinnati at near pointblank range, while the Union ironclad did likewise. The fire was immense, but each was so well armored that they damaged each other little. The battle, once again, proved inconclusive, and Cincinnati would retreat north with her sisters when the order was given to withdraw.

For now, the Confederates stood victorious on the Mississippi…




View attachment 401833

The Cincinnati at rest in late 1864.

After supply failures had compelled his withdrawal from the ineffective siege around Corinth, and the untenable situation at Memphis. Grant was painfully aware that the only option open to him now was to attempt to turn back whatever follow up blow Johnston would place against Kentucky. In doing so, he ordered the destruction of anything which might give succor to the advancing Confederates telling his subordinates to “scorch the earth so that Johnston may find only ashes between Memphis and Paducah.

His major points to defend were Columbus, and all the other military and industrial centers beyond it. To do so, he prepared outposts along the highlands of the 35th parallel that divided the border between Tennessee and Kentucky, and the Mississippi Squadron withdrew beyond Island No. 10. Grant expected to stymy Johnston’s advance on the river and on land, and he knew one location Johnston could not ignore, Union City, Tennessee. Squatting on the major roadways and railroads, it was an area that any Confederate army would have to march through, and Grant intended for them to have to march over his dead body.

It was here that Grant would mount his defence of Kentucky. The appropriately named Union City would be the lynchpin of the combined armies under Grant’s command (VIII Corps, IX Corps and XII Corps) and blocking Johnston’s path, the Confederate general would have no choice but to commit to battle. Johnston was not long in obliging. On the 19th of September, the similarly united Army of Tennessee and the Army of the Mississippi would be brought to bear.

Having determined that the defenses of Corinth had repelled his own forces, Grant determined that a fortified position would do well to “waste away” the enemy before him. Rudimentary entrenchments circled the town, and Grant covered the roads in and out of the city. With no choice but to attack, Johnston pushed the combined armies forward. Almost predictably, he broke his teeth on Grant’s fieldworks, and over two days of battle was exhausted, leaving his troops easy prey for a counterattack late on the 20th.

Forced to withdraw to Memphis, Johnston put his battered troops on rest, looking for another way to drive Grant entirely from Tennessee…” To Arms!: The Great American War, Sheldon Foote, University of Boston 1999.

“May of 1863 saw much Federal success in Kentucky, thanks to the brilliant maneuvering of Thomas and his subordinates. He had outmaneuvered Kirby Smith and was in a great position to cut off and isolate Confederate forces in the East of the state. However, with the crisis at Washington, the Lincoln administration needed a proven commander to rectify the situation in Maryland, and recalled Thomas to take command on the Susquehanna. Thus, command of the Army of the Ohio fell to Gordon Granger, Commandant of the Post of Louisville. Granger was a veteran of the Mexican War and had seen action as a staff officer and cavalry commander under John Pope, before being assigned to the Post of Louisville following the Battle of Bardstown. Thus far he had not seen much major action besides frustrating cavalry actions against Forrest’s cavalry.




View attachment 401834

Gordon Granger, commander of Union forces in Kentucky


Granger wanted to defend Louisville, but political pressure forced him to hold at least some of the gains Thomas had made that May. To hold such a front, he would have needed two corps. However, he only had on hand the divisions of Thomas Wood and Horatio Van Cleve, formerly the garrison of Nashville.

With the siege of Corinth ongoing, and the truly titanic fighting in New York and across Maryland raging, there was little possibility of reinforcement, and Granger had to contend with what he had.

Meanwhile, the Army of Kentucky under the cantankerous and glory hungry Kirby Smith, had been refitting and reforming after the embarrassing defeats inflicted by Thomas in May. Taking the time to re-arm his men with proper rifles and take on new Kentucky volunteers, he began to bring the Confederate army up to strength for what he hoped would cement control of all Kentucky, but especially the greatest prize, Louiseville.

Smith also began to receive reinforcements. Two brigades arrived from Mississippi, an all Texan outfit under James Deshler, and a part Tennessee and part Texan brigade under John Gregg. Gregg’s men were veterans of the surrender of Fort Donelson, and had been on garrison duty near Vicksburg whilst their paroles were in place. While in the area, the 10th Tennessee, a predominantly Irish regiment already, received new companies from Irish dock workers from New Orleans, who helped swell the regiment’s strength up to around 800 men. The men took pride in their Irish roots, their green regimental flag bearing the signature golden harp and bearing the words “Sons of Erin”; thus, when they discovered they would serve under an Irishman named Cleburne, the men were ecstatic to serve under one of their own for once.

The Texans of Deshler’s Brigade, however, were anything but ecstatic. His command, mostly dismounted cavalry regiments who wished to defend their home state, were unhappy with being sent across the Mississippi to fight in Mississippi. When they had arrived in Vicksburg, they caused trouble with the locals and began a minor riot, before the men were put under arrest by the order of P. G. T. Beauregard. Because of their behavior, they were sent to Kentucky instead of to the much closer Corinth, because none of A. S. Johnston’s subordinates wanted them under their command. They would soon learn to appreciate this, as many grew attached to their new commander.

Smith added these two brigades to his army, Gregg’s to Cleburne’s division, bringing his division up to 10,000 men. Meanwhile, Smith also received Carter L. Stevenson’s 3 brigades from Central and Eastern Kentucky to reinforce his command. Finally, Smith got the cavalry division of John Hunt Morgan to help counter Sanders’ Horsemen, bringing his Corps-strength army up to 26,000 men and 50 guns. It was with this force Smith moved to try and claim all of the state in late 1863.




View attachment 401835

John Hunt Morgan, the daring commander who helped make the war international.


Morgan’s Cavalry pushed forward to Shelbyville, to make a direct threat to Louisville. However, Morgan ran into Sanders’ entrenched and well equipped cavalrymen. In what would become known as the Great Shelbyville Races, Sanders utterly routed Morgan’s command. Sanders pursued Morgan’s command on to Frankfort, before being halted by Churchill’s Division.

However, this action was merely a ruse, as Smith marched Cleburne’s and Stevenson’s divisions east to Lexington, south to Nicholasville and on to Danville, where they pushed out Union cavalry videttes attached to Beatty’s Division. This alerted Granger, who had ordered Rousseau to move north to support Sanders near Shelbyville, to the true Confederate intention, and ordered Rousseau and Sanders south to join Beatty at Perryville.

At Perryville, Terrill pulled his small command West of Doctor’s Creek. He placed his 2nd and 3rd Brigade on high ground overlooking Sink Hole Valley, whilst Samuel Beatty’s 1st Brigade on the south side of the Mackville Road. His command was small, with barely 5,000 men in the ranks to 18,000 Confederates.

Cleburne put forth his lead brigade, under John Gregg, to lead the assault across Doctor’s Creek, straight into Sink Hole Valley. Here, the federals cut down Gregg’s command, wounding the commander and resulting in the loss of 600 men. However, on the left, Polk’s and Govan’s Brigades struck Beatty’s Brigade, which collapsed after a heavy melee in open ground. Cleburne followed up by launching his one brigade of Cavalry, under Colonel Adam Johnson, to run down the fleeing Federals. Cleburne then turned Govan’s and Polk’s Brigades to the right, encircling Terrill’s remaining troops. Terrill was killed, and Brigadier Walter Whitaker, the ranking officer remaining and already wounded himself, surrendered the remnant of his command, resulting in the surrender of around 2400 men.

After this, Smith began processing the captured men to the rear, when a courier reported Rousseau’s division marching down the Benton Road. Smith sent forth Stevenson’s Division to take and hold the Open Knob. Rousseau managed to overrun Tracy’s and Barton’s Brigades, before coming upon Widow Gibson’s Hill, where Stevenson had placed Cumming’s Georgian and Alexander Reynolds’ mixed Virginia and North Carolina Brigades, as a second line. The fighting was brutal, but eventually, with Barton’s and Tracy’s men reforming to support Stevenson’s line, as well as supporting fire from the right from Liddell’s Division, Rousseau was forced to withdraw his command, seeing that the situation was irreversible.

The Battle of Perryville was a well fought victory by General Smith,: at the loss of around 2750 men, Cleburne had destroyed Terrill’s division, capturing 2500 men and 18 guns, and inflicting another 2900 casualties upon Terrill and Rousseau. Beatty’s 1600-man Brigade, the sole remaining contingent of Terrill’s command, soon was forced to surrender to Adam Johnson’s Cavalry Brigade at Lebanon, after Johnson had employed stovepipes to mimic real canons and making Beatty believe the full Confederate army was about to destroy his force; for this, Johnson’s command became known as “The Stovepipe Brigade”, and it’s commander, promoted to Brigadier General, became known in the press as Stovepipe Johnson.

The disaster at Perryville unsettled Granger. Fearing that Cleburne’s command would fall upon Louisville and unseat the last bastion of Federal control in East Kentucky, he pulled back Rousseau to Louisville, with Sanders fighting a rearguard at Shepherdsville. Only now did McCook receive authorization to move Thomas Wood’s and Horatio Van Cleve’s Divisions to his aid. Thus, Smith was unable to move to exploit the success and take Louisville. However he had denied any possibility for the Federals to take the offensive in Kentucky.” - The War in the Bluegrass State, Luke Freet, University of Columbia 1985[2]

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1] TTL the materials which would go to building her sister ship have been detailed elsewhere to provide for the Lake Ontario Squadron and Lake Champlain Squadron. The Union is woefully behind on ironclads in the Mississippi.

2] Attribution to this section to @Luke Freet which I thought was too cool not to include, with some light edits overall. Thanks for being a big fan!
I received a message today from a friend of mine who is also a fan of this work; he congratulated me on being brought up in the recent chapter. Up till now I'd been busy travelling.
Great chapter btw. A few things you need to edit: Deshler's brigade is brought up but don't seem to contribute to the campaign it seems, just Gregg's Brigade; since Cleburne is still a division command, Liddell should still be in brigade command and not Govan (unless he goes west a la historical); and at the end, it says McCook when I think you mean Granger. Not sure which faults are mine when I rewrote the thing five times, and which faults are just editing errors when you made it all fit with the main story line.
Anyways, thank you for citing me, both in footnotes and giving me the ahistorical citation.
Edit: noticed another editing issue. So, it's starts by mentioning that Granger only has Cleve's and Wood's infantry divisions. However, you also being up Terrill and Rousseau during the Perryville Battle. That's definitely a mixup with my original story, where McCook and Crittenden's division ( latter under Rousseau assuming Crittenden was recovering from his Danville wound), but changed realizing they were with Thomas in the east. Terrill's command would have consisted of Tom Wood's division, while Granger reinforced with Van Cleve at open knob. This, Wood's division would have been destroyed. So Granger would only have Van Cleve's division (weakened by battle casualties), Sander's cavalry command, and a handful of stragglers from Wood's division.
 
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CanadianCanuck

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
I received a message today from a friend of mine who is also a fan of this work; he congratulated me on being brought up in the recent chapter. Up till now I'd been busy travelling.
Great chapter btw. A few things you need to edit: Deshler's brigade is brought up but don't seem to contribute to the campaign it seems, just Gregg's Brigade; since Cleburne is still a division command, Liddell should still be in brigade command and not Govan (unless he goes west a la historical); and at the end, it says McCook when I think you mean Granger. Not sure which faults are mine when I rewrote the thing five times, and which faults are just editing errors when you made it all fit with the main story line.
Anyways, thank you for citing me, both in footnotes and giving me the ahistorical citation.
Edit: noticed another editing issue. So, it's starts by mentioning that Granger only has Cleve's and Wood's infantry divisions. However, you also being up Terrill and Rousseau during the Perryville Battle. That's definitely a mixup with my original story, where McCook and Crittenden's division ( latter under Rousseau assuming Crittenden was recovering from his Danville wound), but changed realizing they were with Thomas in the east. Terrill's command would have consisted of Tom Wood's division, while Granger reinforced with Van Cleve at open knob. This, Wood's division would have been destroyed. So Granger would only have Van Cleve's division (weakened by battle casualties), Sander's cavalry command, and a handful of stragglers from Wood's division.

Many thanks for the catches there! I will inevitably miss things in editing!

Quite honestly you did such a good job envisioning this campaign I don't think I could have done better! I loved both versions, and I really wanted to incorporate as much as I could into TTL. You did excellent work and I was glad to credit you!
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Well this is getting bloody for all involved but the union is facing increasingly problems from the fact its now increasingly cut off from the outside world whereas the south can now buy vital imports, both military and other as well as making use of the seas for commerce purposes. It sounds like western Kentucky is still under firm union control but the east is largely in southern hands.

Its possibly ominous for the confederates that Kirby Smith is described as glory hungry.

Excellent to see an update. :smile: Many thanks.
 

Luke Freet

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Location
Palm Coast, Florida
Many thanks for the catches there! I will inevitably miss things in editing!

Quite honestly you did such a good job envisioning this campaign I don't think I could have done better! I loved both versions, and I really wanted to incorporate as much as I could into TTL. You did excellent work and I was glad to credit you!
No problem. I highly appreciate the mention. If you want help on further chapters, I could help write sections of you need.
 

CanadianCanuck

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Well this is getting bloody for all involved but the union is facing increasingly problems from the fact its now increasingly cut off from the outside world whereas the south can now buy vital imports, both military and other as well as making use of the seas for commerce purposes. It sounds like western Kentucky is still under firm union control but the east is largely in southern hands.

Its possibly ominous for the confederates that Kirby Smith is described as glory hungry.

Excellent to see an update. :smile: Many thanks.

The economic weight is shifting in the direction of Britain and the Confederacy. The biggest problem from the Union perspective in the West is that, absent occupying Nashville and Memphis, they've been unable to truly get to grips with the economically vital areas of the Confederacy. Most of Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana are safe from the Union, and the war has mainly been fought in Tennessee and Kentucky, much to the latter's chagrin. With New Orleans unoccupied, that city can support the Confederate war effort, and the Confederacy is able to devote so much more to contesting control of the Mississippi. The Union would normally be able to fight this, but with needs on the Great Lakes and rivers, there's less to go around!

And yup, western Kentucky is (for the moment) largely secure for the Union while eastern Kentucky is pretty well in Confederate hands. It doesn't help Lincoln's popularity that those portions of Kentucky under his control are being de-facto ruled by the military while in those areas of Confederate control they are at least under the figleaf of civilian rule under Confederate governor George W. Johnson.

No problem. I highly appreciate the mention. If you want help on further chapters, I could help write sections of you need.

I may take you up on that! Thank you for the offer!
 

CanadianCanuck

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Chapter 73: The Foot Cavalry

“The laws of the human body seemed to have been reversed for these men. They marched, and fought, and triumphed, like war-machines, which felt no need of rest, or food, or sleep. In one day they marched from Leesburg to Washington, over forty miles. ... The very rapidity of their marches separates them from all soldier-comforts—often from their very blankets, however cold the weather; and any other troops but these and their Southern comrades would long since have mutinied and demanded bread and rest. But the shadow of disaffection never flitted over forehead in that command.” - Recollected in Old Jack and his Foot Cavalry, John Bradburn, 1864

“The shattering reverses around Washington had left the Army of Northern Virginia in perilous state. Whiting’s corps was in disarray, having retreated partially to Annapolis, and the remainder fleeing northwest to perceived safety. Jackson’s corps, in far more coherent shape, was still accompanying Lee back through Maryland, looking to get south of the Potomac and join the army, or what Lee feared might be left of it.

Fleeing across the Potomac at White’s Ford and Cheek’s Ford, Lee managed to get the scattered forces in manageable order at Leesburg. Taking stock of his forces Lee discovered that Jackson’s corps, alongside the single division of Whiting’s which had made the flight intact under Ranson had a mere 29,000 men. His single relief was that he made contact with Longstreet who now effectively commanded the Army of Northern Virginia south of Washington. The army maintained its positions, but for how much longer, none could say. Rosecrans, for the moment, significantly outnumbered the Confederates, but he showed no inclination to use those numbers to sweep the Confederates south.

The defeat of Reynolds’s attacks to the south had disheartened Rosecrans, and he came to an unfortunate realization. While he had broken the siege, he had inherited a tired, demoralized army which was low on supplies. Doubting his chances to deal Lee a stinging defeat, he instead began to maneuver his men to protect the city, but also began pulling supplies from wherever he could find them. Rebuilding fortifications, restocking warehouses, Rosecrans started to pull the army back together.

His sudden stop caused outrage in Philadelphia. Stanton was cabled to immediately return and explain all that had happened to Lincoln, while General McClellan, now released from what amounted to arrest, was ordered to New York to take command of the department there which Wool had been retired from…

Pressure mounted on Rosecrans to attack, but he adamantly and stoutly refused to be moved. His one major action, a reconnaissance by III Corps to the south of the Potomac, managed to run directly into Jackson’s advancing troops near Dranesville. Reporting this to Philadelphia Rosecrans declared he would “work with patience and dedication to rebuild this proud army which has saved the Republic so recently.

Unable to prod the recalcitrant general to action, and unwilling to relieve him, Lincoln found he had no choice but to accept Rosencrans assessments that the army needed to rest and resupply before it could be moved south again and evict the Confederacy from its entrenchments around the District of Columbia. The campaign in Maryland had now truly ended…” - To Arms!: The Great American War, Sheldon Foote, University of Boston 1999.



Confederate-Generals-meeting-Stonewall-Jackson-Robert-E-May-18632.jpg

Through great effort Lee and Jackson would, mostly, reunite the Army of Northern Virginia

“Though stalled by the Battle at Saratoga, it had not stopped the Army of Canada. Dundas however, now faced a conundrum. Here was a well positioned, and now more determined American army, and his own forces had been badly depleted from the fighting across much of northern New York state. He would have to incur considerable casualties to drive the Americans from yet another well established position, and most likely have to fall on Albany in unfavorable circumstances.

For two weeks the two armies would simply stare at one another across the mountainous terrain. Burnside unwilling to retreat, and Dundas unwilling to attack him again. Once again it would be Colonel Wolseley who proposed a solution.

Wolseley suggested that, rather than fight another pitched battle, the campaign ought to conclude with a great attack. A force would cross the Hudson River and veer south, moving to strike at Albany and not necessarily take the place, but threaten or destroy as much as it could. It was a plan for, essentially, a greatly scaled up raid.

Of course, Wolseley would accompany this force, whose command was designated to William Norcott and Colonel Low, whose Canadian cavalry was called south. Accompanied by lighter cavalry and the infantry, these men began moving across the Hudson River well north of the British army's current positions on the west bank of the river and moved southwards, towards Albany itself…” - Empire and Blood: British Military Operations in the 19th Century Volume IV.




col_low-jpg.jpg

Col. Low, commanding the Canadian cavalry


“It is a curious thing to not be in command of a force on a mission which you have drawn up yourself. That was just such the position I found myself in when my proposed strike was accepted by Dundas.

I had great hopes for the expedition, and I certainly believed that it might well end the war in a few weeks. Perhaps it was the impertinence of youth that tempted me, but I was a braggart to my brother officers. I did however, manage to surround myself with an excellent series of men. Here I would make the fortunate acquaintances of two officers who, in time, would become of great assistance to me.

Captain (but local Major) Evelyn Wood was placed at my disposal, having eagerly come to the warzone and delayed his start at the Staff College to earn ‘in the field experience’ which any soldier worth his salt would find praiseworthy. Then Ensign Redvers Buller was an excellent addition to my staff, and proved to be a first rate messenger and, if one is not too crass, a spy. His scouting was invaluable to our forward movement and I am pleased to say we became fast friends. So too was this my first interaction with Baker Russell, loaned to me by my friend Soames from the 13th Hussars. His horsemen were an excellent addition to the scouting and he was quick to use any information gathered by Ensign Buller, making our movement southwards almost seamless.

This small grouping would rapidly serve as the de-facto staff in our enterprises. If there was any grumbling from the regular staff I heard little, and it seems Norcott was happy to make use of us.

Upon crossing the river and heading south, I was rapidly pleased to have made use of the Canadian cavalry. Well suited for scouting, over a year under arms and on duty had made them veterans in their craft, and a few of the organization had been drawn from hunting lodges. It made them less likely to repeat mistakes some of our more regular troops may have done, and they practised some restraint. They were also able to rapidly maneuver southwards along the roads and surround or capture the enemy's scouting forces. That the Yankee cavalry was in little evidence suggested just how badly we had mauled him in the previous weeks.

Our first goals were accomplished with the cutting of the Albany Northern Railroad at Schaghticoke and then the Troy and Boston Railroad a day later. While the main body moved onwards, the infantry tore up miles of track, and greatly annoyed the Yankees ability to supply themselves. It was from there that we would march south to Albany.

On the 14th of September we neared the outskirts of Troy, but here we found the enemy had finally roused himself to our presence. In a most favorable position on a hillock covering both roadwards approaches, a good brigade of enemy forces had drawn themselves up, covered by a breastwork and with guns mounted, and protection offered by the Deep Kill River. We had few options but to engage him. Colonel Low was given orders to ride around the enemy and raise havoc in the rear while our infantry and guns would pin him in place. We assumed we had but a day, perhaps hours, before we could expect more of the enemy to appear.

Norcott allowed our forces to skirmish heavily with the enemy, the guns doing a fine job of suppressing his own, and we managed to keep him distracted. For whatever reason, the enemy was content to sit behind his fieldworks while we traded fire for a day. The most serious danger came the morning of the 15th where they advanced out from their works and came to engage our own men. Such was the ferocity of the attack they overran a battery of guns on our right and we were obliged to engage him hand to hand to get it back!

Here I must complete Ensign Buller who, on his own initiative, engaged a party of men to support their fellows who were almost taken at the flank in confusion. With a smart about face they poured fire into the Yankee line and we threw him back. Yet we could not survive another attack such as that, and with enemy reinforcements sure to be near we were only too relieved to see Low’s cavalry returning…” – The Story of a Soldiers Life, Volume II, Field-Marshal Viscount Garnet Wolseley, Westminster 1903

“It had been Hancock who alerted Burnside to the dangers of the British raid, volunteering to personally lead a brigade south to stiffen up the almost non-existent forces on the east side of the river, Burnside was not fully convinced of the danger until September 10th, but finally relented and Hancock led the men of what remained of Napoleon T. Dana’s brigade southwards, moving across the river and arriving at Larbee’s Wood mere hours ahead of Norcott’s raiders.

Far in the rear his old battered division was moving to support him, but with the size of the British force unknown, he was unsure whether this single battered division could hold…

It was to Hancock’s eternal surprise after the Battle of Larbee’s Wood that the British turned back. In his rear the British cavalry had caused considerable damage at Troy, but the appearance of his old division had driven them off. Though he slowly, and carefully, pursued the raiders, he never caught them and forced them to battle. This however, did not matter to the New York presses as he was praised as a hero. Called “The Savior of Albany” Hancock would inadvertently ride high on that moniker, though he himself would not mutter it until 1879…” - Hancock the Superb: The Life of Winfield Scott Hancock, Charles Rivers, Newton Publishing, 2012

“Though Wolseley’s raid had largely failed in its goal to cause much material damage, cutting the rail lines and the ‘Burning of Troy’ had satisfied Dundas. At the long end of his supply lines, he promptly ordered the army northwards again. Retreating to Plattsburgh, he began fortifying it for the winter, and would write to London he had accomplished his goals and Canada was secure.

In London, once the full accounting of the news had been read in October there was spirited debate about whether it had accomplished all it could. True the Richelieu River invasion route was closed and the Yankees could not march on Montreal, but would it not have been better to take Albany itself? This debate was stopped however upon the arrival of…” - Empire and Blood: British Military Operations in the 19th Century Volume IV.


-x-x-x-x-

Lemon Hill, Philadelphia, September 18th 1863

The sitting rooms at the temporary Executive Mansion were quite comfortable. Almost sinfully so, especially with men fighting and dying from California, the Hudson Valley to the Potomac. However, the President and his advisors were in sore need of comfort in these trying times, and they could find so little of it elsewhere. Even the comfort they were in was a reminder of how dire the situation still was.

Lincoln looked tired. In Seward’s opinion they were all tired and careworn. He hadn’t slept properly until the night before when the final news from Albany came. The British turned back, the Army of the Hudson saved, and New York secure from foreign invasion. For now.

Outside one could see the city of Philadelphia, the first capital of the United States, and now the temporary capital again. Even though Rosecrans and Thomas had saved Washington, Lincoln dare not move the government back while Confederate guns could still fire on the Executive Mansion, nor when the real threat of the enemy advancing from Annapolis and cutting the rail lines existed. Though there had been celebrations and jubilation at the breaking of the siege, and the victory at Saratoga, both Lincoln and Seward could see the same problems.

“You’re sure you wish to proceed with this plan sir?” Seward finally asked.

Lincoln sighed. “We’ve said the same story round and round in cabinet meetings Seward. Chase may be against it, but he is merely playing devil's advocate.”

“It is perhaps premature, what with the victory at Saratoga,” Seward replied.

“I am minded of some old maxim about men and gods,” Lincoln quipped. “Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. I feel like that’s the road they’re on with me. I am given hope, only to see it snatched away. We may be holding on by our fingernails in Kentucky, the capital is free, and maybe we can continue to try another invasion of Canada but to what purpose? No Seward, we must have one war and one war only. The people may not like it, but they like the blockade even less.”

Seward could not argue the point. He merely hoped they had no cause to regret their next course of action. If it succeeded though, they could find themselves in a far better position come the spring. Then, they might make good all their reverses of the previous year. It was, if not bold, then a necessary step. That he had to be the one to initiate it was no less comforting,

“Very well sir,” Seward replied, standing to grab his hat. “I shall pass on your letter to Baron de Stockl and we shall ask the Tsar for help in bringing the British to the negotiating table. Hopefully, they’ll accept our offer.”
 
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Luke Freet

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Location
Palm Coast, Florida
Chapter 73: The Foot Cavalry

“The laws of the human body seemed to have been reversed for these men. They marched, and fought, and triumphed, like war-machines, which felt no need of rest, or food, or sleep. In one day they marched from Leesburg to Washington, over forty miles. ... The very rapidity of their marches separates them from all soldier-comforts—often from their very blankets, however cold the weather; and any other troops but these and their Southern comrades would long since have mutinied and demanded bread and rest. But the shadow of disaffection never flitted over forehead in that command.” - Recollected in Old Jack and his Foot Cavalry, John Bradburn, 1864

“The shattering reverses around Washington had left the Army of Northern Virginia in perilous state. Whiting’s corps was in disarray, having retreated partially to Annapolis, and the remainder fleeing northwest to perceived safety. Jackson’s corps, in far more coherent shape, was still accompanying Lee back through Maryland, looking to get south of the Potomac and join the army, or what Lee feared might be left of it.

Fleeing across the Potomac at White’s Ford and Cheek’s Ford, Lee managed to get the scattered forces in manageable order at Leesburg. Taking stock of his forces Lee discovered that Jackson’s corps, alongside the single division of Whiting’s which had made the flight intact under Ranson had a mere 29,000 men. His single relief was that he made contact with Longstreet who now effectively commanded the Army of Northern Virginia south of Washington. The army maintained its positions, but for how much longer, none could say. Rosecrans, for the moment, significantly outnumbered the Confederates, but he showed no inclination to use those numbers to sweep the Confederates south.

The defeat of Reynolds’s attacks to the south had disheartened Rosecrans, and he came to an unfortunate realization. While he had broken the siege, he had inherited a tired, demoralized army which was low on supplies. Doubting his chances to deal Lee a stinging defeat, he instead began to maneuver his men to protect the city, but also began pulling supplies from wherever he could find them. Rebuilding fortifications, restocking warehouses, Rosecrans started to pull the army back together.

His sudden stop caused outrage in Philadelphia. Stanton was cabled to immediately return and explain all that had happened to Lincoln, while General McClellan, now released from what amounted to arrest, was ordered to New York to take command of the department there which Wool had been retired from…

Pressure mounted on Rosecrans to attack, but he adamantly and stoutly refused to be moved. His one major action, a reconnaissance by III Corps to the south of the Potomac, managed to run directly into Jackson’s advancing troops near Dranesville. Reporting this to Philadelphia Rosecrans declared he would “work with patience and dedication to rebuild this proud army which has saved the Republic so recently.

Unable to prod the recalcitrant general to action, and unwilling to relieve him, Lincoln found he had no choice but to accept Rosencrans assessments that the army needed to rest and resupply before it could be moved south again and evict the Confederacy from its entrenchments around the District of Columbia. The campaign in Maryland had now truly ended…” - To Arms!: The Great American War, Sheldon Foote, University of Boston 1999.



View attachment 402418
Through great effort Lee and Jackson would, mostly, reunite the Army of Northern Virginia

“Though stalled by the Battle at Saratoga, it had not stopped the Army of Canada. Dundas however, now faced a conundrum. Here was a well positioned, and now more determined American army, and his own forces had been badly depleted from the fighting across much of northern New York state. He would have to incur considerable casualties to drive the Americans from yet another well established position, and most likely have to fall on Albany in unfavorable circumstances.

For two weeks the two armies would simply stare at one another across the mountainous terrain. Burnside unwilling to retreat, and Dundas unwilling to attack him again. Once again it would be Colonel Wolseley who proposed a solution.

Wolseley suggested that, rather than fight another pitched battle, the campaign ought to conclude with a great attack. A force would cross the Hudson River and veer south, moving to strike at Albany and not necessarily take the place, but threaten or destroy as much as it could. It was a plan for, essentially, a greatly scaled up raid.

Of course, Wolseley would accompany this force, whose command was designated to William Norcott and Colonel Low, whose Canadian cavalry was called south. Accompanied by lighter cavalry and the infantry, these men began moving across the Hudson River well north of the British army's current positions on the west bank of the river and moved southwards, towards Albany itself…” - Empire and Blood: British Military Operations in the 19th Century Volume IV.




View attachment 402417
Col. Low, commanding the Canadian cavalry


“It is a curious thing to not be in command of a force on a mission which you have drawn up yourself. That was just such the position I found myself in when my proposed strike was accepted by Dundas.

I had great hopes for the expedition, and I certainly believed that it might well end the war in a few weeks. Perhaps it was the impertinence of youth that tempted me, but I was a braggart to my brother officers. I did however, manage to surround myself with an excellent series of men. Here I would make the fortunate acquaintances of two officers who, in time, would become of great assistance to me.

Captain (but local Major) Evelyn Wood was placed at my disposal, having eagerly come to the warzone and delayed his start at the Staff College to earn ‘in the field experience’ which any soldier worth his salt would find praiseworthy. Then Ensign Redvers Buller was an excellent addition to my staff, and proved to be a first rate messenger and, if one is not too crass, a spy. His scouting was invaluable to our forward movement and I am pleased to say we became fast friends. So too was this my first interaction with Baker Russell, loaned to me by my friend Soames from the 13th Hussars. His horsemen were an excellent addition to the scouting and he was quick to use any information gathered by Ensign Buller, making our movement southwards almost seamless.

This small grouping would rapidly serve as the de-facto staff in our enterprises. If there was any grumbling from the regular staff I heard little, and it seems Norcott was happy to make use of us.

Upon crossing the river and heading south, I was rapidly pleased to have made use of the Canadian cavalry. Well suited for scouting, over a year under arms and on duty had made them veterans in their craft, and a few of the organization had been drawn from hunting lodges. It made them less likely to repeat mistakes some of our more regular troops may have done, and they practised some restraint. They were also able to rapidly maneuver southwards along the roads and surround or capture the enemy's scouting forces. That the Yankee cavalry was in little evidence suggested just how badly we had mauled him in the previous weeks.

Our first goals were accomplished with the cutting of the Albany Northern Railroad at Schaghticoke and then the Troy and Boston Railroad a day later. While the main body moved onwards, the infantry tore up miles of track, and greatly annoyed the Yankees ability to supply themselves. It was from there that we would march south to Albany.

On the 14th of September we neared the outskirts of Troy, but here we found the enemy had finally roused himself to our presence. In a most favorable position on a hillock covering both roadwards approaches, a good brigade of enemy forces had drawn themselves up, covered by a breastwork and with guns mounted, and protection offered by the Deep Kill River. We had few options but to engage him. Colonel Low was given orders to ride around the enemy and raise havoc in the rear while our infantry and guns would pin him in place. We assumed we had but a day, perhaps hours, before we could expect more of the enemy to appear.

Norcott allowed our forces to skirmish heavily with the enemy, the guns doing a fine job of suppressing his own, and we managed to keep him distracted. For whatever reason, the enemy was content to sit behind his fieldworks while we traded fire for a day. The most serious danger came the morning of the 15th where they advanced out from their works and came to engage our own men. Such was the ferocity of the attack they overran a battery of guns on our right and we were obliged to engage him hand to hand to get it back!

Here I must complete Ensign Buller who, on his own initiative, engaged a party of men to support their fellows who were almost taken at the flank in confusion. With a smart about face they poured fire into the Yankee line and we threw him back. Yet we could not survive another attack such as that, and with enemy reinforcements sure to be near we were only too relieved to see Low’s cavalry returning…” – The Story of a Soldiers Life, Volume II, Field-Marshal Viscount Garnet Wolseley, Westminster 1903

“It had been Hancock who alerted Burnside to the dangers of the British raid, volunteering to personally lead a brigade south to stiffen up the almost non-existent forces on the east side of the river, Burnside was not fully convinced of the danger until September 10th, but finally relented and Hancock led the men of what remained of Napoleon T. Dana’s brigade southwards, moving across the river and arriving at Larbee’s Wood mere hours ahead of Norcott’s raiders.

Far in the rear his old battered division was moving to support him, but with the size of the British force unknown, he was unsure whether this single battered division could hold…

It was to Hancock’s eternal surprise after the Battle of Larbee’s Wood that the British turned back. In his rear the British cavalry had caused considerable damage at Troy, but the appearance of his old division had driven them off. Though he slowly, and carefully, pursued the raiders, he never caught them and forced them to battle. This however, did not matter to the New York presses as he was praised as a hero. Called “The Savior of Albany” Hancock would inadvertently ride high on that moniker, though he himself would not mutter it until 1879…” - Hancock the Superb: The Life of Winfield Scott Hancock, Charles Rivers, Newton Publishing, 2012

“Though Wolseley’s raid had largely failed in its goal to cause much material damage, cutting the rail lines and the ‘Burning of Troy’ had satisfied Dundas. At the long end of his supply lines, he promptly ordered the army northwards again. Retreating to Plattsburgh, he began fortifying it for the winter, and would write to London he had accomplished his goals and Canada was secure.

In London, once the full accounting of the news had been read in October there was spirited debate about whether it had accomplished all it could. True the Richelieu River invasion route was closed and the Yankees could not march on Montreal, but would it not have been better to take Albany itself? This debate was stopped however upon the arrival of…” - Empire and Blood: British Military Operations in the 19th Century Volume IV.


-x-x-x-x-

Lemon Hill, Philadelphia, September 18th 1863

The sitting rooms at the temporary Executive Mansion were quite comfortable. Almost sinfully so, especially with men fighting and dying from California, the Hudson Valley to the Potomac. However, the President and his advisors were in sore need of comfort in these trying times, and they could find so little of it elsewhere. Even the comfort they were in was a reminder of how dire the situation still was.

Lincoln looked tired. In Seward’s opinion they were all tired and careworn. He hadn’t slept properly until the night before when the final news from Albany came. The British turned back, the Army of the Hudson saved, and New York secure from foreign invasion. For now.

Outside one could see the city of Philadelphia, the first capital of the United States, and now the temporary capital again. Even though Rosecrans and Thomas had saved Washington, Lincoln dare not move the government back while Confederate guns could still fire on the Executive Mansion, nor when the real threat of the enemy advancing from Annapolis and cutting the rail lines existed. Though there had been celebrations and jubilation at the breaking of the siege, and the victory at Saratoga, both Lincoln and Seward could see the same problems.

“You’re sure you wish to proceed with this plan sir?” Seward finally asked.

Lincoln sighed. “We’ve said the same story round and round in cabinet meetings Seward. Chase may be against it, but he is merely playing devil's advocate.”

“It is perhaps premature, what with the victory at Saratoga,” Seward replied.

“I am minded of some old maxim about men and gods,” Lincoln quipped. “Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. I feel like that’s the road they’re on with me. I am given hope, only to see it snatched away. We may be holding on by our fingernails in Kentucky, the capital is free, and maybe we can continue to try another invasion of Canada but to what purpose? No Seward, we must have one war and one war only. The people may not like it, but they like the blockade even less.”

Seward could not argue the point. He merely hoped they had no cause to regret their next course of action. If it succeeded though, they could find themselves in a far better position come the spring. Then, they might make good all their reverses of the previous year. It was, if not bold, then a necessary step. That he had to be the one to initiate it was no less comforting,

“Very well sir,” Seward replied, standing to grab his hat. “I shall pass on your letter to Baron de Stockl and we shall ask the Tsar for help in bringing the British to the negotiating table. Hopefully, they’ll accept our offer.”
One heck of a chapter. Wonder if peace with Britain will be made, or if this act will cause some rippling effect, maybe another power gets pulled into the conflict. Who knows...well, obviously...
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
CC

Very intriguing. From the discussion over the last chapter I had the impression that the British could force the Union army from its position via a bit of maneuver and also its superior artillery and only mistakes had caused the 1st defeat. However Dundas seems to think there's no way through.

Wolseley's comments makes him sound distinctly fully of himself and less than professional in some ways but that probably was the attitude back then.

Lincoln has seen some sense as the union is hanging on and depending on opponents making errors as well as the blockade not biting deeper. However assuming that the talks will fail as your made a number of reference to a very long and costly war.

This however, did not matter to the New York presses as he was praised as a hero. Called “The Savior of Albany” Hancock would inadvertently ride high on that moniker, though he himself would not mutter it until 1879…

Why does that make me think a political career is pending for someone. :wink: Mind you it does hint the war will be finished some time before 1879. :tongue:

Steve
 
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CanadianCanuck

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
CC

Very intriguing. From the discussion over the last chapter I had the impression that the British could force the Union army from its position via a bit of maneuver and also its superior artillery and only mistakes had caused the 1st defeat. However Dundas seems to think there's no way through.

More of a "what's the point" attitude. He suffered grievous casualties getting that far, and he doesn't particularly want to incur anymore than he has to. Whether it's a strategic mistake or not is for TTL's historians to debate, but he did give the Army of the Hudson a hard knock, while receiving a rude shock in return. From a greater perspective though, he's made any new invasion towards Montreal a remote possibility at least.

Wolseley's comments makes him sound distinctly fully of himself and less than professional in some ways but that probably was the attitude back then.

He's also very sure of himself, and has just turned 30 in 1863.

Lincoln has seen some sense as the union is hanging on and depending on opponents making errors as well as the blockade not biting deeper. However assuming that the talks will fail as your made a number of reference to a very long and costly war.

Well he's realizing that he can go on fighting the British and, essentially, send good money chasing after bad, or he can take whatever options he gets at the negotiating table and continue the real war against the Confederacy.

Why does that make me think a political career is pending for someone. :wink: Mind you it does hint the war will be finished some time before 1879. :tongue:

Steve

:whistling:
Hancock may or may not play a big role in future politics, who can say for sure?
 

CanadianCanuck

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Chapter 74: Dash the Waves

“Those officers and men who were immediately under my observation, evinced the greatest gallantry, and I have no doubt that all others conducted themselves as became American officers and seamen.” From the report of Oliver Hazard Perry on the Battle of Lake Erie, September 13th, 1813.

“The peculiar ship Alligator was a subject of intense discussion in American naval circles from the beginning of the war, until well after its end. Almost being consigned to the dustbin of history, it would wind up being an important contributor to later American naval efforts in the 20th century.

It was, however, not the first submersible in American history. That title belonged to the USS Turtle designed by David Bushnell in the Revolutionary War. Made for similar reasons to the Alligator, it was hoped that a submerged vessel would be able to place explosive charges on British ships blockading North American harbors and ease the strain placed on American economics by the Royal Navy blockade. Though the Turtle sunk no ships, it would have an unofficial legacy in its later sister.

Designed by the French engineer Brutus de Villeroi, who had constructed submersibles before the war in France and for private contract to carry out salvage duties, it was the first submersible to go into the American arsenal in nearly a century. She was about 47 feet long, with a beam of 4 feet 8 inches and height of 5 feet 6 inches. Made of iron with several watertight compartments, including an ‘air lock’ to allow a diver to swim out and attach the subs main armament, a limpet mine, to an unsuspecting vessel. Her original propulsion system was a series of sixteen hand powered paddles, pushed by her crew of 18 men. She earned the name “Alligator” from the greenish color of her metal frame, and the name stuck, not only in the presses, but in the navy.

In her original testing in the summer of 1862, the vessel proved to be unsatisfactory, prompting observers to label it a failure, and she was returned to the naval yard. It was at this point Rear Admiral Francis Dupont intervened. Having observed the tests in 1862, he requested that further upgrades to the submersible be undertaken. In July of 1862 a hand-cranked screw propeller replaced the cumbersome oars, and increased Alligator’s speed to 4 knots. Six further months of upgrades and work was undertaken, but in March of 1863 she was tested again and, at invitation, President Lincoln was personally on hand to witness the testing. He was fascinated by the technology, and would personally recommend that not only should it be used, but that a sister ship be built, greatly pleasing de Villeroi and Dupont.

By August 1863 Alligator’s sister the new USS Turtle was two thirds underway to being complete but delays in completion came from shortages of iron needed in other projects. The want of experienced pilots was also a problem as now only two men, the original civilian worker Samuel Eakins and a military engineer, Robert Danby who had been fascinated with the machine at its 1862 testing, were skilled to pilot the craft. With little choice, Dupont commissioned both of them into service to the “Second Delaware Flotilla” which, at that point, consisted of only one submersible.

Under pressure from the naval department to provide proof of concept after over a year of work, Dupont was ordered to mount some kind of attack on the British fleet.

Dupont’s squadron was composed of Wabash(42), Juanita(11), Monongahela(10), the converted steamers Pocahontas(6) and Isaac Smith(6), and the gunboats Ottawa(5), Seneca(5), Pembina(5), and Penguin(5). He retained little desire to go out and fight the British like he had the year previous, and instead saw the submersible as a much better option.

Alligator would go with her tender ship, the tug Fred Kopp, to mount an attack on the British blockaders. The assault would take place at naval twilight, and try to engage the British at anchor in order to cause maximum confusion. The first outing was called off due to bad weather. In the second attack, Fred Kopp steamed to Cape Henelopen and released the submersible from tow, sending it towards the British anchorage at the Harbor of Refuge. The goal was to sink the British ship Immortalité, but for whatever reason, the submersible went off course, and when it released her diver, he incorrectly attached the mine to the gunboat Steady.

The proof of concept attack was, at the very least, spectacular. The explosion of the limpet mine tore a gaping hole in the side of Steady, and the confused crew not killed or wounded from the blast panicked, and half fled the ship. By the time her junior officers could sort out the confusion, the damage was done and Steady slipped beneath the waves. British records from the time show that, rather than suspecting a submersible, they were convinced that a rowboat had been able to get among them and plant some sort of mine, and increased their night watches accordingly.

Considered a rousing success, Alligator was again ordered out two weeks later to try for the British frigate again. The attack started as before, Alligator setting out for her target, but though observers on shore would look for an explosion, or any sign of the submersible, none ever came. After sixteen hours, Alligator was considered lost with all hands. Though Turtle would eventually mount her own sorties, this was the end of the storied little vessel which had started the program.

Alligator had a somewhat outsized legacy for her short history. Many said it had an influence on the Nautilus from Jules Verne’s 1870 serialized Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and it did manage to capture the imaginations of contemporary illustrationists. Though briefly experimented with by the Navy Department under Robeson, the project was later abandoned. In more concrete terms, it did earn its fame enough that in 1908, upon proof of concept, the first three Alligator class submarines (Alligator, Turtle, and Narwhal) would be constructed and launched under the direction of then Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt. They were joined eventually by their dozen other sisters and the much more refined Porpoise class in 1915. However, for its youth, it would prove its worth in the Caribbean and Atlantic.”– The Ugly Submarine USS Alligator, Brandon Shrutt, The American Naval Gazette, August 1981 issue.




USS_Alligator_0844401.jpg

Contemporary image of Alligator

“Ever since Farragut’s victory at Little Gull Island the previous year, he had been keen to try and replicate the success. However, the British were keen merely on bottling up his fleet or enticing it into the open waters where their greater firepower could be brought to bear absent interference from the forts in New York. Neither side would acquiesce to the other's desire however, and what a stalemate existed in the waters off New York.

By late 1863 though, Farragut felt he had acquired enough of an edge that he could risk engaging one of the British squadrons decisively.

Since the last battle his squadron had been joined by three new sloops, the Adirondack(9) and Lackawanna(12) and Ticonderoga(14) augmenting his own already powerful fleet. The greatest additions though, were the two ironclad frigates the USS New York(36) and the USS Maine(36). Originally laid down by the William H. Webb shipyard for the Italian government[1], the United States government had seized the vessels arguing that, in light of their own existential crisis, the need was greater and offering to pay for their replacement.

The two vessels would be the largest ironclads in American service, but their rapid construction had left them with teething problems. Constructing the armor for them had pulled iron from across the United States and tied up orders for ironclad vessels from the Mississippi to Vermont. They did however, represent powerful symbols for American naval dominance, and when they were hastily commissioned at the beginning of September, it was greeted with much fanfare.

In late September 1863 then his squadron fully consisted of, New York[Flag], Maine, Hartford(28), Pensacola(25), Richmond(22), Adirondack(9), Ticonderoga(14), Oneida(10), Dacotah(8), and the converted gunboats Jackson(6), and Westfield(6). This main force was supported by the smaller gunboats Istaca, Cayuga, Katahdin, Pinola, Kineo, Kennebec, Wissahickon, Sciota, Owasco, Vernon and Winona, as well as the sidewheel gunboats, Octorora(8) and Port Royal(8).” – The First Admiral: The Life and Battles of David Glasgow Farragut

“By the time of the September action, the British squadron, still under Sotheby, consisted of Conqueror(101[Flag], Arethusa(51), Raccoon(21) Ariande(26), Jason(21), Rattler(17), Rifleman(5), Sparrow(5), Hyena(4). They also had the ironclad Terror(14) and the newly converted ironclads Bulwark(36) and Royal Alfred(36). They had largely been engaged in patrol and interdiction, and Sotheby had come under some scrutiny not only for the events of 1862, but in the general embarrassment of the escape of Mohican, the loss of gunboats in a major skirmish in June, and the running of the raider Shamrock in May.

Since early 1863, the British had been in the habit of using Sandy Hook to rest their vessels and monitor Lower Bay. Even Farragut’s feints could not draw them out and they had established an ad hoc fortified position, with a naval brigade using cannons to cover the inlet. It seemed a secure annexation of New York’s soil to the domain of the Royal Navy. Farragut’s aim was to change this.

Leaving the slower monitors to keep watch on Long Island Sound with the majority of his gunships, Farragut maneuvered his fleet to Lower Bay with the intention of making an attack “as decisive as Lake Erie” on the British fleet where it lay in supposed safety. On the morning of the 25th of September, Farragut’s nine largest vessels (New York, Maine, Hartford, Pensacola, Richmond, Adirondack, Ticonderoga, Oneida, Dacotah,) steamed towards Sandy Hook, with his second division, composed of Lackawanna, and the gunboats Octorora, Kineo, Kennebec, Wissahickon, Sciota, and Owasco.

British lookouts on the shore spotted them, and at first Sotheby was perplexed as Farragut would rarely challenge large detachments of British ships in this manner, especially not under his guns at Sandy Hook, but he obliged the American commander and, save for the gunboats Sparrow and Hyena, moved his own squadron to intercept. The two squadrons met at 10:44 am.

Moving in an arrowhead formation, Farragut skillfully deployed the ships of his first division to engage the line of battle Sotheby drew his own vessels up in. Sotheby had placed Conqueror in the center of his line, with his ironclads supporting, supported by his smaller vessels at each end, Ariande and Racoon lead, while Arethusa, Jason and Rattler trailed behind. Farragut had placed his ironclads at the head of his arrow, while his wooden warships formed the flanks. Hartford, Richmond and Adirondack on the left, with Penascola, Ticonderoga, Oneida and Dacotah on the right.

This at first resulted in an excellent British firing position, but on a pre-arranged signal, Farragut's non ironclad vessels broke formation, veering into a line and allowing the two ironclads to go straight through the British formation.

It was especially inopportune for Sotheby’s Conqueror which was rammed near the stern by Farragut’s New York, causing desperate damage to the larger vessel, and leaving her bowsprit impaled in her side like a medieval lance. The maneuvering needed to clear each ship lead to a near melee as sailors and marines on each vessel fired on one another before Farragut maneuvered his ship clear, and turned once again to engage the larger vessel. Maine meanwhile, would engage the Royal Alfred, turning that section of the line into a vicious ironclad engagement as the two opened up broadsides on one another. This engagement would lead Bulwark to wheel about, and move to support her sister, trusting the weight of Conqueror’s guns to deal with New York.

While the engagement in the center of the British line became general, it allowed the front end of Sotheby’s line to become separated, which pushed Ariande, and Racoon into the waiting arms of the three ships on Farragut’s left. In the rear, Arethusa, Jason and Rattler had to scramble around their larger ironclad sister, leading to a general melee between those vessels and the four vessels of Farragut’s right.

The conflict in the center was of the greatest significance however. New York was unceasing in its pounding of Conqueror, and the other ironclads having chosen to concentrate on Maine left Conqueror alone to the fight. While she had the greater weight in guns, Farragut’s opening attack had left her badly listing, and further punishing broadsides soon had the larger battleship holed in three places. Half an hour of fighting would see the flagship listing alarmingly, and Sotheby would desperately signal his ships to move to his aide.

Bulwark and Royal Alfred were committed to the action with Maine however. In this action, the two ships bracketed their American counterpart, and while Maine fought desperately, her rushed construction began to show her flaws. Her armor was long strips of thin rolled iron, and was much heavier than her British opponents, but weaker as well. Her greatest flaw though, was her steering. The weight of fire from the British ironclads soon disabled her already improperly installed rudder, managing to rip the wheel from its housing, and the Maine was left veering wildly in circles. Bulwark took this opportunity to emulate Farragut's own earlier ramming attack and maneuvered to do the same to her opponent. Calculating his attack perfectly, the commander of Bulwark managed to strike Maine amidships, even though that left his vessel open to raking fire all the way. It was a success, and his ship managed to smash a hole in Maine’s armor, putting the American warship in a precarious position. She would continue to circle helplessly until 1pm when her captain decided the ship could not be saved and abandoned her.

However, while this victory over the American ironclad was good news, the two ironclads unintentionally allowed Conqueror to be lost, and it would only be their intervention at 12:02 which saved Sotheby from falling into enemy hands, and eventually forcing Farragut to move New York to support his squadron at 1pm.

The fighting on the flanks was a mixed bag. In the lead of the British line and on the American left, Ariande and Raccoon were engaged by the three American vessels Hartford, Richmond, and Adirondack. The Americans had the weight of metal, and managed to inflict early casualties on the two British ships. Racoon took the brunt of this early assault, while Ariande moved to protect her smaller sister, attempting to interpose herself between Racoon and Hartford and Richomd. Adirondack maneuvered to engage Raccoon solely, firing on the smaller vessel and maneuvering by the British frigate.

While the exact series of events is unknown, the men of the Richmond reported that at approximately 11:30 a fire broke out on Ariande, ten minutes later the British frigate exploded, showering the smaller Racoon with fire and debris, and was lost with all hands. Fearing for the lives of his crew, Captain Count Gliechen surrendered his ship lest it too explode and be lost. Though the American vessels would accept the ships surrender, they were forced to scuttle her lest she be recaptured by the British squadron. This would, effectively, end the battle on the left.

Meanwhile, on the far flank, the smaller American ships Penascola, Ticonderoga, Oneida and Dacotah engaged the British stragglers, Arethusa, Jason, and Rattler. The first half hour of the engagement would go the Americans way as Jason had the singularly poor luck to divert northwards, around the ironclads, and fall prey to the full weight of guns from the four American ships who pursued her southwards. She would be badly damaged by American gunnery, but her consorts soon moved to her defence. Arethusa’s interference prevented anything like a repeat of the weight of metal which would effectively destroy the British line ahead, and turned the battle in favor of the Royal Navy on this front.

The first casualty of this would be the ever unfortunate Dacotah, ending up engaging the frigate, Arethusa’s 51 guns simply overpowered the smaller vessel. Even with the combined weight of the whole American squadron, Dacotah would be an unfortunate victim, shot to silence, and holed multiple times, she would sink below the waves later that evening. However, her smaller consorts managed to engage the British vessels and slowly drive them back to Sandy Hook. They were soon joined by the Second Division’s gunboats, shepherded by Lackawanna. The disparity in firepower told, the British vessels were soon faring poorly, running for the safety of their batteries. However, Farragut regrouped his ships, and charged towards the protected anchorage.

Sotheby, now aboard Bulwark as his flag, determined he had little choice but to pull his squadron further out to sea and seek support from the squadron at Long Island Sound. Using his ironclads to shield the flight of his ships, he hurriedly evacuated the naval brigade that had been occupying Sandy Hook and by 3pm was retreating. Farragut gave chase, and in the hard run the gunboat Hyena fell behind her consorts and was disabled by the American squadron. However, Sotheby would evacuate his ships to the open sea and Farragut would not follow.

It was the greatest naval defeat for the Royal Navy between the Battle of Grand Port in 1810 and the Battle of the Falklands in 1915.While the battle proved to be a tactical American victory, strategically, it was irrelevant. Despite many congratulatory proclamations that “the spell of Trafalgar is broken!” the British blockade remained in place. The remaining vessels operated out in the seas, and Farragut was unable to repeat his attack immediately in Long Island Sound, as his squadron had incurred significant damage in the fighting.

Fully half of Sotheby’s squadron would be withdrawn for repairs and he himself would lose command of the squadron, which had to be considerably reinforced. The close blockade of Lower Bay would not be restored until November with the arrival of Corchane’s Particular Service Squadron, and throughout October many blockade runners would have good fortune. The loss of Conqueror however, would prove to be a persistent embarrassment to London.

While not as conclusive as the Battle of Key West, the Battle of Sandy Hook was bloodier by far with nearly 3,000 casualties, 1,718 British and 1,276 American. Four British ships were lost for two American and almost every other ship in the engagement would sustain severe to moderate damage.” – Troubled Waters: The Anglo-American War at Sea, Michael Tielhard, Aurora Publishing, 2002

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1] This is in essence the Re d'Italia class built for the Italian Navy which historically took part in the Battle of Lissa.
 

Luke Freet

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Oh dear. that's just p****d off the Italian Government ! It will please the Dual Monarchy Next door though.
I mean, at least the ships are in better hands. We all know that historically the Italians did not use those vessels too well at Lissa, and I doubt the Italians suddenly gain a competent military force in this new timeline.
 

steve59p

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Oct 21, 2016
Well there's a nasty display of errors by the British and initiative by the US along with whatever disaster inflicted the Arethusa. There are also hints of a future conflict between the two powers ~1915. I wonder if that's going to be covered in more detail, although that would probably be outside the scope pf this site.
 

CanadianCanuck

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Nov 21, 2014
Oh dear. that's just p****d off the Italian Government ! It will please the Dual Monarchy Next door though.

The Italians are indeed hopping mad! Who knows how they might react in the future?

I mean, at least the ships are in better hands. We all know that historically the Italians did not use those vessels too well at Lissa, and I doubt the Italians suddenly gain a competent military force in this new timeline.

Well, the Union only got one of them sunk, though it's arguable that's far more related to the very rushed construction rather than true ineptitude. The Italians will still be trying to buy ironclads like mad though. Admiral Tegetthoff is still waiting in the wings however...

Well there's a nasty display of errors by the British and initiative by the US along with whatever disaster inflicted the Arethusa. There are also hints of a future conflict between the two powers ~1915. I wonder if that's going to be covered in more detail, although that would probably be outside the scope pf this site.

Oh the 20th century will be just as exciting as the 19th! I have plans, though whether I ever cover them in depth is another matter. TTL has firmly established historical events up to the 1880s, and I do intend to go as far as the US election of 1872 and cover that administration as the earliest possible end point for TTL. I could continue it well into the 20th century however.
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
The Italians are indeed hopping mad! Who knows how they might react in the future?



Well, the Union only got one of them sunk, though it's arguable that's far more related to the very rushed construction rather than true ineptitude. The Italians will still be trying to buy ironclads like mad though. Admiral Tegetthoff is still waiting in the wings however...



Oh the 20th century will be just as exciting as the 19th! I have plans, though whether I ever cover them in depth is another matter. TTL has firmly established historical events up to the 1880s, and I do intend to go as far as the US election of 1872 and cover that administration as the earliest possible end point for TTL. I could continue it well into the 20th century however.

On this last point I would ask that you do pay attention to butterflies please. I.e. not doing a Turtledove and having a WWI starting as OTL just with the union on the CP side and south on the entente side as if nothing else changed. Or that all three powers pretty much develop as OTL despite the war which, especially since its going to be long and destructive will change a lot in all three nations and multiple other ones.
 

CanadianCanuck

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
On this last point I would ask that you do pay attention to butterflies please. I.e. not doing a Turtledove and having a WWI starting as OTL just with the union on the CP side and south on the entente side as if nothing else changed. Or that all three powers pretty much develop as OTL despite the war which, especially since its going to be long and destructive will change a lot in all three nations and multiple other ones.

Have no fear on that account! Mr. Turtledove already wrote his series, and any Great War in Wrapped in Flames will be very different from his version. I have ideas, but nothing I'm prepared to comment on yet. Though as you can see, there's some concrete stuff in there.

The world in 1900 will look very different from our own, and Turtledove's 1900, much less 1914.
 
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