Here is the only story I'm writing by myself that could be called a full-fledged novel. It's really big now, so enjoy! It's an alternate history story, a sub-genre of sci-fi, about the Civil War going differently. I confess, I was inspired by author Harry Turtledove, but I try not to copy his ideas at all, and I think I've managed to pull it off. I copied and pasted this here, so I hope I did it correctly. I do regular updates, so expect more...lots more. The story has gotten better as it goes along. Anyway, like I said, enjoy and tell me what you think!
July 2, 1863
"Forward...At the double quick...March!"
At those words, the Confererate attack on Little Round Top, a hill near Taneytown Road, south of Gettysburg, began. At the top of the hill, Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and a few others awaited them. This was the key moment of the battle, and the name of the hill would become legendary.
The Confederate troops sprinted up the hill. It was an intimidating sight. The infamous "Rebel Yell," the last thing any Union soldier wanted to hear, rang loud and clear through the forest.
Chamberlain looked through his binoculars at the advancing Confederate lines, "They look tough, don't they?" he asked a nearby soldier.
"Yes, sir! But don't worry, sir, 'cause we'll lick 'em!" the soldier assured Chamberlain.
"I hope so. If we falter, chances are high that we'll lose this battle," said Chamberlain.
The Confederates we're getting close, and the time to open fire was nigh. "Come on, boys! For Jackson!" yelled the Rebel standard-bearer, reminding the army of the great, late General Stonewall Jackson.
"For Jackson!" yelled the Rebels.
"Troops! Halt!" yelled an officer, "Ready..."
The Union troops took as much cover as possible.
The Confederates took aim at the Union troops.
A deadly wave of bullets showered the Union troops.
"Hold!" yelled Chamberlain. He could see the panic in his mens' eyes.
A mounted Confederate officer drew his saber, "Fix bayonets!" he yelled, "Charge!"
The Confederates smashed through the woods toward the Union troops. Even though the Union unleashed a punishing barrage of bullets, the Rebels' morale got them to the top. The Confederates ripped through the Unioners with a vicious hatred. The cry "Down with Northern tyranny!" was heard often. After a long while of intense hand-to-hand fighting, Chamberlain, wounded twice, ordered a retreat.
The Confederates won other key locations elsewhere on the battlefield, and on July 4th, the Battle of Gettysburg was over. The world would never be the same.
After Gettysburg, one Union loss followed another. Abraham Lincoln, whose health was quickly deteriorating, was becoming horribly unpopular with the American people. Gettysburg and its results plauged the Lincoln administration.
After the they witnessed the Confederates, in Pennsylvania , of all places, beat the industrial, numerically superior North, Great Britain and Napoleon III's France officially recognized the CSA as a sovereign country, and, as an allied one. France offered military assistance in return for Confederate help in crushing Mexican outlaws. After France was defeated in Europe and Mexico became independant, however, the CSA seized large chunks of Mexico, which formed three new states: Tyler, Baja, and Jackson. In the north, the British mobilized their Canadian forces and took over some of the North's territories and occupied the state of Vermont.
Realizing the Union's predicament, General Robert Edward Lee marched his forces from Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital, to Washington, DC, just 100 miles away.
On June 1st, 1864, a fleet of British and Confederate ships blockaded the Eastern seaboard, stopping all shipments of goods from pro-Union countries such as Prussia and the Germanies, from reaching their destination.
On June 10th, General Lee's forces arrived. After weeks of lobbing shells into Washington, Anglo-Confederate forces finally broke through Union defences.
July 4th, 1864
The orderly entered the tent and saluted, "Gen'l Lee, your horse is ready, sir."
"Very well, my boy," responded Lee, "I'll be out promptly," Lee looked at himself in the full-length mirror. He noticed that his hair and beard had gone completely white. His eyes were weak-looking and his expression was careworn. "Surely, this war has taken its toll on me," Lee thought.
"Yessir! May I ask you something?" the soldier interupted Lee's thinking.
"Yes, of course."
"Is...this the end of t'all? I mean...have we...won? Are we independent, sir? For good?" the soldier asked.
"I hope so, soldier, I really do. I don't know what the future holds, but I would say it's safe to say we have victory," Lee answered with a smile.
"Safe to say?!" boomed a loud voice, "Why, we licked them blue-bellies right good!"
"Ah, General Pickett," Lee said cheerily as his friend entered the tent, "Good to see you."
"You too, sir!" Pickett saluted, "I heard you wanted me for somethin'."
"Yes, you are to accompany me to the White House peace talk," Lee explained while picking up his favorite hat from his desk, "I trust you are happy."
"Yes, sir! I can't wait t' see the expression on the faces of all the folks back home when we tell 'em we beat Mistah Lincoln," said Pickett while placing a massive cigar in his mouth.
"Right then," said Lee, "Let us go, gentlemen."
The men walked outside to see dozens of soldiers dashing about, readying the artillery in case of a Yankee mob attack. In the past two days, three militias of half-starved, poorly-equipped civilians had made desperate attempts to break the siege. It was of no avail, however, as they were akin to target practice for the Confederate sharpshooters.
"General Lee! General Lee!" cried a large red-headed man in a scarlet coat, "I say, it is my supreme delight to meet you, sir! I am General Andrew MacPherson, of Her Majesty's Highlanders, at your service," he introduced himself while removing his pith helmet and bowing.
"Good morning, General," replied Lee, "It's a pleasure to see the Queen's best giving us assistance. The Confederacy appreciates it greatly."
"Oh, bubbles and squeak and all that rot, what, what! I assure you, that it is OUR great pleasure to work alongside you, the greatest military mind since Napoleon, or I prefer to say, Wellington," the hyperactive Scot laughed at, though no one else did, his own joke, "Lee's Infantry Tactics is being read by all the young men in Britain's military acadamies."
Another officer, General Pedro Ramirez, walked up and saluted Lee. He wore an elaborate, slightly outdated uniform and bicorne, "Saludos, Senor Lee."
"Hello, Major Ramirez," Lee saluted back.
"Indeed," said Pickett, "Please forgive that little 'accident' that happened in that skirmish last week."
Ramirez laughed, "Negativa, senor. It was not your fault. We were in battle and that would make anyone confused. You were doing fine directing the Brazilian Brigade, until you confused the Spanish words for 'right' and 'left.' De cualquier manera, senor, I have recieved orders to act as the negotiator of Brazil during our meeting with Senor Lincoln."
"Very well, Major," Lee began, "I wish for you to inform the Emperor of my gratefulness for his help in the war. Without your people and the British, we wouldn't be here today."
"Gracias, senor! I will do so. Viva la victory!"
Two Confederate cavalry troopers were nearby, listening to the conversation, "I'll be danged if'n I ever figure out what that thar furiner is goin' on about," said the first.
"Yep," agreed the second, "Look at 'im, prancin' 'round in his high-falutin' Napoleon hat! It's plum ridiculous. Why don't no one dress normal but us?"
"I dunno," answered the first, "I'll just be glad when this war's over and all of them furiners go back to where they belong. Why, I heard tell that in North Caroliney, they have a whole regeement made upa Dagoes!"
"Tarnation!" exclaimed the first, "And we plum thought them thar Brazilian brigades was goin' too far!"
Lee, Ramirez, and the others marched into D.C. under the protection of a battalion of Virginian infantry. MacPherson chose a different route, hoping to find and confiscate the last of the Union ammo. The city had surrendered, but there were still firefights going on against stubborn Yankee troops.
Lee and his men arrived at the White House without too much problem. The building, compared to the others in the besieged capital, was in very good condition. Blue-coated soldiers stood out front, nervously watching the Confederates.
"Well, gentlemen, we wait until MacPherson and his men get here, and then we go inside," said Lee.
An hour passed, and MacPherson had still not arrived.
General Pickett fidgeted with his cigar. He and everyone else were eager to sign the treaty.
"Patience, men," said Lee, "We've waited almost 4 years, we can wait a few minutes."
"Yeah, I guess-" Pickett gazed down Pennsylvannia Avenue, "Wait...Is that them?"
"Farewell ye dungeons dark and strong
The wretch's destiny
MacPherson's time will nae be lang
On yonder gallows tree!
Sae rantinlie an sae wantonlie
Sae dauntinlie gaed he
He played a tune an danced it roun
Below the gallows tree!"
Lee smiled, "Yes, I doubt it could be anyone else. Hear the bagpipes?"
"And see their kilts?" chuckled Pickett, "I've heard that song before. James MacPherson himself wrote it in prison. Anyway, I'm glad they're here, and we can finally commence to beatin' Mistah Lincoln, or should I say 'King Abraham III'."
"Oh what is death but parting breath
On mony a bludy plain
I've daur'd his face and in his place
I scorn him yet again
Tak aff this bands from aff this hands
And bring to me my sword
There's nae a man in a' Scotland
But I'll brave him at a word!"
"Hallo, chaps!" shouted MacPherson as he rode up on his horse, "I hope I didn't delay the jolly good show too long did I? By the way, old chaps, I captured the last of the Yanks' ammo. A chap named Custer was refusing to surrender, so he caused quite a bloomin' barney when we asked him to, and he told us to go sod off, or what were his exact words...oh, yes: 'Go jump in the Potomac.' We told him if he didn't get out of the armoury we'd give him quite the bloody shiner. He didn't listen though, so we went in after the geezer. He was gobsmacked! We took custody of him, and he's locked up in that carriage."
Pickett had to keep himself from laughing at MacPherson's language. It was as if the Anglo-Scot thought that it was normal to speak that way.
"Uh, yes, uh, of course," stammered Lee.
Once at the door of the White House, a soldier escorted Lee, Pickett, Ramirez, MacPherson, and a few other officers of the three armies to the President's office. The room itself was cluttered, with maps and plans strewn all over. Lee noticed one map pinned to the wall that seemed to show Russian Alaska with words like "Impossible!" and "Too expensive!" written all over it. Lee quickly turned his attention to an approaching Union general.
"Hello, General Lee," said the man, "I wish to apologize on behalf of my men. I told them that the war was over and that they were to cooperate with you, but some did not follow my orders."
"I understand, General Grant, and I admire their fighting spirit," Lee answered. He then turned around and removed his hat, "Good day, Mr. President."
Lincoln looked hardly presidential, however, since he was balding and what hair he had was growing white from stress. His suit was wrinkled and stained, he seemed extremely tired, and his body looked very fragile. "Good? You call this day 'Good?' This, Lee, is a black page in the glorious history of America. The day our country is officially torn in two. Good day? I think not," he said depressedly.
"I apologize, Mr. President. I was only trying to be polite," said Lee earnestly.
"Please," Lincoln waved his hand, "General Lee, you may dismiss with your 'Kentucky Colonelism.' Come now, let me see your treaty," Lincoln reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a pair of eyeglasses. Lee handed Lincoln a scroll which the president started reading.
"Well, gentlemen," said Lincoln, "I see you expect me to let Britain keep Vermont. I wouldn't count on that."
"Sir," said MacPherson, "We will let Americans move into and out of Vermont whenever they please."
"I still won't accept," said Lincoln bluntly, "If I allow you to keep your section of the Montana Territory, will you relinquish your claim to Vermont?"
"We expected this," sighed MacPherson, "Throw in the ol' Upper Peninsula and you've got a deal."
Lincoln scratched his bearded chin, "Very well, there aren't very many settlers there anyway, and if it saves Vermont, I agree."
"Jolly decent of you, Mr. President. I am sure the Queen will like the deal."
Lincoln continued reading, "Eh, what is this? '...And that the Church of Latter-Day Saints will be given the so-called region of Deseret as their own.' What is the idea?"
Lee rose out of his chair, "The Mormons have faced intense persecution in the States, so we realized that giving them their own country would be wise. It would keep them out of our hair, and us out of their's."
"Lee, I refuse. I will not allow them to have any such thing. Besides, 'Deseret,' or Utah-Nevada, was never seceeded or occupied."
"Mr. Lincoln," Lee started pacing back and forth, "We fear total insurrection in Deseret. I know how they feel, but I'm afraid they might use different tactics."
"Terror. Pure and simple. They don't have enough men at the moment to have a full army, so they would likely resort to using explosives to blow up anything in sight. I do not wish to see more bloodshed on this continent. Please reconsider, Mr. President."
Lincoln sat back in his chair and rubbed his hands together, thinking. After about three minutes, he gave his answer: "No. I will not allow the Mormons to run willy-nilly in the American West. The West is vital, and I won't lose it. You can't force me to give it up, since it has nothing to do with the war, and neither can the whole Nauvoo Legion. If they attempt insurrection, we'll send in the troops. The South may have won, but only because you had nine million people and the support of allied countries, and the Mormons have neither. No, sir, I won't give it up. Never."
"Are you sure?" asked Pickett as he picked up a map of Deseret.
"Positive. Now, let's discuss other matters. For instance, this paragraph here that says the Union must pay 4 million to Brazil," Lincoln looked at Ramirez skeptically.
"Si, Senor Presidente," said Ramirez, "Union ships stole over two million dollars worth of cargo. Another one million is due from the raid on Port Fortaleza. And another million for other damages."
"Why should I pay you, may I ask?"
"Because if you don't, the Brazilian fleet will embargo the United States and collect payment by privateering 4 million dollars," Ramirez said simply.
'Oh. Well, I guess I don't have a choice. Very well."
"Jmuchas gracias, Senor Presidente, your choice is wise."
Lincoln looked down at the paper again...
"Well," started Lincoln after letting out a long sigh, "Your terms seem agreeable, so I accept them."
As Lincoln busied himself signing the treaty, MacPherson walked over to Lee and took out an envelope. Lincoln saw the French markings and a "top secret" stamp on it. As if that was not suspicious enough, MacPherson was talking so quietly that only Lee could hear it.
Lee took the envelope from MacPherson, and said, "This is not my area. However, the envelope will be presented to President Davis."
Lincoln watched Lee give the note to a nearby officer. He heard Lee tell the soldier to take it to the HMS Titan, anchored in the Potomac, which would then depart for Richmond.
"Who knows what is in that envelope," thought Lincoln, "But my guess is that it includes an alliance with France and probably a plan for dividing up South America. Likely a plan for the defeat of Prussia, Napoleon's number one rival, is included. If so, I can say good-bye to Prussia as an ally, which would mean any strong country could invade the United States unimpeded. That envelope must be stolen so we can see what they're up to," Lincoln motioned for Grant to send someone to follow the message-bearer.
After the signing of the treaty, Federal agents were sent to follow the messenger going to Richmond. It turned out that the HMS Titan was a new British luxury steamboat, capable of quickly getting the envelope to its destination.
There were three agents sent after the messenger. The Leader was an Indiana-born gun-fighter named Joseph Franklin. The second was a Bavarian assassin named Otto Hoffman. The third was a rake from Philadelphia, William Jones, who carried a jewel-studded cane-gun. His top hat and handlebar moustache earned him the nickname "City Slicker."
Franklin soon spotted the messenger going up the boarding ramp, "Quick, everyone follow me!" commanded Franklin. They used a stack of crates as makeshift stairs to get on to the deck. "Remember, the action is over, so there'll be Reb tourists on board, so watch out, and try to stay inconspicuous. And I'm talking to you, City Slicker."
Jones grinned, "I'll do my best, I assure you."
"And stay away from the women! Remember Quebec? When you messed up the mission by staying around that, uh, what's her name?"
"Marie," answered Jones, "I couldn't help myself! I always liked French girls."
"Oh, you do? Well, if we let that message get through, you'll be seeing lots of Frenchies. Male Frenchies. Armed male Frenchies."
Franklin continued, "And do NOT challenge anyone to a duel! 'Cause even if you win, people will start asking questions about you, and considering the way you talk and dress, people will have no problem telling that you're a Federal spy from Philly!"
"You Indiana folk have no understanding of chivalry!" Jones said, while twirling his cain, "But, I shall do as you ask."
"Remember, if you mess up I'll keelhaul you right here," Franklin said ruthlessly while grabbing Jones's collar.
"Actually, sir, I beg your pardon, but this is in fact, a flat-bottomed riverboat, so you cannot technically, uh, well...um, keelhaul me...because there..." Franklin's face turned red as fire and the blood vessels on his forehead started popping, "I'm, uh, just, well, saying that, um...this is rather awkward."
"Oh, yeah, I'll keelhaul you all right. It'll be so keelhauly you won't be able to believe it!" Franklin stated once again.
"Sir, first, 'keelhauly' is not a word, or at least, it isn't in the Britannica. Second, I mean...did you listen to nothing I just said? Fine, I'll say it again: we are on a flat-bottomed riverboat, and it is physically impossible to keelhaul someone on a flat-bottomed riverboat."
"One...more...word and," Franklin pulled out his pistol and cocked it, "You'll be able to say 'hello' to Mister Bullet!"
"All right," interrupted Otto, "Let's carry out this mission and stop squabbling. Who knows where our target is now. We won't be able to just plug him in the head. We have to kill him as silently as possible," he looked around and saw a schedule of all the daily events onboard, "Look, it says 'banquet and general conversation: nine o'clock.' Maybe we could get to him then. I have a tube of poison in my pack, so maybe we could ask him to have a 'drink' with us."
Franklin grinned craftilly, "That might work. Let's search for him at nine."
Jim Richardson, the Confederate messenger, propped his legs up on his table. All around, wealthy Southerners were chatting and eating those little sandwiches of which rich people are so fond.
"Hello, soldier," said a tough-looking man(Franklin) who had suddenly appeared, "Would ya care to join me in a drink to celebrate independence?"
Jim looked up, "Oh, that's mighty nice of you, sir, but I'm a temperance man myself."
Franklin's heart sank, "Oh...really?"
Jim nodded, "My granddaddy, Arthur Richardson, he drilled it inta me. He always preached about the evils of alchohol at our church in Alabama. He used to say: 'When the Devil's servant, rum, get's its hands on you, it'll rot your body, your mind, and your immortal soul!' Boy, he could preach! Why, Jonathan Edwards' hellfire and brimstone sermons would find it difficult to win more converts than my granddaddy. I mean, he was the best dang preacher you ever did hear!"
"Yes, I'm sure. Uh, see you later," Franklin turned around, "Oh, yeah, I'll see you later...sprawled out dead on the floor..."
"What's that, buddy?"
"Oh, nothing, uh...good-bye," Franklin adjusted his derby hat and straightened his coat. He thought he was doing a good job looking inconspicuous.
And then he saw Jones dancing in front of a large crowd. Franklin could not believe it, "What...the...h-"
"-And of course," Jones loud talking silenced the swear, "I will now be doing a dance I learned from a family of nomads, on the Russian Steppes," he then commenced to perform a wild, stomping dance, during which he crouched down while slamming his heels against the ground. It was a spectacle of epic proportions.
"I'm going to kill him!" Franklin said angrily to himself while yanking Jones by the sleeve. The crowd disspersed, and things once again became quiet.
"Jones, I'm going to physically harm you."
"Because you made a spectacle of yourself and pronounced our presence!"
Otto saundered over to the bickering duo and whispered, "I saw our target have a porter send his luggage to his room. Maybe...he has the envelope in one of his suitcases."
Franklin immediately payed attention, "Ah! Yes, we should get up there and see if the envelope is in the luggage. Bill, is your cane loaded?"
"Yes, I believe so," answered Jones.
"Now, act casual, and let's go ransack that room! Follow me," Franklin felt his pocket. The revolver was there.
The three agents walked briskly up the stairs to the hotel section of the ship. To their great dismay, an armed soldier patroled the halls.
"What're we going to do?" Otto asked nervously.
Franklin poked his head around the corner, "There is a lantern above his head...I'll throw a knife at the twine holding it in place, and it'll take care of him," Franklin took out a throwing knife, aimed carefully, and threw. The lantern shattered on the guard's head, knocking him senseless, "Hurry up and stomp out the fire and tie him up in the closet.
After gagging and locking the guard up, Otto said, "I heard him tell the porter to take the luggage to room 15."
The trio went to room 15's door, and after Jones picked the lock, they ransacked the room. They were in the process of inspecting a trunk when Franklin noticed a that the trunk was too shallow inside compared to the way it looked huge outside, "Hey! I bet this here is a secret compartment! Yep, it looks like it is!" Franklin pryed the bottom out of the trunk and saw that it was, in fact, a false bottom. And there it was: the envelope with French markings.
Suddenly, Franklin heard Jones cocking his cane-gun, "All right, Joe Franklin, gimme that envelope! NOW!"
"What?!" shouted Franklin unbelievingly.
"Now listen carefully, because I don't want to repeat myself," started Bill, "This has been a fantastic masquerade, and Shakespeare himself could not have written a better adventure! And, just like a play, we have reached the final act, and soon, the curtain is to be lowered. Remember earlier, when you said that I spent too much time with Marie, that French-Canadian? Well, she was actually a Frenchwoman from Louisiana. That is right, she was a spy like me."
"You...y-you are a double agent?" stammered the shocked Franklin.
"Uh, yes. Did it take you that long to catch on? You might also say next, 'Why Billy, you are from Philly!' Well, here is your answer: My family, citizens of the good state of North Carolina, moved to Philly so my father could teach at a school. Right after they moved there, I was born. So, you might say that I'm a Southerner who was born in the North. Anyhow, when the war began, I decided that I should help the Confederate cause to the best of my ability. I joined Intelligence and began to secretly spy on spys. I began to mess everything up for the North. But I did it so no one would become suspicious. Like, for example, when one of my former teamates(Lord rest his soul), was shot while spying in Brazil. I tipped the Brazilians off, acted horrified when I saw his corpse, and collected some small, useless information on Brazil so the US would't say I wasn't doing my job. So, ya'll just hand me that envelope. And don't look at me like that, you know you would have done the same thing."
In the blink of an eye, Franklin tossed the envelope to Otto, and tackled Bill. Otto jumped out the window, and onto a patio below.
Finally, Bill shoved Franklin to the floor, "Sorry, Joe. I'm just doing my job." At that, he aimed his cain at Franklin's head and squeezed the trigger. Bill took the revolver from the dead man's pocket, "Lucky thing," Bill thought, "This cane can only fire a single shot.
Readying the gun, Bill also jumped through the window to track down Otto. Bill's cane shot was not really heard, since all of the passengers were in the dining room far below, listening to a very loud military band, which made gunshots very hard to distinguish from drums.
Otto, meanwhile, found himself going through an open window into a small storage room. To his great dismay, the exit was locked and he heard Bill's footsteps fast approaching. Otto ducked behind a crate as Bill climbed through the window, "Bill, why didn't you just kill us earlier? Why the masquerade?"
"'Cause, Otto, while the Union focuses on that envelope, another French envelope has been going to a Confederate post near DC, which will then send it deep into Confederate territory. What you have is just a decoy. I just needed to subvert the Union long enough for the real envelope to safely reach Confederate territory."
Suddenly, Otto leaped up and smashed down the locked exit door. He ran out of the room and into the hallway. Bill ran close behind, sprinting as fast as he could. Otto suddenly entered a side room. It was a kitchen with many servants inside, which would make it hard for Bill to use his pistol without risk of hurting a fellow Confederate. Pushing aside startled cooks, he reached over to a pot of boiling water, and flung it in Bill's direction. It didn't fly far enough to burn him, but Bill did find himself sliding, slipping, and falling onto the floor. But, Bill got up again, and the chase continued. Otto quickly grabbed a steak knife from a nearby table and threw it at Bill's head. It knicked the side of his face and blood violently splurted out
Confederate guards, hearing the commotion, stormed into the room. Otto grabbed onto a chandelier and used it to crash into the horde of soldiers. Quickly getting up, he jumped completely over a three-foot tall crate, as Bill suddenly started spraying bullets everywhere.
"Quick!" Bill yelled at the gray-coated soldiers, "After him! Follow me!"
Otto raced to a nearby door, opened it, and found himself in an empty room, which offered almost no protection. Panicking, he flung himself at a window. Shattering into thousands a sharp shards, the window severely cut him. He was now on another outdoor patio, just like at the beginning of the chase, and there were more guards joining in on the chase. He could hear rifle bullets hit the ground directly behind him. Smashing down another door, he entered yet another room. It appeared to be the batheing facilites. Since he ducked behind a long tub curtain, the oncoming guards failed to see him and raced past. When their backs were turned, he pulled out his almost empty six-shooter and fired three shots into them. Jumping over their bodies, he continued on.
Suddenly, he was at a dead end and his bullets were gone. But then, he noticed a ladder which led up to the deck. Scrambling up the ladder at top speed was not fast enough, however, as the ladder was too long. Bill and the guards aimed and fired, riddling Otto's body with bullets. Otto let out an agonized scream, held onto the ladder for a moment, and then fell dead onto the floor ten feet below.
The final action of the Civil War was over, and a Confederate-French alliance was assured.
On August 1st, a formal Confederate-French alliance was completed. Unlike what Lincoln thought, the alliance did not provide for an invasion of Prussia, but it did provide for an alliance with Brazil and the dividing up of South America. However, Napoleon III's plans for that continent were to wait until the CSA finished stabilizing their new country.
Meanwhile, in the Union, things were rapidly declining. In the West, the Mormons were coming close to uprising. Back East, riots were becoming more and more common. Marshal law had been declared in DC because of violent protests following the end of the war.
It was during this period, that a radical party, the American People's Party, arrived on the political scene. The party was the brainchild of Noah Webster Gordon, a former army officer. Gordon had blamed the Union's defeat on the blacks, Jews, and abolitionists. He said that the whole war could have been averted if theabolitionists had not gained power.
The American People's Party demonstrated their strength on August 30th, 1864. With tens of thousands of listeners present, Gordon gave a speech in DC.
"My fellow countrymen! My fellow sufferers! My friends! Are you angry at your government? Are you angry at your current administration? I know you are! The days we have been suffering through since the signing of the disgraceful treaty with the gray ogres have not gone quickly. For months, our fair republic has been rotting and decaying at the hands of Lincoln and his thug, Hamlin! These months are our country's darkest hours! I tell you now, that this is the worst time in American history since Valley Forge. But! Just as Washington and his men came out of their tribulations stronger, so too, we will come out stronger! America shall rise again! We will wake up and realize that our current path through history is unsustainable!"
"For score and eight years ago, our forefathers brought into being our Grand Republic, hoping that future generations would take care of it and make it grow. Manifest Destiny they called it. Well, this sure does not look like Manifest Destiny to me! Does it to you?"
"Let me tell you something: I know what has destroyed America. It's those negra-loving abolitionists and Jews! And let us not forget the evolutionists, vomiting their lies everywhere they go! If Lincoln had not listened to those groups, and had shut them up, we might still be one country!"
"Let me tell you something else: I know what will fix America. The American people, and their party, your party, my party, must rise up and reclaim the Republic!"
"Now, some of you might know that I am from Virginia, born there in 1825, and think that makes me a gray-back. Yes, I was born in Virginia, I am from Virginia, but my heart and soul belongs to the Union! This is my country! Your country! Our country!"
"Now, as most of you probably already figured out, I am going to run for president. I will run for, and win, the office of president of the United States. I will kick Lincoln out of the White House with the help of my vice president, a great American and faithful Union man, Ambrose E. Burnside! A man who fought his hardest for the country."
"After we are elected, we will repair America. This country's best days are nigh at hand! But I also tell you, that America cannot be restored to its former glory by speeches and songs; it can only be revived through blood and iron! Farewell, my countrymen! Remember to vote for the Gordon-Burnside ticket on November 8th! I will bring the good old days back and make even those better! I am America and America is me!"
Suddenly, the American economy fell flat on its face. After France and Britain sold the South industrial equipment, the world started purchasing not only lots of its cotton from the CSA, but also some of its other goods. Without any market to sell its poorer-quality products, the Union entered a terrible recession. As expected, Lincoln's chances of re-election went from completely unlikely to impossible.
On November 8th, Gordon carried twenty of the twenty-four states and also won a huge victory in the electoral college, despite the fact that some said he was a dangerous character.
Following the election of Noah Webster Gordon as the seventeenth president of the United States, the Mormons in Deseret became irate. When the president-elect took office four months later, the Mormons, under Brigham Young, declared total separation from the US and announced their sovereignty as the Mormon Republic of Deseret. The Mormon leader said that he and his country wished no conflict, and would not become violent, unless the US provoked them.
A Washington newspaper reported that "President Gordon is angrier than heck," and also stated that "We are confident that our new president will be able to handle the crisis and will not allow further breakdown of our beloved Union."
On February 20th, Gordon ordered the state militias to provide 20,000 soldiers "to suppress, by force, if necessary, the Mormon usurpers." He also wrote in a letter to George McClellan that "The Union will command respect once again, once the world witnesses the way we will crush the nascent Smithites. We will merrily march west and replicate Hannibal's adventure in Cannae. The West is vital. We must not lose it. If the Union was to further dissolve, my administration and and our country would become a laughing stock. I am prepared to do anything to save the Union."
When 20,000 US troops marched west from Council Bluffs, Iowa on June 4th, 1865, after diplomacy failed, the Deseret government raised an unexpectedly large army which numbered in the thousands. The Confederacy, somewhat sympathetic, and also spotting yet another way to stick it to the Union, provided a few officers and sold no small amount of guns to Deseret.
Outraged, Gordon declared war on Deseret. He immediately put General George Armstrong Custer at the head of an invasion army. Custer had devised a plan to march to the Great Salt Lake and capture Salt Lake City by moving west through US territory and then practicing his latest tactic, what he called "lightning war," by striking out of Fort Bridger and overrunning the Mormon army through heavy use of mounted forces to make rapid advances over vast distances and end the war as quickly as possible.
However, a strange disease swept through his ranks and he was forced to rest his troops at Fort Bridger longer than he originally intended. Seeing Custer's dilemma, the Mormons prepared different ways to ruin the invasion.
On September 10th, the first of these ways occured. Mormon skirmishers started harassing the supply wagons. Unknowingly marching into a trap and hoping to save the much-needed supplies, and, of course, hog the glory for himself, General "Fighting Joe" Hooker, who was rushed to join Custer the month before, ordered his troops to engage the Mormons in what became known as the "Battle of Bloody Desert.
At eight o'clock in the morning, Hooker directed half of his 1000 men to attack about 100 Mormon skirmishers. By ten, fewer than 200 of the original 500 remained. The skirmishers knew the terrain like the back of their hands. However, things soon got even worse for Hooker. While half of his forces were getting picked-off by skirmishers, his reserves were suddenly attacked on the right flank by about 700 Mormon regulars.
Earlier, Hooker had arrogantly claimed to Custer that "I can wup 'em with 500 men, and destroy 'em with a 1000. While I'm doing that, we should use their attack to our advantage and move the rest of the army forward." Because of this, the main army was too far ahead to provide Hooker with the reinforcements that he turned out to desperately need.
Soon after the Mormon regulars attacked, Hooker, mounted on a large charger, tried to spur his men to victory by riding to the front. But at 10:10, a Mormon bullet shattered his skull, instantly killing him.
Disorganized and leaderless, the Union troops attempted a calm retreat. But, when the bayonet-equipped Mormons charged the rear, panic set in. The Mormons chased them for eight miles, further raising the casualty count. By noon, Hooker's 1000 men were reduced to a few hundred exhausted, defeated stragglers.
When Custer learned of the event, it was almost two in the afternoon. Turning around, defeating the entire purpose of Hooker's self-sacrificial rear guard action, he found around 600 federal corpses, already thoroughly looted of supplies and weapons by the now encouraged Mormon troops. Upon seeing the battlefield, Custer gazed down at Hooker's body and said only four words about the battle: "This is a disaster."
However, Custer refused to be slowed. Continuing on at only a slightly more cautious pace, for fear of breaking the momentum of his "lightning war," Custer decided to immediately push on ahead to Ogden, very close to Salt Lake City. When he arrived, however, the Mormons used some of their Confederate-supplied artillery to absolutely bombard the federal infantry. Over 600 men died storming the Mormon cannon positions and another 400 in other fighting. Just when it looked like the Mormon guns would never cease firing, the 7th New York National Guard, combined with the forces of the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry; the "Black Hat Brigade" of much reknown, charged the center of the Mormon army and made gaping holes which were never filled. Faced with utter annihilation, the Mormons fell back and retreated to Salt Lake City, there to await Custer's final push.
On August 5th, Custer finished setting up seige equipment, and began the long process of starving the city into surrender. The pitched battles were over. The cost: 5000 federal troops died of battle, exhaustion, or disease.
Meanwhile, the Confederacy was very busy. Without US laws prohibiting the importation of new slaves, the French and Spanish governments allowed the CSA slave colonies underneath French Morocco at incredibly cheap prices. Britain, being completely anti-slavery, protested, but to no avail.
On September 1st, the Confederate government saw yet another chance to make their new nation more respected by sending missionaries, adventurers, and a few troops into the unclaimed Congo. In later years, the mission would result in the Confederate Congo becoming a full-fledged colony.
But, back in the US, Gordon was fuming about the recent Confederate purchases and demanded that France and Spain take the territories back. What resulted was the famous "Crisis of '65." On September 15th, five days after Gordon's demands, Napoleon III's troops surrounded the US embassy in Paris. In Spain an American was shot in Madrid for spying.
In Washington, the people cried out for war against France and Spain, which Gordon realized would be a war of national suicide. After two weeks, the soldiers finally agreed to leave the embassy under the condition that the bankrupt United States keep out of French-Spanish-Confederate affairs. Gordon's cabinet warned him that if he did not accept the demand, it could result in a global conflict; global conflict that the fragile United States likely would not survive. Grudgingly, he accepted.
In Europe, things were getting out of control. Word had spread everywhere of the successfulness of the Confederate rebellion. Soon, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania were in full-fledged civil war against their master, Abd Al-Aziz, the 32nd sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The sultan's armies promptly invaded the rebellious territories. However, unfortunately for the Turks, the people of Europe sent in supplies to help rebels, because they saw it as their chance to finally push the Turks back to Istanbul, or as some stubborn Orthodox still called it, Constantinople.
On October 1st, an entire force of Akinci and Armatoloi was sent into Bulgaria and was attacked by a large force of rebels. After four days of non-stop fighting, the Turks retreated back to the Empire with their tails tucked between their legs. The battle became nicknamed the "Bulgarian Gettysburg," and yielded a similar result: international recognition. Franz Josef of Austria invaded Turk-occupied Serbia and Montenegro and agreed to send large forces further south, especially to Albania, in which he hoped to gain a puppet state.
Tsar Alexander II of Russia, meanwhile, sent 15,000 Russian soldiers across the border into Romania to help their fellow Slavs "be free." Obviously, however, Alexander wanted to expand the borders of the Motherland.
When Prussia heard of the war, Wilhelm refused to become involved, although, some said he was secretly giving weapons to the rebels.
America, both the United and Confederate States, chipped in. A huge number of weapons were sold, particularly from the Union, whose coffers got some much needed money from gun sales.
France actually joined its Austro-Hungarian counterparts and declared war on Turkey. Napoleon III sent a fleet and blockaded the Turkish coast, thereby limiting the means by which the Ottoman Empire's forces could send reinforcements to the Balkans.
Britain, stayed completely out of the conflict because it did not want to offend Austria-Hungary or France and wished to avoid bringing conflict to British Egypt. The Turks, remembering the glory days of the Turko-British alliance during the Crimean War against Russia in the 1850's, were dissapointed that Britain was not a little more supportive of them. Finally, Britain brought the fueding countries together on December 22nd, at the Congress of London. It was resolved that Albania, Bulgaria and Romania should be granted independence, or the Turks would be forced to grant it by combined Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and French armies, with likely help from Italy, who were being wary of getting to comfortable with Austria-Hungary. These forces would likely not only liberate the Balkans, but also march into Anatolia itself. Frightened and exhausted, the Turks agreed. They knew that their forces were eccentric and outdated and would not stand a chance against a modern Euro-Balkan army.
Russia, however, was infuriated and upset about how Austria-Hungary refused to pull out of Serbia and Montenegro, which it had "liberated" at the beginning of the conflict. However, the other countries realized that Russia wanted the Austrians to pull out only so they could invade themselves, so they offered little sympathy and left the kinder-hearted Austrians in charge. Russia considered attacking Austria-Hungary, but wisely accepted the newly-enlarged empire after Britain said that they would enforce the terms of the treaty to the letter, which would mean a repeat of the Crimean War.
Also resolved at the Congress of London, were numerous German territorial disputes. Needless to say, Prussia came out on top, annexing many small German regions.
Thus, peace was brought back to Europe. But things were just getting heated in the Americas...
In Paraguay, the dictator Fransico Lopez had declared war on Argentina and Brazil on May 1st, in a war of territorial expansion. Fuming, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay decided to work together to defeat Lopez. The CSA was drawn in later, on November 5th. Seeing his chance, Napoleon III invaded Paraguay by moving through allied Brazil. On December 31st, French bands struck up the Marseillaise as they raised the tri-color over the Paraguayan capitol building. Lopez was executed the following day, on January 1st, 1866. Napoleon sent over many more troops and firmly established his control over French Paraguay.
On October 1st, Salt Lake City surrendered to Custer. By then, he had lost over 5500 men. However, the Mormons soon became guerrilas. On October 20th, Brigham Young was captured and executed for high treason.
Back east, Gordon was grabbing up more and more power. His latest move caused some stir; he founded the "Congressional Commitee on Un-patriotic Activities," or the "CCUA," which severely limited freedom of speech.
Another thing he did that some said was outrageous was the formation of the "Presidential Guard Regiment," which people soon compared to the 1700's French Royal Swiss Guards and Spanish Walloon Guards. People said it was dictatorial, scandalous, and un-American, especially since Gordon was the only man who could give orders to the Guards.
The year 1866 was welcomed by the world, hoping it would be more peaceful than '64 and '65. For a while, it looked as if their hopes might come true-- the first month-and-a-half was uneventful, and as the London Times put it, "It looks as if we will all settle back down into the peace of 1815." However, it was not to last, for a radical change was coming to the US.
LOCATION: White House
TIME: 8:00 A.M.
President Gordon looked at the papers on his desk. Everything was going as he wished. Today, February 22nd, was George Washington's birthday. Today was the day of Operation: Clean House, an operation Gordon had been scheming up for the past year.
Someone knocked on the door, "Mr. President?"
"McClellan? Come in," Gordon said, never looking up. He was intensely focused on his papers and plans.
McClellan walked in, removed his hat, and saluted, "Mr. President, I trust you are having a pleasant morning?" he greeted while pulling up a chair. McClellan, a devout Democrat, had been in on Gordon's plans from the beginning.
''Yes, very pleasant," answered Gordon while studying a map with a magnifying glass, "Are the Presidential Guards ready?"
McClellan poured himself a glass of bourbon from a bottle sitting on the desk, "Oh, yes! Absolutely ready, sir!"
Gordon finally looked up, "And Webb?"
McClellan swished the beverage around in the glass, "Uh, yes, sir. Webb has the story ready for the printing presses."
"Good," Gordon scratched his beard thoughtfully, "Remember, what we do must not be mistaken for treason in any way. The public must be behind us 100%. If everything goes as we planned, by the end of the day, you will be the commander of the military, and both of us will have much more power. Here, load my pistol while I get my jacket," he ordered calmly while he reached for his gear. As he attached his belt, he took his sword down off the wall and attached his belt. Gordon was only in his forties and made an intimidating sight in his battle regalia. He and McClellan rode in a carriage to the Congress building.
Gordon opened the carriage door and put his foot down in the mud. He swore; he hated getting his boots muddy. Once he was out, McClellan followed suit.
"Well, McClellan? Where are the Guards?" Gordon asked angrily and impatiently. Athough, you would likely be impatient too, if you were about to overthrow your government.
Mclellan pointed his gloved hand down the street, "Right over there, sir," as McClellan spoke, the Guards were rapidly coming down the road, forming a line in front of the president and general. They looked resplendant in their navy blue jackets and green pants and shakos.
As the men lined up, Gordon started quoting Lucanus on a similar event in Roman history: "How swiftly Caesar had surmounted the icey Alps and in his mind conceived immense upheavals and coming war. When he reached the water of the little Rubicon, clearly to the leader appeared a mighty image of his country in distress; grief in her face, her white hair streaming from her tower-crowned head. With tresses torn and shoulders bare, she stood before him and sighing, said: 'Where further do you march? Where do you take my standards warriors? If lawfully you come, if as citizens, this far only is allowed.' And trembling struck the leader's limbs, his hair grew stiff, and weakness checked his progress, holding his feet at the river's edge. At last he speaks, 'Oh, thunderer, surveying great Rome's walls from the Tarpeian rock. Oh, Phrygian, house gods of Iulus, clan and mysteries of Quirinus who was carried off to heaven. Oh, Jupiter of Latium, seated in lofty Alba and hearths of Vesta. Oh, Rome, equal to the highest deity, favor my plans. Not with impious weapons do I pursue you. Here am I, Caesar, conqueror of land and sea, your own own soldier everywhere, now too if I am permitted. The man who makes me your enemy, it is he will be the guilty one.' Then he broke the barriers of war and through the swollen river swiftly took his standards. When Caesar reached the opposite bank, from Hesparia's forbiddden fields he took his stand and said; "Here, I abandoned peace and desicrated law. Fortune, it is you I follow. Farewell to treaties. From now on, war is our judge.' "
With drums beating and banners waving, the Guards of Gordon battered down the mighty oaken doors of the old order. And, drawing his sword of American iron, Gordon shouted, "For your country, for your president!" How the very bones of the representatives were shaken when the American Caesar's warriors marched into the House. And imagine how the politicians felt when the grand leader told them that they were under arrest for desicrating the Grand Republic. Tempers flared, men shouted, fists were flying. But to no avail; the American Caesar would not be slowed. One of the representatives, before being cuffed in chains of iron, a prisoner of his own president, quoting one who had died long ago, he cried, "Oh Liberty! Liberty! What crimes are commited in thy name!" How the politicians disgusted the American Caesar. How they infuriated him!
History will never forget when he took off his hat and, smiling, told his legion that they had saved their country from falling into dust. Then, stern-faced, he spoke, "How very far I have come. How long I have waited. Very like Caesar, I have crossed my Rubicon! Here am I, Gordon, conqueror, peace-maker, and saviour. Verily, I have brought peace and saved our dear country by being a conqueror, a warrior! I hereby swear that I shall make my Washington the envy of the known world. People will come from the far corners of the globe to see her mighty granite walls, her paved roads, and her golden monuments to conquerors past. Oh, Washington, equal to the highest deity of the highest heaven, bring me triumph over thine enemies!"
LEGO Builder, Writer, Video-Gamer, Greaser, History Professor, Swordsman, and Military Collector. I am the Most Interesting Man in the World. :p
Last edited by Napoleon on Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.