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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #73)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 02:11 AM

74. The south wasn't going to win the war by occupying northern cities

anymore than George Washington winning the revolution by occupying Liverpool.

The south needed to fight hard enough and long enough for the north to say the heck with it, it's not worth the price just like England did.

So, just to try a little alternative history, how's about after the first day of the battle which was a resounding Confederate victory, Lee follows Longstreet's advice and leaves the mauled I Corps and XI Corps reorganizing behind the II, III and XII Corps digging in on the hills.

He steps to the right catching the V and VI Corps and huge baggage trains on the way to Gettysburg strung out on the road and gets between the Army of the Potomac and Washington. This causes the rump AOP to chase after Lee where it is destroyed in a rash frontal attack everyone now remembers as Steinwehr's Charge.

This leaves Lee's army free to roam the countryside of Pennsylvania for the rest of the summer sending food, animals, machinery and money south and probably taking Harrisburg without much of a fight. Washington was probably not possible, but Baltimore had much southern sympathy and could have been taken, though not held. The CSA cavalry would be tearing up railroads all the way to Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile New York erupts in draft riots that are much bloodier and go on way longer than they actually did. The riots spread to Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati and other northern cities. Northern troops are brought back from the west and the Virginia and N Carolina coasts to rebuild the AOP. The peace Democrats, led by Congressman Clement Valliandigham (The man without a country) is sent from Richmond back to Ohio, where he declares Ohio out of the war and calls its soldiers home. New York Governor Seymour also calls for peace from Albany. Copperheads start rallying for peace throughout the north and in the congressional elections of 1864, Lincoln loses his reelection, as well as congressional majorities and congress starts to withdraw funding for the war to move the new president-elect toward negotiations.

When President Davis presents himself to the French and English embassies in Richmond, he repeats his Inaugural quote, "All we ask is to be left alone."

How's that for some alternative history?

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