Confederate Celebrations at
by Eric Lipps
says: what if the Union had backed down at Fort Sumter? muses Eric Lipps.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily
reflect the views of the author(s).
On August 17th 1863,
Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, hosted the president and
vice-president of the independent Confederate States of America, Jefferson
Davis and Alexander Stephens, in a day-long celebration.
In April 1861 Fort Sumter had been the site of the first armed
confrontation between Confederate forces and those of the United States,
when a U.S. naval vessel, Star of the West, had been fired upon
by CSA ships while attempting to relieve the besieged federal fort.
Military conflict had quickly escalated, extending into the diplomatic
realm when on November 8 of that year the USS San Jacinto intercepted the
British mail packet Trent and seized diplomatic envoys James Mason and
A new story by Eric LippsThe Lincoln
administration released the two after several weeks of escalating tension
and disavowed the actions of the San Jacinto's captain, Charles Wilkes.
President Lincoln's efforts proved fruitless, however, as British public
and governmental opinion was inflamed by telegraphic reports that Wilkes
was being treated as a hero throughout the USA. When Mason and Slidell
were permitted to resume their travels, they found receptive audiences not
only in London but in Paris, Slidell's destination, where the Emperor
Napoleon III was interested in gaining influence in troubled Mexico and
saw the new Confederacy as easier to persuade in the matter than the
United States. The result of the two diplomats' mission was overt support
of the CSA by both London and Paris.
And with both Britain and France on Richmond's side, the British openly
arming the CSA while harassing Union shipping and sending thousands of
additional troops to Canada for what looked like a possible land assault
while the French intrigued to entice the Mexican Republic into attacking
the U.S. with promises of restoration of the territories lost in the
U.S.-Mexican war of the 1840s - promises Napoleon had neither the means
nor the intention of fulfilling, but that the struggling President Benito
Juarez saw as offering a possible way out of national bankruptcy -
President Lincoln had been forced to capitulate in April of 1863.
That decision had led to his impeachment, elevating Vice-President
Hannibal Hamlin to the U.S. presidency just as that office, in Hamlin's
bitter words, seemed to have "shriveled like a corpse in the desert".
Civil unrest on a massive scale had followed the end of U.S./CSA
hostilities, and on the very day of the Sumter celebration a huge riot was
raging in New York City in which hundreds of blacks, whose race was widely
blamed for "causing" the war and defeat, would be killed.
says in our history, on that date Union forces bombarded
Confederate-held Fort Sumter. The riots described as taking place are based
on our timeline's draft riots of July 1863; here, it is assumed a prolonged
period of repeated outbursts of mob violence followed the Union defeat.
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
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