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Southern Cross Parts 1-4 by Steve Payne, Raymond Speer, Stan Brin and Eric Lipps

Author says: what if Confederate Commanders immediately followed-up the victory at Bull Run by occupying the Federal Capital? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

July 23rd, 1861, amidst the chaotic evacuation of the US Government from Washington City on this day, US President Abraham Lincoln was shot dead by a deranged stage actor, John Wilkes Booth (pictured).

"We have whipped them! They ran like sheep! Give me 5,000 fresh men and I will be in Washington City tomorrow!" ~ "Stonewall" JacksonChaos had ensued the moment that defeated Union forces returned from the Battle of Bull Run. Because in the first (and last) major land battle of the American Civil War, General Irvin McDowell's Union forces had been routed at Manassas Junction.

Worse was to come. Fast on the heels of the defeated Union Army of Northeastern Virginia was an advance force of five thousand Confederate troops led by "Stonewall" Jackson, considered by many to be the architect of the victory at Bull Run.

By mid afternoon, a battery of rifled guns had been established on Arlington Heights, and the first elements of the Army of North Virginia were crossing the Long Bridge. It was a far cry from the high hopes of US Congressmen who had taken up the cry of: "On to Richmond!". Because the only one of them who actually made it there, Alfred Ely of New York, did so as a prisoner.

August 26th, 1861, just four weeks after the chaotic evacuation from Washington City the Union mustered sufficient organisation to reseat the National Government upon the island of Manhattan which became the new Federal District under an emergency cessation by the New York State Legislature.

The Union received an immediate setback to its national authority when a few days later the District of Columbia signed an act of retrocession returning the territory to the State of Maryland.

Whilst his murdered predecessor had grappled with the retention of Federal Property in the Confederate States, for President Hannibal Hamlin (pictured) the game had moved on from Fort Sumter and at a pace. Because George Washington's capital was in the hands of the Confederate troops who had crushed Union Forces at the Battle of Bull Run.

August 27th, 1861, President Hannibal Hamlin was opposed by prominent business interests when he attempted to revive the District of Columbia on Manhattan island. By the end of his second year in office, Hamlin was resident at Montauk Point, Long Island, where a Seaside White House was available to him and his family, as was a double domed capital, larger and more spacious than the one left behind in Washington D.C.

Meanwhile, Richmond remained the capital of the Confederacy, but that organization was disintegrating while unchallenged by the USA. Georgia and Mississippi sanctioned the disintegration of the infantry units that had been raised by those states upon the expiration of their 60 day enlistment periods. Virginia was more responsible (well aware of the Grand Army of the Republic that the Yankees had training in Pennsylvania), but was straining its own resources by putting forth the defense for the Confederacy's eastern seaboard. And sales had not been good for Confederate bonds, though the documents were being marketed freely in Europe.

The Post-Skedaddle phase of the War Between the American States began in the Nevada territory, where a convention hall of orators in Virginia City announced that Nevada was joining the Confederacy. That was in the last week of November 1862 and a rival Union government in Carson City was established by a company of cavalry the next month. By the beginning of 1862, Nevadan settlers were fighting among themselves over which side would get the mineral wealth of the territory.

Both Jefferson Davis and Hannibal Hamlin appointed proxies in Nevada, and contacted their respective Congresses for appropriations to send an overwhelming force to conquer Nevada beyond dispute. Of necessity, each side made ready their home defense forces back east.

As those events transpired, Brigham Young in Salt Lake City organized his people, ordering a prepared defense force to resist outside domination "from either side". In London, with the advent of the Nevada Crisis, maps are consulted concerning the American southwest lands and the settlements thereon.

February 24th, 1864, Walt Whitman (pictured as a young man) formed a Centennial Recovery Committee, promising to get America "back on track for '76".

His candidacy for US President was declared in the city of Philadelphia, the poet's home for the past three years.

"The defeated [Union] troops commenced pouring over the Long Bridge at daylight, returning to Washington baffled, humiliated, panic-struck". ~ Walt Whitman Crucifixion Day Part 4, A Very Different American Flagg, c1864Because Whitman had been in Washington City on that dreadful day after the defeat at Mannassas Junction.

Confederate forces had seized the old Capital, and in the ensuing chaos, as the US Government fled the City, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by the deranged stage actor John Wilkes Booth.

And so Whitman had arrived in Philadelphia, the new capital of the Union. Very shortly, campaign posters would start to appear, making the bold announcement that "Somebody's go to put it all back together ... Walt Whitman just might be the man".

Author says to view guest historian's comments on this thread please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Other Contemporary Stories

Thirteenth Amendment "Those Who Sent Him" Cooler Heads Might Prevail

Steve Payne, Raymond Speer, Stan Brin and Eric Lipps

Editor and Guest Historians of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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