US civil war ends early
The American Civil war lasted
four years and required a vast expenditure to crush the confederacy, as well as
leaving behind scars that have not yet healed in the US physic.
The need for total war, however, was decided by the first real battle of
the USCW, when green US troops met green CS troops at the first battle of Bull
While the US had most of the
advantages, the CS had a few that would have proven decisive in a short war. Mainly, they had the advantage of interior defence, although
that would mean little when considering the sheer size of the theatre, and the
advantage of having most of the experienced war leaders.
There were several possibilities
for a US victory at Bull Run. I
choose the incident when General ‘stonewall’ Jackson was nicked by a bullet
during the battle. If some
sharpshooter had shot a little more accurately, Jackson might have been killed,
so our POD will be Jackson’s death. This
death would probably cause the confederate troops, without a definite line of
command, to panic and to scatter. The
US troops have time to clear the field and capture any confederates left on the
The US victory has several
repercussions. States that were
considering joining the confederacy stay in the US.
Recruitment in the confederacy declines, while the US recruitment shoots
upwards, everyone wants to be on the winning side.
The US’s main problem is that
the 90-day terms of enlistment for most of their troops are expiring.
However, I’m having Lincoln or one of the US generals offer massive
inducements to the troops to sign on for an extra year.
These could include land grants, bonuses and promotion for those who did
really well. Point is to keep the
US force in being without massive problems.
US forces press downwards
pursuing the confederate forces. This
pursuit causes the confederacy to by unable to make a stand at any point, while
the collapse of the fledgling CS infrastructure means that whoever ends up
commanding the remains of the CS army is unable to find a safe place to halt.
The CS has no choice, but to seek a peace deal, although as some states
start making separate peaces, CSA approval starts to look unnecessary.
What sort of peace deal would
Lincoln demand from the south after this quick victory?
I suspect that he would demand the limiting of slavery to the CS borders,
the surrender and exile of the southern leaders, the return of the CS states to
the union and the return of all federal property.
This decision would satisfy few
people on both sides of the abolishment debate.
The abolishments would demand the ending of slavery within the US and
would push for federal support of emancipation.
If that was a compensated form of emancipation, I could see US taxpayers
having fits over the cost, while some people would have moral problems over
paying thieves for their stolen property. You
don’t pay criminals to return their stolen goods.
Simply pushing for confiscation is the simplest solution, but the
plantation owners would have fits. If
the rest of the southern population blames them for the defeat and the death
toll, they might be defeated, if not, its not impossible for them to fight back.