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On to Washington

by Steve Payne


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

"The defeated [Union] troops commenced pouring into Washington over the Long Bridge at daylight on Monday, 22nd July. All the men with this coating of sweat and rain, now recoiling back, pouring over the Long Bridge - a horrible march of twenty miles, returning to Washington baffled, humiliated, panic-struck." ~ Walt Whitman 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, left).

Chaos 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.

"We have whipped them! They ran like sheep! Give me 5,000 fresh men and I will be in Washington City tomorrow!" ~ "Stonewall" JacksonWorse 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.

"Their hearts were not there. Their tents, provisions, baggage, and letters from home were upon the banks of the Potomac, and no power could have stopped them short of the camps they had left less than a week before." ~ Captain James B. FryBy 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.

Author says, this explores some of the ideas of the ingenius book "How the South Could Have Won the Civil War: the Fatal Errors that Led to Confederate Defeat" by Bevin Alexander (2007) from where we have repurposed considerable amounts of content to celebrate the author's genius.

Steve Payne

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