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Thread: The Better Angels of Our Nature

  1. #21
    Kordo: Thank you, that's indeed the hope.

    Jape: Thanks! Regarding the latter--frankly, that's not so far out of line with what actually happened, in absolute if not in relative terms--I don't recall the exact numbers, but IIRC it's in the tens of thousands for blacks during Reconstruction, which is in addition mostly guesswork since few bothered (or was brave enough) to record them...Say probably about 50,000, half what quick googling seems to say as consensus for Bosnia.
    Hence the topic title for this version of Reconstruction.

    This is, however, hard to model in Victoria (how do you have a rebel pop killing another pop in the province?), let alone small scale riots (100 people at most, say), so most will be by authorial fiat. But then I never planned this to be very game-oriented; or at least that the tail will wag the dog in that regard.
    ---
    And though I hate to lose him, stay tuned for Der Tag (it has been foreshadowed a lot...)
    -------
    It is important to our wounded and maimed soldiers, who are unable to work for their living, and whose present pensions are wholly inadequate to their support. It is important to those bereaved wives and parents whose habiliments of woe are to be seen in every house, and proclaim the cruel losses which have been inflicted on them by the murderous hands of traitors.
    -Thaddeus Stevens, May 1865


    The first major economic bill passed during Reconstruction was the Pensions Act of 1865. The question of how to pay for it was left open: the Radicals hoped to persuade Lincoln to support some measure of confiscation. It was, however, a precedent for government aid, and Attorney General Ingersoll used it to good effect in 1871.
    -Pamphlet A Short History of the People's Party


    It is quite possible that the Radicals sought to use the Pension Act to induce Lincoln towards support of confiscation, and certainly the terms of the act were generous enough for the time that a significant source of revenue would be required. Stevens certainly made that a central part of his argument, but it is doubtful that the attempted coercion was entirely conscious; at the very least it was not the primary motivation, despite pamphleteering to the contrary. But then except in the most reactionary, or ex-rebel, of circles, pensions for wounded veterans were unassailably popular, and the campaign against the Act failed miserably. Lincoln signed the Pension Act into law on May 10, 1865, and had nothing but good to say about it publically; it is not known whether he had any private misgivings regarding its affordability or the constitutionality of how sweeping it was.
    The Act made no distinction on the basis of race or "previous condition" and Stevens, as Chair of Ways and Means--this being before the splitting off of both Appropriations and Banking into new committees--was of necessity and of choice very involved. In addition to working strenuously for its passage, he ensured that not only would dependents be covered by the pensions, but that there was considerable discretion in declaring women and children dependents even in the absence of formal marriage, a right denied many slaves and thus not yet common for the soldiers of the Colored Troops.
    -Erin Fodor, America's Second Revolution

  2. #22
    He did merciful things as stealthily as others committed crimes....A great man stooping, not wishing to make his fellows feel that they were small or mean.
    -Robert G. Ingersoll, On Abraham Lincoln (1894) (or here)


    On May 12th, the day that Congress recessed after their extra-long first session, Lincoln's 'Grand Circle' about the south began. He started in Virginia, and spoke at length to crowds sometimes respectful, sometimes jeering; the local officials both military and civilian joined him at the podium. From Virginia he headed along the coast, with forays inland; after Florida he traveled west through the gulf states. July saw him on the Mississippi. His theme, which he had expressed in pieces in April, was that the poor whites were "forced to fight by fear skillfully manipulated," led by "an aristocracy of the lash" that did not share the cost of the brutal war, that they and the blacks were the victims of "a system of barbarism." In fact, it was an argument, however postbellum, much reminiscent of Hinton Helper's The Impending Crisis; but with the carnage of the war behind it, it had rather more force. It did not, of course, convince all, or even most, but it did convince some; and Lincoln combined into it, as well, the economic carrot--that freed from the chains of the institution the poor south could break free from the economic clutches of slavery much as the freedmen had the physical--and, do so with help from the government.
    -John McFesson, The Lengthy End of the Civil War


    Lincoln came to speak at Hazlehurst [Mississippi] on July 18th. Wish as I may, I cannot recall a single word he spoke, but the effect of them was sublime beyond expression. He had learned somehow I was a Unionist, and spoke with me afterwards; that I do recall. "Only together may we rebuild this land," he said; "Our near destruction was brought about by ourselves and no other; our salvation must be the same." I spoke to him of the dire condition of the poor farmers in the county, the destruction of life and property and the rise of banditry. He explained, far more forthrightly than I had ever imagined such an august figure to do, his great unease of, and lack of faith in, any military solution; but agreed that for safety some garrison must be maintained, and that it was in addition ordered to provide what assistance possible, especially of provisions. He was obviously much concerned with the matter.
    -John Prentiss Matthews, A Political Life: The Memoirs of John Prentiss Matthews

  3. #23
    Sorry, RL intervened. Next update in the works and coming soon.

  4. #24
    First Lieutenant

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    Good writing, although it stings patriotism to the bone and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. It merits reading for that reason in addition to the quality of the work, as it invokes strong emotion, but the emotions, unfortunately, are almost overwhelming revulsion and anger.

  5. #25
    Curbough, could you elaborate a bit? Is it the brutal racism laid bare, or the changes I've made? Or both or other?
    --------
    Away down South in the land of traitors,
    Rattlesnakes and alligators,
    Right away, come away, right away, come away.
    Where cotton's king and men are chattels,
    Union boys will win the battles,
    Right away, come away, right away, come away.
    -"Dixie", Union lyrics


    I hates the Constitution, this "Great Republic," too!
    I hates the Freedman's Bureau and uniforms of blue!
    I hates the nasty eagle with all its brags and fuss,
    And the lying, thieving Yankees, I hates 'em wuss and wuss!
    ...
    Three hundred thousand Yankees is stiff in Southern dust!
    We got three hundred thousand before they conquered us.
    They died of Southern fever and Southern steel and shot,
    But I wish we'd got three million instead of what we got.
    -Maj. Innes Randolph, C.S.A., "I'm A Good Old Rebel"


    On July 13, 1865, Florida planters near Tallahassee met and agreed upon a policy of violence to suppress the freedmen and return them to "a more normal status." Small bands of whites periodically massacred blacks across Northern Florida, melting back into thickets--of trees or like-minded people--before Federal forces arrived. Unlike the more organized revolts and massacres in the Carolinas, Mississippi, and Alabama that came before and after, this, more terrorism than revolt, was far harder to surpress, and formed the model for the Ku Klux Klan and other "night riders."
    -John McFesson, The Lengthy End of the Civil War

  6. #26
    If I had to take a guess, nathan, I'd say that it probably stings his southern pride. There are a lot of people who fancy themselves descendents of the Confederacy on this board. I think it is a bit ironic that one would say that it hurts his patriotism to see the rebel state defeated, though.

    Keep writing, I am thoroughly enjoying this thread. I would like to see how Lincoln and the radicals will attempt to deal with the KKK and such groups in this timeline.

  7. #27
    First Lieutenant

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    Dave is more or less right- I will cling to the fact that the South was right until my dying day, and consider myself Confederate by birth and American by force of arms.

    Of course, the rest of the world outside the South has never felt much affection for us, and it is a matter of staying silent and hoping your backward, reactionary views are not attacked. Which is really the proper thing to do in this AAR in the first place, as it is a place for your (good) writing.

  8. #28
    Ah, thanks for the followup. It's great that you're following this anyway; I hope to live up to that.

    There is indeed no monopoly on virtue or vice; and I intend to focus, to the sadly limited extent of my research, on heroes as well as villians and vice versa, everywhere.

    And thanks, both of you, for the compliments.
    -----------
    Scene: A fancy dining room. A military map and Hardee hats cover the table. Standing around the table are GRIERSON, MAIN, and HEYWARD. Two RUNNERS stand by the wall.
    A CORPORAL enters from the door and salutes.

    CORPORAL: Sir, Captain Swayne's compliments and he's under fire from about a hundred rebs with long arms, with near a regiment coming up the road!
    GRIERSON looks at MAIN; MAIN points to a position on the map.
    MAIN: General, Third Colored is in reserve, and...
    GRIERSON motions to FIRST RUNNER, who approaches.
    GRIERSON: Thompson, go tell Colonel Fisk to detach a squadron. Have them come up the pike (GRIERSON motions over the map, then points near where MAIN did) and dig in on the crest here. Then get Swayne to fall back. Slug him if he won't.
    GRIERSON, MAIN, and HEYWARD laugh; FIRST RUNNER salutes enthusiastically.
    FIRST RUNNER: Yes sir!
    -Grierson's Band, screenplay


    Sergeant Campbell took a peek over the breastwork, then turned back to the captain. "There's another comp'ny coming, sir." They were down to fifty-two effectives, with twelve of them back holding the horses. Cook slapped his Spencer, then Campbell's shoulder; the one as solid and dependable as the other.
    "This won't be the first time the General pulls it out in the end, Sam," Cook responded. "We'll just have to hold till he gets here." Which was going to be damned costly, but they'd see the Rebs pay a steeper price. "Right. Diggs, tell the Major we ca--we will, hold till reinforced. Then get back here, and if you still hear this"--he slapped the Spencer again--"bring the horse holders with you, we'll need 'em." Diggs nodded--no salutes now--and crawled away. Cook scratched his shoulder--it always itched when they were under fire--and crawled back up to the firing perch.
    The Spencer held seven shots, and you could fire off the magazine as fast as you could work the lever and cock the hammer. Cook fired the last, then reached for the next tube from his cartidge box. A scream stayed his hand, and he looked right--Willy Johnson reeled back, clutching his arm. The scream faded into a growl, and there didn't seem to be a great deal of blood; Campbell started crawling over from his own perch, and Cook looked back and sighted his carbine again. After he fired off the next tube, he looked back--and the crazy private was shooting with one arm, carbine resting on the breastwork. Johnson grinned through his grimace, and so did Campbell; less challengingly than they might a year past, for they no longer had anything to prove with Cook. They knew it, and he knew it; and he grinned back. Not a man would run, they knew; and surrender brought execution. There was but to stand, and stand proudly.
    -Michael Sharon, Cook's Company, book one of the series Buffalo Soldiers.


    A music teacher before the war, Benjamin Grierson rose to prominence as a cavalry commander, most notably leading a remarkably successful raid (Grierson's Raid) into Tennessee and Mississippi during Grant's Vicksburg campaign. After the raid he served with distinction in the Army of the Mississippi, promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers. After the war he commanded the cavalry of the Department of the Gulf, a mix of black and white regiments, the former including the 3rd (1st MS) and 4th (1st Corps de Afrique) US Colored Cavalry. When violence flared across Mississippi in late July of 1865, his cavalry responded to pleas for protection from freedmen and unionists. With skirmishes across the southwest of the state, the troopers were stretched thin; taking advantage, a large group of rebels began to terrorize Copiah county, where Lincoln had recently visited. A troop of cavalry from the 3rd Massachusetts clashed with 'night riders' on August 1st, and they took up position just outside the town; on the 2nd they were again attacked, and a squadron from the 3rd US Colored Cavalry arrived to reinforce them; later in the day General Grierson personally led the rest of the 3rd USCC and routed the rebels. At its height the battle involved over a thousand men on each side.
    -Plaque and picture by the "Battle of Hazelhurst" memorial, Hazelhurst, MS


    Benjamin H. Grierson
    Last edited by nathankell; 06-07-2007 at 03:51.

  9. #29
    When Lincoln arrived in New Orleans, I took the opportunity to visit my old friend General Grant. Other than a short letter in acknowledgement, we had not been in contact since my letter in April. He insisted upon my meeting the President, a course of action I met with mixed emotions....He was gracious; he said that while I "had caused much trouble, the time of troubles was over." I offered personally my condolences for the murder of his wife, and agreed that we must all look forward...[Grant] prevailed upon me to attend one of Lincoln's speeches later in the week...His obvious sincerity was moving, and focused on how best to "bind up the nation's wounds."
    ...I noticed that his honor guard was a mixture of white and colored troops; General Grant confirmed that it was a detachment from the 19th Regiment, US Colored Troops. I remembered that name well: it was only through the greatest luck and effort that we contained their breakthrough at the Battle of the Crater. They fought as well, and died as well, as any man; and not a few were forced to think of them thus, whatever the color of their skin.
    -James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox and Beyond


    As the summer progressed, Lincoln travelled through Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee, planning to return to Washington through Virginia. Sometimes there were brushfires of rebellion; sometimes cooperation and reconciliation. The latter was most needed as summer turned to fall, and harvest time approached--with the destruction, disruption, and dislocation of the war and the rise in banditry, the survival, physical and economic, of the agrarian South was in danger; and the new mobility of the freedmen and their desire to exercise it meant a drastic change in the way agriculture would be conducted.
    -Mark & Carol Goati, Reconstruction: An Economic History


    With the prevailing though not universal view of the freedmen as children, flighty and lazy, the Freedmen's Bureau's agents often spent as much time forcing labor contracts on the freed, as they did emancipation on the oppressors. "Free only to work"--a hollow freedom indeed. They mostly saw their job as returning the South to economic security and stability, rather than enforcing the rights or welfare of the freedmen. And even the most radical were constrained by the ideology of Free Labor--to break the slave of dependnece. We might now call it economic shock therapy.
    -Pamphlet A Short History of the People's Party

  10. #30
    I am not, as my good friend the Senator from Idaho will tell you, a fan of the Second Amendment [laughter], at least as it is presently construed. We have a well-regulated militia, and it is called the National Guard--some of my best friends are members! [laughter] But I tell you, my friends, when the sherrif, when the militia, had only just taken off the gray uniform of the rebel, there was no stauncher friend a freedman could have than a Springfield! [cheers] Until the federalization of the militia, when our courageous forefathers re-donned their Federal blue, there was only the army--when it bothered--or the rifle, and a man's own hands! ["And women's!"] Yes, and women too, as the President herself will tell you--at length! [laughter]
    -Sen. Revel Campbell, P-NC, campaign speech


    After the Grand Review, the army was reduced in size to peacetime levels. It was woefully insufficient to stop, let alone prevent, violence. The causes of that violence were complex--attempts to "turn back the clock" on emancipation; a "continuation of war by other means" by rebels who refused surrender, or who saw it their duty to fight an occupying army as much as an invading one; the banditry arising from desperate times; and most often all at once or in combination. It is also an oversimplification to clearly delineate allegiances--for a Confederate veteran might well fight the bandits rather than joining them, a Unionist hunted throughout the war might remain an outlaw afterwards. There were blacks who sided with returning rebels, and whites with returning Colored Troops. And lastly the relative peace of the fall was complex. Mary Lincoln’s assassination was both a herald of things to come, the viciousness of Kansas and Missouri come East; but also a brake, as news spread, on a cycle of violence that would have ended in that vicious guerrilla warfare spread, and furthermore entrenched, nationwide. The returning Union veterans--whites in Tennessee, Arkansas, and throughout Appalachia, blacks most especially in the black-majority or near-majority Gulf states--fought, or sometimes even aborted just by their presence, the rebels; organized Confederate veterans purged banditry; Freedmen’s Bureau agents negotiated, and dispersed aid; and Federal troops battled or scared away the strongest concentrations. And as summer turned to fall, and harvest time approached, increasing numbers of former Confederates came to see peace, however bitter, as preferable to continuing bloodshed and privation. And the brushfire revolts burned themselves out.
    -John McFesson, The Lengthy End of the Civil War

  11. #31
    Lincoln continued his slow drift to the radical position--or rather, his slow progress towards the ever-moving radical position--as the summer continued. He felt, and reported himself, constrained by the limits of presidential and governmental power; part of this was no doubt the man himself, but part also a reaction against, horror of, Jackson and the Jacksonian presidency, rooted deep in the marrows of Whiggery. Though the term was not yet in use, his greatest implement was the bully pulpit; and on his journeys across the south in the summer of 1865 he spoke early, often, and everywhere. Black suffrage, which at first he had suggested for just "the most intelligent" and "the returning veterans," he called for in stronger terms...
    -Donald Davidson, Lincoln After the War

    John Catron died on June 2nd, 1865, the first Supreme Court vacancy of Reconstruction. Lincoln had a number of candidates in mind, though one must always be careful with Lincoln for those potential candidates he named in the course of discussions were not necessarily those whom he truly meant to appoint. Regardless, beyond those occassional discussions he did not formally announce anything during the summer recess of Congress. At the time of Catron's death, Lincoln had already appointed five justices: Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, and Noah H. Swayne, Samuel F. Miller, David Davis, and Stephen J. Field. James M. Wayne, appointed by Andrew Jackson and in his seventy-fifth year, remained; Samuel Nelson (Tyler), Robert C. Grier (Polk), and Nathan Clifford (Buchanan) rounded out the court.
    -Petra Steel, A People's History of the Supreme Court

  12. #32
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    this looks cool so far!
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  13. #33
    Warmonger Extraordinaire Kordo's Avatar
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    So Lincoln is 'packing' the Supreme Court with supporters eh? This could have some very interesting consequences in the future, especially if Lincoln's opponents decide they don't like it and decide to try to do something about it (again?)
    "Kill Japs, Kill Japs, Kill more Japs!'”
    -Admiral Halsey

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcduggan
    this looks cool so far!
    Completly agree! Please keep going.

  15. #35
    rcduggan: Thanks!

    Kordo: That was OTL too--and had Lincoln lived to fill out his second term, he would also have appointed successors to Catron and Wayne, bringing his total to seven! Other than FDR, I cannot think of another comparison--and that was from double the terms! In terms of packing, in OTL the reverse happened--the Congress contracted the size of the court during Johnson's tenure specifically to prevent his appointing -any- justices. The court stayed at seven members until after Hepburn v. Griswold, when it was expanded back to nine so that Grant could appoint enough justices to overturn that decision (which was done shortly thereafter in the Legal Tender cases).
    But never fear, there will indeed be packing in the ATL.

    Baneslave: Thanks! And more is indeed coming...
    ------------
    In order to secure the utmost efficiency in promoting the welfare of the Freedmen, and in executing the designs of this Bureau all its officers and agents are expected to be earnest and assiduous in their efforts to render all possible assistance and give good counsel to every freedman whither the limits of their several jurisdictions and spheres of duty. They are also desired to [unclear: receive] and report all facts which may come to their knowledge relating to the present character, condition, capacity and needs of the freedmen, and the disposition, requirements and treatment of them by those who employ them, and among whom they now live as neighbors.
    Remember that they are no longer to be driven, but encouraged to labor, and where the advantage of industry, skill, and knowledge are fairly set before them, as essential to true manhood it is hoped that they [ will] exercise their freedom and become useful members of the community in which they live. Of course there are many dazed by the light suddenly shining upon their darkened minds, and others who have imbibed [unclear: vicious] tendencies, who can no more be expected to at once enter upon a course of good conduct, than could a band of outlaws, suprised by official pardon with the simple request of good behavior.
    These are to be [unclear: warned] of the certain result of idleness and vice, and if need be, treated as other criminals.
    The destitute helpless ones are to be sought out, by personal inspection so far as practicable, and if possible relieved. If the prescribed method is inapplicable, state the case, and recommend a way.
    -A Circular to Freedmen's Bureau Agents, 1865


    On May 12, 1865, Howard was appointed, and he assumed the duties of his office promptly on the 15th, and began examining the field of work. A curious mess he looked upon: little despotisms, communistic experiments, slavery, peonage, business speculations, organized charity, unorganized almsgiving,--all reeling on under the guise of helping the freedman, and all enshrined in the smoke and blood of war and the cursing and silence of angry men....
    Guerrilla raiding, the ever present flickering after-flame of war, was spending its force against the Negroes, and all the Southern land was awakening as from some wild dream to poverty and social revolution. In a time of perfect calm, amid willing neighbors and streaming wealth, the social uplifting of 4,000,000 slaves to an assured and self-sustaining place in the body politic and economic would have been an herculean task; but when to the inherent difficulties of so delicate and nice a social operation were added the spite and hate of conflict, the Hell of War; when suspicion and cruelty were rife, and gaunt Hunger wept beside Bereavement....The very name of the Bureau stood for a thing in the South which for two centuries and better men had refused even to argue,--that life amid free Negroes was simply unthinkable, the maddest of experiments. The agents which the Bureau could command varied all the way from unselfish philanthropists to narrow-minded busybodies and thieves; and even though it be true that the average was far better than the worst, it was the one fly that helped to spoil the ointment.
    -W. E. B. DuBois, The Freedmen's Bureau; essay on the early Freedmen's Bureau.


    After Lincoln departed Hazelhurst, the town and county returned to business at hand. I felt compelled to offer more on credit than had been my practice or wont; we all hoped for an excellent harvest. The local Freedmen's Bureau agent, Charles Wacherhagen, was a likeable German from Missouri lately a captain of the 68th US Colored Infantry. His English was imperfect, but evidenced considerable effort; he took pains to speak to everyone he could, to ascertain the situation from as many angles as possible and doubtlessly also for practice. His views on race were even more foreign than his accent to much of the county, but none but the most bitter would claim him unfair, at least by his own lights as to relations between the races. I was some small help to him in showing him the county and its people, and was often involved in his mediations as a local man of some substance; our relations grew into a lasting friendship. He confessed a considerable affection for the area and its inhabitants, and a desire to help more informally as well in the rebuilding--despite, I must add, a number of threats upon his life; a house was found by September...
    -John Prentiss Matthews, A Political Life: The Memoirs of John Prentiss Matthews


    Illustration, Harper's Weekly

  16. #36
    In passion's storm he stood, unmoved, patient, just and candid. In his brain there was no cloud, and in his heart no hate. He longed to save the South as well as North, to see the Nation one and free.
    He lived until the end was known.
    He lived until the Confederacy was dead -- until Lee surrendered, until Davis fled, until the doors of Libby Prison were opened, until the Republic was supreme.
    He lived until Lincoln and Liberty were united forever.
    He lived to cross the desert -- to reach the palms of victory -- to hear the murmured music of the welcome waves.
    He lived until all loyal hearts were his -- until the history of his deeds made music in the souls of men -- until he knew that on Columbia's Calendar of worth and fame his name stood first.
    He lived until there remained nothing for him to do as great as he had done.
    What he did was worth living for, worth dying for. He lived until he stood in the midst of universal joy, beneath the outstretched wings of Peace -- the foremost man in all the world.
    And then the horror came. Night fell on noon. The Savior of the Republic, the breaker of chains, the liberator of millions, he who had "assured freedom to the free," was dead.
    Upon his brow Fame placed the immortal wreath, and for the first time in the history of the world a Nation bowed and wept.
    ...
    Lincoln was the grandest figure of the fiercest civil war. He is the gentlest memory of our world.
    -Robert G. Ingersoll, On Abraham Lincoln (1894) (or here)



    Columbia weeps at Lincoln's bier (Thomas Nast, Harper's Weekly)

  17. #37
    Part II


    It has been reported that at the last he breathed "Mary, I join you tonight..." but the chaos of the moment and his great wounds conspire to leave his precise parting words a mystery...he expired upon the stage, his blood mingled with that of his noble guardsmen: the races he united in freedom in life, united in death.
    -Harper's Weekly, October 1865


    Chambers, George, 19th US Col'd Infantry. Private, April 3, 1864. Breveted Sergeant, Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30 1864. Wounded November 2, 1864, Bermuda Hundred. Promoted Corporal, February 2, 1865. Breveted Sergeant, capture of Petersburg and Appomattox Campaign, April 1865. Pursuit of assassins, April 7, 1865. Detached to President's guard, promoted Sergeant, April 13, 1865. Citation: upon a bomb being thrown onto the speaking platform, immediately dived upon the President and at the cost of his own life attempted to shield the President from the explosion. Awarded Medal of Honor (posthumous), December 4, 1865.
    -Pamphlet African-American Recipients of the Medal of Honor


    Captain Fletcher, who despite his own wounds rushed immediately to the President, reported the end differenty: "The President gasped 'George,' though it was little more than a croak; then: 'Are...George!...you all right?' That the last words of the great martyr should be those of concern for his fellow man, a colored trooper, moved me beyond the tears already streaming...His wounds were obviously fatal, despite the heroic attempt of Sergeant Chambers; shrapnel had pierced the great vein in his neck...Justice Field lay dying as well, and many others injured..."
    -Record of the testimony of Captain Frederick K. Fletcher, 19th USCT


    Sergeant Chambers immediately covered Lincoln with his body. Captain Fletcher attempted to dive atop the bomb, but was too far away; it exploded as he was sprinting forward. Chambers was mortally wounded in the explosion, and Fletcher lost his left arm. Both were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor when Congress returned to session.
    -Donald Davidson, Night Fell On Noon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

  18. #38
    Warmonger Extraordinaire Kordo's Avatar
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    Not Lincoln! Those sons of @#$@%#^ need to be taken down for their crimes!
    "Kill Japs, Kill Japs, Kill more Japs!'”
    -Admiral Halsey

  19. #39
    Kordo: It is indeed with a heavy heart I decided to go that route. I count Lincoln very high among my heroes, and Reconstruction with him alive and well and in power would have been very interesting, and quite probably positive. But he was so brilliant, so complex, that it is most difficult to conceive what such a Reconstruction would be like; indeed, his views on Reconstruction are almost a rorschach for the latter-day observer. And though his views were personally quite radical, and/or were radicalized over time and strife (again it is hard to say with certainty what Lincoln's actual views were at any given time, for he always kept his audience in mind), he saw his power to implement them, even his -right- to implement them, quite constrained even under war powers.
    And this is, in the end, a story of Radical Reconstruction, and it will be lead by Radicals, not a rorschach test, however brilliant and saintly.

    (In terms of the mutability of Lincolnite Reconstruction, we may note that the conservative choice in Vicky is called Lincolnite; whereas others (Trefousse, IIRC) have argued that his reconstruction would have been quite radical, at least in the end--certainly it was that radicalism, in calling for at least partial black suffrage, which was the proximate cause of his assassination by Booth.)

    Now, before Part II seriously begins--a light intermezzo, if the audience is willing:
    Guess the Author!

    Erin Fodor = ?
    John McFesson = ?
    Mark & Carol Goati = ?
    Donald Davidson = ?
    Petra Steel = ?

    (The last is kinda hard since the gender was swapped, but easy because of the title--so it all comes out in the wash)

  20. #40
    First Lieutenant

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dixie
    Posts
    242
    brilliant and saintly? Do what now?

    Good writing continues; less dark than before, which is not particularly hard.

    I will continue to read this.

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