stnylan: you're right, in Italy we say: "Play with the fanti [infantrymen], but leave in peace the santi [saints]".
RGB, Ahura Mazda: maybe the story will follow your pattern.
But, let's go with a short update on general context for the early '60s...
What's happening around (1859-1865)
After the storm of 1848 Liberal Revolutions, a decade of peace has ensued, with the Italo-Austrian "Useless War" and the Crimean War being the two brief exceptions to the rule. But the situation rapidly evolves in various world areas and many developments occur in the seven years from 1859 to 1865. Let's see the most important of them.
- North America lives its most convulsed period since the U.S. revolution days. As all of you know, the Confederate States secede from the Union in October 1859 because of the slavery issue. Initially the war prospects seem quite balanced between the Union and Confederacy, and the Southerners (commanded by Robert Lee) win a series of victories in the first phase of the war. After the election of the abolitionist leader Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the industrial, and demographic superiority of the Unionists quickly changes the situation. The 1861 naval blockade of Confederate ports stops supplies and a mass conscription in the North allows to Unionist General Ulysses Grant to defeat Lee at Manassas and take Richmond (the Confederate capital) in July 1862, after three years of civil war.
Post civil war reconstruction is still on the way that USA is again at war, now against Mexico and California (Mexican tributary state) on a border dispute over Nevada. A short conflict erupts (March 1863 – February 1864), which ends with the cessation of big parts of Nevada and two provinces along the course of Rio Grande.
CSA at the brink of the American Civil War and USA after the war won against Mexico and California
- Things move also in the frozen lands of Scandinavia: in 1860 Russia grants increasing autonomy to the Grand Duchy of Finland, re-establishing a local Diet and upgrading the Finnish language to national idiom. The Scandinavian state-building project, started with the military cooperation during the Holstein-Schleswig War, progresses steadily towards the ultimate goal of a political union, which is finally sanctioned by the Stockholm Pact of Union signed by Sweden, Denmark and Norway on 20 January 1863. Overall, the outcome of these changes is a map completely different from 1836…
I know I could have put fog of war off!
- In Middle East, the Ottoman Empire wins a border war against Persia in 1863 (which has been supported – ineffectively – by Russia, while the British Empire loses its face dishonouring a guarantee on Persian independence issued years before).
- Just on the other side of the Adriatic Sea, Britain decides to transfer the Ionian Islands to Greece in 1864, ending its 50-years old protectorate on the archipelago.
- In the meantime, in Prussia the conservative Otto von Bismarck has become Prime Minister to Kaiser William I in 1862, but I suspect you will get more on this name in the next future …