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I have to admit, I never intended on doing an AAR for this game. I just wanted to try out a strategy I read on this thread http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?t=263212 and see if I could survive through the second Civil War. I restared a couple times just to try out different strategies, and then tonight, I had the "America Falls Apart" event fire, and I thought "Wow..now this could be fun to write about." So, because of my late decision to start writing this, it begins in 1870, at the close of the Second War of Southern Independence. I'll attempt to take it as far as I can, update in various styles (hence, "Scrapbook) when interesting things happen, and we'll just see how it goes. With any luck, I'll be able to export and take it through 1953.
 

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3rd_National_Confederate_Flag.gif

A CONFEDERATE SCRAPBOOK


January 20th, 1870

Near Albany, New York

Captain Tidwell pulled his short cloak tighter around his shoulders. The clear sunny sky belied the freezing temperatures, and the frost that dusted the grass where he sat on his horse still had not melted, though the sun had been shining overhead for almost two hours now. He rubbed his hands along his light blue clad legs quickly, hoping a little bit of friction might bring some life to his numbing thighs.

“What are you fidgeting about, Tidwell?” asked the bearded man sitting on a light gray mare next to him.

“Not fidgitin’, General Jackson, Sir. Just a bit cold is all, Sir.”.

The General stared strait ahead, absentmindedly twisting his reins in has hand. “Aren’t they introducing the VMI Cadet Corps to the rigors of the outdoors these days?” He reached up, and pulled his battered kepi a little lower on his weathered brow.

“Yes, Sir, they are. Night marches in the rain and such. Standing post in the snow. But I guess I just wasn’t born for this kind of cold, Sir.”

General Jackson kept his eyes on the forest line to their front, an intent look in his eyes as though by will alone he could force the trees to about face and march to the rear so he could see what secrets they might be hiding. He continued twisting the reins in one hand, having them well tangled around his glove, while the other one brought a sliced lemon to his mouth, which he bit into. “Arizona Territory, wasn’t it?” he said as he took the bite.

“Sir?”

“Arizona. You’re from Arizona, is that correct Captain?”

“Oh, yes sir. Arizona, Sir. A little town called Prescott. I was one of the first from the Territory to be accepted into the Corps after the last war.”

Jackson continued his forward stare. “Mm-hmm.”

stonewall-jackson-small.jpg

Tidwell looked around during the silence that followed. He had been marching with the Army of Northern Virginia for almost three years before finally arriving at this spot, and during that time had had been promoted from Second Lieutenant in the 1st Arizona Rifles, after distinguishing himself in the Battle of Youngstown, to Captain and aide to General Jackson himself, General of all the Armies of the Confederacy. He was proud of that extra twill of gold lace on the sleeve of his blue-grey jacket, and that third bar on his collar. And he was prouder still to ride next to the General on this morning, of all mornings.

He looked at the General, wondering what it was he saw beyond that tree line ahead. Maybe he was picturing the tattered blue clad troops he knew were rousing themselves behind the woods, huddling in the cold trying to build small fires for their morning coffee. Well, what passed for coffee among the Yanks these days. He’d tasted some of that hickory-nut concoction. In their shoes (those that still had shoes), he’d rather start his day without.

The silence was broken from behind. Tidwell turned his black horse to the side, and watched a battery of Gatlings pass about 40 yards to his rear, the sun dulled on their frosted barrels, and the frosted sky-blue dusters of their crews. How well those guns had served to break up that last, desperate charge of the Union left flank three days ago. The frozen bodies still littered the field not half a mile from this spot, wrecked piles of spent flesh in ragged blue uniforms and torn black slouch hats. The lead brigade never got closer than fifty paces from the Confederate lines. Tidwell couldn’t help but reflect that even the famed Iron Brigade was no match for the lead of a battery of Tredegar Gatling guns. A good thing Dr. Gatling had retuned to his home state of North Carolina after the first War of Southern Independence. And, of course, a good thing that the Yanks just weren’t the same soldiers as they had been in that first war.

“A shame General Lee couldn’t be here on a day like today,” Tidwell said, mostly to himself.

“What’s that Captain?”

“Excuse me, Sir. I was just thinking that it’s a shame General Lee isn’t here to see the likes of this day, Sir.”

Jackson turned his head for the first time since their arrival on this small hilltop, and looked directly at Tidwell. His eyes seemed dazed, perhaps even misting over for the briefest of moments, before returning to their intense and deliberate gaze. “It was God’s will that General Lee be taken from us at Pittsburg, and we shouldn’t question His motives nor regret His decisions. He has crossed the great river, and has found a place to rest under the shade of the trees. He is in peace.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Tidwell was startled when his turned back to the front and saw a soldier standing at attention in front of him. Light grey waist length jacked, sky blue trousers, red kepi and trim. One of the St. Louis Zouaves.

He saluted at Tidwell smartly, before offering up a folded piece of paper. “Telegram, Sir. Forwarded from Richmond.”.

Tidwell, took up the note, unfolded it, and began reading. He looked up over the top of the page, and saw the soldier still standing there, making a not so subtle attempt to catch a word or two from the telegram.

“Dismissed, Sergeant.”

The soldier gave a momentary dejected look, and then jogged away.

“What does it say, Captain Tidwell?”

“Good news, Sir! General Longstreet is pleased to inform the President of the Confederate States of America that he has accepted the unconditional surrender of the Federal Army of the Missouri on this date, January 15th, 1870, in Minneapolis, Minnesota!”

Jackson reached over and took the letter from Tidwell, and quickly scanned the page, before crumpling the paper in his hand, and allowing a slightly pleased expression to appear above his beard. “The Lord has made a shield for our Confederacy this month.”

“So it’s true, Sir? It’s almost over?”

“We’ll know in just a few seconds, I believe, “ Jackson said as four riders emerged from the woods and rode slowly towards the General and Tidwell, three of them in Confederate grey, the other in faded blue and black. They rode to within twenty feet of Jackson and Tidwell, and stopped, except for one rider in a sharp grey uniform with a red cloak and a black hat that had a long plume flashing from the side.

stuart.jpg


“Greetings, General Jackson,” He said with a broad smile glowing from behind his long beard. He removed his hat, bowed low in his saddle, and then sat upright, the smile never wavering from his face.

Tidwell could see a slight, almost humorous glint in Jackson’s eye. “General Stuart. What news do you bring?”

“The best of news, Sir!”

Tidwell suddenly noticed that confederate soldiers were beginning to gather near and mill around just within earshot.

General Stuart motioned to the man in blue behind him, who rode forward. Tidwell noticed the tailored cut of his cavalryman’s uniform, which must have been a big thing when it was first made, but was now patched at the knees and elbows, and generally natty throughout. Everything looked worn about this general officer in blue, except for the blonde curls under the black hat, and the fierce fire in his eyes. “General Jackson, may I present Major General Custer of the Army of the Potomac.”

General Custer rode up next to Stuart, and gave Jackson a crisp, stern salute, which Jackson returned with a finger and thumb touch to his kepi. “General Custer. I have heard much about you. That was quite a scare you gave my staff back in Ohio.”

“And we almost had you, there, Sir, if you don’t mind me saying,” Custer replied sharply.

“Yes, the Lord did bless our army on that day”.

“Well, he certainly cursed ours.” Tidwell noticed Custer’s bite of his lip under his long blonde moustache.

“Yes, well, regardless, here we are. Is General Butler ready to accede to our demands?”

Custer pursed his lips for a moment, and looked off to the side. His horse seemed on edge, and stomped at the frosted grass for a few moments, the clouds of his breath rising to slightly obscure the sudden redness in Custer’s cheeks. “General Bulter is no longer in command of the Army of the Potomac, but has resigned to take a place in the interim administration of the Republic of New England.”

A concerned look crossed Jackson’s face. “I am sorry for your countrymen for this dispute that seems to be shaking the very foundation of your republic. I had heard rumor that the abolitionists were going their own way, but scarce believed it possible.”

“And good riddance to them. And California. And Deseret. And that so-called Republic of Columbia” Custer steamed.

“Hmm. Indeed.” Jackson responded with no apparent emotion. “Well, then, General Custer. Who negotiates for the Federal Army?”

“General Porter is in temporary command, and has been given full authority by President McClellan to negotiate the, umm, terms.”

Jackson leaned forward in the saddle. “And as to those terms that I spelled out yesterday?”

Custer looked to the ground for a moment, and then back to Jackson. There was a another moment’s silence, before he finally said, “General Porter agrees to all terms set forth in the final letter from General Jackson dated the Nineteenth of January, 1870.”

Jackson sat up in his saddle. “Then, with my compliments to General Porter, my staff will cross the lines in one hours time to begin making arrangements for The Commanding General and I to meet and sign the proper documents.”

“I will inform him.” Custer replied, before wheeling his horse and riding back to the wood line.

Tidwell sat there, stunned for a moment. He didn’t know what to think. Three years of bitter fighting, and it was finally over. The Second War for Southern independence was finally over. He wanted to raise a cheer, but General Stuart beat him to it.

Rearing his horse and waving his hat in the air, Stuart shouted “Three cheers for General Jackson, boys! The fighting is ended! HUZZAH!”

Tidwell’s horse began to prance as hundreds of shouting, cheering, and weeping gray soldiers rushed to crowd around the small group of officers. Guns fired into the air, and cannons began to boom in the distance. Tidwell was caught up in the wave of enthusiasm, and began shouting and screaming until he was hoarse. Finally, he managed to press his horse closer through the sea of soldiers to his General’s side.

And for the first time in these last few weeks, Tidwell saw that General Jackson was smiling.


February 18th, 1870



Clipping from the Richmond Enquirer

PEACE WITH MEXICO!

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS - Representatives from the Mexican Government finalized an agreement today in Matamoros effectively ending the fighting along our southern border. After the fall of Matamoros to General Forrest’s Army of Texas followed soon after by the end of hostilities with the United States, the Mexican government seems to have realized the hopelessness of continuing a war for an ally that barely exists any longer.

Under the terms of the agreement, which is already being called the Treaty of Matamoros, Mexican forces will evacuate all territory occupied after the declaration of war, and pay damages and indemnities to rebuild those communities and properties destroyed by occupying Mexican forces.

eastcsajan1870.jpg

Our new borders in the eastern portion of our nation, including Delaware

westcsajan1870.jpg

Our western frontier and the new nations that border us

As our valiant soldiers cross the Rio Grande and head home, we at the Sentinal can’t help but praise the super human effort that they put forth in the harshest of conditions and most trying of…​



March, 1870

Telegrams found in the Dept. of War Archives, Richmond, Virginia

MARCH 3 1870

TO DEPARTMENT OF WAR RICHMOND VIGINIA STOP
FROM GENERAL BEAUREGARD COMMANDING THE ARMY OF CALIFORNIA STOP

HAVE WITHDRAWN FROM REPUBLIC OF CALIFORNIA STOP CROSSED THE BORDER INTO SOUTHERN ARIZONA STOP ATTACKED BY MOBS OF CALIFORNIANS IN SAN DIEGO STOP SHOT AT BY SNIPERS WHILE APPROACHING YUMA STOP STRAGGLERS HANGED BY VIGALANTES NEAR YUMA STOP CSA FLAG DESECRATED BY CALIFORNIANS AT BORDER STOP REQUEST PERMISSION TO USE ALL MEANS NECESSARY TO END THESE ACTS OF VIOLENCE BY CALIFORNIANS AGAINST THIS ARMY STOP



MARCH 4 1870

FROM JOHN C BRECKINRIDGE SEC OF WAR DEPT OF WAR RICHMOND VIRGINA STOP
TO GENERAL BEAUREGARD COMMANDER YUMA ARIZONA STOP

YOU WILL REMAIN IN PLACE IN YUMA AND AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS STOP UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOU TO TAKE ACTION BEYOND THE COLORADO RIVER STOP FORCES IN AND AROUND YUMA ARE NOW ORGANIZED AS THE ARMY OF ARIZONA UNDER COMMAND OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO GENERAL NATHANIAL B FORREST COMMANDING STOP YOU WILL AWAIT ORDERS FROM SAID DEPT STOP


--------------------------------------------------------------------
 
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HannibalBarca

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Amazingly, this is only the second time one of my threads in the Victoria forum has spawned an AAR. Of course, the first one was an AAR that I myself wrote...
 

coz1

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Very nice so far. I loved the narrative that started the AAR, having a soft spot for Jackson (and a nice touch to include his love of lemons.)

A very interesting scenario. Looks like the US went belly up after the war. Lot's to pick from, I'd imagine. Good luck.
 

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coz1 said:
Very nice so far. I loved the narrative that started the AAR, having a soft spot for Jackson (and a nice touch to include his love of lemons.)

A very interesting scenario. Looks like the US went belly up after the war. Lot's to pick from, I'd imagine. Good luck.

Thanks. I started this late last night, and honestly, I really wasn't certainn how to write it. Would I have enough time to do everything in narrative, or should I try to fill in some gaps quickly with other styles? So the first post is sort of, well, a test run, so-to-speak. I will most likely continue this as a narrative.

Bismark1- In game terms, in 1870 the "America Falls Apart" event fired....in story terms, I'll bring that out more as I continue to write.

HannibalBarca- Ya done good :) It's a good strategy, and opened a bunch of possibilities because it worked so easily and with so little disruption to the CSA. I was able to end the first War for Southern Independence in about 6 months.

Like I posted earlier, I never started this scenerio with the intent to do an AAR, but after the Union collapsed, I just couldn't resist...especially because It happened all on its own. That make the story fresh for me as well...Im just as curious to see what happens next.

I'll probably go back and re-edit that first post tonight and re-do those last two part. I like 'em, but they don't fit. I was just trying to get a feel for what I was gonna do.
 

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Mixing styles work just as well as anything else. Notice Renss' Fire Warms - it has a little bit of everything and remains one of the most popular and enjoyed AARs on the forum.
 

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This looks like it could be very interesting.

As coz1 says, a mix-and-match approach has worked very well for other authors in the past. Do narrative where you think it works, but if you want to convey us some other detail shift to a different format. This is, after all, a scrap book ;)
 

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coz1, stnylan...thanks for the encouragement. Though this isn't my first attempt at an AAR, it's quite different from my other attempts. Hopefully, it'll be interesting.

My only fear is that I had assumed at some point the USA would drop their claims...but I've read since that the trigger for that event is broken...which could lead to a rather boring story of War with the US, 5 years peace, War with the US, 5 years peace, etc...so I'll just wait and see how it goes.
 

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3rd_National_Confederate_Flag.gif

A CONFEDERATE SCRAPBOOK

May 3rd, 1870

North of Yuma, Arizona

"I tells ya, Joshua, there's a real life beyond this here river." The man said, brushing his brow.

"An' what do you knows about it? A real life beyond this river. There AIN'T no real life except this life rights here. This is the life of folks like you an' me." The second man stuck his shovel into the chalky, brittle soil, and then leaned back against the wall of the three foot trench he stood in. He wiped the muddy sweat from his creased and dark brow. "Ain't nothin' for a black man anywhere. You can slave for the white man rights here, or you can slave for him over there. Only differnce is the name of the man who be tellin' ya what to do."

"And I'm tellin' ya, it ain't likes that. Not over there. Not across this river. Over on da other side, that there's the promised land. Land o' milk and honey, boy. Milk an' honey. Thats Califor-ni-a just across that water. Thats freedom right there. Rights before us. Jus' a stone throw and a quick swim." He picked up a loose piece of dry earth, and tossed it towards the greenish brown water that slowly flowed just a few yards from the parched ditch he stood in.

"Youse a fool, Pete. A plum fool. There's a bayonet in yer back or a bullet in yer skull jus' tryin' to git over there. An' for what? Ain't no white man givin' away freedom to us folks. Not across this river, not up in Deseret, damn sure not up North. They be hangin' and burnin' us up north, fool. Blame us for the whole mess they's in. Better livin' as a slave than dyin." Joshua pulled a dusty rag from his overall pocket, and wiped his brow again. The muddy sweat left a sandy streak across his cheek. "No, you ain't gonna find no milk 'n honey 'cross that river. Alls you gonna find is a world of misery."

civil-war-123.jpg

"An' whats you call this now, ol' man? Huh? This ain't no damn paradise. Diggin' holes in the middle of this here desert, bakin' ourselves in this sun? We ain't never gonna be free, less we go an' MAKES ourselves free. I waited through nine years for the yankee man to come. Through two of their wars. I heard da emancipation proclamation. I heards them fellas up north tells us we were free. An' yet, here I am, drug halfways 'round the world to Arizona to dig a ditch for the some white soldiers who are gonna stand here an' make sure some other white soldiers can't come over an' make me a free man. This ain't no life. No sah. This ain't a life. This here is death. Only we's too stupid or too lazy to realize it. Not me, though. I ain't waitin'. No sah. I ain't waitin' no more for someone to gives me whats already mine. I's gonna swim that river, and I'm gonna take it."He picked up anoither clod of dirt, and threw it towards the river.

"What are you boys doin'?"

Startled, Joshua and Pete quickly turned around. Squinting against the noonday sun, they could see the sillouete of a soldier standing above them.

"Sorry, there, boss. Jus' takin' a little breather for a spell, thas all, boss," Joshua quckly said. Pete stood up erect, and stared at the gray clad soldier.

"What you lookin' at, boy?" The soldier asked, letting his rifle slip from his shoulder and into his hand.

Pete stood there, the sweat trickling thin lines down his dusty face. He said nothing.

The soldier brought his rifle to his chest, and took a step forward to the edge of the ditch. "I asked you a question, boy. You deaf?"

Joshua stepped in front and to the side of Pete, placing himself between the soldier and his mute companion. "He's just parched, there boss. Been workin' out this this here sun, man gets a mighty thirst. Yes sah. All this here dirt and heat, jus' hard to speak up, ya know sah? 'Tween you an' me, boss, I thinks the sun done cooked his head some," Joshua chuckled.

The soldier stared at the two of them, standing in the dusty trench at his feet. Finally, he lifted his rifle by the sling, and hung it back over his shoulder."It's a hot one, that's fer certain. Tell ya what. You boys go on down to the river, and fill up yer canteens. But then you git right back here. We ain't got time for no lollygaggin'. This part of the trench need to be dug by tomorrow mornin'."

"Thank ya, sah," Joshua said cheerfully "We'll go gets ourselves a drink, an' well be right back here, quick as a whistle."

The soldier began to walk away, and then stopped and looked at Pete still standing tall and silent in the trench. Then, shaking his head slightly, he walked on

Joshua spun around and grabbed his companion by the collar. "Are outta your damn mind, you fool?"

Pete grabbed his hands, and tore them away from him shirt. "Git your hands off of me, old man. Or should I say, old woman."

Joshua tore his hands free of Pete's grasp, then stepped back. Reaching down to his feet, he grabbed two tin canteens off the ground.

"Whatcha gonna do there, Joshua? White man said you can go have some water, so's now you gonna go down there an' git yerself some? Jus' like a dog. 'Can I have some water, massah? Can I have some food, massah? Oh thank ya, massah. Thank ya so much. Now I'll go and dig and dig till the sun cooks my insides an' I fall over dead.' "

Joshua shoved a canteen into Pete's chest, then turned, pulled himself out over the edge of the trench, and began walking down the rocky, barren slope towards the river's edge. Pete pulled himelf up over the edge, and then trotted up alongside.

"Listen to me. We can make it. I got's it all figured. We slip out tonight, and make it down to the river. We can swim it. the water ain't to fast here. And it ain't too wide. We can be in California. We's can be free men!"

Joshua stopped, and faced him. "You listen to me, an' you listen up good. There ain't no freedom across this river. There ain't nothin' over there for you. There ain't nothin' anywheres. Now you fill up that there canteen and we get back to work and we live another day. You gots that?"

Pete looked across to the far shore, then looked back up towards the trench they had just walked from. "This ain't livin'. This ain't no kinda life. An' I'm goin'. Tonight. I ain't waitin' one more day. Come with me."

Joshua looked down, and tipped over a stone with the toe of his tattered shoe. "I ain't goin' nowhere. I can't, Pete. I jus' can't. And you ain't goin' nowhere either. They'll kill ya before you get anywhere near this river tonight."

Pete stepped away, and stood at the water's edge, looking across the river. "That's California, right over yonder. The only place I knows where I can be a free man. An' I ain't gonna live another day a slave. You mights be my older brother, but brother or not, I can't stay here one more day. I'm goin'. Tonight. With or without you."

Joshua stepped up next to him, placed his hand on his shoulder, and looked at his dusty and sweat-streaked face. "Only the good Lord knows why he gave me fool for a brother. But youse the only one I got. An' I can't let ya go all by your lonesome. I gots some extra bread I've been squirrelin' away these last few days. We'll want to take that with us."

Pete stared back at his brother, and grinned. Then, kneeling down on the muddy river's edge, he began to fill his canteen.



May 5th, 1870

Found in the files of General Otis Smith, commander of the First Division of the Army of Arizona

May 5th, 1870

Colonel Joseph W. Martin, 5th Missouri Rifles Regt., Commanding

On the night of May 3rd, while in pursuit of two fugitive slaves attempting to cross the Colorado River 5 miles north of Yuma, shots were exchanged with forces of the Republic of California firing upon our positions from the west bank. Portions of the 3rd and 4th companies engaged the enemy forces in a firefight while also attempting to interdict the fugitives from making the crossing. Action began at 3:15 AM local time, with the first return shots being fired by Private Matthew Johnson of 3rd Company, who was subsequently wounded in the exchange. No other casualites were reported, and an unknown number of Califonians were either killed or wounded. One fugitive managed to reach the west bank with the aid of Califonia Regulars under cover of heavy gunfire, while the other was shot in the back, subsequentially being recaptured when he drifted back to the east bank. He died of his wounds later that morning.

No more sightings of California troops have been reported since this exchange. I will hold my positions here and await further orders.

--------------------------------------------------------------
 
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Now that is a most excellent update. You do a very good job of conveying the accent they are speaking in - I can hear almost as if this were a stage play and I was in the audience. The conversation is excellent too. It flows like a real conversation with its repetitions and broken phrases. But for all that it is no boring in the least. A nice twist at the end, with his brother joining in, and then the change of format for the last.

This is very good quality stuff, and I commend you for it.
 

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A CONFEDERATE SCRAPBOOK



July 6th, 1870

Whitehouse of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia

"Mister Ambassador. May I present to you his Excellency Alexander Stevens, President of the Confederate States of America. Mister President, The Honorable Alfonso Hernando Diaz de Seville, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain." Alfonso grimaced inwardly at the mispronounciation of his name by the military aide who had escorted him into this room, but his olive face was all pleasantry and smiles under his thin, waxed moustache.

" Ah, Mister Ambassador. A pleasure to finally have an opportunity to make your aquaintance, Sah." The President replied in a high pitched, almost nasal voice. He rose from behind his large mohagany desk, and Alfonso was mildy suprised at the small stature and apparent frailty of this thin, pale man, the leader of what was now the most powerful nation on this continent. The President crossed the office floor slowly, his hand outstreched.

"Mister President. The pleasure is all mine." Alfonso took the presidents hand in both of his, shaking it firmly as he looked down at this small, smiling gentlman standing in front of him. Alfonso was proud of his almost accentless English, knowing it was one of the most telling qualities that helped assure his assignment to this posting. He was young for his position, having only turned forty-one this past month, and looked younger still, with his still perfect close cut black hair, his Paris tailored suits, and his ruby encrusted tie-pins. Though some might consider his rather chisled looks as handsome, he had never heard the word used to describe him. Dashing, though, was one that had reached his ear from the Paris salons that he once been a regular member of.

"I believe you know The Secretary of State?" The President said, motioning towards the massive bookcases lining one wall, and the thin, gaunt man standing beside them.

"Ah, Mister Seddon. Always good to see you, Sir."

The man bowed slightly. "Mister Ambassador," He said with a slight smile that was partially covered by his graying beard. Something about the man always made Alfonso feel slightly uneased, which troubled him more because it was so uncharacteristic for him to be uneased by any man. Something in those dark eyes. But, he was renowned as a great compromiser, and it was good that he had joined them today. Alfonso knew that they might well need a good compromiser before this meeting was finished.

The president took Alfonso by the arm, and directed him towards a large leather chair on front of the desk. "I hope you ah finding our fair city to your liking."

"Quite pleasant, Mr. President," Alfonso repllied, sitting down and crossing his leg.

President Stevens sat down in his chair behind the desk, his diminutive frame seeming to drown in the sea of plush burgundy leather. "Good. There ah those who find the humidity here to be quite unbearable at times, especially this time of year. May I offer you a cigar?"

Seceratary Seddon leaned forward across the desk, an open box of cigars in his hands. Alfonso and the President each took on, while the military aide stepped foward and lent his assistance with a lit match. Alfonso savored the acrid smoke for a moment.

"Virginia tobacco, Mr. Ambassador. Best there is in the world, some say." The President stated through a cloud of bluish smoke."Though Ah have heard the the tobacco grown down there in Cuba is a mighty fine variety also.

And now we come to it, thought Alfonso, sooner than I had anticipated. They are in a hurry. "Yes, Mister President. Our Cuban plantations grow some excellent examples." He subtly over-accented the "our" in his statement, but mainitained his detached countenance as he glanced around the office. The large globe in the corner was quite prominent, and Alfonso noticed it was turned so that the Carribbean was centered in his view.

"Indeed," Observed the President, with the same amount of detachement, but with a slightly more serious look on his thinning face.

'Mister Ambassador," Secratary Seddon broke in "Has your government had the necassary amount of time to consider our offer?"

Alfonso sat back in his chair. "Ah, you refer to the generous offer made by your government as to the purchase of the island of Cuba?"

CaribcsaJul1870.jpg


"Yes, Mister Ambassador," The President said rather flatly. "Our offer for Cuba."

Alfonso retrieved his cigar from the ashtray, and took a deep pull of the smoke, before letting it cloud in front of him. He could see the controlled anticipation of his hosts through the haze. "After careful consideration, I am afraid Her Majesty's government must refuse your most generous offer."

"Must refuse?" Stated the president with poorly disguised suprise.

"Mister Ambassador..." Secretary Seddon began to say.

"How can your government possibly refuse this offer?" The President interupted. "How can Spain have the audacity to hold claim to a portion of this continent, not even ninety miles from our shores?"

"Your nation is surrounded by many others, Mr. President." Alfonso replied. "California to the west. Deseret to the north-west. And, of course, the United States stretching all along your northern border. And none of these nations would consider you a friend. I would think your government would be much more concerned with these countries, than with a friendly nation such as Spain holding an insignificant island off your southernmost shore. It would seem to me that having a friendly nation so close could only be of benefit to your country." Alfonso set his cigar back in the ashtray, and waited for a response.

"Bah! The remnants of the United states are of no concern to us in regahds to this matter." The President stood, and moved to the side of the desk. "They are but scraps of a failed government, and a failed nation. Like us, they saw the time had come for them to go their own way. And a United States without the power to retain even New England is of no threat to us. The government in Chicago is but a shadow holding together various states, all intent on breaking away. They are focused on their own survival as a nation. . No, they are of no concern in this matter. And they should be of no concern to you. Our country can easily afford to focus its, ah, attention towards the Carribbean Sea."

"Indeed?" Alfonso leaned forward in his chair. "Two wars in ten years. Your trade and economy in ruins. Your debt soaring ever higher. It seems to me that, at this juncture, your nation can ill-afford to lose any friends."

"Yes, Mister Ambassador," stated Secratary Seddon, "We do value our friends. Most especially friends such as Spain. And it is that spirit of friendship that we make this offer. Our government would consider it a most friendly act if your Queen would reconsider. And a very friendly act on your part, most especially if there was someway, perhaps, that we might garner your support for this proposition."

Alfonso knew that an offer would be forthcoming. Yes, they believe they need my support, he thought. But my support will not come cheaply. Alfonso returned to his cigar. "Well, Mister Secretary, you know that I have great respect for your country. For the impossibilities you have overcome these last few years. I, myself, have nothing but the best wishes for your confederacy. And I can definately understand your needs in this matter." Alfonso stood. "Yes, I believe we can come to some sort of arrangement in regards to this matter. I am certain that with further discussion, I could be pursuaded to ask my government to reconsider."

"I knew that we could count on your friendship." Said the President, as he took Alfonso's hand and shook it vigorously. "Perhaps you and the Secretary can continue this discussion tomorrow evening at your residence?"

Alfonso smiled slightly. "Yes, indeed. We should meet again tomorrow to continue deliberations. Mister President. Mister Secretary."

Alfonso bowed, and then turned and walked towards the door, held open for him by the military aide. He stolled into the foyer, and down the hallway towards the front steps of the residence. No, Spain will never give these upstarts any claim to Cuba, he contemplated, nor anywhere else, for that matter. Cuba belonged to Spain and Spain alone, and would never be handed over to these impertinent amatuers. There would be no war. The Confederacy cannot afford yet another conflict. Certainly not with a power like Spain. But, there was no need to be so blunt about the situation. Yes, patience was the order of the day. And he would make them pay dearly for his support. Nevermind that his support would be meaningless in the court of Queen Isabella.

He walked out into the humid Richmond air, and through the carriage door held open by his valet. As the carriage began to move, he wondered about the next meeting. Would the offer be in gold, or in land?

Perhaps I should ask for both, he thought with a smile.


September 3rd, 1870

A Letter from the family collection of Mrs. Beatrice Coleman (spelling is the author's, unedited)

My Deerest Sister,

I am sore sorry about the length of time since my last letter. Things have been very busy heer of late. Father is in Dallas for the week to make arangement for the next cattle drive up to the city of Muskogee up in Sekoyah, and I am left in charge of all the comings and goins heer at the ranch.

Have you heard about the Long River Ranch? No, I suppose you have not as yet. It has been taken over by a wealthy Spanyard. I have only seen him once. He came out to see his new propertee. I herd rumor he was once actually the ambasader from Spain iteself! Can you beleeve it? He is a very dashing fellow, tall and dark. I will ask father to make his introductions when he returns. Tho I do not know why he would want land heer in Texas when there he could farm tobaco right there in the Cuban Iland, now that we heer that Spain is not going to sell Cuba to us.I cannot wait for father to return so i can meet this fellow.

We have had more rain this year than we did last, and old Joe says that...


----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
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stnylan

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Another wonderful double-view post.
 

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Thanks for the compliments. Gives me some encouragement to keep going on this...it's looking to be rather lengthy. :) Though it is a quiet thread. Hopefully, some more people will give it a read. I can use all the input I can get.

I have a couple days off this week, so I should be able to get a few more posts up quickly...in fact, I'll have another one ready in just a few minutes.
 

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djoker32 said:
Thanks for the compliments. Gives me some encouragement to keep going on this...it's looking to be rather lengthy. :) Though it is a quiet thread. Hopefully, some more people will give it a read. I can use all the input I can get.

I have a couple days off this week, so I should be able to get a few more posts up quickly...in fact, I'll have another one ready in just a few minutes.

Well I never have had a cult following like some writAAr's here, but you've got my interest, and that of several others. Don't ever take lack of comment to be lack of interest. And even if it is, so what, if you enjoy the writing and we enjoying the reading, whose to complain?
 

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kingmbutu said:
Well I never have had a cult following like some writAAr's here, but you've got my interest, and that of several others. Don't ever take lack of comment to be lack of interest. And even if it is, so what, if you enjoy the writing and we enjoying the reading, whose to complain?

True enough. :)
 

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Just came across this one, and I feel compelled to compliment you for your writing skills as well as your choice of subject. I've always been something of a Civil War fanatic, so I seem to be drawn to these "alternative Civil War" stories naturally, and yours is one of the two finest that I have seen to date.
 

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3rd_National_Confederate_Flag.gif

A CONFEDERATE SCRAPBOOK



January 20th, 1871

Richmond, Virginia

As the train screeched to a smokey stop alongside the station platform, a large miltary band began loudly playing "Dixie" over the cheers of the crowd. Tidwell stood near a podium at ot one end of the honor guard in their sharp grey unforms that split the crowd in two like a parting of the Red Sea in anticipation of a Moses to parade through, his hands fidgeting nervously behind his back. At the other end the last car on the train was coming to a stop. He had never met General Longstreet, Commander of the Department of Missouri, and hero of the Battle of Chicago. He wanted to make certain that the General's first impression of him was a good one.

Today was Armistice day. The first one. It was exactly one year since Tidwell had stood in the corner in the dining room of that old New York farmhouse as General Jackson and General Porter signed the surrender of the Union Army of the Potomac, effectively ending the Second War of Southern Independence. Certainly there had been some hold outs, most significantly that terrorist Sheridan and his band of bushwackers in Indiana, and Fremont's generally ignored (and self styled) Grand Army of the Far West in Idaho. But Fremont had soon led his ragged group into captivity once they were kicked out of the new Republic of Columbia by that nation's Cree government, Sheridan was quickly rounded up and hung, and most people looked upon Appleton's Farmhouse as the end of the war, though with Longsreet's capture of Chicago six months prior, the war was effectively won before then.

And with the end of the war came the victory parades, and the rewards. Tidwell himself enjoyed a small measure of restitution. Within a month of the surrender, he was a Major, and six months later, he was a Lieutenant Colonel. Although currently a Lieutenant Colonel without assignment. Though still nominally a member of General Jackson's staff, his duties had been superceded when Jackson was promoted to full General and Commander of the Army of the Confederacy. He had been attempting to find transfer to a line regiment, but as of yet, his first assignment in over a month was greeting General Longstreet as he arrived for the dedication of the Robert E. Lee Memorial today here in Richmond. Perhaps not the most challenging of assigments for the young Colonel, but one he wanted to perform well, nonetheless. Still, he was mildly frustrated with his lack of real responsibility. Perhaps the rumor was true. Perhaps it was more difficult to gain a command in this man's army if you didn't hail from Virginia, at least in this part of the country.

The whistle of the engine blew it's high pitched scream over the continuing notes of "Dixie" as the train shuddered to complete stillness. Within moments an officer in gray and gold appeared at the door at the rear of the train, followed by a man who was most obviously General Longstreet.

long2.jpg

He was larger than Tidwell had assumed, and quite muscular, with a healthy amount of portliness around his waist. And his thick black beard belied his fifty years of age, as did the almost humorous light that Tidwell could see in his eyes as he waved his dark gray hat in the air, to the extreme pleasure of the now roaring crowds.The gold braids hanging beneath the gold epulettes on his shoulders sparkled in the midwinter sun, and the cold in the air quickly reddened his cheeks as he stepped onto the platform.

He LOOKS like a General, Tidwell thought. And a hero.

As Longstreet's feet reached the platform between the two rows of the honor guard, the snapped smartly to attention, and at the podium, Tidwell snapped a salute. Longstreet returned it, beaming, as he strode between the guard towards Tidwell, his aide folloing closeley behind.

"General Longstreet," Tidwell said in the most formal tone of voice he could muster over the shouts of the crowd. "On behalf of President Stevens and General Jackson, allow me to welcome you to Richmond."

"Thank you kindly, Colonel." Longstreet replied. Then, leaning a little closer to Tidwell's ear, "You know, I've been here once or twice before."

Tidwell couldn't help but smiling back at the General's mischivous grin. "Yes, sir, I assume you have. Liuetenant Colonel Robert Tidwell, at your service, sir."

"Colonel Tidwell, allow me to introduce Brigadier General Sorrel, my Chief of Staff."

sorrell.jpg

Tidwell saluted Sorrel, and the turned back to Longstreet. "Sir, if you wish to say a few words to the crowd..."

"No time, Tidwell. If you could just show us to the carriage..."

"General Longstreet! General Longstreet!" A voice called from behind the wall of soldiers. Tidwell recognized that he was a reporter from the Enquirer, but he couldn't place the name. "General! Any comment on rumors that you are considering a run for the senate on the Whig ticket from Georgia?"

Longsteet turned and smiled at the reporter, feigning a slight shrug. "I'm just a simple soldier from Georgia, good sir. And as such, I have no politcal ambitions. Nor have I been asked by the Whig party to consider such a run." Longstreet turned and faced Tidwell. "Our carriage, Colonel?" Tidwell pointed the way, and then followed behind. Even to his politically innocent ears, Longstreet's tone towards the reporter didn't sound very convincing.

General Longstreet and Colonel Sorrel sat at the back of the open air carriage seated forward. Tidwell climbed in and sat facing them, as one of their mounted escorts closed the door behind him, and then mounted his horse. Small crowds lined the streets, cheering as they began to ride away from the station, to which Longstreet waved his blue-grey forage cap in response.

After a minute's ride, the crowds diminished, and Tidwell cleared his throat and spoke up. "General Jackson awaits you at the Whitehouse with President Stevens. From there, the three of you are to ride together to the dedication ceremony where..."

"Actually, Colonel," Colonel Sorrel interrupted, "we will stop and pay our respects to President Davis first."

Tidwell was taken aback by what was such a blatant breach of protocol, not only by stopping before meeting with General Jackson and the President, but by also meeting with a man who had become one of President Stevens' most outspoken critics these last few months. And it wasn't much of a secret that Jefferson Davis had played host to some rather prominant Whigs during the weeks leading up to this dedication ceremony.

"Yes, sir. Of course. Driver," he said to the coachman, "The Jefferson Davis residence."

"Sir." was the simple response.

"So formal here in Richmond these days." Longstreet observed. "I had not realized that we were modeling our cavalry on the King's Household Guard."

Tidwell glanced at the four escorting riders on either side of the carriage, in their nickel-plated helmets gleaming under scarlet horsehair plumes, their pale grey uniforms accented by deep red cross-belts, piping, and trim, and tight trousers carefully tucked into shining thigh-high cavalry boots.

"Yes sir. Well, the President felt it was necessary to portray the proper image to our European friends."

"They do look quite the thing, General," Sorrel said with a wry smile beginning to beam on his youngish face. "All pomp and circumstance."

"Hmm, quite a bit of pomp, indeed. Not so certain of the circumstance. Not so certain at all. At least I can see where our military budget is being spent. Can't even afford live ammunition for the Army of the Missouri to train with, but at least the cavalry in Richmond has them shiny new helmets."

There was a minute of silence, with only the sound of the horses hooves on the cobblestone and the creaking of the carriage, before Longstreet again spoke up. "Tidwell. Same Tidwell as the one at Youngstown?"

Tidwell could feel a little bit of embarrassed heat steaming from his cheeks in the cold air. "Yes, sir, I was there."

"Was there?" Longstreet asked in suprise. "I would say you were more than there. Sorrel, this is that Lieutenant who's company of Arizona Rifles held off Burnside's flank attack at the bridge. One hundred men led by this young man held off an entire corps of the Army of the Potomac until Jackson could get his own Corps into action. Three hours! Three damned hours, he held them off!"

Tidwell felt slightly uncomfortable at this sudden focus on his service at Youngstown. "We were lucky, Sir. Burnside didn't press his advantage. He could have easily forded the stream not one hundred yards from that bridge. Custer's cavalry almost did. Plus, we did have a Gatling with us."

"Don't sell yourself short. " Longstreet admonished. "That was a mighty hot action. Mighty hot, and you deserve the credit for saving the day."

"Well, sir, the day could have ended much differently if Jackson's Corps hadn't arrived when it did."

Longstreet crossed his armes and peered at Tidwell. "Jackson? Hmmph. We know who the real heroes of that engagement were, don't we Sorrel."

"Indeed, sir." Sorrel replied.

Tidwell felt a slight nervousness at the direction this conversation had taken, and decided that his best course of action was to remain silent, and hope they quickly arrived at the home of Jefferson Davis.

"So now you serve on the staff of General Jackson, Colonel Tidwell?" Sorrel asked.

"Unoffically, Sir, I am a Liuetenant Colonel in search of a command, you might say." At first, Tidwell was pleased in the new course of conversation, but then realized that he may have sounded a bit desperate in his statement. Well, he was desperate, wasn't he?

"No, no. Now that, THAT just isn't a correct set of affairs. Not correct at all." Longstreet pronounced with a rather serious tone. "You must have a command."

"I agree," joined Sorrel.

"Colonel Sorrel. Isn't Colonel Granger of the Fourth Kentucky retiring this month?" Longstreet asked his Chief of Staff.

"I believe that is so, Sir."

Longstreet looked rather pleased as he faced Tidwell once more. "Well, then, it's done. I shall put in the request for your immediate transfer to Saint Louis and command of the Fourth Kentucky Rifles. That is, if you have no objections, Colonel Tidwell.

Tidwell was slightly shocked at this rapid turn of events, and didn't rightly know what to say. So he simply stammered out, "I, uh, yes. Yes, sir. That would be a fine thing. A fine thing indeed!"

The carriage came to a creaking halt in front of the rather ornate mansion that was the residence of the former President of the CSA, Jefferson Davis.

"Well, then, Tidwell, consider it done." Longstreet stated rather proudly as one of the escorts opened the carriage door and lowered the step. "I won't be long here, and then we can ride on to the White House. I believe we have much to discuss. I am most curious about the goings on here in Richmond, and, of course, the news from the office of the Commander of the Army of the Confederacy. All good, I hope. But I want to hear it all, you understand."

Tidwell followed Longstreet and Sorrel onto the the cobblestone, and saluted. "Yes sir. I understand, sir. I am at your service."

Longstreet gave Tidwell a quick return salute, and then walked briskly towards the door.

And Tidwell stood on the street by the carriage in the cold Richmond winter air, his breath rising in soft steamy clouds, watching them enter the home, and trying to supress a gathering feeling that he had just sold his soul.


January 21st, 1871

Clipping from the Richmond Enquirer

LONGSTREET SHINES AT LEE MEMORIAL DEDICATION

....Then General Longstreet approched the podium from his seat next to former President Davis, and delivered the second speech of the day, and the only one of the ceremony of any true impact or importance. It was deep in feeling, compact in thought and expression, and tasteful and elegant in every word and comma. The entire speech is published here for your reading-

Ninety-five years ago our founding fathers created on this continent a new nation, concieved in the ideals of liberty, and dedicated to the propostition that tyranny shall have no place in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And though our northern neighbors have allowed these principles to be forgotten, we, in the rebirth of the orginal ideals, have not.

We have recently stood on the fields of battle and claimed victory in what was our Second War for Independence from northern tyranny. In this war, we endured, and we were triumphant. We are met here today to dedicate a memorial to a great man, a great patriot who led us bravely into battle and assured our armies inevitable victory. We come here to dedicate this spot as his final resting place, and as an everlasting tribute to the dedication, the courage, and the sacrifice of our greatest commander, General Robert E. Lee, who was killed on the field of battle at his moment of triumph outside Pittsburg. It is altogether fitting that we do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, nor can we consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave soldiers of our armies, both living and dead, have consecrated the ground of every memorial, of every tribute, that we may erect for them, far above our powers to add or detract. The world may little note, nor long remember what we say here this day, but it can never forget what Robert E. Lee and every brave soldier did for this nation. It is for us, rather, the living, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who have fought and bled have so nobly advanced. It is for us instead to be dedicated to the great task the lies ahead of us. That from the honored dead we take increased devotion to the cause for which they laid down their lives for, so that they shall not have died in vain. That this Confederacy, under God, shall be the new birth of freedom on this continent, and that true government of the people shall not perish from this earth.


General Longstreet's speech was met at first with almost stunned silence, and then by a smattering of applause that quckly built itself to a roar of approval.

President Stevens spoke next, in his awkward, high pitched voice, and was often drowned out by the calls for "Longstreet!"" and "Give us Ol' Pete!"" from the crowd during his twenty minutes of presentation. Visibly exhausted, the President continued...​


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