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The Fraternity of Generals

A Tale of the Reunification of the United States

This AAR will follow an American Civil War set in a somewhat different U.S. The game began in 1836, and of course I did not follow history--I will reveal the differences along the way. We will continue through the war and into the early years of Reconstruction. The focus will be on the relations between the men at the top, many of whom have served together before.


Along the way we will follow a few men:


Ulysses S. Grant (1822 - )
West Point class of 1843

Grant.jpg


In 1860: Recently resigned from the Army (where he was a Captain) to avoid court-martial for drunkeness. He works in his father's shop in Illinois, but chafes to have a chance to rejoin the army.



Robert E. Lee (1807 - )
West Point class of 1829

lee.jpg


In 1860: Controls his plantation at Arlington, across the river from Washington, D.C. His most recent action was to lead Marines in putting down the attempted rebellion of John Brown.



William T. Sherman (1820 - )
West Point class of 1840

sherman.jpg


In 1860: Superintendant of the Louisiana State Seminary. Being an Ohioan, he does not share the opinions of those around him, and is worried about the potential split in the country.



Simon Bolivar Buckner (1823 - )
West Point class of 1844

buckner.jpg


In 1860: Commander of the militia of Kentucky, with the rank of Major General.



Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821 - )
Never attended West Point

forrest.jpg


In 1860: Has earned a considerable fortune buying and selling slaves. Recently an alderman in Memphis, Tennessee.



Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (1818 - )
West Point class of 1838

beauregard.jpg


In 1860: Professor at West Point, and recently an engineer in New Orleans.



George Brinton McClellan (1826 - )
West Point class of 1846

mcclellan.jpg


In 1860: President of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, having recently resigned from the army.
 
Last edited:

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PROLOGUE

Harpers Ferry, Virginia
2 December 1859


IT WAS THE END for old John Brown. For years he had led men in violence, devoted to the cause of destroying slavery. It had all led to a bold plan to gather weapons at Harpers Ferry and draw the slaves away from their masters, arming them to defend themselves in the mountains. It had all led to his capture and trial.

Colonel Robert E. Lee had been the man who had captured him. He, and the United States Marines, had marched to Harpers Ferry and captured the man, with fourteen deaths on both sides. Needless blood, Lee thought. Now he would die, not bloodily but hanged. Virginia militia stood around the man. Lee noticed a couple familiar faces. He rode over to the artillery and got the first's attention.

"Major Jackson?"

Thomas Jackson looked over and smiled when he saw Lee. They had met in Guatemala--the bloody mountains of Guatemala--Lee's face darkened for a moment from that memory. It was soon gone, though, and Jackson did not notice. Instead, he merely said, "Well, Colonel Lee, I'm glad you decided to stay. There's rumors you had some sympathy with that man"--Jackson indicated Brown, waiting for his fate--"but I doubt that from a good Virginian such as yourself."

"Indeed. I assume the intervening years have been well with you?"

"God has been so kind. And you?"

Lee gave a muffled laugh. "By my age, no year is well with one's health anymore. I hope to have a few more in me."

Lee rode off and looked over the militia again. He never again found the second face, that of actor John Wilkes Booth, but he cared little for it at the time. It was a glancing sight of a minor celebrity. Had it been Edwin Booth, Lee would have paid more attention, but the younger brother was not as skilled or famous.

Finally, the time came for Brown's death. He was brought to the gallows, his charges read, the noose... Lee had stopped paying attention. There, in his eyes, was such a fire--he was devoted to his cause, knew it was right, and died willingly for it. It was almost as if Brown was sending a message to Lee's heart. The time has come, Lee's mind read it. You know it is wrong, most do. Even the other slaveowners do. God has ordained its destruction, and you can help.

The eyes disappeared from his view as they, along with the rest of Brown, suddenly dropped. He was quickly dead. Lee's mind was elsewhere, but somehow, a paper found its way into his hands, with Brown's final written words:

"I am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood."
 

stnylan

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Spreading yourself a little thin aren't you JM?

Looks interesting.
 

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If he is then it would be worth it. This looks quite exciting.
 

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Yes, this could prove quite interesting. I look forward to finding out about Lee and Jackson fighting in Guatamala.
 

Garuda

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stnylan said:
Spreading yourself a little thin aren't you JM?

Looks interesting.

As long as we still get our weekly report from England, I'll follow this one too. :cool:
 

Freddan

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This looks great Judas Maccabeus, I'm already longing for the next update.
 

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So that's why you've been reading McPherson. There's an interesting (though not always good) book called the Class of 1846 I thought of when I read the update. I like the narrative style you're using so far, this looks to be an interesting read.
 

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stnylan: Not quite. I do have that downtime coming up with the English AAR, after all...

anonymous4401: Hope it lives up to your expectations.

Quirinus308: I'm planning on putting references to that in there, it plays an important part in all the generals' mindsets--well, except Forrest's.

Garuda: You'll keep getting those, at least until there's no more to update.

Freddan: And you'll be getting it soon.

JimboIX: Other way around, actually: McPherson inspired me to pick up an idea I'd had floating around for a while. And I saw that book, only had money for one, though...
 

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PART ONE: RETURN TO WAR

Chapter One

Washington, DC
2 January 1861


THE BOTTLE WAS Grant's constant companion.

Only not today. As he stepped off the train from Illinois, Grant knew that things were about to change. War was in the air: a Republican president had been elected, the southern states refused to have any part of him, and finally, after a decade, there was battle again. Best of all, he had gotten a summons from none other than Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, commander of the United States Army. That could be nothing other than to ask him to get back into the army.

Grant forgot Guatemala. Those horrible months, in the deadly jungle, with locals firing, and the bloody assaults... He could be easily excused for having been driven to drink. But that was gone from his mind, and so was the idea of drinking. If what political connections he had would get him back into the army--for he had them--then a thousand Guatemalas could be ignored.

Grant walked into the headquarters of the army, now buzzing with activity. The Confederate States of America, as they had begun to call themselves, was only a couple weeks old, but already they had gathered the southern parts of the army, and with it many of the generals. Grant thought of Lee... Longstreet... then Beauregard... and, worst of all, what would Buckner do? In any case, if he had to fight against them that was his duty.

Eventually, he found his way in, and had an answer to one question: For in the middle of all the chaos stood one man, bringing it all together, ensuring that eventually everything would calm down.

Robert E. Lee, in the uniform of a general, signaled to Grant and called him over. "Captain Grant! General Scott said that you were to come."

"I am not a captain anymore, sir. Haven't been for several years."

"We shall see to that." He motioned to his private office, secluded from the activity outside. "If you are available?"

"Very much so." The two walked inside, and Lee closed the door.

"General Scott has resigned. He is too old for this, even older than I, and that is indeed saying something. In his place he asked that I be given the command."

"Why didn't you--I mean, I expected you to go with your home state."

"It was a difficult decision. But it eventually had to be made, and there was one thing that weighed heavily on my mind. You, of course, know about the recent events surrounding John Brown. I was there when he was captured--I did it, in fact. I was there when he was hanged. And now I think I regret it."

"You--you cannot have become an abolitionist?"

Lee smiled. "I know that my reputation says otherwise, but times have changed. We have come to a turning point in history. God has ordained that something great shall happen in our nation at this time. Whether that is for good or ill is in His hands, but He wishes for us to choose, and I have chosen. I have chosen what I think is right. I have already begun with what used to be my own property, and saw to it that they can survive on their own."

"God willing that the rest of them may see the same. But what was I summoned here for?"

"President Lincoln has asked for volunteers to fight this rebellion, and he has been answered in great number. We have need of men to lead these new armies, and their subordinate organizations. Courtesy of Representative Elihu Washburne, you are offered the rank of Brigadier General and a brigade in the Army of the Ohio." Lee produced the commission papers and presented them to Grant.

Grant's eyes shone. "I accept. By God, do I ever accept! It is about time I got away from tanning!"

- - - - - - - -​

Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman watched as the train came into the Cincinnati station. At his side was Major General Henry Halleck, commander of the Army of the Ohio. Sherman's 13th U.S. Infantry, a unit still collecting volunteers from across the country, was attached to Ulysses S. Grant's Brigade, 1st Division (Brig. General Don Carlos Buell--somewhat of a familiar face), Army of the Ohio. What a list! A drunkard's brigade, a boastful man's division, a desk clerk's army. Sherman had little doubt this would be a painful war if he lived to see the end of it.

The brigade commander was the one coming off the train, from Washington. Apparently he knew Lee--only reason he could possibly have gotten the position, Sherman thought. Why couldn't Edward Ord be in Ohio rather than Pennsylvania? He's become a Brigadier, but in the Army of the Potomac--damn. He was a good man, back in Guatemala. Back even in the days of West Point. Now he's with Lee, wasn't that a bit of luck!

As Grant came off the train, though, Sherman began to doubt his original opinion. He didn't seem like he had touched alcohol for several days. Maybe it was just the journey from Illinois to Washington and back to Ohio, but he was not the man he was made out to be, or at least he didn't appear like it. Sherman merely shook his head and let Halleck do the tough work.

"General Grant!" he said. "Now that you're here I think we have all our generals. Not all the men, though, as Colonel Sherman here can attest."

Damn, he had to point him out. Now Sherman had to say something. What? "Not for long, from what it sounds like--we officers aren't the only ones happy to take up arms."

Grant nodded, and Halleck turned to Sherman. "Colonel, if you would be so kind as to show the General to his headquarters."

"I would be glad to, sir." No he wouldn't.
 

stnylan

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Sounds like they will all get on like a house on fire!

Lee's decision is an interesting what if.
 

dublish

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Not everyday you see a US ACW AAR. And this one looks quite promising.

I can't imagine how Lee's presence in the North will affect this. Historically, he didn't do much until McClellan's Peninsular Campaign in '62, while most of the other Confederate go-to men (speaking of which, I'm a little surprised you didn't list either Joe or Albert Sydney Johnston in your cast) held off the initial invasion attempts. Putting Lee in command so early on can only spell trouble for the South.
 

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With Lee and Grant for the Union, the south is doomed. Can't wait for the Guatemalan backstory to get fleshed out.
 

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stnylan: Yeah, Sherman did not like Grant at all at first. Even in real life.

dublish: He was actually offered the command in real life but turned it down to go with his native country. And my decision for who to follow directly has its own reasons, not exactly who's commanding. The two Johnstons (or at least Albert Sydney) will be showing up, don't worry.

JimboIX: Guatemala will be showing up quite a bit in this AAR. It's this timeline's Mexico, only more traumatic.

- - - - - - - -

Here's the full order of battle for our Army of the Ohio in Jan. 1861:

Code:
                                     ARMY OF THE OHIO
                                     Maj. Gen.
                                     Henry Halleck


FIRST DIVISON                        SECOND DIVISION                      THIRD DIVISION
Brig. Gen.                           Brig. Gen.                           Brig. Gen.
Thomas L. Crittenden                 John A. McClernand                   Don Carlos Buell



1st Brigade                          4th Brigade                          6th Brigade
Brig. Gen.                           Brig. Gen.                           Brig. Gen.
William Rosecrans                    William H.L. Wallace                 Ulysses S. Grant

13th Ohio                            2nd Iowa                             13th U.S. [Sherman]
23rd Ohio                            9th Illinois                         1st Ohio
9th Kentucky                         50th Illinois                        6th Ohio
13th Kentucky                        52nd Illinois                        9th Indiana
Batteries B & C, 4th U.S. Arty.      58th Illinois                        



2nd Brigade                          5th Brigade                          7th Brigade
Colonel                              Brig. Gen.                           Colonel
Lewis Wallace                        Alexander McDowell McCook            James A. Garfield

11th Indiana                         15th Ohio                            40th Ohio
24th Indiana                         32nd Indiana                         42nd Ohio
1st Nebraska                         39th Indiana                         14th Kentucky
9th Indiana Arty.                    1st Kentucky                         22nd Kentucky
                                     2nd Kentucky                         2nd Virginia Cav.



3rd Brigade                                                               8th Brigade
Colonel                                                                   Colonel
William Nelson                                                            John M. Thayer

19th Ohio                                                                 23rd Indiana
24th Ohio                                                                 18th Missouri
41st Ohio                                                                 21st Missouri
                                                                          25th Missouri


UNASSIGNED
13th Michigan
5th Ohio Cavalry
3rd Kentucky Cavalry
1st Illinois Light Arty.
2nd Michigan Arty.
 
Last edited:

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So what does that OOB mean in game terms? I'd imagine it would be two regular divisions and an arty-brigaded division? Or would there be more brigades of Regulars involved?
 

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anonymous4401 said:
So what does that OOB mean in game terms? I'd imagine it would be two regular divisions and an arty-brigaded division? Or would there be more brigades of Regulars involved?

1 division with a Regulars brigade (that's McClernand's well-organised one), 1 division with Artillery (that's Crittenden's) and 1 plain division (that's Buell's). The cavalry is just put in because it would have been there in real life.
 

Alex Borhild

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I'll have to pay attention to this one; interesting that Lee is fighting for the North, rather than his home state...
 

Morpheus506

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That first post reminded me a great deal of Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara. Looks like quality stuff, I'll be reading.
 

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The 2nd Virginia Cavalry? In the Union Army? I suppose you meant the 2nd West Virginian. It is certainly not usual for cavalry and infantry to be brigaded together. The Union Army of the Ohio does look like a work in pogress. If its opponent is more organised than it, things will not go well for this fledgling army.