• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Jamesmelt1

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---This is a continuation of my previous AAR, of the same name, which died off after a hiatus. This is the Lazarus project to that, in the stylistic form of a story, rather than game pix and a recap. Enjoy~---

Preface;
A word to the reader, there is nothing new under the sun. Every story has in it retellings from older, more cultured stories. Shakespeare had Marlowe, Conan Doyle had Poe, and the Author has a million others. Any characters who are not based on obvious historical characters are not intended to represent anyone living or dead. Such coincidences are accidental and regretted. Thank you.


Chapter One; The Lincoln and Davis Administration and the Southern War of Independence.
Part I
As the dust hit his face, Lionel Wolsey coughed. He had marched from eastern Tennessee with his regiment to the center of Virginia; unlike the majority of the draftees from Tennessee, his regiment was sent to aide the newly formed Army of Northern Virginia, headed by the new minted General Robert E. Lee, lately Colonel in the US Army. He'd never been this far away from home, and had not yet come down with that familiar disease his comrades were convalescent with, longing for home. He still wanted to stab a Yankee or three. The straw bags at the drill camp had done little to sate his bayonet's hunger.
------

General Thomas J. Jackson looked over from the southern side of the Potomac and Roanoke towards Washington City. He reigned his horse in, meeting with General Robert E. Lee and General Longstreet and Stuart. The Army of Northern Virginia had moved towards the border to meet with any invasion. Still in Lee's mind rang the words of the Speaker of Virginia as he was inaugurated a General: "The Sacred Soil of Virginia will never yield an inch to invaders".
Jackson listened as Lee pointed towards the North. "Those People," his term for malevolent former countrymen, "will likely invade soon. I should imagine that General McClellan might like to take the peninsula. In order to prevent an invasion of the South, I intend to spearhead into Pennsylvania, and camp this army on the borders of Washington City."'
Jackson nodded as Lee turned towards him, "General, take your army and cover the western flank of the whole. Run off any cavalry or units attempted to stifle our invasion." He said, giving Jackson an order much less than perfectly refined. Jackson knew how to follow it.

-----

General George Brinton McClellan, commanding all US forces following the dispatch of Winfield Scott, a man too old and fat to get up on his own, much less mount a horse, looked towards the south, in an about face of General Lee. He had no intention of invading yet, as Lee had thought. He only intended to train and wait. And wait he did, and would, until he met the foe on the field.

-----

Mssrs. Mason and Slidell, diplomats of the CS Government, sent by President Davis to negotiate recognition of those states now in open Rebellion to the United States Government were soon seized on a boat flying the Union Jack, that of a much larger... and much more powerful Union. T'would only be to wait and see if the US would apologize, with a public glorifying the captain of the seizing ship and the morale of the country depended upon.

-----

Now the Stage is set, the players laid about. A stage for an Empire, actors for Generals. Let the show begin!
 

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subbing
 

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Will follow
 

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subbed!
 

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Wow! I'm very happy to see some old faces and some new ones! I hope to get the beginning out tomorrow. I'd like to develop the East Tennessee soldier some, since he's my first totally fictional character. Anyone have any advice, suggestions or desires? I'll factor them all in!
 

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Lionel laid his blanket beneath him and used his hat for a pillow, much like the other soldiers in the Army of Northern Virginia. He'd had plenty of time to get accustomed to drilling and marching, but no fighting yet. With a sweetheart back home, a family farm to go home to and the Sweet Sunny South to rest a while in, he hoped very much to survive the war. He was from a poor family and had gone to the only school in the county, run out of a clapboard one room building. But he'd read many books at the county library and was familiar with General's accounts of wars, and the brigadiers that followed under them. He was a middling philosopher and had read most of the Greek Patriarchs and Philosophers. He was raring for a fight. He'd never owned a slave, nor had he any need for one; the farm he lived on was self sufficient and another mouth to feed, of any color with any poor amount of food, would have been a strain. As he marched on, he heard shouting and excitement as the border of Maryland was soon passed. He thought he would finally fight. This was not the case. He started to hear, in the distance, shouts about England and France. He listened intently as the news drove down the line.
----
General Thomas J. Jackson was met with a courier a ways into Maryland, carrying out General Lee's orders as they came. When the courier arrived at his tent, covered in dirt and muck from a long, hard travel, he knew that it was likely an important message. He looked towards the man, rushing over, panting. The man handed him a letter and grinned, probably from the presence of the now popular general. Perhaps from whatever information was inside. He handed it to him, "General Jackson, these are from the War Department in Richmond, Sir."
"Thank you Lieutenant. You may tell your superiors I have gotten them."
The Lieutenant shook his head, "No sir, I must give these to every commanding General within my range. I am not the only one. You will understand when you break the seal. At your leave, sir!" Jackson nodded and the man hopped on a fresh horse,
The letter, sealed with the seal of the Confederacy read,

"November 15th 1861,

By the order of Secretary of War, Judah P. Benjamin,
In accordance with the President of the Confederate States of America,

This day each General is to halt in position, as commanded to the safest place for rest, to remain there until more words have come from across the Atlantic,Today, November 15, being a week after the unlawful seizure of Confederate Diplomats aboard a United Kingdom steamer vessel, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
together with the Empire of France, have declared war on the United States of America.

Ordered, Given and Signed by,

Judah P. Benjamin."

A wide grin spread across Jackson's face.

-----

William H. Seward, Secretary of State for the United States was in shambles. His assignment by President Lincoln to calm the English had failed. Between the time of that command and the declaration of war by the UK and France, he had been in ever further disarray. Any chance he might have had for succeeding Lincoln or indeed, succeeding a postman in the Republican Party were dashed. And so, he feared more than ever, was the hope of holding the Union together.

___________

The author hopes that this new entry meets with warm greetings by His readers. Expect more soon.
 

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Well now, intervention is a terrible thing for the Union. I must say I rather feel for Seward.
 

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just hope the Brits do have enough troops in Canada
 

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just hope the Brits do have enough troops in Canada
That's true. But I think I can do a bit better with just logic in this writing than Paradox did in their AI with troop shipping in V2.
 

TK-XD-M8

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There goes the Union.

I guess the South will now play their battlecry of freedom
 

Jamesmelt1

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In response to all readers of this series, new and old, and future readers, if there are any:

I think it's going to be more tumultuous than anybody in the story can figure. I intend to play the Socialist ideologues against the more conservative and reactionary southern base. This isn't going to be a story where the south wins and never experiences problems. That'd be some sort of pseudo Utopian story. I don't know if I intend to bring about the end of the south, but I know that there will be pain on both sides, in every class, every belief and all parties. I'm going to upload the third entry soon. Typically I look for a time that's not too far away from the last one, but with the various health problems that I've recently been working hard to overcome, it's more difficult than it ought to be. I write around 250 words a minute on average last time I was tested. They will have a battlecry of freedom, but everything has a bittersweet tinge. My last version of this expressed more outwardly political ideas, chiefly because I was going from the basic AAR for Vicky II, with screenshots. This one I won't make so obvious. I hope to do justice to a subject already touched upon by the Alt. Hist. Greats, like Kantor and Turtledove. Any amount of criticism or requests are welcome. Thanks for reading! My only request is that we keep it civil (no wars, flame or otherwise!). A new entry will be here soon as and my Physical Therapy and general health recovers the story will be updated more regularly.
 

TK-XD-M8

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Get well soon.

Also nice in medias res preface ;)
 

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I hope your health improves soon.
Thank you. I'm on my first week of Physical Therapy. It's mostly residual damage from a car crash, but it hurts like the devil. I DO intend to keep updating this, it's only stopped for the moment until I can take the time to make an entry that would be worthy of the title, in my own mind, and would entertain the people who have subbed to this.
 

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Being well aware of some historical inaccuracies, I find that when I can write an entry in this work, I’m pressed for time or in some sort of constraint of pain that I’m pressed for the ability to think. I’m an aspiring history prof, going for my Bachelor’s and well aware of most battles in both fronts of the war. The problem is corroborating the dates of the battles with the date of change of history in this entry. Not having as much time as I would like to research where the times would meet, I am doomed to make mistakes, but hopefully none so tearing as to break, you, the reader from the story. I’m aware that Robert E. Lee didn’t take command of the Army of Northern Virginia until his failed trek in West Virginia, where he acquired his faithful Traveller. I’m aware that word of the Trent Affair, and moreover its outcome would have been longer in coming, but needs-must as the devil drives, and I want to get to the action before we wait too long. After the war ends, the story will begin in earnest, so it may take longer for more detailed entries, as I’d like to carry over some important plot pieces from the now aborted AAR that bears the same name. I hope you will bear with me in this affair- The Author.


---

The sweat on his brow nearly bled into his eyes. Ever so gently, he winced at the comparison. It was better sweat into his eyes than blood. Met at this battle, south and west of Washington City by only 40 miles, Lionel Wolsey did not dare clean the dirt, muck and sweat from his face or brow. For one, the mixture seemed to hide him better. For a more important reason, any moving while hiding the brush might give way to a Federal Private where he was. Speak of the Devil, and he will appear! He saw a moving in the brush in front of him. His musket already loaded with percussion cap and Minnie, he took aim over his shoulder and shot. The shriek and jump confirmed the hit. The blue hat flying in the air confirmed it to be a Federal. He’d had a taste of blood. He was brave, but not stupid. He hoped England in the war would help end the whole affair. He DID want to get home to his farm.

---

General Lee met with his corps commanders, Longstreet, Stuart and Jackson. He coughed slightly as the dust from the horses entered his lungs, once recomposed he began to speak, “Perhaps, gentleman, I have overestimated the Federals, they have the will to fight, I believe, but not the leadership. General McClellan has hardly been able to beat back our offensives, and General Pope in the Canadas has failed again and yet again at even protecting the interior of New England. More disconcerting, I think for President Lincoln, might be France coming in through Mexico. The Emperor there has also sent troops. Fremont has performed no more spectacularly than his fellows. At this rate, Gentlemen, I don’t believe it would be in due course to go further than southern Pennsylvania.”

He paused for a moment, as if pondering the idea of a truly quick success. “With England coming down through Newfoundland and some through British Columbia, I do not believe the Federals can hope to outmatch, nor outgun us. The hand of God is not with Tyranny. The Big Battalions are with us, through divine and kind providence.” His subordinates let out a shrill, high pitched yell generally left to the battlefields. It was called the rebel yell.

---

John Pope was slow against “Chinese” Gordon in New England. Little Mac, so often called the Little Napoleon was unwilling to stage an invasion and proved unable to fight off one. The Pathfinder couldn’t find his own path against the French and middling Mexicans in Southern California. Already France was demanding a return of major port and central desert cities and towns to Mexico from Arizona and California, and England wanted complete control of Columbia and the return of the peacefully ceded northern part of Maine.

President Lincoln knew this because he had received a peace offer, tentative to commissioners from Richmond, Paris and London. He was made ever more despondent, yet angry by these. He would not now, nor ever in his mind accept defeat. He would die before he would see a single star torn from the Stars and Stripes. Perhaps he would die then, defeated and decrepit before his time.

He had called for double the volunteers as his first call, but fewer and fewer Americans seemed desirous to join up. Their friends, brothers, sons, and kin were all being slaughtered. Acting on Presidential War Powers, he issued a new, large conscription, to the screams and yells of an unwilling populace. Unless he won the war, he’d lose everything; his political future, his hopes for reconciliation, the Union. Everything. He was not willing to contemplate it.

---

I rushed this one out on what I’ve come up with lately in thought. I hope it meets with some expectations. I do not mean it to be fluff nor filler, but it may seem that way.
 

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It is all or nothing for the Union. There is only the of victory, for defeat would be a catastrophe beyond measure.
 

Jamesmelt1

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UPDATE:

I am working hard on part three. I am over 700 words in. I'm having a devil of a time finding the right people for the right places, so it'll be a few days, but you all shall get a new entry soon! ^^
 

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the first half of the final act of wartime:

Lionel Wolsey coughed. Winter in Gettysburg was cold. The dead bodies that littered the field made him feel colder than Dante’s final circle of hell. He looked around, the army scattered. He had no idea who had won, and only hoped that General Lee did. He didn’t bother hoping anything besides that and his own ability to meet with his regiment, safe and sound. As he wandered through the dead bodies, he forced the contemplation of life and death from his mind. He didn’t want to think about it.

He managed to get behind cover of trees, and feeling safe stood up, surveying his surroundings. As he made his way through the surroundings, he heard a voice, brusque but definite western Virginian accent; he knew them well, he had cousins in western Virginia.

“Lionel, is that you?” The voice asked. It was Andrew!

“It’s me Andy.” He replied in a quiet voice to match his messmate.

“Follow me, Lionel. The Regiment just got some news you’ll want to hear, after supper and some water, ‘course.” He said. Lionel followed.

--

General Lee and his Adjutant made camp upon a ridge over-looking Gettysburg. He was informed by reliable sources that it was called Cemetery Ridge. He had planned to encircle Washington City and give the Federal Forces no chance to rest, but he had not expected to fight a battle here until only a few days before. JEB Stuart’s cavalry arrived late, but thankfully not too late.

General Jackson had taken a bullet in the arm, he was informed. His survival was less than half assured. That struck as a pang in his heart; when he heard of it, he knew that Jackson had lost his left arm, and he had lost his right. Jackson was certainly the best effective corps commander he had, though James Longstreet wasn’t too far behind. JEB Stuart was tenacious and brave, but sometime headstrong and stubborn to the point of making mistakes.

As he surveyed the other side of the ridge, he realized how well a defense it would have made had the Federals been able to make it to this point on the battlefield. He did not know what would have ensued had they been able to entrench and defend, but he was glad to not have known seeing it now. The left flank of the Union army had been decimated at a hill not far from his location called Little Round Top.

He was well informed that it was rocky and high, but Hood’s men had been able to take it. Among the dead were, as a courier had let him be told, J. Lawrence Chamberlain who had staged a brave but ultimately fatally unsuccessful charge down the hill. Underequipped and out of ammunition, Chamberlain charged the oncoming Confederate forces, but against overwhelming forces combined together with a General under command of Longstreet, it was taken.

It proved to change the entirety of the battle. The decimated Army of the Potomac, led by General Meade was not able to match the mostly intact Army of Northern Virginia. As the Yankees came forward and around to meet the Confederate Army, they were pushed back, not even able to make enough positions to ultimately hold the center; as they formed on Cemetery Ridge, they were forced back, some fleeing in terror at the shrieks of the soldiers of Virginia and Eastern Tennessee.

The battle was won, the men of The Army of the Potomac either in shambles or in Confederate custody. Here in southern-mid Pennsylvania, the day, and maybe the war, had been won for the south.

--


Andrew Sutherland led Lionel Wolsey safely back to the camp of his regiment and told him the news that he’d heard,

“So, news is this: ‘Pparently the French and the Mexicans down in California have captured a good deal of ports and two big cities. I dunno which ones, San somethin’ other, both of ‘em. I guess The Queen is backing up a bit, says she only wants north Maine now. That’s all I know for now.”

Lionel sipped at a bit of captured coffee and lit his cigar with a twig, blowing out contemplatively. The world was turned right side down, looked like.
 

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Not so good for the Union. Not so good at all.
 

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Not so good for the Union. Not so good at all.
I
If you or anyone else doesn't know the outcome of the war for the CSA, please tell me and I will not reveal it.


Part two will be coming very soon!