| Guest Historian Raymond Speer says, Jeff Davis exhorts the Confederacy's lofty war airms in the aftermath of a victory at Gettysburg. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Raymond Speer site.|
In 1874, James Longstreet of Georgia became the third President of the Confederate States, taking his oath of office on the elevated porch of the Alabama Capitol building in Montgomery, the same place where his predecessors in office, Jefferson Davis and Edmund Ruffin, had been inaugurated.
Gettysburg Prayer Part Five by Raymond SpeerDuring the war, Longstreet had been a corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia, third in command behind Lee and Jackson. President Davis had promoted him to be the chief of the Confederate Army following the demobilization, but President Ruffin had removed him from that post and installed Jubal Early in it.
Retiring from active service, Longstreet alleged that there was a move afoot to unlawfully deny Negroes their earned veteran's benefits. "If Early will do it to a crippled Negro, is there any reason for a crippled white man to expect better?" asked Longstreet rhetorically. "I want every veteran of our Armiies secure in the knowledge that his country will provide for him in spite of his injury".
Both President Ruffin and General Early expressed great respect and sympathy for veterans of both colors, but the incumbents said the central government did not have the money to open a nation wide chain of"soldiers and sailors" homes for injured vets. Those who disagreed rallied behind Longstreet's bid for president in 1873.
James Longstreet associated himself with his fellow Confederate General William "Billy" Mahone, who organized the Readjuster Party in opposition to Ruffin's people, the Citizens Party. Mahone said that the only motivation of a politician should be to readjust things so that public affairs worked better. "We want government that costs less and does more," said Mahone, who endorsed Negro candidates on all levels.
The first National Convention of a Confederate political party was held in New Orleans by the Readjusters. James Longstreet was nominated on the first ballot and Edmund Kirby Smith was chosen as the vice presidential nominee.
Robert M.T. Hunter of Virginia had served President Ruffin as his Secretary of State, and received his chief's endorsement as the presidential candidate for the Citizens Party. Hunter's running mate was Stephen Mallory, who had served with distinction as Navy Secretary to both Davis and Ruffin.
Longstreet complained during the campaign about the naval appropriations which Hunter and Mallory sought from Congress, arguing that money ought be raised for the care and comfort of "amputee heroes and widows and orphans". The Citizens Party retaliated with accusations that Longstreet had been surly and argumentative in his contacts with Lee and Jackson, and one of Lee's clerks even said that Longstreet's poor attitude had forced Lee and Jackson to consider removing him from his corps command on the second day of Gettysburg.
More substantly, the Readjuster Party wanted a law to be passed by the central government to assure Negro voting rights in every State. The Citizens Party backed denial of the ballot on voters who could not prove lteracy, and said voting rights were best left to the States.
The Longstreet- Kirby Smith ticket took 47.6 percent of the popular votes and Hunter-Mallory registered at 45.3 percent of the popular votes. (For the first time, Virginia cast its electoral vote for the loser. Once again, the South Carolina legislature --- and not the people --- decided where SC's electoral votes went, and they would go to Hunter.) Longstreet won the race.
Longstreet's long time friend, Ulysses Grant, had won the 1868 US presidential election from incumbent president George McClellan. On assuming office as CS president, Longstreet made a visit of good will to Washington DC, that was the basis of a week of circuses, fireworks, parades and balls.
By terms of the Davis-McClellan Agreement, the Confederacy had no rights to block or bar or in any way hinder the flow of trade down the Mississippi River. Moreover, the river was patrolled by US ironclads that reported to the federal forces encamped at Vicksburg, MS. President Ruffin and his Secretary of State, Hunter, had long bellyached about the River Rights that the United States insisted on. President Longstreet signed a note with US Grant acknowledging those River Rights and the US ownership of their fortified capitol, Washington DC., as well as the US ownership of West Virginia.
For the Union, there was a recognition that the lower half of the Southwest territory between Texas and Calfornia was the Confederate territory of Arizona, and the northern half was the Union territory of New Mexico. There would be no military buildup on either side of that new border.
With the end of slavery in the South, given the Greatest Christmas Present which cancelled the peculiar institution, Negroes were free to choose new lives, and many of them went west to Arizona. In Longstreet's last year of office, Arizona joined the Confederacy with a population that was 55% Negro and 10% Hispanic. Of a Congressional delegation of four, two Congressmen were Negro, one CS Senator was Negro and the other Senator was Hispanic.
As early as 1872, Horace Greeley had suggested that the two American Governments consider Reunion as the implementation of the Gettysburg Prayer had removed the chief cause of the 1860 breach, the matter of slavery. Greeley had run for president against Grant and lost and died soon afterwards.
When Longstreet came to office, Abraham Lincoln set about to systematically organize a ReUnion effort between the United States and the Confederate States. By the end of the second year of the ReUnion League's business, it reported 50,000 members in the USA and 20 thousand members in the CSA.
President George B. McClellan, seeking appropriations for defensive fortifications, had passed on the purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire and by 1868, Russia had sold Alaska to Britain, which added the province to Canada. When the dictator of Santo Domingo, the eastern segment of Hispanola just across from Hayti, offered to sell the country to the USA, US Grant was determined not to let that opportunity pass.
Outrage was heard in both Houses of the Confederate Congress. The Citizens Party had majorities in both Houses and denounced the"acquisition of territory by the United States" that could "further impair Confederate trade or autonomy". Grant was warned by Longstreet of the agitation that the annexation of Santo Domingo was causing in the South. but Grant ignored the pleas of his old friend. The Santo Domingo Purchase passed the US Congress but only after a crowd of at least 100,000 came from the capitol's Confederate neighbors and protested against the Union's expansion.
Abraham Lincoln wrote in his newspaper column that the South's victory in the War of Secession had rebounded in favor the Reublican Party. "Had the South been re united with the North by battlefield brutality, Governor Tilden the Democrat would now have all the Southern States backing him in the 1876 election, and his victory over the Republicans might appear probable. Instead, Rutherford Hayes has remained in the lead throughout the contest, and is expected to win the presidency next week". As assumed by all, Hayes won a respectable victory over Tilden, even though Tilden won New York's electoral votes
In 1868, in Montgomery, Alabama, the second president of the Confederate States of America, Edmund Ruffin of Virginia, was sworn into office. As a favor to Alabama congress members who were slow in accepting Richmond as the capitol, the incoming president agreed to be sworn into office in the same place that his predecessor, Jefferson Davis, entered office.
Gettysburg Prayer Part Four by Raymond SpeerDavis had spent a year as Provisional President and his six year term as president was so counted from 1861 to 1867. Besides seeing the Confederacy survive a cruel war, Davis had delivered the Gettysburg Prayer of July 31, 1863, and,more challenging, had managed the Big Christmas Present of 1865 which emancipated all slaves in the CSA.
Jefferson Davis had encouraged Robert E. Lee to run for the presidency, but Lee politely but stubbornly refused the honor. Notably, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson volunterred for the race and conducted it on a "Christian" platform of full civil rights for all Confederates. Popular both for his faith in God and his skills as a General, Jackson was a strong candidate for the office.
As ex- US President Lincoln noted on a tour of the South that election year, General Jackson's expression of God's will made Negroes eligible for entry in public schools and churches, brought them into juries and witness podiums, and gave them full contractual rights. "There are men counted as Abolitionists in the North who are not as definite or assertive as General Jackson is on the question of Negro rights".
"Frankly, I find it unbelievable that a population so adverse to Negro personal rights in 1860 are so favorable to the idea in 1867," wrote Lincoln. Lincoln and his wife (blamed by many for the scandal which wrecked Lincoln's support when he may have been on the verge of victory) were recognized and welcomed courteously at all places. "Perhaps my defeat in the late War makes me seem pleasent but ineffectual".
The more conservative candidate was Edmund Ruffin, a famous journalist and advisor on the agriculture and economy of the South. Though not in any office, the Virginian traveled thousands of miles encouraging the establishment of the CSA. At Fort Sumter, Ruffin was given the honor of firing the first cannon ball at the fort and the Yankee flag.
When Lee kept on refusing to run, Ruffin got the support of white conservatives. General Jackson said he welcomed Edmund Ruffin's competition and that he expected Ruffin to compete for the Negro vote.
Jackson carried the Negro vote of the so-called Black Belt while Ruffin won the Border States votes. Jackson accepted his defeat with ease, having acquired 47% of the popular vote.
Over the next six years, President Ruffin vetoed public education bills and organizations that would use public money to build private businesses. He reopened the Citadel and the Virginia Military Institute to serve as West Points for young soldiers of the Confederacy. Ruffin also stationed soldiers on the edge of the Rio Grande, incomfortable with the aid and comfort the United States was promising President Juarez's rival.
"I love this country," said the president. "There is no better place on earth. I wish to celebrate the remainder of my life with my family, in my gardens, until the Good Lord calls me home".
After leaving office in a Montgomery ceremony in 1874 in which James Longstreet of Georgia became the third president of the CSA, Ruffin wrote up a three book sheet of memoirs, only one of which concerned his residency, Ruffin died of a heart condition in 1878.
In 1863, President Jefferson Davis delivered the Gettysburg Prayer soon after the Army of Northern Virginia's colossal victory on that Pennsylvania battlefield.
Gettysburg Prayer Part One by Raymond SpeerExcerpt from Jefferson F. Davis' Commentary, 1870;
Matters reached a cresendo in the summer of 1863. Generals Lee and Jackson performed a miracle at Chancellorsville but that hardly helped the sad state of affairs in my home State, Mississippi. There, Southern generals were barely moving and Yankee generals Grant and Sherman had subjected Vicksburg to an unbreakable seige that could not be endured past the middle of the year.
My fear was that Lee and Jackson would continue to win but that continued defeats far off in western States would eventually doom Confederate independence.
Is Patrick Ronayne Clebourne the Savior of the Confederacy? Some people call him that because he was admittedly the first responsible party to state aloud that we were fighting the War with one arm tied behind our backs. Free the Negroes and arm them to fight beside us. As early as January 1863, he was saying that to his peers over the campfire and in March 1863 he wrote me a long letter on the theme that we should free Negroes and recruit them as soldiers.
When I got General Clebourne's letter, I felt so ill that I had to seek rest in my darkened bed chamber for a week before I could return to my office desk. Clebourne had made such a good case that I could not pretend he was wrong. Yes, arming our Negroes and sending them out to fight would rescue our independence. But was independence worth such a change?
When Generals Lee and Jackson came to Richmond to confer about their 1863 offensive into Pennsylvania, I shared with them General Cleburne's letter. I was surprised when Jackson wept profusely and told us that he had long been oppressed by the thought that he was prolonging the existance of slavery. Jackson had long awaited Richmond to announce that the peculiar institution would soon end.
General Lee told me that he was very reluctant to overstep his boundaries, but when I insisted on his thoughts on emancipation, Lee said that the Negroes were as many as a third of the men in the South, and our armies certainly had need for many recruits.
I was conscious of my lack of a strong organization in either House of Congress. Also, I had never asked the Legislators what they made of the possibility of emancipation and my innate gloom made me think Congress might take up my impeachment and removal from office if I endorsed emancipation.
Once I knew that Jackson and Lee were with Varina and me. the conspiracy got underway. The generals would lead their Army into the North and hopefully meet and destroy the Army of the Potomac. Meanwhile, I would prepare the people of the South for a surprising revelation that would be announced if and when great news came from the Army of Northern Virginia.
Of course, it is a matter of history what Lee and Jackson did during the Four Days of Gettysburg. The dual movements on both ends of the enemy line on the second day lead to the dissolution and capture of the Army of the Potomac by the Fourth of July, 1863. Less favorable was the telegram I received from Joseph Johnston telling me that Vicksburg had fallen to the Yankees and that the whole Mississippi was now controlled by our enemies.
After the drama of the deaths of Union generals Reynolds, Sickles, Hooker and Hancock at Gettysburg, the noncaptured survivors of the Yankee Army abandoned rural Pennsylvania and Harrisburg, and crowded into Philadelphia as a garrison. For the moment, we owned that Yankee State and that fit in well with our plans.
On the last day of July 1863, in front of a crowd that made up the mass of the Army of Northern Virgnia, Imade the most important speech of my life, and for a generally good result. They yelled very loudly and cheered me for about an hour!
"Citizens and Soldiers, picked by God and His Son, Jesus Christ, to inhabit the most beautiful and bounteous country anywhere,
we Confederates are all born with God's greatest gift,
citizens in a republic where all of us are greater than monarchs or dictators.
As we separate from mammon worship and the political domination of the tyrannical majority,
We Confederates profess for others
the freedoms that we claim for ourselves,
and so we ask God for the wisdom and determination to free all members of our people
so that Slavery may end and we may all proceed to a new era of abundence".
I was excited at the close of my address, so I ended with a Rebel Yell, whereupon the Earth shook as my audience returned the sound of celebration.
In 1880, on this day the fourth President of the Confederate States of America, Pierre G.T. Beauregard of Louisiana was sworn into office in Montgomery, Alabama, on the elevated porch of the Alabama capitol building. The second president, Ruffin, had died of natural causes, but the other presidents (Davis and Longstreet) were there to see Beauregard be sworn into office by Chief Justice Judah Benjamin.
Gettysburg Prayer Part Seven by Raymond SpeerMuch of the argument in Confederate politics came from President Beauregard's insistance on a lottery run by the central government and sold in all CSA states. Uniformly, the rival Ctizens Party abhorred the notion that the central government would profit by gambling, and Virginia Senator John B. Gordon said that he and the men who fought for the South would prefer to be camping in a forest than relaxing in a hospital funded by gambling. The Readjusters passed their lottery proposal in the House that they dominated,but the Citizens used their CS Senate majority to stop dead the lottery.
More serious were state laws that the Citizens were enthusiastic for that curtailed the rights of Negroes. The South Carolina and Texas laws forbid Negroes to be lawyers, or doctors, or dentists and the South Carolinians restricted Negro teachers to Negro pupils only. Such laws were claimed to be a matter of the public's safety, though Readjusters noted early and often that there was no study that showed Negroes got into trouble by entering the law or medicine.
In the new State of Arizona, professional restrictions were rejected automatically, and the laws did not pass the legislatures of MS, AL, GA, TN due to Readjuster opposition. The State of Virginia, though usually aligned with the Citizens Party, did go contrary to the advice of their CS Senator, J.B. Gordon . and restored by a vote of the legislature suffrage for Negroes of thirty years oof age (while whites could vote at 21).
Beauregard got congressional approval to add the chief of the Soldier's and Sailor's Support Services to his Cabinet, and brought about an uproar in Richmond when he named Booker T. Washington to that post. The first Negro in the Cabinet was confirmed with a bare minimum of CS Senators "advising and consenting" to his selection, and many observers were surprised that Beauregard had chosen Washington, even though the Negro had performed excellently in raising a school for young Blacks in Tuskegee, Alabama.
The president had been worried that Citizens Party inclinations like alcohol prohibition and gambling bans were speading in Negro communities and thought that a favor to Booker Washington might act against that influence.
Up North, James Garfield held control of the Republican Party in 1880 and thwarted an attempt by ex-President Grant to be nominated for a third term. Congressman Garfield was elected President of the United States but lived only 200 days as President. Shot by a deranged office seeker, Garfield died 6 days after a bullet went into his back, and Vice President Chester Allan Arthur was sworn in as US President. (At Arthur's request, which had been confidentially relayed to Beauregard, there was no appearence by the CS President at Arthur's swearing in, as Arthur was loathe to give an support to conspiracy theories about a Rebel role in Guiteau's shooting.)
Far, far away in California, George Armstrong Custer, senior US general alive in the 1880s after Sherman and Sheridan died in a railcar accident, met and liked William Randolph Hearst. Blessed with the railroad and mining fortunes bequested him by his father, young Hearst threw his considerable weight behind the aging General, who still had presidential ambitions.
Following the death by natural causes of Benito Juarez, Mexico had passed into the possession of generals, who had again despoiled their land by separately seeking supreme power for themselves. Diaz died in a battle at the end of 1882 and Hearst had carried stories that California was threatened by the tyrant d'jour, the Governor of Baja California.
Chester Alan Arthur, we knoow from reading his confidential notes to his aides, was very skeptical of danger being present in the long desert pennisula at California's southern base. Aware of his weakness over the opposing wings of his Republican Party and mindful of the resolution passed by the Sacramento legislature warning of a "savage army" getting ready to penetrate southern California, Arthur sent an order to Custer authorizing a peace keeping misson to Baja.
In four months in 1883, General George Custer had marched from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas, conquering Baja California with 15,000 men and two battles. Over at Richmond, Virginia, and in Texas and Arizona, both Confederate Parties had decided that the USA would not be allowed to seize Baja California, though there was no sane reason why the USA would be mightier because California was larger.
On orders of President Beauregard, backed not by a declaration of war but by a resolution in both Houses of the Confederate Congress, the Army of Further Arizona was assembled and sent to Baja with the co-operation of the local Mexicans. In amphibious landings at Santa Rosalina and Loreto, CS General Frederick Benteen brought serious war to the peninsula.
Hearst's propagandists speedily revised their theories as to why the War was necessary to include a proposal that the Confederacy was planning to open annex all of Mexico on word that the United States had given up on Baja. At the same time, the Confederacy and the British and French media which was against the US grab for power reported that the North hoped the War would lead to the destruction of the CS. Inside of a month of the AFA's victories at Loreto, both sides hurried more cannon fodder to the previous quiet province.
Not until March of 1885 did the Two Powers agree to end their fighting.Thirty five thousand Union soldiers had fought thirty thousand CSA soldiers in Baja California. English Cemetaries contained ten thousand Union men and seven thousand Confederates, indicating a tendency among the Southerners to use their men to "charge and die"" in fighting the foe. The good news was that, in spite of ceaseless worry about the War getting wider distribution from the Pacific to the Atlantic, the peace had been maintained along the main borders between the belligerants.
Also importantly, Senator Gordon of Virginia, who had once gone so far as to recommend the expulsion of Negroes from the regular Army had been greatly impressed by the performance and enthusiasm of the South's Negro troops. After the Baja California War, the Citizen Party went along with benefits and pensions for the Negro soldiers and sailors who needed it, though they still stymied plans for a nation wide lottery contest every month.
In 1877, on this day the Confederate Battle Flag used by the Army of Northern Virginia was raised at the Annual Gettysburg Conference, and from that time onwards was the official symbol of the Confederate States of America. That flag, later referred as the "Southern Cross", was fashioned along an oblong pattern rather than the square style of most of the combat originals
Gettysburg Prayer Part Six by Raymond SpeerThe long serving Virginia state government was run by the Citizens Party and ran the Bank of Virginia, an institution which made deals with the other State Governments to provide them with a stable currency, some notes backed by silver and others by gold. The notes bore the inscription: "Confederate Legal Tender authorized by the Confederate Gov't per its Constitution, and issued and distributed by the Bank of Virginia". The gold bills featured pictures from Robert E. Lee from his youth to successful general, and the silver bills showed the images of John C. Calhoun, TJ Jackson and Johnston the Martyr at Shiloh.
Over time, the exchange stabilized at six Confederate gold dollars for one United States dollar, or 24 Confederate silver dollar notes for a single dollar.
Shortly after the currency was reformed , Florida and Texas both declared that they were not going to allow Negroes to vote in their precincts by the decision of their legislatures. That was in defiance of a law that had passed the central government back towards the close of Davis' Administration, a law which had long been cited as anti-thetical to the values of the CSA.
In October 1878, the Supreme Court of the Confederate States, presided over by Chief Justice Judah Benjamin (appointed by President Davis) ruled 7-0 that the central government did not have the authority to authorize voting registries anywhere in the South. "The Emancipation Amendment did many things for the Negro," wrote the Court per curiam, "but it did not transfer suffrage determination from the States to the central government".
President Longstreet's election had been made possible by the exercise of Negro suffrage, and the outcome of the BADGER ex rel. Florida decision appeared to have ruined the prospects for Readjuster re-election.
Lead by its very popular Governor, John Reagan, who had established the CS Post Office while in Jefferson Davis' Cabinet, Texas had passed a law disfranchising Negro voters. Florida and South Carolina had also passed that law and the only place such a proposal was likely to fail was in Arizona which had a Negro / Hispanic majority.
President James Longstreet worked hard to maintain Negro suffrage in the Confederacy. "The Gettysburg Prayer was the divine guidance we needed in our darkest hour," said Longstreet, "and I ask how can we forget it now?" To the contrary, asserted Governor John Reagan: the Citizen Party wanted the vote limited to the mentally sound and politically independent. "Possibly in another generation, the lawmakers of some State may rule that the Negroes are ready to vote. Possibly in another two or three generations, they may let ladies vote! [much laughter]. But till then, let us use good sense as Citizens, and not Readjuster zeal".
In Missouri, a State that had remained in the USA, the great controversy of 1878 were allegations that the rural families of James and Younger had careers as bank and train robbers in addition to farming. Four of the gang had been apprehended in Missouri but Jesse and Frank James had fled to Arkansas, and US President Rutherford Hayes had requested their return to Missouri.
Confederate Senator Louis Wigfall of Texas praised the James Brothers as Southern patriots heartlessly forced from their homes by the Yankee rape of Missouri. Though he had frequently criticized Davis and Ruffin when they had been presidents, Wigfall as he had grown older sharpened his loud opposition to Readjustment, and even voiced the opinion that "the Gettysburg Prayer has been immensely over rated".
On a public street, after leaving a tavern, Senator Wigfall spotted United States Minister Phillip Sheridan walking home from a quiet meal and fired a curious gun that was inside of his walking stick. Sheridan had been missed by the blast, but had heard Wigfall;s threats, and hopped on the back of the streetcar and blackened both of the Senator's eyes within seconds.
President Longstreet was grateful that Wigfall had finally shown the limits to which Citizens would go in extremes. Minister Sheridan did go back to the USA, but so did the James brothers and their mother, who werre also iplicated in their crimes.
Fortune smiled on the Readjusters when North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky all voted down Citizen efforts to disenfranchise Negroes. The Readjusters swiftly rallied around another Confederate General, Pierre GT Beauregard, who had served well as the Secretary of War. Beauregard chose as his Vice President John Hunt Morgan, a cavalry man he had favored since their days in the war.
There was a sprited contest for the Citizens presidential nomination, contested from the start between Jubal Early of Virginia and John H. Reagan of Texas, which was not concluded till the very eve of the convention. Reagan bypassed his rival for the Vice Presidency and chose Robert Toombs of Georgia instead.
Negroes throughout the South backed the Readjuster ticket, resisting the casual contempt by which the Citizens Party assumed they were not capable of voting intelligently. From far off New York, Frederick Douglass moved all the way to Arizona and took a oath of citizenship in that place. "From correspondence with Abraham Lincoln, I made myself the campaign director for the ReUnion Party in that area, which was nearing entry into the Confederacy. As a ReUnion man, I could freely and in good faith participate in the elections of either part of the country, knowing that our goal of consolidation would sooner or later bring us all together again".
Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina all went for John H. Reagan- Robert Toombs but Louisiana's reliability for Catholic Beauregard and unsuspected popularity of Morgan in the Border States enabled the Readjusters to win the presidential race. Counting only the top three votegetters, Beauregard had 48.5 per cent of the popular vote, Reagan took 46.4 per cent of the popular vote and Abraham Lincoln and John Singleton Mosby took 5.1 per cent for the ReUnion Party.
Lincoln-Mosby gathered not a single Confederate electoral vote in the 1879 contest, but confidently wrote to his separated nation that he thought he had planted a seed whereby a new framework would grow for a Combined America.
Also noticeable was the United States' revelation of its "batwing" project in November 1879's last days. The Yankees had waited until both President Longstreet and Beauregard had voiced disbelief in the rumors and sightings that Yankees had invented flying machines === for that matter,Governor John H.Reagan had likewise expressed doubts that the USA had such amazing machines in the air.
President Rutherford Hayes had shown the triumph of Yankee ingenuity and industry with the dozen bald-winged mechanical bats that were flown in patrol from Washington to Richmond and then back to Washington DC. More than a few people assumed that an earlier disclosure of the existance of Yankee flight machines would have scared people and elected John Reagan president.
In 1864, the House Judicary Committee passed articles of impeachment against President Abraham Lincoln.
Gettysburg Prayer Part Three by Raymond Speer(John Hays' Commentary, 1906.): The Tycoon [Abraham Lincoln] had been worried by the very positive response that Prime Minister Palmerston and Foreign Minister Russell
gave to Lee's vistory at Gettysburg. And the New York Draft Riots were terrible as they interupted our efforts to replenish our armed forces. But circumstances grew better for the Union in time.
Palmerston and Russell said little and did nothing. The skanky Irish used Lincoln's refusal of London's note as an excuse to break windows and steal goods and to assault Negroes foolish enough to remain in the vicinity of such human curs. General Grant had to use raw recruits to break those Celtic rebels, but Grant came through despite all setbacks.
President Lincoln kept the Government focused on the War and on restoring the Union. In the middle of December 1863, General Sherman fought hard to break the Rebel seige of the town of Chattanooga but failed by the slimmest of margins. The next March, 1864, the Rebels had been pushed from Chattanooga and federal army were marching in northern Georgia. Two months later, General Grant advanced towards Richmond and was stopped still by a collision with Lee and his Army.
Our nemesis arrived in pink memos and bills, most from New York. The Tycoon had neglected the Hellcat [his wife, Mary Lincoln] and ignored her from Gettysburg onwards. The Hellcat passed her time away by ordering the most expensive fabrics, carpets, curtains, china and dresses and promptly exceeded the budgets that Congress had set for the White House. Worse yet, she acted daft and incurred all the more bills.
The scandal of the ages broke over the First Lady's refusal to honor her debts. The Democratic minority made the most they could of that issue and the president was accused of uncontrolled expenditure also. It was also alleged that the Tycoon had overpaid for military supplies also.
During May. in the middle of the battle of Spotsylvania, the Judiciary Committee passed impeachment articles by a majority of both Republicans and Democrats on that Committee. The grounds were repeated excessive expenditure for White House goods and blame for that behavior fell on Lincoln as well as his wife.
Lincoln made a deal for both his wife and himself by which neither of them would be criminally presecuted and both be allowed to collect either a bonus or a pension. Lincoln's last appearence in Washington DC was at the swearing in ceremony of President Hannibal Hamlin.
By July 1864, I had been dismissed from the White House and replaced by Hamlin's own choice in secretaries. For the following months, Hamlin did his best to overcome Lincoln's unpopular legacy but McClellan prevailed.
In 1864, the Confederate House followed the CS Senate and two-thirds the Confederate States in passage of the Emancipation Amendment, which repealed every endorsement of slavery in the Confederate Constitution and established a prohibition against slavery or any sort of involuntary bondage.
Gettysburg Prayer Part Two by Raymond SpeerThe celebration of the Greatest Christmas Present continued in every Confederate State well into the new year of 1865, (Winston S. Churchill's Commentary, 1933.)
When the Confederate Congress returned to session, there were eight different bills of impeachment on file at the House Judiciary Committee to the effect that President Davis ought to be removed from office. It was pointed out that the president had disparaged the guarantees of slavery written into the CSA Constitution, and one complaint went to the core of the issue and declared Davis had gone insane for love of the Negro.
News of the Gettysburg Prayer were passed off as inconsequential by radical Republicans like Thaddeus Stevens, who grumbled that Southerners could admit that they were defeated and be rid of slavery without arguing the issue among themselves. The Lincolns held a reception for
General Grant, who was cheered on the assumption that he would soon take the battle to Lee. But every federal general was either dead (like Hancock) or in a Richmond jail like George Meade (whose nerves were shattered), so it was no easy matter to get a new federal Army ready to try to defeat Lee.
Around Washington DC went higher walls, deeper trenches, new artillery batteries and even telegraph lines to the new entrenchments. Though Lee have famously replenished his artillery by seizure of the heavy guns of the Army of the Potomac, Lee was hardly disposed to strike the fortress that was Washington and so quiet returned to the East theatre of the War.
At the next big battle between the Union and the Confederacy, Chickamauga on September 20, 1863, the South had reinforced its Western Army with Longstreet's Corps which featured Hood's Texas division and Pickett's Virginians. The men of Hood and Pickett co-operated and broke the position of Union General Thomas, putting out of commission the Army that Grant had great plans for.
The British Cabinet voted to offer the two sides in America the services of the British Foreign Officer as mediators to end the ongoing War. Made in the first week of October 1863, the British offer to act as a mediator was rejected by Abraham Lincoln two weeks later even as Davis accepted the proposal. The "People's Militia of New York, the ruffians and hooligans who had dominated the streets in most parts of the metropolis since the Gettysburg-caused shortage of Union regular troops, took up arms again when Lincoln spurned a peace conference and were reduced in urban combat by Yankee arms which encircled the city.
Adroit maneuvers by General Jackson's infantry and General Stuart's horse soldiers permitted the Confederacy to exploit eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey from their base in central Pennsylvania. While Grant used his talents and men to suppress rioters block by bloody block, Lee waited on the strategic periphery of New York, certain that his foe could not take any substantive maneuver against the Army of Northern Virginia.
The great successes of the winter of '63 and '64 were Stuart's rescue of 4,000 prisoners of war from a camp in the far north, and Jackson's candy raid, when Jackson's men had brought to the South so much in the way of supplies that many of the wagons were hauling candy!
Given time illuminated by victories, support grew for implementation of emancipation. Foes of Davis forced votes in Congress on the issue. The Senate gave an emancipation amendment majority support and the House was ten votes shy of a majority, but no one could argue that there was no reasonable support for the deal.
Negroes in gray uniforms were usually in garrisons in Confederate territory and public opinion was galvanized around Christmas when black Confederates near Trenton, New Jersey, atacked and ran off an equal number of federal white troops, who began reciting the Gettysburg Prayer on the field of battle.
In spite of everything, given the size of the Union's edge over the Confederacy in population and in productive capabity, the South still stared defeat in the face at the beginning of 1864.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.