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Alternate History Richmond Falls Early, 1864

ChrisNuttall

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I was recently reading Hymns of the Republic (Gwynne, 2019) and it raised an interesting possibility. A Union force, under the command of General Butler in 1864, found itself in a position to take both Richmond and Petersburg during the fighting in the Wilderness, a bold stroke that appealed to Butler’s instincts. Unforcunately for Butler, his subordinates rejected the concept and he found himself unable to take the Confederate capital and cut Lee’s supply lines until it was far too late, prolonging the war.

What if he’d taken Richmond?

More interestingly, given Butler was an ardent abolitionist, what if he was the one in command of the post-war South?

Chris
 

WolfBear

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More interestingly, given Butler was an ardent abolitionist, what if he was the one in command of the post-war South?
Didn't Reconstruction go as good as it could have went for the Radical Republicans? I mean, they pushed through Amendments #13, #14, and #15 and also came very close to desegregating the schools throughout the entire US in 1874 by including this in the 1875 Civil Rights Act. (They subsequently backed away from this after their heavy losses in the 1874 midterm elections.)
 

Atarlost

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Didn't Reconstruction go as good as it could have went for the Radical Republicans? I mean, they pushed through Amendments #13, #14, and #15 and also came very close to desegregating the schools throughout the entire US in 1874 by including this in the 1875 Civil Rights Act. (They subsequently backed away from this after their heavy losses in the 1874 midterm elections.)
It could have gone a lot better if the people who were going to fund the political campaigns that overturned almost all the good Reconstruction did had been hanged for treason at the appropriate time or at least their slave worked states at least confiscated and used to set up the slaves as financially independent or at least as stockholders in corporate farms.
 

History Learner

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I was recently reading Hymns of the Republic (Gwynne, 2019) and it raised an interesting possibility. A Union force, under the command of General Butler in 1864, found itself in a position to take both Richmond and Petersburg during the fighting in the Wilderness, a bold stroke that appealed to Butler’s instincts. Unforcunately for Butler, his subordinates rejected the concept and he found himself unable to take the Confederate capital and cut Lee’s supply lines until it was far too late, prolonging the war.

What if he’d taken Richmond?

More interestingly, given Butler was an ardent abolitionist, what if he was the one in command of the post-war South?

Chris
He tried, unfortunately for the Army of the James, Beauregard and several thousand Confederate reservists had something to say about it. Best opportunity in my opinion was during the Battle of the Crater.
 

WolfBear

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He tried, unfortunately for the Army of the James, Beauregard and several thousand Confederate reservists had something to say about it. Best opportunity in my opinion was during the Battle of the Crater.
If this happens during the Crater battle, what effect will this have on the civil war as well as on the 1864 election campaign?
 

bintananth

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He tried, unfortunately for the Army of the James, Beauregard and several thousand Confederate reservists had something to say about it. Best opportunity in my opinion was during the Battle of the Crater.
Ben Butler was also one of the worst field commanders the Union had. He basically got and kept his position because of politics. The Union leadership made sure he had a highly visible position but also made sure that he was kept away from anything vitally important.

Richmond-Petersburg qualifies as vitally important.

As for the Crater ...

Burnside's division commanders fucked that one up. They were off getting drunk instead of oh, I don't know, actually doing their jobs and leading their troops. That's on top of Meade interfering with Burnside's plan for which units were supposed to do what at the last minute.
 
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