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Gabriel Semmes
Fictional Character
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): American Front
through
Blood and Iron
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Confederate States
Date of Birth: 19th century
Occupation: Politician
Relatives: Raphael Semmes (grandfather?)
Political Party: Whig Party
Political Office(s): Vice President of the Confederate States,
President of the Confederate States

Gabriel Semmes was the 10th President of the Confederate States, serving from 1916 to 1922. His term was marred by the CSA's defeat in the Great War and the subsequent loss of territory to the United States.

Semmes was a life-long Whig politician. He was a relative of Raphael Semmes, a C.S. naval hero of the War of Secession, and like many Whig politicians in the C.S., Gabriel Semmes used his name to great political advantage. He developed a reputation for activism, which gained him the office of Vice President in 1909, under Woodrow Wilson. When the Great War broke out in 1914, the country enthusiastically embraced Wilson's idealistic war aims, expecting a brief war. However, by 1915, it quite clear that the war would be stretching on for some time, and that the next president would inherit the unfinished conflict. That president would also inherit the Red Rebellion, when the country's black population launched an uprising based on Marxist principles just before the elections.

Semmes handily defeated his opponent, Doroteo Arango, in the 1915 election. While the Red Rebellion was effectively put down in 1916, the Great War still dragged on. By the end of 1916, the C.S. was in a bad way. Although the U.S. took more casualties than the C.S., and even considering that the U.S. was fighting in Canada, the U.S. still outnumbered the C.S. 3 to 1. Semmes realized that the only way to keep the C.S. in the fight was to conscript and arm black troops. In order to do this, Semmes also had to offer citizenship to the veterans. He introduced a bill to the Confederate congress, asking for backing from some of the more progressive elements of the Whig party, including Anne Colleton. The bill passed through both houses of Congress with little change, and Semmes signed it into law. Nonetheless, Semmes fell out of favor with the white soldiers and sailors who had put the Red Rebellion down.

Unfortunately, by this time, the U.S. had developed barrels, using them to achieve breakthroughs on multiple fronts. Alternatively, the black soldiers, undertrained and inexperienced, were not used successfully in the front lines, further incurring the wrath of the white veterans. When C.S. allies France and Russia fell out of the war in 1917, Semmes sent feelers to U.S. Congresswoman Flora Hamburger, seeking a peace agreement that was less harsh than U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt sought. When Hamburger brought Semmes' unofficial proposal to Roosevelt, Roosevelt turned it down.

After the C.S. fell to the United States' decisive Barrel Roll Offensives, Semmes had no choice but to accept peace on Roosevelt's terms. The C.S was forced to disarm and give up substantial territory, including the states of Kentucky and Sequoyah, as well as parts of northern Virginia, Arkansas, Sonora, and part of the pan-handle of Texas (which the U.S. christened the new state of Houston). Semmes left office a hated and disgraced man.

Literary commentEdit

While Gabriel Semmes' family history is never discussed in the text, Harry Turtledove has suggested in interviews that the character is a fictional grandson of the historical Confederate States Navy Admiral Raphael Semmes.

Political offices
(Southern Victory)
Preceded by
Woodrow Wilson
President of the Confederate States
1916-1922
Succeeded by
Wade Hampton V
Preceded by
Unknown;
last known is
Lucius Q.C. Lamar
Vice President of the Confederate States
1910-1916
Succeeded by
Unknown;
next known is
Burton Mitchel
Party political offices
(Southern Victory)
Preceded by
Woodrow Wilson
Whig Party Presidential Candidate
1915 (won)
Succeeded by
Wade Hampton V
Preceded by
Unknown
Whig Party Vice Presidential Candidate
1909 (won)
Succeeded by
Unknown;
next known is
Burton Mitchel


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