Southern Victory (also called Timeline-191 after General Robert E. Lee's special order #191) is a collection of book series by Harry Turtledove starting in 1862 during the American Civil War, where the South (CSA) wins the war after allying itself with France and Britain, and ends with in 1944 following an alternate World War II, with the North (USA) winning the war after allying itself with Germany and Austria-Hungary.
- In How Few Remain (1881-1882) (1 book), the Confederate States defeat the USA again in a war instigated by the CSA'a purchase of the states of Chihuahua and Sonora from Mexico.
- In The Great War (1914-1917) (3 books), the USA fights along side Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire against the Quadruple Entente, which consist of the CSA, France, England, and Russia.
- American Empire (1918-1941) (3 books) deals with the aftermath of the Great War, where the CSA faces limitations not unlike those placed Germany after the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. It sees the creation of the Freedom Party, and the rise of Jake Featherston to power.
The War of Secession Edit
- series: How Few Remain
- 1862: Special Order-191 is recovered by a Confederate soldier. (In our actual history the Union discovery of that order enabled the Army of the Potomac to turn back the Army of Northern Virginia's invasion of the north in the Battle of Antietam.) The Army of the Potomac is later crushed at the Battle of Camp Hill enabling the Confederacy to capture Philadelphia and to win diplomatic recognition from France and Great Britain. The United States are forced to grant the Confederacy independence.
The Uneasy Peace Edit
- series: How Few Remain
- 1863: Canada is created.
- 1864: Abraham Lincoln (then Republican) is beaten at the presidential election by Horatio Seymour (Democrat).
- 1870s: Cuba is bought by the Confederate States.
- 1871: Germany unified into a single sovereign state (as in OTL - Original Time-Line).
- 1881: James G. Blaine (Republican), known for his hardline anti-Confederacy policies, becomes President of the USA.
- series: How Few Remain
- 1881 : The CSA purchases Sonora and Chihuahua from the Mexican Empire for $3,000,000. The USA uses the purchase as a pretext for declaring war upon the Confederacy.
- 1882: James Longstreet enters the CSA into an alliance with Britain and France. This results in a victory for the Confederacy once more. Part of northern Maine is lost to Canada. The only major victory for the U.S in the war was in Montana, where forces under Theodore Roosevelt and George Armstrong Custer were able to repel the British invaders, albeit after the official end of the war. The USA creates an alliance with the German Empire. As part of its negotiations with France and England ,the Confederacy phases out slavery, although heavy segregation remains. The day of the Armistice (April 22) becomes Remembrance Day in the USA. It is treated as a somber commemoration holiday.
In the aftermath of the war, the Republican party splits in the USA, with the Socialist Party forming under leadership of former President Abraham Lincoln. Democrats become an ongoing majority party. The Confederacy keeps their new Mexican states and makes plans to build railway from Texas to the Gulf of California / Pacific Ocean.
Before the Great War Edit
- series: none
- 1882: Former President Abraham Lincoln splits Republican Party, forming a new Socialist Party. CSA builds railway connecting Texas with port city of Guaymas, Sonora, on the Pacific coast.
- 1894: The CSA attempts to build a canal crossing through Central America, but this plan is shelved after the USA threatens war.
- 1901(?): Hispano-Japanese War. Japan wins, and as a result hold on to Chosen and Formosa (Korea and Taiwan in OTL), Guam, and the Philippines.
- 1903: Russia joins Britain / France / Confederacy to form the alliance known as the Quadruple Entente.
- 1909: Woodrow Wilson elected president of the Confederacy.
- 1912: Theodore Roosevelt elected president of the USA.
The Confederacy aligns with Britain / France / Russia in the Quadruple Entente. By necessity, the USA allies with Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. US Military reorganized along German lines.
- series: The Great War
- June 28: Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Pro-Serbian terrorists hit Franz Ferdinand's car with a bomb (in OTL the bombers fail, and the Archduke is instead shot by Gavrilo Princip, a member of the same cell).
- Late July: Mobilization of the USA and Germany.
- August: The Austro-Hungarian Empire accuses Serbia of backing the assassination; this leads to war between the two. The Alliance system means that Russia, France and Britain side with Serbia and Germany with Austro-Hungary. The United States declare war on the Confederate States and Canada (England), and launch an invasion of both countries; in the CSA, Kentucky and western Virginia are attacked. The Confederates launch a counter-invasion through Maryland and Pennsylvania, and succeed in occupying Washington, DC. In the Pacific Ocean, the USA captures the Sandwich Islands (Hawai'i) from Britain.
As presaged by the attempted invasion of Kentucky by the USA in 1882, trench warfare soon develops on most fronts in North America. The series concentrates on the deadlock on the Maryland / Pennsylvania border, the Kentucky front, the Roanoke Valley front, and skirmishes in Sequoyah (OTL Oklahoma).
- Winter: The armies on the North American continent are slowed down by the cold. In both Europe and North America Christmas truces bring the fighting to a tantalizingly temporary halt.
- Early part of the year: Utah attempts to secede from the USA in rebellion. US Army troops are sent to quash the rebellion.
- Autumn: Red Rebellion of the black population of the Confederacy. Communist cells pop up throughout the South, particularly in areas with a high black population.
The war remains stalemated, with American forces unable to break through to Guaymas, Nashville, Washington, DC, Winnipeg, Montreal, or Quebec City. Use of poison gas merely causes increased misery for the infantrymen.
Stalemate remained the rule on all fronts. Even a new USA invention, the barrel (OTL Tank), did not live up to expectations due to poor tactical deployment. The only progress took place in the West, where the Mormons were crushed and US forces made progress in Texas and Sequoya. The Confederacy is forced to divert military resources to take on the Red forces rampaging throughout many parts of the South.
Thanks to a rare flash of insight by aging General George Custer, the US Army finally learns to deploy barrels en-masse. US forces under Custer finally smash through Confederate lines in Tennessee, seizing Nashville. In Canada, Winnipeg and Quebec City fall, and a puppet Quebec government declares independence from Canada. Soon the Confederacy's ally, France, is forced to capitulate to the Germans (in OTL, American soldiers reinforce the French by this time). Using Custer's barrel tactics, a breakthrough is achieved in Maryland, and Washington, DC, is retaken by US forces. Despite a last-minute use of Negro soldiers by the CSA, the war is lost by late 1917.
The Confederates fared quite poorly in the aftermath of the Great War. Areas north of the Rappahannock River in Virginia were added to West Virginia; Kentucky re-joined the Union; Sequoya was seized; and portions of West Texas joined the Union as the new state of Houston.
- series: American Empire
Just as in our own time-line, the initial euphoria after the Great War soon collapses into a Great Depression. Among the former members of the defeated Quadruple Entente, the Confederacy and Great Britain develop nascent Fascist movements. In the Confederacy, the newly formed Freedom Party exploits racial animosity and the memory of the Red Negro uprisings of 1915-16. This gains the attention of the very bitter Jake Featherston. The Confederacy begins to rearm.
- series: Settling Accounts
Similar themes by other writersEdit
Prof. James M. McPherson, an expert on the American Civil War at Princeton University, dealt with the same subject in the essay "If the secret orders had not been lost" (published in "What if?", New York, 1999; reprinted in "What ifs? of American History", New York 2003). McPherson's account of what might have been is slightly different in military details fron Turtledove's (Lee does not occupy Philadephia, as in the preface to "How Few Remain", but fights the Battle of Gettysburg one year ahead of schedule, resulting in an overwhelming Confederate victory). McPherson's thesis, however, is the same as Turtledove's: had Lee not lost the orders, he would have gained a victory impressive enough to make Britain and France recognise the Confederacy, forcing Lincoln to concede defeat in the war as a whole. McPherson's account stops at that point.
McPherson briefly mentions an opposite scenario, also concerning Special Order 191. As he notes, in OTL Union General McClellan failed to make full use of having possession of Lee's secret orders, instructing the Army of Northern Virginia to separate into several detachments and detailing the route each of these detachments was to take. While McClellan did stop Lee's advance and inflicted a defeat on him, it was not a decisive one, and Lee's army remained very much a going concern, able to fight on for three more years. McPherson argues that had Lee's lost orders been delivered to a more energetic and decisive Union general than McClellan, he might have used the same information to engage and defeat the different sections of Lee's army, destroy it altogether as a fighting force and possibly kill or capture Lee himself. That would have left Virginia and the Confederate capital Richmond highly vulnerable already in 1862, and might have considerably hastened the Northern victory. In that case, the Civil War may have ended before the Emancipation Proclamation, and slavery would have remained in being even though the North won the war - with far reaching consequences for later American history. However, neither McPherson nor anyone else ever explored these possibilities in detail.