What if the South Had Won the Civil War? Part 2

About what might have happened if the South had on the American Civil War, an alternate history of the United States.

WHAT IF . . . ?

What If the South Had Won the Civil War?

Bloodshed continued for several more months in a tug-of-war over the allegiance of border states, but by the fall of 1863 a new frontier was firmly established. Popular vote had decided that Missouri and Kansas were to remain with the North and that West Virginia would be admitted to the Union. The Confederacy annexed Maryland and Kentucky and took possession of Washington, D. C.--thenceforth known as the District of Dixie. An official treaty establishing the two independent countries was signed by the 13 Confederate states on Dec. 28 and by the 22 U. S. states on Dec. 30.

Lincoln's former vice-president, Hannibal Hamlin, served as the new president of the U. S. and led the debate over relocation of the national capital, which had been temporarily set up at Philadelphia. In March of 1864, the permanent site was at last decided upon: Columbus, O.--renamed Columbia. Due to the vast expense of establishing the new capital, Secretary of State William Seward was forced to discard his plans for buying Russian America. All agreed that construction of the capital took precedence over the purchase of an "iceberg."

Meanwhile, Lincoln--who had been incarcerated in Richmond--returned to Springfield, Ill. Although still subject to derision and ridicule, he quietly resumed his law practice and was beginning to enjoy the pleasures of private life when he was shot in the back of the head on Apr. 14, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth, a psychotic actor with an unquenchable hatred of the former President.

The Confederacy had won the war, but it was not destined to enjoy a trouble-free future. For the remainder of Jefferson Davis's administration, interstate quarrels were a constant occurrence. When the ever popular Lee assumed the presidency in 1868, the Confederacy enjoyed a period of superficial tranquillity, but the underlying difficulties continued to exist.

Of particular concern was the status of Texas. Rankled by the constraints of any centralized government, Texas was traditionally a part of the South but economically more closely tied to the U. S.--which provided a ready market for its vast herds of cattle. The Texans made clear their desire for autonomy by stationing a contingent of 1,500 armed Rangers at strategic points throughout the Indian Territory. It was a direct violation of a U. S.-Confederate agreement forbidding deployment of troops in the territory. Both North and South officially protested and even made halfhearted preparations for war, but the idea of starting a full-scale conflict over this undesirable wasteland was not inviting. When Texas declared its independence on Apr. 21, 1878, and claimed the Indian Territory for its own, the Union and the Confederacy were more relieved than upset.

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