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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: December 17th, 2017, 9:01 pm
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Location: Spokane Valley, Washington, US
1870-1880:

US National Overview:
In the first full decade following the Civil War, the United States resumed its expansion west to the Pacific, but with a new urgency – although the Secession Treaty allowed the US to retain the territories it controlled in 1861, many in Washington were concerned that the newly independent Confederate States of America wouldn’t remain content with the New Mexico and Arizona territories granted it under the Treaty and would seek to acquire additional land. As a result all the previously unorganized land under US control quickly became established territories with provisional governments and statehood was quickly green lighted for Nebraska in 1867 and Colorado four years later.
In addition, in order to promote large scale settlements and economic growth in the new territories, the McClellan Administration gave priority was given to completing the Trans-Continental Railroad which connected Omaha, Nebraska with Sacramento, California. The railroad was completed by mid-1868 and within a few years was making a dramatic impact on the nation’s economy as well as allowing greater population growth in the West.
Politically, the US was Democratically-controlled throughout the decade, retaining both the White House and a majority in the US Congress. Policy ran to conservatism and cost-cutting, although investment and infrastructure funding in the Western US remained high, as did military spending due to the continued presence of a potentially hostile Confederacy. This reflected the country’s drift toward a doctrine of “containment” of Confederate expansion. Diplomatically, US intervention in the Mexican-Confederate War led to closer ties with the Mexican Republic, although the country remained largely isolationist in regard to the rest of the world.

Presidents:
George B. McClellan (D-NJ) 1865-1873
Benjamin Butler (D-MA) 1873-1877
Samuel J. Tilden (D-NY) 1877-1881

Vice-Presidents:
Thomas H. Seymour (D-CT) 1865-1868 [D]
Office vacant 1868-1869
Benjamin Butler (D-MA) 1869-1873
Sanford E. Church (D-NY) 1873-1877
James Bayard Jr. (D-DE) 1877-1880 [D]
Office vacant 1880-1881

Political party abbreviations: D-Democratic Party; R-Republican Party; P-Progressive Party
Key: A: Assassinated; D: Died in office; I: Impeached; R: Resigned; S: Succeeded to presidency

States admitted (year):
Nebraska (1867), Colorado (1871)

Other acquired territory:
Alaska: purchased from Russia in 1867, territory from 1879


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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: December 17th, 2017, 9:19 pm
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Location: Spokane Valley, Washington, US
CS National Overview:
After successfully gaining its independence from the United States, the Confederate States of America (CS) would take a collective deep breath before plunging headlong into expansion. Territories retained after the Civil War were quickly admitted as states – by 1875 the CS had grown from the original seven seceding states to sixteen – but found that further expansion into the unorganized territories controlled by the prewar US was stymied by similar efforts in the North. Nevertheless, the CS quickly sponsored land grants and homesteads permits in the new states to build up the population.
Like the US, the Confederacy wanted to build a trans-continental railroad linking the eastern half of the country with the developing west. Beginning in St. Joseph, Missouri (a proposed eastern terminus for the US transcontinental railroad) in 1871 the new government-controlled Confederate States National Railroad (CSNR) was constructed south into Texas and across the Sonora Desert to terminate in the city of Tucson, Arizona, where the line was officially opened in early 1878.
Politically, the most important event of this decade for the CS was the Mexican-Confederate War of 1877-1879. A desire to expand the country’s influence became a platform of the new Confederation Party – founded by former US Vice-President John Breckinridge when he ran as Alexander Stevens’s running mate in the 1867 elections. It was Breckinridge’s successor, however, who successfully lobbied for the invasion, and after the War, for quick assimilation of the acquired territories into the CSA.


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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: December 17th, 2017, 9:42 pm
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Location: Spokane Valley, Washington, US
[ img ]
Link to original map at d-maps.com http://d-maps.com/m/america/mexico/mexi ... ique22.gif

Mexican-Confederate War 1877-1879:
In the years following the Civil War, the Confederacy actively supported the French in their efforts in Mexico to establish a French-allied monarchy. They established diplomatic relations with Emperor Maximilian I who seized on the opportunity an alliance with a friendly America would bring. Unfortunately for Maximilian, the French, and the CSA, the Mexican Republic under the leadership of former president Benito Juarez overthrew the monarchy leading to French withdrawal and the execution of Maximilian.
Following the re-establishment of the Mexican Republic and the re-installation of Juarez as president, the CS President, Alexander Stevens, established diplomatic relations with the Republic – but it was all a smoke screen as preliminary plans for occupying the country were already underway – all the Confederate government needed was an excuse.
In 1876, a coup placed former Mexican Republic Army general Porfirio Diaz in power – supplanting the legitimately elected president. When word reached Richmond, CS President Judah Benjamin launched a year long mobilization of the Confederate military – dramatically increasing the number of cavalry and artillery regiments and new recruiting with the goal of creating a 100,000 man force for the main invasion and a 20,000 man force to be landing on the Mexican Gulf Coast.
On March 20, 1877, one month after Diaz assumed power, the invasion began. Confederate forces under General James Longstreet quickly overwhelmed the disorganized Republic Army – still in disarray following the coup. Within three months, the Confederates had overrun the northernmost Mexican states with the exception of Baja, but gradually, resistance stiffened and progress was slowed greatly.
Meanwhile, the US had almost immediately condemned the invasion and pledged to support Mexico – but what form that support would take was unclear. The new US President, Samuel Tilden, was at first unwilling to commit the country militarily even if Congress would support him – which was in doubt.
While the US debated what to do, the second phase of the Confederate Mexican Campaign was launched. Although the War was primarily a ground conflict, it did provide the CS Navy with valuable experience operating as a wartime fleet and in coordinating with the Army in joint operations.
This was critical when in April of 1878 the First Assault Regiment under the command of Brigadier General Joseph Shelby was successfully landed at Veracruz by troop ships escorted by a squadron of ships under Rear Admiral Isaac Brown. This squadron – which consisted of nearly the entire active Confederate Navy save for the Civil War-era casemate rams unable to make the journey – was commanded by Brown from the new armored frigate CSS Savannah and would spend the majority of the War suppressing coastal forts as Mexico’s small navy was in as much disarray as the army and was considered a non-factor.
Shelby’s forces made good progress and the Republic Army was forced to shift substantial manpower south to protect the capital of Mexico City and try and dislodge the Confederates in Veracruz. This was a classic, albeit unavoidable error, and the main CS force quickly broke through the thinly defended Mexican lines and by the beginning of 1879 were marching to Mexico City in an attempt to lay siege to the capital. By July of that year, a breakout from Veracruz and steady progress by Longstreet saw the Confederates reaching the Federal District containing Mexico City from three directions while a small detachment had secured most of Baja – the furthest territory Confederate troops were able to occupy.

The Battle of Veracruz:
July of 1879 also saw the first (and only) true ship to ship battle of the War. A brilliant young captain, Hector Alejandro Martinez, had spent the previous eighteen months in a desperate effort to mobilize the Republic Navy. Now he was finally able to go on the offensive.
By this point in the conflict, the CS Navy had grown somewhat complacent, and although completely outclassed by the Confederate squadron, Martinez planned to use his four gunboats in a nighttime ambush. Shortly after midnight on July 13, 1879, the attack was launched, hastily promoted Commodore Martinez’s flagship – the Democrata – leading the Independencia, Libertad, and Mexico into Veracruz Harbor where they confronted Admiral Brown’s ships.
Although the Confederates were caught by surprise, the outcome was predictable, but Martinez fought well – using his ships small size and maneuverability to his advantage. Another factor in the Mexicans favor was the fact that one of the two CS frigates present, CSS Memphis, had been detached back to Mobile a week earlier with engine trouble. This still left the Savannah, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Sumter present, however, leaving the Mexican force severely outgunned. Within two hours, all of Martinez’s ships had been sunk or severely damaged in exchange for a minor to moderate damage to the Confederate ships. Martinez then took Democrata’s helm himself, ordered all but the engineering crew to abandon ship and swung toward Savannah intending to ram the Confederate flagship. Lashing the helm, Martinez and the remaining crew jumped overboard as every weapon on Savannah that could be brought to bear cut loose – but it was too late. The collision touched off Democrata’s powder stores annihilating the Mexican ship, but heavily damaging her opponent in the explosion. Brown was forced to transfer his flag to Mississippi and the next day – despite the Herculean efforts of her crew – Savannah capsized and sank.
The loss of a brand new armored frigate was an embarrassment for the CS Navy and Brown was immediately recalled to face a board of inquiry – being replaced by Commodore James Forrester. As for Martinez, he and his men evaded capture and headed south. He became a hero in Mexico overnight and when the story reached the United States, almost a celebrity. Called the Mexican John Paul Jones, Martinez would continue to serve in the postwar Republic Navy and eventually became the Naval Attaché for Mexico in Washington DC following the normalization of relations.

End of the War and aftermath:
Despite the Pyrrhic victory at Veracruz, the outcome of the War seemed a foregone conclusion when the United States – fearful that a CSA conquest of Mexico would lead to further “adventures” even into South America – decided finally to intervene. An ultimatum was delivered to CS President Benjamin stating simply that unless the Confederacy agreed to an immediate cease-fire and peace negotiations – the US would “Finish what was begun eighteen years ago”. Lacking the political and military will to take on the US again, Benjamin agreed to the proposal. A cease-fire was enacted August 3, 1879 with peace negotiations sponsored by the US beginning in Baltimore two months later.
The resulting Treaty of Baltimore, signed January 12, 1880, ceded control of the six northernmost Mexican states to the CSA in exchange for a promise not to attempt to invade or occupy the remainder of Mexico and a requirement to pay reparations to the Republic government for the next fifty years.

US Navy 1870-1880:
Although the US government would have preferred to slash military spending following the Civil War, the presence of a now independent Confederacy made that impossible. Instead, the US would capitalize on her greater industry and economy to try and stay ahead of the CS.
The greatest change this decade would be the acquisition of new construction armored frigates to replace the Civil War-era wooden steam frigates still in commission. At the same time, the number of monitors and steam sloops of war was kept more or less constant while gunboats were pared down to include only the newest ships.
By 1880, the US Navy comprised a total of 88 active combatants; 26 monitors, 14 armored frigates of the Brandywine and Oliver Perry classes, 23 steam sloops, and 25 gunboats.

CS Navy 1870-1880:
As the 1870’s began, the CS Navy was determined to become a viable blue water force, but the state of the Confederate shipbuilding industry was still too immature to allow a massive increase in the size of the fleet. In addition, although the CS Navy had 17 ironclads in commission, most were the war-built casemate rams that were unsuited to anything other than harbor and river duties.
To address these issues, in 1869 the Secretary of the CS Navy sought authorization for two long-term projects. First, a new class of sea-going ironclads would be contracted with local shipbuilders in order to expand domestic warship construction and procurement, and second, assistance would be sought from the CSA’s two principle allies in Europe, Britain and France, for technical help in designing and building state of the art warships, with most to be built overseas until the Confederacy’s own shipbuilders could take over.
The first program was approved immediately, and in late 1870, design work began on what would become the Memphis class of armored frigates. This was an ambitious project for the period, and would lead to protracted design and building times for the new ships.
As the decade continued, older raiding cruisers (including Alabama – which was retained as a museum ship in Mobile) and casemate rams were decommissioned but this was balanced by the eventual commissioning of the Memphis class and the first product of the foreign assistance and acquisition program – the A Class torpedo boats.
By the end of the decade the Confederate fleet consisted of 29 active combatants; 4 armored frigates, 4 ironclads, 10 casemate rams, 3 cruisers, and 8 torpedo boats.


Last edited by StealthJester on December 22nd, 2017, 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: December 17th, 2017, 9:49 pm
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Joined: December 22nd, 2014, 12:25 am
Location: Spokane Valley, Washington, US
Brandywine class (US):
[ img ]

When they commissioned between 1872 and 1873, the eight-ship Brandywine class represented a curious mix of advanced and outdated concepts. Intended to replace the remaining war-built wooden steam frigates of the Maine (ex-Wampanoag) and Java classes, they were the last traditional broadside battery ships built for the US and the first to use extensive iron framing in their hulls. Legendary clipper ship builder Donald McKay was brought in to refine the hull design as speed was a priority requirement. His influence could be seen in the graceful lines of these ships, “the most beautiful in the fleet” in the words of one admiral.

The class included; Brandywine, Constellation, Essex, Independence, Hornet, Bonhomme Richard, Macedonian, and Constitution. All had been named for sail frigates of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 era. They were 325 feet long overall and displaced 3,979 tons normal and 4,215 tons full load. They were armed with two 11” Dahlgren smoothbores on pivot mounts which could be hidden behind partly armored shields when reloading. The broadside battery consisted of eighteen updated 100-pounder Parrott rifles with four 60-pounder Parrotts as bow and stern chasers.
Propulsion was provided by two twin-cylinder compound engines producing 3,060 horsepower driving twin-shafts. Design speed was 14 knots but all these ships exceeded that in service. They had a reputation as the fastest ships in the Navy and the speed demon of the class was undoubtedly USS Essex. In mid-1876 in calm seas off Cape Cod and under full sail she reportedly reached 17 knots – although this has been in dispute ever since (one Confederate admiral calling such claims “so much Yankee hogwash”). They carried 530 tons of coal which gave them a range under steam of 1,950 nautical miles. These ships carried a three-mast barque-rig, but like the CS Navy’s North Carolinas, used tripod lower masts instead of conventional shrouds. Armor was of the wrought-iron type common for this period and consisted of a 5” thick eight foot 3 inch deep belt which tapered to 4” at bow and stern. Crew complement was 325.

After entering service these ships served primarily in the Atlantic although several made goodwill visits to various Caribbean and Central American nations and during the Mexican-Confederate War, Hornet and Constitution provided a vital link between the Republic government and Washington.
After the War, the Brandywines continued in front-line service. During the 1885-1886 refits their sail rig was simplified to a topsail schooner plan and their outdated guns were replaced with modern 8” and 6” breach-loaders. Extensive rebuilds on their machinery were postponed due to cost and several of the class began suffering from frequent breakdowns as crews tied to maintain the ships reputations (often to excess) with the most notorious incident being a impromptu 1889 race between USS Bonhomme Richard and the brand-new armored cruiser USS Montpelier which resulted in the former being towed back to Boston by the latter after a complete engine failure.
By 1895, with continued machinery issues coupled with the fact that these ships were functionally obsolete, the Navy decided to retire them. Decommissioned beginning in 1896, the Brandywines languished in ordinary for the next several years before being sold off and scrapped. However, one – appropriately the Essex – was spared. With her engines rebuilt, she served the Naval Academy at Annapolis as a gunnery training ship. Rechristened USS Harvard, she served another ten years before retiring for the final time.


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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: December 19th, 2017, 12:42 am
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Location: Spokane Valley, Washington, US
Greetings!

Some additional CSA info I had trouble posting earlier:

Presidents:
Alexander Stevens; no party-GA (1868-1874)
John C. Breckinridge; C-KY (1874-1875) D
Judah P. Benjamin; C-LA (1875-1880)

Vice-Presidents:
John C. Breckinridge; C-KY (1868-1874)
Judah P. Benjamin; C-LA (1874-1875) S
Office vacant (1875-1880)

Political party abbreviations: C-Confederation Party; S-States First; CR-Confederation-Reform Party; RF-Reform Party; F-Foundation Party
Key: A: Assassinated; D: Died in office; I: Impeached; R: Resigned; S: Succeeded to presidency

States admitted (year):
Oklahoma (1870), New Mexico (1875), Arizona (1875)

Other acquired territory:
Six Mexican states: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Temaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Sonora, Baja California, all ceded to the CSA following Mexican-Confederate War, all become Confederate territories in 1880.

Cheers!
StealthJester


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Rob2012
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: December 19th, 2017, 1:05 am
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Nice job on the Brandywine class. Are we going to see the Memphis class to?


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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: December 19th, 2017, 1:18 am
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Location: Spokane Valley, Washington, US
Thanks for the question - yes, I plan on drawing the Confederate Memphis class armored frigates, but first I have one more US class to do for this period (1870-1880).

Stay tuned!

Cheers!
StealthJester


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odysseus1980
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: December 19th, 2017, 1:40 am
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Joined: November 8th, 2010, 8:53 am
Location: Athens,Hellenic Kingdom
A question:

What does "impeached" means as you tell above;


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Rob2012
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: December 19th, 2017, 1:54 am
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StealthJester wrote: *
Thanks for the question - yes, I plan on drawing the Confederate Memphis class armored frigates, but first I have one more US class to do for this period (1870-1880).

Stay tuned!

Cheers!
StealthJester
I take it that will be the Oliver Perry class?


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odysseus1980
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: December 19th, 2017, 2:54 am
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Location: Athens,Hellenic Kingdom
Look in the timeline, we still are in 19th Century. Warship names occasionally recycled several times in history.


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