American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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Conflicts: American Civil War
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Re-enactors & Tours
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Civil War weapons
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Mysteries: Lost Gold, Medal Detectors
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Civil War Battles
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Commanders, Generals, Leaders
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Lincoln & his assassination
  · Abraham Lincoln
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Warfare & Wartime
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Naval Warfare
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  · Confederacy Today
  · Why Confederacy Lost
Archives, Letters, History
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Causes of Civil War
  · Causes & Origins
  · Slavery: American History
  · What If - Scenarios
Civil War Now: Aftermath
  · Aftermath: Reconstruction
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Misc Civil War History
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  · RIP: Remains
  · Facts: Strange & Rare
  · Technology


What If - Scenarios - American Civil War

Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

With its riches, California came close to joining the South
Each month, 3-4 steamships set sail from San Francisco loaded with millions worth of gold, wealth that fueled the Union's economic engine during the American Civil War. Even General Ulysses S. Grant was grateful for California's contribution to the war effort: "I do not know what we would do in this great national emergency were it not for the gold sent from California." But all that cash could have gone to the other side. Though most history books glide over the role the West Coast played in the War Between the States, California came very close to being part of the South, a defection that could have altered the outcome of the conflict.

Virginia Pacificator carbine might have altered outcome of Civil War
in 1860, Lorenzo Sibert was hot stuff. This master iron worker from Mount Solon invented, patented and tested for the U.S. government a carbine that could fire 48 shots without reloading, or 600 times a minute "consecutively for 12 hours." He called it the Virginia Pacificator, and in 1861 the Staunton Spectator hailed it as "the greatest gun of the age." Sibert was the only citizen of a Confederate state to be granted a weapons patent by the U.S. Patent Office, and had his carbine gone into production as planned, the South might have possessed enough firepower to bring the War Between the States to a decisive close.

The Many Roads Not Taken on the Way to Civil War
Historians tell stories. And the goal of storytelling is to impose order on a disorderly array of facts, to steer events toward a conclusion that seems final. In "Cry Havoc!" Nelson D. Lankford disrupts the process. He unravels the events that led the North and the South to war in the weeks after Lincoln`s inauguration in March 1861, disturbing the march of history with a series of what-ifs. Two big what-ifs dominate compact narrative. The first concerns Lincoln`s decision on March 29 to reprovision Fort Sumter. The second concerns the efforts of Southern moderates to keep the upper South in the Union without taking up arms.

Civil War: Did a knight`s sacrifice win the battle of Stones River
Did the sacrifice of one knight win the day for the Union at the Battle of Stones River? Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans believed it did. The knight was Col. Julius P. Garesché, whose life had been haunted by premonitions of death. "The general later superstitiously expressed that Garesché had served as a Christlike sacrifice to win the day`s battle," wrote Larry Daniel in book "Days of Glory." A Mexican War veteran, Garesché was assistant adjutant general in Washington prior to the Civil War. When Rosecrans was named commander in Oct 1862 of what was to become the Army of the Cumberland, Garesché was named his chief of staff.

Lee defeats Grant - Alternate history
On the fatal night at Ford`s Theatre, Abraham Lincoln was carrying in his billfold a Confederate 5-dollar bill. It was a reminder of what was at stake in his job. If he failed, the bill would have value, and the world would be different. It might help him flee into hiding or exile. If Pickett`s charge had carried the Union breastworks, the bill could have had value. If Stonewall Jackson had not been shot by his own men, if the Monitor had foundered on the difficult voyage south, that bill could have had value. Alternate history, the world of narratives of what might have been, is like that bill, redeemable in the flush treasury of a victorious Confederacy circa 1866.

Union victory at Antietam prevent England-Confederacy allience   (Article no longer available from the original source)
It can be argued that without the Battle of Antietam, the Battle of Gettysburg might never have happened. 17 months into the war, the Confederate states appeared to be on their way to militarily confirming their secession, scoring victories at Richmond and the second Bull Run. England had been in negotiations with the Confederacy to enter the war on its side, a move that would likely have caused the demoralized North to sue for peace. But England decided to be sure of victory and wait until the Rebel army made it 3 wins in a row. When the Union army beat Gen. Robert E. Lee's troops at Antietam, it kept England from siding with the South.

What if the South didn't rise . . . because it never fell?   (Article no longer available from the original source)
More clever than brilliant and more ambitious than well-executed, Kevin Willmott's mockumentary, C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, is built not just on a troubling thought, "What if the South had won the Civil War?" but on the idea that yes, in fact, it did.