The Big Black River

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The Big Black River

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History is not an absolute, but cause and effect: Change the cause and you alter the effect.  What if a single decision or battle had went the other way?  Perhaps an election had turned out differently!   We as individuals are capable of altering the future course of history by our activism, or lack thereof.  Imagine with us for a moment, certain historical events had indeed taken an alternate course.  Some might conclude that our history, heritage, culture and nationhood having been suppressed and culturally cleansed; it is only natural for events to swing completely in the opposite direction.
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While others will maintain that a gradual process has been underway since the surrender our Confederate Armies.  Regardless of one’s feelings it is apparent that under a liberated and independent Confederate States of America the heroes of our past would be respectfully honored.  In any case Confederate Fiction allows us to dream and envision victory; otherwise "where there is no vision, the people parish." {Proverbs 29:18}
 
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"Governor, if I had foreseen the use these people desired to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox, no, sir, not by me. Had I seen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand." --- General Robert E. Lee - as told to Texas ex-Governor F. W. Stockdale
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Tuesday 15 May 2007

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While the 144th anniversary of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse was destined to come and go with little notice by the vast majority, there were a few who very vividly remembered this critical date in history.  A group of scientist had created a private laboratory made possible by the generous donation of an aging billionaire named Joseph 'Joe' Buchanan who had always had an interest in science fiction time travel movies.  His interest had followed him into adulthood and culminated in his asking a most serious question!  Quite simply the generous billionaire wanted to know if time travel was possible or is it in reality no more then a fascination of science fiction buffs.
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It had been ten years now since the private laboratory was opened for business and the prestigious team of scientist began by gathering whatever information could be gleaned on the topic of time travel, scientific theories, known research as well as the famous Philadelphia Project, which the U.S. Navy has always denied having existed.  The Big Black River Project as it came to be known, did not wish to attract attention so the research was conducted under the guise of studying space phenomenon such as worm holes and black holes, as they effect the environment of the earth.  The research finally came down to the concept of creating a kind of artificial warp through the use of a high intensity electro-magnetic field.
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It appeared the concept may very well be possible, if the field was strong enough and sufficiently concentrated!  If the research proved successful, measures would need to be taken in order to protect the information, least unscrupulous individuals attempted to alter history to their liking.  Therefore being scripted in a very rare and all but extinct language and dialect of a little known people protected the formulas.  Additionally the formulas were woven into the fabric of a short fable, which correlated, with a minutely investigated portion of their history.  The keys to the formula was would be entrusted to two men, both who were of like mind as the scientists and known to be trustworthy; only they would know.
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None-the-less after so many years the elderly Joe Buchanan was quietly taken to an extra secure office at the research lavatories, which he had financed so many years before.  Doctor Waverly Buckner, the senior scientist, addressed the elderly billionaire in a meeting late in the evening!   Mr. Buchanan, you have been extremely kind as to grant the funding we have so desperately needed over all these years and you have done so without any legal entanglements or restrictions.  You've made only a single request, which was presented to us verbally; "Is time travel possible or is it merely the fascination of science fiction buffs?"  We are please to report the result to you; time travel is indeed possible!
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Mr. Joe Buchanan trembled with anticipation; "You’re saying that you can actually move a person or object through time?"  Yes sir, answered Doctor Buckner, not only through time but also through space.  Then I wish to have a test made if possible; "Pick one among you along with myself, and we shall travel to the one place which cannot be staged, which is 22 November 1963 in Dallas Texas.  I wish to appear in the famous parking lot along the John Kennedy parade route and we shall see once and for all if there was a second shooter.   Place us in a location where we will be inconspicuous, least we ourselves fall victim to an assassination.”
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The second most senior scientist was chosen; a Doctor Jeremy Johnston, so the men were escorted into a large secure back room where the test model of the time chamber was located.  The two men being reasonably dressed even for early 1963 found no reason to change their clothing and stepped into the chamber.  Moments later they found themselves exactly where Doctor Buchanan had requested; it was 15 minutes before the Presidential convoy would pass their location.   The two men quietly looked around; they could see the crowds lining parade route but no gunman could be spotted in the parking lot where they had arrived by traveling backward in time.

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They both walked down toward the sidewalk and looked up at the well-known ‘School Book Depository Building’ and Harvey Oswald could be vaguely spotted in the window, even from this distance.  The Presidential Parade approached and the shots rang out, now these two men had been witnesses to a history-altering event caused by a single gunman.  One of the men had looked back toward the parking lot while the other at the building window.  There was no second gunman; but Doctor Jeremy Johnston now knew that they had an historic date with a firebug war criminal known as William Tecumseh Sherman.  He would return to the laboratory and begin to make plans!

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Saturday 2 June 2007

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A meeting was called for Saturday evening a few weeks later for a private celebration of the birth of Jefferson Davis, born on 3 June 1808 in Christian County {now Todd} Kentucky.  There was the usual fair of hot dogs, beans, fried potatoes, coke, coffee, milk, ice cream and cake.  The cake had the design of a Confederate Battle Flag and the glasses were all decorated with various Confederate banners and logos, including paper plates bearing the likeness of Jefferson Davis himself.  It was obvious this scholar was no Yankee!  Anyhow the crowed was already gathered when my wife and I arrived at the Waverly Buckner home on a pleasant evening at the outskirts of Jackson Mississippi.
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After handshakes, pleasantries and casual conversation for nearly forty-five minutes, along with everything a person could possibly want to eat or drink, Doctor Buckner exited the house onto the patio and called everyone to attention.  "I've called all of you folks here in behalf of Joe Buchanan, not only that we might celebrate the birth of our beloved President Jefferson Davis and to enjoy a little fellowship among friends, but in order to make the most important announcement since the firing on Fort Sumter.   However, rather then give you a long lecture, which professors are want to do, I will demonstrate a piece of new technology which you have never seen before.?***

Doctor Buckner then walked over to a gentleman known to have portrayed General Robert E. Lee many time at historic re-enactments; "I see you wear a wrist watch, allow me to trade with you for a moment, if you don't mind."  The man removed his watch and swapped with the professor; the watch now on the man's wrist looked somewhat different but not unlike a typical watches, perhaps a bit larger.  The professor then clicked something on his own watch and the man disappeared completely; shortly after another click he reappeared approximately fifty feet away and outside the circle of the crowd.  Everyone was awe struck and could be over heard speaking in low tones, asking what had happened.  

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This gentleman has not been beamed up by the Star Ship Enterprise, but simply moved in time and space!  When he disappeared he was only moving across time and space in order reappear in his present location.  I could just as easily have deposited him in the middle ages or in a future time; however our mission is to journey backward in time to 1863 in order to keep an appointment with General William Tecumseh Sherman.  Each of you was chosen because of your sincerely expressed the opinion that the wrong side had won what the Yankees refer to as the Civil War.  Those of you who choose to join our project are welcome to remain; everyone else will be thanked for your sincere kindness and asked to depart at this time.   Your individual choice will be honored and no one will be thought of in any other manner, then as a trusted friend!***

A discussion went on for several moments between couples and friends standing nearby until finally it became obvious everyone was prepared to participate.  "Alright then" spoke up Doctor Buckner; "Every aspect of each of your backgrounds have been investigated, it is critical for there to be a bond and a trust between us, that everything regarding this project is to be considered 'above top secret' and guarded with your life if necessary.  If anyone finds they cannot agree to these terms, kindly depart now as a cherished friend, inasmuch as beyond this point, there is no way to change the decision you have made.  There will be approximately a fifteen minute break while we continue our refreshments; after which the plan will be revealed."

***
My wife and I looked at each other and made a few remarks then turned to a couple standing nearby which we had known for half of our adult life.  John Scott and his wife Jeanne look at us with a look of amazement; this man is serious and he has demonstrated he can do exactly what he says.  Taking the men back in time is understandable, but why the women and children?   Another gentleman name George Jamison turned our way and replied to the question; perhaps it is because once we travel back in time, the world we now know will no longer exist, therefore taking our wives, children or in some cases girl friends, is necessary.  We're going on a one-way trip; we have all complained that the wrong side won the war, now we have the opportunity to go back and make sure the right side wins.
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Doctor Waverly Buckner stepped out of the crowd and again addressed the gathering; "Alright may I have your attention!  We have twelve people in the crowd, many of you may not know these men, but they are the best in their respective fields of endeavor.  After giving a motion with his hands the twelve stepped out of the crowd and lined up in front of Doctor Buckner, who was then standing of the step leading from the lower patio to the entrance landing to the house.  The professor began to introduce each of them; a historian as well as several who are experts in period weapons, modern weapons, provisions, war strategist and a half dozen more.  Among them was an individual who knows precisely, the lay of the land during that period of time!

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Friday 8 June 2007

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The meeting adjourned but was resumed six days later when the professor revealed that he had begun the process of recruiting, training and arming 100,000 men for a very special army which would be transported backward in time.  The process was possible because of the techniques used and the personnel chosen, who needed very little training, save for updates and the introduction of more modern versions of weapons familiar to them.  The process of transporting the necessary supplies, ammunition and other necessities back in time was already underway, much of which had already been accomplished.   The professor being such a genius was quite able to make sure everything was secured; it would be fool hearty to allow anything to be discovered by those living in that particular time period.
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The second meeting consisted of explaining what we would face upon arrival, the differences in the world of the Confederacy at war and that of today; a list of essential items to take with us as well as the mode of dress for civilians was provided.  Many of these items could be obtained through a supply system the professor had provided or else though ‘Sutleries’ whose address was listed.  We were advised as to what technology we could and could not take with us into the past, since if discovered we would cause more difficulties some items might be worth.  It would be absolutely impossible to reveille to anyone living back then; that we had came from what they would perceive as the distant future.***

The horses which would be necessary were another item, since a fifth of the 100,000 would be cavalrymen the horses were corralled in various places; Canada, Mexico and on several open rages in the western states.  They could be transported back in time from any given location; the saddles and other accruements were designed to appear as though they were period made, but in actuality were updated using modern techniques.  The most modern update of the famous AK-47 rifle was chosen but with modifications, and each soldier was issued a Bowie Knife with the appropriate sheath.
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There were a few items selected and laid out in the form of modern field pack, among these were a variety of items picked particularly for the conditions they in which we would face.  Among the issues discussed would be economic and cultural shock; women did not wear Levis, slacks, shorts, halters or the like.  If we were to travel back in time and alter history, we would need to adjust ourselves to conditions, as they existed, rather expect to change society so it will comply with our modern customs.  Another item was to ensure that each family had suitable housing and was able to fit into the community without being suspected.  This meant scattering the families of our soldiers, many of who chose to wait out the war in Canada, Brazil or even Europe.

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There were some things, which were permitted; information would be transported back in time whereby after the war many of us could come together in order to technologically advance society gradually.  The idea was to ensure the Confederacy remained years ahead in their technological advancement, for the sake of their own survival purposes.  The months seem to race by quickly since we were busy preparing, some among our numbers considered carefully the world we were leaving behind and realized that while we were giving up so many modern comforts, we would be given the rare privilege of helping to build a nation.  We all were of one mind in respect to believing the wrong side had won the war, and we were traveling back in time in order to remedy that situation forever.

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Wednesday 1 April 2009

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The final meeting was called a week before the scheduled departure date for a few last minutes updates, including our meeting the Generals of what would constitute five separate Confederate Armies numbering 20,000 troops apiece, each under the command of a general having combat experience.  The meeting was not a full-blown party or patio extravaganza like the earlier gathering; instead we all shared cold cuts, coffee or soft drinks.  It was at this meeting we would be introduced to the General Staff as well as their own next lower echelon in the chain of command.  Surprisingly all of these men were real generals, many of who had retired in the recent years.
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Many of us recognized a number of them as heroes in their own right and more then capable of commanding troops in the field.  None of us had any idea as to how Doctor Waverly Buckner had so masterfully put together the finest fighting force the world had ever seen, but when his twelve member brain trust was considered, one could understand how it was done.  Doctor Buckner then called everyone to attention once more and announced this would be our final meeting before departing on our journey.  May I have your attention, called out Doctor Buckner; it is my distinct privilege to introduce you to the man who has made all this possible; the Most Honorable Mr. Joseph 'Joe' Buchanan.

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Mr. Buckner exited the house where he had been relaxing due to his extreme age and stood before those congregated before him.  Ladies and gentlemen, I am probably unknown to most if not all of you gathered here today.  My age is not significant factor but none-the-less I am 86 years old and you might have wondered what interest a billionaire might have, in what has become know as the Big Black River Project.  Well, my great grandfather was a young man serving under General John Clifford Pemberton.  He was granted a week leave due to a mild case of dispensary when he was captured by General Sherman’s advance guard in our ancestral home in Jackson Mississippi.

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After a severe interrogation and deprivation he was shot as a spy, even though his reason for being out of uniform was explained.  I made it my life work to vindicate my great grandfather's honor if at all possible; I could not have imagined I’d be granted the privilege of doing so in person.  I have but one request and one only, the rest will be left to these honorable men who have been appointed to command.  My request is that should the Almighty God give me a while longer to live; bring General William Tecumseh Sherman before me bound in ankle and wrist chains.  For the vindication of our just cause, I gladly give my life, my fortune and my sacred honor!
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Once justice is meted out to him, I shall go the way of my forefather in peace and within the jurisdiction of my own nation, the Confederate States of America.  Each of our commanders has been issued the appropriate ankle and wrist chains for this purpose.  These things being accomplished with honor, I will depart this life in a state of poverty, yet I will be able to say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, and I have kept the faith."  The old senior Confederate States patriot said his good byes for the evening, turned and went back inside.  As he departed he turned his head to the side ever so slightly, in recognition of the thunderous applause rendered to him.
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Doctor Waverly Buckner stepped forward once again and began to speak after the people had quieted down; Let me reiterate what has been mentioned to you before.  After we have arrived in the past we will be in a war time situation; the chain of command will be in effect which begins with Mr. Joseph 'Joe' Buchanan, then myself Doctor Waverly Buckner, afterward the Chiefs of Staff under the command of
Major General Robert Sullivan who in turn has five Major Generals on his staff, each commanding 20,000 troops.  Our mission is to let the credit for any and all victories for which we are responsible, if possible, to fall upon those historically known Confederate Generals rather then ourselves.
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Ultimately we report to President Jefferson Davis as our Commander in Chief, however since theoretically he should not be aware of our presence, that part of our Confederate Military Oath of Allegiance will not come into play unless and until we are discovered.  Let it be known, once we begin our journey, the world we now know will simply not exist, therefore as military men, we will obey our oath of allegiance and obey the orders of our one and only Commander in Chief, the Honorable Jefferson Davis.  If you are captured you may give your name and rank; that is all you may reveille!  You will eventually come into contact with other Confederates of that time period, be careful what you say and don't be caught in a verbal trap.

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Additionally it is my personal order to all of our commanders, Mr. Joe Buchanan's wish will be granted, we will deliver General Sherman to him bound in chains; added to that list will be Major Generals Benjamin F. Butler and Phillip H. Sheridan.  Also every effort will be made by special teams to capture President Abraham Lincoln and have him turned over to Confederate States authorities.  In his case for diplomatic reasons President Lincoln will be afforded the normal courtesies granted a captured head of state during time of war.  The principle in seeking the capture of Abraham Lincoln is to shorten the war if possible.  Lastly, after we make our first move against the enemy, all of history is altered!

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Thursday 9 April 2009

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The last week passed quickly and we all found ourselves reporting to our assigned locations which were based upon districts within the continental States; Hawaii and Alaska were treated as a separate and district until themselves, since they are so far removed from each other as well as the mainland.  Once the journey began, we had purposely arrived so that two corps or 40,000 men were sent to Virginia in order to help trap the Army of the Potomac; two corps was sent to Tennessee in order to neutralize the federals in Kentucky and Tennessee.  The remaining two corps found 5,000 troops located west of the Big Black River with 2,500 at each flank of General Pemberton’s Confederates.

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The other 15,000 was positioned so that 5,000 each would be located on both flanks of General Grants Federal Army on the east side of the river and an additional 5,000 to General Grant’s rear.  Couriers disguised as Confederates from that period of time were sent to inform General Joseph E. Johnston of the possible entrapment of the federals and our plans to move as a combined force against General Sherman.  It was found there was no option but to inform General Johnston, least he approach the area totally unaware of the conditions he would face.

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Friday 15 May 1863

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Again General Ulysses S. Grant's army was position east of Vicksburg with Confederate General John Clifford Pemberton own army only four miles away, on the opposite side of the Big Black River.  Pemberton hoped to link up with a full division of his forces then cut off by General Grant, since this was not deemed possible, they would join General Joseph E. Johnston's Corps who was even then approaching the area.  General William Tecumseh Sherman's own army is at this point in history positioned north of Vicksburg; Yankee General McPherson would soon move into the middle position thereby beginning a siege of Vicksburg by Monday 18 May.
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This was the cause for which our own troops came to this area, thereby positioning ourselves so as to block Grant from besieging Vicksburg, also denying him an avenue of retreat in the process.  General Grant's own strategy was to block Pemberton from uniting with his other division and relieving Vicksburg, however he would soon be surprised to find himself entrapped against the Big Black River.  While the other half of our own army positioned itself both north and south of General Sherman's, thereby leaving him few options.  This would leave General McPherson standing alone between the two entrapped armies of Grant and Sherman.

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General McPherson's only chance of possible relief was a Federal Brigade positioned in Jackson for to destroy Confederate supplies, which was unlikely to be able to reach him in time, even if by chance penetrating Confederate lines was somehow possible.  Both Grant and Sherman soon became aware of additional Confederate Forces encircling their respective positions, but could never have imagined the extent of their firepower.  While these two Union Generals had not at this point linked up, they had both came to the conclusion that at the very least, these additional Confederate troops meant only a delay in their ultimate strategy of a siege against Vicksburg, allowing the Union could Control the Mississippi River.

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Monday 18 May 1863
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Our time traveling armies which were becoming known as the 21st Mississippi after the century and State of our origin had arrived late Friday afternoon and soon realized our troops were facing a phenomenon similar to Jet Lag.  We therefore put off our attack plans for the weekend so as to allow time for adjusting to new surroundings.  It did not prove too difficult to lay low for a while, at the same time keeping an eye on the two Union Generals located not far away; low key liaisons with Generals Pemberton and Joseph E. Johnston had convinced them to use the time to maneuver or prepared more carefully for the inevitable battle to come.  The Yankees were also quite content to use the time for preparation, since they'd become aware of our presence by this time!
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Mr. Joseph ’Joe’ Buchanan wanting to be near the location of a likely battle between the 21st Mississippi and those of General Sherman, decided to establish a residence in Vicksburg, just to the south of Sherman’s location.  While Mr. Buchanan was quite naturally aware of our presence between Sherman and Vicksburg, others in town were expecting an unwelcome visit from both Grant and Sherman.  The week end passed with a calm sense of dread in the air at what the future may hold; would Vicksburg remain in Confederate hands or find itself an occupied city?  The local residence had been up to now, totally unaware of the growing Confederate Forces, but all that was about to change.

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It was 5:00 A.M. Monday morning when the guns of the combined Confederate Forces of the 21st Mississippi, as well as Generals John C. Pemberton and Joseph E. Johnston opened up against both Grant along the Big Black River and Sherman located north of Vicksburg.  Grants position along the river now subjected him to fire from every direction.  He could not retreat across the river, since in any case he couldn’t even approach the bridge due to the barrage of artillery bounding the area.  After approximately an hour and a half of constant bombardment, a temporary truce was called and a messenger under a flag of truce was sent into General Grant’s encampment suggesting he consider the possibility of surrender; the option was certain annihilation.

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General McPherson had two options; come to the aide of General Grant along the Big Black River or else General Sherman north of Vicksburg; he chose Sherman since his scouts had reported the Confederate entrapping Sherman were fewer in number.  The general believed he could route the Confederates north of Vicksburg, afterward their combined forces could then move toward the Big Black River and relieve Grant.   Union General McPherson's assumption was technically correct; however he had no way of knowing the firepower of the Confederate Forces.  At the same time as the guns opened up against General Grants Federals, they also opened up against the now combined forces of Generals Sherman and McPherson.
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The two Yankee Generals stubbornly held out for three hours believing their surrender would mean the permanent loss of the entire trans-Mississippi area; afterward Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas would be lost.  None-the-less at 8:15 A.M. the guns fell silent and the Confederates soon found Yankee messengers entering their encampments under a flag of truce.   It was decided that Generals Joseph E. Johnston and John C. Pemberton would jointly decide the terms and accept the surrender of General Ulysses S. Grant's Army.  While at the same time the 21 Mississippi would dictate terms to Generals Sherman and McPherson.
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The surrender of General Sherman was quite different then the others; the names of several of his officers who had been involved in atrocities was checked against those surrendering and the guilty taken into custody, later to face their accusers in a court of law.  The general himself would face a jury made up of the surviving women of Vicksburg, Jackson and the surrounding area.  But first he would face Mr. Joseph 'Joe' Buchanan who was brought to the encampment north of Vicksburg in the afternoon of the surrender.  As Mr. Buchanan came near the Confederates snapped to attention out of respect; Doctor Waverly Buckner and Lieutenant General Robert Sullivan then greeted him.

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The three men went inside the command tent were General William Tecumseh Sherman who was even then in chains just as Mr. Buckner had directed; upon the three men entering Sherman was order to stand.  The old and tired Joe Buchanan walk up directly in front of General Sherman and began to speak; "you don't know me general, but I am here to make certain you face the justice you richly deserve.  You will learn the difference between an honorable warrior and a war criminal; and you shall do so at the hands of the women who have been violated under your command.  You have justified your barbarity by saying 'this is war' and 'you were only following orders.'   Others will use that same justification and slaughter over six millions of innocent people!"  The elderly Buchanan then order his general to take him away!

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Wednesday 27
May 1863

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Early Tuesday 19 May 1863 morning General William Tecumseh Sherman and his compatriot war criminals was paraded through Vicksburg in chains and delivered to the county Sheriff.  The trial would take place less then 24 yours later on Wednesday before a jury of twelve and a judge, all made up the very women who had been raped, robbed and burned out of their homes by fire bug Sherman and his cohorts.  The trial lasted three hours, the same length of time it had taken to gain his surrender.  General Sherman was found guilty on multiple charges ranging from mass murder, rape, burglary and house breaking.  But there were a couple of charges new to this generation, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity!
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The court finally returned with a sentence against Sherman and the other officers; they would face an assembly of women who would carry out a sentence of execution in such a manner as was found to be appropriate to their crimes.  On the afternoon of the same day 23 women assembled out side of town and beat General Sherman and his officers were hanged in the manner of criminals.  One lady in attendance stated; it was a horrible thing that we had done, but these men deserved what happened to them.  They weren't Military Officers, but degenerates and despots of the worst kind!  As ordered by the court, these men would be stripped of their military rank insignias and buried minus any names, with only the date as well as their evil deeds to mark their passing.
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News of the execution of General Sherman and several of his officers spread rapidly across the Confederacy relighting the fires of resistance to Yankee Aggression.  Guerrilla Bands were formed in many communities to hunt down Yankees guilty of similar crimes; many of these actions included the use of snipers making use of the tactics of striking a target, then disappearing into the darkness.  Among the Union Generals brought down during this period were Major Generals William F. Butler and Phillip Sheridan.  Doctor Waverly Buckner after hearing of the manner of their death concluded that Sheridan had obviously been suffixation by plastic brought back from the 21st century.

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General Butler’s case appeared entirely different; Doctor Buckner expressed his belief that a pillow or some other similar object being place over his face suffocated him.  Therefore it was assumed that members of the 21st Mississippi of Virginia had assassinated General Sheridan while locals in New Orleans took down General Butler in all likelihood.  In any case it appeared someone was doing some of the work for which we had come back in time.  In Washington DC President Lincoln no doubt lost plenty of sleep as a result of so much bad news coming his way.  He was quoted as saying during an early morning cabinet meeting that “if we cannot manage to turn this around, we will certainly loose this war."

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Monday 8 June 1863
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Conditions were quite different in the Capital of the Confederacy at Richmond Virginia; President Jefferson Davis and his staff were elated at the pleasant but sudden turn of events.  Word was slowly coming in from Tennessee that Union General Thomas had changed his strategy and was now in a defensive mode, attempting to avoid the same fate, which had befallen Grant and Sherman.  Most of Tennessee and Kentucky was now in Confederate hands with only a scattered few areas of Union resistance.  In Virginia the out fringe commands of the Union Forces had already been neutralized, with only the Army of the Potomac under Major General Joseph Hooker still on the loose.
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Already General Stonewall Jackson had moved northwest into Western Virginia in an attempt to break the Union hold on these wayward Virginia Counties.  General Jackson had avoided nearly being shot by his own troops upon returning to his own lines; a rescue of Jackson from a near disaster was the work of three unknown Confederate Soldiers who arrived just in time to prevent the fatal shots from being fired.  General Robert E. Lee decided it was time to increase President Lincoln worries, so he ordered General James Longstreet to encircle Washington.  He was not to attack Washington at this time but isolate the city by cutting off their supply lines wherever possible.
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Lee after taking into consideration the extra firepower of the newly discovered 21st Mississippi decided he could manage General Hooker alone, particularly with Generals Ewell and J.E.B.  Stewart added to the scenario they had managed to corner the Army of the Potomac at Curlpaper Courthouse.  On Tuesday General Hooker sent a courier under a flag of truce to Lee's Headquarters, seeking to know under what terms he would accept the surrender of his Army of the Potomac.   General Hooker's surrender of the Army of the Potomac was yet another blow to Abraham Lincoln, which came ‘on the heals’ of Stonewall Jackson's drive through the State know to the Federals as West Virginia.

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Bobby Lee was anxious to bring this war to a close; in his opinion far too much blood had been shed on both sides, still it was his duty to defend his country and ensure its independence.  He believed he could achieve both of these objectives by moving against Washington DC and forcing Abraham Lincoln to accept terms favorable to the Confederacy.  He sat down in his Headquarters Tent and wrote a note to General Jackson who appeared to be making considerable gains of his own in Western Virginia.  He directed that "if conditions permitted, bring his army and meet me on the evening of 30 June in Springdale Maryland, which is a community just north of Washington.

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Tuesday 30 June 1863

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President Lincoln paced back and forth in his office waiting for whatever news could be gleaned; his Secretary of War, Chief of Staff and a host of others including Congressional Leaders were at his door of his office at dawn.  Lincoln had arisen early, since it was impossible to sleep knowing troops under General Lee had been pouring across the Potomac for several days.  General Longstreet's Corps had been roaming around Maryland for weeks stirring up problems and the Confederate Armies, including the Army of Northern Virginia, had been growing in size for a month or more.  And this new army called the 21st Mississippi, where did it come from and how did they obtain these astonishing weapons?

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Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton was among the chief spokesman and represented the sentiments of everyone.  Mr. President, three months ago we had every reason to believe victory was ours; now we have Bobby Lee knocking at our gate.  He brings with him an army that has grown with every passing mile since mid-April, while all we have is 60,000 garrison troops having never fired their weapons in anger.  All of us realize whom Lee is coming for; it is you Mr. President and nothing upon this earth will keep him from his purpose.  Additionally the opportunities for evacuation have likely expired!  Lincoln walked a few paces, and then urged everyone to give their assessment as well as any suggestions for solving their dilemma.***

The best assessment is that we cannot win; correct me if I happen to be incorrect gentlemen!   When no answer came Lincoln then continued; what course of action is recommended?  We have at least 200,000 battle-hardened troops of General Robert E. Lee's invincible army surrounding this city.  Reports tell us that Colonel John Singleton Mosby has been re-enforced by elements of the 21st Mississippi, and have guaranteed there will be no escape down river.  Major General Henry W. Halleck spoke up at this point; Mr. President, at your order these green garrison troops will defend the city to the last man, but quite frankly those gray coats will be charging down Pennsylvania Avenue within an hour after the first shots are fired.
***

Secretary of State Stanton broke into the conversation; My apologies Mr. President for being so bold but we did bring this war upon ourselves by coaxing the Confederates to fire on Fort Sumter, when we could easily have negotiated with Jefferson Davis, we refused to even speak to him.  We like to the cute little phrase 'manifest destiny' and in my humble opinion this situation has been our manifest destiny since Fort Sumter.   My recommendation is that we do now what we should have done from the beginning; talk to these people.  I'd recommend sending a messenger under a flag of truce, seeking under what terms Bobby Lee would consider ending this war.  I have a strong hunch they'll be more then ready, at the very least, to order a cease-fire!***

Lincoln commenced his pacing the floor for a moment, and then replied; "Get me a veteran private with real combat experience, now!"  We have such a person outside the door awaiting your orders; by your leave Mr. President, I will invite him in so you can speak to him.  General Henry W. Halleck then opened the President's office door and invited the private into the room, who was even then snapping to attention.  Lincoln looked hard at the man; tell me private; where have you fought?  "Sir, I was in General Sherman's Army as a forward scout when the surrender came; I was unaware of the surrender at the time and escaped into Alabama, and ultimately was ordered here to Washington.”

***
The President then sat down at his desk and wrote a note addressed to General Robert E. Lee, General Commanding, Army of Northern Virginia.  "General Lee, it appears the fortunes of war have placed this Union in an untenable position.  Under what conditions would you consider forestalling this battle and ending the war?"  Lincoln then stood to his feet, turned to the private and handed him the now sealed envelope; "This man, order Lincoln, will be given a fresh mount and instructions as to the location of General Lee's Headquarters, make sure he carries a white flag of truce large enough to be seen from a distance.  You are ordered to deliver this message to General Lee himself only, and wait for any possible reply."

***
Wednesday 1 July 1863

***
General Lee had called a war counsel at 4:00 P.M. on Tuesday 30 June, once it was apparent that all of his generals had their armies in place; among his generals present were: James Longstreet, Richard S. Ewell, J.E.B. Stuart, Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson and Robert Sullivan of the 21 Mississippi were in attendance.  Plans were being laid for opening fire on the Federal Capital at sunrise the following morning of 1 July, unless there was some unforeseen circumstance.  Everyone got the unmistakable impression that General Lee was hoping it wouldn't be necessary, but he would do so in order to achieve his goal of ending this war, in favor of Confederate Independence.

***

Lee and his staff had just finished their war council when a commotion was heard outside his Headquarters Tent; a guard on duty at the time stepped inside and stated; “General Lee sir, there's a Yankee Courier outside with a message for you from President Lincoln.  He says he is under strict orders to deliver it only to General Lee personally.”  General Lee then stepped forward, stood near the young Confederate Private, "by all means do have him come in and deliver his message."  The anticipation in the air was so thick it could be cut with a knife; whispers could be dimly heard; "maybe Lincoln wants to give it up ... perhaps he's ready to stop the war.”***

The Yankee Private was escorted into the tent and immediately spotting General Lee, he then walked cautiously toward him, reached out and handed the envelope to Confederate General Robert E. Lee.  Lee then asked the private "have you been given further instructions or will you be returning immediately to your own lines?"  The private spoke up; "I've been ordered to wait for any possible reply on your part, General Lee."  The general then directed the Yankee Private to wait outside the tent, while he looked over the contents of the message.  Looking at his own Confederate Guard he ordered him to 'make our guest comfortable!’
***

The two men having departed, General Lee slowly opened the envelope and began to read, first in silence, and then he read it aloud.  General Ewell was the first to speak; "He wants to give it up ... you will of course take him up on his offer, will you not General Lee?"  The others joined in as one by one every officer had his say, accept General Sullivan.  Lee looks at General Sullivan and asks; "have you nothing to add, after all you have contributed to making this moment possible."  General Sullivan paused, looked around at the others, and then began to speak; "I am humbled at being here among you, but yes I have something to add.
***

We must accept Lincoln's offer, but we must with all proper politeness and courtesy, dictate terms!   We should demand certain concessions including all 13 member States of our Confederacy, the Oklahoma and Arizona Territories up to the Colorado River.  We should include Colorado itself, Nevada and California, so that our people and nation can expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean.  We must demand the return of Western Virginia to the jurisdiction of greater Virginia as well, as for free and open elections in Maryland on the issue of Secession.  The entirety of the Dakota Territories should henceforth become the Indian Territory of Dakota forever.  We ourselves as a nation should strive to eventually bring Oklahoma into the Confederacy as an Indian State!”
***
***
General Lee then concluded the discussion by stating; "I have received and appreciate your advice, allow me to add two items: that the Union of States as well as our own Confederacy must never be permitted to use force to compel a State to remain a member.  Also we must all surely realize that whatever we do here is subject to the approval of our own government in Richmond.  We are all witnesses to an enormous historic event about which generations yet unborn will read and study.  The Almighty God has truly bless our arms and granted us the victory; let us seek always to be found worthy of his good graces.
***
General Sullivan, if it is possible Mr. Joseph Buchanan is invited to attend the final ceremonies, which should lead to the end of this terrible war.  While I do not know all the facts I am convinced he has been behind many of these extra-ordinary events leading to our victory."  General Sullivan replied; "General Lee, Mr. Buchanan's most cherished hope was to be able to meet both President Davis as well as yourself.  However, while he has managed to travel to Richmond and meet with President Jefferson Davis, he fell ill shortly after and regretfully will not be able to attend.  I have no doubt whatsoever that his deepest thoughts are on these events, now transpiring here at the Federal Capital in Washington.”

***
General Lee closed the war council by stating, "I will reply to President Lincoln and offer to speak with him here in this Headquarter Tent tomorrow morning at 8:00 A.M. whereupon our demands will be presented to him for consideration.  However I wish to emphasize that I expect everyone to treat him with the courtesy due a head of state; those who attend the meeting with him will in like manner be given every courtesy due a guest among our numbers.  There has been far too much bloodletting on both sides, now we must look to a future, where we will be living side by side as neighbors.  Let us begin to lay the groundwork hear and now, so that we might henceforth conduct our affairs in peace!"

***
Thursday 2 July 1863

***
The bloodshed ended the evening before on Wednesday 1 July when a cease-fire was been ordered by both President Lincoln and General Lee.  At 8:00 A.M. on Thursday as scheduled President Abraham Lincoln, his Secretary of War as well as his Major General Henry W. Halleck arrived with their military escort of ten men according to General Lee's instructions.  Lee's own General Staff as well as President Lincoln and his party had gathered in the Headquarters Tent with a combined guard of Confederate and Yankees.  After the preliminary courtesies were dispensed with, General Lee addressed those assembled.
***
***
"Gentlemen; It has been my duty to defend my country and to this end I have came to Washington, that we might bring this horrible ordeal to a final conclusion."  Turning to President Lincoln, General Lee stated; "It is not my desire to order my armies into this city, therefore I have directed that our meeting take place here at my own Headquarters."  A table with four chairs was made available, which had been positioned in the middle of the tent; General Lee, General Jackson, President Lincoln and General Halleck were to be the four men signing for their respective nations.
*** 


The four men then got down to business; two copies of what amounted to a diplomatically worded Surrender Document recognizing the independence of the Confederate States of America was laid on the table and presented to President Abraham Lincoln.  Lee and Lincoln sat across the table from the each other with their respective military reprehensive at their right hand, also seated across from one another.  Lee and Lincoln then read their respective copies of the document, switched copies and read again, in order to insure they were identically worded.  They then signed once more.  Then Generals Jackson and Halleck did likewise, signing, switching copies and signing again!

***
Tuesday 25 August 1863

***
The document was presented to President Jefferson Davis, debated by Confederate States Senate and finally ratified a week later on Tuesday 9 July.  The United States Senate ratified the document the following day on Wednesday 10 July, and the withdrawal of all Union Armies from the areas mentioned in the treaty commenced.  On Tuesday 25 August 1863 a message was received from the far west that the last of the Union Armies had crossed the border.  The Confederate States of America was now a free and independent nation stretching from ocean to ocean.  Trade with other nations had already commenced in early June as heavily laden ships docked in Confederate Ports.

***

On Thursday 4 September a treaty was signed making the entirety of the Dakotas a sovereign territory of the Indian Nations; under law all white settlers was mandated to depart, compensation was granted to those who had invested in lands and property.  The Indian Nations were in return required under the treaty to form an intertribal council and begin establishing a government, not unlike those of other States.  The territory of Oklahoma would soon follow, becoming a sovereign Indian Territory under the Confederacy.   On Wednesday 26 October a message was delivered to all those who had formed the 21st Mississippi, including the General Staff and subordinate Commanders.

***
There was however one secret which the elderly Confederate Patriot Mr. Joseph Buchanan had never previously reveled, but had since become known; a large quantity of gold was transferred back in time at the last moments of the journey.  This gold was sufficient in quantity and value it served along with the Confederacy's independence to stabilize the Confederate State Monetary System.  Inflation had already subsided and the Confederate Dollar had settled what was considered its rightful value.  Additionally the debt incurred by the war could be paid, so the Confederate States of America would begin on a solid footing.

***
Saturday 10 October 1863

***
The 21st Mississippi meeting was called to order, the place chosen for the meeting was the same place along the Banks of the Big Black River east of Vicksburg were General Ulysses S. Grant had been defeated and eventually surrendered only a few months ago.  This was to be the commands last encampment and the ladies were invited, many of who had been returning to the Confederacy from their various locations for a number of weeks.  It was decided that the 21st Mississippi would remain in tact and become the foundation of a revitalized Militia System, which would be organized in every State and Territory of the Confederacy.  The new Militia would be highly organized and structured as a professional, disciplined, trained and equipped armed force.   The Confederacy would never again be caught unprepared!
***

Doctor Waverly Buckner and the other intellectuals who had participated in the project was already well underway in creating the Confederate Technological Institute, to be located in Vicksburg Mississippi in honor of Mr. Joseph 'Joe' Buchanan, who it was learned had passed away the evening before, having returned to his home in Vicksburg.  His last words were said to be: "I have lived a rich life and have received far more then most, in seeing my wildest dreams fulfilled; the vindication of our just and honorable cause, and the independence of the Confederate States of America.”
***

The Confederacy soon joined the other nations of the earth and would eventually consist of 35 of what we who had traveled back in time had previously known as the 48 continental States.   The United States, who had once denied the Confederacy its 13 States, would be reduced to that same number; the States of Oklahoma and Dakota both eventually became members States of the Confederacy with their own Indian Senators and Representatives in Congress.  Greater Virginia held joint electrons and establishing consolidated State Governance once more, which included Western Virginia.  Maryland elected to remain in the Union but would celebrate it traditional Southern heritage and culture!
***

Doctor Waverly Buckner and his fellow scientists decided that with the passing of Joe Buchanan and the success of the Black River Project, the concept of time travel should be laid to rest forever.  While we had been successful once, it was felt that altering history was extremely dangerous, particularly if the secret should fall into unscrupulous hands.  Therefore the equipment, documents, formulas as well as the keys was all ceremoniously destroyed!  “Our just and honorable cause remains viable and victory is always possible, so long as a few among our numbers are prepared to step out from the crowd; those who are not content with merely preserving the status quo but are emboldened to take action.”
***

God save the Confederacy

*** 

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"The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding is so feeble; the life of humanity is long; that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope." --- General Robert E. Lee
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