Rip in the Fabric of Time
Rip in the Fabric of Time
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 if only an election had turned out differently! We as individuals are all equally capable of altering the course of future history by our activism, or lack thereof. Imagine for a moment that certain events had indeed turned out otherwise. What if you were faced with an opportunity to quite literally roll back the pages of time and change what happened?
Supposing that because of your actions, history is forever altered because of some accident or ‘rip in the fabric of time’ which has thrust you backward into the closing days of the War for Confederate Independence. As a result everything that has ever taken place, beginning with that last year prior to the surrender of our Confederate Armies, has now become an open question.
Will your journey into the past bring a blessing to posterity or a plunge into a dark abyss from which there is no escape? It couldn’t happen you say! Join with us as we return to those ‘The Final Moments’ in the life of our nation and be there as the Confederacy struggle for its very existence.
The Trip to Appomattox Courthouse
All of my adult life the Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse which occurred on 9 April 1865 has loomed over me like a plague from the firry depths. The family and I have visited historic sites whenever possible, but there wasn’t any chance I could stomach visiting Appomattox Courthouse. The place where the honorable General Robert E. Lee suffered the humiliation of surrendering to a drunk named Ulysses S. Grant, an act which was like unto a row of falling dominos ending in total capitulation. In due course of time our Confederate Armies would be surrendered and dispersed! In my heart of hearts I felt like if only the Almighty God would answer my prayer that somehow the pages of time could be rolled back. I’d then alter the outcome and reverse the gains made by those people, as General: Lee like to call them! I’d love to see General William T. Sherman paraded through Atlanta in chains and placed on trial by those whom he had caused to suffer so horribly.
However it was spring and a business trip to Virginia was coming due! A living history was scheduled and my family managed to talk me into stopping by Appomattox Courthouse and make a tour of the facilities. The date finally arrived; we packed up the automobile and headed north from Bay County Florida, stopping several places along the way. We arrived in the area of the memorial park just short of a week later and checked into a suitable motel for a couple days. We visited all the usual tourists’ sites including the McLean house where General Robert E. Lee surrendered. Given all the people that would be attending the reenactment arrangements were made to visit with several ole and dear friends, living not far away. Visiting their home would be a treat since it was itself an historic home. The house and grounds took up approximately 100 acres most of it in scenic woodlands with a beautiful creek flowing through, which added to the picturesque atmosphere. It was mid-afternoon of our third day when we arrived at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John and Stella Stephens. We had a delightful meeting after so long a time and settled down for a brief discussion over coffee.
The Rip in Time
The house truly was historic and for that vary reason the Stephens family had a basement dug under the house and rebuilt the foundations at the same time. The basement was then finished off into a space where they could truly relax without disturbing the main part of the house, which was what the visitors came to see. We spent the remainder of the day then yielded to John and Stella’s invitation to stay on 'until the morrow.' After a tour of the grounds and a wonderful meal that evening, John escorted me out to what was originally a barn but was now rebuilt into an enormous work area. He had kept a portion in the rear for the several horses which he and Stella enjoyed riding from time to time, but in the remaining space he had a tool shop, and a very large area where he enjoyed working on automobiles. Besides horses and caring for their historic home, John’s hobby was custom cars! However tucked away in a far corner was what John described as a kind of utility closet of sorts. Somewhere to keep the things that didn’t belong no where else, but what John would show me inside that closet would change our lives forever!
As we approached the corner of the barn and before we were close enough to reach for the closet door he said; "There is some thing inside that closet over yonder, unlike anything you have or will ever see, and I don’t say so lightly. I could use your help in figuring out what it is inside there! I know something about horses, automobiles and I have a reasonable knowledge of history, but this is far beyond my understanding." I replied in a humorous but almost sarcastic tone; "Come on John, does it bite or eat people?" Then after seeing the look on John’s face I said; "You’re very serious, there must be something very strange inside." John stood on the outside of the door toward the wall, as if afraid to be on the other side when it was opened. For a moment I even hesitated, wondering what is really inside this barn closet, that could make John so stand offish. Slowly John opened the door an inch at a time, and I couldn’t help notice the sound of screeching like unto old rusty hinges. My heart begins raced a little as he pulled the door open, though I didn’t want John to be able to detect my deep concern!
Finally the door stood wide open and I couldn’t help but gasp for breath at the sight before us: It was like a picture except it seem to be alive. "Have you attempted to touch it John?" And to that I didn’t need a vocal answer; the shaking of his head told me there wasn’t any chance he was about to get close enough. I swallowed hard and reached out my hand and to my complete surprise it passed though like reaching out an open window. After waving my hand about through the opening I said; "John what you have here is some kind of opening." You may have once had a closet door here, but now it appears to be a doorway leading to the great outdoors. But how could that be, there nothing like what you see outside this barn? Should you walk around the outside of the barn, you'd find nothing like this scenery outside. John, you may think me crazy, but I think what you have here is a doorway to another time and place. It’s only a hunch but it appears to me that we could actually walk through this opening and appear unharmed somewhere else. "Where on earth does this lead?" I think we best begin to find out and I have an idea! "Go ahead, I’m all ears", replied John! We can put something on the end of a rope or leach, heave it out there and see if we can pull it back safely.
After several experiments, first with a simple rubber ball on the end of a rope, then a dog on a leach, we were both convinced a human could walk through, then return like walking back and forth in and out of a house door. We decided next we'd hook two of us together and one of us would walk through! I swallowed hard and volunteered, almost thinking I had spoken to quickly. After making sure I was tethered tightly and John’s grip was firm, I approached the opening. Here goes nothing! I slowly walked through the opening and passed into the other side, but to my surprise what was on the other side was an open field, trees and the same things we might see just anywhere. After walking as far as the tether would allow and looking about I decided we had to know more, so I returned through the opening. John, we must both go through that opening and do a little scouting! John replied: "Well now that you have went through and returned safely, I feel confident we can both do so without harm, but we must be sure to mark the opening on the other side, so we can find our way back." I agree John, that’s a good idea!
The Land beyond Time
We decided the best way would be to saddle a couple horses and take along a pack horse, include a few small items such as a couple of bed rolls, a couple changes of clothing, a jacket and about a week to ten days supply of food and drinking water. We should take with us the army type meals ready to eat, which would be a better choice, since we don’t want to be making a camp fire but rather remain inconspicuous. John’s horses were not easily spooked having participated in enough reenactments, so as not to be frightened of sudden and loud noises, such as gun fire. We also thought to bring a couple handy items such as hunting knives, matches and the like. Everything was made ready for fair or fowl weather, which ever might come our way. It appeared there was enough grass and that being the case, there must also be sufficient water for the horses on the other side, so we got ready and prepared to go through together and do a little scouting. We were guessing that the area on the other side of the portal is simply Virginia, but as it was during another period in time, and we further guessed as to what period of time we might be entering. We also remembered to locate and bring John’s wrist watch type compass, as well as a recently produced special map of the region drafted for the 1860-65 period of history. It was also decided we’d dress similar to the way people might have appeared back then! Since we weren’t at all sure of the time into which this opening was leading us, we had nothing but hunches to guide our way. If we were wrong, we’d look very stupid in the twenty second century, outfitted as nineteenth century scouts.
We planned to stay out of sight if possible, then just take a look around at what we might see out there, after a short while return and decide what should be our next move. After making preparations and advising the ladies, we took the bold step and walked our mounts along with the pack horse into the barn and through this strange doorway into ‘What?’ John was getting a little bolder now and decided to lead the way, going first through the opening or what we come to believe was a rip in the fabric of time, a door to another time period. After passing through both of us naturally looked back, in order to mark the location of the door, so we could return. Interestingly it was well concealed behind a stand of thick bushes, which when examined from the outside was found to be hallowed out in the center, and would have likely served as a kind of home, nest or hiding place for animals. It was only while looking back once on the other side side, that we notice there a difference. The door in time seemed to have locked itself onto this unusual location for some reason! We carefully left a marker which would be conspicuous to us but quite irrelevant to anyone else who might pass this way. We looked about and decided to head directly east and see what we might find! We also marked the time of our passing through the opening, so we could make a comparison once we have returned to our own time.
We must have rode for an entire day seeing little more then an occasional farm house, the lack of paved roads certainly told us we had obviously moved backward in time, but we had to be certain. It was about sunset when we came upon a large encampment of federal troops! Maybe this was 2005 and they were only preparing themselves for a reenactment the next day? John and I dismounted, tied off our horses to a small tree nearby were they could nibble on the lush grass and scrubs. Fortunately we had plenty of foliage for cover, so we maintained a low profile, and slipped closer to the encampment. John was no history major, but it did interest him very much and he had gotten quite knowledgeable on the subject of the War for Confederate Independence, otherwise known to the Yankees as the Civil War!
We both peered through binoculars studying every thing we could see, changing our position form time to time for a better angle. Then John pointed and said; "Look over yonder, no doubt it is the tent of a Commanding General, whoever that might be." Then about that time he said "look closer that is General Grant, Ulysses S. Grant himself." Are you sure it isn’t just some one who looks like General Grant? "No, not at all, it’s Grant alright! Look beside him, that my friend is General George Meade! If we are anywhere close to the date I believe it to be, Benjamin Butlers Army is on the march, with orders to attack Richmond from the South. Benjamin Butler known to history as Butcher Butler! And just north of here you will likely find General Phillip Sheridan’s Calvary."
We moved back to the location where we had left our horses, then proceeded to the opposite side of this huge encampment! Once on the other side John spotted something; "look at those supply wagons, this is no reenactment but a full scale army at war. We have one more army to locate before we return through the time door, the Army of Northern Virginia. John do you know what date this happens to be? "Once we find the Army of Northern Virginia we will know the date for sure, but for now I am certain it is 8 April 1864, one year before General Lee will ask Grant under what terms he will accept the surrender of his army and a day later he will surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. If my calculations are correct we have a year in which to alter the outcome of this horrible war." Are you seriously saying that you propose to change history? "You’ve always wanted to and have spoken of it many times yourself, now we both have a chance." After searching well past midnight we came upon a little ridge and again John being a seasoned scout and hunter saw what we were looking for. Below us we were convinced was none other then the General Robert E. Lee’s beleaguered Army of Northern Virginia. Just as we had done with Grant’s Army we repeated here, and stayed under cover, quietly scouting the encampment from several angles. John turned to me with a big grin on his face and I didn’t need to ask, it was General Lee’s Army alright. I’d sure like to ride down there and join them." I agree whole heartedly but not quite yet, we still preparations to make; we must get back through that opening in time, then return better equipped to turn the tide in favor of the Confederacy.
The War Council
We spent five more days before returning through the opening and back to our own time, having done a little more scouting we decided to gather a few souvenirs, which we hoped would be convincing to anyone we might wish to invite to become part of the team. It was known to me from our earliest years as friends, that John was in the Army Special Forces, and served in both Vietnam as a very young man, then later in the First Iraq War, before retiring from the military. It was not uncommon for the Confederate Battle Flag or Navy Jack to be seen in Vietnam, much less in Iraq but it was there none-the-less. But no one but the Veterans themselves, knew how close a bond had been formed on the battlefield of war. John and 3,000 of his old buddies had formed what they called a sleeper brigade. An unseen silent, and for all practice purposes an army, which did not exist, save in the minds of a group of aging Veterans, from an unpopular war! These men had before returning home, served either in Vietnam, Iraq or both. They made their final return home, then in the minds of most, they simply grew old! However that is precisely the impression these Veterans wanted to leave, just a bunch of ole codgers and their war stories, which grow ever larger with the telling. Sounds innocent enough, but these men did not fit the mold! Each of them stayed in communication with their commanders, while stockpiling particular types of weapons and ammunition. Those which would allow them to hit hard, unexpectedly and move fast!
John called me into a back room of his home, where he opened what was obviously a cloths closet, then he pressed on a particular place on the wall, and a door opened in the back of the closet. We passed through the open door and into what looked like a high tech commutations war room! John then sat down at a desk and sent out an email message over a desktop computer. As it turned out no one on earth had the email address to this particular computer, save the 3,000 members of John's sleeper army. The message had only four words: "The Grey Falcon Files" and his signature, The Grey Falcon, John explained to me: "We were all between 17 to 19 years old when we joined the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam during the years 1970 and 7l, later returning for a second tour which culminated in the fall of Saigon.
Some of us got out of the military after the Vietnam War, while others went on to become senior officers by the time of the First Iraq War. But we were all brothers so we stayed in touch! The hippies of the late 1960’s and the riots, which sprang up over the years have made us feel we couldn’t count on the type of security, we truly wanted for our families and ourselves. Thus was born the Sleeper Army, as a kind of insurance policy! We fore swore that no one upon earth would ever be allowed to know, that such an army really existed. That is until the time had come; in the meantime many of those who were with us from the beginning, have since passed away. There are still others of us who were almost convinced, the time would never actually come, but here and now in our older years, we stake our claim on the title ‘Confederate Special Forces’. A name which was originally gives to us as a kind of jest, while we were still in Vietnam. This however is the day we though would never come, but here we are, it has come, and our Army never existed has been called to active service, in behalf of the Confederate States of America. An honor and a privilege we could never have dreamed possible! We have all made it a point to stay in top physical condition, regardless of our age, so we are even now ready in every respect. "It wasn’t but three days later that three dozen of his officers began arriving at his 100 acre estate, trickling in a few at a time, traveling by different conveyances so as not to raise suspicion, and the officers convinced me to sit in on the council, since I had been party to going back in time. It was decided that it would be impossible for 3,000 aging warriors to confront the entire Yankee Army, however aproximately 2,000 adult sons of the original 3,000 with their modern weapons were added. So it was decided we would do better to cripple the Yankees ability to wage war by destroying their supply wagons, as well as the source of their supplies in the north. This meat teams of a dozen each would be sent into their major cities, such as Chicago, New York and Baltimore, as well as other centers for supplying the war. It was decided to stage a few fires and accidental explosions, as well as sabotage against their locomotives; after all it was figured, all the train cars they could muster, would be worthless without the locomotives to pull them!
We would use the sniper technique to blow up their weapon supply trains, and since covert operations would be used, silencers were to be employed where possible. There would be seven 300 man strike teams in the Confederate theater of the war, and 75 sabotage teams, as well as 25 in the north and 50 in the Confederacy. The concept was easy to understand, we’d deprive them of their weapons and ammunition, afterward their food and medical supplies, if absolutely necessary. John I ask; can these men do all those things we are describing? These men are trained to use any item on available as a weapon, and that is precisely what they will do! They also very much believe in the phrase ‘let the enemy die for his country’ while we live for ours! We will use some of William T. Sherman’s own philosophy against him, and wage total war against the Yankee Invaders. We will burn their cities, factories, and even the mint, which coins and prints their money will be destroyed. Then we shall confiscate their gold and silver as war booty in order to reinvigorate the Confederate economy and its monetary system. When this is over, those who came south to destroy the Confederacy will find they have no country or homes in which to return, if they persist in continuing the war.
My family and I soon after returned home but for a totally different reason then before, and there was both joy as well as a natural fear of the unknown,whch lay before us. After all we were products of a modern age and would now we'd be hurled back to a time many would consider somewhat primitive, as untrue as that notion really is, still it tended to be a common perception. It was on 10 May that the first of the many families began to gathered at Johns 100 acres farm! John however should not have been surprised to find that he had a problem of a totally different type! There were about as many women and children who insisted on gong along as weree our original 3,000, and each brought with them their back packs and luggage. John wasn’t caught unawares at all because, since as it turned out he had sold his estate at a handsome price, and turned the entire amount into gold coins which would be more negotiable at our destination. As it turned out the value of the estate when turned into gold, was sufficient to allow each family sufficient funds, with which to begin a new life once the war was over.
He had been given the normal 30 days in which to evacuate the property after it was sold, which was plenty enough time! While my friend was never a stock trader he did own some valuable shares, which he also sold and added to the growing treasury. All of us followed John’s example and sold our own estates, then like unto John, we turned the proceeds into of our own sales into gold coins. More then two thousand of the women had volunteered to be spies and saboteurs for the Confederacy, and these women were prepared to ruff it if necessary. Later this would prove to be a wise decision, but at the time we were not all that sure we weren’t torpedoing the mission by having all these ladies onboard. But what choice did we have, these were our own families, and few of the men were prepared to leave them behind. The addition, the wives and families meant all the additional items they just had to bring with them. An over whelming number of the children of the original Confederate Special Forces personnel, now adults are married adults, and themselves have children. But the average percentile of these adult children being men, bring with them their own military experience, and they would end up serving the cause very heroically. Thus we ended up adding greatly to the size of our fighting force! Once through the rip in time, we set up an encampment in the highlands of the Shenandoah, where we would have a better view, and we all felt our families would be safer until the fortunes of war had shifted sufficiently, allowing us to come down and join the rest of society.
War Comes to Yankee Land
When the morning of 10 May arrived it was decided that our people would go through the time portal in groups of approximately 500 to 700 each over a period of ten days. As it turned out by the time the locals became suspicious and began to complain about all the people traversing their neighborhood, the last group was even then moving through the strange doorway in time. We set up our encampment well out of the way were it was hoped we wouldn’t be spotted and where a clear mountain stream was found to supply our water needs. After a few days the first companies of troops moved out in route to their destinations, as did several hundreds of the ladies. Many of our ladies had participated in reenactments and were accustomed to dressing for that particular time period; now they would put their experience to work for the Confederacy. It wasn’t but two weeks later that word came of raging fires in Chicago and New York as well as on the docks of Baltimore, which included large ammunition dumps, rail road cars and weapons stockpiles. In the meantime General Ulysses S. Grant suffered the loss of his supply wagons wherein his munitions somehow managed to explode and the wagons burned, seemingly for no logical reason. Only a couple of wagons survived, which carryed food and medical supplies, which managed to disappear in the midst of the confusion. As a result we had made our first major alteration of history, inasmuch as the Army of the Potomac had to hold off in its pursuit of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Lee being the general that he is, took advantage of the situation and made every effort to cause Grant to expend as much of his remaining ammunition as possible, in a series of hit and run raids. Added to this was the low morale among Grants troops as a result of the bad new from up north, such as the Chicago and New York fires. Our lady spies began to quickly bring back information of great interest, that Lincoln had decided to re-supply Grant, and a wagon train would soon be on its way from Pennsylvania. This well stocked supply train would never reach Grant, but was very much appreciated by General Lee and his Army.
Meanwhile General Robert E. Lee called a council of war of his own, and opened up by pointing to the changing fortunes of war and stated "It would appear we have unknown allies out there somewhere, which have contributed to our recent victories. Perhaps at some future date we may have the privilege of thanking them in person, but for now we still have a nation to defend. I want each of our corps to push hard against Grant’s Army, in a series of ongoing hit and run tactics. Wear them down and make them deplete what little ammunition they may have remaining. It is my hope to move this war out of Virginia and into the very heartland of the enemy, with a goal of ending this war in our favor." Meanwhile General William T. Sherman had paused in his drive toward Atlanta, long enough to reevaluate his own dwindling supplies. This would turn out to be a grievous error on his part, for it allowed our saboteurs to position themselves in well hidden positions, then simply wait of the ideal opportunity, which proved to be not long in coming. Three of his top officers were killed in a night raid, his supply trains destroyed or confiscated, and fire rained down on his encampment for what must have seemed like hours. He would later report at least 10,000 casualties and as many wounded, and this rain of fire was obviously coming from an unseen enemy! When word of Sherman’s losses reached General Albert Sidney Johnston in Georgia the long columns of gray backs could be seen passing through Atlanta heading in Sherman’s direction. General William Hardee was asked not to pursue a frontal attack against General McPherson’s Federals, but to simply delay him and forestall his movements for the present time.
On 2 June 1864 General Sherman’s Army still staggering from its recent losses faced off against General Johnston’s Georgia Confederates, whom Sherman had originally came this far expecting to crush. As a result Sherman lost another 12,000 men which was more attributed to a severe shortage of ammunition and low morale, then to battle itself. Sherman had no choice but to send a message to General Johnston that very evening, asking under what terms he would consider the surrender of his army. Johnston was not a little surprised but found he could not refuse to meet with Sherman. The Federals would surrender all their weapons, ammunition, food and medical supplies in tact and in good order. Sherman’s Army would be mustered in brigade strength for easier management as they are marched away to prison. Sherman himself was spared no particular pity, but would be marched on foot and into Atlanta in chains, where he would face criminal charges. Johnston sent President Davis a telegram on 17 June stating he had as a gift to the Confederate President, none other then General William T. Sherman and his Army, which were now in captivity. Upon receiving the message President Davis smiled for the first time in what must have been a very long while and commented; "Is it possible we are seeing the beginning of the end of this terrible war?" General Sherman would languish in prison until Vicksburg Mississippi was liberated; where upon he would stand trial by a jury made up of the survivors from the Siege of Vicksburg. General Albert Sidney Johnston and his Army passed through cheering throngs in Atlanta in route to join General William Hardee, hoping to defeat McPherson’s Federals. General McPherson himself knew he was in deep trouble, but thought to give the Confederates a suitable welcome.
In Virginia General Lee’s Army turned its attention to rounding up the outer fringes of Grants Army of the Potomac. General James Longstreet’s Confederates which had wintered in Tennessee arrived in Virginia just in time to face off with General Benjamin Butler’s Federal Army, just south of Richmond. General A.P. Hill was ordered to march into the Shenandoah, in an attempt to prevent General Phillip Sheridan from rejoining General Grants main force. Several days later Lee received the word he was waiting for, the hit and run tactics against both Union Generals had been extremely successful and it was becoming obvious to everyone concerned, they were running short of ammunition. Lee now had Grant in a stand off between Richmond and Fredericksburg, in a weakened position, and with precious few options available to him and conditions worsening with each passing hour. On 17 June 1864 General Grant, who had boasted that he would peruse Lee wherever he might go, was now cornered by the Army of Northern Virginia. Early that morning General Grant sent Lee a message by courier; "It appears the fortunes of war gas turned against the Army of the Potomac. In order to prevent the further effusion of blood, under what terms might you consider accepting the surrender of my Army?" Their meeting would take place early that very after noon in a farm house located between the two towns, where upon General Ulysses S. Grant surrendered his sword, and the Army of the Potomac, then passed into history. While the work of sorting out the prisoners took place, General Lee sat down to write a message to President Jefferson Davis, wherein he wrote: "It is my pleasure to inform you of the surrender of General Ulysses S. Grant and his Army! Your obedient servant, R.E. Lee, General. Commanding. President Jefferson Davis was jubilant to say the least, that within so short a span both Sherman and Grant had surrendered.
The Beginning of the End
The changing fortunes of war brought on by the Confederate Special Forces, which had arrived from the future, meant General John Bell Hood would remain in Command of the Army of Tennessee and face off with Union General George S. Thomas on 27 July at the Second Battle of Chattanooga. Along the way the strays, the sick as well as many new recruits join Hood’s Army in an all out effort to drive the Federals from Tennessee. The opening volleys started at the foot of Missionary Ridge but to the surprise of General Thomas, it was as if fire was raining down from heaven itself, as well as an unseen ghost army that was adding to the firepower of Hoods Confederates. Unknown to Thomas, Hood was equally surprised; none-the-less the turn of events was a most welcomed situation to General Hood, even though he had no ideas as to the identity of his unknown ally. In the first round Thomas lost his supply wagons, and was forced to continue the battle with the limited ammunition each soldier carried with them. Additionally without the wagon supplies, his cannon verty quickly became useless, outside of the few rounds, which had already been fired. In addition, five of his senior officers were killed, as the opening volleys rang out from the skirmish lines. General Thomas couldn’t help but see grim results as his lines were being decimated, and found he had no choice but to order a retreat, however given the noise and commotion, the order was either never heard or couldn’t be carried out effectively. The fighting went on for what must have been several more hours, when the Federal Lines simply broke and the blue bellies turned threw down their weapons and ran for whatever cover the terrain might offer.
The Army of General George S. Thomas was finished as an effective fighting force, and even he knew the only dreadful option remaining was to a message to General John Bell Hood. In the end Thomas just couldn’t believe the Confederates possessed so much firepower, but if not then from where was it coming? The next day being 28 July President Jefferson Davis received still another pleasant message, reporting the surrender of the Federal Army under General George S. Thomas. The month of June had come and gone and the Confederate Special Forces were definitely having an effect, howbeit out of necessity they continued to operate covertly and outside of the public spectacle. But even General Robert E. Lee was aware that some other force was out there fighting for the Confederate Cause, operating outside of his range of sight and sound. Like an invisible friend and ally, which seemed to be there at every critical moment, offering just enough assistance to shift the scales in favor of the Confederates, but not so much help as to actually fight the war for them. General Lee couldn’t help but wander who or what could muster such a force? Beside the obvious unseen military assistance he was constantly receiving intelligence, which made him aware of precisely where and what the Union Forces were doing at any given movement in time. He could not know that several thousand women from the future were at work in nearly every theater of the war, making sure our Confederate Commanders knew all they needed to know to carryout a victorious battle strategy.
An example was that of a very special lady who possessed exceptional administrative skills, and had managed to become Abraham Lincoln’s Presidential Assistant, which meant she knew every decision he was making and could relay important information to the Confederacy. In every department of Lincolns Government agents were busy, either on a personal or a professional level, gleaning all the information possible. General James Longstreet even stated in a jest, that he even had been informed as to when Lincoln took his dog for a walk, and had precise knowledge on how many cigars General Grant had amongst his supplies. Additionally, specially equipped ships were beginning to break the blockade, this when added to the Union Army’s huge losses, drastically altered the fortunes of war on the part of the Federate Forces. This gave Lee an idea as to how to end this horrible war, and do so in favor of the Confederacy.
General Lee began to relate his plans in more detail when suddenly loud noises were heard just outside his tent entrance. Both Longstreet and Lee arose and went outside to see what the commotion was about, just in time to great the President of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis and his Secretary of War James A. Seddon. Greetings Mr. President, stated Lee, pleased to see you, and I might say your coming here indicates your response is very quick in coming. Stepping off the carriage Davis replied; "May we finish our discussion in Private General Lee?" Most certainly, perhaps my tent might rightly be called private or at least as private as we have under the circumstances. While lee opened the tent entrance for his Commander-in-Chief, the President and Secretary Seddon entered, as did General Longstreet. Once inside Lee offered the President as sampling of his meager treats, which he possessed. Among them was fresh coffee which had been confiscated as war booty from the Yankees, and there were also portions of bread, also a gift from Abraham Lincoln’s troops.
Finally the four of them got down to business! General Lee began the discussion by stating that obviously the President had gotten the report on his plans to head north toward Washington. Davis then opened his remarks by saying; "General Lee, while it is true we have enjoy enormous successes over the past few months. And no one can dispute that these victories have been wide spread; the larger portion of the Confederacy is even now once more in Confederate hands. While there are several Union Armies roaming unchecked throughout our home land, it is believed these can be dealt with in due course of time. However General, I must ask if you are certain we can afford to make a direct attack upon the Federal Capital, knowing it is the most fortified city on earth?" The discussion between the four men went on for what must have been an hour or more. Finally Lee having convinced Davis that his plan was not without risk, still there exists an enormous opportunity to end the war under conditions favorable to the Confederacy’s independence. As the four men began to exit the tent, President Davis closed his arguments by saying, General Lee we are banking everything on the success of your coming campaign; if it fails we might find ourselves in an even worse situation then before this recent string of victories. I am hoping we are not squandering our gains by attacking Washington at this time! Lee agreed with the President’s remarks, but assured him he would do everything with in his power to make sure the opportunity is not squandered.
After President Davis and Secretary Seddon departed, Lee called for a reliable messenger to report to his tent where upon he gave him his orders. It was Private Joseph Stiles which reported, known to be among the best shots in the Army of Northern Virginia, as well as an outstanding horseman. This poarticular Private also had another characteristic, which was critical to Lee’s plan, that of being able to keep a secret when ordered. When Private Stiles entered he snapped to attention, Private Stiles reporting as orders sir! Relax Private, replied General Lee; I’d like you to deliver a verbal message from me to General Jubal Early, and you should find him in Silver Springs Maryland by the time you arrive. Relay the following message: "Hold off on any possible offensive against the Federal Capital until the arrival of the entire Army of Northern Virginia." After replying that he understood, he rendered General Lee a parting salute, then the Private departed to carryout his mission. President Davis had arrived sooner then expected, thereby denying Lee the opportunity of fully explaining his plan to Longstreet, thus he still had somewhat of a surprised look on his face: "You’re going to attack the Federal Capital itself?" That is my intention, sated General Lee! Lincoln is extremely worried about the security of his Capital just about now, and it is my intention to add to his worries. Lincoln will have already begun to recall the remainder of his armies from Virginia by the time I arrive in the Washington area and his Capital will have become an armed camp. If my hunches are correct our invisible allies will do likewise and muster all their strength in and around the Washington City, making every effort to assure our ultimate victory.
Jubal Early has had his eyes on Washington since mid-spring at the very least and I have every hope of giving him the opportunity. We must bring a halt to this bloodletting and the sooner the better! Our success hinges on three elements, Early’s remaining in Maryland, this invisible ally rallying around our coming campaign, lastly Lincoln and his government remaining in Washington. We cannot hope to be able to surprise them; when we begin to move Lincoln will know of it, so I will play on his fears to our advantage. Is Private Joseph Stiles on his way? "Yes, he rode off only moments ago" stated Lonstreet! "Alright on the morning after tomorrow I want this entire army on the march north and we will cross the Potomac at Shepherdstown. General Lee’s hunches proved uncannily accurate, his army had hardly begun its march north when Lincoln called Major General Henry W. Halleck into his office. Halleck, according to this message I am holding here, tells me General Lee intends on paying us a visit! Yes Sir Mr. President and I might add, he has the entire Army of Northern Virginia at his back, which is even now on the march! Do you believe he intends on attacking Washington? I beg your forgiveness for my blunt language Mr. President, but in his place I'd do precisly what General Lee is doing, and for one single reason, to dictate term for ending this war in favor of the Confederacy. And he has had a string of victories, which may well prove decisively as to whether or not he has the advantage!
The Closing of Days
I must say Halleck, with Grant and Sherman both in captivity you must personally command the defense of this city and report directly to me! How many soldiers do we have in and around the city? We can muster 65,000 Mr. President, and this figure comes with a measure of caution. Only about 5,000 of them have battlefield experience, the remainder are green garrison troops. So to call them an army would be to stretching the definition beyond the abilities of most of these men. Mr. President, Bobby Lee is heading north even as we speak, and his army grows stronger with every mile! The strays, deserters and new recruits are all joining his numbers, the sick, lame and even the olderly are leaving their hospital beds and rocking chairs so they will not to miss out on what they believe will be the closing battle of this war. Our agents in Atlanta have reported that troop trains have been arriving for a week now, filled to capacity with more soldiers, on their way to join Lee’s seeningly invincible Army. If Ulysses S. Grant could not stop Bobby Lee, I hesitate to be so bold as to say I would fare any better. He’s coming alright Mr. President with the largest army ever seen on this continent, when he arrives he will most certainly be knocking on our gates!
It was 30 July 1864 when the long columns of Lee’s massive Army began to cross the Potomac River, and it would no doubt be another two weeks before the first volleys would ringed out against the Federal Capital at Washington City. Additions to his growing army had come from every possible quarter; with thousands more joining their numbers, even after the Confederates had passed into Maryland. Some estimates counted Lee’s Army at over 200,000 which was astonishing, considering this was the third year of the war and Southern losses thus far had been exceptionally heavy. Lincoln stared out his office window as Halleck entered the office with further reports on General Lee. Mr. President . . . Lincoln turned and answered with a single word . . . Yes! Another message, and I regret to say it is not very good news! Lincoln began to read the words with a worried look on his face; "The Army of Northern Virginia has nearly completed its crossing into Maryland at Shepherdstown. Already their columns are spread for miles across the Maryland landscape, nearly as far as the eye could see. Lee brings with him at least 250 cannon of the finest, and no doubt what may be the largest Calvary ever mustered on this continent thus far. His infantry is carrying repeating rifles, which they no doubt confiscated from us. The men as well as their horses appear exceptionally healthy, well fed and alert! Their morale is exceptionally high to say the least, inasmuch as their boisterous singing can be heard for miles in every direction."
Someone would later say that General Lee hand brought with him a ‘Full House’ since besides commanders of the likes of James Longstreet, A.P. Hill and Jubal Early. He also called upon John Bell Hood and Albert Sidney Johnston each bringing at least half of their armies through Atlanta Georgia. The Federal War effort in the lower South had all but collapsed by this time, and Lee felt that a reduced portion of the Confederate Army, which was left behind, could easily handle those few remaining Federal Armies now roaming throughout the region. Besides both Hood and Johnston were more eager to take part in the Battle of Washington, they therefore wasted no time in loading their army’s onboard troop trains from Atlanta bound for Richmond. The victories over the last several months had relieved the pressure on the lower States of the Confederacy, who were now experiencing some small measure of recovery. Space was now more available for transporting troops by train, which had since been upgraded and expanded over the past few same months. Labor, material and money for repairs, which had not been available, was now left these needed repairs and updates well on the way to completion! Otherwise the possibility of moving armies of any size from Georgia to Virginia would never have been considered realistic. The crowds were heavy when the Armies of Hood and Johnston, began to gather each portion of their armies, in their proper rotation over approximately a week, at the depot in Atlanta, loaded them onboard and headed moved them out toward the north, so as to join General Lee’s growing campaign force. While at the same time, in the City of Washington, Abraham Lincoln paced back and forth: He was heard speaking mostly to himself "How did these rebels do it, six months ago the Confederacy could never have mustered such a force. Now they have the most awesome army on earth? Halleck answered his Commander-in-Chief; Mr. President, the Confederates smell victory, just as an animal smells blood and that fact has strengthened them to what we see coming our way." Yes, said Lincoln," I am sure you are correct, if our positions had been reversed, we’d likely react in precisely the same way."
As Lee’s Army finished finally finished crossing the Potomac, then divided into six corps of approximately 33,000 men each, under the command of Generals Lee, Longstreet, Hill, Early, Hood and Johnston respectively. Generals Hood and Johnston would be on the left of the battle line around Washington, Hill and Early on the right, with Longstreet and Lee holding the center. The Confederate Armies would surrounded the city like a ring of fire! There were to be 40 cannon assigned to each of the six corps for a total of 250 for Lee’s entire Army. It would take ten more days for all of the six corps to get themselves into position, and complete preparations. On 10 August 1864 General Lee held a council of war with his generals, and gave the order, tomorrow morning at first light we will open fire on the Federal Capital, but. Unknown to Lee or his generals, the 'Confederate Special Forces' including a large number of their spies, which were on hand, their mission was to make sure no federals escaped, either down river or overland. They were all expert marksmen armed with night scopes, which were able to get the job done. A number of the most boisterous anti-Confederate Senators and Congressmen, were among those who thought to make a run down river. They had no sooner boarded and moved out into the channel of the river, when an explosion was heard and the entire ship went to the bottom with all hands onboard. Additionally, many of the munitions stockpiles of Federal General Halleck Army had depended upon for re-supplying his troops, mysteriously exploded in a ball of fire. General Lee couldn’t help taking a personal note of the situation and commented more to himself then to anyone else, that our unseen allies are here alright. An aide standing nearby him asked him: "Did you say something General Lee?" Never mind Lee explained, "I was just thinking out loud!"
The next morning, Thursday 11 August at the crack of dawn, just as General Lee had ordered the cannons began to thunder across the battle lines that surrounded Washington City. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind, the end was near for those same Federals who were going to suppress by force, the Southern People’s right to decide for themselves what manor of society, government and nation shall be theirs. General Lee had set up his headquarters in a small farm house about five miles from Washington, which was owned by John Canter and his Family. As the battle was now under way Lee, was preparing to depart and ride his horse traveler closer to the action when an aide, entered the room. "There’s a gentleman in the foyer who says you will want to meet him!" Who is he Lee asked? He wouldn’t give me his name, but answered with the phrase "your secret ally!" Escort the gentleman in immediately, answered General Lee. As the unseen ally entered the room General Lee noted he wore a Confederate Uniform which while it was obviously battle worn, was none-the-less of a exceptionally high quality in texture and design, but he hesitated to make any open comment, preferring to wait for the man to introduce himself. The stranger did so by saluting, while at the same time speaking in disciplined military tones; "General Lee, I am Colonel John Stephens, Commander of the Confederate Special Forces Brigade. I am your unseen ally, your humble and obedient servant sir!" I would be pleased after all this is over to sit down and speak with you at length, but I assume you have made your identity know at this particular time for reasons, related to our mission. Let me therefore come directly to the point and ask how many of you are there, and how you feel you can best help in this situation? There are 3,000 of us who have fought in two different wars, plus the sons of many of these same 3,000 soldiers, who have since joined our numbers, thereby raising our forces to that of a 5,000 member brigade. We are a special weapons and tactics unit, meaning we can generally take on missions where others, either lack the skills, training, or else the weapons or tactics.
Complete and Unconditional Surrender!
General Lee had finished speaking with the Colonel just as they both exited the main door of the Canter Home! Since your special brand of assistance has contributed so mightily toward making these series of victories possible, I am therefore open to your suggestions. Alright then general, by your leave we will move behind enemy lines put the lock down on Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet, even delivering them to you if that is your pleasure. General Lee smiled and answered, "Colonel I like the way you think; now I am sure we must have that more lengthy discussion at a later date. Let us say that you have just drafted your own orders! As to bringing Lincoln to me, do so only if it does not add an undue to unnecessary casualties." Very well then General Lee, Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet will be delivered to you and I will find you wherever you happen to be at any given moment of the battle. My brigade is already in place, and is awaiting my orders!" Colonel Stephens then spoke into the communications devise he had brought with him and relayed the orders: "Close in on the targeted individuals!" Colonel Stephens then saluted the General and went on his way! Lee arrived at the scene of battle just in time for a prearranged halt to the barrage of cannon fire, which had been raining down on the terrified defenders of Washington. After a moment of silence the six Commanders each standing at the head of their corps raised their swords heaven ward, then they brought them down as a signal to begin the infantry charge through the battle lines of the Federal Troops. It was obvious the Federal were so shattered by nearly two hours of constant bombardment they put up only a small resistance, as the gray backs charged over the ramparts giving the rebel yell in an ear shattering scream. The lines of the Federal Defenders collapsed as thousands of them dropped their weapons and threw up their arms as a sign of surrender. It had only been five hours since the first volleys thunders toward the Federal Capital, and already the city was rapidly falling into Confederate hands.
General Lee had just mounted Traveler, when he spotted a squad of Confederates coming his way escorting what were obviously prisoners. As they came closer he could see it was Colonel Stephen’s brigade headed up by what appeared to be a Sergeant Major. As they approached the Sergeant saluted smartly saying: "General Lee, by complements of Colonel Stephens we present to you the President of the United States Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet." General Lee return the salute then focused his attention on President Lincoln! "You will forgive the lack of amenities on this occasion, but I must demand of you sir the complete, total and unconditional surrender of your government. Further you have only two options in this regard, either you will comply and give the orders for all your armies to cease fire upon our countrymen, or we will reduce this city to smoldering ashes." Lincoln looked at General Lee and replied; "You would do so such a thing would you not?" Lee gave a one worded response, "regretfully."
The General then presented Lincoln with a blank slip of paper and pencil taken from his uniform pocket, and then remarked: "Give the order Mr. President." Seeing he had no remaining options Lincoln quickly wrote out the order on paper for "All U.S. Federal Troops wherever they may be are ordered to immediately observe a cease fire." General Lee gave the same order to all Confederate Armies which was given to a staff offer to transmit throughout both the Confederacy, as well as the United States. The Confederates immediately began to move into the city without further resistance. General Lee decided Lincoln would not be given the privilege and the honor of signing an unconditional and total surrender at the Whitehouse, but would be taken to the Canter Home where a formal draft with a second copy would be penned, which would reflect the terms of the surrender. At 2:00 p.m. on 11 August 1864 hostilities ended, all Federal Armies remaining within the borders of the Confederacy, surrendered and laid down their arms. President Jefferson Davis detailed the terms of the complete and unconditional surrender, afterward Abraham Lincoln was escorted to Richmond to meet with Jefferson Davis on 14 August. A formal treaty of peace was signed on 21 August between the Confederate States and the United States. The date of 21 August was henceforth celebrated as Confederate Independence Day through the Confederacy!
It took several months for things to begin to quiet down and the details to be worked out to the satisfaction of the newly independent nation. The Confederacy demanded a return of Western Virginia into greater Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado and the Arizona Indian territories up to the Colorado River as well as Nevada and California would be included. The Confederacy would have an outlet to the Pacific Ocean. Later this would mean that many of the Confederate people would be those who migrated west and populated these territories giving them a Southern cultural flavor. Thus these new territories would not become a haven for liberals but rather populated predominantly by conservatives! The United States was required by the terms of the surrender to reduce it forces to 25 percent of their war time numbers, and surrender 65 percent of their Naval Fleet, so these vessels could no longer be use in an aggressive war. Reparations were required for damages inflicted upon our people, cities, homes and nation, and a number of their Senior Officers were required to stand trial for unspeakable crimes committed during the war years: Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes and Waging an Aggressive War. Evidence was brought against 100 officers; out of that number 75 were tried and given prison sentences, ranging from five to fifteen years. Another fifteen had their charges dismissed, while the other ten were executed for their crimes. After six months, the Confederacy reduced the size of it’s own armies to half their war time numbers. A system of Local Militias, State Armed Forces as well as the National Armed Forces were developed and would serve to protect the Confederate States of America while preventing the Confederacy from becoming the world’s policemen.
The leadership of the Confederate Special Forces took the bold step of inviting President Jefferson Davis, Vice President Alexander Stephens and General Robert E. Lee to our encampment before it was officially disbanded, and our people began to scatter. The President replied with a gracious letter of thanks but stated the pressing business of state would prevent his attending, but thought it appropriate that Vice President Alexander Stephens, the Secretary of War James A. Seddon and General Robert E. Lee would best represent the Davis Administration. So it was on a cool but sunshiny day on 13 November when the meeting took place at our humble encampment high in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. After a pleasant reception, which included a luncheon, a tour of the encampment and a formal inspection of the Confederate Special Forces, a letter of gratitude was then delivered from President Jefferson Davis for the services we had rendered the Confederate States of America, which was ceremoniously read to the entire assembly. After having previously consulted with the entire group, our leadership requested that no public notice be given as to the existence of the Confederate Special Forces. In exchange an agreement was made to ensure these same skills, strategies and tactics were passed on to the Confederate States Armed Forces through the creation of a command like unto ours. We kept our part of the agreement and organized several teams, which would train sufficient members of new Confederate Armed Forces so as to create a number of Confederate Commands similar to ours. The members of our group kept in contact with each other over the years, but for the most part, all eventually scattered with the four winds.
After speaking to General Robert E. Lee privately, we managed to encourage him to return to his Arlington Home, arrange to have those honored dead, which had been buried there excavated, and their remains re-interned in their own respective home States. Those who were unknown would be re-interned in a suitable cemetery provided by the nation of origin! It was also felt this would give ample opportunity to do honors to them for their service, both on the part of the Confederacy and the Union. The General without hesitation, agreed to give this idea strong consideration: However the answer was not long in coming! When the plan was made known to the public, it caused an outcry for the creation of a suitable place for the burial of all unknown Confederate Military Personnel from whatever war, present or future. Contributions began to pour in and a large Confederate Military Cemetery was established on the outskirts of Montgomery Alabama, the First Capital of the Confederacy. The Arlington Estate was eventually restored to its former condition prior to the war, at the expense of those who had caused the desecration. The northern electorate would come to blame Lincoln and the Republicans for undertaking a lost cause, which lead to their overwhelming defeat by the northern Democrats in the 1866 elections. Time passed and the wounds war began to slowly heal as the Confederacy recovered and even prospered! But sometimes I look back on where we had come from, and how we had lived in an occupied and subjugated Confederacy, but it all seems like a fading nightmare from a forgotten time. Whatever the twenty first century may now offer, I have no doubt it will be an improvement over the conditions we left behind, when we traveled through what was obviously a rip in the fabric of time. Never the less given the trade off, I did not miss the advance technology of the society we had left behind.
Several of us returned on a cold winter day in January 1865 and found the opening had closed. We could only surmise that the future we once knew, was in fact a error, itself causing the rip in the fabric of time, our coming through the opening somehow serve to correct the error, mend itself and then it closed forever. The future we came from no longer existed, now future history would be written from the standpoint of truth, rather then political correctness and historical revisionism.
God save the Confederacy
"If there is any piece of wisdom to be gleaned from history it is this: There are those who simply follow the trend, and then there are those who shape the course of history. It is not always the scholarly, the great and the mighty which step forward when others procrastinate in complacency and compromise. Often it is the humble and the common man who sees the need, accepts the responsibility and takes firm action" --- Alexander Trimble