You are Benjamin Butler, a Massachusetts state legislator and officer in the Massachusetts militia. As a Democrat, you participated in national presidential politics, attempting to maintain unity within your party and your country as the nation became increasingly divided by slavery.
Through your encounters with southern politicians, you learn that the Democratic party is becoming increasingly secessionist and war might soon result. Should you [[support Jefferson Davis]] in the Democratic primary? He seems moderate in comparison to John C. Breckenridge. On the other hand, you were always a friend to southern rights, but an enemy to [[southern wrongs]].
<img src="https://i1.wp.com/www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/images/Benjamin-Butler.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="277">March, 1861
After learning the secessionist plans of your southern party members, you return to Massachusetts and recommend that the governor mobilize the militia for the coming war. You hold the rank of Brigadier General in the Massachusetts militia, but that does not guarantee that you will be commissioned into the U.S. Army. You will need to [[pull some strings]] to get what you want.
War is a great opportunity for profiteering. You own some textile mills. Wouldn't it be great if you could serve your country further by supplying them with cloth for a [[nominal fee]]?
Jefferson Davis is not the moderate you thought he was. You go home to Massachusetts confident that you have averted national disaster, only to lose face and political esteem due to the events of the following months.
You know the right people. Your connections with the Secretary of War and Massachusetts bankers that fund the new Army regiments make it so that you are chosen as Massachusetts' highest ranking officer, despite your utter lack of experience.
As more southern states secede, Washington DC is increasingly vulnerable to attack. Virginia has not seceded yet, but is showing every intention of doing so. Washington needs you for its defense!
How should you deploy your troops? You could send them by rail through a state with southern sympathies. What could [[go wrong]]?
It is just as easy to send them on ships. You're feeling [[old school]].It just so happens that a General in the Army is able to procure a government contract for his textile mill! What are the odds? Your personal business is booming and your connections have granted you a commission as Major General in the Army. Things are looking up, nothing could [[go wrong]].The 6th and 8th Massachusetts regiments under your command are ferried directly to Washington, DC from Boston harbor without a hitch. Your lack of experience has led the Army's command to relegate you and your men to the defense of Washington. After your arrival, you hear word of a New York regiment that encountered a riot. The commander of that regiment was given the task of pacifying Maryland. However, your career is undistinguished and you spend the rest of the war serving in relative obscurity. April 19, 1861
It is easiest to send your troops by rail. You send the 6th Regiment first, and plan to leave one day later with the 8th regiment. Your plans are thrown into disarray by the Pratt Street Riot!
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While attempting the transfer trains in Baltimore, angry citizens attacked your men. While most of them made it to the train, several were wounded and some were even left behind in the confusion. What should you do with the the 8th regiment?
[[Damn the rioters! Full speed ahead!]]
April 27, 1861
While you search for alternate transportation for the 8th Regiment, you receive orders from General Winfield Scott to occupy Annapolis in order to prevent the state legislature from voting to secede. You ferry the 8th Regiment to Annapolis, occupy the Naval Academy, and secure Maryland for the Union, for now.
Now, complete your journey to [[Washington]].You attempt to send the 8th Massachusetts by rail through Baltimore, but Maryland secessionists have cut rail and telegraph lines up and down the tracks from Baltimore. After disembarking from the train shortly after passing into Maryland, your unarmed men are harried by secessionist Marylanders, decimating your forces. Maryland secessionists are emboldened by your weakness, and Unionist legislators are afraid to vote without a strong military presence to protect them. Maryland eventually secedes and Washington DC falls shortly thereafter, forcing the remaining northern states to sue for peace. Congratulations, you have single-handedly lost the war. Congratulations! Your decisive action to prevent the secession of Maryland has won you the gratitude of commanding General Winfield Scott. For your reward, you have been given the task of pacifying the area of Maryland around Baltimore and Annapolis so that rail travel from the north to Washington DC may continue.
[[Follow your orders]] to the letter. Restore rail service and telegraphs.
[[Attack the root of the problem]]. Baltimore is a hive of secession and villany. May 1861
You occupy the railroads and restore service from positions at railroad depots, but guerrilla-style attacks continue to disable and delay the railroad as soon as it is fixed.
[[Attack the root of the problem]]
Guerillas are hiding amongst the people. [[Punish the population]]. You decide to occupy Baltimore. You have not been ordered to do this, and you do not have the men or logistical support to sustain a seige if something goes wrong.
[[Sneak in at night, what's the worst that could happen?]]Your men are greeted with cold contempt in the towns they enter. On a good day, they are spat upon; on a bad day, chamber pots are dumped on their heads. Furthermore, you receive intelligence that women are being used to smuggle money and supplies to Virginia.
Victorian gender roles are preventing you from doing your job! Allow your men to physically retaliate against men and women who accost them. [[Target women]] in search and seizure of contraband.
The whole population is in revolt! [[Arrest people]] on a whim, and publicly execute anyone is is caught sabotaging the railroad.
Your stubborn refusal to obey social norms has alienated you from the public. Confederates in the north and the south hold you up as an example of Yankee oppression. Unionist sympathizers in Maryland suffer equally under your treatment, and fewer of the state's citizens support you. General Scott sends you orders to cease punishing civilians.
[[Attack the root of the problem]].
Double down, the problem is that you haven't done enough! [[Arrest people]].
You arrest anyone and everyone that falls under suspicion of aiding the enemy. Women that spit on soldiers are beaten in the street, while contemptuous men are arrested and beaten. Anyone caught outside after curfew is arrested and held indefinately without trial. A few men caught severing telegraph lines are briefly tried and publicly executed.
The sabotage ends, but there are [[consequences]].May 13, 1861
Your attempt to move into Baltimore in broad daylight makes the Pratt Street Riot seem like a military drill. Baltimore residents set up roadblocks and barricades all over the city, held by armed citizens. As your men advance through the steets of Baltimore toward Federal Hill, they are forced to fire on American civilians. You suffer significant losses of your own, but you eventually win the city. However, there are [[consequences]].May 13, 1862
Luckily, it was a dark, rainy night. Your men's movements, including the rumbling carts carrying heavy guns, are muffled by the rattling of the rain and the squelch of the mud.
When Baltimoreans woke up the following morning, they saw a Union encampment on Federal Hill with cannons aimed into the city. You suppressed dissent by banning public gatherings and ended production of Confederate war material in Baltimore.
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For your decisive and effective action, General Scott has chastised you for [[disobeying orders]].Your reckless disregard for civilian life has served as a catalyst of anti-Union sentiment the world over. Americans of all stripes condemn your actions, and Britain and France begin sending trade and humanitarian aid to the Confederacy. The blockade of Southern ports is ineffective because no one wants to fire on civilian ships and risk being compared to you. The war drags on, with no end in sight. May 14, 1861
Although General Scott is upset that you occupied Baltimore, the high level of collusion with Confederate forces that you discovered within the city's government gave you the clout you needed to avoid a severe reprimand. Your seizure of property bound for Confederate forces was particularly appreciated, even if Scott will no admit it.
However, it was not just Confederate goods being produced in Baltimore. Entire companies of volunteers march past Union troops on the way to Confederate lines, and Confederate guerillas still work to sabotage the railroads.
In the course of carrying out your assigned duty of protecting the railroad, you arrest a Maryland citizen who actively attacked railroad and telegraph targets throughout the state. His name is Ross Winans, and he happens to a Maryland state legislator as well as a Confederate sympathizer.
[[Arrest him, obviously.]]
This calls for a deft diplomatic touch. [[Convince him to stop rebelling.]]Good job, you arrested a rebel and the railroads are safe once more. However, you have upset Marylanders who you are supposed to be winning over. Lincoln orders you to release Winans.
[[Lincoln does not understand the situation. Ignore him.->Ft. Monroe]]
[[Release him!->Ft. Monroe]]You have a lot of circumstantial evidence that Winans is guilty, and you confront him about his actions. Winans is offended and defiant, both insisting on his innocence and demanding his release, but his tone and his arrogant smirk indicate that he is lying.
[[Arrest him, obviously.]]
You do not have enough evidence to convict, and he has several highly placed friends. [[Release him.->Ft. Monroe]]
May 27, 1861
As punishment for your continued insubordination and lack of regard for the Article 1, section 9 of the US Constitution, you have been sent to Fort Monroe, a fortress in the boondocks of Virginia that is about to become central to Union policy for escaped slaves. [[Lucky you.]]Escaped slaves are showing up at the gates. Your men, not knowing what else to do, take them in. Confederate civilians and officers demand the return of the slaves. What should you do?
[[Return them]], it's not worth the hassle.
[[Protect them!]] You are, after all, an enemy to southern wrongs.You return the slaves. The slave that are returned to their masters are spiteful, to say the least. The provide their masters with intelligence regarding number of men, supplies, and approach routes. Moreover, they spread word of your rejection of escaped slaves. Fewer slaves escaping means more slaves are able to work for the Confederate Army, freeing more white men to fight.
Slaves are still eventually freed by President Lincoln, but the slaves that do escape go west, where they assimilate into Native American cultures, or die. The war lasts longer and more people die. Who would have thought that your training as a lawyer would pay off in your military career? You claim the escaped slaves as war contraband. Confederate Generals cannot claim slaves under the Fugitive Slave Act, as the Confederacy sees itself as a separate sovereign nation. However, Lincoln does not like your logic, since it tacitly treats the Confederacy as a separate nation rather than a rebellion.
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This war started because of slavery. [[Keep protecting them!]]
Lincoln is right, we cannot afford to legitimize the Confederacy. [[Return them]].
Word spreads that you are taking in escaped slaves. Slaves from eastern Virginia and southern Maryland flock to your gates. Your anti-slavery policies are also drawing attention from Lincoln and members of Congress. Your strategy sows discord in the south as masters are reluctant to lend their slaves to the Confederate Army, because they will be more likely to escape. Fewer slaves for the army means that Confederate forifications will not be as strong.
Furthermore, the meaning of the war changes for Union soldier and civilian alike. Your men enjoy protecting the slaves from exasperated southern owners. Other Union commanders begin to follow your lead. In Washington, the President and Congress see the popularity and tactical advantage of the policy.
Eventually, your policies lead to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclaimation. You win!
[[View bibliography]].<font face= Helvetica">
*Italics* work like this.
blah blah blahEvitts, William J. *A Matter of Allegiances: Maryland from 1850 to 1861.* Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974.
Fields, Barbara Jeanne. *Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland during the Nineteenth Century.* New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985.
Lankford, Nelson D. *Cry Havoc!: The Crooked Road to Civil War, 1861.* New York: Penguin, 2007.
Sheads, Scott S., and Daniel Carroll Toomey. *Baltimore during the Civil War.* Linthicum, Md.: Toomey Press, 1997.
*The Baltimore Sun*
*New York Time*