So, after a long time of practice and reading AU's, I have decided to begin work on my own: Gentlemen, I present to you: the Republic of the Carolinas! This first basic history and ships section will focus on the background of the country, its founding, and the organization and equipment of it's armed forces during the years 1865-1875.
Map: dark green=Carolinas light green=Mexico red=CSA blue=USA
Basic history overview: During the year 1861, the Southern states seceded from the Union. However, the Carolina's, both North and South, signed an agreement with the Confederate government and Mexico. The agreement stated that in exchange for helping the Confederacy, the Carolinas would be merged into one independent state, while Mexico would be given ownership of the Southwest, Pacific coast, and occupy the Great Plains. The agreement was signed in early 1862, and was ratified by all states and governments later in the year. The war immediately went well for the allied nations. The Confederates inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Union forces at Manassas. Meanwhile, a joint Carolinian-Confederate force pushed the Union army out of Northern Virginia. Mexico, after signing an agreement with several Mid-Western Native tribes, contracted several thousand native mercenaries to raid the Union lands. They would be payed back with land conquered from the Union. The Mexican Royal Army, helped by new equipment from Europe, including rifled field artillery and repeating firearms, began an offensive into California and managed to besiege Los Angeles and capture it by late 1863. The Confederates, with invaluable help from their Carolinian allies, routed a Union army just 50 miles from Washington and rapidly pushed through the Union cavalry screen south of the city. With the fall of it's capital, the Union surrendered its western territories to a joint Mexican-Native occupation and ceded California, Washington, and the rest of the Southwest-pacific region to the Mexican government. Washington was occupied by Confederate troops and the Confederacy gained control of all border states that had been disputed towards the beginning of the war. After the war, the victors began re-organizing their armed forces in a more orderly, European-style fashion, and developed a common strategy for war. The Carolinas adopted the new Remington rolling-block rifle as it's standard service gun and imported dozens of European rifled guns. All of the victorious nations benefited from recognition by the European powers, and they all industrialized rapidly.
STATISTICS FOR THE CAROLINAS AS OF 1865:
- Population total: 1,696,330
-Free population: 962,865
-Army: 128,000 (100,000 infantry, 20,000 cavalry, 5,000 artillery, 3,000 coast defense)
-Navy: 25,000 (18,000 sailors, 3,000 marines, 4,000 others)
-Infantry rifle: Remington-Rolling block
-Service pistol: mixed bag of weapons, largely Colt 1840's-to 1860's models.
-Sabers and swords: Various weapons produced by both local arsenals and foreign suppliers
-Field guns: Various makes and models during the war, including 12-pounder-32 pounder guns of both smooth and rifle-bore. After the war, Armstrong breech-loading quick-firers were adopted.
-Mortars: Different kinds ranging from 4-pounder up to 100+ pounders.
-Coast defense artillery: All kinds of guns ranging from captured Dahlgren's to Confederate-made Brooke rifles and Parrot guns.
Navy: The Carolinian navy was founded in 1861 and initially included a large number of repossessed steamers, tugs, river boats, barges, and sailing vessels. The navy peaked at 48 vessels in 1864, but was cut down to 34 after the war. The navy acquired its first ironclad in 1862. It was the CS Victory (ex-CSS Manassas)
The Victory, originally laid down as the Manassas in 1861, was built by the Confederacy and gained instant notoriety during its first battle at New Orleans. After the battle though, the ship was transferred to the Carolinian navy and renamed the CS (Carolinian Ship) Victory. She was sold off because Confederate planners realized that the rather primitive ship would be rapidly outclassed by larger ships. The Victory was in action with the Carolinas on the North Carolina sounds, patrolling for Union ships trying to blockade the east coast. She spent the rest of the war as a coast-defense ship and was slated for a reconstruction at the Carolina Shipbuilding Company in Wilmington. The rebuilding program included the addition of an armored pilothouse on top of the vessel's sloped superstructure, she was re-engined and re-boilered with 2 locally built rectangular coal-fired boilers powering a single poppet-valve engine taken from an old Union blockade ship captured during the war. Additional steam outlets and ventilation gear was installed for crew comfort, and an additional 32-pounder rifled muzzle-loader was installed in a new rear-facing gun port. Both ports feature iron shutters that could seal off the guns during a ramming attack. She was kept in service in this form until 1875, when she was sunk as a practice target for the coastal artillery service.
The Carolinian navy in 1865 consisted of a ragtag mix of ships...
-Ironclad steam ram: 1
-Armored steamers: 2
-Unarmored armed steamers: 2
-Armed barges: 4
-Dispatch boats: 2
-Packet boats: 1
-Sailing ships: 7
-Transport ships and communication vessels: 8
-Other small vessels: 7
-I hope you all like this AU and I really would like to hear any comments or criticism about it and possibly suggestion. Next time I intend to include my own original drawings of an armored armed steamer, the regular armed steamer, and an armed barge. I also want to at some point after that do a drawing of the Remington Rolling-block rifle as well as some mortars and field guns. Thanks, -RegiaMarina1939.