A Rainbow of Blood: The Union in Peril An Alternate History
Peter G. Tsouras
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“Do you know what military glory is? It is ‘that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood—that serpent’s eye, that charms to destroy.’” —Abraham Lincoln
The Union in dire peril! The war that began in Peter G. Tsouras’s previous alternate history, Britannia’s Fist, accelerates during a few desperate weeks in October 1863. From the bayous of Louisiana to the green hills of the Hudson Valley, from Chicago in flames to the gates of Washington itself, the Great War uncoils in ropes of fire. French and British armies are on the march, and heavy reinforcements have put to sea. Copperheads have risen in revolt to drag the Midwest into the Confederacy as a vital Union army stands starving and under siege in Tennessee. Meanwhile, Robert E. Lee and the Royal Navy set in motion a stroke that is boldness itself.
The Union staggers under these blows. While the Grenadier Guards march into glory in upstate New York’s apple orchards, from the second story of a shot-up Washington hotel Abraham Lincoln watches a forest of the red flags of rebellion waving over a Confederate column rushing across the Long Bridge. To stop them is a war-worn regiment of New York soldiers. To their backs Washington burns. But new technologies and the art of intelligence are thrown onto the scales, while Russia plans to enter the war to avenge its humiliation in the Crimean War.
A Rainbow of Blood brings forward the Great War from its outbreak to the first great crisis of the embattled republic. Peopled with remarkable personalities of the age, the book rattles with the tramp of armies marching down one of the most intriguing roads not taken—or even imagined—until now.
resolved to maintain the Empire of England. I say with confidence that the great body of the working class of England utterly repudiate such sentiments. They have no sympathy with them. They are English to the core. They repudiate such principles. They adhere to national principles. They are for maintaining the greatness of the Kingdom and the Empire, and they are proud of being subjects of our sovereign and members of such an empire. No Roman could have been prouder when he stated, "Civis
Aeronauts: A History of Ballooning in the Civil War (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2002), 299-303. 3. Field Marshal Viscount Wolseley, The American Civil War: An English View (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2002), 35. 4. F. Stansbury Haydon, Military Ballooning during the Early Civil War (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), 238. 5. http://www.colonialwargames.org.uk/Miscenllany/Warships/Iron- clads/EIroncladsRN.htm. The draft of the Warrior-class ships (Warrior and
Chancellorsville. A telegrapher and his device had been placed in the balloons, allowing the army commander to receive real-time intelligence. Unfortunately, jealous officers had harassed Lowe to the point where he went home in disgust after serving without pay at Chancellorsville. After that the corps had simply disappeared, its balloons worn out, and none of its personnel able to replace Lowe. Sharpe brought him back with the rank of colonel and command of the reconstituted Balloon Corps, and
command my army, no? This is best." Then he paused to blow a neat circle from his cigar. "Of course, His Majesty has concerns that he has confided in me." There it was -what Taylor feared - the "yes, but." He replied, keeping his voice even, "And those concerns are?" "Oh, General Taylor, these are minor things, matters of sentiment, I assure you. But they are matters close to our French hearts. The emperor wishes to extend his imperial protection to Louisiana due to his regard for its French
right. Lowe was relieved to see that both teams needed little supervision and seemed quite eager to get their balloons, named Eagle II and Washington, into the fight. Zeppelin, with the energy of youth, had stuck with him and eagerly took notes under the light of a lantern during the entire process. Lowe could then spare a moment or two to watch the rest of the bustle that filled the Yard even at this early morning hour. Under the lights of lamps and torches, men were fitting guns onto the