George B. McClellan, Commander of the Army of the Potomac and General-in-Chief of Union forces leads a series of attacks known as the Peninsula Campaign. After a successful siege of Yorktown Virginia, he moved against forces commanded by Joseph E. Johnston, pushing toward Richmond and Robert E. Lee's forces around the city. Union forces launch an attack from Norfolk Virginia, but are stopped by Fort Drewry, seven miles from Richmond. Robert E. Lee writes in his journal, "If McClellan is to launch an attack against my beaten forces, Richmond will surely fall." Still, Lee tries to make it look as if his forces are high in numbers, morale and resources. In OTL, McClellan takes his bluff, and retreats north, causing major battles like Antietam and the 2nd Battle of Bull Run. But in this alternate timeline, McClellan sees through Lee's bluff, and prepares his army to march on Richmond the next day. On July 3rd, a year before the end of OTL Battle of Gettysburg, The Army of the Potomac attacks Richmond full force.
The end of the Civil War
McClellan's forces smash through Johnston's defense, and he surrenders, Lee retreats into the city, pursued by Union troops. Seeing the city being destroyed by battle, he retreats out of Richmond, south toward Petersburg. Unfortunately for Lee, Brigadier General Edwin V. Sumner catches and surrounds him on July 4th. Meanwhile, Jefferson Davis is captured in Richmond. With their capital taken, their leadership captured, and their armies losing on all fronts, Jefferson Davis surrenders the Confederacy to the Union. Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of State William Seward, Hero of the War General McClellan, and Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, along with a few other Union diplomats meet Davis and Southern diplomats in Richmond on July 7th. The Treaty of Richmond is signed July 24th, 1862. Lincoln announces his reconstruction plans in Washington D.C. to crowds. These include Emancipation, African-American citizenship, and the right to vote. The celebration is stopped short though, as John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor with strong resentment of the north, takes a shot at Lincoln during a parade, hitting him in the chest, afterward, he kills himself, but not before muttering "sic semper tyranus", meaning "thus always to tyrants." The bullet just misses Lincoln's heart, and after two weeks in the hospital, he is resumes office. Though he is shaken, he still gives lenient reconstruction terms to the South, including his 10% Plan. On December 2nd, the US Congress passes the Reconstruction Act of 1863, putting most of Lincoln's Plans into law. Tennessee is readmitted to the Union on December 29th, being the first state readmitted.
North Carolina becomes the next state readmitted on January 19th. The 13th Amendment is passed abolishing slavery. Arkansas is readmitted on March 1st, and Virginia on March 2nd. Texas and Florida both are readmitted on April 12th. A still rebellious South Carolina, along with Alabama and Mississippi, sign the Confederate Pact, refusing to meet the terms of Lincoln. Georgia is readmitted on May 3rd. Louisiana votes three times, finally they meet the terms and are readmitted. As Summer approaches, Lincoln gives the three states an ultimatum, meet the terms by September 21st, or experience harsher terms. Over the Summer, the 14th Amendment is passed. The readmitted states, which are very cooperative, are quickly reconstructed, and happily reuniting with the north. On September 1st, Lincoln renews the ultimatum. Only 20 days left. On September 20th, Mississippi breaks the pact and meets the terms, and is readmitted. Licoln imposes harsher terms, including military occupation of South Carolina and Alabama. On October 5th, Lincoln issues a vote in both states to rejoin for whites only. This is viewed as hypocritical, and Lincoln's popularity drops, but it works, as slave power was taken away, and South Carolina voted to rejoin. A new state legislature is created, and they vote to rejoin the Union. On December 24th, the KKK, a hate group formed in Alabama, rounds up hundreds of black citizens, and delivers a mass execution the following day. Lincoln orders all flags to be lowered half mast until 1864. Congress passes the Protection of African-Americans Act. this is actually vetoed by Lincoln, but overridden by Congress by one vote. On January 1st, The Reconstruction Act of 1864 is passed, imposing harsher terms on the South. Lincoln issues the Proclamation of Generosity, a military order ordering the military to ignore the orders from Congress. Political rivals of Lincoln in the House of Representatives impeach Lincoln on February 22nd, on charges of illegally suspending the writ of Habeas Corpus in Maryland, violating Federal Law, using the Army as his personal enforcers, and anything else they can dig up about him. His Conviction Trial begins in mid March, and will end in late April, when his presidency is saved by one vote, usually historians say that Tennessee Senator Andrew Johnson was the holdout that saved Lincoln. After the trial, Lincoln becomes a defeated, quiet, president. In 1864, Lincoln doesn't even bother to go for re-election, and his VP, Hannibal Hamlin, is nominated. George B. McClellan, who has no political experience, wins an almost unanimous election, with only Maine, California, Minnesota, and Rhode Island voting against him. When he takes office in 1865, he immediately passes the Reconstruction Act of 1865. The new Congress is now dominated by Radicals. The 15th Amendment is passed, and then the 16th, which in this Alternate Timeline allows McClellan to suspend rights given by the Bill of Rights to a declared state of rebellion. Alabama is declared to be in a State of Rebellion by McClellan. He suspends all rights to Alabama. Then he surrounds it, cutting it off from the rest of the world. Alabama stays afloat for about a year, a feeding only whites and confining blacks in zones called black zones. There almost all of them die of starvation, disease, cannibalistic blacks, or by the KKK, which repeatedly rounds up groups to fight to the death in arenas. This continues into 1866, until May 22nd, when the National Socialist Republic of Alabama is founded. They expel all blacks to the north, and cut their border north of Montgomery, where they build a wall known as the Cotton Curtain. The blacks beg annexation, and McClellan reluctantly agrees. Alabama is put under the Jim Crow laws. The freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights are abolished by the Grand Wizard of Alabama Nathan Bedford Forrest. Using the KKK as his secret police, he lynches any political rivals, non-Christians, non whites, and other minorities. A resistance centered in Mobile is formed. Through 1866, the Resistance gains popularity, until they attack the Capital and kill Nathan Bedford Forrest, overthrowing the KKK, and the fascist regime. The Democratic Republic of Alabama, a communist set nation with Marxist ideas and values, is founded in 1867. Meanwhile, McClellan continues his term, and the the north moves on, McClellan is reelected in both 1868 and wins an close and unprecedented 3rd term in 1872. Reconstruction hits a few bumps because of McClellan, but former president and Illinois Senator Abraham Lincoln leads congress to smooth it out. At this point, Alabama is doing fine on its own, communism brought resources to those who needed it, but in McClellan's third term, the Communist Republic collapses, anarchy consumes Alabama, McClellan responds by telling the public that they brought it upon themselves. The 17th Amendment is passed repealing the 16th amendment, but McClellan leaves his troops there. When his Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, defies McClellan's orders, he makes it clear that he will fire his entire cabinet if he needs to. Congress passes the Tenure of Office Act, making it illegal for a president to fire his cabinet without the Senate's approval. When Stanton publicly embarrasses McClellan by releasing knowledge of a scandal involving McClellan, he is unanimously impeached, and almost unanimously convicted, making him the first president to be expelled from office. His VP, Andrew Johnson, finishes the short part of his term, and Abraham Lincoln is elected in 1876. Under Lincoln, the Tenure of Office Act is repealed, the 18th amendment is passed, which restricts the presidential term limit to two, and he even re-admits Alabama as a state, and declares reconstruction over. In his 2nd Inaugural Speech, he makes it clear that the US is not the nation McClellan tried to make it, and declares that the US Government, under him, shall hold "Malice toward none."