Winston Churchill and Counter-Factual Civil War History

During a 1929 trip to the U.S., Churchill — whose mother was an American — visited several Civil War battlefields in the East. He also decided to take advantage of the booming U.S. economy and made significant investments — all of which failed during the stock market crash that year. To make up for the losses, he became even more active in writing history, but also wrote a counter-factual history article about Robert E. Lee’s “victory” at Gettysburg for a book entitled, “If, Or History Rewritten.” In the article, the key is the arrival of Jeb Stuart behind the center of the Union lines just as Pickett’s charge takes place. Lee then takes Washington and declares the end of slavery, then helps negotiate the “Treaty of Harpers Ferry” to create the divided nation.

As most readers of this and other Civil War sites know, 99.9% of all counter-factual histories have similar scenarios of Confederate victory. Maybe we need one with a different take on an early Union victory and its implications? Stay tuned.



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