Excerpted From Historical Atlas of North America: Chapter 17 - The Socialist Revolution, ed. Daniel Kalinsky (1998, Doverton Press, New York)
What exactly President Braxton hoped to achieve with his invasion of the confused United States is unclear. Certainly, Braxton's main desire was to prove his still nascent leadership, and finally defeat the United States, something none of his predecessors had managed. Braxton seems to have imagined territorial gains and some sort of fugitive slave deal like in Free New Orleans, gained after a rapid war against the New Union government in Washington D.C.
However, the absolute collapse of the USA's army at the battle of the Potomac, and the subsequent Confederate sweep to the borders of Philadelphia, and the concurrent movement westwards and northwards into Kansas and nearing Chicago and Toledo, let unforeseen possibilities into Braxton regime's eyes. The capture of President Phillips almost immediately, and his subsequent willingness to negotiate for his freedom, let the Richmond dream of Empire. Although some elements (notably the Alabama firebrand Williamson) called for the complete annexation of the US, Braxton and his administration rightly viewed this as ridiculous. Instead, Braxton seems to have imagined greater territorial gains. The best understanding of these comes from a long telegram sent from Confederate Secretary of State Horatio Yelverton to the British ambassador. In this he outlines substantive territorial gains from the Pacific Coast all the way to Delaware. The exact status of these aims is confused, certainly Emperor Augustin I of Mexico believed that the Confederates had given him tacit agreement for his annexation of the area shaded in green below. The British also expressed significant displeasure at the movement into the Pacific and the end of L'Ville Libre de Nouveau Orleans (although since they had abandoned New Orleans earlier that year, and pushed the French to accept the Confederate invasion, how much of this was bluster is unclear). Finally, since Richmond and the Confederate archives burned in 1912, many records are lost, making this a difficult question to answer.
In the end, the Confederate invasion did not establish a new Southern Empire, nor secure Braxton's dictatorial rule. By invading early on and seizing the New Union government, a government which in its surrender to the hated, racist, and tyrannical Confederates immediately delegitimized it in the eyes of Northerners, supported only those powers which had clearly predicted it: the American Socialists and the Mormons. The Socialist government in Chicago was able to unite the disparate Military Syndicates of Denver, Pittsburgh, Toledo, New York and many to others by appealing to the defense of the homeland against the traitorous enemy. For the American worker this became not only a battle against the Capitalist class, but against the slaveholder, against those who would remove liberty and make them no better than the black human cattle of the South. The only important figure who might possibly have been willing to negotiate, Blue American leader Theodore Roosevelt, felt deeply betrayed by the invasion as Yelverton had told him that there was no invasion planned merely a month before.
The Confederate defeat at the hands of the Revolutionary Army of the United States at Philadelphia in December of 1908 began the long red campaign against the Confederates. Jackson, Ironton, Louisville, Williamston, all were Confederate defeats at the hand of the Industrial North. Even with the British invasion from Canada against the Socialist menace, feelings in Richmond became increasingly apocalyptic. The Confederate western advance was also halted soon after Yelverton's telegram, with the Mormon regiments moving against Augustin I's regiments, and Roosevelt's "Rough Riders" rising as the last great cavalry force in world history retaking much of the Great Plains. Braxton's eventual death in a Richmond bunker at the approach of a Red Negro guerillas in 1912 is often attributed to this Confederate overreach, and even the eventual end of the Confederacy itself...