Joseph the Gamecock
Fictional Character
The War Between the Provinces
Appearance(s): Marching Through Peachtree
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: Detina (supported breakaway Geoffreyist kingdom)
Religion: Detinan pantheon
Occupation: General, Nobleman

Joseph the Gamecock was a Detinan count[1] and soldier who followed Grand Duke Geoffrey's rebellion against King Avram. He and General Peegeetee of Goodlook led Geoffrey's forces to victory in the first general engagement of the ensuing war, the First Battle of Cow Jog. The following spring, Joseph commanded the Army of Southern Parthenia during the southrons' invasion up the Henry River. Joseph was wounded outside of Nonesuch and replaced by Duke Edward of Arlington. He would never command the Army of Southern Parthenia again.

Joseph was a competent general but had an antic disposition. This caused him to come into conflict with Geoffrey, who lacked confidence in Joseph for purely personal political reasons. For this reason, he refused to replace his friend Thraxton the Braggart as commander of the Army of Franklin after Thraxton squandered the advantage the Army had won at the Battle of the River of Death. However, after Thraxton was defeated at Rising Rock, Geoffrey did indeed replace Thraxton with Joseph.

The following spring, Joseph's army was charged with defending not its eponymous Franklin Province, but Peachtree Province. Joseph saw his mission as keeping his army between the loyal force commanded by Hesmucet and the transportation hub of Marthasville, which was Hesmucet's objective for the campaign. Recognizing that he could not overcome Hesmucet's substantial numerical advantage, Joseph assiduously tried to avoid a general engagement, instead practicing a long, slow retreat from one easily defended position to the next and withdrawing each time Hesmucet prepared a winning attack. Hesmucet could not afford to have the Army of Franklin in his rear, so he was forced to follow Joseph on this circuitous route. He compared it to one skilled swordsman battling two swordsmen in a long corridor, and slowly falling back through the corridor while preventing either of his opponents from getting behind him.

This strategy tried the patience of Geoffrey, who was disinclined to trust Joseph's military judgment, and of many other northerners of influence, who tended to overestimate their own armies while underestimating Avram's and therefore believed that the Army of Franklin could indeed afford an engagement with Hesmucet, as the Army of Southern Parthenia was battling Marshal Bart's and the Mead-swiller's forces in the west. One of these impatient northerners was Bell, who began writing libelous letters to Geoffrey, claiming Joseph was either a coward or a traitor and that he needed to be replaced with a more aggressive commander. As the Army fell back to the outskirts of Marthasville, Geoffrey sacked Joseph and replaced him with Bell, a move he would later come to regret. With malice aforethought, he sent Thraxton the Braggart to Joseph's headquarters as his courier carrying the news of the command change.

Literary Note[]

General Joseph "Gamecock" Johnston

Joseph the Gamecock is based on Confederate General Joseph Johnston, who earned the nickname "Gamecock" for his slight frame and dapper appearance.


Military offices
(Fictional Work)
Preceded by
Thraxton the Braggart
Commander of the Army of Franklin Succeeded by
Preceded by
New army
Commander of the Army of Southern Parthenia Succeeded by
Edward of Arlington