Southern Victory (also called Timeline-191 after General Robert E. Lee's special order #191) is a series of 11 books by Harry Turtledove, with an alternate history starting in 1862 during the American Civil War, where the South (CSA) wins the War of Secession after allying itself with Great Britain and France, and ending in 1945 following a war similar to World War II.




The War of Secession[]

series: How Few Remain

The Uneasy Peace[]

series: How Few Remain
  • late 1860s: Russia attempts to sell Alaska to the United States. However, a $7 million price tag is too much money.
  • 1870s: Cuba is bought by the Confederate States from Spain.
  • 1871: Germany unified into a single sovereign state  after the Franco-Prussian War which ended in a Prussian/German victory.

The Second Mexican War[]

series: How Few Remain
  • 1881-1882 : The CSA finalize the purchase Sonora and Chihuahua from the Mexican Empire for $3,000,000. The USA use the purchase as a pretext for declaring war upon the Confederacy. James Longstreet enters the CSA into an alliance with Britain and France. This results in a victory for the Confederacy once more. Part of northern Maine is annexed into the Canadian providence of New Brunswick. The only major victory for the U.S in the war was in Montana, where forces under Theodore Roosevelt and George Armstrong Custer were able to repel the British and Canadian invaders, albeit after the official end of the war. The USA creates an alliance with the German Empire. As part of its negotiations with France and Britain, the Confederacy phases out slavery, although heavy segregation remains. The day of the Armistice (April 22) becomes Remembrance Day in the USA. It is treated as a somber commemoration holiday.
  • In the aftermath of the war, the Republican party suffers a three way split, with the left-wing Socialist Party forming under leadership of former President Abraham Lincoln, his followers, and liberal Republicans. The Democrats are pushed to the right by conservative Republicans merging into the party with the help of Benjamin Butler and become an ongoing majority party. The Republicans survive, but as a centralist third party with very little power outside the Midwestern US.
  • The Confederate States keep their new Mexican states and makes plans to build railway from Texas to the Gulf of California / Pacific Ocean.
  • The United States accepts overtures from the German Empire to establish an alliance. This eventually leads to the creation of the Quadruple Alliance.

Before the Great War[]

series: none
  • 1882: Former President Abraham Lincoln splits Republican Party, forming a new Socialist Party. CSA builds railway connecting Texas with port city of Guaymas, Sonora, on the Pacific coast.
  • 1884: President Blaine loses the 1884 Presidential Election to the Democratic candidate in a landslide.
  • c. 1894: The CSA attempts to build a canal crossing through Central America (specifically Nicaragua), but this plan is shelved after US President Alfred Thayer Mahan threatens war. Panama remains a part of Colombia.

The Great War[]

series: The Great War


  • Late July: Mobilization of the USA and Germany.
  • August: The Austro-Hungarian Empire accuses Serbia of backing the assassination; this leads to war between the two. The Alliance system means that Russia, France and Britain side with Serbia and Germany with Austro-Hungary. The United States declare war on the Confederate States and Canada (Britain), and launch an invasion of both countries; in the CSA, Kentucky and western Virginia are attacked. The Confederates launch a counter-invasion through Maryland and Pennsylvania, and succeed in occupying Washington, DC. In the Pacific Ocean, the USA captures the Sandwich Islands aka Hawai'i from Great Britain.
  • As presaged by the attempted invasion of Kentucky by the USA in 1882, trench warfare soon develops on most fronts in North America. The series concentrates on the deadlock on the Maryland / Pennsylvania border, the Kentucky front, the Roanoke Valley front, and skirmishes in Sequoyah.


  • Winter: The armies on the North American continent are slowed down by the cold. In both Europe and North America Christmas truces bring the fighting to a tantalizingly temporary halt.
  • Early part of the year: The Mormon population in Utah attempts to secede from the USA in rebellion. US Army troops are sent to quash the rebellion.
  • Autumn: Red Rebellion of the black population of the Confederacy. Communist cells pop up throughout the South, particularly in areas with a high black population.

The war remains stalemated, with USA forces unable to break through to Guaymas, Nashville, Washington, DC, Winnipeg, Montreal, or Quebec City. Use of poison gas merely causes increased misery for the infantrymen.


  • Stalemate remained the rule on all fronts. Even a new USA invention, the barrel (OTL Tank), did not live up to expectations due to poor tactical deployment. The only progress took place in the West, where the Mormons were crushed and US forces made progress in Texas and Sequoyah. The Confederacy is forced to divert military resources to take on the Red forces rampaging throughout many parts of the South.


  • Thanks to a rare flash of insight by aging General George Armstrong Custer, the US Army finally learns to deploy barrels en-masse. US forces under Custer finally smash through Confederate lines in Tennessee, seizing Nashville. In Canada, Winnipeg and Quebec City fall, and a US-backed Republic of Quebec declares independence from Canada. Soon the Confederacy's ally, France, is forced to capitulate to the Germans (in OTL, American soldiers reinforce the French by this time). Using Custer's barrel tactics, a breakthrough is achieved in Maryland, and Washington, DC, is retaken by US forces. Despite a last-minute use of Black soldiers by the CSA, the war is lost by late 1917.
  • The Confederates fared quite poorly in the aftermath of the Great War. Areas north of the Rappahannock River in Virginia were added to West Virginia; Kentucky re-joined the Union; Sequoyah was seized; a small northeastern portion of Arkansas was added to Missouri; and portions of West Texas joined the Union as the new state of Houston.

Interwar Period[]

series: American Empire

Just as in our own time-line, the initial euphoria after the Great War soon collapses into a Great Depression. Among the former members of the defeated Quadruple Entente, the Confederacy and Great Britain develop nascent reactionary, authoritarian movements and France re-installs the monarchy under King Charles XI. In the Confederate States, the newly formed Freedom Party exploits racial animosity and the memory of the Red Negro uprisings of 1915-16. This gains the attention of the very bitter Jake Featherston. The Confederacy begins to rearm.

Second Great War[]

series: Settling Accounts

Turtledove's influences[]

Turtledove has specifically acknowledged MacKinlay Kantor's If the South Had Won the Civil War (1960) as the source of some ideas incorporated into Southern Victory. Similarities between the two works include abolition of Southern slavery occurring in the 1880s under President James Longstreet, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson being simultaneous Presidents of the USA and CSA respectively, Cuba annexed and incorporated into the Confederacy, Alaska not purchased and remaining part of Russia, and Texas becoming an independent Republic for the second time.

See also[]