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PART I: 1851-1879

On a warm May morning in 1851, miners searching for gold in southern Colorado strike pay dirt.  The gold deposit is compared to the California Gold Rush, and soon thereafter hopefuls flock to Colorado in search of gold.  On February 12, 1860, Colorado is admitted into the Union.

On September 1, 1860, eleven states of the Union secede and form the Confederate States of America, also claiming a territory.  They include Kentucky, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and North and South Carolina.  Virginia announces its intention to secede, but is split on the vote. Western Virginia later announces its intention to remain with the Union.

On September 14, the Civil War begins, pitting General Robert E. Lee of the Confederacy against General George McClellan of the Union.

On August 25, 1863, General Lee issues Special Order 191, a plan to outflank and defeat the Union army in Kentucky and swing farther up north into Pennsylvania.  By August 29, all commanders have been informed of the maneuver; on September 4, the Confederate army executes Special Order 191.

On October 15, 1863, Washington, DC, is captured by Jackson's forces; they begin looting and destroying government buildings despite Jackson's order to maintain peace.  The Union government, relocated to Albany, refuses to surrender.

On December 12, The Army of West Texas captures New Mexico Territory.  On the 21st, the US successfully captures Kentucky.  The area of Western Virginia is seized by Confederate forces on February 28, 1864.  In a six day campaign, from March 12 to the 18th, the US recaptures far western New Mexico Territory.

On April 19, the Union government admits defeat and surrenders.  The next day, Washington is burned to the ground as the CSA forces begin their return to Confederate soil.  McClellan is court-martialed and dishonorably discharged from the military.  General Orlando Willcox is given command of all Union forces; Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant is his direct subordinate.

Through constant debate, the US Congress cannot decide whether to retain Washington as its capitol or relocate permanently to another city.  Among cities considered are New York, Denver, Chicago, and Philadelphia.  One senator recommends Sacramento, but his notion is regarded as absurd.  By September of 1864, the Congress finally agrees on Denver.  Early in 1865, construction begins on new Capitol buildings within the small city.

The region of far western New Mexico becomes Arizona Territory on November 8, 1866.  In August of 1870, the region of Western Virginia is officially reincorporated into Virginia proper.

Mexico enters serious financial crisis in early 1873.  By 1879, the French puppet government is in dire need of money.  In July, Mexico offers its provinces of Sonora and Chihuahua to the Confederacy for $30 million.  The two governments immediately enter into a dialogue; in September, the CSA agrees to pay $40 million for Chihuahua and Sonora, in addition to Baja California and Baja California Sur, both of which are changed to territory status and known collectively as Baja Territory.  On September 19, 1879, the Confederate government relocates its capitol to Atlanta, Georgia.

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