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68:Upper Fort Garry. March 1862

Finbar has received word from Liam and briefs the others regarding the progress in New York. Mangan is pleased to hear that General Todd is part of the plan. Finbar assures Mangan that he is to remain in overall command. It is decided that Todd will take charge of the regiment invading Quebec and O’Neill, who had lived for a time in Buffalo, would be promoted to take charge of the regiment based there. Everyone is eager for any news of the Civil War. From the onset of the war, eight months ago, the Confederacy was proving a much greater force than both the Union and neutral commentators were expecting. Britain had very nearly joined the war on the side of the South, their intervention only being avoided by President Lincoln releasing the Confederate diplomats who had been captured aboard the British ship taking them to London. America was now bracing itself for a long drawn out conflict. Jean-Paul has a concern he shares with the others. Their plan relies in part on the Union at least appearing to be winning the war at the point they start to negotiate with the British. If the British will not agree to Finbar’s terms, his alternative of creating separate Irish and Metis Republics, was based on an intact, and supportive United States of America protecting the fledging counties. If the Union wins the Civil War this would be ensured. If the Confederates win, then a British supported US Government would pose a real threat to their existence. The other permutation of the Civil War was that America would emerge as two distinct nations. If this happened Britain would certainly view Canada in a different light. Mangan agrees that it is essential for their plans that the Union succeeds, but is pragmatically optimistic, believing it is only a matter of time before the Confederacy is defeated. Finbar, usually quiet, shares Jean-Paul’s concern, but not Mangan’s optimism. All the men agree that the British need to believe that the odds were at least staked against the Confederacy at the time they strike. Doubts are temporarily put to one side with the arrival of John O’Neill and 1,700 men.

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