The Extremely Condensed Civil War
by Robert John Burke
PROLOGUE: Pre- Spring 1861
Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (Holding a copy of the Constitution): Good news! It says right here that escaped slaves AREN'T EVEN PEOPLE, and you have to do everything we say about them, so nyah.
The North: What?!?! That SUCKS!!!
Frederick Douglass: Also, you're holding that document upside-down.
Taney: Quiet, you! Another word and it will also say we get to give you noogies...
John Brown (brandishing an axe): FREE THE SLAVES!
Douglass: Good idea, bad execution.
John Brown: Aw, what d'you know? (*goes on a random murder spree*)
Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee: I think I'll arrest you and then disappear into obscurity for a year.
John Brown: Okay, you got me. But slavery still sucks.
The South: DIEEEE! Also, has anyone ever told you you bear a striking resemblance to Moses? But mostly DIE!
John Brown: I get that all the time. (*dies*)
The North: Those nasty rednecks killed John Brown! NOW what do we do?
Douglass: Well, you could free the slaves...
The North: We were thinking more in terms of composing some sort of memorial song with icky lyrics...
Julia Ward Howe: Ohh, I like that idea! But we should change the icky lyrics...
Douglass: Maybe that axe thing wasn't such a bad idea...
Abe Lincoln: A house divided against itself cannot stand!
Half the North[b/]: Didn't you snitch that from the Bible?
The Other Half of the North: Oh, who cares? It sounds cool! Let's elect him!
The Entire South: Please tell us you're joking...
FIRST YEAR: 1861
Lincoln: We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies.
The South: Bite us.
Lincoln: What we have here is a failure to communicate...
Lincoln (in a monotone): No, please. Don't fire on Fort Sumter. Anything but that. Pretty please.
Jefferson Davis: Yankee tyrant! We have no choice but to fire on Fort Sumter!
Lincoln: All too easy.
General Pierre Gustav Toutant Phillipe "Spanky" Beauregard: Goodie! I get to blow stuff up now!
Maj. Robert Anderson: Watch me not care.
(*Beauregard blows up pretty much everything in the immediate vicinity of Fort Sumter.*)
Anderson: Okay, maybe I care a *little*...
Beauregard: By virtue of my extremely dashing and heroic nature, I demand your surrender!
Anderson: Are you *sure* you're French?
Abner Doubleday: Wait a minute! We can't just surrender!
Anderson: Oh, hush. Go invent baseball or something.
Doubleday: But I didn't really do that...
Anderson: Watch me not care.
(*He surrenders. In the South, much is made of the heroism of Gen. Pierre Gustav Toutant Phillipe "Spanky" Winslow Hercules Jennifer Beauregard III.*)
Anderson: We couldn't hold out any longer. He just had too many names.
Lincoln: Hrm. Any ideas?
Aging Gen. Winfield Scott: I think we should take possession of the Coast and the Mississippi and starve the South to death.
The Cabinet and Military Hierarchy: Whhhaaaaat? Where's the fun in that? Clearly, a series of bloody and futile headlong assaults are the way to go.
Scott: Fine, then. I'll just go over here and take a nap.
Lincoln: I just don't know. Tell me more about this "Anaconda Plan" of yours, General Scott... erm, General Scott?
Postmaster Montgomery Blair: Colonel Lee, we'd like you to have command of the Union army.
Robert E. Lee: Thanks, but I'm too honorable.
Blair: Erm... you keep slaves and stuff, yes?
Lee: But that doesn't make me a bad guy!
Blair: Well, thanks anyway. Can you, perchance, recommend any tenacious drunkards for the post?
Lee: You just described the entire South.
Lincoln: Who's the fat guy?
General Irvin McDowell: Hopefully I'm not but the first and most obscure in a long line of incompetent generals who will eventually drive you to distraction and our nation to the brink of ruin!
Lincoln: Oh. Well, go forth and bring us victories!
McDowell: Apparently you missed my canny bit of dramatic foreshadowing. By the way, have you noticed all our troops are inept?
Lincoln: They are green, but so is the enemy. You are green alike.
McDowell: Okay, that was downright unintelligible.
Lincoln: Sorry. I don't become a visionary 'till later in the war.
Union Soldier #1: Well, here we are at Manassas.
Union Soldier #2: Can't we call it "Bull Run? That's, like, so much cooler...
A Whole Mess of Congressmen, Civilians, and Onlookers: FIGHT! They're gonna fight now! This is so totally awesome!
Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman: I have a bad feeling about this...
The Union War Department: Oh, pooh. You must be crazy.
(*They fight. Meanwhile, on the Southern side...*)
Beauregard: The Federals are winning! Okay, who's the slacker who's not whipping his expected dozen?
General Barnard Bee: Look! There stands Jackson like a stone wall! But in a good way! Or possibly not, depending on which historian you believe! Rally behind the Virginians!
General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson: Sir, we'll give them the bayonet!
Pretty Much Everybody Else in Both Armies: Wow. You're completely insane.
Stonewall: Maybe, but God is on my side
The North: Assuming He doesn't mind that slave thing.
The South: Oh, let it go already.
Union Troops: Foreward, men, forward! On to Richmond!
The Stonewall Brigade: *STOMP*.
Surviving Union Troops: Backward, men, backward! Get the hell away from Richmond!
The South: Woo-hoo, we won! And we owe it all to our hero, General Pierre Gustav Toutant Phillipe "Spanky" Winslow Hercules Jennifer Erminguard de Soto Chrysler Rumplestiltskin Beauregard III & IV, Esquire!
Jeff Davis: Okay, even I'm starting to find that joke annoying...
(meanwhile, in Washington...)
The Union Army: Bored now. Also damp and bloody and tired and dirty. War sucks.
The Northern People: We need a hero! We're holdin' out for a hero 'till the mornin' light!
Lincoln: That song is annoying, but they've got a point. Who can we put in charge of the Army? I'm desperate! There's nothing left to lose! I'll take anybody, absolutely anybody...
The War Department: Well, there's this "McClellen" fellow...
Lincoln: What else have you got?
(but McClellen is summoned, and restores the Army...)
General George B. "Little Mac" McClellen: I've created the greatest army in the world! We shall crush the Rebellion in one campaign!
Lincoln: Great! When do you attack?
McClellan: I mean, don't get me wrong, I'd like to attack! It's just that the Rebels have 400,000 men!
Winfield Scott: Are there even that many men in the whole South?
McClellen: Go back to sleep, old man.
(on the open seas...)
The Union Navy: Meanwhile, we're doing more to win this war than the whole Army put together!
Future Historians: Can't say we really care.
The Union Navy: Dang...
(and out West...)
Ulysses S. "Sam" Grant: *sigh* I've been a failure at basically anything I've ever done. I can't farm, I can't tend a store, I drink too much...
Congressman Elihu B. Washburne: Have you considered killing people for a living?
Grant: Heeeeeeey now...
Washburne: It's a growing career field!
(and in Europe...)
Confederate Ambassador James Mason: You British should enter the war on our side! Really! It'll be fun!
Britain: Gosh, we'd love to enlist with a losing cause just for the privilege of fighting alongside scummy evil slaveholders, but we've really got to wash our hair that weekend...
The Union Navy: Excuse us while we arrest this guy's traitor ass.
Britain: Say WHAT?!
The Union Navy: What d'you care? You just called him scum!
Britain: But he was OUR scum!
Union Hawks: We should hold firm to principle and never yield!
Lincoln: Hmm, let's see... principle, get slaughtered by the greatest military power on Earth... principle, slaughter, principle slaughter... y'know what guys? We're gonna yield on this one.
Union Hawks: Dang!
Jeff Davis: Double dang!
Lincoln: Thought you had me there, didn't you?
Jeff Davis: Aw, don't rub it in...
(and back out West...)
Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston: Our Western defenses at Forts Henry and Donelson are impregnable!
Confederate Aide: Um, sir, Fort Henry fell to Grant yesterday.
A.S. Johnston: Well, shoot. Who's in command of Fort Donelson? Somebody skilled, I hope.
Confederate Aide: It's Governor Floyd, sir.
A.S. Johnston: We're doomed.
Confederate Soldier: Sirs, Grant has us surrounded!
General Floyd: I think we should surrender, because I'm a weasel.
General Pillow: I think we should surrender, because I'm a coward.
General Nathan Bedford Forrest: I think we should keep fighting, but then, I'm a mean sonofabitch. I'm out of here.
(Forrest breaks through and escapes.)
Governor Floyd: Sure. I'd do that, too, if I were competent. But I'm not.
General Simon Bolivar Buckner: Sadly, I am. I guess I'll have to deal with this.
(*while Floyd and Pillow run away, he sends to his old friend Grant...*)
Buckner: So what are your terms of surrender, remembering of course that you're under great obligation and owe me money?
Grant: Wow... that almost makes me feel guilty. Almost. I'm thinking unconditional surrender.
Bucker: Okay, a) You suck. b) Do you realize that 'Unconditional Surrender' fits nicely with your initials?
Grant: Yeah. There's probably a catchy nickname in that for me. And I may suck, but not as much as your surperiors.
Buckner: Tell me about it. So... are you sure we can't have even one eensy, weensy little condition? Just between us old friends?
(*Donelson is surrendered*)
McClellan: Fiiiiii.... nice try.
Lincoln: SO close...!
(back on the high seas...)
C.S.S. Virginia, aka "Merrimac": Check it out! We're ironclad, baby!
Science Geeks Around the World: Oooooh! Ahhhhh!
Sailors of the US Navy (pointing and laughing): BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What kind of warship is THAT?
C.S.S. Virginia: BOOM! KER-POW! CRASH!
U.S. Sailors (while treading water): Oh. Never mind.
(the next day...)
U.S.S. Monitor: Check it out! We're ironclad *and* we have a swively turret thing!
Science Geeks Around the World: This is, like, the best war EVER.
Sailors of the Virginia (pointing and laughing): BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What kind of ironclad is THAT?
U.S.S. Monitor: BLAM! WHAM! KER-BLOOEY!
Sailors of the Virginia: You know, you'd think we'd have known better than that.
Sailors of the Monitior: Since we're both impervious to fire, this is kinda pointless. Wanna call a draw?
Sailors of the Virginia: You bet! It's Miller time!
Science Geeks: Awesome! Can you guys build a submarine next?
Horace Hunley: I'll see what I can do...
The Rest of the Union Navy: Time to capture New Orleans!
New Orleans: Aw, this is so gonna put a damper on Mardi Gras...
Captain David Glasgow Farragut: Do I get to say "Damn the torpedoes" yet?
Commander David Dixon Porter: Not 'till you're an admiral.
(*they run past Confederate forts and capture the South's largest city and most important port.*)
Future Historians: Still can't say we care. We'd rather think about the Peninsula.
(on the Peninsula...)
McClellan: There's too many of them! I have to retreat!
Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston: No, there's too many of you! I have to retreat!
Washington and Richmond: If you two don't stop beating around the bush and fight the war already, we're taking your armies away and then NOBODY will be retreating from ANYBODY!
Robert E. Lee: You know what would be cool? If we were to distract Those People by stirring up some trouble in the Shenandoah Valley.
Stonewall Jackson: I'm your man!
Robert E. Lee: Also, I find I like referring to the enemy dismissively as Those People. I think that will be my clever affectation to be recorded by posterity.
Stonewall (sucking a lemon and holding his one arm way up in the air): Affectations? Now, there you've lost me...
(*he goes into the Shenandoah and attacks a Federal force three times his size*)
Brigadier General Richard Garnett: This is, like, really stupid. We should retreat.
Stonewall: Says you. OFF WITH HIS HEAD!
Confederate Aide: Um, we don't do that in the Army, sir.
Stonewall: Boil him in oil, then!
Aide: We don't do that, either.
Stonewall: Well, what can we do?
Aide: Mostly, you can just disgrace him so he's reduced to a minor side-plot when they film "Gettysburg" in 150 years.
Stonewall: Well, that's something...
(back in Washington...)
Lincoln: We're losing battles right and left, the nation hates me, and I've left this really irritating little man in charge of the army. The bottom is out of the tub!
Future Historians: Ooh! Quote material!
(in the far West...)
Generals Earl Van Dorn and Samuel Curtis: Meanwhile, we're busily fighting the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern!
Pretty Much Everybody: What the hell battle is that?
Van Dorn & Curtis: Even we don't know. But it sounds cool, doesn't it?
(and at a sleepy little place called Pittsburg Landing...)
U.S. Grant: I'm sure my army is perfectly safe here, backed up against a cliff in the heart of enemy territory. Let's not even intrench!
Sherman: I've got a bad feeling about this.
Grant: You said that already.
Sherman: I get lots of bad feelings...
Beauregard (arriving with a bunch of Confederate troops): SURPRISE! You are all now at the mercy of me, the dashing General Pierre Gustav Toutant Phillipe "Spa..."
Everybody Else: SHUT UP!
Beauregard: Hrmph. Well, anyway, you're in big trouble. I shall fight this battle in the same grand style that my glorious predecessor, Napoleon, used at Waterloo!
Beauregard's Corps Commanders: Um... you know what happened at Waterloo, right?
Beauregard: I actually never read that far. ATTACK!
(*the Confederates attack, against stubborn Federal resistance; a particularly tough nut is the division of General Benjamin Prentiss in what is called the Hornet's Nest...)
Confederate Private: Hornet's Nest? That's kind of an ominous name, isn't it?
Confederate Sergeant: Who cares? CHARGE!
Prentiss: (*kills a bunch of Confederates*)
Confederate Infantry: CHARGE AGAIN!
Prentiss: (*kills a bunch of Confederates*)
Confederate Infantry: AND AGAIN!
Prentiss: (*kills a bunch of Confederates*)
Confederate Private: You know, at some point this all starts to seem pretty stupid...
(*but the tide turns toward the Confederates anyway...*)
Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston: Onward, men! I will lead you!
Union rifleman: *BANG.*
Johnston's Aide: General, you're shot!
A.S. Johnston: I am not! Why, I've never felt better in my... *dies*
Beauregard: Well, that's a bummer. Also, everybody's pretty tired, so we'll finish them off in the morning.
Beauregard's Commanders: Waterloo, huh?
U.S. Grant (spending the night under a tree in the pouring rain): Of course you realize, this means war...
A Whole Passel of Union Reinforcements: Luuuu-cee, we're hoooooome!
Beauregard: Um, oops...
(*the Confederates are beaten back; it's a stalemate*)
Union Soldier #1: And so ends the Battle of Pittsburg Landing.
Union Soldier #2: That's such a dorky name. Let's call it "Shiloh."
U.S. Grant (wiring Washington): Umm, a funny thing happened on the way to Corinth...
Senators and Congressman (up in arms): WHAT?! This is an outrage! That butcher must be removed!
Lincoln: I can't spare this man. He fights.
McClellan: "Fight?" Who said anything about fighting? I mean, sure, this is a war, but we're not barbarians...
[b]Lincoln: You stay out of this.
To be Continued in 1862...
Edited by John Burke, 22 July 2005 - 05:16 PM.