Characters / Timeline-191

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Irving Morrell

A career soldier, Irving Morrell begins the Great War as an infantry captain, before becoming the USA's expert on barrels. He plays a major role in the Second Great War, masterminding the offensive that breaks the CSA's back.
  • Big Good: Holds this role in the WWII analogue, despite being subordinate to the actual president.
  • Colonel Badass: For a while
  • The Captain: Like his real-life counterpart, served as a captain of infantry in World War I (in his first appearance), and later became a mountain soldier before literally writing the book on armored warfare.
  • The Dreaded: One of the few characters to terrify Generals Patton and Nathan Bedford Forrest III. It gets to the point where Jake sends a sniper out with specific orders to kill Morrell, and Forrest has Clarence Potter predicting US attacks depending on where Morell gets transferred.
  • Four-Star Badass: After reaching the rank of general.
  • Hero Killer: Inverted. Morrell's a heroic character who is absolutely dreaded by the villains, and lives up to his reputation, being chiefly responsible for the CSA's defeat in WWII.
  • The Mentor: To Michael Pound during the First Great War.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He's a heroic version of Erwin Rommel. Arguably, since the USA was originally supposed to be a USSR analogue in the timeline, before Turtledove changed his mind, he's an expy of Georgy Zhukov.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: For all the good he does, he's also comfortable with sweeping a street full of Confederate protesters with a machine gun. Somewhat justified, considering this was in the US-created state of Houston (west Texas), where anti-American sentiment was by far the highest, and mobs like the one he ordered destroyed routinely used Featherston Fizzes note  against barrelsnote . He's also one of the least racist characters in the setting, and ultimately helps to drive notions of racial equality through the skulls of the conquered Confederate States.
  • The Smart Guy: Pioneers tank tactics, infantry helmets, and racial equality.
  • The Strategist: Morrell is the one who first worked out how to use barrels to their full potential, and spends most of The Great War, American Empire, and Settling Accounts trying to drill that proper use into the heads of the rest of the US General Staff.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: From American Front to In At The Death.
  • Tank Goodness: He's the USA's greatest expert on "barrels", masterminding most of their effective tactics in WWI and WWII.
  • Wrote the Book: Like Rommel, he authored the armored warfare gospel. After the war, writes another book introducing the concept of racial equality to the conquered Confederates.

George Armstrong Custer

A survivor of the American Civil War, and a hero of the Second Mexican War, Custer goes on to become one of the definitive figures of the Great War as the commanding general of the US 1st Army.
  • Dirty Old Man: Any time Libby is out of the immediate vicinity, Custer will be philandering shamelessly.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Custer is a moron, but he's also the only person who is willing to listen to Morrell's ideas about how to properly utilise barrels, and his continued belief that Arthur McGregor was a bomber, while based on little actual evidence, was correct.
  • Glory Hound: Custer’s ultimate motivation. As long as his name is in the headlines, Custer doesn’t care in the slightest how many men he loses.
  • Grenade Hot Potato: Plays this with Arthur McGregor. Wins.
  • Henpecked Husband: His Iron Lady wife Libby is the only person (besides maybe Dowling) who can knock sense into Custer and keep him on task.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Who didn’t die at Little Big Horn this time around.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: In-universe, where Custer's love of charging blindly into the enemy guns is forgotten by historians of both the Second Mexican War and the Great War. Dowling suspects that Custer’s popularity for winning one of the few US victories in the Second Mexican War (against a British Invasion from Canada) is due solely to the fact that he was up against "Chinese" Gordon, the only British officer more blindly aggressive than Custer.
  • The Mentor: For all his faults, Custer does prove to be a good professional mentor to Abner Dowling, though a lot of it is of the "what not to do" flavor.
  • Perilous Old Fool: Custer is more than willing to put up a fight, but the times have passed him by and he is largely out of his depth come the First Great War.
  • Properly Paranoid: Certainly where Arthur McGregor is concerned.
  • The Rival: To Teddy Roosevelt, who he believes is out to steal his glory.

Abner Dowling

Beginning the Great War as General Custer's adjutant, Dowling rises slowly through the ranks, reaching Major-General during the Second Great War. A prudent, rational, and fundamentally practical man, Dowling tries to be the voice of sanity in a world that frequently seems to have misplaced its own.
  • Badass Grandpa: He might have been caught by surprise at the start of the Second Great War, but Dowling gives good service throughout the rest of it, overrunning Texas, and eventually parading through Richmond at the head of a victorious army.
  • Be All My Sins Remembered: Plans to do this in his memoirs.
  • Big Fun: Toyed with. Dowling's cynical and sarcastic, but he's also one of the most moral characters in the setting, and is well-liked by most officers who serve under him.
  • Boring, but Practical: The story of Dowling's career. He's not a brilliant officer, but he is a good one, rarely succeeding spectacularly, but rarely failing horribly either.
  • The Brigadier: His reasonableness is his most salient point as both an officer and a military governor.
  • The Consigliere: To Custer and occasionally MacArthur, tempering their egoism with his practicality.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dowling has a sarcastic comment available for ever occasion.
  • The Eeyore: Never thinks things are going to go well.
  • Fat Bastard: Completely averted. Dowling's grossly overweight, and has a very negative view of the world, but is also one of the most genuinely moral characters in the setting.
  • The Mentor: To Terry DeFrancis and his own aide, Angelo Toricelli.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Doesn't have nearly a high enough opinion of his skills as an officer.
  • Honest Advisor: The only one who can talk sense into Custer and to whom Custer will actually listen. He plays the roll to others as well, including MacArthur, and various figures on the General Staff.
  • Nice Guy: In addition to being an eminently reasonable man, Dowling is one of the series best examples of a moral, decent human being, liberating the Texan camps not for military reasons, but humanitarian ones.
  • Only Sane Man: His other forte.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: As both The Brigadier and the military governor of first Utah and then Houston.
  • Retired Badass: As of the end of WWII.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Has had this opinion since the Great War.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Takes several, subtly. When the series begins, he's basically a babysitter for the past-his-prime-but-too-illustrious-to-drum-out Custer. By the end of the series, he's easily one of the United States' most dangerous and accomplished soldiers (despite always being posted to sideshows and given limited resources).
  • Worthy Opponent: Viewed as such by Patton who expresses genuine concern when he discovers Dowling is commanding MacArthur's flank.

Sam Carsten

A sailor with the US Navy, Sam serves out both wars, steadily working his way up through the ranks from Gunner’s Mate on a battleship to command of a destroyer.
  • The Captain: Technically he never passes the rank of Lieutenant-Commander, and he spends most of the Second Great War as a Lieutenant Junior Grade, but he's certainly the captain aboard his ship, and is addressed as such.
  • Commanding Coolness: Promoted to Lieutenant-Commander at the end of the last book as a reward for thirty-five years of service.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Develops a melanoma in his last apperance.
  • A Father to His Men: Plays this role to the men aboard the Josephus Daniels.
  • Father Neptune: By the time the Second Great War rolls around, Sam has seen it all and done it all.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: As commanding officer of the Josephus Daniels. He's tough but fair, easily approachable, and liked by most of his officers and the men, who appreciate his experience as a former-enlisted "mustang."
  • Running Gag: Hardly a paragraph goes by in Sam’s POV without a mention of his extremely fair skin than sunburns in moonlight, or that he constantly smears zinc oxide sunscreen in a futile attempt to protect himself. This unfortunately foreshadows his skin cancer
  • The Smart Guy: The reason he keeps getting promoted. Sam is uneducated, but is usually the smartest guy in any room he's in, which leads to his being noticed by the upper brass.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Lasts throughout the entire series, from "American Front" to "In At The Death".
  • Up Through the Ranks: Sam starts out as just an ordinary seaman, "climbs up the hawse hole" to become an officer, and ends In At The Death a Lieutenant-Commander with his own ship.

Flora Hamburger Blackford

A Socialist activist from New York City's garment district, Flora's life is changed when she decides to run for Congress. As a U.S. Representative, she becomes known as "the conscience of the Congress," and rubs elbows with a number of prominent political figures, including more than one Historical-Domain Character. She serves as First Lady of the United States for one term.
  • Chummy Commies: Flora is both a Socialist and one of the most moral, likeable characters in the timeline.
  • Iron Lady: Nothing rattles Flora.
  • May–December Romance: With Hosea Blackford.
  • Nice Girl: Along with Abner Dowling, Flora is one of the few people in the USA to show genuine horror at what the CSA is doing to its black population (prior to the capture of the camps), and she spends much of Settling Accounts trying to bring it to the public's attention.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: She's Eleanor Roosevelt with a dash of Rosa Luxembourg.
  • Odd Friendship: With reactionary Democrat Robert Taft, whom she serves with on the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. They disagree on everything but defeating the CSA—and how godawful the camps are—yet maintain a strong mutual respect and working relationship despite that.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Begins as this. She never completely loses her idealism, though it's tempered by her increasing real-world (and realpolitik) experience.

Paul Mantarkis

A private of Greek descent, Paul has to put up with a lot of abuse due to his Orthodox religion and darker skin tone.
  • Camp Cook: Though not officially assigned as a cook, Paul was one in civilian life. He becomes popular with his unit when he shows off his ability to doctor the normally despised efforts of the actual cook with traditional Greek spices. He usually keeps a stash of spices with his kit.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Killed in a nothing skirmish in Baja California
  • Fire-Forged Friends: He and Gordon McSweeney never really become friends per se, but they certainly develop a strong mutual respect due to their shared experiences.
  • Sergeant Rock: Becomes one through a series of battlefield promotions and an ability to think on his feet under pressure.

Gordon McSweeney

A fundamentalist Presbyterian with an intense hatred of the Confederacy, McSweeney serves with distinction throughout the Great War. Both his men and his enemies are terrified of him.
  • Antihero: Type IV, being a terrifying man, but with some redeeming qualities.
  • Brutal Honesty: McSweeney is unfailingly honest about both himself and those around him.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Clearly insane. Shockingly effective.
  • The Captain: By partway through Breakthroughs.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Hated and feared by the men.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Finds slavery and Confederate racial attitudes disgusting.
  • Field Promotion: From private all the way on up to captain over the course of three books.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: He and Paul Mantarkis don't ever become "friends" per se, but they certainly develop a lot of respect for one another, despite their personal and religious differences, and McSweeney seems genuinely saddened by Paul's death.
  • The Fundamentalist: A fundamentalist Presbyterian who believes that all but a few elect shall burn in hell.
  • Mercy Kill: Of Ben Carlton
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: A Composite Character of Audie Murphy and Timothy Mcveigh, poccessing the former's extraordinary battle prowess and the latter's fanaticism and Blood Knight tendencies (although Mcsweeney seems far more patriotic and moral than Mcveigh ever was)
  • One-Man Army: Takes out a Confederate monitor by himself by swimming out and throwing TNT into the turret, without bothering to tell anyone first because he knew they'd tell him not to. Doesn't understand why everyone is so impressed with this.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: McSweeney believes the CSA is evil, and wholeheartedly believes that that he is God’s instrument sending evil men to Hell.
  • Pet the Dog: His Mercy Kill of Ben Carlton, and the conversation leading up to it. Also his genuine remorse when Paul Mantarkis dies, and his willingness to try and share his sense of joy at Christmas.
  • Pyromaniac: Selects a flamethrower as his Weapon of Choice because he enjoys burning those whom he feels deserve God's punishment.
  • Religious Bruiser: McSweeney is a big, heavily muscled man who looks like he's been carved our of stone, and fights like an entire battalion. He's also obsessively religious.
  • Sergeant Rock: For a while, before his promotions to lieutenant and eventually captain.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Type I & II mix. He enjoys killing Confederates, and is totally convinced that they have it coming.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Following the death of Paul Mantarkis in Walk in Hell and lasting through Breakthroughs.

Chester Martin

A US construction worker and non-commissioned officer who serves during both wars, while acting as a union organiser in between.
  • Action Survivor: Makes it through two world wars with only mild injuries.
  • Call to Adventure: Is eventually unable to stomach what's happening to his country (the main thrust of the initial Confederate attack goes through his home state of Ohio) in the Second Great War and rejoins the army despite the strenuous protests of his wife .
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Inverted. He's Sergeant Smooth to Lieutenant Lavochkin's psychopathic Captain Rough.
  • Chummy Commies: After the Great War, he acts as the Socialist proletariat POV character in the United States, working as a union organiser. He's portrayed entirely sympathetically, and treated as a man who is just trying to get the best possible deal for his fellow workers.
  • The Everyman: Far more so than most of the other protagonists, though as the series progresses he does pick up a lot more personality.
  • A Father to His Men: Tries to be.
  • Happily Married: To Rita.
  • Old Soldier: By the time of Settling Accounts when he's into his fifties.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: From Great War all the way through Settling Accounts.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Gives some serious thought to getting rid of Lieutenant Lavochkin, before deciding it is too dangerous to attempt.
  • Working-Class Hero: As a steelworker, construction worker, and union activist during the interwar period.
  • Worthy Opponent: How Henry T. Casson, the construction magnate who employs his union views him. For his part, Chester also has a fair amount of respect for Casson, who once he decides he needs to offer the workers a fair deal, comes to an agreement with him in about a half an hour.

Luther Bliss

The head of the Kentucky State Police during the Union occupation, Bliss is a mean-spirited SOB who doesn't bother trying to hide his dislike of blacks, Confederate sympathisers, and human beings in general. He frequently comes into conflict with Cincinnatus Driver and Lucullus Wood, and later acts as a Union spy during the Second Great War.
  • Antihero: Type IV or V.
  • Badass Grandpa: Well into his sixties at the time of Settling Accounts. Still has Confederate intelligence running scared of him.
  • The Dreaded: Knowing that Bliss is back in Kentucky practically gives Clarence Potter and Nathan Bedford Forrest III a heart attack. This is not an atypical reaction. Even more justified in Potter's case, since they are essentially mirror images of one another, and probably the two most dangerous single individuals on the continent during World War II.
  • Enemy Mine: With Cincinnatus Driver and Lucullus Wood during the Second Great War, using them both against the CSA.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Bliss is likely the most vicious-minded character to serve with the US throughout the entire series. Even he finds the CSA's Final Solution too much.
  • Evil Old Folks: By the time of Settling Accounts Bliss is a very old man, but just as cruel as ever. He himself invokes the trope when describing his grandmother as "an evil woman".
  • Misanthrope Supreme: If there's anybody that Bliss doesn't hate, we don't get to meet them or hear about them.
  • Pet the Dog: Seems genuinely regretful when informing Cincinnatus that he couldn't get Lucullus out of Covington before the genocide.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Classifying Bliss as hero or villain is hard, given that he's a Token Evil Teammate to the USA. Either way, he's unashamadly racist, runs US occupied Kentucky through police brutality, and hates just about everybody on the face of the earth.
  • The Quisling: From a Confederate perspective.
  • Secret Police: Under Bliss the Kentucky State Police becomes a secret police force, detaining anybody they want to without any real legality, and frequently abusing prisoners in order to extract information.
  • The Spymaster: For the USA.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The most openly evil character to serve with the USA.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He's clearly inspired by J. Edgar Hoover, a paranoid Mc Carthyist and racist, who turned the FBI into a counterintelligence agency answerable only to him. Similarly, Bliss uses to the Kentucky State Police to help enforce the Union's occupation of Kentucky, though his morality and methods are both questionable in the extreme.

Boris Lavochkin

Chester Martin's platoon leader during the final days of the Second Great War, Lieutenant Lavochkin hates the CSA with an unholy passion.
  • Antihero: Type V. The only reason Lavochkin is tolerable is because he aims his psychopathy at the Confederacy.
  • Axe-Crazy: At least from Chester's perspective. Given his penchant for shooting anyone who even irritates him, this isn't surprising.
  • Bad Boss: Is more than willing to shoot any subordinate who disagrees with him. That said, he's not casual with the lives of his men and most of his platoon makes it through the war in one piece.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Inverted. Lavochkin is the brutal psycho who terrifies the troops, while Chester Martin, his platoon sergeant, is the peacekeeper.
  • Ensign Newbie: Subverted. Lavochkin is new to Chester's platoon, but is not new to commanding troops, having had a command before getting injured.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Seems genuinely disgusted by the CSA's Final Solution, and uses it to justify killing as many Confederates as possible, as they all knew it was happening and did nothing to stop it.
  • Knife Nut: Carries a WWI style trench knife in addition to his other weapons.
  • Moral Sociopathy: Very much so. Lavochkin feels no remorse over the individuals he has killed and will kill anyone who annoys him, yet can still look at an act like the "population reduction" and regard it as not only morally wrong, but deserving of punishment.
  • Not So Different: From the Freedom Party he hates.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Fully believes that the CSA has it coming.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: His outfit is called "Lavochkin's Looters" for a reason.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Possibly. We don't know where Lavochkin was before he was assigned to Chester Martin's platoon, but it is heavily implied to have been somewhere unpleasant, and that action there made him the man he is today.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Types I & II (emphasis on II).
  • The Sociopath: Lavochkin is a psychopath, pure and simple, kept in line only by his desire for promotion.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Gordon McSweeney
  • Token Evil Teammate: For Chester's unit.

George Enos

A fisherman with the Boston fishing fleet who enlists in the Navy during the First Great War after being temporarily interned by the Confederates while out fishing, both to get payback and to avoid being caught up in the draft.
  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Played With; George survived when his gunboat was destroyed by the Confederates only because he had gone ashore to visit a whorehouse. However, this visit was a one-time event for him. He never actually goes through with the deed (being distracted by the attack on his ship) and his loyalties are firmly with his wife (to whom he eventually confesses).
  • Father Neptune: A civilian variant.
  • Parents as People: Insofar as his job allows him to be.

Sylvia Enos

Wife (later widow) of George Enos, she's a factory worker during the Great War and after, and raises their two children. She avenges her husband's death by shooting Roger Kimball, captain of the sub that sank George's ship after the Great War was over, becomes a minor celebrity, and "writes" a popular memoir describing her actions, with "Ernie" (this universe's Ernest Hemingway) as her co-author. She becomes involved with "Ernie," despite being aware that he's given to violent mood swings. He accidentally shoots and kills her during a particularly bad one.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The sense of danger she feels around Ernie is a big part of the attraction.
  • Parents as People: Balances raising her children with trying to support them, while trying to make some sort of life for herself.

Nellie Semproch Jacobs

A coffeehouse owner in Washington, D.C. When Washington is occupied by the Confederacy during the Great War, she becomes a spy, passing on what she learns from hearing the casual conversations of her Confederate-soldier customers. As a young woman, she was a prostitute, a fact of which she is deeply ashamed.
  • Determined Widow: Her first husband was the one who ultimately set her free from her previous occupation, taking responsibility for her daughter and setting up the family business. Sadly, he did not live long after Enda's birth.
  • Does Not Like Men: Hardcore. The fact that she agrees to marry Hal Jacobs after the Great War is, above all else, a testament to how consummate a gentleman he is.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: Nellie's is one of the most mundane and pointless deaths in the entire series.
  • Enemy Mine / Summon Bigger Fish: Invokes this with a group of Confederate officers to deal with Bill Reach's harassment.
  • Old Shame: In-universe; it's a major part of her characterization. Bill Reach, her handler, threatens to spill the beans on her previous life in order to keep her in line (and possibly restart their relationship—which she wants no part of).
  • Never Mess with Granny: Finally gets sick of Bill Reach and takes the opportunity to stab him to death during an artillery barrage. Earlier she was decorated by Washington for heroism with regard to her espionage activities. Intimidates the hell out of her future son-in-law, who manages to grudgingly earn her trust.
  • Parents as People: She loves her daughter Edna, but is an absolutely suffocating parent, out of fear that her daughter will make the same youthful mistakes that she did.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Though, her character flaws make her not a particularly likable one.

Jonathan Moss

Fighter pilot in the First Great War who finishes law school after the war is over, going on to a successful practice in 'occupation law' in US-occupied Canada (i.e., he loses less often than others in the same field, which is universally regarded as a rigged game). Returns to action in the Second Great War after a family tragedy, then switches hats back to law after the war and participates in war crimes tribunals.
  • Ace Pilot: The only aviator POV character, and a pretty good one too.
  • The Alleged Car: His prized luxury touring car becomes one over the course of the Business Crisis, due to the manufacturer going out of business and the expense and scarcity of replacement parts.
  • Amoral Attorney: Averted. Sets up shop as an occupation lawyer in Canada after World War I ends, and fights hard for his Canadian clients (in the face of a heavily biased judiciary; even wins occasionally), and charges them fair rates and accepts payment in kind. This is in sharp contrast to most of his colleagues, who either accept that they have no real chance of winning and don't try, or actively gouge their Canadian clients for substandard service. Moss goes on to defend Jefferson Pinkard, and recognizes him for the monster he is, but still works hard to present the best possible defense (which is to say, not much), mostly out of regard for the law rather than for his client. And, given the reputation he built in Canada, he can actually do this without others assuming he is an Amoral Attorney.
  • Badass Grandpa: In his fifties during the Second Great War, old for a regular soldier (much less a fighter pilot) but able to keep up with men half his age not only in the air but on the ground.
  • Blood Knight: Becomes one when his family is killed.
  • Colonel Badass: Promoted to lieutenant colonel during the Second Great War and subsequently trains on the Screaming Eagle, the USA's new 'turbo' (jet) fighter.
  • Courtroom Episode: Naturally, as the only lawyer in the series, he gets a few.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: With regard to Laura Secord. Succeeds.
  • Good Lawyers, Good Clients: Although his practice consists of arguing civil and probate claims made against the US occupation government (and thus doesn't involve innocence or guilt) Jonathan firmly believes in the validity of his clients' claims.
  • Great Escape: Makes one from a Confederate POW camp (Andersonville, to be exact) in the Second Great War.
  • Happily Married: At least until Mary McGregor's package arrives.
  • Old Soldier: In the Second Great War.
  • La Résistance: Along with another POW, hooks up with a group of black Marxists after escaping from Confederate custody.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Describes the early phases of his relationship with Laura.

Daniel MacArthur

The youngest division commander in American history, Daniel MacArthur serves under Custer during the Great War, and is a corps and army group commander during the Second Great War. Audacious and daring, he is also impetuous and narcissistic, which hinders his career and his plans.

John Abell

A Union General Staff officer, Abell begins the series as a captain and ends it as a major-general, in a rise that mirrors that of Irving Morrell and Abner Dowling. Cold, nearly emotionless, and a bureaucrat to the core, Abell is involved in almost all US actions, for good or ill.
  • Armchair Military: Abell has never seen actual combat, having served on the General Staff for his entire career.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Abell has the personality of an Obstructive Bureaucrat down pat, but more often then not, is helpful to Dowling and Morrell, helping push through a number of plans that ultimately turn out to be war winners.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: As in the case of Luther Bliss and Boris Lavochkin, Abell is an unscrupulous SOB, but finds the CSA's Final Solution revolting.
  • Foil: Abell's slow yet sure rise through the ranks of the General Staff parallels that of Irving Morrell and Abner Dowling, while his icy personality and lack of commitment to anything beyond winning the war contrasts both of their more humanitarian attitudes.
  • Lack of Empathy: For the men he is sending out to die.
  • The Nondescript: There is nothing memorable about Abell.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Toyed with. Abell worships red tape and procedure, yet is also willing to bend the rules for capable officers like Dowling and Morrell.
  • Pet the Dog: Tries to break the news of Dowling's retirement to him as nicely as possible, and suggests to him that he write his memoirs.
  • The Stoic: Abell demonstrates very little emotion; whenever he does, Morrell or Dowling will usually be surprised by it.
  • The Strategist: As a General Staff officer, Abell is one of the men planning both wars.
  • We Have Reserves: Played with. Abell has very little sympathy for the troops he is sending out to die, but unlike Custer or MacArthur is not deliberately wasteful either.

Charles LaFollette

A Socialist Congressman turned Vice-President under Al Smith, Charlie LaFollette becomes President of the United States following the bomb blast that kills Al Smith. A capable war leader, LaFollette holds the country together throughout WWII, before being voted out after its conclusion.
  • Big Good: Shares the role with Irving Morrell following Return Engagement.
  • Historical-Domain Character: An amalgam of three real-life LaFollettes. Turtledove's character is Charles W. LaFollette from Wisconsin. He shares his first name with the real-life Congressman Charles M. LaFollette of Indiana, and his state of residence with real-life governor Robert LaFollette, Sr. and Senator Robert LaFollette, Jr.
  • I Gave My Word: Goes one better and keeps his predecessor, Al Smith's deal with Flora Blackford.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Voted out of office, despite having won the war.
  • Number Two: Under Al Smith
  • Rousing Speech: Gives a pretty good one near the end of In At The Death, when he declares an end to the USA's own racist policies and an end to the CSA as a nation.
  • You Are in Command Now: Forced to take office after Smith is killed.

     Confederate States of America 

Jake Featherston

A bad-tempered artillery sergeant with the Army of Northern Virginia when we first meet him, Jake serves with relative distinction in the Great War, but is never promoted due to issues with his superior officers. This leads him to join the Freedom Party during the interwar years, eventually becoming President of the Confederacy. Based on Adolf Hitler, though without world-conquering ambitions, and somewhat more sane, if only just.
  • Bad Boss: Anyone who questions Jake winds up in a concentration camp.
  • Beige Prose: His signature on the radio. Extremely blunt and direct in all his verbal dealings. Curiously subverted in the case of his book, Over Open Sights, which is quite long, and without much actual content. But instead of long, florid descriptions of the evils of the United States and black people, it's pretty much just the same basic thoughts over and over again, expressed in slightly different terms. Many characters describe it as a boring, unreadable, repetitive mess for the most part (thanks to Jake's Protection from Editors, since he's absolute dictator of the CSA by the time it's published), with some exciting bits.
  • Big Bad: From The Victorious Opposition onwards. In a way, the entire story is about him after this point.
  • The Butcher: "Jake the Snake."
  • Catch-Phrase: "I'm Jake Featherston, and I'm here to tell you the truth..."
  • Character Death: Shot dead by Cassius Madson at the end of In At The Death.
  • Dark Messiah: For the CSA. The people who voted for Jake did so in the belief that he was the saviour who would put everything right and make the country great again. What they got was a genocidal madman with nothing on his mind but revenge.
  • Determinator: Ludicrous quantities. Never, ever gives up, no matter what. Never forgets a grudge, a wrong, or even the smallest slight. Always settles accounts, or dies trying. Even when almost all of the CSA has been conquered, its armies destroyed, US armies completely unstoppable, capturing major cities without a fight, dropping nukes like candy, he still plans to continue the war from Texas and Louisiana.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Aims to kill all the blacks because he feels they screwed him out of a promotion to second lieutenant.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: Jake's end goal is a Confederate States in which all power resides in his hands, all freedoms are curtailed, the United States are crippled, and all the African-Americans are dead.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Jake thinks that Russian racism towards Jews, and Ottoman racism towards Armenians is idiotic seeing as Jews and Armenians are white men, at least in his mind. He also bawls out Patton for striking a shell shocked soldier, bluntly informing him that if he does it again it will be the end of his career.
  • Evil Is Petty: Seeks to annihilate the CSA's black population because he feels they screwed him out of a promotion to Second Lieutenant.
  • Final Solution: To the "nigger problem."
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From an angry, bitter Confederate veteran to genocidal mastermind and Adolf Hitler stand-in.
  • Glorious Leader: For the Freedom Party and the CSA.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Jake has an explosive temper and can be set off at the drop of a pin.
  • I Will Fight Some More Forever: His plan after the US forces completely overrun Georgia; Featherston was going to continue to lead the fight from Texas and Louisiana. Unlike his Real Life counterpart Hitler, who shot himself, Featherston is shot by Cassius Madison after his plane is forced down.
  • Jerkass: Even before the events of American Empire and Settling Accounts, Jake was a jackass.
  • Karmic Death: Shot by Cassius Madison, a black man whose family was killed in a death camp.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: "Get us some motorcars, and —" *bang*
  • Lean and Mean: Rage keeps Jake rangy well into his fifties.
  • Mercy Kill: Performs one on a fatally injured Lulu. "Feels like I just shot my own luck."
  • Mood-Swinger: Jake can flip from nice to nasty in seconds. Once he gets himself elected President and sets up his dictatorship, this makes him extremely dangerous to be around.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: An interesting example, since in this setting, Jake and his Freedom Party are the original Nazis, preaching a thoroughly Americanised version of fascism.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He's an Americanised Adolf Hitler.
  • Pet the Dog: With his secretary, Lulu Maddox, who he goes out of his way to be nice to. He also chews out General Patton for slapping a soldier with PTSD.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The CSA as a whole is badly prejudiced against the black population, but Jake, as the son of an overseer who loathed all blacks, is a stronger example than most. And that's without getting into what he does after becoming President...
  • The Power of Hate: Jake's hate is the only thing that fuels him by the end of the series. It keeps him going when nothing else can.
  • President Evil: Elected President of the CSA in 1933. It's all downhill from there.
  • Revenge: His motivation in American Empire and Settling Accounts.
  • Rousing Speech: Discovers a talent for public speaking during the interwar years, which serves him well after he joins up with the Freedom Party.
  • Social Darwinist: "If we don't win, it'll be on account of we don't deserve to."
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: From American Front right on up until In At The Death.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Thirteenth President of the CSA.
  • Villain Protagonist: Jake's a bastard when the series starts, and he doesn't get any better as it goes along. In fact his evil and his importance to the story grow together, and by the time of Settling Accounts he's both the worst person in the setting and the one whom the story revolves around.
  • Villainous Friendship: A Type IV with Clarence Potter, as despite their mutual dislike for one another, Potter is the closest thing Jake has to an actual friend.

Clarence Potter

A career intelligence officer who speaks with a perfect New England accent, Potter is a major with Army of Northern Virginia intelligence when we first meet him. By the time of Settling Accounts he is a Brigadier-General and one of the heads of Confederate Intelligence/Counterintelligence. Based on Wilhelm Canaris, head of the German Abwehr and member of the German Resistance. Canaris, however, didn't survive the war. Also bears some similarities to Erwin Rommel insofar as his role in the attempt on Featherston's life, analogous to the real-life July 20 Plot, goes.
  • Anti-Villain: Type I
  • Badass Bookworm: Looks like a skinny man in round hornrim glasses.
  • Badass Grandpa: In his sixties during Settling Accounts.
  • The Chessmaster
  • The Cynic: Doesn't really believe in anything, except for the Confederate States.
  • Determinator: Very nearly as much as Jake Featherston, but not nearly so rabid. Doesn't give up on the war until Featherston is dead. And, long after the CSA has lost any real hope for victory, nevertheless risks everything and most of his best Intelligence people to sneak a nuke into Philadelphia, the de facto US capital, in a final, futile gesture. And then he escapes back to the CSA.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Thanks to his accent, this is his forte. He's also immensely skilled at identifying those Confederate citizens whose accents are good enough to do the same, a vital skill for the head of Confederate military intelligence to have.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Regarded as such in-series. His abilities are never questioned, but his Yankee accent, unclear reasons for supporting Jake, and cynical attitude towards everything earn him the suspicion of all major CSA characters, including the President.
    • And rightly so, he got his job when he kills an would-be assassin trying to kill Featherston. Which he only did because the assassin was endangering everyone around Featherston. And he only had a gun at that moment because he had intended to kill Featherston himself.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Though he's less evil than he is utterly ruthless and completely without mercy towards his enemies. In many ways, Potter exemplifies the old Marine saying: "No better friend, no worse enemy."
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: A typical (if very competent) intelligence officer to begin with, Featherston's recognition of his abilities turns him into a perpetual thorn in the Union's side, one that culminates in the nuclear destruction of downtown Philadelphia.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Loyal to the CSA and the CSA alone.
  • Nuke 'em: Nukes part of Philadelphia with a plutonium bomb in the back of a truck. Since the bomb went off at ground level, it was far less destructive than it might have been. Still, this makes the CSA the first to use nuclear weapons/
  • Retired Badass: Retires to write his memoirs, under careful US surveillance.
  • Retired Monster: As of the end of In At The Death. He's not sorry, but he's not doing that again either. And, in many ways, he has nothing to apologize for; he simply did his very best against his country's mortal enemy, an enemy that enjoyed virtually every important military advantage over his country (population, size, industrial capacity, skilled labor, economy, not to mention the resources used to commit genocide that could have been used to defeat the USA). The difference between his being a regular soldier and a monster is his position (head of intelligence), the fact that he's fully aware of the "population reductions" and that he was just so frighteningly good. See My Country, Right or Wrong.
  • The Spymaster: During the Freedom Party years.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.
  • Villainous Friendship: He and Jake are a Type IV. Neither one necessarily likes the other, but they respect one another's talents, and are the closest thing to a genuine friend that the other one has.

Jefferson Davis Pinkard

A steel-worker and ex-soldier turned Freedom Party official, Jeff runs a concentration camp, and is the first person to think of using gas to dispose of blacks. Based on Rudolf Hoess of all people.
  • Affably Evil: Jeff is an easygoing guy who just happens to run a death camp.
  • Character Death: Hanged for his crimes at the end of the war.
  • Domestic Abuser: Played remarkably sympathetically—he begins beating his first wife after he discovers she has cheated on him. His marriage to his second wife is far more successful, and features none of this.
  • Fat Bastard: Gains a lot of weight during his forties.
  • Final Solution: A major part of it. He's the one who comes up with the asphyxiating trucks and the bathhouses.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Hipolito Rodriguez, dating back to the First Great War. Though he greatly outranks Rodriguez during the Second Great War, the Sonoran-born noncom is Jeff's only confidant. "Hip" even serves as Jeff's best man at his second marriage, over Edith's racially-based objections.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From Nice Guy to Rudolf Hoess.
  • Happily Married: To his second wife, Edith.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Rudolf Hoess to Jake's Adolf Hitler, with shades of Adolf Eichmann.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Came home from WWI and the Mexican Civil War completely drained of humanity.
  • Start of Darkness: Pinkard's slide from Working-Class Hero and relatively sympathetic character to the utterly evil creature he is at the end of the story is thoroughly documented from the moment he catches his first wife cheating on him with his best friend and neighbour. She tries to excuse it with a claim of "he's just been here. That's all." ("here" being inside of her) and it's all down hill from there.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Very, very disturbingly so.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Introduced as a sympathetic character, he becomes an architect of the Final Solution.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Hip Rodriguez, despite their differences in race and religion. When Rodriguez kills himself, Jeff is completely distraught.

Lulu Maddox

Jake's secretary from the interwar years onward.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Played with. Jake finds her extremely unattractive, and in his own words, would "sooner hump me a sheep." At the same time, he's always unfailingly nice to her and definitely values her friendship and hard work.
  • Action Girl: To Jake's surprise she proves very handy with a Tredegar.
  • Mercy Kill: Begs Jake to perform one on her after the plane crash that cripples her.

Anne Colleton

The owner of the Marshlands plantation, Anne is an attractive woman and Southern aristocrat who is used to getting everything she wants, consequences be damned.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She's drawn to Roger Kimball because he comes across as something of a rake, stays attracted because of his war crimes, and shares his burning desire for revenge on the USA.
  • Dark Action Girl: Takes up bushwhacking during the black Marxist uprising when it's clear that the police and Confederate reserve forces (consisting mostly of the elderly and otherwise unfit for front-line service) aren't up to the task of protecting her and her plantation.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Not that anybody cared.
  • Karma Houdini: Right up until she's killed in a bombing.
  • Moral Myopia: Roger Kimball trying to rape her? Unforgivable. Her forcing black women to sleep with her brother? Completely excusable.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Well, sort of. We see everything from Anne's point of view, but she's such a thoroughly unlikeable bitch that it's hard to have any actual sympathy for her.
  • The Vamp: Constantly uses her sexuality to get what she wants.

Jacob Colleton

Anne's younger brother, who was crippled in a gas attack.
  • The Alcoholic: Addicted to whiskey and pain killers.
  • Blood Knight: A terrifyingly creepy one. Jacob seems to have a need to kill things in order to feel alive.
  • Character Death: Killed by Cassius
  • Cold Sniper: Still a horrifyingly good shot despite his injuries.
  • Evil Cripple: His injures, coupled with the shell shock, warp him into a blood knight who needs killing in order get through the day.
  • Handicapped Badass: Jacob may be trapped in a wheelchair and barely able to breathe, but he still kills half the force that Cassius sends to take him out.
  • Lust: Really seems to enjoy screwing the black serving girls, whether they want to take part or not.

Ferdinand Koenig

Long-time Freedom Party associate of Featherston's, and possibly his only real friend, or at least the only one allowed to use Featherston's given name. One of the oldest Freedom Party members, he joined even before Featherston. Supported Featherston's coup against the Freedom Party's ineffective founder Anthony Dresser, on the assumption that he'd be Featherston's Vice-Presidential nominee. Ultimately, Featherston's paranoia (i.e. that Koenig might have Featherston assassinated to become President himself) lead him to snub Koenig for Willy Knight, the leader of a powerful Texas analogue to the Freedom Party. Featherston makes him Attorney General instead, chosen because it is outside the line of succession, and convinces him that it is the better office, as Featherston has "big plans" for it. Ultimately becomes Featherston's chief non-military subordinate, and responsible for most domestic matters and policy in the Confederate States, including the Final Solution-analogue. Based on Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Goering, with a good helping of Albert Speer in the mix.
  • The Dragon: Alongside Patton he's the closest thing Jake has.
  • Final Solution: A big part of it.
  • Honest Advisor: One of the few people Jake Featherston will listen to in matters regarding the Freedom Party.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Bears a strong resemblance to Himmler, Goring, and Speer, all rolled into one unpleasant character.
  • Number Two: To Jake following his attainment of the position of Attorney-General. He's not in the line of succession, but he is the second most powerful man in the Freedom Party and the CSA, given the emasculation of Congress, the courts, and the VP.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Given that he runs the camps, this goes without saying.
  • Secret Police: All police in the Confederacy, secret and otherwise, ultimately report to Koenig.
  • State Sec: The Freedom Party Guards (read as: SS) are under Koenig's purview.
  • Undying Loyalty: His loyalty to Jake is one of his defining characteristics.

Tom Colleton

Younger brother of Anne and Jacob's older brother, he went off to war in 1914 alongside his brother, with the rank of Captain. Came back a Lieutenant Colonel and far more mature than he had been (Anne had frequently remarked that he was the most frivolous of her brothers). Assisted Anne in destroying the last remnants of the black marxist uprising that had claimed his brother's (admittedly shattered) life and his ancestral home, killing its leader, Cassius (who had been the Big Bad in Anne's POV). In the interwar period, while his sister became closely involved with the Freedom Party (she bankrolled the party's early rise), he remained distant, disdaining the fanaticism and brutality of the Party. Met Featherston once, and was not impressed (one of the only characters not to be). Recalled to service for the Second World War as a Lieutenant Colonel, he served in the Confederate spearhead that conquered Ohio and cut the United States in half, eventually participating in the fateful Battle of Pittsburgh, where he died. Based, along with Clarence Potter, on German officers who hated Hitler but served Germany faithfully.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Averted. In sharp contrast to his sister and his brother, he's one of the nicest, most unprepossessing characters in the series, and, after Reggie Bartlett died so randomly, he's one of the last truly decent Confederate characters. And despite having a wealthy planter lineage going back to before the American Revolution (Marshlands is nearly the oldest plantation in the CSA), he marries a grocer's daughter, Bertha, with whom his extremely Happily Married and has two sons.
  • Colonel Badass: definitely. Led from the front on the Roanoke front in World War I, often being close enough to the enemy to use his sidearm. Did so again in World War II, with his most common line of dialogue, at least where his soldiers were concerned, being "Follow me." In the Pittsburgh pocket, he willingly endured all the hardships his men faced. Not to mention his last thought in Pittsburgh, just before a US soldier shoots him: "One last shot," as he reaches for his rifle.
  • A Father to His Men: Almost certainly. Reggie Bartlett, who served in Tom's company on the Roanoke front, seems to think of him as such.

Saul Goldman

Jewish member of the Freedom Party, starts out as the owner of the first radio network in Richmond. Becomes an important ally of Featherston, who appreciates the potential power of radio, and who uses his network to publicize himself and the Freedom Party. Eventually becomes Featherston's Chief of Communications (read: propaganda), and consolidates pretty much every media outlet in the Confederate states under his department. Is very happy that the Freedom Party persecutes blacks and not Jews, as the Russians did in his homeland of Poland. Despite the brutishness and barbarity of the Freedom Party and its administration of the Confederate States, Goldman remains a quiet, shy intellectual, though he's hardly less monstrous, underneath his unassuming manner. Based, in an incredible irony, on Joseph Goebbels.
  • Honest Advisor: Along with Ferd Koenig, Goldman is on the short list of people whose opinion Jake actually respects and will ask for.
  • Ignored Epiphany: During the last books, when he starts to realise that what he's done to blacks isn't dissimilar from what the Russians do to Jews like him. He promptly pushes the thought away at Jake's urging.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: As the CSA propaganda man he's Joseph Goebbels.

Roger Kimball

Confederate submarine captain in World War I, torpedoes the destroyer USS Ericsson after the war has ended, killing all hands aboard—including Seaman George Enos—and making Kimball a war criminal. Romantically involved with Anne Colleton, and an early convert to the Freedom Party. Killed by Sylvia Enos, widow of George, for which she is treated as a hero and is not prosecuted, either in the CSA or USA.
  • Asshole Victim: Nobody, in either the USA or CSA, cares when Sylvia shoots him.
  • The Captain: Commanding officer of the CSS Bonefish.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Downplayed. While he'd never admit to being evil, Kimball is incredibly proud of being a war criminal, gloating that it feels pretty good to be one.
  • Character Death: Shot by Sylvia Enos near the conclusion of Blood & Iron.
  • Commanding Coolness: Ranked as Commander.
  • Evil Is Kinky: His sexual encounters with Anne Colleton can get downright violent.
  • Hate Sink: Kimball makes a lovely target for all the loathing that the readers have towards the rest of the CSA. He's killed off just as Jake is about to seize power and make this role irrelevant.
  • Karmic Death: Slain by the two women he's hurt the most.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: His attempted rape of Anne Colleton, who in addition to being a racist bitch and fellow Freedom Party supporter had no problem pimping African-American women out to her brother and her guests.
  • Jerkass: A smug, condescending rake who is incredibly pleased with his lack of anything approaching a conscience.
  • Lack of Empathy: Kimball displays no concern for anyone other than himself.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Courtesy of Sylvia Enos, with Anne Colleton playing a supporting role as payback for Roger attempting to rape her.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Racist and misgoynistic.
  • Rags to Riches: From backwoods Arkansas. Aims to rise in the world.
  • The Resenter: Of everyone who manages to stay in the spotlight in the Freedom Party, and to a lesser degree, anybody richer and better off than he is.
  • Self-Made Man: How he sees himself.
  • Smug Snake: Kimball always projects an air of being disgustingly self-satisfied and impressed with his own intelligence.
  • The Sociopath: Kimball is proudly immoral, has no respect for anybody, treats other men and women as disposal objects, and seems incapable of any emotions beyond self-satisfaction and anger.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Kimball is easily the most vile man to serve in either navy. He demonstrates no regard for The Laws and Customs of War, murders Enos and his crew after the war is over, and tries to rape his ex-girlfriend, Anne Colleton when she leaves the Freedom Party.
  • Unsympathetic P.O.V.: Despite being a viewpoint character, he's an absolutely loathsome human being throughout. One suspects Turtledove hated him, for some reason.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Kimball beats a woman when breaking up a Radical Liberal rally, repeatedly contemplates raping Anne (before finally trying it when she leaves him), and is planning to track her down and murder her when Sylvia Enos shoots him.

Hipolito Rodriguez

A Mexican man from the Confederate state of Sonora, he serves in World War I, though his first engagement is putting down the various black uprisings, during which he meets his lifelong friend, Jefferson Pinkard, and acquires a deep and abiding hatred for blacks (though remaining extremely sympathetic). After the war ended, he became an extremely prosperous farmer, compared to most of his neighbors (eventually owning a radio, refrigerator, and electric lighting). Also became a strong supporter of the Freedom Party, mainly because they were as virulently racist against blacks as he was. Throughout the series, Rodriguez repeatedly expresses that he is grateful for the subjugation of blacks, as it puts himself, and other Mexicans, in a slightly higher social stratum, and deflects hatred that might otherwise fall on his people. Along with Mexican Freedom Party members and white organizers, Rodriguez participates in paramilitary operations that break the political and economic power of the Mexican "patrones." Unfortunately, Rodriguez nearly electrocutes himself during the interwar period, and is severely weakened. When World War II starts, he is too weak to serve in the regular army, and so becomes a camp guard, eventually ending up at Pinkard's Camp Determination (read: Auschwitz). Initially does well, resuming his friendship with Pinkard and becoming one of his most trusted subordinates, despite Rodriguez's low rank. Eventually stops being able to deny the reality of what he and the camp are doing (exterminating blacks) and kills himself.
  • Affably Evil: Hip is a genuinely pleasant man, who just happens to work as a guard at a death camp.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Hip's exit plays up his humanity and his realization he can no longer live with himself.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Commits suicide after realizing he is the bad guy.
  • Driven to Suicide: Following the realization that he is killing real people
  • Evil Cripple: Can barely walk after being electrocuted.
  • Final Solution: Plays a minor role in it as a guard at Camp Determination.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Jeff Pinkard, as a result of their service in the Great War. Despite their differences in race, religion, and rank, in the Second Great War "Hip" is Jeff's only real confidant.
  • Happily Married: To Magdalena.
  • Heel Realization: At the hands, or rather the words, of Bathsheba.
  • Pet the Dog: When he agrees to take a message from Bathsheba to Scipio.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Believes the mallates all deserve to die for rising up against the CSA.
  • State Sec: As one of the Freedom Party Guards.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Despite everything he eventually becomes involved in, he remains likable.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Jeff
  • Your Cheating Heart: Claims to love his wife, yet regularly cheats on her when away from home, first with prostitutes during WWI, and then with black prisoners during WWII.

Reggie Bartlett

A drugstore clerk who is intensely loyal to the Confederacy and becomes a war hero during the First Great War but actively opposes Featherston's Freedom Party when their excesses become obvious.

  • The Everyman: Portrayed as an average white Confederate citizen.
  • Great Escape: Pulls one off from a US POW camp in the First Great War; is captured a second time later in the war but is too badly wounded to make another attempt.
  • Heel Realization: Although never a Heel per se, Bartlett comes to the epiphany that blacks and whites aren't so different when he's interned with a group of black CSA soldiers after being captured a second time.
  • Jumped at the Call: Does not wait to be drafted when the CSA enters the First Great War but rushes to the first recruiting station he can find, abandoning his regular job in the process. Later becomes politically active with the Radical Liberals, one of the few political parties with enough strength to oppose the Freedom Party.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Although he does attempt to help reform the system (or at least keep it from getting any worse) by becoming politically active.
  • Noble Bigot: Despite being infected with the racial attitudes of his time and his country, Reggie is actually a pretty decent guy. Even his racial attitudes are somewhat moderated when he gets to know black CSA soldier Rehoboam.
  • Only Sane Man: In an insane nation.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: His attitude toward the Freedom Party.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Perhaps the most sympathetic by far of the Confederate characters.

Jerry Dover

General manager of the Huntsman's Lodge, a four-star restaurant in Augusta, Georgia, who employs Scipio (under the assumed name Xerxes) as a waiter. Later drafted as a supply officer by the Confederate army. Notable for having shielded Scipio and his family from Freedom Party "Population Reductions".
  • Androcles' Lion: Played straight; Cassius Madison remembers the risks Jerry took on behalf of him and his family when Jerry is later interned in a US POW camp, and manages to secure Jerry's freedom.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: After being recalled to service, becomes the most efficient officer in the Confederate Quartermaster Corps and is specifically targeted by Irving Morrell for assassination because he significantly boosts the overall efficiency of the army.
  • Benevolent Boss: Played with; he's not a pleasant guy to work for by any means, but Jerry nonetheless rewards good, hard workers, and is willing to stick his neck out for Scipio and other black employees who are in danger of being rounded up by the Freedom Party.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Jerry is noteworthy for these, and is probably the most foul-mouthed character in the series.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Although he doesn't like Featherston or the Freedom Party at all, does not want to oppose him out of loyalty to the Confederacy as a whole.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Both with regard to his black restaurant employees (and their families) vis a vis the Freedom Party, and later with Confederate army bureaucracy.
  • The Scrounger: For an entire Confederate theater of battle! It's noted in-universe that restauranteurs are especially talented as supply officers (Truth in Television; see the Real Life entry under this trope).
  • Weirdness Coupon: Jerry's army superiors put up with his bad attitude and insubordination because he's undisputedly the best at what he does.

George S. Patton

A high-ranking Confederate general, and a veteran of The Great War, Patton is one of Jake Featherston's favourite bagmen, and spearheads the assault on Ohio, later commanding at the battles of Pittsburgh and Birmingham. An aggressive devotee of barrel warfare, Patton lives to fight and little else.

  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Patton tries to use the offensive as the be-all-end-all of warfare. He's less idiotic about it than Custer or MacArthur though.
  • The Dragon: As Jake's favourite general, Patton is the closest thing that the Confederate President has to a traditional Dragon.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Zig-zagged. George S. Patton was a prominent American general during WWII. However, the alternate history setting makes it unlikely his parents would have met, as his father was a Virginian and his mother from California. This Patton is most likely a different person with the same name, born to the same father and a different mother.
  • Lack of Empathy: To the point of assaulting a man who was suffering from shell shock. Jake of all people calls him out on it.

Henderson FitzBelmont

Head of the Confederate atomic bomb project.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: To the point that Featherston doesn't take him seriously until it's too late to really make a difference.
  • He Knows Too Much: Implied to have been killed by the U.S. in "an unfortunate traffic accident" to prevent his defection to the Japanese or Russians.
  • Hidden Depths: Is to a large extent responsible for the one-way mission to take out the U.S. atomic research facilties in Washington state.
  • Honest Advisor: When Featherston shows outrage that the U.S. atomic bomb program is ahead of the Confederate program, FitzBelmont reminds him that the Confederates would have been ahead had Featherston funded the project when he initially proposed it. FitzBelmont becomes one of the very few people to whom Featherston admits that he made a mistake.
  • Mad Scientist: Is fully aware of what the bomb can do. Doesn't entirely care, and isn't entirely motivated by patriotism.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Confides to Potter that although he's loyal to the Confederacy, he is bitterly opposed to the Freedom Party.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Meet Werner Heisenberg.
  • Odd Friendship: With Clarence Potter, the only senior member of Featherston's administration who can tolerate the guy long enough to coordinate with him.


Cincinnatus Driver

A driver for a Confederate company, Cincinnatus becomes involved with both the Confederate and Red undergrounds during the Union occupation of Kentucky, before ultimately deciding that his alleigance lies with the United States.

  • Badass Driver: From the beginning. He eventually becomes a Union auxillary, driving supply trucks for the US Army.
  • Badass Grandpa: In his fifties by the time of In At The Death. More badass than ever.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: During the early parts of the series, where he plays the CS underground, the Red rebels, and the Union against each other.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Settling on face during WWII, when he signs up with the American Army for the express purpose of crushing the CSA.
  • Odd Friendship: With Apicus and Lucullus Wood, whose politics he disdains, but is friends with nonetheless.
  • Parents as People: Tries his best to be a good father to Achilles and Amanda, despite his lack of education and the demands of first his job and then the war.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: From American Front to In At The Death.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not at first, but as the series progresses he takes immense levels in it.
  • Too Clever by Half: The opinion of most of the racists who meet him.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Gets hit wtih this a lot by white characters.


The butler at the Marshlands plantation, Scipio can talk like an educated white man. More or less against his will, he is dragged into Cassius' Red revolution, and acts as their face in dealings with the Confederacy. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Congaree Socialist Republic, he finds himself on the run.
  • Action Survivor: (Until he isn't, at least.) Especially during the Red Revolution, Scipio is drawn into a lot of dangerous situations — none of them by his own choice. He has no aspirations to heroism, using his wits and skills simply to get out of these situations alive.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Dies in a Freedom Party gas chamber.
  • Guile Hero: repeatedly uses his upper-class white man's voice to survive or get the upper hand on his enemies. When he's reluctantly dragged into one of the many black Marxist uprisings in World War I, he becomes the 'face' of the Congaree Socialist Republic, because his accent and erudition deeply unsettle the various white officers he negotiates with occasionally. Later, after he's escaped to Georgia, and is living under a new name, during the various anti-black riots that break out during the Great Depression, he uses his education to convince a white rioter that he's one of the leaders of the pogrom. The rioter even calls him 'sir.' The reason for this is that, in the CSA, accent is closely tied to class, and so, while his skin says that he's barely better than a slave, his accent says he's a Senator.
  • Heroic Neutral: Most of his actions are simply to survive and/or protect his family
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Scipio recognises that the end of the Congaree Socialist Republic has come and wants out.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Often has to pretend to be vastly more uneducated than he really is.
  • Only Sane Man: The only reason Anne Colleton spares him after his involvement in the black Marxist uprising is because Scipio did his best to restrain Cassius' excesses.
  • The Smart Guy: The brains of the Congaree Socialist Republic, however reluctant a participant he was in it.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.
  • Too Clever by Half: Remarked on by most white people who really get to know him.
  • Villainous Friendship: Scipio is hardly villainous, but Cassius certainly is. The two of them have serious issues with one another, Scipio disliking Cassius' revolutionary dogmatism and brutality, and Cassius doubting Scipio's loyalty to the cause. Yet in the end the two of them are friends, and Scipio ultimately names his son after his old revolutionary comrade.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: As in the case of Cincinnatus, this happens to him a lot. Jerry Dover notes that if Scipio were a white man, he'd probably be a lawyer or a Congressman.


The hunter for the Marshlands plantation, Cassius is a secret Marxist revolutionary who becomes Chairman of the Congaree Socialist Republic during the Great War. A committed and fanatical revolutionary, Cassius is willing to burn down the entire CSA in order to better the Confederacy's blacks.
  • Character Death: At the end of Breakthroughs when he's shot by Confederate soldiers.
  • Cold Sniper: As the Marshlands' hunter, Cassius is a very good shot, and has ice water in his veins.
  • Dirty Communists: A hardcore Marxist.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Cassius' revolution ultimately fails, but his actions help bring the Confederacy to its knees in the face of the Union onslaught. Things get even worse for African-Americans afterwards, with anti-black riots and the election of the genocidally-inclined Freedom Party, which attempts to eradicate every one of the Confederacy's black residents. Yet in the end, it's Cassius namesake, Cassius Madison who brings down the Confederacy, and the newly Re-United States grants blacks equal rights with whites.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Cassius is a bad man, no doubt, but Anne Colleton and the rest of the Confederates he's up against are even worse.
  • Glorious Leader: Of the Congaree Socialist Republic.
  • Hanging Judge: As Chairman of the Congaree, Cassius acts as a judge at the People's Tribunals. Unsurprisingly, he doesn't vote to spare a lot of white plantation owners.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: Invoked when he needs an excuse for why he disappeared from the Marshlands for several days in a row. He claims that he was out hitting on a girl at another plantation.
  • Kangaroo Court: Runs People's Tribunals in which he executes white plantation owners after trials that last a few minutes.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Surprisingly yes. When Confederate troops crush the Congaree Socialist Republic, Cassius allows most of his revolutionary comrades to flee, even while he himself retreats into the marshes to carry on fighting.
  • The Leader: Of the Congaree Socialist Republic.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Plays Anne Colleton, Scipio, and everyone else with relative ease.
  • Meaningful Name: He's named for Gaius Cassius Longinius, one of the ringleaders of the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar. It's a fitting name for a revolutionary leader, and may double as a case of Names to Run Away from Really Fast.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: It's harder to spot than many, thanks to his skin tone and dialect, but as the charismatic leader of the Confederacy's black socialists, Cassius is the stand-in for Vladimir Lenin.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In front of Anne Colleton and other white authority figures Cassius plays to every Confederate stereotype about brainless Negroes who can only think with their reproductive organs in order to hide just how smart he is. That he's even literate, let alone running a Communist revolution, comes as an enormous surprise to the likes of Anne.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Mass murder and threats of mass rape are not beneath Cassius.
  • Scary Black Man: Absolutely terrifying in his committment to the revolution, and a crack shot with his hunting rifle.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Cassius' low-brow dialect and backwoods accent conceal a very capable intellect.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With fellow revolutionary Cherry.
  • Villainous Friendship: For all the doubts that the two of them have about each other, and all the mutual distrust and suspicion, Cassius does seem to consider Scipio a friend, and helps him escape the Congaree Socialist Republic at the end.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Cassius is a brutal revolutionary who has no problems disregarding The Laws and Customs of War, or killing anyone who is deviating from the revolutionary path. At the same time, he genuinely believes that the CSA's blacks (and poor whites for that matter) will be better off after his revolution.
  • Where Da White Women At?: Invoked and parodied. When the CSA threatens to hang every black revolutionary they get their hands on, Cassius responds by threatening to rape every white woman living in Congaree territory. The Confederates, convinced that all blacks have an innate desire to rape white women, immediately back off.

Cassius Madison

Scipio's son, whom he names for his old revolutionary comrade. He manages to dodge the gas chambers and join a guerilla band led by Gracchus. During In At The Death, he is the one who ultimately kills Jake Featherston.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: He and Clarence Potter express these sentiments about one another during their single meeting.
  • The Cynic: Just being a black in the CSA will make a cynic out of you, but after living through the genocide, Cassius has few, if any, illusions left.
  • Dead Guy Junior: A rather sarcastic one too, given the rocky relationship between Scipio and the original Cassius.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Cassius inherited his father's (and his namesake's) penchant for sarcastic commentary.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Played with. Cassius was already leaning towards atheism when his family was captured in a church and sent to a death camp convincing him that god cannot possibly be real.
  • Meaningful Name: In-universe. Like the man he was named for, he takes up arms against his white Confederate oppressors, and ultimately finishes the original Cassius' job, bringing down the CSA with a single shot.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Named for the leader of the African-American revolutionary movement, though he himself doesn't necessarily know it.
  • La Résistance: As part of Gracchus' revolutionary band.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Easily one of the most sympathetic characters, in fact, given all that's happened to him.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Even people who don't like blacks will open doors for the kid who killed Jake Featherston.
  • You Killed My Father: Shoots Jake Featherston for having his family murdered.


Arthur McGregor

A Canadian farmer who lives with his family in Rosenfeld, Manitoba. A Canadian patriot who opposes the American incursion into, and eventual occupation of, his homeland, Arthur nonetheless unwillingly cooperates with the Yanks until they shoot his son, Alexander, for sabotage. Then he embarks on a desperate quest for revenge.
  • Berserk Button: Do not suggest his son may actually have been guilty of the deeds for which he was executed.
  • Grenade Hot Potato: Ends up playing this with Custer. Loses.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Let's just say he pays for his actions in a very, very appropriate way.
  • Revenge Before Reason: His driving motivation for most of his story arc.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Operates more like a true member of La Résistance than a terrorist, targeting only US military personnel (he doesn't even attack Canadian collaborators, due to his first attack, in which he intended to kill an American officer and collaborator, going horribly wrong and killing the collaborator's innocent son, who was the same age as his own executed son) and seeking to limit the damage he inflicts. And what father, given the means, wouldn't seek to avenge the death of his son at the hands of foreign soldiers?

Mary McGregor Pomeroy

Younger daughter of Arthur McGregor, Mary is just as ardent a Canadian patriot as her father, and just as eager for revenge on the Yankees who killed her brother and father. She takes up her father's methods, and learns from his mistakes. Unlike her father, who did his best to strike military targets (and thus was more akin to a soldier, and retained considerable sympathy), Mary is essentially a terrorist and targets anyone, including Jonathan Moss' Canadian wife and child. Also unlike her father, she is ultimately captured and executed.
  • I Am Not My Father: Invoked. Mary's first line of defense, when she's suspected in various bombings, is to try to persuade authorities that this is the case, and that she's being persecuted because of her parentage. It's complete BS, of course; the only way in which she's not like her father is that she's a lot more ruthless.
  • Ignored Epiphany: When she learns that her bomb killed Dorothy Moss, a very young child, Mary questions whether what she did was wrong. Don't worry, she gets over it in less than half a page.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: She is more patient, more methodical, and generally more effective than her father in their shared cause. That said, Mary prefers murdering innocents to targeting soldiers, and thus avoids the high security surrounding American military installations in Canada.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Like father, like daughter.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: And how! Becomes a terrorist to continue her father's resistance. Becomes a martyr for the Canadian rebels in World War II.
  • Turn Out Like Her Father: Maude McGregor tries in vain to dissuade Mary from following in Arthur's footsteps.
  • Would Hurt a Child: If that child is American — or half-American.
  • Unsympathetic P.O.V.: Like Roger Kimball, Mary is horrifyingly evil, despite, again, her crimes being paltry compared to those of far more sympathetic characters. Even the fact of her relatively normal home life, with a husband and child, does little to temper her evil, as almost every one of her entries involves her carrying out, plotting, or mentally cackling about the prospect of slaughtering innocents with explosives.

Lucien Galtier

A Quebecois farmer who lives with his family near the small town of Riviere-du-Loup. He is initially opposed to the American occupation of Canada, but becomes reconciled to the Americans when his daughter marries one.
  • Bilingual Bonus / Foreign Cuss Word / Precision F-Strike: Provides the reader with a thorough grounding in French Canadian profanity over the course of the series.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Although he's initially opposed to the occupation, he does eventually sell farmland to the Americans on which to build a military hospital, and allows his daughter to marry an American army surgeon.
  • Down on the Farm: Galtier is never seen outside the context of the day-to-day business of his farm and family.
  • The Everyman: Moreso than most other characters, as he's never directly involved in the fighting but nonetheless has his life turned upside down by its consequences.
  • May–December Romance: Leads to his Out with a Bang.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Some of the best (and funniest) dialogue in the series takes place within the context of Lucien's one-sided conversations with his draft horse on the way to and from market.
  • Not So Different: Despite his own close dealings with the Americans, never hesitates to comment on how much of a collaborator the local bishop is. Justified by the fact Galtier slowly, and in some cases reluctantly, allied with the Americans. While his comments about the local Bishop, originally just a priest, were how quickly and willingly he joined the American side.
  • Really Gets Around: But at least he waited until after his wife had died.
  • Silver Fox: Implied.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: The most sympathetic of the Canadian characters (although he's no longer Canadian at the end). Generally friendly and the only POV character who hurts or betrays no one (other than himself) in the entire series!

Wilf Rokeby

Postmaster in Rosenfeld, Manitoba; conduit for rumors and information spread by everyone (both Canadians and occupation troops) in town.
  • Bury Your Gays: One of only a couple of characters who are even hinted at as being gay in the entire series, although it's never outright stated and his portrayal is mainly through the eyes of the McGregors, who have their own biases concerning him. Ends up in prison after Mary McGregor sets him up as working for the resistance. As he is not a young man—Rokeby was ready to retire when this took place—and the occupation forces are not known for being gentle, his ultimate fate does not appear kind, though it takes place off-page.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Informed Arthur McGregor of the location of the officer who killed his son, allowing McGregor to exact revenge. Only later does McGregor realize that Rokeby may be sending information on him to the occupation as well. Mary also suspects Rokeby of working for the occupation when he cautions her on continuing her father's activities.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Mary plants evidence in Rokeby's post office that implicates him as part of a resistance cell. In fact, Rokeby was loyal to the occupation and reveals information that leads to Mary's eventual capture even though he was imprisoned himself on other charges.
  • The Quisling: Although he was postmaster when Canada was still independent, the McGregors suspect him of being one to keep his job. They're right.

Laura Secord Moss

A Canadian farmer living in Berlin, Ontario, and widow of a pilot shot down in the First Great War. After a very contentious courtship, remarries with Jonathan Moss.