An Alternate History novel by Eric Flint, the Trail of Glory series covers a United States that diverges from its original history at the start of the War of 1812, covering an area from the Canadian border in the north, New Orleans in the south, where the war's final battle was fought in 1815, and in the sequel from the US east coast to west of the Mississippi River.After Baen Books picked up the series contract from Del Rey, two more books have been planned for the series, but as of June 2011 no publication date is known for the other two novelsnote the tentative title for the third novel in the series is 1826: Oklahoma Burning, as per a comment by Flint on the Baen's Bar forum, and nothing of the story has been written.The two published novels:
The Rivers of War (paperback title: 1812: The Rivers of War)
1824: The Arkansas War
This series provides examples of the following tropes:
Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Briefly comes into existence when overzealous soldiers rip down the doors of one of the main entrances to the Capitol to block the other main entrance. After chewing them out for this act of idiocy, Driscol makes them block the entrance they just rendered defenseless - by pushing two huge statues into the doorway.
The Alcoholic: A part of the reason Eric Flint choose Sam Houston as the protagonist was that he wanted to show a realistic high-functioning alcoholic. This also qualifies as Write What You Know: Flint has commented on the Baen forum, while discussing this aspect of Houston's character, that he himself has struggled with alcoholism.
A nation might produce no poets, no philosophers, no inventors, no scientists, no statesmen, no theologicans, no sculptors—no barbers and butchers and bakers, for that matter. But if it could beat down anyone who tried to conquer it, no one could claim it didn't produce men.
Field Promotion: In modern/NATO terms, Sam Houston went from O-1 to O-6 in a matter of months. Meanwhile Driscoll bounced from senior NCO to Major in the same timeframe. Truth in Television, as the handling of promotions in armies of the period was somewhat more loose than in later decades.
Historical-Domain Character: A majority of the characters are historical figures, their behaviors based on Flint's research into history.
Insult to Rocks: In Chapter 28 of 1824: The Arkansas War, Andrew Jackson publicly denounces the deal-making that put Henry Clay into office as President after getting only about 1/6th of the popular vote, and initially lambasts John Calhoun as Judas. Later, Jackson corrects himself, saying that the comparison was an insult to Judas.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: What happened to the Filibusters after the First Battle of Arkansas Post, and the state militias at the second one, was neither pretty nor undeserved
Monumental Damage: In "The Rivers of War", Washington is sacked by the British, as in the original War of 1812, but a hastily rallied group of defenders manage to defend the Capitol. Almost every other public building save the Patent Office (Which was also left alone in real life), however, gets put to the torch.
Moral Myopia: The attitude towards blacks, "mixed-bloods", and about slavery in the early United Stated is exposed at any turn.
Noble Bigot: Andrew Jackson is portrayed as this. He is highly bigoted, even by the standards of the time, and does not hesitate to call friendly Cherokees "savages", ask how Houston can be so sure that his coloured teamsters won't steal his gear, and sum up state militias as drunken and cowardly to a man. However, he hesitates to shoot Red Eagle (a rebel Cherokee responsible for a major massacre) because he surrendered voluntarily, promotes a coloured sergeant to commissioned rank, against regulations, and threatens to kill a man who protests against arming free coloured men, but who won't join the militia himself. Essentially, the Andrew Jackson in the book is bigoted against groups but is capable of respecting an individual who is especially heroic and or a fierce fighter. While he is a bigot, he hates fools and cowards even more.
Noodle Incident: Enforced in that "The Arkansas War" wasn't planned to be the second book. That was "The Trail of Glory", which would cover the alternate Cherokee migration, the riots in New Orleans that are alluded to in "The Arkansas War", and how many of black freedmen ended up moving to Arkansas. It was nixed by the publisher.
Scary Black Man: Many in the U.S., primarily slaveholders and would-be slaveholders, regard Arkansas Army as this and/or wish to convince everyone else of it. When angered, General Ball pulls it off magnificently in his own right.
What the black Chiefdom of Arkansas is to the United States.
At the end of The Arkansas War, Andrew Jackson has joined forces with John Quincy Adams and other moderates and liberals to form a new Democratic-Republican Party to wrest control of Congress from Henry Clay's supporters in the upcoming off-year elections and go for the White House in the 1828 election, one of whose chief planks is gradual emancipation (And the notion that a free black is a full US Citizen with all the same rights as a white man). This sets up a showdown with the Deep South, and its ideological leader John Calhoun, in future books, though it's strongly implied that the Upper South - especially Kentucky and Tennessee, which are Jackson country - will side with the new party.
Up Through the Ranks: Sergent Patrick Driscoll had served more than a decade in Napoleon's army when he enlisted in the US army and participated in the War of 1812. When he lost his left arm in the battle at the Chippewa, Winfield Scott promoted him to first lieutenant. He ended up as a founder of the Arkansas Chiefdom and the general of its army, but never lost the way of thinking like a sergeant.
Washington D.C. Invasion: As in the Real LifeWar of 1812, the British forces in The Rivers of War attack Washington, DC in a punitive raid. However, unlike in the original war Sam Houston helps rally the troops to defend the Capitol Building, effectively turning the British attack from a major propaganda victory to petty arson when they settle for torching other buildings, after being bloodied badly and driven away in their attempt to assault the Capitol Building.