One of the major differences between the original standalone rpg Deadlands (Deadlands Classic) and the Savage Worlds version of Deadlands (Deadlands Reloaded) is that the Civil War has officially ended, rather than being a prolonged conflict with upsurges every election year. The Reloaded Player's Guide says the following (pg. 4-5 hardbound version) :

Until recently, Grant’s administration claimed dominion over the entire country and refused to acknowledge the existence of any other American nation. The truth, however, is that Washington exerts little to no authority over the other nations described here, and recent peace negotiations have forced him to recognize the Confederacy’s legitimacy.

Is there any more information, in Classic or Reloaded, about how or why these peace negotiations starting happening? I find it somewhat strange that after such a prolonged fighting, and with the Great Rail Wars about to be decided (indeed, they were won in 1880, a year after Reloaded's 1879 metaplot date) that they would have peace talks.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The only reference I can find on the official forums is here: peginc.com/forum/…. Not sure it warrants a full answer though, and as I don't have any of the Classic books I can't find any more information. \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Apr 19 '13 at 12:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another document that might help is johnmcneil.com/portal/Gaming/Deadlands/TimelineofDoom/tabid/187/… \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Apr 19 '13 at 12:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Pinnacle forum link says that the Civil War goes into permanent cease fire after the events of the Dead Presidents adventure. Anybody with access to that? \$\endgroup\$ – Thunderforge Apr 20 '13 at 17:16

According to the Player's Guide, as of 1879 there is an unofficial ceasefire. Confederation president Jefferson Davis urged peace between the American nations on his death bed (p4) (he was assassinated in late 1878, p6). His wish was fulfilled by his successor, Eric Michele, who ordered Southern forces to stand down. Union president Ulysses S. Grant returned the gesture shortly after. However, many believed in 1879 that Ulysses Grant would launch more attacks on the South as they moved into the election year (p5).

The Tombstone Epitaph says that the Civil War "ended nearly nine months ago" on Sunday, June 29, 1879. This would mean that the ceasefire took place around September 1878. As we know that Eric Michele was not elected until early 1879 (p6), this may mean that he was acting as incumbent president (until the official election in early 1879) when he ordered Southern troops to stand down.

In the Last Sons Player Guide, we can read on The Tombstone Epitaph from Sunday, September 5, 1880, that the ceasefire is still in place. As a matter of fact, Grant is using it as one of his main arguments to be elected again (his main adversary is not the Democrat Hancock but the Republican Garfield, who seems fine with the ceasefire with the South but wants to use additional force against the Sioux). This book also mentions that the first Rail War ended in 1879 at the Battle of Lost Angels, but the second one started shortly after at the Battle of Broken Rails and still rages on.

So, to answer your question in short, the peace between North and South started unilaterally because the South wanted peace and the North was keen on it too (however, it is not an official peace, just a ceasefire). Probably both sides were exhausted, plus they had other problems to take care of. As a matter of fact, there are half a dozen "nations" on the Weird West and some of them have their own issues with the Union and the Confederation, like the Sioux nations.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 great answer summarising information from all relevant sources for Deadlands Reloaded \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Jul 21 '13 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Any information from the end of the Classic game line that adds to this? Or is the Reloaded info it? \$\endgroup\$ – Thunderforge Jul 22 '13 at 1:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do not know. I do not have any Classic material, sorry. 0:-) I assume that Reloaded material has precedence if there is any contradiction with Classic material, though. \$\endgroup\$ – sergut Jul 22 '13 at 16:46

The peace talks stem from the heroes actions in the "Ghost Busters/Rain O' Terror/ Dead Presidents" Series of adventures. In the series you find that someone has been extending the war for the Reckoners. After this person is defeated by the heroes his successor pulls back the southern troops starting a cease fire that extends into peace talks. The synopsis is explained in a bit more detail in The Epitaph #4 (PEG 3004)Pg 5.


There's a little background on the end of the Civil War on the Deadlands: Hell on Erth setting. It's actually the Deadlands setting after many years of evolution, it takes place on year 2094, after a nuclear war using Ghost Stones as power ravages the country.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The original Hell on Earth was written before the Civil War ended in the Deadlands metaplot and pretty much skirts around the issue. Hell on Earth Reloaded is about as vague as Deadlands Reloaded is. So this doesn't answer my question. (Also, it's ghost rock, not ghost stones). \$\endgroup\$ – Thunderforge Jul 17 '13 at 18:11

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