For all intents and purposes, rural America died three months after the Black Moon rose in 1867. The last refugee column–Father Walter’s miraculous arrival, later immortalized by Haddon Sundblom’s A Christmas Promise–reached Chicago in 1868. Other camps are recorded after 1868 but were turned away at the city gates, revealed to be madmen or witch-packs in disguise, or made to settle among wilderness peoples and/or local Didikko tribes.
In the two years that followed, the City-States maintained tenuous connections via relatively stable, albeit dangerous, caravan routes. Traveling under heavy guard and moving swiftly by horse and mule along old rail beds and roadways, these convoys provided limited ability to move critical personnel (mostly military or scientific) or supplies (some luxury goods, but mostly the products of companies like Colt and Winchester).
However, on May 8th, 1870, a 200-man convoy was ambushed approximately 10 miles outside of Philadelphia. The convoy escaped and arrived at the city with minimum casualties on May 9th.…
The Federal government and the American cities (later, City-States) pursued different tactics in publicly addressing the rise of “Moonspawn”–the wide-ranging collection of unnatural, post-Moon plants and animals that span numerous biological kingdoms.
Prior to its collapse in 1868, the Federal government undertook a systemic campaign of medical misinformation, downplaying the havoc Moonspawn were wrecking throughout rural America. Increasingly stringent controls upon hospitals and universities resulted in a backlash by these naturally-progressive institutions, culminating in the John Hopkins Rebuke of Nov. 17, 1867.
After Federal artillery had reduced the famed Baltimore hospital to rubble, a number of doctors angrily rejected demands to cease Moonspawn postmortem examinations. The most famous of these “protest procedures” was conducted at the Boston City Hospital on Nov. 21, 1867. Excerpts of the postmortem ran in the Boston Post that very day as a special daily edition (also known as a bulldog), under the headline ‘MONSTERS STALK BOSTON.’