Thanks to Stackpole for sending a review copy of Dixie Victorious: An Alternate History of the Civil War, which we'll look at this week and next (see post below).
Richard McMurry's The Fourth Battle of Winchester: Toward a New Civil War Paradigm used an alternative history approach to make the point that nothing that could have happened in the East in 1864 would have affected the outcome of the war. McMurry's "counterfactual fiction" was bait, a means to draw a wide audience into analysis (something wide audiences have little patience for). The alternative history part of his book was a throwaway; the analysis was extremely impressive. Have a look at this volume, if you can find it.
I'll compare and contrast it to/with Dixie at the end of this run of synopses.