|Western American Cross-Border Border Agreement of 1866|
|Context||Territorial dispute between Sierra and the United States|
|Signed||September 16th, 1866|
|Effective||September 21st, 1866|
|Expiration||March 13th, 1867|
Ulysses S. Grant|
The Western American Cross-Border Agreement of 1866, commonly known as the Grant-Trist Agreement, was a diplomatic border agreement signed between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Sierra on September 18th, 1866 during the early stages of the War of Contingency. The agreement stated that the flow of American refugees fleeing from war-torn parts of the U.S. were permitted to flee north towards Sierra to escape the conflict along with other nations and were to not be interfered by the Union government. The agreement was proposed after multiple incidents and narrowly avoided confrontations between Sierran and American forces over the flow of refugees from the United States towards Sierra's western border. The agreement was signed to prevent war between the two states and to manage to flow of American refugees as the Union itself wanted to prosecute Confederate officers who committed war crimes and discovered that they were hiding in Sierra as refugees. The agreement ultimately collapsed on March 13th, 1867 as a result of the Western Border clashes which violated the treaty and resulted in Sierra declaring war on the Union, now the United Commonwealth, and opening up the war's Western Theater.
Southern Union offensives
After the failed Confederate Uprising and subsequent coup attempt by the Knights of the Golden Circle were both suppressed by the Union Army, citizens in the various states under Union control began to revolt due to growing discontent between the people and the provisional military government lead by Interim President Ulysses S. Grant. The subsequent rebellions plunged the Union into a second civil war with New York City itself being laid siege to and the Union Army attacking Confederate remnants in the southern states. The southern offensives were largely successful and the Confederate Armies were being pushed back due to loose organization and general lack of support from the war weary southern population. Many Confederate officers began fleeing west towards the Union's midwest territories, which were also in a state of open rebellion, and many began fleeing towards the Kingdom of Sierra and Brazoria since they were both neutral in the war and were close enough for Confederate rebels to escape to. Many of these American refugees were actually officers and soldiers who committed crimes against Union soldiers and sympathizers and Grant sought to arrest and prosecute them, but they were fleeing towards Sierra at an alarming rate and were resting on refugee camps set up by the Sierran government outside of the Sierran-American border in the west.
Refugee crisis in Sierra
AS the Union forces pushed across the south and were getting closer and closer towards the Brazorian-American border, many Anti-Union soldiers and sympathizers along with neutral civilians who lost their land in the fighting began fleeing westward towards the Midwest Territories and eventually into the border with Sierra. The Sierran government was sympathetic towards the plight of American refugees, especially Smith I of Sierra who sympathized with the newly proclaimed independent nations, of which he refereed to as the "American nations" and later the "Anglo-American states". Smith I convinced parliament to pass a joint resolution establishing refugee camps on the Sierra-American border to properly manage and assist in safe immigration of Americans into Sierra. Many refugees made it to the camps, including anti-union militia and army leaders who started the war and/or committed war crimes against union forces and sympathizers such as the Selma massacre, the mass killing of over four dozen pro-union citizens. News of this angered Grant and the military government and ordered forces to capture flowing refugee columns and search among the refugee crowds in search of wanted anti-union war criminals.
Grant himself ordered military governors in the Midwest Territories to send forces to capture the refugees and this lead to confrontations between Union forces and troops of the Sierran Army sent to the border. A series of border altercations broke out and resulted in four Union soldiers being captured and arrested by Sierran soldiers. Such actions angered both Grant and the Sierran government who demanded the Union government explain themselves and negotiate to end the altercations. Since the Union Armies were fighting on two fronts in the south and in a stalemate in the northeast, Grant agreed to peace negotiations and began meeting with Prime Minister Ricahrd Trist of Sierra over the refugee issue with Grant explaining his actions and why the Union was going after the fleeing refugees.