Monday, May 31, 2010

The Anaconda Plan

So, the nation has split apart, I suppose it would be important to know what each side wanted and how they were going to do it.

The North's goal was simple; save the Union.

The South wanted to be left alone and the North to deal with the fact that they had slavery. They felt states rights were very important.

Both sides figured the war could only last about 3 months, they were very wrong.

The North seemed to have the upper hand in this. They had a bigger population and had 85% of the countries factories.

A northern general, Winfield Scott, came up with a plan to defeat the South. It would take these steps....

1. The Union Navy would blockade the South's Ports.

This would keep the South from importing needed supplies and exporting cotton to make money.

2. Capture the Mighty Mississippi to split the Confederacy in half.

3. Apply pressure until they can't take it any more and cry like small children and give up.

This plan was known as the Anaconda Plan *HISS*.

It was called this because the Anaconda is a giant snake that will squeeze the life out of you. Seriously, check out the Discovery Channel sometime.

This plan was set aside though, people wanted a short war, and all those steps would take time. They figured the best way to go about it was to capture the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Border States

So, did all states that held slaves leave the Union? No, actually they did not. There were four states that held slaves but did not leave the Union, they were....

Delaware wasn't that big of deal, it had few slaves, so people were pretty sure it wouldn't leave.

Maryland was different, the Union could NOT lose Maryland.

So, why can't the Union lose Maryland? Well, Washington D.C. of course! If Maryland left, D.C. would be completely surrounded by the Confederates.

Lincoln put Maryland under martial law, this means peoples lives were overseen by the military, Big Brother really was watching.

Kentucky was important to keep in the Union because of the love of blue grass music. Nope, that's not the reason.

The reason was the Ohio River, the northern border of Kentucky is the Ohio River. The river was strategic for shipping supplies and it was a very good natural boundary between the two countries. In short, Kentucky was the bomb diggity (I'm so so sorry for typing that).

So if the Ohio River was important to Kentucky then Why do you think Missouri needed to be kept in the Union? If you guessed the picturesque Ozarks you would be wrong. If you guessed the Mississippi River, you would be correct.

The Mississippi River was the ultimate route straight into the belly of the beast. If the Union could control the Mighty Mississippi then they could get to New Orleans and other southern river cities easily and that would be extremely important.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Civil War Begins...

South Carolina got together and talked about leaving the Union. This idea was easily passed with no objections.

Four days later, South Carolina issued the reasons why they were leaving.

After these reasons were stated, other states followed South Carolina's lead.

Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas all left. Eventually four other states; Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas warned that if the federal government used force against a state, they would leave too.

Lincoln now had to decide what he was going to do. He thought that if he pubically said something, he would make it worse, so he privately tried to talk southern leaders into staying in the Union.

Meanwhile, the South was forming their government. They chose Jefferson Davis as president and named their new nation the Confederate States of America.

Things reached a climax at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Even though South Carolina had succeeded, the fort was still controlled by the United States.

Jefferson Davis had to decide what to do, so he chose to attack.

On April 12, Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, the American Civil War had begun.