What strategy did each side hope to pursue during the Civil War? - American History  
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Jessica Reed
4/1/2010 11:40:09

The Union’s strategy was the Anaconda Plan, which was designed to strangle the South’s economy. First, they planned to block the South’s coastline to prevent supply ships from coming. Secondly, they wanted to control of the Mississippi River in order to split the Confederacy. Lastly, they wanted to capture the Confederate capital, which was Richmond, Virginia. The Confederate’s strategy was a defensive strategy and then it turned into an offensive strategy. They did this because they knew they had a home court advantage. They knew the lands and the climate making it easier for the Confederacy. However, once they gained victories and more confidence they changed their strategy to offensive. Their first try at this new strategy was the Battle of Antietam which was a failure.

First of all, the Battle of Antietam was on September 16th though 18th in 1862. The Battle took place in Sharpsburg, Maryland which was northern territory making the battle important before it even started. This was because if the South won it would be their first victory on Union soil. Before the battle General McClellan’s army stumbled upon General Lee’s plans to attack the North while on the Confederates’ abandoned campsite. As a result, McClellan attacked Lee’s army at the Antietam Creek on September 16. The battle was fierce, brutal, and bloody. During those three days the outcome of who would win was unpredictable. Until on the third day of battle, both sides strengthened their lines of defense despite the numerous casualties. Though Lee’s army was fewer and had more casualties he still fought McClellan who outnumbered him. However, McClellan did not have any more assaults and Lee decided to retreat his battered army back across the Potomac River. Therefore, the South’s first attempt of an offensive strategy did not turn out well. I think that the South’s attempt was a failure at the Battle of Antietam was due to two reasons. First, they left their plans of attack out and the North found them. Secondly, Lee knew he had a smaller army yet he continued to fight even when he also had more casualties. I think that if the South were more careful and well prepared they could have had a better chance of winning this important battle.

class discussion

10/1/2013 06:58:19


12/17/2013 23:05:29

12/17/2013 23:13:06

Part is truth put no all

12/18/2013 01:25:13

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Arjun Rajesh
4/4/2010 02:25:22

Both sides surely had strategies for making sure that they won the war. The most famous one is the anaconda plan. This plan was used by the union side in hope of defeating the confederacy. The plan was originally made by Winfield Scott. The union wanted to keep the south from recieving food and supplies. So one thing they did was put a tariff on cotton. Cotton was the confederacy's main industry. The plantation owners grew the cotton and then sold it to countries in Europe. I think that this was a very good idea. This tariff kept the south from making money. This ploy surely brought the south much closer to surrender. Another part of the Anaconda plan involved preventing supply ships from delivering supplies to the confederates. I think that even though this is pretty harsh it was a good tactic. There was no way the south could handle such a war, mostly being fought on their own territory, without enough supplies. As you can see the union was strangling the south's economy just like an anaconda struggles its prey. The Anaconda plan was positively the plan that won the war. The south's strategy wasn't as effective as the union's. They planned to play a defensive game. Therefore they ended up fighting the majority of the battles in their own territory. While they had the home territory advantage they faced many unexpected costs. Firstly the confederacy faced massive damage to their buildings. Also they didn't know that the anaconda plan wanted them to fight at home, so when they did it it only made the plan more effective. The confederacy only played a defensive game because they thought that the union would soon be tired of fighting and give up. When they found that they were falling behind and the union showed no signs of quiting they went on the offensive but it was too late. I think that the attacks on fort Sumter made the union so angry that they decided to continue fighting.

Class Discussion http://www.civilwarhome.com/confederatestrategy.htm

jiayi diao
4/5/2010 00:34:09

Both sides had their strategy changed during the war.
The Northern side try to cut the Southern supply lines in the Southern land, which is Mississippi River.They sent troops to and fleets into New Orleans in April 1862,and the forces in New Orleans keep pushing north along the Mississippi River all the way up to Vicksburg.The Union in along the Mississippi River sure did cut the supples and the business between the Confederate and Europe.The Northern government thought that the war will end very quickly by taking the Southern capital Richmond.But when the Union Army attacked the southern land, they find out this wining this war is not easy at all.The battle in the early 1862 was the Union victory.But the battle in Virginia when the Union tried to take the Confederate capital-Richmond,thing didn't go well on them, the Confederate's strategy was to let the Union Army deep into their own land which they know better then anyone else.Then they can win each battle easily.But after a year passes during the war.The Confederate changed it's strategy to attack the Union capital.But it's plan failed because of supples.So the Union Army from the North(Virginia)and the Army in the south(New Orleans)attacked at the same time.The Confederate capital has fallen to the Union.

Class notes and discussions.

Molly Buring
4/6/2010 23:01:07

The South wanted a defensive strategy and the North wanted an offensive strategy. What that means is that the South wanted to protect their land because of the North attacking. And the North would rather go onto the South and attack them instead of protecting their own land. The North's main strategy, for their offensive approach, was the Anaconda Plan. That including a blockade. What that means is that the North blocked the South's ships so that they couldn't trade between them and Europe. The plan basically stopped the South from getting money. It won the war for the North since the South's strategy wasn't as good and effective. I definitely think that the North had the better idea for winning the war. They thought more and planned it out more.

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12/18/2013 01:24:46



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