Anaconda plan, the superficial version vs the real version

wausaubob

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This is the way General Scott described the plan in a letter to George McClellan, early in the war:
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https://civilwarhome.com/scottmcclellananaconda.htmlObviously Scott carefully excludes the idea that in 9 months the attack on New Orleans was going to come from the Gulf of Mexico, not from the middle Mississippi River.
Scott is choosing his words carefully, to make a letter which McClellan may leak to someone in Philadelphia, as cryptic as possible. But the writer is Winfield Scott, who attacked Mexico at Veracruz and captured Mexico City by imitating Cortez. Thus it might not have been prudent to take Scott's letter as completely descriptive.
 

wausaubob

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There would not be much point in blockading southern ports if the US cannot control Kentucky. If the US advantages are not sufficient to keep Kentucky from seceding in 1861, then how is the US going to win in the other 11 states, which did complete secession even if they took their time about it? There are any number of good references about Kentucky. Here is one: https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/kentucky-in-the-civil-war-1861-1862.html
Kentucky joins the US economy at Cincinnati/Covington, New Albany/Louisville, Evansville, and at Cairo/Paducah. If the US controls these places, freight originating within the US does not pass into Tennessee for further distribution throughout the south. If the US controls Kentucky there is a chance for a meaningful blockade. Without Kentucky the US is just redirecting trade with the south through the connection points mentioned above.
 

wausaubob

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By September of 1861 it was increasingly clear that Kentucky was not going secede. And by that time, cotton harvesting and cotton shipping was right around the corner. The blockade was emerging as a significant problem and the Confederates were going to have send Slidell and Mason to Europe to complain about the blockade.
Before they could get to England and meet with Foreign Sec'y Russell, two concrete steps in implementing the blockade, not specified in Scott's letter had to occur.
The US had to create a coastal enclave in Georgia, to put Savannah and Charleston under close blockade. As soon as hurricane season ended, a permanent coaling station was established on Ship Island, MS which made it much easier to blockade the Mississippi River delta and Mobile Bay.
When these two things had been accomplished, and the news was ahead of Slidell and Mason, they could be released and sent along to London.
 
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wausaubob

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As history net explains, Wilkes intercepted Slidell and Mason on November 8, 1861. General Scott and Thurlow Weed arrived in France on Nov 27, 1861.
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https://www.historynet.com/winfield-scotts-last-mission.htmBy December 3, 1861, the US Army had occupied Ship Island, MS. It probably took about 3 weeks for that information to be confirmed in Washington and be sent on its way to London. If Slidell and Mason complained about the blockade when the made it to London, they were going be confronted by these facts.
 

wausaubob

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By February 3, 1862, David Farragut was on his way to the Gulf to organize an attempt to get over the head of the passes and attack forts Phillip and Jackson. Foote and Grant opportunistically attacked forts Henry and Donelson, which made the original version of the Anaconda plan seem valid. The combined arms action to capture a large section of the North Carolina coast, seemed to receive less press attention, though it definitely contracted the coast that that had to be patrolled by the blockaders.
 

wausaubob

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The public version of the Anaconda plan was an object of derision. But the real plan involved blocking the movement of slaves on the Potomac and Ohio Rivers. It also involved landings on the slave coast of Georgia, and an attack on the center of the US slave trade, i.e. New Orleans.
 

atlantis

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The public version of the Anaconda plan was an object of derision. But the real plan involved blocking the movement of slaves on the Potomac and Ohio Rivers. It also involved landings on the slave coast of Georgia, and an attack on the center of the US slave trade, i.e. New Orleans.
What do you mean by blocking the movement of slaves on the Potomac and Ohio rivers, how was that supposed to aid the war effort.
 

Lubliner

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I can see Scott's reasoning for the statement in the OP, "...bring them to terms with less bloodshed than by and other plan...."
But overall I see a very limited outlook for the problem already at hand. I also hear the persuasion used on McClellan that may have become the critical thinking on his own part, politically. Neither of these men, in the continuity of thinking along these lines, understood the serious business that developed. With this kind of military leadership displayed in like patterns of judgements, I can understand why Sherman lost his wits!
Lubliner.
 

Piedone

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Why do you say „New Orleans, the center of slave trade“ - do you think it was the main objective of the Anaconda plan to suppress slavery in the South?
 

Rhea Cole

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Why do you say „New Orleans, the center of slave trade“ - do you think it was the main objective of the Anaconda plan to suppress slavery in the South?
The firm of Armfield & Franklin was headquartered in Virginia. Their slave jail HQ is a NPS site. The company’s records are in the National Archives. Issac Franklin was the Bill Gates of the slave trade.

Traditional plantation staple crop production was no longer a paying proposition in the border states. Essentially, raising human beings for sale was their cash crop. The “extras” from plantations in Deleware, Maryland & Virginia were shipped overland to the Fork in the Road market in Natchez MS. Convoys of slaves walked for up to six months via Nashville & the Natchez Trace.

A fiddler led the way. The men were joined together by the neck. The women & small children were packed onto wagons. Nightly, Franklin & his men would choose amongst the women & girls for their “companion.” Particularly willing victims were earmarked for the fancy girl market & a premium sale price.

The slaves gathered at the Virginia HQ were from a relatively benign slave-holding culture. In order to prepare them for transportation & sale, they were broken in. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out what that entailed

A veteran of the overland trade, Isaac Franklin came up with a radical plan. You could say that it was the UPS of slave trading. Special built schooners were outfitted for quick passages to New Orleans. The “fancy girl” market in New Orleans was the center of the sex slave trade. Likely young women (many of whom either Franklin or his partner had raped) were sold there. They had a coded system for rating the fancy girls in order to set prices.

The individuals who were intended for the MS market were off loaded at Franklin’s Angola Plantation. (Yes, that Angola) The slaves were sorted & the old or infirm shipped to MS for immediate sale. Not all of them survived the journey. The stench of the bodies that Franklin dumped in the wetlands was the subject of lawsuits.

“Prime Hands” were fattened up at Angola & brought to market for sale at premium prices. When he died, Franklin was one of the richest men in America.

Nahan Bedford Forrest, among many others, profited from Franklin’s pioneering enterprise. His partnership specialized in the sale of extras from Virginia & other border states. The insatiable demand for additional labor in the Deep South was filled by the extras from the border states. It was a given of slave-holding that stock needed to be replaced at 7 year intervals. For that reason, the slave trade was centered at New Orleans.

The impact of the loss of the replacement labor trade from Virginia to New Orleans is one of those economic impacts that gets overlooked. It cut off the major source of cash flow for wealthy Virginia families.

Armfield & Franklin, Issac Franklin, Adalisha Atkins, Franklin’s widow & the Natchez slave market are a Google search that will fill in the details. Fair warning, the quotes from Armfield & Franklin’s correspondence is not for the faint of heart. This is not Moonlight & Magnolia nostalgia material.

The blockade, loss of access to the overland & Mississippi transportation routes strangled the cash flow of border state elite slave-holders. It also embargoed the importation of fresh labor the Deep South states depended on.
 
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wausaubob

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The Americans and the British did not agree on many things. But the US blockade ended the movement of involuntary labor by water transportation. American co-operation with the British patrols of the African coast mainly ended the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The slave economies of Cuba, Brazil and the southern US were then isolated from each other and isolated from Africa.
The US and Britain both theorized that if the movement of slaves was stopped, the institution would lose much of its purpose.
 

Rhea Cole

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The Americans and the British did not agree on many things. But the US blockade ended the movement of involuntary labor by water transportation. American co-operation with the British patrols of the African coast mainly ended the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The slave economies of Cuba, Brazil and the southern US were then isolated from each other and isolated from Africa.
The US and Britain both theorized that if the movement of slaves was stopped, the institution would lose much of its purpose.
In my wife’s family papers is a letter written by a missionary cousin who describes the anti-slavery squadron hull down on the horizon.
 

wausaubob

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If the US was imposing a blockade on all water born traffic, and two of the first major combined arms operations are aimed at Port Royal and Beaufort County, South Carolina, and New Orleans, LA, it was definitely a war against slavery. Talking about the economic impact concealed the impact on slave trading and impact of these early actions on the communication network maintained by the enslaved population.
 

Rhea Cole

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If the US was imposing a blockade on all water born traffic, and two of the first major combined arms operations are aimed at Port Royal and Beaufort County, South Carolina, and New Orleans, LA, it was definitely a war against slavery. Talking about the economic impact concealed the impact on slave trading and impact of these early actions on the communication network maintained by the enslaved population.
I think this is a good point. The cash flow of the wealthiest families dried up immediately. The dozens of slave jails along the Charleston waterfront were shut down for lack inventory. In Virginia, “extras” that were a major source of cash flow instead ran off & worked for wages. The blockade slashed the net worth of elite slave-holders up & down the coast.
 

wausaubob

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I'm not an expert on the domestic slave trade. But I believe Lincoln was an eyewitness to the transportation of slaves via the Mississippi River. Slaves were either moved by water transport or walked across long distances. By removing the easy way to transport slaves, Lincoln forced the slave traders to resort to the slower, more costly method of walking.
I speculate that the New Orleans market was essential to slavery in Louisiana, Mississippi, so. Arkansas and Texas. It was the center of the slave trade, and the only banking center in what were the southwest states at that time.
 

Rhea Cole

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I'm not an expert on the domestic slave trade. But I believe Lincoln was an eyewitness to the transportation of slaves via the Mississippi River. Slaves were either moved by water transport or walked across long distances. By removing the easy way to transport slaves, Lincoln forced the slave traders to resort to the slower, more costly method of walking.
I speculate that the New Orleans market was essential to slavery in Louisiana, Mississippi, so. Arkansas and Texas. It was the center of the slave trade, and the only banking center in what were the southwest states at that time.
I think you have hit on something. No cotton exchange, no banking, no credit, no payments... essentially the entire cotton economy grinds to a halt when Farragut passes the forts. This has been an inspirational set of posts. I am looking at the blockade in a whole new way.
 

DaveBrt

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If the US was imposing a blockade on all water born traffic, and two of the first major combined arms operations are aimed at Port Royal and Beaufort County, South Carolina, and New Orleans, LA, it was definitely a war against slavery. Talking about the economic impact concealed the impact on slave trading and impact of these early actions on the communication network maintained by the enslaved population.
Very interesting. Do you have proof that Lincoln took the blockade and 2 assault action for the purpose you describe, or was the result just a fortuitous by-product of other plans?
 

wausaubob

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Very interesting. Do you have proof that Lincoln took the blockade and 2 assault action for the purpose you describe, or was the result just a fortuitous by-product of other plans?
My guess is that Port Royal was an operational decision, as Charleston was too tough originally. Once they had Port Royal, I think that is where David Hunter ended up. Hunter was a strong abolitionist.
New Orleans was a political and strategic choice, in my opinion. Farragut's success was probably far beyond what was expected.
 

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