Blockade! THE BLOCKADING OF SOUTHERN SEAPORTS DURING THE CIVIL WAR

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vikingbear

Corporal
Joined
Jul 12, 2014
Messages
482
Location
New Hampshire
"The blockade"...........a bunch of years after ago was forced to take a class on how to design a question that will give you the answer you want. So a most of the time I will check through the book to see what the parameters of any data is, and maybe get a understanding of where the writer is conning from and any possible bises. Having bises on a subject is not really a bad thing, it is normal and just means you are really interested in a subject.
So what. does this mean with the price of tea in China? (my father used to say that and still have not figured what most of the saying mean).
IT just means that there are no simple answers for a lot of these questions. The statement that only 15 percent of those specially. built blockade runners were capt during the war makes me think of those questions of a long time ago. no. way to prove or disprove. R eminding me of those political adds on the bloob tube.
There were some good points expressed........Guess the best way to describe my thought on the blockade is this........when a british admiral was asked what was the best naval strategy used to defeat Napoleon, this admiral answered that it was not one strategy but a combination of them. A thousand little pin prices will add up to a lot in the end and drove them crazy during.......

GRIZZ
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,393
Location
Near Kankakee
"The blockade"...........a bunch of years after ago was forced to take a class on how to design a question that will give you the answer you want. So a most of the time I will check through the book to see what the parameters of any data is, and maybe get a understanding of where the writer is conning from and any possible bises. Having bises on a subject is not really a bad thing, it is normal and just means you are really interested in a subject.
So what. does this mean with the price of tea in China? (my father used to say that and still have not figured what most of the saying mean).
IT just means that there are no simple answers for a lot of these questions. The statement that only 15 percent of those specially. built blockade runners were capt during the war makes me think of those questions of a long time ago. no. way to prove or disprove. R eminding me of those political adds on the bloob tube.
There were some good points expressed........Guess the best way to describe my thought on the blockade is this........when a british admiral was asked what was the best naval strategy used to defeat Napoleon, this admiral answered that it was not one strategy but a combination of them. A thousand little pin prices will add up to a lot in the end and drove them crazy during.......

GRIZZ
Well expressed, Grizz. There was no way to stop all boats putting into unguarded inlets. The blockade just forced the importations into smaller boats and inlets that had no easy access to the interior.

Imports when into Caribbean ports and were transferred to smaller boats that could land pretty much anywhere.

A great amount of goods were run past the blockades. So much so that the Confederate Congress had to require that X percent of the cargo so imported had to be of war materials. It didn't make a great deal of sense to have a cargo of scents, brandy and cigars landing without having some war materiel included.
 
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AndyHall

Colonel
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Dec 13, 2011
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Earlier this year Craig Symonds gave an interview to a South Carolina radio show about the blockade, and was asked if the blockade was effective. He first described some of the ways that other historians have measured success, and than gave his own perspective:

But here’s the statistic that I appeal to most often. And that is, if you take the twelve-month period prior to Fort Sumter, and calculate the total number of ships that came out of southern ports, the ports belonging to the states of the Confederacy, and the tonnage of goods, and compare that with the twelve months after Fort Sumter, and this was when the blockade was in its weakest state, it declined by more than 90%. So a number of ships that tried made it, but lots and lots and lots of ships never tried, because the blockade was there.

So what kind of impact does that have, cumulatively, on the attitude of those running this war? We see it, particularly in 1864, the year we’re really interested in tonight, because by 1864, now the blockade is really becoming pretty restrictive. And affecting not so much the Confederacy’s ability to have shoulder weapons and saltpetre and cannon shells and the fundamental tools of the army, but on all of the other parts of a nineteenth century economy, and this has kind of a wasting effect. It affects inflation, it affects of course, by then inflation was affected by Confederate paper money as well, so this is a double whammy in terms of the domestic economy of the Confederacy.

And the wives and children and families left behind, of all those soldiers fighting at the front, were feeling this rather desperately, and I know the tradition is, “oh, we just toughed it out,” but soldiers who would get letters, and I’ve seen thousands of these saying, “Jake, we can’t eat. We shall die if you don’t come home. Jake, you must dessert and come home, or we shall surely perish.” That’s a rough paraphrase of thousands of letters. So what cumulative effect does that have on the Confederacy’s ability to sustain the war?So it’s not measurable, I think, just by how many ships violate the blockade, or whether indeed the Confederate armies had enough wherewithal to sustain battle – they did. But [the blockade] had a sort of cumulative, wearing effect on the society as a whole, and how you calculate that statistically, I think is impossible. But I believe that it had a significant impact.​

What he said.
 

DaveBrt

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
2,450
Location
Charlotte, NC
Earlier this year Craig Symonds gave an interview to a South Carolina radio show about the blockade, and was asked if the blockade was effective. He first described some of the ways that other historians have measured success, and than gave his own perspective:

But here’s the statistic that I appeal to most often. And that is, if you take the twelve-month period prior to Fort Sumter, and calculate the total number of ships that came out of southern ports, the ports belonging to the states of the Confederacy, and the tonnage of goods, and compare that with the twelve months after Fort Sumter, and this was when the blockade was in its weakest state, it declined by more than 90%. So a number of ships that tried made it, but lots and lots and lots of ships never tried, because the blockade was there.

So what kind of impact does that have, cumulatively, on the attitude of those running this war? We see it, particularly in 1864, the year we’re really interested in tonight, because by 1864, now the blockade is really becoming pretty restrictive. And affecting not so much the Confederacy’s ability to have shoulder weapons and saltpetre and cannon shells and the fundamental tools of the army, but on all of the other parts of a nineteenth century economy, and this has kind of a wasting effect. It affects inflation, it affects of course, by then inflation was affected by Confederate paper money as well, so this is a double whammy in terms of the domestic economy of the Confederacy.

And the wives and children and families left behind, of all those soldiers fighting at the front, were feeling this rather desperately, and I know the tradition is, “oh, we just toughed it out,” but soldiers who would get letters, and I’ve seen thousands of these saying, “Jake, we can’t eat. We shall die if you don’t come home. Jake, you must dessert and come home, or we shall surely perish.” That’s a rough paraphrase of thousands of letters. So what cumulative effect does that have on the Confederacy’s ability to sustain the war?So it’s not measurable, I think, just by how many ships violate the blockade, or whether indeed the Confederate armies had enough wherewithal to sustain battle – they did. But [the blockade] had a sort of cumulative, wearing effect on the society as a whole, and how you calculate that statistically, I think is impossible. But I believe that it had a significant impact.​

What he said.
I'm sorry, but I don't see the connection between the "we are starving" letters and the blockade's effectiveness.

Why were the families writing these letters? Most of them are from 1864.
1. The reserves of food and money had run out.
2. There were no longer the older men in the community to help with the farming, since the conscription age had been raised to include many men who had helped out in the earlier war years.
3. Soldier's pay was not sufficient to support a wife and family; soldiers were rarely paid; inflation ate at the value of what little money got to the family.
4. Vast numbers of farms had been despoiled by the war -- tools destroyed, barns burned, stock taken or killed. Without the help of a man's muscles (and remember #2) it was essentially impossible to recover a farm's productivity.
5. Many, many families had become refugees and no longer had a means of support.

To assume that there was no blockade, you have to assume that the North was willing to not use one of its great strengths against one of the South's great weaknesses. Can you come up with a scenario in which some other major Union strength was not used to the max? Can you imagine the North not producing all the cannon or small arms that they did? How about not producing all the food they did? Or using their financial power to pay for the war in a way the South could not? I don't think anyone would accept the North doing/not doing any of these things and failing to do their utmost to win the war. The blockade is just like the other Union strengths and I cannot imagine them not using it.

"But was it effective?" By itself, I know of no blockade that has won a war, but many of them were essential parts of the path to victory. Was it "effective" for the US to blockade Japan in WW2? The Allies to blockade the Axis in WW1? England to blockade France under Napoleon?

If you insist the blockade was NOT effective, then what should have been done? More blockading ships? Capture the receiving ports earlier? Take the resources devoted to the blockade and put them into the Army?

I think the blockade was an important tool that the Union used to grind down the weaker Confederacy. Just like with US/Japan in WW2, the blockade made all the other Union operations go easier until the South could no longer mount a serious military threat (in my opinion, that was when Atlanta fell and Lee was trapped in Petersburg).
 
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