Civil War Blockade Papers

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wausaubob

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The first purpose of the blockade was to separate the plantation owners from New York City. Due to the blockade, they could no longer vacation there, shop there, use the NY plantation outfitter stores, and use NYC credit facilities. When this restriction was imposed, Jefferson Davis retaliated by imposing debt confiscation and issuing Letters of Marque. Particularly the Letters of Marque, in a world which had outlawed piracy by treaty, were a PR disaster.
 

wausaubob

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The second purpose of the blockade was to prohibit the use of waterways to transport slaves for sale in the deep south. The US had the Mississippi blocked at Cairo, IL by September 1861. When hurricane season was past, the US occupied Ship Island off the Louisiana coast and prepared for the attempt to capture New Orleans. The upper south had been selling a large number of slaves to the western cotton states. Without the ability to move those slaves by water, the slave trade had to be transferred to walking of to use of expensive railroads.
 

wausaubob

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A lot of time and energy is spent considering how much material was smuggled past the blockade particularly at Wilmington, NC and at Mobile, AL. However little time is spent in considering how much Lincoln wanted to restore complete control of the Potomac, and how soon the US stopped commercial traffic from moving down river on the Mississippi. The point I am attempting to make is that the blockade had four major parts, and also included the early capture of the lower Tennessee River. Another major part of the blockade was to gain some control over trading between the Confederacy and the US. The amount of cotton flowing out of the southern harbors was supplement by cotton that was purchased by brokers in Memphis.
Finally, much of the blockade smuggling was conducted on the Texas coast. The communication between Texas and the rest of the Confederacy was so difficult that Texans figured out early that they could run their own profitable cotton operations.
 
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The first purpose of the blockade was to separate the plantation owners from New York City. Due to the blockade, they could no longer vacation there, shop there, use the NY plantation outfitter stores, and use NYC credit facilities. When this restriction was imposed, Jefferson Davis retaliated by imposing debt confiscation and issuing Letters of Marque. Particularly the Letters of Marque, in a world which had outlawed piracy by treaty, were a PR disaster.
Just a quick comment on the Letter of Marque. The U.S. Constitution's Article I, Section 8 has never been repealed and as far as I know the United States has never signed a treaty where she agreed to prohibit its use. I believe that just a few years back, a bill was introduced in Congress to have Letters of Marque issued by the Congress to fight the pirates who were attacking American civilian owned ships off the African coasts. The bill didn't go anywhere.
 

DaveBrt

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The first purpose of the blockade was to separate the plantation owners from New York City. Due to the blockade, they could no longer vacation there, shop there, use the NY plantation outfitter stores, and use NYC credit facilities. When this restriction was imposed, Jefferson Davis retaliated by imposing debt confiscation and issuing Letters of Marque. Particularly the Letters of Marque, in a world which had outlawed piracy by treaty, were a PR disaster.
Reference please -- who said this was the first (second or any) purpose of the blockade? I think you will find that the purpose of the naval blockade was to cut the rebellious states off from outside assistance -- no foreign money, arms, equipment, etc. Outside assistance included northern ports, though they could be controlled at the departure port.
 

DaveBrt

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The second purpose of the blockade was to prohibit the use of waterways to transport slaves for sale in the deep south. The US had the Mississippi blocked at Cairo, IL by September 1861. When hurricane season was past, the US occupied Ship Island off the Louisiana coast and prepared for the attempt to capture New Orleans. The upper south had been selling a large number of slaves to the western cotton states. Without the ability to move those slaves by water, the slave trade had to be transferred to walking of to use of expensive railroads.
Reference please -- who said this was a purpose of the blockade?
 
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DaveBrt

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However little time is spent in considering how much Lincoln wanted to restore complete control of the Potomac, and how soon the US stopped commercial traffic from moving down river on the Mississippi.
Little time is spent on these subjects because they provided almost no support to the Confederacy after summer of 1861, while blockade running by ships was massive in comparison.
 

DaveBrt

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Finally, much of the blockade smuggling was conducted on the Texas coast. The communication between Texas and the rest of the Confederacy was so difficult that Texans figured out early that they could run their own profitable cotton operations.
There was almost no blockade running off the Texas coast until 1865. Trade through Mexico is a different matter and has been beat to death in a recent thread.
 

wausaubob

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There was almost no blockade running off the Texas coast until 1865. Trade through Mexico is a different matter and has been beat to death in a recent thread.
That's probably how the Texans did it. A few bales at time was a good way to make money once the price of cotton had quadrupled in Liverpool. My memory is that few Texans made a good deal of money on cotton during the war.
 
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wausaubob

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Little time is spent on these subjects because they provided almost no support to the Confederacy after summer of 1861, while blockade running by ships was massive in comparison.
If there had not been an internal blockade, Richmond would have been in much better shape and the Confederates could have purchased railroad equipment within the US. Redirecting Midwest freight traffic eastward hurt the New Orleans revenue system.
 

wausaubob

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Reference please -- who said this was the first (second or any) purpose of the blockade? I think you will find that the purpose of the naval blockade was to cut the rebellious states off from outside assistance -- no foreign money, arms, equipment, etc. Outside assistance included northern ports, though they could be controlled at the departure port.
It isn't easy to figure out. But one of Lincoln's recollections of slavery was slaves moving down river for sale in New Orleans. The New Orleans slave sales records run until August of 1861. So the market was open that long. And it was the most active market.
Conditions in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas were notoriously harsh. To me it seems like the New Orleans slave market was always a target. The US cordon of containment shared the British strategy that if the slave trade was disruptive, the pressure improve conditions and to move towards freedom would be hard to resist.
Lincoln's preference was the army and navy quietly disrupt slavery as much as possible. Shutting down the movement of slaves was one way to disrupt the slave economy.
The river blockade was extended up the Tennessee River and that resulted in the enormous counter attack at Shiloh. McClellan extended the Chesapeake Bay blockade up the York and James Rivers, but was stymied by Lee. I think when the combined operations campaigns of the US reached Mississippi and central Virginia, the Confederacy had no choice but to escalate the war, severely.
This illustrated the problem with the blockade strategy. The Confederacy had every incentive to escalate the fighting before it was suffocated.
 

wausaubob

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Just a quick comment on the Letter of Marque. The U.S. Constitution's Article I, Section 8 has never been repealed and as far as I know the United States has never signed a treaty where she agreed to prohibit its use. I believe that just a few years back, a bill was introduced in Congress to have Letters of Marque issued by the Congress to fight the pirates who were attacking American civilian owned ships off the African coasts. The bill didn't go anywhere.
The US had not signed the anti-piracy treaty, but they did intend to co-operate with it. When the British decided to grant belligerent status to the Confederacy and the rest of the imperial powers followed suit, it left the Confederates no place to take their captured vessels, is my understanding.
 
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wausaubob

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The other note about the blockade is that the prices charged for goods coming through the blockade were very high. The smugglers demanded fast payment in gold and silver. The middlemen who were able to buy the cargoes and sell to consumers were creating outraged customers.
 

wausaubob

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Reference please -- who said this was a purpose of the blockade?
The biggest effect would have been on the slaves and there would have been little written record. But they are the ones that would have noticed a slow down in movement and the closing of the sales markets. They are the ones that would have noticed the owners pulling away from federal enclaves and pulling away for the federally controlled rivers.
 

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The Blockade Board of 1861 and Union naval strategy
Civil War History, June, 2002
By Kevin J. Weddle
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Only days after the first rebel shells crashed into Fort Sumter to begin the bloodiest war in American history, President Abraham Lincoln issued a document that would establish the basis for the first element of Union naval strategy--the Proclamation of Blockade.

Essentially a de facto declaration of war against the Confederacy, the proclamation declared that "a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance and exit of vessels" from the ports of the states in rebellion. During these early days of the war, it seemed clear to many that the president's first major war measure could reap great dividends. Capt. Samuel F. Du Pont, then commandant of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, declared, "I am anxious for the blockade to get established; that will squeeze the South more than anything." The magnitude of the Union navy's challenge, however, was enormous. The start of the war saw the navy, like the army, totally unprepared for the task at hand. Of the navy's forty-two ships in service in April 1861, Secretary Gideon Welles had but twelve to call upon to enforce the blockade of a coastline stretching 3,500 miles; the remaining ships were either in ordinary (maintenance or overhaul) or in overseas squadrons. In addition, many of these ships were steam frigates: a class of ship too large, too slow and with too deep a draft for effective blockade duty. It was obvious to everyone in Washington that the existing navy was unequal to the task of effective blockade. Welles faced not only inadequate resources and the task of rapidly building a large, modern navy, but also the need to develop an organizational structure to effectively command and control the blockade.

To solve these and other problems related to the blockade, the navy established a Blockade Board. Naval historians and historians of the Civil War have ascribed varying degrees of significance to the board and its work. Most believe the board was important but largely have ignored the strategic aspects of the naval war. As Gary Gallagher has observed: "Beyond perfunctory considerations of Winfield Scott's Anaconda Plan, most discussions of northern strategy virtually ignore its naval component," and because there is no comprehensive, modern naval history of the war, "no historian has written a specialized study about Union strategists and the navy." While several historians recognize that the board played an important role in the conduct of the blockade and its related military and naval operations, few have carefully examined the significance of the board's origins and membership to discover the individual agendas of the participants. This study remedies that omission by evaluating the origins of the board and context of its formation, its composition and operations, and its strategic legacy.

http://vcwsg.com/PDF Files/The Blockade Board of 1861 and Union naval strategy.pdf
3174

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USS ALASKA
 

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wausaubob

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The Blockade Board of 1861 and Union naval strategy
Civil War History, June, 2002
By Kevin J. Weddle
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Only days after the first rebel shells crashed into Fort Sumter to begin the bloodiest war in American history, President Abraham Lincoln issued a document that would establish the basis for the first element of Union naval strategy--the Proclamation of Blockade.

Essentially a de facto declaration of war against the Confederacy, the proclamation declared that "a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance and exit of vessels" from the ports of the states in rebellion. During these early days of the war, it seemed clear to many that the president's first major war measure could reap great dividends. Capt. Samuel F. Du Pont, then commandant of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, declared, "I am anxious for the blockade to get established; that will squeeze the South more than anything." The magnitude of the Union navy's challenge, however, was enormous. The start of the war saw the navy, like the army, totally unprepared for the task at hand. Of the navy's forty-two ships in service in April 1861, Secretary Gideon Welles had but twelve to call upon to enforce the blockade of a coastline stretching 3,500 miles; the remaining ships were either in ordinary (maintenance or overhaul) or in overseas squadrons. In addition, many of these ships were steam frigates: a class of ship too large, too slow and with too deep a draft for effective blockade duty. It was obvious to everyone in Washington that the existing navy was unequal to the task of effective blockade. Welles faced not only inadequate resources and the task of rapidly building a large, modern navy, but also the need to develop an organizational structure to effectively command and control the blockade.

To solve these and other problems related to the blockade, the navy established a Blockade Board. Naval historians and historians of the Civil War have ascribed varying degrees of significance to the board and its work. Most believe the board was important but largely have ignored the strategic aspects of the naval war. As Gary Gallagher has observed: "Beyond perfunctory considerations of Winfield Scott's Anaconda Plan, most discussions of northern strategy virtually ignore its naval component," and because there is no comprehensive, modern naval history of the war, "no historian has written a specialized study about Union strategists and the navy." While several historians recognize that the board played an important role in the conduct of the blockade and its related military and naval operations, few have carefully examined the significance of the board's origins and membership to discover the individual agendas of the participants. This study remedies that omission by evaluating the origins of the board and context of its formation, its composition and operations, and its strategic legacy.

http://vcwsg.com/PDF Files/The Blockade Board of 1861 and Union naval strategy.pdf
3174

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
The evidence is that Seward, Scott and Lincoln took a good deal of advice from the British. Plans to create blockade squadrons, create gunboats on the Mississippi and to research available ironclad designs all were advanced within 10 months.
The Anaconda plan distracted a lot of observers from the fact that West Gulf Squadron was going to try to capture New Orleans. The down river campaign was going to be combined arms campaign. There was a strategy to effectuate the policy.
 

wausaubob

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Posted elsewhere:
War on the Waters, The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865. University of North Carolina Press, 2012. McPherson makes the same point as Anderson, the naval war was under reported. Much of the service was tedious, and the big battles occurred in remote locations.
The US navy did four things:
1. It forced surrender to the forts at Port Royal.
2. If forced the surrender of Fort Henry which allowed Grant to get the back door of Donelson and opened up the Tennessee River to US patrols.
3. It did most of the work to clear Roanoke Island, which gave the US access to most of the coast of North Carolina.
4. It passed the Forts protecting New Orleans and intimidated the out gunned Confederate commander into leaving the city.

By the time these four things were accomplished the Confederacy was a shrinking economy that was eventually going to collapse.
By the time direct trade with New York was mostly cut off, and resources of New Orleans shifted from the Confederate side to the US side, everything in the Confederacy was going to cost more, and the Confederacy was going to be emptied of all gold and silver.

When Farragut captured New Orleans it was a devastating blow to Confederate hopes for foreign intervention. In the process, Farragut's favorite word "celerity" became part of Grant's lexicon.
 
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“Graveyard of the Atlantic” An Overview of North Carolina’s Maritime Cultural Landscape

September 2014
Joseph Hoyt, James P. Delgado, Bradley Barr, Bruce Terrell and Valerie Grussing
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
ONMS Maritime Heritage Program

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
2014
1305 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

Abstract
North Carolina’s shoreline from Currituck Sound to Cape Fear is a dramatic marine setting influenced by dynamic environmental change, with barrier islands that stretch along hundreds of miles of coastline, from 20 to 40 miles offshore, that have been inhabited for thousands of years. Both natural and human actions have impacted this region of America and its marine and shoreside resources. Interactions and overlapping activities have left physical and cultural traces in the landscape. These traces include place names, ocean highways and inlets no longer traveled, coastal settlements, industrial structures, and shipwrecks, all of which form a maritime cultural landscape that is unique and nationally important. This coast is a perfect illustration of how the offshore ocean connects with the shore and beyond in terms of humanity’s engagement with the marine environment. This is a region that helped build the economy and communities of not only North Carolina, but also of the nation. It also became a place settled by people who came to establish lives for themselves and their families on these rugged, often storm-tossed shores. A number of them remain part of the cultural landscape to this day.
This report is an initial review of the complex, dynamic and fascinating maritime cultural landscape of the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” This document is an overview and an introduction to the relationship between these cultural resources, as well as human interaction with the marine environment in coastal North Carolina. The concept of the maritime cultural landscape as a tool for characterizing this coast is the beginning of a process of engagement and partnership with the present coastal community to define, better understand and share its stories, while marketing the area for sustainable heritage-based tourism and inspiring wider awareness and support for protecting and promoting the unique cultural heritage of the region.



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USS ALASKA
 

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