Research Red River politics

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Reckon this question.could go in a couple different forums, but putting it here as my question is primarily political.

Been reading about the Red River Campaign and the myriad of reasons that converged to finally give it the go ahead......

But one I've seen is Banks had political aspirations to make a run against Lincoln if successful. Wouldn't Lincoln have been aware of this? When other factors such as French in Mexico combined with demand for cotton to sway a go ahead, why wouldn't he have replaced Banks with a more career minded then political minded officer?
 

wausaubob

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I don't think Banks' possible success was a major issue. President Lincoln was trying to establish loyalist governments in Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Florida. He was aiming for the a ratio of states of approximately 27:9 to amend the constitution. Lincoln and the other Republicans gave up on the goal and determined that the secessionist states would not be readmitted to Congress unless they ratified the 13th Amendment.
 

A. Roy

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But one I've seen is Banks had political aspirations to make a run against Lincoln if successful. Wouldn't Lincoln have been aware of this? When other factors such as French in Mexico combined with demand for cotton to sway a go ahead, why wouldn't he have replaced Banks with a more career minded then political minded officer?

I was reading about this campaign recently also (and kind of scratching my head over it). You've raised an interesting question. I think I read that Banks himself was not thrilled at first about this undertaking. Could it be that Lincoln wasn't worried in the way you mention, because the likelihood of success was fair-to-middling to begin with? Also, even if it were successful, would it have given Banks that much visibility, given the western location?

@NedBaldwin has made some good comments about the Red River campaign in the past. He might have some thoughts about this.

Roy B.
 

uaskme

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Recon Cotton had anything to do with it? Yep, I think so. Banks didn’t personally benefit, but others who had political connections did. Porter uses the Navy to collect Cotton. Stencils the bales as CSA. Nearly lost his ships because of it.

Yankees had aspirations of colonizing Texas. Elections in 64 also had something to do with it. Lincoln could impose puppet Government, call them loyal and adid to his Political Base.
 
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I was reading about this campaign recently also (and kind of scratching my head over it). You've raised an interesting question. I think I read that Banks himself was not thrilled at first about this undertaking. Could it be that Lincoln wasn't worried in the way you mention, because the likelihood of success was fair-to-middling to begin with? Also, even if it were successful, would it have given Banks that much visibility, given the western location?

@NedBaldwin has made some good comments about the Red River campaign in the past. He might have some thoughts about this.

Roy B.
Yes it seems intially Banks was on board with the eastern minded officers and preferred advancing on Mobile, which was a more logical military target.
 
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[/QUOTE]
Recon Cotton had anything to do with it? Yep, I think so. Banks didn’t personally benefit, but others who had political connections did. Porter uses the Navy to collect Cotton. Stencils the bales as CSA. Nearly lost his ships because of it.

Yankees had aspirations of colonizing Texas. Elections in 64 also had something to do with it. Lincoln could impose puppet Government, call them loyal and adid to his Political Base.
From what I'm reading there was always some interest by speculators and New England to do something along the lines of the campaign to seize cotton, but not enough to drive it's implementation.

The political desire of Lincoln to install some puppet state in LA for his reelection and to counter the French in Mexico seem what ultimately drives it being implemented.....though the later makes little sense to me....

If one seized Shreveport ......your still 600 miles from Matamoros and the Mexican border, not seeing how it's much a deterrent to Mexico. Would think increasing presence along Brownsville-Corpus Christie would have been more a counter to Mexico......if that was legitimately the concern.
 

NedBaldwin

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...
But one I've seen is Banks had political aspirations to make a run against Lincoln if successful. Wouldn't Lincoln have been aware of this?
...
I think Lincoln knew it wasn’t anything more than a rumor and knew Banks might not be the best military mind but he was completely dedicated to the cause
 

uaskme

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From what I'm reading there was always some interest by speculators and New England to do something along the lines of the campaign to seize cotton, but not enough to drive it's implementation.

The political desire of Lincoln to install some puppet state in LA for his reelection and to counter the French in Mexico seem what ultimately drives it being implemented.....though the later makes little sense to me....

If one seized Shreveport ......your still 600 miles from Matamoros and the Mexican border, not seeing how it's much a deterrent to Mexico. Would think increasing presence along Brownsville-Corpus Christie would have been more a counter to Mexico......if that was legitimately the concern.
[/QUOTE]

There Was a push by Andrews, Gov of MA and others to Colonize Texas. Another Abolitionist, friend of Andrews published a paper about the Virtues of farming Cotton with Free Labor. Adam Smith made his economic argument against Slavery because Free Labor would be more productive. So if the raw price of Cotton declined, profitability of Spinning would go up. MA and CT had the majority of the Spinning Wheels, go figure. They recruited citizen Farmers/Soldiers to go Texas. The situation changes During this period. The fall elections of 62 shows weakness for the Republicans in the mid west, OH, IL, and IN. These states want the MS river opened. So, Lincoln makes Vicksburg a priority. Banks gets to New Orleans. Butler had made some Political Mistakes. So Banks replaces him. The Farmer/Soldiers become Soldiers and become part of the Vicksburg campaign. Movements against Texas get postponed. So the Red River Campaign was part of a long promise to the Radical Republicans. Ludwell H Johnson talks about it in his book on the Red River Campaign. Cotton Trading is far more important than the Ink it gets.

Banks did have Presidential aspirations. His performance during the Red River Campaign eliminates that..
 

NedBaldwin

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From what I'm reading there was always some interest by speculators and New England to do something along the lines of the campaign to seize cotton, but not enough to drive it's implementation.
Right. There was big interest among speculators (and the Navy) to get the cotton but they werent enough to instigate the campaign; but, once it was conceived, they were happy to give it a shove and hop on for the ride

The political desire of Lincoln to install some puppet state in LA for his reelection and to counter the French in Mexico seem what ultimately drives it being implemented.....though the later makes little sense to me....
Lincoln's 10% plan for a new government of Louisiana could, and was, achieved without the campaign because of the population in the area already under US control (New Orleans & Baton Rouge). In fact the new Governor, Michael Hahn, was sworn in on March 4, prior to the start of the campaign. This was the case of something the became an add on to the campaign - hold local election in Alexandria - rather than any driving force

If one seized Shreveport ......your still 600 miles from Matamoros and the Mexican border, not seeing how it's much a deterrent to Mexico. Would think increasing presence along Brownsville-Corpus Christie would have been more a counter to Mexico......if that was legitimately the concern.
Right - Lincoln had requested in the summer of 1863 that there be an effort to establish a presence in Texas to deter the French. Banks tried first to make a landing at Sabine in September but failed, then he tried to land near Brownsville in November and succeeded, getting a 'Thank You' from Lincoln and Seward.
 

NedBaldwin

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Yes it seems intially Banks was on board with the eastern minded officers and preferred advancing on Mobile, which was a more logical military target.

The true source of the campaign was Sherman and Halleck.

Sherman had in mind that a combined Army-Navy force could strike up the Red as a raid, bloody the Confederates, then return, kind of like his Meridian campaign. Admiral Porter would later testify to Congress that “The Red River expedition was originally proposed by General Sherman and myself." Sherman had written Halleck in December 1863 that " “If the admiral will agree, I will myself collect at Memphis and Vicksburg about 8,000 men and go up red River as high as the water will permit, and make them feel their vulnerability." and to Porter around the same time " if you will, I will take all the force I can collect at Memphis and Vicksburg and go up the Red River as high as Shreveport, and make that rich country pay in gold or cotton for all depredations on our river commerce."

Meanwhile Halleck had in mind that security of everything west of the Mississippi required taking Shreveport. He had wanted the force holding Arkansas to push to the Red as a new line of defense, but they couldn't do that without help from the US forces in Louisiana, so he pressured Banks to make the move. When Sherman heard Banks was preparing, he got on board but then excused himself while sending AJ Smith instead.
 

leftyhunter

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Recon Cotton had anything to do with it? Yep, I think so. Banks didn’t personally benefit, but others who had political connections did. Porter uses the Navy to collect Cotton. Stencils the bales as CSA. Nearly lost his ships because of it.

Yankees had aspirations of colonizing Texas. Elections in 64 also had something to do with it. Lincoln could impose puppet Government, call them loyal and adid to his Political Base.
How exactly could " Yanks colonize Texas" since the US Constitution forbids the siezing of an individuals property even for treason. For example even Jefferson Davis and his brother did not have their plantations siezed after the ACW.
Leftyhunter
 

NedBaldwin

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How exactly could " Yanks colonize Texas" since the US Constitution forbids the siezing of an individuals property even for treason. For example even Jefferson Davis and his brother did not have their plantations siezed after the ACW.
Leftyhunter
Before the war there was talk of getting "Yanks" to move to Texas, purchase land and set up 'free-labor' farms. It was similar to what had happened in the "colonization" of Kansas -- look up the New England Emigrant Aid Company.
The war put this plan on hold.
 

uaskme

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How exactly could " Yanks colonize Texas" since the US Constitution forbids the siezing of an individuals property even for treason. For example even Jefferson Davis and his brother did not have their plantations siezed after the ACW.
Leftyhunter

I provided a source.

Radicals Wanted to put the Southern States back into the territorial stage. A Do Over. Don’t think they were too worried about the Constitution. Texas had a lot of unsettled lands. As you noted, lands were confiscated during the War. Cotton was confiscated, it wasn’t all speculation. Yankees moved South during the War and after. Rented occupied lands during the war, from the Federal Government and grew Cotton. Yankees tried to grow Cotton above 36/30 and failed. They coveted Southern Lands. Thought the Negro was slothful, Slaveholders were laze. Though they could grow Cotton cheaper. Get rid of the Blacks if necessary. Use poor whites. Ending Slavery was about the benefit to Whites.

Why some look at the results of the War to determine reason for actions during the War, is beyond me.
 

wausaubob

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Right. There was big interest among speculators (and the Navy) to get the cotton but they werent enough to instigate the campaign; but, once it was conceived, they were happy to give it a shove and hop on for the ride


Lincoln's 10% plan for a new government of Louisiana could, and was, achieved without the campaign because of the population in the area already under US control (New Orleans & Baton Rouge). In fact the new Governor, Michael Hahn, was sworn in on March 4, prior to the start of the campaign. This was the case of something the became an add on to the campaign - hold local election in Alexandria - rather than any driving force


Right - Lincoln had requested in the summer of 1863 that there be an effort to establish a presence in Texas to deter the French. Banks tried first to make a landing at Sabine in September but failed, then he tried to land near Brownsville in November and succeeded, getting a 'Thank You' from Lincoln and Seward.
President Lincoln may have had ex Whig friends who lived on the Louisiana portion of the Red River. Further west, there may have been known resistance to the Confederacy near the Texas portion of the Red River. The President was always sensitive to helping his political allies, if he could.
 

NedBaldwin

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President Lincoln may have had ex Whig friends who lived on the Louisiana portion of the Red River. Further west, there may have been known resistance to the Confederacy near the Texas portion of the Red River. The President was always sensitive to helping his political allies, if he could.
I suppose we could speculate about anything. But why? What does this speculation have to do with actual history?
 

wausaubob

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I suppose we could speculate about anything. But why? What does this speculation have to do with actual history?
There was another sugar producing area along the Red River, and Lincoln thought of those sugar growers as potential allies. https://i.redd.it/9jj8o5y83qfz.png
In addition, when William Quantrill made it to the Texas portion of the Red River, he found the local people did not want the eastern troubles in their area.
 

NedBaldwin

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Whatever the motivation, the Red River Campaign was based more on non-military objectives than military ones.
Says who?
Halleck, who commanded US armies when the campaign was planned wrote " best military opinions of the generals in the west seem to favor operations on Red river". The record shows it was military based campaign.
 

James N.

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… But one I've seen is Banks had political aspirations to make a run against Lincoln if successful. Wouldn't Lincoln have been aware of this? When other factors such as French in Mexico combined with demand for cotton to sway a go ahead, why wouldn't he have replaced Banks with a more career minded then political minded officer?
Don't forget that Lincoln had already made the mistake of promoting Banks a major general (admittedly of volunteers) in 1861, thereby giving him seniority over almost everyone else still on active duty! (Others had included Fremont and McClellan who were no longer in the picture.) Therefore, at this point in the war and until he came a cropper on the Red, Banks was a force that had to be considered.
 

jackt62

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Says who?
Halleck, who commanded US armies when the campaign was planned wrote " best military opinions of the generals in the west seem to favor operations on Red river". The record shows it was military based campaign.

Not sure what Halleck was thinking about and who these western generals were. But after the fall of Vicksburg, the trans-Mississippi theater was no longer a critical military one in the fight to defeat the Confederacy. Grant himself had advocated a campaign against Mobile and reluctantly agreed to send a portion of A.J. Smith's Corps of the Army of the Tennessee to Banks, with a strict time proviso after which that force needed to go back to Sherman for operations to the east. Doesn't show much confidence that the RR campaign was all that important.
 
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