The Texas Ports were Meaningless during The Civil War, Why?

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5fish

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I put this under railroads because it's more about railroads than about ports. There were no railroads from the Texas ports to the Mississippi River, New Orleans, Vicksburg, and etc.. The Texas ports only helped Texas not the rest of the Confederacy. Maybe there is a famous wagon train trail from Texas to the Mississippi the Confederate used, I doubt it. It seems the Texas ports were meanless in the Confederate war effort out east during the war.

Now, this really lessens the importance of Vicksburg in the Union war effort because cutting the Confederacy in half really did not dodo that because it was not connected to Texas anyway. I read about the rail line at Vicksburg but it did not go to Texas. It was destroyed during the war. I am starting to see history hype about the importance of Texas ports and General Grant's victory at Vicksburg... The true story is there were no railroads from Texas to the Mississippi River...
 

5fish

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I will read more of the thread but what I have read nothing is addressing how materials were moved to the east. I know the Confederate Government sold cotton to pay their bills through the one Mexican port... Montomoros, Mexico. ... How did they move massive goods east without trains?
 
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leftyhunter

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los angeles ca
I will read more of the thread but what I have read nothing is addressing how materials were moved to the east. I know the Confederate Government sold cotton to pay their bills through the one Mexican port... Montomoros, Mexico. ... How did they move massive goods east without trains?
The ACW us more then just the war in the East.
Leftyhunter
 

Belle Montgomery

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Oct 25, 2017
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44022
If this helps...the King Ranch was a way station on the Cotton Road. Ford's F150 King Ranch is named after it including using their W logo:
636689179568338204-king-murphy.jpg

Richard King was one of the organizers of the Cotton Road. His ranch at Santa Gertrudis served as a receiving depot for the Confederate government. It was main way station and watering place for teamsters hauling cotton to the border

When Union warships bottled up Southern ports during the Civil War, the Confederacy opened a back door on the Rio Grande which by treaty was an international waterway. Cotton was hauled by wagon, oxcart and mule cart down this improvised road to Matamoros, which in short order became the greatest cotton market in the world.

Wagons groaning with cotton from East Texas and Louisiana plantations converged at Samuel Miller’s ferry at Santa Margarita, south of San Patricio, on the Nueces River.

The Cotton Road began at Alleyton, near today’s Columbus, which was the terminus of the railroad from Houston, and it ended at the Rio Grande, at the extreme end of the Confederacy. The Cotton Road ran 10 miles west of Corpus Christi. The cotton came down in a never-ending stream, with hundreds of wagons hauling thousands of bales of cotton to the border and bringing back gold and war supplies on the return trip.

John Warren Hunter was 16 when he drove a cotton wagon to Brownsville, which was recounted in his book, “Heel-Fly Time in Texas.” He described Santa Margarita, with wagon trains loaded with cotton waiting to cross the river. On the other side were pack mules returning from Mexico loaded with medicine, guns and ammunition. “It was sundown when we rode into this vast encampment with its bright fires and incessant din of oxen and horse bells and shouts of herdsmen,” Hunter wrote.

The notorious Sally Skull was a freighter on the Cotton Road. Before the war, she made her living selling horses. With the war, she bought a fleet of wagons and hired Mexican teamsters to drive them. This was very profitable. Cotton that brought three or four cents a pound inland sold for 50 cents or more a pound at Matamoros, paid for in gold.

When John Warren Hunter saw Sally Skull on the Cotton Road she was..
Rest of article:
 
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USS ALASKA

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...I have read nothing is addressing how materials were moved to the east.
Sir, to blatantly lift from the other thread, @DaveBrt 's comment...(apologies to DaveBrt for yanking his post from said thread)
After years of reading Confederate quartermaster vouchers, Confederate command letterbooks and Southern railroad records, I have NEVER found a report of imported war material crossing the Mississippi River going east. There are many records of the shipments of salt, sugar, molasses, cattle and men going east until Vicksburg's surrender. There are a few records of arms headed west.

I do not believe any meaningful amount of military material crossed into Texas, by any route, and proceeded across the Mississippi River. To support your claim of the importance of Brownsville, you need to produce some numbers.
19

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 
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DaveBrt

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I will read more of the thread but what I have read nothing is addressing how materials were moved to the east. I know the Confederate Government sold cotton to pay their bills through the one Mexican port... Montomoros, Mexico. ... How did they move massive goods east without trains?
They did NOT move goods from Mexico to the east of the Mississippi River. Everything received from Mexico or the blockade runners was consumed in the Trans-Mississippi District. What DID go from Texas to the east was cattle, though we have no hint at the numbers, and horses, in very small numbers. The TMD also provided sugar and salt, both of which were lost when the Mississippi was closed with the loss of Vicksburg.

As long as the South could keep the number of Union warships between Vicksburg and Port Gibson small and located, the South could use the Mississippi and tributaries feeding that area for logistics support. There are many references to running supply steamers up the Big Black and other streams until Grant passed Vicksburg and started the land campaign from the south.

The loss of the Mississippi was more symbolic and psychological that military in its effect. Confederate harassment from the banks after the city's loss kept the merchant use of the Mississippi to rather small amounts as the Northern railroads picked up the commercial slack.

Grant deserves credit and praise for his tenacity in finally achieving a significant Union objective, for capturing an entire Confederate army, and for freeing his own army for other operations against an enemy that could not handle another enemy force.
 

archieclement

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mo
They did NOT move goods from Mexico to the east of the Mississippi River. Everything received from Mexico or the blockade runners was consumed in the Trans-Mississippi District. What DID go from Texas to the east was cattle, though we have no hint at the numbers, and horses, in very small numbers. The TMD also provided sugar and salt, both of which were lost when the Mississippi was closed with the loss of Vicksburg.

As long as the South could keep the number of Union warships between Vicksburg and Port Gibson small and located, the South could use the Mississippi and tributaries feeding that area for logistics support. There are many references to running supply steamers up the Big Black and other streams until Grant passed Vicksburg and started the land campaign from the south.

The loss of the Mississippi was more symbolic and psychological that military in its effect. Confederate harassment from the banks after the city's loss kept the merchant use of the Mississippi to rather small amounts as the Northern railroads picked up the commercial slack.

Grant deserves credit and praise for his tenacity in finally achieving a significant Union objective, for capturing an entire Confederate army, and for freeing his own army for other operations against an enemy that could not handle another enemy force.
The loss of the Mississippi by the time of Vicksburg and Port Hudson would be largely symbolic......but if they had been able to maintain better control of the west and the river......the prewar connections west to the Trans Mississippi were riverine. Such as the Arkansas and Red River waterways
 
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DaveBrt

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The loss of the Mississippi by the time of Vicksburg and Port Hudson would be largely symbolic......but if they had been able to maintain better control of the west and the river......the prewar connections west to the Trans Mississippi were riverine. Such as the Arkansas and Red River waterways
The trans-Mississippi was irrelavant to winning or losing the war -- both side could have fought over the Mississippi River and ignored everything west of it and the war would have turned out the same.
 

USS ALASKA

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The loss of the Mississippi was more symbolic and psychological that military in its effect. Confederate harassment from the banks after the city's loss kept the merchant use of the Mississippi to rather small amounts as the Northern railroads picked up the commercial slack.
One of the biggest PSYOP victories for the Union in the taking of Vicksburg and Port Hudson was proclaiming the river open and that the Old Northwest regained her unfettered access to the Gulf. More political sloganeering than practical application but useful none the less.

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

archieclement

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mo
The trans-Mississippi was irrelavant to winning or losing the war -- both side could have fought over the Mississippi River and ignored everything west of it and the war would have turned out the same.
I would disagree the Union strategy that was ultimately successful revolved around cutting the confederacy into pieces, the first piece lost and cut off was the T-M which represented the loss of over 1/5 of its manpower, wouldn't say cutting off 1/5 of any nations manpower is irrelevant to winning a war, instead its a winning strategy.......

And thats not counting any of the potential 1 million Missourians, but the loss of Texas, Arkansas, Louisianna and IT counted over a loss of 1 million of its white population. The whole point of control Of the Mississippi is to cut off and deny that sizable portion of it population, it only becomes irrelevant to the rest of the confederacy once it is actually cut off
 
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DaveBrt

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I would disagree the Union strategy that was ultimately successful revolved around cutting the confederacy into pieces, the first piece lost and cut off was the T-M which represented the loss of over 1/5 of its manpower, wouldn't say cutting off 1/5 of any nations manpower is irrelevant to winning a war, instead its a winning strategy.......

And thats not counting any of the potential 1 million Missourians, but the loss of Texas, Arkansas, Louisianna and IT counted over a loss of 1 million of its white population
Almost all the effort the trans-Mississippi region produced for each side was consumed in the region -- very little was used in the key theaters of war, the Central and Eastern ones.
 

archieclement

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mo
????? Perhaps you should look at some Union and Confederate OOB for battles east of the Mississippi.........both sides drew the most important resource for any war from the west...….manpower.

The south lost its ability to transfer as the war went on, hindering it......but Mo. IA, KS, and MN regt continued to move to the east........ Some of the best troops in the battles east of the river....the Hoods Texas and Bowens Missouri Brigade come to mind, came from west of the river......western troops of both sides are pretty prominent in many of what i assume your calling central battles

And control of the rivers may have meant little for commerce during wartime......but are you claiming whichever side had control...…wasnt using it to transport troops/supplies.

Think its coincidence Cairo becomes a major supply hub at the junction of two major navigable rivers?
 
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DaveBrt

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????? Perhaps you should look at some Union and Confederate OOB for battles east of the Mississippi.........both sides drew the most important resource for any war from the west...….manpower.

The south lost its ability to transfer as the war went on, hindering it......but Mo. IA, KS, and MN regt continued to move to the east........ Some of the best troops in the battles east of the river....the Hoods Texas and Bowens Missouri Brigade come to mind, came from west of the river......western troops of both sides are pretty prominent in many of what i assume your calling central battles

And control of the rivers may have meant little for commerce during wartime......but are you claiming whichever side had control...…wasnt using it to transport troops/supplies.

Think its coincidence Cairo becomes a major supply hub at the junction of two major navigable rivers?
I'll give you Iowa, but the rest were not the decisive factors A well-known unit (Hood's Brigade was 4 regiments from the TMD) does not make much difference in a war of this size.

The lack of importance of the TMD is shown in the Civil War terms -- Eastern, Western and Trans-Mississippi. The TMD was so far away, it was not even "the West" (which was in fact the Central theater).
 
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archieclement

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mo
I'll give you Iowa, but the rest were not the decisive factors A well-known unit (Hood's Brigade was 4 regiments from the TMD) does not make much difference in a war of this size.

The lack of importance of the TMD is shown in the Civil War terms -- Eastern, Western and Trans-Mississippi. The TMD was so far away, it was not even "the West" (which was in fact the Central theater).
LOL Iowa......not sure why, Missouri provided over 25k more then Iowa to the Union, The fact is when your talking millions of population to each side its not irrelevant......to either side.......

Not saying the war hinged on the T-M at all, but to say it was irrelevant to either side would be as much nonsense as saying the war hinged solely on it
 
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