Three events that dictated the outcome of the Civil War

wausaubob

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Denver, CO
Before either side deployed naval vessels, people in Ohio took control of river traffic on the Ohio River. This started a chain of events that led to Kentucky not seceding and abandoning neutrality. The Confederate effort in the west, which was never strong, fell apart. The population and agricultural strength of Kentucky was about 10% of the potential of the Confederacy, and the US retained, virtually without firing a shot.
In a battle involving casualties in the dozens, not thousands, the US Navy conquered New Orleans. As small as the Confederate economy was in 1862, the Confederacy could not afford to lose its biggest port, best trade center, and best banking community:
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When the Kearsage sank the Alabama it was
an announcement, but it was ignored by most people. The US Navy could catch raiders, maintain the blockade, protect coastal logistics, support coastal troop movements, and still form a squadron to attack Mobile Bay. The potential asymmetry between the two belligerents was in full display.
 
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wausaubob

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Apr 4, 2017
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Denver, CO
The Confederates were extremely good at conventional land warfare in Napoleonic terms. They won many of the battles. But as Wellington and Prussians demonstrated, what matters is who wins the last battle.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
While the press was following the Virginia centric narrative of the Civil War, Lincoln and then Grant, were adding to the contiguous size of the US economy, and taking control of the far west. By November 1861, the telegraph line to Sacramento was connected at Ogden, Utah. By March 1862, the US Congress approved the first attempt to build the national railroad to California. By July, the US fully controlled Arizona and New Mexico, except for those parts still controlled by the Indians.
 
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