american military history 1 assignment 4.docx - 1 Discuss...

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1. Discuss the military strategy and intended outcomes of the Union Army from 1861 to the end of 1862. How successful was this strategy? 2. Commanding General Winfield Scott made the first coherent strategic proposal, the so-called Anaconda Plan. He wanted to impose a naval blockade to seal the Confederacy off from Europe and thrust down the Mississippi to isolate the trans-Mississippi west. Having grasped the victim in the reptile’s constricting coil, the North would wait for suffocation to begin, allowing southern Unionists to reassert control and bring the seceded states back into the Union. In focusing attention on the blockade and the Mississippi, Scott highlighted two essential elements of northern strategy. However, his plan contained a fundamental weakness: The anaconda dealt death slowly, and the public and prominent politicians wanted a rattlesnake-quick strike at Richmond. 3. To Scott’s concepts regarding the blockade and the Mississippi and to the desire for war-ending climactic battles, Lincoln added an astute perception. In the winter of 1861–1862 the Army of the Potomac’s commander developed a plan that called for a single army of 273,000 men and 600 artillery pieces to operate as a juggernaut that would flatten the South in one campaign. Four key tasks dominated northern strategy after the war’s first year. Control of the Mississippi would deprive the Confederacy of valuable supplies. An offensive through middle and east Tennessee and then along the Chattanooga-Atlanta axis would liberate loyal east Tennesseans, deny the rebels access to Tennessee’s resources, cut the South’s best east-west railroad, and make possible a further movement toward Mobile or Savannah, slicing the Confederacy again and further disrupting its communications routes. Incessant military activity in Virginia would destroy Lee’s army and, secondarily, capture the enemy capital. Finally, as land forces opened

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