It consisted of a large-scale blockade of ports in the South, combined with a Federal attack along the Mississippi River, aimed at splitting the Confederacy. It received the name because of its relative passivity:
Army for twenty years. A hero of the War of and the Mexican War —and the Whig Party candidate for president inhe was one of the most famous men in America and, despite age and infirmity, one of its best military minds. Recognizing that the Confederacy had no real navy at the war's start, he called for a blockade of all Southern ports along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
The idea was to isolate the Confederacy both diplomatically and economically, preventing it from exporting cotton and tobacco to Europe and importing weapons, foodstuffs, and other necessities. A massive invasion along the Mississippi River, meanwhile, would cut off vital transportation and communication routes for the Confederates and open them up for Union troops.
Scott's war strategy anticipated realities that other military men and politicians were either unable to see or face. Scott predicted a two-year war when most were preparing for a single, decisive battle. Even though the Regular Army numbered only 16, men inhe understood that as many asUnion soldiers would be necessary to defeat the Confederacy, and he braced the president for casualties numbering as many as a third of that.
That he underestimated all of these figures hardly diminishes the plan's prescience. The blockade, which Lincoln instituted beginning in Aprilhad much the effect that Scott intended. And when David G.
Grant claimed Vicksburg, Mississippi, in Julythe Mississippi River belonged to the Union, creating logistical chaos for the Confederacy. Scott's military and political approach was essentially conciliatory.
He assumed that the military only needed to create the right circumstances for Unionism to reemerge in the South. As such, he did not consider an approach that, byGrant and his generals deemed a necessity—a hard, or total, war attacking the Confederacy's agricultural base and its will to fight.
He did not plan for a long-term occupation of the South, and he failed to see at least one important effect of the blockade.
Deprived of its cotton, Great Britain was, for a time, tempted to intervene on the Confederacy's behalf, a development that might have been devastating for the Lincoln administration. The Southern press understood this immediately and happily ridiculed the plan.
Northern editors, meanwhile, sarcastically dubbed it the Anaconda Plan, after the snake that slowly squeezes its prey to death. The imperative of was action, and any plan that did not immediately strike at Richmond was unwelcome.
Of course, Scott did call for a massive attack on the Confederacy, with anywhere from 60, to 80, men in the Mississippi River Valley. But he recognized how critical it was to train those men, while Washington politicians preferred to fight sooner and closer to home.
The same was true in Richmond. The cry of the day was "On to Richmond" and not "On to Natchez. We are told that the "plan" is bold, vigorous and comprehensive, and cannot fail in its noble results to give great joy to the hearts of patriots, and spread consternation among the rebel host.
Night after night has this comforting assurance been carried us on the wings of lightnings, until people have lost faith in electricity, and pronounce its statements unmitigated falsehoods.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, and the country impatiently demands to know the reason for the procrastination. It was a disaster for the Union.
University of Oklahoma Press, Cite This Entry Wolfe, B. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 9 May.Anaconda Plan Contributed by Brendan Wolfe The Anaconda Plan was the nickname attached to Lieutenant General Winfield Scott 's comprehensive plan to defeat the Confederacy at the start of the American Civil War (–).
Video: The Anaconda Plan: Civil War Strategy The Anaconda Plan was a strategy created by Union General Winfield Scott in , early on in the Civil War. It called for strangling the Southern Confederacy, much like an Anaconda. Source Anaconda Plan Seasoned year-old General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, commander of the U.S.
Army since , outlined a plan below to strangle the Confederacy by taking control of the Mississippi and enforcing a coastal blockade. After a popular newspaper cartoon (pictured here), Scott’s scheme was called 'Scott's Great Snake', or the ‘Anaconda Plan’, after the giant snake that throttles its victims.
The Anaconda Plan was a strategy created by Union General Winfield Scott in , early on in the Civil War.
It called for strangling the Southern Confederacy, much like an Anaconda. The Anaconda Plan is the name applied to a U.S. Union Army outline strategy for suppressing the Confederacy at the beginning of the American Civil War.
Proposed by Union general-in-chief Winfield Scott, the plan emphasized a Union blockade of the Southern ports, and called for an advance down the Mississippi River to cut the South in two.