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The Union blockade in the American Civil War-- A naval tactic by the Northern government to prevent the Confederacy from Trading

#1-- Condition of the U.S. Navy Before the Civil War #2-- About the Ironclad Gunboat (Details) & Article: Lincoln and the USS Montauk #3-- U.S. Navy in Civil War-- Racial Melting Pot #4-- Civil War "Firsts" #5- Wartime "Prizes"--Capture of Ships, Men and Cargo #6-- Great Sea Battle Details #7-- Sec. of Navy Gideon Welles
#8-- Gen. Scott's Anaconda Plan (Coastal Blockade) #9-- Dahlgren Cannon (Artillery) #10-- The First Ironclads #11-- U.S. Navy & Recruitment #12-- The Ironclad Ship-- U.S.S. Monitor-- First and Later Models #13-- "Glorious Year of the Wooden Sail/Steam Ships Scott Anaconda Interactive Directory

From Wikipedia at Union_blockade_Commanders

This Map Illustration of Scott's Great Snake contains the 13 parts of this activity.  Follow the anaconda, and click onto the HOTPOTS for links to other sites.

1861 characterized map of Scott's plan

When the American Civil War began in the spring of 1861, Scott was 74 years old and suffering numerous health problems, including gout, rheumatism, and dropsy. He was also extremely overweight and unable to mount a horse or review troops.

       General Scott drew up a plan to defeat the Confederacy by blockading Southern ports and sending an army down the Mississippi Valley. Scott's scheme was derided as the "Anaconda Plan", intended to crush the Confederacy slowly.

       Eventually the actual Union victory followed its broad outlines.

General Scott's Anaconda Plan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  Click Here for the article about General Scott. 


General Scott was the only Civil War General recognized on a U.S. postage stamp

       General Winfield Scott (June 13, 1786 - May 29, 1866) was a United States lieutenant general, diplomat, and presidential candidate—an army officer who held the rank of general in three wars.  As a result of his success, Scott was appointed major general (then the highest rank in the United States Army) and general-in-chief in 1841. He held this position until November 1, 1861, when he resigned under political pressure from Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan after the Union defeat at Ball's Bluff. McClellan replaced him as general-in-chief.

       The Anaconda Plan or Scott's Great Snake is the name widely applied to an outline strategy for subduing the seceding states in the American Civil War. Proposed by General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, the plan emphasized the blockade of the Southern ports, and called for an advance down the Mississippi River to cut the South in two. Because the blockade would be rather passive, it was widely derided by the vociferous faction who wanted a more vigorous prosecution of the war, and who likened it to the coils of an anaconda suffocating its victim. The snake image caught on, giving the proposal its popular name.

President Lincoln's Blockade Proclamation

Whereas an insurrection against the Government of the United States has broken out in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and the laws of the United States for the collection of the revenue cannot be effectually executed therein comformably to that provision of the Constitution which requires duties to be uniform throughout the United States:              

And whereas a combination of persons engaged in such insurrection, have threatened to grant pretended letters of marque to authorize the bearers thereof to commit assaults on the lives, vessels, and property of good citizens of the country lawfully engaged in commerce on the high seas, and in waters of the United States: And whereas an Executive Proclamation has been already issued, requiring the persons engaged in these disorderly proceedings to desist therefrom, calling out a militia force for the purpose of repressing the same, and convening Congress in extraordinary session, to deliberate and determine thereon:

[On 19 April 1861, President Lincoln issued the Proclamation of Blockade Against Southern Ports]

. . . Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, with a view to the same purposes before mentioned, and to the protection of the public peace, and the lives and property of quiet and orderly citizens pursuing their lawful occupations, until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated on the said unlawful proceedings, or until the same shall ceased, have further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports within the States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United States, and of the law of Nations, in such case provided. For this purpose a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance and exit of vessels from the ports aforesaid. If, therefore, with a view to violate such blockade, a vessel shall approach, or shall attempt to leave either of the said ports, she will be duly warned by the Commander of one of the blockading vessels, who will endorse on her register the fact and date of such warning, and if the same vessel shall again attempt to enter or leave the blockaded port, she will be captured and sent to the nearest convenient port, for such proceedings against her and her cargo as prize, as may be deemed advisable.

And I hereby proclaim and declare that if any person, under the pretended authority of the said States, or under any other pretense, shall molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board of her, such person will be held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention and punishment of piracy.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.


On 19 April 1861, President Lincoln issued the Proclamation of Blockade Against Southern Ports

        The Union blockade represents the first effort to thwart the Confederacy's effort to become a separate nation.  President Lincoln did not think secession was legal.  He did not recognize the Confederacy as a separate nation.  To study the Union Blockade, consideration must be made for these sub-topics:

       Each link in the boxes will include Commanders for each area, and other details:
Atlantic Blockading Squadron North Atlantic Blockading Squadron South Atlantic Blockading Squadron Gulf Blockading Squadron
East Gulf Blockading Squadron West Gulf Blockading Squadron Blockade service Blockade runners

Go to the Prize Court Case for the Prize Process

Details on the Anaconda Plan can be read on the Wikipedia site

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