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Part Eight-- The Anaconda Plan or Scott's Great Snake-- A Proclamation for a Blockade: 

A naval tactic by the Northern government to prevent the Confederacy from Trading with Europe and other places

U.S. Civil War Naval Ships, Men and Battles--Confederate and Union
A Part of My Civil War Weapons & Warfare Activity Page
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       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.

       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.

Go to the interactive Anaconda Plan Map on Learning Lincoln On-Line                                                                                                                                                                                              

This Map Illustration of Scott's Great Snake contains the 13 parts of this activity.  Follow the anaconda, and click onto the hotspots. 

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 Blockade Proclamation document, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, authorized the start of the U.S. Civil War in 1861.

Proclamation of blockade and legal implications  On 19 April 1861, President Lincoln issued the Proclamation of Blockade against Southern Ports (Portion)

Transcribed Version:  President Lincoln's Proclamation

Proclamation 81 - Declaring a Blockade of Ports in Rebellious States
April 19, 1861

By the President of the United States of America
A 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 can not be effectually executed therein conformably 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 manqué 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:

       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 have 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 indorse 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 19th day of April, A.D. 1861, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.


       By the President:

      WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.


Learning Lincoln On-Line "Blockade Runners"

Anaconda Plan

and at:  Atlantic Blockading Squadron

Excellent:   Teacher Lesson Plan from the National Archives

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