Monthly Archives: March 2021

Anaconda Plan

Civil War New Orleans: Prelude to Conflict

A comparative look at the economic differences between the Confederate states and those of the Union shows a staggering disparity. SEE COMPARATIVE CHART The Southern states had few advantages, except in certain agricultural areas and any semblance of parity here, arose from the Border States, primarily Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri. These three states were divided between Union and Confederacy in sympathies, and more concretely in supplying officers and men under arms.  Nevertheless, they remained in the Union and are represented accordingly in terms of these resource statistics. Wars are costly—certainly in terms of life and devastation of property—and since they are, those who wage them need money and goods to collect and trade. The chief cash crop for the South was cotton, to a lesser extent tobacco was significant but cotton was king.  King Cotton was one of the Confederacy’s mainstays and sources of income.  However, to collect payment for this white gold, the seller must be able to get it to market.  The textile mills of New England and for that matter, Old England, became starved for raw cotton.  And, because in 1860, the southern United States produced 90% of the world’s cotton, the mills became idle and workers went…

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Louisiana Governor Thomas O. Moore

New Orleans Prepares

10 April 1861, Governor Thomas Overton Moore and his staff were preparing for the inevitable conflict.  The Civil War had not yet begun, Fort Sumter was a few days away.  But Just two days earlier, Daniel W. Adams, of the New Orleans Military Board, had notified President Davis that Union ships had conducted a reconnaissance operation in the waters off Forts St. Philip and Jackson thereby suggesting that they were preparing for an attack of sorts.  Adams was a newspaper man who had once killed a man in a duel for criticizing his editorial work.   Known for his directness, he did not equivocate in his message.  The precognition of pending if not imminent danger from the Federal Navy began when the people of New Orleans learned that a large naval fleet had assembled and sailed from New York at the first of the month. Louisiana had seceded at the end of January, but the undertaking of adequate preparations for the defense of the city was nowhere near completion.  Governor Moore was not a military man, but he and those around him recognized the need for military authority and the martialing of resources in the region.  He specifically requested of the…

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Edmund Ruffin

The Civil War: April 1861

11-14 April – Charleston, SC -Thursday to Sunday. A South Carolina delegation of three men delivered a demand for surrender to Major Robert Anderson at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. The message was from Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard and stated that they intended to take “possession of a fortification commanding the entrance of one of their harbors . . . necessary to its defense and security.” They let Anderson know that they would not fire upon his position if he advised them of the time of the evacuation of the Union troops stationed there. Anderson replied that he also would not fire except in response., but that he would evacuate on 15 April if he did not receive supplies coming from the Federal government. The Confederates were aware that a supply ship was en route and deemed the answer unsatisfactory. At 0430 on Friday a signal shot opened a barrage from the other batteries in rotation. Anderson had a garrison of 85 officers and men as well as over forty laborers who worked in the fort. They began to return fire at 0700. On Saturday, after thirty-four hours of bombardment, a rash of fires and destruction, and some minor injuries, Fort…

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