The West Gulf Blockade, 1861-1865: An Evaluation

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

This investigation resulted from a pilot research paper prepared in conjunction with a graduate course on the Civil War. This study suggested that the Federal blockade of the Confederacy may not have contributed significantly to its defeat. Traditionally, historians had assumed that the Union's Anaconda Plan had effectively strangled the Confederacy. Recent studies which compared the statistics of ships captured to successful infractions of the blockade had somewhat revised these views. While accepting these revisionist findings as broadly valid, this investigation strove to determine specifically the effectiveness of Admiral Farragut's West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Since the British Foreign Office maintained ... continued below

Physical Description

v, 262 leaves: maps

Creation Information

Glover, Robert W. May 1974.

Context

This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 77 times . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this dissertation or its content.

Committee Members

Publisher

Rights Holder

For guidance see Citations, Rights, Re-Use.

  • Glover, Robert W.

Provided By

UNT Libraries

With locations on the Denton campus of the University of North Texas and one in Dallas, UNT Libraries serves the school and the community by providing access to physical and online collections; The Portal to Texas History and UNT Digital Libraries; academic research, and much, much more.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this dissertation. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Degree Information

Description

This investigation resulted from a pilot research paper prepared in conjunction with a graduate course on the Civil War. This study suggested that the Federal blockade of the Confederacy may not have contributed significantly to its defeat. Traditionally, historians had assumed that the Union's Anaconda Plan had effectively strangled the Confederacy. Recent studies which compared the statistics of ships captured to successful infractions of the blockade had somewhat revised these views. While accepting these revisionist findings as broadly valid, this investigation strove to determine specifically the effectiveness of Admiral Farragut's West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Since the British Foreign Office maintained consulates in three blockaded southern ports and in many Caribbean ports through which blockade running was conducted, these consular records were vital for this study. Personal research in Great Britain's Public Record Office disclosed valuable consular reports pertaining to the effectiveness of the Federal blockade. American consular records, found in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. provided excellent comparative reports from those same Gulf ports. Official Confederate reports, contained in the National Archives, various state archives and in the published Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies revealed valuable statistical data on foreign imports. Limited use was made of Spanish and French consular records written from ports involved in blockade running. Extensive use was made of Senate and House documents in determining Federal blockade policy during the war. The record of the Navy's enforcement of the blockade was found in The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies. The contemporary reports of Union and Confederate governmental officials was found in James D. Richardson's respective works on The Messages and Papers, and in the published diaries of Gideon Welles and Gustavas Fox. Contemporary newspapers and first hand accounts by participants on both sides provided color and perspective. In evaluating the performance of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, a review of the international laws governing blockading was undertaken, emphasizing America's traditional posture regarding the blockades of other nations. Under Gideon Welles, the Federal navy became a powerful and efficient force, although the navy's enforcement of the blockade often resulted in serious diplomatic embarrassment, especially from maritime incidents occurring near the mouth of the Rio Grande River. Nearby Matamoros, Mexico virtually became an international trade mart for Confederate cotton and imports. However, much contraband trade was conducted through blockaded Gulf ports such as Galveston, Texas. It is concluded that the West Gulf Blockading Squadron performed only satisfactorily at best. This did not result so much from innate limitations as from outside factors. Among the latter were the open door at Matamoros, the Lincoln administration's diplomatic timerity and national policies that authorized a type of cotton trade with the south. Further, the better vessels were assigned land campaign priorities. The statistics of the cotton trade in this portion of the Confederacy show that cotton exports were significantly high. Most of these exports egressed via Matamoros, but a high percentage existed through blockaded Gulf ports. The fact that 10,000 bales of cotton left the heavily guarded port of Galveston in the last six months of the war indicates the inefficiency of the West Gulf Blockade. It appears that the West Gulf Blockade was effective enough to create scarcity but never effective enough to seriously interdict the flow of trade. That the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy was largely sustained by imports underscores the blockade's limited effectiveness.

Physical Description

v, 262 leaves: maps

Language

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this dissertation in the Digital Library or other systems.

Collections

This dissertation is part of the following collection of related materials.

UNT Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

What responsibilities do I have when using this dissertation?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this dissertation.

Creation Date

  • May 1974

Start & End Dates

  • 1861 - 1865

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • March 9, 2015, 8:15 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Feb. 24, 2017, noon

Usage Statistics

When was this dissertation last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 2
Total Uses: 77

Where

Geographical information about where this dissertation originated or about its content.

Place Name

Publication Place

Map Information

  • map marker Automatically generated Place Name coordinates.
  • map marker Automatically generated Publication Place coordinates.
  • Repositioning map may be required for optimal printing.

Mapped Locations

Interact With This Dissertation

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

International Image Interoperability Framework

IIF Logo

We support the IIIF Presentation API

Glover, Robert W. The West Gulf Blockade, 1861-1865: An Evaluation, dissertation, May 1974; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500924/: accessed July 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .