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JohnPJones

The civil war, rivers, and US territories

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Did the territories stand up any naval militias? I’m thinking particularly the Nebraska and Colorado territories to counter the possibility of an assault up the union flank from the Missouri (or Colorado) river? 

Whether to protect themselves or to hold and secure the flank of the northern states.

if so, what kind of vessels were built/converted for the purpose?

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There was some activity in the New Mexico territory to protect the Colorado but the Confederacy never really had any chance at access to the Missouri. I also don't think the Colorado was navigable far enough up to make a water attack, raid really, viable.

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The confederacy had perfect access to the Missouri from the southern part of the Mississippi.

They could have pushed up from Arkansas into Missouri up to Nebraska/Iowa since Missouri was split between the two sides.

 

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33 minutes ago, JohnPJones said:

The confederacy had perfect access to the Missouri from the southern part of the Mississippi.

They could have pushed up from Arkansas into Missouri up to Nebraska/Iowa since Missouri was split between the two sides.

 

I dont think there is any strategic value in the Missouri river. Even if you control the whole length of the river you end up further away from potential Union targets than say a starting point in Tennessee.

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2 hours ago, JohnPJones said:

The confederacy had perfect access to the Missouri from the southern part of the Mississippi.

They could have pushed up from Arkansas into Missouri up to Nebraska/Iowa since Missouri was split between the two sides.

 

No, they did not. Securing the Mississippi was one of the North's first moves.

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16 hours ago, BrushWolf said:

No, they did not. Securing the Mississippi was one of the North's first moves.

Considering about half the Mississippi runs through southern states I’d say they had plenty of access to were the Mississippi and missouri split off

 

rhe Mississippi wasn’t considered under union control until 1863, that gives the confederacy 2 years of access

Edited by JohnPJones

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18 hours ago, MG1962 said:

I dont think there is any strategic value in the Missouri river. Even if you control the whole length of the river you end up further away from potential Union targets than say a starting point in Tennessee.

I figured it could always be used as a flanking route against western union states.

 

any way so no one has any information about riverine vessels built or converted to help maintain control of the Missouri River?

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11 minutes ago, JohnPJones said:

Considering about half the Mississippi runs through southern states I’d say they had plenty of access to were the Mississippi and missouri split off

Nope, the Mississippi in Missouri was secured by the Union early in the war which cut off water access to the Missouri.

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The Confederates didn't have the resources to build a fleet powerful enough to conduct offensive operations on the Western rivers. What the CSN had in the way of a Mississippi River fleet was destroyed at the Naval Battle of Memphis on June 6 1862. After that what few ships remained, Like the Ironclad Arkansas and Rams William H. Webb, and the captured Queen of the West operated defensively.

If anyone wants to read up on a Warship that truly deserves to be called a Naval Legend, look up CSS Arkansas. Her operational career lasted for only 3 weeks but it was amazing.

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Well then let me broaden my question.

reading about the CSS Arkansas as suggested (interesting career she fought well) the queen of the West popped up and seems to be a vessel armed as an improvised warship.

any other similar vessels that were used by both sides?

what were the various different classes of dedicated warships that opporated on the rivers?

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On 12/11/2018 at 5:17 PM, JohnPJones said:

Well then let me broaden my question.

reading about the CSS Arkansas as suggested (interesting career she fought well) the queen of the West popped up and seems to be a vessel armed as an improvised warship.

any other similar vessels that were used by both sides?

what were the various different classes of dedicated warships that opporated on the rivers?

The City-class Ironclad was purpose built for the Mississippi river by the Union. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City-class_ironclad

USS Cairo still exists....somewhat.

1024px-USSCairo2010.JPG

Most of the Monitor type ironclads built by the Union were coastal/river warships. They were not really designed for open ocean sailing.

 

Between the two, the Confederates had more improvised warships then the Union. They had to make due with whatever hulls they could find, as well as whatever steam engines they could source. This meant alot of their ships were underpowered or prone to failure. The exception being ships they purchased from overseas, but many of those never saw a southern port. 

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19 minutes ago, Lord_Slayer said:

The City-class Ironclad was purpose built for the Mississippi river by the Union. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City-class_ironclad

USS Cairo still exists....somewhat.

1024px-USSCairo2010.JPG

Most of the Monitor type ironclads built by the Union were coastal/river warships. They were not really designed for open ocean sailing.

 

Between the two, the Confederates had more improvised warships then the Union. They had to make due with whatever hulls they could find, as well as whatever steam engines they could source. This meant alot of their ships were underpowered or prone to failure. The exception being ships they purchased from overseas, but many of those never saw a southern port. 

Ya the monitors, and city class were the most prevalent, but I also know of the Choctaw class, but don’t know of any other classes.

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2 hours ago, JohnPJones said:

Ya the monitors, and city class were the most prevalent, but I also know of the Choctaw class, but don’t know of any other classes.

 

Quick search on WIKI

Coastal Type Monitors

USS Monitor (prototype)

Passaic- Class

Canonicus-class (USS Tecumseh was part of this class)

Miantonomoh-class

 

River/Harbor Monitors

Neosho-class

Milwaukee-class

Marietta-class

Casco-class

 

River Casemate Ironclads

City-class

Indianola - only ship

Benton - only ship

Essex - only ship

Choctaw - only ship (originally a merchantman, converted/rebuilt as a ram for the Union forces)

 

War Prizes

 

Atlanta

Columbia

Stonewall

Tennessee

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The Confederate Navy was largely focused on Blockade Runners and Commerce Raiders like the Alabama and Shenandoah , and coastal defense Ironclads like the Virginia and Georgia, the navy on the Mississippi was mostly commandeered pre-war wooden hulled steamships and the forts along the banks and on the islands, there was no chance of a counterattack or halting the Union advance down the Mississippi, the best they could do with what they had was slow the advance but the Mississippi would've fallen one way or the other, and don't forget the vast majority of the Confederate Army was engaged on the Eastern Front in Virginia so a counterattack to retake the forts and cities along the Mississippi wasn't likely

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