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35640Re: Why Trans-Miss. ?

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  • hank9174
    Nov 1, 2005
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Norm Mikalac" <789@m...> wrote:
      >
      > I don't understand why the Union spent a lot of military resources
      > fighting in the trans-mississippi region. Once it had gained
      control
      > of the Miss. R. and cut off supplies and men from that area, why
      not
      > focus on driving the CSA forces towards to east to end the war
      sooner?
      > Then the trans. Miss. CSA would have had to surrender.
      >
      > Any thoughts on these ideas?
      >

      The trans-Mississippi encompassed the states of Minnesota, Iowa,
      Missouri, Arkansas, most of Louisiana and Texas. That's a pretty fair
      chunk of territory.

      Robert L. Kerby, author of 'Kirby Smith's Confederacy: The Trans-
      Mississippi South, 1863-1865', describes Missouri as the "garden" of
      the trans-Mississippi. The state produces more tobacco, wool, hemp,
      wheat, rye, corn and oats, and supports more mines, and has more
      railroad miles than the rest of the trans-Mississippi states
      combined. Missouri raises more horses and swine than either Texas or
      Arkansas, while only Texas cattle and Louisiana mules outnumbered
      Missouri livestock. In nearly every category, including industrial
      production, mining, agricultural productivity, and population
      Missouri has no peer west of the Mississippi. Much of the fighting
      takes place in Missouri. A lot of it is basic military police work
      against guerillas (think Quantrill) but many military campaigns are
      aimed at capturing, or denying, these resources. St. Louis is the 8th
      largest city in the country with a population of 160,000.

      Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas cotton is sold over the border in
      Mexico. This is a major source of foreign exchange and hard currency
      for the CSA. The Texas border is also a possible target of adventure
      for Mexico.

      Louisiana is the major producer of sugar and salt in the South and
      Texas is the prime supplier of beef.

      My guess is that total US forces west of the river topped out at
      25,000, excluding such anomalies as Arkansas Post and the Red River
      campaign...


      Hope this helps,
      HankC
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