Monday, May 02, 2011

150 Years Ago -- the Anaconda Plan

Scott's great snake. Cartoon map illustrating ...Image via Wikipedia

On Thursday, May 2, 1861, General-in-chief Winfield Scott submitted a broad outline of his plan to subdue the Southern states in a letter to President Abraham Lincoln.

The letter was a critique of General George McClellan's plan, submitted earlier:  "his plan is to subdue the seceded States by piece-meal."  Scott instead proposed "enveloping them all (nearly) at once by a cordon of posts on the Mississippi to its mouth from its junction with the Ohio, and by blockading ships of war on the sea-board."

Scott's plan would be derided as "the Anaconda Plan," a slow, gradual squeezing of the Southern states by a populace that wanted quick, decisive action.

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