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Confederates control MO & St. Louis - able to push east?

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  • Confederates control MO & St. Louis - able to push east?

    Gentlemen,

    I am originally from Wisconsin and now live in Missouri. I had 2 relatives fight for the North during the Civil War. I have a friend who is from MO and had relatives who fought for the South out of the Lexington-Kansas City-Lone Jack area. We had an interesting discussion the other day about what would have happened if the South would have been able to control Missouri and eventually push the Union out of St. Louis (thus controling the Upper Miss. River and having a base for a possible attack on Chicago/Great Lakes areas). My question (and I hope to get some good opinions for our next discussion) is:

    Assume the South would have been able to push the Union out of eastern MO and control St. Louis, what should/could the South have done with that advantage?
    "War is sorrowful, but there is one thing infinitely more horrible than the worst horrors of war, and that is the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for..."
    -- Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1864

  • #2
    Always falls back on manpower or the lack of it. To have pushed the Union out of MO would have taken a major effort IMO. Did you have a time frame in mind?

    HP
    Welcome to the ACG
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
      Always falls back on manpower or the lack of it. To have pushed the Union out of MO would have taken a major effort IMO. Did you have a time frame in mind?

      HP
      Welcome to the ACG
      I do understand about the manpower criteria. We were assuming the "best case scenario" and that the Confederates had the manpower and were able to capitalize on the victories at Lexington and Lone Jack and then push east from there towards St. Louis. We were starting our discussion with the best scenario setting. Put the logistics out of the discussion right now - the Confederates control MO and St. Louis - what would/should be there next move from there (militarily and/or politically)?
      "War is sorrowful, but there is one thing infinitely more horrible than the worst horrors of war, and that is the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for..."
      -- Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1864

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      • #4
        Your two battles are close to a year apart IIRC and the numbers involved on the CSA side combined was what> 12000 more or less. Would that have been enough to clear MO and take Pro Union St Louis which I believe was Grants Hqs at the time? The menger forces can't control St Louis, and then have enough left to march across IL and occupy Chicago even if the rest of the war stopped while they would make this march.
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Maybe a better scenario is for Missouri State Militia to march on St Louis as soon as the Illinois Militia answer the St Louis German population's call and occupies the town (and the Arsenal). Militia from Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas and Indiana converge to confront the combined Confederate Militias from Arkansas,and Missouri with contingents from Louisiana and Texas. Confederate Cavalry and Mounted Partisan Rangers make Union supply in Missouri very shaky.

          This delays the Union Offense against Fort Donelson and Fort Henry, throwing off subsequent Union Campaigns for six months to a year. The lack of early success causes unrest in Southern Ohio, Indiana and Illinois which have large segments of Confederate sympathizers. The US Navy Takes New Orleans but can not take Vicksburg, so both Port Hudson and Vicksburg are fortified.

          Is this a better start?

          Pruitt
          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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          • #6
            Probablly. A Confederate army in St Louis in 1962 is dangerous to the Union cause in Illinose & Indiana. Tho it is difficult to contemplate anything more than raids and encouragement to pro secession groups in the Mid West.

            The converse is that Unionists would still be amoung the population of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, which makes the Confederate rear & LoC vulnerable to raids and Unionist action.

            The wild card is Grant. In the west he was able to outmanuver and defeat several confederate commanders. If he is able to wiggle out of his commanders restrictions as he was able to do in his sucessfull campaigns in 62 & 63 then the Confederate military leaders in St Louis will be in trouble. There were several other Union commanders of similar ability in the west, and if they find themselves in the right location and moment the flaws of the Confederate position will be revealed.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
              Probablly. A Confederate army in St Louis in 1962 is dangerous to the Union cause in Illinose & Indiana. Tho it is difficult to contemplate anything more than raids and encouragement to pro secession groups in the Mid West.

              The converse is that Unionists would still be amoung the population of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, which makes the Confederate rear & LoC vulnerable to raids and Unionist action.

              The wild card is Grant. In the west he was able to outmanuver and defeat several confederate commanders. If he is able to wiggle out of his commanders restrictions as he was able to do in his sucessfull campaigns in 62 & 63 then the Confederate military leaders in St Louis will be in trouble. There were several other Union commanders of similar ability in the west, and if they find themselves in the right location and moment the flaws of the Confederate position will be revealed.
              They were building Union Gunboats up in Illinois that would soon make their presence felt on the major rivers, along with gathering Union forces from all over the Midwestern United States. Any Confederate victories and incursions into Missouri, would be like Kentucky, temporary at best.
              "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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              • #8
                John,

                From my reading, Kentucky and Missouri and different cases. Kentucky did not want to be on either side. The state was invaded by both sides and became a Northern State by occupation. Having said that, there were quite a few Southern soldiers that hailed from Kentucky, including the Todd Brothers of Mary Lincoln. As it was occupied by Northern forces, the Northern Draft sent many Kentuckians into the Union Army that probably would have not volunteered for it.

                Missouri is more like Maryland. Both states were occupied by Yankee Militia from Northern states and kept in the Union. The sitting Governor of Missouri had to flee the state with much of the active Militia. True, both Maryland and Missouri had Unionist segments in the population. Problem with that is all Southern states had Unionist sympathizers.

                If the state is already Confederate in all but Secessionist Convention, I don't see the presence of Confederate troops as incursions. The Cavalry raids staged by Marmaduke and Stirling Price are more in line with the work of Forrest and Morgan. Possession of Missouri of also allowed the Union to draft people that might not had volunteered.

                Pruitt
                Last edited by Pruitt; 20 Dec 08, 12:08.
                Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Many of the northern states had a degree of split politics. In Indiana the state legislature was dominated by a group of southern sympathsers, or people who were against the military enforcement of the Federal cause. The Copperhead movement and related groups were active here. The Govenor (Morton) is accused of taking on illegal dictatorial powers to circumvent the State Assembly. However it was Morton had the broad support of the voters. Indiana turned out to second in proportion of men in Federal uniform to population (Rhode Island was first) and had a high volunteer to draft ratio. The split seems to have been the rural farmers and urban immigrant workers in one camp and the old landed gentry of Southern origin and a portion of the middle class on the other. While polically well orgainzed and established the latter two groups were too small to constitute a usefull voting block.

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                  • #10
                    THe loss of St. Louis would have been a terrible blow, that town was an even more important transportation hub than Chicago at the time, and the US Army would have been drawn into a Battle Royal right away, one that would have distracted them from Tennesse and most other operations west of Virginia.

                    However, it would not have prevented the fall of New Orleans, the death-knell of all things Confederate.
                    "Why is the Rum gone?"

                    -Captain Jack

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                    • #11
                      I agree with you Exorcist. If the South would have occupied St. Louis the North would have been forced to deal with that before almost anything else in their plan. With St. Louis in their hands, the South could have launched raiding parties into areas that may (or may not?) lended towards more sympathizers (meaning POSSIBLY more supplies/men). Either way, the North would have spent several months to a year trying to squash those parties. They would have retaken St. Louis, but as in the KC area they would not have been able to completely break up the small bands of men. Probably something similar to General Order #11 would have been needed to take back control of that part of the state (as evident in the western part of MO).
                      "War is sorrowful, but there is one thing infinitely more horrible than the worst horrors of war, and that is the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for..."
                      -- Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1864

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