The Impact the Navy had on Civil War
The book that is titled Divided Waters: The Naval History of the Civil War was authored by Ivan Musicant. It details the effect that the navy had on the civil war in the United States of America. The civil war took place both in the land and waters. One navy took care of the interests of the southern states while the other one took care of the northern states. The war that the Confederate and Union navies waged on each other were spontaneous and spectacular as the two sides fought tirelessly to control the seas, rivers, and coasts (Musicant, 1995). Securing and controlling the waters was vital in winning the war since the army would use water combat to bombard their enemies, quick infantry transport, and the ideal supply routes.
Abraham Lincoln was the Union President who ordered blocking the southern coasts by the Union navy. This was a calculated move because the Southern part heavily depended on cotton, which was Confederacy’s primary crop and trade with the outside world. This was, however, a daunting task because the Southern coast was more than 2,500 miles and the Union navy only had 40 warships (Musicant, 1995). They also needed additional gunboats to back up the army operations in Northern Virginia and down the Mississippi River.
The Northern states had more resources as compared to the Southern states. The Southern states did not a navy at all, had a small merchant marine, and few shipyards. According to Musicant (1995), the Confederates quickly constituted a navy that confronted the Union navy in a bid to free up the blocked coasts and its portal cities. To meet the demands of the war and to cover the more than 2,500 miles the Union navy grew up by 600%. The dominance of the Union navy on the marine waters, however, gave the Confederate troops an edge on land.
Musicant, I. (1995). Divided Waters: The Naval History of the Civil War. New Jersey: Castle Books.