What was the Union's three part plan for winning the US Civil War?
The Union's plans to end the Southern rebellion were altered
often and were complex at various times during the war.It is clear
that the Union wished to control the Mississippi River and blockade
Southern ports. This plan however did not truly effect the outcome
of the war in that the Southern ports were difficult to blockade
and control of the Mississippi River did not force the surrender of
Gaining control of the Rebel capital of Richmond was one of the
first goals of the Union. That began with the First and later the
Second Battle of Bull Run. Those operations failed.
The battle in between the Bull Runs was the Union disaster at
Fredricksburg and at Chancellorsville.
Also, the failed Peninsula campaign did not capture Richmond. By
the time Richmond was captured the war was already almost over and
thus did not play a role in the war's outcome. In fact, the Union's
efforts there were embarrassing to say the least.
Also the Emancipation Proclamation as a "war measure" did not
affect the war's outcome.
Boiled down to three parts, it's now clear that the strategy to
win the war was the following:
1. Defeat Confederate armies in the field, and not waste time on
2. Using the overall strategy o exhaustion, hampered the needed
war supplies to reach Southern armies; and
3. Destroying or controlling the South's railway system to
impede its transportation of troops to deter the South's use of
"interior lines" to take advantage in major battles.