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Military Strategy of the North

At the beginning of the civil war in April of 1861, there were only 16,000 soldiers in the United States (US) army. In July of the same year, 500,000 men were authorized to volunteer for the army. Many of the initial Southern soldiers resigned with the confederate states army. However, the North had superiority in some areas (Jensen, 2001). They had an upper hand in terms of population that could serve in the army, the material for manufacturing, and the railroads available for transport, more telephone lines, more horses and more iron. They had the material they needed and all they had to do was come up with an effective plan to implement them.

President Lincoln was convinced in that they had mobilized enough troops to defeat the Confederate army. However, this was taking long to happen and the longer it took, the more unconvinced the civilians became (Albert, 1924, 1963). While the pressure was building, Lincoln pressured General George McClellan. He was a brilliant organizer, he saw the use of the railroads to transport the many soldiers who were camped and waiting in the countryside. He also made use of the railroads to move brigades more rapidly to their enemy's weak areas. Also, he employed the war strategy of entrenched defense changing from the previous tactic of offensive infantry assault. These proved successful as he captured Virginia in 1861(Jensen, 2001). He did this by avoiding battle and making enemy lines defenseless.

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He had many soldiers at his disposal and decided that the best strategy would be to train and arm the men in the army extraordinarily. He also stocked up on equipment and supplies planned to outsmart Lee who was in charge of the confederates (Gary, 1997). McClellan never engaged in decisive battle. He planned on shipping a bulk of his men to encircle the enemy capital and capture Richmond. Though his strategies were good, he relied on false information to make his attack plan and these proved detrimental to his attacks in the end.

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