A Study of the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Union and Confederate Army
The American Civil War consisted of two very strong armies between the Union and the Confederacy. However, these armies both had various strengths and weaknesses that contributed to the outcome of the Civil War. Some of the strengths of the Union included their control over the navy and transportation systems, their larger population, and their domination over the industries that supplied their weapons and other supplies. However, they lacked in military training and knowledge of southern landscape.
The South held strengths in military prowess, extreme belief in the war cause, and knowledge of their territory. They lacked, however, in access to transportation, industry, and numbers of soldiers. By examining these strengths and weaknesses exhibited by both sides, one can see how they led to the outcome of the civil war.
The Union had complete control over the Navy and so therefore had control over the surrounding waterways. This essentially suffocated the Confederacy because they could neither import or export any goods. Not only did the Union cut off access to waterways, but since most of the railroad mileage was located in the North, the Confederacy had very little room to transport supplies or foodstuffs to their armies.
One of the biggest things that led to the Union victory was the sheer size of the Union army. Once president Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation and brought thousands of the black population into fight for the Union, the South stood no chance due to the immense manpower obtained. Furthermore with access to most of the industry including all the weapon factories, the North was far better equipped to fight.
Although the North had the incredible upper hand, they also had their share of weaknesses. One of the biggest the Union faced was their soldiers’ lack of military training. Nearly every Military school was located in the South. So, although they had more soldiers, they were not as skilled as those of the Confederacy. Another great weakness of the North was that they were not very familiar or knowledgeable of the Southern terrain. They were fighting on foreign territory so often they were easily ambushed. With these few weaknesses and their incredible list of strengths, one can see how the Union was ultimately victorious.
The South’s main strength was their military prowess. Since nearly every military school was located in the South, most of the population was military trained and educated. This helped the South hold their ground for awhile even though they were outnumbered. Not only were these soldiers well trained, but they had a cause to fight which they held very dear to their heart. They truly feel they had a fight to be independent and so they fought accordingly.
Another strength of the South was their knowledge of their territory. They were fighting on their home ground and knew the terrain very well which made it easier to block off Union attacks. However, the South faced many weaknesses, They had little to no access to transportation because the north had almost all the railroads and control of the Navy. They were outnumbered and had little access to industries who produced supplies.
By examining the various strengths and weaknesses held by the Union and the Confederate armies one can see how these affected the outcome of the war and led to the ultimate defeat of the Confederacy. The Union possessed far more strengths than that of the Confederacy. The weaknesses of the South were too detrimental. The sheer manpower of the Union and their access to nearly every transportation system along with all the supply factories left the Confederacy to fight a losing battle.