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Civil War in the West

From the perspective of the North, military action in the West was geared toward the following:

  1. The Mississippi Campaign: This was an effort to gain control of the Mississippi River's entire length. If this end were to be achieved, then the Confederacy would be cut in two and river commerce could be restored in the Northwest.
  2. The Chattanooga Campaign: An effort to gain control of a vital railroad center and divide the Confederate armies.
Major encounters in the Mississippi Campaign included the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson, the Union victory at Pea Ridge, and the bloody engagement at Shiloh. The southern end of the Mississippi was opened to Union traffic after the capture of New Orleans. Kentucky was temporarily cleared of Confederate control at Perryville and Tennessee was opened following Murfreesboro. The Mississippi was finally opened following the siege of Vicksburg in July 1863. Important engagements in the Chattanooga Campaign included the Battle of Chickamauga and the Battle of Chattanooga.