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Civil War in the Southwest. Any Significance? - Other Western Theater and Trans-Miss. - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Mon Sep 26th, 2011 06:51 pm
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sgtredleg
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Hey all,
I would like your opinions as to whether the 1861-1862 Campaign into the New Mexico Territory was of any significance to the overall outcome of the war.
We know the final Union victories in these areas brought an end to the Southern states vision of the American Southwest. But did it matter?
If the South had conquered New Mexico territory and southern California, what sort of  impact would this have had on the overall war efforts?
I do talks on this subject matter and would like informed opinions, as to the above questions, so I may gain a broader perspective of the importance of this campaign.:)



 Posted: Mon Sep 26th, 2011 10:17 pm
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pender
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stgredleg, That one is a hard one for me. I use to rotate every book, one book on the Western theater, then one on the East. But I must admit I have been hung up on the ANV the past three years. I have read a couple books on the subject, but it has been awhile. To answer your 1st question would the 1861-1862 campaign bare any significance to the overall outcome of the war. Not much, I think there would have had to of been more focus put into the New Mexico campaign's by both Governments. I know there was some, but nothing to compare to the other theaters.

We know the final Union victories in these areas brought an end to the Southern states vision of the American Southeast. But did it matter? I think it only matters if the Confederacy wins its Independence. If it does, they can bring the north to the negotiation table over that area. I tend to think the Mason Dixon line would stretch to the Pacific Ocean.

If the South had conquered New Mexico and Southern California, what sort of impact would this have had on the overall war effort? Only that the Union would have to sent more troops from the Western or Eastern armies.This might take some pressure off the Confederate army. You have to also wonder if the south held New Mexico and Southern California, if the Confederacy would not have to recall some of the men stationed in these places toward the end of the war. Seeing they were running out of men.

My opinion, Pender



 Posted: Mon Sep 26th, 2011 11:28 pm
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Mark
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The silver and gold deposits in New Mexico might have prolonged the war, but I don't think it would have made a strategic difference. And of course, if you have to put troops out there to guard it, you have to take them from somewhere else. That could only be bad for the Confederate manpower situation. Cheers!

Mark



 Posted: Mon Sep 26th, 2011 11:51 pm
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Hellcat
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California, or at least southern portions of the state, did consider seceding and forming their own nation. So I think the Southwestern theater was probably significant in that it could have prevented or encouraged that to happen.



 Posted: Tue Sep 27th, 2011 02:38 pm
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sgtredleg
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Excellent points board members. Yes, Southern Ca. did push for secession.
Not as populous, but the southern half of New Mexico territory did create their own governing body since they felt they were not being represented.
The point about mineral wealth is well taken. Both California and Colorado were discovering and producing gold and silver as well as parts of the New Mexico territory.
 A couple of other points, before I go, that I would like to see addressed concern the California Ports, as far as cotton trade goes, and the Southern diplomatic missions to Mexico during this period. Any thoughts?

Sorry, gotta run,



 Posted: Tue Sep 27th, 2011 06:56 pm
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Mark
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The Maximillian Regime in Mexico probably would have been more than happy to reoccupy some of the more wealthy areas of the south-west if the Confederacy couldn't defend their gains. The US Army had to go sit on the border for another couple years after the end of the war to give old Maxi something to think about.

Mark



 Posted: Wed Sep 28th, 2011 02:03 am
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Hellcat
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Don't know if this will be of any interest on the subject, but I did find this site, http://www.militarymuseum.org/HistoryCW.html, pertaining to California during the war.



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