The Blockade

On April 27, 1861, President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for a naval blockade of Confederate ports, intending to prevent southerners from shipping cotton to England and importing supplies that would help them fight the war. The six largest Southern ports connected directly to rail lines that transported goods inland. Even though southern blockade runners often evaded the Union ships, the blockade reduced sea trade in the South to less than a third of what it had been prior to the war. As the war dragged on, civilians in the Confederacy increasingly lacked access to basic goods.

"Map Showing the Line of the Blockade, and the Strategic Routes in the Interior"

 "Map Showing the Line of the Blockade, and the Strategic Routes in the Interior" from Harper's Weekly
New York: Harper's Magazine Co., May 25, 1861
Newberry folio A 5 .392 v. 5