Strengths and Weaknesses of the North and South

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An important strength of the North was its manufacturing capabilities. Factories could mass produce weapons while the South had few facilities capable of providing weapons. The North had experienced an industrial revolution in which many factories produced supplies necessary for an army. Another strength of the North was that it had better railroads and highways, including naval shipping resources used to re-supply forces. The North possessed a large amount of the country's railroad and canal systems. The railroads and canals was necessary for a quick and easy transportation of troops and supplies. More railroads also meant better communication. The North had about 13,000 miles more railroad than the South which meant that the North could reinforce troops quicker.

A weakness of the North was that Many of the North's soldiers came from urban areas where they had never seen a rifle before they enlisted. At the onset of the war, the North was not prepared to fight a war. Military readiness of soldiers at the beginning of the war was superior in the South. Young men were accustomed to outdoor life, guns and horses that were part of rural life. The North had a large portion of immigrants and urban raised individuals not accustomed to outdoor life, guns and horses. The majority of Northern recruits were city born or worked on farms. They were not used to living off of the land. The North was in enemy territory and was unfamiliar with the terrain.

An important strength of the South was that The majority of the best leaders were Southern born. When the South left the Union, these soldiers went with their home states. The North had some experienced officers. However the North's leadership was inferior to the South. Lincoln was trying to find generals that could win. Many say Grant was the only good general the North had. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Longstreet, Forest, Stuart, the list could continue. The South was blessed with officers who knew how to fight and make the...
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