The Anaconda Plan is the name applied to a U.S. Union Army outline strategy for suppressing the Confederacy at the beginning of the Civil War. General Winfield Scott proposed the plan that emphasized a Union blockade of the Southern ports, and called for an advance down the Mississippi River to cut the South in two. Because the blockade would be rather passive Scott often received ridicule from Union generals who wanted a more vigorous prosecution of the war, and who likened it to the coils of an anaconda suffocating its victim. The snake image caught on, giving the proposal its popular name. In the early days of the Civil War, Scott’s plan for the war against the South had two prominent features: first, all ports in the seceding states were to be rigorously blockaded; second, a strong column of perhaps 80,000 men should use the Mississippi River as a highway to thrust completely through the Confederacy. A spearhead, a relatively small amphibious force of army troops transported by boats and supported by gunboats, should advance rapidly, capturing the Confederate positions down the river in sequence. They would be followed by a more traditional army, marching behind them to secure the victories. The culminating battle would be for the forts below New Orleans. When they fell, the river would be in Federal hands from its source to its mouth, and the rebellion would be cut in two.