Skip to main content

tv   The Civil War  CSPAN  June 6, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

11:00 pm
he became demagogy with his own power and was consumed by that. >> he was a maverick. he gave just as much grief to his own pottery leadership -- party leadership as his opponents. if they were all mavericks nothing would get done. we were fortunate to some degree but the qe loans have been in the distinct majority. >> former house historians on the history of the house and senate, its leaders, characters and scandals. coming up next, from the university of virginia in charlottesville, a conference on the end of the civil war. in this panel the historians
11:01 pm
discuss the surrender of the confederate armies and the assassination of abraham lincoln. >> welcome everybody to the morning panel and we will talk a bit today about the aftermath of the civil war and about the legacy in memory of the civil war. in this morning's panel we will focus on the events of the spring of 1865, the last chapter in the war. i'm joined of this table by experts on lincoln and lee and grant and that last chapter. let's go back to the spring of 1865 and set the stage a little bit. in march of 1865 lincoln gives his second inaugural address. what are his hopes and expect haitians for that spring and his vision of what victory and peace might look like? >> shall i start? >> please start. >> of course, some people expect
11:02 pm
a rather more triumphal second inaugural. the war seems to be winding downst second war, but before he gets to ounces of malice, makes clear that he believes the war must continue as he puts it, until every drop of blood drawn with a lash is repaid by one drawn by the sword if needed, and he makes extraordinary declaration that north and south alike are equally guilty for the long-standing original american sin of slavery. only then does he suggest that mala scored non- -- malice cord non will be the principal by which he will run the post for re-united states.
11:03 pm
the debate ever since has been who he included --. i think he makes it clear little bit later. i will not jump ahead, but by april in visiting richmond and what turned out to be his last speech, he is clear about voting rights for afghan americans and a rather more revolutionary look at a postwar society. ms. leonard: i would say something else, how he evolved since he first became president and when he started thinking about what reconstruction would look like because he had to be thinking about it in some way from the moment he became president is not even before
11:04 pm
when south carolina seceded, so he has really evolved, he has really come a long way in as far as what that peace should encompass. professor varon: good. let's talk about his counterparts. gary, what does davis expect for the spring? professor gallagher: davis is obviously in a very different position than abraham lincoln is. it is interesting to see the things he wrote at this stage of the war because in some ways he seems to be a little out of touch from what was actually unfolding. robert e lee was deeply pessimistic long before the spring of 1865, but davis is a resolute confederate nationalist and determined, and he seems to cling to the hope that somehow the confederacy can emerge from this incredible bloodletting as a republic.
11:05 pm
it is kind of hard to really get into his mind at that point because he was off to one very far end of the spectrum in that regard in terms of the confederacy. professor varon: go ahead, harold. mr. holzer: i am always joined back to what lincoln thought surely what happened to jefferson davis. professor gallagher: get away! mr. holzer: get away. i'm not sure he ever says let them up easy, but he does tell grant and sherman that jefferson davis reminds them of a little story -- professor varon: just imagine that. [laughter] mr. holzer: imagine. he is reminded of the irish man who gave up the drink and after a couple of weeks on the wagon, he cannot bear it anymore, so he said, i would like to order a limited, but when my back is turned just slip in a little brandy unbeknownst to me. if jefferson davis is gives unbeknownst to me, that will be fine. professor gallagher: nothing
11:06 pm
like a good irish stereotype. [laughter] professor varon: so you talked a little bit there about lincoln and grant and lincoln's instructions to grant. let's get to april. early april, the siege line runs from richmond to petersburg, lee and his troops had west, and the troops catch up to him at appomattox courthouse. what happened at appomattox, and as appomattox effectively end the civil war? it is commonplace to observe that appomattox effectively ended the civil war. it does it intoend the civil war, and if so why? to lincoln and lee's minds does it represent the end? ms. leonard: i would say no. actually, depending on how you caf au lait the war and income i
11:07 pm
think it is clearly an important point, clearly an important surrender, but there's a lot to be resolved, and even after all of the confederate army has surrendered, there is a lot of resolution that needs to be accomplished. it takes a very long time for that to happen. professor varon: let's talk about grant's term. it's even filling lincoln's wishes as he offers those magnanimous terms to the confederate? mr. holzer: i think so. we have the record that grant left to the city point conference. i want to get back to what elizabeth said -- i think lincoln thinks it is the and of the civil war. bells toll in washington. he has already been on the extraordinary tour in richmond, where he had walked up the streets to the confederate white house, he is greeted jubilantly by the african-american population. and a couple of days or a day after appomattox, he appears at the window of the white house reclaiming the song "dixie" for
11:08 pm
the union and ordering the band to play "dixie," and his son ways the captured confederate flag. he thinks this is it. professor gallagher: from our perspective, we know things will play out really in a slow motion for a long time, but i think in the moment, the surrender of lee's army meant everything because lee and his army had become absolutely the most important indication that there is still a potential for a confederate nation. it is the most important national institution in the federal confederacy. a tower above the confederate resistance, and when they are gone, i think for most people that signals the end of the war. it is not for jefferson davis who packs up in richmond on april 2 and has south to danville and even suggests what becomes a famous message up to the confederate people saying
11:09 pm
"the war is just entering a different phase their." lee told him, know that is not right, a really big phase just ended. that is my paraphrase. [laughter] professor varon: certainly be shooting war as well pretty much over but there is much fighting left to go on. mr. holzer: certainly among noble element. lincoln when i let this moment go by, and on washington side, the triumphant bit he resisted doing when it would have been premature. mr. holzer:professor gallagher: what about what the audience wanted? they did not get what they wanted. mr. holzer: they got blamed. professor varon: we hear a lot of talk about guerrilla warfare that leverage >>. how much of an option was it. ?
11:10 pm
professor gallagher: people argue that jefferson davis called for a guerrilla war in a message that i mentioned, but he does not. what he says matt message is that the fall of richmond and feeders but frees the army of northern virginia to take to the field again. he imagines the army of northern virginia unleashed not a guerrilla war of some kind. a guerrilla war is absolutely and-- which is to establish a slaveholding public for stuff you cannot have a slaveholding society with a guerrilla war. i think davis was being misinterpreted, but lee would have none of it anyway. he absolutely said no, it will not change the outcome, it is over, we tried, it is over. but it is seductive. this is so long ago now. there are some in the audience to remember vietnam, but any post-vietnam way of phrasing things, it is completely a
11:11 pm
historical and inaccurate. professor varon: lee observes in his address promulgated to his troops that the confederacy wielded to the overwhelming numbers and resources of the yankees. how sufficient nation for a union victory and confederacy is that ultimately? how far they go to explaining the demise of the confederacy? if it does not go far enough what are the other factors that go in to ask the outcome of the war? mr. holzer: it is certainly a wonderful exultation, and the seeds are planted for the lost cause mentality. as gary has written the confederacy does not exactly have to win the war, it has to break the will of the northern people to continue to wage war and lose men and suffer the
11:12 pm
enormous sacrifices that were injured on both sides, and there are moments during the war before antietam and after chancellorsville, when the northern opinion, and certainly before the election of 1864 when it was possible to see the north giving up, not winning but saying go and let us just live in two countries. professor leonard: right, and lee himself was very invested. professor gallagher: mr. holzer: the overwhelming numbers was not the only explanation. lincoln somehow kept northern well above 50%, as he proved in the april april 1854 election. professor gallagher: with a big assist from grant and sherman. [laughter] professor varon: let me just
11:13 pm
follow up with that, lincoln and the press, how much did the handling of the press, how big that loom in his leadership? mr. holzer: it is a huge advantage for him that he was so adept at getting republican editors -- and he chiefly dealt with republican editors, and he understood that democratic journals would attack him, north and certainly south, certainly in the north throughout the war. but he reached out to them, he befriended them, rewarded them with patronage jobs along the way. this is not a new thing, but lincoln certainly followed in the tradition. establish from the early days of the century on of making newspapermen diplomats postmasters, port officers, indian agents -- whatever jobs were available to supplement their income and winning their continued loyalty that way. he also gave them what we today would call them scoops. helped them reach their
11:14 pm
audiences overnight and did not shut down newspapers that were obliging -- remember that in the lincoln administration the threat always hovered over democratic newspapers that if they crossed the fine and undefined line between dissent entries in, they might -- and treason, they might be forced to shut down. the combination of their print ubing press and the imprisonment of editors. one more thing that president lincoln should be credited for because it was quite miraculous, is he developed this system of going directly to the people in the absence of press conferences, press secretaries or really a major public schedule. lincoln was not an orator during his presidency. the gettysburg address was a major exception to that rule. he did not week publicly largely, but he did issue policy statements record to the
11:15 pm
newspapers catching them as letters either to editors or politicians. and this became a way for him to communicate directly to the people, communicate his goals and when confidence and support for policies such as black and listenliste emancipation and ultimately voting rightses,. professor varon: commanding harmony among those men essential, but if we turn to the southern side of the equation there is a theory of confederate defeat to focus on internal demoralization within the confederacy, and we see lee himself alluded to this process in a letter he writes to jefferson davis on april 12 47 effect the men have to fight in the recent campaign and the spirit of the war because they are worried about the
11:16 pm
folks at home. the press angle is one but did it affect the demoralization? i think i will you take that. professor gallagher: it is certainly a factor that there's a tremendous amount of dissent and disaffection behind the lines of the confessor confederacy just as there are in the united states. there is nothing similar to the new york city draft dive, but there is a phenomenon of president and the united states, and that is this tension between serving the nation in the army and worrying about your family and can focus home because the war is actually taking place in the confederacy, so that is one dimension that is different. by this stage of the war, there was certainly a great deal of communication from the home front they yank saying you really have to come back and take care of us, this is not working outcome and you have a choice to make -- are
11:17 pm
you going to be in the army or take care of your family? yes, that is present. there is disaffection and if you look at the degree of mobilization and the degree of loss in the confederacy, it is a very committed effort but the erosion of the will to exist on the homefront important? it is, it unquestionably is committed as part of the equations. i think what explains the end of the war is the united states army prove it can go wherever they wanted to go, do whatever they wanted to do, and smash the rebel army. that sent a message to the home front. the davis government was powerless, as sherman said, to protect them. professor leonard: i just have a question of my own. do you think the idea of enlisting iraq soldiers in the confederate army is a sign of disaffection in the south? professor gallagher: i think that could be read several ways, and this is something that could be wildly exaggerated, the
11:18 pm
notion that there were 100,000 life confederate soldiers -- that is hallucinatory. professor varon: is 5000 hallucinatory? professor gallagher: it is a range of hallucinations. [laughter] that sort of stepped up the parameters, but i think it is a measure, the degree to which people became invested in the establishment of the confederate states that they would consider putting some black men in uniform in order to save the whole enterprise. i mean, lee was very pragmatic about this. lee supported that come and he was put forward as a sort of proto-abolitionist because of that. no no, no. [laughter] lee's argument there was if we lose the war, the republicans set the terms, they will destroy us, our slaveholding social system entirely. if by arming a few black man we established -- professor varon: save what is left of it. professor gallagher: right.
11:19 pm
i think it is a fascinating debate -- no one knows how great wars range the on. mr. holzer: doesn't the talk of black and lisman, even if it is no more than talk, doesn't that suggest a degree of nationalism or national spirit i continued? it is not -- it is let's find one more desperate, nationalistic way -- professor gallagher: then you accept taxes, and they accepted a central governments, the states rights of society, the central government that proved more obstructive by far and told even the 20th century, so that suggests -- professor varon: it calls into question the overwhelming numbers of resources that confederates could crunch the numbers, the union had more men and more of everything than the
11:20 pm
confederacy did. professor gallagher: so did the british! professor varon: right.they had examples of the underdog having one that they could look to, but they did not believe the overwhelming numbers need be decisive, and makeup looking for ways to make sure they were not until the very end. professor leonard: i think it diminishes our attention on the huge job that the union had. professor varon: that is exactly right. professor leonard: it may be that the researchers were better, but the job was -- professor varon: and that is something that comes out in the appomattox moment, in the sense that the overwhelming numbers really irks people, it irks grants, because they believe it was a failure on the part of lee to give the vectors there do, to acknowledge that it was the union's skill and bravery and lincoln's persistence and leadership and virtues, it is a
11:21 pm
grant of their moral superiority. professor leonard: and a composting is only the beginning of the end. you have to occupy and enforce the peace so it goes on well past surrender. professor varon: absolutely. so let's turn now to lincoln's assassination. we have two great experts on this fascinating and complex topic here with us. macon and grand have precious little time to celebrate their victory because of john wilkes booth's heinous deed, so what do we know that motivated booth? mr. holzer: a sudden and not surprising uptick on the literature of the subject timed perfectly to coincide with the 150 anniversary of the subject. there is a very fine
11:22 pm
biography on john looks booth. those interested in early 19th-century theater will love the stories of the southern and northern backstage life, but terry alpert has brought us back to what i guess is called the mad booth theory of the assassination, you can acknowledge that he was deeply racist fearful of a mixed race society, furious that his beloved south has been conquered , and the slaveocracy was going to be dismantled hopeful that it could have a conflict, but in the end, alford makes the case that he is bonkers. [laughter] professor gallagher: is that a clinical term? [laughter] mr. holzer: and it is sort of --
11:23 pm
those of you who are all enough to remember vietnam gary can -- [laughter] professor gallagher: ouch! mr. holzer: there's a film called "double life" with robert coleman -- is that too far back -- in which he culminated the death scene and try to kill his living way, both is convex convinced that lincoln is caesar, and he played anthony right before -- that was his last stage role before he gave up the stage to concentrate either on kidnapping lincoln or the murder plot, so part of it is bravado, part of it is losing his way, part of it is racism. i had just given a talk in which i tried to tempt down this idea that booth said in hearing lincoln's last speech, in which
11:24 pm
lincoln calls for limited african-american suffrage, the vote for the very intelligent or those who had served in our army , which was in fact the first -- marked the first time that an american president had ever called for black voting rights. booth was allegedly in the crowd and said something to someone -- probably that is the last speech he ever will make. i comes from a novel written in the 1890's and allegedly was said to a different co-conspirator, but i'm not sure that people of today understand -- people of the day understood the racist part of booth's motives. professor leonard: i think people felt very much that booth was tried to rob the union of its victory and this was a lashing out of a man who was
11:25 pm
driven mad by defeat. professor gallagher: and of course they believe that the confederate government was involved, and that was part of the pursuit of davis. at all caught up with davis must have been implicated in this, it only makes sense that that would happen -- professor leonard: how can such a random bunch of ragtag conspirators possibly -- after years of protecting the president, how could they have accomplished what they accomplished? mr. holzer: and of course stanton is convinced for weeks and weeks that davis is the mastermind. scholars alleged into the late 20th century that booth was an agent, which i do not buy. how do you go to a famous actor and say "be an agent?" [laughter] professor varon: let's talk about the manhunt that brings him down and the debates in the north, which open up at that
11:26 pm
moment of the assassination, between those calling for punishments, and what kind and of whom and so on. professor leonard: i was have to bring joseph hold into the conversation. i like to tell the story that as lincoln is being murdered in washington joseph holt, who will become the chief prosecutor of the conspirators, not booth because he is dead by then, he is in trust and on the 14th that fort sumner, giving a very profound and angry speech completely at's with the approach, in fact, his speech was entitled "treason and its treatment," and it is all about punishments, although not for the common southern people before the leadership. he wants to go after all of them -- jefferson davis, robert e lee, henry werth, anybody he can find he would like to go after all of them.
11:27 pm
and this is before he knows the president has been killed, so by the time -- and he was very fond of lincoln and worked very well with him since 18 to the two, and he is going to take that whole mentality, plus stanton's conviction which holds shares that davis had set the whole thing into motion right after -- right into the months of may and june and july when a trials go on. professor gallagher: many in the confederacy were thrilled, there is this notion i growth later partly in the reconciliation era and shows up in many movies from the 1930's, it said we have lost our best friend. they are weeping he haswas not killed sooner. the diaries are filled with triumphant passages that "the tyrant was dead."
11:28 pm
mr. holzer: any defense from the rejoicing, i think, it is the fear of -- and even harder hand that might come next. you seat in the diaries what will come next, what will this terrible traitor to the south andrew johnson, do next? professor leonard: he was given early signals. professor varon: let's go back a little bit to get johnson on the stage. professor leonard: must we? professor varon: yes. we have to go back to 1864. why is johnson on the ticket in that complicated election, the one that lincoln fears? white is the get rid of his main er? what explains johnson's presence on the ticket, and what does he
11:29 pm
seem to represent at that moment? mr. holzer: lincoln was the western canada, and it is wise to choose and easterner the assumption that lincoln will have northern votes, that he was a perfect balance to the ticket. in 18 sisi four, hamlin is a bit expendable, lincoln is the representative man up north, and if you're creating a national union party, as the republicans rebranded themselves in 1864 you pick the one senator who stayed in the senate and southern guy so it is a northern southern -- professor gallagher: the republicans need -- they cannot win the war just with republican. andrew johnson absolutely exemplified what unionism there was in the democratic party and in the slaveholding state.
11:30 pm
harold talk about these moments apparel for the united states. in the late summer of 1864, it is certainly one of those, and this is part of the effort, at least for my point of view, to broaden republican appeal, do not call ourselves above and play our best card, which is union, and put this guy, andrew johnson -- it shows that it does matter who gets chosen as the vice presidential candidate. professor varon: it is also the case that lincoln is looking ahead to reconstruction. he is thinking well, to bring the nation together, that johnson is a better choice. professor varon: it represents a persistent fantasy that there is a latent unionism to those who do not own slaves, and that is a persistent fantasy, we talk about confederate nationalism massive evidence that is not a n accurate affection of the way
11:31 pm
things are on the ground, so why was some confederates fear that johnson might be harsher than lincoln? what clues had johnson given them? mr. holzer: just hatred of the aristocracy was what was feared mostly. getting back for a second to the june convention, the big question -- and no one is ever found the smoking gun -- was whether lincoln manipulated the election of johnson or by tradition allowed the convention to choose. professor gallagher: righ.t. mr. holzer: and there are some people, like william stoddard, who was one of lincoln's clerks who said he went to baltimore where the convention was held, expressly to communicate to the delegates lincoln's desire that andrew johnson be made the vice presidential candidate. a couple of people have claimed that. professor leonard: lincoln certainly had incentives. he thought the choice of johnson would organize -- of johnson is on the ticket, then the radicals
11:32 pm
and congress have to give more credence to that plan. mr. holzer: we have to remember lincoln never plans to see andrew johnson again once he becomes vice president. [laughter] professor varon: and in fact, he barely did. mr. holzer: hannibal hamlin was not even in washington when the immense ofthe emancipation proclamation was red. professor gallagher: and harry truman did not know there was an atomic button, either. professor varon: we knew there were two accidental residents in the antebellum period who did not work very well, so the idea that lincoln did not have to imagine what a johnson presidency might look like, much of the campaign literature for lincoln and johnson's take is that johnson is an asset because he compare so favorably to the mcclellan campaign. professor gallagher: mcclellan had a vice presidential
11:33 pm
candidate who was a liability. professor varon: he was a big liability. professor gallagher: i do not think these guys thought about their liability. they just do not. and it is not as if thousands of people saw andrew johnson giving a speech. professor leonard: johnson had done well in tennessee. he had sort of maxed out, unfortunately. he had sort of reach the pinnacle -- professor gallagher: and beyond. professor leonard: so we have some people in the south expecting that johnson will be harsher than lincoln. and he makes the statement early on. professor varon: and he makes a statement early on, he had been quite stern in his handling of -- professor gallagher: he certainly was not considered an abolitionist. professor varon: by no means. professor gallagher: and many consider link and abolitionist and that is -- professor varon: let's talk about -- we noted that lee's army was the last confederate army to can -- to surrender. there was a controversial
11:34 pm
surrender of joe johnson's army to sherman. why has become so controversial? professor gallagher: because sherman extended terms that were breathtakingly broad, but basically set the pattern for what reconstruction would be. itthere was a political dimension as well as a military dimension to them, and he was reined in by grants, first of all, who said no, you can extend my terms. what were the terms i extended at appomattox? those are the terms, not the ones that sherman aced ended to joseph johnson down itat davis. davis told joseph johnston to let the infantry go but sort of take your cavalry and maintain the resistance, and sherman ignored him and followed through, but it is sherman going way off. professor varon: he encroached into the political round, their
11:35 pm
brief was to secure the surrender, the army was supposed to leave those questions about whether the confederates would vote against him a whether these states will be brought back to the union, those things were further the politicians to deal with in washington, and sherman to be conceding political rights and immunity and doing what mcclellan tried to do. mr. holzer: we were talking about why the south might ever fear johnson as opposed to lincoln, so supposedly at this first surrender ceremony, isn't that the one at which sherman hans johnson the dispatch -- hands johnston the dispatch this as president lincoln has been killed, and then sweat appears on his four head. professor gallagher: when was that written, harold? [laughter] the beads of sweat moment. i like that.
11:36 pm
mr. holzer: there is a general see of retribution, whether it is johnson -- professor gallagher: the powers, whether it is the former slaveholding states. professor varon: the radicals. it needs to be said that some of that retribution, that is political game them gamesmanship. it is a way of printing them as extremists but in fact northerners embrace grant's magnanimity to a very surprising degree because they believe it is a way of changing hearts and minds of inducing atonement and repentance on parts of these wrongheaded confederates. professor leonard: and because union was the goal all along -- for whites northerners anyway. professor gallagher: almost all northerners are white! the 1860 census tells us the
11:37 pm
population of the non-slaveholding states was 98.8 percent white. people talk about the white republican in mid-19th century. if you are talking about the non-slaveholding states, it is a white republic. americans live in a holding eight. -- in slaveholding states. professor varon: there is an abrasive magnanimity again, and the moral high ground, as a means to affect change, but there are still people, joseph holds thattetter, right in the federal government saying we cannot go this way. professor leonard: why don't we have broader reprisals after the civil war? i certainly think the assassination itself is a tremendous shock, and in some ways you think it would produce more of that, and it does sort of briefly, and in the streets of washington, thinks it will produce some bench -- some
11:38 pm
vengeful, and there are others who are keen on vengeance, but i think it is also so terribly traumatic on top of everything. mr. holzer: in the end they cannot prove a wider answer is the, so in the end, it becomes a ragtag bunch, and they symbolize what? professor gallagher: and the very rapid trials and executions of the four conspirators i think took some of the ads come in and later the hanging of henry worth -- i think took some of the edge and then later the hanging of henry worth but if the goal of the union is, as liz just said, for most white northerners, it if we were to get that goal if you really pursue significant retribution that makes it harder, not easier, to the things back together. professor varon: and johnson pretty quickly his tone
11:39 pm
changes, and the trial of the conspirators, he is already issuing proclamations that are actually very forgiving, and speaking about forgiveness and for barents -- and my man, joseph holts, was not happy. mr. holzer: but it is true, -- professor gallagher: but it is true. [laughter] mr. holzer: these are not beads of sweat. professor varon: no beads of sweat. mr. holzer: there are at least two antislavery abolitionist who confided, one in a letter to his wife, there's something about lincoln's laws and johnson's of article because it will make the radical reconstruction of the south easier. god has spoken, lincoln has done his work, and now it is time for us, whether that meant johnson would be weaker, easier to
11:40 pm
dominate, or whether johnson would be a stronger leader. professor gallagher: don't you think they sweat because they knew johnson was not as capable a person as lincoln? i mean, andrew johnson had never had a great reputation. professor varon: yeah, and segue to a question that is so irresistible. i am not a fan of counterfactual's, but we are all asked all the time -- if lincoln had lived, would he have fared better than andrew johnson in the spirit of reconstruction in the postwar period? what do you all think of that? professor leonard: as gary said quietly, he would not have fared worst. [laughter] some have said kindergartners would have done better than andrew johnson. [laughter] i am sorry. but i think there is no question that lincoln would have done a better job. i think we can say that within the framework of understanding that i do not think we would appreciate lincoln or feel the way so many people feel about link it today had he had to live through that period .
11:41 pm
i have said in various contexts except for the fact that he was murdered, he really got up pretty easily. [laughter] reconstruction! professor gallagher: mr. holzer: where is that quote? professor leonard: it came out of my mouth. professor gallagher: and there is the sound bite for this panel. [laughter] professor leonard: it is going viral. professor gallagher: it is being twittered. professor varon: so what you think, would lincoln have fared better? mr. holzer: i think the infirmary infuriated members of congress, as johnson did. i think the gains would have come more slowly but more surely and more permanently perhaps. i do not know if the outcome would have been all that different. he would not have been impeached. he is too smart a politician to
11:42 pm
get congress that angry at him. but given for years, i think it might have resolved some issues -- this is totally speculative -- but might have result some issues that did not get resolved until later. professor varon: wouldn't he have also come up against the realization that the mass of white southerners did not want to be difficult from the leadership of the lees and davises and so on. is that a hurdle he could have overcome through his brilliant skills at communication and -- professor leonard: i cannot help feeling -- of course we have no way of knowing -- but i cannot help feeling that he would have come to be placed the dead knowing what the war would mean and what peace would mean in terms of its necessarily transformative
11:43 pm
outcome. he had reached that point, had begun to speak about black voting rights -- it is hard for me to imagine that he would have put up with the resurgence or the desire on the part of confederates who had been defeated on the battlefield to achieve politically what they could not achieve, and that he would have fought against that in a way where is johnson sort of what easily, in my view led into a kind of state where he so enjoyed the begging and pleading, please pardon me, can i have amnesty, of planters, and the planters and the leaders who formerly had such bitterness before, it's hard for me to imagine lincoln putting up with that. professor gallagher: the summer of 1865 would not have played out the way it did. i do not believe he would have put up with that. professor leonard: and i think
11:44 pm
he did move, he said himself lincoln, that he move from point to in terms of -- he had this long view in terms of what the end goal was. he did not always know how he would get there, but he would go to the next point and a net point, and i think of that as to how he would approach reconstruction. mr. holzer: one of the in goals, aside from the glorious goals of enfranchisement and citizenship one of his goals -- the political goal for lincoln was to create a permanent republican majority. professor gallagher: there has been a national party. mr. holzer: you make republicans imported in mississippi city, south carolina, and you force it on the throats of white americans because then you have a permanent republican majority. professor gallagher: the white north was not on board with in franchising black men. a number of states voted it
11:45 pm
down, and it kept coming up. it came up 11 times and was voted down nine times. mr. holzer: new york in 1850. professor gallagher: yes, and lincoln is at the end of the curve at that at the and of the war, and andrew johnson would have been happy if people never voted. there is a real difference between lincoln and johnson, apart from their respective skills. professor varon: and they fight over grant, right? they both want grant in their corner, they want to claim him as the victor of the war, for their interpretation of how things would go. grant will, himself change his views. he will prove changeable the way link index, adaptive behavior and ideology to the evidence. he is not someone who at the start of the war is an abolitionist or in favor of suffrage, but he will come to embrace black suffrage. talk a little bit about grant and lee in this immediate postwar period. especially after lincoln's death, these are the two most prestigious men in the nation.
11:46 pm
what are their hopes for the peace, and what are their hopes for immediate aftermath of the war? professor gallagher: i will do leave. lee is very pregnant at the end of the worthless of his basic stance is we tried his hardest we could, we failed, snobby victors set the term, and we follow the terms will stop in public, i think we behaved impeccably. he also counseled denial of fact, -- do not look back, look forward. his public stance is reunion and a kind of formal reconciliation. privately, he was extremely unhappy with what had happened. he hated that everything was changing in some ways in the former confederacy. but he had what i would call situational reconciliation. there is a public lee and a private lee. the public lee behaved as you would want the loser to behave coming out of appomattox. professor leonard: and yes, he
11:47 pm
was a controversial figure in the north after the war. professor gallagher: oh, absolutely. professor varon: in the raw days after appomattox, a great deal was red by the northern public and to everyone of his gestures for stuff you relatively lays low. i alluded to this, something that is political, so he is still someone who is very much feared and mistrusted in the north, is important. professor gallagher: but he became quite popular. lee's death, which is only five years later, a lot of the northern papers gave quite flattering obituaries for him. frederick douglas called them "nauseating flatteries." he could not believe that the great rebel chieftain was being treated this way so quickly. professor varon: in a sense, the
11:48 pm
copperhead view of lee -- become perhaps from the start are willing to portray lee as grant's equal, and they see the overwhelming numbers of resources as part of the defeat, in part because because i had to do not want lincoln to emerge from the war with a political mandate feeling that the victory was a political mandate. mr. holzer: do not rule out as one of the factors in his rehabilitation or acceptance, the power of images. there are dozens and dozens of appomattox engravings and lithograph that appear. of course the grant images as well, more principally, but you cannot help but believe that lee was a resplendent-looking man some showing surrendering his sword and an apple orchard inventions that were created and then it lee of course is importuned to pose outside his richmond home just a few
11:49 pm
days after appomattox, and those pagers viral -- the equivalent of going viral -- he is a man of -- who assumes an air of dignity, and i think that is appreciated. that helped. professor gallagher: i think the perception was he was a good loser in much of the united states. mr. holzer: and a great-looking loser. professor gallagher: a much better loser than jefferson davis was. professor leonard: and great of an interview in may of 1856 that he believes lee has been behaving badly and has been grudging in his acceptance of defeat. and get back to the point that grant really resented the denigration of victory the victory of overwhelming numbers and resources. he thought it was a fundamentally unfair, and at least was complicit in that denigration. professor gallagher: do not forget appomattox, lee said so wonderful to see you again, when we met in mexico and he says
11:50 pm
"we have met?" that was about the beads of sweat. [laughter] professor varon: and elizabeth had mentioned earlier that johnson, andrew johnson, kind of turned on a dime and went from tough talk to this doling out 100 pardons a day. so do we you know, you alluded to the psychological explanation that he enjoyed having these people, he believed they had lorded it over him and his kind before the war, had enjoyed him coming before him on mended knee. do we have a sufficient explanation as to why johnson behaved the way he did? the we believe johnson was doing lincoln's bidding as he was magnanimous? professor leonard: it certainly
11:51 pm
said that, and perhaps he truly believed it. it is impossible to know what was in his mind, but i think that she certainly said that the framework he was operating following that task, but again either he was misleading himself and the public, or he completely was misunderstood, it is hard for me to imagine with what happened across the south, that lincoln would have said we are done, it is complete, and welcome in the newly erected former confederate leaders to congress and mr. holzer: -- meanwhile, you have grant, who is sort of the closest thing we have had to a president in waiting for four years. it is the assumption that he will follow the path of the president, and he was part of the administration in waiting release a president in waiting. professor gallagher: everybody
11:52 pm
thoughtats and republicans -- but that grant would be a good candidate. everybody thought he would be a good candidate. professor varon: as we think about the end of the work, let's talk about the army some and the demobilization of the army and the grand review. tell us, gary, maybe even start, about what becomes of this massive army in the months after the war. professor gallagher: it is the united states pattern. there are one million men in the united states army in may of 1865. 80% of them are gone by the end of the year, and the army within another 18 months is down to about 55,000. with people at the time celebrated. it was vastly important to them to make the point that this had been an army of citizen soldiers, that deeply intoanti-military, taken out of great britain, we always like small standing armies.
11:53 pm
the grand review, 150,000 soldiers in the armies at potomac and sherman's armies paraded in washington, that was one of the most frequent comments -- "these aren't civilian soldiers, they will be back in civilian life very rapidly." that is what is great about the republic people growth. they go to do their patriotic duty, and then they go home and they are not soldiers anymore. professor leonard: except for the black soldiers, who were overwhelmingly on occupation duty. professor gallagher: that is right! professor leonard: until about june 1867, i think. professor gallagher: and a lot of them and listed later, so the terms of enlistment lasted longer than those of the white soldiers. professor varon: and often doing difficult duty in the remote reaches of texas. professor leonard: people really could not believe that there were black men -- professor gallagher: and a lot of the black men stay in the army because they could stay in the army. they had no black soldiers before -- professor leonard: and the
11:54 pm
indian wars. professor gallagher: right. professor varon: the image of the grandview reminds us that americans are cellaring victory and morning lincoln at the same time. and wondering about the piece on how to hold onto the piece, that is right. let's talk about america morning lincoln. let's talk about that process, and then let's turn to elizabeth's question about anxieties about the future. mr. holzer: well, clearly you have got several threads of math activity here, the demobilization of soldiers and the federation of the soldiers the intense pursuit of booze and davis, and as this is happening, the millions of people who gather in 11 cities north in the north, retracing lincolns and our in all euros journey north , there had never been anything like it. one million people looking at
11:55 pm
the lincolns remains actually passing by his kata faulk and looking at his face. more than had ever seen any american president in life or death, as liz said, and usually disappointed at what he said, yet having this deeply, deeply emotional connection on the wings of religious holidays that had occurred a day and two days after his assassination, shot on good friday, lamented in passover services on saturday for the tiny population of america that was jewish, net on sunday, by the way, he was introduced as a modern moses who had led people to the promised land but had not got quite to see it it with that from the folded, and then on sunday of course there is a resurrected martyr, christlike figure who had died for his country's sense.
11:56 pm
so the anticipation was unprecedented, yet there is a corollary thirst for vengeance and also true crime interest was happening. professor leonard: that is right. there is a broad sweep. we end up with only eight people on trial, but there are many hundreds and part of this true crime. professor varon: so tell us how we get from the 300 to the eight, elizabeth. professor leonard: chronically you pretty much could have gone straight to the eight. [laughter] and they are all, i believe, in custody by -- very very quickly, but then there are others who maybe were not connected in some marginal way to one or the other of the eight. mr. holzer: a lot of conspirators after the fact were never charged. that was sort of surprising, but the idea was to do one manageable stroke trial, i guess. professor leonard: right although they and of having to
11:57 pm
do two. mr. holzer: in a civil trial, which of course messes up the whole theory of swift justice and sure justice. professor leonard: since we are talking about that, it is true that many people have suggested that had the original eight been tried in a civil trial, the results would have been different, and i would say in the attitude that was present in washington in may and june of 1855 it would not have made a difference. it would have gone exactly the same way. there was a desperate desire for revenge against the act, and here they were. mr. holzer: even one of them a baited execution -- evaded execution, but i agree with you that the civil result will have anything. chair carter: and what about justin professor varon: and what about jefferson davis? professor gallagher: we have a
11:58 pm
countdown clock with a genetic -- with the gigantic numbers counting the way down. they were in danville for a little while, through the airline carolinas, he was captured on may 10 near urbandale georgia, and was taken to for lynn wrote down on the virginia peninsula, as many of you know where he was kept in jail for two years. a medical early-onset and unequivocal message to society. he desperately wanted to be put on trial. he believed that a trial would vindicate him, and there is potential federal prosecutors thought about it, and in the end they decided not to do it. he had a really good defense lawyer from new york city, an irishman, incidentally harold. [laughter] mr. holzer: who sweated profusely. professor gallagher: he would have to be tried where the crime was committed, which they said was in richmond, and it was
11:59 pm
perhaps a chance he would not be convicted, which would be a problem because then the blood really would be on the hands of the people who had prosecuted the union war. but he is there for two years and he becomes a sort of -- he takes on the characteristic of a martyr to some degree. his reputation actually went up because of that. he sort of suffered for everybody, and so few people were jailed. professor varon: were there rumors that he was curiously clad? professor gallagher: yes, that he was in women's dress, and the cartoons in the north, yes -- there is a gender interpretation of his capture too. mr. holzer: of course lincoln had been mocked when he had entered the presidency. and davis was marked for being in disguise as he leaves his presidency. there is a certainty and laughter that helps relieve people anyway. professor gallagher: davis lived for a long time.
12:00 am
professor varon: right, and wrote a very expensive memoir, which retroactively disputed that slavery had been a cause for the war. what an excellent segue. we have only one minute left. a closing >> he said in his memoir he did not cheer but did not celebrate. did not regret. >> there is a significant and interesting little bit of trivia. the prosecutor of the conspirators was the secretary of war when lincoln is brought in. for him to carry back memories into prosecuting the assassination, it shaped his view of his job.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on