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tv   The Civil War  CSPAN  June 20, 2015 6:00pm-10:02pm EDT

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eople act wisely, our annual national output can rise within a decade from its present level of about $360 billion to $500 billion. >> this is the challenge to america! >> american history t.v. was life today from gettysburg pennsylvania, for a similar symposium on the end of the civil war and its aftermath. coming up next all of our coverage from the day, including panels on the meaning of -- union general joshua chamberlain, abraham lincoln and the press, and the medical crisis of emancipation. the talks were part of the gettysburg college civil war institute's annual summer conference. >> good morning. i'm peter carmichael, a member of the history department here at gettysburg college. i'm also the director of the
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civil war institute. it's my pleasure to introduce professor joan wall of ucla. joan wall is a specialist in civil war and reconstruction. she is the author and editor of a number of books. the book, her most recent publication is a biographer of ulysses grant, called "grant, american hero, american myth." it won multiple prizes including the jefferson-davis award from the museum of the confederacy. dr. wall has come to gettysburg college back in 2011. she is also a teacher instructor at ucla. she's received numerous teaching awards and i have learned that in her gilded age class, when she does a lecture on baseball that at the end of the class, she breaks out bags of peanuts. and she tosses them out to her students. i heard that she has a mean right arm. we have, joan, ordered boxes of
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hard tack. [laughter] >> she will be tossing out hard tack this afternoon. joan will be presenting "the rebels are our countrymen, countrymen," -- [applause] >> thank you peter, for that hilarious introduction. and i'm not a right-hander. i'm a southpaw. and if i threw hard tack at you, it would be painful. good morning. it's delightful to be here. i haven't been at the conference in a long time, at the civil war institute, and i'm happy to be back. i love gettysburg. i've been here many, many times. when i say good morning, i mean good morning, because it's about
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5:30 in the motor morning for me, coming from los angeles. but i think i'm going to get through this. i do want to say that, while i published the book on grant, i haven't finished with him yet. i became fascinated by the surrenders that he conducted during the war. and really looking at surrenders as a way to understand the nature of this war as i have in my title and what it meant for reconstruction and reunion. i only knew what was in my mind, general ulysses grant said describing his feelings as he sat down to write out the terms of surrender at the courthouse in virginia in 1965. somehow that sentence makes it seem so simple. it was not. that early day in april was surely the height of ulysses grant's military career cementing his reputation as the
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magnanimous warrior as well as foreshadowing his postwar role, including his two terms as president overseeing reconstruction policy, the looming centennial. and i will be accompanying this lecture with some visuals. i don't know how well you can see them in the back. but this is one of the many paintings commemorating the surrender of lee to grant on april 9. twice before this, grant accepted the surrender of a major confederate force at fort donaldson, tennessee in 1962. and at vicksburg mississippi in 1863. in those two campaigns, grant displayed two features of his -- i think of his character and his military strategy.
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he was relentless in pursuing victory. but once secured, he also displayed mag -- anticipating the morselmore celebrated generosity of the returned. thrs he insisted that the people of the rebellious states swear a loyalty oath to the united states and accept emancipation. my lecture is going to review briefly the elements of the first two of grant's surrenders. i'm also going to look at some of the political concerns that were raised regarding a final military surrender. what would that mean, as the war came to its close? and i want to turn to the story about the courthouse, so by the end we can place grant's
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statement "i only knew what was in my mind" in a more compelling richer perspective. a word about surrender. surrender, as i found out has many definitions. in the context of the civil war we'll just begin with this one. it's a military or a political surrender, defined as giving up something valuable, a fortress, an army, a defined territory a country, a set of demands to an enemy. that's pretty simple. and i think we all understand it. grant was already well aware of the complications of negotiating surrenders both as a cultural artifact we might call it if we're nerdy historians, and as a ceremony replete with symbolism that carried implications for the future. as the only civil war general to accept the surrender of three
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entire armies, it is worth reviewing the elements of the first two to see if there's anything to be learned about the third. and i'm going to, as i suggested earlier, proceed to give you some background on fort donaldson and vicksburg. in early february of 1862, union strategy in the western theater -- maybe you won't hear so much about the western theater today -- but it was in tennessee and mississippi and georgia, among other states. western strategy was for the union targeted a strategically and strongly defended fort, fort donaldson, on the tennessee state side of the cumberland river. sharp fighting gave the rebels expectation of winning the battle, but disagreement between the fort's two senior
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confederate commanders led them to abandoning the scene of carnage in fort donaldson in february of 1862. and they left the lesser-ranked officer, brigadier general simon buckner, in charge. as federal forces pressed their advantage, the overwhelmed buckner sent general grant a letter, asking that the union commander declare an arm tis meaning stop the fighting. and following that, hold a conference in which the two men would appoint representatives to discuss term's for donaldson's surrender. this is an illustration of the fighting at fort donaldson with the white flag being displayed as a symbol of surrender. well, this request by simon buckner wasn't unusual. that's what you usually did when you were beaten and you wanted to surrender, you wanted to hold negotiations, discuss things,
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get the best deal for yourself as possible. the result of this request is famous. gemgeneral grant's swift and terse reply, no terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. i propose to move immediately upon your works. that statement electrified the northern public but was condemned by a helpless general buckner as, quote ungenerous. buckner, whom grant had known before the war, really had no choice but to accept. what made the military surrender at fort donaldson in tennessee unconditional? well, an unconditional surrender is most obviously surrender without conditions. don't you wish everything was that easy? it means that no guarantees are given to the losing army. when grant refused buckner's
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request for a meeting to discuss terms, instead proposing to move immediately upon your works, the surrender became unconditional. writing to buckner's headquarters through the lines of confederate soldiers, grant and his staff dismounted at the dover hotel, a two-story wood building situated on the riverfront. this is a picture of the modern dover hotel at the national park service site at fort donaldson. after some preliminary pleasantries, even jokes shared between grant and buckner, grant got down to business and worked out the details. notably, he decided to dispense with any notion of a formal surrender ceremony of the confederate garrison of approximately 15,000 soldiers the largest surrender in united states history up to that
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time. grant believed that this formality, a ceremony that would feature a lowering of the flag, and buckner handing over his ceremonial sword, served no purpose but to humiliate. he explained, the surrender is now a fact. we have the fort, the men, the guns. why should we go through the vain forms and mortify and injury the spirit of brave men, who, after all, are our own countrymen? grant's last few words are worth a second look. our own countrymen, reflected his belief shared by a majority of northerners that southerners were engaged in a rebellion, not a war between nations. once the rebellion ended, the 11 rebel states would be returned to their proper relationship within the united states. the northern commander promoted an ideal of victorious restraint
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toward the defeated foe. in february of 1862, it was still a limited war that held out the distinct possibility that the two sections could be reconciled with the union as it was. you all know what that phrase entails, what it means, with slavery intact. and that would mean a minimum of bitterness hopefully and destruction. indeed, some of the scenes unfolding around the after-surrender at fort donaldson validated, to some extent, a hopeful expectation. not only were the officers who had served together in the old army -- that is, before the civil war -- regular officers not only were they engaging on friendly terms but many union and confederate soldiers would be seen milling about exchanging conversation, bargaining for food and trinkets and so on.
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grant ordered his soldiers not to act disrespectfully toward the confederate captives, who were on their way to northern prison camps. the meeting at the dover hotel hammered out the details of the surrender, including arrangements for the treatment of injured soldiers and the transport of men to be taken to those northern prison camps especially the bigger ones in illinois and one in massachusetts. buckner prepared himself and some of his troops to leave for the prison camps on a special steamer. just before they parted, general buckner asked grant to witness something. grant stood by quietly, as buckner spoke to his men, praising the kindness and the respect shown to them by the union commander. the consequences of the fort donaldson surrender were profoundly important.
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unconditional surrender, grant's demand for an unconditional surrender removed from the theater of action a number of enemy troops. again, the number was about 16,000. it made him the first great military history of the union. it also raised northern hopes for a fastened to the conflict. it was the first good news to come on the federal side during the early part of the war. and why did it raise hopes? because of the consequences, because of what happened after the surrender. in the western theater, the rebel line of defense had been demolished. kentucky and middle tennessee secured for the union leading to the fall of nashville tennessee, the state capital and shortly after, the capture of memphis tennessee, in new orleans, louisiana. as union forces moved in this
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theater -- as they moved to consolidate their control of confederate territory, they disrupted railroad lines destroyed property and liberated slaves. and in a sense, we can see the first big preview of reconstruction in which military occupation would take hold. guerrillas would appear. a hostile population would have to be dealt with. and policies and issues relating to contrabands would arise. the overall picture of the war did not lend itself to cheery predictions of an early end. union setbacks in the eastern theater, in the peninsula campaign, at second bull run, partly mitigated by a victory union victory in maryland. it ensured, at least in the eyes
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of most people living at that time, that this was going to be a long war. this was going to be much longer than they thought it was going to be. and naturally after an that, an introduction of emancipation to the union cause, changed the political military strategy, the administration emanating from president lincoln, the national strategy wasn't the union as it was anymore. that was a conditional surrender that wasn't acceptable. it was now unconditional surrender. the late -- in late december of 1862 and 1963 brought confederate victories at fredericksburg and cons chancellorsville. in other words -- i'm going to take you to vicksburg now -- there was no thought of a quick and easy victory. by the date of grant's second
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surrender agreement signed at vicksburg, mississippi, on july 4, 1863. the federal goal of securing the length of the mississippi river was accomplished with grant's 1862-1863 campaign to capture vicksburg, mississippi. the heavily fortified city within its borders caned a sizeable -- contained a sizeable confederate army, about 30,000, commanded by lieutenant general john c. pemberton, whom grant had known during the mexican war. in the late spring and early summer of 1863, grant combined both naval and infantry forces to encircle and capture vicksburg. after a series of smashing victories, grant's forces besieged vicksburg for 47 days in late may, throughout the month of june. by july 1, general pemberton realized that he must
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capitulate. and he sent a letter under -- he sent a letter to grant under a white flag of truce, reaching the federal commander on the morning of july 3. we know what july 3 means. like buckner, general pemberton requested a meeting to discuss terms. i make the proposition to save the further effusion of blood he claimed, which must otherwise be shed to a frightful extent. feeling myself fully able to maintain my position for an indefinite period. pemberton's bluff, for that is what it was, was swatted away by grant, who stated, quote the useless effusion of blood you propose stopping by this course can be ended anytime you may choose, by an unconditional surrender of the city and the garrison. i have no other terms than those indicated above. it worked before. softening his harsh tone t grant
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added, men who have shown such endurance and courage will always challenge the respect of aned a adversary. and i can assure you, they will be treated with all the respect due to prisons of war -- prisoners of war. grant agreed to meet pemberton at 3:00 p.m. you see this harper's weekly image on the screen. it shows that meeting. and he agreed to meet pemberton at 3:00 in the afternoon. and pemberton arrived, dressed in full uniform, meeting grant in casual field dress, between the lines of the two armies. i've read many letters of soldiers who were there, and relating this to their families, this moment. and they were all silent watching hoping that this would be disposed of.
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their short exchange however failed, with grant repeating his terms of unconditional surrender, leading pemberton to say angrily i can assure you, sir, you will bury many more of your men before you enter vicksburg. the conversation was a failure yet it established grant's willingness to retreat from his stand of unconditional surrender. the relative ease with which donaldson was dispatched must have seemed very distant to grant. here sitting in the mississippi summer heat, 17 months later the stakes of surrender were even higher as both men knew full well that the loss of vicksburg would be a catastrophe for the south. no agreement was reached by afternoon's end on july 3 1863. but grant promised pemberton that he would send a response soon. consulting with his corps and
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division commanders, grant decided to reframe his surrender from unconditional to conditional. his letter to pemberton delivered that night. it offered parole to the rebel soldiers instead of incarceration. and a few hours later, pemberton accepted. the official surrender would take place on the morning of july 4 1863. why did grant change his mind? reluctant to launch a wasteful assault on the city, grant also did not want to send thousands of rebel prisoners to prison camps in the north, already overfull. this way he could instead send valuable federal units to help other union armies instead of guarding prisoners. had i insisted upon an unconditional surrender, he explained, there would have been
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over 30,000 men to transport to illinois much to the convenience of the army on the mississippi. so instead the whole confederate garrison was paroled. this meant that prisoners could go free if they promised not to reenter the war until exchange for union prisoners. this is a photograph of the united states flag flying over the vicksburg courthouse on the morning of the surrender, july 4, 1863. that's what came to be that the general, whose initials were unconditional surrender, did not insist on surrender without conditions at vicksburg. beginning at 8:00 a.m., a division of the victorious army marched into vicksburg and within minutes planted the national flag on the courthouse building. the union celebration was even greater, given the fact that it was independence day.
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a little later, the defeated army marched out of vicksburg officially prisoners of war, but on their way to be paroled. quickly, rations were distributed to the hungry southern soldiers and towns people. and grant remembered happily, the men of the two armies fraternized as if they had been fighting for the same cause. i can hardly believe that happened, but it's nice when you remember things. they're a little bit rosier than the actual situation. bitterness in fact pervaded the negotiations between the two sides, marking a change from -- another change from donaldson and reflecting the harder war of the middle period. and grant heard criticism for his decision to parole the soldiers the rebel soldiers. would these confederates, some asked, return to take up arms against the united states?
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grant dismissed these worries claiming that many if not the majority of prisoners, wished to avoid war altogether and that their possible escape quote was precisely what i expected and hoped they would do. in other words, he was hoping that many of them, the confederates, would just leave the theater of action and go back home or escape to some other place. and in fact, we don't have the exact numbers, but it appears that that was the case. a sizeable number did not return. grant asserted, i knew many of them were tired of the war and would get home just as soon as they could. and he also had something else to say about this policy. he said the men behaved so well that i i did not want to humiliate them. i believe that consideration for their feelings would make them less dangerous foes during the continuance of hostilities and
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better citizens after the war was over. at both fort donaldson and vicksburg, grant combined devastating military victories with sensible and even sensitive surrender policy pointing toward a reunion of the two warring countries. his actions suggested that winning the peace would be as meaningful as winning the war. vicksburg's capture accomplished three important goals. it secured union control of the mississippi river. it split the confederacy in half and delivered a heavy blow to southern morale. the two great victories of the summer of 1863, at gettysburg and vicksburg, bolstered northern hopes for peace once again. but still, that peace seemed frustratingly distant, as emancipation policy and the enrollment of black soldiers into the union army added even
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more complications to reunion and it was getting more complicated by the minute. acting quickly after vicksburg and another grant victory at chattanooga, tennessee president lincoln brought the western man east. on march 9 1864, the newly appointed lieutenant general grant accepted command of all union armies, cementing his growing reputation as a symbol of union military victory. grant and lincoln, who had never met until march 9, would come to enjoy an unusually close relationship. while lincoln developed the skills and military strategy that guided his ultimate national strategy of saving the union, grant developed the political skills that comp complimented his military
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abilities. grant became the premiere soldier statesman of the conflict. in other words, assuming a role as many commanders in the civil war, particularly on the federal side did, of not only planning and executing campaigns but also devising and carrying out policies on any range of social and political issues in the occupied territory under their control. grant accepted without question the president's ultimate power as commander in chief of the war. and one author wrote some lines that i love to quote. quote, grant and lincoln reassured each other of good intentions by maintaining separate spheres of authority. although those spheres sometimes became tangled. this is grant and his general. this was painted at the time just after chattanooga.
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and here i want to show you a slide, the council of war, and i want to emphasize, as i go into the political part of my talk this morning, that grant was in constant contact with president lincoln and edwin stanton as well. and they would not always agree lincoln and grant and stanton. and more than a few times in the next year, lincoln expressed frustration with the union army's lack of military success under grant's military strategy in virginia and in georgia. he traveled twice to grant's headquarters in city point virginia to discuss these frustrations. but as lincoln reminded secretary of war, edwin stanton on one such occasion of disappointment you and i mr. stanton, have been trying to boss this job and we have not succeeded very well.
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we have sent across the mountains for mr. grant to relieve us. and i think we had better leave him alone to do as he pleases. and for the most part, they did. and union triumph made possible lincoln's re-election on november 8 1864. as fall passed into winter, union victory appeared more and more likely as grant pressed rebel forces on all fronts. while grant was working for total victory, he was also alert to the possibilities of ending the war through a negotiated peace, bringing him into an even closer relationship with the president. and that relationship, it must be said, was of some concern to lincoln. there was a fine line during the civil war that existed between politics diplomacy and the military. and it had to do with who was going to make and implement that policy. and through it all lincoln and
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stanton made clear to grant that his job was not to negotiate the conditions of peace in a military surrender. it was to be purely the surrender of one army to another. not a peace agreement. both were worried that a military surrender handled wrongly might somehow take away the president's control over the goals of reconstruction and reunion. lincoln desired lincoln desired a hard war and soft piece. general grant was to deliver the former while the president, the latter. as late 1864 passed on to 1860 five, union victory seemed increasingly imminent, despite a confederate leadership's refusal to give up. under grant pasta retching, the work of crushing southern morale
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destroying the country's capability to sustain itself and defeating various armies was rapidly bringing the rebellion to its knees. by late february 1865, grant remarked on the many signs of "dissolution" that were appearing in the confederate army. this included a wave of dissolution -- the wave of dissolution included a wave of desertion. in the middle of grant's concern came in letter from general lee asking if grant would consider a satisfactory adjustment of the present unhappy difficulties by means of a military convention. what lee was proposing in early
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march 1865 was exactly what lincoln feared. it went beyond a possible military surrender, and grant immediately since -- sent lee's message to edwin danton and asked his advice and stanton replied, "the president directs me to say to you that he wishes you to have no conference with generally unless it be for the capitulation of lee's army on soli minor in military matters. just in case granted not understand -- grant did not understand the first part of the letter, it ended with this -- "he instructs me to say that you are not to discuss or confer upon any political questions. such question the president holds in his hand and will submit them to know military conferences or conventions.
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meantime, you are to press to the utmost your military advantages." grant's swift reply to generally fulfilled his presidency instructions. "i have no authority to accede to your proposition. such authority is vested in the president of the united states." on march 20 couple weeks later, general grant invited president lincoln to visit him at city point a couple weeks later. this is the painting commemorating that meeting. in this meeting with grant, general sherman, and admiral david porter aboard the river queen, lincoln discussed at length and in some depth what the terms of a military surrender shouldn't tail -- should entail as well as articulating his own ideas about
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reconstruction. although the details of the meeting sadly remain closed, sherman and porters later accounts stressed that lincoln urged generous terms so that "they won't take up arms again." historians have assumed that lincoln, while expressing desire for a harmonious reunion also insisted that two demands be made of the soon-to-be to be former confederates. they swear a loyalty oath to the united states. it's hard today to realize how anxiety-ridden the enteral officials were at this time. they believed that the war could go on for some time in a variety of ways, and it was very important to get these details right.
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it was incredibly important to get that end right. the bottom line was this -- momentous decisions had to be made and soon, that so much was going to be determined i circumstance. lincoln was playing reconstruction cards close to the vest because he did not want to be pinned down by a rigidly defined position, a position that would alienate many of the members of his own party, not even mentioning other democrats. lincoln and stanton made clear to grant that his job was not to negotiate conditions of peace. what grant could do is negotiate the surrender of lee's army. whenever and were ever that surrender was going to take place, site unknown, it would be the surrender of one army to another, and lincoln center grant, "i will deal with the political situation in negotiate for peace.
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your job is to fight." the appomattox campaign beginning march 20 5 18 65 marked the end of the road for the confederate nation. the union's destruction of the rebels' last supply line of april 1 resulted in the wall of petersburg and richmond -- the fall of petersburg and richmond. grant cut off these remaining escape routes, as some of you might be able to see on the map. further disaster was inflicted on the confederate army at sailor's creek. on the evening of april 7, grant consulted with his commanders regarding what was a desperate situation for the confederates. grant remarked to his staff, "i have a great mind to summon lead to surrender," and he decided to send this note to him -- "the result of the last week must
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convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the army of northern virginia in this struggle. i feel that it is so an regard it as my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further confusion of life -- blood by asking you to surrender the army of northern virginia." lee replied asking grant to outline his proposed surrender and received from the union general this note -- "i would say that piece be my great desire. there is but one condition i would insist upon, namely that the men and officers surrendered the disqualified him taking up arms again against the government of the you -- the united states until properly exchanged." lee responded that he was not ready to surrender but suggested the meeting to discuss possible piece negotiations. lee, we know, at this time was
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trying to find a way to break out and meet joe johnson in north carolina. grant's response to lee's suggestion about peace negotiations was, "sorry, i thought i made myself clear. i cannot discuss peace but only the surrender." lee, after meeting with his commanders, in which they advised him that the cause was lost, turned away and that -- said, "and there is nothing left me but to go see general grant and i would rather die 1000 deaths." making a dramatic moment in history more so, in the ebbing hours, grant's physical condition was precarious. a great anxiety combined with malnourishment chronic sleeplessness, and pure exhaustion brought about one of his debilitating migraine headaches. despite his concession --
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condition, on the morning of april 9, grant and f wrote down the road toward appomattox courthouse intending on joining general philip sheridan. at 11:00 a.m., they stopped to rest. grants headache -- grant's headache was still raging. while still resting, and aid road toward them at a fast clip. in his hand was a sealed envelope, containing lee's reply, sent early that morning. the general read the message without commenting. he handed it to his aid, john rollins, asking him to read it out loud, and rollins read, "general, either for request an interview at such time and place as you may designate to discuss the terms of surrender of this army in accordance with your offer for such an interview contained in your letter of yesterday."
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grant's headache disappeared. do not take excedrin migraine when you have a headache. just think of surrender. a little after 1:30 p.m., grant and staffer wrote into the tiny village of appomattox courthouse where they were directed to the two-story brick arm house -- farmhouse belonging to wilmer mclean. lee was waiting for him. grant climbed the seven steps to the house. in the parlor to the left that robert e lee and his aid colonel charles marshall. grant and lee shook hands. this is a depiction of the surrender that use the on the screen. lee returned to his chair next to an oval-shaped table near the front window. grant drew up a letter-backed seat and also sat down, placing his gloves and hat on a nearby
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marble-topped table about 10 feet from lee. outside, thousands of weary soldiers waited and watched. all in the room were aware of the extraordinary contrast between the commanders. generally, aristocratic looking. general grant -- well, let's just say one ordinary looking dude. generally attired in his best uniform with a beautiful sword by his side. he had dressed carefully for the occasion. the commanding general of the northern army did not. the wagon with his dress uniform and equipment had disappeared. instead, he wore his preferred casual field uniform with lieutenant general shoulder straps pinned on. in addition, his attire and look was completed with mud bladders from his journey that day. but far from insulting lee or diminishing the importance of the occasion grant's informal
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manner revealed and in bodied much about the man, just as lee 's did. as a sign of respect, he explained his appearance later. "i had not expected so soon the result that was then taking place and consequently was in rough garb." the commanders engaged in awkward conversation about the service in the mexican-american war, with lee asking suddenly what the terms of surrender would be. grant responded that the terms were exactly the same as indicated in his letter of april 8 -- men and officers who surrendered were to be paroled and could not pick up arms again until exchanged properly. the arms and supplies were to be turned over as captured property . this was a military surrender, a surrender of one army to another. we know that there were many other armies or several other armies in the field that were
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yet to be surrendered even after appomattox. grant observed his counterpart's face, remembering that what general lee's feelings were i do not know, as he was a man with much dignity with an impassable face, it was impossible to say if he felt inwardly glad that the end have finally come." for his part, lee appeared satisfied with grant's description of his terms. perhaps he felt relieved that the dreaded phrase "unconditional surrender" was not uttered. grant agreed to write out the terms of the surrender and waited while his military secretary brought over a small table and his manifold order book that was a tablet prepared with carbon paper for three copies. grant prepared to write. "when i put my pen to the paper," he recalled of this
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moment, "i did not know the first word i should make use of in writing the terms. i only knew what was in my mind, and i wish to express it clearly so that there could he no mistaking it." and there was no mistaking it. acutely cutely aware of lincoln's desire for leniency which was his due, grant rejected fancy words for a straightforward explanation of the process by which the officers and men of the army of northern virginia with staff their arms and record their parole. "as i wrote on," grant explained, "the thought occurred to me that the officers had their own private horses and effect, which were important to them that of no value to us. also that it would be an unnecessary humiliation to call upon them to deliver their sidearms, so than these items were to be excluded from the property about to be turned over to the federal forces."
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also excluded would be a request for lee's ceremonial sword as a trophy of war. in the meeting, grant did not ask for and lee did not offer his sword. no need to inflict that humiliation. then there was the final part of grant us letter -- grant's letter, the famous last sentence described as one of the great sentences in american history. no one has described one of my sentences like that. devastating. i invite you to do that. it is as follows -- "each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes not to be disturbed by united states authorities so long as they observe their parole and the laws enforced where they may reside." this sentence guaranteed a secure future for all confederate soldiers including the highest military officials such as robert e lee.
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it was the final importance in ending the war and shaping the piece to follow. parker at his side grant looked at his handiwork, made a few corrections, and then it was lee 's turned to review it. when he came to the end, he looked up and remarked, "this will have a very happy effect upon my army. we have one more request -- would grant consider letting the enlisted men keep their animals for spring farming?" grant agreed, prompting lead to say, "it will be gratifying and do much to conciliate our people ." as lee wrote out a letter accepting the terms, which also had to be copied, and as these documents were prepared, grant introduced lee to the staff officers and generals who crowded into the small room including lincoln's son, captain robert lincoln.
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the men discussed prisoners, and grant agreed to provide. lee and grant parted ways around 2:00 p.m. they shook hands, and the ex-confederate commander left the house and called for his horse. when lee mounted grant lifted his hat in salute, as did the other union officers present. the did the same and then wrote away -- lee did the same and then rode away. colonel marshall described the surrender. "there was no theatrical display about it. it was the simplest, plainest, and most thoroughly devoid of any attempt at affect that you can imagine." another testimonial came from a general who was there that day. "general grant's conduct toward us and the whole matter is worthy of the highest praise and indicates a great and broad and generous mind. for all time, it will be a good
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thing," said porter alexander "for the whole united states that of all can -- of all the federal generals it felt to grant to accept the surrender of lee." news of the surrender spread quickly through the camp. soon thousands of soldiers were cheering and throwing their hats into the air. 100-gun salute commenced, but grant stopped it immediately. "the war is over," he said. "the rebels are our countrymen again, and the best sign of victory would be to abstain from all demonstrations in the field. he also remarked that he felt like anything rather than rejoicing. almost as an afterthought, grant sent a telegram to stanton informing him, "general lee surrendered the army of northern virginia this afternoon on terms proposed by myself. again, as with the aftermath of donald's berg -- donaldson at
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vicksburg, no sustained celebration was allowed. i will repeat something i said earlier -- winning the peace was just as vital as winning the war." although several more armies would surrender, the meeting of lee and grant at appomattox is considered the end of the civil war. the deeply christian nation resulted in -- excel to it in and commemorated the connection between what they deemed to be two sacred occasions -- palm sunday, which falls just one week before easter, commemorates christ's's triumphal entry into jerusalem. this is a depiction of palm sunday and the appomattox courthouse published in may 1865, and it invites americans to witness the end of the civil war and the union victory as the
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work of god. it celebrates union victory but prepares the ground for reconciliation. after meeting with lee briefly the next morning, grant traveled to washington, d.c., deliberately missing the normal ceremony of the laying down of arms, which occurred on april 12. with grant's restraint in mind, general joshua chamberlain conducted the ceremony that featured a notable effort toward demonstrating forgiveness and reconciliation. when u.s. grant did get to washington city, lincoln expressed his unqualified approval with the terms he had given lee -- "we think of this as being just one party in the north after the fall of richmond and after the appomattox surrender, at least until the assassination, but there was actually a lot of criticism of grant's documents. an editorial of the "new york
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times" said it was very evident that a large number of our citizens would have been better served if grant had not allowed lee and his men their parole, while another newspaper pretrade the terms as widely regarded with discussed and unqualified indignation. these feelings, however, were checked by lincoln's steadfast determination to stand behind grant's peace agreement. indeed, despite some misgivings, overwhelming evidence suggests that the majority of loyal citizens conflated, combined and treated the appomattox east terms with the securing of union victory. my conclusion is this -- grant's terms at appomattox arose out of this war experience, particularly at fort donaldson and vicksburg, and through his conversation in communications with lincoln at city point and elsewhere, the last part of the
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document was something that he gave a lot of thought to expressed in a concentrated form . this done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to their home, not to be disturbed by the united states authority so long as they observe their parole and the laws enforced. this sentence revealed his view that when the war was over there should be no vindictive policy towards the enemy revealed his agreement with lincoln that favored clemency, generosity love, mercy. revealed his love that reconstruction would not and should not be simply an indulgence in revenge. grant's appomattox surrender document was then not a product of a fleeting moment suggested by the statement "i only knew what was in my mind," but reflected actions formulated in the battlefield and conversations held with the highest political authorities
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throughout the war. grant's sentiment and judgment joined him only with his president has vision of a reconstruction policy conducted with as little rancor as possible. here, grant's final sentence actually made the military surrender into a peace agreement because if they offered peace and reconciliation to those who would embrace it, many commentators have made that observation, and they are right. grant exceeded his instructions. he made a promise that rightfully belonged to another but one that was rendered so perfectly that no complaint was launched by his president. this talk has been about grant but it has equally been about the nature of surrender during the american civil war. surrender has multiple levels of meaning. in the context of the civil war
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a military or political surrender is defined as giving up something valuable, a portrait, and army, a defined territory, a country, a set of demands to an enemy. it can also mean something else -- something beautiful tender, or forgiving. it can mean surrendering to a lover or surrendering a soul to god. surrendering of individual selfishness to a greater good. surrender's multiple meanings were present in full doors in different ways at donaldson, vicksburg, and especially appomattox. all three places where it once sites of -- brutal warfare and conflict, sites of reunion reconciliation, and all most immediately, sites of memory. the scars of this awful war as we know in this room were too deep to heal quickly or easily. magnanimity in a moment of victory proved easier than true
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loving reunion. the challenge of building a new society in the south that included black and white proved nearly impossible. there was the reconstruction, political and economic association, but precious little reconciliation. what there was came out of the appomattox surrender agreement an act of mercy, which secured the united states for all time, and within time, maybe just enough reconciliation that kept the spirit of unity alive. the complex nature of surrender during the civil war encompassing hatred and love baron hope, bitterness and forgiveness, can somehow be summed up in one deceptively simple sentence -- "i only knew what was in my mind." thank you. [applause]
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>> we have time just for one question. [laughter] don't stand in line, but i would be happy to answer. daniel: good morning. i'm from tel aviv. i just have a few quick questions. the soldiers when they returned home did they enter battle without permission again? lee's eight, does he have a biography or autobiography? the third is in one of the paintings, there was a picture of george washington in the background in that courthouse. i wondered if the artist just put that there patriotically, or if it was really there. i thought i read once that lee's
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wife was a descendent from george washington -- >> you gone way beyond three questions. yes, no, and no. no. charles marshall did publish memoirs. you can read them. they are great. the picture of george washington -- i don't remember. it was commonly placed on civil war images, post on the confederate and the union side, but he was the father of the country. both sides looked to him for inspiration in their cause, and the fact is that we don't really know the exact number of paroled soldiers at vicksburg that went back into the fighting force. we know there were a number of them that did go back, but there were a lot of them that were
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permanently removed from the fighting. it's just we do not have the numbers yet. thank you. [applause] >> american history tv is featuring c-span's original series "first ladies: influence and image" on sunday nights throughout the rest of the year. next week, we look at eli's a johnson. this is american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> it is my pleasure this morning to introduce to you dr. stephen cushman, the robert c taylor professor of english at the university of virginia in charlottesville. he has been teaching there since 1982 as a scholar and also as a poet. he has published multiple books and articles. his first civil war book entitled "bloody promenade: the
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collections by civil war battle," which happens to be the battle of the wilderness. it is an outstanding book. as you will discover, he has a way of taking evidence historians often see as a transparent window into a past but he's able to interrogate sources and writes about them beautifully. his analysis is absolutely superb. today, he will be speaking on one part of his most recent published by the university of north carolina. that book is entitled "belligerent muse: five northern writers and how they shaped our understanding of his evil war. this book chronicles abraham lincoln, while whitman sherman ambrose bierce and today subject, joshua chamberlain. in fact, there was life for joshua chamberlain after gettysburg, and we will be
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talking about chamberlain and appomattox. please welcome steve cushman. [applause] dr. cushman: thank you very much, peter. good morning, everyone. i am very pleased to be here. just want to say again, thanks to everybody. the staff, allison, diana, everybody who makes this possible. a lot of you go to many conferences. some of us also helped run them. when you run them, you i know from the inside how much work this is. you would think that somebody may be actually planned this conference carefully because my talk follows joan's very easily. you heard her say in the last couple of minutes of her wonderful talk after grant finished the surrender, terms with lee he left, went back to
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washington, and three days later on april 12, 18 65, there was the surrender ceremony, which involved somehow joshua lawrence chamberlain. i want to just begin by asking the students here -- and i realize it's very early on a saturday morning. thank you so much for being here. the students here, show of hands -- how many students have been to appomattox? just the students. adults can play in a moment. students, keep them up. look around, everybody. it's not that many. grown-ups? ok, there you go. didn't -- students, you see what you can aspire to. [laughter] if you do go, when you go to appomattox, chances are very high that if you take a tour led by a park ranger, he or she will say something like, "and on the
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12th of april, 1865, there was the formal surrender ceremony, and joshua lawrence chamberlain was in charge." i want to talk about that. what he was in charge of, what he thought he was in charge of how he talked about that over the 50 years from the surrender itself to the publication of his book in 1915, and after we talk about that, what i want to do at the end this talk about how whatever he did is remembered today in popular culture. ok, one more thing and then we are off and running. handout was at the back.
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if you don't have one, can you become friendly with someone who does? it's not imperative. i will also be reading some of this stuff too but remember, you are on television, so if you don't want to look dumb, has a hand out and look at it once in a while. ok, here we go. picking up where joan left off with grant. in his personal memoirs, ulysses s. grant commenting on what he describes as the story of the famous apple tree at appomattox. supposedly, the surrender took place under an apple tree. it offers by way of introduction this typically lean, efficient sentence. this is grand -- "wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true."
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among the many stories of fiction produced by the civil war and by the events of wednesday, april 12, 18 65 at appomattox courthouse in particular are those connected with brigadier general joshua lawrence chamberlain and his involvement in the surrender ceremony. giving us his somewhat wry formulation about how stories of fiction are told until they believed to be true, grant provides us with a really useful starting place to begin thinking about chamberlain's role at appomattox his subsequent representations of that role in the stories that he told throughout his life, and -- here's the last part -- the willingness of many people to believe his representations even as late as the second decade of the 21st century. what was chamberlain's role in
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the surrender ceremony on that damp chilely april wednesday morning at appomattox? most of what we know about that role comes from chamberlain himself, a fact that immediately puts many healthy skeptics on their guard. but even the most skeptical among them would be unlikely to quibble with a few basics. at 5:00 a.m. almost four years to the minute after the first signal shot was fired up for sumter, the officer from maine having requested a transfer from the first brigade back to his old command for the ceremony, began assembling the third brigade -- there's going to be a lot of this brigade stuff. surgeon general's warning -- if you are not used to this kind of thing, just look at your handout. third brigade of griffin's fifth
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corps along the southern side of the richmond lynchburg stage road, also known as the main street of appomattox courthouse. this location put chamberlain's left somewhere just east of the courthouse building with chamberlain himself positioned at the other end of the line about 300 yards away toward the river -- the appomattox river -- on the extreme right of the fifth corps. the only unit of the army of the potomac at appomattox at this point. the second and sixth corps having been sent toward brookville. wanting to start his own 24th core of the army, john gibbons had ordered griffin to believe john w turner's division of the 24th corps with one of his own and griffin had sent bartlett's first division into the village. i don't have to tell this audience that chamber was just chamberlain was no stranger to
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extreme positions on a federal flank. as we know from wherever it is we are, we are here in the only congressional medal of honor awarded to a soldier of the fifth corps. this particular position put him closest -- this is the important part -- a put him closest to the surrendering southerners led by confederate second corps under general john b gordon, who would be marching into the village from the north and east or from chamberlain's right. i get to be chamberlain. my right. the next day -- april 13 -- chamberlain wrote a letter to his sister sarah and from this letter, which is now in the possession of bowed in college, we know the disposition of the troops under chamberlain's command, and here is where you just need to take a deep breath. on the extreme right, he claims he placed the remnants of the massachusetts knife, 18, twice
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at it, and 32nd. then came the main first second and 20th, his own original command, and then the michigan first fourth, and 16, and finally, the pennsylvania 82nd, 80 third, 91st, 118, and 150 -- 155. over the years of subsequent retellings, this basic configuration of massachusetts maine, michigan, pennsylvania, remained consistent, although in 1903 in an address he gave that year on -- a maryland unit slipped into the picture. all right, so far, so good. but as for subsequent events, when gordon's confederate second corps marching from chamberlain's right finally came abreast of these federal soldiers, the simple truth is we just don't know what happened. we can be reasonably sure that
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some command was given. notice here that the passive voice reflects the uncertainty. some command was given. the federal soldiers made some change and how they were standing, and whatever change they made, that change in turn changed the tone of the surrender ceremony in some way the meaningful significance of which many people are still willing and eager to believe. as chamberlain came to represent the moment, he ordered his soldiers to shoulder arms. this order constituted a salute to the surrendering confederate. but even this simple claim has stirred controversy and disagreement, some of which a chamberlain biographer has summarized helpfully and now
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i'm quoting -- "there is some question as to if this was really a salute. in shouldered arms, as described in casey's infantry tactics the musket was held in the right hand and resting in the hollow of the right soldier. a salute would have required that the peace be held by both hands and present arms vertically opposite the center of the body. here versus here. in other words, a skeptic could argue chamberlain's famous salute to gordon's troops may have consisted of nothing more than chamberlain calling his own altars to attention for the sake of imposing stillness and silence on them, thereby assuring that there would be no exulting or taunting of the kinds that grant himself expressly wanted to avoid, and joan was so good about setting us up for understanding that. among chamberlain's skeptics the lead one criticizes the men
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from maine in not one but two netbooks, a place called appomattox, published in 2000, and the flight to appomattox published in 2002. in the first, he describes chamberlain this way -- "general chamberlain proved as magnificent a soldier as he was a literary stylist but while he was courageous and coolheaded, he also tended to wrap life's little dramas in ribbons of romantic imagery in which he himself somehow was intertwined. " in the second book, he has this to say -- "a college professor" -- oh, no -- "a college professor from maine, he saw the world as some grand, romantic cavalcade in which he participated prominently, and if he did anything common, he seemed unable to remember it
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that way. the important point to make here is that for he and people who think skeptically this way, the fact that chamberlain revised and improved his subsequent representations of the salute is the end of the story. that's it. whereas, what i want to say -- those later revisions and improvements are also the beginning of another story, one that has considerable historical , not just literary, importance. in fairness to skeptics, claims and counterclaims have dogged chamberlain's accounts all along, both during his lifetime and since his death. another chamberlain biographer summarizes some of these criticisms and counterclaims this way -- i'm paraphrasing now, and according directly -- chamberlain made it appear that his command alone took part in
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the ceremony, ignoring other elements of the fifth corps, implying that his command received confederate arms and flags all morning and afternoon instead of during only a portion of the day. he maintained that he was designated by either grant or griffin -- changes depending on the account -- to receive the confederates are new when in fact his superior officer bartlett, was really in charge but may have been him and elsewhere. here we go -- most important for this discussion -- he insisted that he and john b gordon exchanged salutes of some kind although they may not actually have done so at all. having summarized these criticisms and counterclaims, he then draws what i think is an admirably judicious and levelheaded conclusion. now i quoting. he says, "these criticisms notwithstanding, it seems clear that some gesture on chamberlain 's part that day made the ceremony something other than a
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degrading, humiliating experience lee's army might otherwise have found it." since we cannot know, since we cannot determine the exact nature of chamberlain's gesture, what i want to do instead is focus us on how his representations of that gesture in vault 50 years and on how subsequent bids of history have interpreted that gesture. here comes your chance for your handout. shuffle it. we will hear the audio on c-span. that's good. six documents. six documents. we can refer to each by its number in the chronological sequence. one, chamberlain's letter to his sister, written the day after the surrender ceremony. 2 -- the surrender of generally published almost three years later in january 1868.
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three, the third brigade at appomattox, published in 1894. the last salute of the army of northern virginia, first published in 1901. five appomattox, published in 1903, and finally, chamberlain's book, the passing of the armies, which came out posthumously in 1915. he had died in 1914. with these six chronological points at hand we can trace quickly the progress of, for example, chamberlain's representation of his own thoughts. in the first version, which is the letter to his sister he gives his sister only the spare reportage. first page "we received them
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with the owners due to troops at a shoulder in silence. they came to a shoulder on passing my flag in preserved perfect order." he makes no mention of deciding to offer the salute or issuing orders for that salute. his only depiction of his own thoughts takes this shape, same passage. "poor fellows. i pitied them from the bottom of my heart." inversion two, new details emerge. same thing, page five. i'm at the bottom paragraph about halfway through. "soon, the rebels were seen slowly forming for the last time . on they came with careless steps, their ranks sacred banners, their bugle sounds.
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on our side, there's not a sound. it is a funeral salute. we pay them. they move along our front. reluctantly, painfully, furl there lags and lay them down, some kneeling and kissing them with tears in their eyes. here, chamberlain shows the surrounding -- surrendering confederates. he adds the epic image of saluting a procession of the dead. sounds like something out of homer. employing one of his favorite rhetorical techniques, which is the shift into the present tense . even with all these flourishes, he still does not take credit for issuing an order for the salute. the prompting bugle sounds on its own. nobody seems to push any buttons. he already shows an awareness of
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potential confusion about or misunderstanding of the historical record of this moment , as we see in the careful distinction he draws between shoulder arms and present arms, which he said would have an too much honor. this last qualification suggests that chamberlain knew very well what he was about. it implies a shrewd, canny recognition of limits not at all characteristic of some misty eyed romantic sentimentally sloshing his way into unqualified reconciliation with a defeated enemy. with version three delivered in 1893 and published in 1894 things get more complicated. now i'm on page six. you pick it up about halfway through with that big paragraph. "we cannot content ourselves with every standing in line and witnessing this crowning team, so instructions were sent to the
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several commanders that at the given signal, at the head of each division of the sooner and column they should in succession bring their men to attention and arms to the kerry, then resuming the ordered arms and the parade rest. as they came opposite our right our bugle sounds the signal and repeated along our lines. each organization comes to attention and thereupon picks it up. the narrative now includes a representation of the thought process behind the orders of the salute and a first-person pronoun has emerged to authorize that process. "we," a plural. but the pronoun is a plural one so it remains unclear who really is thinking this way -- chamberlain only, chamberlain with his fellow officers, which chamberlain mentions in this version of places across the stage, or as bartlett, the
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division commander, said something to chamberlain. chamberlain's use of the passive voice again, so instructions worse in. further obscured the top link of the chain in command. finally, a new detail emerges from the manual of arms. instead of coming to shoulder arms and sending in that position silently throughout the surrender, chamberlain soldiers, as he now represents them cycle through the sequence from order arms, which is musket busts resting on the ground, as they do at parade rest, to carry and back, so he is doing a sequence, or he has been doing a sequence. with version four, first published in the boston journal in april, 19 01, and subsequent, this is very important for civil war memories, subsequent pickup and circulated throughout the south by the southern historical society paper in 1904 chamberlain clearly positions himself as the originator of the salute.
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i'm now on page seven of the handout, about three or four inches down the page under chamberlain's thinking. at such a time and under such conditions i thought it eminently fitting to show some token of our feeling, and i therefore instructed my supporting officers to come to the position of salute in the manual of arms as each body of the confederates passed before us. not hard to see what's happening. in this iteration, the first-person singular has relieved the earlier "we" and the active voice has displaced the passive. meanwhile, the ambiguous catchall term "salute" lose the earlier specificity of shoulder arms, carry arms and quarter arms. most important, about the fourth version, is the role it plays in southern imaginations of the surrender. first, in john b gordon's reminiscences of the civil war
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published in 1903 and subsequently in freeman's, which splices this fourth version with the sixth and final one in chamberlain's passing of the army -- version four also presents one other striking development in the narrative of the salute and now i'm back on page seven, down at the bottom last full paragraph, and it can be well imagined too, that there was no lack of emotion on our side, but the union men were held steady in their lines without the least show of demonstration by word or by emotion. there was, though, a twitching of muscles of their faces, and be it said, their battle-bronzed cheeks were not altogether drive. our men felt the import of the occasion and realized how holy they would have been affected if defeat and surrender had been there a lot after such a fearful struggle. what the english romantic poet
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william wordsworth called the spontaneous overflow tends not to be a favorite topic of conversation and especially not among many military historians. clearly, the surrender at appomattox was emotionally or psychologically charged for the men gathered there, and clearly the solutions wrestle with the conveyance of powerful feelings or affect without feeling or sentimentality. chamberlain mentions his pity in version one. inversion two delivered to the audience in portland, maine, he represents the confederate soldier weeping and kissing confederate flags. in the emotions of the hour, they receive their fullest, most compelling treatment. chamberlain's own feelings of 80 for an identification with the
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confederates before him now combined with their tears and projected onto his own union soldiers. although some might cringe at the alliterative hyphenation of battle-bronzed cheeks, chamberlain's narrative here achieves something real as it not only anticipates ernest hemingway's strategies for depicting men trying to steady themselves under the influence of violent emotions produced by combat and war, it adds another layer to the salute offered to gordon. instead of an officer's effective method for preserving discipline and preempting the potential taunts of victoria's soldiers chamberlain's salute now becomes what it no doubt was for more than a few -- and manly, even heroic feat of unfaltering self-control under
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unusual and extraordinary emotional pressure. in version five published in 1903, chamberlain consolidates his role as originator of the salute. now i am on the page it is on. i'm on page eight. i'm on page eight, and i'm picking it up about halfway through that section. this was the last scene of such momentous history that i was in held to render some token of recognition, some honor also to manhood so high. instructions have been given, and when the head of each division column comes opposite our group, our bugle sounds the signal, and instantly, our whole line from right to left regiment by regiment in succession gives the soldiers salutation from order arms to carry, a marching
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salute. this version adds nothing new to the representation of the salute itself, although this is the one where the stray marilyn unit makes its appearance, but it does show chamberlain straining toward greater eloquence with phrases such as last scene of such momentous history and impelled to render some token of recognition, now strutting with a perfectly serviceable prose of version four formally did its work. finally with version six published posthumously, we get a new wrinkle. page eight down at the bottom. momentous meaning of this occasion impressed me deeply. my resolve to market i summed token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms. well aware of the responsibility
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assumed and of the criticisms that would wallow, as the sequel proved, nothing of that kind could move me in the least. here chamberlain has scaled back some of the straining eloquence of version five, but in its place, we have a feisty self-righteousness absent from the other versions. coming at the end of his life this defiant declaration sounds like the proud hindsight of an old warrior, who having received his share of words from both bullets and words, has tenaciously survived both. but in act, this bit of valedictory bravado seems to be little more than the old warrior's shadowboxing since there is no evidence that i have been able to find that there's anybody who criticized chamberlain's salute. some have questioned his facts yes, indeed, but nobody i have been able to find has condemned
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whatever gesture he made. in other words, by the time of his death, chamberlain's narrative of the salute showed him spoiling for a fight he never got. although it is pure conjecture to say so -- and i want to admit that -- although it is pure conjecture to say so, it may be that his readiness to take on anybody who condemned the salute was a strategy for distracting potential critics from some of the inconsistencies among his many narratives. if so, that strategy did not work in the case of many skeptics. many of whom continue to see the inconsistencies as self evidence that the whole thing is corrupt. the problem with this kind of skepticism, in my opinion, is that it risks oversimplifying the nature of memory and the nature of truth telling.
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it is not necessarily true that because one memory of an event comes later than another the later memory is less true than the earlier. if it were true, psychoanalysis would be out of business. the letter chamberlain wrote his sister the day after the surrender ceremony certainly had a raw immediacy that still makes a compelling but it's hurried dashed off quality may also reflect its inability to encompass all the details chamberlain might have recovered later when the eclipsing urgency of his immediate duties subsided. nor is it necessarily true that just because chamberlain may have embellished his accounts those accounts have no veracity about them. comparing the surrendering confederates to a procession of the dead or describing his own
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soldiers' cheeks as battle bronzed does not in itself negate the reliability of other claims he made. and finally -- and maybe most important -- it is not necessarily true that inconsistencies among his accounts negate the reliability of those claims either. this kind of imperfection or flaw in recollection actually may be a sign of authenticity rather than falsehood whereas exact from undue getting repetition of precisely the same details over 50 years could characterize the consistency of a liar. i have spoken to people who are professional interrogators. i am happy to say come on social
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terms. [laughter] dr. cushman: and they confirmed this. if somebody's story is always the same, watch out. watch out. then there is the whole matter of john b gordon's role in the story of the salute. if we say chamberlin made up the story, disregarding any claims of integrity, must we then say the same of gordon? a u.s. senator and governor of georgia? it is easy to be cynical especially where politicians are concerned. it would be easy, for example to explain chamberlain. and gordon not to be outdone ordered his monde -- men to
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attention also. during the postwar, the two men collaborated to spin out a reconciliation each for his own political reasons and i bent it. if we take a cynical line on a story of appomattox, we might be implied to see artifice in chamberlin's own success of represented of gordon. chamberlin began polishing his account of gordon's response to his salute and it reaches final form repeated in the passing of the armies. i am back on page eight in version five about seven or eight lines from the end. gordon at the head of the column writing with heavy spirit and
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downcast they catch is the sound of shifting arms, looks up, and takes the meaning, making with himself and his horse one uplifted figure as he dropped the point of his sword to his tell him facing to his own command gets word for his success in brigade to pass up us with the same position. on our part, not a sound of trumpet or role of drum. not a cheer word, whisper of emotion of man standing again at the order. and all the stillness rather and breath holding as if it were the passing of the dead. it had script precursor of this passage in the possession of the bowdoin college library shows very us -- shows alternatives.
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since the difference between sword point and the point of this sort of makes a difference only in prose rhythm, not meaning, we could argue that here is an instance of verbal polishing to characteristic up theatricality. the tendency to wrap lise little dramas in romantic imagery. i suspect not all of us would agree. most would expect the assertion that on her answering honor which in context describes gordon's response to chamberlain's salute has become the most famous and subsequently quoted face -- phrase to come out of this. when you do go to appomattox send me a postcard if somebody says on her answering honor.
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i bet my mailbox will be full. at this point, we can return to grand statement of yours stories, and belief. a war has produced many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true. with this statement, what i want to do is move toward our conclusion i considering three recent invocations of chamberlain's salute and they're very different context. i haven't resolved whether or not anything really happened. one questions come, don't ask that one. [laughter] dr. cushman: i have tried to show you how complicated it is. i'm interested in how are people writing about it and remembering it now. the first of my three appears in a 1996 book by gordon r sullivan and michael r harper entitled "hope is not a method: what
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business leaders can learn from americans army." it is categorized under the headings industrial management and strategical planning. you don't have this in front of you. when we think of what it means to value and respect people come our thoughts go to one of grants commanders, joshua chamberlain. as a tribute, grant selected chamberlin's division to formally accept the confederate surrender at appomattox, forming a line as they marched off the field. he quotes some of what you have seen. the conclusion is chamberlain and gordon -- two of americans at citizen soldiers understood the most basic truth: leadership always comes back to people.
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write that down. [laughter] dr. cushman: the second invocation appears in "to forgive is human>." it was published in 1997 and it is classified by the library of congress under forgiveness and interpersonal relations. they say "the next act of healing in this story was initiated by colonel joshua chamberlain had been a professor at the elegy and rhetoric fire to enlisting in the army. nearly 100,000 men passed by the courthouse. chamberlain led his men in a
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gesture of forgiveness to those who try to kill the previously. more seeks justice but chamberlain understood his enemies are human and deserve respect. offering a salute to the confederates, chamberlain communicated that although justice would be served, mercy would also be extended. that is forgiveness. in a third example, robert wick conjures up chamberlain in the second volume of his and but a spirituality for ministers published in 2000 and classified under clergy, religious life and past world theology. here is what he said. "at the end of the war chamberlain is chosen to be the officer in charge of the union troops receiving the surrender of the confederate soldiers. as the confederates marched past the ranks of union soldiers chamberlain orders the salute of respect for these men.
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confederate officers recognize the salute and order a similar salute back -- on her answering honor -- honor answering ho nor." he returns "is god in all this? god is the debt level of all human experience. industrial management, strategic planning forgiveness interpersonal relations clergy, religious life, past world the elegy. this list covers the spectrum from the commercial and pragmatic through the social and emotional and onto the spiritual and religious at the other end. the spectrum is a distinctly american one. chamberlain's relevance to any point on that spectrum or more precisely the widespread belief
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and its relevance testifies persuasively to the power of the story he developed over 50 years. what i find particularly remarkable is not downright moving about these buried uses of chamberlain is they appear in the work of people who do not necessarily know much about the civil war. consider the wildly exaggerated figure of nearly 100,000 men passing by appomattox courthouse. lee wished. [laughter] dr. cushman: people who don't know much about the civil war but recognize in a story from the civil war a paradigm or fable for complicated and difficult moments in contemporary civilian life. to make this claim, it is not to pretend for a moment that skeptics about the details of chamberlain's salute will or should be persuaded.
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should be persuaded to accept everything he has written as credulously as the nonspecialist writers making use of his story now. it is to make the claim that the gesture he made toward gordon and the confederate second core on the raw morning of april 12 1865, whatever that gesture may have been, announced to only one aspect of his achievements and legacy come a legacy developed during the late 19th century against the backdrop of reconstruction and its end against war with spain against very and degrees of reconciliation between the white population of the antagonistic section. as we see now, a second aspect of his legacy continues today and widely diverging context of american economic, social, and spiritual life. each with its own set of attitudes and concerns which show little or no awareness of
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or need for the uncertainties of that raw april morning. thank you. [applause] dr. cushman: i am told we have time for questions. if you would like to come up and ask any, i am happy to try to answer them. or i can sing. [laughter] yes, sir. >> hello. you mentioned that gordon wrote someone moore's -- wrote some memoirs. did he comment about what he perceived happen? dr. cushman: absolutely. he did indeed. it is more interesting than that -- his reminiscence has come out
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in 1903 and he definitely talks about what happened but the two men appeared in new york in 1894 on the same stage and gordon was giving an address and he says now i want to shake the hand of the man who offered as such an magnanimous gesture and introduces chamberlain. clearly, they had figured they have something here. they did it in a public performance and yes, absolutely. >> no other counts from any of the other participants? dr. cushman: what william marvel would argue is that -- his line is a hard one. all the accounts we have come from an chamberlain led the salute came from soldiers in chamberlain's own unit except it is not quite true.
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i did find one by a man named william h powell who wrote a history of the fifth corps and he was not in any unit commanded by chamberlain and he said chamberlain ordered the salute as well. thank you. >> john from chicago, illinois. what is the role -- you kind of started exploring this toward the end. what is the role of the myths or stories that may or may not be true for american history? as historians cringe when we hear this when we know it might not be factually correct. what role do these play? dr. cushman: thank you so much. that is the question i love. that is completely what i am involved in now. the question is what role do these myths -- let's call them
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fiction -- play in the work of serious historians. in my opinion, they play a huge amount. there is a few things to remember here. one is that -- it is just true -- it is not my fault. it is just true. the ancient greeks had a muse of history -- cleo. welcome if you have a -- well if you have a muse, it suggests this is coming from somewhere. it is inspired in someone. are you working with fact? we would but to say yes. i am going to confess freely that when it comes to empirical data, i am a positivist. i do believe things happen. i don't believe nothing happened except what is written about it. i am not that far gone. [laughter] dr. cushman: but, for civil war
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historians in particular, this is a very important thing because the amount of writing that we have from the war and the degree of literacy of the people who generated this writing is so large and so great that if we are going to try to recover the texture of what the war was like for them, we have to become better readers because they were so literate. they are steeped in the bible, in shakespeare in the classics. they are using all kinds of language that has been transmitted to them culturally for a long, long, long time. we want to say did it happen or did it not? we want to make it like a courtroom. even a lawyer -- especially a lawyer will tell you eyewitness
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testimony -- what is that? you get one, i get one. they don't agree. already things are shaping going around. i was once on jury duty and the judge strictly charged us not to talk to one another because he said as soon as you start to narrate, you start making judgments. as soon as you start to narrate, you start making judgments. there you go. as for fiction, that is something i feel very strongly about. all fiction means is manipulated. there is nobody -- all the people whose books you see back there.
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you has written a book back there whether or not he or she revised the second draft, third draft, soon as you start doing that, language creeps in. the other thing to say is we are born into a languid. we don't make the rules of english. we are born into the language and we have to use it and it governs us in ways we cannot always control. the myths -- when i hear on her answering honor or the one that i love is when john wall was talking about the meeting on the river queen. apparently, lincoln was supposed to have say "let them up easy." we have no documentation of that. i want to believe that, right? there is a way in which that shaped utterance enlarges my sense of what is going on. i would say embrace the myths.
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yes ma'am. >> and mechanical question. i'm curious to know how you found those disparate quotations of chamberlain. how do you do that? dr. cushman: bloodshot eyes. [laughter] dr. cushman: a lot of heat in the chair with a lot of words. no, i just read -- and is my research secret. i go into the library to the reference desk and i say "help." and they do. they lived for that. [laughter] dr. cushman: i just started finding where the papers are and got in touch with the librarian. the internet is huge. search engines will help you find where these things are, newspapers.
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as i think anybody out here who has written a book can confirm that is the hard work. there is the answer to the myth saying -- thing. i'd have to read all that stuff. i have to say we are inspired but it was just bloodshot eyes. >> maryland from vermont. i wonder if you would confirm something i think i have read. that chamberlain taught every subject with the exception of math and i would say that the change in the writing style has something to do with the fact he was such a well-rounded professor. dr. cushman: i have heard that. the great biography of chamberlain now -- in the most recent, she says that also. what a loser, he couldn't do
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math, too? [laughter] dr. cushman: he should have done that as well. but i think that is the thing that puts a lot of skeptics onguard is he taught rhetoric. well, for us, rhetoric is a word that has undergone the technical process of what is the worsening of the manning. apathy is like that also. rhetoric is crucial in every aspect of civic life. he clearly was a man who loved language, reveled in language.
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also as other accounts confirm, and impressive man of action. he was capable of doing all of these amazing things he did. >> their own roberts. i sense a little bit of skepticism. maybe i misinterpreted. of what chamberlain said when he described the events that occurred. especially for men in the military and have done some reenacting, there is a certain protocol they would have already
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been used to doing when they were information. so some of the actions you described later even though he does not describe it initially would have just kind of been the norm to the imposition that they originally were. it would have been not out of context to then go to order arms. to present arms, i get that. clearly, the salute he does would have been a personal thing. i got a sense there was some questioning of whether they would have done that. it wouldn't have been a crazy thought even though chamberlain said it later. one other thing to add. to give an example of the influence even places that might not anticipated, in greensboro
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north carolina, there is a baseball field. that was built. up on a wall above my believe the words that were presented when he says -- i messed up the quote. sorry about that. i have to be honest, my was shocked to see that quote in the context of the war and a baseball field and second, in a southern location. i did not know if you were aware but i thought that was interesting. i've -- dr. cushman: it confirms
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the sense that his legacy, achievement circulates widely. there are manuals of tactics and there are moves that the soldiers would make if you ordered them to attention. the other two surrenders dispensed with this kind of ceremony altogether. the ceremony aspect of this thing is being made up on the fly. we don't know -- again, grant
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does not mention it at all in his memoirs. he could have read about it. long street does not mention it at all. porter alexander does not mention it. we are not sure what kind of things are being assumed as normal and what kind of things are physically innovations that are happening at that moment spontaneously. i think skepticism is horribly not a bad position to adopt. that is just a greek word that means to judge. it is the kind of skepticism that assumes nobody could ever do anything from a motive -- i think chamberlain's story invites us to protest against it. yes, sir. >> in one of the accounts you read, it said that chamberlain's
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unit was selected for its bravery to specifically participate in the fair money. other accounts i have heard from other historians have said they happen to be the ones available. what did you find out about that? dr. cushman: chamberlain had nothing to do with ring a member of the fifth corps and have nothing to do with the fact the fifth corps was the last unit of the army. how lucky for him. there he is. the idea that he was selected for his bravery -- grant mentions chamberlain once in his memoirs and it is for his gallantry at white oak road during the petersburg evacuation. greta god have said i selected this guy for his bravery to do the ceremony but he does not say that step -- he does not say that. he might have said he was the right guy at the right time, made pay with the fact he was in
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this situation and carrying out the orders. that is it. thank you very much. [applause] >> american history tv is featuring c-span's original series first lady's influence and image on sunday nights. next, a liza johnson. >> he is a familiar face to the audience at cw. a long temperature bitter and as many of you know, a leading expert on the presidency of abraham lincoln. he is author and co-author of
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more than 50 titles related to the civil war. is that correct? 50. he is right at 50 right now. you can imagine, he is prolific. they will be a spike in his production because in july, he is retiring from his daytime job which is at the metropolitan museum of art and now you have all of this free time to be able to devote to scholarly endeavors . his books are wildly popular. his most recent book. we have a copy of it right on the stage. the most recent recipient of the lincoln prize. so, i am very pleased to introduce harold. [applause]
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>> thank you, peter. wow, what a great view of all of you. it is wonderful to be back at the cwi. peter calls me a regular visitor, so he has to make sure that that is the case. we love coming back to gettysburg and particularly seeing so many friends who we like to see often. and i am going to speak on -- on the press and lincoln. i entitled the top "lincoln and the press: the last full measure." but a little truth in advertising, i am not going to talk only about the end of the press' relation with lincoln's i want to offer some context to get to that point and i cannot resist doing local context when you are actually present in the most inspiring civil war venue in the united states.
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bear that in mind as i me and her here. 150 years ago, this month, the last tribute among the first wave of eulogies for lincoln -- and that is praised by the newspapers following his assassination and funeral -- finally begin to yield to the inevitable resumption of business as usual by the press highly partisan responses in this case to the first effort by democratic and republican military and civilian officials to define their visions of reunion and reconstruction. but for the months leading up to, say, july 1865, opposition editors who had long describes the late president -- described the late president as a tyrant had been likening him not to a caesar, but to a saint.
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it was the last full measure of a once very partisan press response to abraham lincoln. the last full measure and also the first draft of lincoln biography and civil war history. take the "new york daily news," not the same as the current daily news. harassed by the lincoln administration only four years earlier, its editors threatened, it had been expressing profound emotions in common with grieved and horror stricken people. the new york world shut down by presidential order in 1864 now gravely reported every heart must suffer the terrible shock and swell with overburdening grief at the calamity which has been permitted to befall us. i always like their language. he speaks so beautifully about the language of civil war writing. it would be terrible if the
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world admitted to creating the actions that inspired the assassination. it is a calamity that has been permitted by you know who to be followed. anyway, tribute have been even more -- of an even more effusive nature came from the pages of republican papers. and so began what we call the first draft of history. but all press, like all politics, is inevitably local and, as i said, we want to go back to some reputation building moments that have their roots here in gettysburg. newsworthy events to say the least. historic events that occur right here. how the press covered them, or in some cases, did not cover them. and how legends were forged i missed the gloryamidst the glory -- admist the glory earned in this historic time.
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keep in mind as i give you these examples that we are talking about a partisan press culture. democratic papers and republican papers who interpret politics and even military actions quite differently. not only that, we have to tensions -- two tensions operating at the same time. one is the overarching fear that the government will crack down as newspaper editors walk the thin line between dissent and what the administration and the military regards as treason. part of that is not just political. there is also a fine line, says the administration, between scoops -- is that still a word in the internet age? yes? a scoop is when a reporter has the first story, the first report on a story.
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so what is the difference between a scoop and giving aid and comfort to the enemy with a report that shouldn't be published? that is not a modern expression -- age -- aiden comfort to the enemy. -- aud and -- aid and comfort to the enemy. i want to go back to 1863 to begin not with lincoln and the press, but with joe hooker and to the press. he might have easily been the commander of the army of the potomac at gettysburg. the press liked general hooker. he was charismatic, he was newsworthy, he talked to the press, he drank with the press. it didn't get -- i mean -- things got a little different. except to say he was a terrible commander. hooker, of course, immediately worried that he had been to chumming with the press -- too
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chumming with the press. an interesting report i found that hooker went awol after chancellorsville and snuck into washington for one have his infamous evenings of revelry whether the word hooker was actually created after general hooker, no one is sure. but he was in washington reportedly without permission of the war department and he wrote a letter to lincoln saying don't believe what you read in the press about me. he is perfectly happy to have lincoln believe how terrific u.s., but not now. and lincoln wrote back -- i'm sorry, poker rights to lincoln don't believe anymore than what you choose of what is in the associated press dispatches concerning me tomorrow. this is june 26, 1823. think how close it is to what happened here a week later. lincoln replied the next day, in a wonderful letter, he says,
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don't think about the negative reports. i heard about you. they did not come from the newspapers in any case. [laughter] i like that. of course the president no longer believes in hooker because he replaces him. meanwhile, keep in mind that only -- lee is chiding his course. by reading the guide to troop movements. it is true, the same day as hooker is worrying about lincoln , june 26, the editor of a federal grand jury in washington brought charges against william harding, the editor of the "philadelphia inquirer." for treason, for printing information, and i quote
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concerning the army movement to the aiden comfort of those -- aid and comfort of those engaged in rebellion against the united states. reputation changing reports fear that lee is reading the "philadelphia inquirer," based on where reports of poker is. of course, now, we have general mead on the scene. mead fending off lee here at gettysburg. and mead might have become the great hero of the civil war. indeed even a great hero of the civil war. but to the press, he was a villain. one of those generals who hated journalists, and there were plenty of them, and who inspired the same reaction in response. sherman is another story, but sherman, as i always say, is too
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big to fail. mead is not too big to fail. mead is angry about press coverage always. he expels a "new york times" reporter because he criticized mead after gettysburg. mead's reaction is based on not to lincoln's famous unsent letter, you have prolonged the war, you should have gone after lee. we all know, i think, that lincoln wrote this agonizing letter to mead about what a terrible blunder he had made about not being more aggressive after gettysburg into pursuing lee into virginia. and we know he pocketed it, a
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great example of his severance and lack of ego and his brilliant management style. get everything off your chest, but don't humiliate people. may be all true, but some people have inferred from that that no one criticized mead until later for not pursuing lee. the press was all over him. lee -- said that lee's escape is the greatest blunder of the war. and that was saying a lot in july 1863 for the union side. mead is unpopular and his unpopularity dates back to when -- when he had written a cold -- ridiculed one correspondent. he can cut it to his wife that you're sure you would not get any credit for any of the battles he was fighting. later, mead not realizing he is cutting off his nose, he orders the arrest of a new york tribune reporter named william kent for filing stories, quotes, full of malicious falsehoods. he would have arrested thomas cook of the new york herald are roads that lincoln plan to relieve mead, but cook left cap just ahead of his paper. there -- all of the papers were prounion papers. pro-administration papers.
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of course, whatever mead's version to the press and they to him, gettysburg produced a flood of celebratory press coverage in the north. the "new york times" immediately called it the most abundant triumph of the war. it is interesting, southern accounts of what was going on july 1 through fourth 1863 were quite different. one paper as close as richmond reported that the confederate army had routed the union and taking 40,000 union prisoners. branching northern reports of mead's victory a yankee lie. a vicksburg paper printed on wallpaper, no less, published one day shy of playing time --
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town in the wake of the occupation by ulysses s grant erroneously declared, today, maryland is ours. tomorrow, pennsylvania will be. and the next day, ohio. but in at least one instance the battle inspired pure poetry. samuel wilkinson of the "new york times" -- knowing that his own son was serving here, he arrived in gettysburg on the evening of july 1. only to learn that his boy had been struck by an artillery shell and mortars in a field hospital when union forces retreated. young wilkinson died that first night. who can read the history of a battle whose eyes are a movably fastened upon the central figure of transcendentally absorbing interest, wilkinson wrote in a
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very brave story published a few days later. stephen talked about rewriting and enriching language. for better or for worse. this is wilkinson's first draft of what had happened. absorbing interest, the dead body of an oldest born crushed by a shell in a position where batteries should never have been sent and abandoned to death at a building where they dare not stray. and then elevating journalism almost to scripture, he added, my pen is heavy. oh, you dead who at gettysburg have baptized with your blood the second birth of freedom in america. how you are envied. did lincoln himself read those words? no one knows, but they certainly won enough acclaim to compel his attention even during this time where he sort of ended a lifetime of reading newspapers almost obsessively.
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he just didn't have the time even to read news summaries. but if you did read the story, that one phrase may have inspired him because with his own new birth of freedom declaration, obviously, he would eventually consecrate all of the suffering and all of the casualties here at gettysburg. back to mead for a moment. in the midst of the triumphs that follows life, he learns a little from his experiences with the press here and elsewhere. a full year after gettysburg, he punished a philadelphia journalist named edward cropsey for supposedly libelous statements. in other words, writing something critical about george g mead. before banishing him from cap, which was sort of his right, mead forced him to march their camp, carrying a sign reading
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liebler of the press. -- libeler of the press. mead boasts in a letter to his wife that the sentence, as he puts it, was carried out to the delight of the or me -- of the whole army. journalists reacted by ignoring mead and their subsequent dispatches, except to report his failures. although, he continues technically to command the army of the potomac for the duration, journalists began treating him as if you no longer existed. later, the first generation of wartime memoirs, many compiled by former war correspondent, did likewise. unlike sherman, again, too big to be ignored, mead's hostility contributed to a future in
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visibility, at least in the rank he may have thought he deserved and maybe dead. after 1863, the reporters who had been or became his victims wrote him out of the civil war. his troops may have been baptized in blood, their general was buried in ink, or at least the absence of ink. in some ways, however, and i'm going to skip ahead a few months, the other union leader who made his mark here at gettysburg was a suspicious -- as suspicious of the press as mead, though nether -- never as clumsy in dealing with them. and i am speaking of abraham lincoln. -- working closely with republican newspapers, working in their headquarters, using their headquarters as his, plotting strategy with newspaper editors, etc.
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of course, he mastered this not just by befriending reporters, and that was a big part of it. he visited reporters everywhere he went. and annoyed at first, they always inevitably were charmed by him and his knowledge of local politics. i saw it again and again in reading the memoirs of the most obscure editors in illinois, for example. but there was something more which was not just his charm. it was the fact that if you link your star or whatever the expression is to a rising politician, you don't expect just to say after election day i'm so proud that i helped this fellow i will tell my children and grandchildren about my -- my good intentions. you expect reward and newspaper editors got rewards. they got advertising contracts. they got printing contracts.
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if the leaders they supported became successful. most of all, they got patronage jobs. and lincoln had lots of reporters and editors on the federal payroll, both civilian and military, during the civil war. there was a joke that was rooted about in the early days that the new york tribune would not be able to publish anymore daily additions because so many editors have been named to diplomatic posts. so there was a lot of patriotism. again, also, suppression. the newspapers who disagreed with lincoln were subject to very close scrutiny once the war started. in one case i always talk about, and it starts in the border states, of course, which lincoln cannot afford to have secede and he thinks newspaper editorials supporting secession are dangerous and are to be suppressed. one of the victims of that policy early in the conflict even before -- or right after
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sumter is an editor named francis key howard, editor of a baltimore paper, a democratic paper. he is arrested and sent, ironically enough, to prison in fort mchenry. some of you are laughing because you get it. francis key howard's grandfather had seen the star-spangled banner waving at fort mchenry 50 years earlier. and, of course, written the national anthem. that was not the case in 1861. after the battle of bull run and i think kind of the shame that some of the volunteers felt as they were returning after their first enlistment, there was a huge, dozens more, cases of suppression and censorship confiscation of printing presses, banning of newspapers the detaining of editors and mob
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attacks that were tolerated or even participated in by the army. but this vast outbreak was not restricted to the early days of the war. as close to the battle of gettysburg as january 1963, a union general i read it -- arrested the editor of the philadelphia evening journal unleashing an uproar in the pennsylvania legislature about the efficacy -- efficacy of military control where the civil courts were in operation. huge conflicts that lincoln were not very -- was not very happy about. and to keep this. it's -- to keep this period in context, in 1863 following the arrest, trial, and conviction on new former or how democratic
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congressman -- , union general burnside, who was equally popular with the press, ordered the shutdown of the democratic chicago times for criticizing the arrest and the banishment to the confederacy. a will that was quite a moment for lincoln because, oh, you must have at least take a few moments of pleasure. the chicago times had been criticizing him for almost 10 years. he must have loved the idea of the editor being detained just a little bit. and the newspaper shut down for a few days, but ultimately he reversed the order. he never said it was improper to interfere with the press. he said to the chicago times, i can only say i was embarrassed with the question between what was due to military service on the one hand and the liberty of the press on the other. sort of a tortured double
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negative that betrays the delicate balancing act that haunted him. the and he admitted, i am far from certain today that the revocation was not right. that is a double negative. far from certain that the revocation, which is a negative, was not right. in other words, maybe he should have let the chicago times stay shut down. lincoln also found a way to deal with the press by bypassing the press, and that is crafting these series of special messages or letters. we call them public letters. that did not require him to give speeches because in this period, presidents did not give public speeches except for their inaugural adjusts. -- addresses. lincoln issues -- publishes letters so that the people can directly read his thoughts. comments to be made by editors later.
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so this is lincoln's mastery of the press. of course, he had -- though he had used the public letter format to prepare the country for the emancipation proclamation, no public oratory connected directly with that most important act of his administration or, as he put it, the most important act of the 19th century, there is the one invitation he cannot resist, gettysburg. and he thought about his ideas even before he got the invitation. how long ago is it, he said, from the white house after the victory. 80 odd years since on the fourth
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of july for the first time in the history of the world, a nation by its representatives assembled and declared as a self-evident truth that all men are created equal. the following morning, those ramblings impromptu words appeared in the press and lincoln may have been embarrassed when he read them. not his finest moment. but the thought behind them seemed perfect. and he will resolved -- he resolved to express it more when he got an opportunity to do so. and that opportunity was here, and of course it came out with a great exordium, four score and seven years ago, etc. for his closing, maybe he remembered samuel wilkinson's obituary to his fallen son. the second birth of freedom in america. the nation would now be dedicated to a new birth of freedom. he has written about this in his book on the gettysburg address.
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lincoln had not lost at his prodigious memory for press reports nor his abundant gift for rewriting. that is the whole of the story. not only a great writer, but a great rewriter. a few days before his trip, he had soft to the photographer alexander gardner's washington gallery to have some pictures made. more on that later today in this conference, but during the session, which is amazing to me because he always seems to have his photograph taken around the time of important moment in his life, oratory moments. cooper union, the first inaugural, gettysburg, the second inaugural. noah brooks, a correspondent, is there at the scene. have you written your remarks yet? yes, but not yet finished. his draft was brief, or as he expressed it to brooks, short, short, short.
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for those of you who have heard james mcpherson speak last night about lincoln's advice to law students, work, work, work lincoln liked these triplets. of the people, by the people for the people. so he embarks from gettysburg the day before the ceremony. not alone. among the passengers are his secretary, who double as press secretaries. and the core of supportive reporters prepared to pick up the slack if positive coverage falters. lincoln goes, as we know, to the home of david wells on the town diamond. but his two secretaries did not rest or even work with him.
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they go over to hang out with a man named john, one of the favorite characters i wrote about in my book. the editor of two newspapers. the philadelphia press and a pro-lincoln paper into a daily during the war, the washington chronicle. he looked a lot like bill murray. i am almost sorry i didn't have a slide of him. picture bill murray. he was drinking a lot. that evening. and was feeling a little ugly and dangerous, he writes particularly on the subject -- he wants them out of the cabinet. so they go over and -- and instigate him to get his own gettysburg address. the street. this figure who is not considered a guy of great humor is the one who eggs him on. the prankster of the two is horrified because they are -- there are journalists all around.
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if i speak, i was speak my mind, he says. so he actually gets a reporter to take notes and gets a brass band to play in his honor first. lincoln is now, the next morning, at gettysburg, at the cemetery. i do not know if john wayne ever sobered up enough to get to the cemetery. he'll want to see it before you
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get sober. they ran it anyway. they ran some of it. you have to be very careful when you are talking in front of the brass. meanwhile, he is rewriting. the editor who the employee of four news -- the employee was named john russell young. lincoln is now the next morning at the cemetery. i do not know if john wayne ever sobered up enough to get to the cemetery. there is no proof that he was on the stage. he might have had the most colossal hangover, and having been a veteran, i know you have to do a lot of drinking to set the record. john russell young, who told someone to be quiet and told the press to not write about it, turned to lincoln.
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and this is astonishing. imagine, the people who stand in back of obama during speeches. lincoln stops the speech pauses, and john russell young said, is that all? and lincoln glances at him and says yes, for the present. meanwhile, his friend is on the stand, but the most important person on hand is a young man named joseph gilbert. if every young harrisburg-based reporter who had been hired i the associated press to cover the gettysburg address.
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he was a stenographer. he later claimed he had become so fascinated by lincoln that he consciously stopped taking notes just as lincoln glanced up from his manuscript. he lived almost as long as chamberlain and talks about his experiences well into the 70's. glanced up as if appealing from a few thousand below him to the million whom his words were to reach. he needed to see if his copy was in order. one of the interesting secrets of the gettysburg transcript is that gilbert showed his copy to lincoln, and lincoln presumably does some work on it but at least he lets gilbert look at his manuscript. albert constructs the first draft of -- gilbert constructs the first draft of history.
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complete with mistakes, by the way. but lincoln approved it. the most remarkable thing -- unfinished work came out as refinished work. an editorial commentary was written a couple years ago to mark the publication of the anniversary of the address. had it not been for joseph gilbert, the biggest story of lincoln's presidency in terms of oratory might have been missed entirely. we talk a lot at this conference about contingency.
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here is the contingency of an ap reporter getting the help of president lincoln after a two minute speech. as it was, the immediate coverage was not strong. it was not the greatest speech ever delivered. the clever old veteran, well past his prime lincoln once joked that he didn't remember anymore why everett was famous. he still was clever enough to plan things terry well. -- very well. he arranged for the pre-printing of his two hour long oration,
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distributed it to editors around the country, they preset it in type, so on november 20 everett's speech covered nearly the entire first page with abraham lincoln's brief address relegated to the right-hand corner. there were a lot of difficulties in trying to cover the war for reporters. censorship from civilians and administration that made it difficult. contingency did not work on april 4, 1865 when lincoln entered richmond. imagine a president of the united states today making a visit to a war zone which but president obama and president
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bush did from time to time in the middle east. lincoln's visit to richmond on april 4 was ventured with only his son at his side. and the few guards who were with them. there was a small not of journalists in richmond, but they were not expecting abraham lincoln any more than the african-americans who crowded around him joyfully as the generals reported. i have always thought that the journalists who happen to be at the were front -- waterfront -- war front had something to do with that reception. i have always wondered, how did african-americans, enslaved people, know what abraham
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lincoln looked like. if a president arises no fanfare, how did they know? because a reporter probably said, that father abraham. whatever the reason, dozens, hydrants -- hundreds of african-americans, essentially freed his presence, swarm around him joyfully. one elderly man fell upon his knees and kissed his feet prompting lincoln to plead " don't kneel to me, that is not right. q neil only to god and thank him for the liberty -- you neil only to god and thank him for the liberty." the journalists caught up to
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some degree. the new york herald reporter on the scene inexplicably focused not on the riverfront procession because he missed it, but on the president's subsequent visit to jefferson daviss mansion. he wrote about how lincoln kept swiveling in jefferson davis' ch air and ran his fingers through his hair frequently. the new york tribune could not help commenting not on the perception by african-americans but to say the following, "it is not known whether the occasion reminded mr. lincoln of a funny story, but it is to be presumed that it did." once again, a new york journalist i believe did one of
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the biggest stories of the civil war. he missed the gettysburg address . they missed lincoln's arrival in richmond. fortunately, thomas modest chester, and african-american correspondent working on a story about slave pens, wrote that a woman exclaimed to lincoln that she knew she was free because she saw father abraham. historians want to believe press reports. this is a beautiful one. an old negro removing his hat with tears of joy rolling down his chin. the president removed his hat and bowed in silence.
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this looked like the chamberlain scene, a very quiet moment of mutual respect. that upset the forms, laws, and customs of centuries. maybe as important in the story of reconciliation as chamberlain and gordon. back in washington, the ap's bureau chief had a tougher with lincoln -- a tussle with lincoln over getting a story early. reports about lincoln are beginning to change. i had never seen him so quietly happy as he complacently surveyed what was before him. it seemed his tall form had
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received an additional foot of stature. he reported having filed as i thought my last dispatch. shortly after 10:00, he heard the sound of footsteps on the stairs leading to his office and then a loud pounding on his door. suddenly, a breathless person pulled the door open. it was a friend of his. it said i was just sitting in for's theater watching a play. the actor wilkes booth shot at him and the doctors are attending him. goal bright -- fulbright knows him and knows he is telling the
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truth. he sends out probably the most famous dispatch of the entire civil war. utterly harrowing in its simplicity. the president was shot in a theater tonight and is perhaps mortally wounded. within hours, this appears in extra additions of newspapers. golbright then races to the scene with his friend. he gets to the presidential box. the gas had for the greater part been turned off but they saw blood. he went down on his hands and knees and felt around. he feels a handle and grabs it.
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he lives that the dagger that john wilkes booth only an hour before had plunged into major rathbone. he walks down stairs holding aloft and it is taken from him for evidence. he tries to get into the petersen house and is told he can't come in. then he goes back to his office on 14th street and writes a full account. though my fingers were nervous and trembling, he says he had a job to do and he did it. lincoln's body was carried back to the white house. the three major newspapers of new york that had covered him over the four years in distinctly different ways the
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new york herald, the new york tribune, the slavery paper, and the new york times. they had disagreed about just about everything. they had interpreted the war differently. now they produced sick black headlines without consulting each other. remarkably, they echoed not only the nation's brief but each other. our loss, the great national calamity. the great calamity, the nation's loss. our great loss, the national calamity. lincoln had died with a wallet full of interesting objects that people wrote about for years. this included a bunch of very
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carefully clipped newspaper cuttings. i have seen a lot of articles that lincoln clipped over the years to read. he was very careful about it. here were newspaper clippings that i think he cut out and retained. they were all praiseworthy editorials about him. he like to keep his good press on hand in case anybody ask what was new in the press. a clipping of a wonderful speech by henry ward each other -- beecher. that speech helped introduce him to cooper union years earlier. "lincoln may well be another jackson. having suffered for
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four years, he is now entitled to years of peace. " how do we take the last full measure of the press reports on abraham lincoln? i think we take it with a proverbial and historical grain of salt. the articles are written under the filter of artisan politics. a lot of it is inhibited either fear that a scoop might be interpreted as aid and comfort to the enemy. i love the fact that, after the assassination, the three rival new york dailies spoke with one voice. they finally found something they could agree about. you can be absolutely sure amidst the rivalry that had
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existed for so long, within a week of the funeral they exuberantly returned to the long-held practice. thank you. [applause] we have time for some questions. hi. we told him mike is on. -- wait till the mic is on. here comes someone to help. >> sherman was infamous with his hatred of the press. was that an example of certain
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papers are certain reporters that sherman allowed in camp? mr. holzer: i was hoping you would ask for a great anecdote about his heart hand against journalists. he had this wonderful quote after he was prevented by lincoln who conveyed his order through general grant from proceeding with a court-martial for traveling with his army. sherman was infuriated that the court-martial proceedings ended. he testified in the case twice before it was suspended. he wrote, come to the army
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bearing a musket and you will be accepted. come with just your hands and you will be treated for the cowards that you are. my friend john said years ago he never met a journalist he didn't hate. he had no camp journalist. he emerges from the civil war unpopular in the senate. but pretty revered in the north. member, the press in 1861 declared he had gone temporarily insane. that story hurt him deeply, not only personally, but he believed it would cripple him professionally. he never forgive the press. my favorite sherman press story
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-- sherman happens to be at a railroad station as the train pulls in. i think it's in ohio. and a journalist gets out who knows sherman and says i'm here to cover the war and i hope i can speak to you during this period. sherman takes out his pocket watch and says it is now 10 of 3:00. >> recently in hanover, i uncovered this story of the only female journalist who covered the gettysburg address. allegedly, she was one of the few who was praising it. can you confirm that there weren't very many pro-lincoln journalists present at the
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gettysburg address? the republican papers praised it varied but apparently -- praised it. mr. holzer: john russell young was here, the ap was here. the ap is reasonably loyal. young might have been rude but he was pro-lincoln. it almost doesn't matter. the reputation of the speech is built not on the crowd reaction which was disputed and is still disputed, lincoln knows it is about the reprint, it is about the editorial. that is why he worked so
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diligently to make sure that the text is accurate enough to be representative of what he said. the editorials pour forth and they are all partisan in nature. democratic papers pointed out that he was an embarrassment. it all depends on what party position you are writing from. lincoln brings some journalists here, but what matters is the reprints. >> i thought it was interesting there was a female journalist. mr. holzer: i will have to look into that. >> i was wondering if you found
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in your research anyway that lincoln perhaps altered coverage in the press during the election. mr. holzer: press crackdowns occurred throughout the war. i found evidence of one that took place in january 1865 when you think he would have just cooled it already. presbyterian newspapers shut down. kentucky missouri, one of the western border states. someone writes an impassioned letter to lincoln saying please reopen. lincoln ignores the letters just as he had in 1861. then the person denounces him as a tyrant. the question is a good one because i found press suppression, which is a
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continuing thing during the war, stop in two key periods during the war. in the 1862 congressional campaign and again during the presidential campaign, lincoln and the administration do not put forth the kind of censorship that they enforce at times when there were no campaigns. it is almost as if lincoln believed that the political process is so sacred. he said if we didn't have this election during the war, the rebels could argue that they had already defeated us. he shuts down the new york world earlier in 1864 after he gets the nomination. the world goes after him with a vengeance. the issue political cartoons that he is creating a biracial society.
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heaven for bid. -- heaven forbid. they said he came to antietam and requested a comic song walking along the dead and wounded. he doesn't shut them down. in 19 six -- in 1864, freedom of the press rains -- reigns. >> do we know if lincoln followed the abolitionist press? was there any sort of fear of their criticism of him early on?
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mr. holzer: i think he did follow the abolitionist press to some degree. no one knows whether he read frederick douglass' paper. if abraham lincoln had been caught reading an african-american paper would have been akin to a modern politician reading pornography and getting caught. [laughter] i'm not sure he read frederick douglass' papers. he talks about how right makes might. lincoln later repeats that. i know he read garrison to some degree because he jokes with garrison when he finally meets him about his publication and
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about the terrorism that had been leveled against his paper when he opened it. we know he read the new york independent, the weekly newspaper that was considered an abolitionist paper. you don't talk about what is considered the extremist press because to talk about it in the mainstream world was to give it a position in mainstream politics that was not acceptable. it's a calm located issue. -- it's a complicated issue. i didn't see you, i'm sorry. >> could you comment as to
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sickles in the papers after the gettysburg address where he said he was going to say who the real hero was? mr. holzer: i don't mean to be dismissive, but no. >> why were the critics of lincoln -- why did the critics of lincoln have such a quick turnaround after his death? mr. holzer: his was the first assassination so there was a fear that you have to be on the page when such a calamitous occurrence takes place. it is unprecedented. the readers are grieving. there are plenty of southern
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newspapers that aren't quite as friendly about the passing of lincoln, and there are some liberal republican papers that editorialize a few days after the grieving. , maybe he was too forgiving -- after the grieving period that maybe he was too forgiving. so much for the genius of the press. thank you. [applause] >> american history tv was live today from gettysburg college in pennsylvania for a conference on the end of the civil war and its aftermath. next, more of our coverage from the symposium. gettysburg college civil war institute organized this event. >> good afternoon. imp carmichael -- i am pete
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carmichael. it is my pleasure to introduce jim dowds. he has been on the faculty since 2006. he earned his phd at columbia university. he also worked with barb fields. his research is about the history of race and medicine in 19th-century america. his book considers the previously untold story of the devastating consequences of emancipation and how, for many, newfound freedom also brought confrontations with sickness disease, and health.
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i should add that jim is going back to school next fall. he just got a fellowship to go to harvard university. this is a new directions fellow. it's fantastic. help me welcome jim dowds. jim: thank you so much for having me here. i am excited for the opportunity to participate in this institute and talk about the medical consequences of emancipation during the civil war and reconstruction. as a way to begin my talk, i am going to have three major things that i want to focus on. the first is the politics of disease. the second is how we can think about doing the history of
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medicine as a detective story. the third is uncovering the lost unknown history of smallpox epidemics that began in washington dc in 1862 and culminated in the south in 1865. in order to begin this talk, i want to lay the framework for the intersection of race and disease and talk about the ways in which 19th-century americans understood the relationship tween race and disease before the civil war started. in the antebellum era, slavery thinkers believed that there was a relationship between medicine and race. to that end, they also -- they often argued that if slaves ran away from slavery, they were mentally ill. they also argued that slaves
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were unable to take care of themselves. part of their opposition to the argument for the emancipation of slaves was that slaves were better off under the tutelage of others. if they were independent, they would grow sick and dependent and would go extinct. on this level from the vantage point of the proslavery south there was definitely some thinking about how people conceptualized race and medicine. if we turn to the north and we look at how abolitionists felt, at that particular time, they understood a certain relationship between race and medicine as well. they did not necessarily believe that black people were unfit.
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they pointed to the conditions of slavery that in many ways caused people to become sick. it is important to understand this context for when the war starts. when the were actually begins in 1861, disease explodes. we know this from many civil war historians. people have been talking about this for many years. there were cap diseases like ammonia, dysentery, small amounts of smallpox breaking out among the troops. some have argued that over 600,000 people -- of all the people who died during the civil war, more died from illness than from battle. the statistic was recently updated with a very important yet controversial article in the new york times a couple years
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ago where a story and did work that proved that the death toll was higher. in all of these counts of the death toll, what we are seeing is illness not from the battlefield, but from the camp's . when emancipation first unfolds free slaves enter into an environment that is devastated with illness and sickness. instead of responding to this sort of illness and sickness that is happening among free slaves, it is eventually -- it eventually makes its way into this politically charged contest during the antebellum period mainly that people are seeing black people becoming sick during the war as either a result of the fact that they are unable to handle the challenges of emancipation or from the abolitionist perspective, that they are suffering from
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deprivation. historians have also struggled with this. in the early part of the 20th century, historian struggled with how to talk about this question of illness during the civil war among black people read as some of you might know, one of the first chroniclers of the civil war and reconstruction saw these episodes of sickness in the historical record and proslavery thinkers began to blame the high rate of illness among free slaves that they were feckless and unable to handle the challenge of emancipation.
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that idea of seeing sickness in the records, in the archives, as a result of either a biased medical system or bias logic or both, in many ways clouded how historians understood the question of illness during this. -- during this period among recently free people. inspired by the civil rights movement, black reconstruction, a brand-new group of historians came along and wanted to investigate the question about the reconstruction. they didn't believe in this argument that black people were lazy. they didn't believe that they were feckless. they didn't believe the argument that they were incompetent.
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instead, they put forward a portrayal of freed people as robust political actors. invincible. able to take on the challenges of emancipation. when they saw comments, remarks details in the archival records about the health conditions of freed slaves, they dismissed it. they dismissed it because they believed that in many ways it was a consequence of the first chronicles of that time period. the image that we get a free people in 1865 is of healthy
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robust, independent, herculean almost able-bodied people, willing to take on the challenges of emancipation. what we have forgotten is the extent to which the war created a biological crisis. a crisis that left many white soldiers in the north and the south sick, and a war that created a massive biological crisis for newly freed people. given this context, the new question is, how can we find evidence of what actually happened during this period? how can we actually begin to unearth archival evidence that has not been compromised by either proslavery thoughts or
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even abolitionist thought? that's the reason why i will lead you to the second part of the talk and explain why i think doing this history of medicine during the reconstruction follows the steps a detective would take in order to find out information about this period. i'm going to turn back to the antebellum period. this is a circuitous way of getting at this. harriet jacobs was born in slavery in north carolina long before the war. she publishes this riveting story of what it meant to escape from slavery and then live in her grandmother's attic for a number of years in order to be close to her children, pretending she had run away. she eventually leaves the south and makes it to the north. while she is in the north, she
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comes into contact with many abolitionists. they are abolitionists might be women's activists that come out of rochester. they encouraged her to publish her own autobiography. they know frederick douglass has sold his biography and it has advanced the abolitionist movement. they want a woman's story. she publishes it and lydia marie childs writes the editorial note and preface to the book. the book is widely circulated. it is part of the abolitionist network, it is read in northern reform circles. after the war, it falls by the wayside. by the 1880's and 1890's, people begin to doubt if harriet jacobs ever wrote this book. you can get this book anywhere today. it is so beautiful.
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the writing style is excellent. the word choice is really impressive. it's because of this, because she doesn't speak in what many people consider to be a black vernacular, they say this is a modern day rachel dolezal. this is a white woman who wrote pretending she was black. there is no way that harriet jacobs wrote this. it was completely dismissed among white audiences. however, among black circles historically that colleges and universities, it continued to be circulated. it is not until 1980 that a literary scholar by the name of
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jean fagan yellen was reading through the black newspapers and she began piecing together this information. she reads about a woman named harriet jake -- linda brent. harriet jacobs published under the pseudonym. she was piecing together the story of how harriet jacobs during the civil war and after was working in contraband camps which were these shelters, refugee camps that grew up adjacent to union camps where
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free slaves migrated to once they were emancipated. they were living in these contraband camps. they had very little to eat poor shelter, and suffered from malnutrition. reformers, having this idea that slavery wouldn't lead to full citizenship, sent women from the north to go into the south and establish schools for these people. once they got there, they realized they were suffering from a high rate of sickness and disease. the same diseases and illnesses that plagued the adjacent union camps were plaguing the free peoples camps. jacobs was sent to these camps in order to establish a school which she eventually did. but before she could do that, she had to first respond to the health conditions of the free slaves.
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in these letters, she writes about their condition. she writes about their suffering. she writes about the epidemics that went through this community. how does this connect to the health conditions of free people? how is this a question about how the issue of medicine is a detective story? when i came to graduate school, i was fascinated with harriet jacobs, the story that proved that she actually wrote her own diary, riveted by the story. i started to work with jean fagan yellen. reading through the accounts in
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alexandria in 1863, i began to uncover numerous details about the sick and unhealthy conditions of free slaves during that period. when i brought this to my advisor and my academic team they said no. that is just proslavery thought. ignore it. when i tried to contextualize it within the historiography, people said what are you doing? proving that black people are unable to handle the challenges of freedom? and then when i placed it within the new context of civil rights, we can't talk about the new problems of health because it could dismantle this notion of free people being robust lyrical agents. -- robust political agents.
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for decades, people believed that harriet was a liar. that she was fake. that she was inauthentic. but she was writing about the health conditions of free people, and she was explaining various problems and struggles they encountered, and using her as my means to open up the archives -- archives in completely new and exciting ways. the contraband camps are essentially these areas set up adjacent to union camp's. this is a better illustration. in many ways, they had tents
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they had some form of shelter some former resources. what happens is congregated in these camps exacerbates and accelerates the spread of disease. in the mid-19th century physicians have not yet reached the conclusion that will come with microbiology and with bacteriology. it took a long way to understand germ theory. they don't understand that an environment like this you could spread disease very quickly. in the 19th century, people believed you were sick because of your social status or because of a moral issue. perhaps you are a sinner. you were sick because you were shielding out the light of the creator. the reality of it is that they
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hadn't yet figured out how overcrowding, lack of ventilation, and other issues lead to the spread of disease. as a result, disease could spread a lot in these camps. these images are actually a lot better than some of the desolate conditions in which freed slaves encountered immediately in 1865. i'm going to give you an example that i give my students. i think it is helpful to understand germ theory. we may understand it as a concept. at the university of pennsylvania, i remember my professor telling me that before the civil war, in dormitories there was one toothbrush per floor.
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why? why do you cringe? you cringe because you have a concept of germs. you understand the possibility of an invisible bacteria even though you can't see it manifesting itself on the toothbrush. similarly, we have to realize the perspective of 19th century americans. they don't see how sickness can spread. instead, they look at this image and they see black people. they see black people living in poverty and then they fall back on the claim that people fell back on in the 18th and 17th century that it is something about being black, something about race that explains illness. in order for you to blame the problems about illness, i'm going to tell you about a story from my book about joseph miller
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. he and his family escape from slavery. they make it to camp nelson which is a refugee camp or -- four emancipated slaves. there are 800 to 1000 emancipated people living in this area at this time. if the men in your family will enlist in the army, he said, -- they said, we will provide your tents, shelter, and you will be able to qualify for rations. joseph miller thinks this is a great idea and decides to enlist in the army so that he and his wife isabella and therefore children -- and they are -- and
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their four children could get rations and shelter. on a cold november day, a mounted guard arrives at miller's tent and he has a rifle in his hand. he orders miller and his wife and their children to get into one of these wagons. miller turns to the soldier and says i can't give over my family to allow them to go with you right now. i under stand -- i understand the camp is being dismantled but my son is very sick and can't make the journey. the union guard points the gun at the family and says i will shoot every last one of them if you don't get into the wagon.
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so miller has no other choice but to tell isabella and his four children to board a wagon and go off into the unknown territory. later that day, after miller finishes his assignments, he searches for his family. according to his affidavit, he finds them in a boarding house belonging to the "colored people." in the boarding house, he sees a group of freed slaves congregating around a fire. he looks around the room and can't see his family. finally, he spots them in the corner. he sees isabella and his children and he asks how she is doing. and she said that their son who was seven years old for us to death on the journey -- froze to death on the journey to the
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boarding house. with that, joseph miller has no idea what to do with his son. his family has no food. he carried his seven-year-old son's dead body 20 miles act to the union camp with the hope of being able to bury him. remember, this is november, the ground is frozen. i always imagine this moment of what it must have been like for him to carry his son back to the union camp where he was emancipated. the camp that once represented freedom and opportunity and now represents the place of death, disease, and starvation. but miller does bury him at this
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camp. we don't know where or what else happened. that's where the story sort of ended for me. that's all i knew until about 2010. new archival evidence arose. you're constantly uncovering new documents. what i learned was that joseph miller's son died on november 24. by december 1, his eldest son died. a few days later, his daughter died. by christmas, his wife died. just as miller then died after that. it is unclear if he died from a disease or from a broken heart.
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unlike many enslaved people who were separated from slavery, the miller family managed to escape as a unified group. but it was through war that they separated and died. the federal government hears about miller's story because miller is brilliant. he recognizes that as a newly minted soldier he could place an affidavit and a petition within the military program. his letter to his supervisor would eventually work its way up the chain of command to the rest of the federal government. until someone would hear about him. by 1865, the federal government
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decides to create the medical division of the bureau. it is a unique history that very few people talk about. we know about the edit -- the educational division. we know about the labor and land division to help negotiate contracts. few people talk about the medical division. it established 40 hospitals across the south. it employed over 120 positions. it provided medical care for an estimated one million newly freed slaves. this division began in 1865 and lasted until about 1871. i explain this more in my book.
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some of you may know about howard university. howard university hospital began as a freed slaves hospital. one of the major points that these medical divisions had to respond to what the smallpox epidemic. not only were free slaves suffering from illness and starvation and dysentery and other diseases, but a smallpox epidemic breaks out in washington dc. by the early part of 1868, it has spread to the upper south. -- by the early part of 1863, it
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has spread to the upper south. the number of black people far outnumbered the number of white people who became sick with smallpox. it is very easy to fall back on the racist logic. 19th century newspaper reporters , doctors, and many others see images like this and immediately blame the health conditions on black people. i have two quotations. the nation in 1866 wrote, "there has been considerable -- by many it is thought that his ultimate fate will be extinction."
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throughout the 19th century, what we are beginning to see is a huge mortality facing the black population. one of the ways that 19th century journalists rationalize this is that they compare it to the extinction of native americans. the new york times argued that like his brother the indian, the negroes will soon melt away. yet, the reason why many freed slaves were dying was not because of the proslavery logic that they couldn't handle freedom. it's not that they were becoming extinct like native americans. it's not that there is something about the race that made them sick. it is that they were living in these camps where they had very little access to basic necessities. they were living in places where
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they were unable to actually find employment. one of the things we have to think about is that in some of these camps, the number of men -- the number of
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colorado -- cholera in the 1850's. the discovery was made through the water supply that it was spreading. >> that is absolutely true. to answer the cholera part, there is a new understanding about disease causing issue as a result in efforts in london. what happens is that when cholera breaks out the central government is incredibly effective in stopping it's for the -- in stopping its
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spreading, in part because of his knowledge. when small parks-- on one level, i thought that made sense. remember in the 19th century the federal government needed to send resources and supplies to send information to shreveport. that is going to be a bureaucratic nightmare. when cholera breaks out, they seem to go by the wayside. all of a sudden they publish this incredibly interesting 450
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page encyclopedi c book that they distribute about what to do when cholera spreads. make sure you are following various sanitation reasons. it is a way to say that the central government does have the knowledge. they do have the manpower. and they do have the resources when they think the epidemic is going to affect everyone. with smallpox, when it begins only affecting black people, they fall back on the argument that they don't have the materials. in terms of medical knowledge people have known how to respond to smallpox epidemics since the 18th century. that is why i think the images
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we were showing you before about the camps were really important. because 1 or 2 outbreaks of a smallpox in those camps -- the best way of solving it, even without access to vaccination was to just quarantine the affected person. that is what they do in the union in the confederate army. in this case, there is no quarantine even for the newly emancipated slaves. >> was there any attempt to vaccinate? >> yes it's depends. one thing that i discussed further in my book is that they employ 120 physicians scattered throughout the south. there are some physicians who will try oxidation. -- will try vaccination. one doctor -- there is a difference between inoculation
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and vaccination -- inoculation is when you reinfected someone who is vulnerable so that they get a mild form of the virus. vaccination is when you take the dead virus and infect someone with a. -- someone with it. a doctor said, i gave it to 32 slaves at strawberry river -- one of my colleagues said no way, it would never work on 32 people. i get it. but the point is that is where it gets compensated. even when they were reaching for vaccination, we can't even measure how effective it was. >> thank you. >> good afternoon. i'm starting history and classics. -- studying history and
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classics. i was wondering if you could talk about that of element of medical -- the development of the medical technology in rural communities in the south. you mentioned the medical division and the widespread publications of germ theory. i know from my research and that of my peers that there were certain herbal treatments. for those rural communities who do not have access, what was the reaction in the development? >> there are a couple of different answers. first is the very technical answer, which is that i could only observe what is happening in certain regions based on the archival trail that i had. a doctor is in a place like south carolina, which is a rural state, and there is a big treatment hospital there, then i
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know. but if we go further into the interior of louisiana, someplace else, and you have black communities, what they called "old grand women" -- midwife providing health care, there wasn't a medical doctor to capture what she was doing or to write about. according to the logic of the medical division, if said area was in fact given medical assistance from a granny or midwife, they would just move along. they only went to regions where there weren't. if there was an understanding the doctors did not stay there. the second and most important thing -- i was think about this when i was teaching -- i remember teaching this to my students, and it reminded me about resources.
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one of the things to think about the sources is to think about who is right. -- who is your audience. the audience for these doctors reports or federal government officials. the doctors don't speak in a lexicon or jargon that would be translatable -- they spoke in a point which that would be translatable to federal government officials -- but they are not detailing the medical and scientific knowledge that they might think about on their own. in other words, they are rooting for a group of guys who don't know anything. -- they are writing for group of guys who don't know anything. the federal official only wants to know how many people are sick and how many people can't go to work. you really can't get at how the communities are understanding. other people are. a work done in the antebellum.
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i'm going to study anthropology to answer this question precisely, because i think there are ways in which history as a discipline has not allowed me to see it. may be anthropological or archaeological methods could potentially reveal more results. >> thank you very much. >> two quick questions. you pointed out the use of refugee, the shift of language. how do you feel about the use of contraband? if that is problematic, in which terms we should use. the second question is the experience of african-american union soldiers. how did that challenge the of substance of -- challenge the assumptions of black violence? >> i like the term refugees.
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contraband is the language they used in the 19th century. in this case, i think the term refugee is important for us to acknowledge in that african-americans were refugees between 1863-1865 with the first emancipation. it is a much better term theman "freedman" because it puts a certain polish on it. refugee tends more to the actual situation. black soldiers and bodies during this period -- i think it is complex. in many ways, 19th-century white medical doctors definitely prescribed to a sort of early
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racist logic about medicine in science. there are many white doctors who don't. there are a few black doctors who work for the hospital who also don't either, so it is hard to generalize. >> you seem to be focusing on the professional medical services. >> right. >> 2013 book looked at this particular situation regarding soldiers in their particular field. the generals easement was that most of the lower-level soldiers were from social classes that were entirely distrustful of the fragmented medical system out there, and much more dependent on talking to those with similar circumstances to find remedies and approaches of what needs to be done.
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any evidence of that? is that applicable-- >> "nature's civil war?" is that the book you are talking about? >> catherine's book, yes. >> that is a book. -- an important book. it is about the sources that i have. i haven't seen the same sources she has seen from the perspective of freed people. in part because the documents she is getting or from ironies preserved from -- getting from diaries preserved from cultures. people weren't preserving except from oral culture the ways people were talking about this.
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i set up this context at the beginning about health being political. people don't want to showcase how sick they are, either because they are afraid it is going to perpetrate racist logic. one family was hiding their family with smallpox because they don't want them to go into the hospital. there is a politics around health among black people that is not therefore soldiers. go ahead. >> i and an infectious disease specialist. -- i am and infectious diseases specialist. i'm also affiliated with the national civil war medicine museum in frederick. i want to thank you for this. one of the things in the museum something that i noticed until recently, a deficiency talking about african-american medicine. however, one of our
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volunteers, maybe you have heard of his book, he wrote a book about african-american surgeons. what bob found was that when he tried to talk to african-american groups, he's like why are you a white man doing this? why isn't this research being done by an african-american historian? i guess my question is -- have you run into that? there is also jill newmark at the national museum of medicine. >> yeah, i mean of course. in the answers are too long to get into right now. is that it? okay thank you. [applause] >> you are watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend, on
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c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook on cspan history. >> all weekend long, american history tv is joining our comcast cable partners to showcase the history of key west florida. to learn more about the city on the 2015 tort, visit /citiestour. we look with the disc -- with the history of key west. this is american history tv on a c-span3. charles blevin: welcome to the fort zachary taylor historic state park. constructed in 1845. that is when they started building it. it continued to be constructed until 1866. a lot of this fort was a response to what happened in the war of 1812. the british cannon were pretty successfully able to ravage many
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american ports with exception of masonry forth. -- masonry forts. they built some 46 forts from maine. they started around 1816. by the time they went down here, it was 1845. it was one of the largest masonry forts of its kind. at the time, in the 1840's, this was state-of-the-art. this was the best thing that we had to offer after some of these disasters that had occurred in the war of 1812. at one time, we were a true fortress surrounded by water. on this side of the fort, there was no beach or parking lot. it was the atlantic ocean. on the other side, of the north curtain, we had the gulf. all we have now that symbolizes that is a moat. the park service put that in so
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you have a sense of what it looks like when it was surrounded by water. the civil war was it heyday. 10 days after florida became the third estate to leave the union when this fort was officially taken over by the union. before, there were just workmen there. who came in with union troops and took it over, just to let them know that this was a union fort. everything was a union fort before the civil war. the south really didn't build that fort, they just occupied them. there were three that never left union hands, and this was one of them.
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fort pickens up in pensacola. he went up again, at risk to his career, with no instructions, took it over. not quite a month later, a letter came from washington. he was concerned whether he still had a job he got instructions to take over the fort, which he held already done. a lot of the troops that came here this was a training facility for them. you have young troops here, mostly rural people from up north. it was kind of unusual. here you have these burly soldiers from the mexican war. they were dealing with basically illiterate young troops that did not know their left from the right.
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imagine that. here they are, away from home, the first time in a strange area. this was more than eight military experience. -- a military experience. in the summer, they had to deal with death. sometimes they would come down with miasmas, they called, mosquito-borne yellow fever. it wasn't cannonballs that was the main killer, it was fever. 148 of the most modern naval tenants here at the time. -- naval cannons here at the time. some 30 years later, we had the spanish-american war in 1898. that kind of schanged things.
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the guns were changed to more modern guns that fired as a greater velocity. there was a major reconstruction that occurred here that more or less took fourth tiller out of that conflict. -- that took fort taylor less of a target. this was in response to the tenants -- to the cannons making these masonry forts suddenly vulnerable. they used to build these batteries. if you walk around, you can see evidence of that civil war cannon, some of it protruding out of the cement. after 102 years, the army turned this over to the navy. in 1947, they turn it over to the navy, and i don't want to
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say they turned it into a dump but world war ii material was dumped here and covered up. then it was duplicated into the dustbin of history. people forgot it was here. they did excavation here in the 1960's. gentlemen howard england was the first ranger. he passed on, that he was one we all look to that single-handedly put this on page one and make it a big deal. he found cannons here, at least 20 cannons during his process of excavation. one of the largest repositories of civil war material anywhere in the world. fort zachary taylor state park still has a place. it recognizes our history, and
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it is here for the benefit of young and old to come and learn about a time when things were not quite as cordial as they are today. >> throughout the weekend american history tv is featuring key west, florida. our city tour staff recently traveled there to learn about its rich history. learn about key west and other stops on october on /citiestour. you are watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> like many of us, first families take vacation time. and like presidents and first ladies, a good read can be perfect companion or your summer journeys. what better book than one appears inside the personal life of every first lady in american history? "first ladies: presidential history of on the lives of 45
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iconic american women." inspiring stories of fascinating women who survived the scrutiny of the white house. of great summertime read. available from public affairs as a hardcover or e-book, through your favorite bookstore or favorite online bookseller. >> american history tv was live from gettysburg, pennsylvania, for a symposium on the end of the civil war and its aftermath. coming up next, all of our coverage from the date, including panels on the meeting of appomattox, joshua chamberlain, abraham lincoln and the press, and the medical prices of -- medical crisis of the method is. it was part of the annual summer,. >> good morning. i'm peter carmichael. i am part of the department here at gettysburg college.
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it is my pleasure this morning to introduce joan from ucla. good morning. it won multiple prices. the doctor came to the college back in 2011, where she deliveredd a lecture. she is also a noted teacher and lecturer at ucla and w has received numerous awards. when she does a lecture on baseball, at the end of the class, she brings a bag of


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