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tv   The Civil War  CSPAN  November 13, 2016 8:00am-9:01am EST

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talks about the engagement in the spring of 1855 and argues as the siege of petersburg the confederate and union arms were mobil. he focuses on the federal assault april 2 that broke through the confederate lane. after this attack confederate general robert e. lee retreated west from richmond and petersburg and one week later surrendered effectively ending the civil war. this is part of a symposium hosted by the emerging civil war blog. chris: of the many books and authors we have talked about i have never seen a more solid piece of writing come across my desk than when the first draft of "dawn of victory: breakthrough at petersburg march 25 - april 2, 1865" appeared in my in-box. i'm attempted to go back and forth and chris will work on the
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history and when edward sent me the dawn of victory it was pristine. i have never said that about a man new script. i get paid to help dekrurbgtconstruct people's writing. it was a fantastic telling of a story that is often overlooked. it is so under rated and edward dust a magnificent job of doing justice to an incredible phase of the civil war the make it or break it point. as he will share with us it is the breaking point that leads to the end. without further ado i would like to introduce my friend mr. edward alexander.
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edward: thank you very much for that kind introduction, chris, and to all my colleagues at emerging civil war for putting on a fantastic symposium that i hope everyone has enjoyed so far. it is a privilege to talk to this group and thanks to all of you. we would not be here just talking -- we might be here talking to an empty room but it is great to have such a wonderful turnout to explore the great attacks of the civil war. i believe and this will be a very biased opinion, this is the greatest attack of the civil war. it sis definitely the most decisive and well executed and has tremendous implications on a very poorly understood campaign. i will try to stress the word campaign here because petersburg
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shouldn't be viewed as a siege. i will call it a siege at some point, i will slip into that description so kind of wave your hand saying it is not a siege but it is always heard as the siege of petersburg mostly due to the massive fortifications constructed by the union and confederate armies during the campaign. but it is not constant over the top frontal charges. the breakthrough assault april 2, 1865 is the first large scale assault against fixed for the if i kickses that grant has ordered since july 30 the previous year with the crater. because for the campaign of much more maneuver than it is g
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credit for. i could give three talks to get us from petersburg's eastern front in june of 1864 to grant's final offensive. i will skip through all of that context simply to say by late march of 1865 grant has captured most of the supply lines leading into petersburg that ultimately had approximately 20 miles north to richmond the confederate capital. so with the arrival of phil sheridan's cavalry in late march grant wants to make his final strike. but it is not intended to go directly into confederates behind their entrenchments. he wants to operate to southwest into dinwiddie cowert and capture the two final supply
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lines the body enien blank road. he has a few aces up his sleeve in addition to sheridan's cavalry he is able to have three divisions of the james transferred from richmond down to petersburg so that frees him from having to stay within the scope of the for the if i kickses -- for the if i kickses. -- forty indications. supporting them is the corps and humphrey's second corps moves into position to provide them support with the newly arrived three divisions. all leading up to march 29 and final push for the boyden blank road. charles griffin's division will advance and for brigades move to block it and into the earth
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warnings of the wide oak road. -- earth works of the wide oak road. lee will bring george pickett's division from richmond sullivan station on the south side and brings the cavalry who has been for raging even the soldiers are hungry and horses have no food so they bring the cavalry into action in late march. in addition to having to bring pickett down and bringing fitz hugh lee into action lee will have to take troops along the earth works and transfer them down to the wide oak road to meet the threat posed by the federal fifth corps under
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warren. they are also maneuvering on late march 29 and early march 30 but the problem is what seems to plague many of the advances is the weather doesn't always cooperate. it rains very heavily and unfortunately for phil sheridan who is clarifying -- chafing like a hound on a leash sheridan wants to get going. unfortunately that rain doesn't captain. but the federals are able to at least maneuver further into position. in doing so, warren is going to have one of his divisions left exposed. this is what i hope everyone takes away tprfrom the petersburg gain campaign is the confederates
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never just stay behind the fortifications. they never sit there and wait for the next assault and abandon their supply lines. what does robert e. lee intend the for the if i kickses around -- fortifications, what is his intention for the earth berms? they are a springboard to taebg attack. a last report, a last different if you need. but the idea is to move forward from the earth works. he will make a slight rearrangement and sam mcgowan's south carolinians to strike at aers exposed flank. sam crawford tries to bring his division but they are repulsed as well. so mcgowan is looking for additional reinforcements to
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push the federals off the one position on the boyden blank road. but as former virginia governor henry weiss's man nelson miles extends over sending them for the trenches on wide oak road. this bar in particular represents the ego of joshua lawrence chamberlain as single-handedly he manages to drive all three confederate brigades back into their own entrenchments. but the fifth corps now is isolate isolating pickett who on march 31 has the most successful day he will experience in the american civil war.
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pickett takes the cavalry around to try to strike sheridan in flank as he expects him to come from dinwiddie courthouse to the intersection. pickett and lee are able to push across chamberlain's run and send the federal cavalry back to the county seat. he swings his men for final every trying to end this maneuver maneuver. by this point night fall has sat in and pickett realizes that he's cuts off from the rest of the confederate army. phil sheridan is quite embarrassed on march 31 he has his worst day of the american civil war. and he's not too happy and needs to get his revenge on that punk
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pickett and tells grant if peurbgt is -- excuse me -- if i'm cut off from the rest of the federal army then surely pickett is cut off from the rest of his and no man of his command should ever be allowed to return to it. pickett himself has no choice but to fall back to the intersection where his men form up in the famous position with them on their left flank. sheridan is hopping mad in pursuit and calls upon federal infantry to support him after considerable delay warren finally is in position to assist for phil cellularsheridan's begig
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push at five oaks. sheridan tells warren that the angle in the confederate line located further east and warren using that faulty reconnaissance will move in position to strike the angle head on. meanwhile, all day long phil sheridan's cavalry is pinning the confederates down. pickett's men are pushed back and he is unaware of almost anything right now. pickett is where his name is located right now north of hatcher's run and it has been a good haul recently of the local shadow shad population and having a fish fry, a shad bake. and rumors of a few barbecue and
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fish fries in virginia no virginia celebration, no bountiful harvest goes without copious amounts of booze something saying pickett and his officers may be drunk. either way they are not there and the federal attack is going to miss their mark and it works out for the best, april to get around the confederates and mop them up. and the moment of glory for warren is out. warren has been too slow ever since the star of the overland campaign. he's been too cautious. he is one of those generals who needs everything set up perfect on paper before he will move forward and you will always see a problem that doesn't exist or may exist.
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we will see how it is almost a perfect set-up but you will rarely have the perfect situation opened up. and you cannot have somebody on the precipice of victory dragging his feet -- constantly dragging his feet and the confederates continue to shift, continue to extend their lines farther and farther and they simply don't have the manpower to do so. when grant finally, upon hearing word of the victory at five forks does what he hasn't done since july 30. with all the staff officers are -- great job, congratulating themselves about sheridan's victory grant calmly walks to his tent, eligibles down dispatches, passes them out and then mentions the border general
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assault all along the lines. originally the attack is supposed to take place as soon as the general receivers orders but george mead says we are going to attack the first thing next morning. these various attacks that grant will order sheridan is uncharacteristically cautious. he will also end up dragging his feet on april 2 and not do much of anything. humphries's second corps will also get a late start in the attack and it won't be of much consequence. ord rightfully reports that the terrain in his front doesn't allow for a large scale assault. major general john park
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commanding the ninth corps of potomac does launch a very daring very intrepid assault and there's going to be some of the bloodiest fighting that takes place there but it is not of much significance as far as ending the campaign. it is not the decisive assault of april 2, 1865. instead, that occurs here along the fish hook of the federal lanes lanes, port fisher, port welch of the sixth corps is situated. the sixth corps featured in the photograph and you see this almost in every petersburg back attribute it because they are hunkered down and behind the berm. this must be the men at petersburg. this is the sixth corps at fredericksburg however. and it is at fredericksburg that the second battle of
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fredericksburg where the sixth corps really begin to establish an identity of doing the impossible, of succeeding where others have failed of carrying out a series of impressively designed and executed frontal assaults including one we will b be walking through tomorrow of the famed position there at marie's heights. the next series of slides we are not going to really be talking a lot about the context and the impact. instead, i want to focus on the tactics to understand how the sixth corps has developed a way to successfully bash the enemy with a bayioyonet charge. no context here really given. tomorrow morning it will be an incredible walking tour of the
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second fredericksburg battlefield but note how different this is from a pickett's charge. you might be familiar with the burn side's men the previous december. look how different these tactics are. worth mentioning the group along the sunken road. go to november 7, 1863 the sixth corps is looky -- lucky that they miss gettysburg and don't see that. but at rappahannock station and more overlooked battle than the break-through the sixth corps
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employs nice tactics to take this fortified bridgehead that the confederates have constructed and all of these maps are oriented to give us the perspective of the attackers. it is almost all the way up side down but november 7 at dusk the same unit that spear heads second fredericksburg assault will move forward bayonets fixed, not firing a shot and able to get a foothold in the confederate works, two more isn't to their aid and the confederates all focus on those who are assaulting them leaving themselves vulnerable to an attack in the flank. at this point the confederates lose contact with their only way back across the rappahannock river river, a pontoon bridge. as the federals continue to press their assault confederates
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try to get back over the river but the federals cut them off forcing the confederates who are unanimously to unable it cross by swimming to surrender and two union brigades capture the louisianans and the north carolinians. the talk chris mackowski gave using one of my favorite interpretive tools the human map always brings the people in but we will see upton's assault bringing the compact fortunateliation because the confederates had accidentally left their pickett lane upton is able to move the forces in and lay down preparing for the
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moment of assault and when they do assault using that compact formation specific instructions the first line of pickett expand the break thrurpwraebgbreakthrough. the attack would do its true objective but they are able to pierce through the earth works and capture this number of prisoners. one fame battle before the -- one final battle before the breakthrough and that is the harbor known for june 3 and the failure of those attacks two days earlier, june #1, two federal brigades are able to use a ravine later known as bloody run to temporarily pierce the confederate earth works before reserves push them out. keep these things in mind
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compact normations, use of the ravine, use of darkness overwhelming numerical spear superiority all will be on display when wright commander of the sixth corps unleashes his masterpiece april 2 1865. the sixth corps, after the harbor and brief stay of several weeks in petersburg, have a relative vacation compared it were else. they are sent up to washington to early's raid and have a bloody ought item that year in the shenandoah valley but they are able to establish a band with phil sheridan. sheridan wanted the sixth corps instead of warren's fifth corps but it was not located in position to provide it assistance and they have not necessarily had a static front during the previous or the first
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slide that i showed. on march 25, 1865 after lee's failed attempt at fort stedman wright senses the confederates are waoefrbgenning themselves and he suggest he be allowed to test the strength of the confederate line and mead responds in the affirmative and when writ has the orders he drags his feet and only sends four regiments who are easily repulsed by the confederate pickett. he presses write to continue the probing of the lines and wright returns now with two full divisions. at 3:00 in the afternoon of march 25, they are going to push forward and easily pierce the confederate rifle pits but
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converging fire from the confederate main line mostly artillery as well as the creek will stop any further federal advances. what this does accomplish is that the pickett lines are pushed for. it takes the rifle pits almost like a fox hole would be the easiest way and reface it the other way and they can use it for own benefit. other events are going to significantly reduce confederate ability to withstand an assault. we saw it on that previous slide. 2 1/2 2 1/2 brigades are isn't down the boyden blank road to wide oak leaving confederates without
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reserves forced to spread themselves out six to 10 paces in between soldiers along the line. soldiers of a swedish born lawsuit colonel has two regiments and james henry lin in the middle -- lane his unfortunate north carolinians are going to be the victims of the upcoming assault and tom's georgians. ersan reports to heath and the other two to wilcox. here we have the confederate defense about 2,800 soldiers that are going to be manning over a mile of fortifications. because of the gained ground here out in front of the union lines, while the confederates are sending their strength elsewhere union officers
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overkeeper on the left and thomas hyde on the right are going to go out scouting out in front of the earth works getting a support personal look. they had a view from a signal tower behind their own lines a photograph taken of the confederate earth works but you can only see so far or so accurately from the signal tower 145 feet up in the air. they notice a few things from the confederate earth works they cannot see from the tower. we will zoom in on one example. we have here the rose of abatee obstructions meant to block an attacking force from moving forward. notice the road leading out or in through those obstructions.
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because of the gained ground that the picketts are able to push out, keep erer, hyde and most importantly louis addison grant are able to get out here into no man's land and discover the locks of the wagon roads through the confederate obstructions. so they know if they are ever ordered to attack the paths through which they are to lead their men. here is a saskatchewanketch of the battle field from fort fish are north and if you were to go there in october of 2012 you would be looking out into a very dense forest. ground reserved by the civil war trust in the last four years cleared by the civil war trust to show the battlefield as soldiers would have seen it barren of those trees. that is where louis addison
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grant will go commander of the vermont brigade and going out there into no man's land scouting is able to determine that arthur swatch is the -- arthur swamp is the approach. it is narrow in some portions and widens in some others and that will lead you to the confederate earth works and openings where they can't construct the earth works. one other thing to mention about arthur's swamp, here we have the head wartsters of arthur's swamp closer to the one other thing city of peterburg's defenses you have re rehoboth creek. a drop of weather that lands here that goes into the creek will end up in the chesapeake bay. it goes down the other end of
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the hill it will be in alba moral sound. so the waters of the creek flowing in the confederate earth works they construct a dam out in front and impound the waters making it impassable along a decent stretch of their line for union soldiers to cross. there are reports that they have also constructed mines near battle 45 and packed them with gun powder and threatened to ug night the fuse should battle 45 ever be attacked head on. arcologists have found the tunnels and mines. there is no proof they were packed with gunpowder and would be death fated. but propaganda is good enough because no one is ever attacking toward battery 45 from its front. arthur swamp on the other hand
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flowing out of the confederate earth works cannot be impounded. arthur's swamp is the drone shot taken from just out front of fort welch. we have arthur's swamp right here on this line leading from the confederate earth works. march 25, here is where the pickett lines are located. after march 25 that is the gained ground that the federals have seized. here is the confederate perspective just above their own earth works their rifle pits constructed about 400 yards out front of the main line and for horatio wright having a full half mile to work with is going to have an incredible impact because he is able when he receives ulysses s. grant's
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instructions the evening of april 1 to launch a full scale assault he is able to pack his entire 14,000 strong sixth corps in between their own for the if i kickses -- fortifications and the rifle pit. they are able to form in no man's land when the signal to attack given they can simply push forward. they don't have to go over the top and don't have to wind their way through their own obstructions and their own for the if iifications theifications. -- fortifications. look how who are ratio wright stacks his men. each of these brigades are lined up most with a single regiment front front. some like oliver edwards brigade commander choose to spread their men out. you have to do that on the two tphraeufrpbgs so that -- flanks but
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they line them up one after the next waves being sent forward into there assault. what the do you do as a brigade command commander when you are being told you are stacking your regiments one behind the next? who is going to be that forlorn forlorned hope up front? we have with us some ascendants of william henry penrose handling the new jersey brigade. then fantastic fighters throughout the war. there are at least three monuments within a 15 minute driver where we are to these men's prowess and bravery on the battlefield. then we have the 40th new jersey infantry. and theory are the draftees of
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late 1864 and with their attitudes and desertion they give penrose all sorts of grief so he puts them up front as the forlorn hope leaving the veterans to follow in their wake. all these regiments will have a number of things in their wake simply before they get to fight with the confederates hand to hand. the first they need to pass through are the rifle pits and small almost fox holes constructed they can be a prim active fighting position but the picketts are mainly to serve as the eyes and ears anticipating an assault. this assault is scheduled to start at 4:00 apl.m., ultimately
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kicks off at 4:40, wright delays until it is light enough to at least see the general direction you are going but the idea is to form those 14,000 men out in front of the earth works ready for the attack before they can be seen so they don't take as much fire from the enemy particularly from the pickett. once you pass picketts the next obstacle to overcome is the abatee those tangled branches out front of the earth works wright specifically instructs each brigade commander to situate a number of ax men in the front. some by kofrlcolonel edwards double and triple the number of ax men even pioneer detachments to clear the obstructions which are placed there in front of the earth works. once an attacking force gets to this abatee they might be so
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inclined to stop and return fire now that they have just a few branches between them. but you are never going to win a gun fight you behind those sticks sticks, confederate artillery zeroed in on them. and what the confederates lack in infantry they have more than enough artillery to make it deadly for sixth corps should they not press forward continuing the assault all the way to the earth works. horatio wright instructs some of the commanders to have their men remove that tiny cap to you are not supposed to fire. you are supposed to use the cold steal of the bayonet once you get through the obstructions. once you get through the obstructions you have of course the ditch itself which can range to about 12 to 20 feet from
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bottom to the top. these are some of the earth works we preserve at the historical park and offer a concrete exhibit to really show the scope, the scale, the size here of an earth works that will have to be overcome. and how do you overcome that? you find whatever you can. some of the pioneers when they chopped through the abatee take some of it and throw it into the ditch hoping that they can bridge their way across. others simply are going to boost each other up and over the top. some take there r bayonets out and dig foot holds to climb up. however you kcan, that 20 feet. it has been so rainy, about three feet of water is there inside that ditch. that is what wright has his men going into on the mornings of april 2. and they are supposed to taebgattack
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all together, that unified guiding along lewis grant's brigade he identifies the ravine so he will be the one going through the ravine, everyone else guiding in on his position hoping that you strike in the middle and 30 seconds later he attacks the right and the attack attacking echelon supposed to do a lot of damage. i have taken reports from the soldiers where they hit, who they passed, who they mingled with and tried to show more accurately what this attack might actually look like. because it is not that one way going in all together. units are jumping over others and losing their way in the darkness and arriving piecemeal at the confederate earth works. we believe the first one to arrive is captain charles gilbert gould of the fifth vermont infantry. gould has quit the story for
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himself. he was 2 years old and lift in windham vermont all the family there and everyone is outside worrying about something else and 2-year-old charles gould knows something delightful. big calluldron of apple sauce what is going on in there and as he is climbing up to get a better view he loses his balance and tumbles over into the pot burns his legs so badly he is unable to walk without assistance until after his sixth birthday. mama mama gould is beside herself. how could she let this happen to her poor boy? so charles wants to go out maintained with friends no, no
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you are not well enough. you can't run with those other boys. you will get yourself hurt and she tries to coddle him. i will teach you how to sew. we can knit together. what will be the result of that overparenting. the biggest dare deferral in windham, -- -- daredevil and he wants to join the army at 17 and she says you will get yourself killed no way you are not leaving myself. he runs away it a nearby town and enlists there under age as a private and to the 11th vermont infantry redesignated heavy artillery and he spends the first few years in the washington defenses. he will first see action pretty close by may 18, 1864 at spotsylvania and he does well
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that he rises to captain of company h of the fifth vermont infantry at the time of the break thrurthrough breakthrough. captain gould that morning as they are charging through the obstructions his legs churning will be the very first to reach the wall and at the top, sword in hand as confederate rifles pointed directly into his chest. he was relieved by the click of a misfire. before he can catch his breath a bayonet attacheded to that to the musket will be plunged into hreusis jaw. one baioyonet won't stop him.
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he rips it out and kills his assail assailant and jumps into the earth works slashing away with his sword. he is outnumbered. he is the very first up and over the top. so while he is swinging with his sword confederates are converging upon the tar heel soldiers 37th north carolina battering him with clubs and a confederate officer takes his sword and strikes gould on the top of his head forcing him to his knees he tries to pull himself over back in the different to safety and the confederate yanks him back by the collar and one more bayonet plunged into his back. while all of this is going on and gould is fighting at least half a dozen north carolinians, who is watching out front of the the works, who is keeping the rest of company h at bay?
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gould's courage an leadership will get the rest of company h moving forward. a corporal grabs gould's body and pulls it up to the top of the wall and he gets a gunshot wound and the two tumble into the different. after several minutes unconscious at the bottom, he comes to and stumbles back the union line the full mile, gets himself patched up and says all of my wounds were very noisy but in fact slight. he bears a scar there from the tpeursfirst baioyonet through his jaw but he survivorses all of the wounds. he grows a bushy beard to cover the scar and decides all the
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excitement to settle down pushing papers in the pension office and patent office and patents a gun cleaner because he likes to hunts. his life was saved by a misfired gun but in 1873 he patents a gun cleaner and by all indications he was the first soldier to the wall so he will be one of the recipients of the medals of honor. the last thing he remembered we he was pulled over the top and down into the ditch was sergeant jackson george sargent going over the top with the stars apbdnd stripes. sargent is able to plant the first flag and he will receiver the medal of honor pinned to his chest and carries the flag that he bore that morning with him in various remembrance day
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commemorations commemorations. joined jackson sargent is corporal charles ford over the top shouting come on, boys, the works are ours. one of his friends sergeant edward bradley comes behind him and they will be shot and killed atop the wall. others william kimberly will pour into the first spot that gould breached that morning. from the confederate side losses are small as far as killed and wounded. two william nick confidential -- nicholson lost his brother earlier and joshua bowman has four kids nearly put up for adoption by his widow until the widow sister comes to help so confederate losses are small in this attack. the federals lose almost 1,000
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on april 2, 1865 within the sixth corps. this is the proximate location where we believe gould would have been the first over the top coming in among confederates. just to gould's left artillery has been rolled into a narrow opening in the earth works. robert pratt first lieutenant in company h of the fifth vermont sees confederates loading a shell to fire at the rest of fifth vermont and rushes toward -- he is on this side of the confederate earth works and rushes toward that narrow opening and before the gun are can yank lanyard he forces him under the carolina with sabre blows and the confederate drops the lanyard and is going to surrender. just to the north william joseph sperry is able to see the
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confederate cannon, loaded, ready it fire and will return action rear and start to fall back from the initial point that the vermonters have broken through. sperry looks for implements to fire the cannon, doesn't spot any so he grabs one his soldier's rifles aims it into it and pulls the trigger and fires into the confederates as they tray to rally for a -- try to rally. he claims to fire a dozen rounds in this fashion before he turns it over to 17 members of battery g of the first rhode island artillery who made this assault carrying lanyards, sponge rammers, one with a bucket of water over that mile battlefield and the rhode islanders are fire amongst the confederate as they
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try to rally and sperry will another resit of the medal of honor. 35 six corps soldiers receiver the medal of honor here for their actions in a battle that takes less time than this clock does, only about 15 minutes of combat here this morning april 2, 1865. absent among the medal of honor recipients is someone who has perhaps the biggest impact besides department gould on april -- captain gould and that is corporal john mock of the 138th pennsylvania who will be the union soldier who shoots right through a.p. hill's chest as the third corps command erer with the scene of the breakthrough killing hill instantly. immediately after the breakthrough it all falls apart for the confederacy. six corps pivots, sweeps down
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the line to hatcher's run only one confederate brigade makes it out. they will join and rally and push north to try to protect the south side rail but it doesn't matter. that south side railroad has no importance we the sixth kaufrp and three divisions of the army of generation are on peters's inner lines ready to make the final push. a brave stand by 300 mississippians prevents the army of the james from cake walking in and buys time for robert e. lee to organize an evacuation of petersburg. immediately upon receiving news of break-through and particularly after learning of a.p. hill's death and he realizes the magnitude of the attack, the greatest attack the most significant attack of the american civil war lee writes
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secretary of war that he sees no prospect of holding petersburg and need to abandon that and richmond as well. jeff davis the confederate president chimes in it will be nice to have a little heads up. he reportedly rips that tell graph to shreds. i have been telling you for months i cannot showed this. what do you mean you need more advanced warning. quite a disconnect between lee and davis. richmond will be evacuated and the government gets on the railroad and heads west. lee is able to at least get his army, what is left of it after the breakthrough, out of petersburg and he will be heading toward the west to get to the railroads and get down in north carolina and link up with joe johnson and battle it out with sherman and grant and there are all sorts of what ifs about this time. if there were supplies the
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confederates would have marched overnight. the thing is they are not on lee's time frame. grant is the one in the driver's seat from here through the next seven days because of the sixth corps victory and this assault was so well designed, so well executed it is the union to who possesses the initiative officially within their grasp from now until seven days later and final surrender at appomattox. thank you. chris: questions for mr. alexander. >> we surrender. chris: we surrender. edward: ninth corps launched attacks from fort sedgwick on
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peterburg's southeastern front. they do get fort mahone within their grasp. it is the federal defenses there are more well designed and you have john brown gordon's entire second corps they can support one another and on the western front the confederates are too stretched out to have any defense. so they are there all day april 2, 1865, from the first charge that morning through nightfall the confederates are starting to evacuate. you have some of the bloodiest fighting similar to the bloody angle and intensity though not in size or memory of a very bloody fight. if you see any photographs of petersburg fortifications if
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you see any photo of petersburg besides that aerial they were all from fort sedgwick and fort m mahone. >> it is kind of a bit of inside joke and he writes this book and someone a historian writes this is a wonderful book but you don't mention the ninth corps and you go back the subtitle says it is a book about the break thrur. that is why the ninth is not in there. other questions for edward alexander? >> you mentioned artillery at the point of the breakthrough. could you elaborate a little more about that? because of course you also described how the confederate line was so stretched out as far as infantry was concerned.
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edward: this is one of those things where i'll make it a call if anyone has any resources on third corps artillery april 2, 1865, i would love to see them because we have so few information. pendleton writes a report but we can't glean much about artillery postings. we have a great account from john walters who is north of it who writes about that on his front. outside of that not a lot. the confederate gunners are going to in the begin to pound the federals until after the signal gun for the assault sounds sounds. there was appear overnight bombardment mostly just to psychologically intimidate then my. had the confederate gunners
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known that wright was forming his men into that comepact wedge to split the confederate say they could have been pounding those men overnight and some are out there for five hours before they attack. but the confederates do not start to shoot into the sixth corps until the signal sounds and at that point it is five to seven minutes before the federals are to the wall and they will take their most damage from the artillery. it is a very brief assault and probably at least 800 are occurring during the push to the earth works because of the confederate batteries that are located there. but simply without adequate infantry support once the federals get to the wall they are immediately seizing the confederate camp because there's no one there really to protect
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the confederate gunners. chris: we have time for one last question. >> this attack what role did emory upton play? edward: april 2, 1865, he is going to be participating what dan davis referred to the battle at sexual ma -- selma, alabama he does everything. serves as infantry command are in the six corps and 10 assistant i believe to james wilson the cavalry man in the final campaign. so upton is not present at the breakthrough though it does have his footprint all over it. and the sixth corps recognizes this. they write after the war about the similarities between this and the glowing about the
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successment we really showed we were the ones who could attack the earth works and they compact their men and move like upton did may 10 to positions seized from the coffinnfederate pickett lines. so it has his footprint as all the previous slides, the battle is not at petersburg but all leading up to that final moment. >> thank you very much. edward: thank you. [applause] . [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> you are watching american history tv 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span 3. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. fort knox was chosen because it was america's most impenetrable
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location. it was opened several years prior with lots of gold transferred there. so secretary of the treasury gives permission to use a portion of the depository for documentsment >> tonight on q&a we talk about the decision to move america's most important historical documents to fort knox on december 26, 1941. >> they have to decide with documents are going to be there. the original engrossed declaration, yes constitution, yes. articles of confederation pre preconstitution for sure. gettysburg address goes. he makes the decision very methodically on what will go to fort knox. these are considered the most valuable documents in the country and the magna carta is the document that he's been asked to preserve for the brits.
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>> tonight on "q&a".." >> monday night on the communicators scott keough president of audi of america talks about autonomous cars the hype from the auto industry that they are nearly ready. >> if you read headlines you see what uber is doing in pittsburgh and a lot of the proclamations that automotive executives are making and in the automotive business we are used to a lot of hype and i think when it comes to everyday matters a little bit of hype is ok. when it comes to matters such as this i think it is a little bit disingenuous because words are thrown around. so and so says autonomous or autopilot or self-driving. what a consumer thinks is i come out of my home i hit a button and that car will take me anywhere in america under any conditions and as we know that is not the case.
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>> that is is monday night 8:00 eastern on c-span 2 fplt. >> we have a special webpage at to help you follow the supreme court. go to and select supreme court near the right-hand top of the page. once on the page, you will see four of the most recent oral arguments heard by the court this term and click on the view all links to see all the oral arguments covered by c-span. you can find recent appearances by many justices or watch justices in their own words including one on one interviews with past few months with justices kagan thomas, ginsberg. there is also a calendar for this temple and list of -- temple and list of justices with links to see there appearances on c-span and many other supreme court videos available on demand. follow the supreme court at
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>> at the outbreak of world war i, england implemented a naval blockade to prevent its enemies from having trade access. in 1916 the german submarine deutschland bypassed the british blockade to trade with the u.s., at the time a neutral country. naval historians gary weir and nicholas lambert talk about the deutschland's voyage to maryland, the german naval expansion and british army blockade in the war. the maryland historical society hosted this 50 minute event. >> our two speakers are distinguished naval historians. gary weir is the chief historian of the geospatial intelligence agency. before that, dr weir served 19 years as a department of the navy's history and heritage command. one of the leading experts on


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