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tv   The Civil War Confederate General John Bell Hood  CSPAN  January 13, 2018 6:01pm-7:30pm EST

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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] >> you are watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span3. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. next on the civil war, stephen hunt, author of " "john bell: the rise, fall, and resurrection of a confederate general" talks about the this conceptions around the general. he describes how his work brought new information to the debate about general hood's reputation. this 90 minute talk is part of pamplin historical park symposium called "generals we love to hate." stephen m. hood is a distant
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relative of confederate general john bell hood. he is the author of "john bell hood: the rise, fall, and resurrection of a confederate general." and the lost papers of , confederate general john bell hood. with an undivided interest in and past history, president of the board of directors of the confederate morrill hall museum in new orleans. without further do, sam. [applause] >> hello, and thank you. you mentioned my odyssey. my wife and i moved to myrtle beach, south carolina, five days ago. [laughter] and if you think it is bad when
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the airlines lose your luggage, anyway we weren't able to move , into the house we are buying so we are living out of boxes and crates and things. i drove appear to -- up here. it sounds strange to say i drove up from south carolina. i'm used to driving down there. this is -- i have been looking forward to this for several reasons. one is when the theme of the symposium is "generals you love to hate," i don't have to worry about what people's expectations are. well, because i am a big fan of john bell hood, even though i am not as closely related as the name implies.
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you are probably wondering. i am a collateral descendent. i think i am a second cousin. general hood's grandfather, andrew hood, was my great times six. i come off a different branch, but i am a big fan of general hood because, like most people i am a big fan of an underdog. and i am also a huge fan of people who are not around to defend themselves, and they deserve a defense. so, for probably 20 years, i have been researching general hood. there is the old saying, we have heard it a million times, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is. but something we don't hear but should think is if something sounds too bad to be true, it is
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usually not. historian told me this and scott said he could not recall who he heard it from, so maybe some of you all will know. there is a saying that is the more fantastic of the accusation, then the more fantastic the evidence should be. so, with john bell hood, there are so many myths and so many totally extreme things that i'm assuming you have all heard, that i decided i've got to start looking into these things because it just doesn't make sense. and i think stephen woodworth summed it up perfectly in a book or an article a while back, and he was talking about braxton bragg and john bell hood.
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and he said, if you read the recent writings on these two generals, you wouldn't wonder why they were in command of armies, but why they weren't in insane asylums. [laughter] and the fact is, so much of the stuff that has been written about john bell hood, and i am sure others as well, just has no evidence at all. or, it has evidence where the writers has perhaps taken too much literary license in their paraphrasing. i like to use this as an example. we can go home this evening and we can turn on the news to see what happened in the world
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today. you can turn on msnbc, for example, and they are going to tell you what happened today, and chances are it will be true. and then you will turn on fox news, and they will tell you what happened today, and it will probably be pretty much true. but the two things you are hearing are going to be totally different. so you can spin things. you can accentuate things. and there are also errors of commission and there are also errors of omission, which is why in court they tell you not to just tell the truth. you have to tell the whole truth. [laughter] so, in my book, it starts out with a quote from cicero. and i am not going to read it to you but it states basically the first law of a historian is
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never dare utter an untruth and also never suppress something that is true. a lot of this goes on. mention a couple of isngs about my book, which 300 pages, or 250 pages of a solid defense of all the things that have been written and said about john bell hood. the poor guy. if there is 300 pages worth of stuff to answer, that is a lot. and i am only going to touch on, obviously, i have about one hour, i'm only get a touch on
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some of them. and when i get into them here, some of the ones that i touch on are intentionally, or admittedly, they are kind of silly. but, an example of a myth or something that is silly, but it permeates history and permeates the civil war history community so much is the sillier it is, the whittier it is, the cuter it is, the more it spreads, quicker. and it spreads deeper. anyway, i'm going to get into a few of these. let me mention this. i first decided i was going to write a book defending general hood in 2011 or so. and i contracted with a
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sadnessvis bay. ted was so hard on me, double checking, triple checking, quadruple checking and all that. i wanted to go to california to strangle him. it is funny. every time he told me to do it again, i growled, and darned if i didn't find something that needed to be fixed. so he was right and i was wrong. i had a contract to write a book and the title of the book was "history versus john bell hood." at that time -- and i had completed the manuscript and i had not discovered any new, primary-source information at all. what i did was i went to the same books, the same primary sources, the official record of the southern historical society,
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the same records that these recent authors had gone to, and i just found all kinds of stuff in the official records which was counter to some of the things actually provided in the book. so, i had completed an entire book with nothing more than what was available to the authors who have been writing the negative things about hood. well, i got a call one day -- it's kind of funny. i have met their the internet -- through the internet, met and track down and become acquaintances with you much all of john bell hood's and annabelle hood's direct descendents. but i had not spoken to all of them. i got a call one day from general ghood's great grandson, who lives in pennsylvania. -- thismy mother
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tournament is probably 70, recently retired. -- gentleman is probably 70, recently retired. he said my mother passed away a few years ago and he was 96. that would have been general hood's granddaughter. and he said when we cleaned up the condo, there were a bunch of boxes, and you know the story. he says, i know you're getting ready to finish your book, and there is probably nothing in here important, but we thought before it goes to press would you like to come up here and look at this stuff? and i'm thinking, i'm from west virginia, graduated with a c average from a state school and i'm a construction contractor. but i'm also, being a southern guy, i didn't want to be rude. [laughter] so i said, ok, i will come up
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and look. and i was sitting there thinking, if i say no, he's going to think i am a jerk. if i say yes, i'm going to waste a day of my life, never to be recovered. to show how smart i am, i told my wife and said i'm going for an overnight. i did not even take a change of clothes. i thought i would go up there and go through these and it will be nothing. and i get up there, and it's unbelievable. it is general hood's long-lost, or thought-to-not-even-exist personal papers. for those of you very quickly general hood hood and his wife, , had in 10 years of marriage 11 children. had 3 sets of twins. had 11 children. and mrs. hood got yellow fever 1879.ust of
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she died. general hood got yellow fever and he died two days later. the oldest daughter who was 11 years old, she died. in the course of 72 hours, 10 created,children were or 10 children were orphaned all , under the age of 10. and if you're a friend of john and anna and there are 10 children needing three meals a day, you are not going to be too worried about john's papers. so it was always assumed that a family friends had just thrown them away or they had gotten lost. but as it turns out, they hadn't. they had been passed along. they end up in pennsylvania, and i show up and here they are. and i end up staying three days,
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and i wasn't finished looking at them and kind of archiving them. the family had to go out of town, so i went back later on with my wife and stayed three more days. i spent six days going through all these. so, i very quickly went through some of the papers that i sensed might be important from a scholastic standpoint and from the controversies of hood, mostly his tenure in the west, the army of tennessee. there really isn't much bad to talk about hood in the army of northern virginia. but anyway i transcribe these , but is quickly. i picked up the phone and i called ted and i said, ted you want to believe this. i sent him some of the stuff and he called me back a few days later and said, we were going to
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go to press with this next month but he said, you have got to put this stuff in there. i took another four, five, six three, months, and redid the book by putting the material in there that i had discovered, that was really, really important, like what happened at spring hill on november 29, 1864, and other things like that. ted and i decided to change the title from "not history versus john bell hood." we changed it to "john bell the: -- john bell hood: rise, fall, and resurrection of a confederate general." because ted and i felt it largely exonerated him from the most outrageous stuff. some of the most outrageous stuff. so, that is my journey from being somebody that is just the civil war history nut to actually having a book published. and then, of course, after we published the first book with this information in it, ted and
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i decided we would do an annotated volume of those papers, and that is the lost papers of john bell hood. -- i want to get into some of the i don't have -- some of the controversies. this was going to be my test drive on the pointer. i don't have time to get into all of these. i am going to touch base on a few of them quickly. these sorts of controversies they are in the book. again i don't know if this is , mostly a eastern theater centric group here or how familiar -- i am thinking you are all total civil war western theater.
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trance mississippi and all of it -- transmississippi and all of it. he did not call his men cowards. he did accept responsibility for his defeat. he was not angry at franklin. he did not like just frontal assaults. you read that all the time, he only ordered one. but that apparently did not matter. he did not position any of the units to take the harsh -- worst casualties. he did not go to nashville and sit there and do nothing. believe it or not, hood actually had a recent to send people to -- send nathan bedford forrest to murfreesboro as you hear all the time. hoodidn't vote regard -- beaureguard did not
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squabble or feud. i use this as an illustration. there are basically four books that are recognized as definitive books on his tennessee campaign. the first one was by thomas hay in the early part of the 1920's. stanley horn wrote a book in the 1950's. thomas connolly in the 1970's, sword inly s -- whiley in the early 1990's. if you would read these four books, which you really shouldn't because i am going to write one. what it is like i was telling you about the tv channels and the networks. the same event can be told differently. every author, every 20 years
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somebody wrote a book on the same subject. but all of a sudden it becomes more harsh on hood. it starts out with thomas hay discussing hood as an army commander who partook in a campaign and was defeated. sword which to wiley was quite more than that. i have always said why would anybody in these towns and areas actually name landmarks after a drug addicted, womanizing, backstabbing, murderous soul? ol? o in virginia and in georgia it is not surprising they would name something after hood because of his success there.
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there are landmarks also in tennessee that are suburbs of nashville. two of them in nashville itself, two in franklin. they were landmarks last time i heard they may have changed the name of the street by now but that is a whole different subject. i did not know that there is a hood avenue in los angeles and in florida near fort lauderdale. the only reason i found out about them is because they were going to change them. but anyway, why would people back in the 50's, 60's and 70's, why would they honor somebody by naming landmarks and streets in their honor? where if you would read the book in the 90's or any of the books after that, it would be like naming charles manson lane. here are a couple of the quotes.
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called him a fool with a license to kill his own men. then ben stein, for those of you who think you know he is familiar. you talk about jumping the shark and taking things too far. he actually wrote the article in "the new york times" saturday edition on, of all things, the faa pondering whether or not to allow people to talk on their cell phones during flights. he somehow or another creatively drew that to john bell hood be -- being the most destructive human being of all time. i am not kidding. sam you are appear accusing , people of exaggerating and i am not doing that.
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i am telling you. he called him the most destructive american of all time in an article about cell phones. [laughter] i like the guy. he is a big civil war fan, i don't know if you know that. he loves civil war history. i am going to give a couple of examples of how an author or a historian can take primary source record and then by thephrasing it can change context of it completely. i am reading -- i am going to talk about mr. sword quite a bit here. i am going to be careful because he is a nice man and a great friend of the site. but his book is the last that has been written on the tennessee campaign. it was so good.
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from a writing standpoint he is a incredible writer. it was very persuasive and it was very influential. a lot of the smaller books and monographs and other articles written since then pretty much interpretation's and portrayal. you will see him in here several times. i was reading this part of the to the part where he says on -- book, page 315, and i get down to the part where he says on december 13 -- the army gained only 164 recruits since entering tennessee. hood reacted angrily and result to bring into the army by conscription all men liable to military duty. mr. sword rights if recruits , would not voluntarily flock to his standards he intended to , bring the men at the point of
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a bayonet. i thought that does not sound right. don't dot a lot of us enough of, and i go to footnotes. i don't know about you all, i hate interrupting my reading. by going to the back of the book and finding it and finally it tells you that it is a file from a library in polaski tennessee. ,like he will go there and find it. but i did. quite a bit. actually, the footnote cited a letter that hood had written. i read it. here is what hood wrote. i do not have the date of the letter. it says -- this is all he says about recruits. "as of yet i have not had time to adapt any kind of conscription but hope soon to do
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so and bring into the army all men liable to military duty." how does that balance with this? hood reacted angrily. was there any anger and that letter? he is going to march these guys and at the point of a bayonet. he just said i am going to find out if you are eligible to be drafted you will be drafted. i know in 1971 i was at the -- i do not enter paris island, south carolina into the marine corps boot camp at the point of a bayonet. i probably would have preferred it. that is just a example of how you can try to spice things up a bit and really it gives the wrong perception of the reader. now this next one that i give. , i know i met a gentleman from
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youngstown who has heard my civil war roundtable panel. these things usually -- are only given 20 or 30 minutes. the next one i am getting ready to give. i usually skip through it because it takes too long. you guys, you cannot escape. [laughter] you can't escape and this next couple of minutes but to me it is really incredible. now, i will set it up. again, i don't know how familiar people are with the tennessee campaign. the battle of franklin, the horrible, bloody battle of franklin. that was november 30, 1864. there were six generals killed and he lost 4500 to casualties. 5500 hood then moved on to nashville and he built
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fortifications. he basically kind of laid siege to nashville. two weeks later george thomas, one of my favorite union generals or civil war generals, attacked hood's army and over a two-day battle at nashville on december 15 and 16th of 1864 they defeat hood's army and , chase the army out of tennessee back to alabama and mississippi. so, hood, a couple of days after the battle of franklin, i think it was the next day. to generalispatch rd or general cory gardner and richmond. he said we lost six generals at franklin and he named them and
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he said we lament the loss of 4500 men. he reported that he had taken some very heavy casualties of -- at franklin. then he goes to nashville and he is attacked at nashville. on the first day or the second day of the retreat he sends a dispatch saying, we have just been defeated and we are in full retreat. and once i safely cross the tennessee river i will get back to you with more details. five or six days later after hood safely crosses the tennessee river and back into northern alabama he sends , another message saying we have completed the retreat and we
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thankfully have not lost much more since the battle in front of nashville. he had informed beauregard and they are in full retreat. this is from stanley horn's book, "the army of tennessee." he wrote on january 3, he received his first direct word telegraphed from corinth. that must go down in a masterpiece of understatement. "the army has recrossed the tennessee river without material loss since the battle of franklin." he goes on to say -- did not say anything of the shocking losses at franklin and the disaster at
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nashville. well, sword writes the same thing. it is the confederacy's last hurrah. he says it is highly misleading. in other words after he crosses the river into tennessee hood , basically lied to his superiors saying we have not last anymore since the battle of franklin. that is totally untrue because they lost 50 cannons and 4500 more casualties at nashville. here is what happened. if you actually go to the footnotes in the official record, here is what mr.sword cited. and also scamming horn. -- stanley horn. it is to general cooper. it is from beaureguard that they
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recrossed the tennessee river at bainbridge without material loss since the battle of franklin. he see the little asterisk? hoodys dispatch as sent by on page 757. here is what hood sent. the army has crossed without material losses from the battle of nashville. it has a asterisk and it says here is what happened. [laughter] hodd sends a dispatch saying we -- i'm sorry. hodd sends a dispatch saying we have safely crossed the river and have not lost anything since the battle of of nashville.
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beauregard's staff screws it up. they send to richmond that he is crossed the tennessee river and is not lost anything since franklin. it is a total screwup, and it has asterisk's, and in the official record they decided to give them both. that.rn missed i have been on tours of those battles and i have actually heard some distinguished tour guides talk about how hood lied to richmond. did not tell them anything about what happened in nashville. the problem i have is anyone can make a mistake. mr. horn made a mistake. but mr. sword, if he made a
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mistake, that means he must have missed this. this is the correct one. this is the correct one. mr. sword and two other places in his book on two totally different subjects used a primary source on page 425. an page 436 of his book. sourced the entry and the official record one inch away from the correct entry. i mean i don't know, maybe they missed it. but these are the kinds of things that have not helped john bell hood's reputation that he is totally innocent. some overworked staff officer in a tent probably just made a mistake. another thing you hear about hood is that he was callous,
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and cold, cruel, and that he actually complained when there was not enough blood spilled. and that he used to measure success by how many casualties. you think i am making this up. if you pick up a few books and read about the tennessee can paint or john bell hood or the army of tennessee and you will read this. one example that is in every book, one example they give is hood writing about the battle of jonesboro. there were four battles around atlanta. when you hear the battle of atlanta, there were four battles around it. the battle of decatur is actually the battle of atlanta but it was one of four. ,the last battle of atlanta was
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jonesboro. one jonesboro fell that was the supply line for the army of tennessee and that's when hood had to evacuate atlanta. wind. the scene from "gone with the wind." everything blowing up and burning. jonesboro had fallen and the army was evacuating. in hood's official report, in january of 1865, he wrote of jonesboro it may be imagined , when only 1400 were killed. the failure to necessitated evacuation. most authors will comment on that as being cold and cruel and callous. and maybe it is. but what did hood write? at the battle of jonesboro hood had three infantry corps.
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excuse me, atlanta. when he learned of a yankee movement towards jonesboro, he sent stephen d. lee's corp and hardey's core 30 miles south of atlanta to meet the union threat. hood stayed in the atlanta fortifications with frank cheetham's corps and the georgia militia. he was afraid it was going to be a diversion. he sent two thirds of his army to deal with it. he stayed with one third of his army in case there was an attack on atlanta. hardey toned william corpscommand of the two jonesboro. when the battle was over and
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atlanta was lost, hardey got mad. he was mad because hood was commander of the army of tennessee. he was not happy so he resigned and he left. he did not give hood an official report of the battle of jonesboro. he got mad and left. the only report on the battle of jonesboro that hood got came from stephen d. lee, the other corps commander. lee wrote in his official report the attack was a feeble one and a failure. with a loss of 1300 men killed and wounded. it was not made with spirit and determination and all that. hood had no idea what happened. he simply took what lee wrote and basically paraphrased it. you read books on john bell hood
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they will talk about how he was complaining because there was not enough blood spilled it jonesboro, but they never say a word about stephen lee. this one is another example of misquoting and taking things out of context. a week after john bell hood died, there is a article in the -- back when people died in those times it was very elegant. -- eloquent. this is not unusual. you can kind of read it on your own, but it's very elegant talking about what a great guy , he was. a great soldier. then in the middle it says as expressed in his own forceful language when last with us five short months sense, " they charge me with making franklin a slaughter pen but if i understand it war means fight
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and fight means kill." then they go on to say more eloquent stuff about him. well, here is an article in a san francisco newspaper. i am not joking but they did not had tape recorders. if you're a journalist and someone is giving a speech, you are frantically taking notes. they will all probably be a little bit different. in the san francisco paper they are talking about the same hood was that was referred to in article. it says right here, i tell you the brave forest was not far from right when he declared that war means fighting and fighting means killing. that is kind of a famous quote. from nathan bedford forrest. hood was actually just quoting forrest.
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so, this comes from mr. sword's book on page 439. hood ultimately was a tragic failure, a sad, pathetic soldier whose ambitions totally outstripped his abilities. he was a advocate of outmoded concepts any general unable to adapt to two technology. always prone to blame others and unable to admit his mistakes to the bitter end, hood never understood his failures. he admonished a group of aging veterans, but as i understand it war means fighting and fight means kill. he was not being -- he was not admonishing them he was speaking , into the army of veterans association and they were using his quoting of forest or
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referral of forest as part of this eloquent praise of hood. then it comes across in a book 150 years later that he was admonishing a group of aging veterans. he had been invited to the aging veterans meeting. that is again more of how you have to be careful with how things are portrayed. here is another one. by the way, i hear these things all the time. again you all may not. , some of you may. it is also in books -- maybe i will get some nodding here. supposedly at the battle of ezra church, which was the third of the four battles around atlanta. the one just before jonesboro. there is supposedly a story that battle, andter the it was a defeat for the army of tennessee. it was a bad defeat.
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supposedly it got dark and one of the yankee soldiers yelled out across the trenches to the other fortifications, how many are there of you left? how many over there? all of the books will say some frustrated gallows-humor type yelled back, well, i guess about enough for another killing. say -- these authors say this is an example of how poorly the soldiers of the army of tennessee thought of john bell hood. they knew he was going to send them into the slaughter pen. they said there is enough for another slaughter. one more killing. that shows up all the time in books. i decided to research it. as it turns out that happened on
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july 20, at the battle of dallas. it was eight days before john bell hood took command of the army of tennessee. joe johnston was still the army commander of the time. but they say -- you will read it and books all the time that it happened that ezra church after the beloved joe johnston had been let go and replaced by hood and they all hated hood because he did not care about their lives. a use this example. it happened under joe johnston's watch actually. the other one -- i guess most of you have heard this. again, i challenge anyone to find a book on the army of tennessee, the tennessee campaign or john bell hood that does not give a cute, witty tune
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of the yellow rose of texas. supposedly the soldiers sayng a hood of texas played hell in tennessee. very witty and cute. that automatically guarantees it will be an every book. you are thinking, you must be a board guide. there is not much to do. much to do in west virginia if somebody will go find out -- it occurred to me. i am kind of a skeptical guy anyway. i read stuff and i tried to picture who and the world would take the time to write down and record for history the words to a silly song? it turns out not really anybody. so, here it is. i started researching this and most of the books that quote
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wiley's thebell life of johnny red. it is a 10 commandments kind of thing. -- i'm in aurced brain lock. he sourced the story of the confederacy. by henry. it is not footnoted. all of the sudden it ends right there. i start digging and digging. thank goodness there is a cool little confederate library at marshall university and it actually hides in the corner of the old library building. because it has the word confederate and its name.
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i found -- and that keeps a low profile. i found this during the retreat as general hood and his staff riding along. a couple of soldiers had to step out of the way. as he rode by one soldier , -- mcmurray said he heard a soldier from a north carolina step aside and say, he hell in tennessee, didn't he? mcmurray published that in 1904. he cites one soldier saying that. if you all google or you look at hood played hell in tennessee
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and you will come up with thousands of hits. there are a couple of things that were written. stanley horn wrote - he mentions this song being song. the cold december rain drummed noisily down the tent. hood was sitting in the tent and it was raining. he could hear something that sounded familiar out in the distance. turns out it was a familiar tune. but because of the rain he could not hear the words or it would have broken his heart. since the cold december rain drummed down but not noisily enough to shut out the confused babble of an army in defeat. if the heartbroken commander had listened he would have heard them singing as they splashed barefoot along the muddy road. the tune they say was the old favorite, the yellow rose of texas.
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but the words had been campvised by some can't wit, words that would have steered the heart of hood. that was from one guy. another one -- another book the author and historian is , still around so i will not mention him. he actually said the granburry, texas brigade talks about how they were traipsing onto the ponting bridge, traipsing across the tennessee river back into mississippi they were all in unison singing the song. the hyperbole is quite something. sally preston, who is thought to
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have perhaps have been margaret mitchell's inspiration for i wouldo'hara -- assume people are familiar with mary chestnut's diary from dixie. it is essential reading into history. in mr. sword's book, sally is all throughout the book. so many of the things hood is doing is to impress sally preston. then when the army fails he is trying to redeem his honor so as to not to lose buck preston. at the defeat of franklin he is thinking i have to do something or i may lose her. so he went to nashville. all of these things that he is doing and not doing is being influenced by his girlfriend.
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again, that just does not -- i don't know about you but that does not sound right. anyway i just decided to do , research on that. this was real quick. index, a 13 different pages -- obviously she is mentioned more times than once per page. but there are 13 different pages that mention sally preston and 9 that mention susan tarleton. those anybody in here -- this is a trivia question -- does anyone know who that is? we have 3 out of 100. that was patrick clayborn's fiancee in mobile. these are two fiancees, there are 22 pages in the index of two women. fiancees of soldiers.
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i wondered how they were handled buck preston and susan tarleton. they don't appear in thomas hay's book. they don't appear in horn's iconic army of tennessee. it is mentioned one time, on one page of thomas connolly's also a comic book, automotive glory. book, autumn of glory. you have one mentioned by these three guys and mr. sword cited mary chestnut's diary. it has been around forever. what i thought what was also interesting was on a book on the battle of franklin and nashville, at the battle six confederate generals get killed and there are four of them right there. these greater generals are
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killed at the battle of franklin. in a book on the battle of franklin, that is how many times they appear in the index. that is how many times fiancees appear in the index. i assume a lot of you all have heard that robert e. lee said of hood was all lion not enough fox. if you google hood, lion, fox you will get hundreds, it is just about in every book. i said that does not sound like lee. did robert e. lee say stuff like that. if he did would you write that? it sounded so unlikely. so the guy from west virginia with a lot of time, and thank
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god for google, i started googling and i came up with hundreds of books -- civil war books that say he is all lion, no fox. none of them were before 1928. none of them. all of them were fairly recent books. the first mention of anything about foxes and lions and hoods stephen vincent binet's ethic: -- epic poem, john brown's body. he is talking about robert e. lee's lieutenants. talking about these wonderful marvelous, excellent group of subordinates that he had. he writes a couple of verses on longstreet and on stewart.
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a.p. hill maybe, and jackson. anyway this is what he writes. this is the poet, not robert e. lee. he basically says hood was shock troops. he mentions all lion, none of the fox. and i poem in 1928 there was actually the author feeling lee would be praising john bell hood. it is turned into an insult that lee supposedly set about hood. a criticism, if you will. that is another one that if you read about hood, it is all over the literature. this one is kind of funny. it is dated now. the atlanta cyclorama and
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history center. i assume or hope many of you have been there. it is not there now. it is in the process of being moved. well, like most museums or theaters or displays you have a foyer where you go in and wait for the next show to start or the next film to begin. when it is over they rout you through a gift shop. [laughter] will buy aou ei book. this is a picture, i think it with my cell phone so i part of the quality. this was in the entry foyer at the cyclorama in atlanta. this thing is big. it is like an entire wall. tens of thousands of people hang out by this as they are getting
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ready to go through the cyclorama. it is not there now because they are moving it. ulysses grant, lee, they didn't have anything to do with the tennessee campaign. there is william sherman and joe johnston. it shows the different battles. it starts at alton -- dalton, well, he can't read it very well here because of my poor -- what john bell hood, native of kentucky, called old wooden head by his men. [laughter] take my word for it, it is there. called old wooden head by his men. i had read probably thousands
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not complete letters but thousands of letters from soldiers either in full or excerpts or whatever. not one time had i ever seen any soldier calling him old woodeen old wooden head. -- to show how -- maybe i should not have done this but it is too late now. [laughter] i was speaking at the cyclorama and history center, and my host the guy who had been so nice to , bring me there and make all of the arrangements is sitting in the front row and i am talking about how difficult it is to get myths change. i said in front of my host and
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the assembled multitude, i said -- and c-span actually i said , what i just told you all. that there is no record of it at all, or if there is nobody has found that. it just is not true. i looked down to my host and said i have a proposition for you. if you will produce a single letter that actually backs up what is on your wall over there, if you will provide that because i have been looking for years i will donate $10,000 to your facility. [laughter] then i said, and if you look in search of this generous donation and if you look and cannot find it, if you will call the sign
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company and go out there and fix that, send me the bill and i of 2014 and it.that was in may have not heard a word. they didn't call to collect their $10,000 and it was never fixed. tens of thousands of people go by and they read that. that just shows how difficult it is to get things changed once a have got hold. what i am hoping is when they open the new facility, i am going to go there, and wouldn't it be nice if they didn't have the old wooden head? anybody want to bet? [laughter] stephen: i don't think anybody
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is actually trying to degrade or demean anybody. it's just, it is 5:00, we go home. anyway, that one is pretty indicative. these are all the cutesy things. i am done with them. i am going to use my remaining time to get a few more substance to things. not that these aren't. on some of the controversies of said -- on some of the controversies of hood, is there hisne here who has read memoris? -- his memoirs? they are weird. they really are. if you read his memoirs it is like 200 pages long and it is
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may be 30 or 40 -- and i am not pages --ing, 30 or 40 excuse me, 170 pages answering joe johnston's criticism of ham and his handling of the army of tennessee. and 30 or 40 pages of, by the way, i went to west point and all of that. it is very odd. having memoirs published that are very odd does not help your reputation either. i get that. i always thought, this is just weird. i read them many years ago. as it turns out -- and i knew that they were published posthumously. hood was in the process of writing his memoirs when he died. and they were published posthumously a year later by a charitable organization that was formed to help the orphans that
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was chaired by general beauregard. so i thought they would have been like ted sabbaths -- ted savis. he would have had a field day editing that. anyway when i find his papers in ie house in the pennsylvania was telling you about 45 minutes ago, i am going through all of these papers and there is a letter from hood to his wife in january of 1879. that was the year he died. he died in august. there are two letters, he is in washington dc. he is meeting and he tells his wife he ran into randall gibson . randall gibson was a brigadier general commander of a louisiana brigade and he fought pretty much the entire war in the west, if not all of it. randall gibson was a subordinate. he was a brigade commander and
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he was from new orleans. he became a very close friend. as a matter of fact, he was the godfather of his oldest child that passed away. after the war, gibson became a congressman. hood is in washington and he writes. a letter to his wife. it's basically says, i ran into general gibson. don't you put something in there about your previous life and make it a memoir? so we didn't know until this book was nothis supposed to be a memoir or an autobiography. it was going to be an answer to johnston. that was all it was meant to be. it was going to be a pamphlet or a monograph in response to johnson -- to johnston. then at the last minute he decided he will make a memoir
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out of it. he only lived six more months, six or eight more months. then it was published posthumously and people to whatever they had. that is why the book is weird. he died and did not have a chance to finish. what he was doing was converting the book. also, one of the things you will hear about hood and read about hood is he was a disloyal subordinate, that when he was sent and promoted to lieutenant general and given a command under joe johnston, he immediately said i ought to undermined joe danced in -- joe johnston and get him iron so he could get his job. you will read about this quite a bit if you read on hood. again, i'm thinking, that doesn't really sound right. i read some of the letters that
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wrote backat could to richmond when he was a corps commander for joe johnston. some of them sound like he was actually answering letters he had been receiving. but there was no proof of that. well, when i am sitting going found aall the papers i few years ago, there is a letter from john bell hood to lewis t -- to lewis t. wigfall. wigfall was the commander of the texas or date and he resigned to -- of the texas brigade and he resigned to become a texas senator. at the beginning of this letter it is april 15 of 1864 and this is in hood's hand. your letter of the
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29th of march has just been received and i haste and to answer your direct questions, which must be purely between us." he is getting letters from richmond asking what is joe johnston doing down there? one thing we have learned from the letters that were discovered is that at least in one case and probably in all cases, hood was receiving letters from bragg and wigfall asking what joe johnston is doing. he is very secretive as you all know. they wrote him asking what is going on? what is he supposed to do? is he supposed to refuse to answer? if you are wondering why is a letter from wigfall in hood's papers? tofound four papers from
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wigfall. i don't know how they got back into his personal papers. i found a letter from his adult daughter, and she says, i was going through daddy's papers, and i found these letters from your daddy to my daddy. and i thought i should send them back to the family. it was a really sweet letter. that is how these letters got back into hood's papers. there's another controversy. i will zip through this rough click, there is another controversy, the battle of casville. joe johnston is criticized and has been criticized by richmond because he never wanted to fight. he was retreat, retreat, retreat in georgia.
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there was a time that the army was going to attack sherman. it was a great plan. i am not going to get into it. it was a great plan. johnston dug in and said now is the time to strike. the way the battle was to begin was it was to start out with a strike from the right and then the center and then from the left. it went as all the big battles went in that time. it is all timing. hood starts his move and then all of a sudden hood gets bombarded from his right and rear. and so he stops and he repositions his corps to face what he thought is a attack. -- is an attack. johnston then calls off the battle and resumes his retreat to atlanta. when the war is over, johnston says hood lied.
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there was no enemy force to his right or his rear. he said he got attacked but he did not get attacked. well, hood said i did too get attacked and sustained some casualties. it became a bit of a war of words until hood died. in hood's papers, in a letter overcaptain paul although -- paul oliver, saying i am the commander of two batteries of two artillery that started bombing you. joe johnston said he did not get attacked and here is a letter from the guy in command of those who did the attacking. hood was right and johnston was wrong. that is proven. i am getting near the end here.
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there is also a big debate. claimingbragg were they sustained big casualties in the atlantic campaign. and johnston said, no i didn't. you would usually think records should indicate what the army size was at the beginning and what it was at the end. but what happened was when he to, -- got fired, his staff got mad, took the papers, and left. the army of tennessee was a mess. this is true. they took the paper so there were no records. hood was claiming after the war that johnston had lost 20,000 or 25,000 troops during the retreat mostly by desertion. johnston said no, i didn't. in hood's papers is a affidavit from john smith.
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easy name to remember, who was a member of his staff saying yes, the army was reduced by 20,000 or 25,000, i forget which one, mostly by desertion. there is another affidavit from another staff officer who said that the army lost 25,000. and here is another letter from one of the great names of civil war history. hippolite olidowski. [laughter] gooden: stands like a southern boy, doesn't he? colonel has athe copy saying we were reduced by about 25,000. the last thing i want to talk about is the springhill of fair , ande springhill affair
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what did and did not happen. i cannot assume that everyone knows what happened at springhill. if you know what happened there, bear with me for just a second so i can explain it to the people who are not familiar. after the fall of atlanta, sherman burns what is left and starts his march to the sea. hood and the army of the tennessee, what is left of it, troops, have escaped atlantic, but they are to the west and the north of atlanta. sherman burns what is left of atlanta and begins his march to the sea, which is going to the north the -- the southeast. hood is in the northeast and sherman is in the southeast. richmond is trying to figure out what to do with the army of tennessee. this is in late 1864. and there is a bit of a bloody stalemate going on in this part of the country between lee and
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grant. what is decided to do by richmond is they cannot catch sherman because sherman has a 200 mile lead and he is destroying everything in his path. no railroads, all bridges being burnt and there is zero subsistence for a army. so sherman is slaughtering all of the cattle and burning all of destroyinghe is everything so a a pursuing army has no supplies. even if they could figure out how to catch him with a 200 mile head start. what richmond decides to do instead is to send the army of tennessee on a invasion of tennessee to try and liberate nashville. by doing that, if he could succeed in defeating george thomas at nashville, there are only two sources of troops for
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lincoln to use in tennessee or kentucky. they either had to have sherman turn around and come back, and he would have to do that by sea because he would have no subsistence. what was going to happen was grant would have to send 20,000 30,000 40,000 troops, that was the plan. hood begins an invasion on the north end of tennessee and sherman and his army are going in opposite directions. it is a very strange event, but it makes sense if you know what is going on and you study it. thomas is sent to organize organize the defense of nashville. 8000 troops in nashville and they are mostly quartermasters.
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he is given only one small army. they call it the army of the ohio. it's not. sherman gives thomas a 25,000 man army under scofield. scofield positions himself between hood and northern alabama and nashville. hood begins his march towards nashville and scoville then starts a retreat. so you've got 30,000 confederate troops and a 25,000 man union army. and they are both racing north to try to get to nashville. scofield wants to get to nashville because it is fortified. hood wants to get between scofield and nashville, and he
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wants to attack nashville and destroy scofield and that will leave george thomas with these consolidating troops, getting together a small force in nashville. scofield both meats, both converge in the city of columbia, tennessee. scofield got there first. and he fortifies. and he ishree corps, sitting there south of columbia and he has two choices. one is to attack scofield head-on or the other is to try a flank. he decides to try a flank. he leaves all 100 at columbia and he takes the other two corps and he takes them east and crosses the river and does a march on november 29 to try and get on the road to cut the road between columbia and nashville
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and basically isolate scofield in the middle. had it turned out right, there would have been two corps to the north of scofield and all 100 cannon and lee's corps to the south of scofield. scofield learns of the flank and he takes off from columbia. hood's two corps that did the flank the night before get to the town of springhill, tennessee right before dark. he orders to frank cheetham to block the road. cheetham does not block the road. hood wakest morning, up and the entire army wakes up, and scofield is gone.
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scofield who had been trapped between the artillery and the other two corps had marched up the road, the columbia pike, and they literally mentioned -- the union soldiers set it looked like an ocean of campfires beside the road. and they marched by all night long and they were never stopped. the next morning, hood and the army wake up, schofield has escaped. they get on the road and they they get on the road and they start chasing scofield to try to catch him before he gets to nashville. schofield gets to franklin and all the bridges are washed out. he turns around and he digs in hood's army iss a couple hours behind him. that is why the battle of franklin happened. for those that do not know, there were more casualties at the battle of franklin than in
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on the d-day beaches. it was all on 1100 yard wide from. anyway, the big debates then happened. hood said he gave orders to cheetham to block the road, cheetham swore up and down he never got the orders. that hood is lying. hood died in 1879 and cheetham outlived him by 11 years. i can get in an argument with anybody in this room over anything, and if i out live you by 11 years, guess who will win the argument? [laughter] stephen: that is exactly what happened. basically, historians have largely sided with cheatham. because hood was not around. so, i'm going through his papers. and i come across some interesting things. here is a letter from stephen d. lee.
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and it says, it is august 25, 1875, there were actually three letters, excuse me. in 1875, lee wrote -- it is hard to read -- "i think you can now write with more profundity than at any time to this date. and possibly now, it is your duty." he is trying to tell hood, you have to tell what happened. hood was not saying anything. hood did not say anything about what happened at springhill -- at spring hill until he put it in his memoirs. then it was after he died -- he was doing the robert e. lee thing, do not argue with confederates about why we lost the war. he would not say anything bad about anybody. then on april 16, lee writes, the blunder was at spring hill. had that not occurred, all would have been well.
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there, the responsibility of failure in the campaign rests. a dalliance, noble effort was made. and it was the last chance to strike with success. later on, he writes "i do hope your book will make clear the spring hill matter. for it is time for the mystery to be cleared up. if you do not, i feel it is my duty to do so after your book comes out." well, what was it that he was telling hood? what was he telling hood? another letter from lee that says, "i met a.p. steward about six weeks ago and profounded, why was no battle delivered at spring hill? he replied that cheetham and
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claiborne determined it was not best to bring on an engagement at night. he said claiborne regretted it immediately thereafter and said no such weight should be on his mind again. and in that feeling, lost his life at franklin thereafter." what happened was hood only put -- majormoirs, he put joseph cumming and rochford said they delivered orders to cheatham, and cheatham said i will not attack. it is late, i will not attack. hood put that in his memoirs. and he did it because stephen lee basically give him an ultimatum. he says, if you do not tell what happened at spring hill, if you don't do it in your book, i will. then there was one other letter that hood did not include. isn't that great handwriting? it was a letter from a member of the staff of ed johnson, who was
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one of the division commanders. that -- well,said i am mixed up here. he mentioned that his colleague, e l martin on the staff of ed johnson, said that he had heard cheatham give the orders not to attack because it was dark and he did not want to attack. so, the papers that we found basically prove that hood was right, that frank cheatham was given orders and he thought it was too dark and he thought, we will get them in the morning. but they were not there in the morning. so these are basically the controversies of hood. like i said, there is 300 pages of these things. these are only a few of them.
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i am just going to show you one picture here before we go to questions, of the cool stuff i found when i found the papers. i reach in the box and here is a frame, a simple frame. a handwritten letter. i squint and i read it -- what is this? that is my famous phone by the way. [laughter] stephen: this is a handwritten letter from stonewall jackson, to samuel cooper, after the battle of antietam, recommending john bell hood for promotion to major general. how would you like to be sitting in a room, it is dark and they are downstairs and you are going to pick up that, you are going, whoa. we also have got diplomas and cool things on our walls. our cpa's. how would you like to have your
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recommendation for promotion from stonewall jackson hanging behind your desk? [laughter] stephen: and right beside it, recommendation for hood's permission from major general to lieutenant general, signed by james long street. anyway, tons of things in there. certificate, brigadier general, major general, lieutenant general. anyway, so, that is a whole different presentation. do we have time for a few questions? >> we will take a few questions tomorrow at the roundtable. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on aectures in history,"
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professor on the lead up to the american revolution. >> what are the things the colonists import? tea, all collected at the ports. no one has to be bothered. vick surprised. more outrage, more anger, more fear. eightday at 4:00 p.m., 1963 film "assignment: iran." >> he learns techniques to sustain himself in the jungle or an arctic wastelands. above all, he knows the ultimate alternative faced by the special forces men in action. adjust or die. >> and at 6:00 on "american artifacts," a preview of collections for the u.s. diplomacy center museum, set to open next year. who was america's
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first professional diplomat, conducted these two treaties. this treaty of commerce was essential. it granted france most favored nation trading status, and the french were very excited about being able to get into that economic trading war with great britain after the war was over. and this treaty would remain in effect for several years afterward. >> american history tv, every weekend on c-span3. >> monday on "the communicators," we are in new jersey with a conduct advanced communication research. >> i think the most exciting is 5g munication. 5g is an interesting thing it has been a 100 years since we had marconi. this is what wireless communication is.
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enter awant to do is new era of communication, and that is directed beam --munication, as opposed to you want to target individuals. we want to do this because it is never ending. we always want more and more, and we have saturated our spectrum. you have to go to higher frequencies, and higher frequencies have many other challenges. one of the challenges is it is too much. we cannot broadcast in the traditional way. i have to send my being directly at you. this is a complete change in paradigm, and there is a huge set of challenges. communicators," monday night at 8:00 eastern on
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c-span2. >> the c-span bus continues its 50 capitals tour this month with stops in raleigh, columbia, montgomery. we speak with state officials during our "washington journal" program. 9:30 a.m. for our stop in raleigh, north carolina, where our guest is john's sign -- is attorney general john stein. >> each week, american artifacts takes viewers into archives, museums, and historic sites around the country. the national world war i museum and memorial in kansas city, missouri has more than 300,000 artifacts. next, we learned about several items in the collection from the museum's education curator. laura: hello, my name is laura vogt.


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