Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  June 25, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

8:00 pm
of the confederacy's most controversial soldier. we're delighted to have him with us today and he will take your questions at the conclusion. let's give him a nice round of applause. [applause] >> good afternoon. when i was here in the fall, i don't know if you were here or not that many were so kind to ask questions. i will allow time for this i have a timeframe but if you have questions i certainly would like to hear them or if you disagree. in fact, thinking about this driving down, this is the first full talk i have given on the book. if parts of that don't make sense, forgive me i have not gone through this all together.
8:01 pm
above like as many questions as you would have. when robert e. lee rode out on sunday june first-come 1862, to assume command of the army of northern virginia, there were, very few people who were quite optimistic about the prospects of. . . . .
8:02 pm
developed a mutual respect and trust for each other, whereas davis, you know, has so many problems with johnson, who if you ask johnson she would have so many problems with jefferson davis. johnston withheld information from davis and their relationship was very, very icy and was getting more difficult, and then of course johnston is written on may 31st in the fighting at seven pines or fair oaks, and as davis rhode we that these men on may 31st lee was with him and could make the argument who was going to command the army and the gist had little choice. there was no subordinating to give it to so he turned to leave and so i'm going to appoint a temporary command, not permanent command. they expected me b. johnson would return so that's how we
8:03 pm
got the job as the commander in northern virginia. when he joined the army, she realized her quickly that johnson was a bad administrator, so there was -- the organization of the army was weak, discipline in the camps was miserable in many ways. he wrote to his wife at that time that hundreds of not thousands of men would sneak away from the camp and enjoy the saloons and brothels of richmond on a constant basis while you can't run an army that we. so, we in turn inherited an army that wasn't quite ready for what he was going to expect of them. yet i thought about this when i was doing it i was thinking you can't write in a book that also stars aligned. you can't prove all the stars aligned but in a sense all the
8:04 pm
stars aligned for the confederacy on that day. is a quantity and quality certainly but there is nobody really in the army of the potomac at the gates of richmond stonewall jackson, james, jeff stuart, d. h. hill, richard, lafayette. they're simply wasn't in the union army those kind of subordinates. so what they needed, if you will, was somebody who could take them somewhere and that man rode out that morning on sunday, june 31st. what did he do it immediately? he did what he would do for the next three years. he went to work. he issued an order immediately saying that all commanders will
8:05 pm
have their brigades and divisions ready to move at a moment's notice. today's leader, today's leader lee decided that he was going to attack the union army of the potomac and what is critical to understand about this, and i think it's what becomes a hallmark of his next 13 months but arguably as long as he could do it she had assessed, if you will, rationally some have argued that he had that in eight combativeness. miti had. it's hard to measure that. if you remember there is a famous conversation between one of davis's agents and alexander, the future great our tourist and the army, and this happened soon after he was taking the command and alexander asked what is the general wheat audacious enough? we need all the city and i said
8:06 pm
alexander, you're going to see shortly all of the audacity you need to see and laughing you see is it doesn't come from the combativeness as such it comes from the calculation on his part. if you look at june, 1862, the controversy had a terrible winter for donelson who surrendered to, you have nash phill captured, the battle of shiloh where the confederacy lost and new orleans captured and excuse me, the union army of the potomac and a handful of house of richmond, and the attitude in the north was they thought the war was going to be over shortly and there was every reason to believe it may be over shortly so the winter of 62 was a winter where the confederacy thought to be cut off in the defensive and the union army
8:07 pm
swallowed up the land and the largest city had been captured in new orleans. he saw that the only chance they had as an opponent whose material might and manpower may not be unlimited but it was certainly compared to the confederacy and felt you had to take the war to them. you have to assume the offensive and take risks because if you don't take risk you are in for a slow death, and to prevent that, we calculated that the only thing that the confederacy needed to do if you will is the audacious and gold. some have argued that he was two lubold, but what i will tell you he was doing with the southern people expected their generals to do. the old lion was any good read
8:08 pm
cymric ten yankees. they probably exaggerated the members, but they believed their boys could rip a fair number of yankees who had a marshall attitude in this house prior to the war and the davis administration, he wanted aggressiveness, but the southern people so when he assumed in the oppressiveness, the offensive he is reflecting what they expected him to do, and by doing so if you are a general, you can dictate within your fielder how the campaigns and operations are going to unfold. its strategic or operational offensive. so within two days he had confirmed on june 2nd and june june 3rd few of his commanders now jackson in the shenandoah valley competed confirmed what some but we have made the
8:09 pm
decision within two days to strike the enemy. charles marshall, who is a military secretary would say later conversations with lee and it is reflected in his strategy he believed the best way to defend richmond was to be as far away as possible from richmond. in other words, you have to take the war away from richmond. with george mcclellan and the army of the potomac city on your doorstep somehow you have to get them away from that. and if you jump ahead to 64 what happens? brandt takes the war to richmond and then from richmond to petersburg his army is going to bleed a slow death. so you have to fight it awaited the other factor in the's calculation and this is critical to understand he will write about this time and again, and he paid close attention to what was going on in the north.
8:10 pm
as a trivia his favorite newspaper was a philadelphia inquirer. he felt they had the most reliable correspondence with the army of the potomac. he would read other newspapers but his favorite was the philadelphia inquirer. but anyhow, he knew that the confederacy to win this war had to achieve a yes on the battlefield but ultimately, what they had to do was break the will of the northern people. the will of the northern people to sustain the war effort in the face of defeat and sacrificed in the loss of a husband and brothers and so forth that was well into the german military analyst as it was the center of gravity, the crucial thing that happened to be broken and to do that in his mind you had to fashion together a series of battlefield victories that might break the will of the northern people and forced, in forcing
8:11 pm
the lincoln administration to negotiate a political settlement. the confederacy could never conquer the north. so they have to bring the north to the table, and in lee's calculations that was part of his strategy. so as many of you well know at the end of june, 1862, the confederate army struck and the army struck what is known as the seven day campaign. and we like turning points in the war and any war. the civil war, and heave of being a diplomatic turning point, the gettysburg as a military turning point. folks in some ways a critical turning point was the seven days. the war changed. it took a new course because of the seven days. lee and his army are going to
8:12 pm
change everything in the east and are going to change it for the next year. when he drove the army of the potomac with i think george mcclellan's held in the sense that he wanted to retreat and get away from him but when they achieved that, the war was going to change and that is because of lead willing to do this. now, this is an army that will be not the army that you think about later. just a couple things struck me as i was doing this. one of the standards of course was a terrible miscommunication. jackson had a bad campaign. given over fatigue and illness were not sure but he doesn't do very well. in fact we had serious questions about stonewall jackson, docked in that campaign. another thing that struck me was the amount. there was a lot of gold southern boys that were not interested in
8:13 pm
fighting. when they can close to a battlefield they were not around and this is going to be a problem throughout 62 we are going to fall a bit more when we get into antietam but this was clearly a problem at that time. how they were not a machine buy any means and the small firm hills. with a question has been argued and still remains argued and i just saw a recent argue in the civil war times illustrated in america's civil war comparing the and to grant i think the premise and part is wrong in the sense if you look at the western campaigns there are a lot more movements maneuvered. put together a string of bloody battles in the west. you don't put the string of bloody battles in the west compared them to the east so if you are engaged in bloody battles you're probably going to lose more men than when you're marching but my point is meldrim hill. there is a lie and then there dhl said it wasn't war it was
8:14 pm
murder. the confederate troops slaughtered and charged up the slope. they never had a chance. they were slaughtered. the important thing to remember that as an example of lee's aggressiveness and competitiveness. he was on the left wing of the army late that afternoon. he was with james longstreet discussing this and he had decided to cancel the attack. they were comparing for the attack but we decided she was going to cancel and then have two things happened. two messages came. one said to the federal army was in retreat. we had been trying to catch him for a week. second, the brigade, famous for gettysburg, his brigade made in advance, so these messages came to lead to see that we have an opportunity here and the federal
8:15 pm
start again scurrying away, and as lee what say he wants to destroy their army. one unfortunately, both pieces of information were wrong. and instead of lee ordering he was drawn into it by false information, and the result was murder and asahel said. the next campaign, i say in my book because james long tree said it and i am not just saying because long tree, i think bull run and the second manassas is the second manassas if you go to the park its of the manassas battlefield was the masterpiece and what did it is combine a strategic or operational offensive in the march around john pope and once they got in the battlefield of second manassas they assumed the tactical defensive until august august 30th, and in a counter attacks and came very close to
8:16 pm
destroying the union army of virginia because then you go down there and go to henry house hill and down below is this stone house where that intersection if they were to capture that post army would have been scattered all over and forced to surrender but they can close but never did. from the seven days of the beginning of july until the end of august, somehow this army the parts of it came together. this was a different army than the march on seven days. communication was much better. jackson had gotten out of whatever had bothered him or caused him to have a sub-par performance during the seven days she was the one that executed the law march. it's clearly becoming a solid commander of the time both he and jackson would have wings and
8:17 pm
in that sense it is a masterpiece consider the greatest battle but if you want to look at least, we have this image of lee i know why we have it because we mentioned all of you have been to gettysburg and the virginia monument to stand there where alexander as bonds are and what across that line and fields and see how could he do this how could he ordered his army across the ground? is he that combat? so we have this image and folks they prefer the maneuver to get him the situation that is very favorable tactical the on the battlefield in his army.
8:18 pm
he used in the seven days, the second manassas again. after that sitting in northern virginia and he's looking around and he feels he has to take the war across the potomac into maryland. the difficulty with that is he's looking at an army that of the men are physically just worn out. they have gone many miles, but they are going to fall, and what is interesting we know from the research of others that probably his army at that time numbered in the neighborhood of 70 to 75,000 as it sat there and just south of the potomac river in the beginning of september. what is also interesting, he had to inform defense of this. he wrote to davis and asked if it was okay. but he wrote to davis to ask
8:19 pm
permission when he already started the army for word and davis of course is going to grant it because davis, even in that year earlier, there was discussions within the administration how can we take the war not into maryland, but into pennsylvania? they wanted to expand the borders of the confederacy to take the army but when recrossed the preferred he's going to risk a great deal. it becomes a potomac to read the probably lost, and it's hard to estimate again we know thousands of hamas of that number could not cross the river because they were just physically exhausted or killed. but more than likely come anywhere from 25 goals and to 30,000 confederates during a campaign that is going to last for two weeks are going to abandon their ranks. they are going to hit into virginia. i know the second virginia in the stonewall brigade will go
8:20 pm
with jackson to command harper's ferry and then quarterback across the potomac to go to sharpsburg. they decided it into maryland and the it seen enough and they are not going back and they don't go back. they are doing duties south of the river. but when you look at the numbers it is hard. we all want to have them and yet, you know, we studied this and studied this. how many confederates were on the field of antietam september 7262? the consensus is probably about 40,000. but i've gone through some of the records and other fellows have, too. there were some confederal regiments before a battle, not after the battle but before the battle mustered 15 men, 25 men. these are regimens that thousands in the ranks of 61.
8:21 pm
50 million, and i remember as a battalion of i think not a full regimen battalion of eight. i believe the south carolina and union looking at these numbers. what happens of course is lee is going to be criticized why did you fight there? and the's explanation is a was better to for the maryland than to leave without a battle but if you go to the sharpsburg it's a wonderful place in the sense that it is not any of the -- i think the gettysburg is a great place to go, too but sharpsburg is a wonderful place there's not a motel in town, there's not a mcdonald's. it has hardly changed. you want to stay after night you have to go back up and it's a small battlefield in the sense, but the potomac river is 3 miles
8:22 pm
to your back. had he lost his army would face possible destruction. okay what if he one? if he won he wasn't going to hurt the army potomac that much. surgeon the antietam creek is going to be behind you so he can pursue -- he's not going to tear into the rear of the army potomac as it crosses the south mountain. so what he asked his men had to do as one confederate officer says the greatest testimony he ever offered his men i think it is the greatest day in the history of the army for its rank-and-file. the sacrifice, folks, measured the hours and minutes at sharpsburg for the confederate. there's a north carolina soldier who had time to be shot in his diary. my god, when will the sun go down? the sun seemed to hang in the sky. from the opening attacks coming and we know the places, east and
8:23 pm
west once, and when the fighting was over there were 8,000 men on the ground in the square mile. and then it's going to shift to what we call bloody lane and the yankees are going to break through the bloody lane and who is in the front? james longstreet's staff and the chill in major general founding at 200 men. this is the center of the army of northern virginia at that moment and they are going to counterattack with 200 men. this is how close it came and then the collapse on the right wing once it gets rolling and the only thing that saves his army is the rifle held division. what he asked his men to do is remarkable and a they did. what is also interesting about it as the battle shifted from the north end through the center
8:24 pm
of the bloody land, midafternoon , what is left is hanging on the left woods and the church and so forth, blease sends a request to jackson to have jeff stuart conduct reconnaissance a round of plank of the army potomac to see if he could counterattacked. they're hanging on by a thread and lee is looking to see whether or not they can counter attack the army of the potomac. the boldness of that idea is astonishing. it really is. and of course, as we know, the bloodiest day in american history. and lead would say later, she would have met himself, that what he asked his army to do was the greatest moment and i would almost agree with that and face saved him. now of course he was all over the field. jackson's superb wall street and
8:25 pm
support and commanders to there's no question. just as you may remember the deficient many came from pennsylvania, they are going to charge into the west woods and they will lose 2200 men. 2200 men and 20 minutes because they just plunged in. this is the level of fighting that you're going to see. in the aftermath of that, he would establish the laundry and jackson the team to beat to became the two commanders. it is who will promote the date james longstreet had stonewall jackson. so if he were to fall in battle, wan st would have assumed temporary command of the army come of stonewall jackson. they are two different men entirely.
8:26 pm
jackson -- i've always been amazed how amana can impose his will not only on his men but upon his enemy, and jackson did that. i remember in april 62 she wrote to his wife he wanted to create an army of the living god and i believe that, jackson was very difficult. he had a bunch of sinners all the living god idea and a lot of them left the rank and so forth, but there's jackson who would do this. he told the vmi cadets as they are leaving when jan 92 virginia succeeded he said in the civil war when you take the sword he will achieve this word and stonewall jackson became a competitive officer he had achieved and he would throw out. james longstreet is a different man in that sense. he was probably the biggest
8:27 pm
tactician in the army. he was much more careful in the expenditure things could he have done the 1862 campaign? i don't think so. jackson knew the region but second, what it took. jackson would push the men and push of a man. glisson struck some around not long street because jackson can push men and he understood. but when he want to defend a position or who launched counterattacks you didn't give jack you gave it to pete, longstreet and that is where he excelled and so forth. i'm not going to tell much about fredericksburg. one confederate soldier said it's the easiest battle we ever had. yes it was. it's a terrible, terrible day for the potomac. as the is regiment and the brigades charge of towards the
8:28 pm
stone wall for the marine heights and the gunfire is so heavy, so heavy that the dead men are moving because there's tricking them in such frequency they are making their bodies move as more and more union soldiers are going up the slope. if there is every place where the potomac proved the courage of itself it was the to stonewall fredericksburg. during the winter of 1863, lee would be plagued with arguably would be a worsening condition that goes on and that is the shortages of food and so forth and armaments. he had to scatter his cowal and units and it was only going to get worse and 64. but 63 is a precursor of the difficulties. lee was an excellent administrator. if you look at his confederate career most of the time spent holding the army together.
8:29 pm
probably in some sense like george washington was confronted with two of the revolutions. the details of the ceo to make sure we have food, things like that. he hated paperwork and the staff behind his back called him the tycoon. i know we have this image that he had a foul will temper when he was around. he wasn't arrau's often but when he was he had a foul temper and some of the staff would complain how they just wished the old man with koln down and things like that but they called him the tycoon behind his back. well, this is clearly the bearing of lee epitomizes i think. he's out numbered and by the become the general executed what porter alexander would say would be the finest movement against them during the war. now i don't know that is for sure when a grand manages to
8:30 pm
cross the brilliant move maneuver but nonetheless, he has him caught if you will between his army, and what does he do? cheetos to calculate which one is a real thing and which one is the st and he decides it is up for a reversal he devises his army which is already out numbered 2-wan and he will send jackson against and the critical day in some ways is may 1st. as his army is coming out of the wilderness the wing of the army corps they're going to run into jackson a and order them back into the wilderness. that negated their artillery. he didn't have the calgary with him. the best thing about the army potomac relative to the confederates was the artillery, this will land under a superb henry hunt but that was negated the battleground that they chose and with jeb stuart being to shut off the avenue and the
8:31 pm
roads in that area, they were able to execute the famous jackson march from the army potomac and in the course the afternoon of may 2nd they would assault down the plank road and collapse of the 11th corps and the whole battle changed. may 3rd, again, if you look at me scared it was a bloody slugfest in the woods. jackson had been wounded the night before jeb stuart and his good friend in the army replaced him and had to unite the wings of his army so he had to attack. i'm trying to make a point of it again, circumstances tell him he has to attack. he has to unite the wings of his army because if he figures out there's a big gap he gets funneled through and possibly prisses some segments of his army and they will deutsch it and that is the day that saw who
8:32 pm
work to the tour is going to lead the league lead chancellorsville and he will order the retirement and retreat across and as many say this is his greatest victory. it was not expected. when they heard the news about the chancellorsville he wrote with a glorious army, so i sold his words from the title. i did a poor choices for the title and this seemed like a glorious armies attacking civilians description of the army after chancellorsville which i think is a fair description. what he does not know after chancellorsville and i think it is critical to the understanding of what will transpire, he does not know that he had defeated the commander of the army of the potomac meaning joe hooker. he had not defeated the
8:33 pm
rank-and-file and many of the corps commanders. george reed and john reynolds were on the verge of discussing, discussing the fact whether they were going to use of a hooker's order and not retreat across the river. he had to send the order saying you will cross the river. that is how much sanction was in the army but the rank and file was a different story but there is no way that he could know that, and after chancellor still if you start to read all these things the confederates are pricing of the essentials and say we're for the army potomac is we will meet them, and that is the way they looked at it. and by the time they are going to reach gettysburg and free mental the officer observing with the army besides the word of their own men to believe they are invincible. many battlefields they can win
8:34 pm
and it probably every right to believe that. why did he go to pennsylvania? well, charles marshall again quoting him the post war so forth marshall would say that from the time that he took command and you bring all these campaigns together they all went together, in other words, this idea of carrying the war north and whatever was part of his plan if you will witold you that these this was looking in '62 and talking about the possibility that they may go into pennsylvania. and so here was an opportunity to finally do this. also you can in some ways are due this is the best army that he commanded at a given point. jackson is dead eye and a stand that. you can't replace jackson and that's going to show.
8:35 pm
but don't ask me, please call if jackson had been in gettysburg what would happen. i don't know. okay? but anyhow, there are the commanders he could not replace. i understand that. but if you look at the armaments and all the things going to it you read the records and of the diary and there's little struggling in pennsylvania which had of it been a curse and he called it the curse of the army you're not going to see that in pennsylvania. are they going to leave the road and enjoy the cumberland valley? guess they are going to do that they are going to be back in there's a there's a difference. if you go out and read the farmhouse or most often smokehouse and grab some chickens but come back to camp that might your with the army come you're not struggling, you are just having a good time and they had a very good time in pennsylvania.
8:36 pm
but as she had remarks north she would write to davis and the sense that the time had come it looks like we have a chance because of vicksburg haven't been settled yet. this is may and june and this is our chance to maybe hit them again and bring lincoln to the negotiation table. davis was so taken by the idea in a sense he formed with a free man commission that would negotiate with a link in government upon the confederate factory in pennsylvania. so when he went north and he went north to settle it. now if you read his report, you'll get a different interpretation of that. it is almost like i'm taking the
8:37 pm
boys into pennsylvania. we are planning to spend a few times there on a holiday and then come home. we are not going to fight a general battle. i don't want to fight. he didn't on july 1st. but he was looking for the army of the potomac in pennsylvania because he was hoping was a would have to march after him and be strung out and he could get them. he did not want that fight on july 1st. and part of the reason and i know when i was here, jeff stuart fields this campaign and some argue stewart had orders to do what he did. but where he field was in the misjudgment that left lee in many ways blind to what was in the front and so the morning of july 1st 1863 crossed the south mountain and here's that rumble
8:38 pm
of artillery he is upset because he issued orders not to bring on the fight. he knew the federal store in the area and who they were and how many. seven of course on that day it's one of the rare moments in history of the army they were able to bring together more of man on the battlefield than the yankees had. you could argue it was about 28,000 to 22 and as many know they swept the first in the core of the field and cells of town when a signal victory. everything he asked his men to do they did it again. james longstreet well a ride on the battlefield may be yet five akaka 5:15. he will turn his house south and right near the present-day seminary and he said he saw that he was engaged, so he took some time, got his glasses and
8:39 pm
reached across the open ground which you can't see today that back then you could see the cemetery hill he is all this other hill through and concluded that's pretty good ground to fight the defensive. some of the 15 or 20 minutes later she said to him general, and i'm paraphrasing, we have them where we want them all we need to do is move south. what he meant moves all this may be ten or 12 miles. find a good ground a defensive and make the yankees attack and we will beat them. and you can argue that he was right about that. because if you just jump ahead, the first time in the history of the army of northern virginia where they held a battlefield and they were driven from at would be april 2nd, 18651 week before.
8:40 pm
so they're going to defend the ground of chances are pretty good that the yankees are not going to drive them from that round. he looked at him and set no, paraphrasing if they are there to marlin going to attack and he says if they're there tomorrow there's a good reason we shouldn't attack them and that is arguably the most serious controversy of gettysburg. he believed at this point of the war we are wasting too many men's lives and have to fight on the defensive. he had a sound argument in that sense. no way of knowing what you would assume and this isn't just based on some kind of gas or whatever you want to say, the confederacy held the rich and we did for the yankees to see what was going to do you almost have to think of going to attack him. could you imagine the reaction in the white house, george mead said a telegram to the president clinton saying these are these are my way and i'm watching
8:41 pm
them. i don't think that would have. you know, in fact, she was thinking about if you will doesn't attack july 3rd she may have to assume the offensive on july 4th. i can't give you a definitive answer on tickets charge in that sense i can do what he said, tell you what he did. i probably ask more than they can deliver. i think that's right. to think that he had to believe they could take that position because if he didn't believe that they could take. religion july 3rd after that on july 2nd and became very close to my second but it's a different army of the potomac they're fighting as long surgeon would say later we are in our reliance commanded by jack.
8:42 pm
[laughter] there were fewer of the gettysburg them prior to that. and so they got to the leadership that they deserved and it's just a sense of invisibility. it is the sense that what ever i asked these men have to do they have done for me. one thing you can't calculate you write about the army of northern virginia. maybe it's just me or whatever, how to calculate the fighting spirit of these men? you can't measure it. but it's there. there was something about the confederate infantry and others would write about it and he would say later i knew they would be good soldiers we just need organization. others would say they were different. they have this land and spirit that just you look at what they do in this part of time and you say where is it? comes from within. on the other hand, and fairly by
8:43 pm
history as we look at the army of the potomac. but they were not commanded by long street and jackson the recommended by mcclelland and a few other lesser lights and things like that, it's also leadership. but that day, july feared, as the confederate infantry in the greater land and leave must have believed they could do it because they always had when they step out of there in the fridge he went into the lead and i told you about the division, those are the fellows that stood up and shot at fredericksburg. one of them shouted come on, come to death. they're waiting on them and they held because they were lions and lee had underestimated that. he misjudged his opponent and so did many in the confederate army
8:44 pm
because these boys come gettysburg and the boys in blue, gettysburg becomes a redemption. but if you look at gettysburg it is probably the combination of what lee is, but he plans to do if you will from the time he took command, and when he took command, and they will move out in the 70's as i told you, vlore mechem the east changed. they actually redirected the war. i think they give the confederacy the strategy the only chance of winning the war. so if you will figuratively and literally the army of northern virginia was reborn in june 1962. thank you. [applause]
8:45 pm
>> we are going to take some questions now, so anyone that would like to ask a question should step up to the microphone. don't be bashful. we have a young lady -- we have a gentleman here. okay. >> this has been perhaps the most dramatic and interesting and comprehensive discussion of the civil war. thank you. >> i also want to make a suggestion that in the future we have a screen showing the geographic relationship of all the towns you mentioned. it would complete our vision of what you are saying you send a great message. thank you. >> thank you. it's very kind. the reason it's not there is i'm probably a computer idiot. [laughter] it for the asks me powerpoint and i'm thinking powerpoint.
8:46 pm
[laughter] actually just as a confessional, i write my books on legal pads from note cards with cheap pens because i have a wife who's a wonderful secretary and she types everything into the computer for me and then says you know, this is stupid. [laughter] but you're point is well taken. i am to old. i will think about it. thank you. those are kind words and i appreciate that. >> fine assistant director at the heritage museum and first i want to thank you for being here today. it's interesting and i have a question. what do you say about people both scholars antley people who consider lee to be a trader and
8:47 pm
have felt that the best thing would have been to execute him, what are your thoughts on that? >> that's a very difficult question. very interestingly, i think about -- a week ago i saw on line in the "washington post" columnist wrote that argument he couldn't understand why the league was praised in america because he was a traitor. i think every confederate arguably i guess if you will fully understanding what they did were traders. but fifth defining moments in our history are moments i think are in a sense of forgiveness and lincoln saw that. johnson would do it for different reasons. remember harry truman does it after world war ii, and yes, and
8:48 pm
they were in the sense of you to look at the confines of the constitution, but you know we were a country created by traders. they were in a line of traders, and to them they weren't, they were just falling in the revolutionary father's footsteps. and that's why execute everything else or leading officers the advantage the idea bringing davis to trial after imprisoning for two years or so. but the men who fought against him, if you look at them, that is what they couldn't understand they couldn't understand how can you southerners risk of this country? this is like no place on earth. husaybah into the american
8:49 pm
exceptional was on. they really did. when the guy from wisconsin can say i'm fighting for the best country created for the common man, they got it. at that time, so technically constitutionally since i'm not a lawyer they were, but what lincoln did would have done certainly already planning this and then johnson would. the best thing to do is to heal this terrible wound and go on and let these men go away. that is arguably the almost destroyed the country but we have to go through that and that is the way that i look at it. >> how do you compare the mentality of the confederacy as a revolution very much the same way you see in the middle east
8:50 pm
for the identity and recognition can you interpret that in the confederacy? >> i don't think so. there is a real argument to be made that this is a top-down revolution in the confederacy if you want to call it a revolution. this is led by the class and politicians, what you are seeing in the middle east is not, i don't think that there is very many wealthy and established arabs in the street there. i think we try to cling on to it because they know the existence of people like gadhafi. i don't know for certain in the week. but no, and in fact, to northerners saw it in those terms at the time. this is slaveholders pulling their people into a war. you know, and they are the ones who are blamed for it, these
8:51 pm
leading slaveholders, politicians and secessionists sore think it is a different time and in many ways, too, just for the american revolution was actually led by a man who had a lot to lose. it's an unusual revolution in that sense. mostly as you point out it is the people who have not. they want to gain something. our revolution was led by men who had a lot to lose, so in that sense it is the different one. >> the battle of gettysburg, was it really all telfair's fault or did the commanders under lee really let him down? for instance, i guess the attack didn't take place when it was supposed to. the artillery was also scheduled, nothing seemed to be scheduled right and finally, longstreet finally agreed to the attack and it took place later
8:52 pm
than scheduled, and another point was the calgary commander feel he was being equipped to the union line and have many trained to take over everything else and they really let him down by not getting through to do that. so really they had between them all the strict lee of his plan. is that possible? >> first of all, you know, one of the favorite sports of historians for anybody else one of the ten reasons for the confederates to have lost gettysburg what is always interesting to me the number 12 union army they never make the top ten and they should probably be in the top three.
8:53 pm
but anyhow, with that said, longstreet a critical mistake on the night of july 2nd and 3rd. lee won the tickets division at dawn and they were going to attack in the same area roughly that they had attacked in july july 2nd up through peach orchard into the southern part of it. wall street doesn't send the order. he comes up after the war with a lame excuse. so, the charge that you know, we all know, was yes indeed, cobbled together by lee put together because his original plan would be to attack at dawn and renew the assault. so yes, he had to change that so during the mornings he will put together what becomes as we know from the assault charge but more familiar packets charge. the thing with jeb stuart, i
8:54 pm
wrote a biography of stewart in a book on the third day of gettysburg. i have looked and looked like everybody else, and you know, i cannot find that piece of paper that says jeb stuart is supposed to attack the union army of kitty >> when they break through. i think he was sent out to protect the flank possibly so unclear because what he said in his report upon the construction of the commanding general that's all he says. well, we assume he were instructed but he doesn't tell us what they were, so what i'm telling you this idea that stewart was the rear of the army has no paper trail to say that that is the case. he may have been trying to get to the taverns which would have cut the supply line. he was out there and i think part of it would have been certainly -- see, we don't think
8:55 pm
he met with stuart. we know he doesn't. if he met with any court commander that night it would have been filled he certainly doesn't meet with longstreet, and i probably didn't even meet with hill there's no evidence i could have found that he met with stewart so whatever instructions he received in paper or whatever oregon or they were oral so that is all i can tell you. longstreet, lee would say that might he could not understand why more and men were not put into the assault. and longstreet had commanded anderson's decision and sent to brigades forward with that. he was ready to move forward. the other three he canceled the order and if you read the diaries they wanted to go out and help longstreet for the fact he didn't send them as james kemper would call the union division of gettysburg. so yeah, there's a lot of
8:56 pm
reasons. but every army makes the human endeavor pickett's charge is a put together a fair. that's true because of him not being on the field when he was supposed to be which was not george pickett's fault, that burden rested with james wall street. >> can you talk about the end of day one, and day to on the west point of the confederate army? because i think that lee sorted advocated authority there and gave up the great opportunity both days but primarily on the day to and he was sort of nonexistent, don't you think? >> it's a very good question and one of the other controversies of the gettysburg that we deal with. with a wooden leg and all recently married as she said contributed to his problems --
8:57 pm
[laughter] that's what he said. he lost his body and spirit. really? [laughter] is that right? never mind. [laughter] my wife is here. [laughter] you know, with you on this because he sends him a note saying you know, if you can take that high ground ticket, it's practical. so he goes forward and looks at that is a pretty tough ground to take. we are going to need help. because of johnson's's division so he writes and says a word back saying kim hill helpless? he checks and says i don't think we can. so he goes out and says okay, what we will do when the johnson
8:58 pm
division of arrives we will have an attack. the problem with that is he did not tell johnson he expected them to do it in the dark. if the confederacy had held the union position of gettysburg really had that nobody in here welcome that is a lie. some people know a lot about the civil war, probably more lee, the lieutenant colonel -- you know, joshua chamberlain on july 2nd, you want to make that argument, but i know from being to gettysburg plenty of times, that jeff daniels and jeff daniels alone won the civil war at gettysburg. [laughter] you look at the movie and we all know that. [laughter] but, you are getting into july 2nd. lee ask more than he could do and say you know, we can do much
8:59 pm
but he said you will, you know, you will move forward with the demonstration and converted into attack. his method of command prior to that was to the support of its because they're on the ground closer and he could do that with longstreet and jackson. as for defaulters that the gettysburg that's one of the reasons. the army has to be a well machine and gettysburg claimed and i think it did. a.p. hill comegys hard to find. in july 3rd, where was he? you know, and i couldn't -- i did not find a contemporary piece of paper by contemporary and wanted to limit my resources to september and was reasonably fresh in people's minds. and the only thing i


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on