tv Book TV in Hattiesburg MS CSPAN May 21, 2016 5:30pm-6:49pm EDT
>> the san francisco chronicle at the bay area festival in downtown berkeley, california, in the first weekend in june. live coverage of the 32nd annual printers row lit fest featuring see moore hirsh and sebastian younger. then in hyde park, new york, it's the 13th annual roosevelt reading festival held at the franklin d. roosevelt presidential library and museum. and this year's harlem book fair will be held on jewel 16th. -- july 16th. for more information about the
festivals booktv will be covering and to watch previous coverage, click on the book fairs tab on our web site, booktv.org. >> welcome to hattiesburg, mississippi, on booktv. located in the southern part of the state, it has a population of nearly 50,000 and is home to the university of southern mississippi. with the help of our comcast cable partners, other the next 90 -- over the next 90 minutes, we'll talk with local authors as we learn about the history of the area including a look at the civil war through the eyes of both well known and ordinary families. >> i really had always wanted to write this kind of sweeping, almost like a saga of the civil war. and for me as a military historian, over the years what i've noticed is that as much as we're fascinated by what happens on the battlefield and, you know, this sweeping -- the sweeping changes that take place because of this campaign or that campaign, the soldiers are alwaysooking home.
so i've really come to decide in all of my writing that you have to look at both. you have to look at the soldiers and the families, the battle front and the home front. if you're going to understand war. >> later, we'll take you to the university of southern mississippi's mccain library to see rare books and other unique items in their special collections. but first, we hear from author. david: i haves about how -- david: i haves about how mississippi reporters covered the civil rights movement and what impact this had on race relations in the state. >> my book looks at the mississippi press pretty much from the time of brown going through the voting rights act of 1965. and what i tried to do was look at a range of mississippi newspapers and how they covered issues of race over this time period. mississippi is interesting because it was the state that
seemed to be the most segregated of any of the southern states with opposition to integration being absolutely the most hard core of any of the southern states. and so i think mississippi is interesting in terms of the vehemence of some secs of the mississippi press in -- sections of the mississippi press in defending the racial status quo. in jackson we had both the jackson clarion ledger and the jackson daily news which in these years were absolutely solidly opposed to any challenge to segregation. so i think what you find is a very solid wall and opposition to racial change in mississippi particularly from the leading papers in mississippi. the clarion ledger at one point was labeled by the columbia journalism review as quite
possibly the worst metropolitan newspaper in the united states. and, in fact, the paper in those years lived up to that label, sadly. the paper would ignore racial news, it would have pretty much one-sided accounts of any activity concerning civil rights. its columnists and its editorial writers were absolutely vehement in their opposition to desegregation. they, in fact, used such strong language you just have to wonder be they played some role, if not in inciting violence, at least in failing to condemn it. and mississippi in those years was quite a violent place. so i expected the mississippi press to reflect the society
from which it emerged. however, i was shocked at the vehement tone of the dominant newspapers and a lot of others in those years. i would emphasize the range of opinion from within the press in this period. there were, there were heroes who really stood out, there were journalists who, behind the scenes, worked closely with the state spy agency, the mississippi sovereignty commission, to undermine the civil rights movement. i set out to explore how newspapers approached this absolutely cataclysmic event for the american south. i started with the idea that there were good guys and not-so-good guys in terms of editorial coverage of thi very
complex issue. and what i ended up finding is that, well, that's true. there were some true heroes in all of this. but there are also many, many shades of gray in terms of how journalists approach this topic. a really interesting case study of the civil rights years is hazel brennan smith. hazel owned the lexington advertiser in these years, a small town north of jackson, mississippi. her story is so, so compelling. in fact, at one point, i want to say in the mid '90s, she was the subject of a tv movie. and her life is truly the subject of a tv movie. she was a southern belle, graduate of the university of alabama, and like so many journalism graduates of that era, she wanted to own her own newspaper. and, by golly, she did. she went to tiny lexington, bought the local newspaper and
made a success of it. she proceeded, as she liked to recall, to the date every eligible bachelor in town. she darn near succeeded. she ultimately met some fellow on a cruise, brought him back to lexington, they got married, and she ran a fine little newspaper and was making a good bit of money. hazel was a segregationist. she very much was reflective of her time ask place. and place. but you know what? she believed in justice for all and that citizens should be treated equally. now, she thought that white people wanted to live with white people and black folks wanted to live with black folks, and so she believed in segregation. but equal justice was a different thing. she seemed to go along pretty well until a time in the 1950s when she stood up in the local, against the local sheriff.
mississippi many these years -- in these years had sort of -- liquor was illegal, but yet law enforcement looked the other way for years and years. and remember, hazel cared about justice. and so she took on the local sheriff for overlooking local bootlegers. and, of course, that got her in some hot water. but what really amounted to her bravest stand against the establishment was when she took up for a black man who had been shot by the local sheriff. the man had been walking along the side of the road, was stopped by the sheriff. the sheriff told him to get going. the man wasn't moving fast enough, the sheriff shot him. it was a flesh wound, the man
survived, but hazel took a stand on that. i mean, you shot an unarmed man. well, in mississippi in these years defending a black person for anything was a breach of pretty much the racial code in mississippi. and mississippi took it out on hazel. the local citizens council which was, it was an organization across the south, but it began and was especially strong in mississippi, businessmen opposed to desegregation. the citizens council took a stand against her, started a rival newspaper, and she started a long slide that ended in her bankruptcy. and, again, her challenge to mississippi in these years was not a challenge to segregation, but a challenge to her readers to stand up for justice.
that's how ingrained racism was in mississippi in these years. for a time at least, the press helped to reinforce the racial status quo and was probably a little bit of an obstacle to racial change. at the same time, there were folks who were outliers. there were folks who were so-called not rates. hazel brandon smith who some observers had said pretty much showed the first cracks in the racial status quo. mr. carter, in his day, had the prominence of dan rather today. hiding carter of little greenville, mississippi, was known as sort of the southern journalist. and along with people like ralph mcgill and maybe a few others,
mcgill being in atlanta, he was an explainer of the south to the north. and he wrote for "the new york times" magazine talking about southern issues, he wrote a number of books working very, very closely with his wife betty who deserves about as much credit for what he did as he does. but he, he was a really special case. he and betty were very, very much a part of greenville society. and it's interesting in that hying very, very much challenged mississippi. he had a running feud with the legislator. he was a racial moderate in that he thought mississippi should ultimately change. he thought that civil rights activists were pushing mississippi to change faster than mississippi was going to be able to. so, you know, in many ways he
was a little more moderate than the civil -- a lot more moderate than the civil rights activists would have liked. but still he was pushing mississippi to change. what's interesting, though, is because he was so ingrained in the community, i think that kind of protected him. i mean, he never lost his paper. yes, the klan would burn a cross in his yard and that sort of thing, but he still survived. and i think it's because he was very, very much a part of the fabric of the community. to give you a sense of how weird mississippi was in these years, at one point harding wrote something or other that hacked off the local klan or whoever. so so while he was away, these hoodlums spread trash all over his yard. but he was gone because a relative had died. so when the hoodlums realized he had been away for a funeral, they apologized. that was mississippi in these years, you know?
you don't, you don't spread trash over someone's yard if they're going for a funeral. it was, it was quite a world that harding carter and that these people lived in. by contrast, you can look at somebody like ira hearky who was absolutely the most -- probably the only -- outspoken integrationist of any of these editors in this period. he took, he ran a great newspaper in little pass georgia goo la mississippi on the mississippi gulf coast, and his readers loved him. he put out a great paper. he won all the awards at the state newspaper contest was his newspaper was just so good. but ira was different. i mean, ira's parents had raised him that everybody was as good as everybody else. he said that his wartime experience taught him that soldiers bled the same whether they were black or whether they were white.
and so ira gradually integrated changes into his newspaper. he would cover black news whereas most newspapers just didn't cover black news or they labeled it as black news. ira covered black news. he also gave black folks the same courtesy title that they gave white folks, mrs. smith, mrs. jones, that sort of thing. his readers didn't like that. and he got some pushback from his readers. but they forgave him because he ran a heck of a good paper. on the other hand, ira lost many of his readers when he came out in 1962 in defense of james meredith. he vehemently defend james meredith and his right to desegregate ole miss. he said it's crazy that mississippi would oppose the federal government. how can a state oppose the federal government? seems like common sense today, but that was an incredibly
radical stance in these years. if you compare coverage then versus coverage today in terms of issues of race or almost anything else, what's most interesting to me now is that the press is so scattered. and it's coming from so many different directions both in terms of its method of delivery and of the messages therein, the press was much, much more monolithic in mississippi in the civil rights era in that for the most part the press represented the segregationist point of view, and it was so monolistic that the so-called outliers, they really stood out.
i think it's the leadership of papers like the clarion that really led the way in investigating cold cases and what not. so i think what's so different today is, first of all, the leadership of the clarion ledger and the good that it's done over the 20 years that they've devoted to uncovering forgotten civil rights cases and also just the vast range of approaches in the press now. mississippi is a largely rural state, and its newspapers would, could pretty much be fairly easily termed community newspapers which spend a lot of time on local issues. and there's just some fine journalism out there. it was a surprise to very few of us that the biloxi sun herald along with the new orleans "times-picayune" won a pulitzer prize for its coverage of katrina. there's just fine, fine journalism going on today.
and here, as in so many other places, journalism is going through quite the transition with the economic underpinnings of newspaper being challenged so, so severely by the internet. our larger newspapers are still struggling with that readers just can't find elsewhere. so today the press is very much all over the map in terms of its economic health and in terms of its news coverage. quite a different world from 1950s mississippi. >> you're watching booktv on c-span2. this weekend we're visiting hattiesburg, mississippi, to talk with local authors and tour the city's literary sites with the help of our local cable partner, comcast.
next, we hear from andrew wiest, history professor at the university of southern mississippi, about the u.s. army's charlie company experiences during the vietnam war. >> as i began researching the war, it dawned on me that the real story of the vietnam veteran had not been told. the name of the book is " the boys of '67: charlie company's war in vietnam," and the real reason i decided to write it is that vietnam veterans had been used as political footballs, as part of a morality play, they've been used as many things, but hardly anybody had gotten to tell their story, who they were as young men before they went, the trauma of war that they went through both its great victories, its funny times, its horrible times and then what happened to them as a generation since they've been home. the reason i chose the year '67, that was in many ways the high combat year of the war in
vietnam. the years before that were ramping up. the year after that, tet '68, was a big year all of its own, and then we get the ramp down. so '67 in some ways appeared to be, at least to me, the kind of quintessential year of that war. and the book begins with who these young men were before they left, what their lives were, what their hopes were, what their dreams were x. as it turns out, this unit of young men is representative of the entire country. there's city slickers from cleveland, there's migrant farm workers from texas, there's young african-american sharecroppers from the south, there's a whole bunch of kids from los angeles. you name it, it's a real hodgepodge of what it meant to be american at the time. the military unit these men are part of is the 9th infantry division, and they're all drafted, essential hi, on the same day -- essentially, on the same day in march of 1966. and i wanted to get that feel. i wanted to figure out who these
young men were. an infantry division's 15,000 men. that's too big. an infantry platoon is 40 men, that's too small. a company is 160 men. i interviewing 0 of them -- 80 of them, interviewed about 30 family members, especially the family members of soldiers who died in vietnam. so i interviewed their brothers, their mothers, their sisters, their wives. is so charlie company was just about the right size to write about. a representative sample of what it was to be a soldier in vietnam in 1967. >> units and individuals -- many units and individuals distinguished themselves by their cool and professional behavior, yet most of these soldiers had never been in battle before. [gunfire]
>> they were trained in the middle of kansas, trained in the dead of winter. when they leave for vietnam, there's snow all over the ground. they all get on a train out to california and then got on a troop ship and ship over to vietnam and, of course, in vietnam it's over a hundred degrees. so it's a little bit after a jarring -- of a jarring circumstance. they go from being civilian, and then they go into guys who are practicing to be in the military, and suddenly they're thrown right smack dab into the middle of a very difficult war in 1967. originally, they're stationed just north of saigon in a rather dry area of vietnam. and as it turns out, that was just for acclimation. that was to get these soldiers ready for how hot it was, what the jungle was like, what maybe a small enemy attack was like, what maybe a few viet cong booby traps were like. so a couple months of acclimation, and then they sent them down to the mekong river
delta south of saigon. and the landscape down there is quite different. of it's rice paddies, endless rice paddies, village after village after village, very densely populated. so it was not an area in which the u.s. could just indiscriminately use firepower. these guys had to be very controlled in when they fired and what they fired at. to what they got was a flat, very wet war, and what they got was a war in which the enemy, the viet cong, had lived there for 10, 20 years. they knew the terrain, they knew the battle sites. they'd prepared the terrain and battle sites. is so our men were fighting in a foreign country, about as foreign as you can get. the viet cong were fighting on their home turf. so these guys are in a watery, unforgiving environment, and the important thing to remember about it on top of that is since the enemy had been here five years, ten years, twenty years depending on the area that you're in, every rice paddy they're like, rice paddies could
be 50 feet on one side, 100 foot on the other, these are are pretty small agricultural fields, every rice paddy could have an enemy bunker system in it. the side of every river could have an enemy bunker system in it, because every river was lined by dense can jungle foliage that you couldn't see through. so every 50 yards could be another ambush. every 50 yards after that could be another ambush. was it likely that that next 50 yards you were going to get shot at? probably not. but you had to be ready. if you weren't ready, that's probably when they were there. so the guys in charlie company when they were on operations could never spanish it off. had -- switch it off. had to be switched on the whole time. the adrenaline had to be running. any moment that you let your guard down could be the moment that killed you. they were on their very first operation, and one of the sergeants went around. one of the sergeants that had trained them, they were very
fearful of this guy, he's the one that's made 'em done push-ups before during training, yelled at them and smacked them on the head, these guys had just dug foxholes, they just marched probably 20 miles through all the heat, and at night they're supposed to maintain sleeping discipline. only 50% of the soldiers are supposed to be asleep at any one time. and, of course, the sergeant sneaks out, he goes from one foxhole to another, and the first foxhole he finds everybody's asleep, so he wakes them up. and the lieutenant is following him. the lieutenant is also out there, a guy named lieutenant black. the soldiers all loved him. he had once been a soldier himself. lieutenant black follows up the sergeant, and he comes to that foxhole, and now everybody's awake. good, the sergeant did his job. but he also noticed they were tense. second foxhole, everybody was awake, everything was good, third foxhole he finds out why they were tense. the sergeant had taken the pin out of a grenade and handed it to the soldiers, said if you
fall asleep, grenade's going to go off, and you're all dead. so they all stayed very well awake that first night in vietnam. so this slow, steady nature of the war really took a toll on them. as much or even more than the days when the war got really bad. at least when the war got really bad, there was somebody to loose your anger upon right over there, and maybe if you got lucky you could kill a few of them. and that was actually something i learned about the war too, as a noncombatant. i've never been to war. one of the questions i always wanted to know, what's it feel like to kill somebody? and the answer i got was pretty surprising. in general, while the action was going on, the guys in charlie company were almost uniformly excited when this happened. because that guy was just trying to kill you. and you put him down. it was his mama gonna have to
mourn that night, not yours. it took until maybe the next day for them to kind of understand that they'd just dealt death to another huey p. human. when the adrenaline is on, i've heard two or three of them tell me i've never felt so more alive than when death was nearby. it turns onhow. it -- on. it keys you up. every action you take is meaningful. it's the next day when everything turns down that you begin to have to wrestle with the decisions you made the day before. so it was a cat and mouse war. the enemy could be there, probably wasn't. if he was there and you were in the wrong place, your life was forfeit. and so for them it was a draining war. i like to call it the drum beat of war. charlie company went over as 160 young men. 5 of those young men -- 25 of those young men died in vietnam
and 105 of them were wounded. and as part of the process of writing this book, i wanted to come to know the young men who didn't return from vietnam. all 25 of them. and in almost every occasion, i was able to do that, again, by interviewing family members, mothers, brothers, cousins, nephews and nieces. and one of the most exciting parts about writing the book was bringing these young men back to life. i use as an example bill gyer. young man from chicago who moved out to the suburbs before he was drafted. big cubs fan. so to tell his life, i got to research my favorite team too, got to research what the cubs were doing, got to research about the bears, his favorite team, and also the blackhawks. ..
>> knowing that when you came home you were not going to get welcomed, would you do it all over again? every one of them said yes. everyone. one guy who was paralyzed said yes, a guy who lost both of his legs said yes. it was the most meaningful year in their lives. the most adrenaline, adrenal iced. in their lives but they also form to greatest connections of their lives. these guys are so brothers, friends, confidants, they can can hardly live without each other nowadays.
while we as noncombatants focus too much, so much of our attention on the bad side of the war, these guys often remember most the good side of it. the friendships they had, the friendships they lost, the laughs they shared, the jokes they played on each other, and boy did they play a lot of jokes on each other. the good times for some of them, they outweigh the bad times. they were complicated young men with dreams and hopes like everybody else, that when their country said do something they went and did it. that was really, really difficult, these guys are 70 years old now. the difficult thing they did, maybe the most important thing they did was one year out of their lives. these guys are now grandparents, great-grandparents, leaders of businesses, retired folks, preachers and preachers and churches, painters, dreamers, you name it. our vietnam veterans there is
not much more complicated and meaning of that and they are americans. >> during book tvs recent visit to hattiesburg, mississippi we spoke with louisiana ural, codirector of the center for war and society at the university of southern mississippi about letters and diary entries from soldiers and their family during the civil war. >> i really had always wanted to write this kind of sweeping, almost like a saga of the civil war. for me, as a military historian, over the over the years what i have noticed is that as much as we are fascinated by what happens on the battlefield and the sweeping changes that take place because of the campaign the soldier is always looking home. they always want to know how soon can they get home, did you get the crops and, is the
horse still lame, that is is what they want to know about. so i have really come to decide in all of my writing that you have to look at both. you have to look at the soldiers and the families. the battle front and the home front. you have to do that if you're going to understand war. so when i started the book, the primary goal was to weave the latest arguments, the latest historical theories into the stories so that for example one of the standing arguments for a long time in the field was that one of the reasons the confederates was lost is because there will was broken. in part because so many of the women were writing to the men at the fronts and i do not know exactly what you are fighting for but
you need to come home because we have about one fifth of the crap that we normally do. i just buried our youngest impact, we are not going to have anything left. you need to come home. there had been a recent book out and really a series of book, and talks about this in her book on confederate nationalism, amy taylor has talked about this, but the but the latest book that really addressed it in detail was confederate reckoning. what those stories a showed was at the women were not all saying you need to come home, they were saying to county representatives, to the state government, to president jefferson davis, that we had a deal, my husband would go fight and you promised him you would help take care of this family and you are not doing it. now, you either take care of our deal and hold up your end of the bargain or you need to send him home. what is fascinating, as we found this happening all over the united states. not just in the south but northern communities as well. i think there is about one fifth
of george's budget by 1864 wasn't providing for soldiers families and the poor. realizing, poor. realizing, again that if you're not taking care of the home front it doesn't matter what you do on the battlefront, vice versa. it is a combined effort. i also wanted to point out, it's not just southerners who were wearing down. rather than zoom in on the southern family where the will was breaking down, i did show those examples of women writing to the county official, and the state official, but i decided to zoom in on a northern on a northern family that was getting exhausted and that is madison and libby bauer from minnesota. he he is very dedicated to war. she is this newlywed in the middle of nowhere in minnesota, just wondering what are you coming home. you. you still haven't come home and you promised me you were coming on. what you mean you just be up to your listening, this kinda stuff. size able with about to weave in the latest argument and then use stories to do that. it is not just this discussion as much as it is people i'm
hoping our absorbing this. so i wrote about for example the earth and brothers, and erskine is going to be left at home to run in texan, she and her husband owned and in, a cotton mill, and a fairy they ran. a huge business. not to mention he was also in charge of handling a lot of the cattle that was in the family business. when the civil war began her brother goes off to war but it is not until another war in the spring of 18622 that her husband goes as well. a number of young children at home including a newborn, they also just recently lost a child who just walked into the river and drowned. so i really wanted to talk about her story because her husband did not go off and serve right away, he had fought with the texas rangers before his the war, he was in his forties, very much one of the men of the community who had a lot of responsibility and felt like he had done his part for the community for years and let the
younger men go. by 18622 though in the spring of 62 that confederacy has been at the federal trap. he does not want his children to know that he was drafted so he goes ahead and volunteers. he leaves on the 62, they're not like madison, he is not highly ideologically motivated. he believes in. he believes in the confederacy wants to protect his family's but he is going because it is his duty. he is going because he had to. he and in his letter you'll talk about finding a photograph of a child and he said it reminded me of our young son who just died. she would get a letter from him in the fall of 1862 telling her that i am so sorry, i really do not even know how to write this, but your brother has just been killed. it was the second bull run in august of 19 62. the very next
letter she would receive is a letter from his brother telling her that i don't know how to tell you this but your husband was just killed at that battle. he died peacefully, which may or may not be true, it is often what they would say. but she is going to be on her own, she has lost her brother in 1862, she loses her husband the same year, she has lost a child earlier that year, her father and my died during the war during a cattle drive, just the normal tragedies of life that just continue and we don't think about it times of war. so she is literally, i think all of her children were under the age of eight or nine. she is going to have to run the family business, and so what i was able to do is the family had shared some of these letters that had not been used anywhere before so that was fun knowing that i was letting people your voice that had not been heard. i was also looking at the census record and discovered she never married. she does all of this on
her own and she does very well. so it kind of got me thinking, i need to to incorporate more of the stories about these women who we think, well - somehow they just kind of kept it together. we don't really realize how did they do that? then? then we think about when men come home and life resumes as it was before, but what happens if he comes home and he has lost a leg? what happens if he comes home horribly sick and dies within a year or two like many of them do. these women have to find a way to provide for the families and move on. there'll be be a certain amount of local support which there is, and there will be confederate pensions, but i really wanted to get into the stories of talking about how these women do it. it is hard to tell the story because they do not always lead diaries. they don't always leave these detailed accounts but in the census record you can track them, this is what the family worth was in 1860, this is where she is, widowed in 1870. this is where she is when she applied for a pension in 1900.
so i can tell the stories that way. they are harder to get to, but you can get at the stories. i think they're fundamental. you have to include them. i wanted to include some better know people because number one when people pick up the gentle history of the civil war they want to hear something about abraham lincoln. they want lincoln. they want to hear something about the people they know. so i would tell it but from the perspective of someone they did not always think about. i do not talk as much about abraham linking, talk about mary todd lincoln and her brother, he is horribly wounded. just that awful tension of your the first lady of the united states but the media is very happy to talk in a very ugly way about the fact that you also brothers serving in the confederacy. and how she dealt with that. i wanted to talk about the death of their son, willie who dies in the spring of 1862, to make
people realize that both presidents, both of the davises and the lincolns would lose a child during this war. it was not like there are these elite families who remain untouched. they are suffering as well. when i talk about jefferson davis i do the same thing. i talk more about his wife rena davis who i liked better than jefferson davis. that davis. that was just me being slow. that way you get these people in the stories, i can't talk about the american civil war ending without talking about the lincoln assassination. it is fascinating to me and to readers, and students. again, i decided to tell from the perspective of clara harris was there with her fiancé in the presidential box with the lincolns president lincoln is assassinated and whose husband, she is engaged at the time her husband is traumatized, in part by the experience and in part by debilitation. he will be suffering over the years and he will wind up killing her after
the war along with their children. talking about again, cannot protect her, some but he came in, somebody came in and attack my family, could not protect my family. later he admits family. later he admits that no, he killed them himself. he is still trying to save the president, he is just a traumatized by this horrible night. he almost dies the night of the assassination because nobody's pain attention to him they're trying to save the president. clara harris finally says he needs some attention. it is just an amazingly tragic story. when i was talking about slavery which runs through the war, you you cannot understand the war without understanding slavery and americans, white and black wrestling with this institution. i wanted to weave in some figures who were fairly well known, make sure frederick douglass was in there and keep figures like that, but i also wanted to get people in the
story who people do not always realize. one of them was powerful stories was about a man man named joseph miller who is enslaved in kentucky. by 1864, even though kentucky is still a union state that remained in the union, joseph joseph miller runs away in his able to join the army and he ends up bringing his family with him. in the book i weave in some account of men who went off and joined the union army but left their families at home. they're getting letters from the wife saying you need to come back and get us, we are getting beaten, we're getting horribly abused. but joseph miller brings his family with him. he was promised, and exchange for his service his family could remain in camp with him and they would all have the freedom, hit and his wife have for young children. by november 1864, union forces in kentucky are building barracks for winter quarters, they realize the section of camp where african-americans are the contraband section of camp, the
contraband's are going to have to be moved out they decide. they forcibly remove the african-americans who had been escaping slavery, coming to this camp, and told they would be provided for and protected here, they forcibly put these individuals in wagons and remove them from the camp because they actually need that section of camp for the union troops for winter quarters. joseph miller talks about the fact that he goes and sees his wife, they have a horribly sick child, they are all on the wagons, is wagons, is not told where they are going to be taken. he goes racing after the wagons at the edge of camp and gets permission at the end of the night to leave camp, go down there and try to find the family. he finds all of these men and women, and children were placed in a meeting house a meeting house just crowded in, he finds his wife and she is cradling the body of one of her children who has died in the process. he was a horribly sick child, he had no business being moved.
he was serious, went back to camp, got permission to go back again the next money to bury his child. we will learn this story because he filed a formal complaint with the army. so again, like these women on on the homefront, we had a deal. i was served, you provide for my family. this was the understanding. the horrible tragedy of joseph miller's two things. number one, he never even gets the opportunity to fight for his own freedom and the freedom of his family. this all happened in the fall, early winter of 1864. by the spring of 1865 his wife has died, his other three has died, his other three children have died and joseph all die from disease. which is part of also being forced into the sections of camp that were often very unhealthy with very little medical care provider for these individuals. the other tragedy that i really wanted the joseph miller story
as part of the book is that this is covered in northern newspapers including by some abolitionist as c, we told you you do not have to worry about all of these free slaves coming north and taking jobs. this was all cause because they cannot handle the cold. they will stay down south, so do not worry, we can free slaves without really inconveniencing our own bigotry, our own beliefs. so is a powerful, painful story that always resonated with students, to see how even this beautiful story of emancipation has so much ugliness still wrapped up with it. i wanted to include some major battles in the book that readers know, but coming at it from an angle that they had not necessarily seen before. for example, with the battle of gettysburg i talk about a union soldier by the name of home estate and who becomes famous in
the battle because his it but body is found in town, and gaithersburg. gaithersburg. he is dead leaning up against a building along the street in town. he is holding a a picture of the three young children. they finally track his family down, they checked on his wife, and she has become a must like a celebrity. they bring her and the three children to gettysburg, because in gettysburg they opened an orphanage to provide for all of the families who had been left destitute by the biggest battle of the civil war, the most casualties of any battle in the ward. you have have a huge amount of devastation to these families. so the orphanages orphanage was created in gettysburg where she will run it. she is miserable, she ends up marrying some gentleman coming through town and they leave. the children do not leave amazing lives. what i thought was interesting, is when the children were all well into the older years of pathway, nobody realized that
they were the orphans of gettysburg and that's how they were referred to. they never talked about the story at all. again, it helps me make the case that for some people the civil war broke them. they were just traumatized by this war, they were they were never going to be okay again. >> you are watching the tv on c-span two. this weekend, we are in hattiesburg, mississippi with the help of our local cable partner, comcast. next, we toured the rare books collection at the university of southern mississippi's mccain library and archives. >> today we are in the sam woods at room which is located in special collections in the mccain library and archives at the university of southern mississippi.
the sam woods room honors the legacy of mr. woods but also is used for many different ways. we have meetings in here, this is where students from the university come in and learn about the sam woods collection and other materials we have here. we have his artwork, furniture adorning this room, including a few exhibit cases and a portrait of mr. woods himself. in his collection we have over 1200 books. in addition we have different artifacts like viking helmet, or various furniture and paintings, imprints and imprints and a slew of different materials. so throughout sam woods career he started collecting a lot of books, a lot of different materials that showed his interest in learning and education. for the end of his life he married many bush was the heir to the bush fortune. they lived in a beautiful castle
mansion at the foot of the alps. they would entertain a lot of people there. they would also house a lot of these books and artifacts as well. after her death, he had the intention of moving back to hattiesburg where he had family. he had sent all of his books and a lot of the furniture, and different things, he sent them to hattiesburg to be a part of the university of southern mississippi collection. unfortunately, he got sick and died before he was able to make the move. that is how we were lucky enough to get a lot of this material here. he. he still has family who lives in the area. so today what we are going to look at are a series of things from the sam woods collection. we are going to see different examples of books, manuscripts, as well as federal material and arc artifacts. this is a perfect
win since not only one person is collecting, you get to see what motivated one particular collector but you also good to see an assortment of different materials relating to religion, history, and art and life in europe and america. i'm going to show you a selection selection of different things from sam woods collection. this right here is a palm leaf manuscript. it does not open as a book does. you have two pieces of a string there that hold together the series of a palm leaves that have writing on both sides. you will. you will notice that on both sides of the document you have writing. i believe there are six or seven lines of writing. often times these text rate used for buddhist ceremonies or buddhist tax, but it is a very, not, not only is it an interesting text that would be great for a researcher but just the formats. but it's another another thing when you're looking through special
collections material that often times the bindings can be beautiful. separate from the text as well. i think i think this particular item is so unique because not only play it is held together with the string and the wood, but but the fact that it is written on palm leaves. so the dates on this is always tricky, again we are going to data probably within the past three or 400 years, could be much much earlier than that. next i'm going to show you this little drawing. again, i wanted to show up or i to have the kinds of material that we have in this collection. so this drawing is attributed to albert deere who is the famous illustrator and engraver. this claims to be an original sketch or drawing by him which is very fascinating. this book here is very interesting, it is by carl von
lean and it is from 1776, he was known as the father of modern taxonomy. he was was the person who developed the universally accepted convention of how to name organisms. so through this book you are going to see different examples of the organisms. this particular one is printed in german. you can see throughout he has the different labels for various things. what is especially interesting is lisa pull out sleeves of some of the organisms. this particular one has an interesting pull out sleeve where you have a war, a kangaroo, a serpent of some type and then a weird mermaid woman. this is really fascinating because again he was such an important person to biological
sciences and to be able to have one of these books here is really quite a gem. so in our collections we have a few of these books. one thing when you are looking at these materials as i have mentioned earlier is that the book itself, the artifactual value. for instance this one is really pretty with the marbleized paper on the outside cover. this book is a manuscript of math problems. so we have a student, we have a few of these in our collection where students would write out word problems and then work out the math for various questions. this is a fun thing because you get to see the ways in which math evolved around over time. this one is i think from around
1800. so hundred. so to be able to see the math problems, how they differ from today, what may have attracted the sam wood was the fact that it was a manuscript. it was something a little a little different and the fact that it was done by a school child rather than by an adult, or by by scholar, different things like that. this book is in addition of the new testament from 1580, we have so many of these different editions of the new testament, the bible, different sermons, things like this. this one is unique and different. you will notice that there are three columns of text. that is because this book is in two versions of latin and greek as well. so this is perfect for the student, the scholar who wants to learn different
versions of latin or greek. you could compare them all. it. it is great to have the translation right next to each other. you do have a version of latin here, the greek, and the latin and the text across here is identical just in different languages. it is a different way to look at this, not only does it appeal to scholars who are wanting to perfect their languages, but also for students who are wanting to see how the different languages work, or the differences between the two versions of latin for instance. it's a fun, cool way to look at the new testament that may be different from the typical books that we see. so this particular book as we look through it is a 1581 version of the history of the world. this starts from the creation of adam and eve up to the present which was 1581.
but throughout your going to have different details, like you will have engravings of different key and letters throughout. you'll have engravings of various events, so for instance you will have one of the noah's ark. you will have illustrations accompany the text. but it is a different way, a more elaborate way of looking at the worlds. again, the fact that it started from the beginning of the bible also gives a different perspective and view on what people in the 16th century were considering this history of the world. so here, this is one of the most talked about items we have in special collections. when i bring students into the woods
room for library construction and learned to use our collection they always see the viking helmet. so this helmet is made out of metal. it has wooden horns coming out here. this was a creation of wagner, the composer. he use this as a decorative element. you often see the women singing opera with this on their head. this is not developed until the late 19th century. come to find out vikings did not wear these. which would be kinda funny because you almost wonder, were they supposed to go up and ramp someone with them. you can also tell that it is a very small reproduction, it actually fits my head quite well. i wear this often when i go to fancy dress up events. but again, this is a cool thing, all the students want to get selfie's with it. it just shows you another element to the sam
what's collection, how we have interesting, fun, nan teamed century creations, and in this case what is known as a viking helmet. this is a selection of material from the sam's wood collection. one thing about special collections everywhere is that not only do we collect these materials but we preserve them for people to use them 500 years years in the future. the fact that we have a book from the 1500s, you know this is going to be, this has less than 500 years. we years. we hope that unless another 500. that is why one of the reasons why we collect and preserve, and maintain humidity and temperature controls, for special collections. to be able to provide access to people to the materials now but also in the future. >> during book tvs recent visit to hattiesburg, we spoke with heather marie stur, author of beyondbeyond combat.
>> the name of my book is beyond combat, women of gender the vietnam era. i wanted to write this book because as i read the book on the vietnam war and as i read contemporary counts, media coverage of the war, mom wires, those sorts sorts of things, i realize that women, women themselves were absent from the stories but ideas of women and gender were central. for example, the ways ways in which an american president or policymaker referred to vietnam, referring to vietnam as she, or in a feminine way feminine way that this is a country that the united states should come and say. also conversations about how we define soldiers, the example of the american man who was going out to bring democracy and
spread american policy. all of these were tied to gender. i wanted i wanted to know what the vietnam war story would look like if we put women and these gender ideas at the center of the story. american served in vietnam during the war, maybe 1% of those were women. in terms of terms of the military, american women served primarily as nurses, they also served, the next biggest number of them served in the army corps. a terms of the army corps they only had about 800 american women who served in vietnam. over the course of the u.s. military presence there so from 1965 until 1972, 1965 until 1972, 73, and that american women also served in vietnam as civilians through humanitarian organizations, through churches, mainly through the right cross. in terms terms of vietnamese women, from the american perspective, vietnamese women
served a few functions for the u.s. military in vietnam. one of the functions was to serve as domestic workers on american bases. so washer women who are washing american military uniforms, cooks who come to the basin cook meals for american serviceman, other types of domestic work. housekeeping, cooking, those sorts of things. interestingly, in that case what americans would sometimes discovers that these were women who were serving with the national liberation thought front or what americans understood as the vietcong. so they were essentially spies. they were coming into work on american bases and in those capacities they would be getting information about what the u.s. military's going to be doing in the areas they were in, or they were measuring the distance from a base to a position in the
field for the launch of attacks at that particular base. american veterans would talk about this as these women will come into encounter clicks as they're leaving their bases which is the way to reference the distance from whatever the field position was where the attack was going to be launched to where the base was. american women served entirely in south vietnam. that is where the u.s. ground forces were. the u.s. military was involved in north vietnam in terms of bombing. u.s. troops are all in south vietnam. they're fighting with the south vietnamese army against the national liberation front or the vietcong in south vietnam. so american women who served in vietnam all served in the south. some were stationed in saigon, the capital of vietnam. others were stationed at bases throughout south vietnam. one of the major u.s. bases in south vietnam was longden. there's a quite a number of
women's army corps personnel who served at longden. american nurses served at hospitals throughout south vietnam. then the red cross, civilian volunteers observed anywhere the red cross need them to be. they could be in saigon, they could be in quake, another major another major city in south vietnam, or they could be a military installations often remote areas in the jungle, out in rural areas. so really, really american women were serving all throughout south vietnam. american women who served in vietnam found the way that they were treated depended in part on they were interacting with. many of the women i interviewed with witt for "beyond combat" said that the listed men treated them better than the officers. there are some officers who assumed that even though these
were american women who were enlisted in the military or were coming with major organizations like the red cross, they are somehow there to be available to officers, to be be anything from invited to officers parties, to be there and be pretty, and be an example of a pretty american woman, or something more insidious. so they are available, so so they are sexually available to officers. whereas almost every woman i interviewed for "beyond combat" said the listed men they worked with appreciated them, they treated them as their sister, as a loved one, one, someone they wanted to protect and take care. so that help those women feel, because they felt a closeness and a developed a bond with the enlisted men, it made them feel like their job was more valuable. however, it also could have, it also could have the result of
making their jobs really difficult. for example, one of the women i interviewed for beyond combat talked about getting to know an enlisted man really well, so this this was a woman who is serving the red cross. she had gotten to know this unit of men, they both play guitar, she so they would sit around and play american folk music on their guitar and entertain the troops all they were waiting to go out and fight. then, one day she found out that this particular guy that she had got good became good friends with that he was killed. after that she said she stopped learning names. she said there probably guys on the wall who i knew on the vietnam memorial that i knew but i do not know their names. it became too hard for me to get close to these guys. so i decided a way to protect myself emotionally was to stop learning their names.
because then if a group of men got killed and someone started talking about their names, i would would not know where to place the name. that was a way to protect herself emotionally. protecting himself emotionally was something a lot to the woman i talked to had to deal with. whether they were the red cross and they were running entertainment programs for servicemen, or they were nurses who were dealing with mass casualties, they had to figure out a way to protect themselves emotionally from what they were seeing. for them that was one of the most difficult aspects of their job. just as american women were bound by ideas about femininity, the example being the girl next-door, that american women were meant to look a certain way, they were meant to interact with american servicemen and a certain way. american men were also bound by gender roles. the idea that the american soldier is the ultimate american
man, that american fighting man is rugged, he is brave, he is doing a job for his country, he is fighting communism to prevent the spread of communism, to further american ideals in the world. american american men were also help to those ideas. for some american men who served in vietnam, they actually, their experience in vietnam led them to reject these gender ideals. the way to prove your manhood was to fight and more. so that led to the development of the g.i. antiwar movement as a result of being in vietnam, seen combat, and feeling not like you are a man, but that you are dehumanize. so american so american men began talking about opposing the war. a g.i. antiwar movement
developed both in vietnam .. in the u.s. state databases where gis and veterans were publishing newspapers, they are speaking out against the war, they are joining antiwar organizations like vietnam veterans against the war. one of one of the things that antiwar gis talked about was this idea that going to warm extra man. what they found that actually know, when i am i am fighting and i'm killing people, or i am seen my friends and comments been killed, i do do not feel like a man, i feel like i am less of a human. i feel dehumanize by this experience. so not only am i guess the work, i am also against these gender ideals that are constraining men and women into these particular boxes same in order to prove your manhood you have to put bite. in order to prove your womanhood you have to be pretty and wear a dress, and remind men from home. so both men and women are
calling for a rethinking of those gender roles as the war ends and into the postwar period. when women came back from the vietnam war, they faced a couple of things. some american women that i interviewed talked about, once they've been in vietnam they came back opposing the war. even if they had gone believing in the cause, they saw what was happening in vietnam with u.s. military was doing in vietnam and they came back opposing the war. but they did not feel welcome in the antiwar movement or even in the women's movement, so those that felt that because of gender what they could do in the war was limited, they did not feel welcome in the antiwar movement or the women's movement because they had been at war. so they thought they would go to a rally and join a woman's group, once it came out that they had served in the war, they thought they were rejected because they were an extension of the american military machine.
even if they wanted to oppose the war, or or they wanted to talk about how we can rethink gender nor into the u.s. they did not fill welcome of the groups that were doing that. another thing that women faced coming back was that what had been normal to them before they went to war was no longer normal. they came back and their friends wanted to go shopping or go to a party, or talk about men, to them some of those things seemed frivolous, they cannot relate to that type of life anymore because of what they had seen. other woman felt that what they did in vietnam was the most powerful work that ever done. i interviewed a nurse named -- she came back and worked as a hospital nurse in the u.s. after she served. when i interviewed her she talked about how nothing that she did in her career ever again
match the importance of what she felt she was doing as a nurse in vietnam. it was hard and she still cries. in our interview she broke down in tears talking about what she had seen in vietnam in terms of the casualties and the destruction of the young men that she saw as she is working in military hospitals in vietnam. but she said, even even though that was so hard, nothing in my career sends them has compared to how powerful and important i felt like i was when i was serving in vietnam. i also hope that people will understand how central ideas about gender are two war experiences. what it means to be a man, what it it means to be a woman, how we define our allies and our enemies, how we define countries
that we engage with. we use gender and gender language to make those definitions. that continues to be the case. i hope people will understand the deep connection between gender and war, as if they as they read "beyond combat". >> for more information on book tv's recent visit to hattiesburg and that many other destination under city store, go to c6 c-span.org/city store. here's a look at some authors recently featured on book tvs afterwards. our weekly author interview program. don walkins, fellow at that institute argued that measures to alleviate income inequality actually end up hurting low income americans. peter marks remembered the career of the late aig's ceo, bob m o'shea who turned the company around during the height of the financial crisis.
and aol cofounder, steve casey told us how emerging technology is reshaping the internet. in the coming weeks and afterwards, tamara drought will talk about america's new working-class and their potential political power. senate majority leader mitchell, will discuss how his political philosophy has informed his time in the senate. also coming up, senator barbara boxer california will look back on her life in korean politics. this weekend, chuck a single ways in a criminal justice reform and recalls his 19 years in prison. >> what i tried to understand my rights and wrongs this is book is not mechanics uses for the decisions i made. it's about explaining explaining what is happening to so many young men and women that communities don't talk about child abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse, and things that lead to us taking the path that we take. so i want to be clear that this is not about making excuses a