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tv   Author Discussion on the Civil War and the South  CSPAN  August 18, 2019 3:30am-4:35am EDT

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good afternoon everyone. you'll find seats and we will get our panel going. good morning. welcome to the fifth annual mississippi book festival. i'm chris goodman with the mississippi department of archives and history if you've not done so please silence your cell phones. this panel on the u.s. civil war is sponsored by the mississippi humanities council and mississippi state university one of the book festivals board members from mississippi state john mars luck is on the panel. as francis coleman here? dean of libraries? another strong supporter. as is stuart rockwell, director of mississippi humanities council.i don't believe he's in the room but think them for their support and we are in the room today courtesy of forming
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walkmans walker. our panelists are jaclyn dowd hall commercial be harold, john mars luck and bend when you can purchase copies of their books outdoors and you can find the times they will be signing in your brochure. we will hear from our panelists for about 40 minutes then will open the floor for questions. please go to the podium and answer questions on the microphone at that time. help me welcome jim woodward, deputy state historic preservation officer for mississippi and the author of the civil war siege of jackson mississippi. [applause] >> thank you. welcome everyone. well today. i like to introduce our authors beginning to my immediate left doctor jekyll and del whole foods in oklahoma native she has an undergraduate degree from what is now rhodes college in memphis in both masters and phd from columbia university.
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among her many accomplishments use the founding director of the southern oral history program and the julio series pearl professor of history emeritus at the university of north carolina chapel hill she's the author of several books including "like a family: the making of the southern middle cotton world " and the topic of today's discussion sisters and rebels a struggle for the soul of america. next to her is shall be harold is a mississippi native and graduate of the university of southernmost is to be. with a masters degree in education. currently an instructor of mathematics which scares me to death. at pearl river community college in poplar vail her ongoing research on the role of women soldiers in the civil war has been widely published and utilized by the national park service and state historic sites. earlier this year her interest
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in the topic resulted in her first book "behind the rifle: women soldiers and civil war mississippi " published by university press of mississippi. next to her is doctor john mars lack, native of buffalo new york earned his phd from university of notre dame after serving in the military. he began a distinguished teaching career since 1973 has been on the faculty of mississippi state university where he is now the giles distinguished professor emeritus history. he is the author of 15 books but perhaps most significantly for today's discussion since 2008 he has served as executive director of ulysses s grant associations presidential library at mississippi state.
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doctor mars luck is co-author of "hold on with the bulldog group" the short study of ulysses s grant which will be discussed today. and finally, author and historian doctor ben nguyen as a native of florence mississippi after attending bill stops college as an undergraduate he earned an ma in history from mississippi college and a doctorate from the university of mississippi he currently serves as professor of history at the university of georgia, north georgia and gainesville. he is the author of four books including "in tune" ãb in the subject of today's discussion the man who punched jefferson davis the political life of henry stewart foot published by lsu press in 2018. i'm going to start with ben, if he doesn't mind too much. and as each of you to give a brief overview of your book and what we are talking about
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today. the book title the man who punched jefferson davis really titled man who punched fill in the blank. this guy punched a lot of guys during his career. for start and want to think the mississippi book festival for inviting me here today i want to thank c-span of course and i also want to, and a jackson native i want to give a shout out to st. andrew's episcopal school where i attended school from grade 1 to 12. in first grade they literally taught me to write in the most literal sense. the foundation of educational foundation we all got there was very important. i discovered henry foot when i was back in the dark ages i was doing my doctoral dissertation was doing it, mississippi unionists before the civil war people that didn't want to
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succeed they were more moderate at this part the secession issue. not particularly slavery issue but the succession issue specifically.i started researching those types of people and their politics and the sky foot is named kept popping up everywhere. he was a u.s. senator from mississippi from 1847 to 1851. which swallows the period where you had what some people call the first secession crisis a lot of issues dealing with slavery had come to ahead those low back and forth in washington very tense time in that era produced something called the compromise of 1850 which postponed the civil war for about a decade. he was all wrapped up in that. then he became governor of mississippi right after that. 1851 to 53. what was interesting about foot is he really went against the
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trend at the time the political trend most of the politicians were starting to become radical with regard to slavery and already talking about secession and so on and so forth. foot had great political risk was a prounion politician from mississippi during that period and he espouses that on the floor of the u.s. senate and one election defeated jefferson davis for governor on that platform. i thought it was a pretty interesting study looking for things about him. then i found out, i just made a short list of what he did, as a politician this guy was while he was all over the place. he would go from being this very refined very, great writer, statesmanlike persona. to this maniac.
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while hit during his political career he fought in six tools innumerable fistfights while he was on the floor the united states senate this is what he did there among other things, pulled the gun on thomas hart the fella another tensor from missouri on the floor of the senate, he pulled a knife on another senator on the floor of the u.s. senate got into a fist fight of a fellow senator for markets on the floor the united states senate got in a fight in the closed room with a guy named john see fremont who ended up being the first republican candidate for president. got in a fight with him they are not on the floor of the senate but in the city cloakroom. he threatened to hang john see hail another senator from tree then he got in a fist fight with jefferson davis. so i looked at all that and i said how can i not see what this guy was up to. he had this very volatile
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career born in 1806 and died in 1880. his public career spanned a very controversial period of time. he had this great feud with jefferson davis probably jefferson davis most outspoken critic most people have never heard of. he ended up getting elected to the federal congress something believed he did that just so he could stand up on the confederate floor of the confederate congress and talk about jefferson davis. that's all he did demanding investigations of jefferson davis. talking about jefferson davis what a coward he was and how he was growing up the whole war effort. over and over again. he was kind of this maniacal, could be this maniacal guy that led this colorful life to say the least. when he died all the obituaries of people who loved him bought into what he was doing or
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probably more people hated him because he tended to burn his bridges wherever he went. one other thing he did his a politician if all that wasn't enough he ran for office as a jacksonian democrat as a wig as a mainstream democrat as a union democrat, as a member of the know nothing party, as a confederate congressman, and finally ended up joining the republican party after the work. he did all of that as well. and he published ended up when he died he had published four books. he published his own personal history of the confederate war effort actually publish that ã
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ãhe also tried to broker a peace agreement with the lincoln administration 1965 he just left the confederate congress and decided to go try to do that he was never able to talk to lincoln he did get as far as seward and was arrested and thrown out of the country as a result. anyway. quite an interesting character and that's what drew me to him. >> this book as a title i'm holding it up for obvious reasons because i'm showing it the book hold on with the bulldog group a short history of ulysses s grant as an important the title is important to spend selected by mississippi state university this year to serve as its 2019 maroon edition. what happens each year the university gives to all incoming freshmen and transfer students a gratis copy of some particular book which is then used in a common reading project in class advance or on gatherings on campus etc. and the whole thing starts this
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coming thursday august 22 and humphrey coliseum where president mark keenum will be talking about this book and i might add this the 10th year this has been done. this year's book was actually inspired by the u.s. grant presidential library being housed in the mitchell memorial library on campus. since grant came to mississippi every phone call that comes from the media asked the same question. how is it possible that us grant could be in the heart of mississippi? when answering the question we normally tell a lie first. we quote lincoln's comment to grant during the virginia campaign remember grant and lee fought each other in virginia. lincoln wrote to grant and said
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"hold on with the bulldog grip". so we like to say that even lincoln knew. [laughter] we have a new mississippi state bulldog. to tell the truth actually what we do is then trying to tell the truth that in addition to grants historical connection to mississippi mississippi state made the best offer of a lot of different institutions around the country to provide institutional support for this grant presidential library. msu president mark tino came up with the idea for the book and when you look at the copy of the cover you notice the book has been written by a number of people, chief justice of rhode island retired frank williams.
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the thing we tried to do you can see it's a thin book. we wanted something thin so they might actually read it. but in any case readers will read this particular book and learn about grant the man and not just direct the mess. most significantly i think the connection between the grant family and the family of the first msu president.
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fortunately the university press of mississippi with the publisher of the book has made the book available purchase to the general public. and the story of grant and his fascinating connections favor abraham lincoln and this confederate general stephen d lee makes grant become even more well-known than he already is. so jim probably along with many of you will take comfort in the fact that my book contains no mathematics at all. even though i have a article
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coming out in january i do cite the law of science i do intermingle math and history in that article but not in my book. my book is behind the right for women soldiers and civil war in mississippi. first book dealing with women soldiers with the regional focus. there is now not a lot out there and my book is the first one to deal with regional focus with mississippi but even the focus of mississippi, i do branch out and talk about women soldiers who fought in gettysburg for example. talking about women soldiers who were confined in andersonville prison. it's not all about mississippi but of course that is my focus. it's a chronology of mississippi's involvement in the civil war as told through the stories of the women who fought there. which is still relatively new topic. there's not a whole lot out there but i did find women who
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fought in every battle in mississippi except for maybe two ãbtop women were allowed to serve and years ago they had to be sneaky about it. there was one woman claimed ignorance when she was caught she said nobody specified that women couldn't fight so there she was she was discovered and which condo she kind of told on herself because she was disguised as a man so she had to know she couldn't be there but she tried anyway. a lot of them had multiple feminine names and multiple mail aliases. i had to be a detective to find out all of this.
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something interesting to note is there were at least two williams whose brigades faced off against each other at champion hill which of course is a major battle of the vicksburg campaign.in my mind i think probably should just let the women take care of it anyway. the war would have ended very quickly or still be going on today if they let the women fight. but that's basically it. there's still a lot i'm still researching and finding out new information every day. a lot of new information in my book. i hope you will enjoy it. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you and i'm thrilled to be here. sisters and rebels follows three sisters who were born in the 1880s and 90s over the course of the 20th century. bad uses them and their circles
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of lovers colleagues and friends to lift up the struggle of white southerners to come to grips with the legacy of slavery secession and segregation. it's not about the civil war. the civil war casts a long shadow on the sisters lives just as it casts its shadow on the present day. for that reason i start the book not with the birth of the sisters but on their father's plantation where in georgia where he was raised until he marched off to fight in the wage of the war of 15. it compares the reality of his life with the stories he told his daughters.
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the key chapter of the book may be the key chapter of the book is about the late 19th century struggle of white southerners to win the battle for historical memory. that is to define how the country was going to remember slavery and the civil war. in the aftermath of the civil war. the struggle for what they called the movement. to commemorate what they called the lost cause. william logan, the father of these three sisters had been obscure private in the actual war that he made his name as a colonel in the united confederate veterans. he devoted his life to this
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project. most important for my story he also inculcated his three daughters with his devotion to the cause he trained them in what was then the male identified art oratory and deployed them around the south as girl orators and veterans reunions. needless to say, this upbringing had a profound impact on their lives. each of the sisters groveled with the legacy of that upbringing in a different way. elizabeth the oldest was pushed at the boundaries of womanhood in her own way but she did not
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stray very far from her father's teachings. but catherine and grace lived what i think were fascinating unconventional lives. and the key to that process of reinvention and self liberation was a confrontation with the question that lies at the heart of the debates that we are having today over the meaning of confederate monuments in the nature of the lost cause. i often think about wonder what catherine the youngest the moral compass of my book would say if she were alive today and participating in those debates. i thought i would end with just reading you one sentence of what she said about her own
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participation in not lost cause movement as a child. she says no lesson of our history was taught as earlier and none with greater urgency than the either or terms in which this was couched. soldiers might perish, slavery might and, mansions might crumble but as long as whites retained their dominance over blacks the self cause would not be lost. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] i would like to throw out a couple questions and i want to begin with a quote from your book actually. it is a wonderful quote from catherine one of the sisters where she said to her sorrow
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she had learned that when people read books very often they read what they wish to see not what the author means at all. read into it their feelings, their sentiments, their outlooks and they kind of leave the poor author out in the cold. i'd like to ask each of you and i will begin with you if that's all right, what did you wish to impart to the people who read your book if you could have a main theme and what do you hope they don't take away from the book? >> what a good question. can i just say quickly what she meant? >> absolutely. >> mainly what she meant is that she writes just as i write in some detail about the period before she was born about the antebellum period, she tried to write about them in that period
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in a way that really how she understood it when she was a child. and then she goes on to talk about how she came to understand it as she grew older. they were actually was very well received in the south as well as in the north but they are worth readers who thought she was a member of the light in magnolia school that she was an apologist for slavery and apologist for the south point of view and the civil war because she is trying to convey how she saw it as a child. as for me, there are so many, this is such a complicated book
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with so many different things and i guess i hope that caterers take away from the one hand really am interested in trying to understand these particular women and what motivated them and so on but even more important to me is to try to stand the times that they were a part of, the ãthey were apart and the generation that they were a part of. i hope readers don't we concentrating only on the personal stories. anyone else? i can tell you about this book we did hold on the great idea for this book came from the
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president mark keenum who is a big civil war book. he likes the civil war he likes to read about the school so he was very supportive of the grand presidential library meeting in mississippi state. but it seems to me that what we are trying to do in this book is maybe two things, to show grant as a person not as somebody on a statue or pedestal someplace but a real live breathing human being and we also would like the people who read the book to come to better understand and answer that question earlier, how is it possible that grant is in the heart of the old confederacy. in this book to really present
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the fact not to present the mythologies, not to try to do anything but simply present what the situation really was and what we are trying to do. and what we hope does not happen is we hope some of the myths about grant are not reinforced by something that we might have written in this particular book. just one example to show that grant was indeed a human being if you read his letters to his wife and his family he always seems to end the letters to his wife with something like love and kisses to the children and my beloved wife. that's not something you normally think grant doing and secondly, we hope that when people read this book you don't get the idea that some of the
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methodology that is associated with granted particularly in mississippi is not forth. >> i like people to take away from my book is an appreciation of the enormous amount of sacrifice involved with these women soldiers because as i mentioned a while ago, they had to be sneaky when they enlisted they had to assume a male identity so first they lost their names and in most cases they lost their names because these women when they died nobody knew who they truly were. they knew most cases what their mail alias was that nobody knew who they really were. there were bodies of female soldiers being exhumed years after the war that nobody knew who they were. so they lost today were they lost their identities and in some cases they lost their lives in very gruesome ways.
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talk about roman soldier from north carolina who was found after the battle of altoona and october 64 had her face beaten away. ... and i guess what i don't want people to take from the book is the fact they were not feminists. that is what why they enlisted. they were not activists, even though the future after the wore, such as elizabeth katy stanton, pointed to their successes and endeavors as evidence that the women could be successful outside the home. and could vote and could become
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productive members of society. so they're precursors of the women in the military today. 2015 that military roles were opened up to women, all military roles, but they were fighting and dying on battlefields 150 years ago. so, that's what i would like people to take away. >> thank you. >> one takeaway that some people might have for my book just the volatility of politics before the civil war. today what do you hear? more divided than ever been. right? everybody is divided. all these bad things are happening. well, i think we probably have been more divided in the past eras. or at lowest as divided as we might be today. on the floor of the u.s. senate you have henry foote pulling a
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gun on another u.s. senator. pulled a knife on another senator. they're on the floor of the u.s. senate. he hadn't gotten in these brawls rolling around on the floor of the u.s. senate. these guys back then, prior to the civil war, that era, they were a very violent crew or could be. foot wasn't the only one that acted out like that. but if foote were around today you'd see fill films -- talk about c-span, he could provide material for c-span forever and you would see it for the rest of your life. one take mayor from the book might be that just the divided -- the divisions within the politics the body politics back then. it was very serious, very violent, and not just the people in general but the representatives in congress were
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pretty rowdy group, and also i would say henry foote, if you read about his life, he has an alternate point of view with regard to the issue of secession. usually talk about mississippi and secession, there's a list of names of people behind that secession movement before the civil war. a lot of counties in mississippi named for those guys. and you don't really hear about the people that preached cooperation with the north, at least for a while. the people that weren't hot on the whole secession movement, and hopefully read about that, and understand that there were other people out there that had alternate views on this political issues. >> thank you. in writing history, particularly
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people who have done biographies. obviously you get very well adaytonned with the people -- acquainted with the people that are see subjects of the book and in your case you talked to two of the sisters john you may have note us grant. i'm not sure. but there are all -- as much research as we are able to do there's always things you don't ever know about a person, things that remain unknown, maybe unknowable. i was going to ask each of you if there's something -- shelby quite a number of thinks in your book. >> the whole book. >> but things that you would really like to know that you never were able to have been able to find out. start with you, shelby. how about that. >> how about every woman i wrote
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about. their names -- like i said, they gave up who they were to serve for their various causes and we don't know who they were, so i would like to know their real names and a lot of cases what happened to them after the war, because in a lot of the stories that i write about, we see them pop up, they were discovered, they were killed, whatever, and they just kind of fall off the face of the earth. their story just kind of ends. so i was fortunate, i was able to conclude some of the stories for some of the women, but a lot of them just simply end anonymously, and so hopefully there's some letters or diaries that remain undiscovered that maybe they'll come to lying and we can add more pieces to the puzzle, but just the nature of my research. these women didn't want to be discovered. didn't want their stories to be
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told so a lot of subterfuge involved so we may not mow who they were or where they came from and what happened to them and drives me crazy. >> mine is maybe more simple but more complicated than what you just said. what i want to do, when our time comes and i pass away, and i go up to the big history library up in the sky, i hope that what i can do is spend eternal sitting next to people that i've written about and just ask them one basic question, how close did i get it? because you -- one of the worries as in any biographyer has or any historian hoss is how do we in the -- imagine in your case, somebody came along and was going to write your
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biography and base it just on the letters you wrote to various people. does that really give you a complete insight, just the letters you wrote, nothing else. mostly we have. jackie has had the opportunity to speak to the people she has written about. most people don't do that. most people haven't had that -- don't have that luxury. so i'd like to know that. and also like to know -- speaking of grant, what did grant really think, because he is a very tough nut to crack to get inside his head. any person is hard to get inside his head. but you have a situation, for example, here, that where we have the grant family and the steven d. lee family, confederate-union, actually get to know each other and get to like each other. the keynote speaker for example
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at vicksburg when the stat tough steven. lee was raise he up, the keynote peeker what fred grant, grand's first born son, and then blew blueetley who was the child of steven d. lee, gave a lecture or talk about grant in what was considered grant's home town. and you wonder, how much of this is accurate, how much of this can you base -- so there's a lot of things we don't know, never know. >> i echo that. when i was doing research or henry foote, many times thought i wish i could talk to him for five minutes. and get the straight scoop, because henry foote, one problem, he did not leave any papers -- or not a lot of papers. but luckily he was so reviled by some people that other people wrote a lot about him.
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[laughter] >> and he is quoted in the newspapers, also luckily a blow hard who just would -- friend with all the reporters reportery quote quoted hem in the numbers all over the country. so there was more than enough to get a feel with -- about what he was all about. but you never really know reading just reading -- even reading the quotes in the paper. don't get the emotion he was putting into those -- may or may not have been putting into this quotes. reading something is never going to be as beneficial as talking to the person obviously face-to-face. i wish i could talk to this guy for a couple of minutes. that's what i'd take away from that. >> thank you. >> well, not knowing and the mystery of the human heart is at the center of this book, and one of the things i tried to do in
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it and that i hope readers will notice and enjoy or appreciate is that i try to bring readers into my own detective journey, into my own effort to understand and to know and to be up front about what i cannot know. i did interview two of the sisters at the very, very beginning of -- when i was still a graduate student, and i had just moved to chapel hill to start this oral history program, and they were among the first two people that i interviewed, and the interviews were invaluable. came back to them over and over once i decided to write this book many years later, but one of the things that was fast fascinating about the interviews was all the things they didn't want to talk but.
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and when i began to do research on this book, i discovered that there were parts of their lives that they had just eliminated from the historical record by burning their papers, by laundering their papers, and by continuing to either refuse to talk, depending on the sister to talk but certain aspects of the past in an honest way. so, i tried to fill in those gaps by turning over every possible rock of evidence that i can, but in the end there's
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still certain mysteries that i can't know from the inside. just this is my fellow panelists said, i can now know a lot about what they did and what they wrote and who they were involved with and so on, but because i have so few personal letters in many cases, i'm trying to, like a fix writer, imagine my way into how they felt about these things. >> thank you. we'd like to invite any of you that might have questions for our panelists to come to the microphone at this time. ask them something. and if not, i'll continue to ask a few questions but feel free to
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come on up. i'd like to ask each of you if you could to -- in the subject area that you have written about, and i know you book is the best one in that area, but are there other books related to the topic you would recommend that people might explore? >> oh, yes. i actually -- i mean, first of all, i'd like for people to read katherines auto biography which i love, and think it's a classic. it was one of the -- the first really example of what has become an important genre of
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southern writing, and which white southerners tried to write about their own involvement in the south contractse system and how to the liberate. thises from the views they were taught as children. another auto biography i would rem is by virginia durr, called "outside the magic circle," some is -- she was a little younger but a contemporary of the women, and it gives a wonderful view of these antiracist, white southerners, that i'm trying to write about here. there's also a literature in women's history that is growing, that is -- one of the -- i was
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talking to a friend here about how -- it's so -- when 'er putting panels together, we have this civil war and then we have the civil rights movement, and there was a whole lot of history in between those two things, which is where my book falls, the period of -- the era of jim crow, the era of the cold war and mccarthyism, and this is also the era between the women's suffrage movement which we're celebrating the anniversary of this year, and the women's liberation moment of the '60s and '7s these women fall in between those two things, too, and they were -- wouldn't have called themselves feminists but they were feminists, certain strand. they represented a certain strand of feminism, a certain period of feminism that really complicated our understanding uf
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what feminism is. so, i won't try to name all of the books but it's a greg literature that i would -- a growing literature that i recommend keeping you eye out for. >> what's the name of katherine's auto biography. >> the making of a southerner. >> a couple of things. there's been a renaissance in grant studies in the last several years. we like to think it's band of john simon the former executive director of the grant association, and he published over the -- since 1967, 31 volumes of grant's writings, which were never available. we finished that situation out, and yet that only represents 20% of the material on grant and others that we have at
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mississippi state. but there was several really good backs. ron chernow who is more famous for this books and broadway play on hamilton, but his book is wonderful. ron white, the huntington library, has done a terrific job and i'm hoping don't leave anybody out. joan august at ucla has written a wonderful short book, it's just really very, very well-done, and chuck calhoun, who is retired from university in north carolina, did a back on grant's presidency, which revolutionizes again grant studies. would think, and we like to think, too, that what we have done at mississippi state is we have published a number of books on grant, including the first completely annotated memoirs of ulis sis s. grant.
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harvard university press published it for us and i might without -- i think i got an opening to the door here but we're also working on the memoirs the william t. sherman, too, so we'll get that done. so at southern illinois university press has started a series called "the world of ulis sis s. grant" and we have some major historians writing some excellent books on grant and what they're all basically saying is the old mythology doesn't hold water. it's not accurate. i tell people if you're going to read one book -- and i love all these books about the shortest one is the one by joan waugh and it's wonderful because she deals with memory, as jackie mentioned, and she also mentions about talks about his life. so it's really quite good. but you can't miss with john
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chernow, ron white or other ones. >> thank you. >> the seminal work on women's soldier of the self-wars is dean plantn and lauren cooks, they fought like demons, which came out in 2002, so over 15 years old. i've been able to update their research and i think in my book i actually include 20 brand new conditions that have never been published before. that's the seminal work as far as women soldiers in general. before that, in the 1990s, lauren cook published an " uncommon soldier" which was letters written by a woman in the 153rd infan tray, died of disease and she was -- rosetta is one of a handful of women who wrote letters during the war.
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didn't want they're stores to get out because if they i their stories got out they were shamed and ostracized and the families were shamed and ostracized. so very little out there and i had to rely on other people who have researched the topic had to rely on accounts from male soldiers and letters and diaries thank goodness so much material is being digitized now and we have a lot more at our fingertips, and as do other people in other areas. so those are the two main ones. i am working on another book on when soldiers in general -- which that's years down the road -- so not a whole lot out there but feel like demons is the work right now. >> for me there is no biography of henry foote in existence. a couple of articles written in the 1960s, and early 1970s
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issue chose him for a topic because nobody had wherein on him before and i was kind of spokeswoman kind of surprised but he was involved in so much politics leading up to the civil war and even after the civil war. about hit central rivalry his whole career, like i mentioned before, was jefferson davis was his chief rival and he was davis' most outspoken critic and hatreds between the two men, andrew jangson, john c. calhoun, lbj, robert kennedy if the hatred was strong and i might suggest if you want to -- four, or five books on biographies of jefferson davis. if you want to read maybe some of those, and see how foote is treated by the individuals who wrote the davis biographies, and then contrast them -- and
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everyone get my book ask contrast them on the compare notes there. it is kind of interesting to see how foote is treat it about some of davis' biographyers. >> we had question and you left. if you'd like to come back we'll be glad to entertain it. . >> the gentleman before said you already answered his question. we're always taught to learn from history so we won't repeat it again. and so i was just wonder -- this is for anybody on the panel -- is there any one thing that you want us to pick up from your book that says, read this, learn from it and don't do it again. block anybody. >> i can speak to that.
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the two younger sisters that i write but, katherine and grace, lived through the mccarthy era, reacted to it in very different ways, but in both cases their lives were de dederailed the anticommunist his state ya of that -- hysteria and respeakings of that period. so i would say don't do that again. >> i agree. >> anyone else? >> everybody always said read your history so you won't repeat your mistakes but we keep releading them over and over again. that's my only comment. >> i'm not a fan of that period but die read a lot of nonfiction and read a lot of history, but i'm not very familiar with the
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civil war period, and maybe something called some kind of social memory or something like that. some of the psychologists of the modern era said that war was psychosis, and i'm thinking guess about the freudians, but -- never have been able to understand why the war went on so long. was it because the commanders of the president wanted unconditional surrender? because we were taught that the deal was over after vicksburg. then went on two years. >> who wants to jump into that? how long do we have? >> i think there are host of reasons the war continued, and a
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lot of it had to do, i think, with the willingness of these people to continue to fight. >> yes, sir. >> i have a statement and a question. the statement is for dr. mars electric. >> i know you're trying work at mississippi state to reconstruct the image of ulises grant and i want you to now my great grandfather on my father mother's side the family sure rein deaded to u.s. grant in versionburg and the lied i'll never take up arms goodbyes the union again and he proceeded to go to alabama and join up with a different outfit. that's my statement. >> i was going say one over the
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interesting things is that grant is the only commander on either side to have three armies completely surrender to him and many cases they would just go home. the vicksburg situation is particularly interesting. in fact joan august is working on a back right now dealing with this, trying to break that nut, what was it about grant he was able to get other armies to absolutely surrender and that's just -- just quit, and go away. so i don't know if that answers your question. >> as you suggest, he had a bull dog grip. >> that could be. the big thing but grant that most historians are looking at, if you look at the civil war as a whole, without getting into -- because my moderator will creque me, but if you look at the civil
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war as a whole, most of the generals came out of what we call the school of antoine -- that united states did as a general you maneuvered your troops so you had masses of your tripe against fractions of the enemy and grant came long, and lincoln did, too, and said, you know, the best thing we can do is end this war as quickly as possible, and the way we can end this war is by applying all of our numbers, all of our forces, all at the same time, rather than maneuvering, et cetera, because every time you maneuver this gives the other side a chance to maneuver, too, and pretty soon your troops and their troops are equal again, even though you have a larger number. >> of course, lee almost always outmaneuvered grant, as we know. that's my observation. but i'd like to ask dr. wynne a question. you mention something but
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secession and seem to make a dinks between the secessionist movement and the institution of slavery earlier in this session. can you clarify that or did i just -- >> they're always -- it's all intertwined. >> i'm sorry. >> all intertwined by -- the secession movement, the actual political act of. seceding, the southern states seceding in a political citizen. secession was the product of the fact that one section of the country had slavery and the other one didn't. so the southern states seceded to defend that institution but when i was talk about theirs a difference, talking about the actual political act of secession. does that make sense? >> i think so. >> and foote was both pro
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slavery and antisecession. >> extremely pro slavery. that's what made him such a strange character. he was a pro slavery ideology. >> this is what is so interesting, what makes the civil war so interesting is that you have a situation where there are people who say, no, we shouldn't have, we shouldn't break the country apart. this is a great democracy, et cetera. and then you have others who say, whatever we do, we got make sure that slavery is not disturbed and that is a fascinating thing to really try to get into people's heads, but you have, for example, out of the border states, they were more opposed to this political act of secession than they were about the whole questions of slavery. >> just a moment for questions. >> one more. >> a quick question for
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dr. marzalek. i went on to read his book on sherman and my daughter gave me a new cop of his memoirs and i've been reading those, and i notice early in his life, when he was in the mexican war, he can almost remember to the day when a certain conflict took place, certain campaign, and then goes all the way up to shilo and he's saying exactly what date so and so conflict arose. how could he remember that? did he take notes along the way? grant taking notes? it's a amazing. what did you discover after going through that and an know tating. there will some annotations where corrections were made by about one day. >> that is an excellent question because both grant and shermon -- the big problem with sherman is he never stops talking. he just guess on and on,
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mentions everybody who participated and this battle and that, et cetera, grant speaks more than the mythology is but also makes its possible to write -- to create a memoir has is cleaner and easier. one of the biggest problems with the grant memoirs had to do with mississippi. that dog gone river kept changing and cutting up these little towns that used to exist, and grant would talk in 1885 about some town in mississippi along the river. nobody in modern time would know what that is. we tried to make it more open to modern -- to modern -- give you another example of how things have changed in the study really of the civil war. one of the big issues that publishers deal with new is putting footnote at the back of the book. so you're reading here and have
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to flip here, and then you have to flip over. we insist that they be realfootnotes so you're reading look and you could drop down. that was -- that took some time to get that accomplished, but the two men, sherman and grant are completely different people, and what i like to point out is if they walked in here, those two guys who were reborn and walked in here two things would happen. sherman would start slapping people on the back, shaking hands, hey, charlie, how are you doing 'grant would find some corn the room and wouldn't have to talk to do many people but he did not like to talk but the thought a lot. good to see you again. >> you, too, jacksonian class. >> we have come to the end of our session. want to thank our panelist for being here.
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