Skip to main content

tv   The Civil War  CSPAN  November 2, 2014 10:00am-10:52am EST

10:00 am
10:01 am
mr. white is the co-author of "a season of slaughter: the battle of spotsylvania court house, may 8-21, 1864." this talk was part of a symposium hosted by the emerging civil war blog. >> our first speaker today is a man for whom i hold the utmost respect. three years ago this again, in fact, we sat on the back porch of a little building next to the stone lodge action shrine and we were thinking, you know, what can we do to help people become more invested in these stories of the civil war? that is were the emerging civil war blog first came to be. since then, over the past three to a, we have expanded publishing series that we will talk about this afternoon. of course, the symposium and a number of speaking engagements, as well.
10:02 am
we are continuing our outreach to help people become invested in these very important and engaging stories. historian ander former licensed battlefield guide at gettysburg here he is one of those men who you could drop him on any battlefield, take off the blindfold, and he will tell you what regiment was there, how many people were there, who the colonel was, and size was that i have learned a tremendous amount from him. i have written all of my books with him. i am pleased to introduce our first speaker today, mr. kris white. [applause] thanks, everybody. thanks for that introduction. and just a side note to his story of us creating emerging civil war, my wife said to me
10:03 am
this last week, not too bad for three idiots sitting on the back porch smoking cigars. [laughter] so that is what we came up with. today i am going to do a little continuation on some things we talked about last night at the roundtable discussion. that will be the changing face not only of the american civil war, but of american military strategy and the way america is going to change their fighting ways really up until the eisenhower administration. the war in 1864 is going to have a deep, deep impact on the way the military is going to fight the 1870'sns in through 1890's against the natives, and then as we get into world war i and the second world war. the second world war has many parallels with the fighting that sherman and grant are going to start employing in 1864. we are going to talk a little bit about that. i will also give you a little
10:04 am
bit of a background to set the stage for the weekend, the rest of the weekend's events, talking about where we are in the war of 1864 comes everybody is on the same page. we will speak about a variety of topics, including civilian station with our keynote speaker and then a confederate navy talk. then we have them politics and valley campaign coming up, as well. i want to make sure everyone is on the same page. as i start off today, i will use a quote use my military historians the world over, and i will continue that stereotype. great germana military thinker. his thoughts had not come over to the united dates yet, mainly because we really have not taken and transcribed from germany to english what he is saying. he came up during the napoleonic
10:05 am
, and a lot that you see in the american civil war will influence those officers who went to the united states military academy at west point, virginia military institute, norwich -- my all my monitor, to learn how to go out and wage war. so that is good man to step back to. he is going to say that war is a continuation of politics by other means. has a624, this quote great deal of impact. as we look in 1854, the political stage that will be set by abraham lincoln is an important one. 1864 is an election year. if abraham lincoln does not bring home a number of victories , or at least completely turned the tide of this war for the union's favor, his party is not going to be in power. if he is not in power, the confederates, on the flipside, will be able to super peace man like george mcclellan will take the presidency, it's into the
10:06 am
we willcy, and what have is then a divided nation. it will be predicated on what lincoln does early in 1864, and that will be appointing ulysses s. grant as commander of all union forces come all 20 plus , departments,army and divisions to enter the field. lincoln will give them a mandate. he is going to try to apply pressure all across the board, by applying the pressure that 1851eld scott called in the anaconda plan, we can completely and i leave the south. the idea with grant and lincoln is going to be to try to apply pressure at various points. now grant and robert e lee have been intertwined since 1864. grant has been known as a butcher to some people are he has been known as a dry since his army days. but ulysses s grant is a fantastic general, not a typical
10:07 am
one that will smash his head up against a wall. he is a soldier that will follow orders, and he is going to do it very well. when granted appointed in march of 1864 to lieutenant general c, first one since george washington, he has this mandate which essentially is, i want you to destroy thery confederate army, because if you destroy the confederate army, the will be nothing standing between us and richmond, nothing between us and atlanta and all the other cities in the south. when grant took over, he wanted to use what was called a strategy of exhaustion. he wanted to wear out the confederates. not so much on the battlefield, but he wanted to go through the south, and he wanted to cut swath two words important centers, allowing his army to live off the land, much like he tried to do during the vicksburg campaign, a fantastic campaign. he is a maneuvering general. but grant, when he wants to employ this, has some precedent
10:08 am
he said. he at least 21,000 men on the meridian expedition under william sherman. sherman is going to cut a wide swath from vicksburg down into alabama -- i am sorry, mississippi, and he is going to cause about $50 million in damage, according to william tecumseh sherman or so he feels, grand, that if we go to to the south and make this war about taking over the homeland by destroying crops and railroads, we will wear out the confederate's ability to supply their armies to we will drain morale on the homefront, drain morale on the war front. and then hopefully whenever it comes to the battlefield, that will have those armies depleted and the union, not only numbers, but strategy, will play out in the end. link it has another idea. he wants to try to find a decisive point and matter away
10:09 am
at the's army -- i am sorry, davidson's army. this is the idea that grant is given. so when grant gives lincoln an initial breakdown of what he wanted to do, and lincoln was not very interested exactly in a wanted to do, grant had strategy in early 1864 of trying to send 50,000 men down through southeastern virginia and then down into north carolina to cut the underbelly of robert ely's army. you cut the supply chain. but when lincoln gives the mandate for what we call a strategy of annihilation, that means to go out and destroy your enemy, grant take this wholeheartedly. he is going to decide when he comes in and meets with george gordon meade, the often forgotten army of the potomac commander, he will meet with e and decide to stay here with the army of the potomac which had a major issue. ofhington was only 30 miles its winter and kamman.
10:10 am
politicians, governors from northern states, would always make their way down into the camp. they did this in 1862 and 1863, during the valley forge winter. they did the same thing while meade is down here, and he is to run to washington in 1863 and 1864 to fight for his job as a different accusations after the battle of gettysburg. when grant comes here, he realizes that the biggest problem is not george gordon meade. meade impresses grant by essentially telling him that you can put me where ever you want, just make sure you bring the best person in here to command this army and put it in a place where i could do good for the union cause. this impresses great and keeps command, because he is a good soldier, but grant is coming from the western theater and wants to make sure that he maintains the tie between that eastern army and its commander from gettysburg.
10:11 am
since gettysburg, the eastern army had not done too much. they had to truck core out west. and they had a union thick during with a failed campaign at mine run which will be the solidifying factor that brings a grant in here to fight in the eastern theater of the war. ofe november, early december 1863, meade was about to make a massive assault. his second corps commander refused to go forward. that wasdecision faithful more ways than one theater will spare the same second core, and less casualties against the forlorn hope assault , and it is also going to show the fact that meade really cannot get the job done. grant them all he has done is won shiloh and
10:12 am
pittsburgh. he went to chattanooga and saves that city from siege. he is now the winningest general, and grant will put the onus on him to bring home a victory. confederates, on the flipside, are going to have their best commander take on grant, and that will be robert e lee, obviously. the confederate strategy in 1864 is, in a way, similar to what the union strategy will be. that is that they want to make ,his war as bloody as possible as untenable as possible comes with of the northern electorate, when they go to the polls in november, are going to have no stomach for this war. they want to essentially win by a draw. the union armies have to conquer the south. they have to go through the south and eradicate those men who have come to power in the confederate government. they have to get them out of power.
10:13 am
on the confederate side, if lee, davis, joe johnson out west, can bring home victories, what they can do is essentially win by drop your the democratic peace party can take our for her then by 1855, the confederacy can be an independent nation in and of itself. that is what they think. the confederates, in 1864, have very high hopes, hayek citations. -- high expectations but it was written that the spirit of both officers and men points to one .esolve, and that is success a texas officer serving in the same texas brigade wrote debts on the eve of the overland campaign, that if the people at home could only see the spirit of this army, i am confident confederate currency would appreciate the value and be worth as much as federal gold. high hopes that these people have in the south, still. yes, they have had setbacks.
10:14 am
which was anooga, fantastic jumping off point for sherman here in 1854. then we're going to have the setback, obviously, at gettysburg could but we had victories at chancellorsville. the south is still holding its own. and lee's army still together. they thwarted meade at mine run here in the ease. so lee and davis to keep the war going on. lee's army as an army that we're pretty much familiar with as they go into 1854. if you go back to gettysburg, this is the command structure that meade took when he crossed the pennsylvania border. the man up on your top left would be james long street am of the first corps commander. that is the second in command of the army appeared the second corps commander is across from him to the third corps commander is in the bottom left corner. and then we have jeb stuart, the
10:15 am
confederate calvary chief. looking at this picture, it is a pretty good list of officers. lee has a solid command structure. but in 1864 come along street will be taken out of the equation. when you go to the pennsylvania -- spotsylvania courthouse, one will be out sick. following that, another will be relieved of demand. during the spotsylvania value, we will have the death of jeb stuart. so by the time lee is making his way down towards richmond, his command staff is completely shaken, something we talked about last night at our roundtable discussion. lee is not going to be working with that a-team he had when he stepped off. on the second day of battle in the wilderness, he loses his most trusted subordinate, james long street. everything from that point were start -- will start going downhill for robert e lee,
10:16 am
mainly because lee is a commander who wanted to fight a strategy that would keep his army on the defensive, only until he found it offensive opportunity. he sees that opportunity and take the battle to the enemy, much like he did on the seven days which carried over into second manassas and then up in antietam. and post-chancellorsville, he is going to head up towards gettysburg. takes -- he's a different kind of general it when he came up with the idea that he is going to have to fight lee's army, he is going to do it on a wide front. he wilson forces into southeastern virginia, under been that were, not the greatest joys, but he needed him politically. then he will sit two more calls of armies to western virginia. and inept person into the shenandoah valley, and thence then sherman and through joys -- georgia, and eventually nathaniel banks through the
10:17 am
nathaniel river. he wants to apply pressure all at one spirit when grand interest the wilderness in 1864, he is acting not as the army of the potomac commander but as the man overseeing all these armies. he is acting essentially as dwight eisenhower did during the 1844.on of normandy in he's going to oversee all of the smaller pieces. unlike pike, grant definitely wants to be the alpha male and have his hand in the pot. and a matter of a few hours in to battle in the wilderness, grant is already putting his impact on the army. grant essentially writing behind , looking behind meade over his shoulders the whole time. it is a tough position for meade . george gordon meade is a fantastic character and fantastic division commander appeared we do not know how well of a corps commander he would be because we do not have enough to battlebut he had won the
10:18 am
of gettysburg which was good enough for general grant. unfortunately, meade will turn into a high-ranking staff officer. he will be grant's george marshall, from going up into world war ii. so now grant is going to be a different kind of beast. as we look at the map, i want you to focus on the red and blue line heading down toward richmond. grant realizes very quickly, as does lincoln and jefferson davis, the fastest way to get a confederate army to battle, or union army to battle, is to threaten their capital. politicians do not like whenever armies come knocking on their door. aimt grant intends to do is for the area of richmond. but he is going to tell meade goes, youver lee shall follow. from the wilderness, grant is stalemated. he will fight there, and i will show you a map in a moment of the wilderness. he is going to go to
10:19 am
spotsylvania, lord appeared still make. smell -- still make again. what grant is going to do is something that no other commander did that robert e lee bought. he is going to keep the initiative. it does not matter what happened , be it a draw or loss, grant is going to keep pushing south. that will keep applying pressure on robert e lee's army. this strategy of annihilation that he is going to use is going to keep grinding down the confederate army. in the wilderness, he tries to attack, prematurely, grant does. lee is able to encounter. he is able to utilize the woods about 12 miles or more we are to nullify grant's covers of 123,000 or so versus lee's 62,000 or so men. now to the spotsylvania courthouse, we see our next days of war. our next stop is right over here.
10:20 am
the idea is that right here on the land is to start to utilize earth works. from chancellorsville to earth'srg, you will see works go on. antietam, you do not see that. you saw man-made roads. fortifications. but they do not actually did fortification. starting at frederick's bird, the confederate's would dig a line. most of these are not the impressive. once you crossed down to spotsylvania courthouse in the army starts moving down here, lee realizes he is going into open country. so now he is going to change that face of war by starting to utilize fortification. to paraphrase one union staff officer, he essentially says, in three days, the confederates can have a line. he will state that they arrived at one point and will set of a
10:21 am
low line on the first acre the second day they will have a moderate line of work aired by the third day, they are impregnable. by the end at the campaign, he seemed to do all that three days work in less than 24 hours. these men are going to be digging, constantly digging every time they come down very the works will keep growing rigor and bigger. the works shown on this map are going to be very impressive. but they're going to hell and compares to coal harbour which will take place less than a month later. lee hasampaign evolves, to adjust his tactics, as did the union forces. both sides have to dig in. fortifications are not new to warfare. in the american civil war, using tactics, hepoleonic stood shoulder to shoulder and fired muskets. i have heard a thousand times people say how stupid the american general was by standing out in those open fields.
10:22 am
for ambrose burnside would get a time -- every time i were to read or expert. but as this happened, these works are going to grow up. as they grow, they learned that west point that if you do utilize fortifications, you're going to need three to one odds to together that defender. lee, even know he will lose men, about 13,000 in the wilderness and another 13000 and spotsylvania courthouse, he will keep trying to know if i'd by not only trying to get reinforcement, but by building up those urban fortifications. if you get a chance, this was pointed out to me the other day the chancellorsville visitors center. as you work your way through the low stack ofsee logs. you keep working your way around , and you'll notice these walls getting higher. those are the fortifications, improving, getting higher, getting more impressive and more
10:23 am
dominant. to break these fortifications, we have to come up with a new tack appeared one man they turned to is a young 24-year-old --onel name emery up to emory upton, and up and comer in the army. he has no sense of humor. no gray area. everyy is humorless in way, shape, or form. but he is very ambitious. 121st new yorkhe infantry in agencies to two, they're called upton's regulars, and he instills rockhard discipline in the unit. upton comes up with an idea. he will look back to the old west. we're still using what we call in your tech, going across the , bestin little squares way i can tell you to re-create a battle, go sit at a booth in a packets. get the sugar you can learn how to
10:24 am
do it, go out and do that. plays footballaw and says to play john madden's football game. he jokes about that. what upton comes up with is he steps all the way back to the time of greece and rome at time of a man named gustav's adolphus from sweden. i had to learn him for college,'s i wanted to use his name. [laughter] he is known as a lion in the north. he comes up with what seems like a nice formation, a great guy. what of to does is look back through his three. here realize there are long not the best way to break a line shoulder to shoulder for mild ross. what those attacks lack is depth. a point called a salient. line, azit in the
10:25 am
flw. -- flaw. they wake of the next dance a big ceiling on the line. the bad problem is you have a that could be popped at the base. you can attack the base of it and squeeze out these troops and cut them off. that is a bad thing to happen it .s similar to a gap in 1944 it is something that you do not want to have happen. you do not want to get caught up in these pockets. if you are an attacker, you can pinpoint this area and start bombarding it, even if your artillery is going to miss a frontline, it will hit the rear ranks. it is a bad thing. it is converging artillery higher. you have diverging artillery fire if you are a defender. thinking out many little point, trying to spread it out.
10:26 am
you are not being accurate. we're not you are not concentrating your fire. of deniz given the green light to assault the confederate lines to his formation. linedea is to breach the with the first wave. they are going to act like a bazooka. it warns through armor. that is what they want to do. this first line is not going to load there must get. they are not going to cap there must get. they will load them, put the bayonet on, but they are all out of higher and shot. 200 yards away from a tree line military attack, a place called gold salient. wave will come through and then they will consolidate these and keep moving forward. wave, monitors,
10:27 am
are supposed to sit back and be an active reserve. ofon wanted to give a lot power into one point. the union army does this to the second battle of fredericksburg. they're trying to innovate the way they fight. so they break to the line's here. this is what will happen. it will break to lines for less than an hour. but it is a great job. the first three waves come through, rip open a line, almost. when he turned back for reinforcements who were supposed to be sitting on the edge of the tree line, he found them up in the confederate trenches. they told him if you give us enough ammunition, we're going to day here all day. enough ben and jerry's, they may have. they were so into tenacity that the broke or the line. they were happy. upton was in support of that, faulty intelligence and all to maneuvers of other incompetent now upton gives grant an idea.
10:28 am
if i can do that with one brigade, what can i do with an entire core? he is going to pick the tip of them. this is where the confederate command structure has fallen apart. wounded,gstreet was survives, but his out of action. the second command is richard .ou wil richard is going to tell lee he thinks he can still hold the line. unwisely, lee listens to richard ewell. lee is going to order out all the artillery, except for eight guns. the reason he does this is because he is duped by grant. grant, even though he is doing a strategy of annihilation, he is also maneuvering.
10:29 am
maneuvering, maneuvering, maneuvering. in my spotsylvania book, we have one chapter that says mud and maneuver. what hancock's core is going to do is break through the line. they are going to take an entire confederate division. they will take them off the field, off the order of battle, capture them. edward allegheny johnson, poor night, he has no luck. another man named george mellon stuart -- george maryland stuart. with those tactics, grant is unable to dislodge leave. the union army -- that strategy they needed to do on a smaller scale on the battlefield. but they are unable to do it. grant eventually have two disengage. essentially, a series of wonders
10:30 am
nearly cost grant the battle. and a good portion of the army of the potomac. lee is unable to follow up due to his faulty command structure. richard ewell is out. another one has dysentery and is unable to finish off the killing blow, and he was very upset. then exhaustion takes over and a little bit of ineptness with grant. and the famed assaults took place, costing the union army so many casualties. grant, as he made his way south, he noticed that the map will constantly be shifting, shift thing to the left. his idea to shift to the left is simple. he wanted to go around me's army, break into the open, cut awfully's army from richmond, thus cutting them off from supply and reinforcements, and then trying to destroy them as the confederate army will have
10:31 am
to try to get the attack down towards richmond. the reason grant does not choose the shenandoah valley is very simple. he cannot got into the shenandoah valley because of the fertile underbelly of washington will be left open. if grant goes to the shenandoah valley, it is a wide open stretch. except her yesterday in the four hours of traffic getting here to the symposium. [laughter] went to antietam on the fourth of july, might you get mistake ever, four hours, 50 miles. anyway, as you are going along, as grant is going along to the left and the right, grant is utilizing the union naval superiority. he can supply his army that way. they can capture those forces. utilize ports that have always been captured for supplies. if he goes to the shenandoah
10:32 am
valley, it is much more difficult to supply the army. lee, if you let him loose, he is going to go right for your throat when he tried to do in 62 -- 1962 and grant is going to 1963. make his way to petersburg. he is going to set into a general siege. lee said, we must support these this army of grant's before he gets to the james river which is down below richmond. if he gets there, it will become a siege and will be a mere question of time. it will change the face of war in the eastern theater. june 15, the battle for petersburg starts. some people say it is a siege. some say it is not. i go with the siege. the seas of petersburg does the greatest thing for the union cause. it follows up robert e lee in
10:33 am
one spot. there is no way he can get out. it will slip men out in the valley. he is unable to break out from that siege. he is going to try time and time again. he is stuck. grant is going to turn to the west. this is where the war -- i am sure everybody is turning it in across the nation. i don't care. i put it out there. the west is where i believe the war was mostly won. there were things done and the ease that helps, but the war was won in the west. it will be a series of victories out west. as we go out west, we have william t sherman taking on joe's of johnston. the union army out west had a great advantage, and that was the man calling the shots in the
10:34 am
west was not robert e lee. it was jefferson davis himself. he was a west one graduate. he was a former secretary of war and command the troops during the mexican-american war. but he was also a very fickle man. he was as a very testy man. if you did not like you, he liked you. if he liked you, he had your back hallway. james during the opening stages that the peninsula campaign. he knocked out a war, showed up out west, bounces around, and he is given command of the confederate army of tennessee. he takes over for a fairly -- very unpopular general. a things a famed quote jefferson davis was trying to do a god could not do in that was to make a general officer out of racks can brag -- out of braxton bragg. joe jones and, if you remember
10:35 am
the peninsula in agency to two, he will retreat time and time again. he will try to string out mcclellan's army. he is taking on william tecumseh sherman who will not use the strategy of an allegation weird he will use ace energy of exhaustion. he will maneuver. part of that is brought on by joseph johnston. he will use fabian tactics, going back all the way to greece . the idea is to string your enemy out. he might be able to attack their supply lines. they're going to have these -- to string the army out and leave men behind to protect vital points. the problem johnston has as he moves towards atlanta is he's losing realist eight. as he's losing real estate, he is going to give up the initiative, any initiative that could be taken. he is also going to allow atlanta to be threatened. so thatnta paper
10:36 am
atlanta could fall. if atlanta falls, we're still ok. this is before the fall. with the newspaper editors did not realize is that if atlanta falls, it is a huge plume in the hat of abraham lincoln. if lincoln brings home this victory that is one more step , towards the republican party taking back over, and that is what the confederacy cannot have. so a number of battles which i will not get into. it is a series of retreats and a series of missed opportunities for the confederates, as well as for the union forces here they are going to make their way towards atlanta. i late june, they are going to be on the outskirts of atlanta. i'm mid-july, they are across the chattahoochee river, which is five miles from atlanta. at this point, something has to be done. johnson has given up to much territory. so now we're going to enter into a confederate feud.
10:37 am
joe johnston is going to be questioned by jefferson davis. davis wants to get rid of him for what is happening. they have to turn to two to recommenders. two choices. the man named william hardy or john bell hood -- we did it gettysburg. good definitely wants the job. he is going to eventually get the job. gets the job from johnson, he will ask a simple favor -- before you leave this army, can you help me out with the dispositions of it and help out with a strategy, show me your strategy. carmen noon says problem, i will take care of that. bell hood.john he is never commanded an army in his life. he is now in an almost impossible position for he will employ a strategy of annihilation. it is not on the union army but
10:38 am
on his own army or he is going to start attacking. as he starts attacking, he is attack a place called he wille creek and start sustaining casualty after casualty. if he starts absorbing these casualties, casualties in a 62,000-man army cannot be sustained. grant and sherman are ecstatic. if they are ecstatic, grant said, my satisfaction being placed in command with this. johnston was a careful and brave soldier. but hood would go out and fight every time we raised a flag or him, and that is just what we wanted. that is what hood gave them. in september, sherman is going to give grant and lincoln the city of atlanta. will shift away and tried to hit the supply lines, and he is eventually going to go up into knoxville and up towards
10:39 am
franklin pierce sherman is going to march out towards the sea and will live off the land. december, he will give savannah as a christmas present to abraham lincoln in that famous telegraph. hood, on the other hand, is going to head up into tennessee or he will get knoxville and franklin. as he does this, he is going to destroy the federal -- the confederate army of tennessee. he takes really the last viable worse in the deep south off the field and allows sherman, in 1865, to make that big swing north of into the carolinas. as he does that, it is only a matter of time before sherman would arrive at the gates of petersburg. b a grant or meade not destroying the leader, they would have sherman at the rant -- back and granted the front and nothing else to do. these men who employed these tactics, including -- including
10:40 am
lastdan who we heard about night, these men came up with a strategy that will be employed makee shenandoah valley to the war so cruel that they do not want to wage, the enemy does not want to wage it. sheridan, sherman, grant, they'll had a long-term impact on the united dates army. grant is commander-in-chief. the other two will command the armies or they will employ the strategy that we use against the natives, essentially a campaign of annihilation. once we cross over into the first and second world wars, the united states army will try to use a mixture of campaigns of annihilation, as well as maneuver. the u.s. army in northwestern europe is going to try to use maneuver when they can, but they will also try to do whatever they can to cut straight, air power, seapower, any time they can to break up a line. this is a doctrine that carried over into the united dates army.
10:41 am
it is a doctrine that also started here as both a link to court, something i do not touch on, the fact that african-american troops are now part of the fray on a major scale, especially against these armies. it will not be until the 1950's that we have the army integrated. started thefought ball rolling and gave lincoln another 177,000 men to take out the war. next.s. army for about the 80 years will it back at what these men did. they will see how pressure is applied across the board in the specifics and european dinner in world war ii. sum of this morning, let grant's strategy meant to the up fordates army, thumbs man named theodore gerrish. he was here in the spotsylvania
10:42 am
wilderness, and he's comes up ums uprant -- he s what grant accomplished or he said it, the army, has maintained a grip upon the throat of the confederacy, a grip that will not be relax until treason gasps and dies its last breath. i want to thank you for coming out today. if you have questions, i will stick around. to now, i will turn it over chris mackowski again. [applause] >> we have time for a few questions. microphones before asking your question. one of here in the front. south, people in the
10:43 am
after the war -- [indiscernible] >> it is absolutely correct. i will make a statement here. i want you to listen very carefully to how i word this. i do know what you to think i am comparing him to a horrible desperate. but davis is going to command, as commander-in-chief, he will think he knows much more than his field commanders do. lee has a great way of talking to him. if you read between the lines, lee will take what advice davis gets and send it back like that is of a testing idea or did you know, but if you tell me to do that, i will do it. jefferson davis commanded the confederate war department essentially the way adolf hitler demands in world war ii. i am not comparing the two as being war criminals. i am trying to say that hitler
10:44 am
wanted to have control over everything, the minute chef of the war. of the war.ia that will tie down the commander. hitler would never give the commanders the autonomy that they needed. heis would to lee, that really would not get that autonomy over to men like joseph johnson and. he would not listen -- joseph johnston. he is going to, jefferson davis, is going to go up and give a speech. he will say that our cause is not lost. sherman cannot keep up his long lines of communication and retreat sooner or later. he must. comes, it talks about the retreat and he talks about the attack in the march to the sea.
10:45 am
he compares it to napoleon's invasion of russia. the two problems of jefferson davis and the south had was that georgia does not get a harsh winter like moscow to drive away the union army. [laughter] lines. cannot harass the this is after hood has done most of his damage. one more point, when he goes out yesterdayfter hood damaging the army in tennessee, he gets on the train and there are tennessee points there who will start chanting "we want johnston." so his men are questioning him. his commanders question him constantly, except for lee. wondavis, since the war has out west, his strategy was not cohesive the way it should be. 1864es to remedy that, but it is too little, too late.
10:46 am
>> i think from your , alongation this morning with the discussion we had last night, i think there is agreement that grants's approach to lee was one of the primary factors that brought the war to an end. turning that around and looking from lee 's approach to win grant grantd -- to when entered, i sometimes and that lee's strategy was flawed because he did not have the numbers. i think the confederacy would have been better served to prolong the war. if lee would have taken a different strategy instead of trying to interpose themselves
10:47 am
in front of grant, to let grant and around his right side slip around to the left and put pressure on washington, if that would have been a better way considering the war weariness of the northern populace at that time, just like your comments on that. >> i agree. i actually had a conversation with another historian about this very recently were the ward needed to be prolonged. that the command structure cannot sustain the casualties that were inflicted upon them time and time again. he just do not have the replacements. grant, when he marches down to the spotsylvania courthouse, is from thehift troops defenses of washington, able to grab 30,000 troops that spent more times in the bar rooms and brothels of there than anywhere else, and come to the front.
10:48 am
i found something interesting on green troops in the war, but he is able to at least keep throwing more men into that meatgrinder. lee is unable to. he has reached his peak and 1863. the confederacy has reached their peak in manpower at about 700 -- and the number of men in the field. , his army cannot sustain those types of losses. he is leaving his own army out. tryill make it more easy to to defeat that confederate force. so a strategy of trying to andong it, play the cat mouse game, would be probably the most effective way to do it, something along the lines of james longstreet's ideas, let them where the down against the of. the thing that really turns the tide are the shenandoah valley campaign of 1864 and then they
10:49 am
followed atlanta. that is showing the breaking point of the confederacy to the northern electorate, and thus, hands are tied. you are talking about the command structure and the army. did you say something about the civilian population, particularly starvation, i mean, particularly in this area, all the way from culpepper south and all the way here. this has been fought over for three years. >> and that is a great point. we are at a spotsylvania courthouse, 50 miles south of washington, d.c. this area had four major engagements over 18 months. this area in 1852 at 25 miles of stafford county, 25 square miles
10:50 am
completely do forest it is of the union army's needs. one confederacy soldiers said they cannot find any food in the area and the bird known as the chicken was extinct in these parts, and then you also have the fact that the confederate people around here, although the southern population loved their soldiers, they also hated them. they were a bane on their egg distance. existence. they needed tons of rations per day to keep them moving. the union armies and the confederate armies would go foraging. they will go throughout the area. fredericksburg and spotsylvania, does not to one study, return to wartime population until the 1950's because of the devastation. people left this wholesale, this
10:51 am
area, because there's nothing else pure the armies coming to the area were like locusts on them. the shenandoah valley, what sheridan was supposed to do was to go out there and destroyed those that could sustain the army but allow american people to live. but sheridan is sheridan. he did what he did. what you run into. the civilian population, even for although -- all their hardships, they will have shortages of sugar, coffee, anything you can think of. they are going to still have a very high morale. there has been some fantastic articles written on the fact that even though the war is just about lost in every sense, the folks at home still have a glimmer of hope. for fisher still stands. oh, we lost it, but we can still win t

28 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on