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tv   The Civil War  CSPAN  October 13, 2015 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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question of is this total war? is this attrition? is there an exchange going on? all they know is they're tryinge survive, and they no longer can consider these abstract questions of patriotism and duty and even questions about the union or abolition. they just are trying to survive. and some of them do give in and accept paroles and even join the confederacy. and these are,hu i think they'r very real, human moments of crisis that, that can speak to h us, you know. through the generations. and you read about, again, in these diaries and in these memoirs that i don't think thata we've recognized enough in civi- r history that really come to a head in studying prisons. >> we will take one more call from virginia in minneapolis. we're little short of time, so jump in with your question or comment. >> caller: i had an ancestor in
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andersonville. and at the end of the war, w he ended up, i don't know how he got to washington, and died, ane is buried at arlington, and i just wondered what happened to the, at the end of the war to he the prisoners there. have ma >> well, he might have been like some of the, again, some of the soldiers that i study. he might have made his way, you know, he might well have gone on to a place that camp parole and might have been in a hospital. there were army hospitals, e military hospitals. there was one in fairfax, impr virginia. have been in one of those hospitals due to his endo imprisonment, no doubt, and he died and ended up in arlington.: that would be my suspicion. and that was the end of his, the end of his story. >> lesley gordon, what would yoe say would be the legacy of andersonville? >> well, i think andersonville, and some of the things i was just speaking to.esn' i think andersonville, it of
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doesn't fit with the larger heroic narrative of so many civil war battlefields, of qu gettysburg and decisive leaders. it leaves us with a lot of ways complicated, conflicting questions and emotions, and i think that'sab in many ways, mae the way it should be when you're studying a subject and thinking about a subject as vast as the n civil war. i think that's legacy of andersonville. and it really, it needs more 13 attention. it's appropriate that this funeral is here for these 13,000. they very much wanted these menh to be remembered. they wanted to ensure that they had a proper burial. and i think it's appropriate bc that wke think about them and keep coming back to try to ence. understand this experience. >> our guest is a history professor at the university of akron and the author of "a broken reggement, the 16th."
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american history tv features the civil war every saturday at 6:00 and 10:00 eastern. we've covered the war extensively the past five years as many state and national historic sites and local groups hosted events to mark the war's 150th anniversary. to watch any of these programs or find information visit our website, this is american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, on c-span 3 and in prime time on week nights when congress is in recess. former naacp chairman julian bond died in august. on sunday, october 25th, american history tv features an oral history with mr. bond where he remembers growing up in the segregated south. his involvement with the student non-violent coordinating committee and his political
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career. this is one of several oral history with african american leaders we feature in the coming weeks. they were conducted by explorations in black leadership project. that's sunday, october 25th at 10:00 eastern here on american history tv on c-span 3. he said from the beginning, you know i look in the mirror, and i don't see a president. our response to that was quit looking in the mirror. but from the very beginning, he just said this is nothing i've ever thought about. >> this sunday night on kwcht and a, former public relations coordinator on mitch daniels and his decision not to run for president in 2012. >> i became convinced as we came to the end of the process that he's very competitive. and i think if he had made a decision to do it that he would
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have had his heart and soul into it. but from the very beginning, it's not something that he ever really thirsted after. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific. on c-span's q&a american history tv was live from the camp sumter civil war military prison in andersonville, georgia, for a ceremony commemorating p.o.w.s who died there. coming up next, all our programming from the event, including viewers' phone calls with our guest eric leonard, the former andersonville chief of interpretation and leslie gordon, university of akron history professor. this program is about three hours. good afternoon. you're watching american historg tv on c-span and you are looking at a historic image of camp sumter, also known as the or andersonville prison. now we take you live to the andersonville national historic site and cemetery in
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andersonville, georgia, for the next three hours taking your viu phone calls and watching a commemorative funeral for the mr 13,000 prisoners of war who diet here. in 1864 and 1865. joining us is eric leonard. he's the former chief of interpretation at the andersonville historic site.wil we are also opening up our phon. lines so that you can join in on the conversation. if you want to give us a call and ask questions about andersonville, 202-748-7900 in the eastern time zones. if you want to send us a tweet, do so @cspanhistory. thank you for joining us this afternoon.
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>> it's my pleasure to be here. >> let's start with what is andersonville for someone who does not know.ersonvil where does it fall? >> it's important to start with this idea that military prisonse and prisoners of war are not part -- often are left out of the mainstream telling of the s war because quite frankly there's no winners in this story. this isn't a battlefield. it's something entirely different.those valor and honor take different forms here.andard in the standard telling of the war, there's an acknowledgment, yes, there are prisons, prisoners of war, and then you move right back on to the battles. address often there's -- in addressing this story, there's an acknowledgment of it and then no detail and then you move on.
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andersonville has a name brand n recognition, a notorious nature the public often don't necessarily know any of the details beyond the name and something unusual took place >> so let's start with thesi basics. when was it built?mr what was its purpose?as the >> in the fall of 1863 as the exchange system of the previous two years falls apart due to thn presence of black soldiers in the field and the question over how to treat black soldiers, the confederacy is faced with a the problem. they've been consolidating their prisoners holding them primarily in the richmond area and 10,000 prisoners in richard -- richmond has a drag effect on that community. priso resources are going in to
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maintain the prisoners that if you're in the confederate army or the government, those resourc resources should go to the army to fight the war. if you're a civilian, you're thinking to yourself my family r is hungry. why am i having trouble getting food? then prisoners in richmond -- richmond is one of the primary military targets in the war. there's a lot of fighting around the city. having union soldiers in richmond makes that target even more attractive.he and so the solution was to move the prisoners away. in november of 1863 there's thia idea that southwest georgia is a very safe, very insulated place. it's far, far from the fighting. it's serviced by the railroad at system of the south and this is an agricultural bread basket.grl food should be readily available. officers come here, locate a site in that expedition to find
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a site in some of the same modern concepts. we consider this idea of not in my backyard. the orders to locate a prison, specify an area that's th essentially 100 miles north and south between fort valley, georgia, and albany, georgia. those are fairly big communities. you'll notice the prison didn't end up particularly near them the county seat of sumter county america sits seven miles south of where we're at, and that's a fairly well established community. they didn't necessarily want the prison close to them. there's 20 people living at the andersonville station, the train stop here. those people don't have political power, and there's willing landowners, who are e te absolutely ready to make the -- two of them make the deal.ey ars
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on paper, they're supposed to 5r receive a rent of each about $50 a year from the confederate government for env leasing thei property to build this massive e facility. it's envisioned as a prison, sq 16-acre square, that is designea for a capacity of 6,000 to 10,000 prisoners. that's the number of prisoners already being held in richmond, enlisted prisoners, privates, corporals, sergeants.e the intent is to move them from richmond to here. construction begins in early 1864.bruary by the end of february, prisoners are en route and then arriving here and the prison comes into being. >> 6,000 to 10,000 prisoners was the original intent.t, how how many prisoners eventually t ended up there? >> at its height, the one time capacity in the middle of augusy 1864 there's over 32,000 u.s.
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soldiers being held inside the e prison. by that time, the original stockade had had a ten-acre expansion. that's built in the month of n june and opened on the first of july. you fol >> and so mr. leonard, could you follow up if you have that many people in such a confined spacei what's living like there?s a ses give us a sense of the conditions and eventually what ends up to the prisoners there.t >> this is a forested part of south georgia, so to construct the prison, slave labor is used to clear cut the forest. the pine logs are rough hewn. the original 16-acre stockade are built with logs that are squared and tightly fitted.
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the interior of the prison, the first prisoners that arrived describe it as a place where construction debris is clearly evident everywhere.retu there are stumps.rb there are branches. it's a very disturbed place. there is no shelter. prisoners improvise shelter outs of the debris that is present. one of the routines of the prison operation is a wood out gathering details are allowed out daily. when you're gathering that woods you're looking for two purposes. obviously one was firewood for cooking, but larger pieces of wood, castoff debris, that's shelter building material. >> don't forget folks watching at home, if you want to contribute to the conversation and ask questions about the ho conditions at andersonville prison, how the prisoners were treated, now is the chance to do so to talk with our guest eric . leonard. if you live in the mountain and
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pacific time zones, ou on 202-748-8901. go ahead and make those calls. if you want to tweet at us, you can do so @cspanhistory. also can you post on our facebook page, history. let's pretend i'm a prisoner coming to the prison. what's my day like? how am i processed into there and what happens to me after that?of >> in the 14 months of the ngeso prison's operation, the answer i to that question changesti dramatically. for those initial prisoners who arrive in late february of 1864 it seems strange when you know what comes later. they see andersonville as an improvement. it's better than libby prison or bell isle at richmond. it's an improvement. the weather in south georgia seems nicer.ind they've got a change of they're kind of excited about that opportunity.rrive
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as prisoners arrive, every prisoner that arrives here and leaves here does so on a train. the train is integral to this story, and when you're offloadeu at the train station, the trainn itself, the train tracks, the train station are almost a half a mile to the west of the main prison compound, the stockade. and so there's a march, what some prisoners refer to as 800 paces to hell later on. then outside of the gates closet to the main compound you're nd,o counted out. o you're assigned into detachments and squads because roll call is a critical part of the daily pr experience of the prison. roll call is how the confederate command determines how many prisoners they have and what their disposition is.
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so they're counting the number i of prisoners in the hospital, o the number of prisoners inside k the stockade, they're making daily lists of the number of prisoners who arrive, number of prisoners who transfer out, the number of prisoners who die, and they separate that out from the number of prisoners who die in the hospital and the number of p prisoners who die inside the compound itself. >> as far as being in the host general population with so manye people, we can talk a little bis more at length about this later on, but give us a sense of health conditions.fa were there clean facilities? give us a sense of what living like was on that frontst. >> one way to start with that is the hospital.hospit in 14 months, there was a hospital. it's in three different rent locations. then there's sort of a fourth adjunct to that.te hospi for the prisoners, there's a separate prison facility for the
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prison staff. that was a compound frame with two-story structures. the where the prison hospital starts is inside the compound itself.e there's a sequestered area with tents and separate toilet facilities. and by may the confederate i command has realized that's not a good idea. it's not working very well, so a they move the prison hospital outside of the stockade itself downstream of the prison.ison t that is a compound that's fenced and has again tents as hospital wards. their perception is that moving it out of the prison compound and next to the stream will be h healthier space. it's important to note that thea stream that they've moved it next to is the stream that flows through the hospital -- the prison compound itself.
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again, as originally built, 16-acre square, the creek, what we call prison branch or stockade branch today, enters the middle of the west side of d the compound, flows through the wall. the creek is literally the single most geographic feature of the prison because it is the the intention is prisoners will collect clean drinking water at that west side of the prison.dde in the middle section of the prison, perhaps they'll bathe, clean themselves in the flow of the creek. and on the downstream side the creek is channelled into a structure that is a toilet. the intention of all of this is the flow of the creek will flusf the toilet. the success of that is designed on an understanding in the 1860
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of germs an bacteria, which is n to say no understanding of thate at all. what they don't know when they do this is they've created the perfect breeding ground for . dysentery. >> we have calls. in th go ahead. >> caller: yes, sir. my question is why does andersonville have such a bad reputation nationally in the overview of the civil war prisons in regards to elmira, which had a very severe death rate? just 4% or 5% less than andersonville, yet there was plenty of supplies available from the north with railroads t that would supply the prisonersb yet andersonville gets such a bad reputation.onard:
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>> it's really easy to answer. andersonville is the deadliest e place on american soil. 13,000 american soldiers die si here in 14 months. that is a death toll that cannot be compared to any other place.t percentages are a trap. they've been used to create a sense of false equivalency. 3,000 men perish in a year at elmira. that is a grievous loss. it's hard to defend. there's a complex of serious reasons why that occurs. in a single month, the month of august 1864 in andersonville, 6300 people die. survivors spend the rest of their lives coming to terms with what happens to them, what happens to their friends. families who lose their loved
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ones here struggle with what was it for. men while 13,000 men die here, nearly 30,000 live. that's probably the bigger number. the survivors of this experienct after the war comes to an end, they really struggle with what did it mean. how does it fit into the larger victory? it's not a traditional battlefield., unti there's not this sense of valorl for your suffering. in fact, prisoners of war until the late 20th century were considered to be cowards, to be failures as soldiers. in that survivors' guilt is really something union soldiers struggle with immediately after the war's end. >> our next call, connie
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raleigh, north carolina. good afternoon. >> caller: yes. mr. leonard, i have a question. i recently watched the ken burns documentary on the civil war. and they stated in that documend that the superintendent or the n warden of andersonville was na convicted of war crimes and he was hanged. i'd like to know what his name was. can you verify that for me, please? >> that's absolutely true. this is captain henry wurts. he's assigned here in march of 1864. he serves -- the command structure of the prison is in many respects dysfunctional by design. a when you explore it, it makes no sense.ire mi there's a colonel that commanded the entire military complex here, because this is a really p big place with at times imes, th thousands of confederate soldiers here or moving through.
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you have supply depots at the train station and then the massive infrastructure to run u the prison.arge o you have a colonel in charge of that.nts underneath him, you have a series of departments that are essentially all overseen by captains. a quarter master for the non-food supplies.ou a commissary for food. have there's a chief surgeon who oversees the hospital operation. then you have this captain. his job is to oversee the operation of the prison.that, separate from that, the guard th forces that are here through most of the prison's operation are georgia reserves.thes a kind of form of militia. these are not combat ready troops. these are teenagers. these are old men who have little to no training, little to no discipline. then they were assigned on duty, as guards at the stockade, t hs captain wurts has authority over them.
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wurts is often absolutely frustrated with the quality of his guards. they have no discipline. they don't follow orders. he complains about them constantly.he i his hands are tied with that te command structure. he's dependent on the quarter master for supplies, the commissary for food. so that roll call they're doing, every day, once they have the roll call, they forward the number of prisoners to the commissary and the commissary officer has to provide the food into the prison. food was delivered once a day. w henry wurts is still on station, still here the first week of may in 1865 as the prison is essentially blown to the wind. there are no prisoners. the guard staff is gone.omplex. the colonel fled to florida the week before. henry wurts is still here. that leads to his arrest on may
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7th, 1865. he is transported eventually first to macon on to chattanooga and then finally washington, d.c. after his arrest and during that transport period, his escort at one point in chattanooga turned him over to the guard house, th. federal guard house in chattanooga. that was a mistake. when the captain, who is escorting him, comes back, henry wurts has been beaten. his he's been recognized by the men who were once in his care.ington during his transport to washington, d.c., they end up shaving the beard off of his face so he's less recognizable because 30,000 men lived through this.and th they recognize him immediately. they're the ones in trying to figure out who to blame -- there's a larger command do nots structure at andersonville, but prisoners don't see that. they see henry wurts every day,r
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and they tell stories of the f dutch captain, one of his many nicknames. he's tried at a military tribunal in washington, d.c. gt, from august 1865 until october. he's put to death november 10th, 1865. he's often described as the only confederate soldier to be put te death or tried for war crimes. that's not true. he's absolutely, positively the most famous. by the time of his execution, he's the third confederate captain to be tried and executed for war crimes in 1865. >> mr. leonard, we are asking pp people to give comments and cl questions on facebook.facebook claire larson writes in this ce morning on facebook saying ther was a movie called "andersonville" and asking you if it was an accurate portrayal of the legal proceedings that l. followed the war and if it
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accurately conveyed the true nature of the internment.iserie >> there's two films about us.s tnt did a 1996 mini series about the prison that focuses on amatz prison life and dramatizes a ey fairly early infamous moment in the prison's operation. the camp raiding and the prosecution and execution of a e group of prisoners known as the raiders. separately, there was a stage play in 1970 that was turned into a pbs film starting williar shatner called "the andersonville trial." that was a dramatization of they henry wurts. that was the play and then the film about the trial are inspired out of the trial transcript published by the u.s.
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government in 1869. the tnt series was a series thathat explores the prisoner's experience that it drilled down to something -- it's a 14-month story and they drill down to something that isv over and done one month before h the worst moments of the prison's history. it's a very dramatic story. neat the story of the raiders ultimately has a very nice, neat, narrative arc. a beginning, a middle -- finally their execution by fellow captur prisoners at the permission of , not simply the prison authority but the confederate army all th way to richmond has okayed tha'd that's got a nice beginning, middle, and an end. the prison of war experience, se the day in and day out of it nobody wants to watch it. you're hungry. you're dirty. the you have to go to the bathroom.
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there's a lot of just sitting around and waiting on a fate ai. that is very uncertain. and so the tnt film, the background detail is stunning. it's absolutely -- when i watch that, that's what i key into because it is a very accurate portrayal in the background of how people were trying to live here, struggling to survive. >> you're watching american history tv on c-span 3. we are learning about the andersonville prison and its ie role in the civil war. our guest is eric leonard. you can call in and ask him questions.nough number is going to be on your screen.. you can tweet us and facebook us lee in winchester, virginia, ty thanks for holding on. go ahead. >> caller: yes.sonville hi, mr. leonard. i had a great uncle who was brought to andersonville. it's an open park, i believe.
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the days and times you're able to go to andersonville, are you able to get records and copies of your ancestors being there and the burial site? >> as a u.s. national park sitea andersonville is open to the public daily. it's closed only three days a year and that's thanksgiving, christmas day, and new year's day.ock the grounds are open 8:00 to oue 5:00. the museum's hours are 9:00 to 5:00 -- 9:00 to 4:30 excuse me. the park maintains a database of people buried in the national cemetery and that includes the andersonville dead. there's a listing of the andersonville prisoners, the an dead and the survivors.rtial there are also listings, partial listings, of prisoners of war in other areas.
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we do not have original records here. the original records that survive here are at the national archiv archives. the most important historic documents for documenting union prisoners of war is their service record. the national archives has that. some of those records are starting to become digitized ann are a little bit easier to access than writing or e-mails or going to the national archives.he survi especially for the survivors, but even the dead in that service record is a slip. that was done well after the war. it's a memorandum, a prison of war record. it identifies the capture date of the individual, often their circumstances of capture. it lists the various places they're held prisoner. one of the important things to remember is with most union prisoners held at andersonville this is one of at least three, sometimes as many as six, prisoc
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facilities they're held at in the space of a year. it's the biggest. it's the most famous far lot -- for a lot of reasons, but it's not the only rec so those national archive rce records are the first source, but during a visit you can use , that database to look up a youc personan.e often, we do have copies of theo service record or other items. this was an enlisted prison.enld what's extraordinary about these prisoners, they're not famous they are the working men of they u.s. army, the marine corps, the navy.ivates they're privates, corporals, seg sergeants. they're ordinary men. what's extraordinary about themh is how ordinary their lives are after this thing that they afte experience. >> san jose, california, this is david.da go ahead. >> caller: yes. hello. good morning.ere was
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i was told that there was a medical doctor who would examine the prisoners before they were admitted to the camp and that supposedly he was a free mason. therefore if there were any free masons among the union prisoners of war, he would extract them from the line or pull them out o of the line and they were not part of the population there atm andersonville. is there any basis in fact to that? >> i can't recall if it's the doctor. the surgeons here change over e time. however, it's clearly documented -- this actually makes the story better. georgia officers, main line infantry officers of georgia who are free masons, they recognize the ring, they recognize the signs. these men, who under normal es t circumstances have -- their job doesn't bring them to the n stockade.
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they're not supposed to go in it. they walk in with care packages and names. many prisoners' diary not accounts -- prisoners notice this. after the war, i want to be a mason. that fraternity is one of a very small number of routes that mercy is being allowed into the prison and that's very important. thank you for bringing that up. >> that was david in san jose, leon mr. leonard, as far as safety within the prison walls, how did that work having so many people confined in one space? >> there's little to no internal policing enforced by the what t confederate guards what the guards do is the guards man the two entrance gates off the west wall. a north gate and a south gate, and they're named in their i
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relationship to the creek. one is north of it. one is south of it. there are 52 towers around the stockade wall. what the guards do is keep you in. and so internal policing is leff to the prisoners. t if that sounds like a recipe fo. trouble, it is. camp robbing is almost constant part of the prison experience. early in the prison's operation, raiders are raiding. it's a verb for camp robbing. raiding isn't what we think of b today. someone is stealing something a from someone else. social networking in the 19th century sense. not facebook and twitter. but as a prisoner the more friends you have, the closer yoe stay together, the more likely it is your stuff is going to survive and no one's going to steal it and you're going to ngo survive if you have someone else
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watching your back and looking out for you. >> let's go to charles in glen allen, virginia.ia. go ahead. >> caller: yes.lle i have a question about andersonville prior to it existing.e sout the north and south had prison exchange agreements. the south didn't have facilities or food and clothing to supply large numbers of prisoners whereas the north had unlimitedh supply and the north had more to troops and the south had a limie limited supply of future troops. and it was a war maneuver strategy brought to lincoln by his generals. b stop paroles. stop prisoner exchanges. the south doesn't have the troow to replenish these. andersonville wouldn't have existed or chicago, elmira, or new york if not for lincoln's g. war strategy. >> it's not lincoln's war strategy.wa the cessation, the end of the t exchange system, ties into the n
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evolving nature of the war the n following the emancipation s proclamation. the union army starts enlisting african-american men not simply by the thousands, but by the tens of thousands. and this creates a question.w dy it's a cultural change. how do you treat these men? in the spring of 186 -- around that same time in 1863 the army, the lincoln administration are struggling with the changing vef nature of war. they bring in a legal scholar b the name of francis lieber to develop for the first time a written law or code of war. they're taking evolving military tradition from 200 years in europe and in the united statesn the revolutionary war and their codifying it. the lieber code is critically
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important and often overlooked in american history and in world history. the cod the geneva conventions copy entire sections of the lieber code, and so the lieber code survives in spirit today in of these humanitarian protections for prisoners of war. buried within the lieber code is a very bold statement that in a sense is the first equal rightsg policy of the united states government. soldiers regardless of their color are to be treated equally. it was a line in the sand and it was very provocative. the confederate army, the confederate congress, all adopt reactionary policies to this that state very bluntly captured black soldiers are to be treated as slaves and repatriated to to slavery. and that policy is for months
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just talk. in charleston following an assault featured in the film s "glory" 35 men of the 54 in massachusetts are captured. they're not killed. they're captured.thes what to do with them is the e tipping point. the governor of the state of wh south carolina wants to try them for war crimes and put them to death. end the confederate army is desperate that that not happen. the confederate government is aw desperate that that not happen.. so these 35 men end up in the charleston city jail, which still survives today.
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throughout 1864 as the prison crisis, the prisoner crisis, gets worse and worse, every time the two sides negotiate, the united states representatives r are very clear. all you have to do is treat them equally. that's it. the exchanges die on that one issue alone until really the very end of the war in the beginning of 1865. >> mr. leonard how was segregation treated there in andersonville? what happened with blacks that e were there? >> in the battle of lusty, florida, one week before the prison essentially comes into being, u.s. ct regiments fight a rear guard action that is instrumental in allowing the union troops, the bulk of the union troops, to retreat from
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the field. this is a confederate victory. approximately 50 prisoners are they're not initially brought to andersonville. they're moved there at some h]kñ point in the spring. they're kept separately. stock they live within the stockade as a group. later on they have a major among them, a white officer, major , archibald bogle. his rank is he's thrown into an enlisted prison. he is denied medical care. he camps with the black soldiers. the following henry wurts's appointment as the commandant of the prison, the black soldiers are used as slave labor.
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every morning they line up and they count out and then they walk out. think about this for a minute. if you're a white soldier from iowa or indiana, prison is like an amphitheater. you have tall hills coming up from the creek. everybody can see that thos happening.e treate those black soldiers are being . treated than you. you are stuck in here.d they what you want is to not be stuck in here and they walk out.put to they're being put to hard labor around the prison compound, and they are subject to punishments straight out of the plantation.t if they refuse to work, if they give lip, they are beaten. they are whipped. and they are whipped in front of the other black soldiers. an extension of that is if
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you're a white soldier observiny the prison operation, what you know of slavery before you came. to the south to fight the war ie what you read in a novel. if you attempt escape, they hunt you down with dogs. that's straight out of ms. stow's novel. a number of prisoners come to realize, wait, we're not slaves, but we're being treated like sou slaves.e. you build an empathy there, but the black soldiers are being used as slaves for the prison operation. >> caller: i have a question about the trial of henry wurts.e there's reports of many federal soldiers that wanted to testifye on his behalf. they were not allowed to testify during his trial where other federal soldiers that were neveo in andersonville were allowed to
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testify against henry wurts. what do you have to say about that? >> a good example and leslie gordon may speak to this later today, sergeant major robert ma kellog of the 16th connecticut . infantry, his entire regiment is held here. when he is released in exchange from south carolina in late 1864, he goes to camp parole. he turns his journal, his diaryr into a -- it is published in march of 186 while the prison is a functional place. because of that book, he is called to testify. kellog testifies as both the prosecution and the defense.he i both sides speak to this one nt individual soldier and say we trust everything he says.
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he's very blunt about describing the conditions.specif he has a very specific story about henry wurts, an almost humorous merciful story that ann happens with kellog where he ism st on a wood gathering detail. he asks permission to use his d. pocket knife to dig up a root as extra food. he's given that permission, but before he's done, he's told to leave. he when he approaches the prison gate, he realizes he's left his pocket knife behind. only a sergeant major would do r this. he goes to the first officer he sees and says, sir, i need to get my pocket knife and it's henry wurts. an individual prisoner walking back to the south gate entrance with henry wurts on horseback. a
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everybody notices this. the place kind of stops in that minute.hey th captain wurts cracks a joke.inih they think you're up to th something, he says. that's in sergeant kellog's book and in his testimony. when we think about the trial, 150 witnesses testify over the three months of the trial. accut the bluntest of them, the most accusatory of them tend to be the 50 or so confederate officers, confederate guards, confederate officials, and confederate civilians. they're the ones that speak very plainly to break downs within the chains of command and in assigning responsibility. >> here is evan from indian cal wells, california.le
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evan, go ahead. okay. let's move on to joanna. hi there. >> caller: hi. i have a question. i'm going to tell you my story. i had a great, great uncle who served in the union. and he was under george custer at richmond.and he and he was taken captive in the sumer, june of 1864.en h then he transferred down to andersonville.e d, he was there from july to november until he was pardoned up to maryland because of his s dysentery and malnutrition wher he died and that's where he's laid to rest. anyways, it's interesting. i did get my uncle's civil war records and they're phenomenal.
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if anyone is out there to try and get records, they are there. they're very detailed. they're excellent, but my ersonl question is while my uncle was down at andersonville, during m that summer, some of the union e soldiers were stealing from each other food, whatnot, just survival type things. and a book i have on andersonville lists my uncle as being a judge during the trial of these soldiers.sibly i was wondering if there could s possibly be any sketches or avl photographs available of any of those kind of trail incidents with the union soldiers? >> within andersonville, there's really the only one trial, the trial of the raiders, which takes place in the last days of june 1864, so there aren't any drawings of
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especially in the later prisoner memoirs published by the 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s they talk aboud the raiders in great deal. what there are drawings of is the execution of the raiders. in a place where every day was like the day before and the day after and the only thing that'sr really different is what the weather is, the execution of a small number of prisoners by g . other prisoners, that's a big deal. 23,000 people watched that.ther there are drawings of the gallor structure itself.ows there are contemporary drawings of the men being hung. there are many drawings a generation after the fact of arm that particular moment. >> james is up next. thi >> caller: hi. earlier this year, i went to
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andersonville with my boy scout troop. i want to hear about the barter system they had between the prisoners and the guards and also the raiders were buried separate from all the other graves.ied can you tell me about that? >> absolutely. officially, according to policyr regulation within the prison, prison trade -- guards trading with prisoners is prohibited, which means, of course, it happn happens all the time.lack there's a pretty slick black es market, especially early on in the spring and summer as prisoners are leaving the compound on wood gathering details or paroled prisoners who are doing work outside the mainw stockade. they will often interact with civilians, women, coming to sels vegetables. we have descriptions of sweet potato pies being sold. if you're a prisoner coming froa the battlefield that spring or r
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early summer, you may have ee greenback u.s. currency, union l currency.he that's an illegal object in the confederacy. you're not supposed to have it, which means there's an amazing . black market.- one of the ways that's tapped into, the confederacy managers a store in the prison during most of the operation. the settler is a georgia officer. he's bringing in goods and poit selling goods. one of the photographs of the prison clearly shows this sort of lean-to structure.n addi that's the tipping point. the street off the north gate, it's original name was north street. it becomes known as market street because in addition to the store, prisoners are creating their own stores. they're trading real estate within the prison. if you have a skilled trade, say you can repair boots or repair
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watches, you're doing wd one of the prisoners who does testify for the defense claims a that it's possible to get a are dinner. there are prisoners making food and producing food. there are barbershops within the prison, so there is a free market economy. and it's a reminder that we perceive andersonville as a hopeless place. these men have drive. they are attempting to make a life out of their circumstances. to the raiders, those six men in late june when a rival gang is created to put s an end to the camp robbing, the regulators are -- quite frankly, they're a vigilante gang. and they go to the prison command and say, you have a problem, we'll help you fix it r
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if you let us identify them. so they go around and say that's a raider, that's a raider. somewhere in the vicinity of 100 aredi pulled out and identifieds raiders. those prisoner trials dismissed most of them, about 70 or so. and the accounts vary, are made to run a gauntlet back into the prison, and they're severely beaten. we know that one of those bec e prisoners through the gauntlet died because of the injuries. that leaves six. one of these has been a prisoner at andersonville for two week.e my provocative thought is he's not a ringleader of anything. he made a powerful enemy. those men, after their ng execution, because of the p dishonor of their act, stealing. from other prisoners, beating a otherre prisoners.
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they're executed for that.d an they are,d you know, in a sense they are dishonorably discharged and executed. who's doing the burying at shonr andersonville? prison labor. those six men are buried in dishonor.ied they are the only, black s soldiers dying at andersonville are notat i buried separately. they're buried in the trenches c with everyone else.k six that's a measure to the prison labor. the last soldier who dies is a r soldier. x raiders, they lost the right to be buried with their ot fellows, and they remain today, segregated graves away from the other graves that, you know, they are separate in their dishonor. >> you were talking about prison life. in our world, deadline means o'' thing.inate in what was the deadline of andersonville prison and why was it famous?an inv
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>> the deadline doesn't originate in andersonville. sou it is an invention of the civil war military desystem. prisons north and south have deadlines. and those deadlines take various forms. at andersonville, it's a simplee fence. it's posts with scant boards crossing them.ds sometimes the deadline is not obvious. sometimes prisoners steal the boards in you know, for firewood or shelter building. and the rule is, of course, youe crossed the deadline. guards can shoot you. and yet, the photographs taken in august of 1864 that illustrate the prison at its height clearly show shelters tied to the deadline. and so andersonville's also a great place of contradiction. in some of the northern prisons, you have, it's a ditch or it's a line of posts where at night
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they put candle lanterns on, and a line that if you cross you're going to get shot at, it's the sort of thing that shouldn't have any ambiguity. and clearly sometimes it does. >> next call is mike from u for fulsome, california. you're on with our guest eric la leonard. >> caller: thank you for the program.o th i find it very interesting and helpful. i have a two-fold question, but firstly, i want to know ha happened to the actual prison site when the war ended, the physical structure? was it just left or torn down s and the field farmed?, i what happened to the prison generally. and also, i know that there was a photographer, and i think hisr name may have been riddell.e was and i wonder if there was anyont who came and took photos of the prison after the war ended. i wonder if there's any magazine article or book that described k that. >> the ghosts and shadows of
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andersonville is a book that, it's a valuable book because it's not a narrative history ofs the aprison. it's exploring various components. and there'sur a chapter in that book that focuses on our otogra traditional pronunciation. it's ann drew jackson riddell. and he's a make, macon, georgia photographer. they're right about 1864. and we don't have him to ask, . but in a sense, these pictures were probably taken for propaganda purposes.d a week before there'd been a terrible flood through the middle of the prison that had actually breached the wall through the creek, and that, that's not shown in the ightly p photographs, but the photographs very carefully show how tightly-packed prisoners are.
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can you clearly see the flow ofa the creek through most of the re prison, and you can see what ise essentially a brand-new reconstructed structure, you know, that channeled the creek h through for the toilet. and so the humbling thing in ina the, in those photographs is those men sitting at the sink, at the toilet, they were captured for posterity doing so something that none of us want to be photographed doing. so, you know, that's part of that. now in terms of what happens to the prison after, it's left in place. there isn't,is there's an army guard here, very, very quickly. and there's an army quartermaster expedition that es arrives here in, you know, in late july and stays for about i three weeks into mid that quartermaster expedition is commanded by captain james moors who by this time is already established two battlefield national cemeteries in virginia.
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and they, their focus is not the prison site. they're tourists at the prison site. but the army guard that ion th accompanies them isat protectin all of the property.iginal that expedition that establishes the cemetery, they tack the original boards that were just, both bore a number and replaced them with wooden headboards that bore number, name, regiment and dateo of death. and accompanying that mission ao very famously is clara barton and uses her considerable political power, her leadership to invite herself on captain moore's expedition.capt and one of the dramas of that expedition is those two leaders, clara barton and captain moore are at loggerheads the entire ts time. they're fighting over who's going to get credit for the woro at


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