tv The Civil War CSPAN April 1, 2016 3:23am-4:09am EDT
what are the southern believes versus the western native american believes. >> i see what you mean, what you're getting at. it wasn't so much the spiritual practices that whites notice and objected to. you know, it's a sense of it being savages, is what they picked up on the most. there's a funny duelism in the way in which white americans have regarded nate i americans historical historically. looking at native americans as savages and, but there is another way, the kind of romanticizes native americans.
and kind of a rosy view of spiritual practices of native americans. you get this kind of dualism. so actually to the extent that whites paid attention to this spiritual practices of native americans, they saw in a kind of favorable sort of way. it's kind of a strange sort of double thing. attitudes toward native americans exist side by side. >> did your research on the native americans involve any way that the native americans tribe treated each other and their type of warfare? is that looked at or considered? >> yeah, i can talk a little bit more about that.
they did against one another on white soldiers, this is the kind of thing that drove white soldiers into a fury. does that address your question? >> can you tell me about the lib a code? >> yeah, what you're talking about is is a code name for francis lieber, a german-american jurist who was named to head a committee that put together the world's first official guidelines for the ethical conduct of an army in the field.
as far as i can tell, nobody read it, referred to it, anything like that. i tell you something, if you follow the letter of what was allowed in lieber's code, what you were allowed to do legally, you know, was some pretty scary stuff. sharp wars are brief. it was not a gentle kind of document at all. but no, in terms of civil war, it doesn't seem to have been applied very much. that comes later.
>> indian father, white mother, the very, very difficult time that the rebels in texas had in dealing with indian tribes, apac apache, camanchee and so forth, because they were called east to fight in your look at this whole issue. the rebels and redskins, was it sort of an interest of maybe self aggrandizement or
as far as the cherokee indian territory, they were slave holders. when federal agents went to the indian territory to try to enlist native americans on the confederate side, one of the reports they said is these people are like us. they're our kind of people. they have farms like us, they have slaves like this. a good portion went with the confederacy and a portion went with the union.
this happens with other indian tribes, too. you have a war within tribes. >> was that politicians or army officers or business interests? or just a combination of all that? >> what drives the train on these? >> yeah. you said this is the way to do it. >> yeah. >> before the 1860s, there was a sense that -- 1830s when the indian removal act was passed, the policy then becomes removing
native americans left in mississippi. and there's a sense that -- what's west of the mississippi? the great american desert? you know? it's all grassland. native americans can have that in perpetuity. we don't care. after the american civil war, turned out white america did want the policy that changed. it's within of cultural extinction of trying to break up sort of the glue that kept any communities together.
he thought in terms of killing the indians to save the man. and the reason why i mentioned him is because many regular army officers had a certain ambivalence about the mission that they were being asked to carry out. the policy of their country was to place indians on reservations to punish those who tried to get off reservations. this was a duty that many of them liked having to carry out. >> two questions. in your research. any connection to those policies transferring to west of the mississippi.
the same question is this idea of coming together. if there's no sense. >> the idea vs consciously took their experience from the civil war and transferred it to the west is not something that i found evidence for any more than i found evidence for them taking the experience of the colonial feed bites or the wars -- or the conduct of the war towards seminole yips or the wars of the 1830s and transferred that to the american civil war. as i said before, and i think this is pretty much on target.
the way that american people are practical people. they sort of tend to solve the practical problem sitting in front of them. they might be gratified, they might be gratified to know that's the case. what you're dealing with there is the denial of any kind of political community full stop, end of story. the official with that's this. the official confederate policy was to reenslave captured uscts on the assumption they had all
been slaves, but if you follow the official policy and re-enslave them, the union would retaliate in kind against union soldiers. you couldn't hold african-american soldiers as prisoners. that wasn't policy. and you couldn't re-enslave them because that was policy. so the best solution was just to not have any prisoners. and that is one of the reasons why you get the massacres, the most famous one is at fort pillow, but there are other ones too. i'll say something else, too, about these episodes between confederate troops and u.s. colored troops. most atrocities take the form of -- william callie's platoon
carried out the massacre under orders from captain ernest medina. what's interesting about the way confederate soldiers treated u.s. colored troops is they slaughtered u.s. colored troops without any goading from higher authority. they did it spontaneously. to me, someone who is an historian of these kinds of things, it's striking to me that that was, in fact, the case. >> were there any episodes of u.s. colors troops encountering native americans in native american warfare? >> that's not something that i explored. really, if i take another look at this at some point, that is something i will look at.
i can answer this question. when u.s. colored troops had the opportunity to slaughter confederates, did they? that seems not to be the case. the only instance in which this may have occurred is at fort blakey outside of mobile, alabama in the closing days of the civil war, and that's the only instance in which i've been able to find a hint of something like that occurring. >> let me ask one more while i have the microphone. you talked about political community and george rable's book on "damn yankees" notes the hatred of southerners towards northerners. there's much more hatred today than we appreciate.
with that in mind, what's going on? can we then conclude that race is the only or primary factor in all this? if george is right there is a loss of feeling in the political community as a result of fighting the war and even before the war, do we lay it there that race alone accounts for these differences? >> the race -- the united states in that period has tended to organize things in terms of race and racialization. what's interesting is that nowadays we think of there being a caucasian race. there was a time, though, when we would have -- what we now think of as caucasian would have been subdivided into nordic and
mediterranean. the reason you can do this is because race doesn't exist. we invent it and we can uninvent it. what seems to be going on during the civil war is when confederates talk about how much they dislike the damn yankees r whatever, the language that they use is a racialized language. i think in an article some years ago i suggested if the civil war had gone on along enough, you might have had a wholesale racializing of the north -- you'd begin to see some steps in that direction, but the end of the civil war cuts that off. all right. [ applause ]
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>> i'm a c-span fan. >> i am a c-span fan. >> yes, i am a c-span fan. >> and that's the power of c-span. access for everyone to be a part of the conversation. next, author and historian caroline janney discusses national reconciliation and its limits in the post-civil war era. she argues the spanish-american war bonded form white confederates and unionists into one national army helping to reunite the country. she says this reunion came with restrictions that denied equa y equality for african-american soldiers. this talk was part of a day long symposium held at the library of virginia in richmond. it's about 45 minutes.
>> next speaker dr. caroline e. janney is professor of history at perdue, but she'll always be a virginia girl. she received her ph.d. from the university of virginia. go hoovs. she's also a familiar face to museum audiences. she delivered the 2013 elizabeth lecture at the university of richmond on the subject of her latest book, "remembering the civil war, reunion and the limits of reconciliation." then she returned to richamond the following june for that same book. caroline's first book "burying the dead, but not the past" which came out in 2008 is a personal favorite of mine, as she well knows. she also edited an edition of john richard dennet's
"reconstruction era's travel account, the south as it is 1865-1866," which is out of print and unavailable. i have given a talk on her first book i think as many times as you have because it's a great chapter of history that's unknown to so many people. given the fact that we're now into that post-war period, it is so very important. i even titled the talk "burying the dead, but not the past." hold up the book and tell the audience i'm plagiarizing her speech. yes, we do keep it all in the family here at the museum, don't we? we do offer a chance today, if you're interested in getting that book.
you can get both editors to sign it at the same time and it is available for sale during the break that follows carrie. today, carrie will be speaking about the civil war, the spanish-american war, and the limits of national reconciliation. ladies and gentlemen, one of my personal favorites, carrie janney. [ applause ] >> thank you to waite so much. it's always a treat to get to come back to virginia, to richmond in particular. and i used to joke that people thought i worked at the museum of confederacy when i was in grad school because i was there every day and the staff started letting me in before people were supposed to be there, so it is like coming home, so thank you very much waite. also thank to john kosky. anyway, today i'm going to talk
about the spanish-american war and civil war memory. so we're not going to be talking about the spanish-american war but the way in which veterans of the civil war thought about their role in the spanish-american war and vicerer is a. the spanish-american war has often been described as that moment that knit the nation back together. this very popular image that's on the front of nina's really great book "romance of reunion." of course this tableau depicting the confederacy and union veterans coming back together. you can see the little girl with cuba and the crown on her head. this war bringing the sections back together. the popular narrative is that by 1898 white northerners and southerners locked hands together in reconciliation to fight together as white americans. historians have said that in doing so this is the moment when union veterans forgot that they had fought a war ignited by
slavery, that they remained silent on the fact that union victory had resulted in emancipation. in doing so, they sold out to confederate memory to the lost cause. but this afternoon i hope to convince you that the place of the spanish-american war and the story of national reconciliation is much more complicated than this. today, i'd like to talk to you about the ways in which various groups talk about the civil war to reflect back on the civil war and vice versa. former confederates argued that their service in the war proved that they were loyal americans, and it simultaneously emboldened their defense of the lost cause. while white union soldiers agreed that former confederates
might now be committed to fighting a common foreign foe, union veterans had not forgotten that there had indeed been a right and wrong side in the civil war. in order to put all of this in context, i want to give just a brief background on the role of reconciliation and the place of reconciliation as we get to 1898. so in the years of the civil war, former confederates and unionists worked tirelessly to make sure their respected memories of the war, what the war had meant, would dominate. they did so through the creation of national cemeteries. national cemeteries exclusively for loyal union soldiers. here you can see a memorial day observance in ohio. they did so through the creation of veterans organizations such as the grand army of the republic that's already been mentioned today. here's another group from st. mary's, virginia. of course, here in richmond the
r.e. lee camp of armored veterans were no less dedicated to protecting their memory of the lost cause. this is an image from gettysburg in 1888 where union veterans gathered to dedicate one of the many monuments at gettysburg. african-americans for their part celebrated emancipation days. for the most part, confederates lauded the lost cause. unionists the union cause. and african-americans along with their abolitionist allies the emancipationist cause. despite the fact there were these very distinct memories of the war and very concerted efforts to protect what they saw as the truth of the war, despite this, by the 1880s and 1890s there was a culture of
reconciliation. americans were celebrating the fact that they had come back together. the creation of the first military park authorized by congress in 1890 and dedicated in 1895. this is proof that the nation has come back together. here we had union and confederate soldiers united to dedicate a national military park. a popular play, musicals at the time, celebrating the reunion of the nation, even political campaigns. the populist campaign celebrated reconciliation. in all of these efforts, there was a focus on the bravery and valor of the american soldier, not the union soldier or confederate soldier, but the american soldier. and often, but not always this culture of reconciliation tried to stay away from the topics of slavery and reconstruction for that matter. nothing brought more ire from former confederates, be they women or men, than discussions
of reconstruction. all of this helped convince americans on both sides of the mason-dixon line that the horrors of war, the upheavals of reconstruction, were behind them. and the very height of the spirit came the spanish-american war. in the spring of 1898, theodore roosevelt, william randolph hurst, and other militaryists got their splendid little war. these imperialists understood expelling spain from cuba would open up markets and extend u.s. power around the world. when the battleship maine exploded in 1898 killing 260 american sailors, the drum beat for war grew louder. congress would join newspapers in calling for a war, in calling for retaliation.
president mckinley, who was the last union veteran to hold the office or to hold the white house, was not yet convinced. i have been through one war, he famously wrote a friend, and i have seen the dead piled up. i do not want to see another. nevertheless, by april 11th he ak. the president called for 125,000 volunteers to fight for the freedom of cubans. the u.s. army at this point is about 28,000 men if that gives you a sense of what he's calling for. throughout the spring of 1898, letters poured into mckinley, letters from union and confederate veterans. these letters are in the national archives. you can look and see what types of things they're writing.
on one hand, there are many veterans who very much were like mckinley. they said enough bloodshed. we don't need to go to war again. others, however, recognized that war with a foreign foe might prove useful beyond the so-called purpose of liberating the cubans. for confederate veterans, the war offered them the opportunity to prove their allegiance and loyalty to the united states. again, countless letters -- i'll give you an example from just one. a veteran of hood's texas brigade offered to raise a regiment of former confederates. the loyalty of ex-confederates to our government has been for years made the subject of criticism. all we ask is an opportunity to let our actions speak for our loyalty. there are countless letters along these same lines. there's also letters of union and confederate veterans writing
in together to form blue-gray regiments. mckinley and others recognized as this envelope should suggest that the war was, in fact, perfectly positioned to capitalize on the existing reconciliation sentiment to end sectional bitterness. the war was very brief, as i'm sure all of you know. lasted only 114 days. would claim the lives of 460 americans in battle and approximately another 5200 ended by disease. but regardless this was a war that was to be fought by a united, by a reunited nation. as such, mckinley appointed both union and confederate veterans to key positions. most prominent among the white southerners was none other than fitzhugh lee. 63 years old at this point. this picture does come from the virginia historical society. [ laughter ]
>> you can see he was a rather marshal looking character by that point. maybe it's the fact that he'd been a governor of virginia by that point. might be the reason for his repose. he was currently serving as consul in havana at the time. joseph wheeler also named a major general. he was chosen more for political reasons than his experience. he was a former confederate calvary leader, but a democratic congressman from alabama. in the first major engagement, many of you have heard his alleged quote. let's go, boys. we've got the damn yankees on the run again. whether or not that's true, you can see how that fuels this notion of confederates now part of this fight. again, i don't have an 1890s picture of thomas rosser, but he's another interesting one
named a brigadier general. he was one of the fellowes that refused to surrender at appomattox courthouse on may of 1869. he would train recruits at the new battlefield that's been dedicated. it would be a training ground for new recruits at the beginning of the spanis spanish-american war. william c. oates best known for his attempts at little round top. another former governor, another former governor of alabama. he was really a surprising choice considering the fact that he had viciously attacked union veterans and their cause at the 1895 dedication of chattanooga, but now he's changed his tune. along with these men and other former confederates from the ranks as well as their sons who had not yet achieved glory on the battlefield, these former
confederates, these white southerners, joined forces with their former enemies under the stars and stripes. general nelson miles perhaps best known for his wars against the native americans who would lead the invasion into puerto rico. general wesley merit, another survivor of gettysburg. someone who had been present at appomattox. here second from the left, general arthur mcarthur who i always thought had a great name. you probably know who his son was. these are union veterans who are now in key leadership positions in the spanish-american war. newspapers across the country gushed that the mason-dixon line had been obliterated by the war. they also talked about the fact that white southerners in atlanta and vicksburg celebrated
july 4th for the first time since the war. for t they saw this war as much as liberating cubans as an opportunity to bind the nation back together. but for white southerners, this was an opportunity to do more than just relish reconciliation. in fact, it also vindicated the things they had been saying about the confederate cause, their lost cause, for years now. now say said, look, the words traitor and rebel no longer apply to us. former confederate general stephen lee. it is a source of no small pride that the country has last learned its true value, the depth and fervor of southern patriotism. indeed the lost cause was in itself in many ways a justification for fighting.
white southerners reminded those from other regions that their motivation was the same motivation that had motivated them in every other war in american history. the same patriotism that prompted them to fight in 1776, in 1812, in the mexican-american war, and even in the great struggle between the states had motivated them. in each instance they had fought for the principles that were constitutional and unequivocally american. they fougt in 1861 as they did in 1898 now in the name of cubans for the principle of self-government and liberty. so the lost cause they are holding up the reason they went to fight in 1861 is the reason that they're fighting now. surely no one could argue that the lost cause was immoral when couched in such terms. by highlighting their own fight for liberty, albeit now on behalf of cubans and opposed to
union veterans so-called claims of fighting to free the slaveries, white southerners could simultaneously claim loyalty to the united states flag and to their confederate heritage. the war with spain allowed former confederates to accomplish on an international stage when the lost cause had been claiming for years, a vindication of southern honor, manhood, and loyalty. they weren't the only group, though, that looked to the spanish-american war and made connections with the civil war. african-american men did the same. black men likewise looked to cuba as another opportunity to prove their patriotism, to prove their masculinity. just as they tied their civil war service to a demand for political rights, in 1898 many african-americans hoped that their participation might help turn back the growing tide of
disenfranchisement, turn back the growing tide of segregation. the iowa state bystander, a newspaper noted, quote, our fathers labored, fought, and died to perpetuate this country and leave a heritage to us. harkening back to 1863, 65, the paper continued, let us be men and show loyalty and we will be rewarded. now not everyone was on board with this. numbers suggest that most of the 10,000 african-american men who did volunteer for the war were from northern states as opposed to southern states. and much of that might be because of the efforts of men like john mitchell, again right here in richmond, editor of the richmond planet. he insisted that black men should fight only in they did so under black officers with the ranks of colonel and major. of course, a departure from what had been the case with the united states colored troops. no officers, no fight, demanded mitchell.
we will wait the change. of course, many white southerners were content to wait, responding to mckinley's call for colored troops. the new orleans times democrat insisted on the expediency of enlisting african-american and it urged the president to, quote, allow the white folks to handle this war without their assistance. invoking the civil war's memory, mitchell responded that in fact this was the same logic issued to lincoln. even robert e. lee had, quote, recommended that the confederates arm these same negroes and use them to fight for the united states. quote, lincoln enlisted these niggers and won. mr. jefferson davis would not enlist them and lost. history repeats itself, warned mitchell. and it seems hardly coincidental
that thomas wentworth higgenson wrote his article detailing the valorous contributions of the south carolina volunteers during the midst of the spanish-american war. the heroices of the u.s. ct should not and cannot be forgotten. black soldiers assigned -- and here's a link with mark's talk -- black soldiers assigned to, quote, passfy the indians in the american west, the buffalo soldiers, were among the first to be mobilized in 1898. this was in part -- there's the scientific racism that goes in with that that many white americans thought physiologically and bilogically they were better suited to fight
in the caribbean. 10,000 african-americans served. many of them to much acclaim. news of the 9th and 10th calvaries heroics along roosevelt's rough riders under the command of former confederate general joseph wheeler filled newspapers throughout the nation. booker t. washington likewise chimed in. just as he had praised the 54th massachusetts for their civil war service, he lauded the service of civil war -- excuse me of african-american soldiers during the spanish-american war. he addressed the largest audience he had ever spoken to at the chicago peace jubilee in october of 1898. this image actually comes out of his autobiography. it's in it that he claims this is the largest audience he had ever talked to, and in it he celebrated the heroic sacrifice
of african-american men throughout the nation's history. the brave colored troops at fort wagner and fort pillow to the heroism of black regiments who stormed santiago in all of these victories black men had fought for their nation. he looks at mckinley as sitting up in a box and he looks up at him and thanks him for recognizing the black contribution to the war. people are standing up and waving handkerchieves and clapping and washington gets them to settle back down. he continues reminding them there is yet one more victory for americans to win. we have succeeded in every conflict except