tv The Civil War CSPAN April 1, 2016 4:08am-5:04am EDT
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 in the effort to
combat ourselves for racial peac peace. the trenches that we have dug together around santiago shall the eternal resting place for all that separates us in our business and civil situations. here's booker t. washington offering the ultimate reconciliationist message trying to unite the united states in sectional and racial peace, not in a purposeful forgetting of the past, but in acknowledgment of the sacrifice of the devotion of black men that they had always shown to the united states. of course, this reconciliation between the races was not to be at that moment, but neither was there as much reconciliation between north and south as popular images would have us believe. popular images even from the time such as this cover of
"puck" suggesting former confederates and former union vets had reunited. in 1865 the refusal of the united states government to bury confederate dead in national u.s. cemeteries alongside the concurrent development of confederate national cemeteries by the lady's memorial associations in the south, the dead in other words had served to hinder feelings of reconciliation in the immediate post-civil war period. that the dead had served to keep sectionalism alive. but in 1898 the dead became the chief symbol of a reunited nation or at least that was the hope of many. once again, the blood of north and south flowed. yet this time it did not do so under the name of contending sections, but beneath the same flag. when newspapers learned that one of the first war deaths was
worth bagley, a sailor from north carolina and the son of a confederate veteran, they raved with sentiment. there is no north and no south, wrote the new york tribune. we are all worth bagley's country men. so his death was going to reunite the nation. from tennessee came the story of two fathers, one a union veteran, the other a confederate, who met at the graves o haf their sons who had fallen together. men who had once fought against each other now mingled their tears over sons who had sacrificed their lives on the altar of the united states. invoking the so-called new birth of freedom that lincoln had spoken of at gettysburg countless orders suggested the new nation might in fact be born from the spanish-american war and from the dead in particular. here again is steven lee, former c
confederate general. he said, quote, the last hateful memory that could divide our country is buried with them. about their graves kneels a new nation, loving all her children everywhere the same. at the atlanta peace jubilee that december, this is when the peace treaty is finally signed by december of 1898. president mckinley uses this image of the dead reunited the nations as a symbol of a reunited nation and in part a gesture of reconciliation but also a very savvy political bid to get southern support for overseas expansion. many congress members were not on board with this. he proposed the federal government should assist, monetarily, assist in caring for the graves of all civil war soldiers. sectional lines no longer mar the united states, mckinley
asserted. sectional feeling no longer holds back the love we bear each other. i want you to listen to this next passage because in fact i read it as him invoking the union cause as much as reconciliation. he rejoiced that the most recent war had proven that, quote, the union is once more the common atlas of our love and loyalty, our devotion and sacrifice. the time has now come in the evolution of sentiment and the uf lugs of feeling under the providence of god when the spirit of fraternity we should share with you in the care of graves of confederate soldiers at this, newspapers report that the old men who had fought for the confederacy in the audience leapt to their feet, that they applauded madly, and congratulated mckinley on binding the nation together, but this was a short-lived victory for mckinley because again the limits of reconciliation would bear their teeth.
hoping to capitalize on such sentiment, a southern congressman and senator proposed bills that would do two things. they would open the national soldiers' homes to confederate veterans and they would offer pensions, federal pensions. yes, you all know where this is going. he says the federal government is willing to shell out money for the confederate dead. why not the confederate living? union veterans would have none of this. they found the idea of confederate pensions insulting. here's t the editor conceded that he didn't have a problem honoring the graves of those who, quote, were deluded and deceived into joining the rebellion. again, listen to the language there. they are americans and our
countrymen, and helping them to tend to the places where their fallen were buried he said was an act of brotherly sympathy. he added, though, that it didn't mean that there would be no distinction between union and confederate graves. union graves should get more money and distinction because there should be distinction between those who fought for the flag and against the flag. admitting them to soldiers homes would be, quote, subversive to every principle upon which the war for the preservation for the union was waged. in fact, many confederate veterans in fact agreed with him albeit for different reasons. the united confederate camps in the south along with the southern press issued statements denouncing pensions for ex-confederates, denouncing their admission to soldiers' homes, even the care of the
confederate dead belonged to the south in particular, belonged to the noble women who cared for the dead since 1865. after a spirited debate at the uvc's annual reunion, the confederate veterans declined mckinley's offer. the care of the south's dead, was quote, a sacred trust dear to the hearts of southern women and we believe it can safely remain there. to accept aid for either living or dead confederates from the federal government would be a concession, would be a failing of the honor and pride among those who had fought and died for the south. it would be a failing in holding up the lost cause. but even as former confederates rejected federal pensions, even as they rejected cemetery aid, the color line was in fact more
readily pareapparent in the wak the spanish-american war. this is the national union cemetery in florence, south carolina. like florence and in other national cemeteries throughout the south, for years after the war, the primary people who had showed up for memorial day had been african-americans. they had been the ones to show up and place flowers and other markers on union graves. but in 1899, memorial day in 1899, white leaders of south carolina's gar post observed that the african-americans who so long participated in the day had failed to decorate the graves of florence. so in the name of reconciliation, white gar members called for the formation of a florence blue and gray association. this is directly responding.
their founding documents say they're responding to mckinley's call for a joint nation. their goal was to sponsor memorial days and decorate the graves of both union and confederate soldiers in the area. but perhaps most significantly the group elected to bar african-americans from the days observances. again, this is in the south. i want to make it clear, as doug pointed out earlier, there there were integrated gar posts, namely in new england at this point. but nevertheless what we start to see is increasingly white only affairs that occurred at the same time that northern and southern whites were talking about reconciliation, talking about the spanish-american war. they all revealed a heightened sense of anglo saxicism in this period. despite the presence of african-american troops, the spanish-american war seemed to confirm the national unity of southern and northern white
people uniting for imperialistic ambitions. the war and the colonial expansion that followed in the philippines and puerto rico seemed to confirm the backward characteristics of nonwhite people and the superiority of anglo-saxons. so to return to our starting point, white unionists had not forgotten that african-americans or slavery had been part of the war and is just one of many, many examples i could get of this. this is the soldiers and sailors monument in indianapolis outside of the lincoln memorial. this is the largest civil war monument in the country dedicated in 1902 and dedicated to all hoosiers in every war
they fought. this did not mean, however, that most white union veterans or white northerners in general sought civil and political rights for african-americans. in recent years, historians seem to have forgotten that racism and remembering that slavery was part of the war did in fact go hand in hand for many union veterans. slavery and race were not interchangeable in the minds of white union veterans and we need to be careful about conflating them today. just to wrap up, even though americans had come to the defense of the nation in 1898, they had not done so by merely agreeing to remain silent on the memory of the civil war or the ideas of white sprem si.
indeed the spanish-american war -- here we'll return to our first image -- left a mixed legacy for the reconciliationist spirit of the age. finding a common history with white neighbors was imperative. for others, they fiercely challenged the burgeoning reconciliationist narrative. neither had sectional reconciliation truly triumphed for white union and confederate veterans. even the spanish-american war long championed as evidence that the white north and the white south had reunited to fight a foreign foe, a non-whitne foe a that, could not bind up the nation's wounds. thank you. [ applause ]
>> i want to make an observation and then pass on to a question. one of the most prominent monuments at arlington cemetery is fighting joe wheeler's oblamist. you mentioned near the last couple sentences of your remarks that you reminded us that the common enemy here was a swarthy pigmentation of the spanish. is there any evidence that part of this reunion between north
and south was subliminally coming out of their common racism toward people of color or even at this time a sort of shar shar shared prostestant roman catholic empathy. >> there is a confederate section in arlington. that's a whole other story. there's a great deal of debate about whether wheeler should be buried in arlington or not, but in fact he is there. you asked about whether the north and south came together over common issues of race. that's very much been a predominant argument in recent years in historiography.
they agreed to let bygones be bygones. while that is certainly a thread of it, i don't see that as the main impetus for reconciliation, that both sides had been racist by our 21st century terms well before the civil war. they didn't somehow discover they had this common idea of white supremacy in the aftermath of the civil war. if we think back to a lecture this morning where he shows us how divisive the north and white is, they have nothing to do with race while they have everything to do with the race. i think it is a far too mplistic way of looking at how deep and how long sectional
bitterness lasted, and it lasted well into the 20th century. again, complex ideas about race are part of that, but that's not the whole story. the question is about protestant and anti-catholic sentiment. i'm going to punt that one. that's not something i found a great deal of and don't see that as part of the reconciliationist story. >> thank you, dr. janney. it seems to me that our culture today in historical memory is almost obsessed with the good guy versus bad guy narrative. you see it in all the comic book movies. can you validate that and also do you see that as a roadblock in the spanish-american war
efforts in reconciliation, needing to have one construct of good guy versus bad guy and that hampering the efforts of reconciliation? >> i'm not sure i can speak to the comic book part of the question. i admit i'm not an avid comic book reader, but i will say that essential the notion of the righteousness of one cause and which cause was righteous is something that is fought about even during the war of deciding how do you explain what it is that you're fighting for. are you fighting to save the union? are you fighting to free the slaves? are you fighting to protect your home? are you fighting for states' rights? all of this is very much part of the 150 yearlong discussion that we're still having about what the civil war meant is very much a question of who is on the right side of history, right? who is on the moral high ground? i mean, that's at the heart of the debate. that's at the heart of what
union veterans are saying about and to confederate veterans throughout the 1860s well into the early 20th century. they're saying, you might have fought honorably, you might have been brave, but what you fought for is morally repugnant. confederate veterans will say, well, you weren't actually fighting to free the slaves approxima. you might recall that now. but you raped and pillaged the south. those questions of who's the good guy so to speak and bad guy are absolutely what motivate and what really propel forward much of this discussion about civil war memory. >> have you found any comments from spain on any of the comments you made about this subject?
>> no, i have not, but i haven't looked either. that would be a really interesting question to look at. >> beginning about the late 1880s roughly through the turn opposite the century there was an increasingly explicit institutional racialization in the south of virginia. to what extent was there a cause and effect relationship either way between this burst of desire for a national reconciliation and these hardening racial attitudes as expressed in specific in things like state codes and municipal codes? >> that's a great question. i don't see that as being the motivating factor of shaping civil war memory. if confederate veterans had never been allowed to form their organizations or have their semitosem cemeteries i
cemeteries, if the confederate battle flag has been senscensor those things probably still would have happened. i'm not sure seeing a cause and effect and that segregation how that plays out. >> you alluded to the south really was not on board with sort of the imperial future of the united states. could you elaborate on that a little bit? >> sure. one of the thing that is white confederates are talking about is to what extent -- they harken back to reconstruction. they use reconstruction in two very different ways seemingly. on one hand, they say if we look at the history of reconstruction, we can say it's not right for a government to come in and try to tell other
people what to do. look at our own experience. why is it right for us to do that? on the other hand, they also start talking about the fact that -- they talk about whether self-rule is appropriate for people of color. do they have the capabilities to run their own governments? again, they point back to reconstruction and they say to their white northern compatriots, they say, look, we were right about reconstruction. black men weren't able to run the show. they weren't able to run governments, so we need to be careful about how we think about what's going on in cuba and puerto rico and the philippines. so they use reconstruction and the memory of that in two opposing ways, but it's very formative in their minds of how they think about the role of the united states in these colonies. thank you all. [ applause ]
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history tv weekend schedule, go to c-span.org. next, author and professor gary gallagher discusses two questions stemming from confederate general robert e. lee's surrender to union general ulysses s. grant at appomattox in 1865. he analyzed whether appomattox was the end of the civil war. second, mr. gallagher looks at the wartime goals of the union and if these were in fact achieved. >> dr. gary w. gallagher is the john l. now the third professor in the american civil war at the history of virginia. now that means in o.w. now is the director of the john now
that's in au now center for civil war studies at uva. gary is such a popular speaker that he allows organizations like ours to work him way too hard, but we do it anyway. he flew in a few hours ago. he wasn't here right when we started this morning because he was jetting up here from florida where he was speaking at another conference. we're very grateful to gary that we do feel a little guilty for asking him back so soon. gary's not only a prolific speaker and author, but a popular battlefield guide, one of the leaders in the battlefield preservation movement, and award-winning teacher, and one of the most important mentors of graduate students in civil war history. as i noted when i introduced gary at the 2014 symposium, he dedicated his prize-winning book "the union war" to his graduate
students at penn state and the university of virginia with admiration for their contributions to the field. i know that his students resipry kate that admiration as do all of us who enjoy and benefit from their work and his work. it is just an example of what gary and ed airs have done for the next generation of historians. our previous speaker carrie janney is just one example. we owe it to gary to put in a plug for his late egs work, the recently released, "the american civil war, a history of the civil war era" that he co-authored with dr. joan wall. today, we have asked gary to offer evaluation of trends in the civil war which he agreed to do in a talk entitled "from war
to reconstruction, peace, continuity, conflict, in post-appomattox america." ladies and gentlemen, gary gallagher. >> i don't think waite really feels guilty about anything, but he pretends well sometimes. i'm very sorry that i missed the first two talks this morning. i did start my day in gainesville, as waite remarked, and i want to begin with my hat as director of the new now civil war, the john l. now iii civil war university at virginia. i want to extend my welcome to all of you for this symposium that goes along with what i'm sure waite did earlier today. we a co-sponsor for this symposium. as the months roll ahead in the future, i hope we work with the
folks here again multiple times and i suspect that we will be. there should be a lot of giving and taking between these two organizations going forward. john kosky and i discussed my role in this program, and we decided i would focus on two questions that are very important to anyone who is trying to understand the end of the civil war and the very turbulent period that followed. we actually -- john asked what i wanted to do and i said that's what i wanted to do and he said okay. but we did exchange a lot of e-mails, didn't we, john? here are my two questions. first, should we consider grant's acceptance of robert e. lee's surrender that signaled the effective end of the conflict? i raise this in light of scholarship that positis a continuing war. my second question is there is a
lost moment of possible revolutionary change regarding race and black rights in the wake of the conflict. the key to understanding this, i believe, lies in assessing whether most of the white north believed that the war had settled two momentous issues, saving the union, killing the institution of slavery, and that same white northern population really didn't care very much about extending anything that we would call equal rights to the freed people. those are my two questions, and i'll take them up in that order. it's very hard for me to just stand behind a podium. you have to understand i'm not comfortab comfortable. i'd like to be walking around. here i am. if i seem a little out of sorts, that's why. i may need help. i'm not going to get it today. i'm going the start with secretary of the navy, gideon wells. he is always a good place to start. had one of the best full head
wigs of anybody in the civil war and kept a really fine diary. he wrote in that diary on april 10th, 1865, about news regarding u.s. grant's, quote, capture of lee and his army. that is well's language, the previous day. the tidings were spread all over the country during the night, noted wells, and the nation seems delirious with joy. this surrouender of the great rebel captain virtually terminates the rebellion. there would be some continued, quote, marauding and murder. one day later, george templeton strong, the observant new yorker, whose diary ranks among the best that we have, suggested in clipped sentences that the
demise of lee's army carried decisive weight. people hold the war virtually ended, period. it looks so, period. lee is out of the game, period. he is sort of channelling ernest hemingway, except hemingway hasn't been born yet. edward a. pollard whose southern history of the war chronicled the life of the confederacy as it unfolded echoed wells and strong. in the final volume of southern history, which was completed and published in 1865, pollard ra d remarked, the surrender of lee in effect terminated the war. i'll put it in a little bit of a brief plug for pollard. pollard's four thick volumes are
a vastly underused source. it's not quite a primary source, but it's almost a primary source in different ways. it's full of his kind of nutty ideas about a lot of things, but it is also wonderfully instructive about innumerable suggestions about the civil war. he is worth it. that's the end of my little commercial for pollard. i have no financial connection with that. wells and strong and pollard, i think, anticipated how most americans would understand the end of the civil war. in other words, they would put appomattox in a very prominent position in their understanding of the end of the war. an increasing number of scholars, however, have
questioned whether lee's surrender should be reckoned a decisive indicator of the practical end of the conflict. t this builds on a phenomenon that has been present for a number of years and seeks to emphasize post-war violence in the former confederacy and the other conflicts enduring conflicts which are many and profound. within this chronological reframing the war did not end at appomatt appomattox, it did not end with those iconic military surrenders that came in a group. it continued. it continued through reconstruction or through the jim crow era or down to the present. the war that never ended syndrome. there's an example of that.
"time" magazine's cover a very unfortunate choice that had lincoln on the front with a tear rolling down his cheek. if you go back and read that article, you'll get a very nice sense of, no, the war didn't end then. it's still going on. these are the ways that that is happening. for far too long, argue those who embrace the analytic lens of a long civil war, a disproportionate number of authors and readers have burroed every more deeply in the era between sumter and appomattox treating those bloody years largely in isolation and thereby robbing the conflict of needed context. a longer perspective works against a focus on appomattox, of course. it was appomattox alongside gettysburg that was one of the two events that received by far the most attention during the
centennial. those were the two events that are the highlights. too many attention to appomattox in this view creates a misleading impression that grant and lee fashioned an agreement in mclain's parlor that just opened the door to reconciliation. it's too neat. it's too satisfying, too simple. could not have been like this. i will say and say very strongly that no serious person can dispute the necessity of placing the civil war within a spacious 19th century context. more specifically any attempt to grasp the centrality of the war to the larger history of the united states, you have to place it in a much broader context. you have to engage with its long-term racial and