tv Escaped Union Prisoners Of War CSPAN June 11, 2017 11:38pm-12:46am EDT
schedule and view all of our programs and their entirety. carmichael: hello again. i am pete carmichael, the director of the civil war institute. our final speaker is lorien foote. lorien foote is a professor of history at texas a&m university. the aggies. where she teaches courses on civil war history and reconstruction, 19th-century american, and reform movements. lorien got her start at the university of kansas where you did your undergrad and got her phd at the university of oklahoma.
her second book published in 2010, "the gentleman and the roughs: manhood, honor, and violence in the union army" is one of my favorites on the soldier experience. did fantastic research. she dug into the national archives and looked at court-martial records which had really been underutilized until lorien got a hold of them. superb book. and david brooks, a columnist for the new york times -- you got a lot of praise from david brooks in his editorial. well worth reading. fantastic work. her second book "the yankee union prisoners and the collapse of the recently published by the university of north carolina press, and that is the subject of her talk this afternoon. .hese welcome lorien foote
-- please welcome lorien foote. [applause] thank you sote: much, pete, for inviting me. thank you to the audience. you have had a long day. you have heard a lot of talk. i appreciate your here to hear this wonderful story. i have had several people at the conference asked me this individually. i have had several people ask me this. i will answer the group. i am not shall be foot's daughter. let's get that right out of the foote'si am not shelby daughter. let's get that right out of the way. [laughter] professor foote: one local south carolina newspaper put this this way -- they seemed to be everywhere. they actually cover the land like the locusts of egypt. the newspaper was referring to
thousands of yankees who were sneaking into the countryside under cover of darkness. they would dig into sweet potato fields and steel three potatoes. they would nap in people's barns. they would a cost unsuspecting white and -- accost us is affecting white and black southerners. one minister in north carolina found three yankees napping underneath his father and when he found them, they woke up and attacked him. dder.derneath his fo these yankees were not soldiers marching with william tecumseh sherman's army. they were escaped prisoners of war, ravenous and unarmed, moving through the countryside in shocking numbers between september 1864 and february
1865. there were almost 3000 of them during that winter. so, where did all of these escaped prisoners come from and what can their story tell us about the final days -- the final months, i should say -- of the confederacy. first, i want to tell you the story of where these 3000 escaped prisoners come from and then we will talk about what it can tell us about the collapse of the confederacy. first, let's talk about the confederacy. it begins when they attempt to move the civil war population from georgia after sherman captured atlanta. they don't want sherman to liberate these captives. they decide to move them from andersonville and macon, were
the officers are kept. the problem is they don't have anywhere else prepared in the region to move thousands of prisoners of war. there is no one single person in charge of the confederate prison system at this point in the civil war. instead, there is divided command by two brigadier iserals, neither of whom sure what their authority is and the extent of their authority. of confusiona lot in the confederate bureaucracy and it really shows up when they ace this crisis moment. so, brigadier general john wender is in charge of the evacuation and he sends tousands of prisoners
savannah without notifying the military commander in savanna prisoners are coming. he finds out when an aide runs up to him and says, a train just arrived with 6000 p.o.w.'s, he sends a telegram to richmond and says, you must have a strange conception of the force i possess in this district. they do notify -- or wender does notify a major general samuel jones, who is the commander of the department of south georgia for the confederacy. he does get advance warning that 13,000 prisoners are on their way to the city, but no one consulted him whether you have the ability to guard these prisoners, while at the same time he's trying to defend charleston from ongoing and active union military operations. he protests, i cannot guard
these prisoners. he says if i have any trouble with them, i am going to march them out of the city and let them go. which is pretty much, we will see what happens. 6000 enlistedlly, men show up along with officers. what jones does, he continually protests the arrival of prisoners. he does not have enough men to guard them. charlestonicials in declare the yellow fever epidemic in the city. , in this theater of the war, there is a real breakdown in communications at various levels -- militarily, bureaucratically -- there are
occurring in this region. what jones does is he decides jones needs to get rid of these prisoners. these prisoners of war, the enlisted men, out of charlson, and he does not notify prison officials he does this. so nobody in richmond knows what he has done, and none of the prison officials in the region realize what has happened until it is over and done. so, what jones does, here is a map of south carolina and you can see the railroad line. he sends a batch of these war to prisoners of be small community of florence, south carolina. these 6000 prisoners have a guardsf 125 men, and the turn these prisoners out into an .pen field next to the railroad these guys are veterans of a
summer in andersonville. they are really not that interested in being put into another confederate prison camp. even though many of them are very, very ill and sick, there is a group that mutinies. i have the confederate records and the union records estimates there are between 400 and 700 men involved in the unique. in the book, i chose the conservative 400 number. i wanted to be conservative, but it could have been as many as 700 men. these men and immediately you need. they attack regard. they plunder citizens in the vicinity of this open field and they attack and try to destroy the railroad. they telegraphed back to charleston and jones has to deploy a field artillery unit, a
cavalry unit, and an infantry unit to florence to try to suppress this mutiny. not enough to get control of the situation. so, what they do is, they mobilize all of the people in the countryside around florence, and they ask anyone with any kind of arms to join in the hunt p.o.w.'s.escaped so local citizens join forces to track down these escaped yankees. in some cases, they hatch them after they crossed the border into north carolina. of this, several weeks they actually round everybody up, except 23. 23 of these prisoners permanently escape and i will get to this in a moment -- 21 of them report to union forces in knoxville, tennessee. so, they recapture these people. pieces toartillery
keep them in this open field, they have slaves in the workingy who had been to build the stockade. what's again the stockade is ready, but the government mobilizes local civilians who shop on the day that the theirde is finished with arms and form a massive ring around the stockade, with their weapons, to be there to put the yankees inside the stockade of florence. that includes the prison for enlisted men. 1600 of them have arrived in trial some. what jones does with them -- he decides to send them out of the city, once again without notifying confederate prison authorities what he is done, and
he does this in october. i can't go into it now, but hardly because these officers in the meantime have been caught up in a retaliation situation -- partly to cut these officers in the meantime have been caught up in a retaliation situation where they have been under union fire and the union retaliates by bringing 600 confederate p.o.w.'s from the north. that's another story. so, the officers will be in charleston longer than those enlisted men. in the beginning of october, jones will send them out of the city, with the same disastrous results that happened in florence. i will go back to the map so you can see -- i think i got green here. anyway, he is going to send these officer p.o.w.'s to the capital city of columbia. what happens is more than 100 of these officers escape as they
are being marched from the charleston jail or the hospital where they are being held in charleston. they escape onto the streets where they end up hiding among union citizens. some are stealing from house to house. eventually they make it to the works where african-american toots take them on boats union islands. more escape by jumping off the trains when they stop to take on water at either kingsville or branch fell, and then they are going to make their way to columbia. davis gave aon exhortingcolumbia, carolinians to give their all for confederate independence. and you know exactly what i'm going to say -- they are turned out and to an open field. naturally, there's going to be a lot of escapes.
escapes, bute more the confederates put on a dramatic display to try to discourage what had happened at florence. one of the officers who jumps off the train is recaptured by dogs and mangled by dogs. so, confederate officials ring that dad officer -- bring that dead officer's body and put it sofront of the prisoners, they really are intimidated by that. because it gives them the impression they are going to be hunted by dogs if they try to escape. but even with that, hundreds of men escape from this open field in columbia, which they nicknamed camps organ, what the confederate bureaucracy goes through the incredible negotiation. where did they go question mark who has authority over them? there is four weeks appear craddick wrangling over this.
-- there are four weeks of bureaucratic wrangling over this. during that time, these yankees get no shelter. more leave the camp during a given time, but there's ,ltimately 373 that permanently permanently escape. is ahat we're going to see transfer from charleston to columbia. they join together in parties from two to six men and they will take one of three escape routes. their goal is to try to get back to union lines. so, to do that they'd choose one of three routes, which i kind of have in a gray color on this map that you see. some of them choose to try to get back to the union lines of the union forces that are , so theseharleston escaped his nurse follow the
rivers and try to get -- escaped prisoners follow the rivers and try to get back to the coast. route is theyar are going to travel northwest and trysouth carolina to go to knoxville tennessee. this route will take them through softer lannett, north carolina and east tennessee. there are prisoners who think that their best plan is to try to find sherman's army, which they know is operating in georgia and they suspect might augusta. to they are trying to get to augusta, georgia where they hope to find sherman's army somewhere. i think the journey of these escaped prisoners gives us incredible insight into the
confederacy of the in south carolina, north carolina, and tennessee, because unlike the soldiers marching with sherman who are triumphant, these guys are confused, lost, and dependent on african-americans and sympathetic white southerners for aid. so, what they talk about in their diaries and what base they to theey report back provost marshal about what they experienced, they saw things that other union soldiers did not notice, and they spent a lot of time with people we don't have other records for. the journeyollowing of these escaped prisoners is really a story, not just about whatners, but a story of
they were experiencing in the final months of the confederacy. today i want to talk about three aspects of the collapse of the confederacy that we can examine through the journey of these prisoners, because at this point, the confederacy is collapsing and the people living inside of the confederacy are experiencing that collapse on multiple levels. there's several i talk about in the book. threei want to talk about aspects. thecollapse of slavery, collapse of homefront, and the collapse of borders. there is the collapse of slavery. collapses in the south at a different pace in different ways across space and time. different times
and different places. slavery was already destabilized by the time these escaped yankees are pouring out of these open fields. low country south carolina, it was close to those union lines, close to the union gunpoint -- gunboats for drawing the coast and send us coming up the rivers. so you have a lot of male slaves running away. female slaves slowing down work, , andng their mistresses you have a lot of theft, organization in the low country. in the hill country, slavery was .uch more stable it was not disrupted the same way as it was in the low country. but the massive escape of all of these prisoners of war gives
slaves an opportunity in both regions to escalate their resistance and it helps to escalate the collapse of slavery. what we see throughout the civil war, slaves try to assess the military situation. they act when they think circumstances are favorable for success. ,nd slaves in south carolina they realize something is going really wrong for the confederacy or the rignet be thousands of yankees crossing through the south carolina countryside. they recognize that something is going on that shows the confederacy is having trouble here. what they see is when the first , slaves arepe food,ed -- providing
shelter, and guidance. very quickly it becomes more organized and aimed at the confederate state. so, for example, in the low country part of south carolina, as it yankees are pouring through these counties in the low country where slavery is , theyy very destabilized are operating in these counties -- using b's to use these counties. in the military records, i found the governor in december has to with orders units for them to suppress the armed military companies of slaves. he also gives them orders to keep it quiet.
that is the low country military companies. we can follow the transition .hese slaves make the age of prisoners becomes very organized. utilizing these slaves' communication networks and utilizing the trails and routes --y had already figured out but they have a geography of resistance and they already have in place communications networks. now they facilitate the movement of escaped prisoners out of their state. for example, when hannibal johnson escaped in late
november, slave guides take him throughtion to station softer lannett. over the course of eight nights, --was handed off between through south carolina. over the course of eight nights, he was handed off to 13 guides. , one ofit's interesting the guides when they go to the arranged meeting place, they groupk, this is the next of birdies. i'm not sure why this slave nicknamed his yankee cargo birdies, but that is why he -- what he called them. you almost had this reverse underground railroad, to actually creating organizations to protect prisoners. one of the most interesting theies i found was
stick to theld roads as much as they were terrified of getting lost. a counter picket on the road below so they could intercept the escaped prisoners and guide them around the picket their masters had set. the really gets to be a level of organization. see how the presence of all of these escaped -- begins to affect them on an individual level. spartanburgmap of to read what you gaze at the map and contemplate, i'm going to drink some water. so, hold on. if we looksee this
on a farm in spartanburg, south carolina. is a farm owned by david and elizabeth harris. on their farmaves and this is what i mean by slavery collapsing in different ways. this is october, november of 1864. at slaves on their farm still worked, planted, plowed, and obeyed. but the harrises record in their diary -- david keeps the diary and he has to periodically go on active service in charleston and elizabeth will continue riding it. and they both talk about thievery. thievery really -- they both continue writing it. and they both talk about thievery. thievery really explodes. they say law and order has completely collapsed. we live in a lawless lands. we cannot keep our farm going.
i saw that reported >> they all know their slaves are doing the stealing. they are slaughtering hogs, leaving them in the field. they are stealing produce and horses. there is this rampant that. it seems to really escalate in october and november. elizabeth is alone and she is writing in her dire rate. -- diary. she said everything is getting stolen. she figures out why there has been an escalation and theft. she discovers that her slaves have been hiding escaped union prisoners and their house. they -- she alerts their neighbors. they set up patrols and tickets but the yankees sneak away. she finds evidence that the yankees have been inhabiting her gender house and have been helped by her slaves for several weeks. to with hereone
male slaves for doing that. diary that in her she can't find anyone to do that for her. , itwrites in her diary seems everyone is getting afraid of the negroes. i think when we look at the experience of the harris family, after she finds this and tries to get people to with her slaves and no one will, a week later, two of the slaves leave the farm without permission. they start taking longer breaks than they are allowed. from that point on, the harris behaved withger obedience and they no longer knew what they were supposed to do. when elizabeth harris goes out thehat jen house and sees evidence, she knows her slaves have declared war against terror and it was never going to be the same again. it never was. of escaped journey prisoners sheds a lot of light on the collapse of slavery going
on in south carolina. the other thing that i think this story tells us, it tells us a lot about the collapse of the home front. the aspectsot about of the collapse of the home front that i see happening in this region. there are many different assets to that. i want to focus on one. what the journey of the escaped reveals is that throughout south carolina and north carolina, we see entire mobilized toat are fight within their community. i will show this. households by entire is the children. these escaped prisoners are moving through counties when people are mobilized to resist the confederacy, either because they are unionists or because they are protecting confederate deserters, deserters from the confederate army.
they have mobilized their entire family to either attack people within their community or to defend themselves from the confederate state. i think the experience of j madison drake, he is a lieutenant and ninth new jersey, he is a firefighter, his dream is to be a journalist. he is a shameless self promoter. its tulared, his of which is in numerous obituaries -- newspapers, they call him a famous civil war veteran. he was famous because he was such a great self promoter. he jumped up that train between trust and and columbia and he jumped off the train at kingsville. they worked their way through south carolina, they enter into north carolina and they get to caldwell county. caldwell county is not on this particular map. if you see looks county up --ard the top, caldwell top
caldwell county is near there. they are walking through a ravine and they see a couple of women and a 13-year-old boy cutting sorkin brass. they have the story that they're going to tell if they run into white people, they will say that they are deserters from kentucky. one of them thinks he can take a southern accent. that is why they think they can pull this off. they want to get some food and the little boy runs off and he comes back with his mother. and powerful large woman, she says what do you want? they start to try to tell the story about -- we are in the confederate army, we are deserters from kentucky trying to get home and she cuts them off and says i don't believe you, i think your yankees. she says i hate the confederacy and i am not afraid of you whether you are confederate or whether you are union.
if i raise my hand, there are a dozen true rifles that are trained on you at this moment. if i give the command by raising my hand, they will open fire. tell me again, who are you? drake says we have to be honest and he posed out the diary that he had cap while he was in prison and his commission that he carried with him as an officer in the u.s. army. aen she sees that, she takes white handkerchief out of her pocket and she waves it around her head three times. as soon as she does this, tournament in confederate uniforms come out of the hills and woods around the ravine and come up. this is her husband hill estes and his band of deserters. they are engaged in a war with their neighbors and their community and with the north carolina home guard that is determined to capture them. from this point in their journey, drake and his companion eventually, said and
got it to knoxville by a network of families who fought against the confederate states and its supporters in their community. some of them engaged in guerrilla warfare, all of them protected with violence, the men who work deserters or draftdodgers from the confederate army. these families ultimately used their knowledge and their resources and their violence to protect and aid hundreds of u.s. withers seeking to return the express purpose are rejoined the regimen. maddox prisoner charles was as from maine, he very aristocratic, snobby officer. he is headed by the loftus family in north carolina. this family and its extended can at work.
they rated their rebel neighbors for beef. they armed every boy in the family over 12 years old. they posted tickets on the road 24 hours a day. women took the day shift, mental thought -- men took the night shift. when their house was attacked, they drilled holes in the wall of their home, they would turn it into a fortress for women to love the weapons and hand the gun to the men -- they would stick them through the walls and fire. after one skirmish that occurred this before maddox and his party arrived in a never heard, there were seven dead rebel neighbors lying in the yard. women and children play a critical role in this violence. a are the supply line for the guerrillas who are fighting rebels. they provide food, clothing and they carry messages for deserters about troop movements and raids.
what i found interesting is that families did not hesitate to employ young children in this warfare and also, young children to help these escaped yankee prisoners. one family and -- in south carolina sent a nine-year-old escapedimself with an party of six escaped prisoners as sent this nine-year-old boy alone to guide these yankees over the mountain where confederate deserters rendezvoused. the family thought these deserters would help his prisoners. one of my favorite incidence of all the stories i encountered is in east tennessee, a 16-year-old arl, on horseback, guided party of 70 men through her neighborhood, her family sent her by herself. she guided this party of 76 men through a land where there were a lot of confederate guerrillas.
this girl new what houses contained families back -- that supported confederate guerrillas. she guided these escaped , sheners around the houses guided them past the places where there are usually tickets and when the party reached a river in east tennessee, she left these men and road alone -- road alone -- rode alone to see if there were guerrilla pickets on the other side. these yankees did not know her name at the time. they nicknamed her the name was heroine. her name was actually malvina stevens. that is an illustration from a book published after the war that gives an illustration of her exploits. what i think is interesting
also, because you have these entire families mobilized, we will see a complete collapse of law and order where this is happening. what is really interesting to me is that when i found -- when i look at state records about this, the north carolina general assembly will recognize the battle like conditions in many places in north carolina. they will pass a law that basically authorizes people to form paramilitary companies. they pass a law that says any time 10 persons or more, here is a quote from the law, associate themselves as a military company, they can operate on behalf of the state, just without pay or equipment. that is a really fascinating law, they are basically sanctioning people, associated
themselves into the organizations, only very loosely associated with the state. they are sanctioned to employ any violence that may be necessary to suppress unionists and deserters. the other thing that i think shows the complete collapse of local security is the fact that while these escaped yankees are moving through south carolina, they are joining forces with confederate deserters. they are joining forces with slaves who are escalating their resistance. south carolina has to call up themilitia to join confederate forces that will try to resist sherman. november, early december, south carolina calls of the state militia. he demands that every man report. with 1300huge effort men. that is 20%.
only 20% of the men responded to the call of their state. respond?ey not i think i know why. they are running around their own neighborhood, trying to capture escaped yankee prisoners and handle the states -- slaves militaryforming companies. at the same time, the government is saying where are all of these men? i'm reading in diaries and reports that escaped prisoners to provost marshals say that we were hiding in the was and we started to be chased by citizens or some of the men in their diaries who were recaptured, they report they were hiding in the woods. a couple people show up and find them, come back with 10 more of their neighbors. then other people support these yankees and put them in the local jail. arereds of citizens
recapturing and arresting these yankees and from what i can tell in my research, these are all citizens that seem to have responded to the militia call. they made the assessment that there is a danger on their front door. they have to deal with that. finally, the third thing i want to talk about is that the escaped prisoner problem i think reveals the collapse of borders. must protect its borders to have security. the confederacy tried to protect its borders not only from no terry force from external enemies but the confederacy also wanted to control the movement of internal enemies. people within the confederacy who work disaffected or disloyal to the confederacy. they wanted to control their movement. there is a passport system that
is instituted if you are going to move outside of the confederacy. you have to apply and get permission. thatecretary of war says the goal of the passport system is to preclude the passage of dangerous and disaffected persons. the permit system is supposed to guard against spies, smugglers, subversives and men who saw to evade subscription. by the fall of 1864, in addition to the union armies will already invaded the borders, what is interesting to me is that the borders of the confederacy are wide open. they are wide open to thousands of people moving across the borders of the confederacy, leaving the confederacy, and of their military service to this government according to the prescription laws. with thousandsso of escaped yankee prisoners.
then these people who are moving out of the confederacy, thousands of them are joining union army units in east tennessee that are then returning to the carolinas on constant rates that are going on and in november of 1864 the end of the war at 1865. what i found is that it is very typical, by the time these escaped prisoners get to north carolina and eastern tennessee, they are generally traveling with anywhere from 70 to 100 confederate deserters who decided to join them on their journey to knoxville. we see this in the case of captain isaiah connelly who was a pennsylvania captain. his escape party to northwest south carolina, they run into henry martin who is a free man. he has contacts with a group of confederate deserters who are hiding out. he puts connelly in his party
and contacts these deserters. they agree to guide the yankees to knoxville. they travel all the way to knoxville together. what is interesting is that often these deserters turn into reports for the union army. that happens to j madison drake. d new jersey firemen and self promoter who met mary estes. up going to knoxville in company with her husband bill and 14 deserters. when they get to proud orchard tennessee, they made a group of 63 if my math is right here. they will end up being 76. whatever ends up at 76. of 63 peopleroup in north carolina and south carolina and north georgia who are all traveling together to knoxville. they all join together, they are a party of 76 and they by chance run into a lieutenant, james
hartley from the third north carolina, a union regiment that offers out of east tennessee. he is on a recruiting expedition. this is very common. these parties run into union officers who are moving into north carolina and into south carolina on a recruiting expedition. there's a great, i don't have to travel any fun. will you join the union army? they said yes we will. the whole party travels to knoxville in company with 63 recruitsnow has for the union army. what i have found is when i put all this together and i look at the union army records, when i look at the reports of these escaped prisoners there are literally thousands of people on the move any appellations in the last winter of the war. people that the confederacy wants to keep contained because they are deserters that are moving out of the can -- out of the confederacy and returning as
raters. what was interesting to me is that there is many reasons the confederacy cannot contain this movement effectively at the end of the war. one of the most important reasons is that the confederacy has absolutely confused military jurisdiction in this region of the south. upm about to put the slide and say some things very rapidly that are going to lead you to be incredibly confused. i think it is important that i do that because by the time i am done and you are confused, you will be in the same mental state as the confederate secretary of war james a seven -- deserters areand traveling through the confederate military district of western north carolina. the question is, who is in charge of that district? who is in charge of it? months, nobody in the
confederate war department had been clear on whether the district of north carolina was part of the department of north carolina for the department of east tennessee and west virginia. wasproblem is, beauregard in charge of the military division of the west which encompassed all of tennessee, except he didn't seemed to have authority over the department of east tennessee and west virginia. there was also the department of northern virginia because lee is also ensuring orders to all of these departments and the people in these various military departments, it was very clear that they read their correspondents -- i read their correspondents. they don't know who is in charge of them. there are many times that they hear about a raid and they send messages to the commanders of all of these departments and when they get responses back, they debate amongst themselves about which orders they are supposed to obey. robert e lee unclear about what
troops are in the department, what they are doing and one of my favorite moments for doing research of this law, there is a moment where there is an exchange in the war department, it is clear that the confederate secretary of war has no idea who the commander of western north carolina is. he gives an water to tell the district commander to do this and it turns out that he wasn't the commander. the war apartment doesn't even know who is in charge. it was such a confused jury -- military jurisdiction. rings were so chaotic for the confederacy in this region. aey are never able to form response to the thousands of people moving across the borders. as the confederacy collapsed, it will unleash one more wave of yankee prisoners. i won't talk about that here because you have to have a lot of things to read in the book. in february of 1865, when sherman is not all scale in the invasion of south carolina, the
confederacy will try to move those columbia prisoners once again. when they do, more than 1700 will escape and the teaser that i will give you is that these escapes will ultimately interfere with sherman's military operations to some extent. there is this other way of escape. i think the story of the end of the civil war is not just about climactic battles and the surrenders of this place, it is about the movement of prisoners of war and how the confederacy thatcontrol of the yankees it held captive. i think the end of the war is about the people of the carolinas and the first months when the yankees came. not the armies, but the escaped prisoners. they made backyards and barnyard the sides of war and heralded the last days of the confederacy. i am now happy to answer any questions you may have.
[applause] i hear i havee: time for two questions. routes that they were taking, or the using underground railroad routes? was it too dangerous to use them? we want to be slaves to escape as well. >> i don't think they were using antebellum railroads because those ran south instead of north. >> thank you. have so many great stories in the book, i'm curious which one was your favorite? say isor foote: i would have one that is one of my favorite moments, even though it is not exactly a story. one of the things that was
really compelling to me is the yankees and a lot of time inside slave cabins having long conversations with slaves. they have a lot of intimate moments. one of the things that comes out they take them on and several of these prisoners record the contents of the prayers, it is very interesting. one of the things that comes out very strongly is that these slaves firmly believe that god is acting in this moment of history and bringing about the jubilee and they are seeing god moving and one of the most reflectsoments that that, there are these two escaped prisoners and they are at night behind these two african-american men who are walking down the road. they can hear what these guys are saying as they walk. one of them says this is moving, god is moving.
another one says yes he is. do we need to put blood on our doors? incredible? of course we know that african-americans are steeped in that sense of -- the biblical story of israel and being rescued out of egypt. firmly, taking this so they are believing that god is moving that they are seriously asking if we need to put blood on our doors. i think that is an incredible moment that shows us what slaves are thinking and dealing. all these epic events are happening at the end of the war. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> we take american history tv on the road to feature the history of cities across america. here is a recent program.
>> welcomed a four ward which is a premier civil war site in the majorf alexandria and a destination for visitors who march to learn more about the civil war. we have a visitor center to help interpret and illustrate for the public these important points about the defenses of washington. it was named for commander james harmon ward who was the first to be killed during the civil war. he was a well-respected naval officer and authority on able ordinance. he helped found the naval academy at annapolis. if you go to the naval academy there is a hall named for him. we are standing in front of an orientation display that
visitors often find interesting because it sets the scene for the history of fort ward and wartime alexandria and the history of this defense system. one thing i think the map really illustrates is how extensive this network of union force was. even more thought-provoking to what the washington area was like in the spring of 1861 when the civil war began. map, none ofe same these forts would have been there. washington was essentially defenseless at that time and vulnerable. thousands of troops were topatched into the area
begin getting a foothold in that area for the protection and defense of the capital. at first just a very few forts were built. no one anticipated this would be a four-year war, but things really changed during the summer of 1861 with the confederate victory and the battle of bull run as it is also known. this put everything in a different perspective and it seemed there was more of a need to defend the capital. in the late summer of 1861 even more forts were built in fort ward was begun at that particular time along with a number of other forts on the virginia side. one important point about the defenses of washington is that it transformed the whole into a military city in essence. you had the see of the federal
government with a huge bring a forts and all the camps that accompany those forts, washington becomes a logistical headquarters for the union war effort and becomes a major campaign in training ground for the union army during the civil war. thousands of union soldiers after washington and alexandria during the civil war which was an important resource for the union because of transportation facilities and its port. you can see how many forts were built to surround the town of alexandria during that time. earthworks remains are the most significant artifact here. have 95% of the original fort walls preserved and summer in buter condition than others
there's enough significantly preserved that if someone walks aside in a have an engineer plan in front of them are walking tour map they can make sense of the design of the four and format of the fort and the northwest bastion gives them a fourpicture of what the would've looked like. at an orientation exhibit on the history of fort ward during the civil war to give our visitors more of an idea of what the fort looked like and how was documented in restoring the fort. in model shows the design 1865. version.he expanded it was a type of design and would've been called a bastion
star shape. the whole concept of projecting and reentering angles that provide for the protection of every aspect of the fort in providing crossfire. we can see several important whatents that illustrate the fort look like and how was designed. in the national archives there are military engineer plans a document the designs of the fort and also the design of the ceremonial entrance gate. the restored bastion of the fort ever going to be seeing directly over here which would've faced out toward leesburg turnpike present day route seven. located in important
strategic partner ground between two major access route to alexandria in the washington area. ceremonial entrance gate to for work. frombeen reconstructed military engineer plans for the poor. it's opening pattern situated on its original site. that is important. you context to the preserved earthwork walls of the fort. we are standing at the reconstructed northwest fashion of fort ward. this is an authentic example of what the interior and exterior of one of these forts would've looked like. one of those important elements of any fort would've been an underground room called a powder magazine. right now standing in front the interest door that would've led
underground to a long, narrow room where powder, bats and barrels of gunpowder would've been stored. this was one the most dangerous rooms in a fort. lots of rules and regulations about who could go into one of these rooms in what they could carry with them. weaponry, nothing of metal that might scrape against something and give a spark. obviously no smoking, no candles or anything of that nature. there was actually in the summer of 1863 a powder magazine explosion at a fort that was located near alexandria that was a result of a careless accident that had occurred in one of these forts. just kind of underscored the importance of the rules and regulations that were put in place for soldiers stationed at a fort like fort ward.
gunpowder from the magazine would then be taken to another underground room, typical of forts in the defense system and elsewhere called filling rooms. here we can see another door that led down into an underground room or ammunition would've been filled with and then loaded ammunition stored in a room like this. this is where artillery men would have come in to get their life charges to take out to the canons for artillery practice or during battle situations. moving a little forward into the interior of the bastion, this gives our visitors a great picture of what the interior of the civil war forward of look like.
you have gone platforms with the various canons and guns located were looking at replicas of the types of guns that would've been installed , so during the civil war you can see these three large guns.ron you can also see a couple of examples of 24 pounder our source and the six powder over to the right of me. between the gun platforms, you will see ledges, and these ledges are called ben caps -- van caps. this is where infantry or armed artillery trained in these tactics would have stood during battle situations to fire over the fort wall. so on an average day patrolling, doing guard duty. we are standing on a ledge
overlooking the reconstructed northwest bastian of fort ward, and you can get a bit of a sense of how high up we are. all of these forts were built on high point of land, -- points of land, for better visibility and maximum firing range. if they were attacked or marched upon, and here this bastion faced out toward leesburg turnpike, present day route seven, and even though we cannot see route seven from here, it is only about one mile away. we have trees and highway buildings today, but during the civil war, the land around forts like fort ward was completely cleared of trees for maximum visibility and field of fire. so from here you could have actually seen all the way down to bailey's crossroads during the civil war.
so several miles down the leesburg turnpike. a major access route to alexandria, and one that stretched all the way to the shenandoah valley. we are actually standing in the area where the military support buildings were located during the civil war, right back behind the fort, near the entrance gate to the fort. we are standing specifically in front of a reconstruction of a small officer's quarters, or officer's hut, typical of the type of shelter that would have been built for officers stationed in the defenses of washington. we have this little quarters furnished inside to give some idea of what an officer's daily life might have been like. when you look at some of the contents, you will see that they have been functionalized to look like some of his daily activities and some of his work activities as well.
today, i think it is also important to note that out of all these forts, this extensive defense system, very few of them still exist. many of them were destroyed due to development that hadn't croce on the washington area during the 20th century -- had encroached on the washington area during the 20th century, so it is fortunate that we have fort ward. >> watch this and other programs /citiestour.n.org onlyis american history tv on c-span3. >> return brigadier general jerrell calloway on the possible threat of climate change on national security. if you go back to older field manuals there's one that said whether a terrain is most significant aspects of battlefield combat, whether it's
runways it have to be open so you can land on them, when they , the military is concerned about that. so the military has long had an interest in dealing with things like this and forecasting what might happen. >> a town hall meeting. >> i said in the beginning of the meeting that interruptions are not going to be tolerated. >> please sit down, sir. you do not have the floor. would you please sit down or go out in the hallway. >> main senator angus king and
hearing on the foreign intelligence surveillance act. >> why are you not answering these questions? is there an invocation by the president of the united states of executive privilege? what you feel is not relevant, admiral. congresswomani ann wagner on changes to the dodd frank act. >> today we released a report titled, was the cop on the beat? this is regarding the wholly inadequate role in investigating the wells fargo fraudulent account scandal. we have received numerous records from both wells fargo and occ in others it indicate asleep atfp be was the wheel. quick c-span programs are available at www.c-span.org and by searching the video library.
you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on face book at c-span history. american history tv was at the organization annual meeting in new orleans were we spoke with about thekate epstein history of the relationship between the u.s. military and the private sector. the interview focuses on her book, torpedo, inventing the military-industrial complex. this interview is about 15 minutes. >> your area of study is national security and intellectual property. where do those intersected american history? >> i think the intersect at least where