tv Shenandoah Valley and the Civil War CSPAN June 17, 2017 6:45pm-7:21pm EDT
>> american history tv, a panel of historians takes audience questions on the shenandoah valley during the civil war. topics include the role of religion, surprised -- supply problems faced by confederate troops and memoirs written by confederate leaders after the war. this panel was part of a conference hosted by the university of virginia center for civil war history. it is just over half an hour. >> i will go ahead and get us started and then we will get to questions. i'm eager to return to the theme of religion, which has come up a great deal. i will ask a broad question of john that can then dovetail into a question for katie and steve. john, you found a great deal of post-millennial religious reference in the writings of
unionists and pre-millennial religious references in the writing of confederates, and i was wondering about the relative prevalence and frequency of religious references on the two sides, if there's any difference, or if these images are equally evident for unionists and confederates, and i also wondered about women and men, if there is any sort of difference in their propensity to make such references. question that dovetails out of religion indo with the lives of your two subjects, who we heard a little bit about early in his martyrdom, but religion and his degree of heidi . let's start with john. >> thank you for that. by the 1850's and 1860's, middle-class women are assumed to be more moral and religious on either side of the mason-dixon line, so one would anticipate and certainly find in these diaries that women refer rather morerayer
than men. particularly west point graduates, etc. and there is a great deal of resignation toward the vicissitudes of childbirth, etc. "if i survive this is in god's hands," let alone war. what is missing other northern democrats. if it is useful to think in a slightly less rushed way -- i should mention that i am a california yankee and speak like salesmanchines accordingly. for example, what is missing here is george mcclellan. know that evangelicals concerned with the status quo. mcclellan at the same time as fighting to liberate
his valley, is lecturing president lincoln on fighting a just and christian war with limited means, limited aid. this paper was very much focused civilians. >> thanks very much. >> as many of you may know, early was not particularly religious, but religion was certainly an important cultural context of this time, and i think he perceived the fact that he was out of step with the prevailing culture in this way. the i think most famous story of was during to church the shenandoah valley campaign, he went with his staff, and this account was published in a newspaper that one of early's friends in canada brought to his attention. early learned about the fact that this had been printed in the newspaper when he was in canada, so he is reading this article with his friend, and
it's giving these anecdotes about him going to church. he went to church with staff officers, and the preacher is giving this fiery sermon. you know, what will you do when the end times come? what will you do? he kept repeating the question. early said to one of his staff offices, i'd conscript every damned one of them. i hope i can say that on c-span. >> you said it. it's out there. >> i've said it. it is printed in the paper. someone asked if he actually he saids, and unfortunately he did, but why did the guy have to go and say it to the newspaper. he was not a very religious man, and at the time, as he explained to his friend, he was very concerned about having enough troops in the valley. that was a real concern and problem he was contending with,
but he was embarrassed when popular attention was called to that aspect. a great thread. i had not thought about it all away through. this and notough use that words for c-span. it is relevant, you'll see. religion comes up in the chapter on the valley campaign in taylor 's memoir. always in contrast with jackson. there's an anecdote that taylor's louisiana brigade, louisiana tigers who were some of the best fighters jackson had in the valley, are sort of carousing and whistling and singing, and taylor records that , thoughtless fellows for such work. that theseery proud catholics from louisiana turned
out to be so ferocious in battle. in the course of one battle narrative, taylor records that he starts cussing at his soldiers to get them to go, and then he records jackson tune to him and saying to taylor, i fear you are a very wicked fellow. this comes up -- it's quite clear that taylor plays this up to call attention to the contrast between jackson's and his presbyterianism own much more worldly catholic connection with these louisiana soldiers. there is also a very moving moment where somebody has died -- i believe it is taylor's own ,uartermaster, and taylor says i did the best i could to recite
the burial service from memory. has, i'marly, he guessing, anglican affiliations, but they are not part of the narrative structure at all of his memoir. >> thank you so much. we are again eager to hear from you questions. we have microphones for those who have questions. we are recording for tv. did you want to get us started? >> i kind of had two questions. we had a speaker last week who was speaking about the winchester gun and the repeating rifle, and she made a statement that the repeating rifle was not used in the civil war. it was only years afterward against the native americans. the other question was that last week, we had a civil war .oundtable the person working to start the memorial to the national park --
it is a brand-new national park -- and he described how early's barefoot up to where the union troops were sleeping. teens, nothing. then, when they dove when that won that when they battle, they did go on a rampage, but it was because they had no shoes, no water, because nothing was allowed to make any noise because they attacked the union forces in their beds at 4:00 in the morning. when he was trying to get them to defend themselves later in the day, they were trying to eat .nd to close themselves >> thank you. some questions about early's army and technology. >> repeaters were used in the
civil war. there was a variety of different models. i don't think they played a significant role, so perhaps that's what she was getting at. more significant in the postwar era, in the indian campaigns, but speaking to early's troops, indeed, they were severely deprived, so i had strategy wheny's he had invaded the north. beyond retaliation, because there was a real vengeance butak running through him, beyond retaliation, he was also ordering that these northern deliver goods to districts because his troops were suffering from serious want. where the fatal health occurred, the men had been asked to leave anything that would rattle.
so they would not wait the achieved this wonderful success in their initial surprise, but indeed, when they saw some of the material they were lacking, they didn't cause to plunder and take some of that. in some humanitarian sense, it is difficult to fall them for that. this is where the controversy arrives. my soldier are quoted in talk really captures the feeling in a sustained way, which is whose fault is it when the troops are not being well supplied for? certainly, there's larger issues , and if you are not going to stop to plunder in
battle, the tension will be released somewhere else, so they and took it.ed and they could not be gotten back in order. >> i think the author might have been alluded to the winchester rifle specifically was not used during the civil war years as opposed to the cancer and spencer -- the spencer and henry rifles. onthe theme of how soldiers both sides cope with deprivation, exposure, hunger, and so on, and devised as she puts his self-care regimens to so, i recommend that book. other questions from the audience? a microphone is coming your way. , some of thes
stories that were referred to -- some of the stories referred to religious rights, and i'm curious if a large number of reference in the confederate military press -- you detail a number of references and personal letters, but i'm curious if they also occurred in the larger64 in public style. >> certainly. i think you might be in some ways pre-favoring the lost cause narrative. certainly in 1963, and -- 1863, 8 and six to 4, 1865 in the valley, there is a sense of resignation. many valley residents were conditional
unionists. there's a sense of holding on until some sort of deus ex a miracle,d delivers a second jackson, which early might have been hoping to be, etc. again, the sense of holding on and that creeping dread of is not a matter of god is testing our faith but rather god is judging. >> thank you. yes, sir. >> kind of piggybacking on that, towards the industry war with war within the valley itself, is it known from research, was there any specific religious sect that was maybe giving up more or earlier than another one? >> that is an excellent question. i will take it for now. me an excellent avenue for research. the fairest thing i think i can say off the top of my head would be to divide the free will
versus calvinist. i would look at the presbyterian seneca baptist as being calvinistic in that sense as opposed to, i don't know, methodist and his companions, emphasizing human agency. i certainly will be looking in that.chives for -- mechanized and episcopalians s.piscopalian' d >> when you talk about jubal early's ransom campaign in the northern states, were there any seven or strong southern loyalties in states like maryland -- maryland, and how did this ransom campaign affect their loyalties? >> that is a great question. there were marylanders who had pro-confederate sympathies.
one of the interesting things is that after they had shelled washington and were withdrawing, there were -- i am blanking on which town it was, but there was a town in maryland they went to. in any case, they were marylanders within early's ranks that refused to bring the town and instead argued for some negotiation and coming down on the price of the ransom. i guess what i'm saying is there were feelings on both sides. certainly, marylanders were not , but some did have sympathies with the confederates. the same was true when it came to confederate marylanders who were fully dedicated to the confederate cause. even they had to draw a line and
say they did not want to participate in burning maryland. >> in a very brief passage, you talk about the intermixing of occupying --diers , andieve it was winchester their dalliance with some of the negro women. did any of this continue, or were there interracial marriages, or was it just a quickie for the time? >> the quick answer is i don't know. the issuee element is of keeping occupation forces in winchester, which remained occupied for much of the rest of the war. part of the problem are my sources tend to taper off in
1963, -- 1863, 1864, particularly in winchester, so i cannot reliably same sources. familyly because one flees, runs the lexington where they think they will be safe. certainly worth looking into further. >> one might observe that , theracial socializing nature of those interactions would look very different from the eyes of the various groups that you have in your frame. what might look like a dalliance in the eyes of a disapproving confederate might be experienced as coercion on the part of an and multiply out infinitely the perspectives that can be represented, and that's why the sort of isss-referencing of sources
so important. that's why we feel cross-referencing is essential. hunterseferenced leaving lexington. , was hisken lynchburg lan to come here? >> that was a rhetorical they saw the if two great seats of iniquity, but you're right -- the goal was lynchburg, not charlottesville. that was just a rhetorical term. i some had he taken lynchburg, his goal would have been to join grant in front of petersburg. >> but if sheridan does not replace him, then he is coming right through him -- right through here, right down west main street in march.
questions? i will ask one while people are thinking. i'm curious about a theme that was mentioned. we have at the table a great deal of collective knowledge about civil war memoirs as a genre. you mentioned nostalgia as a feature. i'm curious about where taylor's nostalgials on the spectrum. >> a think katie plus point is going to keep in mind, which is this wave of memoir writing goes from one ward to the next.
world war i has begun, so this is a phenomenon in military .istory i would say that taylor definitely falls more toward the nostalgia and then early does, experiences postwar -- it's very interesting. -- there thing he does is some and read dramatics, then johnson surrender in north carolina, then finally taylor. the first thing that taylor does , and this is not in self interest, because he puts himself in danger is he immediately goes during that summer to washington and seeks audience with thaddeus stevens, charles sumner, to try to win the release of jefferson davis.
he gets into that campaign very becomes quitethen outspoken about the bitter aspects of reconstruction. oft said, you're kind getting a mixed cocktail with him at the end, which is some real while about reconstruction, , these marketing facts defenses of reconstruction. i don't need to tell any of the students in the audience, always read that final paragraph you don't read the rest of the book. is lyricalaragraph evocation of something he names tradition that is streaming down to us like light from the stars. it is just absolutely dazzling, but it is kind of -- you could apotheosis ofe
the world lost. not just the cause lost, but all culture. early? lgia for >> i will say something briefly just to corroborate that. i wanted to actually take it in a different direction. certainly, early was vehemently opposed to reconstruction. i think there is a strain of nostalgia in that, but one of the things i wanted to call our attention to is the word nostalgia had a different meaning to contemporaries at the time. it was a medical diagnosis of mental health at the time. it was believed and diagnosed frequently, at least in the union medical records, which we have much more in abundance at this point. doctors would diagnose soldiers with nostalgia, which was fatal
homesickness. this is a very random response, so when you ask this question, -- think about how writing a memoir is a way to process and move on to be a productive citizens. early is rehabilitating himself .n a personal way, for himself >> yeah, that is a very helpful way to think about nostalgia. >> that is what the word means. home ache. >> other questions? >> thank you. the civilians in the valley -- is there any record of the civilians in the valley postwar in this time of lost causes and nostalgia? did they have any unique reactions because of their unique culture to the postwar reconstruction, unique from the rest of the south?
>> well, i mean, one thing i would say to that as i do believe that the ladies memorial association in the shenandoah valley -- and i'm sure dr. jane he could speak more to this than i can, but i think they were among the first and the most kind of zealous to begin to reenter the confederate dead. i mention it briefly, because this comes from her research that with federal efforts to militaryational , confederate bodies womeneing neglected, and memorial associations took it upon themselves to have these bodies dug up, brought to their and cemeteries, and properly mourned and celebrated. ladies that role of
associations was absolutely the xental to creating confederate interpretation of >> i think aside from winchester, it would be interesting to look at lexington. both lee and jackson are very in lexington, so how early does lexington become a mecca for the lost cause? my own personal story is the weekend i moved to lexington, was walking through the car pulls up to me, and window rolls down and i hear a southern drawl asking me where lee chapel is. >> i have no statistics to back this up, but i would say that civil war memory in the valley memory like civil war
along the path of sherman's sheridan is still reviled and still invoked and still named as sherman is still invoked and reviled there also. i'm not sure that's quantifiable, but as you move through the landscape of the united states now and where you are likely to hear references to the war and what kind of references they are likely to be, sheridan in the valley -- that is still a live wire, especially for older people. >> in terms of that and in terms of the beloved, is it really true that jubal had framed on the wall a special letter from robert e lee in his office? and what does that mean?
>> i actually don't know. it was an appendix in his memoir . his friends, like charles button, who i mentioned, published it in the newspapers. it certainly was widely known, and early treasured it. what does that mean? i think exactly what you would guess. too early, this was probably one of the most significant pieces of paper that he had ever received. because while others had for sake of him and did not believe in his abilities anymore, his intelligence, lee still there, and he made it very clear that he was removing him with reluctance. i think early treasured that. they were friends. >> other questions?
question is mostly for professor cushman. you talked about there's a lot of nostalgia and romances asian -- romances asian -- roman southern culture. >> during the war, it is not yet past tense. through the valley campaign, he is feeling elated. ,e did suffer from rheumatism quite badly, and he was stricken during the seven days, but i think you can start to feel the tone change. the place that he loved more was thewhere on earth place kate was talking about.
after he distinguishes himself in the shenandoah valley someign and gets through of the peninsula campaign, although he is sick, he is sent to command louisiana. louisiana is only beautiful. there are long paragraphs about the garden of it in and a paradise, so forth, and i think you can feel in a section of that book how painful it is for him because now the war is on his turf in a way that it was not in virginia. he knows the people in louisiana to whom things are happening. also, nathaniel banks, that we have heard in the shenandoah. the other thing to say about taylor, he is an interesting guy in that he is very worldly.
the sun of zachary taylor, the sun of the president. he goes to yale, goes up north, so he is always kind of carrying the flag for the louisiana, for his home, in lots of different parts of the country, so i think --re is a kind of built in not nostalgia but certainly home boosting going on in much of his career. >> sir, you had a question? >> i actually have two questions. were there any instances of the enteral authorities -- federal authorities taking objection to what may have been preached on sunday in different churches, and was there any directive there? my second question is as early withed in his war of words
whoever, did he ever come face-to-face with any of those adversaries, and if he did, what happened? >> john, why don't you take the first question? toi can think of two of ways think about that. first of all, in terms of prayers for the president, i think it was a pretty widespread protestant tendency to pray for the president sunday morning. the question is -- which president are you praying for when you are occupied? some preachers who try to defiantly pray for jefferson davis. they were either arrested or the churches were closed. when william tell returns from the war, resumes his duties in lexington, trust to omit or something the prayers for the president, union soldiers temporarily still occupying lexington, intervened like, "you
will pray for president johnson." >> i cannot recall a face-to-face meeting right now, right off the top of my head, but what does come to mind was that during the famous newspaper duel with sheridan, this was while early was still in mexico, -- thatas so wounded by sheridan was calling him names knowing -- this is what early said -- "knowing that i and in exile in mexico and cannot tofront him face-to-face talk this out like proper gentleman." i'm sure many of you know early came close to jules --eral times in his life close to jules. with various figures, the war of words did escalate.
-- i'm sure many of you know duels came close to several times in his life. >> my second to last question -- you mentioned one of taylor's purposes in writing a memoir was for it to be used as a sort of military practical book. -- andsome memoirs thinking up one which was used by richmond public schools for almost 20 years as a textbook. i'm wondering if they've the specifically in louisiana or broadly throughout the south, was this used in military ?cademies and secondary schools >> good question. the answer is no. being aescribed as brilliant conversationalist, a good dinner party guest, a bit , and it, and know it all don't think he inspired a lot of
around a lot of people. , say,don't think that west point or a military academy in the south or anything would have had to resort to what he had to say. but it is interesting, that instructional voice is the one he chose to identify with, even though, as i try to show so many times, he departs from it and is doing things that are not about instruction at all. so, no, it is never practically successful. >> thank you very much. i think we will conclude the question-and-answer there. we're going to break and then reconvene. we hope you will be back after lunch. for those of you who do not theuent come to ground, building behind this one has all kinds of eating options, so we look forward to seeing you all in about an hour at 1:00 for the
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