tv Lectures in History William Harris on Lincoln Antietam and Emancipation CSPAN December 9, 2017 7:59pm-9:17pm EST
let's please think about what i have been asking you to do the last couple of months. >> larry, not that again, please. >> i would like to spend some time with you. why not? >> i have given you a thousand reasons before why not. can't we just drop it at that? > drop it at that? let me put it this way. if you select me this weekend, i will select you for the course. it's up to you. >> watch the entire film only on c-span3.
history,n lectures in william harris teaches a class about abraham lincoln, the civil war battle of antietam, and the issuing of the emancipation proclamation in 1862. his classes about an hour and 15 minutes. today, we have pivotd in some ways the point of the war and the pivot point of the entire class. the months when a war to save the union also became a war to end slavery. that took lots of politics and it also took lots of fighting, including the bloodiest single day war, which was the battle of antietam. we will look at that in some depth, but also starting with what happenedof in the first year of the war.
july 1861, lincoln and congress both say they are fighting a war for the union. we are not trying to revolutionize the south or end slavery. we want to restore the constitutional relationship between the states. and this is a conservative way to prevent the breakup of a country. things happened. contraband as they were called started running away. here is a whole family that stole a wagon. .ome were put to work contraband was still property, but it was property the union decided they would keep because it might be useful to the enemy. the runaway slaves had a lot to do with the movement of the war toward emancipation because they presented a really practical problem. what do we do with these people? 1862, theng of
anti-slavery people in congress had gotten to the point of being able to pass significant legislation. one was ending slavery in washington dc. and in the same period of time, lincoln was meeting with the border state representatives, proposing ways for them to accept emancipation with compensation, and they all said no. this is review of what we have gone through before, but it is important to set the time here, year ofafter a war. the campaign to take richmond, and it failed. robert eva lee pushed mcclellan -- robert e. lee pushed mcclellan back and it ended the effort to capture richmond.
it left the war pretty much where it started a year before. first of all, i want us to talk letter toellan's lincoln he wrote, but i want to read this comment in a letter to his wife that he wrote about the same time. think i have began to see purpose in all that, and the events of the next few days will prove it. if i had succeeded in taking richmond now, the fanatics of the north might be too powerful and the reunion in possible. " this is a pretty amazing statement. "i think i have began to see god's wise purpose in all this, and the events of the next few days will prove it. if i had succeeded in taking richmond now, the fanatics of the north might be too powerful in the reunion in po
mpossible." from distancing himself that, but it is an adjusting notion that if he had succeeded, the fanatics might have on by abolishing slavery -- might have won by abolishing slavery. a very interesting letter in many ways. let's try to go through it and place mcclellan in the war, not just as a general, but as a figure thinking about the entire war. what the grand strategy should be. what are some of the things mcclellan tells lincoln? emancipation should not be a thought. prof. harris: emancipation should be totally out of the question. potential places where it might be useful, but why is that? why is he so opposed to emancipation?
well, he reiterates a couple times that it is a military conflict and should be strictly military rings they are looking at and not looking at social and political issues. also, he says we must conduct the war according to the highest principles known to christian civilization, which is a pretty interesting concepts when you are talking about a bloody war. -- a bloody war. what is mcclellan for? he is against emancipation. the preservation of the union, and he starts out with that. the constitution and the union must be conserved, no matter the cost. in the scale of political opinion from radical republicans on the one hand to democrats on the other, where it does
mcclellan seem to fit? do you remember the in between categories? student: it seems like mcclellan fits -- he is waiting for this moment where he will win the whole war for the union. prof. harris: that is a good point. in some ways he was unique because he believed he was unique. i am the only person who can save the union. his idea of saving the union but not abolishing slavery was shared by at least one major -- he was a democrat, but a war democrat. he was not just in ideology, but an active member of the democratic party in previous years. he was a supporter against -- of steven douglass.
something interesting about mcclellan here is he cannot openly campaign for one party or another. but he secretly meets with politicians and newspaper men who agree with him so he can get these ideas out to the public without having his name put on them. here, he is writing her eckley tlylincoln -- writing direc to lincoln. what is it he does want? no abolition of slavery by force. student: to protect private property. prof. harris: protect civilians and their private property. confiscation of property, political executions of people, or forcible abolition of slavery should be contemplated for a moment. and if we damage private property, we should pay for it.
what do you think of this as a war strategy after a year of war? is it reasonable, is it plausible? student: i don't think it is a very good strategy because war was about slaves. are not getting rid of slavery does not stop a war about slaves. prof. harris: that is a good point, although you did say in hindsight. is it fair to apply hindsight to this moment of july 1862, or at this point was it not hindsight but clear sight or whatever? was it obvious the war should have been about slavery by july 1862? student: i think they were still making it about states rights. was notrris: it publicly about slavery, it was about states could have rights but they could not leave the
union. we have to preserve the constitution and the union. points, shoulds he have known it was really about slavery even if there was no public policy about that? i think at this point in the war, you have to know -- [indiscernible] he hadarris: because won. does anyone want to stick up for mcclellan? student: it was like they were fighting americans. they might have seceded, but the idea of returning private property back to civilians they use it, it is a good idea. but when you are fighting a war, it doesn't seem to make that much sense. prof. harris: i think that captures the ambiguities here. your fellow americans,
and fellow americans should not have their property taken away. obviously if they are shooting at you, they do not get to keep their gun. be protected in your property and your life and so forth. that is part of what this pivot around the issue of slavery involves, not just the issue of what should we do with the slaves, but what should we do with the southerners who are americans and yet they are trying to kill us and we are trying to kill them? student: it kind of makes sense from what you were saying. he is conservative in nature in terms of his troops and the way he goes about everything. it kind of makes sense to see that he doesn't want to make it about slavery right off the bat you saide is still -- he is more concerned about the war aspects and he is more conservative in nature about
everything, so he does not want war warthat big jump from to make the war about slavery. prof. harris: i think that is a really good point. he has ideas, but he also has a temperament, and it is conservative and cautious. at the end he says this is a true conservative policy. it may be, i don't want to risk my soldiers on nessus -- unnecessarily, but i don't want to tear the country apart if it's not needed. maybe he is trying to do something that is impossible. it is a limited war. he has not made the jump to we have to confiscate property. he still wants to compensate them. i think he has not quite made that jump that sheridan made. grant after the battle of shiloh, although we
are not sure he actually thought it immediately afterward, but he said if it is no longer possible to win the war and protect people's property, people, yes. otherwise, we have to make it impossible for the south to fight the war. mcclellan did not make that shift. to keep another thing in mind is that people thought this would be a quick war. losttil this point when he the first chance at taking richmond. prof. harris: very good point. everyone thought it would last a month and maybe a year, and no end in sight. he does give what he thinks are practical reasons for avoiding the abolition of slavery. and you remember any of those? [indiscernible] prof. harris: rapidly
disintegrate armies. what is he saying? student: making the war about abolishing slavery, the armies will fall apart. prof. harris: they did not come to abolish slavery, and if you make the war about that, they will fall apart. extent,what, to some they are discussing in some ways. what did the soldiers think? what did the soldiers really fight for? and if so, when did it change? but mcclellan is thinking -- at least claiming abolition of slaves and slavery will make them desert quick. then we obviously cannot win the war. what are the two other things he mentions? who else would be influenced by decisions over slavery?
which is surprising to me, the way he phrases it. constitutional and conservative, but without abolishing slavery. allould win the support of the truly loyal men and also impress the deeply rebel masses, convince them they can come back safely into the union, and on foreign nations. somehow, he is thinking foreign nations would react against abolition. finally, there is that next to last paragraph, which was not about the policies of the war, but he thinks lincoln should appoint what? commander inest chief of the army? prof. harris: a new commander in
chief of the army. what does the constant -- the constitution say about the commander in chief? the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces. suggesting, you may be the constitutional commander in chief, but you need a military guide. andent: i think that is interesting statement, because i feel like lincoln, if you were to do that, would not pick mcclellan to be that guy. prof. harris: i am sure you are right. [laughter] prof. harris: in a few days, mcclellan learned that, to. lincoln met with mcclellan after getting this letter back. not answer that myself. moi? seeink it is clear he did it in that place. he wanted to set policy, leave lincoln to deal with taxes and things like that.
and we know this partly because of letters he had been writing to his wife. baboons are running the old,nment, they are falling apart, they need me to really be in charge. but i do not answer that place myself. so, five days later, lincoln tells his cabinet -- i have mentioned this before, and we will deal with the actual emancipation proclamation language and are today -- that it is only five days later that lincoln calls a cabinet meeting and shows them a draft of the emancipation proclamation. he had not told them anything about it. a complete supplies -- a complete surprise as far as they knew. and his secretary of state now.d said, not
we have just lost a major battle, it would look like we are in a panic. weight until we win a major battle -- wait until we win a major battle. clearly, lincoln has made that leap from conservative war, not revolutionary, defeat the enemy war ono a much broader southern society. to abolish slavery in the south was a massive attack on the whole nature of the south, its way of life, its society, its economy, and so forth. and theo justify it justification is an important thing we will get to when he actually issues it because he keeps waiting for this battle. so, part of what i want to emphasize here is mcclellan gave lincoln all sorts of problems as a commander, but we can almost think of them as two political
opponents as well as a commander in chief and his main general, because lincoln had clear ideas about how the war should be bought and mcclellan had clear ideas about how the war should be fought. ity overlapped, but when came to slavery, lincoln had made that leap from a purely military and short war, we are really going to have to revolutionize the south to succeed here. so, he puts that back in his pocket and continues. later that month, the congress passes a new confiscation act. includes ane, it interesting phrase. these are the contrabands. they shall be forever free.
and up until then, it wasn't clear whether those slaves coming to union lines were still property. did they become the property of the government? would they be returned to civilians once the war ended and they were no longer able to help the enemy? congress said, no. if they make it to the lines, they will be free forever. and also allowed, not required, -- but allowed the army and navy to take in african-americans. really a quite significant change in public policy. thisess is moving toward at the same time link is moving toward this, this policy of radically changing the policy of the united states. it is in this interlude, a very interesting interlude, lincoln
has decided to issue an emancipation proclamation, but nobody knows it except his cabinet. and they keep it for the quiet. -- they keep it pretty quiet. horace greeley, who was very equivalent ofthe the prestige of the "new york times" today, rights and editorial called "the pleas of 20 million." the plea is we must abolish slavery. the entire country insists you abolish slavery. why aren't you doing it? and lincoln writes a letter back, which is intended to be public, a letter to horace greeley. and i hope you have read it, but i want to quote the most notable words from it and think about why he is saying it given what he has already decided to do. "if i could save the union without freeing any slave, i would do it. save it byuld
freeing all the slaves, i would do it. and if i could free -- save it by freeing some and maybe others alone, i would also do it. because i hope it saves the union and what i forbear i forbear because i believe it will not save the union." what is interesting about this is -- and we will talk about this later when it is finally he said he would freeze some slaves and not others. so why is he writing this letter now? he has made a decision, he knows what it is, and yet he wants to get this in the public and reply to this editorial, which is being read all over the country. what is lincoln's thinking here?
student: it sets it up so people can see there is probably something big coming, but it is all to present -- to preserve the union not to hurt. prof. harris: two things. i am thinking about it, and underneath that, i think something may be coming. but the purpose is always to save the union, so i am not making slavery or important than the union -- i am not making slavery more important than the union. he said i will free slaves if i think it will help save the union and i will not free slaves if it will not save the union. -- if it will save the union. lincoln was a clever user of newspapers. but did not have twitter, they had newspapers, and he understood how important newspapers were to all political discourse of the day.
whichally "the tribune," was supportive of him because it was republican but more radical than he was. in some ways, it is a little too crude to say he was trying to mollify his base, because those are modern terms that don't quite fit, but that is the thing he is thinking of. here. keep in mind, one of the points before, lincoln was a lifelong politician. he really understood politics as howacticing politician, and public opinion moved or didn't move, and how it affected things. meanwhile, he is waiting for a winning battle. pretty soon, he gets a battle, but it is not a winning battle. mcclellan is not fired, but he is sort of demoted. is placedjohn pope,
in charge of a new largest army in the east near washington dc. and mcclellan is told to send some of his troops to join pope's army. john pope has fought up to now in the western part of the country, and they had actually won some battles. pope taught very highly of himself, and as soon as he got this important -- appointment, he issued various statements. he said, in the west, we have always seen the backs of our enemies. he said he would keep his headquarters in the saddle. people joked that he was keeping his headquarters where his hindquarters should be. he found guerillas operating, he would execute them.
if people were helping them, he would force them out of their homes and confiscate their property. the anti-mcclellan. this is what came to be known as a hard war policy. was infuriated by the language, but also realized pope's army was a serious threat, so he moved his army north toward washington, leaving mcclellan behind, who was still on the banks of the river along richmond. in one of the examples of how he was willing to do that. we will do a detailed study of the battle of chance or go -- of a battle. battle, wemplicated don't have time to go into it in detail, but pope sound half of
it and attacked that half in very nasty battles in late august. did notother half, pope realize was in the vicinity and hit him totally by surprise. casualties.d 16,000 this includes wounded and missing, not just dead. the confederates, only 9000. it was a very lopsided battle. and pope was sent out to fight indians in minnesota. and mcclellan was put back in command of the eastern armies. can't fight, if he himself, he excels and making others ready to fight.
he was a great organizer of armies. very cautious. again withre, mcclellan back in command, the confederacy also shifts its strategy. and more or less simultaneously launches two big invasions. i have shown you this map before. i have outlined this area right here, the invasion of kentucky. here is the tennessee-kentucky himself launches an invasion into maryland, possibly to go into pennsylvania or baltimore. is september 1862. up until this time, the confederacy was willing to be on the defensive. eight for the armies to get to us, that the them, drive them
back. eventually they will give up. but they are in the same boat as the union. a stalemate.ill the shift in strategy was to invade the north and make them feel the hard war. they had a number of things in mind. lee and jefferson davis discussed this at some length. the most important was that union elections were coming up in october, november. state and midterm elections. lee thought if he got his army operating in maryland or pennsylvania, then the union voters might change the way they thought about the war. usroposal of peace from would enable the people from the united states to determine at their coming elections whether
they will support those who favor a prolongation of the war, for those who wish to bring it to a termination. jefferson davis put it more historically. my goal was to feed upon the enemy and teach them the blessings of peace and making them feel the most tangible form the evils of war. let's ravage their territory rather than having hours ravaged. kentucky and maryland are full of confederate supporters. they will flock to us. at one point in that kentucky invasion, the so-called confederate governor of kentucky was inaugurated. many had to skedaddle out of town. finally, if we could operate in the union and perhaps defeat the -- defeata big battle the union in a big battle,
britain might recognize the confederacy. they are trying to influence policy in the north and britain and france, and they are trying to show the confederates that they can be on the winning side if they joined the army's. -- if they joined the armies. lee took his army into maryland, while brexit brag took his army his -- while bragg took army into kentucky. it ultimately did not work. the battle of antietam is overshadowed -- overshadowed everything that was happening at the time. a fairly complicated set of maps that i will try to explain clearly tracing lee's invasion.
here is washington dc and lee is operating to the south and west. the union army is gathered around washington to prevent him from attacking. here is mcclellan, here is lee. lee's route was across the potomac into this part of western maryland. eventually he would get all the way into pennsylvania, as he later did. a year later, he would be at gettysburg. one of the things he wanted to do on the way was capture a union force at harpers ferry. there were about 12,000 union soldiers there. here is how far he had gotten in five years. the cleland realized what he was doing and started shadowing him. there is the army surrounding harpers ferry, and this map on the bottom is more details about harpers ferry. and various other parts of lee's army are scattered through
western maryland, and mcclellan's shadowing him, not quite sure where he is. one of the first things the confederates noted is that their idea that the people would flock to them did not come true. supports very little for the confederates, especially in western maryland. if they had been in eastern maryland, they might have gotten more popular support. but when they went to the town of frederick, maryland, it was silent. one of the comments from someone who watched the confederates marched through town, i have never seen such a mass of filthy, strong smelling men. their hair was matted with dirt. it is kind of funny to hear that, but it is a reminder that lee's troops were very tough
soldiers, but they were not all that healthy all the time. and of them had no shoes, when they got marching on hard surfaces, it was really hard for them to keep up. a lot of them had dirty clothing. they suffered from not having enough food. one of the things they hoped to do was seize food as they were moving through maryland and virginia. some of them started eating corn that was not quite ripe. a lot of straggled behind. an unknown number of soldiers did not make it up to the battlefield. when the union troops arrived a floatedays later, flags from nearly every window. ladies waved their handkerchiefs from every balcony. here we have this shoeless and hungry army going through.
moraleon soldiers, a big booster when the population is cheering you as you go through. that one september 13 of the most fantastic pieces of luck that mcclellan could have ever had happened. if itnd of thing where was in a novel, people would dismiss it as ridiculous. he is sent a plan for all the parts of his army to harpers ferry. what their plans would be in the next few days, including which part -- where each part of the army was. two copies were sent to the sub commanders, and one of those copies was lost. it was wrapped around three ciga rs. a union soldier noticed it on the ground and picked it up. he unwrapped it and realized what he had was we'order -- was lee's order of battle.
whoook it to his commander, with hours took it to mcclellan. and said,opened it up now i know what to do. here is a paper where if i am willing toe, i go home. another fantastic coincidence was one of the people visiting mcclellan was one of the few southern confederate sympathizers in maryland, who was chatting with mcclelland and his chief of staff. he did not know exactly what was on the paper, but when he saw mcclellan's response he said, this is really important. he found the confederate troops who eventually informed lee that mcclellan has discovered something really important. we don't know what it is, but he thought it was really important. this, to mcclellan, gave him a
chance to consolidate his army and attack all the parts of the confederate army one at a time, as napoleon was famous in doing. she realized i had better pull my army together, and we probably will have to retreat back into virginia. he was always ready for a fight. but theseveral days, consequence was ultimately a battle at this little place the to, antietamnting a town on -- a town on antietam creek in maryland. , there was a mountain in between sharpsburg, and they had to cross that. they had the orders on the 13th,
the next day they fight their way through these mountain passes. it is a tough fight because it is easy to defend mountain passes, but the union had superiority in numbers. again, there is sharpsburg there. sharpsburg and asks his commanders to join him there. on that same day, stonewall jackson captured harpers ferry. but then jackson got the order you have to join us immediately because mcclellan is bearing down on us. .he 13th, lost orders the 14th, the battle. harpers ferry is taken. concentrates where these
lines are. here is antietam creek, here is the town of sharpsburg, here is where the army is concentrated. but places to defend, mcclellan has a much larger army that he gradually brings together. and this is what the situation was at dawn on november 17. one thing military historians point out is if mcclellan had the knowledgeable was going on, he should have attacked the day earlier. on the 16th, he had troops ready to fight. lee had fewer. more than two to one. unfortunately, mcclellan's famous overestimation of the other guys was in play, and he estimated lee had triple what he actually had.
by the 17th, he is ready to fight, and the battle unfolds in a series of steps in three different parts. first on the northern part of the battlefield, which is miles long, and here is the little town of sharpsburg. the confederate left and the union right, and the union right attacks at dawn. and this is probably the bloodiest several hours of the war, perhaps through the entire war. is a wheat -- excuse me, a corn field between the two armies and they fight back and forth over that cornfield for several hours. one almost gets to the other side, then is pushed back by reinforcements, and the other side is pushed back by
reinforcements over and over again. in midday, the central part of the battle -- the center of both lines. church, aa small pacifist german sect church ironically enough, and a road that had sunken below the surface that was a good defensive line for the confederates. that was attacked over and over again by union troops, and we see some of the results right there. this photo taken right after the battle. one of the regiments that attacked sunken road was the new hampshire fifth. that is colonel cross. i wanted to show you this. this is in the diamond library.
our very own professor ross is one of the editors of it. this is one of his official reports, and he also took -- he also kept a diary. his description of the battle included that he was wounded twice, but not seriously, once over the right eye and once over the left eye. that did not stop him from fighting. for battle went on again hours, and eventually the confederates were driven off the sunken road. 5th new hampshire went in officers,en and 18 and 107 of the regular men were killed or wounded. than half the officers were killed or wounded. it was dangerous to be an officer.
you are up in the front, not behind your men. phase of the battle in the south. to theantietam creek south was this bridge. you see how narrow it is. union troops to get across had and getike hell across on the other side to establish themselves, which they did. later in the day, mcclellan sent them into action. this is the confederate right being pushed back, and at that moment, some of the reinforcements from harpers ferry showed up and turned the battle again, leaving a stalemate. mcclellan, as far as we can tell, had about 75,000 people that day ready to fight.
lee had about 40,000. 20,000 did not get into the fight because mcclellan was saving them. more than wanting to win, he wanted not to lose. colonel cross wrote -- ask, is i was going to that easily walkable? prof. harris: no, it was not deep. only in a fewe, places. typical mismanagement of the war, which you can blame on mcclellan or blame on the fog of war. about a mile south, there were two fords so you could get the whole army across. knew about those, but did not know exactly where they were and did not try to find out until the battle had actually started, and it took them
several hours to find them. acrosslly troops to get there, but it was too late to be as effective as they wanted. otherwise, it was too deep to forward. -- two ford. they would have to swim across. on the other side, there was confederate soldiers and artillery. own asecame knwo burnside's bridge. and the killing was pretty horrific. cross wrote himself, in some places they laid r inanks or -- in ranks or files. some soldier who described, the
dead were in every state of mutilation. without arms, without legs, without heads, intestines flowing out. that was in addition to hundreds or thousands of horses, mingled in putrefying everywhere. army came back invading gettysburg, and they passed over the battlefield of of them, and one confederate soldiers rode home after doing that, just lying on top of the ground was a little road and they are being rooted out of the ground, and those laying on the ground with their bones picked off. a gruesome thing. i would not say they got used to it, but learned to live with. count.re is the it was the bloodiest single day of the war. not the bloodiest battle, because some battles lasted longer, take gettysburg.
we can see the union took more casualties by a small margin than the confederates. the attacking force almost always lost more casualties than the defending. force. -- and the defending force. company hady's photographers that went out and took pictures of the dead. those were the confederates defending it. that is a line of confederates ready for battle. a louisiana regiment defending a spot at a fence. that is actually union dead. most of the pictures were of the conservative -- the confederate dead. realizing how significant these pictures might
be, this was the first time there were ever photographs of an actual battle. photographs of people, yes, and you could not take photographs of battles effectively because you had to be still. dead people are still. newounted an exhibit in york city called "the dead of antietam." this was the first time the civilians got some sense of what a battle was like and how horrible it was after the fact. these stacks and stacks of bodies. these pictures, by the way -- , because a loton of these early battlefield pictures have been highly doctored, or the bodies moved around. prof. harris: good point. i actually have examples from gettysburg, so i am glad you brought it up. these were not doctored because they were just learning to do it. eight year later -- there were
examples of the photographers with a gun and he used it as a prop and would take it wherever they were to make the picture better. these were when they just started, so the people who analyze them think they are not doctored. it was a shocking thing for people in new york city, because it is one thing to see these dramatic looking, romantic, cartoon like pictures, but a very different thing to see these photographs. so, it was the bloodiest day. and the next day, the day historians call the day where nothing happened. attack,ellan planned an and his caution overcame him and he decided not to. lee, amazingly, despite the fact he was still vastly outnumbered and have been hammered, but he might attack. commanders right under
him talked him out of it. that would have been truly cruel hearted. and on the night of the 18th e's army 19th, le retreated across the potomac. again, as one historian has written, mcclellan's work in the battle was constrained by his need to avoid serious defeat. as far as mcclellan was concerned, he had won. he wrote that he had fought the battle splendidly and others called it a masterpiece of art because he had stopped the invasion, and that was his goal. not necessarily to annihilate the enemy, to stop the invasion. lincoln was not very happy. victory,s enough of a and lincoln then issued his
preliminary emancipation proclamation. finally. slaverycartoon from it, lb of given the bu emancipation. a pretty racist for trail of slavery, o obviously. literally look at the emancipation. there is an interesting story about this. this is the handwritten preliminary emancipation proclamation. i am not sure, i think lincoln put it up for auction to raise money for troops and their families, but it ended up in the new york state library, a big institution connected with the government. is one of their proud possessions, obviously, and you can see lincoln is literally crossing things out and rewriting it, and his handwriting is certainly better.
i mention it partly because one of the jobs of the new york public library when they decided to display this and put it on the website was to get it transcribed. if you go to the website, it is about four pages long of this size. it has got some stuff attached to it, and there is a transcription. and the transcription has a mistake, because one line was left out. to give a little exercise to this class, challenging students to find the line that was left out by comparing the handwritten thing. what line did they leave out? the line that leaves out the words "forever free." here is this huge institution serving the public with this large budget and able to hire people to do transcriptions, and they blew it. eventually someone told them and
they fixed the transcription, but here is a reminder. when you transcribe your letters, it is your job to make sure that doesn't happen. make sure your partner, because eventually the letters you transcribe will be on the website at unh, and we want to make sure people who cannot read the handwriting can find an accurate transcription. he starts off with eye, abraham lincoln, commander in chief. why is that so important to start with? student: it is military power to do this. prof. harris: he is doing this because he has the power as the military commander in chief to do it. let's think about that. what gives him that kind of power? let's remind ourselves, what he always said about why i cannot abolish slavery, even if i wanted to? student: he can't do it legally. prof. harris: it is protected in
the constitution, i have no power. if i had the power to do it, i wouldn't because i don't think it would be a practical thing, but i don't have the power even if i wanted to. now he does have the power. that theis convincing president can say, i am commander in chief, we are in a war, so i can abolish slavery in several states? the equivalent of many billions of dollars in property today. this is where we see, if i could abolish slavery and some places but not others, i could do it. where did he define he would of -- where he would abolish it or not? it is the confederate states, but not exactly. student: make sure the union
doesn't fold. inf. harris: places rebellion, and if the union controls them, they are no longer in rebellion. one of the places the union mostly controls at that time was the state of tennessee. tennessee was not covered by the emancipation proclamation. this connects to the military necessity. it is one thing to act as commander in chief in the middle of a war if the war is in georgia and virginia. but if we are not in a war because tennessee and kentucky and other places are part of the union now, my power as commander in chief does not reach. when was this going to take place? student: on the first day of january. prof. harris: january 1, so not right now.
what might happen in between does he say? or imply? the confederacy gets stronger. prof. harris: comeback now or it will be too late. if we can think of this as an offer, it was real in the sense -- i am sure if the confederacy said we surrender, never mind, he would have agreed to that. sometimes students say he did it because he thought the confederate states would come back. what do you think? student: i think it was his final offer. at this point, we are going to fight until the end if you do not come back now. and this is just the last chance to negotiate. prof. harris: do you think he expected any of them to come back? student: i don't think so. prof. harris: pretty unlikely to
me, at least. an ultimatum to these people have been fighting you to the death for more than a year to say nevermind now that we can keep our slaves. that is what they were fighting for themselves. effective january 1. and these slaves will be forever free. does that make sense for him to be able to do that as commander in chief? the commander in chief can presumably say we are goingfree. to seize this force or take over this set of plantations or whatever because we need to do that in order to win the war, but that wouldn't necessarily mean it would be permanent. really -- what were the tools to
allow the states to be soldiers? prof. harris: he is thinking about that. are not going to make them forever free, it is not likely they are going to fight. he does not actually say in this emancipation that they will put them in the army. when he issues the official one, he does say we will take them into the armed verses and train them -- the armed forces and train them. why is obviously a reason you want to say you will be great, because it is unlikely they would fight to stay a slave. congress has allowed it, but it has not required it. slave who runsny to our lines will be forever
free. and allowed the slaves to enter the army. they are free. he is decreeing, at least in his mind and the public statements, slaves in georgia and virginia are now free, which is why -- i times," was "the london said the principle seems to be that the principle is not that human being cannot justly own another, but he cannot justly own another unless he is loyal to the united states. student: it was the ultimate tool to get slaves to run from their masters. they saw them as etoile -- as a tool. it would cripple the confederacy's military machine. prof. harris: i think that is a good point. we know from some of these interviews and testimony of
soldiers, union soldiers during talked and reporters who to slaves during and after the war, the slaves almost all over the south new about this -- all over the south knew about this. a lot union soldiers who captured or escaped were assisted by slaves who were aware of what was going on. accounts we all knew that if the union won, slavery would be over. it is looking at the long-term results that lincoln was doing. the immediate practical result was nothing. obviouslye union army could not free slaves.
if it was not stationed there, the emancipation proclamation did not apply. military advisor wrote a grant shortly afterwards, there is no possible hope of reconciliation. we must conquer the rebels or be conquered i them -- concord by we are going to win. the slaves will be free or we are not going to win. don. is it a coincidence that the 13th amendment was a true freeing of the slaves, or do you think he thought he could do this forever? prof. harris: it is not clear because he did not say explicitly. given how hard he worked to get the amendment passed, he did believe there were two possibilities. and that the war would and the parts not covered by the
emancipation proclamation -- kentucky, parts of louisiana and tennessee -- and the second one was, maybe the supreme court will rule that my decision was unconstitutional. war,he beginning of the judge tawny was still the head of the supreme court. lincoln was concerned about what would happen if the war ended. would my forever free demand requirement hold up? so that is one reason why he pushed her the 13th amendment. it did not get ratified until after he was dead, and how that happened is a part of reconstruction. and again, only places that were in rebellion would be affected. if we conquered areas or they
were part of the union, those slaves were not affected. war hadhis time, the become by official policy of war against slavery. well, what about people who were loyal to the union but were stuck in the confederacy? they can issue claims. it was a very controversial decision i want to mention briefly. there was another invasion going on in kentucky which involved a lot of marching, and not a great deal of writing. again, the, confederacy got a few volunteers. there was a significant battle at the small town of perryville
almost three weeks after antietam. draw, but the confederates retreated to tennessee. both invasions failed. but there was one more big battle coming up, and those were the elections going on in the north. , on top of , through thise other monkey wrench into the system. he suspended habeas corpus. what is habeas corpus? what is the right of habeas corpus? student: the right to know why you are being held? to knowrris: the right why you are being held if you are arrested. tried before a judge or at least equivalent, or you must be released. by lincoln suspending the right of habeas corpus, he could
suspend -- he could throw people in jail without charging them. and a lot of people who were complaining about the war writing editorials against it ended up being jailed. the person who wrote the best book about this estimates that 10,000 people were arrested. not necessarily charged with a crime, either. in confederate states that were overrun by the army, but some were in border states. editors in kentucky who were -- twol of union policy critical in the view of military commanders -- for example. student: was it suspended because it would've gone against first amendment rights? prof. harris: he suspended he wantedpus because
some people in jail even though he knew he could not present evidence in court that they had committed a crime. sometimes, it is because they had not committed a normal crime but had expressed themselves in a newspaper. normally, that would be protected by the first amendment. but the only way someone could say there amendment rights were being violated would be to go before a judge and plead habeas corpus. thatnt: if he had to do for the entire country, why not specifically to the enemy states? why not just through the military? prof. harris: good question, dissidentsgerous could be in the union. there is a case i will talk about later where prominent ohio politician was arrested for making a speech, for example. this was in ohio. so we -- he wanted to apply it
to the entire country. he wanted to prevent people from helping draft resisters, but tyranny is the democratic party charged? or is this also a reasonable war policy? you seem skeptical, rihanna. student: i would not have supported it. student: if lincoln had not been everything it was about was preserving the union. so like you said, he was willing to do anything to do that. prof. harris: he was. and, the president has the right to suspend habeas corpus. before,ever happened just by presidential decree. is going on,ign and the democrats attacked
lincoln on a number of grounds. there is a lot of opposition to the emancipation proclamation. some of it came from mcclellan and his top commanders. the highest ranking general in the war from new hampshire was a guy by the name of fitzjohn porter. " the proclamation is absurd. it causes discussed in the army." mcclelland himself said he could not make up his mind to fight for such an accursed document. equating the emancipation proclamation with turner's. i am sorry you are engaged in this hellish war which has no other purpose but to free the negroes and enslave the whites.
come home, and you will be protected. the catholic bishop of new york city. " caplets will fight to the death to support the constitution. " the irish brigade at antietam had taken significant casualties. but, if they are to fight for the abolition of slavery, they will turn away from the discharge of patriotic duty. the democratic candidate for governor of new york, in one of broadsides that a vote for seymour is a vote to protect white laborers against the association and competition of southern negroes. where have we heard this? student: in california. or maybe the westward expansion. prof. harris: right. do you remember the name of the guy? student: wilmot.
prof. harris: wilmot. back in the 1850 controversy over what would happen if the new territories taken from proviso,or these oh -- because they wanted to protect those lands from association with negroes. it aore himself called proposal for the butchery of women and children. for scenes of arson and murder. student: did the proclamation include the part about conversation? prof. harris: no. but he mentions this later in the message i am going to show you. democrats complained that, again, lincoln was acting like a dictator.
he is seeking to inaugurate arraign of terror. the military arrest of citizens without a trial, to browbeat all opposition on these false charges of this loyalty. disloyalty. a terribletion is idea. lincoln is becoming a dictator. it worked to the extent that democrats one more seats in the house of representatives and governorships, but they still did not have a majority in either house of congress. in indiana, the democrats took control of the legislature. for tried to cut funding raising troops from indiana. the money came from the states. the tried to starve
money becausetax the governor was the republican. the governor appealed to washington for help. -- lincoln's administration -- sent him money from the war department to run the state of indiana, and to help recruit soldiers. not the waytainly the constitution said it was supposed to happen. but the republicans still basically controlled the political situation. that left lincoln free to do what he wanted to do to mcclelland. he met with him a few days after the battle of antietam. there is a famous picture of him towering over mcclelland and these other people. and again, they are standing formally, because if you move, the picture does not come out.
he demands that mcclelland follow lee. says no, we are to beat up. we need to recuperate. -- we are too be up. when he complains that his horses were in bad shape after "e battle, lincoln wrote, pardon me for asking what the horses have done since the battle that would fatigue anything?" on november 7 after the election, he buyers mcclellan -- fires mcclelland. he becomes a democratic candidate in 1864 for president. ultimately, he was a politician as well as an army commander. here is aecember -- picture of lincoln taken in 1862
by matthew brady -- lincoln sends a message to congress proposing amendments to the constitution. it is not the 13th amendment. of admendments. one would begin emancipation, but not completed until 1900. so a very gradual emancipation that would take more than 35 years. secondly, there would be compensation for all owners who had not been rebels. themain, not just buying -- not just freeing them, but buying them off. third, it would allow congress to pay for colonization of negroes who wanted to leave the country voluntarily. it would not force them out of the country as thomas jefferson expected.
but it still shows that in late 1862, lincoln is holding into the idea that the best thing to do is colonize african-americans outside of the country. theit is fair to end with last part of that statement to congress. anybody notice the title of the talk, whether you went or not? student: the fiery trial. prof. harris: the fiery trial. this is from his message to congress in 1862. of the quiet past are nothing to the stormy present. we must rise with the occasion. mustr case is new, so we think anew and act anew. we must do some for all -- dis
enthrall ourselves. fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. congress and administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. no personal significance or insignificance could spare one another of us. the fiery trial through which we insed will light us down honor or dishonor to the latest generation. we say we are for the union, and the world will not forget we say this. we know how to save the union. poweren we here, hold the and bear the responsibility. giving them to the slave ensures freedom to the free. honorable alike and what we did and preserve. losee shall nobly save or the last, best work." that is it for today. see you on monday.
>> join us every saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. as we join students in college classrooms to hear lectures on topics ranging from the american revolution to 9/11. lectures in history are also available as podcasts. or downloadbsite them from itunes. >> next, holocaust survivor emmanuelle mandel discusses his survival of the holocaust. emanuel and his family were eventually transported to bergen-belsen, where anne frank died. this is about 40 minutes.