Skip to main content

tv   Book Discussion  CSPAN  October 25, 2014 8:00am-9:01am EDT

8:00 am
>> you're watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> here are some programs to watch on booktv this weekend. we're live from the texas book festival in austin where we'll bring you numerous author talks and panel discussions. retired four-star general wesley clark comments on america's superpower status. linda -- [inaudible] remembers living paycheck to bay check and argues for the need to assist america's poor on "after words." and jack cash el takes a critical look at the obama administration as well as books about the women's movement, the
8:01 am
iraq war, an inside look at google and much more. for more information on this weekend's 48-hour television schedule can, visit us online at >> up next on booktv, s.c. gwynne recounts the life and military career of confederate general thomas "stonewall" jack soften. this program, from the atlanta history certain, is just under an hour. [applause] >> our speaker tonight, s.c. gwynne, lived in austin, texas. he is a prolific writer. he has written for "time" magazine for 12 years where he won a national headliners' award for his reporting on the to columbine shootings. he's written for the boston globe, "dallas morning news", san francisco chronicle, he was executive director for the texas monthly between 2000 and 2008 where he wrote on various high
8:02 am
profile subjects from karl rove to the bush white house to the infamous houston surgeon, aka dr. evil, and this was included in harper perennial press' best american crime writing anthology in 2006. gives you an idea of what the doctor was up to. sam gwynne comes from a varied background. he first started out as a french teacher, then he was in international banking, and that led to his career in journalism because, he says, he was one of the few people who could write who didn't mind writing about financial issues. laugh -- [laughter] so among other books, several books on financial issues, and his i last book was "empire of the summer moon" which is about quanah parker and the comanche indian nation, the rise and fall
8:03 am
art comanche indian nation in the 19th century. this was a new york times bestseller and a finalist for the pulitzer prize which gave him a lot of latitude to choose his topic for tonight. his latest work is "rebel yell: the violence, passion and redemption of stonewall jackson jackson," which was released today -- that's right, you are the first audience in his 15-city tour, the first audience to hear sam gwynne talk about stonewall jackson. let's give him a warm welcome. [applause] >> it worked. [laughter] i would like to invite you
8:04 am
tonight to imagine thomas j. jackson as he might have looked to the world on thursday, april 11, 1861, that's one day before the civil war began. he's 37. he's thin enough that you might have called him gaunt. he's about six feet tall which makes him about five inches taller than the average adult male of his day. you would have noticed his pale, blue-gray eyes, his thin lips which always seemed to be tightly pressed together. you would have also noticed his large hands and feet, so large he did not seem to know what to do with them. you would have found him, as everyone did, shy and very quiet. his silence was the most striking thing about him. you would have found it difficult to engage him, mostly because he refused to go along with even the most routine conventions of everyday conversation. he refused to say that he wished
8:05 am
anything was different than it was, meaning he could not bring himself to wish that it were warmer or colder outside than it was or even if some sent had not happened. -- accident had not happened. if you said, boy, it would be nice if it stopped raining, he would say, yes, if the maker of the rain thinks it best. [laughter] he wouldn't say anything bad about anyone else, even when goaded to do it, which meant he could not participate in even the most rudimentary forms of gossip. he refused to talk about himself. he could be maddeningly literal. when someone used the term "you know" in conversation, he would interrupt to point out that he did not, in fact, know. [laughter] he was even worse in large groups. when he stood to speak in a public forum, he often falter ored and stammered and was forced to sit down without finishing, but then he would often rise again to try again only to sputter more miserably
8:06 am
and sit down again red-faced while everyone around him cringed and looked away. wherever he was at precisely 9:00 in the evening, he would excuse himself and go home even if someone was in the middle of a sentence. these were the mild eccentricities. [laughter] he was obsessed with his own health. he sought water cures at mineral springs all over the country. he often ate nothing more than cold water and stale bread or sometimes butter milk and stale bread or sometimes cold meat and stale bread. he would bring his own food to dinner parties. he obsessed about anything involving his body starting with his eyes and digestive system but end clueing z his -- including his throat, kidneys and nervous system. he swallowed ammonia. he once became convinced that one side of him was heavier than the other and, thus, did exercises in order to even that out, some of which involved
8:07 am
leaping and hopping. though he did have some genuine physical ailments, his brother-in-law believed that he was a hype connedly yak -- hypochondriac. [laughter] in spite of all of this, he managed to hold a job at a military school, the virginia military institute, in lexington, virginia. he taught a course called natural and experimental physiology, we would call it physics today, which included the most difficult concepts of the day including electricity, magnetics, acoustics, optics and astronomy. though it count -- accounts of his eccentricities sometimes differ, there was agreement that he was absolutely one of the worst teachers anyone had ever seen. [laughter] he just assigned brutally difficult assignments and then had the students come up and do recitations at the blackboard. he insisted on rote
8:08 am
memorization. when the students asked him for an explanation, he would simply cite the precise words from the textbook which he had committed to memory. you might think such a stickler for detail was also a stickler for discipline. but, in fact, the worst was true. his classes were often pure pandemonium. when he turned his back, pitballs would fly -- spitballs would fly, cadets would walk behind him mimicking his strange steps, and various pieces of cannon would go rolling and spinning down the hill with the professor flailing in pursuit. you would have said in this major thomas j. jackson was, if not a loser, something close to it. to call him a failure is too harsh. there were stories that he had had distinguished service in the mexican war 15 years before. but he just wasn't very good at anything. he was part of that great undifferentiated mass of second rate humanity who weren't going
8:09 am
anywhere in life. and though he never changed his behavior to match that of lexington society, over the decade that he thought at vmi -- and by the way, that is vmi as it looked before the war and before the yankees burned it -- during the time he was there, the decade he was there, the town kind of adapted itself to him. he was a harmless, decent, church-going man. he even ran a sunday school for slaves. in his own way, lexington got used to him and even came to appreciate him. he was a curiosity, a sort of minor civic institution. what you would not have known if you were walking the streets of lexington, in april of 1861 -- and this is what it looked like just immediately pre-war lexington. jackson's house is a little that way and his church is a little that way. what you would not have known april of '61 was all of the preceding dingses of jackson are
8:10 am
almost -- descriptions of jackson did not begin to capture who he really was. while lexington knew the caricature jackson -- the health crank, the unbending professor, the social bore -- the women in his life saw someone else entirely. this is ellie, his first wife. he lost her in childbirth giving birth to his stillborn son. this is her sister maggie with whom jackson was in love but could not marry because of the rules of the presbyterian church. this is anna, his second wife. seen here with the daughter, julia, who would be born later during the war. concealed behind that carefully constructed social front was a deeply -- was a passionate and deeply sensitive man. jackson loved shakespeare and
8:11 am
the architecture of gothic cathedrals. when he did a tour of europe, he paid almost no attention to battlefields, it was almost all cathedrals and art. he was completely fluent in spanish. he had a 19th century romantic's embrace of beauty and nature, glorying in sunsets and mountain views. he had an almost mystical sense of god. behind closed doors he would joke and laugh uproar rousely, he loved to play with children, rolling around on the floor. no one in lexington, no one on the planet earth except these few women knew any of about him. it all happened behind closed doors. this side of his personality was deliberately and ingeniously cloaked, and his neighbors would have been astonished to know of its existence. but this, too, was major jackson. now i would like you to imagine
8:12 am
thomas j. jackson as he might have looked to the world on thursday, june 19th, 1862, exactly 14 months later, as the train he is riding pulls into the station at charlottesville, virginia. in the previous 80 days, jackson -- now known throughout the country by his nickname, "stonewall," -- had turned the civil war upside down. during a time when rebel armies were going down to defeat in mississippi, tennessee, louisiana and the klein thats, jackson -- carolinas, jackson had taken a small force and deployed it with such dazzling skill that he had soundly beaten union armies totaling 52,000 men. his troops at one point covered an awe sounding 646 miles in 48 days fighting five major battles. he marched them at a pace unknown to soldiers of the day. his army seemed to appear out of nowhere, striking out of
8:13 am
mountain passes and from concealed valleys. he used trains in a way they had never been used before in tactical warfare. by the end of campaign, he had driven four union armies from the greater part of the she man doe what valley, captured 3500 prisoners, 9,000 small arms and a huge quantity of stores and supplies. he had then evaded a massive movement designed personally by abraham lincoln to destroy him. and then when everybody on both sides thought that he had no choice but to flee, he turned on both jaws of the pinser, two union armies, and beat them in succession. but he had done more than just drive union armies from the valley, he had also knocked the entire 150,000-man union offensive against richmond off balance. at one point the threat of jackson was perceived to be so dire that he created even a minor panic in washington d.c. all this made him famous. in a war where techniques were
8:14 am
being reinvented almost hour by hour, jackson's intelligence, speed and acompression were the wounders of north and south alike. he was the talk of london and paris where he was already, where his valley campaign was already being compared to napoleon's legendary italian campaign. just at that moment, this would be in june of 1862, he was the most famous military man in the world. and in case you were wonder wondering -- oops -- in case you were wondering, robert e. lee has to point in the war been a sort of glorified military sidekick to president jefferson davis. that will soon change, of course. it was lee's partnership with jackson, in fact, that changed the civil war in the east in 1862 more than any other single factor. but for now lee is just another general with a sketchy civil war record. to the south itself, jackson had won his battles just when hopes
8:15 am
were at their lowest. what the confederacy had desperately needed in a war it was obviously losing was a myth of invincibility, proof of notions of the courageous southern character were not just romantic dreams, proof that with inferior resources, it could still win the war. jackson, with his brilliant underdog valley campaign had given that to them. that train he was riding on june 19th that i mentioned a few moments ago was headed to rich where at that moment 120,000 union soldiers faced a mere 65,000 confederates, one of the biggest mismatches of the war. it was thought on both sides that richmond would fall. jackson was coming on that train to save the city, and by extension, to safe the confederacy. that's what people in the south thought anyway. and those were absurd, unrealistic expectations to load onto one disheveled general and two divisionings of exhausted
8:16 am
men, as brilliant as their valley campaign might have been. and yet it's a matter of record that jackson did exactly that. two months after his arrival in richmond in the her of 1862 -- in the summer of 1862, mainly on the strength of lee's daring and jackson's astounding maneuvers, the capitol being threatened was no longer richmond, but washington. the greatest military disaster of the war to date, the second battle of manassas. as i was working on this book, people would ask me what it was that got me interested in writing about stonewall jack soften. well -- jackson. well, i rest my case. [laughter] what i have just described for you was an astonishing transformation of an apparently ordinary man or perhaps ordinary is even too kind, slightly eccentric, ordinary man in less than 14 months. of course, the war transformed
8:17 am
many people. ulysses s. grant, the most famous of these, was a washout from the army and a miserable failure in business. when the war began, he was working as a lowly clerk in his father's leather shop in illinois. william tecumseh sherman was teaching at a tiny military school in louisiana when the war started. jackson's rise to fame, power and legend was every bit as deep and transfiguring as that of the two union generals, but it happened much faster. his ascent was much steeper, more dramatic. his effect on the first two years of the civil war more profound. now, one measure of fame, i guess, is whether people write songs about you while you are still alive. i'm sure many of you are at the top of your fields, but i'm not sure if anyone has written songs about you yet. [laughter] i'm about to lay you one here -- play you one here that is a very popular confederate song of the civil war called stonewall
8:18 am
jackson's way. i'm just going to play you a little bit of it. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> okay. you get the idea. [laughter] many verses. many verses, and the soldiers knew them all. so how does such a thing happen to someone who looked to almost everyone at the start of the war like a very ordinary man? let's start with the battle of first manassas, or as the yankees who like to name battles after water courses had it, bold run. here we can see the early mechanisms of fame at work.
8:19 am
we're in the her of 1861 -- in the summer of 186 3, the first -- 1861, the first year of the war. everybody knew that the first great battle would be fought in northern virginia. everybody on both sides believed it would be definitive. the cowards would be sorted out from the heroes x there would be much glory in the sorting out, and both sides were absolutely convinced they were going to win. on july 21, 1861, a union army and a confederate army faced each other across a slow-moving stream called bull run. this was a few miles north of the critical rail cross roads at manassas junction and about 30 miles due west of washington. here is your basic set up. down here we have manassas junction, that's the critical, the strategic rail junction that's the reason the battle was fought there. washington's over here on the curtain somewhere 30 miles away. you have the meandering bull run
8:20 am
here, and then you have, essentially, in blue here the union troops battle line on this side, confederates on this side. what you're about to see is a battle animation, but it's a very primitive one. and this is my first speech, and i realize it's a mistake. so, please, do not hold me to this. but it is meant to suggest roughly how the battle worked. my wife and i are going to tweak this and make sure it get better. basically, what happened is this: the union executed a brilliant and largely undetected flank march around the confederate left. confederate high command down here had no idea this was happening. and, thus, putting 18,000, union troops in the confederate rear down here, and this is how the battle started. and now let's see if i can make this work. pretty good, huh? [laughter] for amateurs. [laughter] okay. this is -- okay, there they go.
8:21 am
[laughter] okay, so this is very interesting now. this is a military disaster, to have that kind of flank movement in your rear is an absolute disaster. and so what happens is very interesting. some -- both a few confederate brigades detect that movement, and they move to stop the federal advance here. okay. however, we have a little problem. 18,000 federals and about 4,000 confederates, it is a gross overmatch. then what happens is a very sharp battle, a very fierce battle is fought, but it doesn't last that long, and the confederates are routed from the field. all right, now enter jackson. jackson -- oops, goes too fast. jackson, who was in this area here also without orders, moves
8:22 am
this way to intercept the oncoming union forces. and what's interesting here is that when jackson arrives here in late morning, what he, what he sees basically is a full scale, bloody confederate retreat. and what he saw in front of him was an absolutely full-blown military disaster, and there was no doubt about it. no sign of rebel troops rallying or union troops withdrawing or no confederate artillery moving forward to blast the federalists from the hill. the scene was complete bloody chaos. they're driving us, general bernard b. yelled to jackson as he and his wounded men streamed past. jackson's response was peculiar and also characteristic of the man. sir, we will give them the bayonet. hardly anyone would die in the civil war of bayonet wounds, but the point was clear enough. a bayonet was an intensely
8:23 am
personal way to kill someone. jackson meant business. his first concern was amazingly not whether they should retreat or how soon he could be reinforced or how with only 2600 men and a few cannons he was going to stop the federal juggernaut. his reaction was instinctive and immediate, fight. fight now, hold the line. whoops. now watch this. watch 'em turn around. turn to face the union troops. okay. [laughter] okay, so here wes, he's arrived here with his 2600 men. five virginia brigades. he's up on top of henry hill which is a flat place, it gets steep going down to the warren ton pike, but on top of this hill, it's sort of flat. what he did next was deeply unorthodox. union forces were still
8:24 am
arrangedden matthews hill -- arranged on matthews hill. the nominal high ground from which his guns and infantry would have looked down the slope toward the warnton pike. the conventional high ground, right? but instead, he chose the southeastern hedge of the hill, the reverse slope. he went back here to this edge of the field. here on this even though the top of the hill was flat, on this side of it, it was thick with pine trees. jackson could put his by fade there, and they would be unseen by the federal cannons on matthews hill. even better, his own guns could roll forward, fire and be carried back to safety on the recoil on the downward slope. finally, it offered him an unobstructed field of fire, union troops would now have to cross 30 to 0 yards to get to him. again, this is very approximate. in a literal storm of federal
8:25 am
artillery, jackson ranged up and down his line here putting his lines into place. around this time the federal high command, bow regard and johnson, final figured out that the battle was not in front of them, but was behind them. now, it took them quite a long time to figure this out. as soon as they had figured this out, they immediately grasped the brilliance of jackson's position, and they immediately began to build the battle around him. the battle of bull run or first manassas was not going to take place here, it was going to take place back here, the it was going to be -- it was going to be, essentially, a battle for the top of henry hill, and the center of that battle was going to be stonewall jackson's five virginia brigades. he became the center of the fight. now, the result, as you know, was a stunning confederate victory. union troops were not only routed, they turned into a wild,
8:26 am
unruly mob that fled in panic clear back to washington, trampling over senators and congressmen and their wives who had come out to see the union victory. [laughter] but jackson had been one of the battle's clear heroes, and it was here that thomas j. jackson became or at least started to become stonewall jackson. and it was here that the machinery of fame and legend began to crank into action. while the battle for the top of the hill was raising, barr forward b. had, after hours of searching, finally caught up to what was left of his brigade. this was the fourth alabama, bloodied and exhausted from its morning fight, they were resting about 500 yards behind the spot where jack soften was fighting. -- jackson was fighting. b. found his men about here. he went up to them and asked if they would be willing to reenter the fight. they said they would. b. then pointed to his left up the slope toward the pine ridge
8:27 am
where the, where jackson stood fighting. on the edge of henry hill. quote: yonder stands jackson like a stone wall, b. said to his men. let's go to his assistance. at the time b.'s statement -- which was overheard by four witnesses -- probably just sounded like an inspiring bit of metaphorical language. but it became one of the most famous utterances of the war not just because he had less than an hour to live, not just because the battle was about to turn decisively in the south's favor, but also was they gave -- because they gave birth to a name and a legend. something else interesting happened. jackson had ordered his men to wait in the woods until the enemy had come within 50 yards, quote, then fire and give them the bayonet, he told them. jackson had this thing about
8:28 am
bayonets. and then he said, when you charge, yell like the furies. curious thing to say. it's not clear exactly what the men took this to mean or how many of them knew what furies were, but when they charged, they made a noise that no one had heard before and whose exact inspiration is unknown, though there are many theories. it was the implausible result of a sequence of sounds that were somewhere between the screech of a bird and the bark of a fox. i would do them for you, but i would embarrass myself. [laughter] the noise sounded unearthly and inhuman, and it was the stuff of union nightmares for years to come. soldiers described it in various ways, among them it was like a corkscrew going up your spine. what's interesting is that historically the rebel yells that people heard tended to be done by old codgers at their reunions in the early 20th century. they sounded kind of fun, but they didn't sound like a corkscrew up the spine. so the museum of the
8:29 am
confederates did great work, they got ahold of a couple of soldiers and said you do it all by yourself, what does it sound like, and they did it. and the museum layered in the sounds in order to create the way it would sound with many more people. and i'm going to play you -- and by the way, they have a cd if you're interested in this. it's great. [laughter] i know, i'm not working for them, and i get no cut of the cd. okay, so let's go here. okay, here's the rebel yell. would have scared me. [laughter] anyway, that's changed the perception of the rebel yell. reenactors now more and more do
8:30 am
that and not the other one. but back to the mechanisms of fame. when the battle of manassas was over, the lion's share of credit for the confederate victory went to beau regard even though it had rested on the shoulders of b. and jackson acting without orders. jackson's central role -- his brigade suffered the worst casualties of any in the battle -- went at first unnoticed. his role was not mentioned for a full week after the battle. the slight was so obvious that his wife anna even wrote to him to complain about it. he replied to her, quote: so you think the papers ought to say more about your husband? my brigade is not a brigade of newspaper correspondents. it is not to be expected that i should receive the credit that other generals would. but then something interesting began to happen. ..
8:31 am
about be were also stories about jackson. there were men who fought on henry hill and knew what jackson did and they spread the word for their letters home. jackson began to arrive in hearts all over the south. the noon nick name had a nice ring to it, stonewall. it was the way the south like to think of its fighters. in the early days a few union
8:32 am
soldiers got a humorously ron bloom one regiment gave him to understand they were about to face the dreaded stone fence jackson. the title of the book would be different. note that the nickname attached itself to five regiments, it became for the rest of the war and into history the stonewall brigade. the most famous fighting unit of the confederacy. in a story of great change in a man's life one of the most striking transformation occurs at the end of that life. the meeting 62 jackson had remade himself as an instant legend with the valley campaign, a stunning victories of the army of northern virginia in seven days, second manassas and fredericksburg with a drawn battle against a vastly larger foe at antietam. that winter he fulfilled other ambitions too. after losing his first wife during the birth of a stillborn
8:33 am
son and losing a daughter in infancy through second marriage jackson, who had been himself for an that 7 finally became a father. when his wife and baby daughter came to visit him he had finally reassembled the family he had lost. he was a deeply with this man and i believe strongly that if he had had any kind of social and personal skills which he did not have or any public speaking skills which he did not have he almost certainly would have been best presbyterian minister. but he realized that he could not do this and he was right about that but now that winter, the winter of 1862-1863, he became a driving force almost entirely behind-the-scenes of the enormous wave of christian revival but swept through the confederate army. he was also transformed in many ways that winter but in one way
8:34 am
he was was physically and this is something his wife noticed and other people noticed. going back to the first photograph or the second photograph that i show you from the late 50s taken just before the war. this is the famous chancellor's photo. a remarkable physical transformation. his wife thought he looked much better and i do too. that kind of photography can lie but that seems like a remarkable change in a very short period of time. there was chancellorsville. robert e. lee and stonewall jackson marched out with 60,000 men to case 130,000 union soldiers and drove the entire union army away. jackson engineered the most brilliant march. robert e. lee had his and the south's greatest victory. one officer put it walking jackson ride out with lee on the
8:35 am
first day of the battle comet as a fighter and leader he was all that could ever be given to a man's fate and then jackson was dead, victims of an accidental shooting by his own men and pneumonia that set in after words. he was shot by his own men. his arm was amputated. he was recovering pretty well in this house before the pneumonia set in and worked pretty quickly. this is is death mask. on display at the valentine museum in richmond. it is fascinating to look at that you can also see how easy it it was from the pneumonia that killed him. what happened in the wake of jackson's death was unique in american history ended with characterized by something most other historians fail to notice and that is the fact that
8:36 am
jackson's death triggered the first great national outpouring of grief for a fallen leader in american history. that may sound odd to you. national grief? yes. the confederacy was a nation and a large one. to be sure there had been a few big state funerals. benjamin franklin to 20,000 in philadelphia in 1790. about 100,000 came after the death of zachary taylor in 1850 but when franklin died in 84 he was sick and obese, his glory days long past. washington died 67 and quietly with no fanfare as was jefferson who died in the g 3. john adams died and 90 in quincy, mass. but the meaning of jackson, the closest parallel might have been george washington's death on the battlefield at yorktown in 1781 but of course that never happened.
8:37 am
jackson's death touched the hearts of every home in the south. there were remarkable parallels with another death two years later that overshadowed jackson's death in american history. that of abraham lincoln. the similarities between the two were striking starting with their symbolism. all that wild grief was not just for the two leaders. their deaths in greece the deaths of all soldiers on battlefields far away. their bodies became the bodies of young men who would would never come home, their funeral stood in for the hundreds of thousands of funerals of dead soldiers that would never take place. lincoln and jackson in death where the vessel in which the heart of the american nation north and south would beat ford. what happened after lincoln's death was called the national funeral. in confederate terms jackson's was too but there were other similarities. both died at the height of their power and achievement and high water marks of their respective
8:38 am
countries. bose transported home by train is that wound to the countryside met by thousands of grieving americans. the scale of lincoln was much larger. lynchburg was not new york. richmond was not chicago. the intensity of emotion was the same. there were notable differences. in death lincoln remains deeply unpopular figure in the south. southerners understood correctly that he would have treated them better in the aftermath of the war than the radical republicans but they still hated him. not so jackson in the north. there were many expressions of admiration and morning. many northerners had mixed feelings about it. i rejoice at stonewall jackson's death as a gain to our cause, wrote union general k. warren, one of the heroes of gettysburg, yet in my soldier's heart i cannot but see him as the best soldier in all of this war and
8:39 am
grief at his untimely end. [applause] >> am happy to take questions. you want to come to the microphone if you want to ask some questions. >> you describe -- can you hear me? >> i can hear you. >> you describe jackson's brilliance from the beginning of the war. why did lee become the commander and checks insubordinate rhetoric and the other way around? >> that has its roots in the's record before the war. jackson was not well thought of that the beginning of the war. lee was extremely well thought of that the beginning of the war so started in a higher position. jackson was given commission as major. he had to fight to get to colonel and had to fight his way
8:40 am
up. lincoln started at the top of the heat. lincoln was offered head of the union army. i think it was largely that. also there is another reason jackson in the larger sense could never have done -- didn't have those skills. he was the most brilliant executive officer the sun ever shown on but he has a weakness and flaws. we were talking about patton. if you ever saw the movie patton he was a brilliant general, had his flaws that you could never have seen him as eisenhower. that is the same with jackson and lee. >> i always wonder what happened at the seven days battle. jackson makes a great march from the valley and get down there and sit down and takes a nap under a 3 or against a fence. what is your opinion as to what
8:41 am
happened? >> good question. did you all hear that question? the question is -- i will summarize. is a big historical controversy. the seven days that happened after the brilliant valley campaign jackson did not perform at his best, and historians up and down. seven days was based on a bumbling performance from everybody from lee and his staff on down but people included jackson in that too. the question is how badly did jackson performed? something i address in the book. the seven days was the defense of richmond. in seven days the net effect the big picture of the seven days was leaked mcclellan's army clear across and down to the
8:42 am
james river and carat behind mother's kids, the navy gunboats. a larger union on was defeated in raleigh. big picture. small picture, the details are very ugly. jackson's role in the seven days -- i will say what i say about it. he has been challenged, his performance has been challenged and savage station and white oaks swamp. of those i believe he is guilty of only one. the other was bad staff work by everyone, particularly -- lee didn't know what to do. jackson was not responsible for those three of four. swamp which was the actual opportunity lee had to destroy mcclellan's army, the big one where mcclellan strung out halfway across the peninsula,
8:43 am
jackson absolutely fails and other confederate generals failed too. my interpretation of that is because what happened was jackson suddenly became not aggressive. jackson, the most aggressive commander america has ever produced, i would certainly rank him with peyton and macarthur and a few others suddenly becomes completely passive. why does jackson -- he is sitting there, has a union army in front of him and he essentially sit down. becomes with the passive. don't send a message to leave it doesn't send one to him either but this inexplicable moment, the only explanation i can find ford because if you have a person all of his behavior is completely consistent except for one time there has to be something that changed.
8:44 am
jackson had almost no sleep in ten days. you is quite sick with something that may have been the flu. he was at the end of his physical strength, fell asleep with a biscuit in his mouth, was faced down on the plate when he didn't do anything. we been looking at a person in the middle of a complete physical breakdown. i think that is his fall. he should recuse himself, he should have let somebody else take over the army. it was a mistake on his part and he should be held responsible for it, but there have been -- in the accounts saying jackson screwed up all the way down seven days that really isn't true and it is interesting because in the seven days the big picture is a small confederate army kicked the crap out of a large union armies that is the big picture and the way the nation saw it. they didn't see if this has all kinds of terrible communication
8:45 am
problems and logistical problems the confederate army had. also as i said before the interesting thing is from the moment of the end of the valley campaign to the spectacular victory in second manassas when the army is driven back into washington is still only two months so i think we have to look at the way the south looked at jackson, seven days, he is now more famous than ever and very shortly later he and lead drive the union army back to washington. so it was a bit of a matter of perception and also it is mostly something that has been litigated and passed out in the post he bore years. was not such an issue back then. too long unanswered. very good question. yes, sir, somebody come in? okay. speak close to the microphone.
8:46 am
>> three questions. one, how long did your research take? >> four years. >> when you're doing research there's always a point when you get excited because it all comes together. they have any of those points and third, how old was stonewalled when he died? >> 39. he looks older than that. it all came together. i don't know. i can't think of a single moment when that happened. it was all so gradual and takes place over a long period of time. there were moments, it is always a pleasure to me anyway. i like civil war battles and there were some moments. i remember standing in antietam with my brother-in-law when the scales finally fell from my eyes
8:47 am
and dentists and why lee cook that ground for being at the unfinished railroad at manassas where i suddenly understood the battle. those are really cool. the understanding of his personal side is his relationship with his wives and so forth was much more gradual. didn't come in a blinding flash. >> you mentioned at the start that jackson had been very innovative and i was wondering if you could expand upon that. >> jackson's innovation. in the early war, it was pretty extraordinary, one thing he doesn't even get credit for is at the beginning of the war everybody put artillery with brigades and that became the thing. footing or artillery with the brigade wasn't very good idea.
8:48 am
massing or artillery -- very early in march of 1862, i think the part of his innovation -- nobody in washington had a clue that anything could move that quickly. his idea -- a lot of times he would jettison his supply train, they would just take off and the speed that it happened that would be almost as though your friend is in cleveland and an hour later he is in tokyo and wait a second, it is not physically possible for man to go that far. that is how washington saw valley campaign. to them jackson would appear in a puff of smoke because the union did not march -- the speed of the march was innovative. the deceptions were innovative. in the valley campaign one of the ways he made his army
8:49 am
disappear, cook them over the blue ridge out of the shenandoah valley and they disappeared from the valley but he had commandeered a series of trains that then brought his soldiers back to the valley. one of the first uses of trains in tactical warfare. teammate the army disappear and reappear in stanton so nobody knew where it came from. puff of smoke. we are in the early war. no one knows how to fight the war yet. it is invented moment by moment. everyone is trying to redefine the mexican war but it doesn't work. jackson's use of supply trains in the civil war every army having zillions of wagons with stuff on it. this was a burden you had to bear. was very good with supply trains. he wasn't a pure tactical genius. his sense -- he was pretty good
8:50 am
at it and and tea and you could say was an absolute masterpiece and so was second manassas but he had his moments of tactics but to meet the brilliance of jackson was maneuver. getting the army faster and quicker to a given point where it usually found a smaller force, the valley campaign was faster and more effective than someone else and in a lot of jackson's battles the maneuver had won the battle before anyone else shot a rifle. >> i haven't read the book yet but i am curious to see if you can up with any insight as to who lost order 191 before antietam. >> this is the famous -- the
8:51 am
question is about the famous battle orders the details every conceivable part of what would eventually become antietam including jackson's dispatched to harpers ferry and all the movements of the confederate troops came into the hands wrapped around some secondes and the mcclellan guest didn't go i got it and of course he doesn't which is a great punchline. i have not -- i didn't break any ground. i read it like everybody else. just a great moment. sorry. >> hi. i was wondering what sort of data you gathered to form your argument, especially about the relationship with his wife because that obviously is such a subjective topic, just how you gathered that. >> good question. how did i do the research on his
8:52 am
wife or wives, there were two wives. anna -- the first answers his second wife rose an amazing book, really well done book. he had plenty of help with that. but it was a well done book so it gives great insight into their relationship and is the backbone and we can see from half of that correspondence too so with an anyway, she wrote that well after the war when she had time to think about it so there are other ways, his first wife's sister wrote extensively in interesting ways about jackson but i think the basic answer, if you were interested in pursuing it would be read and's book about jackson. pretty great stuff.
8:53 am
his second wife. >> with stonewall he lived with the south had won the war? >> here's what happened. died shortly before gettysburg which people say thank god because i didn't have to do the research and gettysburg for my books so thank you, some wall. he dies just before that so what i think's -- i agree with leigh that what would have happened is jackson at gettysburg would have held the high ground south of town with the famous big top round talk, that would have been held by the confederates on the following day so all those things that are exciting for the high ground would not have happened. the interesting thing, that is true. what then happened we don't know. one of the interesting things,
8:54 am
let's just say jackson instead of stopped and didn't pursue, jackson certainly would have. let's just say if that happened and the confederate won the battle? and let's say that they continued their campaign. where you going to do? bear in philly? what would we burn? where would we move. the interesting thing is i think on some level, imagining a confederate army lose up their having won at gettysburg and that went back and told this to be bled dinner tonight. the yankees -- the north thought the war with one arm behind its back. i think the other arm comes out if you have a victorious confederate army on the rampage in pennsylvania. jackson wanted to burn pittsburgh early in the war, wanted to go clear to the great lakes. i think that might have really
8:55 am
changed the war. i grew up in connecticut and connecticut there were not a lot of big battles in the civil war in connecticut. i wrote about the shenandoah valley. by the end of the war the place had been turned over four times. if you lived there you lost your house, your barn, your fence, every chicken, every page, every go, every crop, your sons were dead, your finances were in confederate dollars, you were completely ruined and it is interesting to me to compare the feeling it must have been like to be in mint georgia or south carolina or the shenandoah valley. let's flip that. i'm going hypothetical. let's listen that, put a confederate army up north, say they want to do what sherman did for political reasons, they want to affect the outcome of the coming election, they want
8:56 am
elections, they want to specifically bring the north to its knees. how fascinating is that. imagine the philadelphia area experiencing what atlanta did. imagine. i really don't know. i think it would have unleashed demons the likes of which -- almost unimaginable and i do think the resources of the north were so absolutely overwhelming the only way the south could ever win was by bringing the north to the table some how but i don't know. a marauding confederate army of course the author are would have come out from behind the back. it gets very hypothetical but thank you for coming. [applause] >> booktv is on twitter and facebook and we want to hear from you. tweet us, or post a comment on our face book page,
8:57 am
>> here is a look at some books being published this week. glenn beck tells stories of ten americans who he believes are misremembered in dreamers and deceiver is and fields of blood, karen armstrong challenges the idea that virus is an intrinsic quality in many religions. since the story of 20th centuries feminism by examining the creation of the first female superhero in the secret history of wonder woman. kerri chris's book empires in examines the history of new orleans through the struggles that keep the city's placed strict operational. in the south china sea bbc news reporter bill hayden deconstructs the complex history in modern day dispute over the important asian trade routes. kathryn harrison recounts the story of a shepherd is to become a military beater in joan of arc. a life transfigured. the book is in bookstores this
8:58 am
coming week and watch for the authors in the near future on booktv and on >> here's a look at upcoming book fairs and festivals happening around the country. all this weekend booktv is live from the texas book festival in austin. also happening this weekend is the boston book festival. look for coverage coming weeks and then november 1st the louisiana book festival will be held in baton rouge and from november 22nd to the twenty-third booktv will be live from the miami book fair international. let us know about book fairs and festivals happening in your area and we will lead them to our list. e-mail us at >> booktv as bookstores and libraries throughout the country about the nonfiction books their most anticipating being published this fall. here's a look at some of the titles chosen by quail ridge books in raleigh, n.c..
8:59 am
first film maker ken burns, geoffrey ward looks at the puzzle and political lives of theodore, eleanor and franklin delano roosevelt in the roosevelts a companion to the pbs seas. next in wayfaring stranger is, the immigration of scott to appellation in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. walter isaacson examines the digital age and the people who made it possible in the innovators. also on quail ridge books, list of the most anticipated fall titles, naomi klein's thoughts on climate change in the global economy in this changes everything and wrapping up the list, in world order former secretary of state henry kissinger weighs in on international affairs. that is look at the nonfiction titles quail ridge books is most anticipating being published this fall. you can visit the bookstore in raleigh, north carolina or
9:00 am
online at >> karen abbott recounts the exploits of four women during the civil war who defended norman politicians to send privileged information to 7 generals. this is a little under an hour. >> i am thrilled to be here with abbott. i love her books. i love all of her books. singh in the second city which i love, you take us and show us this entire others view of chicago through the eyes of the two most famous american madams ever. in american rose we learned about this american icon gypsy rose lee who really hasn't been explored the way that you explore her. so now with "liar, temptres


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on