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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  August 20, 2014 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT

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>> loughboro, had dinner at his family place. ostensibly took down quote, unquote, the dome of the lights of the capital. he was happy to tell this story to general grant when grant was in the white house after the war and can you just imagine grant chomping on his cigar, yeah, right.
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for years nobody believed it. the confederate soldiers themselves claimed to see the dome of the capital. that's hock um. there's nowhere to see the dome of the capital. you can see it's below where visual would have gotten it out in silver spring. probably saw the lights of georgetown. but mccauslin had gotten up there. there's claims to ride up in broad daylight. no substantiating that. old soldiers have vivid memories. >> one little comment, not a question. i was a surveyor in washington, d.c. for 42 years. in our office we had 1880 i think u.s. gs topographic maps. first put out by the city and government and fortifications still on there. cool set of maps. if you haven't seen them, library of congress i think has them. >> thanks. >> with that i'd like to again thank the national archives for hosting this really wonderful event. our speakers, please join me one last time in a round of applause for them. >> union forces tried to create a gap in the forces but the attack failed. here is a preview. >> one rthey thought they could under a confederate battery, fill the end of the mine with gun powder and literally blow a
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whole in the confederate lines. the total length of the mine would be about 586 feet. they removed 18,000 cubic feet of earth in the construction of the mine. the sounds of digging were heard by infantry men and general artillery men located in the position here. the confederates were looking for the mine. rumors were flying and anywhere where the lines were close, they were digging listening galleries to see if they could hear the sounds of digging. there is one spot where the one mine goes over top of the union mine. they just did not go deep enough. the confederate listening galleries would go down about eight to ten feet. at night when it was quiet they were hearing the sounds of digging below them. now the end of the mine would be
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filled with 8,000 pounds of gun powder. the initial battle plan was to blow up the gun powder, create a large hole in the confederate lines. the official attacks would be led by african-american troops and they would roll up to the north behind me, to the south,behind you, and the rest of the troops would go around the hole and capture the cemetery about 1,000 yards behind us here. if grant could get guns up on top of that ridge, he might have petersburg. >> watch more about the battle of the crater including a look at how the attack failed. also more on the contributions of the u.s. colored troops and how they were remembered in the years immediately following the civil war. that is all tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span 3. 200 years ago 1814 british soldiered routed troops outside of washington, d.c.
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the victory left the nation's capital wide open to british forces who marched into the city and burned down the white house and the u.s. capital. you can learn more about the bernanke of washington during the war of 1812 thursday from author and historian. our coverage starts at 6:45 eastern. more about the burning of washington next saturday, august 23rd, as we take you live to the waterfront park for a panel discussion on the events of 200 years ago. that's live at 1:00 p.m. eastern here on american history tv on c-span tv. battle of fort stevens,
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confederate forces under general jubal early attacked washington's defenses before turning back. speakers during this hour long event discuss the battle significance and contributions by african-american troops.meri. good morning and welcome to fort stevens. my name is kim elder, i'm the program manager national parks t service for civil war defenses t of washington. i'd like to welcome and thank each you for joining us for thei commemoration of 150th anniversary of the battle of fort stevens. ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the presentation of colors and singing of the national anthem by miss fraziera
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♪ o say can you see by the
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dawn's early light ♪ what so wo proudly we hailed ♪ at the twilights last gleaming ♪ through the perilous fight ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ through the perilous re fight ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched ♪ were so gallantly streaming ♪ and the rockets red glare ♪ the bombs bursting in eb air ♪ that our flag was still there ♪ that our flag was still there ♪ oh say does that star spangle banner yet wave ♪ o'er the land of the free ♪ and the home of the brave ♪was stil [ applause ]es that you may take your seats. the in vocation will be
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delivered by the senior pastor of saint luke's church, the reverend aubrey lewis. >> let us bow our heads. eternal merciful father, this morning we come to celebrate a historic occasion. one that has tremendous significance in the life of african-americans and especially to the life of washington, d.c. we thank you, lord, for the opportunity to be here, and we ask our blessings during this gathering. we ask, lord, that you continue to be with each of us as we go about doing the things that we e
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historic occasion. one that has tremendous significance in the life of african-americans and especially to the life of washington, d.c. we thank you, lord, for the opportunity to be here, and we ask our blessings during this gathering. we ask, lord, that you continue to be with each of us as we go about doing the things that we do on a daily basis and continue to allow us to be a shining beacon as we travel throughout the city. bless this occasion and all those that are a part of it, in jesus name we pray, amen. weblep
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>> please welcome rock creek park superintendent tara of t morrison.he [ applause ] >> good morning, everyone. on behalf of the national park service, welcome to rock creek park and historic fort stevens. we're pleased you've joined us today as we commemorate the visi 150th anniversary of the battleo of fort the national park service has been commemorating this civic m sesquicentennial since 2011 but programming and activities that have engaged, informed and ton, yearhtened not only the visitors that have joined us but the national park services and d
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our many partners as well.l wa the ft. stevens commemorative programs held over the last few months would not be possible ree without the program manager kime elder and our friends to preserve the civil war defenses of washington, specifically the president and vice president. they worked together over the last two years to plan a series of events that would not only interest and engage those knowledgeable of the war but would include themes that would appeal to new audiences. that is the key to ensuring that we are creating opportunities for new audiences to become engaged and informed about our nation's history. thank you, kim, susan and lorretta for your hard work in creating those opportunities. i'd also like to thank the national park service employees and volunteers who worked and are working today to execute the plan here this weekend. we'd also like to thank tuncilmember mario bowser who esxlso has been supportive to mber m commemorate this anniversary and insure the residents of the enst district of columbia are aware of the battle of fort stevens and the role of the community during the war.ith we are pleased to have with us a today mr. c.r. gibbs and mr. ed
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barrs.untry' both will discuss the battle ofy fort stevens, the only battle to take place in the nation's nd ao capital, and share why this battle played a pivotal role inn our nation's history.k we thank you for joining us and hope you stay for this afternoon's events and also for tomorrow's events at the battleground cemetery. thank you. [ applause ] >> good morning. my name is doug jimmerson, i'm going to sing a few very significant period songs that s remain wonderful songs in our american musical heritage. a the first was called at the time red, white, and blue, columbia,a the gem of the ocean. ♪ o columbia, the gem of the ths ocean ♪ colu ♪ the home of the brave and free
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♪ the shrine of each patron's devotion ♪ ♪ our world offers homage to thee ♪ my mandate of heroes assemble ♪ when liberty form stands in view ♪ ♪ they banners make tyranny tremble ♪ ♪ when borne by the red, white, and blue ♪ ♪ when borne by the red, white, and blue ♪ ♪ when borne by the red, white, and blue ♪ ♪ banners make tyranny tremble n ♪ when borne by the red, white, and blue ♪ ♪ the wine cup hither
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♪ and fill it to the brim ♪ may the reeds they have won never wither. nor the star of their glory grow dim ♪ ♪ may the service united never receiver. ♪ ♪ the army and navy forever r ♪ ♪ three cheers for the red, white, and blue ♪ three ♪ three cheers for the red, white, and blue ♪ ♪ three for the red, white, and blue ♪ c ♪ the army and navy forever t ♪ three cheers for the red, red white, and blue ♪ thank you. there you go. [ applause ] i want you to participate. that's wonderful. all right. and this one, a very inspiring national hymn and please join me
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on the chorus. the battle hymn of the republic. ♪ mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord ♪ ♪ he is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of ♪ yet lose the fate for wrath are stored ♪ yet lose the fate for lightning of his terrible swift sword ♪ the truth is marching oi ♪ glory, glory, glory alleluia glory, glory, glory, hallelujah ♪ glory, glory, glory, hallelujah ♪ his truth is marching on ♪ i have seen him in the watch piles of the hundreds circling camps ♪ they have builded him an altar in the ♪ evening dews and damps ♪ i can
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read his righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps, his day is marching on ♪ glory, glory, glory, hallelujah ♪ glory, glory, glory, ♪ glory, glory, glory, haleluia ♪ his day is watching on ♪ ♪ his day is marching on g ♪ he has sounded forth the trumpet that should never call f retreat ♪trumpe ♪ he has lifted out the hearts of man before his judgment of mn cease. ♪ be swift my soul to answer him. be jubilant my feet. our god is marching on ♪ everyone! ♪ glory glory glory hallelujah ♪ glory glory glory hallelujah ♪ glory glory glory hallelujah
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[ his truth is marching on [ applause ] >> thank you very much. you know, during the civil war,, that tune was probably sung mor than any other, but not with those words. they sang john brown's body and it wasn't that the john brown of harpers ferry, it was some obscure person in massachusettso but the "glory, glory, glory," , that was from the original. that was not written by julia ward howell. that was in the original song. it's very interesting. and so i am going to make this rather brief program.m going i'm going to do two more. i think this next one is arguably our greatest patriotic song and the one least , remembered, unfortunately, but
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it was a significant composition for the civil war and the -- when the union bands played thie and the soldiers sang this, it just struck a terrible fear in t the hearts of the rebs. the battle cry of freedom. ♪ yes, we will rally around the flag, boys ♪ rally once again shouting the battle cry of freedom ♪ we will rally from the hillside. we'll gather from the plain ♪ ♪ shooting the battle cry of freedom ♪ ♪ the union forever, hurrah, boys, hurrah ♪ ♪ down with the -- and up with the star ♪ce a ♪ while we rally around the flaa boys ♪
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♪ rally once again. shouting the battle cry of freedom ♪ ♪ we're springing to the call o 300,000 more ♪ ♪ shouting the battle cry of freedom ♪ ♪ we'll fill the vacant ranks our brothers gone before ♪ ♪ shouting the battle cry of hu, freedom ♪ ♪ the union, hurrah boys , hurrah ♪ ♪ we rally around the flag boys. rally once again. cry of freedom. >> i've discovered, i'm a musicologist, what i've then discovered during -- usually
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they close with yankee doodle ♪ ♪ [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you so much. and enjoy your wonderful day here at fort stevens. >> our first speaker this doodle morning is c.r. gibbs.he m mr. gibbs is a local award winning historian, international lecturer, author, c.r. gibbs is among scholars smithsonian featured. mr. gibbs conducted research on black civil war units as well as technical advisers on a film entitled "american years." he has written numerous books, most notably, black explorers, black inventors from africa to america, and friends of frederick douglass, a children's book. his articles and in numerous respected journals including negro bulletin and african-american inventors. please welcome mr. c.r. gibbs. [ applause ] ♪ ♪ ♪
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sn snou. >> now everybody's verse. ♪ yankee doodle went to town tuk riding on a pony, stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni ♪ ♪ mind the music and the step and with the girls be handy ♪ ♪ yankee doodle keep it up ♪ yankee doodle dandy ♪ mind the music and the step and with the girls be handy ♪ >> thank you. [ applause ] first >> thank you. thank so much. enjoy your wonderful day hear at fort stephens. >> our first speaker is mr. cr gibsmo.
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cr is also among the scholars featured at the online acad my. he has also served as technical visitor on a team entitled american years. he has written books and his articles have appeared in numerous respected journals including the negro history bulletin and african-american inventors. please welcome mr. c.r. gibs [ t applause ] >> good morning everyone. >> morning. >> i will leave it to my esteem colleague to describe the ebb and flow of battle that occurred
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here in july of 1864. what i want to do is offer some reflections on the contributions of african-americans to the defense of washington.someio from all too often, our understanding of what happened was that we know about elizabet thomas's house who was destroyed by lincoln. the fort itself sits on part off an african-american neighborhood called vinegar hill. the story actually is much larger than that. i think perhaps the best way begin is by sharing with you a portion of a letter written on june the 7th, 1862. general, i have the honor to 18 request a detail of contrabandse for work on the fortifications on the maryland side of the patomic. as the government assist nt rali them. i could easily employ 250 and discharge the higher labors youe working. i propose to have it posted as follows.ense. at forts franklin alexander andd riply, massachusetts and slocams
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30, bunker hill and sara toga, 20, lincoln, myings, dupont andf davis, goes on and on. the point here is that by june of 1862, only the most ardant racists were against fortifying the city. this same request would go not filled because the other authorities were reluctant to give up their contrabands to work on forts north of the and patomic. we know there was much greater use of labor made on the south side of the patomic. these self emancipated black folks who said they wouldn't wait for a president to give a proclamation in order to answer the call that beats in the hearts of all of us. t t the desire to be free. gi
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to be self-determining and to be independent. in fact when these labors came w to many of the forts surroundinr in the district, many of the ab folks were happy to see them. it was reported that men were these self-emancipated black folk who decided that they wouldn't automatically and necessarily wait for a federal executive to create a proclamation but they took it upon themselves to work for their freedom, to risk life and limb in order to answer the clarion call that beats in the hearts of all of us, the desire to be free. to be self-determining. to be independent. and in fact, when these laborers came to many of the forts surrounding the district, many of the soldiers were happy to see them. a member of the 50th new jerse s voluntary infantry regiment as n reported that a detail of men y
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was sought every morning to work on the fortifications but at least a force 2600 contrabands from north carolina were sent td take our places in the difference and we willingly one turned our over picks and shovels. one soldier who had done duty in ft. lincoln and here at ft. stevens, freeman walker who served with several regiments, said that the time for drafting has come, speaking of ft. stevens. everyone around here, negroes and all, were enrolled from ft. lincoln in northeast d.c., walker wrote, "our first work will be to dig or help dig a chain of rightful pits ncoln, connecting these forts though we hear 500 negroes will be here soon. it is important as well that you understand that black folk were not idle or passive spectators on the earliest attack on washington, d.c. for example, a unit of the colored troops marched up 12th . street with wives and children trailing alongside and black men
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in neighborhoods. for this unit of color troops on 12th street, we have no less rvs than authority of the dau of joseph henry, the director of tt the smithsonian at the time. also we know that in addition to 500 white troops who were callet up to defend alexandria, some ie 800 colored men were also calle up with the alexandria journal adding, these men will, no also doubt, do good work should theid services be required in the actual defense of the city. no less than authority than, "contraband negroes and refugeet were also pressed into the service." and at 12:00 on the night of july 11th, it was estimated thae there were within the fortifications of washington 60,000 men armed and equipped
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for fighting. you must understand that this desire to be free, this desire to participate, did not simply e occur at this war, but all azed throughout the forts and b batteries and camps that comprise the military defenses of washington. we are amazed that the black people that were able to cross the potomac above the city and make their way to battery hill. those that took life and limb ir hand and went to ft. stanton or ft. dupont.defenses this is part of the untold story of the defenses of washington. p you see, these installations typified hope, but not simply hope, not simply freedom or security. they also symbolized opportunity.k i recently was recalling a story about a black man who was caugho on the navy yard bridge trying to get into d.c.iles
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he told the union troops he had walked 60 miles just to come here. he believed that under the capitol dome there would be freedom, as well as justice, as well as opportunity.well but we don't have to go to the capitol to find that out. if you were to walk with me down georgia avenue, about a half mile -- quarter mile to the to h intersection of georgia and al missouri, we'd probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of the -- of another camp. and in that camp, we would find in the book when this cruel waru is over, the civil war letters of charles harvey brewster, the touching story of a place calle, camp wrightwood and how this union officer, this man from th, 10th massachusetts was changed s when he met a freedom seeking black man just a quarter-mile down the road who came in and worked for him. he is a bright looking ma la toe, 17 years old, he says his i
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master paid $40 for him six years ago. he was the only slave his master had and his master will never ve get him again if i can help it.t ladies and gentlemen, you must n understand, this person to person connections between thess freedom seeking black folk and these soldiers in the union army forged bonds that would not be forgotten once the guns of sumter were over.forg we find out in fact that black e folk in the defense of the city actually nothing new.actually we know that free blacks welded pit axes and shunts during the war of 1812 to help guard the nation's capitol.lp in fact, one commenter would say that the freed people of this city, speaking of the war of mmr 1812, acted as patriots. there was scarcely an exception to be on the spot.ves indeed when news of the war struck this city, when what hade
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happened in charleston's harbor reverberated back to the district, jacob dodson, a blackn explorer, a man who had served and explored offered the services of 300 black pen in thd first months of the war to protect the city. it is important that not simplye the activities of free blacks or contraband to the defenses of washington, but that we also e acknowledge members of the , but united states color troops. for we also have this idea that they were somehow missing in terms of this great contest, and yet we have evidence now not only the 6th usct, or the 28th, or the wonderful job the 45th or u.s. color troops did and they helped to repair ft. mcpherson on what is now the grounds of u. arlington national cemetery. but i have an article from "the evening star" from december
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14th, 1865, that also mentions u.s. colored troops. this is after the end of the war u. when these posts were still important. i know many of you will recall m george patton's dicta that a soldier does his duty. p he goes are where he is told. that's what these men did. s we find u.s. colored troops in places like slocum and totten and lincoln and baker and we fd stanton and carroll, according to "the evening star" from thee december 14, 1865. these men, free, soldiers, freedom seeking black folks, eeb self-emancipated contrabands, had all one thing in common -- they were willing warriors. willing workers. and willing defenders of the w national capital in times ofil . crisis. thank you.
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[ applause ] thank you, mr. gibbs. please welcome dc council member for word 4, muriel bouser. [ applause ] >> well, good morning, everybody.g,erybo and welcome to ward 4.o i'm certainly delighted to be here with you to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the battle of ft. stevense. there's really so much great oe history here in our capital city, and i often, and am very y proud to celebrate the part than ward 4 played in the history of our city and certainly in the
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history of our nation. we're very proud of it. we know that the only civil war battle to take place in the district of columbia took place here at ft. stevens. the only time a sitting president in the united states, in the history of our country, has come under hostile fire from an enemy combatant was here at ft. stevens.esmy and we know that the battle -- at the battle of ft. stevens thn nation's capitol was saved from imminent attack. you may also know that even e before stt stevens was built to protect the capitol from we w confederate soldiers, this land was taken from a free black woman named elizabeth thomas. by we were very proud here in ward 4 in the district of columbia to recognize elizabeth thomas forever and ever here at this land by naming this street in her honor, the elizabeth thomas
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way. we know, too, that she was neven fully compensated for her land on for her sacrifice for our great country. but fortunately today, we in this city have a wonderful relationship with our federal partners. we really want to acknowledge the hard work that they have done to acknowledge this great anniversary and to build a great relationship with our community so that our parks, our national monuments are really a part of the communities and the people that they serve. so i hope that you will join me in acknowledging really two great women who are leading the national park service in d.c. ri and ft. stevens and right here g in ward 4, our superintendent, tara morrison. give her a round of applause.iv and our park manager, kim eller. give her a round of applause. they have been great allies and neighbors. this is something that we can't take for granted.
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now i have the great honor of representing a lot of national park service facilities in our city, and i know the difference between leaders who want us in e the parks, and leaders who don't.ur and we have people that want to keep these parks alive and we need to acknowledge their e service. we have 150 great years of history to celebrate here, and i wanted to come not only to represent the 75,000 people of ward 4, the 20 great neighborhood i have the privilege to serve, but also our city. i went to the council and there was unanimous decision to acknowledge today with a resolution. so superintendent morrison, may i present you with the . following.onements i'll read a few of the statements here. this resolution says, whereas st. stevens originally named ft. massachusetts from the home state of the soldiers who
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constructed it, was built to nty defend the district of columbia against attacks from the confederate army from the north, along 7th street pike, now known as georgia avenue. whereas ft. massachusetts was renamed ft. stevens after the w death of brigadier general stevens at the battle of 's chantilly on september 1st, forn p and whereas in the summer of ren 1864, general ulysses s. grant
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moved most union troops to the f south leaving only 9,000 troops to defend the district of columbia. and whereas on july 11th and july 12th, 1864, the battle of ft. stevens occurred and was the only civil war battle to take place in the district of columbia.rican-am whereas, the union army 6th corps brought reinforcements to ft. stevens where president abraham lincoln met then and became the only sitting president in our history to come under hostile attack. and whereas on the evening of july 12th, 1864, confederate troops began to withdraw from ft. stevens and from the district of columbia. this victory saved the nation's capital, helped ensure president lincoln's re-election and aided in the preservation of the union. following the battle of ft. stevens, the military schools in the district to educate african-american children was established on the grounds of ft. stevens. whereas the military road school, although closed in 1954, remains an essential part of the history of ft. stevens and the civil war history of the district of columbia. ft. stevens now serves as one of many civil defenses operated by the national park service in the district of columbia as a place of enjoyment and a memorial to p all those who served and saved our country. be it resolved by the council of the district of columbia that this resolution be cited the
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battle of ft. stevens 150th anniversary recognition resolution of 2014. >> thank you, council member bowser. please welcome members of the 2014 civil war junior ranger campers. [ applause ] >> as i mentioned earlier, part of our responsibility censurings that we are engaging new sary
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audiences and sharing this history.ould so for the first year and in honor of the anniversary of the civil war, we conducted our first civil war junior rangers camp an we today would like to pin our three representatives here today, cooper rivera, nabid and nita sherzod.
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and they are now officially junior rangers.nior [ applause ] >> our next speaker today is mr. ed ed bars is a united states marine corps veteran of world . war ii. tours a military historian and an author known for his work on the
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american civil war and world war ii eras plp bars is especially moan for his historic tours and an extremely popular tour guide of historic battlefields for the smithsonian associates. mr. bars served as chief historian of the national park service from 1981 to 1994. please welcome mr. ed bars. e >> first off, i want to thank the -- my colleagues of the national park service and the se people of the neighborhood for working so well together to ne commemorate the battle of ft. stevens. an important milestone in the reunification of our country and emancipation of american blacks. let us turn back the clock to
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the last days of june, 1864. at that time, it was not a given that the union will triumph in a the civil war. in fact, things were not going well. the new general and chief of the union army has, in his campaign, against general lee's army, has lost over 100,000 men in the period between the 3rd day of may and the 18th day of june. that is twice as many men as fs
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robert e. lee had in his and the first lady of the land n referred to general grant as a w butcherer. even worse than the disaster in pearl harbor had been the disaster that befell the union army on the 18th day of june ato petersburg. at this time, the president of t the united states is confronted by a number of problems. his great armies in the east are undoubtedly not accomplishing te their mission, which is to give the union victory by the time of election day in november 1864. general sherman is not doing much better in georgia as the union army is licking their do
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wounds following the battle of kennesaw mountain.un so things were not going well on the military front. things were not going well on the political front.on the president had felt well at republican convention, meeting in baltimore, had renominated him for a second term.felt they adopt adam hanlan of maine to replace him with governor cod johnson of tennessee. and the ticket that they will ge to the voters, all will be the union tent, not the republican tent. as the president and his familyc prepare to move from the white house to the summer white house
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located about one mile from where we are on the grounds of the soldiers home, the president is confronted with other problems politically. the egotistical and opinionated secretary of the treasury, mr. i chase, who had twice already submitted his resignation,
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submits it again.resign and on the last day of the old g congress, which adjourns on the 4th day of july, he hands in his resignation. lincoln is going to take great e courage because he has a revolti in a radical wing of the o th republican party which has passed the wade-davis bill, that is taking steps of reconstruction of the south out of the president's hands and transferring it to the congress. the president shows great
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courage as he pocket vetoes the wade-davis bill. things are not getting well in 0 virginia. general lee has detached too early with the 2nd corps and they have dealt with general hunter and his right to lynchburg. and early in his 15,000 to 16,000 men are now sweeping down ene shenandoah valley. the north well remembers the shn valley of humiliation, the pene shenandoah valley, and what hadh happened there in 1862, and it had been the route that the confederates had followed to pet their defeat in gettysburg in n '63. and it looks like a repeat as early's men march through lexington on the 26th day of june on the 1st day of july they
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marched through winchester, virginia. and on the 5th day of july, they were brought to the potomac ne river. is it going to be another repetition of what had happened in '62 and '63? the general grant seems to not be overly concerned about the threat to washington engendered by general early's men. president garrett of the baltimore-ohio railroad is reasb telling him it's a real threat an grant is going to move rather slowly. as the confederates will now move toward isolating the union n on frederick, maryland.
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on frederick, maryland, they have occupied it on the 8th day of july. a union army has been assembled there on the banks of the river and on the 9th day of july at the battle, who wo wallace wrote the most popular arthur by ben hur. he evacuates and leaves the ttll battlefield, he falls back on baltimore, leaving washington uncovered. thousands of men who have been manning the washington
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forts. the 87 for thes and batteries, o have been called to fill the act vacant ranks as we talked about in those wonderful songs we led as they are answering father abraham's call. they are going to7f become instm infantry men in place in the forts. that have been constructed, many of them we just heard. people's land had been taken over for the construction of ft. massachusetts but is now ft. stevens. so the 10th day of july is an .
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unseasonably hot day. more the men are wearing new uniforms and i'm an honorary member of company b of the massachusetts regiment there. one of the proudest things i have is attending some of theiri rallies, i'm glad to see they'rt here in full strength. the forts, one of them being thb firstei massachusetts heavy artillery. whichme comes a trivial pursuit question. the type ostfio question you do. like. what union regiment lost more
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men in one -- in 15 minutes notice civil war.war? the first massachusetts heavy artille artillery. they attacked against three blinds at petersburg. and will lose 642 men out of 850. men losing more men in a single battle than any other unit in the civil war. that's a trivial pursuit t question that you don't like to be one of the victims in it. so as they sweep down, they're tired and the confederates are going to reach rockville. just up the road from where we are, on the evening of the 11th. on the fifth day of the month,
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the presidential family, and d i close advisers move from the white house into the soldiers ho home. on the night of the tenth, a rough customer, i heard the p people weep about secretary rumsfeld. you don't know what a tough secretary of war is. if you wept over secretary er s rumsfeld, you wouldec commit hay caray over secretary stanfeld. his family is removed from battle. the guard, the company of the
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150th pennsylvania, the buck tales have left the soldiers hoe home and will be stationed in another fort. the president will be up early on the morning of the 11th. the confederates have paused at rock veil and tired john mccausland sweeps down the now georgetown pike, now wisconsin avenue. driving tenley circle, while the rest of the confederate army moves cross country on farm roads, leading from rockville tn turn in to the seventh avenue extended now georgia and by noon, they're approaching
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silver springs. the president, i can imagine the secret service. the secret service will not be responsible for the president'st security until two other of presidents have died at the hands of an assassin. not until the summer of 1902 does the secret service become o responsible for the big man in the white house. . you can imagine him on that day, as the president goes out and visits fort stevens and other ir forts. yes, he is here at fort stevensa on the afternoon of 1:00, on the 11th day of july. the confederates are in silver
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spring. men have moveddist across into district line. the president is going to be shot at. the next day he circulates. he makes a stop down at haynes t point. where haynes point is now with the members of the sixth, two divisions of them under her th
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right. and detachments of the 19th core have come all the way from louisiana to hampton roads and joined the troops up some of the troops remember this tall man, h foot tall, when he has his top e hat on. wou now ifld we knew we were going a have twom 6'4" presidents -- on is abraham lincoln, the other is lyndon baines johnson. we don't go to having settled a things like that. they then move out to georgetown pike. because the first reports
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received, the confederates are t in the area of rock veil, ed, tu they're going to be detoured, turn in and move out 7th street georgia avenue. there's a lot going on that night as the sixth core arrived to help out with the militia. the confederates are having a er real ball up in silver spring. montgomery player is going to , lose his house, franklin. francis player, adviser to all presidents from andrew jackson
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to abraham lincoln, he's not at home, because h he has a good o liquor closet.early, and some of the confederates. they're consuming francis' liquor supply. they're delighted to get more and more.kenridge because one of the confederates there is the youngest man to be vice president of the united stat states. being president under james buchanan. linc lincoln had kept instructions going on the dome. the dome has been completed, you can see it from the soldiers home. they'red be debate iing in octo,
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when they left the vice . presidency.y and as they get more and more ey intoxicated by what they're drinking. tomorrow we will march down massachusetts avenue and distort general breckenridge in through the capital, into the senate chamber. well, the president is going tog play a individuals it out here e again on the 12th. he's going to arrive here and bring mary with him. mary and he have been casualtie out here. close to the parapet walls is a hospital. they go in and visit several wounded soldiers there, and the
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mary sits down. also, secretary of state, secretary of state,th of coursei is william seward. soon to arrive is going to be gideon wells.well secretary of the navy and his wife. now, mary gets -- that's the one cabinet member that mary gets wh alongwell with, mrs. wells. wi she doesn't get alongwell with p others. the president w will go up and stand on that parapet wherein t the 1906s, they'll put up a wi monument there, the principle rn speaker there willri be one of breckenridge's soldiers that they put up that monument to commemorate where lincoln is to standing there. his top hat 7 feet tall lookingo out over the sloping ground in
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front of him where other confederates have taken sheltern in a house on a road about a gr quarter of a mile away. as he's standing there, there's a spat. standing next to him is dr. crawford of the 102nd pennsylvania. he's shot in the thigh and blood spurts over the president. what now, i often wonder what the secret service would do now.use because the president has blood on him and now horatio g. wright has a tough job.ho that is, he's got to get the qu, president off the bang kemp, the bearing step. getting him down where he's not exposed. there are two versions of how hh does it. one, that he will ask the
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president politely to please step down. the other is, that he will put i his hand on him and in the days when we had secret service around, they help him down off, and he sits on the tara plain, the level plain just back from the parapet and sits down with p liz back to the parapet. after a while, you'll go over and talk to mary. mary will swoon and the president will say, mary would not make a very good soldier as she swoons. so while the president has been under fire, there's a man shot near him, and they -- by 4:00
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the 6th core is ready to take the events scene, and they willt move out from in front of ft. stevens, moving across the ground, the slopes down to wherr walter reedmwñóómu is now, beyod battleground cemetery, where 40 odd men of the union soldiers that were killed here are buried and the union troops and the atp confederates pull back.will no lincoln will not take his eye off the big picture. tuesday is the 12th, on the 14th he's back out at the -- taking - care of business. he's going to do -- i want you t to play another little tune hes there, because he's going to sign a bill calling for 500,0000
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more men. and that is one of the tunes we're coming father abraham, 500,000 more. so he's showing his commitment to continuing the war. also he's also curtailed negotiations carried out through on the same day with mr. blair, to frank player and horace greeley with meetings up in buffalo, where is they're going to meet with confederate representatives, and he's going to order them -- hem, direct them, they will not -- er there are two things he will no. compromise on. he will not step back on the emancipation proclamation. thats or that bill that's working his
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way through the house and the senate abolishing slavery by by congressional amendment, and hea will not step back on the t nat confederacy having anio independent nation. the great things have happened here, it's wonderful to see the group out here today to talk th about these events.s. too often these events here in washington are kind of forgotten. they -- and as early pulls back to virginia, he's going to say one thing. we didn't capture washington, w sure as hell scared the hell out of abraham lincoln. things are going now -- you havt to remember what mr. lincoln is going to write on the 24th day
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of august. that is five weeks after this d. day. and that day things are still not going well. butler's army and grant are stymied in front of richmond any peters borrow. sherman is stymied in front of n atlanta. and presidentte will write a letter to thlee files and he wi say -- and the democrats have i met in chicago. adopted a peace plank, declarinr the war of failure, and nominating for president georgee p. mcclellan and pendleton of ohio, as vice president. the president will write that day as of this day we will probably lose the election. we therefore we will have to work e with the president-elect to save
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the union after election day. and before he's inaugurated as n president on july -- on march 4, because he will not be able to save it. of course, just like everybody can remember my age or younger. and remember harry truman on the night -- on election eve, a little after 12:00 in 1948 when he p pulled out the headlines o the chicago tribune, dewey wins. lincoln will do the same thing with that letter he had writtene to the files.cabinet the cabinet member, he put in the envelope, members of the cabinet signed their names on o it, he opens it up and reads it, what they had signed. because, for that election
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father abraham will be in for another term. and it's wonderful to come out here and be with this group here and think of the great events that took place here. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> thank you, mr. barres. before closing, we have a few
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announcements. >> thank you, again. you a mr. barres, mr. gibbs, everyone for joining us again o we do want to acknowledge we dg, have a lot of special guests ini the audience, we actually have o the great grandson of captain simon e. chamberlain of company k. the 25th new york calvary, the v first calvary to deploy here on july 11th in ft. stevens when ai early's troop survived.sorr taylor chamberlain please standl [ applause ] >> we will close withhe a benediction, but we hope each od you will come join us just just across the street, you'll get ir instructions in a ucmoment. join us for the first firing of a cannon in the civil war here in the district of columbia
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since 1864. 150 years ago today. >> firing cannon, yes. >> please welcome again reverenr louis as he leads us through the benediction. >> let us stand. now, lord, we ask thy blessings as we leave this place. f that fellowship will be with us. tonight american history tv's look at the civil war continues with the battle of the crater, occurring during the
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siege of petersburg, virginia, union forces detonated explosives under the confederate lines. the attack failed with heavy losses for union troops, here's a preview. >> one regiment in the area, was the 48th pennsylvania infantry. some troops were coal minors, they thought they could mine underneath the confederate battery, fill the end of the mine with gun powder, and literally blow a hole in the confederate lines. the digging began june 25th. the total length of the mine would be about 586 feet, they removed 18,000 cubic feet of earth in the construction of the mine. the sounds of digging once they got up underneath this confederate battery were heard by south carolina men and virginia artillery men located in the position here. confederates were looking for
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the mines. anywhere close, they were digging what they called listening galleries to see if they could hear the sounds of digging. there's one spot out here where the confederate counter mine goes over top of the union mine. they didn't go deep enough. the union mine was 16 feet down. the confederate mines were 8 to 10 feet. when it was quiet, they were hearing the sounds of digging below them. the end of the mine would be filled with 8,000 pounds of gun powder. the initial plan was to employee up the mine with gun powder they would roll up the lines back behind me, and the rest of the troops would go through, around the hole and captured the cemete cemetery, about 1,000 yards behind us here. if grant could get guns up on
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top of that ridge. he might have petersburg. >> watch more about the battle of the crater, including how the attack failed. >> also, arthur kevin levin, how they were remembered in the years immediately following the civil war. that's all tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span 3 many. >> here are some of the highlights from this weekend. friday on c-span on prime time, we'll visit important sites. saturday at 8:00, highlights from this year's new york forum. and on sunday, q & a with new york congressman charlie rangel at 8:00 p.m. eastern. friday night at 8:00 on c-span 2 in depth with reza aslam. saturday at 10:00, retired neurosurgeon ben carson. lawrence goldstone on the competition between the wright
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brothers and glenn curtis to be the predominant name in mad flight. a look at hollywood's portrayal of slavery, saturday night at 8, the 200th anniversary of the battle of blatants burg, and sunday night at 8:00 p.m., former white house chiefs of staff discuss how presidents make decisions. find our television schedule one week in advance and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us or e-mail us at follow us on facebook, like us on twitter. >> each week the civil war marks the anniversary of the conflict by bringing you lectures, discussions and battlefield images. a confederate army of 12,000
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troops under the command of general early nearly invaded washington, d.c.. next, historian and journalist mark leapson takes us on a tour of battlefields to tell us about the battle of monocacy. the battle of ft. stevens. >> july 1864, to get a bigger picture of the war, this was just after the bloodiest six weeks of the sifrn ilwar, in the wilderness campaign. spots of the courthouse and cold harbor, over 60,000 union casualties dead and wounded. there was war weariness especially in the north, but general grant who was in charge now, he had been in charge since february '64 was determined this
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was his grand plan to edged the war. he had richmond and petersburg surrounded. his idea, his plan was to choke robert e. lee and force him to come out and fight what he thought would be the battle that would end the war. he knew this too. lee came up with a bold plan of his own. on june 13th. the early morning hours, he took an entire core of troops under general early, and he took them outside of the defenses of washington on a bold plan, a four part plan he hoped would mess up general grant's grand plan to end the war the first part was to kick the union forces out of the war. robert e. lee's giggest problem
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was supply, food. most of their food came from the shenandoah valley. the second part of the plan was to threaten washington, d.c.. the third part of the plan was to free confederate visitors at the point lookout prison camp which was on the tip of southern maryland in the chess peak bay. the fourth part of the plan, and the part that lee considered most important was to force grant to take groups out of petersburg, in the early morning hours of july 13th, an entire core of troops left the defenses of richmonds they marched 70 miles to charlottesville, virginia they got on rickety old trains. on june 18th came the battle of lynchburg that not many people
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heard of because it didn't last very long. hunter fled once he saw early's troops hunter fled over the mountain into west virginia, what is now west virginia. early thought about chasing them, he t(fábñdidn't. he took one look and saw the entire shenandoah valley was cleared of troops. when we say down we mean north because of the way the river flows. they marched down the shenandoah valley. they were not very well supplied. half of the men didn't have shoes, they tied burlap around their feet. they got up to harper's ferry in marltons burg where the union under general siegel another dim bulb, he was a political general, a german immigrant, he was made a general because he
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could bring in german -- he was the one who had the not very good experience at new market, where he outnumbered the confederate troops and lost when the entire corps of cadets came up from lexington and defeated franz siegel. he's known as the flying dutchman. siegel fled martinsburg and harpers ferry, and they had a nice 4th of july, eating all the yankees food and benches the next day they crossed over the potomac river into maryland. this was the third invasion of the north by confederate troops. siegel fled with his troops to maryland heights, which were just on the other side of the river from harper's ferry, they were pretty well embedded up
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there, early thought about going after them he didn't. he made a right turn, he's now 50 miles from washington, d.c.. they did rest for a couple days in maryland, near antietam, actually. he came from a prominent family in franklin county, virginia, he went to west point, not to be a military man, it was a good education at the time. he took part in the seminole war and mexican war, but he didn't see any action. he was a member of the virginia general assembly for one term, a lawyer, and then when the war started -- before the war started he was part of the virginia succession -- once it
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succeeded he became a die hard, he was a general, he was in all the battles in the eastern theater from first manassas on ward, and he was kind of a cantankerous guy, hard drinking, tobacco chewing, he had. he was famous for his cursing, he hated women. he was just not a pleasant guy to be around. he didn't get along with his fellow officers, he didn't get along with generals, the men loved him and hated him. robert e. lee liked early, lee called him my bad old man. early had arthritis, and he was kind of hunched over, he had this scraggly beard. lee liked him because he was an aggressive -- >> it's interesting that lee should depend on and admire early so much. lee's personality was 180 degrees opposite, he was a god
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fearing man, he didn't curse, he respected women, and so on. it's good that so horrible otherwise men would love it compared to early, if there was something the opposite of that to be said, he would have said it this was the man that lee entrusted to go on this mission, he was one of the most aggressive southern generals. and it's interesting because of what happened later in washington his aggressiveness. washington was just across the river from virginia, 90 miles from richmond at the beginning of the war, the union was concerned about a southern invasion of the nation's capitol. immediately troops were sent down into washington, d.c.. after the battle of first manassas, just 35 miles from washington, they started building a series of forts and fortifications that by the time washington was ringed by an interconnected series of 67 forts, they were called the
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defenses of washington, they were even like a beltway, they went across the potomac, remember he took over parts of alexandria, and virginia. only one of those forts exist today, that's fort ward in virginia. fort stevens has been partially rebuilt. these forts well very well built, all connected by fortifications and berms. they were designed to be manned by about 35,000 troops. now we're in the summer of 1864. just about every able bodied richmond troop is down in petersburg. we don't know the exact number, but we think only 10,000 troops were on the barricades. who were they? well, they were members of what was called the veteran reserve corps. now, the veteran reserve corps
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had just changed its name before that. before that it was known as the invalid corps. they changed the name for obvious reasons. who made up the corps? most people know there were so many casualties, washington, d.c., was one giant hospital. as troops got better but couldn't go back to the field, they were given these pale blue uniforms and did rear echelon duty. that's who was defending washington, d.c., when early came here to monocacy on july 9th and the battle started. this was not a good example of union high leadership. first of all, union intelligence was abysmal throughout the war, it was not good here, the union
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did not know that robert e. lee had taken an entire corps of troops outside richmond. they didn't know until july 5th when they crossed the potomac river. then you had a little bit of panic going on, especially when word got out that early was heading toward washington or baltimore. people didn't know. here at monday of course ascy, it's strategically a northwest and east/south transportation connection. we have the 355 over here which it was called then. it goes directly on a line to washington, d.c., today it's culled the urbana pike here, it becomes rockville pike and then becomes wisconsin avenue goes right into washington. up a little ways we have the old national pike which goes straight to baltimore. then we have the railroad line which comes straight down here
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from baltimore and the spur that goes straight to frederick. you have the hub that went right to baltimore. the rumors started flying, early had gained troops, he had about 14,000 troops on july 9th, the rumors were that he had 15, 20, 30, 35,000 troops. so washington's -- the command structure was fragmented. there were a lot of generals in washington, d.c.. general alec at one point said, you know, we have plenty of generals, what we need is privates here. we need people out to get to the barricades of washington. so that was the situation in washington. now, back down in richmond, grant when he learned what was happening here, did not want to send troops outside of richmond
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and petersburg, this is his grand plan to end the war. you can read the telegrams that went back and forth between washington and his headquarters at city point outside of richmond you can read the memoirs of the people on his staff, the letters they wrote. grand would not send troops, and finally he gave in. at the last minute, and he sent two regiments in the sixth corps, woke him up in the middle of the night, marched him out to city point, they got on these steamers, went down the james river, out into the chesapeake bay, out into baltimore harbor, they got off the ships, marched to the railroad station, camden station, which is now camden yards, and they got on the railroad trains and they arrived here at the monocacy junction. union intelligence was not very good, but one man figured out through the intelligence and
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more or less what was happening, and that was lou wallace. lou wallace was an interesting character and he was the other main character of this story. he was from indiana, a prominent family, he did serve in the mexican war as a 19-year-old lieutenant. he had no military experience other than that. when the war started. he had the zoab unit in indiana before the war. those were those drill teams that dresses up in these colorful uniforms. they became the 11th indiana when the war started. he scored an early victory at romney, west virginia, right after first manassas, when the union was looking for heroes. and the union press played him up really big. he became a general. and that was sort of his high point. his low point happened at the battle of shiloh, when his regiment got lost the first night. probably not his fault. it was rough terrain, bad weather, et cetera, dark. grant and alec were very, very
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upset. he did fight the second day, they sort of shoved him to the side after that and he was -- his job was at this point in the war, he was the commander of the union's middle atlantic department. which was -- basically his job was military governor of baltimore. reading the same intelligence that the union high command got, and didn't do anything about, wallace did something about: i the other thing that helped him here, the head of the b & o railroad, a man named john garrett, he had his network of intelligence who were the station masters. and they're sending telegrams back saying, there's an entire core of con fed rat troops out here, they're heading your way. wallace picked up on this. don't forget, he was in hot water with grant and alec, he gathered up 2800 men, about all he could get and came down to
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the western most point of his jurisdiction which was right here, and he set up on the eastern bank of the monocacy river. lou wallace became a novemberal e novelist. he wrote ben hur, he wrote an 800 page memoir which was a god sernd for a historian. after reading these dry memoirs, lots of them, letters and so on. journals and orders. you get lou wallace who writes his memoir, 40 years after the fact. writes it in a flowery 19th century novelist style. when wallace says they arrived here in the morning, he'll say something like, the sky gave way to a brilliant blue orange son as we made our way down to the junction and the camp fire smoke
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curled up, which was great. and you have to balance what wallace says in his memoir with his telegrams from the battlefield. his after action report the day after his after action report two weeks later, he had a way of making himself sound really good, and he did a very brave thing here, you can't get away from that, as i say in the book, i believe, and i think the judgment of history is that what wallace did here did save washington, d.c.. right now it's november 2nd of 2007, it's a beautiful fall day. one thing to keep in mind about this battle, it was very, very hot, it didn't have thermometers. or at least no one referred to a thermometer in their memoirs, it had to be in the mid to upper 90s and very humid. wallace set up headquarters in a good tackical spot. on the east bank of the monocacy
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river on higher ground. he could overlook the entire battlefield and was on the other side of the river which made it difficult to be attacked. it was a good defensive position. who are these 2800 men? they're 100 days men, they joined just for 100 days, none of them had ever fired a weapon in anger before, it was a gutsy thing, if you think about it, here's the intelligence saying a koirps of troops are headed your way, he sets up a defense right here, he's begging washington to send him more troops. that's what finally happened when grant sent out the troops. those troops got here at 1:00 in the morning on july 9th, wallace had 6500 troops, including experienced sixth corps men. he knew what to do with them, he put them along the bank of the monocacy river. we're going to go there and.
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we're at the very edge of the monocacy national battlefield. this monument was dedicated to honor the con federates who died confederate wounded. 855 runs through the battlefield as it did back then. it was known as the georgetown pike. what didn't go through the battlefield was i-270 which is. i think you can see it right over there at the edge of the horizon, this is where the confederate artillery was during the battle, and it's just an unfortunate thing that an interstate highway runs through this entire battlefield. i think they've done a terrific job interpreting it. they have a lot of the farm fields as the battle took place. it's a difficult battle to
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envisi envision. this is the actual junction itself you can see it down there, the bridge on route 355 was the old covered bridge over the junction. this is where some of the most brutal fighting of the battle took place, later on in the day, when a group of vermont soldier s took a stand against early's -- some of early's top troops and they were in a very good strategic point down there. i don't know if it's that easy to see, but the confederates came this way and the vermont soldiers, there weren't very many of them, there was a company of them and they held off a regiment of early's troops for hours before they finally had to flee. and they were -- they had to flee back up the railroad track,
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and over the old railroad bridges. the railroad bridge did not have a bed, it had just railroad ties. these vermont soldiers are being fired upon by the confederates had to run across the railroad ties over the river with the water 40 feet below two vermont soldiers received the medal of honor for their actions that day. >> where we're standing right now is where denver ver men put up their troops. this is where they held them, it says frederick junction, it's known as the monocacy junction then, the old train station was right behind us and in fact these were the tracks that the troops came down from baltimore,
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anyway after the vermonters finally couldn't take it any more, they fled down the tracks, around the bend and the old railroad bridge over there, the one they had to flee for their lives over while they were being shot at by the confederates. the farm you see back behind me, has been restored to the national parks service to the way it looked in july 1964, this was the full field battle portion of the battle of monocacy. what you're hearing is interstate 270 in the background. what was here then was corn fields and wheat fields and they were crisscrossed by farm fences, it was not an ideal place to have a battle especially if you were attacking, which the southerners
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were. >> back behind me, general mccausland from louisiana had -- they came right behind me and they got off their horses because i guess of the conditions in the field here there was a dismounted calvary, and they charged the union through the farm fields over here, they didn't know it was six core men, they experienced union soldiers waiting for them, and it was carnage. the southers got chopped down and they had to retreat. most of gordon's bring gate was way back at the farm where we started. they didn't think they were going to get in the battle here's an important thing you have to keep in mind. early did not want to fight a battle here at monocacy. he wanted to go to washington. he's only 40 miles away here.
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early held as many troops back as he could. he wasn't here when the battle started. he was in the city of frederick extorting money from the city fathers. mccausland's charge does not work, they flee back here, charge again then gordon brings all of his troops here, this is where the most fighting of the battle took place, gordon called it the sharpest fight he was in in the war. the river ran red with blood, when it was over, there were about 1300 union casualties killed wounded and captured and about 800 confederate killed and wounded. most of it took place here and on the thomas farm which is the next farm over. the family hid in the basement during the fight and a young
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6-year-old boy saw everything that happened, and he wrote a book about it later, it's one of our best descriptions of what happened in this battle. later in life, glenn worthington was one of the people who convinced congress to set aside this land to be a national battlefield. back to the battle itself, early prevailed, he was outnumbered. wallace about 4:00 retreated, went up toward baltimore. he wound up at ellicott mills. it was really hot, he let his men rest on the battlefield that night, they buried their dead, took prisoners toward frederick, the next morning on july 10th, 1864, they started their march toward washington, d.c., it took
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us about an hour to get here, we'll pick up the story. early -- they spent that night on the battlefield july 9. july 10th, they march as far as rockville. they camped. it was really very hot and they were tired and they've been marching since june 13th, they camp camped in rock veil early tried to get some money from the city fathers, there was some calvary skirmishing around there, advanced units from washington came out to do some skirmishing the next morning, early was out on the horse leading the men, made it right out here, right to the outskirts of fort stevens. if you can picture washington, d.c., as shaped like a diamond,
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we are right at the top of the diamond in the northwest portion of washington, d.c., early at about noontime was at the gates of fort stevens, he had the capitol dome in his sights. what did he see? he saw this very impressive series of forts. it looked impregnable. he did not know these were 100 days men. the call came for civilians to come out and help man the barricades. you have men from the state department, people who have never fired a weapon in their life. when you read the description of who was at the forts, the word mottly came up.
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the 7th street pike, they had cut off the georgetown pike in wheaton, maryland, they cut over here to the old seventh streak pike which comes up to the edge of stevens. early decided not to invade. early caused trouble, he had artillery, there was fighting that went on that day and into that night. this was all -- we are now in the city of washington, d.c.. it's not urban washington, d.c., but it's definitely city, and. but back then, this is all farms back here, this is hardly considered part of washington, d.c., because washington was down there where the white house is and down there in georgetown and so on. they cleared trees for firing, this was all farmland, people from washington came out to see
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what all the excitement was about including president lincoln. ft. stevens was one of -- might have been the most extensive of the defenses of washington, there were 67 of them. not all of them were as extensive as this one, there was a magazine, there were barracks, it was enclosed on all four sides, some of them were not enclosed, they were pointing out toward the defenses, they were rudimentary, they were built up heavily and all connected. but ft. stevens was at the gate of washington, d.c., at the tip of the northern diamond. and it was heavily defended -- heavily fortified, it wasn't heavily defended until the sixth core got up here late in the afternoon on july 11th. this has been reconstructed, but
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it's more or less what it looked like on july 11th, 1864 with early's artillery out there, the union artillery higher, and skirmishing going on and citizens from washington coming up to see what it was all about and that included president lincoln, and the plaque that you see says lincoln under fire, ft. stevens, now, it also happened on july 11th. july 11th, lincoln was here, and this represents the only time in american history when a sitting u.s. president came under fire in a shooting war. right here on this very spot. the confederate sharpshooters were out there, don't forget this was all farmland, it was cleared. and back there, trust me is walter reed army medical center, on the grounds at walter reed,
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there's a tree with a plaque on it, that supposedly says, this is where a confederate sharpshooter shot at lincoln, he did shoot, and the same thing happened on the second day, the 12th, that's what the plaque represents a union soldier was standing next to lincoln, and was shot in the leg, and that's when lincoln was ordered down from the parapet at ft. stevens. lincoln you know, 64 hlt and the stove pipe hat made a tempting target. it's reported that oliver wendell holmes yelled at lincoln, get down you fool and instan thely regretted saying it. i have a chapter in the book, i came to the conclusion that's an impactful story, it didn't come out until 1928, it was published in an article in the atlantic
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monthly in 1928. supposedly holmes had been telling it privately. you always have to be suspicious of something that comes out well after the fact. i'm going back to letters that were written at the time, memoirs that were written shortly after the war. and yes, lincoln did stand here, and, yes, someone yelled at him to come down, more than likely, it was a general who was the commanding general of the troops here, who said this in 1866, he didn't say get down you fool or say that he said that, but i go over that in the book. it's an interesting story and it's not true. early is at the gates over here, with the capitol dome in his sight. at that moment, grant the day before had finally aseeded and sent the rest of the sixth corps along with the 19th -- the 19th corps was down in new orleans. they were going to go to
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richmond, they stayed on the train, went to city point, got on ships, went out the james river, up the potomac river at this time, they got off at the old wharf in sixth street. citizens were there to greet them, gave them ice water, sandwiches, they cheered, we've been saved. people were panicking, when they heard that the confederates were out at the gates. the sixth corps then marched up the old 7th street pike. they got out here in the midafternoon of july 11th and took part in the fighting that happened on july 11th, that fighting went into the night. after that, early held a council of war out in silver spring which is a couple miles from here, at the blair -- at the mansion of blair -- it's not the blair mansion, there's a house called the blair mansion.
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it's a house called silver spring, it was the blair mansion, the blair family. the blairs, a very prominent they drank up the wine that fight, had a nice dinner and decide ds on the next morning, july 12 9 u that they would come here bright and early and decide whether or not they would be there. they did that. and this time, they could see the six court was here. they had a distinctive patch. we did not, again, did not invade. however, there was more fighting. there was skirmishing.
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there was artillery changes. men were killed. 300 union casualties. it had to be that many, if not more. so that fighting went on all the night of july 12th or most of the night, when the union troops got up in the morning of july 13th, they looked out here and early's army was gone. he retraced his steps. he went back through montgomery county, came down through the town called poolsville and crossed the poe ttomac at white ford. that's where my story ends. a month after june 13th, he left richmond to come on this four-part mission. >> this is georgia avenue that you just looked at, which used
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to be known as the seventh street pike which is the root that he came down. two years after the war, the cemetery was built. it's the second small ets national cemetery. these are monuments. this is a place that i would easiliest mate that hundreds of thousands of people drive by every year and do not know it was here. we're just off of georgia avenue. there's only a small sign and it's the final resting place for 40 union soldiers killed fighting here in washington, d.c. and battle that is people just don't know about. if you're stuck at the traffic light, it's where 16th street hits georgia and you're in the right-hand lane and you turn to
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your right, you can read the inscription on this monument to the confederate soldiers who were killed. it's a monument to a mass grave of confederate soldiers who were killed outside at ft. stooempbs. it was moved there when the church was moved. in the early 20th century, i believe. it also stands right off of georgia avenue. it's a heavily commuted road right off of washington, d.c. considering what could have happened, the treasury was there for the looting. they could have burned the capital. the navy had a ship in the potomac to take him out of town.
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think about what could have happened to the union cause. don't forget. lincoln was fighting for his political life at this time. he had to choose a democrat for his running mate. this really would have killed any chances that lincoln could have gotten reelected. think about this, the english and the french were thinking about coming in on the confederacy. this guy covering just wouldn't have been very good for the union cause had headlines been around the world. number one, i do believe what lou wallace did save this from happening. i mean, wallace was relieved of
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his command after he lost that battle. but within two weeks, grant had reinstated him. had wallace not, on his own come down and blocked early for his entire day. he very were could have caused havoc. grant didn't want to do it. the number of troops went down drastically. this was grant's grand plan to end the war. but it didn't work. if lee had not forced grant to do this, i really believe that
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the war could have ended sooner. maybe much sooner. maybe a matter of six months sooner. it's a what-if and can never be proven one way or the other. but it's a what-if that came pretty close to happening. and i want also goes to show that nothing is inevitable in history. nothing is inevitable in the civil war. and if you want to remember it this way, you know, you can remember that.
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>> tonight, american history tv takes a look at the civil war with the battle of crater. union forces detonated explosive underneath the confederate lines to create a gap in the defenses. >> they thought they could mun underneath a confederate valley and literally blow a hole in the con fed rat lines.
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the confederates were looking for the mine, rural morals were flying and anywhere where the lines were close, they were digging. they were digging listening gal reels. there's one spot out here where the con fed rat counter mine goes over top of the union mine. >> themp right on top. and yes, at night, they were hearing the sounds of digging below them. now, the end of the mine would be filled with 18,0 0 pounds of gun powder. the initial battle plan was to blow up the gun powders, create a large hole in the confederate lines.
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the initial attack would be led by african american troops. they would roll off the confederate lines to the north back mind behind me, to the south behind you and then the rest of the troops would go around the hole and capture blanford cemetery, about a thousand yards behind us here. if grant could get guns up on top of that ridge, he might have petersbirg. >> watch more about the battle of the crater including a look at how the attack failed.
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>> good afternoon. and thank you, archivist furio for hosting us as we take this fascinating look into washington civil war history. i'd like to thank everyone in attendance and in watching online. the central planning agency, washington, d.c. and in the suburbs of virginia and maryland, we seek to protect and enhance the capital city's rich, historic and cultural resources, which include ft. circle parks. national planning commission, we recently celebrated 90 years since our organization was charted by congress.


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