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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  August 22, 2014 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT

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logistics and he also leans on this doctrine of military necessity to justify foraging. he says it was quote, a well-established right of war. now he does concede, though that there need to be restraints placed on foraging because, as he put it, to do otherwise would be to bring dishonor upon the country. and lipit's work, i know it was published after the war but it will all make sense. lipit's work demonstrates the complexity of the moral issue that surrounds foraging. by its very nature, when you seize supplies from civilians, you are im flikting hardship on that civilian population and so in order to inflict sort of the magical right amount of hardship enough, and to operate within the moral boundaries of civilized warfare, officers need
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to maintain tight control and lipity explains defined foraging parties and centralized distribution systems, chaos could ensue, and the army could really descend into a sort of armed mob engaging in pillage and so forth. so what's interesting is that you would have expected lipity to use sherman's march as his examples as he's making this complicated case. he doesn't. he actually goes back to napoleon's russian campaign. in fact, though, he doesn't ignore the march when he's talking about how an army can descend into chaos. that's where he uses napoleon. he actually defends sherman's march and he claims at first that when seizing household goods the men carefully discriminated between -- and this is actually the language from sherman's orders, discriminated between the rich who were generally hostile to us
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meaning the union, and the poor and industrious who were usually friendly or at least neutral, and he describes sherman as having this very organized system with rules and receipts, and he explains that any deviations from this nice, orderly foraging system on the march, as he put it, were the fault of a few bad apples, stragglers and the like, not the main force of marchers. we'll kind of talk about that in a minute. the other piece i want to include in here is that white southerners, during the march and immediately afterwards, frequently drew comparisons between sherman's march and robert e. lee's invasions of maryland in 1862 and pennsylvania in 1863, and they often quoted lee's general orders 72 to his soldiers in the gettysburg campaign in which he
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reminded them, this is now lee's language, that the duties expected of us by civilization and christianity are not less obligatory in the country of the enemy than in our own. again, lee's language, and that we make war only upon armed men, and we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our people have suffered without lowering ourselves in the eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited by the atrocities of our enemies. so lee's often praised for these orders, right? that he's restraining his men and relying on their sort of inherent gentility. that's a pretty selective reading, of course, of what actually happened and many of these defenders of lee ignore the many wrongs perpetrated by lee's men, specifically when they kidnapped african-americans to sell into slavery in virginia. so we'll set that aside. okay.
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i've gotten a little ahead of myself and a little off track. so let's talk now specifically about sherman and his march. despite many allegations to the contrary, sherman himself was very well aware that war was governed by rules. these charges against sherman. is sherman a war criminal generally focused on two events. they focus on the march, obviously, which i'll talk about, but they also focus on his expulsion of civilians from atlanta. so sherman's army took control of the city of atlanta on september 2nd, 1864. they weren't planning to stay for very long but he did want his men to use their time in the city for sort of recharging to rest a little bit after the rigors of the campaign to take atlanta, and he didn't want his
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men distracted by either confederate operatives or women and children. he didn't want to have to feed women and children, and he didn't want to have to leave any men behind to hold on to the city of atlanta when he pulled out of the city. so he famously ordered civilians, unionists and confederates, out of the city, and gave them ten days in which to comply. it was about 1200 people who were affected by this. many people have used his september 12th, 1864 letter to the mayor of atlanta in which sherman famously wrote that quote, war is cruelty, and you cannot refine it to make the argument that he was willing to do whatever worked to wreak all kinds of havoc on civilians in order to end the war. but in other letters written at the same time, sherman's quite explicit about following the rules and laws of war. in fact, he was quite angry when
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confederate general john bell hood challenged the legitimacy of evicting civilians from atlanta and he wrote to hood i think i understand the laws of civilized nations and the customs of war. and then he suggested, in fact, that maybe the confederates ought to be taking better care of union prisoners at andersonville. in his final letter to hood, in fact, sherman proclaimed that, quote, he was not bound by the laws of war to give notice of the shelling of atlanta because, he said, the city had been fortified and was being used for military purposes. see the books, he testily concluded. so what of the march itself? before sherman left atlanta on november 15th, 1864, he set some ground rules for his 62,000 men and he did them in the form of
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his special field orders number 120. there were nine articles all together in it. the first several describe how he's going to divide up the army and their marching orders and then there's some center sections that in fact, deal explicitly with what the army could and could not do along the march. so the men were instructed to, quote, forage liberally on the country and to destroy mills, houses, cotton gins, et cetera, but within limits. the foraging parties were supposed to be regularized and under the control of discreet officers. soldiers were not supposed to enter homes as long as the -- and if the army was left unmolested, southern property was also supposed to be left alone. essentially what sherman is saying is if a group of union foragers came on to a farm or
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plantation and they were allowed on, and nobody was shooting at them or smarting off to them, then they were supposed to leave all the property. and again, sherman also ordered that when seizing livestock in particular his men, as i said earlier, ought to discriminate between the rich who are usually hostile and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or friendly and if the army was well treated during their foraging, they were instructed to quote, leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance. so he is setting parameters. most of these rules were really more -- more honored in the breach than in reality. they're pretty elastic, but i think that their very existence of these rules gave sherman and to a lesser extent his men a degree of, i think, moral cover
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or at least that's what sherman is trying to achieve. they also allow for a certain elasticity. so you could treat some people more harshly and other people leniently and there's evidence that, in fact, the march does have a sort of ebb and flow to it. certainly, it's pretty harsh in georgia and it's extremely harsh in south carolina and then the men are ordered to really pull back and be less destructive in north carolina because north carolina was perceived to have a lot of unionists. so, i don't really want to come away from today thinking i'm an apologist for sherman's march or that i in any way am trying to minimize the very real damage and devastation that the soldiers left in their wake, but what i am trying to say is that the men were bound by rules and they knew they were bound by rules.
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sherman certainly believed that he was operating within the laws of war and the parameters of civilized behavior. he's also willing to push exact ly up to those boundaries of those rules. frightening people, stealing their supplies and burning their barns, burning their houses even was one thing for sherman. i do think, though, that the kind of wholesale killing, sexual violence as happened in areas driven by guerilla violence like missouri, for example, was really beyond the pale for sherman's men, by and large. sherman biographer michael feldman has argued that while the march quote, stopped well short of a total war in the 20th century nazi sense, sherman's rhetoric of destruction implied that he could make war on whomever he chose and that southern whites would be powerless to stop him, and
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sherman is certainly well aware of the psychological impact of what he allowed his men to do, and encouraged his men to do. does that make sherman a terrorist? he used his calculated brutality to terrorize the southern population. feldman, i think, really tries to split hairs as much as possible and describes sherman as having quote, terrorist capacities. i also think there's some responsibility, clearly, for both destroying and reining themselves in that accrues to the soldiers themselves on the march, and part of the reason that the march was not total in the 20th century sense was because the veterans limited themselves, held back by their own internal and cultural sense of morality. i've done a lot of reading on sherman's march because i have this book coming out this summer, and i will tell you that there are very few instances of -- there's not murdering.
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there's not killing and there's not lining people up and shooting them. there's definitely some violence, but not the kind of violence that's associated with wars in the 20th and 21st centuries. so sherman himself may have overstepped the bounds of legality a few times. each time in retaliation for confederate actions, and these charges again are regarding his use of prisoners of war. so in the first instance, sherman learned that torpedos or mines had been buried along the roads outside of savannah and he called for prisoners of war to be brought up to clear the mines, not wanting to risk his own men. and then in the second, a group of union foragers had been captured and killed by some of wade hampton's men in south carolina, and sherman ordered a group of prisoners of war to draw lots and had one of the men executed to set an example, retaliatory example.
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but i would argue what keeps sherman from being a terrorist in the modern sense of the word is also that he was operating during wartime with the full sanction and full support of his government, and when the war ended, so too did his hostilities and his destruction. i mean, in many ways, i think that a better analogy to terrorism in the wake of the civil war would be the waves of violence that confronted african-americans during reconstruction as they saw to exercise their new economic and social and political freedoms. so this notion that sherman brought forth some new kind of war with the march really only makes sense in retrospect. it wasn't -- at the time, people didn't perceive it as such. as the 19th century became the 20th and as wars of increasing deadliness and destructive power broke out around the globe, the
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march seemed to reappear again and again and often the analogy surrounding the march are strained. what they do is they reveal, i think, this evolving notion of the march that somehow the march becomes increasingly destructive as it's repeatedly compared to more modern or more current wars and i'm just going to suggest a few things to give you a few examples of this. so sherman's march was invoked frequently when germany marched into belgium in 1914. often to actually remind americans of the costs of involvement of war even when justifiable. once the united states became involved in world war i, this usable past of sherman's march ceased to be a significant point of discussion, although it did reappear briefly after the war, and i'm excited to talk about this in this room, which was that during testimony before the
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senate committee on propaganda in 1919, grant squires, a new york lawyer who had visited belgium, testified to the cruelties that he saw perpetrated by the germans, men and women beaten with rifle butts, children and babies murdered and families starving without shelter. he was then asked to counter testimony that had been given earlier by a german sympathizer, to the effect that sherman's march had quote, also been a very cruel expedition. and this enraged senator newt nelson, who was a civil war veteran, who angrily proclaimed that american soldiers had quote, never killed women and children. whatever they did, they did not do that, and nelson specifically asked squires to address the charges that germans were no worse than sherman's men, and squires then confirmed that the
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germans were different from sherman's march. so what i'm -- what i see coming out of this is this sense that there's a new standard set for violations of civilians that were once sherman's men's thefts and fires were the worst thing that people could imagine, the great war issued horrors of an entirely different order of magnitude. there were very few mentions of sherman's march during world war ii that i was able to come across but in the vietnam era, perhaps because it coincided with the centennial of the civil war, raised all sorts of analogies to sherman's march. a variety of cultural critics and opponents of the war in vietnam compared sherman's actions in georgia to the actions of american soldiers in vietnam. the most detailed and culturally significant exploration of this
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relationship somehow between sherman and vietnam came in james reston jr.'s 1984 book, "sherman's march and vietnam" where reston retraces the march through georgia and he's looking at the past to try to explain the turbulent present, this post-vietnam world that he's living in. he seems at times to draw this straight line, this connection between the violence and here's a passage from this. general william tecumseh sherman is considered to be the author of total war. the first general of modern, human history to carry the logic of war to the ultimate extreme. the first to scorch the earth. the first to wreck an economy in order to starve its soldiers and he was our first merchant of terror and our spiritual father and the spiritual father, some contend, of our vietnam concept
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of search and destroy, pacification, strategic hamlets, free fire zones. as such, he remains a cardboard figure of our history, a monstrous arch-villain to unreconstructed southerners. an embarrassment to northerners who wonder if civilized war died with him, whether without sherman the atom bomb might not have been dropped or vietnam entered. reston concedes after this passage that maybe he's -- he's more metaphorical than real, but he's really trying to argue that there is, once you loose the bounds, the bounds are constantly loosed. he's trying to make an argument, too, that sherman's veterans, that sherman's soldiers and as he puts them westmoreland's
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soldiers had more important things in common, being animated by a desire for vengeance and a desire for reprisal and where they differed, according to reston, was just in matters of scale, which he says is more a function of technology than of desire, that it seems worse in the 20th century because men had weapons of mass destruction, and in the 19th, they didn't. not -- i don't buy it completely. in order -- let me just conclude by invoking something, what of today? where does sherman fit today? he's sometimes invoked in discussions of the iraq war, often in support of a more terrible and total sort of war. again, this would be the dark reaches of the internet where people are saying things like, if only sherman had been in, you know, iraq or afghanistan. okay. just the other day, though, my -- on tuesday, actually, my trusty google alert for
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sherman's march pointed me to a column written by thomas ricks on foreign policy entitled "sherman as a counter insurgent." ricks argued that sherman, he's arguing that sherman was embarking on a counter insurgency and not a soft hearts and minds campaigns which ricks sort of pooh-poohs and a tough minded you're either with us or against us approach with clear political and psychological dimensions. i read rick's column over a bunch of times and i'm not convinced by his argument, but where i think ricks' work is useful and what i am convinced of is that sherman's march and its relationship to what americans think about war is still very much alive and very much relevant today. thank you very much. [ applause ]
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>> i'm happy to answer any questions. oh, here we go. oh. >> can you address a little -- you talked a lot about the topic from the standpoint of what sherman ordered. can you address kind of what actually was happening on the ground for the union troops, in particular as they march through the swath of the south, they obviously disrupted the society that was going on, but in particular, how did his men handle african-american slaves? >> that is a great question and actually, my book, i have a whole chapter on the relationship between the march and african-americans. as sherman's men marched through, the first thing i would say is there's this
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misconception that people say, oh, sherman's men cut a swath 50 miles wide or 60 miles wide. that's -- i always tell my students, you don't want to think of it like a lawn mower strip, right? it's not 50 miles wide of lawn mower. it's 50 miles from the edge of one column through four columns to the furthest edge of the other. so in many ways, it's very, um, what's the word i'm looking for. not sporadic and episodic, but sometimes the house is targeted and a house a mile away is not targeted. that being said, where sherman -- sherman's men and sherman himself and african-americans is a really interesting question. i love paul's formulation that sherman's army was one of the great armies of liberation. they are not really very willing liberators. sherman was not -- certainly not
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a fan of racial equality or after the war of according civil rights to african-americans. he did not -- he was perfectly content as they went on to plantations to have his men liberate the slaves and announce they were free and he was always telling them to stay put because he doesn't want them following after his army and of course, he's unable to prevent african-americans from following his army, so by the time he gets from atlanta to georgia, there are probably about 25,000 africafrica nch african americans who have followed his army and he doesn't want them. he's perfectly willing and there is a section in his orders to take able-bodied african-american men and put them in his pioneer corps and have them work as teamsters and things like that. he does not want to have to feed women and children and elderly people and he tries to leave them behind. there is a horrific episode outside of savannah in a place called ebenezer creek where
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sherman's men -- you have sherman's army or a section of sherman's army under the command of one of his subordinate generals, jefferson davis, no relation, and then you have the african-americans who were following them and then you have wheeler's confederate cavalry behind that and what happens is they use pontoon bridges to get through this river and swampy area, kind of a cypress swamp, then david orders the pontoon bridges pulled up so that the african-americans can't cross on the bridges, and they are being chased by wheeler's cavalry. hundreds of them wind up drowning in the swamp. hundreds of them wound up being recaptured by wheeler's cavalry. when the news gets out, sherman is condemned for not condemning davis. so it's tangled, i guess is the short answer.
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>> one consequence of the march is the rising desertion rates in the army of northern virginia from those soldiers whose homes were in the areas that sherman's army went through. was this a fortuitous circumstance or was this one of sherman's goals? >> i don't think sherman was directly hoping to influence the army of northern virginia. where i think sherman was directly trying to target the army of northern virginia was not through desertion, but through supplies. that by first of all, breaking the rail line from atlanta, which had been a major supply line, up to petersburg, and then by just raiding through, you know, this relatively untouched area to deprive them of supplies, and i think also there was a sense -- he definitely was
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cognizant of the kind of psychological impact that he wanted people to know that he could not be stopped, and that in fact, any kind of rumors that might have come out about how vicious they were or how violent, he was comfortable with that, because he felt that there would be this deeper psychological impact. >> 50 years before the event you're talking about, we had an episode very similar to what you're talking about right here, and i mean next door, literally, when the british came to washington after the battle of bladensburg and at the sewell belmont house literally next door to this building, somebody took a pot shot at general ros as he arrived in the capital plays aand killed his horse, apparently, and general ross ordered that house to be bernd
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and he made a point to not limit civilian properties so he contrasted that to the uncivilized behavior to the americans and the canadian towns that they burned and looted and they were far more civilized, and general ross, was he unique in his time or what was going on with him? >> i'm far from an expert on the war of 1812 and i don't think ross was ahead of his time. i think ross was ahead of his time you mean in burning this civilian house? not burning everything else? no, i mean, there's an argument to be made for only limiting your destruction to private buildings. i would also say that with sherman, the vast majority of buildings or structures that sherman's men burned were not actually private homes. it was again, the sort of -- the places that gave material support to the confederacy.
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barns, gin houses, cotton, big bales of cotton. they burned remarkably few houses and it's fascinating to me, one of the areas that i explore in my book because my book is about the cultural memory of sherman's march is, in fact, all of the different reasons that houses along sherman's route were saved because you can't have it both ways, right? you can't have sherman cutting this 50-mile swath and yet have dozens and dozens of antebellum homes still surviving and so there are lots of reasons why that house was spared or this house was spared, so. >> hard to follow tour guide craig, but i'm also a tour guide, and i take people past the statue of the guy on the horse, william tecumseh sherman, by the white house and i mention revisionist history, quote, war is a pathway to a more perfect peace except if you're from savannah. i wonder if the psychological
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effect when he brought his children, when the family came to chattanooga and his son died, another son named willy, how much of a psychological effect do you think that had in making him -- some say it made him manic and mean. what do you think? >> i think it was tragic for him as losing a child would be for anybody. i think that -- i don't think sherman was mean. i think that sherman was clear-eyed which is to say that i think sherman recognized that the way you stop a war is you make the war too costly and in so doing, he also really did believe that he was saving his men because, look, his men, they thought the march was great. they loved it. they had more to eat than they normally did. they marched less each day than
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they normally did and with very exceptions, nobody ever shot at them. so from sherman's perspective, this is saving his men's lives while bringing the war to a more rapid close. so i don't -- i don't think he's mean. i think he -- he has a job and he's willing to do what it takes. >> could you speak to how in 1864 northern papers were covering the march and how were there lincoln opponents who singled out the march as anything different than had been happening? >> that's a great question. there's very little coverage of the march itself because from november 15th until really when he's right outside of savannah, there's almost no news coming out of the march. the northern paper that i've looked at the most in terms of its coverage of the march has been harper's weekly mostly because i was looking for images and it does have great images of
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the march, but it's largely celebratory. i'll be perfectly honest with you, i have not looked at any, specifically democratic newspapers where you might have found opponents of lincoln, but there's not a sense at the time that sherman is doing anything beyond the pale or anything radically, you know, no one thinks sherman's created this new kind of warfare. partly also, what sherman's doing is really the same as what, say, sheridan had done in the valley earlier in 1864. grant of course famously instructs sheridan, you should destroy the valley such that a crow flying over will have to carry his own provander with him. it's largely celebratory because they see in the progress of sherman that his progress is helping to win the war. the reason he turns to savannah and turns to the carolinas, he's
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trying to get to petersburg, ultimately to help out grant and not to steal any of matt pinsker's thunder but that's my frustration with the movie "lincoln" is that there's no sherman in it. >> one of my favorite cities in america is savannah, georgia. can you talk about his decision to save that beautiful city and give it to president lincoln as a christmas gift? >> wow! that is the nicest, most genteel description i've ever heard of that, because normally sherman didn't decide to save savannah, sherman said look, you can surrender or i'm going to shell you into submission. he gave them a choice. savannahns said okay and they
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earned the most other places in the south because they were weak and they gave up. so that's just the nicest way i've ever heard that played. >> quick question. of course, natchez does the same thing. i have another question. in 1863, confederate troops went out of their way and arrived late at gettysburg because they're busy burning down thaddaeus stevens' house and chasing free blacks all over pennsylvania and rounding them up. is there anything equivalent in sherman's march? that is, does his army target politicians' house and do they march out of their way just to seek revenge against particular politicians and are they rounding up any white confederates and enslaving them? >> they are not rounding up white confederates and enslaving them. i wouldn't say they go out of their way, but sherman takes a particular delight and he has a long passage about it in his memoirs about camping on the night on cobbs' plantation in georgia and freeing cobb's slaves, and the other place that
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comes in for a lot of destruction is the poet, the south carolina poet william gilmore simms, who they really destroy his house, and i have read one diary where soldiers actually really dismayed because it's one thing if they sort of trash the house, but they burn a lot of the books in simms' library. he feels like that is beyond the pale. so i think those are the two. the other thing is when they take millageville and sherman's men go into the georgia statehouse and they have a mock convention where they bring georgia back into the union. it's really interesting. what they don't do, though, is they don't talk about emancipation at all in this mock convention. they just bring georgia back in, so -- >> there were women and children from the south who were shipped via rail train to the north. they never made it back home again. has any research been done to
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follow up on what happened to them after the war? >> not that i'm aware of. and by ship, they go willingly. it's not as though sherman is refuging women and children out to the north. no. i have not seen much on that. the only thing i can recall a long time ago when i was working on my dissertation, i read a diary of a woman who had been from georgia and had gone and spent part of the war with family in brooklyn and then came back to georgia and was constantly -- was very upset that like the minister's wife wouldn't talk to her, that she was seen as having been sort of a traitor. but, no, i'm not familiar with that. >> there's a professor, i believe it's mississippi state, who recently came out with a book on sherman. it advances that one of his motives since he had taught school in louisiana to a military school, knew many of
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the confederate officers and had many friendships and personal relationships. but part of his motivation in the south certainly was to protect his own troops, certainly to break the will of the south, because it was obvious the war going on for four years, what we had been doing wasn't completely working. and then i think back to after the overland campaign, grant still hung on for almost a year, and all the loss and destruction and loss of life that went on there, to take the approach to break the will of the south to continue to fight and all that that entailed. but also he did not want -- and to protect his own troops, but he did not want to take on many of his friends and do battle on the field of battle. >> i've not heard that theory, that he didn't want to take on his friends. i mean, those friendships, of course, are legendary.
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not so much because sherman had taught at lsu, but because almost all of these officers had been at west point together over the years. i don't think that sherman -- that doesn't sort of ring true to me, personally. but i'm not familiar with the -- is it the -- "the demon of the lost cause," is that the one? that's the most recent one that i know of that came out. no, i'd love to see it. thank you. >> when the question arose about press coverage, did walt whitman cover anything having to do with sherman? did he comment on it? and the other question i have is, can you address the mythologizing of sherman, when it began? i think maybe reston -- i think there's a big mythology in america surrounding sherman. so when did that begin? >> okay. as to the poetry question, walt whitman has one poem that
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it's "ethiopia saluting the african-american woman watching north carolina. actually, melville, herman melville in "battle pieces" has two poems about sherman's march. i think there's two, that are pretty powerful. in terms of the mythologizing of sherman, i think it begins as the war concludes. i mean, he's seen as just such a hero of the war, and they march in the grand review. at the very end of the war, they march, and then they have all these, like, captured cows and sheep and stuff marching behind them. certainly when sherman dies in 1891 or '92 now, i can't
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remember, but when sherman dies, there's the outpouring of sort of national outpouring of grief is really tremendous. the other thing i'd say about sherman is that during the 1870s, 1860s and 1870s, he's not reviled in the south. he makes a tour of the south in 1879, he goes back to atlanta, actually. he's welcomed with open arms. there's balls in his honor. the papers are funny because there's people like ha, ha, ha, hide the matches. sherman's coming. but he's really -- he's welcomed by white southerners because of the fact that he did not support equality for african-americans. and he wanted, in fact, a very soft peace for the south. so going back to his time at lsu and his time earlier when he had been in the army in the south, he loved the south. he loved southerners, southern whites. let me be more clear. thank you all very much. [ applause ] tonight on american history tv a focus on slavery and cinema, beginning at 8:00 eastern with a look at the
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depiction of slavery and films since the 1830s. then the 2012 movie "lincoln" and its portrayal of the debate and passage of the 13th amendment. and a discussion about the 1939 movie "gone with the wind" and its depiction of southern society. that's tonight starting at 8:00 eastern here on c-span3. this weekend on "american history tv," we take a look back 200 years ago this week, when british military forces set the white house and the capitol on fire. join us for a live panel discussion with authors and historians saturday at 1:00 p.m. eastern. sunday at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. eastern, a discussion about british admiral george coburn and how he used washington, d.c.'s waterways to invade the city. all here on c-span 3. next, jim ogden talks about
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confederate weapons manufacturing in central georgia. in the fall of 1864, union general william sherman destroyed much of this infrastructure, crippling the confederate army's ability to wage war. this hour-long talk was hosted by the civil war center at kennesaw state university in georgia. as many of you all know from coming to some of my programs ty over the years, i have a tendency to use a few props of one sort or another. so i couldn't resist that opportunity today as well to i help illustrate a few points. mike and some of the staff are -- oh, my goodness. we even recruited craig into distributing handouts. i should get a picture of this.
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i have a historian friend who once had trace adkins as a sound man at an event. i have a naval academy professor as a map hander-outer. so that's kind of like bob cricf as an easel in the western theater. brian, i do thank you for the introduction. as brian noted, my day job is staff historian at chickamauga and chattanooga national military park.ian. even though i'm here today just as a self-interested historian and citizen and learner, because i've enjoyed making a few notes about things already yet again from richard and now craig and o look forward to hearing steve's talk in a few minutes.ok and i'm not here today as a national military park employee, but because i think the place that i work is an important historic site in the shaping ofs our nation, i couldn't miss an
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opportunity of hawking my day job. chickamauga and chattanooga national military park. and i've already seen that some of you all have discovered that out on the table in the lobby there are piles of brochures for chickamauga and chattanooga national military and the old one which is currently h in use and the new one which some day will be in use. and so you can pick these up ate some point, and i hope to see you on the ground studying those battlefields frequently and often. also coming around is that oming handout, which hopefully everybody will get a copy of efy pretty soon. and i also have a power point.r, and let's see, mike -- okay.see
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let's see here.. let's try this. aha! there we go.. that's the one that works. oh, no.ah i've already --a, there we go. okay. well, i'll only use the advance button. for the events that were and would be unfolding in the year we are considering today in this symposium, the year now a the century and a half ago, this past week of march, 1864, would prove to be a momentous one. not only did on march 17 the newly appointed lieutenant did general ulysses s. grant assume command of the armies of the united states and the next day,s the 18th, his most trusted subordinate, major general william tecumseh sherman, ed
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assumed command of his new area of responsibility, grant's just vacated seat of the commander of the vast military division of the mississippi, that western theater that richard so well described a few minutes ago, we that area between the minu appalachian mountains on the east and the mississippi river s on the west, but two days ago on the 20th of march, 1864, in a series of what one of the hat participants called full conversations, those conversations drew to a close ni with some important conclusions that in the end would turn out,c indeed, to do much towards to determining the course of eventn over the coming year. those full conversations, as william tecumseh sherman would characterize them, had begun tw days earlier in nashville.
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and ironically in the then abandoned and recently constructed renaissance revival home of one of the very men, confederate quartermaster georgn w. cunningham who would soon coo feel as if he personally had a target painted on his chest. because at that time, cunningham was working for the new confederate government in atlanta. concluding on march 20, two days ago, in the burnett house hotel in cincinnati where the ouse conversations had moved, ons ha including being continued on the rail line between nashville andg louisville, and then on to cincinnati, these full conversations set the strategy for the coming campaign season.n two weeks later, grant, the principal in those full conversations, having relocated
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to the east, would reiterate thd substance of those discussions as a general directive. in a letter to sherman dated washington, april 4, 1864, and marked "private and confidential." grant would write, it is my d design if the enemy keep quiet and allow me to take the quiet offensive in the spring campaign to work all parts of the army together and somewhat towards a common center. for your information, i now wri write you my program as to present -- or as at present to determined upon. he then briefly outlines what richard had briefly outlined about the many prongs of grant's planned spring offensive. but then he gets in the end of n the second paragraph to the important part of it.import and he tells william tecumseh
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sherman what you see on the screen.nst you i propose to move against johnston's army, to break it up and get into the interior of the enemy's country as far as you a can, inflicting all the damage you can against their war resources.can six days later, sherman, wantine to make sure that he understoode this and doing something that would not be really codified in military art and science until much later, although some of us who work with groups of military personnel today can tell you wee have to continually teach this,h but sherman essentially will do a brief back in a letter to grant on april the 10th from him then headquarters at the ers at cunningham house in nashville. sherman having occupied the sam
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residence after grant had vacated it.heant and sherman, too, marking the g letter private and confidential. sherman will say, your letter of april 4th is now before me and n affords me an infinite satisfaction, that we are now all to act in common plan, a converging on a common looks like enlightened war. most specifically he will say, like yourself, you take the ifie biggest road -- or biggest loadh and from you shall have thorough and hearty -- and from me, you shall have thorough and hearty cooperation. i will not let side issues drawn me off from your main plan in oa which i am to knock joe johnston and do as much damage to the - resources of the enemy as possible. i think william tecumseh sherman understands what is expected of
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him in the coming and joseph johnston's army of tennessee is indeed to be the first target for sherman's combined army group of the mississippi. and he'll later summarize this strategy by saying he was to got for lee, and i was to go for joe johnston.e a that was the plan. the confederate armies would be the first target. joe but there had by 1864 to be a nt second target, and that was the war resources. that are mentioned in this m order. because by 1864, the confederate states of america had created a capacity principally in central georgia and central alabama, ana now you can turn to the handout that i've provided you, and in particular the side that is in . the lower right-hand corner sie
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labeled number 1. the side with the map of the southeast of the united states on it, principally. you'll notice there in central georgia, and central alabama, a places like augusta, athens, macon, and montgomery and selma, i've drawn a solid square with a straight line off one of the upper corners of that square, a squiggly line, a symbol to represent what? factories, manufacturing, essin processing, transportation, warehousing, and distribution. by 1864, the new confederate wae government had created in central georgia and central alabama what we in our day woule think of and call a military industrial complex. a military industrial complex that was keeping southern armies in the field. a capacity that had allowed the
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confederate states of america, just three months after the surrender of the garrison of go vicksburg, to return most of rn those men surrendered there on the mississippi to the field. for grant and sherman, at chattanooga, it was some of these same surrendered, paroled, exhanged, reorganized and reequipped vicksburg troops who had helped, as we've heard from craig just a few minutes ago, they had helped patrick clayburn stop what was supposed to be grant's main effort. much of carter stevenson's division on tunnel hill portion of the missionary ridge battlefield just south of wherei clayburn's primary brigades wer located, in particular, the ima georgiabr brigade of cumming and
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the alabama brigade of edmund pettus helped stop sherman's c men. firing into the flank of sherman's assaulting columns on tunnel hill, was rome georgia'st artillery, rearmed with products of the confederate military industrial complex. and less than five months after their surrender to the very troops who were assaulting them on that november 25th, 1863, were now firing to stop those re very assaults. this military industrial complex was the capacity that caused pay one -- or someone walking the line tau of confederate cannon, captured on lookout mountain and missionary ridge, and displayedd as trophies in front of the armh of the cumberland's headquartert on walnut street in chattanooga. to observe that over one-half of the three dozen artillery piecet
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just captured in that fighting around chattanooga were products of confederate manufacture. in fact, all of the standard -- or all of the standard cannon of the day, the 12-pound napoleon, were southern manufacturers. b 13 of the 19 had been produced e in georgia. been in fact, on a clear copy of this photograph, you can read stenciled on the trail, macon id arsenal, macon, georgia. this military industrial complex was a capacity, which in april of 1864, was one of its april principal architects, if not the principal architect, gorgok prii brigadier general summarized as -- in a report to the confederate golf, it is three
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years today since i took charge of the ordnance department of the confederate states at montgomery. three years of constant work and application. i have succeeded beyond my anndy utmost expectations, from beingm the worst supplied bureau of tht war department, it is now the best. large arsenals have been organized at richmond, fayetteville, augusta, charleston, columbus, macon, atlanta, and selma, and smaller ones at danville, lynchburg, montgomery, besides other establishments. a superb powder mill has been built at augusta, the credit ofm which is due colonel george washington. melting works were established by me at petersburg. and turned over to the mining bureau. a cannon foundry established at macon for heavy guns and bronze- foundries at macon, columbus, and at augusta.ies. a foundry for shot and shell at salesbury, north carolina.
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armories at richmond and sh fayetteville, a manufacturing oe carbine has been built up in a l richmond and a riflee factory a asheville, north carolina. and a new very large armory at macon, including a pistol factory built up under contract here and sent to atlanta, and sent to atlanta then transferred under purchase to macon. a second pistol factory at columbus, georgia. all of these have required incessant toil and attention, but have borne such fruit as relieves the country from fear of want in these respects. want where three years ago, we were e not making a gun, pistol nor saber, nor shot nor shell, p except at the works, a pound ofs powder. now we make all of these in quantities to meet the demands s of our large army. in looking over all of this, i , feel that my three years of labor have not passed in vain.
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i want to spend a few minutes, or the rest of my time principally elaborating on what this confederate achievement principally in central georgia and central alabama was. because in the end, it can be argued, and certainly many be federal soldiers who fought at y alatoona and dalton and franklin and decatur and nashville probably would agree, na engagements that occurred aftern the atlanta campaign, it is, in the end, that sherman'serman' greater success was probably with the second part of grant's directive rather than the first. the army of tennessee was stillh a potentially dangerous force, s even after sherman was askonched in atlanta.
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you can, of course, locate many of these places, i know lots of you all are georgians, and hese hopefully all of you georgians can locate these principal te t places in what was considered by many the empire state of the h n south. ma but in general, i'll be working from east to west. i'm going to start off with augusta. augusta turns out to be in the . end one of the most important e military industrial centers fore the new confederate government. it was when georgia seceded and declared independence, it was cd already the home of a very ortantant facility. a united states arsenal had been established there early in the 1800s. its first location right on the banks of the savannah river. but because of disease, it had been moved up from the valley, r and perhaps a little ironically,
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and also reflective of what we heard just a few minutes ago from craig, it wound up on the land of the -- or the land thatt the father of william henry talbert walker, sold to the united states government. it's on walker's plantation, ans some of you may all know, walker after his death in the atlanta t campaign, in the battle of lant atlanta, would wind up being interred on family cemetery that's still on this piece of ground. but augusta was already the location of a principal united states arsenal in the south in the antebellum period.sout and with georgia's secession, hd the state of georgia sees that arsenal in january of 1861. and in so doing, brought 22,000 arms to the state of georgia, and then the new confederate government.e new
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it is worth noting that 12 months before, in early 1860, n there were only 2,000 arms in the augusta arsenal.2,000 why the jump between january of 1860 and january of 1861 from 2,000 to 22,000? it was in response to pleas by governor joseph e. brown to the united states war department in particular to the virginia who was the secretary of war, john floyd, to ship more arms r south in the aftermath of john brown's insurrection at harper's ferry. there was a fear that there at would be more john brown's and more harper's ferries. so state of georgia and then the confederate government will get this already existing facility,
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but will almost immediately begin to expand its capability.i first by making contracts with y other industrial facilities, including two foundries in a. augus augusta, but soon those foundries will be fpurchased by the confederate authorities andd then incorporated, administratively, into this ever-growing confederate state' augusta arsenal that is locatedl there. and the slide here on the screen shows the plan of the augustaf e arsenal as it developed during the course of the war. one of the reasons that this subject doesn't get a great dean of attention today, is so many of these facilities were destroyed in the last year of the war.royed but believe it or not, this one, in augusta is one that you can actually still walk and visit and get some idea about its size and scale.
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and some of you may have already visited this site without knowing that you have.e. this is now the main campus of georgia regents university in augusta, and, in fact, the old complex toward the -- as you view it left edge of the image is still there. most of those buildings are still present. the walls enclosing it are still there. the w and you can walk that during the course of the war, t theconf on fed rconfederate gov expand the facility and build across one end of it a very it, large structure that appears st here in a post-war photograph. but for this facility incorporated additional workshops and capabilities as well. another shoppost-war image of t. structure. this structure is long gone.are. but because the street pattern
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around the campus is still ar pretty much still the same, you can see and sense where this tha structure was located. as all arsenals, it had both lo in-house ability to produce ca materiel, but also served as an administrative center for the contracting of production of war materiel.cont the augusta arsenal will becomea one of the most productive. just in 1863 and 1864, to give you a couple of ideas about its capability, it will produce 174 artillery carriages, 115 casons, 10,500 wooden shipping boxes for gunpowder, 11,800 wooden shipping boxes for small arms ammunition, 73,500
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horseshoes, arsenals also are where the ammunition is prepared.ammu 85,800 rounds of artillery ammunition will be prepared.par. it 200,000 tieing fuses. 15 million small arms cartridges. and in addition to some male laborers in the cartridge factory, they employed dozens, hundreds of women, girls, and s, young boys as well. and eventually particularly in d 1864, as the threat to the l empire state increased, they expanded the ammunition production aspect of the arsenal by opening a cartridge rolling facility right in downtown a augusta.
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so that it would be closer to where much of the labor was, where people could come in and work. and when you've seen at a national battlefield park or civil war site, an individual di a firing demonstration, as you know, civil war soldiers to load and fire their single-shot rifle muskets would reach in their e cartridge box, pull out that paper tube containing the lead ball projectile and the powder charge. they tear the end of that paper tube open and then to pour the f powder down the bore. well, it was mostly women, boys and girls in factories north and south who took those trapezoid shaped pieces of paper, rolled one up around the wooden form, twist at the end, tie it off, picked up that lead bullet which had been cast, or stamped, and p then trimmed and lubricated by a man, and then place that lead tr bullet on the end of that now n paper wrapped former, rolled that up around a second
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trapezoid piece of paper, twisted it, tied it off, removed the former and stuck that pi completed tube in the box to be, sent to another part of the factory where men would put theu powder in, and then fold them up. how long do you think it would e take you to roll up those two pieces of trapezoid paper around that former and that lead ball? well, if you're going to get paid to do it, you're going to have to do 90 an hour or 1 every 45 seconds. and when you think about just io augusta, 15,000 -- or excuse me, 15 million rounds of ammunition being produced, how many man, we women, girl and boy days, and hours were expended doing that. the augusta arsenal will also develop the important capability of producing those -- the
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principal and main and most ncie important artillery piece of civil war armies north and south from the beginning of the war to the end of the war. and that is the 12-pound f civil napoleon. now, as the confederate south government, a little bit belatedly, adopted the 12-pound napoleon as its principal artillery piece, they will make a few refinements to their design of the 12-pound napoleon, primarily to reduce the amount o of machining necessary, and alsn the amount of material necessary. the back side of your paper handout, you'll notice the profile on the left, the model 1857, 12-pound napoleon, as developed in europe and whos concept was then brought back to the united states and refined somewhat and adopted by the united states army in 1857.
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you'll notice most specifically' that on the model 1857 12-pound napoleon, there at the muzzle, the muzzle is flared. that is purely decorative, to r make it rather attractive.el but if you look at the profile of the confederate manufactured 12-pound napoleon, you'll notice that the muzzle is sands that e, flare. to not have that flare on the muzzle reduced the amount of haa machining that was necessary, and if you are short materiel, how many pounds of bronze is in that flare? and if you save that amount of e bronze for each tube, how soon might you have enough bronze tot cast another 12-pound napoleon?
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so there's a little bit of savings in material there as well. in this central georgia military industrial complex, the production of these weapons will begin in the spring of 1863. and at augusta, which produces w as many as 115 of these 12-pounp napoleons by the end of the waro they had produced at least 57 by the end of 1863. and at least 77 were in the field by may of 1864.ay of and almost all of them are in the army of tennessee, and the other western armies.the although, today, if you're looking for the best collectiong of these products of the confederate military industriali complex, you have to go to the e eastern theater, and you have te go to the grounds of that -- ofo the scene of that small nds engagement outside that
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south-central pennsylvania college town. central but that gets to a whole other . story which we can talk about another time. these guns begin to be fielded in the late spring and summer of 1863te. i and as i noted, by the time of e the confederate defeat on missionary ridge in november ofr 1863, many are in the confederate army of tennessee's artillery complement because 13 of the 3 dozen guns lost at chattanooga are these hese confederate manufactured 12-pound napoleons. au there was also in augusta a clothing production facility that employed 1,500 women, gu producing uniform items for confederate soldiers. but perhaps the most important of all of the industrial ut facilities in augusta was the at
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confederate state's powder works that was developed there. gorgus will slightly exaggerate the case by saying that at the beginning of the war, no powder was produced in the southern there were really only some very small powder mills, like the ony to the northwest of nashville. but one of the most critical sh. resources that the new nation would need, even if as they thought in 1861 it would be a short war, would be gunpowder. and george washington rains was tasked with deciding on a location, and also the construction of a powder works.
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rains made a quick trip of the u industrial cities of the south n and decided on afwuugusta as th location. not only is augusta well served by railroads, and in fact, the whole military industrial wmplex in central georgia is in part located there because of h the railroad network, but augusta, being located on the fall line of the savannah river, and having developed that ine river's potential industrial de power by the construction of the augusta canal, had the potential power base as well to support this powder works operation. although, in the end, most of ur the power for the works was en going to come from steam power s and not water power.stea but also, as it turns out, augusta's going to be a well-chosen city because it is a going to be well behind what will become the front lines ver quickly, and for much of the
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war. the complex stretched along the bank of the savannah river, upstream of downtown, and also along the augusta canal. and on your handout, you've got a black-and-white copy of this image. both of the powder works imagese that i have here come out of a very wonderful and rich volume that the university of south carolina press published in 2007. never for the want of a powder, the history of the augusta powder works. and you can find this in many d libraries, and there are lots of things that you can dig out of e that volume. but by the spring of 1862, the
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powder works quickly constructed by incorporating the industrialo capacity of much of the south be having the individual parts of the factory produced in o different places, including somd of the incorporating wheels, thi big what you can kind of think of as grinding wheels in nashville, the drive shaft in the incorporating house building which was in segments, which isl almost 300 feet long, was cast in segments in chattanooga, and then shipped by rail to augusta and assembled in the complex. there was a refinery for refining, removing impurities from the principal component of gunpowder at that time, potassium nitrate. or saltpeter. and then large cooling arge magazines, and also storage magazines.
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and the complex was laid out essentially so that all the materiel progressed from al downstream to upstream, and the finished product, and also the most dangerous part of the product was also located d furthest away from the city of augusta.of during the course of the war, this powder mill will produce l 3.3 million pounds of gunpowder for the confederate government. in may of 1863, it was one of the principle places that the english military officer wanted in particular to visit. he happened to be in augusta on sunday. and was disappointed, because a that time, all of the needs fors gunpowder for the confederate er
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army nationally had been met, a, and there was no need to operate the powder factory on sunday. so they were keeping the sabbath and kept it closed. now, if you remember kind of the look of the color image of one of the buildings i showed you, you might wonder where the , confederates get some of these ideas. i just flashed past it again. but this is the national armoryi in vienna, austria. and notice the kind of crenolated and square turreted form of this. think back to the powder works images that i showed you, and also the arsenal images.owedso in the aftermath of the -- as a result of the crimean war, jefferson davis then secretary of war of the united states hada sent officers to europe for
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advancements in art and science. some of the things they saw wer. new ways of making gunpowder, s and also producing a lot of other war materiel. this engraving comes out of the report of the three officer team. and one of the first times that many of the observations from these officers about how to produce war materiel on the newest practice are going to be implemented is by the new nation, the confederate states of america.erat macon, georgia, is another important facility. ge macon, too, will go through kin of the same development process of where first existing private firms like the d.c. hodgkins and
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son and findlay ironworks and the schofield brothers facility are contracted with but eventually hodgkins and findlay are going to be bought out by the confederate government, and along with other facilities mena established, bend incorporated e into what is on paper the macon arsenal there. also will be -- to be located in macon is an armory for the lo production of small arms. and after a search of some time, it was decided to locate the national armory of the new confederate states of america at macon, georgialo. to build an armory just like that at springfield, and what st had been at harper's ferry in ar virginia. to locate that at macon. and property was acquired for
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the armory, and construction began. these are two buildings that were used by the confederate wee states laboratory. used part of the arsenal complex o producing some of the ordnance items.omple they also begin construction of this national armory. because it is the production of small arms where the confederates will have the tion greatest challenge.e grea in macon, they'll also produce the 12-pound napoleon. as many as 80 during the course, of the war, going into as 8 production again in the spring of 1863. by the end of 1863, having produced at least 37, and by mat of 1864, having at least 44 tubes in the field. columbus, georgia, will also be another major arsenal and armory complex.
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it, too, goes through the same . process of, first by contract, t and then by purchase, and consolidation of individual and much to craig's joy, i'm iof sure, he'll be satisfied to know that the confederate navy liked, columbus the confederate navy will develop an important industrial complex there in that city on the chattahoochee river. the columbus arsenal will also t produce the 12-pound napoleon, s as many as 60, with at least 23t by the end of 1863, and a couple of dozen in the field by may of8 1864.. columbus was also the location of some very large textile mills. like the eagle manufacturing company. l and that product was then ing shipped to various places to be
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used to produce uniforms, tents, and other cloth items. columbus also had another very important military industrial manufacturing complex. and that was the rock island paper mill. and why is paper important? what did the soldier expend every time he went to fire his weapon? a rectangle of paper, a little more than four inches by six inches in size. a and so how much paper was expended by the confederate arm in many battles.y across other places in central georgia and central alabama, were other facilities as well. like the cook and brothers small arms production in athens.armo
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a large potash works in terrell county, the georgia state armort in milledgeville. gin a cotton gin mrg manufacturing was converted to the production of revolvers, making more than 3,600 during the course of the war. in georgia, the rigdon company would produce pistols as well, and this complex extended over i into alabama. also, there were facilities ilie located in montgomery, and nearby points like the textile mills at prattville. at and another very large complex would be developed both by the confederate states army and the navy at selma, alabama. and the factories in selma, itself, and the activities that were operated out of selma, such as some of the functions of the confederate mining bureau, by
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1865, the operations right at selma, itself, and in the greater region had as many as 10,000 employees. not all right in selma, but at facilities in that greater region. the industrial capacity at selme was capable of producing even f large rifled and banded seacoasw weapons ofer the brook pattern a which were very important tont e confederate naval operation. then, of course, there are all e of the facilities in this, the n gate city of atlanta, or the ths nearby gate city of t and while atlanta had some key facilities, itself, like the rolling mill depicted here as a result of the abandonment of the
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city of atlanta in early september of 1864 in ruins, atlanta was primarily an administrative center for the confederate military production. offices here in atlanta contracted with firms large andd small throughout the region. and then receive the product of those operations, and then distributed them to the armies in the field as needed. but one of the most important facilities in all of the atlanta complex was the quartermaster clothing depot, run by that tennessee now confederate quartermaster george washington cunningham.
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whose house had been grant and sherman's headquarters in nashville in late n 1863 and eay 1864. cunningham operated a facility in atlanta that was capable of producing 130,000 complete suit of uniforms in a 12-month time period. and the -- he did this mostly by piecework. he had male tailors and other w. staff cutting out fabric in warehouses in atlanta, and then all of the pieces of a given garment, like a jacket or a pair of trousers would be bundled w together, along with the necessary thread to sew them ong together, and the buttons and other bits of trim, and then t women would come in and check out these bundles of unfinished garments, take them home, sew them together, and then bring
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them back in and receive pay foe them once they were inspected p and found to meet standards. by the spring of 1863, this operation in atlanta employed 3,000 women a month. sewing uniform items together. s and if we do not discount the sundays, just crude mathematics means that on a daily basis, about 100 women were arriving dy and departing the columbus -- excuse me, the atlanta clothing depot, delivering finished atla products and checking out more bundles and taking them home. there probably was a pretty bu y street corner scene there each m day in 1863 and 1864.n now, while this complex that i
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have described, is set in place, and was so successful, the product really of the hard workr of not only george washington n raines and richard kyler, and james h. burton, john mallett,cn and george washington cunningham and frederick c. humphries, and isaac m. st. john, and a host of others. that while that capacity to produce war materiel had reached such at point that between july 1st, 1864, and january 21st of 1865,1 it could issue more than 200,00d complete suits of uniforms to s its soldiers in the field just in that time period. i do have to note a few that qualifications.have it was not always the most perfect system.
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the southern railroad network as it deteriorated often meant thas raw materials and finished products would be delayed in either reaching the factories or reaching the destination points. it also meant that some alternate materials had to be used. instead of the preferred all woolen outer garments, jackets, coats and trousers of the military uniform of the time, the confederates had to rely est very extensively all on what wae commonly called jean cloth, a mixture of wool and cotton. a wool warp -- or excuse me, a cotton warp and a wool weft. what was often called negro cloth. because in the antebellum period, this cloth was used th extensively to produce clothing for slaves in the south.
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in the production of shoes, ves the -- even the agricultural south had a shortage of leatherd and could not make two standard infantry footwear. the jefferson booty that had been developed in the united art states army in the 1850s.iii the southern-style shoe had to h bej
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in the summer of 1863, you would have seen thousands of army of tennessee soldiers wearing these part leather, part canvas shoes. accoutrements were done often the same way. instead of a set of infantry accoutrements, made almost entirely out of leather, why non make a combination of leather and painted canvas? it is part leather, part painted canvas set of accoutrements as good as an all leather set? no. but it will work for a while?soo and more than 5,000 sets of these, probably many more, we've got that record, 5,000 at least were in use in the army of e tennessee in the fall of 1863. while alternate materials often could offset some of the difficulties, there were still some problems which were very th hard to overcome.
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one of the greatest difficultiea the confederates had in the production, at least reliably, i was artillery fuses. confederate artillery fuses were notoriously unreliable. porter alexander during the siege of chattanooga said he ft felt lucky if he could get one projectile in nine to explode on target. one in nine on target is not very good. unfortunately for us, he did not record how many of the other eight exploded prematurely, or not at all, or well beyond the intended target. but we do know in one case where many of the projectiles fired, had fuses that burned longer than the artillarist believed.
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that is in preparation for thatr charge on the third day of julyt at gettysburg.hat's but despite these caveats, this complex by 1864 was what was keeping southern armies in the x field.eping it was that complex which produced the materiel that confronted grant and sherman at chattanooga, and would confrontd sherman as he drove into georgia beginning on the seventh day of may. it is also the complex that sherman's men encountered as they advanced south into the empire state of the south that spring. on may 17th, sherman purposely took the industrial city of rome, georgia, to knock the industrial facilities at that o site out of the six days later, troops were sent specifically to the ironworks on
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the atawa river, run what b had previously been run by mark cooper, then being run by robinson, and knocked them out. and as sherman pushed ever turther south, of course, he will knock out the textile millt at roswell and sweetwater creek and high falls and other pointsd around atlanta, and then by his mere presence outside of atlanta in early september caused the ne destruction of some important facilities. and as sherman advanced south, also became -- became more threatening. labo it caused the labor force at many of these facilities in augusta, macon, columbus, and other points to be diverted froe their production ints responsibilities and turned at m least into temporary soldiers. a machinist handling a rifle and standing in the entrenchments at macon guarding against one of ng the cavalry raids that sherman h launched around the greater eva atlanta region is not a
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machinist who can be turning out a part for some piece of military equipment.equi in the end, as i noted, it is e, probably sherman's success in disrupting and destroying partsc of the military industrial complex that -- where he had thn greatest success in achieving what grant had outlined for him back in those full conversations in march and in that directive of april of 18rsat64. because how many months is it between sherman's arrival in atlanta in september of 1864, r or savannah in december of 1864 and the collapse of the south's bid for independence? thank you. [ applause ] tonight on "american history tv" a focus on slavery and cinema beginning at 8:00 eastern, with a look at the
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depiction of slavery in film since the 1930s, then the movie "lincoln" and its portrayal of the debate and passage of the 13th amendment abolishing slavery, and discussion of the 1939 movie "gone with the wind" and depiction of southern society. that's all tonight starting at 8:00 eastern here on c-span3. here are some of the highlights for this weekend. tonight, on c-span in primetime, we'll visit important sites in the history of the civil rights movement. saturday night at 8:00, highlights from this year's new york ideas forum including cancer biologist andrew hessel, and on sunday, q&a with new york congressman charlie rangel at 8:00 p.m. eastern. tonight, at 8:00 on c-span2, "in-depth" with writer and religious scholar reze as aslan. saturday "afterwards" at 10:00, ben carson. sunday night at 11:00 p.m. eastern, lawrence goldstone on
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the competition between the wright brothers and glen curtis to be the predominant name in manned flight. "american history tv" on c-span33 tonight at 8:00 eastern. a look at hollywood's portrayal of slavery. saturday night at 8:00, the 200th anniversary of the battle l of bladensburg and burning of washington. saturday at 8:00 p.m., former white house chiefs of staff discuss how presidents make decisions. find our television schedule one week in advance that and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-626-3400 or e-mail us at join the c-span conversation, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. next, sherman's 1864 atlanta campaign, including the union siege of the city and the march to the sea. with university of west georgia professor keith bohanon. this was part of the gettyburg college civil war institute's annual summer conference. it's about an hour.
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before we get started, the map you see up here is a campaign map with -- on the left side, the inserts there, or the smaller maps indicate the main battles. i know it's probably difficult for those of you in the back of the room to see this small details and maybe read the print, and so what we did, or actually what pete's staff did, was include this in your maps and handouts books. so hopefully most of you have this. if you turn to page 9, you'll see this map in there and you might want to refer to this, this is probably a little easier to read, but we'll be making frequent, or i'll be making frequent reference to this campaign map which will help us understand the course of the
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campaign. as chief of all union military forces in the spring of 1864, u.s. grant devised a grand strategy involving coordinated offensives by number of union armies stretching from louisiana all the way to virginia. and as you know already, the two most important of these offensives were those of the army the potomac here, or in virginia, rather, and that of william t. sherman who commanded what was called the military division of the mississippi. grant's orders to sherman for the campaign dated april 4th, 1864, were pretty straightforward. grant told sherman to move against the confederate army of tennessee commanded by general joseph e. johnston and to break it up, then get into the interior of the enemy's country as far as you can, inflicting
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all the damages you can against their war resources. at the same time, sherman was supposed to prevent johnston from detaching elements of his army to reinforce either lee's army in virginia, or confederate forces out in louisiana. that is sherman's objective, then in the atlanta campaign. if you look at sherman's record during the civil war up until the spring of 1864, in many ways it's not that impressive. particularly if you look at his performance on the battlefield. if you look at chickisaw bluffs during the campaign of december of 1862, if you look at chattanooga and missionary ridge. sherman's attacks that sherman
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has launched in those battles have been piecemeal, they've been repulsed. he doesn't have a particularly impressive record on the battlefield. sherman's reputation then today rests primarily on what he did in 1864 and 1865 to implement grant's grand strategy. sherman targeted not only the army of tennessee, but also the ability of the southern confederacy to wage war. and of course, this is part of grant's larger strategy, too. during the campaign in the spring and summer of 1864, the city of atlanta symbolizes the ability -- the way that the confederacy waged war. the city was a vital rail center in the deep south and was filled with important war industries. factories and mills turning out uniforms and shells and accoutrements for the
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confederate army. sherman also sought to demoralize the confederacy's soldiers and sieve vilcivilians to these people that their government could no longer defend them. sherman said, war is cruelty and you cannot refine it. sherman's an imminently quotable individual, as many of you know. in his letters, they're absolutely superb. i would highly, highly recommend "sherman civil war: the selected correspondence of william t. sherman." it's one of the most important edited volumes in many decades. brook simpson, who's on the faculty here, is one of the co-editors of that. throughout the atlanta campaign, sherman largely avoided launching frontal attacks against his entrenched opponent. instead, what he repeatedly did was utilize maneuver, flanking movements, to rest the confederates from strong
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defensive positions. i think sherman's greatness also derives from his mastery of logistics. keeping an enormous field army supplied day after day after day, very deep in enemy territory. sherman's army numbered over 100,000 men. it had 28,000 horses. 33,000 mules. imagine trying to supply an army of that size, day after day after day. the only way to do it, of course, was via railroads. sherman, in the months leading up to the campaign, which began in may 1864, had hundreds and hundreds of trains moving down a rail system through kentucky and tennessee stockpiling supplies in nashville and chattanooga. in chattanooga alone between the months of march and may of 1864,
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there are 145 rail cars unloading on a daily basis there. so he's building supply bases that he'll need as he advances into georgia. during the campaign, he had about 5,000 wagons that were constantly on the move from the railroad to the army in the field. as richard mcmurray, who is one of the foremost scholars of the atlanta campaign writes in one what's one of the best overviews of the campaign, and like some of the other speakers you've heard, i'm going to throw out some book titles. if you're like me, you love books about the civil war. mcmurray's "atlanta 1864" is a very, very, very good overview. if you're looking for one book that gives you an overview, "decision in the west" by albert castel is also an outstanding book. mcmurray points out that sherman had a couple of big advantages over his opponent at the start of the atlanta campaign. first, sherman had command of a
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vast department that stretched from the appalachian mountains in the east all the way to the mississippi river. he had command of the troops within this vast military division of the mississippi. johnston, on the other hand, commanded a much smaller he had no authority, johnston, % sherman commanded what i believe
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today would be called an army group but that term didn't exist in the 1860s. he commanded three separate armies. the largest of the three separate armies, the largest of these was the army of the cumberland, which numbered close to 73,000 men at the start of the campaign, commanded by general george h. thomas, a professional soldier, and if you look again at the performance on the battlefield, thomas actually had a far more impressive record than william t. sherman. thomas, in fact, had won the first major military victory in the west up in kentucky in 1862. he had performed superbly at chickamauga, actually saved the union army at chickamauga, as many of you probably know. thomas' troops had shattered the confederate lines at missionary ridge. thomas was an impressive soldier. some historians argued thomas would have made a better commander of the federal armies during the atlanta campaign than
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sherman. but -- but thomas did not have a very good working relationship with ulysses s. grant. brook simpson actually alluded to this yesterday in his talk when talking about the tennessee campaign in 1864. and then thomas also had a reputation as being a very slow, very methodical soldier and that caused sherman some frustration during the atlanta campaign, actually. so thomas is a very, very important subordinate, but he's an army commander during the campaign under sherman. the second largest of sherman's armies was his old command, sherman's old command, the army of the tennessee. it was his favorite army. and it was also the most
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successful union army of the civil war. a recent book on the army of the tennessee by stephen woodworth is entitled "nothing but victory." and that army never knew defeat on the battlefield. its commander during the atlanta campaign was james b. mcpherson, a west point graduate. he had served on grant's staff earlier in the civil war. and he was a great, great favorite of both grant and sherman. in fact, both men wrote that they could see mcpherson commanding all the union armies. sherman writes a letter during the campaign, i believe, that he predicts that something happens to him, something happens to grant, he feels confident that mcpherson can take command of the union armies, and win ultimate victory. the smallest of sherman's armies, which, in fact, is just a single core, is the army of the ohio.
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it numbers about close to 13,000 men under general john m. schofield, a west pointer and someone who sherman trusts and who performs very well during the campaign. sherman also had three divisions of cavalry numbering about 8,900 men. although sherman doesn't think very much of his cavalry generals or that branch of the service. i think you can rightfully criticize sherman for his employment, his poor employment, really, of cavalry during the atlanta campaign. and he thinks -- he, in fact, thinks that the confederate cavalry is superior to his. he's particularly worried throughout the campaign about the confederate cavalry out in alabama and mississippi under nathan bedford forrest. the close relationship that existed between sherman and his military and civilian superiors stood in stark contrast, stark
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contrast, to the relationship between joseph e. johnston and confederate president jefferson davis. the two men did not like each other at all. and this wrangling and the strained relationship between the two dated back to the earliest days of the war when there was wrangling over the issue of rank. which general should be -- should have the highest rank in the confederate army. bob krik has written a superb essay about this, about joe johnston. and so, the relationship between the two men is very, very strained during the atlanta campaign, too. in the months prior to the advent of the campaign, so march, april of 1864, jefferson davis had repeatedly asked johnston to go on the defensive.
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now, on your maps, if you look in the corner up there, it would be your upper left-hand corner, you can see the red lines on thu can see the red lines on the map up here indicate the confederate positions taken during the campaign. the blue lines are the confederate positions. during the first few months of 1864, the confederates are in the camp around the town of dalton. the army had been shattered at the battle of missionary ridge in 1863. it had been a humiliating, disastrous defeat for the army. johnson is brought in. in some ways, he's like george mcclellan. johnson rebuilds the army. he boosts the morale of the soldiers.
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the confederate soldiers love joe johnson and respect him. they know that he cares about their welfare. that's really one of johnson's great strong points as a general. while he's rebuilding the army of tennessee and its winter camps, jefferson davis repeatedly asked johnson to take the con fed rfederates who are not all that far north in tennessee. johnson claims his army is out-numbered. now, unforcue gnatly for johnson, the davis administration is getting very different reports concerning the army of tennessee, so his
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subordinasu subordinates are sending back report that is the army is in great shape and should takd the offensive. davis is more inclined to believecommanders, i believe, than johnson. one of joe johnson's complete weaknesses was his continual failure to provide davis with dead detailed, regular reports of what's going on. if you compare lee's correspondence with davis with what joe johnson was sending, there's a stark contrast. johnson's waive wiflate wife in 1864 said it might be better to
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keep him informed of what his plans are. johnson's replies to her is her suggestion was a judicious one. but that, the people in richmond take no interest in this quarter. suggesting that what jefferson davis is really concerned about are events in virginia. johnson's strategy in the spring of 1864 was to remain in a strong position around dalton behind a high ridgeline just west of the town called rocky face ridge. and await and attack by the federals. johnson would then move west into alabama and then north up into tennessee.
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johnson's army was about 63,000 men and the bishop general, polk. polk had commanded a second army that was brought and called the army of mississippi and it became a core in johnson's army. the campaign began in the first week of may of 1864. it was for some modification.
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but sherman's plan was to have the army of the ohio and the army of the coupumberland northd west of dalton. mcpherson's army, then, would march west south and west of rocky face ridge. again, in the upper left-hand corner, the movements or you can look on your map there. and then break johnson's supply line in the vicinity of dalton.
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there was a railroad to atlanta, which is in the bottom center of your map. so both armies are relying on the western atlantic. it was a good plan. it was a very good plan. and, initially, it unfolded just as they hoped it would. mcpherson gets his march down. the confederates have left unguarded. they've been there all winter. and one of johnson's -- one of the criticisms you can level at johnson is that even though he had been and camped around dalton for many momentnths, he hadn't really studied the
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geography around the town. johnson's men are able to march through without a fight. and then, when they come out of the eastern end of the gap, very short distance in front of them is the western and atlantic. they see some earth works, though, around the small town of versack. it was a terrible mistake on the part of the federals. mcpherson becomes worried. he's also worried if he continues advancing toward the railroad, that confederates might march down from dalton and strike him in the flank, as he's moving down east. so, instead of pushing forward, seizing the western in atlantic,
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cutting johnson's supply line, mcpherson pulls his army back. johnson orders a retreat, a very well-organized one of his troops from the dalton vicinity southward. mcpherson had lost he nor mouse opportunity to strike a kriping blow at the confederates. sherman realized this. and he wrote to mcpherson, i regret beyond measure you did not break the railroad. sherman realizes there's a big, missed opportunity here.
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both armies are fortified there. both armies launch attacks that fail. tactically, then, at the operational level, sherman scores a great victory getting across the river just south of ursacka. he gets one division across at a fairy site south of rasacka and 3c))o retreat. johnson retreats and you can look in the middle 06 your map now. there he hopes to lay a trap for sherman. the roadpñ÷network is such that
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sherman ends up dividing his armies. johnson's plan was to strike one of these wings as it marches south. john belle hood doesn't do so. and then, in a conference, a night conference that's held between johnson and its core commanders, hood and polk argued that the army needed to retreat again. their army is being infiltrated. who said what was a point of bitter contention between joe johnson and john belle hood for many, many years. each had a very different version.


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