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tv   The Civil War  CSPAN  November 22, 2014 6:00pm-7:11pm EST

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suffers historic injustices, because his forefathers were their spanish and mexican land grants. often,ldren, all too attend segregated or semi-segregated schools. on average, five years less schooling than other southwestern children. our mexican-americans have determined that they will do whatever they must do to themselves. there is one phrase and one word that characterizes america and what it means and what it stands for. freedom. not just liberty. not just wealth or power. the word that characterizes america's hope and dream and is opportunity. opportunity. that's what we want. mankind wants all over the world. the opportunity to make something out of himself.
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[applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] civil war, union forces repeatedly targeted the port of charleston, south carolina, using a variety of tactics, including new naval warships., ironclad historian steven wise talks about the seize of charleston. the various artillery methods the role of blockade runners in keeping charleston supplied. hosted by the south carolina historical society. it runs about an hour and 10 minutes. >> good evening. i'm faye jansen. like to thank everyone for joining us. i'd also like to thank the board managers of the society for
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sponsoring this event tonight. there will be refreshments afterwards and you can thank our board for those. the union series, alan nevin points out that the federal assault on charleston was planned for both reasons. and military he writes that the seizure of of the confiden confederacy, would humiliate every follower and exalt every northern heart. we're going to hear about this important campaign tonight from finestsouth carolina's historians. is professorgar emeritus at the university of south carolina where he began 1972.ng in he has written or edited more a dozen books on the american south, including the encyclopedia,
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south carolina history, coats, thend red southern conflict that turned the tide of the american revolution, and south carolina in the modern age. he has also contributed numerous essays and reviews to professional publications and has delivered hundreds of talks to school, civic and community groups. dr. edgar was the founder and director of the university's public history program and served as the institute fore southern studies. since 2000, he has been the host weekly programs radio.h carolina e tv walter edgar's journal and read.rn we were fortunate to have dr. edgar serve as president of of therd of managers south carolina historical society. in 2009, he was inducted into carolina hall of fame in honor of his outstanding contributions to the state.
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2010, he was inducted into the south carolina higher fame, whichll of recognizes individuals who have one a lasting impact university education. dr. edgar is dr. stephen wise. master'sreceived his degree from bowling green and his ph.d. from the university of carolina. he is the director of the parris island museum and an instructor at the university of south carolina. a well-known civil war dr. wise has authored a number of books and articles, lifeline of the confederacy, blockade running war, and gateil of hell, the campaign for 1863.ston he is currently working on the ofond volume of the hifor histy beaufort county. lectureris a popular
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who has appeared frequently on channel.e discovery and fortunately for us, he also ofves on the editorial board the south carolina historical magazine. welcome walter edgar and stephen wise. [applause] >> steve, before we get started, faye also mentioned the occupants. books. but somebody asked me, what books would they read about the charleston? and i said, well, if you want to go back, first thing you need to is look at burton's occupant b, which has been around for a while. and then lifeline of the
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confederacy and gate of hell, by steve wise. steve, the siege of now, when it began matter up for discussion. tenscovered maybe eight of possible dates. did it start on december 26, the union occupation of fort sumter? when the blockade was proclaimed in april? start in may 1861 when blockade ship came? some people have dates after that, but i think it gets a little dicey. >> everything is confusing, yes. >> you've got three possible dates. you're the man who is the expert in naval history and blockade.ly the when would you -- let's
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settle this once and for all in charleston. when did the siege actually begin? >> boy, i can't even answer that one. i like to put the siege starting when the federals occupied port royal, november 7, 1861. federal troops within 40 air miles of charleston. it allows them to increase the blockade off charleston. it also gives them a pac base fm which they can launch both land and sea assaults against charleston. almost immediately, when the federals occupied port royal sound. to remember, it's a whole new time of warfare. blockadeto carry out a of the confederate coast, you need coaling stations. in the war, the united states actually set up -- you could argue -- the first of staff board to dear out cary out a strategy to defeat the confederacy. with a concept of blockading the south and establishing coaling stations
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could findwarships refuge, be refueled and carry out a much tighter blockade of coast. as they chose port royal site to establish a naval base, guarded by an army installation, blockade.ut this they actually chose it before the confederates even started building their fortify cases, the guard, port royal sound. 1861, aovember 7, fleet, the largest fleet up to u.s. history, 15 warships, will seize port royal sound. the sea islands will be abandoned by their owners. be abandoned. army troops will be landed on head. then they'll establish this massive base from which they can launch attacks against charleston. and the commander of this expeditionary force was thomas west sherman. sherman.ot "the"
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he's sometimes called the other sherman. underoor guy, he was direction almost immediately to capture charleston. well, here he is with only 14,000 men at port royal. yes, the naval base. to seize jackson, fernandina, saint augustine. but charleston was a symbol that won it.h and he almost -- the north wanted. givenost immediately was out instructions, carry out an attack against charlotte. quotedally, when faye alan nevin, who quoted somebody -- when he talked about charleston in the revolution, he would say, talking about the sullivans island i, he findthe british would charleston a tough nut to crack.
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>> it was. they sent sherman out to his engineers. plan thatup with a called for landing troops on sullivans island and morris island. >> sullivans island, didn't they fail once before? did.m sure they i'm sure they studied all of that. problem was, he only had about the campaignd called for about 30,000 men. and he wasn't going to get those 30,000 men. it's going to be out of port royal that all attacks against charleston will come from. course, the naval blockade and even the naval attacks will originate. >> some things people forget. they think about the blockade. you've actually got the ships patrolling. but in december 1861, and what,y 1862, they sank, 30 ships loaded with stone to avenues and various passes into charleston? >> yes. port royal,eized information or directives came at thatadmiral dupont,
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time captain dupont, saying a're going to be sending you stone fleet. these were old whalers that the united states government had loaded them up with granite from new england. they were to come down and supposed to sink them in the channels off of charleston. dupont hated the idea. he called them white elephants. they didn't know really what to do with them. followed orders. went ahead and sank them in the main ship channel. then another group came down a later and sank them off of sullivans island. dupont could tell, the sinking of these vessels, granite helped scour out the channels to make them even deeper. [laughter] -- blockade runners could get them a little easier. them into machine shops which he thought was a them.etter purpose for
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>> you mentioned captain admiral dupont. 1863, he made a stab at fort sumter. >> yes. fascinating individual. he was sort of the aristocrat of the united states navy. he was on that blockade board. he's one of the ones who helped design the blockade. given command of the expedition to come down and seize this area. to his first cousin. no children. day.e wrote her every and the letters are fascinating. he even writesd in french, if there's something he doesn't want everybody to read. but he leaves behind a tremendous amount of wonderful that describe it. he did not want to attack charleston. he said it's just like a porcupine hide turned inside out. you couldn't get into charleston. and he's also a man of the old navy.
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a midshipman about the age of 12 or 14. in the big, tall, wooden vessels. he didn't like the ironclads. and he's being sent these monitors, these ironclads that be the weapon to of the age. the united states naval department thought these ironclads could do anything. and he sent down -- this is the largest ironclad fleet ever assemblied by the united states to come against charleston. there's a great description of flagship, theis frigate. he's standing there watching the first monitor come in. he said this little tiny raft comes in. it's being swept over by water. said the crew comes out onto the deck. and they look like drowned rats. [laughter] and he said we can never use unless we can come up with iron sailors.
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into thethat leads whole area of naval -- the development of naval warfare and technology. and so let's back up a little bit, because i think we're going monitor, ift the we're going to talk about that, we've got to talk about the of hampton roads in virginia, when both the confederacy and the union were coming up with ironclads. the confederacy, to break the blockade, an attempt to break not quite as good a design as the monitors. >> no. the first battle between steam-powered ironclad vessels will be the virginia and the popularly known as the merrimack. the south,e from it's the virginia. >> yes. >> it's not the merrimack. new england, it's the merrimack. >> okay. yes, sir. >> for those who don't know, the frigate sunk the at norfolk that they converted into the virginia. >> yes. >> that goes out. was designed as a large ram, though she didn't have very
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good engines, which was a problem with confederate ironclads. monitor, which was the brainchild of the swedish inventor. so you had this very unusual, huge confederate ironclad, big armored casement coming out of the water. and this little tiny monitor turret that just spun around. couldn't fire straight ahead or off the pilot house, but it could fire in other directions. butmerrimack had a big ram it had already broken off the day before when it attacked some wooden vessels. they sparred for an entire day. inconclusive battle. but after this point, each side begins building these styled ironclads. the confederacy, smaller versions of the virginia. the north turns out between 60 and 80 of these monitors during war. the confederacy turns out between 50 and 60 smaller
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versions of the virginia. a port wheren is they have an ironclad squadron. there the war is out, will be four active ironclads in two orton harbor with three more on the stocks. the --two of >> they had two. the first two they built, one the palmetto state. the other was the jacora. both were vessels built in .harleston engines were taken out of other ships. they didn't have very good engines. the jacora was particularly vessel.very slow it was said that the jacora took from thes to steam battery to fort johnson. [laughter] one said that a log floating in the tide could outrun it.
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ironclads.re and they will actually go out and attack the federal fleet, january 30, 1863. there were no union ironclads there. and they had plenty of time. i think they had six hours to get from the cooper river out to the mouth of the harbor. minstral stroll. and they attack the federal fleet. state damages the union blockader. a largera takes on the keystoned state. and i have to do this. i'm sorry. story.to do this side-wheel vessels do not make the best warships, because you can imagine, you know -- >> i knew he was going to work it in. do this. to and like comedians, historians
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steal from other historians, so i have to say i'm stealing this from craig simmons. warships, the united states and most nations side-wheel vessels. of course, if you hit a side wheel, it was a shot. it hurts. you can't do much. jacora damaged the keystone state paddle wheel. the keystone state is coming along, loses a paddle wheel, so it's kind of going like -- [laughter] the jacora was so slow, she catch the one paddle here of the keystone state. but, again, they could take on wooden vessels. wooden vessels could get into the harbor, they would be very formidable. armament.ery good called brook cannons, massive rifled guns. the confederate navy believed in rifle guns, fired like a bullet-like projectile, weighing up to 200, 300 pounds that could
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enemy the side of an ship, hit engines, magazines and such. the north believed in firing great big round balls, weighing 440 pounds. they didn't care if they broke the armor of an enemy vessel. they just were going to pound it into submission. if you can imagine being inside iron case and a 440-pound ship,its the side of your knocks out half the crew, splinters are thrown all over ship.terior of the >> that's the main thing, because behind that iron are oak timbers. like the danger in the navy on the wooden ships, it was not shot itself but from the splinters. you mentioned the engines which southernakness in ironclads. tell us about the smokestack. >> yeah. riddled.k would get then you didn't have the draw coming back in and that would well -- down grately as greatly as well. in some battle, the smokestack
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literally fall off, it had been hit so many times. thene thing is, yes, confederate ironclad is above water, but most of the and all ofow water the union ship is below water. port holes. you've got that turret and that's it. you're off charleston harbor in the summer. just stop and think about that. were alwaystors wet. you could not stay dry in the monitors. mean, they were theory- erikson had this that rafts could ride over waves. vat.rked well in a wave doesn't work in reality. and waves go right over them. these just floods vessels. and they're small crews, a littlefrom 80 to over 100 men. they got special pay for serving on monitors, because they were constantly wet. they couldn't see down in the
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hulls of these vessels, as says. they had some dead lights, some brought the deck that in some light. but it didn't do much at all. one officer who was stationed charleston wrote his wife and said, we have some interesting times when we have messes. we're given bowls of food. you can't see the roaches in them. youhe said the bigger ones, can pick out. but the smaller ones, you just eat normally as you go through. it was suggested that the navy the rum ration. by this time, for the sailors. had theirrs still wine mess. but the sailors did not. and it was thought maybe we should bring this back for the serving on board the monitors. the chief surgeon of the united states navy said, no, no, no. a mixture of warm oatmeal and be much better. i think they would have preferred the rum.
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they would have. >> all right. we've got port royal. we've got the blockade. we've got dupont decides to at have a foray against fort sumter. scares dupont the most and scares the men on the monitors -- and these are top officers. dupont had was top officers. family ofn charleston. one is bankhead, who took over the monitor after the commander monitor was wounded in the action against the virginia. but they're scared to death these monitors have very buoyantness. and they know the generalates -- the comes and takes over in charleston in september of 1862. to try anything. one thing they do is place lace in the harbor and out in the main channel. mines, floating -- what they
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torpedoes. if these torpedoes hit and detonated against a monitor, you had less than a minute to get out. over and sink. one hit a mine in charleston went down with 64 of her men. i mean, it went over. it wasn't even a minute. go down. flip and so they're very brave men. minute.it an so when dupont sends his vessels she has a --ship, something designed by erikson, contraption on her bow up theto catch and blow mines, the torpedoes, as they come into the harbor. quite sure exactly what happened. it seems that it hit one mine. up. and that was enough. nobody was going to attempt to
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harbor.charleston the commander eventually cuts this contraption and it floats off. and the ironclads don't even try charleston harbor, because of the mines. they take up a position to fort sumter. it's a very uneven match. have these huge cannons. and, again, think about world we hadand such, when 16-inch guns on board the new jersey and the later classes our battleships. monitors during the civil war 15-inch guns. and they could fire, again, a 440 pounds,g up to which they fired against fort sumter. know that, and i've read that. you've got that. but how does the crew load a cannonball into that
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gun? allhe monitors are steam-propelled, steam-operated. designed inside them steam lifts that would lift up the powder and, again, the powder is quite heavy. bring thesefts to shot and shells up from the hulls to the turrets. turrets, you had around the turret, a block-and-tackle system that would actually snap onto these -- they had little them.s in they would snap onto these balls and be manhandled over and into these huge guns. time, almost five minutes, to fire one of these guns. that's sort of what happened to them, when they come into charleston harbor. off 162 shots, about 16,000 pounds of metal against fort sumter. the confederates get off from their cannons, which are just 2,000g the harbor, over
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of metal.0,000 pounds and it's just raining down on these monitors. hold up under the bombardment. decks, rips upir their decks, jams their turrets. again, as walter mentioned, the vesselsnses inside these are knocking bolts loose. ares about this big breaking off in the turret and whizzing around the turret, gunners.he after about four, five hours of this, they withdrew. and dupont gets these reports back from his officers. the monitors have all been quite roughly handled. a couple of them dropped out of battle. there was one vessel, she was not a monitor. a towerwhat they call ironclad. had two towers.
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armor thanh weaker the monitors. she was shot through over a dozen times. such a -- she was a lighter draft vessel so she could get closer to fort sumter. commander, a fellow named i want youhis pilot, to get as close to fort sumter as you can, because i want to lousy ship.s a smalls, thes robert fellow who took the channel out of the harbor. she sank that night. the monitor survived. but it was a tremendous -- i mean, dupont was just so upset at this. he was very worried about it. a tremendous reputation for his capture of port royal. suddenly, he's being -- how dare you stop this attack? navy department. back.rs cannot be turned what do you mean? a huge political war basically breaks out between dupont and
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backers and the navy department. in the end, dupont is relieved of command. redesigned. are the ones that attack charleston are reworked to give them more protection. but they never, ever try to run into charleston harbor. of hitting the torpedoes is just -- >> do they do that refitting or -- >> they could do most of the refitting at port royal. got sent back, because the gear -- the monitors, again, are all steam-operated. when they went into battle, they up, to turnly rise the turret. and one of the gears that turned the turret broke. they couldn't do in port royal. >> and they've established not a u.s. navalically ship-yard at buford. fascinating. they had the hard hat divers there. the would go down to clear underside of the vessels and in case bushels of oysters were
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hull of a monitor. some of the officers were a little upset, because, what, out and grabst go oysters whenever they needed them. and now they cleaned them all off. >> okay. but just a couple of months dupont and that monitor fiasco, about six months, you've wagner.assault on fort >> again, the movement from port realized dupont was not the man to lead out these attacks. namedring down a fellow ofn dullgrin, the inventor these huge cannons, the guns on the monitors. little experience, very little sea duty. was headhe most part, of the washington arsenal naval
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yard. a very good friend of abraham lincoln. lincoln would visit the washington navy yard. >> so he was just a political admiral? >> some people argue that. he got seasick. he was promoted over a lot of other officers, never well-liked, kept to himself. he wanted glory, and never really achieved it. he was a technician, and he was not really the first choice the united states navy had to take over after dupont. they wanted andrew foote. the fellow who commanded the union fleet on the mississippi river, working with grant. but he had been wounded at fort donaldson, and he never really recovered from that. he was referred to as a stonewall jackson type of naval officer. but he died, and dahlgren
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succeeded him. >> farragut was pretty good, too. myu question. admiral dahlgren was a political admiral? >> in many ways. he was named by lincoln. he was a favorite of lincoln. the secretary of the navy did not want him, but under pressure from lincoln he went down. there was hope his knowledge of weaponry and that he knew more about the technology of the monitors. he joins with general gilmore, and general gillmore replaces a -- politicalcer officer, general hunter, at port royal. he will leave the army in the attack against ralston. -- charleston. gillmore is the top engineer in the united states army, the man who used rifle cannons. it is. between these technicians, dahlgren and
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gillmore, they can carry out a campaign that can destroy fort sumter, capture for sumter -- fort sumter, remove those obstructions and torpedoes between fort sumter and sullivans island, and that would have allowed the monitors to go into the harbor and capture charlson. it was that between these commanders, this could be done. the idea again is to come down and use the island, which had been occupied earlier in the war, use folly island as a jumping off to establish the batteries. bombard fort sumter from half a mile away, destroy the fourth, capture the -- fort, capture the navy could go in. initially they worked well to try to pull this off. >> talking about the siege
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of charleston, the campaign around battery wagner is a big part of that. >> if you want to start your account -- count, follow with your count, a lot of charlson newspapers said the siege began federal, 1863, when troops landed. starting the count of 587 days of union forces right on the outskirts of charleston. this movement to morris island starts on july 10, 1863. if you look at the newspapers, that's what the charlestonians call the beginning of the siege. >> the beginning of the campaign, when the confederate abandoned battery wagner. and of course, you have the
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assaultthe assualt -- at battery wagner using african-american troops. many of the soldiers were recruited in beauford. >> you have three black regiments in gillmore's army. the famous 54th, but also the first and second south carolina, both of which were from thebeaufod area, making up a number of former slaves from south carolina and also florida and georgia as well. later they are joined by the third south carolina. it is made up of a lot of escaped slaves from the charleston area. .t also sees service here going to callm it the siege of battery wagner.
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for those of us in later wars, world war ii, they had bunkers in the sand. again, when they were being shelled they would go in. when it stopped, they would get out. 26, the 10 to december confederate soldiers are going underground for hours at a time. think what these young men are putting up with. there are humorous stories, talking about how the union fleet would skip the shells in, like a stone across a pond, and sometimes they would bring in fish fopr supper. >> robert pringle said you could
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sit and watch these ever-alleging -- ever-enlargin disks coming at you. in one case they brought in a school of fish. wagner in the sense is one of the first earthen forts to undergo these attacks, and it changes military concepts. gillmore was thinking about fort sumter, fort pulaski, big forts that could be pulverized by rifled artillery. getsrson -- earhten fort chewed up, but not weakened. they were watching shells crashing into the fort, and cannot believe anyone is surviving. they have a bomb proof inside
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wagner that can house 1,000 men , so when the bombardment stops, they can come out and take positions along the wall and have time to prepare for the attack on the evening of july 18th. hurt inpeople were the department, leaving almost 1600 men inside wagner to stop the assault. the federals send 5000 men. the lee brigade would hit wagner. some would get over the walls, then be driven back. cannot go brigade into the interior. they have to pull back. before it's over, the federals lost almost 1800 men, the
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confederates losing under 200. the power of these earthen fortifications, what starts gillmore to carrying out siege operations against wagner. digging in the beach at more silent, exact trenches -- morris island, zigzag trenches. it takes than six weeks to get to the moat of battery wagner. >> and the confederate abandoned it on september 6th. >> a remarkable evacuation. they only lose 20 men, get out the entire garrison from all of morris island. >> one of the few things the kernel ever did write -- colonel kitt ever did right. >> talk about political
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officers. people of the few douglas freeman takes to task as worst example or of a political officer in the confederate army. the, if you were in his unit, a unit defending the coast was only supposed to have a certain percentage. his unit was many times over. friends' sons in the unit so they would not have to go to the virginia theater, and when they abandoned battery wagner they go to virginia. where did that, division come from? it's so much larger than the regiments serving in virginia.
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kitt did not realize you were not supposed to be riding a horse at the head when you engage the enemy. if you read the history of kershaw's brigade, they did not like him taking command. he also was shot in the back. [laughter] i will let you dryer on conclusions. position, a fortified sensibleexactly a thing to do. >> not in 1864. most people knew better. >> the story of kitt and his political shenanigans. freeman as pages on that. >> he has a wonderful line from battery wagner after the heavy bartman. beauregard -- heavy bombardment. overgaard sent a telegraph, can you hold off?
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he said, sense of sugar with lime and rum and i will hold another day. [laughter] he thought that would make a nice lyrical -- political campaigns someday after the war. while they are besieging battery eagner, the union sets up th infamous swamp angel, a large mortar to lob shells into the city. we have a very interesting letter from thomas lockwood, written august 23rd, the day after the swamp angel began. this is what mr. lockwood, writing to cousins, says " the papers made light of the shelling. i do not regard it so. 23 shells were thrown into the city and several houses completely ruined. one house on the corner, one wharf,e, one on atlantic
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have been cleaned out. two of them burned. while i write, shells are falling and e-house is on -- a house is on fire. another shell is just exploding, and crowds are pushing uptown. four people are knonow homeless" howof the first accounts of citizens were reacting to the bombardment. if you were living close to the battery, shells falling around you, it was more -- >> you did not know they were coming, either. the shells they were using were designed to start fires when they hit, to incinerate homes and such. the swamp angel, it's still there if you go out, you can see the site of the swamp angel,
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guilt in the marsh between morris island and james island. gillmore sent when out where he wanted it built, and don't know which officer was tasked with building it, but supposedly he came back and said, this is impossible, you cannot build a battery in the marsh. no, you can do it, you just need to come up with a way to do it. posted late, the next day -- supposedly the next day the engineer officer sent a request for 20 men 18 feet tall. [laughter] to work in the marsh. and sent a request to the steve -- chief surgeon asking him to slice together 36-footmen -- three six-foot mnen to crete this man who could work in the marsh. the parapet floated independent
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of the platform. so the platform with the carriage and the gun pushed down in the marsh to help elevate the parapet. this unbelievable piece of engineering. it fired into charleston, and the actual swamp angel only lasted a short period before that piece of artillery cracked and had to be replaced, but it starts a tremendous exodus out of downtown charleston that becomes known as the "gillm ore district" because of them bartman. >-- bombardment. >> that continues until charleston surrenders. into0 rounds were fired charleston. hello calhoun street, it -- b elow calhoun street it became a
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ghost town. people refugeeing in the upstate. sumter, columbia. columbia's population goes from 8000 to 25,000, mostly refugees from trials and. the citadel becomes a tent city for refugees. 16,000 people in charleston, almost half the population of the city. evacuated.re folks columbia was considered the safest city in the confederacy. the bells of saint michaels were sent for safekeeping. when sherman went into the town, crammedvaults wrere
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securities, told, jewelry -- gold, jewelry, art, books. all of that was shipped out to columbia. lamentioned, 25,000 people, st week when i gave a talk in columbia on that they said, where did they house them? everyone moved in with her cousin or their kinfolk. most of these are women, children, and the elderly. the columbia story is another one. that is connected to the siege, and comes back to what is occurring here. the bombardment will continue until the actual evacuation. the same time, they continuously bombard fort sumter. they began firing on fort sumter before they took over all of morris island. you had a tremendous bombardment, followed by a second great compartment --
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bombardment in october, then in the summer of 1864 the third occurs. for sumter is the most bombarded site in the western hemisphere. firedons of artillery was into fort sumter. broke down the walls of fort sumter. the confederates basically turned it into a world war i bunker with tunnels throughout. a miserable place to be. rats, roaches. artillerysed to be an position and became an infantry position. as long as they held fort sumter, the federals could not break or take up those obstructions. as long as the obstructions and torpedoes were there, even baldwin was not going to send his monitors in. the torpedoes, like many things
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in the confederacy, they were somewhat makeshift. they started using beer keg and tar aroundith them. as they found out in mobile bay, one blew up, but the rest of the torpedoes, he took his fleet right through the torpedo minefield, and none of them exploded. they got waterlogged. you could hear them bouncing off the ships, and they did not explode. they were continuously swapping out torpedoes because they would be waterlogged or the ignition systems would not work properly. they were trying other things. fascinatingegard, individual. he never had an idea he did not like.o try, or at least [laughter] [applause]
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by torpedoesated and wanted a way to attack the union command on morris island. to, drive offhad the union fleet. one idea was, we have to come up with torpedo boats, and use the torpedoes as an offensive weapon, ram them into enemy vessels, sink the vessels, and once the union fleet is gone we can recapture morris island. he hired, you may be familiar with him, francis d. lee, one of the architects of charleston, was designing an army torpedo boat called "the torch." it did not do very well. she went out. what inspired this, there were bounties on union vessels. wasbiggest union ironclad
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the " ides."-- "new irons she had a $100,000, to sink the "new ironsides." they came close. it's a great story. wabash, the flagship of the u.s. fleet, $100,000. a monitor, $50,000. you could always find crew members to go out. gold,ys heard it was in which was preferred. around $25money, million if you sank the new ironsides. the company put out these bounties. >> before we get to the final bombardment, we need to talk aobut the blockade -- about the
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blockade runners. part of that, once battery wagner goes, what happens? >> they move. charleston was the premier blockade running port for the confederacy from the beginning of the war to summer 1863. over 100 roundtrips of these vessels, primarily out of nassau and bermuda, sometimes havana, would go into charleston carrying everything from handkerchiefs, wine, billiard ta bles, to vital confederate munitions, cannons and weapons. and the majority of your blockade running companies, southern blockade running companies, were formed in charleston. one of the largest was established by a man who had an office in liverpool adn an office in charleston.
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they had over 30 blockade runners. the charleston blockade running company, the b company, was the south carolina import and exporting company. george williams, is very important individual on the city council, helping to run relief programs in charleston during the war, was a big backer of these blockade running companies. they brought in what i felt was needed to sustain the confederacy. enough munitions that the troops always had uniforms, choose, accoutrements, weapons, powder to meet the federal adversaries. gave them a chance for victory. they also brought in items for the commercial market. anything from corsets to handkerchiefs, china. if you have the money, you could order anything from great britain. his partner suggested that they run in a glass greenhouse,
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complete with a british gardener. [laughter] just to show what a mockery this blockade was. his home was ashley hall at the time. when the attack occurred at battery wagner and the north they couldis island, send out batteries to fire over the channel and put shapes -- ships into the main channel. so the blockade running companies shift to wilmington. and for about a year there is no blockade running business in charleston. then the last year of the war, they start coming back, and they come back with a vengeance. they come up with smaller vessels that come in the channel on sullivan's island. couldcy, the fox, they sneak in. there was one vessel, the little hattie. to show you how audacious they could be, the little hattie ran
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the blockade in daylight. usually you would run at light -- night, when no one could see you. >> they were painted dark gray or black. >> very quick and very fast, and the little hattie could make more money and a quicker run. right innder ran her , out of monitors. very slow, got off two shots. she ran right into charleston. r, the end of the wat evacuation of charleston, blockade runners came back. one vessel alone brought 400,000 pairs of shoes, more than the number in the confederate army at the time. >> it was extreme we profitable. >> very profitable.
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extreme -- especially if you invested in bonds in great britain, invested your money. the blockade running captains and cresws, in bermuda and nassau, wine, drink, women, lost money quickly. you put your money in confederate bonds, that was a mistake. some individuals cannot very well after the war. he put his money into real estate. we don't know about george williams. but he cannot quite well at the end of the war. those of you familiar with the calhoun house in charleston, what people call the calhoun house, that was built by george williams or is -- for his daughter after the war. so williams, a fascinating individual. we do not hear a great deal about him. lands on his feet quite well after the war. and we have not even gotten to hundley yet -- >> these are vessels they are
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using to break the blockade. beauregard said, we heard from the commander of mobile, we have a vessel you might be interested in. it's shipped from mobile to charleston. they are not overly successful in the trials. maybe one of the few people still alive who set foot in a machine shop where the hundley was built. f where itet bank o was launched. you cannot go to the machine shop anymore because it is under i-10, but when i was five years old my grandfather took me there. it was still in the machine shop. he said, son, i want you to see where it was built.
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>> that's wonderful. we are coming towards the end now. charleston is ringed. you have sherman in savannah, and everyone thinks he will go for charleston. >> they did, there were suggestions coming from the union war department. the chief of staff for the u.s. army sent a message to sherman basically saying, should you happen to go by way of charleston, i hope you will sow a little salt into the streets to head of any more nala fires -- nullfifiers and secessionists rising. sherman responded, you will see the 15th corps is usually on my right. they would be the first to enter charleston, and they usually do the work well. but sherman had no intention of
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coming to charleston. charleston is still a very difficult nut to crack. the marshes, the rivers. imagine moving from savannah to beaufort, then coming up the rivers, the marshes, then you get to charleston and have to undertake the seige. sherman was not going to allow his army to do that. he feared it would sap their vigor. charleston's importance was as a machine shop, munitions center, a blockade running port. to negate that -- where to sherman go -- does sherman go? to the connection between charleston and the interior of the state and the rest of the confederacy, grantville. once you cut the
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>> everybody thinks about atlanta as the great railroad center. you couldn't get stuff out of came throughs it columbia first. actually, the wilmington, manchester and columbia the blockade runners dropped their supplies in wilmington. then they came to columbia. north.ey went so columbia really was a major railroad. >> major, major. that's what sherman is going after. he's going after the railroads. logistics.thinking and once he cuts these railroads, charleston is -- >> see, all of this is connected. it's not just the physical siege charleston. he's looking at the big picture. he cuts those railroads and his army inland. but february 17, also the same thethat charleston -- confederate troops have been withdrawn. >> yeah. there was an interesting little there.o charleston -- the general, in
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a much larger district that includes charleston, orders the commander, hardy, to abandon charleston and bring his troops to columbia. hardy gets directives from saying, no,fferson don't leave charleston. is stilln symbolically very important to us. indeed, the governor of south stated onceically charleston falls, that's the confederacy.f the because the symbolism of charleston, which is so wholeant throughout this story from the beginning, the fort sumter being captured, as nullifytarted, with case, succession. it's a symbol to the north, a symbol to the south. it, to capture richmond would be grand. to capture charleston would be glorious. and so both sides see charleston important symbol.
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so confederate troops in charleston were supposed to come help defendto columbia. they didn't go. >> yeah. nor did any folks from georgia come to help. >> no. no. >> that's an interesting and sad commentary on relations between different states, when sherman in georgia, the governor of georgia asked the governor of send carolina to please some local troops, militia, defendthe river to help georgia. and the governor said, absolutely not. coming,hen sherman is our governor sent a telegram and the comment is, where were you six months ago? our boys aren't going to cross the savannah either. a wonderful essay on that, the democracy. governors just weren't going to help one another. not that it would have made a whole lot of difference, i don't think. >> probably wouldn't. may have slowed sherman down a would have but he
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maneuvered around them actually eventually. >> charleston surrenders. were fired inhots the siege on february 18 by a union monitor that fired two .hots the flag -- when the confederates abandoned, they left flags flying to give the impression that the forts were still occupied. so this union monitor fired the fort.at no response. then the fleet steamed on into charleston harbor. and folks, that's the end of the siege of charleston. to takew be happy questions from the audience, if you have some. going to be -- folks, to help with mics, in the back, jenny, faye. questions, anybody? and if you don't ask them here, we'll answer them out there. yes, sir.
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understand that two of the actuallythe fleet were new. they had been sieged in shipyards in connect because they were being built as -- [inaudible] why in the world mean, slave ships. >> well, they probably weren't -- the question is that of the stone fleets had been governmenthe federal because it was thought to be ers.e well, they wouldn't have been advertising that. sure --ot quite >> they weren't building the ship. the last slaves to be run into america happened in december 1816. happened on the gulf coast with the matild. bet.hat was on a a guy won a bundle of money. he said, i can sneak a slave
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in the united states still in 1860. ships wouldling have been awful tough to be using. >> they were sailing ships. >> my understanding is that ships used for the stone fleet, they were obsolete worn-out ones. it may have been that one of these had previously been a slaver, because all the better slave ships were built in new england. well, it's an old ship. what else are you going to do for it? >> in the back there. me.ardon williams -- the same george williams who was so active in the phosphate industry down by buford. >> yes. fellow.ing he was considered to be one of the richest men, richest men in
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the united states at the start of the war. he moved a number of his slaves into north georgia, if you're familiar with that sort of german town, helen, georgia, up in that area, where they could actually produce food that could be shipped down to charleston. he was in charge of the relief under the confederate government charleston for the city of charleston. then when the federals take over, they direct him to take care of the relief programs in charleston. so he's handling the relief programs for both the theederacy and united states. he and george trennam up a committee to try to revive charleston at the end of the war. of george williams was head the committee that sent condolences to mrs. abraham upon the assassination of the president.
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lightst see with the so -- >> he's coming. >> any other questions? yes, over there. wondered -- can you hear me? >> yes. >> i was just wondering where of financing came at the end the war. these 400,000 pairs of shoes, freed,h the slaves being and that was certainly a big portion of the economic value of and so on atstates that time, so who is financing all of this at the end? >> cotton. >> still growing cotton? cotton, they have enough to sustain their programs in great britain. money ont is borrowed the promise of shipping cotton out after the war. confederacy uses cotton as a medium of exchange during the civil war.
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$50 cotton bail in charleston is worth $500 in liverpool. so they're using cotton as a way to finance the war. >> and of course, the secretary treasury, the mr. trenam. is >> i always wanted to find out, the christmas day ambush, wasn't part of the siege of charleston? didn't they try it before they came through -- i think it was that the kids went to orphanage. i'm almost positive of that. >> i didn't hear the question. >> the second part of the the --n was about >> i'm sorry. what? >> the second part of the the orphanageout going to orangeburg. think it wass -- i to orangeburg. >> yeah.
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trennam paid for that. he bought a school in orangeburg the-or-fan -- had the orphans d there. >> but also i was wondering about the christmas day ambush. that siege of charleston. and also i thought they came off with.art >> they did a lot of movement along the river. theink you're referring to confederates would sometimes install mass batteries along the ambush union to vessels. they caught one, the isaac smith. that ambush.t in and then she later became a warship for the confederacy. and then became a blockade runner. and unfortunately for the south, of sullivansff island. but there were movements in the 1864. of there was like a five-prong onack not directly
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charleston but against james island, johns island. federals did send units up the river, and, again, as you mentioned, to break the railroad between charleston and savannah. broke they never railroad between charleston and savannah during the war. >> yes. were able to do that. >> thank you so much! wasn't this wonderful? [applause] civil war airs here every saturday at 6 and 10 p.m. eastern time. more of our civil war programming anytime, visit c-span.org/history. you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend, on c-span 3. >> her answer was no. >> thank you, mr. speaker. friend.ank my good
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>> i would just say to my good friend from wisconsin, that was part of the story. thank my good friend from california. >> the global freedom, sponsored good friend cory gardner from colorado. parliamentes from hundreds of years ago, if you've ever seen the proceedings of the saye of commons, they something lar, the right consider similar, the right gentleman. it's kind of a thinly veiled try to be polite to somebody you don't really care for. the house of represents, a lot women don't and even know who each other are when they're saying "my good friend." it's kind of disenginingenuous. of the senate, there's only 100. they probably know each other. better chance's a of them being at least acquaintances if not actually friends." >> journalist mark on the world of political terminology, sunday night

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