tv Legacies of Appomattox CSPAN March 14, 2015 8:55pm-9:51pm EDT
sediments -- sentiments of soldiers. civilians imagined the surrender scene as an enactment of lee's superiority to grant. one claim circulated through confederate newspapers in late april of 1865. it purported to be accurate, but was not accurate at all. in its, grant refuses to take it. according to the account, grant says, keep that. you have won it by your gallantry. you have been overpowered and i cannot receive it as a token of surrender from so brave a man. of course, rants never said any such thing to robert e. lee. the report seemed credible to confederates because it confirmed the right over might.
it would be written that union officers cheered for lee as he left the mclean house. a yankees dared not utter a single insulting word to the defeated rebels. why were the yankees so reticent, even submissive, in victory? it is explained, they feared the lion even in chains. lee, the lion, still commanding the deference and respect of northerners, and fear. in the year after the war confederates not only again and again invokes the overwhelming numbers interpretation of their defeat. they also invoked the appomattox terms, and particularly the remain-undisturbed clause. they invoked in the clause as a shield against social change and a weapon in a looming battle over black civil rights. republican efforts to give the free people a measure of inequality and opportunity and
protection were met by confederate protests that such a radical agenda was a betrayal of the appomattox terms, the prospect of black citizenship as one virginia newspaper put it , molests and disturbs us. the north carolina poet clark put it most physically. urging southerners to model their behavior on that of lee she wrote in 1866 that lee had not stooped his grandly proud head one hairs breath as he surrendered to grant. she said, an honorable enemy should not desire. it is idle to attempt or force them to say they were wrong, for they were right. it will surprise you to know that from the start, this view of things, this emphasis on confederate righteousness and the illegitimacy of the yankee victory, this was resoundingly rejected by grant and his inner
circle, and the vast majority of union soldiers and civilians. it was precisely an admission of wrongdoing and a change of heart that grant sought from his foes. appomattox was not designed to exonerate confederates, but to assess repentance. he believed he could be versatile precisely because he rendered lee powerless and his cause discredited. it was right over wrong. lee's rhetoric of restoration held no charm for the union general. restoration connoted a turning back of the clock. grant's eyes were fixed firmly on the future. he would not consider the rolling back. repudiation of states rights emancipation of the slaves, and let's meant of black troops. grant -- and list meant --
enlistment of black troops. appomattox, in grant's view, he held all the cards on april 9. he issued the parole passes to confederates not to patron view to courage, but to remind them of the obligations attendant upon their status of prisoners of war. technically, that is what they were. grant had released them on the promise of their good behavior. grant felt a meaning of the surrender terms to be unmistakable. i will allude to what ron told us about his mandate for lincoln and the orders he was under to address military surrender, but not political issues. grant would write, i never claimed the parole gave the prisoners any political rights whatever. i knew that was a matter entirely with congress, over which i had no control. in other words, the fraught political question of when and if the concord confederates would be permitted to vote or
hold office these were questions to be settled in the civil round by politicians and elected officials. grant's convention of surrender by parole rested on military calculations. grant felt certain on april 9 that his lenience to lee would forestall the possibility of guerrilla warfare and affect the swift surrender of the remaining confederate army in the field. this calculation was sound. the dominoes fell, and you will hear about other dominoes later today. more than anything, the surrender in grant's eyes was a vindication, and that is his keyword, if you will. the triumphal of the just cause the cause of the union. in the eyes of grant and union it vindicated the founders belief in a perpetual union.
it vindicated the capacity of citizen soldiers, representing democracy. tout fight the conscripts and dupes of an autocratic society. that's how union soldiers saw confederates. the downfall of the confederacy unburdened the south and the nation of slavery, and institution of orange to all civilized -- abhorrent to all civilized people. the way was open for the unions moral progress, and white southerners could be distant trawled from their subservience to the slaveholding class. granted not believe lee is meant to be blameless. for every sin there must be a chance at atonement. grants magnanimity was designed to affect that atonement. union soldiers come up for their fall -- for their part, a their victory both to their superhuman effort and to divine providence.
thanks and praise to almighty god for the great thing he has done for us in saving our country, wrote a major of the 20th maine. he was expressing the widely shared conviction amid union troops that in the end providence and favor the righteous. two union soldiers at appomattox, there seemed to be a satisfaction, in the moment of victory, they had lee nearly surrounded. how fitting it seemed that the defeated confederates world on the low ground well triumphant union soldiers lined they amphitheater sweeping around the town at appomattox. strange providence was surely a work in the fact that the surrender terms were signed in the home of a man who had owned the house on the battleground of manassas. the first great victory of the confederates.
the most during sign of divine favor with to be found in the providential timing of the surrender on palm sunday. it was the universal expression among the union soldiers that the surrender was a blessed sabbath work. union soldiers embraced grants policy of magnanimity in their hour vindication because they believed that in so thoroughly defeating the rebels, the federal army had meted out sufficient punishment to the confederacy. many union soldiers felt the confederates were so desperately beaten that they actually welcome to the surrender. there was evidence of this confederate desperation scrawled on the canvas covers of army wagons that were abandoned by the confederates along the line of retreat. one piece of confederate graffiti had read that we can't with you all without something to eat.
moreover, union soldiers reckoned that magnanimity was the best means to secure redemption and construction of the south, change hearts and minds. in the series of letters written in the immediate wake of the surrender, and other army chaplain took the measure of confederate defeat. he wrote the war rental -- rendered the south a charnel house. the south had suffered enough always left -- all that was left was to forgive and forget. he shared a few common among northern soldiers, a view that you lead slaveholders likely and the officer class had led astray the non-slaveholding common folk of the south. and they believed that the union's mission was to distant trawled these men, and that victorious northerners if animated by the spirit of forgiveness could lift up the south, ignorant and degraded
poor whites and open up for them a brighter future for themselves and their children. as armstrong put it. general of the 67th ohio agreed, he wrote in his diary on april 15 that a show of kindness by the union would demonstrate that right not my to rules, and it was a superior moral character of the north and the commitment to free institution and personal enterprise that had won the war. in other words most northerners favored magnanimity, and believed it had important political work to do, if you will. and civilians joined in this embrace of grants policy of magnanimity. among those northern civilians who embraced magnanimity were abolitionists and radical republicans, those who most wanted to see the south change. it was charged at the time here in the immediate aftermath of the surrender my confederates and buy some copperhead
democrats in the north that abolitionists and radical republicans were aimed on vengeance. in the eyes of abolitionists such as horace greeley magnanimity was the means to an end, and means to achieve a sacred purpose, to secure the assent of the south to emancipation. northerners, including many abolitionists saw grants magnanimity as an emblem of their own moral authority. the moral superiority even. that magnanimity approved that a civilization based on free labor is of a higher and more humane type than that based on slavery. really favored grants magnanimous terms because come as he put it, i want as many rebels as possible to live to see the south rejuvenated and transformed by the influence of free labor. what fitter fate for the likes
of jefferson davis and robert ely then to have to live in this brave new world and bear witness to a social revolution. in essence, northerners who embraced grants terms of said to the south, we don't want to inflict further punishments. we want you to change. and confederates responded that the demand for change with a form of punishment. then any demand for change was inherently punitive and a breaking of a compact that had been made at appomattox. this contest over the surrender's meaning and simply pets the south against the north or even the confederacy against the union, it pitted those who favored a social transformation of the south against those who rejected social transformation. we have northerners and southerners on both sides of the question. here is a theme of divisions within each side. lincoln's opponent in the north political opponents, the democrats that seemed to favor
coming to the confederates, these democrats were loath for the party of lincoln to treat the surrender as a mandate. these nor the democrats rallied behind a confederate interpretation of appomattox. as the copperhead newspaper put it, southerners were equal to the north in valor and skills. the confederacy was subdued by overwhelming numbers, not by lincoln's skill as a leader. but the south, too, was divided. white southern union's, a beleaguered minority who oppose confederacy during the war rallied behind grant's interpretation, and reveled in the fat that in the fact that grant had brought lee's army to
heal. in the seed of a loyalist legislature pursuing reconstruction under lincoln's percent plan, the announcement of lee's surrender touched off days of hilarious rejoicing among the towns unionist. in union occupied nashville, tennessee, newly elected governor long the voice of the tennessee unionists, had marked the surrender by issuing a proclamation, setting aside may 4 as a day of thanksgiving prayer to almighty god. for the surrender at appomattox. in his capacity of editor of the union's paper in nashville, he rejoiced that the greatest army and general of the so-called confederacy had been defeated and scattered, made to surrender to grant upon grants own terms. but in the year after the surrender, this dominant union interpretation, with its emphasis on vindication of the north's way of war, vindication
of free society, vindication of grants leadership, this dominant interpretation would come to interpretation the betrayal of the true spirit of grants magnanimity. we will see in the postwar period that political partisans will accuse their opponents of betraying the spirit of appomattox. in this case, for granted his followers, the arch betrayer of the truce in upham -- the true spirit of appomattox was andy johnson, lincoln successor. he comes to power after lincoln is assassinated, johnson very liberally pardons members of the x confederate elites, thousands of pardons to prominent confederates. under johnson's reconstruction plan, state governments are handed back over to former confederates. they enact black codes, laws very close to the old laws of slavery.
designed to enforce white supremacy. these codes make it a crime for free blacks, free people to act insolence, quote unquote, to whites. they permit white judges to seize children of black families who might be politically active. they levy taxes on black property instituted vagrancy statutes that forced african-americans to sign annual labor contracts with white employers, typically therefore masters. and this regime of surveillance and regulation passed under the johnson reconstruction was enforced in the south by an all-white police and judiciary system and white patrollers, often former confederate veterans wearing still there gray uniforms. under johnson, scores of former confederate officials, including the vice president, six cabinet officers, for generals, and 58 members of the confederate congress were elected to office
to serve in the 39th u.s. congress, which would convene in december of 1865. some of them yet hadn't been pardoned and needed to be pardoned by johnson. to take their seats. this resurgence of southern political power set the stage for a showdown with congress. the republican majority in congress refused to recognize the government to see these representatives, and congress began to elaborate its own plan for reconstruction, the centerpiece of which was the african-american voting. this drama, this recalcitrance on the part of the defeated south radicalized u.s. grants. granted not a radical republican by any means during the war. but he watched these developments with some disappointments and even horror. grant would write that confronted with what he called the foolhardiness of the far too lenient andrew johnson, and the blindness of the southern people to their own interests, granted
adapted, and gradually worked up to the point where i favored immediate is for african-americans. it was a position he hadn't taken at the beginning of reconstruction. he saw this as politically necessary, that the only way that grant would argue to dispel the x confederates pretension that they would be able to control the nation again, and were entitled to do so. here's the thing i found most surprising in my research, the discovery that most surprised me. it was the discovery that grant was deeply disappointed by an resentful of lee's refusal to give the victors there do. in a may 1866 newspaper interview, this is little more than a year after the surrender grant took lead to task. he told the reporter he talked to that lee was behaving badly, setting an example, of forced
acquiescence, grudging and pernicious as to be hardly realized. an example of forced acquiescence, the grudging and pernicious this effect is to be hardly realized. this image of a grand resentful of lee hardly accords with an image of a gentleman's agreement and a meeting of the minds. a healing moment that has come down to us as myth. grant presented lee for denigrating the union victory as a mere show of force. he resented him for encouraging federate -- confederates to resist change in the name of restoration. he learned in the year after the war that he would need to enter the political arena to finish the work he had begun on april 9, 1865. i would like to turn out to the third interpretive frame here which talked a little bit about restoration, and vindication. i want to turn to the theme of liberation. no americans hoped more keenly or asserted more fervently that the surrender marked a new era
then african-americans. i will turn to them now. for them, the union victory vindicated the cause of black freedom and of racial justice. at appomattox, blacks had been both among the liberators and the liberated. the last clash of grant and lee at the end of this desperate chase across the central virginia countryside, we've heard about now from many angles, lee's army had tried to break free of the federal trap only to find that its last escape route was blocked by black soldiers in blue. six regiments of the united states colored troop with one other waiting in the wings. when they heard confirmation of lee's capitulation, the black troops exultation new no bounds. they shouted, danced and saying, and embraced each other with exuberant joy. these black regimens at appomattox were an microcosm of black life in america. they included southerners, ex slaves trained to kentucky's can't now think.
a training ground for troops recruited in the south. they included northern freed blacks trained at camp william penn. they included a group of fascinating individuals, men who would become great leaders in the postwar era, the renowned historian george washington williams, the baptist editor william j simmons, who was a journalistic mentor to the antilynching crusade or idle wells, and they included these regimens a man, george edmonson, the descendent of the hemmings family for monticello. a fascinating story here in these regimens. for all of these soldiers, regardless of background, their presence on the battlefield was itself the culmination of a long struggle. the struggle dramatized in the movie "glory." we know the federal army had initially turned away black volunteers, races ran very deep in the north area north of authorities claim that african american men did not possess the attributes of patriotism encourage and turned them away.
black troops have kept faith that the war was there golden moment. and when regiments finally got their chance to fight, they prove their mettle. the regiments at appomattox had seen considerable action. the eighth u.s. ct for example survived a bloody initiation and the combat in florida of february, 1864. they joined in the grinding warfare of the overland campaign in virginia, and manned the trenches through the siege of petersburg. entering that city in triumph when it fell in early april. african-american soldiers were keenly aware that even after giving all of this proof of their courage, their march towards equality could still be turned back, so long as powerful confederate armies were still in the field. the confederate government view black union soldiers as so many rebellious slaves liable to be insulated executed captured. black soldiers were aware also that many white northerners
viewed their enlistment as a social experiment, testing the capacity of blacks for citizenship. and that many of those whites hoped and expected that the experiment would in the end, fail. not surprisingly, given this context, black soldiers quickly seized on the critical role in lee's surrender as a vindication. as william a of the 29th regiment put it in a may 1865 letter, -- we the colored soldiers have fairly won our rights by loyalty and bravery. many of these fellow officers shared the conviction that the role in the last bell was decisive. he wrote the morning of the ninth came, the cavalry was being pushed back rapidly towards the station. the boys were falling, scores of them.
why was it, with victory so near? when over the hill a dark column was espied coming down the road at quicktime it. what a relief from the awful suspense, what did we for the color or race of those men, so long as they brought relief to us. we saw courage and determination in their cold, black, faces. moreover, black troops understood themselves to be an army of liberation, whose defeat of lee was a nail in the coffin of slavery itself. this is very interesting and little-known part of the story. abundant evidence exists that suggests that slaves saw appomattox as a freedom day. for many, april 9, 1865 not january 1, 1853, when lincoln promulgates his famous proclamation. april 9 was the real moment of emancipation. as long as confederates control the south, there was no real
freedom. so it was lee's surrender the brought freedom. virginia slaves were the first to hear the tidings of lee's surrender, and to fathom the significance of the events. none other than booker t. washington remembers in his classical autobiography how when the war close, the day of freedom came up. the u.s. army officer belatedly read the emancipation proclamation, announcing that lee's surrender had brought of deliverance. we also have is a source for accessing african-americans a remarkable set of interviews conducted in the 1930's by a new deal agency to works progress administration. these were interviews conducted with men and women who had been alive in the time of slavery. there were quite elderly at this point in the 1930's. they have been usually children in the days before the civil war. more than 2000 have left this remarkable testimony about slavery.
it's all available on the website of the library of congress. appomattox echo reminiscences like booker t. washington's. they remembered slaves in virginia burst into spontaneous song when they learned that lee had raised the white flag. at that moment, they knew they were free. slaves far away from events at appomattox experienced grants final triumph as their liberation. they lamented that after president lincoln's freedom proclamation in 1863, the status quo of slavery had kept on right as it had. it was only when general lee surrendered that we learned we were free. for some former slaves, the date of lee's surrender structure their varied sense of time and
of history. it was a washington told her interviewer the first thing i remember was living with my mother about six miles from scotts crossing in arkansas, about the year 1856. i know it was 1866 because it was the year after the surrender, and we all knew the surrender was in 1855. just as appomattox persisted in the memory of ex slaves, it was also an enduring presence on the commemorative calendar of the freed slaves. they met every april 9 to celebrate this important turning point in the road to emancipation. the april line commemorations again as early as 1866, we see blacks commemorating april 9 1856 pledging that italy had never been beaten, the emancipation proclamation would have been to no avail. in my research i found examples of african american communities, philadelphia chicago, all over the country celebrating april
line in their churches and other civic settings well into the 20 century. african-american soldiers pivotal role as agents of liberation, helping to free those slaves would long remain a point of pride within black communities. i mentioned george washington williams, veteran of the appomattox campaign, and one of these regiments would go on to be the preeminent historian of african-americans in the late 19th century. he noted in his many important history books that come as he put it, the brilliant sighting of black troops that ensure the salvation of the unit this critical moment. the fact that african american troops had defeated lee went additional symbolic meaning to the surrender. for lee and his army of northern virginia typified in the eyes of these u.s. men, the slaveholding elite and its pretense of racial superiority. according to thomas more -- thomas morris chester, the confederate capitulation was
sweet because it was a rebuke to the first families of virginia. whom chester rallied up after the surrender, the fleet footed virginians. in short, men such as george washington williams or thomas morris chester made in and sustained over decades the bold claim that in defeating lee's army african american troops had dealt a death blow to all that army stood for, including slavery itself. they insisted not only that the union army's victory emanated from its superior virtue encourage, but also, that black troops in particular exemplified that virtue encourage. most important, african-american soldiers interpretations of the surrender attempted to inscribe a civil rights message into grants magnanimous turn. my point is that we see magna mitty embraced across the political spectrum by americans northerners and southerners, but they viewed that magnanimity
with different kinds of meaning. african-americans emphasized the promise of appomattox is a moment of racial reconciliation. they depicted black veterans black soldiers in particular as agents of national healing. george washington williams and his 1888 history of the negro troops and the war of the rebellion praised black soldiers for treating the vanquished confederates with, as he put it, quiet dignity and christian humility. he wrote after the confederate army had been paroled, the negro troops cheerfully and cordially divided their rations for the enemy, and welcomed them of their campfires on the march back to petersburg. the sweet gospel of forgiveness was expressed in the negro soldiers interactions with the x rebel soldiers, who freely mingled with the black soldiers. it was a spec to -- a spectacle of magnanimity never before witnessed. williams was trying to counter a very long-standing charge, a charge that dated back to the
18th century a charge that had been leveled by antievolutionists, northern and southern avenue on -- antievolutionists are decades. a charge that you could not have emancipation, because if you had emancipation, you would have chaos and race war. for decades, african-americans and white allies and no, you could have emancipation. you will have the only true chance for peace and harmony. because slavery is the problem not abolition. this charge it lingered on. and williams is trying to neutralize it by saying that black magnanimity at appomattox the fact that even the black troops willing to forgive their former masters, at this magnanimity was not your for moral authority, a conscious effort, as purposeful as grants own active clemency to lee, to break the cycle of violence that slavery had perpetuated. but could the cycle be broken? african-americans who invoked up a maddux is the racial reconciliation were fighting a rearguard action against a
determined foe. in the decade after the war defeated southerners oppose the change, opposed to the republican agenda for reconstruction, and many northerners joined them, and began to elaborate the lost cause tradition. a mythology the romanticized the old south and slavery in the confederacy, the demonized congressional reconstruction and the republican agenda as corrupt and punitive, and that sought to justify vigilante violence from groups like the clue clucks clan as a means to restore the old order. needless to say, for champions of the lost cause, there were no black heroes in the appomattox story. there was no liberation from tyranny, there was no promise of interracial reconciliation. as i suggested earlier unreconstructed rebels interpreted that key line and grant surrender terms, the stipulation the confederate soldiers would remain undisturbed by u.s. authorities as a promise that although slavery was defunct, the racial
caste system would remain undisturbed. in the view of men like john brown gordon, radical republicans broke that promise by affording civil rights tax slaves and white southerners in turn fulfill the promise when they redeemed the region from northern misrule. as john brown gordon put it in testimony before congressional committee in 1871, grant and the union army had been deferential to the confederates at appomattox promising we should not be disturbed so long as we obey the laws. a radicals have broken a promise by telling confederates your former slaves are better fitted to administer the laws than you are. gordon's message was clear -- the peace was to leave the white south alone to manage its own affairs. in short, for african-americans no less than for whites appomattox came to represent a lost promise, a betrayal of the
promise of freedom. a betrayal both by those whites who rejected black citizenship and by those who gave up the fight for it. however compelling and comforting the image of a surrender is a gentleman's agreement may be, it doesn't begin to capture this complex legacy of appomattox. deep into the 19th century, appomattox was at the heart of politics of race and reunion. thank you. [applause] >> thanks, elizabeth, on the lightning us on the legacy of appomattox. we have a few minutes for questions. if you want to ask a question, come to the microphone and one of the isles. state your name in question, and elizabeth will respond. >> i'm from charlotte, north carolina. thank you for writing your wonderful and insightful book on appomattox.
there were a couple of matters i was confused about. i was to clarify. andrew johnson, of course, was from north carolina. he was known to be from north carolina, when he was in the senate higher to lincoln's election. in lincoln had a different vice president his first term, i believe it was in man named hamlet. how was it that hamlin got dumped, and the republican party picked a southerner to be vice president, who was one heartbeat away from managing the free world? >> is a fascinating and cap located character. johnson is a southern senator from tennessee when the war starts. he a jacksonian democrat who has come to power on representing the human. -- the yeowman. he talks very tough against the planter elite, who seem to resent a great deal. johnson is the only southern senator just stick with them union in 1861.
he is rewarded by lincoln and the union administration by being made governor of tennessee. as military governor, the rules of the pretty heavy hand. he does the bidding of the republican administration and lincoln. johnson had owned a few slaves but he comes even to embrace emancipation as a military necessity, a way to punish the confederates and rob them of resources. lincoln turns to johnson in 1864 in a sense come out of political expediency, but really their calculations here. one is that lincoln is worried about his reelection. he writes he fears he may not be reelected at all. use trying to build a coalition of all those who support the union war effort. he wants democrats in that coalition, not the peace democrats, he knows he's not going to get them, but the war democrats that represent most democrats. he want those were democrats. andy johnson represents those were democrats.
the republican party in 18 624 rechristened itself the national union party, the purpose here is to say this is a big tent for all those people that want to win the war. those copperhead democrats those surrender monkeys are not interested in winning the war. johnson represents those war democrats, he represents southern unionism. it was a profound, cherished hope of the republican administration, an article of faith, again i alluded to this that there was this massive white others who had a latent hostility to the planter class that might be brought on board with the free labor agenda. and a belief in a latent southern unionism. johnson is the preeminent symbol of southern unionism, was a good representative of the piece that they wanted to make. link and also initiated an experiment in wartime reconstruction, a very lenient
sort of wartime reconstruction, lincoln's philosophy was encapsulated in that malice toward none, charity towards all address. radical republicans in congress had rejected aspects of lincoln's wartime reconstruction plan, tennessee was one of his model states where the experiment was unfolding. you got that of johnson was on his ticket, the republicans in congress would have to accept the tennessee experiment rather than casting aside. yet a lot of reasons. hamlin represented an antislavery constituency that had nowhere else to go, really. he wasn't adding much to the ticket. but johnson represented the hope. one final thing -- it's all too easy to imagine that lincoln didn't give as much thought because he didn't expect again assassinated. lincoln knew his life was in danger, first of all. second of all, there had been a couple of disastrous accidental presidents already when we had the untimely deaths of zachary
taylor and william henry harrison. lincoln and the republicans knew that johnson might end up eating the man. in one of their great campaign tactics was to say our second guy, johnson, can be counted on. mcclellan's vice president candidate was one of these copperheads that seemed willing to negotiate the war away. it's politics there. any other questions? >> i'm from greensboro. could you comment on frederick douglass? >> frederick douglass is a fascinating figure. he was the preeminent african-american political leader of the 19th century. i think we sometimes have a tendency to have to stand in for all of african-american thought in the 19th century. and that's a mistake. george washington williams and others were important voices too. and there were political disagreements in the black
community as one would expect. but douglas plays a very important role in the story i have told, in the sense that douglas will say very famously in 1878, there was a right side in this war in the wrong side in this war. no sentiment ought to cause us to forget. why would douglas say in 1878, we need to be reminded that there was a wrong side in a right side in the war? he thought people were forgetting it. in a sense, the case the confederates began to build up even appomattox, that they were blameless, that they were the equals an opposite. as to the northerners, that they had not lost their principles would not really push their principles, they would not yield those principles, that case it taken root, and for men like douglas, it was very disturbing to see the fruits of the union victory slipping away. in some sense, he is commenting and that moments on the rise of this cult. douglas and george washington
williams african-american, the group of people around around this again includes white northerners and a small cadre of white southern uniqueness that promoted this image of the war that douglas wanted to have some kind of counter narrative to the lost cause. they wanted for americans to have emancipation stand in the center of her memory of the war. and what worried douglas was that the torturous history of slavery and abolition, and emancipation was getting swept under the rug and being replaced by a sort of feel good story feel good for whites, anyways. the story of sheer terror was along both sides, the story to try to drain the political meeting out of the war. for douglas, that was a very alarming trend. thank you all, very much. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning instit fisher to the bennett place, closing operations in north carolina. dr. bradley. [applause]
>> thank you, david. can everyone hear me ok? all right. we have watched the army's of grant and lee moving across the virginia landscape from the siege of petersburg to the surrendered appomattox courthouse. now i'm going to take a detour. we are going to make a sharp turn south, and we're going to turn back the clock. we're going to go back to december of 1864. and we are going to follow this man, general william t sherman. and his progress in what he believes in hopes will be his final campaign of the war. sherman grant are pursuing the grand strategy that they formulated in march of 1864. in cincinnati, ohio. the idea was to keep the army's in the east and in the west, the
confederate army's so busy that they cannot reinforce each other. and i have a repeat fiasco of the battle of chickamauga. the strategy is working. slowly, but inexorably. while grant keeps lee's army bottled up around the trenches of petersburg in richmond, sherman captures atlanta georgia, in september of 1864. on december 16, the army of the cumberland general george h thomas crushes the army of tennessee, the confederacy's second-largest field army, and one week later, general sherman completes his march from atlanta to the sea by presenting the city of savannah georgia to president abraham lincoln as a christmas gift. now, sherman is looking ahead to his next campaign. he is going to make a march through the carolinas, moving
his army group northward to richmond, virginia. there he will join forces with general grant, and together, they will crush lee's army and bring the war to a victorious conclusion. sherman plans to launch his campaign and january of 1865. but torrential winter rain prevents that from happening. he is forced to delay his campaign to the following month. in the meantime, general grant decides to launch a second expedition to capture fort fisher, and close wilmington north carolina, the last blockade running seaport the confederacy and in effect close the lifeline of the confederacy as it is called. the first expedition went badly. gender -- general benjamin f butler launch that x with rear admiral david d porter. but without even attempting an
attack on the fort, butler decided to abandon the campaign and return to virginia. grant probably stacked at and replaced him with brigadier general alfred h 28. and in effect, he gets a better general, and he gets a much easier man to live with. both butler and porter are prima donnas. they don't get along well at all. in fact, that bad blood goes back to 1862, but with terry at the helm of the army components, that will be a problem. the two men soon find that work well together. terry will also have a large force at his disposal, close to 10,000 infantry, including a division of black troops. well porter will lead in our model of 58 warships. -- an armada of 58 warships.
now, commanding the coastal defenses below wilmington, none other than general braxton bragg. by this late stage in the war there is probably only one person in the south who still believes in bragg. but he happens to be the commander-in-chief, jefferson davis. davis appointed senior military advisor is the commander of the defenses around wilmington. in effect, superseding the previous commander, major general william henry chase waiting period -- chase whiting. colonel william lamb is also the four chief architect. lamb is a quick learner he is learning military engineering on the fly in 1852 when the federal's attack and reduce for polaski from atlanta georgia,
and reduce that fort to rubble. he decides to build his fort out of sand. also, it's nice the fact that there is plenty of building material there on the beach. by the fall of 1864, fort fisher is the most imposing seacoast fortifications. it boasts 47 guns. that may seem like a lot. but the union fleet out guns the fisher defenses on the order of almost 10 to one. in fact, the largest union warship, the colorado, both 55 guns alone. now, the federal seat appears at fort fisher on the afternoon of april 12 and proceed to bombard the fort over two and a half days, they fire more than 19,000 rounds.
and knock out all but two guns on the northern land face. in the meantime, general bragg and wilmington has refused to send reinforcements south for the notable attack. -- the inevitable attack. when whiting gets to fort fisher, he says lamb, my boy i've come to share your fate. we are to be sacrificed. after that massive bombardment the federal's launched their assault. attacking the northeast bastion marines and sailors armed with cutlasses and pistols, attacking a position defended by artillery. they are easily repulsed however, they give the army in opportunity to gain a foothold inside the fort off to
and after desperate hand-to-hand fighting that lasted well into the night, of which both writing and lamb are severely wounded. and now lee's lifeline is cut. but the city of wilmington itself remains in confederate hands, and it will require another campaign to capture it. now general sherman decides to begin his campaign on february 1, 1865. he moves his 60,000 man army group into south carolina. the left wing is commanded by henry slocum. the right wing is commanded by the one armed major general oliver o howard, who commands the 15th and 17th court -- core rps. the cavalry division under general kilpatrick, 60,000 men
in all. opposing this force our confederates -- general pgt beauregard. beauregard very obligingly calls for something that sherman does regularly, and that is to faint on given locations off to the east or off to the west to keep the confederates guessing as to what his objective is. in this case, in entering south carolina and sherman thanks to the northwest towards augusta with his cavalry. charleston is the cradle of secession. wanted for its symbolic value while the city of augusta is also a desirable target. in effect, beauregard opens the
road to colombia, the state capital, for sherman. with minimal interference, sherman reaches columbia on february 17, 1865. by this point it is clear to the confederacy's new general in chief, that beauregard is not up to the task of stopping sherman. on february 22, he directs general joseph johnson, who has been living in virtual retirement since his removal from the army of tennessee in july of 1864 -- he appoints johnson to command those troops. he says, concentrate all available forces and drive back sherman. at this point, johnson is saying, with what? in the words of the cavalry chief, wade hampton, it would scarcely have been possible to disperse the force more effectually. they are the remnants of the army of tennessee.
there is lieutenant general william j. hardy's core. the garrison that defended charleston, they are retreating to sherman's right. third, once the federal's cross into north carolina, the department in north carolina troops under braxton bragg. and finally, the one force that had been opposing sherman's advance, the cavalry under general hampton. hampton arrives from the army of northern virginia. he arrives in south carolina his home state just-in-time to see his family home, millwood, burned to the ground, along with a lot of other buildings in columbia, south carolina. no pun intended, hampton is burning for revenge. the opportunity is presented to him a few days after the two armies cross into north carolina. hampton and kilpatrick have been skirmishing almost constantly during their progress.
kilpatrick managed to steal a march around hampton's force, and he's gotten between the confederate cavalry and infantry under hardy. kilpatrick sets up a series of roadblocks to prevent hampton from reaching the town of fayetteville and joining forces with party. -- hardy. he presents hampton with an ideal opportunity to concentrate on an isolated part of the cavalry at munro's crossroads. it just so happens that kilpatrick's headquarters are located there. it is at dawn on march 10 1865 that hampton launches a surprise attack on kilpatrick's camp, succeeds in sweeping everything before him, writhing the federal's into a swamp. that attack is so successful that the confederates are disorganized, giving the federal's an opportunity to
counterattack and drive the confederates out of their camp. kilpatrick manages to avoid being captured. the confederates are now free to march into fayetteville. however, union infantry are endlessly delighted by this embarrassing encounter that kilpatrick has with hampton at munro's crossroad. they nickname this battle kilpatrick shirttail skedaddle. sherman reaches fayetteville on the following day, march 11. promptly orders the first michigan engineers and mechanics to burn the former u.s. arsenal there. he will rest his army there until march the 15th, when he will begin the final stage of his progress to his destination. in the meantime, on fairbury 22nd 1865, department of north carolina troops commanded by major general john m. schofield
capture wilmington. schofield has been transferred east from nashville, tennessee with the 23rd army corps. they are joining terry's forces. now there is going to be a new objective. sherman is going to be headed towards goldsboro. i will be his first destination where he will refit his army before beginning -- continuing the march into virginia. it's up to the 23rd corps commanded by general jacob d. potts to secure goldsboro for sherman. guess who's in his way? general bragg's troops consisting of general robert f. hoax division from the army of northern virginia, and the remnants of the army of tennessee troops, who average north carolina at this point. say what you will about bragg at least he ate timid. -- ain't timid. he launches an attack on forces a few miles east of kinston on march