tv Surrender at Appomattox CSPAN April 9, 2015 3:35am-4:30am EDT
sentment. and the sense of being put upon. and those people really don't understand us. and here is a guy who does understand us and he's going to stick it to them and that happens on both sides. hillary clinton will give her own version of that kind of thing. and i don't think that was actually true 30 years ago. i mean resentment has always been part of politics obviously. but to the degree that which it is exclusively the motivating factor in republicans and democrats. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and 7:00 p.m. pacific on q&a. american history tv visited longwood university in virginia for a seminar on the closing of the civil war in 1865 it. was co-hosted by the appomattox
courthouse civil park. and liz ben varon talks about the ending of the appomattox civil war. this is about 50 minutes. >> thank you. thank you very much. it is a pleasure and honor to be here and share the stage with these wonderful scholars. i'm grateful to patrick schroeder to having included me. so you have the surrender scene and i would like to turn to the surrender aftermath and the political debates spawned by appomattox and i'll argue that lee and grant had distinct visions of what an honorable possess would look like and -- peace would look like and the two of the myths of the gentlemen's meeting of the minds
and they had fundamental visions of what an honorable peace would look like and why the war turned out the way it did. but i will try to take us beyond lee and grant as the appomattox drama unfolded the countrymen and women would crowd the scene and vest the surrender with their oesh as pir -- own aspirations and agendas and dreams and the dream in the eyes of african-americans and soldiers and former slaves and lee's surrender was a freedom day, the day that the moment -- the moment that the promise of emancipation was finally fulfilled. lee' vision of an honorable peace emphasized confederate precisiveness and the vindication, african-american would associate it with liberation. so i'll talk about the three visions of the peace. and let's start first with the lee and the confederates.
lee and the men saw that even as the surrender took place in april 1965, to turn military defeat into morale victory. it was a victory of might over right and this interpretation of might over right was enshrined in his farewell address on april 10 drafted by his aid we his over sight and he says famously, the army of northern virginia was been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources. lee was implying unmistakablely in making this reference to overwhelming numbers and resources, both that the confederate men were blameless and also that the northern victory was illegitimate, the overwhelming numbers and resources was an argument about
the outcome of the war, a staking of the claim that the yankees had won, not because of their virtue and skill and bravery but because of brute force and numbers and resources. now in lee's eyes, honorable peace would on literate what he considered the grief as effects of the war those were his words and restore to the country what it had lost. the civic virtue he had of the housy an days of the past of the founders and the republic of lee's background and the founders from ron wilson. those were the days, as lee saw it, when americans had taken it for granted that virginia would lead the nation. those were the days as lee saw it before abolitionists had views african-americans with false hopes and freedom and equality. and indeed the word "restoration" which he uses in
letters with grant would become his political key word in the post-war period. we see it crop up again and again. for example, six months after the sur rend he he wrote to his friend mori about what had been and what might yet again be. he wrote quote as long as virtue was dominant in the republic, so long was the happiness of the people secure may an ever merciful god save us from reconstruction and restore us to the past. this was a fundamentally nostalgic view of the peace, nostalgic for the long gone days. lee moved at appomattox to cast the surrender terms in the best possible light. he believed and those in his inner circle believed it was a negotiation in which he had extracted concessions from grant and they believed that the peace was contingent on the north's
good behavior. eager to help his troops against any possible reprisals of yankees, he requested a grant at appomattox on the meeting of horseback the day after the april 9 surrender that they be issued a printed certificate, paroles, that such a soldier came under the april 9 terms. the certificates vouched that if a surrendered confederate soldier went home and observed the laws where he resided, that he would remain undisturbed unquote. these were cherished artifacts of the war. they represented the consciousness of duty faithfully performed for the member there until -- the men there until the final days. but these also represented in the eyes of the confederates that the promise that the men would not be treated
dishonorable by the yankees and lee intended to hold the union to that promise. a few weeks after the surrender on april 29 1865 lee gave an interview with a northern reporter with the new york herald and he warned in interview and if, and i'm quoting him, if arbitrary or vindictive policies were adopted by the yankee government were breached they would renew the fight. lee has a reputation in the modern day for having counseled resignation to defeat among southerners, accept the situation, but for the confederates, the post-war period, lee shows, lee was not a symbol of submission, he was a symbol of measured defiance. so i'll say how southern soldiers observed the surrender and then the civilians.
his righteousness bleed with the religious convictions of confederate soldiers. many clung to the idea that god, however he might now chast ize his chosen people would some day deliver them. such a conviction was the most comfortable answer to a pervasive question had all of the suffering been in vain. in his april 9 diary entry, william wyatt asked has god forsake ebb us -- forsake ebb us saying i can't believe us. i believe he will yet grant unto us prosperity and honor. that night he noted that his men song the hymn god moves in mysterious ways. and theology was flexible enough to accommodate defeat for the confederates. many believed god will approve
victory in his own appointed way and time. and a second theme in the confederate soldiers was the resources claim was an argument about the size of the yankee army. in confederate eyes the yankee numbers have filled the ranks with foreigners of every nationality and regiments of our former slaves. and confederate soldiers believed they had been compelled to sur render to their social inferiors, well suited to the union's hard war tactics. in short confidents did not believe they had relinquished the moral high ground at appomattox. and if we look at the reactions of confederate civilians we see them echo the sentiments expressed by soldiers. confederate civilians imagined
the surrender scene, the very scene at the mclean house as an enactment of lee's superiority to grant. a revealing of the report at the conference at the mcclain house sur rending through april of 1865 purporting to be accurate but not accurate at all, but lee offers grant his sword and grant refuses to take it and according to the account, grant turns to lee and says quote general lee, keep that sword, you have won it by your galantry. you have not been whipped and i cannot receive it as a token from a man. but of course grant never said such a thing to robert e. lee but the report was credible because it confirmed the fight over right interpretation. emma holmes would write of the surrender scene that union
officers cheered for lee as he left the mclean house and the rank and file yankees dare not utter a single word to the rebels. why were they so submissive in victory. she wrote they feared the lion in chains, still commanding the deference and respect of northerners and fear. in the year after the war, confederates not only again and guenin volked the overwhelming numbers interpretation of their defeat, they invoked the appomattox terms and particularly the remain undushed clause on the paroles an the pashes and they invoked it as a shield against social change and a in a weapon over black civil rights. republican efforts to give the freed people a measure of quality and opportunity and reflection were met by confident
protests that such a radical agenda was a betrayal of the appomattox terms and the prospect of black citizenship as one newspaper put it molests and disturbs us. the north carolina poet mary bayer clark put it most succinctly urging others to model on the behavior of lee she wrote in the summer of 1866, lee had not stooped his head one hairs breath since surrendering and she said more than this an honorable surrender should not desire them for feel they were wrong, for they were right. and that won't surprise you to know that this emphasis on confederate righteousness over the yankee this was rejected by u.s. grant and his circle and the vast majority of union
soldiers and civilians. it was precisely -- precisely an admission of wrongdoing and a change of heart that grant sought from his defeated foes. his mercy at appomattox was designed not to exonerate the confederates but to effect their repentance. grant believed he could be merciful because he had rendered lee pourless and his cause discredited and it was a view of right over wrong not might over right. and again restoration con noted a turning back of the clock but grant's eyes were mixed firmly on the future. grant would not countenance the rolling back of the transformation the war had wrought, the consolidation of republican power and repudiation of the right and enlistment of black troops. grant rejected the idea that he had in any sense negotiated with
robert e. lee at appomattox and in his view he grant, had all of the carts on april 9. he issued the parole passes to confederates not to pay tribute to the courage but to remind them to be paid on their status as tributes of war and issued on the promise of their good behavior and felt the terms to be unmistakeable and what ron told us about the mandate from lincoln and the orders to address military surrender and grant would write i never claimed this gave them any rights whatsoever that was entirely with congress over which i had no control. in other words the fraught political questions of when and if the conquered confederates would again be permitted to vote or hold office or property other than slaves restored to them,
these were questioned to be settled in the civil realm by politicians and elected officials. grant's surrender by parole was rested on military calculation and grant felt certain on april 9 that his lien yens to lee for forestall the possibility of gorilla warfare and stop the swift surrender of the armies in the field. once he capitulated the other dominos would fall and you'll hear more about those dominos later on today. and in contrast to lee's emphasis on restoration, the triumph of a just cause, family the cause of a union. in the eyes of grant and union men, the north's triumph vindicated the principle of rule by the majority and vindicated the founder's belief in a union and vindicated the citizen
soldiers representing democracy, to outfight the con scripts and dukes of an autocratic society. and the downfall of the confederacy unburdened the south in slavery and abhor ept to all civilized people. now the way was open for the ethos of moral progress and the massive white southerners could be disen tlaled to the subservient class. they did not believe lee's people to be blameless and grant thought for every sin there must be a chance at atonement and his mag anyone imity was designed to agreat that atonement. union soldiers attributed their victory boerng to their super-human effort as one soldier put it and to devine
providence. thanks and praise to almighty god in saving our country wrote elker expressing that in the union troops that in the end providence had favored the righteous. for appomattox there was something prove den shall in the physical setting. and many said at the moment of defeat they were massed on the low ground laid in a valley while the triumphant lined the hills around the town of appomattox. a strange prove difference was surely at work too as one union chaplain put in the fact the surrender terms were signed in the home of mclean about those who we heard owned on the battleground of manassas how wonderous the devine retribution
wrote this army chaplain. the most stirring sign of devine favor was to be found in the prove den shall timing on palm sunday it. was the expression that the surrender was a blessed sabbath sabbath's work. they embraced grant's policy in their hour of vindication, because they believed that in so thoroughly defeating the rebels the army had meted out sufficient punishment to the confederates. they felt they were so desperately beaten they welcomed the surrender. allen of massachusetts had seen evidence of this scrawled on the canvass covers of army wagons abandoned on the line of re treat. one piece of graffiti said we can't whip you all without something to eat. more over union soldiers reckoned that mag none imity was
best to reduce the reconstruction of the south, to change the hearts and minds. in a series of letters to his wife mary in the immediate wake of the surrender hallic armstrong, another chaplain took the measure of defeat and wrote the war had rendered the south a charnal house and the south had suffered enough. all that was left was to forgive and forget. and armstrong shared a view very common among northern shoulders and an -- soldiers and a ten nabt of lincoln's party that elite slave holders like lee and the officer class had led astray the nonslave holding common folk of the south and they believed -- i've alluded to this already, they believed the union mission was to disen tlal these men and victorious northerners could lift up the south's poor whites and open up for them a brighter future for themselves
and their children as armstrong put it. private major alvin morris of the 67th ohio agreed and wrote in his diary on april 13th that a show of kindness by the union would show that right not might rules and the superior moral character of the north and the commitment to free intertusion and enterprise that had won the war. in other words most of the northern favored mag none imity believed it had important work to do, if you will. and civilians joined in this embrace of grant's policy of mag none imity and those who em graced the nag none imity were those that wanted to see the south changed. it was charged here at the time in the aftermath of the surrender by confederates and copper head democrats in the north that abolitionist radical
republicans were intent on surrender but the evidence suggests a complex picture. in the eyes of the newspaper editor whoas greeley was the mean to an end to secure the asent of the south to emancipation. northerns and abolitionists saw this as an emblem of their own moral authority and their moral superiority and that proves as he would write that a civilization based on the free labor is of a higher and more human type of that than based on slavery. greeley favored grant's terms because 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 in greeley eyes for the likes of jefferson davis and robert e. lee than have to
live in the brave new world and be witness to an unfolding social new revolution n. essence, northerns said to the south, we don't want to inflict further punishments, we want you to change and confederates responded that any demand for change was a punishment and a breaking of a compact made at appomattox. and this contest over the surrender's meaning didn't simply pit 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 such a transformation and we have northerners and southerners on both sides of the questions. here is a theme of divisions within each society. lincoln's opponents in the north and political opponents the democrats particularly and the peace democrats or copperheads who seemed during the war who
favored coming to the negotiating table with the confederates and seeming independent, but they were loathe for lincoln's party to create the sender as a vindication and to mandate and the northern democrats rallied behind the confederate interpretation of appomattox. as the copperhead newspaper, the new york world put it in their valor and endurance and marshall skill, southerners were equal to the north and the confederacy were subdued by overwhelming numbers and not by the virtue and daring of the northern soldiers. but the south too was divided. white southern unionists and opposed the confederacy rebelled that they had brought grant to heel. and in little rock pursuing
reconstruction under lincoln's 10% plan the announcement of lee's surrender touched off days of hilarious rejoicing among the town's unionists. in nashville, tennessee, newly elected governor william g. brown low had marked the surrender by issuing a proclamation set ago side may 47th as a day of thanksgiving prayer to almighty god for the surrender at appomattox and as editor of the knoxville rebel ventilator, a newspaper in nashville, he rejoiced that the confederacy had been defeated and scattered and made to surrender on grant's own terms. but in the fwreer year after the surrender, this dominant interpretation with the emphasis on vindication of the north's way of war and free society and
grant's and lincoln's leadership, this would come to incorporate an argument about the lost promise of appomattox. the betrayal of the true spirit of grant's mag none imity. we'll see that political partisans will accuse their opponents for betraying and those charges will fly back and forth. in this case for grant and his followers, the betrayer of the true spirit of appomattox was andy johnson, liefrpg's successor. andy johnson comes to power after lincoln is assassinated and johnson pardons ex members of the confederate elite and thousands of pardons to confederates and state governments are handed back over to former confederates and they enact black codes and laws close to the old laws of slavery designed to enforce white
supremacy and these codes make it a crime for free people to actin sole ant to whites and permit white judges to seize any black children whose white parents don't meet approval and they levy taxes on black property and institute a past system and vagrancy that forced african-american to sipe annual labor contracts with white employer employers, typically former masters and this regime of surveillance and regulation passed under the reconstruction was enforced in the south by an all white police and judicial system and white patrollers often former confederate veterans wearing still their gray uniforms. scores of officials including a cabinet and four 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 hadn't yet 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 recognition these representatives and congress began to elaborate its own plan for reconstruction and the center of which would be african-american voting. this drama and recall sit ranc on the part of the defeated south radicalized u.s. grant. grant was not a radical republican by any means during the war, but he watched these developments with disappointment and even horror and 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 interested grant had adrapted -- i gradually worked up to the
point where i favored disenfranchisement for african-americans, grant would write in his memoirs, and he came to see this as politically necessary. it was the only way he would argue to dispel the protection they would control the nation again and were entitled to do so. and here is 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 and resentful of lee's refusal to give the victors their due. in may 1866 newspaper interview, a little more than a year after the surrender, grant took lee to task. he told the reporter he talked to, grant did, that lee, was quote, behaving badly unquote setting an example i continue to groat, grant is setting an example of forces acquiescence, so grudging and fern.
>> in its effects to be hardly realized. an example of forced acquiescence and person ishs to be hardly accord with a gentlemen's agreement, a meeting of the minds, a healing moment that came down as myth. grant resented lee as a mere show of force and recented him to resist change in the name of restoration and grant 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 to the third interpretive frame after talking about restoration and vindication. i want to turn to the theme of liberation. none asserted a new era than african-americans. and i'll turn to them now.
for them the union victory vindicated black freedom and racial justice. at appomattox blacks were among the liberators and the liberated. in the last clash of grant and lee at the end of the desperate chase across the countryside that we heard about from many angles. lee's army tried to break free of the federal trap to find the last escape route was blocked by black soldiers in blue. six regiments of the united states color troops with one other waiting in the wings. when they heard confirmation of lee's capitulation, the ex aultation knew no bounds and they sang and their jubilation knew no joy. and this was black life in america. they included southerners ex slaves trained at kentucky's camp nelson, a training ground
for troops recruited in the south and included northern free blacks trained at philadelphia camp william penn and men would become race leaders in the post war era and george washington williams and baptist editor william j. simons a mentor to ida wells and included the reg meants, a man george edmondson a decentent of the monticello family fascinating stories of these regiments. but for all of the soldiers, their presence on the battlefield was a culmination of a struggle, dramatized in the fine movie glory. we know the army turned away black volunteers. racism ran deep in the north. northern authorities claimed that african-american men did not possess the attributes of patriotism and courage and turned them away but kept faith that the war was their golden
moment and when regiments got their chance to fight, they proved their medal at dozens of engagements. the regiments at appomattox had seen considerable action. the eighth usct for example survived a bloody initiation into combat in florida in 1864 and joined in the grinding warfare of the over land campaign in virginia and manned the trenched through the sea of petersberg and entering that city when it fell in early april. and keenly aware after giving proof of their courage, the march toward equality could still be turned back so long as powerful confederate armies were still in the field. the confederate government viewed black union soldiers as rebellious slaves liable to be executed if captured. and many white northerners
viewed this as a experiment testing blacks for citizenship and many of the whites hoped and expected that the experiment would in the end fail. not surprisingly, given this context, black soldiers quickly seized on the usct's role in the surrender as a vindication. as william mckoj of the renl meant put in a may 1865 letter put it, we, the colored soldiers have won our rights by bravery and loyalty. many of them shared the conviction that the usct role in the last battle was decisive. they recounted the scene on the morning of the 9th to his mother and sisters in the letter quote, the morning of the 9th game and the calvary were being pushed back and the boys were falling, scores of them why was
it when victory was so near and coming over the road at close column at relief time. what cared we more 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. more over black troops understood themselves to be an army of liberation whose defeat of lee was a nail in the coffin of slavery itself. and this is very interesting and little known part of the story abundant evidence exists that suggested that saw appomattox as a freedom day. that for many, april 9, 1865 and not january 1, 1863, when lincoln had his famous proclamation, april 9, was the real moment of emancipation as long as confederates controlled
the south was the real freedom. they were the first to fathom the significance of the event. none other than booker t. washington remembers that how when the war closed the day of freedom came. a u.s. army belatedly read the emancipation proclamation that lee's surrender brought deliverance deliverance. and we have a remarkable set of interviewed conducted in the 1930s but a new deal agency, the works progress administration or wpa for short interviews conducted with men and women who had been alive in the time of slavery. they were quite elderly in the 1930s. they were children in the days before the civil war. but these interviewees more than 2,000 altogether, left this remarkable body of testimony about slavery. it is all available on the website of the library of
congress. and if we look at these interviews for reflections on appomattox we see they echo reminiscences look booker t washington. fannie berry remembered that slaves in virginia burst into spontaneous song when they learned that lee had raised the white flag. for at that moment, she said they knew they were free. and as news of the surrender traveled to the south slaves far away from appomattox true experienced grants final triumph as the end of their enslavement. james h. johnson of south carolina lamented that after president lincoln's freedom proclamation in 1863, the status quo of slavery kept on right as it had. it was only when general lee surrender that he observed in his wpa interview that we learned we were free. for some former slaves, the date of the lee surrender structured the very sense of time and of history.
aliza 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 1866. i know it was 1866 because it was the year after the surrender and we knew the surrender was in 1865. just as appomattox persisted in the memory of many ex slaves, it was also an enduring presence on the commemorative calendar of the free slaves. they met every april 9 to celebrate this important turning point in the road to emancipation. these april 9 commemorations begin as early as 66, we see blacks in mecklenburg county pledging if lee had never been beaten the emancipation proclamation had been to no avail but in research i found african-american communities, philadelphia, chicago, all over the country celebrating april 9 in churches and other civic
settlings well into the 20th century. and now liberation helping to free the slaves would be a point of pride within black communities and i mention george washington williams a veteran of the appomattox campaign and one of the usct regiments would be a pre-eminent historian in the late 19th century. he noted in his history books that the brilliant fighting of the black troops ensured thele is vags of the union at this moment. but the fact they had defeated lee lent additional symbolic meaning to the surrender. for lee and his army of northern virginia typified in the eyes of the usct men the slave-holding elite and the pretext of racial superiority. according to tom morris chester, a newspaper editor, the confederate capitulation was sweet because it was a rebuke to
the first families of virginia who chester reilly dubs after the surrender the fleet footed virginians. in short men such as george washington williams and thomas morris chester made and sustained over decades the bold claim that in defeating lee's army african-american troops had dealt a death blow for all that the army stood for, including slavery itself. they insisted that the union army victory emanated from the courage but that black slaves imbibed that courage and it had a civil rights message into grant's terms. my point is that we see mag nimminity embraced by northerns and southerners but they viewed that with different kinds of meanings. african-americans emphasizes the
promise of appomattox as a moment of racial reconciliation and they depicted black soldiers as agents of national haling. so george washington williams 1988 history of the troops praised black soldiers for treating the vank wished -- the vank wished veterans with quiet humility. he said the negro troops cheerfully divided their rations with the enemy and welcomed them on the march back to the south. and the soldiers freely mingled with the black conquerers. it was a spectacle never before witnessed. what williams is trying to do is something very important. he was trying to counter a very long-standing charge, dating back to the 18th century, a
charge by anti-abolitionists for decades, a charge that you could not have emancipation because if you had emancipation you would have chaos and vengeance and race war. and for decades african-american and their white allies said if you have emancipation, you'll have the only true chance for peace and harmony because slavery is the problem and not abolition and williams is trying to say that black mag nom imity at appomattox, that this was an exercise of moral authority, a conscious effort as purposeful as grant's own act of clemency to lee to break a cycle of violence that slavery had perpetuated but could the cycle be broken? african-americans who invoked appomattox as a signifier of racial reconciliation were fighting a rear guard action against a determined foe. and in the decade after the war,
defeated southerners opposed to change and the agenda for reconstruction and many northerners who joined them began the lost cause, that demonized congressional reconstruction and the republican agenda as corrupt and punitive and sought to justify groups like the klan as means to restore the old order. needless to say for champions of the lost caught, there was no liberation from tyranny and no promise of interracial reconciliation. as i suggested earlier unreconstructed rebels interpreted that key line in grant's surrender terms the stipulation, the confederate soldiers would remain undisturbed by u.s. authorities as a promise that although slavery was defunct, the cast
system would remain undisturbed. in the view of john brown gordon, radical republicans broke that promise but according to civil rights to ex slaves and white southerners fulfilled the promise when they quote unkwoi quote redeemed the region from northern miss rule. as john john gordon said the union army had been deferential to the general at appomattox saying we should not be disturbed so long as we obeyed the laws and he said that promise was broken by saying confederates, your former slaves are better to administer the laws than you are. his message was clear the only way to leave the peace was to leave the south alone to manage its own affairs. appomattox came to represent a lost promise, a betrayal of the promise of freedom, a betrayal
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 gentleman's agreement may be it doesn't begin to capture this complex legacy of appomattox. deep into the 19 blg century appomattox was at the heart of race and reunion. thank you. [ applause ]for enlightening us on appomattox. and we have a few minutes for questions. come to the aisle and state your name and your question and elizabeth will respond. >> i'm david passic from charlotte, north carolina. thank you for writing your wonderful and inciteful book on appomattox. there were matters i was
confused about to understand. johnson was from north carolina and known to be from north carolina when he was in the senate prior to lincoln's election and lincoln had a different vp, his first term, i believe a man named hamlin. >> correct. >> how was it that hamlin got dumped and the republican party picked a southerner who be vice president who was heartbeat away from the post war. >> andy johnson, fascinating and complicated character. he is a southern senator from tennessee when the war starts. he is a jacksonian democrat representing the sturdy yo man of the south and he talked very tough against the plantar elite who he represents. and he's rewarded by lincoln and the administration for it.
he's made military governor once there are swaths of the state and johnson rules with a heavy hand and does the bidding of the republican administration and lincoln -- johnson had owned a few slaves but he comes to embrace emancipation as a way to punish and rob the confederation and rob them of resources. so out of political expediency, one is lincoln is worried about his re-election. he writes in august he fears he might not be re-elected and he trying to build a coalition and he wants not the peace democrats, but the war democrats who represent most d.c.s, he ss -- the post war democrats and the
republican party in 1864 we sometime lz forget this, re -- rechristens itself and those republicans are not interested in winning the war and they represent the war democrats and represents southern unionism and it was a profound cherished hope of the republican administration and an article of faith, again i alluded to this, this massive of white southerners who had a lat class who might be brought on board with the free labor agenda and a belief in a latent southern unionism and johnson as the pre-eminent of southern unionism was a good representative of that appeal lincoln wanted to make and lincoln had an experiment in war time reconstruction, a very lenient wartime reconstruction
and his fill ossify was noncharity toward all in his second inaugural address and radical republicans in congress had rejected aspects of lincoln's wartime reconstruction plan and tennessee was one of the model states and he felt in johnson was on his ticket the republicans would have to accept the experiment rather than cast it aside so he a lot of reasons. hamlin represented an anti-slavery constituency that had nowhere else to go. so he wasn't adding much to ticket but johnson represented this hope. and one final thing. it is all too easy to imagine lincoln doesn't get this much thought because he doesn't expect to get assassinated. he knew his life was in danger and there were untimely deaths
of zachary and henry harrison and they knew that johnson might end up being the man and one of the great campaign taktsices was to say our second guy johnson can be counted on and pendleton was one of the copper heads willing to negotiate the war away. so it is politics there. any other questions? >> last one here. >> from greensboro. >> hey. >> would you comment on the great black leader in the period, frederick douglas. >> so frederick douglas is a fascinating figure. he was the pre-eminent african-american leader of the 19th srnts. i think we sometimes have a tendency to stand in for all of african-american thought in the 19th century and that is a mistake because george washington and williams and others were important voices and there were political disagreements in the black community as one would expect.
but douglas plays a very important roelt in the story i've told in the sense that doug loss would say famously in 1878 there was a right side and a wrong side in this war which no sentiment ought to cause us to forget. why would he say in 1878, we need to be reminded there was a right side and a wrong side because he thought people were for getting it. that people were blameless and the equals and if not the superiors and would not relinquish their principles and that had taken root and for men like douglas it was disturbing to see the fruits of the union victory slipping away. and so in some sense he's commenting at that moment on the rise of this lost cause cult. dog lass and george washington williams and african-americans and the group of people who
rallied around this includes white northerners and a small group of white southern unions who promoted this image of the war that douglas wanted to have as a counter narrative to the lost cause. they wanted for americans to have emancipation stand at the center of our memory of the war. and what worried dog lass was that the -- douglas was slavery and emancipation and history was getting swept under the rug was a feel-good story for whites was shared heroism that tried to drain the political meaning out of the war and for douglas that was a very alarming trend. any other questions? thank you all very much. [ applause ] join american history tv for live coverage of ceremonies marking the 150th anniversary of
the surrender at appomattox. in april, 1865 robert e. lee met ulysses s. grant in the village of appomattox courthouse and surrendered his army of northern virginia effectively ending the civil war. we'll be live from the appomattox courthouse historic park in virginia on april 9th and 12th as historians including ed airs reflect on the last battles and explore the aftermath and legacy of appomattox. and we'll bring you re-enactments of the key moments of 150 years ago and we'll open our phone lines to take your calls foragers david blight and elizabeth varron. the surrender of appomattox thursday and sunday live here on c-span3 c-span3. here are some of the our featured programs for this
weekend on c-span. on c-span 2 book tv on 10:00 p.m. eastern on afterwards, grover nor quist said americans are tired of the irs and our tax system and sunday night at 8:00 p.m., author susan butler on president franklin roosevelt and joseph stalin, allies during world war ii and their part aniship -- partnership beyond the war. and on c-span3 on lectures and history, university of virginia college of wise professor jennifer murray on how civil war veterans have changed from present. and we are live from appomattox courthouse national historic park commemorating the 150th anniversary of the confederate surrender and the end of the civil war. american history tv recently visited longwood university in farmville, virginia for a sem
seminar on the closing of the civil war in 1865 it. was co-hosted by the university and the appomattox courthouse national historic park. next author mark bradley talks about the fighting in north carolina during the last months of the civil war. this is about an hour. >> thank you, david. can everyone hear me okay? >> yes. >> all right. well, we have watched the armies of grant and lee moving across the virginia landscape from the siege of petersberg, to the surrender at appomattox courthouse, now i'm going to make a detour. we're going to make a sharp turn south and turn back the clock. we're going back to december of 1864. and we're going to