tv The Civil War CSPAN July 11, 2015 6:00pm-7:05pm EDT
-- the professor off southern studies at lsu. he is professor of southern history as well as civil war and published a number of scholarly works, including a monograph on a book published by the university of virginia. he has done a number of things as well as the editor with myself for "civil war america" which is published by unc. aaron came to cwi in 2013. this is your third year at lsu. a change in his accent. do you have a cajun accent now? he is shaking his head no. he will speak on the war in 1865. welcome. [applause]
aaron: thank you, pete. i have not developed an accent. the giveaway i talk too fast. my students in particular i will do my best to speak slowly. i do cook jambalaya. native and that regard of the food of baton rouge. i would like to thank you for the opportunity to start things off. we congratulate ourselves on the -- if you're civil war historian or somebody the last couple of years may have seen longer
do not know how the war is going to end. it is exciting for me to tell you how it finishes after the years not knowing. i would like to shift to a slightly more omnipotent perspective and talk about the ways in which participants were trying to make sense of the experience. how did they ascribe meaning to what they just went through? and one level up, how have we over time and i will do this quickly songs about the question of what the civil war means? that category of analysis, thinking about is distinct from why the war ended. this is the question a lot a civil war historians have spent time on, why did he turn off the way they did? in the last couple of decades with the rise of memory studies
that historians have thought more about the legacies and outcomes of the civil war. let me start, if i sound like i was disparaging the why question with my estimation of how we got there. how the war eve out and why the north won or the south lost? and those are separate questions. central to what we do as historians for you cause and effect is never perfectly clear to capture the full range of outcomes. our job is to explain past events. how did the north win? they implemented a strategy of his austin that eliminated confederates -- they implemented a strategy of exhaustion that eliminated confederates. nouns and verbs matter. even from the titles of books that describe the war. if it is how the north one, it is different from how the south
lost. it tells us the things you think are important. the north succeeded not because they has a seated -- superior resources but they use them effectively. if it was a matter of material the war should've ended in 1862. in 1862. for political and military reasons, it took several years to design a strategy that brought victory. you will notice that i did not say the confederacy lost. i do not think the question of why did the civil war ended the way it did can be explained by the divisions among southerners. those divisions were certainly real and many loyal confederates despised jefferson davis for policies for you -- policies.
resented them all the more important people in the confederacy resented the most of all because they live so close. the same 4 people benefited from the redistributing properties and make supplies available, the purpose to give the confederate government the ability to redistribute to equalize the burdens of war. how they fail in social terms. southern men and women clash over the changes by the war and black southerners provided aid to the union. the confederacy was right with -- right with internal bus of the north had the same dissent. [indiscernible] only the most obvious examples of these divisions. the democrats debilitating resistance to lincoln and the republicans across the southern
tier of northern border states like missouri, kentucky, and maryland. tens of thousand men joined for private guerrilla wars. northern women do not assume such a larger role as their peers in the south the dead, they nonetheless accelerated the conflict about the proper role of women in life. descent is prominent in both not determinative of the outcome is the north had won we would blame the new york riots. the other crucial factor beyond military fortune capacity deployed the ones that boosted both sides during the war was simple contingency. what do we call it? fate. several pivotal moments the
civil war could've ended or shifted direction and unpredictable ways. ace short -- a short list is southern pines and gettysburg in atlanta and lincoln's reelection. i know you're spent the past couple of years over these pavements. we can see the last of the surely contingent moments probably passed in 1864 with the union trifecta. even still the war did not end in 1864 as many hoped. in january 1860 five, richmond was held by the confederate, grant's efforts around petersburg which had been underway since june of the preceding year was progressing but had not produced the result he had hoped for. a very long time for northerners to wait for what they told was imminent victory. the people had turned diehard rebels.
not just committed to victory but convinced of this eminence and control of the political and legal apparatus. these diehards mostly but not exclusively belonged to the prewar elite. the planters and their families who had the most to lose from a categorical defeat and they relied on a mixture of rumored to sustain themselves through this hard winter of 1864 1865. probably not a term as day would use. i had a student writes on an exam meaning to talk about the gentry of the south as both of them as the gentiles who owned the land. so -- my margin comment was that they were gentiles though i doubt they would of called themselves that and i suspect that went over his head like the gentry problem who knows for the jewish confederates out there. jefferson davis and robert e.
lee knew more was needed to sustain the army both physically and in terms of our row. their most revolutionary policy and brought to legislative fruition in 1865 was a plan to enlist and enslave man into confederate ranks. if successful they hoped it would have the potential to alleviate the manpower in balance between north and south. the confederate congress could not bring itself to offer emissive patient to those slaves will i serve in the army -- emancipation to those slaves who might serve in the army. nothing about their status as slaves or free men. for some like cobb, a question of consistency. if slaves would make good soldiers our whole theory of slavery is wrong. this interrogatory phrasing made a scene that cobb did not know
the answer and did not want to know the is. maybe slate men -- slaved men were men after all. confederates has shot down surrendering black soldiers on battlefields across the south about their own views of black men in uniform quite clear. they would've been baffled to identify this lack confederate that populate the internet. approval of the act davits added a proviso -- davis added a proviso, that promised emancipation for black men and their families who served in the csa. as it went into effect, the order not only for enlistment but emancipation. a handful of these men never served in any serious capacity in the waning days of the war. for me at least, it erases from
academic perspective one of the only ways it may have been beneficial for the civil war to go longer is the find out what happens in the experiment if more black men had fought in rebel gray but they did not. as a result, the order may have hurt more than held the confederate cause. an insightful diarist was a diehard rubble. every scrap of good news and rumors that passed through her home. her ineffective for yankees was only mask the bottles or for those confederates willing to compromise the principles that brought them into the conflict considering that the listing like men into the confederate she wrote "to sell the birthright of the south for only the --" as a confederates grasped in
ages 60 union projected a posture of compact -- africa federate grasped, the union project a posture. unexhausted and as we believe in exhaustible. this sounds arrogant but it was true in 1864. the tone, lincoln is planning to disparate the confederacy. republicans had won overwhelmingly in the fall elections. republicans win enormously gaining many of the seas they had lost. even though the members would not take their seats the momentum behind lincoln and his war measures was unmistakable. those are the men that are going to be seated at the beginning a reconstruction. part of the reconstruction and
empowered by union victory and comment in late 1864. that's momentum behind lincoln's administration could be seen in the carolinas which proceeded with seemingly unstoppable force. the joke told among the confederates revealed the truth. one says to the other, we caved in a tunnel to carry troops forward. i heard he carries a spare tunnel with him. this sense of throwing up your hands in the phase of juggernaut is an understandable one. passing through south carolina was more destructive envy active than georgia -- and vindictive than georgia. than the ones in south carolina, strangely understated. they do not start the fire's that destroyed columbia never --
and neither did they work to extinguish them. a young resident of the city described the fire as open will a nightmare that still oppresses." the state houston flame and imagine night turned to noon day with a scorching glare that was horrible, a copper color sky. sparks flying embers all around us with showers of burning flakes. the palpitating blaze with solid masses of lame as far as the eye could reach filling the air. by the morning when the true son of." most of downtown columbia had been destroyed but not before soldiers entered and held a mock session. this play active provided a welcome chance for soldiers to condemn those they blamed for the war.
treason began, one of sherman's boys wrote and by god and here is where it will end. the military was more static. lee knew it would not stay that way. desertion increased in february and march with over 100 men leaving per night. they let for the abundance of the union. others turned toward home. i would argue this flight is differ from traditional desertion during the war. it seems to be more political recognition by the soldiers the war was over and the obligation to remain in the army. lutheran males admitted as much to his brother. mills state in the ranks and told his brother the men things desertion no crime and is never shoot a deserter when he goes over. mills require that men going out and night carry 10 cartridges
and said they always shoot but never hit. nine months a trench warfare with the doing to link supplies reduced soldiers to deprivation. rancid pork a little health. the living conditions in the trenches around petersburg. this experience, these 10 months in trench warfare in the virginia mod and increasingly -- mud and increasingly severe rations, the soldiers from their lives and loved ones they left behind. on april 2, grant ordered an attack along the petersburg line hoping to trap lee. petersburg's loss was the fall of richmond. the city was evacuated. much to the dismay of all of us, records were destroyed.
much of the city destroyed by the fire. what was left was a frightened population nearly destitute. richmond was ruled by the mob. the principal business section they breaking and robbing and in some instances [indiscernible] this desperation revealed one of the logistical wars, the impact on civilians. a strategy of in josh and is applied -- of exhaustion is applied. it fell evenly on soldiers and civilians. lincoln arrived in richmond two days later to inspect the city and arriving at the war greeted by thousands of african-americans cheering for him as a white richmond and huddled inside sent a very public signal the war was ending.
the president of the united states to stand in the capital of the soon-to-be erstwhile confederacy. the capital of the confederacy was theirs. from new york, one said the it is nomadic. is probably in a dirty, damaged railroad car in a seat of government on the saddle which jeff davis. he was not far wrong. lincoln -- sorry, lee were treated to reach a rations by rail. he joined johnson. the better fed and clothed cap pace -- kept pace. but to their south and captured the vital supplies that lee hoped to find at the courthouse. grant's strategy was embodied in the erosion of the army as it
marks to were appomattox, not having eaten or slept for the several preceding days. april 9, lee asked great for terms and the army stopped fighting. by the end of the ceremonial finish, most people heard rumors if not bona fide news reports only's capitulate -- lee's capitulation. surrendering to sherman at armies further north laid down. the war ended in early april. grant later remembered he was "sad and depressed" at what you call "the downfall of a foe that has suffer so much for a cause though it was one of the worst for which a people ever fought." going to explore the surrender in more detail tomorrow morning so i would like to shift my focus to the broader perspective i mentioned earlier.
among america's anticipating the war's end, they all wonder what the postwar world would look like. from was white northerners, most importantly is the united states would behold. significant today often overlooked. we assume the inevitability of a unified america's direction -- stretching from the atlantic campus they fit. at the time, they are repudiating from the stars of the conflict abraham lincoln described as a contest over the viability of self-government which understood to be the core of democratic republic. by abandoning the political process in the wake of uncensored -- unsatisfactory election, the rights of minorities could be protected under the constitution and gave up on self-government. the acts of secession cast in doubt the global future of democracy. one express this sentiment in
his messages to a newspaper he writes. he wrote the north fought to preserve "the faith and intelligence and virtue of the common people and their ability to govern themselves and maintain national unity without being asunder by internal strife and discord." lincoln said it was distinctly and believes northern victory would approve "among freemen that the be no successful appeal for the battle of the bullet." whatever shape the postwar world assumed would not include slavery. january 31 1865 the house of representatives casts the 13th amendment as senate to the states and it was ratified and took effect in late 1865. the end of slavery and liberation all 4 million slaves african-americans overturned 2 centuries a slaveholding and forcing the reshaping of
relations across the nation and within the south in particular. emancipation proclamation begun the process. that document as lincoln well knew was contingent upon a republican administration that would enforce and and a confederate -- union victory. perhaps to a permanent end to slavery in the united states comes slavery have to be abolished. a proclamation of emancipation which applies individuals in the process of abolition which ends the institution of slavery which is why we deny get a slavery abolition. these are different processes during the war. george julian, elite abolitionist felt blessed to sign his name and describe the moment and reported "the cheering in the halls of a densely packed gallery. members joined in the shouting.
some embrace one another in others wealth like children." black southerners seize control of the two things denied to them under slavery, their families and livelihood. the first instinct was to find and protect their loved ones, retracing the moves of slaves spouses, children, and parents to reconstitute the family's. in addition to reconstructing their families, ask slaves built churches schools to anchor their communities. african-americans sought full autonomous citizenship knowing it meant not only the right to vote but to an education and opportunity to move, work, and on land. during reconstruction, they engage in politics by voting and join the republican party area they pursue literacy. why southern resistance would eventually deny the promises of
citizenship and implicit in the 13th, 14th, if 15 amendments. emancipation was not a failed experiment. african-americans efforts can be seen in the communities through the decades around the turn of the century. the foundation laid by the post-civil war generation enable the 20th century activists for full autonomy. america's north and south had confronted the central questions related to emancipation -- where would black people live and what would they do? these were the key issues. a topic that greg will take up later, i think sunday morning to talk about the transition of reconstruction we thing as the period after the civil war. really -- land redistribution along carolina and georgia, the sea islands captured by the union navy in 1861. the planters fled inland.
the navy found thousands of ex- slaves and cotton. the wartime experiment around the data did not yield what planters wanted. the government retained control of the land and it is important in january of 1865 as william sherman's army reaches savanna. he presents to lincoln the city of savannah. sherman terms to the problem of the thousands of enslaved people who he moved across georgia alleges army and want to basically moving to south carolina without taking this mobile refugee camp with him. he meets with local black leaders and savanna to assess what should be happening. he was understand their attitudes toward emancipation. a revealing interview. these men who attended were prepared. sherman asked the leader's
spokesperson how he understood of freedom. fraser's response "the proclamation is taking us from under bondage and place and is where we can read the benefit of our labor and take care of ourselves and this is government in maintaining our freedom with a designed to please nor the republicans." some measure of social autonomy and during the war not yet over national loyalty. whether in response to this meaning or to light his burdens, sherman issued special field order number 15. this would've decimated or did designate the sea islands 40,000 acres from the coast inland as a territory for the settlement of the 18,000 families who had refugees with his army. this inaugurated with the most surprising and revolutionary
land redistribution schemes in american history. these families began planting crops in 1865 understand from sherman's order it is now their land. the story has an unfortunate and and and. andrew johnson pardoned the planters. the influx of the waning days the efforts on the union to fumble to what a strategy of thinking what the postwar south will look like and the question land and economical ontology is paramount area alongside land and work, the other crucial elements sought by black americans was the vote. black leaders began to work to make sure any new nation formed would include lack men on full political and civil equality with whites. the test case transpired in louisiana where an educated and wealthy black and mixed-race elite try to make black voting rights a key issue for the
readmission of the state to the union. louisiana reentered the union under lincoln's reconstruction plan called 10% plan to to percent of the voters who voted in 1860 take over the loyalty and it could be a member of the u.s. with full privileges. they were in the process of revising their state constitution, that was one of the requirements. lincoln received a petition from a large group of these leading new orleans african-americans and send a note to the new government encouraging him to an franchise and select group of black men bank "the very intelligent and those who have fog gallantly in our own ranks." the new constitution did not grant blacks the vote but the black elite kept pressing the issue at the state and national level. it say no lincoln's mind. in the last beach she delivered on april 14 right before he had
it to ford's theatre he announced his support for a limited version of lack suffrage. frederick douglass's observations seems to be coming true, the black man -- let them get an ego and will is as pockets and no power on earth or under the earth which can deny he is the right to citizenship in the united states. alongside these persistent policy and political issues, people struggle to make sense of the war's end. soldiers coming even if greatly desired, jarden them from peas. new englanders might as well have explained why he were as did in music tones to lee's surrender. we never realized he surrendered admitted wells. i had an impression we shall fight them all our lives. he was like a ghost to children,
hoping that haunted us for so long. it will take me some months to be colleges of this fact. -- conscience of this fact. that sense of shock that wells conveyed could be seen in the behavior confederate soldiers, regrettably those who stopped to write letters home. a terrible gap and that correspondence. beginning about april 2. not so much for the union of lieutenant to write -- who ran out of time to write. a veteran soldiers had to find in their own way home. some rodes some walked is some alone. all were weary, frustrated, hungry in arms. north carolina is free is a riot
of their own as confederate veterans from lee's army brother to warehouses and pillaged for food. active confederate soldiers arrived and eventually opened fire killing those select survived four years only to die at the hand the johnston. the experience of those who saw their protectors of predators as more and more wounded and damaged men dragged themselves home. none were diagnosed with ptsd but the signs were visible with a spy in drug abuse usually opiate given in the war for pain alcoholism and domestic abuse mark to the return home. when jacksonville, florida build the veterans home, miles outside of town on the banks of the st. johns river, much more of an asylum or warehouse than anything respectable for veterans.
confederate soldiers were not of the only white southerners who struggle to assimilate the meaning a defeat. the defeat by the yankee was incompatible with southern honor or pride. a young diarist that i quoted earlier looked on the union with contempt for you when sherman's troops raised the flag she described as "a warming site, hateful symbol." the failure a white men to protect their families and harsh as a war directly contradicted the ethos of paternal that the southern rested. more difficult for white southerners was recognizing emancipation. mary chestnut learned of lee's surrender of her anniversary
which was the unhappiest day of her life. poor james, her husband. scrutinize her slaves. these negroes unchanged does not show a ripple of change. chestnut and smart enough to know but neither the mask, black southerners had their own desires and hopes for the postwar world. sung and told and whispered probably for his long as it's late people have lived in north america. jubilee, the concept heralded a new world. two years earlier, and south carolina black union soldiers celebrated a passage of the emancipation proclamation. as colonel higgins waived the regimental colors, the black men and women gathered and broken to the national anthem. never saw something so electric
he wrote, it made all worsen cheap, the children avoid of a -- the choked voice. strategic expression after the war when a black trust on his celebrated -- charlestonionans celebrated the first independence. it was here that free people gathered to commemorate the fallen soldiers and in doing so asserted their loyalty to the united states in a place where they had few friends. like the northerners appreciated and understood the gesture. mourning their men loss. few were willing to forgive or forget. signs of that attitude were everywhere.
herman melville dedicated his collection all war poems to the memory of the 300,000 in the war for the main is other union sale under the flag of their fathers. no brothers, he would been puzzled by our 650,000 dead. for many northerners, it was 300,000 who died. the euphoria that greeted was quelled with the assassination of abraham lincoln, it in bitter to the north man who blamed it on jefferson davis and encouraged a hard reconstruction. walt whitman came to find his injured brother used to observe lincoln and his melancholy walks but never interacted but whitman saw him. his poem captured the intimate sorrow that northerners felt after the assassination more than losing just a politician.
my captain does not answer and his lips are pale and my father does not feel my arms. the ship is angered safest town -- the ship is angered -- an chored. exalt, but i with mournful dread. fallen, cold and dead. these competing attempts, people had maintained during it. northerners about the virtues a reunion in the mobility of emancipation bring southerners regretted their defeat and cast about scapegoats. it was rare to find a critical or true assessment of the war. one show the few i always understood we went to war on account -- i never heard of any other cause than slavery. why his peers cannot reconcile
mostly said men fight for sentiment and they invent some fanciful theory on which an imaginative a font. -- they fought. they were essential in the war's waning days as lincoln sought to rebuild. academics said that lincoln picked intellectuals' pockets. in the second inaugural, he did something audacious. this sleight-of-hand substituted the celebratory tone that characterized most victors acted around the conquest with conciliatory one. i beseech my students not to write with the passive voice because it of skiers the actors -- it obscures the actors and without subjects we have people with out history, no history at all. lincoln used a passive voice
print as of the war came. as he knew, wars do not come people making them. use this phrase to obscure the war's forage and pretty critique on the north and south together as those were's civil for the bloodshed. if god wills, lincoln wrote unrequited until every drop of blood drawn will be paid by another with the sword still it must be said the judgments of the lord are true and righteous. that's blood from north and south alike. for lincoln the judgment was clear. this decision to draw the equivalent of trash talk in favor of forgiven signaled his desire to a net reunion's, not just military victories. for the last few minutes, i would like to pull back from this analysis just to conclude.
i would like to take advantage of hindsight. something we always worn our suits to be too careful and look at the legacy from a birds eye view. northern victory sanctioned free labor, the model of a spouse by the republican party. northerners, the value of autonomy encephalitis and restraint catalyzed working men proved their worth by ensuring victory. this conception of the war was perfectly circular but nonetheless compelling for northerners. the system of free labor appeared to -- appeal to ex- slaves. on the other hand white southerners predicted slaves with no native intelligence or spirit would drag the economy down. this was proved false entering into contracts with employers
and illustrating they understood incentives and capitalism as well as whites. a former slave from tennessee responded to his ex-master's response to return to work for wages. he acid that he sent him the $11,000 he and his wife were entitled to. he generously subtracted the cost of clothing and health care and three doctors visit this and pulling a two for mandy but as for the former master include interest. i draw my wages, he is in southern ohio, a lot of the kentucky slaves in ohio, here i draw my wages every saturday night but intense the never know pay day for negroes. surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defrauded the labor of his hire. is further consolidation of political authority. critics of lincoln accused him
centralizing authority in the federal government siding his mention of habeaus corpus. these actions did little to alter the dimensions of federal power after the war. jefferson davis enacted the same measures and neither sorters nor northerners imagine they will last past the war free more lasting consequence in terms of federal authority where the institutional changes that facilitate a union victory improved in the postwar years that facilitate economic growth. the federal growth -- the federal government seized a great control especially economic information. the government acquired more reliable knowledge of everything from train schedules to the composition of the labor force in postwar years, this information proved invaluable as republicans encourage the industrialization of a nation. as northern investors organizing
themselves they roster confronted with the demands of an impoverished south. one of the radical effects of emancipation and the war itself was economic impact by brenda freedom to the slaves emancipation nullified at the capital value of the speed other -- under son-in-law. at least $3 billion in wealth held by southern white people vanished from their households. the bodies of the slate people are the single largest investment of any kind. from the perspective of slaves liberation day on the profits of their labor. the structural effect on the south of eliminated the main source of capital in enormously hindered postwar business growth. the inability of southern states to make good on their wartime bonds, the war can be said to a devastated the economy. the southern agriculture infrastructure was hit hard. northern alabama in central
georgia where both armies consumed are destroyed equipment and animals and mills. the importation of hard or deliberate and sure the destruction of millions of southern cows and pigs and in relation of the community -- and demolition of communication networks. the average total wealth of southern formers in 1860 was $22,000 and the war reduced it to $3000. most of in the value of slaves. it would be naive to argue the civil war alone was responsible from the south's economic problems but just as surely it must be recognized the war retarded southern economic growth for decades if not longer. in contrast the war promoted growth of the northern economy. the diversion -- overall the war
allowed northern corporations to build on the strengths they had been developing. those industries that produce were related goods in a faded ball across -- benefited but a steady demand and shored up and low unemployment. meatpackers in chicago formed the first assembly line techniques to supply nor the soldiers with fresh meat. confusing today with the usda at what fresh means and that started a long time ago. the foundation of postwar expansion as a result of contracts was in they built out of the experience was the workforce and technology and supply system to make themselves powerhouses in the 1870's and 1880's. shipbuilders, weapons manufacturers jewel on contracts to devise postwar growth.
the war widened the breach between north and south in the levels of industrialization and technological development and access to capital. hardest to assessable most important because of the long-term nature with the cultural changes. most prominent among these was the hardening of animosities. the south of 1861 was fragile and unlikely coalition commission experience of suffering loss called the democracy of devastation welded the why south together by 1865. nobody had to ask who was the south, the people just defeated. kentucky secedes later and rejoice. fear and anger over the uncertainty upheld many southerners to overlook the visible seams other ad hoc war nation in overtime most can to regard the south as the natural place of his own. it was partly a consequence of southern men in the separation
of defeat. that rubbing the wound you cannot resist print in the aftermath of the civil war southerners joint the population that as some point had lost a war. this split in historical experience between north and south would disappear with the u.s. defeat in the vietnam war. this historic diversions of experience only exacerbated the cultural alienation that each side perceived. southerners now return home to devastated feels and fresher communities and have little goodwill toward their enemies. they believe the war enacted by the north show the barbarism of the yankee character. and the cities proved their instability. alluding that sometimes the arm is revealed -- the greedy that characterize most northerners.
tireless spoke in new york and referred to william sherman as " kind of a careless manner about fire." one of the very few southerners who could even discuss this topic and grady is of the next generation. confederate veterans -- a very few confederate veterans would've made that joe. a projection of anxiety generated by the conflict. massive out what to changes on the south especially southern men the efforts had been the protection that white men offered to their dependents including women, children, and slaves. defeat and the occupation of the south and emancipation revealed the hollowness of that commitment. the war created a profound crisis desperate a recommitment to an earlier more hierarchical
gender relations by men and women in the wake of defeat. southern women left exposed of evading armies were forced to assimilate new responsibilities during the war. defeat left them seeking stability and gender relations. a stark contrast rather than repudiation, the war confirm the superiority of southern masculine values of protection and authority. southern female performers having played a key role in the abolition of slavery use that to lunch a new recall -- launched a new call. gender divide as well. if the world cup located gender relations, it soured race relations. the efforts of his slate people to aid the union is seen their free been destroyed the old fantasy of the loyal slave. southern whites saw the actions of southern black southerners as
a betrayal and treated them like enemies. southern blanks -- blacks or perhaps not surprised by the reluctance of southern whites to accept them into society. it did not slow to achieve a real freedom. the result was increasingly violent by whites to the tro african-americans which culminated as you know in the legal system as jim crow, disenfranchise them and lynching. the conflict in the postwar decades played a role in shaping breast relations. the civil war self-created of these conditions for suspicion in anger. somewhat dour conclusion that the civil war do not accomplish very much and i do not want to leave that impression. i would argue the civil war changed on what everything. it took old problems in american life, slavery, states rights, national identity and
transformed them into the modern problems we wrestle with. racism federalism and a truly national culture. participants it may have believed that perhaps briefly the civil war would solve these issues forever. even the civil war is a part of history not a conclusion. keep other pros continue their probably our grandchildren will be here in 50 years for the bicentennial still debating and learning about the past that made their world. thank you. [applause] aaron: we have times for questions. you need to come up. there's a microphone in each a isle. i can hear you.
>> one of the reasons why lee brought the army of northern virginia is an fought of gettysburg was with the idea of achieving a decisive defeat of the army of the potomac believing that if he could do this decisive defeat of the union army it would end is a war. that the support of the war but now he believed if he could put a killer blow on the army of the potomac that at the north would give up. is that so? was lee in error? courage -- aaron: i do not think so. if lingo will resort what any
shaped -- in lincoln would resort and initiate, chancellorsville which [indiscernible] a strong piece party and popular will write a push in the direction that forced some kind of resolution. lincoln is committed to avoiding the vast. at what point does he the end or respond to popular demand? lee is smart and reading northern newspapers and taking the tenor of the north accurately. a decisive defeat is hard to accomplish with civil war armies. it is the goal of every commander even though they know what happen, i will destroy the enemy's army. they are almost too big to suffer that catastrophic defeat. battles like nashville do not happen very often. very unlikely it would happen. politically the north at its most vulnerable in july of 1863.
a significant defeat would turn in an unpredictable direction. >> lee was thinking right? aaron: taking a big risk which people knew. the army said we are not an evading for spring it was the fence and we are changing the war in important ways. lee is taking a measure of risk that is understandable from my perspective. >> thank you very much. >> when sherman was very notoriously a racist yet -- a huge shock for that to come out of him specifically pre-you did touch on two factors that could of impacted that, getting rid of the burden of his army and a
meeting with a free people. i would add the reaction of getting stanton off of his back. what do you think about his personal contact with african-americans along the march? hitchcock row about sherman having conversations about african-americans along the march and given them a reward or supporting the union. what you think about those as factors of his special orders 15? aaron: like every union command economy is grateful to african-american soldiers for giving the army the intelligence as they need you about the location of the confederates. maybe some sense he is recognizing, offering thanks. i do not necessarily view special order field 15, not necessarily a magnanimous
gesture. in some sense an indian reservation. a lot a debate within and among the union command about the future of african-americans in the united states. where are they going to be? northern democrats have been doing their best to with hysteria up about the movement north that black men will come and take our jobs and critical reservation that ensures black southerners are putting what did are. not necessarily generates but astute and strategic given the dynamics of the north. certainly sherman and members of his army demonstrated this. their attitudes about african-americans as people change because of the march. sherman is mostly a man of his times. i will not regard them as fundamentally different. he says the more. worse than you hear from other people.
i do think that within his army there is a growing respect and appreciation for african-americans as human beings which is essential to them thinking of the postwar world. many of its soldiers from the western states had very little interaction with african-americans. a very important experience. >> thank you. i am from cortland maine -- portland, maine. my father's family is from louisiana. your cousin is a graduate of lsu. without invading your privacy overstepping my question, what are the challenges you face teaching the civil war in the south? aaron: that is a good question. well -- i have been lucky. as a civil war historian i am in a place where people care passionately about the conflict and the past.
my first semester teaching i was discussing the battle at four hudson and afterwards a student came up and said, the battlefield has got it wrong. the surrender awful where there is a state park today. my grandfather, does my grandfather's land. if you ever want to see it, we can go up and see it. those things, it's hard to do that in maine. if you are teaching the civil war. it means that students come with a baggage sometimes. a cultural stereotype that southern students are polite and observe hierarchy. actually unusual for them to challenge professors in a hostile sort of way. even if they host striking glee different opinions. i will say that this is something that change within my lifetime. the first school i talked at in
jacksonville again in a deceptive to one of my colleagues right when it opened described his first day as he got his degree at north dakota. fresh off the boat and lands in jacksonville and the campus mostly swamped. and he goes in with the civil war as his first class and barely got into hello students and a woman stood up as slams her book and said i've been waiting to take this class and i'm not take it from a [bleep] yankee and stormed out. he was petrified. brand-new. he told me after i'd been there what a great teaching moment to try to unpack that experience. she is not coming there to you the critical store of the civil war. she wanted a reassuring and offering story. for southern students in particular that i think are interested in learning and
understanding the challenges of what they heard i find it a very rewarding a valuable place to teach. one more over here. >> and north america has several examples of what can happen to an army in enemy territory like the retreat from pittsburgh. and saratoga. the behemoth armies going through the woods. what prevented that from happening in the carolinas? aaron: the simple answer is there is no men left. south carolina had a high the south carolina percentage is close to 85%. the other men of military age are inveterate forces. by 1865 most men are in guerrilla units somewhere else
or they are predisposed not to participate. part of that is the absence of manpower. there is an enormous fatigue. sherman's army is a particularly powerful force moving across the landscape. lorene is working on a book on the flight of pows, some who die in charleston, from moving them from andersonville to florence south carolina hundreds escape and move like a plague of locusts across the south carolina countryside. you do get not a guerrilla war but communities banding together to capture runaway union soldiers, and then black seven there's hiding them. there is something, fighting
that is going on. the kind of traditional south carolina's are overwhelmed at that point. there is too much going on for them to engage in the sniping that happens in other places. >> i'm sean murphy. perhaps more importantly, robert e lee's boyhood home. and his family's property was seized during the war and became what is now arlington cemetery. talking about lee, i was wondering what effect if any his actions after the war may have had on reconciliation. >> the common argument is that he promoted reconciliation. that he becomes president, he doesn't adopt an adversarial tone. he does those things.
i would say that his -- that have been good work on his management of the college, and what happens in lexington. what happens, it's an unpleasant story. the treatment of african-americans in and around lexington by students, a good article on this, the accurate violence against blacks. and lee does little to discipline students in that respect. in many respects he looks like any other white seven or thinking strategically. he himself is not bucking for higher office. going quietly was probably a good idea. he certainly isn't somebody like mosby who his old war horse who becomes republican and tries to work actively with the new
governing coalition. >> thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> the civil war airs every saturday at 6:00 and 10:00 eastern time. to watch more any time visit our website. you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend. >> university of virginia professor gary gallagher has written and edited books about the american civil war. next, he discusses robert e lee's surrender at appomattox
and the perspective on the reasons for their defeat. he spoke of the gettysburg college civil war institute's annual summer conference which focused on the end of the war and its aftermath. this is about an hour. >> welcome to our final program. gary gallagher of the university of virginia. most of your familiar with his works. he has been prolific, writing about confederate history. he has 100 articles as well as numerous book titles. some of my personal favorites confederate war, union war. many books have b had a profound impact on the field. i am a student of dr. gallagher's. in 1988i was a historian at spotsylvania. he publi