tv The Civil War CSPAN December 24, 2015 9:15am-10:01am EST
you're watching american history tv on c-span 3. our coverage of ceremonies in andersonville, georgia at the site of the andersonville prison and you have been learning about it. earlier today we had a chance to talk with a historian on this topic. you saw the ceremony. we continue on with our conversation to learn more about life at andersonville prison. our next guest joining us now is going to be with us. she's the university of akron history professor leslie gordon. you heard her speak earlier. she just spoke at the funeral for 13,000. she will be taking your questions on andersonville and the end of the civil war. if you want to ask her questions, call us now 202-748-8900 for the eastern and central time zones and 748-8971 for mountain and pacific time zones. you can also tweet us at cspan history and post questions at facebook.com/cspan. joining us now is leslie gordon. she is with the university of akron, also the author of the
book broken regiment, the 16th connecticut zcivil war. professor, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> can we start with a little bit of what you talked about in your speech as far as survivors of andersonville? could you give a sense of what a survivor had to go through? you hinted at it in the sfeepee. could you expand on that? >> well, in the research that i did on this particular regiment i think it's representative of many of the survivors endured the imprisonment here. if they made it through andersonville it didn't mean necessarily that their imprisonment was over. many of them were transferred out, they went on to other prisons. the confederacy, they were shifting prisoners to prisons in charleston, florence and so many might have died there. if they survived that, they would go into parole camp and that could last weeks or months,
sort of the experience of the bureaucracy of the army. they waited to be formally exchanged. one in particular, this soldier named george robbins, talked about the journey home on the train, he called that the climax of his suffering. that that was even worse than being here because he was in an overcrowded train with drunk soldiers and he was overwhelmed and exhausted. they would go through this journey of trying to get home and then many of them made it home and then would die at home because their bodies were so broken from the experience and the disease, the chronic disease. so it wasn't just as though being freed from here and being exchanged was the end of the story. >> as far as the 13,000 pows that died at andersonville, what happened to them? what does history tell us about what happened? >> well, the death here, it was
this overcrowding and exposure a and malnutrition, they were dying from dysentery, scurvy, severe diarrhea. these were terrible ways to die, of course. those are the things i was referring to in my talk, men saying they would rather die in battle, rather die being shot, killed in the heat of combat than to die in this slow suffering that seemed so dehumanizing. to them, of course, and it is, it's just a terrible way to die. that's how the majority of those 13,000 died from disease animal nutrition. >> we are seeing pictures of the grave sites there. just recently there was another type of memorial service there in which there was -- it was illuminated and to kind of give you a sense of what's happening, you attended that. what was it like to attend that ceremony and see those illuminations? >> it was very powerful.
i was with eric leonard, who you spoke to earlier today, another historian, c.c. reeves. we drove around and we were really taken aback by that site of seeing the lit -- the lights, the 13,000. it really brought home a sense of just how many men were here and of course, that's a portion, the 13,000, there were 45,000 here that endured andersonville so it brought this visual sense of the numbers. it's hard to contemplate that many deaths, i think. it's true for the civil war in general, so many deaths, but a place like here at andersonville, the way they died, i think that visual image was very very powerful. >> leslie gordon, a history professor at the university of akron. susan from stillwater, new york is our first call for you. susan, go ahead.
>> caller: hi. i have a great great cousin who died at andersonville april 22nd, 1864. his death was listed as dysentery. i later read a book that said a lot of the people they listed as dying from that really died from gangrene. is that possible? >> you know, i think more than dysentery, which was related again to malnutrition, but it could have -- the gangrene, that was usually related to open wounds. it certainly could happen from something like scurvy which would lead to sores. i don't know that -- i think it was more often the malnutrition that led to this kind of breakdown in the digestive system.
i don't know that, you know, gangrene was certainly a concern here. i can't say for sure that it was one thing or another but that's also a very nasty way to die. gangrene was a serious problem, if you were wounded in battle, that was often what happened. it wasn't the wound itself, it was the infection that came later. >> from rochester, new york, this is david. go ahead. >> caller: dr. gordon, it's an honor to speak with you. i read a book on andersonville. do you consider it the best book or do you recommend any other history books on andersonville and also, have you read "andersonville" by mckinley cantor and if so, do you recommend it? thank you. >> thank you. i think the book still stands as the best comprehensive history of the prison. lonnie spears' book is very good as a sort of overview of prisons also but there has been some good books that have started to look at the memory of the prison
and the effects of -- and also p.o.w.s and brian jordan just did a great book about veterans in general and has a chapter in there on ex-prisoners and what happened to them when they came home. marvel is very dismissive of a lot of the post-war writings of the prisoners and i'm not as questioning of them, in particular one member of the 16th, robert kellogg, he is very dismissive of. i don't agree with everything marvel has to say. but it's a very important book, certainly a good place to start and to move from there. there's much we need to learn and explore about the very topic of civil war prisons. it's really being knneglected aa topic. i have read mckinley cantor's book many many years ago when i first became interested in the civil war. he was an important author to me as a teenager.
i haven't read it in probably more than 30 years. i think it's significant in reminding us of the everyday soldiers but i would ge back to some of these other historians for more of the factual information. reading those together do give you a sense of the reality of the suffering here and the magnitude of it. >> so what do we learn about prison life especially at andersonville by your study of the 16th connecticut? what kind of specifics did you glean from that? >> well, what was so interesting and important i think about the experience of the 16th, they began their service at antietam and they panicked and robbed the field essentially and that's the beginning of their civil war service. they never get a chance to redeem themselves because of circumstance. they were transferred out of active service and are captured at the battle of plymouth in
april 1864 and end up here. those are the two bookends of their civil war service. panicking and fleeing at the battle of antietam, then imprisonment here at andersonville. for them as civil war soldiers, the story here is hugely significant. i argue that this becomes a redemption narrative for them, what happens to them here, the suffering they experienced. for them they want that to be as good as fighting at gettysburg, as good as experiencing vicksburg. yes, they are on the winning side but they also want to be counted as victors even though they can't show the same battle scars that their other comrades could. it's difficult because ex-p.o.w.s really weren't seen and perceived as the same as other veterans. this is true for not just the 16th connecticut. in my book, i'm really exploring how they coped with the experience here and how they wanted their memory to be
crafted. this was a lingering issue for them. they came become here, the veterans, the survivors, many of them in the early 1900s to commemorate the monument to their state. i would argue this is a monument to their regiment. they spearheaded the effort, they led the state commission, they were mostly -- and the monument commission and one of their members, robert kellogg, was very very influential in the -- also in the effort. so this was so important to them that people remember what happened here. and not forget it. >> professor gordon as part of that there was a casket during the ceremony, there were paper stars in there to the tune of 13,000. >> yes. that was really remarkable. yes. i didn't get to see the actual stars. i saw some photographs online of the stars. i understand they were from children all over that sent them in and of course, seeing the big
casket was quite moving with the military honors today. >> we are looking at videos of those stars. leslie gordon is our guest to talk about andersonville. bill from texas, go ahead. >> caller: hello. great program, by the way. this is what television should be all about. i think i saw on history channel that right when andersonville was built, the north stopped the prisoner exchange program and that more than anything else contributed to the suffering, much of the suffering and death at andersonville. and i was wondering, one, if that is true, and two, if it is, did the north know about andersonville and did -- why didn't they reinstitute the prisoner exchange program? i'll hang up and listen. thank you very much. >> thank you for your question. yes. the exchange program had stopped
by the time andersonville was opened. the confederacy had these overwhelming numbers of prisoners and they had nowhere to put them in their richmond prisons so they built andersonville and it was never meant to hold as many prisoners as it did. the blame for andersonville, there's a lot of blame to go around, certainly. but the confederacy was real aware of how bad the conditions were. i think henry wirz played his role. certainly he was tried and found guilty for the conditions here. he did not have control over everything that was going on here. he had a superior, john winder who also i think could be, you know, charged with some of the responsibility. he dies though before the war ends. but the north, as far as this question of what was going on in the union side and how much did they know, there's a book by
charles saunders who is very, very critical, not just of the confederate authorities and how much they knew of the conditions here but of the union authorities, of lincoln and stanton. i think it's a compelling case that the war department in particular, they began by the summer of 1864, they knew exactly what was going on here. they were getting accounts. and sherman starts to make his way here into georgia with his campaign toward atlanta. and he is also aware. and there's some plans. he allows for one attempt to free the soldiers -- the prisoners, and that fails. but there is an acknowledgement by grant, by sherman, by lee and stanton that they want to end the war, they want to win the war and that's the best way to free the prisoners. and also the fact that the confederates refused to accept black troops as prisoners, to treat them as prisoners of war.
and that of course played a huge role in the prison policy of the union. so that cannot be negated in this whole question of who is to blame here. i think that the conditions, you know, one in three men were dying here. and it didn't -- certainly it didn't have to happen. the things that could have been done. but yes, the union made a conscious decision that they were going to fight the war and look forward to ending the war as quickly as possible. there's an argument that grant made that if he had put forces on the ground to come here and liberate the prisoners that they would have taken away from his larger strategy of winning the war. >> for lesley gordon, david from utah. go ahead. >> caller: yes. the national park website for andersonville lists 32 people, union soldiers who successfully
escaped from andersonville. and my distant relative was one of them. his name is john eager. i just wondered by chance if she knew anything about him. i know he ended up dying in ohio at a military hospital in 1878. he got an invalid pension for leg injuries that he developed while he was at andersonville. but anyway, i know it's a long shot but i wondered if she knew anything about him. >> no, i'm sorry, i don't. but that's quite a remarkable story. and yeah, there were not that many escapes. it was very hard to get out of here. so that's something that your relative did make it out. i think it also speaks to, as you said, he still suffered from the experience of being here. there were escapes, i know from the 16th that some of the officers -- of course officers
weren't kept here but some officers ended up in charleston, for example, they escaped. there's been some new work done on this question of escaped prisoners. and we need more work on this. we don't know as much about these stories. so no, i don't know, i'm sorry, about your relative. >> were escapes low because of the structure of the building or were there other factors to consider? >> as far as how hard it was to escape? >> yes. >> i'm sorry. well, there were -- this speaks to the question of blame. wirz had this place pretty well fortified. yes, there were the men, the georgia militia or guards that were here. it was difficult to have that many -- the manpower question is a real one as far as the confederacy. who could they spare to guard a prison, prisons like this one.
but nonetheless, there were trenches built, earthworks built and there were artillery pieces set up surrounding the prisoners so they could be fired. there were threats made. there were rumors that some of the men in the 16th talk about that they were going to be fired on, the artillery was going to be unleashed on the prisons because of behavior problems. the men were constantly looking for ways to get out. they were digging, looking for ways to get out. there were dogs that were used. and of course there's the infamous deadline. it was not an easy place to try to escape from. and of course the conditions of the prisoners themselves, they were so weak and sick to even contemplate physically trying to break their way out. this was the middle of nowhere. you know, it was a very isolated location and purposefully so. if you escape from a prison in charleston or richmond, it was
easier to get to union lines. until sherman makes his way down here, you're going to have to travel pretty far to make your way to union lines. >> here's p.j. from staten island, new york. >> caller: hi, professor gordon. thank you for taking my call. we've talked a little bit before about blame. i was wondering throughout the beginning of the war there was a policy of prisoner exchange. and when grant and lincoln realized that this would be a sheer war of attrition, that policy was ended. do you think ending that policy contributed to the increased population of prisoners at andersonville? >> right. that is the question. and it was in this point that lincoln and grant and stanton start to appreciate that if these exchanges continued, that
men, you know, confederates exchange would go back into the army, right? but it also was this question of, as i said, how the confederacy -- they refused. once the emancipation proclamation was passed, became law january 1st, 1863, the confederacy refused to treat black troops as prisoners of war. they declared black troops as fugitives, fugitive slaves. so this also played a role in the policy decisions. and thus, yes, i think it's a combination of issues. again, i think you have to take into the fact that by the time you get to 1864, this war not only, you know -- this war had become a much vaster, harder war that anybody expected. so even when the war started, very few people had thought about the question of prisoners. it just really had not been
carefully considered and planned. and so thus we ended up with these situations, not just here in andersonville but in these other prisons. this was obviously the worst and the deadliest. and again there were specific reasons why it was the deadliest. >> next is dave alpharetta, georgia. go ahead. >> caller: good afternoon. i watched the ceremony this afternoon. and i was curious, unless my eyes deceived me, was the casket in front of the lectern draped in a 48-star flag or am i in error? i'll await your comment. >> gosh, i was behind, so i don't know. i don't know if they had a flag that would have been, you know, that wasn't a 50-star flag. i'm sorry, i don't know. >> so professor, tell us a little bit about -- we hear in the modern day military how a soldier transfers to civilian life and the process there.
what was it like for a transfer to civilian life for those who left andersonville and if there's examples that you can give us from the 16th connecticut that might help us understand that. >> yes. the transition wasn't always easy. the one example i think of as a good one is robert kellogg who, you know, he joined when he was 18 years old. he's a very young man still when he comes home and survives andersonville. he comes back to his home state and he returns to his original pre-war job as a druggist. he's working in a drugstore in norwich, connecticut. he still kept a diary for a few months in the early part of his return home. and he says that he, he feels very isolated. he's feeling like nobody
understands him and that he doesn't have any friends anymore. and a local deacon died that he knew and he mentioned in his diary that death seems to have no meaning anymore after experiencing all the suffering and death here. somehow it doesn't matter that this man died. now, he will marry, he will have a family, he will leave connecticut. he moves to ohio and sells insurance. and by all accounts he's a successful man. he lives until 1935. he lives a very long life. he's very active in veteran activities with the 16th connecticut. and he doesn't keep a diary. the records i have on him are mainly letters to his comrades. part of that isolation he was feeling, he does get back in contact with a lot of his friends from the regiment. this is vitally important to him. i think this is what helped him find his way, you know, and sort
of get back, to what felt like some sense of normalcy. another example is ira forbes who was a close friend of robert kellogg. and he originally wanted to go to yale, wanted to be a theologian to study religion. he comes back and does go to yale and ends up deciding to go into journalism. it's not really clear why. he has a successful journalism career. like robert kellogg again, it would seem he has done well professionally. but clearly there are demons haunting him. he becomes alienated from his comrades, so much so they don't invite him here in 1907 to dedicate the monument here which is very dramatic that he's not included. he was a vital member of the unit. he helped save the flag of the unit at plymouth. i would argue he was one of the true heroes of the unit. but he became estranged from his comrades. he was arguing with them about what really happened, not just
here at andersonville but what happened at plymouth. and he had a falling out with them. he will be committed to the hartford asylum for the insane. he would be declared mentally ill and he dies there when he's 68 years old. to me that's two examples of men that in many ways, they're about the same age, 18, 19 years old and they seem to start at the same place but they veer off in different ways. i can't prove, of course, that forbes' mental illness is tied to his civil war experience and particularly his imprisonment but you have to wonder. it seems that it played a role. >> lesley gordon, those are survivors. you're sitting in front of the cemetery there are there those who died at andersonville who are unknown? >> yeah, the best estimates are there's about 500 unknown graves here. but the -- right after the
prison closed and then going forward in the post-war period, there was a national effort to identify the dead here. and the prisoners were part of that. the survivors were part of that. they were intent on ensuring that the dead here were remembered and the names were put on the graves. and doris atwater, who was here, was part of that, clara barton was active as many people know.. and so this became really crucial. there's a movement across the country both north and south, to bury the dead, to commemorate the dead. but here at andersonville was especially significant that the dead here, as i said, that they be identified and accounted for. and so if you think about it for the 13,000, that 500 of them aren't named. in some ways it's remarkable given the way they died and the conditions. >> our next call is greenville, south carolina.
here is james. >> caller: yes. i wanted to ask about the food situation at the andersonville prison. the south had a shortage of food at certain times, i think. and i wondered how that affected the prison and did the prisoners have any kind of shelter to live under. >> well, the food for the prisoners were particularly poor. you know, this area of georgia had been relatively untouched by the war. again before sherman came here. and this was surrounded, this was farmland and these farms here certainly could have, you know, been able to provide food for the prisons, for the prisoners. there were problems with, you know, getting good quality food to the prisoners. and i think that's where the
question of who's responsible for some of that, henry wirz, i think that plays at his feet. and you know, there were some things again that he could control and he could not control. this question of getting food into the prisons, you know, whether they were being, you know, fed well, they were getting really low quality and it wasn't anything, you know, they were -- robert kellogg talks about the fact that they're not getting any vegetables and this is part of the reason they're getting scurvy. so that clearly could have made a tremendous difference for them. yes, no doubt. this is an issue for the confederacy. but it's parts of the confederacy, you know, where the war is most affecting, where armies are moving and the confederacy as a bureaucracy had these issues. it wasn't always -- the
confederacy was an agricultural nation and they produced farm goods. but could they get the foods transferred to their own soldiers in the field or whether they were to prisoners. that was often the challenge and that was a difficult challenge the confederates faced. >> cindy is from knoxville, tennessee. go ahead, cindy. >> caller: hi, ms. gordon. i was wondering, what were the conditions between andersonville and camp douglas in chicago? and thank you. love the program. >> well, now andersonville was the worst. it was the deadliest. it had the highest death rate. i don't know as much about camp douglas. in my own research, you know, the northern prisons, none of them -- the last caller, and i forgot to respond, that he had asked about whether there was
shelter. the difference too with andersonville compared to these other locations like camp douglas, camp douglas, johnson's island, the northern prisoners were at either camps of instruction or former forts. you know, united states forts that had been built before the civil war. andersonville is unique because it was located here in this open -- it was sort of open area. and there was nothing. there was no structure here. so the men came in here. if they happened to make it in with any kind of coverings, they would use that. and of course there was preying on by the men themselves with the raiders and whathave you. they only had whatever they could use, whatever they had on their backs for covering. that was a unique difference that andersonville had compared to the northern prisons, like a camp douglas. and certainly the death rates at
the northern prisons was higher than it should be but it didn't compare with andersonville. >> you're watching american history tv. lesley gordon is our guest, a history professor at the university of akron and author of "a broken regiment, the 16th connecticut's civil war." our previous guest earlier talked about how soldiers in the camp would look out for each other, especially once they were put in there. did you see that amongst the 16th? >> yes. very much. they talk about that and some of them admit, so you could take a parole, you could accept a parole from the confederates to -- so this meant a few different things. it could mean you could go outside the pen, you could get better food, you could work in the hospital, you could do work for henry wirz, whether it meant being a clerk for him or some specific job he needed done, and
a couple of the soldiers, i believe john kuzner tells this story in his post-war account, that a good friend of his took a parole to work outside the pen here and it gave him some extra food so he could bring some food back into the pen for kuzner and kuzner claims that kept him alive, that there's no way he would have lived if his friend hadn't gotten that -- those extra rations. and there are other examples of that. so they were incredibly dependent on those kind of friendships and relationships throughout. i do think that that made such a difference. and they really tried to keep tabs on each other while they were here, keep tabs on how each other, how they were faring, of course when a member of the regiment died, many of them would take note of it in their diaries. it was important for them. it seemed of course not only just to keep record of it, to
also talk about how they died and the day they died, the moment they died, so i'm sure they were thinking ahead so they could tell their families, thinking ahead to hopefully they made it home and then they could bring some closure to their families, that they were there when that one comrade passed away. >> glenn is in riverdale, georgia. you're on with our guest lesley gordon. go ahead. >> caller: yes, thank you. i was involved in the filming of the movie "andersonville" and i was a confederate sergeant of the guard. we filmed one scene there where the confederates were asking the prisoners to join the confederate army to get freedom and to serve them for freedom. now we all wondered whether that was a real true story or not. do you have any information about that? >> it's true. it's true. it happened. it didn't happen, you know, a lot but it happened. it was denied, in the post-war, most of the survivors would
claim and you even see it on the monuments, death before dishonor because in the post-war memory, there was this want to mention and remember that anybody had, had accepted that kind of offer and served, essentially the enemy and accepted the offer to serve in the confederate army, but it happened. and for the 16th connecticut, i found that some members, not as much here at andersonville, but at florence, and somebody recently contacted me to show me that he had a list of a few names, specific names from the roster of men that accepted the offer and served in the south carolina unit. and i, i think for them, it was a moment of desperation. i think they really believed that it was either take the offer or they were going to die. i think that's what it came down to.
and that, that's, that, i think is the context for this. and the confederate army, of course, was looking for men. so they came through these prisons and into andersonville and made those offers. >> michael from camp town, pennsylvania. go ahead. >> caller: yeah, i have a question for professor gordon. thoughts about whether or not it is a product of the lincoln's policy of total war over attrition with sherman's, a lot of extermination camp that was later copied by queen victoria, and that war was even worse because they included soldiers, women and children, would you comment on that, please? and are you related to general gordon? thank you. >> thank you for your question. no, i'm not. my grandfather changed our name
from gasanski. i'm not a gordon that goed back to john b. gordon. i can't say enough. i don't know about the comparison you're making. you're suggesting the other war. this question about total war, i think no doubt and about attrition that that's the broader point i was trying to make earlier that i think in the scope of things i think if, we need to acknowledge that lincoln was aware of what was going on here. there's evidence of that, that he, i, i think he had to feel and stanton as well as these other generals that even though this was a horrendous situation, this, i guess, would be his calculation, that to end the war, to win the war, this would free the prisoners and end their misery. and this is what sherman explains in his own memoirs, that when he's getting close to
andersonville, and he allows this one raid to come here and it fails, that he doesn't want to lose sight of what his bigger, his bigger prize is. by 1864, i think that there was that sense, you know, certainly lincoln had it that the confederates are still fighting. they're all in, right, in virginia, here in georgia and these other places. but there's signs of, you know, of weakening, and it does become a war of attrition. and so, but that doesn't, obviously, that doesn't lose, i don't, i don't think the men here, for, from their perspective, they felt this could not stand, that their suffering had to be recognized and could not be seen as just oh, this is, you know, part of total war and part of the experience of war. so these are these complicated questions, i think, are important to try to take into
account that it, it's, it's hard to, it's hard to come out with an easy answer to. >> let's hear from frank in atlanta, georgia. >> caller: professor, thank you very much for such a lovely program. i am a third great-grandfather by the name of joseph walsh was taken prisoner. he was with the massachusetts 5th volunteers. he was taken prisoner by the confederates. in 1862 and moved into a camp. we don't know which camp. and we don't know what camp had a great number of volunteers from massachusetts that were incarcerated or where they were. but he was given an option. this goes back to stories we've been told and some writings in our family bible. he was given an option to lessen his punishment, kind of improve his conditions, if he were to
agree to work with the confederates to ply the trade, his trade happened to be harness maker. and he agreed to do that. and he wrote in, in the journal that he did it not to support the confederates. but to guarantee that he would be coming home after the war. basically to improve his living conditions. and i'm wondering if you've found any evidence of any prisons in your research where this was a common practice. >> well, i think you're speaking to this very point and how these men came to terms with the decisions they made, the decision similar to your ancestor. i know, again, with my work on the 16th, there's one particular soldier, oliver gates who in his
diary, there's one section where he's extremely critical of men that took these paroles, again, to work in the cook house, to work in the hospital. some of them worked as shoemakers. which was a highly valued trade for the confederacy. they wanted, you know, help making shoes. and so, you know, he was extremely anger and bitter about this, that this was a shame, this was so shameful, and, again, death before dishonor, and in the last page of his diary, he confesses that he accepted a parole when he was at, i think it's at florence, to work in the hospital. and he says he did it to stay alive, so he could come home to his wife and daughter. and he says that he regrets that he was so judgemental of his comrades. that no one should try to assume what it's like to be in that position.
and i think it speaks to this gut-wrenching torment that these prisoners were going through, whether it was this prison or other prisons, they're feeling that they've been forgotten. they don't have a sense of the big picture, whether it's a question of is this total war? is this attrition? is there an exchange going on? all they know is they're trying to survive, and they no longer can consider these abstract questions of patriotism and duty and even questions about the union or abolition. they just are trying to survive. and some of them do give in and accept paroles and even join the confederacy. and these are, i think they're very real, human moments of crisis that, that can speak to us, you know. through the generations. and you read about, again, in these diaries and in these memoirs that i don't think that
we've recognized enough in civil war history that really come to a head in studying prisons. >> we will take one more call from virginia in minneapolis. we're little short of time, so jump in with your question or comment. >> caller: i had an ancestor in andersonville. and at the end of the war, he ended up, i don't know how he got to washington, and died, and is buried at arlington, and i just wondered what happened to the, at the end of the war to the prisoners there. >> well, he might have been like some of the, again, some of the soldiers that i study. he might have made his way, you know, he might well have gone on to a place that camp parole and might have been in a hospital. there were army hospitals, military hospitals. there was one in fairfax, virginia. and he might have been in one of those hospitals due to his imprisonment, no doubt, and he died and ended up in arlington. that would be my suspicion.
and that was the end of his, the end of his story. >> lesley gordon, what would you say would be the legacy of andersonville? >> well, i think andersonville, and some of the things i was just speaking to. i think andersonville, it doesn't fit with the larger heroic narrative of so many civil war battlefields, of gettysburg and decisive leaders. it leaves us with a lot of complicated, conflicting questions and emotions, and i think that's in many ways, maybe the way it should be when you're studying a subject and thinking about a subject as vast as the civil war. i think that's legacy of andersonville. and it really, it needs more attention. it's appropriate that this funeral is here for these 13,000. they very much wanted these men to be remembered. they wanted to ensure that they had a proper burial. and i think it's appropriate
that we think about them and keep coming back to try to understand this experience. >> our guest is a history professor at the university of akron and the author of "a broken regiment, the 16th." state department officials testifies to update on a new embassy in london. it's set to open in 2017. this is about two hour s 20 minutes.