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tv   Discussion on Civil War Medical History  CSPAN  June 11, 2017 10:15am-10:46am EDT

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forces would have been crushed. >> he's still part of my question. e part of my question. there are things that most people have not heard, that with was bogged down protective baltimore and washington, d.c. consequently he always had to be worried about being defeated in those two cities would be attacked. he waited a day after the battle was over to find out what was going on because lee's army was still there and were digging in, hoping for an assault. williamsport defenses were built by engineers. if you have ever seen pictures of them, you would never
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want to attack them as a frontal assault. hoping forrates are a frontal assault. >> that is an excellent summary. we want to get to the question. your question is? >> meade when he did decide to move, part of his army moved 32 miles in one night. i don't have a question. i just want to bring this up. >> thank you very much. niceve done a very job of summarizing what has been said here. we appreciate your listening and summarizing. >> we should have had you up here. >> go to the back mic. >> i am from howard county, maryland. something was mentioned on the panel about civil war armies
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being indestructible, that meade realized the army of northern virginia was indestructible. i have heard that the typical civil war radel is when both parties come together, bang the heck out of each other, don't actually destroy each other, and live to fight another day. if civil war armies could not destroy each other, why is that? or what does it mean to destroy the enemy in the civil war context? >> i heard the same thing you heard. as soon as i heard civil war armies were indestructible, i started thinking of vicksburg, fort donaldson, locations where armies were destroyed. they surrendered. civil war armies could be defeated and captured. johnson's army of tennessee was defeated and surrendered. they could.
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really what we meant of care was here was that because of the abilities -- what is the difference between waterloo at hattiesburg -- and gettysburg? railroads there is no that waterloo to there is -- waterloo there is no railroads or the ability to sustain an army. it is much more difficult for the french to reconstitute their army. the panic spread. civil war armies were better supply, and in some respects were more resilient because of the sort of weaponry they had, the logistical system they had to support them, it enabled them to recover from damaging
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battles. you think about the battle of gettysburg where these armies lose 20,009. how do they continue to function? they continue to function because the system that sustains them is well-developed. >> real quick. battles of annihilation are hard to achieve because the soldiers come from the same citizen soldier tradition. they have the same type of training that makes it harder to achieve an edge on one another. >> i would turn towards what i think is the single best military history of the war, how the north won. the argument is that it is a policy of exhaustion and rating strategy that ultimately -- and
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raiding strategy that ultimately wins the war. we have time for to break russia's. we need efficient -- two quick questions. we need efficient answers. >> this is just a comment. >> we need a question. >> i just want to point out where that statue is. the building you see in the background is the main federal courthouse in washington. if you are accused of any major governmental malfeasance, that is where you are going to be. my feeling is you may see that statute in the future on national tv. [laughter] >> alright. our file question. -- final question. >> landsberg, virginia. uva. i wonder if you could talk about meade's postwar career and if he
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had any role in reconstruction. >> he does. he is sent down in 1867 and 1868 to handle georgia and several other states. for all of his early resolve about issues of race, he is much more aggressive in protecting african-american citizens in georgia. president andomes they engage in promotions, meade finds that he is not going to get along coveted third star. rivals to his longtime philip sheridan. he spends those last several years unhappy, feeling unappreciated. just after election day in 1872 with grant winning reelection, meade dies.
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>> on that note we will end. [laughter] paneliststhank the for our lively conversation. thank you all. [applause] have about a 15 minute break before our next session. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> you are watching live coverage of the gettysburg college civil war institute panel. after this break, we will be back with lisa tendrich frank, author of the civil war, confederate soldiers. we will be back in about 20 minutes on american history tv. right now we are on top of
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the sixth traverse in for sure. you get an understanding of what the strategic importance of this fortification was. there is the river. you have a commanding view of anything. the trees were gone. you would have a commanding view for miles going up and down either side of the river. on the other side, we have the atlantic ocean. over here we have complete mastery of any ship for miles around until the curve of the earth came into play. in this case, we could literally see ships moving back and forth. we could tell how many blockade ships were out. we could see blockade runners pulling in so we could actually protect them. men could actually stand up and look in front of the fort. all of these trees now would
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have been clear-cut for at least half a mile. you could see united states army soldiers getting ready for an attack. from this vantage point, you get an understanding of how impressive psychologically this fort was. >> this was the largest earthworks, coastal defense fortification in the confederacy in the civil war. started in 1861, never truly completed. came andunion forces launched an affinity is operation to -- amphibious operation to capture the fort. this was over a mile and a half long and held 44 different canons. it was impressive to the point that it was a most psychologically as tough to think about attacking as it was in actually attacking it.
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this was the largest amphibious operation undertaken by the united states until june 6, 1944, which was the invasion of france. the united states had never taken any kind of activity or operation in this major. it is still important to understand how did this come off. how did they supply these troops? how do you capture a fixed fortified position? when it was founded, this is 32 miles upstream from the south mouth of the river. it was built right next to new inlet, which is 18 miles south of the town. this river could control trade moving up and down and was a major part for their carolina leading up to -- north carolina leading up to 1855.
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this was incredibly important for the confederacy. from the war of 1812, there was a battery here to protect this inlet from british version. -- incursion. nothing was ever truly built until the south seceded. orth carolina joined the confederacy in 1861. supplied confederate forces, civilian and military. in august of 1863, this was the for blockadert runners. they could offload supplies onto trains in the town of wilmington and head north to richmond and the battlefront. as ships approached, there was a series of defensive
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fortifications all along the river. this being the largest of all the forts. lmes. was actually fort ho if had fort anderson three miles of river. you had numerous batteries all over the area. you had obstructions in the area. the unioneant to keep fleet from sailing up the river, which they did in new orleans where they sailed right past the defensive positions. when this was first started, it was april 1861. there was not a lot of organizational capacity to this. nobody actually thought about what was supposed to be the basis of a fortification. what started out was a series of five different gun emplacements.
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interconnected. they were just mounds of dirt with artillery pieces on them. july 4, 1862, a new commander came to the fort. what he decided to do was to take this series of batteries and connect them and make one strong bastion that would become fort fisher. what he did was already existing here. a major he had enough soldiers. was to literally shovel and move sand to build the fort behind me. that fortification would be 25 feet tall. another 10 feet on top of that would be traverse mounds. this would be something that was supposed to be impregnable. peninsula,re on a
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you would normally think you are going to have a round or octagonal or pentagon shape. this was actually shaped like a number seven or letter l. the majority of the land or sea bass, it had multiple came inside, garrison easily. there was about 600 yards between the river and ocean that had art of the fortification on it as well. that means any attack coming and the north could be spot put into retreat, which happened in december of 1864. not the best garrison life. the soldiers who were garrison here all came from the local surrounding area. most of these guys would not be going to virginia to fight the
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war. they would not be sent elsewhere to fight. they lived in this area. this is one ofew the worst places they could go. many of the soldiers complained about the sand in their own, their bunks, their weapons. that was the problem. they liked to call this the kingdom of mosquitoes because it was so bad to live here. these men living here trained literally every single day to defend this fortification. it was chronically understaffed. there were not enough soldiers to man this. life here was pretty easy. there was a few times when soldiers would go over the fence and leave to bring in the harvest. they would come back, no harm,
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no foul. that was until 1864 when rumors were building that there would be an attack on this area. they started clamping down on anyone going awol. this was the key to the entire river defense. 1864, they landed about two regiments onshore. most times you would polish it ship intor -- pull a harbor. had long boats. many of the soldiers landing januarydecember and 1864 and 1865, many of them would fall into the water. the waves would knock these votes over -- these boats over.
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they would have to walk to shore and dry everything out. you can imagine, all your ammunition is wet. your gun is worthless. this was sod that strong that it would not be able to be attacked and captured with the forces at hand. the order was given to withdraw. all the soldiers were sent back to virginia. it was a major blow for grants and lincoln that the first attack failed. they realized that to stop the war wilmington had to be captured. lincoln later told grant that he was going to have to capture fort fisher because the country
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would not allow another failure. a new commander was chosen. in januaryn here 1865. there is a three day bombardment of this fortification. the largest naval bombardment of the american civil war. they would then launch a two-pronged attack. the navy doesn't want to be left out of the honor of capturing fort fisher. and attempt to use marines navy landing personnel on the beach. over the river road. they have a brand-new strategy to let the army pounded the fort into submission. they targeted specific locations, gun chambers, palisade walls. into the wall so that when the army attacks, they dge atrun through the bri
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the front of the fort or through the swamp and the holes in the wall. there were about 3000 federal troops who were battle hardened, and then through the worst of the virginia fighting. these confederate soldiers had never iron a shot -- fired a shot in anger. this was a new experience for them. this is the main entrance to fort fisher. there was a road that ran from wilmington all the way down here and came to this gate. as federal forces were attacking 12 poundtion, a lone bronze cannon was here. it's job was to literally sweep any attacking force coming across the bridge into the fortification. this position had command over
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anything trying to move to the front side of the fort. that worked out great until you have sharpshooters posted by union soldiers on the other side of the bridge. they were picked off one by one. like any type of military, these guys didn't want to come back out here because it was instant death. union forces were able to literally push the gun out of the way and move through this area. forces werese union actually trying to push into this fortification and capture it, the difficulty coming through the bloody gate, they started coming over the sides of the fort as well and through the marsh. this wouldhe fort, have been the first traversal shepherds battery. in here would have been a 32 pound cannon. you actually had two cannons in
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this location. this gun is a reproduction. we do fire this going for programs. it would have a 32 pound iron ball. it would fire about two miles maximum range. when we find this, we cut the powder charge in half. it is only four pounds. it is loud enough that people many miles away could hear this going off. once they come through that palisade fence, they literally started gathering at the front of the fort and started climbing up the fort. as these men were trying to defend this site, then would appear coming over the top and sides. the defenders would actually be surrounded by union troops going through hand-to-hand combat.
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during the december attack, the union navy was shooting at every single building or flagpole they could find. the garrison lost pretty much every single building during the attack. after the navy and army retreated, they have to find tents to live in. in december, this is not the best place to live. the men started living inside the bombproof. those were probably about 10 feet wide, 15 feet long, and five feet tall. inside would be all the black powder and material needed for the guns that were on top of the fort. these men were living amongst all the black powder, ammunition. it would have been extremely cramped. during the january attack, the --bardment that to prior
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that took place prior to the attack, they only came out during the night when the shelling stopped to repair the fort. with the attack on fort fisher from these union troops, the fort falls january 15, 1865. there will be 72 metal bar recipients from the actions here -- medal of honor recipients on the actions here in battle. they will see the worst fighting the civil war has. gettysburgre at reference this as the worst fighting. many say this was even worse than being at the crater in petersburg. for them it would be as if someone today who had actually
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landed on omaha beach during caissonas a marine at in vietnam, this was a place of honor. this would be a place people would hold in high esteem. you actually fought at fort fisher and survived. three battles in u.s. history with more metal bar recipients --medal of honor recipients. that makes this hallowed ground. >> on c-span, retired revere general jerry calloway -- revere general jerry calloway. most significant aspects of battlefield contact. whether it is runways, open
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seas, the hell you are going to climb. when they are in change, the military is concerned about that. the military has long had an interest in dealing with things like this. >> wisconsin congressman jim sensenbrenner at a town hall meeting. [inaudible] [applause] remember what i said at the beginning of the meeting. that is that interruptions, you know, are not going to be tolerated. ok. would you please sit down, sir? she has the floor. you do not. would you please sit down, would you please sit down or go out in the hallway. king at aenator angus
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hearing on the foreign intelligence surveillance act. >> why are you not answering these questions? is there an invocation by the president of executive privilege? >> not that i am aware of. >> then why are you not answering the question? >> i do not feel it is appropriate. >> what you feel does not matter. >> today we released a report beat. was the cop on the this was regarding the holy inadequate role in investigating the wells fargo accounts scandal. b was asleep at the wheel. are availableore
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by searching our video library. >> monday night on the communicators, -- columncided there was a in championing average people who never wanted to be techies and challenging the industry to serve those people. >> the first of a two-part conversation with one of the countries top technology watchers. >> i believe we are going to see in the next five to 10 years of burst of new stuff, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence. i think all kinds of new ways of driving cars. we have a taste of it, but we will see a lot more of it. all kinds of things going on in your home. >> watch the communicators
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monday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> tonight, your day is in hyde park new york at the franklin d roosevelt library and museum where we get a rare look at fdr's personal office and collection of artifacts. juneis library opened in 1941. he was still present of the u.s. -- presdidentthe of the u.s. by fdrook was selected to be in this room. this room is a most exactly as it was on the day that he died. >> watch from the franklin d. roosevelt museum and library at hyde park, new york. we continue now with our live
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coverage of the gettysburg college civil war institute conference in pennsylvania. frank, is lisa tendrich author of union soldiers during sherman's march. this is american history tv on c-span3. [indistinct conversations]
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