tv The Civil War Gettysburg College Civil War Institute Conference CSPAN June 23, 2018 9:44am-12:01pm EDT
expressing an opinion that you have 't like, inflicted an injury -- i found that very striking and frankly rather frightening if the truth be told, and quite emblematic of the way that the left is now responding to any sort of dissent and especially one that trenches on identity, grievance, politics, which of course is everywhere and has infected everything. >> university of pennsylvania law school professor amy wax on the limits of free expression on college campuses in the united states. sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> back live now at gettysburg college in pennsylvania for more from the civil war institute's annual summer conference. up next, author and historian
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he's been practicing law for more than 43 years. during his busy career, he's somehow managed to be a very active historian. he's published a number of important books, many of them you are familiar with, including "cushionings of gettysburg, the story of a union artillery commander" published by the university of kentucky press. many of you know it's just a few years ago that alonzo cushing received the medal of honor. more recently, kent published "retreat from gettysburg, lee, logistics and the pennsylvania campaign" published by the university of north carolina press. these days besides being an active scholar, speaker and of course researcher and writer, he's also the president and content developer for witnessing history, witnessing history is devoted to doing documentaries, documentaries really aimed at i believe a range of audiences but are particularly useful for those
teachers out there and the documentaries kent has focused on have considered a lot on kentucky history but also on abraham lincoln and also on the gettysburg campaign which is a specialty of his. i was a freshman in high school at the indianapolis civil war roundtable where i heard kent deliver an outstanding talk. you of course all will be in for a treat today. some of you will get an opportunity to spend more time with kent for our c-span audiences. our attendees do more than just sit and listen to talks, they go out on the battlefield. kent will be joined by chris stowe at quantico and is a historian there at the marine college. chris and kent will be following in george gordon meade's toot steps on a tour on monday. today, this morning, kent will be speaking about george gordon meade, the subject of his career book. i read a few chapters of it and it's quite good and will be published by the university of
north carolina press. we're hoping, what, 2019? that's our hope. it is my pleasure to welcome my good friend kent masterson brown. [applause] kent: thank you very much. can everybody hear me all right? i've been a lawyer for 44 years and they tell me i have a good set of lungs, so i'll try to make sure i project. again, it's a pleasure to be here and to see all of you, and a lot of old friends back there in the audience who i've known for many, many years. well, my topic today is on george gordon meade, and meade here at gettysburg. and you know, it's interesting, when you look at all the great works on the gettysburg campaign, sometimes meade seems
rather lost in the text. it's particularly true of the treatment meade gets on the first day at gettysburg. it's like he doesn't exist. or he's so passive that he's not worth talking about. and then even on july 2 and july 3, we get much the same kind of treatment of general meade. and so what i thought i would do today is talk to you a little bit about george meade and particularly george meade on july 1. and you might scratch your head and say well, he wasn't even here. he was at headquarters, which were in taunee town, 14 miles south of gettysburg. so why would you talk about him here? well, you'll find out.
and let me start by reading to you some short sections from a number of texts with which we're all very familiar about gettysburg. and we'll start with edwin cottington, the dane of gettysburg scholars and his great book on the gettysburg campaign. here's edward cottington's reatment of meade on july 1. he says to challenge the enemy without recklessly exposing his army, meade had worked out a beautiful, strategic pattern based upon a realistic appraisal of geographic factors and intelligence reports. he boldly thrust out two infantry corps the 1st and 11th under perhaps his ablist general, reynolds, to a place
where the greatest army strength seemed to be concentrating. thus, he left the question of a general engagement at gettysburg to the able and aggressive reynolds. i never really was comfortable with that. i don't know about you. but i never was comfortable with that. i mean, at the very time meade ends reynolds to gettysburg, the third corps is 10 miles behind, army headquarter is 14 miles behind, second corps is 18 miles behind at union town. the fifth corps is 22 miles behind at union mills on its way to hanover, and the sixth corps is heading to manchester. 32 miles away. so who is there to support john
reynolds in the event there's trouble? and then the question of leaving to a subordinate the position of bringing on a general engagement far from army headquarters. do you do that? would he have done that? well, harry fans, by the way, comes to a very similar conclusion. i mean, this is a powerful crowd now. i mean, harry fans, edward cottington, who am i to dispute them? but then we get steven sears. now, he's written two studies that directly impact what i'm talking about. the first is his book gettysburg which is a great tone. and he writes this, it was clear on july 1 rind was to match to gettysburg with the 11th corps and close support. that's true. then he says, what was not made
clear was what he was supposed to do when he got there. a as if meade just sent him out there. with no instructions at all. and then his current work, lincoln's lieutenants says this, wing commander reynolds rode that morning, july 1, with the first corps with no further instruction than to march to gettysburg. really? i mean, the army commander tells someone to move a corps, 11,000 troops, forward, without any further instruction 14 miles ahead of army headquarters? you know, that's what he's saying. and then my good friend allen gelzo, is he here before i just totally tear him apart? is he here?
[laughter] kent: alen is a good friend, very good friend. and we talk on the phone frequently but not about this. allen in his wonderful book, "the last gettysburg, the last invasion" says this about this deal. reynolds, and i'm quoting, rind would use the first corps to measure how much confederate strength was moving towards gettysburg and if that strength was more than the first corps could handle, he would fall back to cemetery hill where howard and the 11th corps were waiting. this would, without saying it, also forced george meade's hand and the other corps of the army of the potomac would have to be marched to gettysburg to fight the great battle there and not in maryland. now, i'll tell you, does that have an air of making reynolds almost criminally insubordinate?
i mean, he's going to force a attle at cemetery hill so he doesn't have to fight it along pipe creek? just force his hand? and then the deal of reynolds predispositioned to so he could fall back to cemetery hill. , ande tell you folks working on -- i've been at it .or quite a while now there were no topographic maps in the army of the potomac. none. use.sk what did they it became clear to me that there were no topographical maps when you start looking at the orders of george meet. let's take a look at one of the
first orders he gives. dateds a circular order june 28. he's just taken command of the army. 29s is for the army on june to move out of frederick north. here's what he says, in part. 4:00 a.m., the first core major general reynolds will move by lewistown and mechanics town and then to emmitsburg, keeping the left of the road from frederick to lewistown between jp kramers and where the road branches to utica and kreger's town to enable the 11th core to march parallel with it. you look at that you go, ,reger's town, lewistown, utica what is jp kramers? and it's truck me as i was
working on the manuscript on this. who is jp kramer and what is it. you can do this online. i would encourage you gettysburg this.ike me to do go online and you can order the maps of frederick county, maryland, and, adams county, pennsylvania. the adams county map is dated 1858. carroll county map is dated 1862 in the frederick county map is dated 1858. you look on there and you see frederick. road to your way up the emmitsburg out of frederick and you see the branch where it goes to utica and right before the
kramers. jp these maps were called residential maps. whereere commercial deals the publisher would go around, make sure he got everybody's name, residence, put it on their along with an active -- an accurate description of the railroads, towns, businesses, everything else. people would subscribe to them. bought one.obably the army of the potomac united prior tomy had no idea fort sumter they would be fighting in carroll county maryland. so what they did, they used residential maps that were readily available. here is meade looking at the map of frederick county working his
way up there with his finger on the map. we will do it at jp kramer. everyone of his corps commanders has a map like his. correspondence from o l howard to reynolds dated june 30 were reynolds is telling him he wants him to follow him north as reynolds leaves marsh creek and heads towards gettysburg and howard writes back, i want a map of adams county. i want an his letter, map. no map of adams county. then when he gets one, on july 1, he writes to reynolds and says unless you desire otherwise i will in camp near the j winces place. the peach orchard.
and you look on the adams county map of 1858 and there is jay wins. and so he is looking at the same john reynolds is looking at. 1858,ams county map of the carroll county map of 1862 and the carroll county map of inclusionpt for their havee south mountain range no geographic teachers on them on themer -- features whatsoever. when john reynolds is at marsh creek how would he know he would move to gettysburg and fall back on cemetery hill? how did he know there was a cemetery hill? he did not. george meade actually wrote to john reynolds and told him he
had no idea of the terrain at gettysburg. here's the letter. reynoldsy 1 12:30 p.m. butbeen dead two hours meade did not know it. hours for a career to get from gettysburg tammany town. .iding as fast as he could ride even with orderlies with extra horses in case his breakdown. took four hours. 10:45 ands dead at here is 12:30, the courier had not gotten there yet. need to down and writes a letter to john reynolds, who he's got out on submission -- some mission. he says i need to learn more about the point at which the enemy is concentrating, the
whole reason meade is out there -- reynolds is out there. he says if the enemy is concentrating to our right of gettysburg, looking at the map, to the right of gettysburg, and to the right as he's going up -- looking up at gettysburg, he ats that point would not first glance seem a proper strategic point of concentration of this army. he sees no geographic features whatsoever. what he is saying is to the east of gettysburg this does not seem good. that is cemetery hill. hills east of here's need saying that does not appear appropriate for us to defend and he says if the enemies concentrating in front of or to the left of it, meaning west of gettysburg, i'm
am not sufficiently well-informed of the nature of the country are either in offensive or defensive position. there's nothing there to tell him that either so he just does what did meet have in mind? let me tell you about george meade quickly. george meade is 48 years old at gettysburg. he is 28 years out of west point . topographical engineer surveyed the great lakes for lighthouses. served in the mexican war as a staff officer to zachary taylor. generalade a brigadier volunteers in 1861. november 29ral on he can to the two and commander of the fifth corps on november 22. he has been described as a man gaunt. "tall, thin and
you seen him. some of those pictures of him taken certainly look like this is going bald his hair is thinning. kind of farsighted e-work glasses he hung on a lanyard around his neck and stuffed in his coat. he was a man who was think best described as sturdy. he was reliable, competent and he wasa hard driving man regarded by many at times as snappy a google eyed old snapping turtle as he was once referred to by an officer in the fifth corps and he was often in ratee -- in a mood to people .
those who -- there are those who saw him in a different light. frederick law olmsted of all people working in the sanitary commission he said meade had a soldierly appearance. a stern countenance. somewhat oriental in his dignified expression yet american in its racehorse botanists. he is simple, direct, deliberate and thoughtful in manner of speech and general address. he is a gentleman and an old .oldier i know many old soldiers who would love to be described like that. this is not a soldier writing this. this is a volunteer in the sanitary commission but here is a guy who size him up having been around him for a considerable time when of his staff officers was not here at
gettysburg who would become a staff officer in the -- in 63. meade is a thorough soldier, a mighty clearheaded man one who does not move unless he knows where and how many his men are, where and how many his enemies men are and what sort of country he is to go through. i never saw a man in my life who was so characterized by straightforward truthfulness as he is. that is a hell of a thing to say about anybody. particularly a soldier, commander of an army, which meade was at the time. margaret'srried to sergeant -- margaret sergeant. they had seven kids. his second boy, george, one of his staff officers here at gettysburg.
he has an extended family who connections to the confederate army. movedster and her husband to mississippi. both their sons were in the 21st mississippi infantry one was killed in the spring of 1962. the other killed at chancellorsville. sent a flag of truce in february telling him mama is ok. we want to be remembered through our yankee relations. frank was killed at .hancellorsville their sister had married a confederate soldier who had died in the service his sister mariana had married thomas -- of south carolina he was killed at defendingsippi river
forts jackson and saint philip .n the spring of 1862 his wife's sister, sarah, had , governor of wise virginia and a brigadier general in the confederate army who would see meade at appomattox. this was ever reflected , his feelingsice for his family, except did not vote for lincoln. that is pretty clear. he certainly did not vote for john breckenridge. he probably voted for john bell in 1860, hoping to stay out of to put that in your chemistry about george meade, the tragedy of his own family in the middle of this war. his relationship with john
reynolds is worth noting for a minute. john reynolds is five years younger than george meade. commandant of cadets on the eve cadets on the evet west of the civil war at west point. john reynolds ofwas often regarded as kind a course man by his staff. although a thorough soldier. one thing john reynolds that meade did not was a presence. when he came in the room you noticed. help to so much that after the chancellorsville campaign, it was john reynolds the war department, edward stanton, and
abraham lincoln, asked to come to washington to consider taking over command of the army at the potomac and he did on june 2. he told the trio he would have nothing to do with it. he wanted nothing to do with burnside's and hookers leavings but he said george, i recommended you. [laughter] >> exactly. .e know who friends are it was not until june 28 that george meade finds out he's commander and he was never asked about it. never conferred about it. never interviewed about it. instead, the situation has gotten so out of control of confederate army was so deep in union territory these three had twiddled around for so long that they finally grew alarmed and
wrote an order gave it to lieutenant general harvey and told him to get the frederick tell him he is ordered to be commander of the army of the needac imagine that thought hardy was coming into their door resting. he said to his wife. he came to name and commander and meade tried to get out of it. need took it up --meade took it of course. when he did become commander, he had orders. those orders included this. he says your army is free to act as you deem proper under the circumstances. they say that at the beginning and then comes all the caveats. you will however keep in view the important fact that the army of the potomac is the covering army of washington, as well as
the army of occupation against the invading forces of the rebels. you will therefore maneuver to fight in such a manner as to cover the capital and also baltimore as far as circumstances admit you're free to maneuver but you make sure we're protected in washington and baltimore. and then you are free to do else what you wish you think most advisable. pam saidte to his wife margaret, i'm going straight at them, meaning the enemy. and indeed that's what he did. he moved all seven of his core north looking at the maps of carroll county he could see up pike creek. he could see if a defense line was established along a stream ke creek.
of a defense line was long there it would cover washington and baltimore and then he saw in the line behind pike creek was westminster maryland. westminster was the terminus of the western maryland railroad out of baltimore and that could supply his army you know when you have the size of an army -- an army decides it needs 65,000 horses and mules, you've got to put down every -- the mouth of every horse annual 14 pounds of oats and 14 pounds of hay a day and you think of what it takes to keep an army in motion. did he ever meet that? no army ever met that standard of regulations. you have to keep them fed relatively well or they would as you will find at
the end of this campaign between gettysburg and frederick as meade is moving the army south, he will lose 15,000 horses and mules to break down. they had not been fed. like george patton cost third army in europe. runs out of fuel, the army is on the 30th of june need issued a circular order to all of his corps commanders this order said basically this, that reynolds would move his first core to a position five miles south of gettysburg and five miles north of emmitsburg on the left. he then said the next morning i would like you to advance to
gettysburg. this is what stephen sears saw. thisvance to gettysburg reynolds got to move as far as marsh creek. never got this circular until 2:00 in the morning on july 1. he would act upon it in the morning of july 1. meade ordered the 11th court to position itself at emmitsburg and follow george meade in support on july 1. third corps was at any town at the time this order was given and was directed to move to emmitsburg john reynolds was named left wing commander of the first 11th and third core at and around emmitsburg hancock second
core was at uniontown on june 30 and was ordered to move to taney town in the morning psych's fifth corps was at union mills toyland with orders to move hanover pennsylvania pursuant to that order. hancock was 18 miles south of gettysburg when he was at uniontown. sykes' fifth corps was 22 miles southeast of gettysburg when it was there and nearly the same distance when it moved to hanover. slocum's 12 core was at little town with instructions to move to two taverns pursuant to that circular order. 12 miles from gettysburg and sedgwick's sixth core was ordered to move from new went in maryland to manchester and that would be 32 miles from
anytown, 14 miles .outh of gettysburg the intelligence meade received of the enemy is critical to figure out. he received regular reports from people like john buford who screamed the left flank of meade's army. buford would write at 5:00 in the morning from fairfield pennsylvania that the enemy has increased force considerably. to this point all need new about the position of lee's army was appeared tohis core be in the cumberland valley near chambersburg. at least one of them was moving along a turnpike from chambersburg to cash town. he then understood there were
elements of lee's army that were as far east as york, pennsylvania which is also on that same chambersburg york pike he alsot of gettysburg understood there were elements of lee's army that were in carlisle pennsylvania but that's it that's all he knew and that would not change for 36 hours. remember how long it takes to move from one position to the next to inform anybody of anything. to move from fairfield, , to havenia headquarters at any town took four hours. so the positions change while the man's in route. edade wrote, m
to general darius couch and here .s what meade says my army isn't positioned between emmitsburg and westminster advancing upon the enemy. hill's corps holds cash town pass. this, i am says unsure the will o -- the whereabouts of the rest of them. various pieces of intelligence on the morning of july 1, the wee hours, illustrating that may be some of .- now near hide was berg but that james long street is accounted for and ap hill appears to be in the cash town
pass and there appears to be, according to george meade, a disposition to advance toward gettysburg. but he's unsure. whatn the 19th century, does the commander of an army do about that? here's the enemy scattered around. you send a unit, could possibly get it knocked out by enemies you don't even know exist. so what do you do? circularked about order where he tells reynolds to advance on gettysburg. is that all she said? deskems likes deese sears steve sears gave him no further structures. he did. while i was working on this i was in the national archives. i was working in the 11th court papers. in the 11th court papers i was
going through envelopes and i pulled out one and it said contents taken from the pockets .f major john f reynolds it included all the dispatches that were taken out of his pockets and given to howard since he was taking over command that morning. i unfolded each one of them gingerly. there was a note from john reynolds to george meade, telling him about the best place to cover on the left flank is a position he has preselected at emmitsburg. it was a copy of a letter he wrote. and then, another letter. june 30.er was dated 11:30 in the morning. from george meade. it is entirely in george meade's
handwriting. when does an army commanders sit down and write an army this big writing in order to a subordinate in his own handwriting? it is two pages long. here is what george meade says. he says the enemy undoubtedly occupied the cumberland valley from chambersburg in force. whether the holding of the cash town gap is to prevent our entrance or is there advance against us remains to be seen. thinking maybe lee is suck me into attacking him. maybe that is what he is doing, this chess game.
he says in case of an advance -- against you at gettysburg or howard at emmitsburg you must fall back to emmitsburg. i will reinforce you with the core nearest you, which are sickles at any town and slocum at little's town. he admonished reynolds and then he says this, post yourself up on the roads and routes of communication of the enemy. what do you think that road and route is? the chambersburg pike.
it's the road along which if you look at the map for what limited knows, he sees them coming from chambersburg to cash town and there's a disposition to move toward gettysburg. the chambersburg pike. york is the extension. on the extension of the chambersburg pike between gettysburg and york. if the information is true that there are elements of lee's army at hiler's berg that is eight miles north of the chambersburg pike. this is like a turnpike access e has seen and he says posters of up on the roads and routes of communication of the enemy. corps,sent an army 11,000 troops
tell me this. corp, sent an army 11,000 troops, north and posted them on the chambers pike, would that disrupt lee's communications? it would disrupt them with everybody. those north of the chambersburg pike and those west and east. what would that cause the enemy to do? it would cause the enemy to collect in front of you, wouldn't it? if they cannot communicate a mistake it rid of you. m you begin to see what eade is asking? he says this at the end of the letter. if after occupying your present position it is your judgment you would be in a better position,
you can fall back without waiting for the enemy or further orders from the. your present position has given with an advance on gettysburg than a defensive point. we don't want you to defend gettysburg. he says this. don't defend gettysburg. i have asked you to move on gettysburg and post yourself up there with the idea of inviting the enemy to coalesce in front of me. if you are john reynolds, what exactly is being asked of you? these guys all were trained soldiers. they all went to west point. they all studied military tactic.
there was a graduate of west point who taught on everyone of meade's corps commanders. , and johnisciple reynolds was an assistant theessor of tactic for outbreak of the war and was commandant of cadets. only in the 19th century to have titles of books like this " outpost and detachment service and troops in the matter of posting and handling them in the presence of the enemy." 1847.hed in right on the heels of another one. here is what he says in this book. he says, when an enemy's
beauty to force him to show his hand by causing him to call out all of his detachmentn a large of all arms adequate to the task of pressing the enemy vigorously and also withdrawing with safety when pressed in turn must be thrown forward. a large force. must be to the task thrown forward if you want to make him show his hands. referred to the force as an advance guard. andid not really plagiarize say they were in advanced corp
in 1832. and a great work the art of war an "greatfer to it as detachment." all three of the great theorists of the 19th century all agree on this that in order to find a way to get the enemy to collect in front of you so that you can measure him, you throw out an advance force adequate to the task. what is adequate to the task? a force anywhere from 10 to 12,000 in a great army would be alluate to the task, of arms, infantry, artillery, and cavalry. the first score of the army of corp ofmac -- the first
the potomac was in the middle. this work requires hard of fighting because the enemy will throw everything it has at you. advancerote that the force must contain groups of all arms and its strength proportion to that of the main forth with consideration given the more or less resistance of an independent character it may be required to make. so whatever we will require him to resist an enemy attack, we have to make sure he has enough people and equipment and ordinance to do that. truethey said, and this is of both, that if you move a force anywhere from five miles ahead to 20 miles ahead is appropriate. ahead am a you go
longer it will take the enemy to fight its way back to the main lines of your army. ahead --g is 10 miles 's miles ahead of meade headquarters. he says that the task of the troops is to observe the enemy and slow down its advance. not even the first of the tasks smallbe served by a detachment, partly because it would be more easily driven back than a large one and probably means would be powerful. it is also meant to delay the enemy's advance, and that involves real resistance.
withdrawals in the face of an enemy when you do this must be made slowly as safety will clausewitz. along an advanced core may resist will do pain -- depend on the terrain and proximity of support. they all say that you can move back to high ground and move and anything to slow the advance. your objective is to not hold anything but moved back to the main lines of the army and bring the enemy with you. remember i'm a pike creek is has determined is the most appropriate place for this army of the potomac to defend if that is what it has to do. we will see whether or not it can do that if we can force that enemy to us.
lee might be trying lee's preset to positions. clausewitz says operational value is derived more from the presence than from its efforts and from the engagements it might offer rather than those that actually fight. it was never intended to stop an enemy's movements, but whether the rate of a pendulum to moderate and regulate them so as to make them calculable. elements ofes the the first corp on the early morning of july 1. he starts off moving only s division. some regarded him as impulsive. he just moved out with wadsworth
division. the other two divisions will be an hour behind. that did not seem to faze reynolds. .e accepted that before that, reynolds left and he reviewed with him what he wanted to do. to go to want gettysburg and if i am met with overwhelming resistance, i am going to fall back to emmitsburg. he recited to doubleday exactly what george meade had told him in his june 30 letter, exactly. in battles of it leaders. he told me we would fall back to emmitsburg, which is exactly what george meade had told him. reynolds gets up. with wadsworth's division and the two brigades, he sees john buford caught in a nasty fight west of town and what does he do ? he takes that division across , and he gets himself
into a position where he is sending and one regiment at a time to resist this confederate attack. he knew full well that north of in,are heavy columns coming and there are more coming in from the other direction. we do not need to go into the details of that at all. by 10:40 five, reynolds is dead trying to put in the second wisconsin. what happens the rest of the day? howard comes up. the remaining two divisions come up an hour behind. then howard comes up and ultimately, howard is committed to the fight north of gettysburg , and the two by the end of the , absolutelylished demolished.
that is exactly what clausewitz if he didn'tppen use the entire command to get up there. john models fundamentally lost the first corp. george meade, from his headquarters wrote about this. he wrote two other corps he said john reynolds is under instructions. when he meets the enemy to engage him and then to come back to emmitsburg. atsays that to john sedgwick 1:00 p.m. on july 1. disaster, an absolute disaster.
has a presence on july 1. unfortunately, the execution was not what was intended. comes on the battlefield, he does so in the wee hours of july 2. what does he see? d to theave refugee hill. what is wrong with cemetery hill? hasare smack on what meade designated as his line of supply and communication, which is the baltimore pike, from gettysburg to westminster. down at westminster, our 6000 quartermaster wagons along with all of the herds of cattle, all , 6000dical supplies wagons, 50 miles of wagon trains are down there.
mules pullingand those. can he afford to have that severed, and yet look at cemetery hill? they have a place. they were able to rally and say themselves, to their credit. but look where it is. when george meade comes to cemetery hill and sees this, and sees what is left and looks at the baltimore pike, i am sure he probably like throwing up, if you want to tell the truth. think about it. they are in a defensive position are inde makes sure they place. he never goes to sleep. on july 2, when he gets everyone in line, he ordered the topographical engineers to make a map of gettysburg. there is your topographical map.
he has them put on the map the position of every one of the co rps. he held the end of cemetery ridge and the slope, and he has a printout on a map and they ps commanderach cor and we'll know what happens on july 2. let me just in closing say this about torture meet on july 2. on july 2.orge meade i found it totally remarkable. this is a commander who brings is inhe battlefield -- he a position literally behind the lines, as close as safety will permit him. he brings onto the battlefield in the week field alone five divisions. he orders them up and he directs exactly where they are to go.
those five divisions come from rps.e different army co it is the first time in army commander has actually directed orpssions from multiple c into the fighting in front of them. altogether on july 2, meade himself will direct a total of 10 different divisions into the fighting along the far left flank and a long cemetery ridge. that had never been done before. one senior colonel in the army wrote afterwards, the first time ever, we have actually had some unity of movement in this army. they said in closing this officer wrote that from the jaws gave usin defeat, meade
a victory. meade a bus a victory. it was his -- and us a victory. it was his personal leadership on the battlefield that did it. he never left, to the point ande he was badly wounded the bullet went through his trousers and entered and penetrated into old baldy's stomach. bolted.e he turned to an officer and said they have him now, they have him now. old baldy will move. they gave him another horse and took baldy to the rear. baldy outlived george meade. [laughter] close, timeng to
has expired. georgehave often said meade holds councils of war all of the time. war are councils of ultimately counsel defeat. he held a council of war on the afternoon of july 2 and he finally figured out that governor worn said sickles had left his position. he called a council of war on the night of july 2, a famous one, where they determined to stay and fight it out. he count -- called a council of said to him not to attack. why did he hold councils of war? it goes to a philosophy that you see in the army now, and most of us forget that in the army now you can see this. that is, consuls of war creates
counsels of war creates a team by getting them together as often as you can. at gettysburg, where you have position in spots along the battlefield that most of the other commanders cannot see -- no one could see what the 12 corps were facing. how did they know? , and youhem together have them tell one another where they are because otherwise they will never know. wholeas meade's philosophy to develop a team. he coordinated the entry of nine to 10 different divisions from army and onethe
afternoon and that illustrates what he gets from it. in case you don't know, i have grown to like two or tree. [laughter] thank you all very much. [applause] >> kit has agreed to answer questions for the book signing. we have about 10 minutes break before i will return and speak to you about the war for the common soldier. we will see you at 11:00. i am sorry -- don't leave. ashley has some announcements to make. ashley: sorry to get between you and your break. i will try to be as quick as possible.
i have notes for you. to tell you that one attendee has left a meal card. a resident of holland hall and you are missing your swipe card, please come and find us and hopefully this belongs to you. the second order of business is pete's talk from 11:00 until noon, we will break for discussions. if you have been assigned to a luncheon, you will find that information on the back of your name card. there is a special card. if you are participating in a luncheon, those will take place not in the dining center, but in the attic, which is located inside the west building, the
building directly to the right of us if you're fasting -- facing west lincoln avenue. we will have someone out there helping to direct you to the luncheons. a business is i apologize for the confusion for those of you trying to find mccreary 101 and mccreary 115 this morning. i realize that the program did not note that both of those rooms are actually located in the science center. rooms are in the science center. please take note of that for those of you who are looking to go to sessions there. the final note is that you may have seen some individuals walking around in some rather interesting uniforms. representatives for a fellows program that we run here at gettysburg college.
an amazing program in partnership with gettysburg college and the national park service, where we send students from the college to a variety of civil war battlefields and other 19th-century sites every summer. that is made entirely possible through a generous donation. fromve representatives that program who would like to talk with anybody who is interested in learning more about the program and if you feel so inclined, we do have a matching grant opportunity for any donation that comes in now through i believe the end of july, and that will be matched to help continue this program for our students in the future. please feel free to stop by and talk to them and learn more about the program at the desk. thank you. [applause]
>> we are live from gettysburg, pennsylvania for the annual civil war institute summer conference. after a short break, our live was civil warnues institute director peter carmichael. he will talk about the experience of the common soldier during the war. be moreen, there will civil war history from our c-span cities to her bang -- tour. >> we are the site of camp for which is the largest prisoner war camp west of the mississippi river during the civil war.
it existed as a prison camp from august of 1863 through may 1865. the last prisoners were exchanged on may 27, 1865, 6 weeks after appomattox. somewherest time around 3000, but all totaled 5000 400 37 prisoners can be identified as having come through this facility. if you had to have been a prisoner -- this probably was the best cams to exist in. a camp foras officers in the summer of 1863 during the winter. they were able to build .easonably substantial quarters the spring came in at the southwest corner of the stockade , and when large numbers of prisoners started being dumped in late spring and early summer
of 1864, this camp had a sense of internal order and discipline and the officers quarters could control the water supply and keep it pure. the primary thing is they kept the water supply good and clean and pure. time membera long of the historical society, and have been working with this years in terms of researching and developing. part of the grant application where we received a grant to toelop the site included seasons of archaeological work done by texas a&m university. the lithograph that was drawn from a drawing in 1865 and once we got some sense of where the boundaries of the stockade were, i can take you over there and show you where the artist was sitting when he was drawing a sketch of the stockade. it matches perfectly.
40ther prisoner from the ohio came back to visit the inne of his incarceration 1896 and left a handwritten monograph of his return and the dimensions he gave matched the archaeological work in terms of the stockade. we have a number of diaries that we have uncovered. thean -- we are missing early 1865, but other than that, i can almost tell you what the weather was on a day by day basis because that was one of the things they noted in the diary. probably the most common thing they talked about was the boredom of being a prisoner of the and wishing they were home. one prisoner noted in his diary that every moment is wasted. brotherse one set of that were originally from illinois.
one of them had come to texas in 1850's and his younger brother stayed in illinois. contact. -- had lost one evening this prisoner looks at the guard on the wall and says what is your name? what is it to you, yank? because i think you are my brother. it was his brother guarding him, and the guard moved back to illinois and they were buried side-by-side in illinois, one with a confederate tombstone and one with a union tombstone. escape attempts we very common. we can identify 97 people that made successful breaks. expanded,tockade was they improvised and the original stockade logs were 16 feet out of the ground, when they expanded, they cut the logs they
dub up in half. the final stockade was only six feet tall. it was not hard to get out. the problem was making it the 300 miles to union lines. nearly 100 and made it. some spent better than two years in captivity. i can think of the horrors of coming down to your first texas summer with no shelter. we hope that they can understand that these were people fighting .or our freedoms they were union soldiers from every state in the nation with the exception of i think delaware and vermont. hopefully they can't appreciate what our forbearers suffered to give us our freedoms. -- they can appreciate what our forefathers -- forbearers suffered to get us our freedoms. to declaret democrat
for the presidency in 2020 offers his vision for america in his book the right answer, how we can divide -- unify our divided nation. >> you have been a member of congress since 2013. >> that's right. >> you have introduced legislation and worked with democrats and republicans but you also call for partisanship, especially partisanship that rewards division. what do you mean by that? >> i think a president or any other elected leader in this country should effectively represent everyone. whether they voted for them or not. they should almost take a pledge never to divide us. that doesn't mean they don't want say why they should vote for me or the other person or why my ideas are better than the takingerson's ideas, but
it to the step where you are actually cultivating a spirit of division is i think when of the things that is going on in this entry right now which is in cities. i think if you have the privilege of serving, and i do, we i like to get started. back now live from pennsylvania and the annual civil war institute summer conference at gettysburg college. his civil warp institute director peter carmichael on the common civil war soldier. and his experience.
numerous author of articles and essays as well as several books including lee's young teller is. the last generation. young virginians at peace war and reunion. pete has lectured widely on topics pertaining to the civil war and public history and has appeared as an expert in historical documentaries. conducted numerous public presentations, workshops, consultations, and workshops for national park staff. severala assisted at national park service sites. this morning he will provide a sneak peek into his most recent book, a cultural history of civil war soldiers entitled the war for the common soldier, how men sought thought and survived
in civil war armies. that book is coming from the university of north carolina press enter this year in october area welcome. >> thank you ashley. one of the things ashley mentioned is that i have worked with a lot of students. i have helped get them into internships mainly at the national park service. ashley was one of the very first. she graduated from college of william and mary. she had a long career in the park service and then finished her phd at west virginia university. to have her now is a colleague is a good thing and one of the most gratifying things in being an educator is to see your students going off and being
practicing historians. there is nothing that i feel greater pride in than knowing that our kids are going out there on the front lines of history and talking to people about the civil war past. it hush is the cynics who say the young people to appear about the past. it is just not true. my book. when i started a war for the tomon soldier, i sought out find one man who could stand for all of the experiences of the soldierstely 4 million who served in civil war armies. i could not find him. thank you. you've been a great audience. my research question reminded me of a tv show to tell the truth. andve discovered this year
it has been a painful revelation there is a cultural chasm between me and my students. none of them have heard of it. o'reilly,words radar they had no idea. they didn't know and ash. of kojak. heard link?ou heard of lancelot go to youtube quest. if you have not seen to tell the truth, you would know there was a panel of celebrities who was the mainstay on that panel, katie carlisle. handle -- hollywood panelists they would ask three individuals with the intent of exposing the one person who did
something unusual in his life. questions, thef person who was really that person would stand up and that was the end of the show. i was inspired by that show. here are the questions i came up with. question have strong political convictions? was he courageous in battle? did he forged a bond with his comrades? was religious? did he remain loyal? above all else, did he do his duty in all circumstances and in all situations? according to prevailing historical wisdom, that soldier has to answer yes to all of those questions in order to stand up into be candid as a common soldier. i discovered quickly that soldiers over the course of their military careers answered these questions it in ways that
were terribly inconsistent and contradictory. it became clear the civil war soldiers were not completely orgrammed by ideology, hardwired by the overuse and tired word identity. withconclusion is at odds much of the important others.hip of i want to make a point that their scholarship which has convinced me that men were highly motivated and deeply political, i agree with that, but i think that emphasis has led to a distortion. it has led to a distortion that we don't fully appreciate how the rank and file lived in their daily lives. i was further convinced by this, when i was doing
research at the national park. i was in the bookstore, how i picked up that? this. titled the letters howharles bill cobb. jefferson did a great service to katie, have whose very it is one of my favorites from the army. lettersscovered the after purchasing a farm. in it was mostork. of the furnishings out of the barn. what was not purchased was a cardboard was he box. she got a hold of it, opened it up, and there were all of his
letters. let me tell you a little bit about charles brent cobb. he was born in new york kids.1. he had two he also employed an irish woman therep around the house. were no pictures of charlie. from his military service record ,5'6", 150 pounds dark hair and dark eyes. he is of the featherweight class. a very small dude. he enlisted in 1861. inin 1864, there was the pressue of conscription and he decided to enlist also because of the lure of a bounty. above all else he wanted to prove that he
was a man, he was in his own estimation the black sheep of his family. he confided to his wife, he said that they never gave me much credit for being a for bill cobb patriotic rhetoric did not inspire him at that he was he said no freedom schricker and no --saver. r he was dropped off at the trade depot, he came to garrison and there he was handed a raggedy blanket and some putrid rations. he couldn't fall asleep that night. he wrote to his wife that he thought he was going to freeze to death. pen andgot out his paper and explained to his wife that he needed to get out of the army immediately and said that
he had a good case. that case was based on him having a cold. but did notmagine, persuade the surgeons. the oned his outfit 47th pennsylvania. you all know the 147 pennsylvania took it on the chain -- chen. 147th and heto the is greeted by a hardened veterans. he was a highly critical of everything. he didn't like officers he says the that he served under were not only incompetent but also cruel. he pointed to a march that he thought was pointless. it was in november and wrecked in aody and he wrote this:
24-hour. over 30 passages of the bowels and became so weak that i could hardly stand alone. again he tried to get a discharge. again he is denied. he is making the claim of rheumatism and that was the class -- classic ploy of the alingerer. one said to him, he did you take the bounty? is near the breaking point by december. he wrote this to his day that ied be the saw my name joined as a conscript and dam to be the hour that i made up my mind to come as a drafty. if it was not for you and my children, i would blow out my brain's. dam the
...f, dim the war may, he is still pleading with the surgeons to get a medical discharge. they are denying him again. thething you should not let surgeons stand in your way. they call themselves the blue ridge brigade. they were not interested in .eading into the wilderness along the spine of the blue ridge mountain they would go north because that is the only way to compass is time to -- pointed. he continued to mid june
continuous fighting, continuous operations, little rest. on june 12, he wrote to his wife, men are beginning to get sick now that the excitement of battle has cooled off a little bit. they are thinking over the narrow escapes they have had and counting up those friends who have been killed or wounded. said the faces and full of grief dreary and foreboding fills our hearts as we think of what has been done and what is yet left he could not imagine spending another day in the ranks. he felt free to express his discontent to his i hate this life more
than that cap does hot soup. out i will stuff my uniform with straw. this is not the worst place for [laughter]joy life. 11 days after he wrote this, he he had to new coat. bid farewell to his old coat. if you have not seen a coat this is what one looks like. he still wanted to send the jacket home. this time, not as a but as a sacred relic that attested to the sacrifices and suffering that he
id his comrades had endured. should like to save it as a souvenir of the heartfelt itles of the wilderness. should like to keep it with all of its dust samples of different soil from culpepper to this place. 'tis not much of a coat .ow the skirts worn and ragged, and it is sadly ripped under the arms. it as iti look at hangs on the but of my musket i think more bit than i ever did of any article of dress i undid my life before. the power of what they call material culture.
we had to create our own language. [laughter] . mean the things of war it is surprisingly understudied you will see that i have a marketing genius at heart because next year we will have a panel on the material culture of war. you all know what it is. it's about the relics. basedbout the uniforms. on a new book that is coming out it will be fall. part of a panel. the power of things. the power of things. they had their own agency, they have their own influence. all
what i say do to see is true is look at your cell about what is really odd is what he endures and that fighting, it filled a void in his life. found his voice during the overland campaign. and is true if that is the definitive point we are going to make about what the campaign did into onee are playing of the false binaries of our field. it says a soldier can either be a victor or a victim over combat. what does he show? that a man can be both traumatized and empowered by or ing. his decision
should say in decision about how to treat his dirty sack coat that isthe ambivalence. the keyword. that is what most men felt when they came out of battle. the ambivalence of what he endured. should he burn it with the rest of his ragged filthy uniforms? his emotional attachment that he had for the how he was both drawn and repulsed by the killing fields of war. he was stunned by what he had seen and by what he had done. so many side,es had fallen by his but their deaths unleashed a new him. ar union inside of man who was indifferent to
politics, this very same man who it isfor abraham lincoln. also true that what happened in the campaign hushed the critics at home. no one can out charge him without being a man. no one could say he lacked a reputation. he had that and he earned it through the experience of war. his example is very us thatt. it shows soldiering was never a state of being, but a process of becoming. to insist that he was the common soldier is risky. the stereotyping that revolves around the following binaries: was the man loyal or disloyal? brave or cowardly? political or ankle a political? idyllic or
disillusioned? the story of him and his powerful letters reveals that a man could be all of those things at different times during why has ity career. been so difficult for historians to identify or recover the multiple personalities of soldiers? in part is because the letters that the soldiers sent home were letters that depicted honorable, and cannotoldier boys. you read soldier letters as transparent windows into the past. we have to think about audience. who is receiving these letters? there is a desire to be we are courageous men.
fortunate with this man because he pulls back the curtains. it is also difficult because the in theirafter the war final years of life, their stories became hopelessly romantic. one that i heard in february dr. james robinson atayed this at a conference the american civil war museum. i am taking this from his talk. outsider who survived petersburg at the battle of the one of those confederate survivors in the early 1900s, again this is reflecting the thisnt into family land, is what the survivor of the
whenrs and his comrades: we was blowed up at the crater me and my mend was thrown up in the air and as we went up we met our captain coming down and as he went by he hollered rally wes when you hit the ground. can't pin all of this on these romantic tales by the veterans. you have to put it on the aroundans. it centers the desire to cherry pick quotes from letters. they draw these great conclusions and what these conclusions do is they lead us to see these soldiers as being static but with these extractions from the letters do, they lead us to believe these men saw the world with astonishing clarity and they acted upon those beliefs with a , asr purpose. they did not
soldiers can to believe they could not believe anything at all. the world was so filled with rumor, imperfect . truth was elusive for these men. it overwhelms mym from time to time. decision for my book was simply this: i needed to pick soldiers whose letters if -- expanded a specific. when you look at these men over an extended. discovered was that circumstances above all
else controlled and shaped the lives of civil war soldiers. this show the popular belief the optimisms. that these men have on both sides and the power of the individual to control and shape is one thatevents certainly was challenged during the course of the war because they found themselves in a great maelstrom of violence, uncertainty, and what they came controlude is that the they thought they could exert over their own lives, and over the course of the events that it that it was often elusive. they never descended into cynicism. i by how the press has
become this great punching bag. i could take a few swings and feel really good afterwards about doing it. the danger is that when you have a people who suddenly can't believe everything around them they also believe that anything that is put into the public spear is cynical.wisted, wrong, i'm telling you it makes it democracy difficult to function. they often knew that these journalists were never at the , they their condemnation never surrender to cynicism. they never lost their high example find in their not just a warning for today but something inspiring. the other thing that i
discovered is that what these men came to conclude because of the power of circumstance is adaptability above all else. that was the most important trait. this is a quote from a soldier in the first minnesota. who isl see a young man back there in a uniform doing a study of the man i'm quoting right now. this man from the first minnesota survived the july 2 assault at gettysburg. this is earlier in the war. this is right after first manassas. we want a man of greater flexibility of character, a man of rock and ready energy knows to adapt himself to the circumstances and men in all conditions of life. to adapt himself to
circumstances that is at the very core of a spontaneous co-pragmatism. i it was pragmatism that enabled these men to work with the withoutctory elements following a flexible course of orion determined by identity some other class interest were ready or ideology. to illustrate pragmatism and action i will give you three soldiers who ined a crisis of loyalty each instance these men had to make a determination whether to stay in the ranks or to desert. what you will see is that their sense of duty, loyalty was open ended. it was fluid and fluctuating. first-person, charles bolin. he is from utica
theyork. in 1861 he joined 12th u.s. regulars. he saw battle that the tested his union cause was the battle of fredericksburg. he survived the initial attack, he referred to it as the slaughterhouse, but after the camp would still take in the battlefield of december the 13th. and brought back bad memories including the evening after his unit had made its assault. he took cover behind a that. and he wrote about the whole top of his head was
carried off by a shell, the eyes were open and stared at me whenever i looked at him. the next morning he made his way into fredericksburg, the men were looting, they went on a he pickedjoined them. up a bottle of liquor, he heard some men playing a piano in one of the homes, he joined them and sang a few songs with them. he also picked up some food and a book or two, then he wrote to his wife about it. he said i got i felt asly drunk. good as general burnside or any bolinman. here is charged saying i am a good old soldier
boy but we see the stress and the physical demands of soldiering and what did it do like so many other union soldiers, they reconfigured their sense of duty. he is not acting like a bold soldier boy of purity. he was part of the rampage that was directed against the town of fredericksburg. after the he was suffering from a becky's of the blues. he missed his wife terribly. they had a . he missed her suffering from homesickness but we have often seen homesickness as an hisional longing.
relationship with his wife was an intriguing one. he was he sawt in his letters. with her a partnership in war. he depended upon her words of encouragement. it is impossible to look at soldiers allies, separated from their homes and he was very disillusioned by what had happened after fredericksburg. there was an ugly night of wasvances here. there he believedood. that there was a political administration that was in heferent to their suffering.
wrote this on january 17. i did with thee deserters corruption of some of our chief officials, i can blame it no man for leaving this rotten old hulk, and worse the drunken crew he should have deserted end,led to canada. in the he stayed put in the army of the potomac. as we know, thousands of men did not. they received care packages from their families but in those packages were civilian clothes. those close were for them to flee the army. what kept him in the abstraction let
it was aof union. prime motivator but what kept him in the ranks was the site of his comrades suffering in camp. was nong that, there gray area. no rumor, no political intrigue. indisputable display of men showing their heracter through suffering. wrote this about a comrade from minnesota who was in the ranks: how hard it is for some who have large families to support to be kept out of their pay for six month at a time. and keep
receiving letters from home begging for money to buy bread and meat for their starving little ones. this man i speak of is one of those unfortunates. he and always and write brings me his letters to read to readand many a one i have that would bring tears from some cruel such is warm heartless bloody war the start of the innocent and enriches the when i was a kid, i always thought that the russians overcome what books am i going if i had a book when i was a kid, this is one of them.
mr. cassidy was a direct bowen.ent of charles this man wrote about the war in ways. that wase people reading the letters looked into his soul. this man was a laborer before the war. this man set up a gambling shop to make money in the army. we had a talk yesterday about the financial burdens of war on the poor. let us not forget that those pressures were certainly great. bowen was trying to work his way up the social ladder by making some money. he was still a man who believed in couldbowen himself
sympathize. his shoes were in tatters, he could not afford a new era of gloves, he was suffering greatly. he still refused to defy military authority. he refused to defy military authority because again of what he saw and more forrtantly of experience. two years, he had been in the experienced had comradese had seen his such as fredericksburg, he saw his comrades go to his death to follow orders for an attack that was of course suicidal. he had the experience in camp of seeing the suffering of his comrades. he was a subjected to discipline as well as inflicted discipline bowen afterrdinates.
fredericksburg was a sergeant. he had an encounter with a drunken comrade who he had ordered to take some wood and go across camp. this drunken soldier refused to do it and lunged at him. he nearly crushed the skull of this drunken man. when this man came to, he wasn't done with him. he ordered him to carry a 40 pound log around camp. this incident caused him about his military career up until that point. it seems like a dream through which i have passed but it is so impressed on my memory that i shall never forget it while life i was just one of
the greenest specimens that started on his travels, knew nothing of the ways of the inld, but of my own sphere fact was a perfect know nothing. the army had not been the most tender schoolmaster but some appreciation for how he had transformed once he had been in the ranks. it was wonderful to see what a change will take place in a man's disposition once in the army. in lesson two years he had become a tough-minded soldier and the key part here, he saw himself as the he believedf truth. he was the arbitrator of truth because it was him and no one else who had endured the battlefield. who had seen the horrors of his comrades getting could make those
determinations and that sense of being an arbitrator of truth resided in the experience of war time, i'mcause of my confederate example and i am going to go to manyfoster. i know you are deeply interested in him. it was privately published on amazon. someone this morning gave a talk about sex in civil war soldiers. he is very open about his sexual fantasies with his wife. he pull back the curtains on war. john
foster was a combat veteran of gettysburg where he was wounded at little round top. he convalesce less than a mile from stands.e house still then he came back to the army of the potomac in the spring of 1864. he believed he had not fully recovered, but his captain had no compassion for him and insisted that he joined the ands, shoulder a musket, carry 40 rounds of ammunition, even though he was expecting his promotion to lieutenant. he i will agreewife, that it is a positive shaming but ifme a gun to carry. we go in a hard march and i cannot carry it, i will throw it
over $20will cost me and i will not be troubled with update fort amount. the wilderness fighting erected, he again wrote his wife and promised to desert. it is hard to say what he did on the first day of fighting. he was part of he first day of the assault. found what we would call fosters dogtags. made his wayanks, back to fredericksburg without authorization. he was arrested and talked his way out of it. he he another soldier with him. got on a train and headed to washington, d c. he went
straight to a boarding house with his other two officers. he wrote his wife, i am going to play lieutenant for a while in fact as long as i can and i don't care what the consequences are. date can't more than shoot me but i don't know what i will do yet or rather what i will be made to do. fosters hiding out in the boarding house, he can't leave, how is he able to do this because he had money. is a critical part. we are so focused on the desertion rates as a gauge in patriotism. men and thathe ranks decision was not one of freedom.
men could act on their political beliefs if they didn't have the money in their pockets. foster had the money to essentially desert. he got nervous that he was going to g caught. he got wifeed, he wrote to his that he could not take it to go back to the front. the stress of fighting had become too much. heimately, foster caved. went to camp distribution right outside of washington, d.c. than this in him back to his regiment here's the quote from their i am going to get out of the service is possible i cannot stand it one foster was finally sent back to his regiment he knew one thing, that
he missed a bloodbath. he was back in washington dc he was reading the papers. has regiment suffered staggering losses. i am sure in his mind he thought he made a pretty good decision to fleet of fighting. when he came back to his regiment, he goes up foster wrote to his wife and said he has never been so mad at me and i can't understand why. [laughter] you have just abandon your foster hadre. john rejiggered his sense of duty. he hated the copperheads, those northerners who were against the war. but in his mind he had done he expecteda part.
that his comrades would recognize that and to an extent he did because he was never brought up on charges. that flexibility is pragmatism. that flexibility is how men understood combat. i will give you an example from a georgian man who wrote in his diary about one of his comrades who was wounded in fredericksburg in 1862. this officer wrote: this joyouslyomrade displayed his arm explaining here is my 30 days for love. when just at that moment another . thatall entered his leg caused him to explain furlough
extended to 60 days i want no more. [laughter] they havee with them, a very flexible code of conduct and a code of conduct that was the result of understanding. that if one pursued a rigid set of beliefs, if one lived life according to regulation and this goes back to religion as well, one cannot just give yourself to god completely. one had to rely on oneself to be able to survive as well as to bring this war to as aclusion. loyalty says, loyalty is often
the historic the product of events. this is evident in my two final examples. first from johnfutch he sawilliterate. fighting at chancellorsville and he saw as a crime and sin against god. here it's a little comradehe spoke to a and in speaking to a comrade he talked about chancellorsville in which he thought everyone was going to be killed, that there would be no one left to tell the he talked about a man who not fard in his pants. from where we are standing, his
brother charlie received a fatal to a comradech expressed his anguish over the loss of his brother. as you are going to see the language is a syntax in thethe grammar is almost invisible and you would think that with all my practice in reading undergraduate papers i would be able to read this for you. [laughter] charlie got killed and he suffered a great deal from his aund. he lived at that and day after he was wounded and we seen hard times there. we got enough to eat there but we don't as to myself i don't get onegh for i don't need . i neverto eat hardly
wanted to come home so bad in my life but it is so that i can come at this time but if we come down south i will try to come anyhow for i want to come home so bad. when army in northern virginia unraveled after gettysburg the sicker -- circumstances of that enabled him to act upon his believes that war was a great time against humanity and he deserted with 11 other men. his sense of and verymalleable. similar to a man that he is nothing like at all and that is he was andell holmes. duringof the 20th mass. the summer of 1864 he addressed the concept of duty to his thisr. i started off
saying a boy and i am now a man. i came to the conclusion that over the last six months my duty has changed. i could do a disagreeable thing when i know but a doubt demoralizes me as it does any nervous man, and now i honestly think the duty of fighting has ceased for me ceased because i have laboriously and with much suffering a minor body earned the right to decide for myself how i can best do my duty to myself, to the country, and if you choose to god. oliver wendell holmes could not be any futch.ifferent than john they were grounded in situational thinking and prized adaptability and elevated the
individual conscience as the arbitrator of truth. very difficult to speak about what men thought and say this is our common soldier. but i do think it is possible to see a common strand and how they thought. and how they thought is this sense that whatever is presented to us in that moment requires andtaneity, adaptability, both soldiers demonstrated that. if a panel from to tell the truth were able to ask three men had you cope with the physical strain and emotional pressures of living in the ranks? the true veteran would have stood up and duty as fary whole
as i knew it. thank you. [applause] we have some time for questions >> melissa any. williams a social studies teacher. whatutica new york. owen?ned to charles b >> p continue to serve, he was discharged in 1864. he was in the thick of heolutely everything. fights wilderness in spotsylvania, cold harbor as
a his letters were extraordinarily powerful. he was certain he was going to die. he took a locket and a diary and give it to a sick comrade. his letters from petersburg are incredibly revealing about a range of issues but especially about the use of black troops because he said his comrades did not believe any of the stories that came from the 54th massachusetts attack against for wagner. that of course is racism but for these veterans bowen said believing. that many of his comrades were african-american. when they talk to other men there, they believed they were
courageous soldiers. i cannot say enough good things about you. >> his wife lived until 1905. they had six or seven children. i know there has been a distinction made between physical and mental courage. did any of these men make that distinction? >> i'm not sure i saw that distinction being made. what struck me is the men -- eved amand man wrote an interesting chapter on courage. you start to see the adaptability because in 1861 the notion was a man was either
courageous or not. he should be able to withstand the horrors and the pressures of battle. by 1863 men were starting to adapt and adjust those expectations knowing that there was only so much in the tank. there is a recognition that if you participated in the attack any major way back towards the town of fredericksburg that you still were courageous. they understood that a man can only bear so much the front. considering vietnam was soldier the last letterwriting campaign, what challenges to young people in the audience going forward have to write about correspondence that became primarily electronic
if it's going to be lost to or will a young scholar in today's world even be able to do the same kind of research on people going forward? >> my hope is that soldiers are writing him as to their families will preserve those females. anuspect that we will have abundance of materials but i share your concern. my real concern is how we read these documents. i want to stress to look at these letters as windows, transparent windows into the past. what we need to understand is the world -- role that these soldiers inhabited. there is a cultural world that they breed in and a very unconscious way. there is also the world that they inhabited as military coercion. i want to stress the point that as emphasis on desertion
some kind of indicator of patriotism or the quality of the unit is extraordinarily misleading. present --e a man is the service record every two months they checked to see if you are there to get your pay, just because a man says i am here to his name, that does not signify loyalty or patriotism. it often signifies something quite different. intriguing to me as some of the people who have read this , some have said i took a dark turn in history and it is i am hoping a debate which is a pointless binary debate, i think it does -- obscures everything. they said that i emphasized too much coercion. i said it is person -- they are.
a soldier only had to see another man get executed for desertion to think of it like slavery. of one time a boy has to see his mama get whipped to know what it is about. >> did you see a sense of change in regards to adaptability and .ustainability >> i cannot say that i really thought about that theory in terms of lieutenants and captains. isept i will say this unfortunately not in this book.
1864 a raid south of petersburg in which the fifth got drunk on applejack. and it was widespread. of course what happened to many of these men -- they left. they were going off and going for applejack and there are caught by federal guerrillas. some people were shot execution style. they unleashed incredible and a justified in that was great against women.