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tv   The Civil War Confederate Veterans in Mississippi  CSPAN  July 7, 2019 10:00am-11:01am EDT

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and the nazis. they are being killed because they are slavs. young back tor germany as slave labor. >> next, on the civil war, university of southern mississippi professor susanna ofal discusses the treatment veterans after the civil war. she highlights the jefferson davis soldiers home, which welcomed some african-americans as well as and widows of veterans. the national civil war museum posted this event. -- hosted this event. >> welcome, everyone.
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i am going to read this. ural is the professor for the study of war in society at the university of southern mississippi, military historian by training, she specializes in 19th-century american history with an emphasis on war during the civil war. she has published numerous articles, irish-american ,olunteers in the union army and most recently the soldiers and families of the confederate's most celebrated unit published in 2017.
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this book will be on sale. she will sign it for you after this presentation. you can get a coffee in the gift shop. this is her most recent publication. she is a past president of the mississippi historical society. she serves on the editorial board of the journal of the a in the civil war times magazine. her most recent research involves the launch of civil war governors of mississippi project, which she directs. collaborative partnership between the mississippi department of archives and history. the university of southern mississippi. which will transcribe and imitate civil war governors papers. spanning000 documents
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nine administrations from 1859 to 1882. 19th-century century americans never hesitated to contact their governor, and as a result, these papers offer scholars, teachers, and the public valuable insight. all the paper transcription will be freely accessible online. what does she do in her spare time? we don't know. she tours the gettysburg battlefield as she has been doing a last two days -- the last two days. folksd like to welcome visiting us from texas. one person from australia. they have been at harpers ferry, antietam, and here at gettysburg. we thank c-span for covering this for our national audience. without further ado, dr. susanna ural.
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[applause] hey, everybody. thank you for coming out. it has been a wonderful week here in pennsylvania. i moved to the south about 20 years ago. i think east texas is still considered south. mississippi about 10 years ago erie i spent my first decade or in pennsylvania. it is good to be home. it is been a truly wonderful week. we don't necessarily all come to the same conclusions, but we are dedicated to a tremendous amount of learning. it has been a good week. thank you for having me back here. this is just an outstanding museum. don't become members of museums if we are not in the area. reminder thatful
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you can still support museums that are doing wonderful work. we got to have a behind the scenes tour. the collections here are just incredible. when you have brought together to tell the full story of the civil war as a historian, researcher, writer is invaluable. all on whatmmit you you are doing. aboutere to talk today the mississippi confederate home. this is one of my favorite photographs of the home. ofwas taken in february 1926. similar to some of the other photographs you can find if you google jefferson davis soldiers home.
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it was photographs like these that i stumbled across not long after moving to mississippi in 2009. i got curious about the home. i thought, has anybody done any research on this? i do what you do. i started looking for books and articles. i could not find any good in-depth historical analysis of the home to help me unravel why i was seeing individuals i was not used to seeing as residents or inmates. is unusual because most of the studies of confederate homes , most confederate homes were mostly for veterans. there were women's homes. i was not used to seeing such a diverse crowd this early in the 20th century. crossovert be some with men and women at the same home later in the 20 century, but this was fairly early to see something like this.
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i became curious, wanted to do some research, but the problem i ran into was that there just aren't that many traditional records for beauvoir. we don't have a lot of letters, memoirs of individuals who ran the home. we don't have a lot of the traditional resources historians work with, that those of you who have done research on your own know we tend to utilize as historians. i was trying to figure out how i could unravel what life was like at this home and what mississippi had set out to create. this is a timely question. we are still wrestling with how do we properly care for veterans, what are services veterans should be receiving, how do we make sure they receive them in a timely manner and that they are meeting the needs of veterans? this became a fascinating question i wanted to unravel.
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one of the issues i ran into, though, is that the home really doesn't fit the historical existing historiography. if you are interested in the subject matter, get these books. while i disagree with some of their findings, and beauvoir and mississippi have challenged some of the findings, but these are the best starting points. he really looks at some of the challenging experiences that veterans faced when they came home. you would think union veterans were celebrated when the came home but there were some real concerns about these former soldiers coming home and the bad habits that picked up in camp. are they violent? will we have a rise in crime?
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are they bringing any addiction some with them? confederacythe there was a more of a positive image of some of these veterans. there was still a concern when it came to caring for veterans and the homes of veterans. you don't want to do too much because pensions might make people lazy. you don't want to provide too much public support because people get offended on public support. this is the earliest 20th century idea about welfare. they won't be independent anymore. you don't want to do too much but we need to do something. late 19th century americans really wrestled with this. right, this is much more focused on the subject matter we are covering today. it is a history of confederate homes. if you know anything about confederate homes, they are funded by the individual state, not the federal government.
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the state of this is sippy, the state of louisiana, the state of texas provided homes for veterans. say that it did not fit with my understanding of confederate homes based on these books and works like them is because these works argued, for example, the individuals in these homes were the neediest of the needy. that makes sense. to receive a pension as a civil war veteran, you had to prove need. you had to be indigent. you were unable to take care of yourself due to injuries are you tremendously sacrificed for the union and confederacy -- union or confederacy and you were worthy of care.
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impression that these individuals had always been the poorest of the poor. assumptions had creeped in that they will have traditional issues you tend to see with poverty, illiteracy, social movingc instability, around from rental property to rental property. if you go back and look at some of these images, some of the individuals look more impoverished. if you look at what some of the women are wearing, some necklaces, a further collar, some of the women are more fashionably dressed. these people are bringing with them or demonstrating in this photograph that if they are not wealthy at this point, at one point in their lives they enjoyed a certain amount of comfort or wealth. you might not have it now, but you are wearing some things that have been handing down in your family, indicating what your family wants at you might not
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have much money now, but everyone knows your surname. they are from up in the delta. that is an old family the dates back to virginia. i started to become curious about where those descriptions did not seem to fit. he also referred to these veteran homes as stately prisons of gratitude heard that 19th century americans out of their gratitude for the service of these veterans had built these homes but then veterans basically get stuck in them and pushed off to the side. if you look at rosenberg's title, living monuments, he argues these confederate veterans, they were these old men were pushed off to the side and brought out on confederate holidays or memorial day but they were largely forgotten by society. they were living monuments to a lost cause but that's all they were.
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they were living isolated from the rest of the world. hetin and his study, and does a careful statistical study of confederate homes, but it was not in his study because it lacks somebody traditional homess -- he found most contained lifelong bachelors or recent widowers. it makes sense because in most states to enter a home for veterans, it was just for veterans. you can't move there with your wife. you are probably going to wait until you are widowed or maybe you are a lifelong bachelor. the individual showing up our single men. they are described as being done with life joys and basically waiting for death. it is a pretty sad story. it is a depressing topic. i don't know. sad and so universally does not seem logical.
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we are really not consistent. we are rarely not good and we are rarely that bad. what thaturious about could tell us about this understanding of confederate veteran homes. does it fit the norm? i would come across images like these from the early 1930's or a famous individual goes to visit both walk. if they are isolated and shuttered off, why is this individual bothering to visit this home and why are these individuals who are clearly not .esident, they are too young i became increasingly curious about that. it did not fit with what we understood. what also does not fit, this individual here, i zoomed in
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hunting here, it is not conclusive but some have theorized this individual was one of the three african-american residents of the home. these are two of the men in the photograph. the idea is the gentleman in the photograph is this man. was the first confederate home that i have been able to find that admitted african-american pensioners has residents, not as employees but actual residents of the home. to understand how that happened, we need to get in the background of pensions and how they work. mississippi passed their pension law -- their bill to provide pensions for confederate veterans in 1888. it was a little bit later in the process. other states had done this. the idea was to provide for
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veterans and this went to widows and it also provided for enslaved body servants. had been taken to war or sent to war as enslaved cap servants in military camps. the unusual thing about mississippi, it is not the only state to do this. moment,ppi's standout or at separates it from general policy, is that mississippi insisted on paying these men an equal rate with widows and veterans of the confederacy who had served. you only get a pension if you are indigent are in need you could receive a pension if you were reviewed and declared as having served honorably. if there was any record of desertion in your service record , if there is indication for
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example in south mississippi, you decide to stop serving the confederacy and start serving the union, you won't get anything from the confederacy. you probably won't get anything from the federal government, either. what is really interesting is if you know anything about mississippi history, in 1890 they passed a state constitution that violated a lot of civil rights for poor whites and african-americans. in 1896, a clarified the pension law state as it was. all confederate veterans, widows and servants should share a like. yourself, whatg is the thinking behind it? is oneey talk about gentleman writes and says slaves who ran away and joined the union army are getting pensions
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from the u.s. federal government. are you going to tell me mississippi will not give a pension to an enslaved man who stayed with the confederacy? i can't wrap my head around this. that policy stayed in place until the early 1920's. early 1920's, this is to changes at law and says no, body servants can receive a pension but they will receive it at a lower rate. photograph,his -- they are not combat veterans. these are individuals who went to camp as body servants. in the case of nathan best, he does briefly serve. -- he ends upa having a shattered a shattered bone in his arm and it ends up
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being amputated. he received his pension. you can find these online. all of mississippi's pensions are digitized and available online. a lot of other confederate pensions, most of you know can find that through you can find a host of information about individuals in these pension records. this is part of a curiosity for me that wasn't making sense. only withomes are veterans, they are only men, they are isolated, why is fdr coming to visit? is a photograph from a convention of newspaper editors in biloxi, mississippi. why is anybody bothering to come to this home if they are traditionally isolated? if you work your way back with these images, why do we have
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this diverse home that i did not expect to find? the you think about what existing literature tells you about places like this. i started digging into this a little bit more and i found something else that stood out. as i try to unravel who was at the home and what made it different and i found this couple. they served as superintendents of mississippi's confederate home from 1916 to 1943. there was a four-year window where their political support was out of office so they were out of office. there is a brief for your window where they are out. i want to point out not just the length of time where you have
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consistent leadership by two outstanding managers of a home, but you also see an unusual case and the role of helen, because in 1916, she was her husband's superintendent. the title was not hers until 1920 but that is when she took on the role. in 1926 she became superintendent on her own. she would hold the office from 1936 until she died in 1943. the photograph in the background, she is featured in a new orleans newspaper as the new woman of the house. this article got me thinking that we might also be looking at these homes from the wrong perspective. part verys are in much confederate memory. they are a part of the civil war. if you remember the gentleman in that group photo.
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very much confederate service is part of the experience that brought these individuals together. it is wide to have access to the home. became aher hand, it symbol of what mississippi was capable of creating coming out of the civil war. it became a symbol of the new south, of efficiency, of a society that can take care of its aging population and a massive scale of veterans we had not seen. mississippi had risen to the challenge. it was a crown jewel and a pride for the state. we have a different scene. they are running this facility. when helen is running it, having a woman run these homes was incredibly unusual.
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even women running some of the men's homes by the time they were integrated with women -- with widows in other states. helen starting in a leadership role that early was different. the other thing i am hoping readers will think about and rethink his helen not just doing this as a member of the united daughters of the confederacy, caring for these veterans, really as a manager and a businesswoman. if you look at newspapers at that time, she was running a facility with 250 residents with dozens of employees with a massive state provided budget and dealing with massive budget cuts during the great depression. the facility had its own dairy and it was almost entirely self-sustaining. if you look at these newspapers, there are advertisements. she was the major employer on the coast.
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, for me as aimes civil war historian, and perhaps some of you with interest and the civil war, we approach this thing for a story about the civil war -- and it is absolute there. this was the last home jefferson davis lived in. this is where he wrote his two volume history of the civil war. but what is also part of their of anis this study emerging modern society, earning how to deal with issues. study, it is worthy of caring for veterans and how this can be more efficiently done. i don't want to paint too rosy -- ificture so i include you look at her letter on the left, this is one of two or three letters that i know of of
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residents of the home. we are always hoping or will turn out as word spreads. if you look on the left, it is a very positive image. i sit out on the porch in the sunshine looking at the grand buildings that surround our home. yes, i say our home. it is our home and every inmate some that is here and it seems like one large family. a very positive image. not really the prison of gratitude or people just shuttered off when he to die. a depressing image we had before. hand, you see here, the reality of what happens when you need to go there or go to a soldier home. she said i have never had for nothing. if i ever get that sick here, i want some of you to stay with me or take me from here. i don't never want to die here. don't forget how people get to
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some of these homes. you get there because your family cannot take care of you anymore. you get there because you might have medical needs that your family can't meet. i don't know if anyone looks forward to a retirement home, but it is not necessarily this horrible place of tragedy. that is the picture i'm trying to help you understand. a little bit of background, it was founded -- i should say the jefferson davis soldier home was founded in 1903. a significant number of years after mississippi passes its confederate pension bill, the pension law goes into effect in 1888, 1889, and the home is not built until 1903. a couple of interesting points here, that means mississippi was a second to last former confederate state to build a -- afor etc. in spirit
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home for its veterans. see is thell argument that mississippi politicians were making is our constituents, our veteran constituents are telling us we don't want to go into a home, i want to stay where i am with my family. if you want to do anything, increase my pension. i don't want to go to a home on the coast. it is beautiful, but some of these guys are coming from meridian but some of them are coming from the northern part of the state, oxford. you are probably not going to get back home, that is the worry. for a lot of these men, they say i don't want a home. what started to happen as he got closer and closer to the end of the 19th century, was individuals started to have medical needs. their families could not afford
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to take care of them and they became more and more interested in having a home. members of the united daughters of the confederacy found out about the conversation that was the nameand a woman by of ms. kim bro. about theeen talking fact they would have to sell. it was an expensive property to maintain. she is living in new york city at this point and for health reasons she can't come back to live here and she is thinking about selling the home. she is conscious about who should receive the sum. it is a lasting symbol. offers, very nice profitable offers to build a hotel there. she turned them down. she chooses instead to sell the property for the creation of a confederate home for veterans in
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the state of mississippi. publishedetails get in some newspaper accounts. the sons the home to of confederate veterans because they end up coming up with the money. the sons of the confederacy end up purchasing the home, but if you look at the agreement and the terms of the sale, she says this will be for veterans, wives and widows, so couples can move into the home. this was not being done elsewhere in the country. term servants that should be allowed in the home. the property is purchased by the sons of confederate veterans. 1903 is when the very first residents show up at
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the home. -- the first residents show up at the home. they are all men at this point. they are all veterans. within six months, you are going to have your first couple entering the jefferson davis soldier home. this is one of the reasons this will be a very different home from anything else you will see in the other confederate states. it led to very different age ratios. these were not just men who had the same experiences. they are coming in with younger wives. younger widows are coming in. it led to this fairly dynamic community. the problem i ran into with researching it was that was about as far as i could get with traditional sources. this is what i'm talking about when i mentioned telling a lost story. the home goes from being the final resting place of the davis family to this home for confederate veterans. you can see a colorized image here. it goes through significant amounts of destruction.
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after the home was closed in 1957, the last three widows were moved out. it was hit by a hurricane, hurricane camille. more famously, hurricane katrina in 2005. suffering massive amounts of damages. if you visit the home now, it is joined with the jefferson davis presidential library. if you go to visit the home, this has been completely renovated. it looks much more like this now. they did a beautiful job of renovating the home. the old dormitories where the residents lived, all of that is gone. it has not been rebuilt. my hope is that at some point there will be funds available to build an interpretation of the perience on these grounds. my problem as a historian, i wanted to take time to spell this out.
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a number of you have projects to have worked on, it is not be stumped by lack of traditional sources. as you know, there are a host of records you can work with. we had to start off with a few applicationsew exist as well as these acceptance letters. you can find these at the jefferson davis presidential library. this is a letter. from august of 1930. we are delighted to tell you your admission has been approved. one part i did not highlight but i want to read to you here, he mentions, we have a room ready for you in the duma torrey -- in the dormitory, or if you are for you athave room
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the hospital. the hospital there was a big seller. free medical care. they had attending physicians, some of the best in the state. cutting-edge physicians who have been working on the coast for years. if you think about, 1930, a couple more years, work your way into the depression. the medical care that the average mississippian could access was arguably better at the home than they could potentially get themselves in their home communities. this part i wanted to explain to you guys. when you receive a pension, that's your ticket of eligibility into the home. you have already been approved as being somebody worthy of pension. you have the right to be admitted to the home. when you come in, you give up your pension. your care is basically your pension. when you leave, they write a letter. the superintendent. they write a letter back to the clerk saying mrs. moore has chosen to go back home. please make sure she gets back
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onto the pension roll. that is how you get back on. the other part that i want to emphasize here in this letter is reminding residents that everything is provided for you. that is the good and the bad. if you've ever had to consolidate your home, you might do what i do. i start making stacks because i can't get rid of anything. after about three days of that, i just want to grab my child, the dog, and burn the rest. i don't know. that is my extreme. i can't stand moving. the good news is they don't have , to agree anything. it uses the word plunder. don't bring any plunder with you. bring just as little baggage as possible. we furnish everything free of charge. the bad news is, wow. how much are you having to leave behind to come here? you might have already had to give up quite a bit. we had some of these acceptance letters. this is the real gem that we had that made this project possible.
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this is the register of everybody who was admitted. jefferson davis memorial home, you will see soldiers home. there's various names for it. when residents came in, here's the year. 1903. this is the very first page of the registry. december 2. 76. madison is the county. nationality, if you are u.s.-born, your nationality with your state. i am very grateful they put it down. some residents have been foreign-born. you can track that. usually they don't fill in , brigade core but this is enough to start to track their service records. any remarks. in this case, the day he died. they went back into the register. it listed that. sometimes, the remarks will be, send corresponding information
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to such and such. you will be able to get more family member names. the reason this is such a treasure is because in 2014 i decided, we are going to do this project. we will just do it differently. i took the 1854 residents that between beauvoir 19549057. i created a 10% sample. we are going to do a 10% sample and we will find these individuals in census records, military service records, pension records, and newspaper records. newspapers are the hardest but , you can find them. thank heaven to everybody out there digitizing. for making projects like this possible. the reason i'm saying that this is a gem is i have the date they entered and their age. now i roughly have close to the day they are born. i might not necessarily know the home county where they were born, but i know the state or
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country. i might not necessarily know where they lived all their lives. if you came in in 1903, i will try to find him. what we ended up doing, i am using wii. this is the imperial we. my students were not nearly as excited as i was at first. i can usually rope you into just about anything. what i started to do in my civil war class that i teach for undergrads at the university of southern mississippi, i also teach a course, the craft of history. how do you research a historical topic? how do you craft an argument? how do you defend an argument? what kind of evidence can you use? that is incredibly useful for all teaching people. how do you unravel an argument? if you don't have any evidence supporting it, what's going on there? that teaches you to use critical analysis. i will give a plug for the humanities. history teaches people how to
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do. support history. what we ended up doing, each student was assigned a veteran, wife or widow. , from that 10% sample. they would work in census records to find the individual. they work in military service records. we could track things like, where did this veteran serve? how often was he wounded? some of this data that we have not finished processing, if you were a prisoner of war, do we have more of those individuals at the home? did they suffer more after the war? that could lead to a track to the home. you cannot decisively conclude that. that is some evidence we're still tinkering with. the application for pension was a great way to get a sense of economically, how are they doing after the war? when you apply for the pension, you have to spell out your need. this gives us a great sense of how individuals who are not leaving letters and diaries, how
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are they experiencing life? in the census records, 1850, the u.s. census had you list household wealth. we can track how well they were doing before the civil war, how well in 1870, and in the 1900s, enumerators gathered information on, are you renting your home or do you own it? if you own it, is it mortgaged or is it free and clear? it let us get into those economically, were these individuals the neediest of the needy their whole lives? is this something that changed later in life? have we misrepresented this population? here, you will be able to find newspaper articles that crop up in the strangest places that you might not look. this had to do with a railroad accident that happened to family members of john and nancy sellers long after the civil war. we were able to track some of
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the day-to-day employment issues and the challenges the family faced. this thing i will not try to zoom in on. these are spreadsheets that the team created. these tabs at the bottom, all the way up to 1940. students would enter the data for what they found in the census records. we were able to track all sorts of things the census tract. -- that the census tracked. if this woman who ends up at the home, what she married? was she widowed? how many children did she have? all of these random things that you can track your census information. how much education did they have? did they ever go to school? all sorts of information can be found in the census. the things we found out that i want to make sure i shared with you today are a couple of things. number one, the residents of the house were not necessarily the neediest of the needy their entire lives.
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they were when they showed up at the jefferson davis soldier home. most white residents enjoyed financial stability in your youth. the majority lived in upper-class household. when most house residents were 16 years old, just before the civil war, the vast majority described themselves as literate or with some level of schooling. more than 50% of the sample attended school. home ownership records we can only get for half the sample. of those, two thirds owned their own homes in 1910. of those homeowners, 50% paid off their mortgages. before i make all of you go to sleep, what it means is, these are not the neediest of the needy throughout their entire lives. they are doing fairly well. that photograph of the home, re-envision that in your mind. i should be able to pull it up. i will make you work that hard. never make your audience work. when you think about that photograph of all the veterans
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and wives and widows in front of the home, one of the couples i want to tell you about is cm strauss. charles maxwell strauss was 17 years old when he joined the fourth battalion louisiana infantry in 1863. as soon as he was old enough to serve, he did. he served in the war. wounded display being involved in -- despite being involved in several significant campaigns including the atlantic campaign. he was involved in the defenses around jackson. he did suffer from illness frequently during his service. he is home on a sick furlough when the war ends. i want to share their story because they are probably in that photograph. i have no idea what they look like. i do not know what most of the residents look like. we cannot have their letters or connections to them.
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cm strauss, when he came to the home, he never stopped being involved in the community. he had a regular column in the newspaper. he wrote so frequently that the paper started a beauvoir section. he would report on everything. sometimes they were bible lessons. so-and-so just came to the home. constantly engaging the community with the home. probably the most popular news were weddings at the home. veterans and widows would fall in love and get married. my favorite was one of the widows who i think had married eight times by the end. her famous phrase, if the lord keeps taking them, i figure i'm -- keeps taking them, i figure i should too. [laughter] not -- they are not isolated from the community. they are not cut out at all.
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it's a very vibrant community. the other account i went to share with you is of a woman by the name of anna ellis. remember when i told you that scholars thought this home, you don't come out once you go in. they tended to stay there. mississippi passed a law that would provide free medical care to any pensioner who needed that care. you could go to the home and be seen. you could leave. what ended up happening was that veterans were able to use this like a modern v.a. facility. na ellis arrived in 1934. she was honorably discharged. sometimes they will give the reason if you are dishonorably discharged. one woman was discharged for drunkenness. not anna ellis. she was discharged a month after she came into the home.
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she returned in july of 1935, did i say 1935? this is an amazing woman. she returned to the home of july of 1935. she stays for only 11 days. in 1936, andagain 1943, 1944. just for the short stays. remember how i told you, we do have some official records of the home. we have meeting minutes of the board. we have official two year reports. we have some hospital records. there, wears she was do not have records. i cannot prove she was coming in for medical care. i can show other people that would be there for a little while and be gone. you can match them up with the home register. again, indicating that this home wasn't just a retirement home. it was almost like ava -- almost
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v.a. facility. mississippi was very proud of this facility as this symbol of this new south modernity and what the state was capable of doing. now, i gave you all my data. you got it. i wanted to show you a couple of more images to make sure i don't separate this. i don't want to go to the other extreme. i don't want to separate this home from the civil war and confederate experience. that is why a lot of the individuals were there. this is a photograph of residents of the home getting on a train. the train went right past the home. you could take the train and visit with the veterans and leave. they are loading up on a train we are pretty sure to go to the 1913 reunion at gettysburg. i won't guess where they are. historians aren't allowed. you can see everyone gathered together. letters talk about the fact that residents could take the food back to their room and eat in privacy.
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if being around people was making them crazy. we all get like that sometimes. you can see the chapel where they had weekly services and a number of funerals. beauvoir has its own cemetery buying a home. this is where the weddings took place. here's the very famous hospital. this is the fireproof version as they called it. there were several fires at the beauvoir hospital. the state fund raised in raised an edge -- raised a tremendous amount of money. not quite fireproof. the doctors on staff really provided probably better care -- i talked to medical historians. i sent them a page from the hospital registry. these are prescriptions being given to patients. i can't make any sense of this. they said, that's on par for the mid-20th century.
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this is the library cottage where locals were encouraged to share books and donate readings. -- come ine would for what we would call the book club. talk with residents as we talk about books we are all reading. these were the dormitories were individuals lived. the three african-american residents of the home lived in segregated quarters. they did receive the same allowance. residents gave up their pensions when they came to the home, but they did receive an allowance. it was five dollars during the depression. -- originally, it was five dollars. during the depression, it went down to two dollars. black and white residents received the same allowance in the home. here you can see a number of these territories. these photographs were taken in the 1970's, right as the home is about to be closed as the last
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three riddles will be relocated. here, one of the last photos of the home. some local young women at a gathering with the widows. everyone is having a sunday picnic with watermelon. dressed up. some finery, with they might -- with what they might have. enjoying their time at the home. hopefully what i have done today is changed a little bit about the way that you thought about these homes. or, maybe i have introduced you to how these homes were run and how they work. if you want to learn more about this, i decided to take the work that the team had produced and put it online. we also ended up deciding that this work really needed to get into the literature. if you want to look at our findings, that is beauvoir veteran if you want to look at it in terms of how historians analyze this information, the journal of
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the civil war era did a special issue on veterans. i really thought -- works like jim martin's book in brian jordan, if you have not read marching home about union veterans coming home, you need to. works like that had really improved the way that we were thinking about what happened to a lot of the soldiers, north and south, when they came home. i felt like, let's take it to the next level. let's see what we are not quite understanding. what do we possibly have wrong that needs to be tweaked? we did a special issue on veterans in march 2019. that includes my beauvoir article. you can find more of my thoughts on this, the experiences of the african-american residents, the stories of the veterans. if you are interested in the stories and data, all of that is available at beauvoir veteran a couple of biographies of the individuals were there.
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wayne says i have time for some questions. great. my timer has been running. i will be happy to review the question as they are asked. gentle man in the back. [indiscernible] >> how much scrutiny did they give to those issues? >> >> this is a great question. he's asking to be approved for a pension today, it's an incredible amount of paperwork, time, processing, what was it like during that time? a little bit less paperwork but not much less. that's the good news for us. the bad news is, so much of that paperwork is at the county courthouse level. it's hard for individuals to go around to find it. as we start to digitize these, we are getting into it.
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the other point your question brings up, who decides you are worthy? this is like when vietnam scholars, they would love to investigate draft boards. who decides who should be drafted? who decides who was a good confederate or a bad confederate? it's a very loaded question. these are made up of elites in your community at the county level. there will be a lot of local politics. you being an outside family or an inside family. there were complaints about that. if your family got involved with any kind of support for the union, you are going to have a hard time getting support as a loyal confederate in the state of mississippi in the postwar time. you are probably not going to be able to prove enough support to get federal aid. you are in a pickle. any other questions?
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>> [inaudible] confederate soldiers were granted a stipend from the u.s. government under wilson. are you finally with that? -- are you familiar with that? >> no. a previous speaker mentioned president wilson, confederate soldiers were granted a stipend. look, i've been doing this long enough to never say never. i've not heard of that. there were some efforts, what should i say? there were some discussions about forgiveness and reconciliation and moving on. i'm looking at you like a golden retriever. really? i'm doing that because pensions were pretty controversial in the north. it was such a huge part of the u.s. federal budget.
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the thought of expending this, i will look into it. it is fascinating. >> it was many years later. --o not know how many >> if it was during the wilson administration, the home was at its peak in terms of the number of residents. there's a training camp as guys are getting ready to leave for world war i. they are visiting the veterans. that would be a sizable population to take on. i don't know. it's a great question. that's the fun of history. never heard it. now you know what i am going to do this afternoon. [laughter] anybody else? >> [inaudible] how does that compare with other states? >> it was the only confederate home in mississippi. how does it compare with other states? other states would often have a home for veterans and a home for wives. strauss had been approved for a
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pension in louisiana and he was living near new orleans. he could've gone into the new orleans home. it was only for veterans. he wanted to stay with his wife. he ends up going across the border. biloxi. is not far from you do not have to serve in a mississippi unit to get a mississippi pension. you had to be a resident of mississippi who had honorably serve the confederacy. states like texas had a home for veterans and a home for widows. virginia had separate homes as well. mississippi only had the one. the argument is that, the udc gets a lot of credit. mississippi may have been late to building their home. it allowed the udc to go around howed -- and investigate other states were doing this, what was working, what wasn't
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working. i can't find a smoking gun that says, we should build this home with everybody living together. i have not found evidence of that. that is what they did. i've often wondered if that, looking at these other homes, let's just put everybody together. sir? >> [indiscernible] >> during what years did jefferson davis and his wife live there? right after the civil war. she wanted to just give them the home. he insisted on paying for the home. when did jefferson davis die younger 1879. do not quote me on that one. from right near the end of the civil war, he lives there. he is in prison for two years. he is writing his memoirs did i should say his history of the , confederacy.
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i cannot tell you his death date. it's until he dies. up dying on the coast. karina is there for a little while. she gets out of the climate for health reasons. she is going to move to a couple locations of north. -- locations up north. one is in new york city. by the end, if you look at her letters, she's talking about, it's this tremendous expense of upkeep of the property. nobody is living there at that point. it's the former home of the president of the confederacy. what is my responsibility here? that was basically agreement, that she would sell it to the sons of confederate veterans while the home was open as a veterans home. the state of mississippi paid for it iran. once it closed it went back. , it is still today in the ownership of the sons of confederate veterans. it was this understanding that it would be, she would sell it for the care of veterans wives,
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widows, and servants. it would always be a shrine to her husband and his memory. if you see reference to the jefferson davis shrine, that's what they are talking about. the grounds of this facility. the battlefield trust, 1889. >> 1889, thank you for the information. >> one more. >> [indiscernible] is, what is the fee? how do you handle paying for all of this? it's all paid for by the state of mississippi. state tax dollars. when you went in, you would give up your pension. when you went out, -- people anna ann ellis, -- like and
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ellis, every time -- we have found a couple of these letters. writing back to the county clerk, put them back on the pension roll. the only money they have is that allowance. that was started in 1912 or 1913. a lot of the veterans were men. they should have some money or something, right? they didn't like it. they didn't like not having a little bit of money of their own to spend however they chose. that's how the allowance got started. thank you. anymore questions? ? i am happy to answer. thank you all so much. [applause] >> you are watching american history tv. all we, every weekend tv,ext on american history the u.s. commission on civil
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rights hosts a talk titled "stonewall at 50: the movement for lgbt civil rights" by historian and author david carter. stonewall was a six-day gay-rights uprising that started with a police raid in 1969 in new york city's ranch village. -- greenwich village. "stonewall atled 50: the movement for lgbt civil rights". has come to be known as pride month heard the reason for that stretches back 50 years. 1969,e 20 8, demonstrations on the street for gay civil rights began at the stonewall in an greenwich village in york city. many beauties demonstrations as a critical moment for civil rights.


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