Great Campaigns of the Civil War - Part One (1861-1863) - 2375



[Applause] [Applause] the American Civil War still vibrates in our lives to understand the United States today one must grasp the significance of America's great Civil War America was born of a war between 13 colonies in England America was reborn of a war between the states it was the Civil War that defined the United States of America as it is today it is the last war where men ride stalwart Lee into battle caped and plumed like Knights the last breath of American chivalry it is the first war fought with the deadly ordnance of the Industrial Revolution hand grenades submarines land mines armored ships the birth cries of modern warfare only after four terrible years and 600,000 dead is its fury spent it's echoes are still heard early in the 18th century the southern states of the american union of states seemed peaceful they aren't by 1861 the slavery issue is festering and the word disunion rings through the halls of Congress southerners sieve because runaway slaves are given refuge in the north they cried disunion south and north are tugga warring with the new states and territories slave or free most southerners refer to Lincoln as the black Republican so in November of 1860 the South takes Lincoln's election to the presidency as an act of war this government cannot endure half-slave and half-free on December 20th 45 days after Lincoln's election the state of South Carolina says seeds from the Union now pant up resentments of the slaveholding south explode like wildfire six more states join the rebellion a new nation is founded the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis a former Secretary of War with a hair-trigger temper his selected president by February 18th he is inaugurated the South is determined to maintain her position and make all who oppose her smell southern powder and feel southern steel in a fortnight the ends of Washington DC are overbooked for the inauguration of the rangy president elect from Illinois the Union Capitol is a sleepy southern city of 75,000 where slaves are still being sold secretly at auction on the steps of the unfinished Capitol Lincoln takes the oath ending rumors that southern hotheads are plotting to shoot him dead before he takes office in his speech the new president addresses the insurrectionists my dissatisfied fellow countrymen you have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government while I have the most solemn one to preserve protect and defend two days later rival president Jeff Davis calls for 100,000 Confederate volunteers now all that is needed is for the first shot to be fired Charleston is the oldest city in South Carolina and at the time of the rebellion one of the South's richest stately mansions slave quarters Palmeiro's emblem of the city garden courtyards and catfish row when the South secedes Charleston has been a thriving seaport for almost two centuries cotton and Indigo Pirates ply its waters for booty when caught the Charlestonians hang them and let them rot on the rope as a warning jutting between two rivers into the Atlantic Charleston has been battered by earthquake and hurricane but no natural disaster is a shattering as the firing on the Gibraltar of Charleston Harbor Fort Sumter today Fort Sumter is one of the few civil war battle sites reachable only by water these are the ruins of the officers quarters old canon much of the brickwork is in ruins after losing the fort the Union attacked it for the remainder of the war this is the way it looked at the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 fort sumter manned by nine union officers and 76 Union enlisted men is suddenly a symbol of Union military presence in the Confederacy it becomes the anvil on which the Civil War is forged ptg Beauregard West Point class of 1838 is a newly named Brigadier General of the Confederacy it is his job to seize Sumter for the South a fort he calls a perfect Gibraltar he determines that the only way to take the fort is to surround it with her ring rebels worked furiously to encircle Sumter with Harbor fortification a battery is mounted at Sullivan's Island another of the islands western tip more batteries stand ready dat fort Johnson at Cummings point at Fort Moultrie 11 guns Baron Sumter now general Beauregard has Sumter in his ring of fire but he must act before a Union relief expedition gets through he must force a showdown hundreds of militia aching for a fight descend on the waterfront a Confederate Harbor in the grip of fallen US troops in tolerable they must evacuate or be flushed out by force Beauregard sends a message to the Union commander of Sumter Major Robert Anderson surrender Anderson refuses Beauregard loses his patience at 4:30 a.m. on Friday April 12th of 1861 a shell from Fort Johnson arches through the sky and bursts over Fort Sumter beginning the Civil War Major Anderson resists bravely but eight of his small force of enlisted men are musicians and the Ford is designed to repel attack from the sea not from the coastline it is built to protect onshore is a carnival atmosphere thousands of Charlestonians some in night clothes are crowding roofs to watch the fireworks after 34 hours of bombardment Anderson surrenders with drums rolling and colors flying he marches his company out of the fort the Stars and Stripes are lowered at Fort Sumter they will not be raised again for four long years general Pierre Gustave to toe Beauregard resigned his commission in the Union Army only two months before being posted at Charleston bright flamboyant he's a French Creole from Louisiana he'll go on to become a full general and gain further victories for the south ironically during his years at West Point his favorite teacher was artillery instructor major Robert Anderson whose honorable defense of Fort Sumter makes him something of a hero in the north it's war with some in the north abolitionists mostly there is jubilation with most there is a sense of relief that abating the compromising the pretense they're over now it's war at last the unbearable tension is over but the Union is no more prepared to fight a war than the rebels are general and chief Winfield Scott a wise but aging hero of past Wars tells the new president he needs three hundred thousand men and it will take a long time to win but a long time means a long war and Lincoln won't hear of it he calls for 75,000 ninety day volunteers ninety days in May of 1861 four more states secede occupation by Union troops convinces Maryland to stay loyal and Kentucky yells neutral the bombardment of Fort Sumter has shaken loose the very foundation of the Union [Applause] as in a chess game the board is set unlike a chess game there are no rules stretches of green lawn serene monuments to the past henry house stone bridge this pleasant place is called Manassas Junction a stream that runs through it bull run this is a battlefield the first major battlefield of the Civil War only 25 miles west of Washington DC Confederate general Beauregard and his army are dug in at Manassas Junction by a stream called Bull Run for Lincoln they are too close for comfort Lincoln appoints General Erwin McDowell commander of the Army of the Potomac McDowell's plan is to cross into Virginia quickly defeat general Beauregard x' rebels and then capture Richmond the Confederate capital for McDowell timing is the key to victory and time is short time to train to drill to discipline time even the 90-day enlistments of the volunteers are running out so washington is in a hurry it's an armed camp even the capital building is used as a barracks before the city can feel safe the Union must seize Virginia across the Potomac the cry is on to Richmond but those shouting it forget that the glorious army they're cheering on is simply a mob of raw untrained volunteers and that between DC and Richmond 23,000 southern boys green but better marksmen must be flushed out of Manassas Creek on July 16th McDowell marches his troops out of Washington a week later than he'd planned July 21st 2 a.m. is revelry for the green exhausted troops soon in pre-dawn darkness Union guns are booming and the battle at Bull Run Creek begins the 21st turns out to be one of the hottest days of that July but it's a Sunday so many fine folk from Washington scurry over to Virginia to see those sassy rebels get their britches whipped off it's a picnic here at the stone bridge spanning the creek called bull run McDowell feigns an attack a false alarm to throw the enemy off-balance then he marches his men upstream planning to engage the rebels on their left flank but that entails a 14 mile march in the torrid heat and McDowell's volunteers already battle wearing take their time some of them break rank to pick wild blackberries McDowell plans a surprise attack on the outnumbered rebels but his feet dragging troops are too slow for a surprise the rebels see it coming so they moved their defenses to Matthew Hill here begins the first big battle of the Civil War the outnumbered rebels are being pushed from one position to another they're weakening wavering falling back unit by unit but one Brigade stands firm Virginians led by Brigadier General Thomas J Jackson in rallying his failing troops a South Carolina General points to Jackson with his sword shouting there is Jackson and the rebels rally rally with the timely arrival the 11000 reinforcements under general Beauregard mcdowell can no longer overwhelm his enemy with numbers his men just couldn't move fast enough McDowell's offensive which had almost succeeded collapses his men confused exhausted many of them terrified begin heading for the rear McDowell orders a disciplined retreat but his men are too green and his officers too inexperienced to carry out such a complicated maneuver the retreat becomes around Sunday gawkers clogged the way out the highway back to Washington is a bedlam of fleeing Federals rearing horses and panicking picnickers it's the great skedaddle tall in the saddle general Thomas J Jackson surveys the battlefield where he earned the name Stonewall and became a legend in life not legend Jackson wasn't very tall he had been a professor at the Virginia Military Institute and at this battle first Manassas he wore a uniform leftover from the Mexican War his field library consisted of three books a dictionary a Bible and Napoleon's Maxim's of war some say he was a hypochondriac no matter he was soon recognized by both south and north as a man of military genius his soldiers would follow him anywhere union officers who were unknowns during the First Battle of Manassas later became names in American military history Burnside Sherman whose star will rise in the war in the West and 23 year-old George Armstrong Custer who ranked lowest in the West Point class of 61 yet he will be made a general and will distinguish himself at Gettysburg and Shenandoah he will also take two wearing black velvet uniforms trimmed in gold quite against regulations behind his back his men call him curly and Fanny Custer will live through the war only to be killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn one civilian Wilber McLain was so repelled by the fighting here that he left Manassas and resettled in a peaceful place near Appomattox Courthouse on that hot Sunday in 1861 4,800 men were killed or wounded here the government in Washington and the rebel government in Richmond awakened to the fact that this war will not as they had hoped be over by Christmas and this Battle of Manassas is not the last battle these peaceful fields will know manassas stuns northerners the glare of grim reality this is to be no toy soldier war the north needs a victory a decisive victory the union's first victory of the Civil War is one here Fort Donelson an earthwork Bastion blocking access to the South's heartland here in 1862 a momentous battle takes place the Mississippi flows south a Military Highway for the Confederacy and a blood line connecting the rebel states of Arkansas Tennessee Mississippi and Louisiana with control of the Mississippi the Union can split the south and bring the Confederacy to its knees the Mississippi is the backbone of the rebellion it is the key to the whole situation defense of the Confederacy's vast western empire is in the hands of Albert Sidney Johnston but he has only 75,000 troops two of his strongholds against enemy invasion are fort Henry on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland so far Johnston has little to fear his Yankee counterpart General Henry Halleck is a military book writer with bulging eyes old brains they call him a thinker not a doer a 37 year-old backwater Brigadier named grant gets permission to move on the fort's under grant and flag officer Andrew Foote a combined army navy attack is made on Fort Henry they take the Ford in a little less than 75 minutes the river is at flood stage Fort Henry is so flooded that a boat is used to accept surrender now they target Fort Donelson taking Donaldson is going to be tough the fort is on a bluff consisting of earthworks circled around powerful artillery batteries there are rifle pits trenches paraffins it's only weaknesses are the two top generals who commanded Floyd and pillo foot navigates his gunboats to the Cumberland to engage and destroy enemy artillery while grant marches his 15,000 men overland to surround the fort and lay siege to it on the morning of February 13th grant begins the siege when some of the 90-day volunteers seem reluctant to do battle general Smith a crusty old veteran barks well you volunteered to be killed for a love of country and now you can be at 11 a.m. one of foots gunboats fires on the 4th it meets with an artillery barrage that turns the gunboat about-face and sends it drifting out of range it Sun seasonably warm for a February day and grants men discard overcoats blankets and even gloves to lighten their loads they attacked the fort's outwards but the rebels keep them at bay late that afternoon the weather changes the temperature plummets to 10 above it snows the Federals numb with cold plod on with the siege they trade fire with the fort's defenders fighting to M them in with the night stillness comes bitter cold grants men can only think of keeping warm campfires are forbidden they'll draw enemy fire men huddled together shivering hundreds suffer frostbite some of the wounded freeze to death by mid-afternoon of the next day federal gunboats four of them iron clads crews in for an attack from the river they opened fire at a miles rein the shells fall short they moved in closer closer Confederate batteries blast them with overwhelming firepower the fleet backs up and pulls out with the most speed it can matter yet except along the river grant has the fort surrounded it any victory at Fort Donelson will have to be won by the army the Confederates have turned back the gunboats success in spite of it the two top rebel generals are suffering a loss of nerve they feel they cannot hold on that they're outnumbered General John B Floyd had once held a cabinet post in the Union he fears that if he's captured he'll be hanged for treason General Gideon pillow is self-important and cantankerous he has a long-standing feud with the third in command General Simon Bolivar Buckner the only real soldier of the three and the West Point crony of the General Grant who has them surrounded they find themselves within a tightening noose of Yankee infantry so they decide to make a break for it the next morning February 14th the rebels don't wait for the Union to march on the forum they attack the move is so unexpected that it succeeds low on ammunition grants troops fall back retreating Yankees are holding up their empty cartridge boxes to prove that they're not cowards now the way is opened for the rebels can escape route for the Confederate troops so they can fight another day but the generals don't take it grant mounts our counter-attack in the meantime Confederate generals Floyd and pillows take time out to bicker over tactics in the strangest tactic of all they pull their winning troops out of the fight and March them back into the fort that night general pillow and Floyd steal out of Donelson and sneak across the river general Buckner is left to negotiate a surrender this is Dover tavern where general Buckner has his headquarters Buckner sends a note to Grant asking for terms no terms except unconditional surrender unconditional surrender the term is a new one Confederate General Buckner had known grant before the war he had once made him a substantial loan which grant never paid back Butler hopes that grant will take this kindness into consideration and working out the surrender terms but grant is adamant no terms yet grant hasn't forgotten Buckner's kindness after they exchanged cigars and before sending Buckner north as a prisoner of war Grant says Buckner you are I know separated from your people and perhaps you need funds my purse is at your disposal an unknown Brigadier who had been christened Hiram grant and who had been registered at West Point where he graduated 21st in a class of thirty nine as Ulysses Simpson grant becomes known to the cheering North has unconditional surrender grant but his friends still call in Sam West pointers remember that he resigned his Army Commission rumor has it that he was cashiered because of a drinking problem for civilian life abolitionists remember bitterly that he had once owned a slave true but after a year grant gave the slave his freedom rather than selling even though he sorely needed the cash he tried farming but nothing would grow for him he sold firewood on the streets of st. Louis when the war broke out he was clerking in a store in Galena Illinois now he is unconditional surrender grant in three years he will be General in chief of the Union armies in seven years President of the United States but in February of 1862 Sam grant just won his first big battle fort donelson had been vital to the south and he had wanted for the north it is the union's first major victory a victory that foreshadows the outcome of the war in the West [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] here stands a one-room meeting house which the farmers in this part of Tennessee had named the Shiloh Methodist Episcopal Church south Shiloh Shiloh is a Hebrew word meaning place of peace yet on the 6th and 7th of April in 1862 there was no peace in this place the names soaked into this soil speak of the fighting that raged here hornets nest bloody pond hell's hollow the peach orchard more than 24 thousand men from both sides were found killed or wounded on this gentle terrain Shiloh it is the battle that almost undoes general u.s. grand after seven months of military bumbling Washington takes particular note of unconditional surrender grant he's rewarded with a promotion but general Halleck grants superior is not pleased most likely Halleck is jealous he implies that grant to the neglect of his army goes on drinking binges it said that lincoln's replied to that charges well I wish I knew what he drank I give a bottle of it to every one of my generals when an investigation yields no serious problems with alcohol grant is back in command of the union's army of the Tennessee to the river Albert Sidney Johnston commands the Confederate Army of Tennessee named after the state both men both armies are aching for a fight grants objective is to thrust more and more deeply into Confederate territory he moves 45,000 men raw troops unfortunately can hardly load a musket to the riverboat settlement of Pittsburg Landing in Tennessee there he'll sit it up until he's joined by reinforcements his raw troops make camp in the neighborhood of the little church called Shiloh in the meantime Albert Sidney Johnston has concentrated 40 thousand troops at Corinth Mississippi just 25 miles from Pittsburg Landing Johnston's troops are as green as grants but he knows he must mount an offensive before grants reinforcements arrive in the night rain grant waits waits for general Buell and for general Lew Wallace to arrive with reinforcements but there's no sign of them suddenly the horse grant is riding slips in the mud and falls grants leg is pinned underneath his leg is so swollen that his booth must be cut off the rain stops by morning the countryside is peaceful peach trees are in blossom there's still no sign of the promised reinforcements an alarmed Union Major informs his division commander that he suspects nearby enemy movements the division commander assures him there's no enemy closer than Corinth the division commander is General William Tecumseh Sherman early that bright Sunday morning troops are fixing breakfast but their division commander is still sleeping he's sure that today he won't see battle suddenly are shrieking rebel yell Federals run for the river while the pursuing half star rebels take time to gobble up unfinished breakfast the rebels throw everything they have against the Union troops 18,000 Confederates against 4500 thunders 12 times the Confederate Army charges 12 times the Union Army beats it back like these the bullets buzz and whizzed around rebel and federal life one soldier yells Confederate General Braxton Bragg's charges piecemeal one unit at a time and each time the Confederates charge they're hit by a barrage of Union fire Union General Ben Prentice and his men earldom back for six hours they fight like savages there is wild confusion smoke noise this is not a battle between troops but a frantic fight between two mobs of armed boys boys who have never before seen battle boys torn from hearts and farm school houses and factories now killing and dying now shedding tears now shedding blood this day thousands on both sides see combat for the first time this day is one of the bloodiest days of all time the Battle of Shiloh Shiloh bloody Shiloh it rains again that night the wounded are crying out to the sky and angry the South had won the day unconditional surrender grant had lost but grant isn't about to give up a shattering electric storm mixes with the roar of gunboat cannon pounding the rebel troops then early Monday morning grants reinforcements arrived general Buell with 25,000 fresh troops and general Lew Wallace with 5,000 more the exhausted rebels are out man now they fight hard but they're falling back they're forced to retreat broken and disorganized they limp back to Corinth where they'd begun their surprise march to Shiloh ten year-old Johnny Clem of the 22nd Michigan is the battles youngest survivor an artillery shell wrecks his drum but he's safe he's nicknamed Johnny Shiloh one Union General at Shiloh didn't believe that the rebels could possibly attack that first day his Sunday morning sleep was rudely interrupted by rebel fire yet he will go on to work hand in glove with Grant during the war in the West William Tecumseh Sherman Hill proved to be one of the most brilliant and ruthless generals of the war after the war general Lew Wallace who had arrived in the nick of time with the division of 5,000 reinforcements will pen the novel Ben Hur general Albert Sidney Johnston tall dynamic had been the South's senior ranking officer and Johnston's a fighter mounted on a Bey named fire-eater he rode recklessly into the Shiloh fury in moments he and his mount took several hits while Confederate doctors tended the Union wounded Albert Sidney Johnston bled to death it is a terrible blow to the Southern cause costly Shilo is costly this battle fought by boys 13,000 47 northern casualties 10,000 694 southern but for the Union it is now possible to penetrate more deeply into the Confederacy even as far as that Gibraltar of the Mississippi Vicksburg after shiloh the wounded are gathered and patched up for future battles they are treated out of the medical skills of the time for every man killed in action two of the wounded died in a military hospital where the Union or Confederate this two-to-one ratio is true for all the battles of the Civil War in many ways the 19th century medicine does more killing than healing by the end of the war over 600 thousand fighting men will die more of those deaths will be caused by bacteria than by bullets physicians don't know the importance of sterilization so they don't practice it hands go unwashed dressings are dirty surgical instruments not so much as rinsed between operations and thousands of amputations are performed with no painkiller other than a shot of whiskey in time wherever possible the armies are supplied with ambulances those of the Army of the Potomac are equipped with stretchers to leather covered benches bandages beef broth and kegs of water yet soldiers persist in calling them death cards this war is a man's war yes and in many ways of war a war of torn flesh and shattered bone of numbing fear and unbearable homesickness it is a war were women to this women serve as nurses in both armies over 3,000 served with union forces alone more than 500 nuns serve as battlefield nurses over half hailing from Ireland Germany and friends one volunteer nurse from Massachusetts is Louisa May Alcott who after the war will pen the novel Little Women nurse Alcott sniffs from a vial of lavender water to combat the stench of festering wounds of death another New Englander goes out onto the battlefields and tends the wounded father guns are still roaring she is 40 when the war begins a spinster named Clarissa Harlowe Barton Clara Barton she watches in horror as the Union dead are buried in Washington and volunteers as a nurse she helps identify 22,000 Union dead who would remain unknown soldiers without her efforts she corresponds with thousands upon thousands of families who are desperate for news of their sons after the war she Crusades for women's suffrage indeed she fights her way to the forefront in a man's world the battlefields of the Civil War are not only farms and forests but rivers and seas in a world of wooden warships to ironclads the monitor and the Merrimack do battle on March 9th of 1862 near Hampton Roads Maryland shortly after forts hunters fall the union proclaims a blockade of all southern ports object to halt all ships carrying arms and supplies to the Confederacy Roanoke Island Hatteras Inlet New Bern Port Royal Fort Pulaski Jacksonville and st. Augustine are slowly closed yet ships from Europe with cargoes of arms bypass the blockaded ports to call at the Port of New Orleans and the South continues to fight as the sounds of war diet Shiloh they're born again outside New Orleans this is the Queen City of the south and with a population of a hundred and seventy thousand the largest though neighboring alligators far outnumber the population it is the fourth busiest port in the world the South's richest city it has its own kind of architects here its own special cooking and its own passion of loyalty to the rebel cause two hulking forts Jackson and st. Philip near the mouth of the Mississippi guard New Orleans from attack to take the city an invading fleet would have to run those heavily armed forts one Union naval officer believes it can be done David Farragut he's determined to prove it through a mist Farragut sails a squadron of warships and mortar boats into the waters of Fort Jackson and st. Phillip for a whole week the mortar boats lob shells into the fort's still the fort's stand Farragut decides to take a risk a wild risk to run his fleet past the enemy forts to the city his warships steamed upriver the fort's opened fire an eyewitness exclaims Farragut runs his ships past the blazing guns of the fort's glass a fleet of armed river boats sent out to stop him and takes the city of New Orleans for the Union scoundrel Farragut is a dirty dog the south may never recover from it's taking a while beloved Port of New Orleans but this is at the very heart of this war is being ripped away from us in mid August of that year President Lincoln's shuffles his commanders Major General John Polk was given command of the new army of Virginia Pope blusters George McClellan commands the Army of the Potomac these Union armies have one objective take Richmond the Confederate capital Pope invades Virginia with 62,000 Union troops only to have rebel general jeb stuart raid his headquarters though itching to do battle pope stays put he'll wait until McClellan can join him with his army General Lee knows that if the two Union armies meet up Pope's and McClellan's they will be too strong for him but those armies are far apart he senses an unsureness in Pope despite his strength in numbers Lee sets a trap August 29th 1862 Union General Pope throws his 62,000 troops at stone walls rebels boastfully Pope means to without realizing it general Pope is being lured into an attack that will snowball into one of the great battles of the war Jaxon's rebels make a fierce stand against popes Federal's then by the end of the day Confederate general Longstreet arrives with the rest of the level army please trap is strung August thirtieth Longstreet's 30,000 rebels lay quietly in Waiting General Pope who ignores reports of Longstreet's presents renews his march against Jackson on a two mile front stretching the federal line to the breaking point more fierce fight when Jackson's men start running out of ammunition they throw rocks when the last federal reserves have been thrown into the fray Longstreet opens up earth-shaking artillery halts the Feb loose in their tracks 30,000 screaming rebels pounced on folks men like a juggernaut Longstreet's five divisions crushed the Federals left flank as Pope strains to hold back the force on the left Jackson hits him on the right with all he's got the Union line bends horseshoes he's trapped work hope retreats before McClellan can join in with the Army of the Potomac popes Yankees suffered about 15,000 casualties to Jackson's and Longstreet's 9000 but numbers don't say at all Major General John Polk West Point class of 1842 traced his ancestry to George Washington from there on his resemblance to General Washington ceased his men hated him he was a blustering braggart whose bombast far exceeded his abilities his fellow officers called him a bag of wind when he boasted his officers quipped Pope doesn't know his headquarters from his hind quarters James Longstreet was also a product of the West Point class of 1842 his men called him old Pete during the Second Battle of Manassas his command was almost unstoppable generally referred to him as my old warhorse there's a kind of magic about James you'll Brown Stewart who raided Pope's headquarters and seized the generals dispatch book most people called him gentleman a fellow officer described him as a remarkable mixture of a green boyish undeveloped man and a shrewd gallant commander the 2nd Battle of Manassas is a glorious victory for the south and a terrible defeat for the north it encourages Lee in opting for his boldest move yet invasion despite the sage appearance of generally and the patriarchal looks of President Lincoln the Civil War is for the most part a young man's war most of the general officers are remarkably young Confederate General James Stewart grows a beard of biblical proportions simply to cover up his boyish looks Union General Herman Haupt was just 19 when he is commissioned but the true military muscle of the war is the foot soldier whether he's a Billy yank or a Johnny Reb most are farm boys with little mine for soldierly discipline and very young of the Federals 200,000 are 16 or under the Confederates enroll a youngster age 13 a is poor though a slave in Virginia can be hired for $30 a month until the last years of the war a Confederate private is paid a monthly $11 Union privates get $13 a month until May of 64 when the pay goes up to $16 meals are a chore neither army and list cooks so the soldier is on his own southerners fix a stew of corn bread and bacon they called cush northerners eat hard tack these hard breads of water and flour are subject to weevils so the men call them worm castles infantry weapons are usually Springfield muzzle loaders with rifled bores effective range 250 yards but the firing on both sides is so inaccurate that it takes a man's weight inland to kill a single enemy soldiers in every war gamble Yanks and Rebs alike play poker and dice most enjoy pin ups daguerreotype sfrom Paris France and read penny novel but at rumors of marching orders they turn to the Bible more songs come out of this American war than any other men sing as they March bands play songs fire up the blood cool the aching homesickness and allay the fears of terrible battles yet to be fought [Applause] while the South celebrates its second victory at Manassas Lincoln agonizes he needs fighting generals John Pope is spirited out west to subdue Indians Lincoln appoints George McClellan littlemac to reorganize the Union Army bring it out of chaos McClellan is an excellent organizer he has the loyalty of his troops he is also overly cautious now he assumes the defense of Washington DC after the second victory at Manassas robert e lee determines to retain the initiative and force the fighting into the union states invade so far the north has been untouched by battle it's rich in crops in food in supplies in vain Lee prepares to lead his army of Northern Virginia over the line into merrily his rebels should be well received their Maryland is a border state with many Confederate sympathizers September 5th Lee begins his army is sorely in need of 40,000 pairs of new shoes uniforms are so tattered that the men wearing them called him multiforms he crosses the Potomac River he's in Maryland now Union Territory his reception by the Marylanders is disappointing after seeing his troops they regard them as invaders come to plunder their land the other dirtiest men I ever saw a most ragged lead in huge set of wolves even diehard secessionist failed to rally to the Stars and Bars Union commander George McClellan moves his troops north from Washington DC reaching Frederick Maryland on September 13th that day a Union soldier notices an envelope in the grass as yet he has no idea that this envelope had somehow been lost by a rebel officer the soldier opens it and removes a piece of paper before the day is out that paper is in the hands of general McClellan it is a copy of Lee's special order one 91 outlining to his generals the objectives routes and timetables of the campaign McClellan is jubilant here is a paper with which if I cannot whip Bobby Lee I will be willing to go home warned that McClellan has a copy of his orders Lee moves quickly to concentrate his forces the opposing forces leaves measly 19,000 men and McClellan's 80,000 converge in the area of the town of Sharpsburg population 1,300 near a creek called Antietam the two forces take opposite sides of the creek now the Federals can easily overwhelm the vastly outnumbered rebels but the federal soldier simply waits waits and wonders while his commanding general George McClellan spends the entire day going over battle plans that night Stonewall Jackson arrives from Harpers Ferry with his troops doubling the rebel forces though still outnumbered Lee is in a better position to do battle and a battle it will be this is where it happened here on a single day more American blood was shed than in any other day in the nation's history of five Union divisions that tried to cross this area a cornfield then only one reached this church the site is haunted by mute witnesses to that one day of battle so unspeakably bloody a road sunken by wagons and route to a grist mill it is memorialized as bloody Lane a bridge spanning the creek now called Burnside Bridge after the Union General who fails to get his troops across in time September 17th 1862 a gentle rain has fallen the night before the dawn is gray and blurred with mist but at the first streak of light Union forces make a massive assault for hours fighting rages in farmer Miller's 40 acres of head height born again and again the field is lost then recovered advance and retreat by noon the cornfield has changed hands 13 rebel riflemen take cover in a ready-made trench the sunken road south of the cornfield here they Crouch out of the line of vision of advancing Federals three times the Federals attack unable to see the rebels until it's too late a volley of fire and they fall like grain before a reaper at last the Federals are able to plank the sunken Road the men are firing at each other point-blank now the rebel trench becomes their grave please center is broken but the Federals are too beaten to press on there are so many dead in this road that a man could walk on corpses as far as he conceived this indeed is bloody lame fighting erupts on a bridge spanning the creek Union general Ambrose Burnside would 13000 fruits is crossing the bridge in a thrust that the Confederate right but rebel sharpshooters just 500 of them keep Burnside's men from reaching the other side these Georgia and South Carolina marksmen keep this up for three hours by mid-afternoon troops from Pennsylvania managed to break through from the violated corn fields from the blasted Maryland farms reeking of blood and gunpowder rise the screaming the gasping and groaning of the wounded and hundreds of survivors wander about helplessly in shock one of them is Oliver Wendell Holmes jr. a future Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court total casualties twenty-two thousand seven hundred and nineteen militarily this battle is a stalemate Lee expects McClellan to attack him the next day the attack never comes McClellan has no fight left in it he even fails to give chase when Lee retreats in the Virginia George Brinton McClellan was a capable man whose greatest concern seemed to be the care of his troops a union private under his command wrote I never saw men have so much confidence in a man as the soldiers have in McClellan general McClellan exalts in the outcome of Antietam to him it is a victory true his army had nearly won the battle in spite of him but it is no victory for the Union it is simply not a defeat you have to President Lincoln it is a moral victory of sorts please gamble on a successful invasion of the North has failed this is enough for the president upon and he mounts his Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln deplore slavery but he has resisted the outright freeing of the slaves in the hopes of reuniting the south with the north now he abandons this policy the object of this war goes beyond the preservation of the Union the mending of a house divided it becomes a war so that every human being can be born into freedom that becomes a war of morality Europe to take cede the scope of this American Civil War increases slavery an issue of states rights becomes an issue of human rights you

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. One of the first big blunders of Lee. Going North. Losing those plans. When he noticed or got word that they were lost, he should assumed that they were in the hands of the Blue Bellies. And should have turned around and went back. Should have never even went North to begin with! Hid army is too small and under equiped to fight s offensive campaign!! Gettysburg by God should have never been fought!! And if it did then Lee should have pulled out of there after day one!!

  2. Oh man, I remember having this when I was a kid, been looking for it ever since. When does part two come out?

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