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tv   The Civil War  CSPAN  November 16, 2014 10:00am-11:11am EST

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history. learn more about madison and other stops at /localcontent. you're watching american history tv -- all we can every weekend -- on c-span3. click the 2015 c-span student cam video condition is underway. create a five to seven-minute on the three branches and you, showing how a policy, law, or action by the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the federal government has affected you or your community. 200 cash prizes totaling $100,000. how to get started, go to the website. leonard discusses the rise of prison camps during the civil war and the harsh light of soldiers as p.o.w.'s. mr. leonard describes how the prison camps were created and maintained, and gives first-hand
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accounts of the horrors within the prison. this is part of the gettysburg institute annual summer conference. it is about an hour. [applause] >> the conference last year, you know, i -- circumstances conspired so that i was a fleeting head on the screen and i'm very pleased this morning to actually be present and projecting images of prisoner of war camps and military prisons on the screen instead of me. i don't think i represent well that big. i'm going to negotiate a very, very dangerous set of rapids this morning. the professor at georgia southwestern state university, who is married, in fact, to one of my employees, dr. glen robins, he says and i agree completely, generally, you can either talk about andersonville or the other military prisons of war.
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it becomes emotionally difficult to try to do both. and i will explore that. and i am going to weave in between the two a little bit. a note on semantics before i start any further. i hesitate to use the acronym p.o.w. in a civil war context, because it's a 20th century term. and i like to talk a lot. so prisoner of war slows me down a little bit. civil war prisons and prisoners of war fall outside of the traditional heroic narrative of the war. and looking into this story, in a sense, that requires one to dive deeply into the wreckage of the war, the consequences of the war. and, again, you lose objectivity very quickly the longer you stay down in the wreckage of the war. andersonville is the most famous of the military prisons. it's a long way from the rest of
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the civil war world, both literally and figuratively. the prison site was chosen on purpose 150 years ago to be as remote and as insulated a place in the confederacy, far from perceived locations of battle. and 150 years later, this prisoner of war story remains figuratively distant from the rest of the narrative. we have the tendency to talk about prisoner of war camps, and andersonville, off to the side of the main narrative of the war. it's, you know, as we talk about battles and campaigns, oh, by the way, there's this crazy thing happening at anderson i -- andersonville and some other places. when prisons exist because of the war, prisons are influenced because of the war. they are part of one story.
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one of our great challenges is to better integrate prisoner of war stories into how we talk about, how we explore the civil war. as a measure of the figurative distance, this narrow view of prisons, i want to pause for a moment to examine a new monument in the town of andersonville. this past fall, the ft. benning sergeant major's association dedicated a pow-mia monument 50 feet from the train tracks where prisoners arrived. in front of this monument -- it is very bold. p.o.w.'sdicated to missing in action, past and present.
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and on the backside, what's missing? 50 feet from where 45,000 american soldiers entered captivity, they're not present. and it is worth noting, though we will not dwell on it, that this is about 200 feet from a monument dedicated to the heroic story of the commander of that prison. so there's a precedent here already. at the prison site itself, the historical monuments dedicated 100 years ago by states, they face out. they face the prison wall and the road that loops around the site, designed for the visitor to stand up literally on the outside of that experience, looking in. and that emotional distance, again, prevents us from experiencing, understanding this story, you know, in very important ways.
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it's impossible to overstate how much lost cause mythology and revisionism of 100 years ago persists within the subgenra of military prisons. this narrative, you know, by design, is a very narrow one built upon concepts of false equivalency and distracts from understanding by focusing on blame. and we'll explore exactly how that happens. this narrative and how narrow it is, is beginning to show its age. we talk about prisons like they're in a box, and focusing on, well, yours are worse than ours. and as one example of that, one book on the prisons in the last 10 years was pulped by its publisher because one author
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swore up and down he was being plagiarized. when we repeat the same story over and over and do not question it, eventually that is going to happen. it is becoming so repetitive, so narrow, that plagiarism is part of the process, in many respects. what is maddening about this is how universal the prisoner of war experience is in the course of the war. an average soldier of both sides, during the course of the conflict, has a one in seven chance of becoming a prisoner of war. the united states soldier has a one in 11 chance. a confederate soldier, just pick one at random -- they have a 25% chance of becoming a prisoner of war. this is a universal consequence of the conflict. it's a critical part of the experience.
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and by the end of the war, 56,000 prisoners of war are dead, north and south. this is not something off to the side of the conflict. it is deeply entrenched into the middle of it. there's no better example of the ragged edges of how to talk about prisoners of war than america's now most famous prisoner of war, the recently freed beau bergdahl. the emotions, the controversy, the anger, the suspicion in the last several weeks are a reminder that prior to vietnam, prisoners of war were not viewed as heros. they were viewed with suspicion, as failures, as men who were cowardly, who failed to do their duty. they could have done something better. they shouldn't have got caught.
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men coming back from korea were so held in suspicion, you know, over fear of brainwashing by communists, that that leads to the creation of the code of conduct. this is a universal story. the prisoner of war story, it's deeply personal, deeply controversial, and deeply complex. survivors and families began struggling to define the meaning of captivity before the war ends. the missing soldiers office, established in 1865, run by clara barton, would endeavor to provide answers seeking loved -- answers for families seeking loved ones from the battlefield and the prison camps. it's in this capacity that clara barton accompanies the quartermaster general's
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expedition that establishes the andersonville national cemetery in 1865. her work here is limited to copying the lists of the dead toshe can provide answers families. she is credited with identifying the dead or graves or establishing the cemetery, and she did not do those things. the u.s. army, under the command of quartermaster james moore, established the cemetery. the 12,920 dead of andersonville make it the single deadliest place of the civil war. just counting fatalities, you have to add at least three battles, the battle deaths of both sides, to equal the scale at andersonville. following the war, clara barton took her story on the road, and a former prisoner accompanied
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her. relics of the prison become tourist attractions across the country. these are artifacts that clara barton used, accompanying her particular lecture tour. beginning in 1876, and extending for decades, prisons and prison treatment, north and south, became a political device by which southern democrats and republicans bludgeon each other, in the process codifying this narrative that we are still sort of stuck in. and the narrative fallacies that go along with it. to the end of their lives, former prisoners of war were stalwart defenders of their experience. what is most extraordinary about these men is how many of them went on to lead ordinary lives.
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it is to them and their memory that we must chart new paths of discussion to better include them in how we talk about the war. the first avenue is the discussion of policy. primarily, exchanges. the political system which governed exchanges occurring over the first two years of the war was exploded over one central idea. the black soldier. the lieber code, established in 1863 is, in a sense, america's first civil rights policy. equal rights policy. it unequivocally announces that black soldiers are equal and to be treated equally. and it is that question that stops full-scale exchanges for the remainder -- very nearly the remainder of the war. other excuses are thrown out, but that is the reason exchanges
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have stopped. that is the reason that giant prisons appear late in 1864, primarily in the south but likewise in the north. and that begins in 1863, at the battle of fort wagner. 35 soldiers of the 54th massachusetts are captured and taken to the charleston city jail. when word of their treatment reaches the white house later in the summer, exchanges stop. these men and their story are a very good example of the complexities, in that the governor of south carolina wants for warpts to try them crimes. he wants to execute them for the slave insurrection that they've been a part of. he is not permitted to do so.
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much to his disgust, the state court system finds that south carolina has no standing to do so. these men remain in charleston for over a year. later in 1864, they're normalized into the confederate military prison system. and that's when they start dying. their time at charleston, all things considered, wasn't quite as bad as what was to come. while large-scale exchanges remained frozen, it is really important to remember that limited exchanges are still occurring, especially late in 1864. exchanges of the sick and wounded or field exchanges. sherman's exchange after he occupies atlanta is very, very critical to the history of andersonville. this breakdown of exchanges has
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an incredible, massive effect, especially for southern prisons. the prison in salisbury had operated all the way through the war. in 1864, it stops being the place that you can play baseball at. the second avenue of discussion is the question of systems of management. what choices do each side make in managing military prisons and the prisoners in their care, and what resources do they allocate to prisoner care? as prison populations just expand exponentially, late in 1863 and 1864, you have a prison -- you have a transformation in the south where, first, prisoners were jammed into
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richmond until thanksgiving, when a realization is that, that's really scary. it's a threat to the security of richmond on multiple levels. it's a stressor on the resources of richmond. let's move them away. in the north, there's a much greater capacity for dispersing prisoners to multiple facilities. training camps are being switched, or having an additional function added to them during this time. north and south cannot be compared equally. this is the greatest narrative fallacy of the civil war prisons. while prisons have much in common -- they are all prisons. your rights are restricted. food and other things are no longer necessarily up to you. you have to wait for them to be provided. the differences in management and scale are so large that they are not equal. and cross comparisons are, quite frankly, dishonest.
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just as an example, camp sumter military prison in southwest georgia, the elmira facility in new york. those, eventually, those tents are replaced by barracks. across the united states is a vast network of permanent military facilities that have prisons added to them, and training camps changed into prisons. their problems, challenges, and deficiencies tend to be in contrasting, and because of the vast military bureaucracy, incompetence of command is often addressed and removed. in the south, a highly centralized system, run out of richmond, led largely by general
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john winder, becomes almost a cult of personality. he trains a cadre of officers whose names appear over and over again. beginning in the fall of 1861, a prison board is organized to provide oversight and management of military prisons in richmond. it's worth noting that two of the names on that prison board are command level officers at andersonville three years later. the problems of southern prisons, their challenges and deficiencies originate out of this centralized and often reactive management system. this map shows major military prisons in the north and south in july, 1864. and by major, i'm defining them at at or above 1,000 prisoners
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in population. two of the red marks on this map are transitioning to, in a sense, transition facilities, in richmond and danville. prisoners are held for a short time, and then they are being moved to larger facilities. the northern prisoners are -- the northern prisons are everywhere, everywhere. all the way from the florida keys to boston harbor. and then all the way out to san francisco harbor and alcatraz. when you read the o.r.'s, the letters of management of the northern prisons, they're transporting prisoners all of the time. they are dealing with issues of contracting and delays on construction. in the south, they are centralizing, centralizing, and
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centralizing, until by the -- during the summer of 1864, that strategy becomes very clearly not a good one. by august, 10% of the army of the potomac is held in a 26.5 -acre enclosure in southwest georgia. the third and most critical avenue of exploration of the prisoner of war is to examine the individual experience of captivity. it is a mistake to think that prisoners had identical experiences. and yet, while circumstances vary wildly, the emotional component, the emotional descriptions, are hauntingly similar, regardless of what facility you are in. one emotion is fear. as a reminder of how central
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the prison experience has become and fear of the prison experience has become, you know, this idea of capture and imprisonment, it's always in the back of your mind as a soldier in the field. a private of the 19th ohio volunteers reflected during the battle of kennesaw mountain on the futility of the battle, and he closes it with this thought. still our lines advance, but it is to death or a southern prison, for but few return. uncertainty -- a confederate prisoner of war captured at lookout mountain was paroled out of the general population and served as a clerk. his work provided him with access to news reports, relief supplies, interaction with civilians around the prison. his journal is full of just the
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constant rumors he's hearing and his hope for the cause. he reports these rumors, and while constantly worrying about his parole, thinking, it is a stretch of conscience for me to think it right working for uncle sam. i hope i am doing no wrong in consenting to write for these folks. he's struggling with the choice he made. he's getting better treatment. he is no longer staying in the main prison while he's working as a clerk, and he also spends quite a deal of time in the diary recounting how he gets into the prison, and he's bringing in supplies that civilians are bringing. journey. this idea of being transported to an uncertain -- oops, capture. i'm getting ahead of myself.
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john january from illinois remembered, i was captured between macon and atlanta, georgia, august 1, 1864. i was taken to andersonville, but before entering the stockade, i was stripped and searched five times. everything was taken from me except an old blouse, pants, and horse blankets. i had no idea what kind of place i was going to, or i would have risked my life to escape. being taken to the stockade, i was three days without food. the capture is the beginning of a journey. a transportation to camp, often movement from one camp to another camp. a member of the 111th united states colored troops, he's a white, noncommissioned officer. along with other prisoners from alabama -- they are moved
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eastward in the late fall of 1864 as concern over sherman's presence is creating massive disruptions in the southern prison system. walt, being transported in train cars, 60 to 100 in a car, he reflects, facing a journey with an uncertain destination. left columbus at 5:00. nothing worthy of note until we reached fort valley, where the road heading to andersonville intersected the columbus and macon railroad. here, we heard the report that we were to go to andersonville prison and, from the reports, we heard of that place. we, of course, dreaded the very idea of making our entrance there. what terrible suspense was that which endured while laying there at the valley, anxious to start, yet fearing we would take the
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road to that most loathsome of all prisons, andersonville. at last, we start. near the switch of andersonville road, we pass it, listening with throbbing hearts for the signal from the engineer to back off and switch on the fatal road. but, no, we get faster and faster. we are enabled to draw a long breath. we involuntarily exclaimed, thank god we are free from the fate of the prison. at least. there are themes of landscape. the prisoners spent a great deal of time describing the intimate facilities in which they're -- intimate details of the facilities in which they're held. and yet, these descriptions are often admittedly incomplete. halfhearted. even to those who experience it firsthand. willis van buren recounted, i
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cannot tell you why the stockade was a perfect hell on earth, unless it was because prisoners were treated so. nothing to eat, nothing to wear. no fuel. hardly any water. i shall certainly not consider it a heaven or a decent place. i can compare it to nothing but hell on earth. as a natural consequence of the treatment our men received there, they were fighting and robbing each other. that prisoner's experience is often defined by the wall. whatever is holding them in. exterior details to these facilities. a military prison is not simply the stockade. there has to be a vast complex of warehouses and camps to support it. and, yet, that immediate landscape, the stockade is generally the defining feature. prisoner drawings of southern facilities, northern facilities -- and just one example, the drawings of robert knox sneden, held by the virginia historical
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society. he has multiple maps of andersonville showing its evolution during his captivity there. how he depicts the earthworks outside the stockades like they are on steroids, because he only sees them at a distance. when you are looking at a distance, what you really see is the fact that there are guns pointed at you. when he's moved to the camp laughton facility in the fall, he's paroled out. he works in the hospital. and, as a consequence, his drawings of the camp laughton prison facility are almost hyper accurate. in terms of not only the stockade, but placement of exterior features. prisoners of war face impossible choices. that we, in many respects, do not understand and cannot
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understand. it's almost a moral calculus, where the equations are all different. as one example of that, john tarsney, a michigan soldier held in andersonville and then in moved in the fall to camp laughton, in the fall, during one of the exchanges in november of the sick and the wounded, he realizes he's just too healthy. he doesn't qualify for the exchange. the night before the prisoners selected are to be transported away, as he walks through that 42-acre enclosed stockade, he happens across another soldier, who very clearly qualified for the exchange. his suspicion was that the soldier was so ill that he would not live through the night. he stops and spends the time with this soldier to get his name, his regiment, his squad within the prison where he's captured, other important
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details. the next morning, just before the prisoners selected to exchange are to assemble, he walks back by the soldier again and the soldier is gone. john does an impossible thing. he puts his own name on the dead man. he assumes the name of this dead soldier to live. -- what can you do to live? without risking your life, what can you do? certainly, andersonville escape is a very unsuccessful thing, but it's being tried all of the time. freedom-seeking. southern prisons become places where prisoners are the slaves. when they escape, they are hunted by dogs. at andersonville, one of the
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things that distinguishes andersonville from other southern prisons -- when you're caught, you're brought back and heavily punished. many of those punishments sound like they're straight out of slave narratives. iron collars, balls and chains, prisoners are whipped. escape is a very unsuccessful thing. and why do you do it? why do you endeavor to keep trying? escape is hope. the other part of the escape story, more so in the prisons in the carolinas than andersonville who is risking their lives to aid fleeing soldiers? a small class of white southern unionists, and they're certainly taking risks, but by the 1930's,
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the presence of slaves assisting escaping prisoners in escape -- is so common in prisoner narratives that southern historians laugh about it as a cliche. southern prisons become a place where the underground railroad is flipped. lives are risking their to assist prisoners to freedom. certainly, andersonville, this begins a very intimate relationship between the black population in the area and the prison site prefer a must half century, memorial day was almost exclusively a lack of fair at andersonville. among thees remain roth wounds of the war. fitted -- visitors to andersonville, sometimes of
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visitors, one of their first ,omments tends to be, well prison something is just as bad as andersonville. there is a legitimate reason why they say this. almost always one of their ancestors was at whatever prison. it is a reminder, again, to the individual wherever you are at, it is the worst place. this is a reminder to me, too, that forgiveness is an ongoing process. the prisons and prisoners of war, this is a self-inflicted wound. sites, they are associated features such as cemeteries, the cemetery for camp chase in ohio, and i will admit to you that this is my favorite prisoner of war monument that is not at andersonville. you may not see it, but the
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keystone has a single word -- americans. these places have an untapped potential is places where we can seek a better understanding of the consequences of the war and what we do to each other, the of the prisoners and while at each facility trying to guard people -- as it has been said, we have met the enemy and he is us. in the final analysis -- is it possible to make any sense of this time when we held each other prisoner? survivors do. john january, a corporal of 14th and alloy -- illinois volunteers, captured, i quoted
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him earlier. held at andersonville and then in south carolina. at florence, south carolina, he suffers from wounds and scurvy so bad that the confederate hospital staff look at him and the response is essentially, are going to die, impossible choices, with the helps of his friends, he and b tate's his own feet -- he his own feet. after the war and testimony to congress, he declares -- i went from home full of hope with an ardent desire to do something for my country. flushed with health and strength , i came home warned down to nothing or to comfort me only the thought that i have tried to do my duty and that my
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sufferings were for a good cause . thank you. [applause] .> first one to the bar and i am already in my head listing the things i did not say. is this on? is the mckinley kantor book reasonably accurate? >> there is no middle ground on his book that i have one minor complaint. otherwise the 700 page magnum pulitzer prize a is an incredible piece of work. it does the impossible.
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it survives a 360 degree view of the prison, the personalities held with in it and outside of it. he used primary source material that, even to this day, some writers refuse to engage in. it is an incredible book. my one complaint is, as a words , he was an expert in words and wanted to use provocative and memorable words, and he picked one single term for prisoner shelter when prisoners used dozens of terms. shelter, tanned, hutch, borough, blanket, shantey. he picked -- shebang. only fourry is one of prisoners in primary source material right after the war, the trial in congressional testimony, 1200 pages of material, only four times does
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that phrase appear. january literally says, we called our shelter shebang. i am sure he did. it is a reminder, again, that prisoners are all different. some of them do but some of them do not. that is my one complaint about that book. otherwise, it is remarkable. a very difficult read. if you contact about the relationship between general winder and the secretary. seems like winder was trying to do a lot to alleviate the conditions in the prison camps, and the secretary did not seem to take many steps. >> the intention of andersonville was to move prisoners out of richmond. once out of richmond, a sort of out of sight, out of mind, sets in. there is a clear disconnect as commanders at camp sumter are writing to richmond saying we need this, this, and this,
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nothing is happening. then expect her's say we do not have -- then expect her's say well, they do not have this and this. at a certain point, what are you going to do? so i do not know to what extent exactly the relationship between the secretary and winder, where it sits. thisr, 150 years ago month, he moved his headquarters to andersonville, largely because there is a realization that the strategy of centralization is failing as prisoners from the overland campaign are streaming into a facility that is double its designed capacity. am -- i would like to know a little bit more about this man . his name is john january? was he an officer question mark , he was enlisted. -- he is ale
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noncommissioned officer. >> did he have gangrene and his feet? >> the other illustration is out of a harper's weekly immediate post-war. his also described as being, his body is well under 100 pounds speared whether or not he had gangrene, i am not certain. there are other versions of this photograph, studio pictures from this time the show him standing with a top hat. another version of this picture also includes prosthetics on either side of him. for me, i find it very hard to look at this picture in light of the men and women who have been years over the last 10 overseas from roadside bombs, which is different than choosing to take off your own feet to save your life, but still, egregious wounds nevertheless.
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i am from chicago, illinois. i have a question. i am part of an organization in chicago that is working to establish a historic site for camp douglas in chicago. >> yes. >> hopefully, eventually, an interpretive center. it is a really challenging thing to do in an urban environment like chicago. it is close to the center of the city. andersonville, i can only imagine the challenges of site for,establish a you know, a camp that housed federal prisoners deep in the heart of georgia am a setting aside the land, the funding for the monuments, and all the stuff that goes along with that. can you talk a little bit about the establishment of that and the history of that? >> it is a good question, and it deserves a lot of scrutiny. is making confederacy choices and allocating huge to, duringresources
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the course of a single year, build not one, but two, military prisons simply in the state of georgia. the construction of camp sumter begins in january of 1864. -- across central georgia, there were fell trees, five feet deep trenches for 20-foot logs to create the perimeter. at the same time that that is happening, the other parts of the infrastructure are coming on. it is important to note, this is a little bit more of the winder connection. general winder has a son and nephew that our command half and -- command-level staff at andersonville, quartermaster and a commissary. as the first prisoners are beginning -- within a week of the first prisoners arriving,
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there were frantic letters of we only have 100 rifles. right off the bat, they are having problems obtaining supplies. part of it is a pernicious consequence of states rights. the governor of georgia is beinging upon -- is depended upon to provide supplies and provide troops to this confederate military facility. he chooses not to help very often. certainly, from governor brown's perspective, the only thing worse than andersonville is -- [indiscernible] and there is a more remarkable thing in a camp that construction begins on in august, and that is a 42-acre that is stockade designed very intentionally with the lessons learned of camp sumter. the stream that feeds it
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outflows millions of gallons of water a day. , in the six lawton weeks it operates before prisoners are if accuray to, 700 men died. the coolk one of things about studying civil war prisons is they are mostly sedentary places and there can be archaeological digs. they are doing that at camp douglas. yearss been done for 20 at johnson island. how do you feel about that? told you do it andersonville? >> andersonville is a sink the fight site. archaeology at other prisons such as johnson's island or this camp lawton site in eastern i feel abouthow do it? i think it is great. especially at camp lawton, that
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site was essentially forgotten. the joke there is a graduate student six years ago wanted to finish his degree, and the inspector said the fish and wildlife service, there is going to be nothing there. wrong. that prison was abandoned in a hurry in advance to sherman's march to the sea. somesonville, if you die, of the takes your stuff. when you leave, you take your stuff. very little archaeology in the interior of the compound at andersonville. it is not find a lot of material or culture. that is often misinterpreted as, oh, the poor prisoners, they had nothing. not quite that simple. again, when they move, they take their stuff with them. it is cleaned up during the prison's operation. johnson's island is really valuable because it is helping
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to shine light on these places that had been, for quite some time, forgotten. that illustrates the letters with archaeology finds, it is valuable in trying to personalize the story. >> hello, you had commented earlier that the north-south comparison was dishonest. yet, i wonder whether the horror at andersonville was exemplary or was it qualitatively different from places like l myra -- like elmira? >> we will use elm as an example. ira it operates for about a year. the total number of confederate prisoners of word -- of war held there is smaller than the number of dead at andersonville. the total number of dead at than the deadler
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in a single month at andersonville. so the scale of andersonville is off the chart. it is the exception that sort of proves all the rules of southern prisons, if that gets toward an answer to your question. >> not entirely. there is said to be about 2900 dead and buried at elmira of the 10,000 roughly the cayman. andersonville, roughly 13,000 dead out of 30,000. so you're looking at the same burial rates as a percentage. >> percentages are really misleading. the dead of a single month, august, that is more than at elmira. if andersonville had stopped magically at the end of july, it would remain the deadliest place for the military prisons. suffering, on a personal level, is different. the book about elmira is a good
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start. the business of captivity and how the operational culture of that place exists and not simply in a vacuum, one of our great challenges is we tend to look at these prisons like they are islands when very often there are towns around them. one of the interesting things at prisoners with skills have great opportunities to improve their condition in ways that other prisoners might not. i am from st. louis, missouri. i did some research on union veterans and went through several union veteran newspapers, national tribune in washington, d.c., and the american tribune out of indianapolis. often times, they would have then yes and stories -- they and storiesignettes of the work. there was a kind of story about
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being a prisoner at andersonville and other confederate prisons, and i know after the war, a lot of books are written about being a prisoner at the civil war and it almost becomes a genre in itself. i wonder if you have any comments about the popularity of these stories of being a prisoner after the war? is driven by self-interest. in the early 1880's, congress passes a law by which former prisoners of war -- in this case, that is federal soldiers held in southern prisons, not the other way around -- can receive a higher pension to the tune of six dollars a month. cottageates a massive industry and publishing. if you write a story of your experience, that is proof to the pension board. ofre is another tourism
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prisoner of memoirs at work here. the further away they are published from the war, the more they reflect memory and the less they reflect accurately the prison experience. so it becomes a paradox. sometimes you have to worry about to what extent have they exaggerated something or bought thata myth about something they may not have witnessed at all. but it is worth noting, just in passing, that the national tribune, today's stars and stripes, one of the major voices behind it is john mcelroy whose prisoner member published in 1879 is one of the two that have literally been in print since their initial run and dominate the andersonville prison story. for better or worse.
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i am from down in richmond, virginia. i know in richmond, there was both a concentration of numerous p.o.. prisons for union w.'s, and there was a concentration of southern unionists who aided them in getting out of the prisons and getting in and out of richmond. i was wondering if there were any other populations in the south, or even the north, where you have civilian populations helping prisoners of the state? and i'm interested in w.'s on bordero. states. >> i cannot speak to that as much as i would like. that is certainly something that deserves a lot more research in terms of the confederate prisoners. the book i would recommend is not military prisoners but prisoners, nonetheless. it was published about a year
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, new york tribune writers that were captured by the confederacy outside of vicksburg at1863 and held punitively several prisons. .hey make an escape in both their historic accounts and this more recent retelling, there is a great deal of focus on southern unionists who are assisting them in their run to freedom. again, prisoner accounts from andersonville -- in the fall, it is still an off chance but is more likely that you could escape by october. there is one prisoner narrative, escape narrative, that describes being on the florida coast for a good time to get to that blockade line, hiding in the home of a southern unionist. this memoir from the 1890's, his great pain in telling the story
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is that they waited too long to try and touch ace with this person who is critical to his survival. he passed away just a couple of years earlier. so this prisoner was not able to say thank you in the way that he thought he ought to. >> i am from portland, maine. of the merit -- the mayor -- the narrative in andersonville seems to be the mistreatment of prisoners by the prisoners, by the gangs that operated there. i have not come across that in accounts of other prisons. i am wondering whether that was unique to andersonville or whether this is just a part of the story that may not have been
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included, certainly and firsthand accounts of what went on in these prisons are quick to her referring to "the readers," perhaps? that is one of the great mythologies of the prison. he handled it in a way that hollywood did not return her film uses the raiders as a narrative device and mythologizing is them in a way that does not match prisoner diaries. what did guards do it andersonville? they keep you in. they stand on the 52 posts per you have guard details of about 100 men that are walking out with would-gathering details. guards keep you in. there is no apparatus for internal policing of the present. at this place, prisoners who arrived at andersonville in february through april, they
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been prisoners for six to nine months, at least. they were held at the richmond theyex, and to them, when first get to andersonville, their lives are better. this is a better place than before. more space. there is debris left over from construction to build shelters. and these prisoners, one example was described of a prisoner who was transferred and arrived at andersonville on march 1. yes the clothing on his back and a coat. that is all he has. then may comes in you have prisoners coming from plymouth, north carolina, from the overland campaign and other battles. they are coming straight from the battlefield and prisoners from plymouth, they were guarding a town, garrison city, and these guys have really nice kits.
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knapsacks, blanket rolls, shelter hats. they are rich beyond measure to the prisoners held there. that creates an environment in iding begins to happen. in the diaries, it is raider with a small r. prisoner to one another. 150 years ago right now, and into next week, a massive vigilante group, a gang is raiding. stop this image we have that has become popularized of the regulators, the vigilante gang fighting off the raiders is sort sharksts versus
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business -- that is post-war mythology. the second massachusetts heavy artillery on the davie -- day hung, in hisre diary he says, i saw six victims hung today. a sergeant who arrives on july 1 after the purge of the raiders but before their execution, his diary is full of long entries where he struggles with the moral quandary, the fact that people are praying on -- preying on each other when they appeared he describes the regulators as quite literally thugs terrorizing prison on a punishing people who are not like them. the sergeant of the 16th connecticut, in the trial in the fall of 1855, he says very
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bluntly, the only good thing that regulators did was execute the thugs. after that, robbing was decreased. is a rare moment where the death penalty is, in fact, a deterrent. >> thank you. new york and springfield, for junior, a die, -- a dichotomy there. imm member of the salisbury confederate prison association. >> excellent. >> number two prison in the confederate star lineup. the death numbers are almost as more, thane andersonville, i am told. i am not sure of that. the narrative of the prison seems to be remarkably similar to what you have been describing, although it was not tried and executed.
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so i wanted to bring up the guy who actually ran andersonville and paid the price. i traced some near relatives through salisbury, and one of them survived and one of them did not. within a week of his exchange, he died. 1864,t in in august of just in that timeframe that you described. just a comment there about salisbury. the confidants on other prisons never came to trial as far as i understand. do not go that route. gee at salisbury is the other military prison commander at the confederacy, tried for violations of the laws of war. he is acquitted. there is a reason for that. well-described in the trial, the efforts he makes to
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aid prisoners. the effort he goes to to allocate resources to prisoners. yet, sells barry -- this is where that albert book is a good outside observer example. two newspaper reporters are at salisbury and witness it, going from a place where baseball games are played to something else entirely. one of the two of them is working in the hospital and he starts to keep a list of the dead because of that fear that records may not be kept. rtz is one of two confederate staff at andersonville tried, and his trial is, quite frank we, one of the darkest pieces of study of the war. the consequences, the last time, and the trial was written by a 1917.scholar, and it was
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around the trial, but they do not examine the trial itself. one of the trueisms of this, the transcript exists there are two charges. the first is being part of a conspiracy to maim and murder of american soldiers in the violations of the laws of war three the second is individual acts of murder. and, we know how this ends. he is convicted. trial,the course of the a low level quartermaster, james duncan -- a great deal of discussion is how he's beating prisoners and in the sling money.
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he is tried and convicted. he spears -- spend the year in prison. in 1866, president andrew johnson commits a merciful act. there is a blanket amnesty of thats, and along with executive order is a prohibition of further military tribunals. advocate general's office were not done. they were preparing a massive set of additional war crime trials on -- among them george pickett. forgiveness has to start somewhere. the united states began to forgive in 1866. henry wirtz -- if there's an injustice to him, it is that general winder had a heart in february of 1865 at
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florence. he passed before a higher court of judgment. one more question. >> [indiscernible] thank you for your presentation. it was provocative, beautiful. your passion for this is clear. i have a two-part question. [indiscernible] i am wondering what do you know about creating this calculus of who created the most deadly [indiscernible] i don't even remember the
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literature. given the theme of the conference, 1864, i wonder if you could elaborate quickly -- you brought up with the [indiscernible] could you talk a little bit about the way in which lincoln this is a war about massive suffering. [indiscernible] in other words, is it possible
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that these soldiers are suffering because of a larger narrative? partly because of a larger story, a narrative of war. >> i think there are three questions. [laughter] forgive me if i get them wrong -- the comparative calculus of prisons and death rates, and is that is something constructive to engage in? then, in the third question, there was -- >> i'm asking you if there is this larger story. this calculus of war that also has something to do with these men dying. >> in terms of the comparative numbers -- it is a trap. that is your admiral akbar moment. thank you very much, john. blame -- those numbers are used
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to essentially -- yours are worse, yours are worse. that seems to stop the dialogue. the systems are separate. they are absolutely separate. the choices each commander is making, that each government are making deserve to be judged on , their own merits. trying to say they are all the same reflects this desire of reconciliation. after the war, we are one nation. prisons, they simply are not the same. so, getting into the math then requires much longer discussions. it is a good starting point, but it is not where we should stop is my thought. that monument that i did not picture that i sort of mentioned in andersonville, dedicated by the united daughters of the confederacy in 1909.
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it quotes general grant on one side, and throws them under the bus. it is hard on our soldiers not to exchange them, blah, blah, blah. that is used as blaming -- it is grant's fault. it is grant's fault. the problem is, there are 32,000 prisoners at andersonville. that does not explain that. uses in a foure that echoes a lot of what has been said about bowe bergdahl in the last two weeks. every soldier we exchange with our enemy will come back and kill americans. we should not do it. that is grant's point. confederate soldiers have this funny persistence of going back into the field, whereas u.s. soldiers, many of them, they either go home or they cannot go
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back to the fight. the men that do, like sergeant major robert kellogg or boston corbett, they are in a sense a real rarity. that is not entirely a direct answer, but certainly part of it. this idea that you do not want to exchange, because it is to our advantage not to is quite honestly secondary. on the same day that grant rights that letter benjamin , butler writes the letter that says, every other point of exchanges been settled. the questions of the black soldier are the only ones that remain. it is still very central to why exchanges have just been stopped. thank you. [applause]
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>> you're watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span3. follow us on twitter at c-span history for information on her schedule, upcoming programs, and to keep up with the latest history news. >> the c-span city tour textbook tv in american history tv on the road, traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life. this weekend we partner with charter communications for a visit to madison, wisconsin. >> he is probably the most important political figure in wisconsin history. he is one of the most important in the history of the 20th century in the united states. he was a reforming governor. progressivismt is. he was one of the first to use the term to self identify. he was a united states senator
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who was recognized his peers in the 1950's as one of the five greatest senators in american history. he was an opponent of world war i, stood his ground, advocating for free speech. above all, he was about the people. he spent the later part of the 1890's giving speeches all over wisconsin. if you wanted to speaker for wouldlub or group, he give a speech. he went to county fairs. he went to every kind of event that you could imagine. he built a reputation for himself. was ready to run for governor, advocating on behalf of the people. >> we are sitting in the first studio. frank lloyd wright was actually born not too far from here. took him first to
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massachusetts for a time. then they returned to madison. he grew up in madison, spent his teenage years there. briefly at they university of wisconsin before he decided to take off and find his fortune in chicago. he decided he should come out to this part of the country, which is where her family, the lloyd jones is, and spent his summers here. he's been his teenage summers in this valley. that is where he got two things. he got his love of nature and his understanding of nature. he also got his understanding of the typography of these hills. >> watch all of our events from madison, today at 2 p.m. eastern on c-span3. he served as chief justice of the supreme court from


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