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tv   The Civil War  CSPAN  January 11, 2015 10:00am-10:25am EST

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committee. it controls flip-flop back and forth between democrats and republicans. she's a republican. >> you can view this and all other programs at our website. >> todd groce ttalked about the significance of the campaign and how is it has been remembered. the ceremony in savanna is about 20 minutes, and includes
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the unveiling of a new historical marker about the march to the sea. >> good afternoon. i am bob jepson, chair of the georgia historical society. and i would like to welcome you all to madison square and is warm and balmy day. i'm taking a big risk. we believe that the bills are finished for a while. so i hope you can hear me. part of our mission at the georgia historical society is the education of the history of the great state of georgia. and we're here today to dedicate a marker that represents an event, people, and a time in our history. and to get on with the __ with the program, i would like to introduce the president of the historical society, doctor todd groce. >> thank you, bob. thank you.
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thank you, bob. and good afternoon, everyone. let me add my welcome to this historical marker, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the march to the sea. one of the best_known, but most controversial __ and i would hasten to add misunderstood __ aspects of the civil war. the marker rededicate today is one of 25 workers installed by the georgia historical society and our partners over the last five years as part of the civil war 150 historical marker project. an initiative launched by the georgia historical society to help georgians and visitors to our states get a better understanding of the cataclysmic struggle that forever shaped and change the destiny of our nation and the continued relevance and meaning
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of the civil war to the world we live in today. the georgia historical society is the independent statewide institution responsible for collecting and teaching church history. founded in 1839, the society is the oldest continuously operated historical institution in the south. for the past 175 years, the georgia historical society has helped georgians to education and research to study the past in order to make sense of the presence and create __ present and create a better future for us all. the georgia historical society serves as the bridge between the academic community and the people of our state. taking the cutting edge historical research being produced in universities around the nation, and connecting it with the general public, thereby creating and expanding access to history. one of the most significant ways in which we make scholarly history available to a wide
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audience is to the georgia historical marker program. since the program was privatized in 1998, the georgia historical society has placed over 200 markers across the state. these markers provide an executive summary based on sound, scholarly research by trained, credentialed historians of the events and people who created modern_day georgia. building on the successful project on the eve of this civil war centennial, the societies developed a project to promote heritage tourism by telling stories about the civil war that had been mmissing.
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a year_long survey conducted at the beginning of the project revealed that, of the nearly 1000 civil war historical markers in georgia, over 90% were about battles and leaders. there was virtually nothing about the role of african_americans and women, about unionists and the resistant to confession, aand the story to the homefront. in short, the existing markers presented a lopsided picture of the work that ignored large segments of our states people, rendering the war up really military event. so, beginning in 2010, the georgia historical society launched a storytelling campaign aimed at making the public narrative more inclusive by relaying the experiences of all georgians __ black and white, ccivilians as well as soldiers. we did this by bringing to the
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public the findings of historians from over the last 50 years, making accessible scholarship that takes an unblinking iintellectually honest look at the war, and that challenges all of us to stand underground and to see a familiar event in a new light. the marker rededicate today is a prime example of what this project is all about. it is one of two markers, one in atlanta, where the march began. and one in savanna, where it ended. that anchor both ends of the savanna campaign, and provide an interpretive overview for the 50 existing markers put up since the 1950's that trace shermans routes to the sea. the georgia historical society developed technology that allows the public to find these markers all over georgia. there is a free smartphone app for iphone and android, and a website that allows users the
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ability to create custom drive tours. one of the most important and consistent partners in the effort has been the georgia battlefield association. and i am pleased to introduce the president of that organization, mister charlie crawford. charlie. [applause] >> the goal of georgia battlefield association __ and we're just about to celebrate our 25th anniversary __ is to save battlefield land. and that would naturally lead to the question __ what brings you to participate in this particular effort? welcome we find a particular part of getting support is to educate people of our historic sites are. and so were tied, who i have known for quite a few years now, approached me about participating in this effort, we thought it was a good fit. so we are happy to help with both the financing and the
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preparation of these particular markers. and have done about 10 or so now in connection with georgia historical society. we're happy to participate. we want to do be aware of the history that surrounds many of us, especially here in the city such as savanna. and i think you'll be pleased with the result. thank you. [applause] >> charlie, thank you. the georgia battlefields association has been an important partner. we were not have been able to do all that we did without them. welcome on december 22, 1864 __ three days prior to the third christmas of the civil war __ united states army general william t sherman sent a telegram to president abraham lincoln announcing the capture of savannah, georgia. one of the confederacy's largest cities, and last remaining port. with typical wet, she represented the city to the
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president as a christmas present, along with 150 heavy guns, plenty of ammunition, aand 25,000 bales of cotton. the fall of savanna marked the end of the march to the sea, and events that has come down to us as an act of savage brutality, perpetrated by one of the great balance of american history. just the mention of sherman's name cconjures images of burning cities, ransacked plantations, and scared women and children. even after the passage of 150 years and dozens of scholarly books, most conversations about sherman continue to generate more heat than light. after 30 years of fighting, __ 3 years of fighting, and more than half 1 million dead, by 1864, the united states had
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still not suppressed one of the most potent threats ever posed to the nation's existence. faced with continued existence in climbing casualty figures, sherman decided that the time had come to widen the burden in pain of the war beyond just beyond rebel soldiers, to include the civilian supporters of the confederacy, especially the common folk who is fill the ranks of the rebel army. sherman believe that forcing noncombatants to feel what he called the hard hand of war wwas a military necessity. making the war as harsh as possible would bring victory more quickly and with a minimum loss of life on both sides. he would undermine confederate morale on the homefront, trigger a wave of desertions from the insurgent armies, destroy the confederacy's ability to wait for improved to the rebels that the cause was hopeless and their government impotent to protect them and their property. this new hardware doctrine was fully sanctioned by the united
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states government. the previous year, president abraham lincoln had approved the creation of the code __ aa set of rules based on accepted practices that authorized army to destroy civilian property, star of noncombatants, shell towns, keep enemy civilians in the seized cities __ if some were necessary. to save the country, francis lieber stated, is paramount to all other considerations. like other wartime chief executives, lincoln was willing to take drastic measures to ensure the survival of the united states. so on november 15, 1864, sherman's army set off from atlanta honest and famous march to the sea. cutting a swath of destruction toward savannah on the coast.
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sherman swore to make georgia power, and in his special field order number 120, he laid out the rules for destruction and conduct for the march. the army was to forge liberally on the country, with details of men and officer sent out each day together for. soldiers were instructed not to enter private homes, and to discriminate between the rich __ who were usually hostile, sherman observed __ and the poor and industrious, who are usually neutral or friendly. to be sure, there was more destruction than allowed by these orders. sherman's shoulders, as one historian has written, saw this as a golden opportunity to teach the people of georgia the hardships and tears of a war which they blame confederates for starting, and continuing despite continuous defeats on the battlefield. some homes, especially of those wealthy slaveholders cconsider guilty of bringing on the war, were burnt.
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private dwellings were entered, and personal property was taken or ruined. and civilians were stripped of more food than the army needed or could possibly consume.
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the commonly held belief reinforced by the as this author intended, the march to the sea was harsh on civilians. losing crops, food stores and livestock left noncombatants with little to eat as winter approached. but the fear sherman created was more powerful than his acts of destruction. the site of federal troops marching across the state destroying property, and pillaging virtually unopposed had a demoralizing effect on white georgians who supported the confederacy. by waging war against the minds of his opponents sherman's march achieved its creator's goal of hastening an end to the conflict. the wives of confederate soldiers along the route of the
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march who feared that they lay in the path of sherman's advancing legions begged their husbands to come home, and desertions increased significantly during the fall and winter of 1864-65. this hemorrhaging from robert e. lee's army in virginia further he depleted his already thin ranks, and allowed general ulysses s. grant to deliver the knockout blow in the spring of 1865. from the vantage point of the 21st century sherman's way of war seems a dramatic departure from earlier methods, and has prompted some historians to characterize his george to the sea as the birth of modern total war. but hard war was not total war. while the march destroyed property and infrastructure and visited suffering and fear on the civilian population it lacked the wholesale destruction of human life that characterized world war ii. sherman's primary targets food stuffs and industrial
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government and military property, were carefully chosen to create the desired effect and never included mass killing of civilians, especially those law-abiding noncombatants who did not resist what sherman described as the national authority. indeed, sherman always claimed that his war on property was more humane than traditional methods of conflict between armies. he even told one south carolina woman that he was ransacking her plantation so that her soldier husband would come home and general grant would not have to kill him in the trenches at petersburg. he was fighting to bring rebels back in to the union, not to annihilate them. at the end of the march, when the people of savannah surrendered virtually without a fight, they were completely subjugated, sherman wrote. he saw no need to wreck the city's military and industrial facilities or to destroy private homes. an end to resistance mitigated any further need for destruction. five months earlier sherman had
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told the mayor of atlanta, if you and your citizens will give up, i and this army will become your greatest protectors. and it was a lesson not lost on savannahians. the fate of the march of the city where the march to the city ended was different than the fate of the one where it began. sherman demonstrated for the first time in the modern era the power of terror and psychological warfare in breaking an enemy's will to resist. this concept would come into full bloom during world war ii when both axis and allied powers deliberately and indiscriminately bombed civilians in order to create terror, and win the war by any means at their disposal, including dropping two atomic bombs. it would be seen again during the vietnam war when america bombed hanoi dropping on a single city more ordnance than the united states dropped in all of world war ii. indeed, in america in the 20th
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century, waged total war to such a frightening extent that one wonders if sherman had commanded in world war ii or vietnam, would his detractors be so repelled by him, especially those white southerners, taught to hate him as a war criminal? if he had served in the same army a century later and had worn khaki or green rather than blue, and if his targets had been germans, japanese vietnamese, or islamic terrorists, rather than confederates, would we still loathe him to the same degree? francis libor's words, written in 1862 to save the country is paramount to all other considerations, could have been spoken by generals 0 mar bradley or george patton as they smashed their way through another german town. or curtis lemay as he ordered the fire bombing of japanese cities. history has deemed them heroes, because their actions were against their country's foreign foes, while sherman has been
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vilified as a terrorist because his actions although less severe, were against his country's domestic enemies. rightly or wrongly, sherman did what he deemed militarily necessary to win the war within the rules laid down by his government, and to save his country. rather than an aberration, his hard hand of war fits well within the american military tradition. it is no wonder that such distinguished generals as john personing, george patton, and norman schwarzkopf would revere and emulate swarmen. schwarzkopf even kept on his desk during the first iraq war a quote from sherman. war is the remedy our enemies have chosen, and i say let us give them all they want. like the war tactics of his 21st century successors and the enhanced interrogation techniques employed more
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recently, sherman's march to the sea reveals the moral ambiguity of war and the extent to which americans are willing to go when our national existence is at stake. i would like now to invite the members of the board of the georgia historical society to join me me at the marker and charlie crawford from the georgia battlefield association will read the marker text as we unveil it. you stay on this side. that's it? >> the march to the sea. on december 21st, 1864, during the civil war, u.s. forces under general william t. sherman captured savannah, completing the march to the sea. a military campaign devised to destroy the confederacy's ability to wage war, and break the will of its people to resist. after destroying atlanta's
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industrial and business but not residential districts, sherman's 62,500 men left that city in mid november and marched over 250 miles, reaching savannah by mid december. contrary to popular myth sherman's troops primarily destroyed only property used for waging war. food railroads, train depots factories, cotton gins and warehouses. abandoning their supply base, they lived off the land destroying food they could not consume. they also liberated thousands of enslaved african-americans. sherman's hard hand of war demoralized confederates hastening the end of slavery and the reunification of the nation. erected for the civil war 150 commemoration by the georgia historical society, and georgia battlefields association. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> good job, as always. >> thank you. >> well, that concludes the ceremony. thank you all for coming. remember, that there is a free
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phone app for android and iphone for finding all these markers. there is a website if you go to the georgia his core cal society site to find all of the new markers plus the 1,000 existing markers about the civil war. you can use those to create driving tours around the state, and learn about this fascinating >> join "american history tv" today for a look at the historical role of the house speaker, as the 114th congress gets underway. will feature comments from previous speakers. we hear first from house historian __ and offers brief profiles of the four congressional leaders. that is today at noon eastern time on c_span3's "american history tv". >> you are watching "american history tv". 48 hours of programming on
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american history every weekend on c_span3. follow us on twitter. for information on our schedule, upcoming programs, and to keep up with the latest history news. >> e3, "american history tv"'s " reel america" __ examining political and cultural issues in the region, along with tensions. >> the most explosive issue of all is from israel. israel was born amongst turbulence and bloodshed. it became a separate nation after the british, who would exercise the mandates and so end of world war i, withdrew from palestine in 1948. it was immediately attacked by its neighboring arab states,
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who resented the new nation and considered his creation to be illegal. israel successfully beat off the attacks, and a series of armistice agreements worked out by the united nations but in and to organize warfare in 1949. since then, israel has worked at fever pitch __ tto make a self_sufficient nation within its borders. even industry, despite serious limitations and raw materials, has grown rapidly. the camps outside israel's borders, where more than 1 million arab refugees maintain a miserable existence and demand the right to return to their homes in palestine come from which they say they were dispossessed in the war. israel says it would be possible to readmit them. it has offered to discuss compensation, but the arab


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