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tv   The Civil War Women During the Civil War  CSPAN  February 17, 2019 10:00am-11:11am EST

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this in mind and i will say i went into our bookshop and i found the one single representation of mary there and it was a double portrait. it was something that was in some ways staged. they did not stand next to each other because of their different in height. they are very much next to one another in their daily life. at 200that mary lincoln will be something we can think about. because, we want to hear from you on women because the three of us are excited to have a full house here. people want tof come up to the microphone and ask any questions about women's legacy, about women's participation and about where the field stands. asked in the was 1970's by jim mcpherson to give
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a single lecture in his 19th century course, i had to cover the civil war but also the 50 years before and the 40 years after. i get to give lectures on women in the civil war. i hope that some of you will share some of your interests. first, i will ask the panel while you are thinking of your questions. i will ask each of them and then i will give my answer. if you could pick one woman during the civil war era they would like to know more about, that you would like to see a biography about, who would you want to promote? do you have a favorite, candy? if you would hold your microphone up. my book is divided into four parts, one for each of the women. is the onlymy book biography of hers that exists.
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there is a small book that has a ande page section on nelly about a dozen other women in the civil war. that is largely because her record has been lost. mcclellan got a promise from her when they were engaged that they would write each other every day they were apart. this was before the war. and they did. and he did. you will see these letters where he is in the middle of a battle and he stops to send a telegram to nelly to tell her what is going on to ask about their daughter. these letters he writes every night after he writes his reports. a lot of the men wrote to their wives but it was clear she was writing back to him. only five of her letters have survived. they are at the library of congress. they are very good letters. they are during the peninsula
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campaign and she covers everything from wishing he was there to taking a bath and some pills with her, to suggesting he get this new thing to keep the flies away where they land on it and stick to it. [laughter] a lot of what i learned about nelly came through his letters because you can't be a writing back and forth every day without you responding to the other person. there is very little about her. is a questionre about how much she loved george mcclellan. she accepted his second proposal of marriage. she had to turn him down once, she had turned down eight other men. engaged to ap hill and her parents forced her to break that off. if there was someone who could come back in time that i could talk to or that i could find out
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more about it would be her. she is a real mystery and yet it is so clear she was such an important part of his delusional generalship. [laughter] edna, who do you want? who have you come across? fascinatedlways been by mary elizabeth bowser. would go into the mouth of the lion, who would be willing to leave the comforts of home in the north -- and she was comfortable, apparently -- and to come back and pretend to be a slave in virginia with the davis white house and then patch information onto the union army had to be an extraordinary person. we know so little about her. we don't know what happened to her after the war and we
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probably never will know. wouldly more than her, i be more interested in learning more about lucy green and other lack women like her, who are able to acquire property before the war and have that property appropriated either by the union army the confederate army. the idea she was wiped out. the unionped out by army and she was compensated for some of her loss but just a fraction of what her property was really worth. -- ild love to mellow would love to know more about her and other women struggled who be successful and had it all taken away. how did they go on after the war was over? message ofour josephine st. pierre ruffin. mainly because she was a woman who spoke out, as a club woman
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in the late -- what she found was the hypocrisy of white women's clubs. maybe they did not want to participate in the chicago exposition with white women's clubs. she pointed out they pucker see because if you look at -- she pointed out the hypocrisy. maybe women should look to men as well as to the women. she was someone fighting all kinds of hypocrisies and pointing out things that were quite obvious. the whiteorgive south. we have some women for people out there to think about, going out. does anyone else have any questions they would like to raise?
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i see empty microphones. i see people moving to them. if you could get your name that would be great. >> i am and mosley, the director and curator of the lincoln heritage museum in lincoln, illinois. i have a huge fascination with average, everyday women in the 19th century and the development of the class structure and what women had to fight for, both black, white, and immigrant. i am always drawn to the women who are nameless, the ones who supported their families while their husbands were out either working or fighting in the war. one of the books i was drawn to was by cokie roberts, d. it talks about women working in the white house -- capitol dames. it talks about women working in the white house.
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we drew some inspiration from her book. it had some good advice about how women could be progressive today. overall, my question for the three of you, based on your research studying women of the south and the north, free and enslaved, what advice do you think those women can give to us today during the different movements we have been seeing that have been progressing over the years that are taking place now and are making history for us today? >> the movements in 2018? >> yes, what advice can we get from the women of the past for the women going into the future? >> i have been asked to look at lincoln's unfinished business and what would lincoln think of the me too movement? i think it's a good idea for us to look at abraham lincoln and
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his attitudes toward women, toward people who are less vulnerable, ordinary women. look at how he interacted with people in the white house. you mentioned the slave family is really understudied. tomorrow, kate will be telling you more about that in her work. i think the way in which we today look back from the right, left, center, from the elites to ordinary people, lincoln often gives a lot of people answers. i am really struck by the fact that i have a late developing fascination with lincoln, but i find many women i meet in my talks across the south can still look to that era and see how someone who began from such humble beginnings could rise to
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become someone so admired internationally. when i taught abroad, lincoln was someone who, indeed, treated people fairly equally, as he would want to be treated. yes, he respected the law, but during the antebellum era, certainly, laws were challenged directly and he knew people who challenge them. i think in many ways, supported people protesting for justice. lincoln, i think, moved from law to justice in his life, and i hope there are movements now toward that. >> i think maybe women of the past can teach us that perseverance is extremely important, that you never give up, that you work with others --
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at a time when women were struggling for the vote as well. it is not just about trying to bring about an end to slavery, but trying to expand women's rights. they are coming together to fight that cause. now, what we could show them is that in the struggle, one has to go beyond race, because there were instances as has been mentioned that white women are not inclusive of black women, but what we are finding today is that women are coming together regardless of race and background, economic or social background. so i think both groups have a lot to present to the other. but the main thing is to stick to it and to work together. >> i would echo that.
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my studies, unlike these two doctors, have been more particular. so, my insight comes from these four women, and each of them was strong and resilient, and they each did what they thought was best. oftentimes, they went right into the vortex of the white house in order to try to get something for their husbands to save their careers. it was not something that only upper-class or middle-class white women did. you will find in the records that lincoln did have this open-door policy, and there are a number of accounts of women who came in who were from very different kinds of circumstances. what he did was he was very
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generous and kind and thoughtful to those who were genuine, and very curt and dismissive to those he thought were playing him or trying to play him. and so i think the lesson is that you need to approach your goal with a sense of specificity and a sense of humility, but a real sense of perseverance in terms of dealing with people, and genuine honesty. >> i have been fascinated by mary bowser, but at the gettysburg college conference, this past year, a historian been newst elizabeth nice misnamed her, and it was actually a mary jane. i was wondering if you have heard anything about this, and is it really mary elizabeth
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bowser? >> apparently her original name was mary jane. that is true. the most important thing is that she existed and that she did the things that we have been saying she did. couldn't find anything about her after the war ends. she married, and the name was lost and vanished. women is quiteof a problem. elizabeth cap -- kegley, an important figure, we have her mama, and imagine the earliest years of the 20th century having people, historians claim there was no elizabeth kegley, which is the real origin of the book will be talking about tomorrow. we do have the historians disagreeing over this significance, but it is good to recover some of these women and
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the work that was being done. >> there is one married that you forgot, and that is mary edwards walker. the only female to ever receive a commission as a surgeon in the u.s. army during the war. in 1865 toonly woman be awarded the medal of honor even though it was taken away from her. it was later restored by jimmy carter. she was another important woman in the medical field, and another commercial for the museum we have her surgical kit on display. >> lest we forget, certainly in history and recovery, she is someone who is being explored, as she always dress like a man, and she was a really unconventional but
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nevertheless made amazing contributions and therefore we can see she was given a medal. it was taken away, the interesting way in which the appearance and disappearance of significance goes in and out of favor. certainly i don't forget mary walker, i write about southern women, and i would say much about mary walker, but a don't claim she was a southern woman, even though she did have to struggle in the south when she took care of people in camps. one, is therember a book in the future that deals with the wives of four confederate generals? the second part, has anyone considered the psychological mother, ia general's am thinking of general robert ely and his mother. directedose that was
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to me. there will not be won by me about the confederate generals' wives. my book was about lincoln's generals wives area he is sort of the hub of the book. lincoln is sort of the reagent of american history. you put somebody up against lincoln or in conversation with him, and you can find out so much about them just because of the way they react to him or the way they deal with lincoln. i am not so interested in jefferson davis is generals wives. >> ok. you answered that part of the question. taleshink there are more of southern women than of individual northern women. that was a thing i was trying to recover. some booksve been published on generals' wives. the relationship between
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generals and their mothers, there you go, a perfect mother's day book. >> i will say that i think there is so much more work to be done doneo much exciting being in the fields recently at the mary todd lincoln home in lexington, kentucky, where they were celebrating the bicentennial. i found compelling to look at the fact that when we talk about lincoln's house divided speech, maybe we should think about his own home being divided and the way in which he did bring in family members, in which he did even in his own home, declare what's to an african american delegation, that he was a southerner. i think during his white house
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years there was a lot of complexity going on. women had profound effects. he invited his brother-in-law to when his wife's little sister was widowed, she was brought right into the home. lincoln's conversations can give us an idea of what was going on in the wider field in america at that time. so many divided families. again, the new literature coming out, i am thinking of wedlock by tara hunter telling us about the broken marriages of african-americans and reuniting after the war, what a supreme effort that was in order to pull families back together. mary was never able to reconcile fully with her sister, she did indeed have a broken family, a house divided that was i think
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symbolic of what was going on. note, take you all for your attention. thank you all for your attention. announcer: you are watching american history tv. to join the conversation, like us on facebook at c-span history. ♪ >> the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. ask not what your country can do for you. ask what you can do for your country. >> the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. the newest book, the presidents, noted historians rank america's best and worst chief executives, provides insight into the lives of the american presidents, interviews
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with noted historians. explore the events that shaped our leaders, challenges they faced and the legacies they left behind. published by public affairs, c-span the presidents will be on shelves april 23. you can preorder your copy today at c-span.org/the presidents. or wherever books are sold. week american artefacts takes you to museums and historic places to learn about american history. here is a brief look at what is airing this sunday night. caused by theg wash of multiple limbs have never been known before because we did not have the body armor to protect the heart in the lungs. now that we have body armor, a person can lose both arms and both legs in total or in part and still live.
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fluids,gin to give them their blood pressure will go up. they bleed faster. in those circumstances, we are going back to the old circumstance where we have the possibility of hemorrhagic shock and hypothermia. we have a commercial product for this. it is called the bear hug her. what happens when it is not available in the hospitals yet? when it is still en route to the country, a cardboard box and a hairdryer. on all of this writing details the patients who were cared for simply by taking a box and the knowledge and understanding of what had to happen, figuring out how far away to put the hairdryer, how to pad the box in such a way that the patient could be brought out of hemorrhagic shock . and the temperatures of the people are right here, 92
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degrees temperature brought up to 98.6. this is innovation at its best. it is innovation of the moment. baghdad, thisl in box was used to save lives. the fact that we had one before doesn't matter. what matters is that we understand that lessons can be learned. we understand that by the constant practicing of the art, the constant training of medicine, he can save lives with something as simple sometimes as a hairdryer and a cardboard box. to historicth us sites and archives each sunday at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. eastern on our weekly series american artifacts. this is american history tv all weekend on c-span3. in 1793 president george
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williamon, dr. thorton's design for the u.s. capitol business -- building. miles gives an illustrated talk about the portraits ofinted william thorton and his wife annamarie. miss miles also discusses the lifelong interests of the arts and artist. this is part of a symposium -- symposium hosted by the university of aberdeen in scotland. it is about 35 minutes. the next speaker as i said is ellen miles. curator at the national portrait gallery. i was telling her, my bookshelf groans under the weight of her books. gilbert stuart.

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