tv The Civil War Comparing Civil War Theaters CSPAN June 22, 2019 1:05pm-1:54pm EDT
only to make them into a cartoon but to show the dynamics of the personality as well. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on q&a. announcer: next, on american history tv, author and historian gary gallagher analyzes the differences between the three major civil war theaters. he argues that the battles held in the eastern theater had the greatest political and military impact on the outcome of the civil war, making it most -- the most important theater. this 45-minute talk was part of a day-long conference hosted by the university of virginia's center for civil war history. dr. janney: we will begin this morning's lecture with gary dudley gallagher. as many of you know, we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to professor gallagher. he was the founding director,
retired just last spring from uva where he represents civil war history from 1999 until 2018. he is the author and editor of at least 39 books, including "the union war," "the american war," and most recently, co-edited, "civil war places," a beautiful book, his son took the photograph, and this is an absolute treasure if you have not had a chance to see it yet. with that, i would like to welcome gary gallagher. [applause] dr. gallagher: thank you, carrie. we are on a very tight schedule, which all of us are aware of, especially steve cushman. [laughter] dr. gallagher: steve asked me to say he would be signing autographs in the back after his talk. so just keep that in mind. i am delighted to be back for
this year's signature conference, and i would like to start by thanking carrie and liz for inviting me. this is redundant, will, but will sees to all the details and seamlessly, with amazing good humor. i really appreciate that. it's also fun to see so many friends here. it is like a homecoming, and that is very nice. it is also a reminder, i have been at the huntington library in california for seven months, and getting off the plane in dulles reminded me that you have what might be called weather, which i haven't been used to dealing with so my feet are back on the ground in my charge this morning is to present an overview of theaters during the civil war. i have 30 minutes to accomplish that, then 10 minutes for lectures. we will each reinforce the time constraints as we go along. i have divided my lecture into two parts.
the first will describe each major theater and key characteristics about each. in the second part of my talk, i will share my thoughts on the comparative importance of the theaters, and that is guaranteed to offend, i am sure, a number of people in the audience, i am sure. i'm am ready for that. in fact, i welcome it. you should have a handout that shows the theaters that i am going to be talking about, and it has the title "civil war military theaters," just in case you wonder what it is. theater is a term that can be defined in many ways. as this conference makes clear, as you look at the roster of talks you will hear, it is entirely proper to explore the theater of emancipation, the theater of occupation by union military forces, the guerrilla war theater, theaters of naval warfare, riverines, blockading, commerce raiding, and on and on. there are many ways to approach the war under the rubric of theaters.
i am going to focus on the three theaters most often used to discuss the theaters most often discussed by the people to experience the war, as well as by historians and others who have written about the conflict in the past 150 years. the military story of the civil war played out in three principal geographical theaters. they are the ones marked on your map. the first of those is the eastern theater, and you will have to pardon me if some of this seems so rudimentary. i am going to go through this anyway, so bear with me. the eastern theater embraces most of virginia, parts of western maryland, the lower tier of counties in central pennsylvania. that theater experienced, by far, the most concentrated combat of the war. eight of the 10 costliest battles for the united states army took place in the eastern theater. more casualties took place within 20 miles of fredericksburg, virginia than in any other state in the confederacy.
19 of the 20 union regiments that suffered the highest percentage of union casualties during the war fought in the eastern theater, as did 10 of the 15 confederate regiments and 8 of the 10 confederate brigades that earned that grisly distinction. several factors conspired to focus attention on the east, in the united states, in the confederacy, and in europe, and by europe, i mean in london and paris. the rest of it did not matter. [laughter] dr. gallagher: the eastern theater, among these factors, contained the two national capitals, they are only 100 miles apart. they also contain the war's two most famous armies, the army of the potomac and the army of northern virginia. it was the theater closest to the most large cities in the loyal state, and thus, the newspapers with the largest circulations in the united states. british and french observers habitually gauged the progress of the war by what was happening in the eastern theater. they had a view of the united
states that is very similar to the view that new yorkers have of the united states. when they looked at the united states from london, in paris, they can see everything to the appalachians, and then it is just sort of indistinct beyond there, like everybody in new york can see all the way to the hudson. and then beyond there, it is indistinct. then something out there, it might be los angeles. [laughter] a final factor that brought greater attention to the theater is the presence of r. e. lee. whose emergence gave way to what happened in this theater. it was a measure of the predominance of the eastern theater in the minds of people in the united states, and in the confederacy, that appomattox was believed to surrender to ulysses s grant in 1864 marks the end of the war despite thousands of confederate soldiers after april 9, 1865.
and appomattox, as everyone in this room knows, after more than 150 years, remains a wildly understood moment as which the war came to a close. the second theater is the western theater, which sprawled across many states and offered a portable feast of military action as u.s. army penetrated ever deeper into the confederacy. early in the conflict, it stretched from the ohio river on the north to the gulf of mexico on the south. with eastern and western limits defined by the appalachian mountains and the mississippi river. by the end of the conflict, western armies had fought through kentucky, and tennessee, and georgia, into the carolinas, setting up a final scene at durham station, where general william tecumseh sherman presided over the capitulation of the last significant confederate field army commanded by joseph edelson johnson in
late april, 1865. the army of tennessee, initially called the army of the mississippi, carried the burden of confederate defense in the west, while on the union side, three armies named after the most prominent rivers -- the river of the tennessee, the cumberland, and the ohio projected into the rebellious states. they carried out the third part of the overall strategic plan that winfield scott had offered in april of 1861. blockade the coast, seize control the mississippi river, and if that is not enough power, project the united states military power into the confederate heartland. that is what these armies in the western theaters did. they contained crucial logistical sources as well as new orleans. the confederacy's largest city and most important port, nashville, memphis, atlanta, and other vital centers of commerce and communication. the third and largest theater
was descriptively named trans-mississippi which extended north and south between the border with canada and the republic of mexico, and east to west from the mississippi river to california and the pacific ocean. although it accrued some attention in strategic planning by both sides, operations west of the mississippi never rivaled in scale or importance, those in either the eastern or the western theater. the most consequential military and political events in the trans-mississippi occurred in arkansas, missouri, western louisiana, texas, and indian territory. of course, in indian territory, there was an active role played by the five so-called civilized tribes who were removed there in the 1830's and 1840's. there is one native american general in the conspiracy.
in present-day oklahoma, that is in present-day oklahoma, that is an active arena in that part of the trans-mississippi. u.s. armies gained early control in portions of this region, especially those closest to the mississippi river. while other places, most notably texas, experienced almost no federal incursions. the long border between texas and mexico allowed movement of goods into the confederacy and french intervention in mexico added a diplomatic dimension to affairs in the the trans-mississippi. on may 12 or may 13th, 1865, near brownsville, texas, a heavy skirmish marked a final significant in quotation marks, clash of the war. the mississippi river that lay west of the 100th meridian, and that is marked on your map, embraced everything from western kansas, nebraska territory, and the dakotas, to the pacific coast. and from the texas panhandle across modern-day new mexico and arizona to california.
that area, beyond the 100th meridian, remained peripheral to the civil war. this sprawling and lightly populated region witnessed very little military action between the united states and the confederacy, none that had any appreciable effect on the outcome. a rebel force of less than 2500 men under henry hopkins sibley, moved up the rio grande from el paso and reached the vicinity of santa fe, new mexico territory, before retreating back to texas in the spring, that spring. in 2017, i wrote a piece for "civil war times" that suggested sibley's campaign and other even smaller opperations, and i will quote myself here, i learned to do this from steve -- [laughter] dr. gallagher: "scarcely rise to the level of inconsequential." [laughter]
dr. gallagher: that's bird a -- that statements heard -- that statement spurred a rather dramatic action from some people, and i think some of them probably need counseling, but i will stand by that statement, and i love that part of the world. that is where i grew up. that is my part of the world. it is where my heart lies. it just did not matter. let me offer some more details, comparative thoughts about which theater looms largest in terms of impact on the conduct and course of the war. i was convinced by the age of 12, as a young civil war nerd living on a farm in southern colorado, that military that advance in the eastern theater far exceeded in importance with of anything west of the appalachian mountains. i reach this conclusion, study of command, "r.e. lee: a biography," and biographies and memoirs devoted to generals in the army of northern virginia and the army of the potomac.
however interesting, the sad records of defeat, forged by the army of defeat, forged by the -- the army of tennessee and other rebel forces in the west, or the series of triumph, crafted by ulysses s. grant and william tecumseh sherman, george h. thomas, other union commanders from donaldson through vicksburg, and elsewhere, however important those, however sad that was going on with the confederates, in my mind, operations in the western theater simply seemed less decisive than the bloody eastern battles that included the seven days of antietam, chancellorsville, gettysburg, and the overland campaign. more than 50 years of additional reading and research -- it is painful to speak those words -- have brought me to a more considered, but not a different conclusion on this much disputed topic. [laughter] dr. gallagher: this fact leaves
many people to look at me as a kind of hopeless fossil, a kind of relic from the past to read something when he was 11 and then never really understood anything else. [laughter] dr. gallagher: and i think it is fine that they think that, because, as my girlfriend, jane austen, would say, "what do we live for but to provide support for our friends and to look at them and laugh in our turn?" here is my conclusion, after all of these years. in terms of political impact, effect on morale behind the lines in the united states and the confederacy, perceptions in london and paris, and many other ways that the eastern theater predominated, my assessment goes against much historical writing of the past 40 years, a good deal of which criticizes the degree to which lee and his army, the battle gettysburg, the surrender at appomattox, and other elements of the war in the east have shaped popular americans' understanding of the war. and many people in the room know
this, i have no patience with people who think that gettysburg was the turning point over the civil war or was that important. it simply was not. that upsets all the gettysburg -- i will call them -- aficionados who just wait by their mailbox every day just hoping a new 500 page book about the first 15 minutes on the railroad arrives. because the 300 pages we have just is not enough. [laughter] dr. gallagher: thomas l. connelly, whose two volumes on the army of tennessee remain the standard of treatment, complained of what he called the virginia pattern of interpretation. begun by lost cause writers as early in the 1870's and most notably continued by freeman, that pattern, connelly asserted, that it is synonymous with the battlefield of virginia. two authors reminded readers in
their book, "how the north won," which is a splendid one-volume treatment, 700 pages, but it is a good place to go -- i made my graduate students -- you may have been in my class, where you had to read herman hattaway and archer jones, and i think you actually did. [laughter] dr. gallagher: that is a very important book that argues that henry w. halleck, who presided over the first period of union success in the western theater and later served as general in chief and chief of staff, wielded great influence on the entire course of the conflict. "not only a western outlook, but halleck's western general"wrote hattaway and jones, "dominated the war." when the war concluded, halleck's general, only george e. meade did not belong to halleck's original command.
among the most effective advocates of the west, richard m mcmurray insisted that the war was actually lost in the western theater between 1861 and 1863. by the time lee took command of the army in northern virginia on june 1, 1862, suggests mcmurray, union armies had dealt their opponents "a series of serious, arguably mortal blows along the western rivers," continues mcmurray, with a touch of welcome humor, rebel support continues to slide downhill, and it became less and less likely that the confederates would avoid defeat by not losing since they were, in fact, losing. [laughter] dr. gallagher: richard is a very droll fellow. a great deal of first-rate scholarship over the past quarter century has deepened our understanding of the armies,
leaders, and battles in the western theater, including a brand-new and by the university of north carolina press that arrived at my house larry j. daniel's "conquered: why the army of tennessee failed." -- "seriously challenged by recent scholarship." unlike richard mcmurray, whose work i admire a great deal, i believe the war was far from decided in the summer of 1863 or in the summer of 1864. the key for the confederacy lay in convincing the majority of the citizens in the united states that subduing the rebellion would be too costly. three times, the confederates came close to doing just that. in each case, largely because of what what lee had accomplished in the eastern theater. the first came in the late summer and early autumn,
following the second bull run campaigns and lee's subsequent invasion of the united states, a period in which british leaders came closest to getting involved in the conflict to mediate an end to the war, to use their language. the second moment came in 1863 in the late spring and early and in the late spring and early summer as conscription and emancipation roiled the political situation in the united states, and lee won his victories at fredericksburg and chancellorsville, and took his army across the national frontier for a second time in june. the third and most important of the crises of this type came in the summer of 1864, the incomprehensibly bloody summer of 1864, when the casualty of the overland campaign and grant's inability to capture richmond together with other union stalemates, since civilian
morale in the north spiraling downward to its wartime neighbors. -- nadir. as all of you know well, on august 23, 1864, lincoln had his cabinet sign his famous blind memorandum that said, we will not be reelected to. we, the republicans, are not going to be reelected this year. we have to win the war before the democrats take over next year, because we know they will not win it. if the democrats had won, everybody knows this, not only would union success have been placed in jeopardy, but emancipation, it would have been over if democrats were in charge. evidence abounds on how people on both sides thought about the eastern theater. confederates focused on lee and his army because lee and his army supplied almost all of the good news they got from the battlefield. by the end of 1863 at the latest, lee and his army functioned much as washington and the continental army did, as
the most important national institution. the one in which confederate and civilians gauge chances of success in their effort to establish their slaveholding republic. it is also the army in which the loyal states looked to the primary impediment to crushing the rebellion. lincoln addressed the attitude in europe when he complained that a splendid record in the west, a record that includes fort henry and donelson, shiloh, the capture of new orleans, nashville, and the capture of memphis, all that in the west, seems to account for little as far as the europeans were concerned. it seemed unreasonable, the president complained to a french diplomat, that a series of successes extending more than half a year and clearing more than 100,000 square miles should help us so little, while the defeat should hurt us so much. such was lee's stature, that
appomattox, as i already observed, effectively marks the end of the war. on april 10, 1865, secretary gideon welles mused about news regarding grant capturing lee's army the previous day. the tidings were spread over the country during the night, noted welles, and the nation seemed delirious with joy. the surrender of the great rebel captain and the most formidable and reliable army of the secessionists virtually terminates the rebellion. confederates took a similar view. i've looked on general lee as a rallying point of the army of the south, wrote a woman in 1865. i have really lived on hope for four years, and now i am entirely bewildered. a georgian agreed. useless struggle longer seems to be the common cry, he noted after learning of appomattox,
poor wounded men go hobbling about the street with despair on their faces. the "look" magazine to "harpers weekly's life," people with gray hair will understand, in the end of may in washington, d.c., when the army took sherman's army over two days march pennsylvania avenue. lest he be accorded the full praise, insisted that the army of potomac because it had confronted lee's famous command, had shouldered the greatest military burden. against them, the power of the rebellion was mainly concentrated and consumed. whether attacking or defending, it was the army of the potomac with its mighty sled that battered the traders into dust. i mean none of this to suggest that western battles in general
and events were unimportant. vicksburg, for example, loomed far larger in 1863 than gettysburg did. grant's rise in its aftermath, eventually to general in chief, and a storied series of concentrations with lee, proved decisive to union war efforts. but whatever we may think, people at the time most often gazed eastward to gauge how the war progressed. their perception was crucial and we should take it seriously. grant himself offered testimony that helps us understand how people during the war assessed the various fears. in his memoirs, he discusses the background and opening of the overland campaign in the spring of 1864 that would witness coordinated union offenses, or so he hoped, under general sherman in georgia, nathaniel p banks in alabama. nathaniel p banks in alabama. [laughter] dr. gallagher: just imagine now
if major general pelosi was commanding all forces in afghanistan. that's what you have with nathaniel p. banks. he had been speaker of the house, and he wanted to wear a uniform. anyway, he was supposed to go to alabama, and he never got there. someone in the shenandoah valley, the 48er who helped with the german vote, and the always popular benjamin franklin butler, who was to move up the james river to petersburg, those were the components, together with the army of the potomac that would be moving to virginia. and here is how grant described his overall strategy. the armies were all ready to move for the accomplishment of a single object. lee, with the capital of the confederacy, was the main end to which all were working. johnston -- this was so break his heart -- was an important obstacle in the way of accomplishing our results aimed objective.endent
he never thought of himself as almost an independent objective. spend too much time being eaten up with the of lee, as all of us know. that is an aside. between those two, to repeat, grand pronounce the army of the potomac's work against lee and richmond as the keystone of the overall strategy. for grant, who presided over the entire military effort for the last year and change of the war, lee's demise also signaled the practical close of the rebellion. on april 10, 1865, the day after he met lee at appomattox, grant "determined to return to washington at once with the view of putting a stop to the purchase of supplies and what i now deem another useless outlay of money. for the general, managing the peace had already begun."
oh, yes, joe johnston is still in the field. poor joe johnston. grant was a westerner. grant is not an easterner, for god's sake. he is a westerner. he is from ohio. he had made his reputation in the western theater, early on under howard's tutelage, and then on his own. sherman, his great friend and subordinates, urged grant to remain in the western theater after becoming commander in chief. sherman said, you could run the war from anywhere. why would you go to the east? congress is in the east. newspaper men are in the east. do it from out here, and everything will work out. but grant, whose political acumen was considerable, knew he had to go east and take the field because loyal citizenry demanded it, and abraham lincoln
and the republican party needed real success. not just real success somewhere, but they needed real success against the most famous rebel leader ever in the most vital arena of combat. grant's presence in the field with the army of potomac between may 1864 and april 1865 speaks unequivocally to the advancements in the east politically, militarily, and the morale. the best soldiers take the field against the rebel commanders, who had bedeviled the union for almost two years. in the spring of 1864, after grandpa's promotion to general in chief, and after news spread that he would accompany the army of the potomac, meade continued to command the armies. poor meade, and grant is traveling with him, so it is grant's army. people all over the united states looked to grant's
presence in virginia as the factor that would win the war, defeat lee, and that would win the war. whatever happens anywhere else, each day brings us nearer to the battle of the war which must soon be fought in virginia, stated the "chicago tribune." which was the west back then. it will be one of the most terrible battles ever recorded in history. both grant and lee are amassing their forces. for the shock, mcclellanism is rooted out. they were wrong about that. it wasn't really rooted out until they removed governor warren in 1865 in the most humiliating circumstances imaginable. the army has the confidence of the commanding general, and he takes the field unhampered with interference from any quarter. we anticipate the victory, which
shall give the rebellion the finishing blow. the "new york times," like the "tribune," a republican newspaper, develop a common theme. they are fond of shaking their heads in view of lieutenant governor's campaign in virginia, they say that grant has heretofore been successful defeating the rebel generals, he has never yet encountered lee. that is true enough. but do these people ever think that grant has ever fought lee, it is also equally true that lee has never met grant. a very good point. the "new york herald" judged grant, a soldier, "will not be mcclellanized," and whose object is to "crush the main army," the main armies of jeff davis, and first of all, the rebel army of virginia, which is the light and soul of the rebellion.
this northern newspaper accounts with their focus on lee from city is on the east and west, remind us why the rebels must always be brought into the picture in assessing relative attention during the war to various theaters. because of his standing in the confederacy, lee's presence commanded the attention that no other confederate officer received. two quotations at the time of appomattox, one from a confederate, one from a union soldier will convey lee's stature. one who spoke for many soldiers and civilians in a single sentence, the day lee agreed to grant's terms. "the life is gone. his army surrendered." writing shortly after the surrender, a union soldier spoke eloquently about lee's stature among his enemies. the background is he is home after the surrender, and his
letter seems not as enthusiastic, and they wrote back and said what is the matter with you? this is a great thing, and this is how he answered, quote "to tell the truth, we have never answered yes that he has actually surrendered here. i had the sort of impression that we should fight him all our lives. he was like a ghost to children, something that we could not realize that he and his army were out of existence to us." i have been reading stuff all my life. i have never read any union soldier's account of someone writing about braxton gray or bull regard as a figure who would haunt them all their lives. lee occupied a universe of one
and that haunting dimension across the united states. i well understand that many historians as well as lay readers interested in the civil war often seek something fresh. of course they do. other people are tired of new england winning the super bowl all the time. [laughter] dr. gallagher: the long drumbeat -- and others aren't -- the long drumbeat regarding the importance of major armies and well-known battles in the eastern theater can grow tedious, but in some ways, the real war, to steal from walt whitman, and you can think about this when you go see the women -- see the whitman exhibit, for which steve is a most entirely responsible, "the real war, in many ways, has gotten into the books." it really has gotten into the books, and that war showcases the paramount importance of the eastern theater. i am reminded of advice from a scholar named barnes lathrop, who was my advisor in graduate school at the university of texas in austin.
i had a really good idea. i thought boy, this is a great idea of. somebody just gave me the hook 'em horns sign. i am literate in horns. i thought damn, the evidence was not working out and made my idea not look too good. there will be slight profanity, he looked at me and said "goddammit, gallagher, just go where the evidence leads, and you will be all right." well, i think barnes lathrop was correct about that, the evidence suggests strongly that to them, the eastern theater looms largest. i think we should take their testimony seriously. thank you. [applause] dr. gallagher: alright, that is enough. we have 10 minutes of questions.
should you want to do that. if you are just beaten into submission, that is fine, too. [laughter] dr. gallagher: there are no questions. there is not one question in this entire room? i will repeat your question if you will just -- >> [inaudible] how did that lead to -- ? dr. gallagher: there was a series of set-ups that the confederates set up all across the landscape, and they shifted in the course of the war. they came, they went, they changed boundaries. how did that affect what was going on in the west? i am not sure what jefferson davis could have done differently. the real problem for confederates is they only ever found one person who could really command an army, and when you have more than one army, that is a problem. i mean, early in the war, there was unified commands and most of the west under albert sidney johnston, who gave us the
confederate's best general. he was in charge of everything kentucky southward over the river back to the appalachians. part of his problem is that it is such a huge area. there are so many ways the federals could get out. the rivers run the wrong way, it would advance into the confederacy. they are not boundaries. the cumberland takes you into the confederacy. the tennessee takes you into the confederacy. the mississippi takes you all the way through the confederacy. i do not think a departmental system is really what went wrong there. i think it is an absence of leadership of the first caliber, and some of the geographical realities of the western theater that conspired against the confederates there. yes. >> you argue for the eastern theater. dr. gallagher: you got the point of my talk. good job! [laughter] >> [inaudible]
public moral was plummeting. [inaudible] vicksburg, new orleans, atlanta. dr. gallagher: yep. those were all in the west! >> [inaudible] without those, lincoln was reelected. those were the major battles. dr. gallagher: the importance of the west, while you have a stalemate in the east, when the army of the potomac of the army of northern virginia, the world is going to hell out west, and it is from the very beginning of the war. i mean, vicksburg looms large during the war. i never quite understood why it looms so large, because the key to the mississippi river is holding new orleans, and that is gone in april of 1862. so, the mississippi ceases to be
a confederate river one year into the war. one year into the war. that is a huge victory for the united states. what retrieved the situation for lincoln in 1864, you got half of it, is atlanta is half of it and because americans then, now have short memories, the shenandoah valley coming closer to the election, also played a key role there. i do not pretend that things in the west are not important. my argument is that the east looms larger and that people in various ways made that clear. and i think that if the west were really the most important place, i do not think you can overestimate grant's importance in all of this. grant is the man by early 1864. he is the man. he has become the man by what he has done in the west by shiloh, vicksburg, and chattanooga, and it allows sherman to become what he was, because without grant, you do not have sherman. sherman absolutely needs grant. with grant, he becomes a very
successful general. so grant makes his name in the west. he could have stayed in the west, but the fact that he comes east, and more than that, the fact that he accompanies the army of the potomac, i think, suggests just how vital it was in terms of perception in the united states that somebody defeat lee. and the irony here is that almost nobody considered lee a general who really lost, and this was after gettysburg. i never quite understood why gettysburg kind of gets airbrushed when people look at lee. you read letters, an endless procession of letters in early 1864 that say something like "lee has never been defeated and never will be," "we have confidence in leave because he has never lost." well, of course he has lost. he lost the battle of gettysburg in ways that did not cling to him the way it would to others, but grant is coming to be. yes? >> this is actually an emerging question, not a confrontational
question. dr. gallagher: i welcome any questions, but make it a short question. [laughter] >> why is north carolina, i mean why doesn't sherman cross from the west to the east? by the time he gets so close to lee's army in north carolina, why isn't that now part of the eastern theater? dr. gallagher: oh, well, of course, geographically it is the eastern theater, but it is the western armies operating there. that is just civil war terminology. north carolina, poor north carolina, it does not even really get to be in a theater. [laughter] dr. gallagher: it is down there. it is never really in the eastern theater, and only when the western armies get there does it get to kind of claim to be in a theater. but still, you follow the armies where they go, they end up at durham station. i would say north carolina is a kind of never never land, but it
is certainly not the eastern theater, although it is an eastern state, no doubt about it. yes. >> [inaudible] loses the war in the west. dr. gallagher: can you make the argument that they lost the war economically in the west? well, you can argue that losing the mississippi was really important. my thing is ok, the war goes on two more years, so what exactly does that do? tom connelly made the argument of what he called the heartland, which was kind of middle tennessee, which had tremendous agricultural and mineral resources, and he says the loss of that is the greatest logistical loss for the confederacy.
the confederates never got tennessee back. tennessee has gone to the confederacy by 1862, a state that they really have control, and tom would have argued that is the biggest logistical loss. that is that the end of 1862, and the war is going on. i think the crucial thing is the -- is civilian morale in the united states. that is the factor that will decide the war. the confederates cannot win the war, there is no way. what they have to do -- we live in a democratic republic. most people in this room are old enough to remember a war where the united states stopped, not because the united states military forces were losing but because the civilians said we are not going to support this war anymore. that is what had to happen in the united states. that is what had to happen. and i think lee's army is the army that came closest -- three times, and especially in the summer of 1864, to accomplishing that. so resources are always a problem. the united states does always have more of everything than the confederates do.
davis is always presented as a loser, what a loser, and he is very easy not to like. he reminds me of woodrow wilson. they are both really easy not to like. [laughter] dr. gallagher: you would never want to have a meal with either one of them, and they would say what do you think about that? and you would say, a, and they say will i think b, and i am right, so we will not talk about that anymore, pass the potatoes. i think it is gearing up for what is a substantial wartime economy by the end of the war, and this is not my phrase, it is a phrase that a woman named louise hill used in the 1930's, there is a kind of state socialism in the confederacy that is not present in the united states in terms of keeping the war effort. they are state industries in the confederacy. the confederate government becomes the most intrusive government in american history
until deep in the 20th century. lincoln, the great dictator, as a lot of people like to call him, the confederate's central government was far more intrusive than the united states government was during the civil war. it was necessary to maintain a war, but a pretty impressive performance in many ways. we have got two minutes left. yes. >> what does the predominant theater tell us about reconstruction and the focus of the nation after the war ends? dr. gallagher: well, the focus on the east, i am not sure what it tells us about reconstruction. i think the focus on -- this is a whole other topic. i do not want to open this too much. we are into long everythings now. we have a long civil war, a long reconstruction, a long everything. the 19th century is really long now. it is encroaching on the 18th century significantly, alan. [laughter] dr. gallagher: it is
heartbreaking. i think reconstruction has a very specific meaning. it means bring the rebel states back -- reconstruct something that has been broken. what has been broken? the union has been broken. reconstruct it. i do not think reconstruction is about new york. i think things are happening in new york. it is not about california. i think things are happening in california. california does not need reconstruction. the great plains do not need to be reconstructed after the civil war. i am upsetting tons of people here, as well. i think reconstruction has a specific meeting. the loyalists came out of the civil war saying ok, what was this war preeminently about? it was about destroying the union. check. it also became about destroying the issue of slavery, and this is for most white americans, no matter how much we want them to really care about black people during the civil war and see slavery is a great evil that had to be stamped out because it was a moral outrage, this is not how they approach it. by our standards, they are
deeply racist. that is just the way it is. take that as a baseline and move forward. emancipation was necessary, because it took away the only internal threat to the union that they could imagine going forward. check. slavery is dead. the union is safe. there is no third thing on their list. guarantee equal rights for freed people. that is not on the list. that is not on their list for reconstruction. it is get closer to the list because of the behavior of former confederates. beginning in the summer of 1865, and if we have another conference sometime on reconstruction, we can pursue that. i am exactly at my cut-off point. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> joint american history tv
sunday when will mark the 50th anniversary of the stonewall riot, the key turning point in the gay-rights movement. starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern, we are live with the editor of "the stonewall riots: a documentary history." we will answer viewer calls and tweets. antietam gay-rights films by a pioneering gay-rights activist. first, "the second largest minority." followed by the 1970 still "gay and proud." >> tell me how you feel about being here today. >> i feel beautiful, fantastic. >> how long have you been homosexual? >> i was born homosexual.
it was beautiful. i was signed to see there was not some politician or something here with us today. i think lindsay should have made it a point to be with us today as well as possibly some of the gay movement organizers themselves. >> watch the 50th anniversary of the stonewall riots this sunday on c-span3's american history tv. the c-span cities tour is on the road exploring the american story. as we continue our special look at detroit, tour guide jamon jo rdon takes us down eight-mile road -- eight mile road which marks the northern border of detroit. >> we are as the eight mile wall or the birwood wall. it goes by a number of names. it was built by a white housing developer. this w
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