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tv   The Civil War The Civil War and Western Theater Tactics  CSPAN  July 5, 2019 10:45pm-11:21pm EDT

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cspan products. next on the civil war, university of cincinnati professor christopher phillips talks about the way tactics and ideologies from the western theater such as guerilla fighting influenced other theater thes of the civil where. this was part of a day long conference hosted by the the university of virginia center for civil war history. >> okay. so our final speaker of the day is do christopher phillips. who is the john and door hi professor of american history at and the university of distinguished professor in the arts humanities and social signs at the university of cincinnati. he is the author of seven books on the civil war era including the rivers ran backward, the civil war on the remaking of the american middle border, which is right back there in the back. and this -- this very impressive book won the tom watson brown
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prize from the society of civil war historians for 2016. so we are delighted to welcome today professor phillips. [ applause ] >> can everybody hear? well first of all i want to thank kari and liz and gary for inviting me to speak and bringing me all the way here from the wildes of virginia back country also known as the hoi country. i've long wondered why grant-like that another ohio illinoisan that i've been summoned east to the mother state. but after hearing gary's opening talk, i know now. it's to give the naughty talk. so after asking kari about topics to which she applied whatever you want to talk about, that sounded a little to me like
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asking the condemned how long they want the hanging rope to be i have only 30 minutes. at least the hanging won't take take a look. but true to naughty form, i'm going to start with a vignettes from post war to introduce what i call the western way of where, an idea that gary yaes's union war actually inspired. so there, gary, 'tis the benefit of batting last. i've got a lot of ground to cover because the west is a rather large theater. and i have the map to prove it. on october 15th, 1874 as falls first hard frost entered a balmy indiana yand carpeting spring will illinois in falling leaves the civil war returned to town not that it had been far from anyone's mind less than a decade before nearly as the fighting ended residents had laid the
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former neighbor mart reported abraham lincoln a in a crypt a few miles north of state capital where he serve four timbers in the state legislature only blocks in which a new capital building was unconstruction. the graveside had offered town people a painful repipelineder of the cost that had been exacted only the night before a public dead tags of a new buryial tomb and monument marked the as we find out not so permanent resting place of lincoln and three of his sons. this evening the newest remainder -- or reminder of the bloody struggle was a reunion of union veterans. many of them officers of the society of the army of tennessee. the most decorated of the union's western armies who met at the leeland house, springfield's toniest hotel near the bustling capital square to commemorate the murdered president by celebrating his or
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mow rightly some of his military force's victory. the coincidence of the meeting and meeting demanded distinguished illinoisans especially republicans be prominent among speaker beside the secretary of war there was the governor and former gofrg richard ogles by and palmer. as well as other war heroes. john pope. steve hurl bit. at the head table sat other western generals. the commanding general of the army, william tecumseh sherman and george armstrong kusterer. he complicates nearly everything always. just know that he was still alive though. that's not complicate the. neither of the battlefield exploits needed introduction. nor did the man sitting next to sherman one time illinoisan, longtime aot commander national war hero. and current president, ulysses s
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grant. nearly a decade after the war's end, the nation's eyes no longer saw this president exclusive through the lens of war victory. politics hundred heavy over thi of war victory. politics hung heavy over the meeting besieging grant's postwar leadership. dame pant white violence were sweeping away republican governments in the forms of southern states. had reunited in part over radical-led, constitution full amendments giving sitsship rights to former slaves, including the right to vote. all now threatened grant's legacy and with it, lincoln. tonal this week, in the wake of catastrophic elect, scandal- ridden republicans whose bloody shirt had advantage quiched democrats for decades were trounced nationwide,
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losing 96 congressional seats and costing republicans their 16-year house majority. it is still the national party's worst ever defeat n lincoln's and grant's illinois. republicans lost eight of 18 congressional seats. the results in neighboring indiana and ohio were even worse. more even than the scandals and the national depression, voters were responding to reconstruction which one indiana newspaperman characterized as crimes and blunders of the administration for which its treatment of the south stood conspicuous. this editor concluded, everybody is democratic now. unsurprisingly, these veteran officers made few claims to national reconciliation. in jeopardy was the victory narrative one that at least trumped he maps paying as the lynchpin, one that was
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lincoln's assassination in the hand of the extremists. former cop federal foes in the south and former blue coated compatriots in the east. east had opinion placed initially by the progress of the various campaigns and waited at the two-day grand review of the armies that paraded down pennsylvania avenue in may of 1865. the celebrated armist potomac marched while sherman's 60,000 men louded, the army why of the we, 168 regg month strong marched the next day. symbolically, the parade was supposed to show the feat of the eastern army, instead of
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the west. another victory narrative needed cultivating. one that celebrated the military contributions of the western army, hard fighting which these men believed had, in fact, won the war for union. special attention was reserved for sherman's destructive 1864 georgia campaign referred to simply as the march that they now universally affirmed as winning the war. briefly mentioned was the freeing of the slaves. poetry toast and speeches celebrating the in vincible western armies that, in their words, had never been defeated. and then john pope stepped to the podium. [ laughter ]. this werner was
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known for his bombast. it's called pope's bulls that alienated eastern troops. he said, i have come to you from the west. where we have always seen the backs of our enemies. he was also known for the defeat by lee, shortly thereafter at second manassas. his fellow westerners in virginian, however, knew him as a hard time, someone that would use the army to bludgeon the sioux in the west and the southerners. there is now a new ball, stronger meat, as he called it. western armies had won the war by their hard style of fighting. and approach eventually adopted in all theaters that brought the confederacy to it knees. their officers then assumed
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the mantle of leadership in national government in the wake of union victory. and this is a quote. when the war was over, we found that president the united states was a western man, the vice president a western man. the speaker house and western man. secondary of stretchy, western man. secretary of war -- you get the idea? the post passenger yen raul, a western man. the attorney general a western man. the general of the army a western man. the lieutenant general, a western man. the admiral of the navy a western man. he goes on to finish the whole power of the government both in its civil and military departments had n this great struggle, passed into the hands of men of the west. he was not just talking about the post war there. with rising cheers, surprisingly, the officers soon adjourned. the venue for this celebration might have been fitting but
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the timing words and tone speaking at the meeting offered profound ironies much western veteran officers saw their contributions to the civil war victory as both seminal and overlooked. in their minds, they had not just won the war. they have traps formed it. expanding its scope and trajectory to a type of warfare that could, indeed, achieve victory. the records supporting these claims and an unfrenching awareness of what transpired their region pushed them on. many of the war's leading commanders-like grant and shear man were western commanders. this region provided the idol cal and political foundation and violent dress rehearsal for the war itself as the conflict known as bleeding kansas. several of these western states served as a proving
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ground for what much of the conflict would ultimately become, one that saw debilitating guerilla warfare. one fought that both learninged and targeted civilians by slavery politics and one that sought early yes and fullest incorporation of war timeey mans nation of slaves into its scope. a reality that the springfield meeting had so consciously avoided. his commanders, including those in the room that night whath transferred their western kind of war eastward. shaping union war strategy and carrying victory. and that's what they believed. so let's take on these various pieces and echelons. first, the southern ones told us that gorilla warfare in the west erupted nearly as the war
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began. if not everywhere at once. in missouri and western virginia, the violence disrupted as state and military leaders contended. irregular band, pro union and confederate roomed many rural localities in the war's first month. retaliatory warfare followed. night riders stole horses, and others tore the federal authority symbols, including bridge. they stole mail. derailed trains with women and children aboard. enough for one editor to say, it's degrading that white men would do this. >> it's more than the span stain just presence of federal troops. the long conflict over slaves in the west transformed it into what i called the hard
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line war. soldiers and officers in both armies and regular fighters quickly using support for or opposition to slavery as measures of civilians war loyalties shaping military action and civilian response. the kansas missouri board e long overseeing the slavery's extensions, witnessed the most blatant vials of civil rights. jay hawkers entered within weeks of mustering from kansas to exact justice for what they considered pro slavery sins. a unionist in jackson county claimed that men had stolen forces, and assaulted women, robbed families and even local patent office and committed
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more extreme acts of terror putting ropes around men's necks threatening to hang them. some soon complained that hard lining kansas had made was as firstly as upon sew sessionists and turning peaceful and quiet citizens into desperate guerillas. this en gulf much of the trans mississippi west and trans appalachian revealing the causative links between slavery and irregular warfare. >> in response, in part of what historian jim mcpherson had termed lincoln's strong arm strategy, the president gave long leash to union commanders who demonstrated the inclination and capacity for -- he often appointed
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politicians to ranks and promoted them regardless of political afillis. all mentioned were the earliest wen fisheries of lincoln's latitude allowing his soldier,'s put it, on the ground to engage in shocking treatment of sillian populations nearly as the war started. so to sher map who, after returning to kentucky following a bout of depression, worned by deep stints in deeply divided st. louis and louisville adopted the. when one nation is at where with another, all the people of one are the en plays of the other. this is what he wrote, the
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secretary of treasury, chase. he says that most university, the war in which we are engaged has been complicated with the belief on the one hand that all on the other are not enemies. by march 1862, guerilla warfare would convince sherman adopt in western tennessee what james henry lane had done in 1851: collective punishment, namely putting entire towns to the torch. this is sherman's quote. this is an expense not chargeable to us. once complaints reached him but to those who made the war and generally war's destruction and nothing else. this is long before he said law is all held. anyone who was not an unconditional unionist was disloyal. john edwards, the lieutenant colonel of an iowa home guard regiment judged, loyal men have the same sympathies in
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the common cause in contrast with the neutrals, as he called them, and great many terror stricken sew sessionists. this led to suppressive measures, including, as george b. mcclellan wrote, overwhelming physical force. mcly, of course, lived in cincinnati for decades although he was a philadelphian. when he advised lincoln of this, lincoln was prompted to bring him eastward as the new general of the army, ahead of the national army. conversely with the notable exception of those who premature pursued slave
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emancipation and whose generalship earned the president's trust. those who urged time were replaced. among them winfield scott. robert anderson, don carlos bull and, of course, mcclellan himself. all of them pro slavery democrats. unlike mcclellan, westerners would make good on such boths. in northern missouri in july '61, stephen herbert, a staunch republican wage add warfare. when his men learned that john mac afee was at his house in shelby county, he was arrested and required by general hurlbert to take transit in the hot sun. he says that hurlbut himself said he set him at it. still, it was admitted that it
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was doubtful any charges could be maintained against him. within two months of his release. mcafee had joined the missouri- legislature and presided over the secession legislature. second detachment shot -- in june of 1861, the commander, lieutenant colonel james m tuttle wrote this criticism. perhaps i'm responsible, he respond, when exxon fronted publicly about the shooting. if so, i was nothing to take back. our busines down there was to put down the rebel colors and, of course, we commenced as soon as we saw where the men commenced. his flag came down and so did he. >> anything of 163, in
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response to the mass murder of nearly 200 civilians in lawrence, kansas, under william cantrell. the depopulation of four entire missouri counties bordering kansas were ordered. only those judged royals could return. the others exclusively men and women were banished and troops would burn their homes and their fields at harvest time. >> in part, this destructive warfare occurred because many union officers and soldiers in the western region used slave holdings as an essential measure of disloyalties, just as confederate troops saw it as proof of loyalty. anti-slavery hard liners were among the quickest to judge. union officers and soldiers, especially anti slavery republicans did not easily
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divest themselves of decades- long held predilections of views. few now saw the need to recon sill yate. some wrote that there is no rain to. any man who would hold a slave with very few exceptions is neither a christian a patriot or a loyal citizen. or as another put it, the americans who are slave holders are the earn mis of the government. remedies among many such unionists derived upon the view of slaves holding immunity. federal solds labeled these border states residents as worse than just sew
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sessionists. in many places, they were pukes. before congress began ranking over the army's authority to hold black fugitives and even as political generals like benjamin butler interuse ited contraband policy, one that was in tidewater, virginia, one that many remarked as the -- in the west, so, too, federal troops, state militias and slaves on the ground had commenced the holding march towards war time emancipation. within days of firing on fort sumpter, james henry lane and james montgomery were in contact with northern abolitionists for claiming their intention to liberate slaves if granted army commission. by the time they got them,
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they and other kansas jay hawkers were confiscating slaves from missouri slave owners, liberating them, using them as labor hes or enlisting them as soldiers. lane and montgomery became known widely as negro thieves because of how they confiscated them. lane used his troops to confiscate slaves and boasted that his army would be joined by slaves. general henry w. hallek referred to lane's raids as great jay hawking expeditions. in the west even before the
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predecessor john c. vermont in -- president candidate had issued a short lives proclamation in missouri in august of 1861 one that lincoln quickly rescinded. iowa and illinois troops in northern and southeastern missouri were enticing missouri slaves to abscond and become servants for fair wages. the military frequently used informant slaves. this was going to on in northern missouri when illinois troops entered and in eastern or southern missouri when illinois on indiana troops entered as well. as the western armies pushed thousands of mississippi, the puckle of the plantation pelt
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a humanitarian crisis created by the flood tide of fudge siev slaves, union camp in western tennessee, pressured both political and military policy. union officers required to return these slaves often refused to comply. en couraging congress to begin debate over new policies about confiscation and contra bands and commanders like grant advocated putting them to use as laborers. summer of 1862, congress enacted the confiscation act allowing the military to free, and even allowing freed slaves to join the military. by the time lincoln black troops from the western border states were already in military service in the west. kansas jay hawkers included liberation of slaves in there
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schools. as recally as november 1861, charles jenison led a company liberated missouri bondmen. two months later, loosely interpreting recruiting instructions from the war department, as well as congress' authorization that the president employs as many person of african descent as they may deem necessary and proper for the suppression of this rebel on, james henry lane formed the first kansas colored infantry, the first black regiment of the war. despite the secretary of war's admonition that they should not be read received. in object 186, it detachments
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of lane's brigade saw action, repulsing repeated charges and white missourimen. james montgomery and lane, after nearly unremembering success? their previous western fleet e they transferred with them their western style of war making. both put it to deadly use. grant's attributed overland campaign, sherman's the march and ohio and sheridan's burning of the shenandoah valley. by the way, when that was burping, sherman was not there. all this completed the strategic turn to the hardest kind of war which broke the confederacy's cast by and
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people's will to resist. they and the soldier has exerted a pivotal influence on the traject rift war. they claimed vick tritt by their hard fighting and underunder stood that many, if not most of the war's pivotal measures had commenced in the war. carried to the eastern theater by celebrated werners but also grand, sherman and sheridan but lesser known western commanders like john pope, stephen hurlbutt. montgomery. they collected hard line and hard war policies as responses to conventional and i go regular warfare that en gulf much of the west. all of which put civilians in the cross hairs of military policy. they became the collective strategic elements that ultimately drove the confederacy down. despite these officers' i am by lens to war timeey mans
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nation of african american soldiers, they believed that they had cause to celebrate their consch contributions. and certainly they did. their western way of war had back the nation's. thank you so much. [ applause ]. i'm happy to take questions. i ran a little over. i'm sorry. >> i'm the line between you and the panel. anything that you can think of later, i'll be there. >> how effective were the policies and how much they created new opposition? >> you are asking me how successful were hard ball policies? >> did they make new guerillas. >> i think the answer to that
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is both. i think on the one hand hard policies as they are known clearly brought more gerrys out into the bush than programs previously had been. not sure how many would come out for them jessie and frank james, for example, decided to go into the bush or the brush specifically because local unionist militias decided to get information, hanging their stepfather. should i say, hanging without killing him. that drove them out. order number 11 pretty much ended all guerilla activity in those four counties by depopulating them. but that is a little bit like schlessinger's claim of weeding the guard wen a
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bulldozer. that's not practical. more and more commanders turned to those policies and practices as the war went on. not surprisely, guerilla warfare continued to proliferate until at least the election of 1864 and then seemed to have just died. >> do you consider the lip con administration of turning a blind eye to the situations that were taking place in missouri and kentucky, the blood bath taking place there between the citizens? >> that's a really, really question and a hard one to answer. i permanently don't believe that he took a blind eye. he knew that was going on on the ground and increasingly as the war went on, he began to send hard liners into those, using will's terms, back water assignment but not to get them out of the front line but top
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send them there sup as rosecrantz suchch such as elijah payne when he called -- what was it? a war of of liberation. but a different kind. it was counter insurgency, against guerillas. lincoln appointed payne to that post. specifically because he knew that this hard liner would take a hard line measure. i think that rosecranz was sent there not simply to get him out of trouble but rather to accomplish something in place that was known for unconventional and irregular warfare and chaos. and he got all that he bargained for there. in some sense, that helped to tarnish his reputation as
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well, his inability to quell the violence in missouri. thank you. i appreciate it.
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we are ready to start our final panel of the day. you know we have not done this before but we thought it would be fun with all the pammitys to get everyone together and have a conversation. before we get started, though, i want to introduce my


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