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tv   The Civil War Battle of Antietam Lincoln and Emancipation  CSPAN  October 26, 2022 10:10am-11:15am EDT

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nixon. this guy is out for himself. turned it to be pretty true. thank you very much for, coming this is been a real privilege. >> if you are enjoying american history tv, sign up for the qr code on the screen to receive the weekly schedule upcoming programs. like -- history the presidency and. more sign up for the news later today and be sure to watch american history tv every saturday, or anytime online, at slash history. >> weekends on c-span two e an intellectual feast. ever saturday, american history tv documents america story. and on sundays, -- tv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span two comes from these television companies. and more.
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history to young age, and there are a few scholars i can point to who helped me get there. and the gentleman i had the honor to introduce is one of those. often times you listen to a biography, and think to yourself, i knew that. is you do not necessarily have to have a biography list behind. them but this one is definitely worth noting. he is a 34 year veteran of the -- service and has served for 20. years he won the national park service award in excellence in interpretation in 1993 and was fundamental in the growth of gettysburg negotiations in history, program even if it was the 11th site on a list of ten. that growth also included a distance in satellite educational efforts, key player for the design of all aspects of the new gettysburg museum and visitors center. and he retired from the park service in january 2014. but as we often, now when you retire you say. busy scott has offered numerous
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articles essays and books on civil war subjects. has appeared in the history channel, discovery, colonel c-span, i think they're in the house tonight. his most recent publication is cheatham creek, the maryland campaign from september 3rd to september 15th. an 800-page in-depth study of the campaign up to the eve of the battle in september 2012 with john hopkins. currently working on a sequel which will cover the battle of antietam, and its aftermath. in the end of the campaign. please join me in welcoming scott harvey. >> i can tell you, you, if you did refer a northern virginia in your drop, my guy pat goes off to you. . we you know what i'm talking
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about. and burt, bert worked for me. i clearly failed. now, i've got to tell you. when i came in here and i heard burr was the top ten with this crowd, i was like oh my god. . this is going to be -- you can't win a top ten -- you just cannot win. because everybody has their own thing. and i think bert to the great job. so if no thing with being -- gettysburg rain 11th, or nine, or right. we'll have our own opinion on these sorts of things. tonight, in my part of this, we're in a talk about the antique and campaign. and the oppression military fear scarlet wrong cloth fix once said that war is politics by other means. they might six remains.
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in the maryland campaign of 1862 or the antietam campaign, you can really almost pick any campaign of the war. this campaign in particular, isn't used with politics. not just on one, side on both sides. and so tonight what i intend to do is look at this campaign and talk about five topics associated with the campaign. because for me to try to go through the whole campaign, that is a -- that is not a top. we will talk about emancipation of the maryland campaign. why did -- invade maryland? the armies of the campaign, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the army can help you better understand how this campaign evolves the way it does. and turns out the way it does. mclaughlin and special orders number one 91, this is the famous lost orders. robert e. lee's orders to his armies that were discovered in
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calling has given those orders. we'll talk about that. and why did we offer battle at sharia spur? very controversial decision by robert e. lee. the war and slavery. one of the myths from the civil war, we know that the civil war is famous for all of its myths. but one of the myths of the civil war i thought emancipation played no role until september of 1862, when lincoln issued the preliminary emancipation proclamation. that is not true. from the beginning of the war, the republican party and abraham lincoln were out for slavery. they did not want order states, missouri, kentucky, maryland, the slave states as well. they could not afford to let those states go into confederacy, they had to be very careful with how they proceeded. , however the attack on slavery began very early in the war.
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remember the confiscation acts? i know these things seem to be kind of boring, but they are connected to the war. august of 1861. first confiscation act, slaves come within union lines. our free. emancipated. one of the biggest emancipators of the union army in the spring of 1862 was george be mclaughlin. he did not like this. he did not like this policy, but he debated as a soldier. because civil government made the policy, and he obeyed the policy. so slaves who came within the, lines on the virginia peninsula, where free. congress is going to up the ante a little bit more, because as the wars continue to go on, and the border states are being very difficult to work with for lincoln, because he is trying to give them a plan of compensate emancipation, and they are not interested in that. they want to hold on to slavery. and the, south the confederacy,
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is fighting very hard. there are big battles. they are determined to win their independence. so they are going to up the ante on the top, and there is also some complication for soldiers in the field who are running into slaves. it was a loyal master or disloyal master? i do not know what i'm supposed to. do these laser just come within my lines. gonna make him look more simple for you. but if it is a state that has succeeded kind of slaves can within your outlines, they are. free they are emancipated. you do not return them to the owners. not only do not return, them you will be court-martial if you do. it is illegal to return slaves to their owners. that is the second confiscation. there is another thing in the second confiscation act. it calls for the president of the united states to issue a proclamation declaring all slaves and states are a billion to be free.
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. well think lincoln just came up with as. he deal out if you're operation, i will change the war. actually republican congress calls for him to do this. this is very common for congress to do this. there is a great book by james oakes called freedom national that lays out this whole discussion of the destruction of slavery, in far more detail. and which i encourage you to read. because it gives you a much better idea about the attack upon slavery. and lincoln's role in. this so lincoln's on board with this. he wants the second confiscation act. he wants to issue the emancipation proclamation. he is going to go down to paris's landing. , yes i. now everybody is out there. that picture is not for harrison's landing. that is from antietam. i know. but this lincoln in my column, and there wasn't any pitcher
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taking out the harrison's landing. so he goes to harrison's landing, in early july. appalling has been defeated in the seven-day battles. he is going to sit down and meet with me colin. and when he is, there are mcallen is going to hand him a letter holding harrison's bar ladder. and mccullough gets bashed for this letter. he is way of line. i do not think we calling as an ally at all. commander one of the largest field armies in the union. and he has a right to express to the president of the united states, what i think about policy. and what he tells the president is that a declaration of radical views, especially upon slavery, will rapidly disintegrate are present armies. but that is a pretty clear shot across the back. i hear what is going on in congress. they are debating the second confiscation act. did not do something radical here. not a good idea. part of -- mcallen is a conservative but the other thing the macallan is
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probably looking at is anything but he sees as radical might make the other side fight even harder. so he is opposed to anything like that. he still has a concept that there are a lot of southerners your unionist at heart, and we can win the motor if we did not go too radical. well, the president has decided that he is not going to fight the war war with one hand behind his back any longer. so he listens politely to move, colin reaches ladder. and then on july 22nd, five days after the soviet confiscation act is passed, lincoln sits down with his cabinet integrates them on the emancipation proclamation. and they tell him, boss, not a good time. we lost on the peninsula, the war is not going well. this could look like an act of desperation. and it might backfire. we need to victory. we need a military victory.
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for this political events to occur. so they hope that victory is going to occur in northern virginia, under the command of general john pope. he's commanded the army of virginia, and lincoln essentially gives him the army of the -- and they never really from a colon of command, but they detached the entire army from the pope. when pope gets defeated -- in the union army --
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within the fortifications. because we have not decided what we are going to do with -- . yet you can see in the lower right there was a more disturbed feeling than i have ever witnessed in council. one of, that was to spawn, it was edward stanton to the left. the secretary of war. he was trembling with rage, he despise mccall and so much. someone allegedly said he would favor the capture of washington, to return to command. whether he really said that or not i don't know. but he hated him. so they are not happy with lincoln's decision. we thought were gonna get rid of mark hollen. but thingare going to get even worse. because it appears that the confederate army may possibly move into maryland. and in order to set the macallan on september the 3rd, saying there's every possibility of the enemy
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battling his intended capture across the potomac, and making right into -- and pennsylvania. the army must immediately organized to meet him again in the field. who will commits that army? they do not. say they have not picked him yet. on september the 5th, lincoln will visit ambrose burnside an offer burnside command of the. army and burnside will tell the president he believes george mcclellan is the best man to command this army. -- i'll stop him in the back later on in this campaign. but i do not think that mcclellan even knew burnside had done. that's a lincoln is kind of over a barrel. he doesn't even have a choice. and on september the 7th, he will visit mcclellan at his house which is also his headquarters in washington. and he tells, i'm generally take command of the army in the field. verbal commands. if you read mcclellan, after the war he tells you that he took command without any authority. nobody had the courage to be
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back in command. i'm not a recall in that sure, but no chance on earth -- that he did. that he never believed a, command ever. took his army away from him. all he needed was a verbal issue or back in command. that's all he needed. no question in my mind that lincoln did that. lincoln takes command of the. army despite the fact that these two man, they have a bit of a history. and most of it. we can can work with almost anybody. mcclellan can work with almost no. one he had trouble all his life with superiors. you can see some of the things he had to say and august 15th, 1860. one he's no more than a well-meaning ban, october, 1860. one identity at the white house shortly after two where i found the original. guerrilla november, 1861.
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-- is weaker than the most garrulous old woman you are ever annoyed by. he is funny. secretary of stewart was a meddling in the competence little puppy. he is writing these things to his wife in private, but believe me you know what somebody feels a certain way about you. you can pick that up. people pick that up about mcclellan. but lincoln looks past that, and he places mcclellan as his best man, the guy who will take the field against robert e. lee. who was invaded maryland. what is his mission? protect washington, d.c., not let him get the capital. determine whether there is a confederate army south of the potomac. yes, we know that some confederates have invaded maryland. but there are all types of rumors, there was a big confederate forces still in northern virginia. you have to determine that as
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well. third, driving the confederates out of maryland, and lincoln has the first thing that he needs mcallen to do. give him a victory. so he can issuers emancipation proclamation. this is one of the great ironies of the maryland campaign. we need a general who doesn't believe in emancipation proclamation. to win the victory to deliver it. that's what lincoln needs from mcclellan. so let's move to. lee widely invade maryland. now, we see the twarmies, red dot and blue dot. we're starting the masters was fought. washington's were all these trips were gathered in the fortifications. so, we have some options available to. him he has some initiative. he has three central options
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that i see. he can besiege this. it he will not be able to besiege the city. you can cut that, but he can try to invest part of it. what is a good thing on it? it maintains the pressure upon lincoln and the federal army. outside the, gates that's pressure. when is the downside? negative, his men can't eat. no supplies. in northern virginia. no means of getting supplies. that option is not going to work. second, withdraw is warranted. reestablish your supply line. we equip your army is very poorly supplied. we are quick to army, we supplier army, was in the convalescent wounded and sick man and enriched, man and your army will be bigger, safe move. that is a safe move. negative, surrender to the
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enemy. if you know anything about robert e. lee, he never ever likes to do. that invade maryland. third option. leave northern virginia open. so then damascus, collecting all this equipment off the field. you have a break to the area of northern virginia and also have conscription officers get into areas to conscript soldiers in that area, which has been overrun by the andes. maintain pressure on the feds. they've got to react. you're going to, maryland they have to react to that. you force the enemy to take the field before they are ready. that's why you do not want to go to quarantine. they come at you when you want. to you force the. issue you come at them when you want. to before the, read it before their organize. before they surrender thousand volunteers have been absorbed into the army and trained. gets them out into the, open into the field and fight them. you retain the initiative.
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you are calling the shots. there is a potential to invade pennsylvania, influence the fall congressional elections. that is a biggie. really big. for. louis lee has once expressed to jefferson davis, the confederate president, that what he seeks are heavy victories. what he means by that are victories to do a lot of damage to the. federals because the confederates do not suffer as much. and now we will undermined the morale of the people, and the way will express the morale being undermined is will vote out the republicans and the democrats, who are far more likely to negotiate a peace settlement with the confederacy. there is also the potential for european intervention, if you are successful. lee does not think there will be any european intervention. some people do. it is always a possibility. the negative, how are you going to supply the army and the physical condition of the army? that is a negative in aly -- look at the list. it is a no-brainer friendly.
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we are going to go into maryland. that is where we want to go. lee is going to write to jefferson davis on september the 4th, as his army is beginning to cross the potomac river into maryland, i am more fully persuaded of the benefits that will result from an expedition into maryland. i shall proceed to make the movement at once, unless you should signifier disapprobation. should the results of the expedition justify as, i proposed to answer pennsylvania. unless you should deem it unadvisable upon political or other grounds. this is just pro form a stuff. davis absolutely approves this mood. he has already approved! it he is just showing deference. this is smart, on these par. davis did not like people that showed him deference. he is showing davis deference. you are the president. i am following my strategic ideas that we had, we've already discussed these ideas. if the opportunity arose, that
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is why he knows davis is not going to say no, i don't want you to go into maryland. that is not a good idea. he knows davis will approve it. he wants davis to feel like, this is his idea. he is thimproving official. lee has two choices on ho is going to go into maryland. east of the blue ridg or he gettysburg, west of the blue ridge, down the shenandoah valley. blue ridge, even thoughf the stonewall jacknted him to leads reasoning to go east of the blue ridge,n one -- march up to frederick, maryla i think it was very sound. by movingederick, he is much closer to washgt d.c. than baltimore. he places an immed threat on both of those places. he will pull the union army out of defending washington faster if he goes the gettysburg campaign route.
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that is his goal. i want to get that army out. out in the open! i want to fight that army. i want to beat it. that is where i'm going to get the political consequences. that victory! lee makes his decision. why does he invade maryland? it is the best move, politically, for the confederates. it is a risk, militarily. as lee will tell james sutton, the confederate secretary of war during the period before the gettysburg campaign. one set and was very concerned about what was going on in vicksburg. he wanted to move part of leaves army out there. lee reminded him, all movements, all decisions in war entail risk. you just have to calculate the risks. lee have calculated the risk. he believes the best option for the confederacy is to rch into maryland. the two armies that will confront each other and maryland are very different. the army of northern virginia begins the campaign much
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stronger than almost any confederate writer will ever acknowledge to you. the army is probably about 70 to 75,000 men. it is extremely poorly supplied. particularly the troops that have been in the second manassas campaign. these guys have no regular food. their uniforms and closing are beginning to fall apart because they had no resupply of clothing. they are beyond the supply line. the only troops that are well supplied our troops that come up from richmond. and reinforce lee after second manassas. the armies in russia. lea knows that. drc pander writes the following, abrogate commander, he writes the following about the man in his brigade during the harpers ferry operation. my dear such a filthy and an principled set of villains i have never seen. they have lost of honor or decency, all sense right or respect for property. i've had to strike many of man with my saber. the officers are often as bad
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as the man. in one of my regiments, the other day, they thought they were going to go into a fight, six out of ten officers sculpt out and not come up until they thought all danger over. more than half my brigade went off that day. he is describing an army that is in rough shape! right below that, dr. lewis stein or, a u.s. sanitary commission doctor in frederick, maryland. he talked to a lot of confederates when they occupied frederick. they said, they all believe in themselves, as well as in their generals and are terribly in earnest. he thought they were pretty tough. one of the things the confederate army has that is a big strength, most of the soldiers in the army are combat veterans. they are experienced combat veterans. they are trained combat veterans. lee has a very small and very good command team. two essential wings. the confederate congress does not yet allow army corps to be formed.
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the right-wing, left wing. they are commanded by james longstreet and stonewall jackson. to supper rear commanders. they have a really strong command team. as the campaign cut -- the problem for quartermaster's like william elder manifest themselves. they grow to immense proportion. if we can only get enough for men to eat here i don't believe generally's army can be whipped. he is very confident. but, he cannot get enough for them in the eight. that is going to play havoc with this army. when the army gets to lease bergh, virginia, they have a shake down. kind of like what sherman did before he started the embarking the sea. they are going to shed about 5000 soldiers. they are either physically unfit or they don't have shoes. those soldiers are excused. they march them to winds burn, virginia. that leaves 65 or 69,000 men in
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the army. they will lose 3107 men in the battles that take place before antietam in sharp spur. south mountain, -- plus sick they left in frederick. we have a balance about 63,000 man. they are going to fight the battle of antietam with between 40 to 37,000 man. they lose 25 to 27,000 graphic lawyers in the maryland campaign. these are sick guys. guys who just need to get something to eat! or they are at and of their tether. everywhere the army goes, read the recounts. they leave a stream of stragglers everywhere they go. that is 40% of the army strength lost to straggling. that is a massive problem! if you think it's all made up, read lease correspondence after the mailing campaign is over. he didn't think w made up.
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it was a crisis. the army of t potomac is a hodgepodge thrown togheof essentially three different armies. we all know at every army, even though they belong to the same army, they do things a little bit differently. you can work -- i work for the national park service. interpretation did things differently than roue management and law enforcement and so on. or we do things differently maybe then antietamid or fredericksburg dig. armies are the same way. the first corps and the 12 core both from pesrmy of virginia. you have the co corps, the division of the fifth corps. you have the sixth core, they are from the peninsula army the army of the potomac that i've been on the peninsula the ninth corps, andros burnside's corps, they have been expeditionary force on the carolina course. they are like a mini army. they are all thrown together,
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they now form the army of the potomac. about 85,000 men on september, the seventh. they will increase to about 87,000 men, the day they fight the battle of antietam. one very significant thing about this army, there are 18,000 of its infantry -- 15 to 18% of the infantry of the army are raw recruits. when i say rob recruits, i'll give you an example. as we're carmen, who commanded one of these raw regiments, the 13th new jersey. he was, himself, and experience older. he wasn't another new jersey regiment on the peninsula. he's having a conversation with colonel samuel crow still of the hundred and 28 pennsylvania, ten days before the bell of antietam. crows dale asked him, how to form line of battle. not knowing himself and giving as an excuse he had no time since being commission as a copy of tactics. he is going to be killed, crows
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dale, as the battle of antietam. when he's killed at the battle of antietam, his unit is trying to form into a line of battle. it is chaotic. nobody knows how to do a! none of the officers not to do it, none of the men how to do it. they've never drilled, i never trained. they never even fired their weapons, most of these men. that is what a lot of these regiments are like. it inhibits the ability of the army to do certain things. mcclellan knows that. particularly in the early movements of the army he had to give these men some seasoning. people often wonder why they don't marks 20 miles a day. can't marks 20 miles a day with men who have never done any marching. they need some seasoning. they will throw a lot of men into the battle of antietam. the experience is really painful for these groups. for the veteran corps of the army, these men who have been really demoralized with the defeat in the peninsula. now at second manassas. the mood of these man i think is reflected by alpha's
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williams. a general on the 12th army corps. he writes to his daughter. he says, i cannot tell you the future. if we fail now, the north has no hope, no safety that i can see. we have to win this. the confederate feel the same way. it sets up this epic campaign. now mcclellan and his campaign are a little bigger than leaves a little more complicated he has divided the army into two wings the right wing which is ambrose burnside. and the center wing. he never named it. it's just headwinds sumner he commands the center wing. it commands his own second corps. he continues to command. and the 12th army corps. the old gentlemen you see there will take command of the 12 court two days before the general -- that is just with mansfield. burnside has the two best core commanders within the army. jesse reno of the ninth corps
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and joseph hooker of the first core. the last two guys you see down there are actually both under arrest when the campaign begins. that is fits john porter and william b franklin. charges have been lobbied against them by jon pope and they have been relieved of command. but mcclellan asked the war department, this is a crisis. these men are experienced. they are some of my best guys. i need them with me. they released both of them. everybody is under a bit of a cloud. mcclellan doesn't trust the government, or the war department. he doesn't like anybody there. they don't trust him. they've got to have his experience core commanders, the fifth and sixth core commanders. these guys are possibly facing court marshals. there is a lot of pressure upon them. this is their command team. it's not a great command team. there are some good commanders and it, it is not a streamlined or simple as leads. he dsn't have the commanders
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with experience such jackson or longstreet. special der number one 91. most famous loers of the civil war. what are they? when lee invaded maryland and d up to frederick where the circle is, onight. he got up there he inspected a garrison where red dots, miles, ers ferry. follow the black line and you see why an martin's bergh. two union on. the big one in harpers ferry, a le over 10,000 men. and t one in martin's be they are sitting astride the communication th is gonna need to use when he goes into pennsylvania. you go down the valley, you can't get past these two union garrisons with communication. he has got to clear them out. he thought they would just retreat. when he got up to frederick, they're gonna do the smart thing and pull them out. henry hall like, union general-in-chief, orders those garrisons to stay in place.
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lee, characteristically, does not see this at the problem. he sees this as an opportunity. let's get them! let's get them! we can get them before the yankee army comes out of washington d.c.. he draws up a very elaborate plan. an extremely complex plan when you consider that these men are all dealing with written communication. there is n radios, telephone, telegraphed that these guys can use. we are going to take one wing, one force under stonew jackson, we will march to williams port, crossed potomac river. march into northeginia. either destroy thegarrison at martins or drive it on to harpers ferry. another column, under general lafayette mccullough is -- marching down in capturing nd heights, key terrain dominating harpers ferry on the marilyn shore a third column, one infantry division for
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general john walker departs now, across their point of rocks on the. potomac will go through northern virginia and come up in the caption allowed in heights. on the south side of the harper ferry, on the virginia side can commanding harpers ferry. capturing those key positions, with jackson sealing off the, west they should be able to destroy our caption the union garrison harper's. very once that garrison is captured, all the troops will march up to -- sound with the other big red dock, were you will concentrate his army. but nobody is going to cater stand initially. when they began to execute the order on september the 10th, lee, however, had learned through some of his spies or somewhere that there was union militia approaching hegar's town from nnlvania. and that the people in s town were taking their food supply. he knew eud back. so we modify that plan
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march and take long s command up to hackers town, and leaves -- division. you can see he has really taken a gamble. they're his army is divided up the mountain by rivers. and they're really widely dispersed. hagerstown, boonesborough, down to harpers ferry, maryland on north of the potomac, south of the potomac, and then we have jackson over west of harpers ferry. big risk that he is taking. that is the plan he draws up. many confederates began to execute this movement, the union army was marching across and maryland. and on september the 12th, the leading elements of the army arrived in occupied. frederick on september the 13th, the army of the potomac begins to close up on frederick and occupy the town, some of the troops arriving arrive south of the town. including the 27th indiana. they march into the fielder cost them moxie.
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river in march into the. feel the regiment stacks arms. as i stop arms, some of the ngos in the regiment look down and see an envelope laying on the ground. pick up the avila. there are three straws on it. and a piece of paper wrapped around. i have to tell, you this is pretty weird. i do not think the army of northern virginia issued our orders from army headquarters and envelope's wrapped around cigars. or orders wrapped around a cigar. very strange. but be that as it may, they find a piece of paper. special orders would normally one. they are the orders from army headquarters to -- everybody points fingers as to who lost this thing. i do not think this entire affair reflects very well on the way they did business at the army of northern virginia headquarters. they should have known that that order, there should have been a receipt that came back. the teach allhad received that order inside for that order. there is no record that that
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ever happened. it just kind of spied on, you know. they found the orders. they're gonna hurry them on up the chain of command, and eventually they will be in the hands of george mcclelland. when does mcclelland get them? there is a lot of debate about this right now. mclaughlin is going to write a very excited telegram that he sends to the president, that is dated or timed 12 am. i am a clones headquarters, almost always win the toll reached 12 meridian, 12. and that is what we have always accepted. and then mcclelland did not do anything for the rest of the day. it was very strange. he has been roundly criticized for. this right? well, a few years back a fellow named maurice dallas who was going through the lincoln papers as he was going through the, papers he found a telegram
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that lincoln had received. not what was sent from the army but what was received. and behind the 12 am, someone had written midnight midnight. 12 midnight. now, i think i saw james -- over. there thanks to james, because he'll little while back sent me the books of the u.s. signal corps. and the message that they sent back and forth during the campaign. there is a message sent to mclelland on september the 13th. unfortunately they do not put the time. but it says the president is at the war department office, and he is anxious for news from you. and by the way, the line is open to point of rocks. all the telegraph lines have been cut by the confederates. so you are not telegraphing from federal back in washington. you had to go around about. way some of colin's message, excuse me, is going to go from point of rocks to sugarloaf.
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to washington, d.c.. and the message is probably sent at midnight. and here is why i think it is. unless we find the smoking gun, we can never say certainly. mclaughlin it's going to send it, 3 pm in the afternoon. message to his cavalry commander. he's gonna tell pleasonton, we have just come into possession of -- he doesn't say is coming to positions of these orders. he writes out the order of march of the confederates, that is called for in special orders one 91. he says, i want you to determine, did the confederates follow this order in march? if he had found the orders and given the orders before noon, writes the president at noon, he's not gonna sit around for three hours before he writes to pleasonton. he is just not going to do that. he did not get the orders at noon. he probably got them in the early afternoon. and very shortly after he gets the orders, he is going to have someone on his staff write this
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message to pleasonton. and he is probably going to also have his cheap detective, pinkerton, trying to find some people in frederick and question people who might be in the know. can you figure out how to plan this order in march? because that would figure out if this order is genuine. you have to do that. by 6 pm, he has convinced for years back from pleasonton that they follow this order in march. onand he starts to issue orders to his army. after all the owners are issued to the army, for the operation on september the 14th, at 11 pm he writes henry howick. chief of staff. and probably around that time is when he is going to receive this message from point of rocks, telling him that the president is at the war department and is anxious for news. and it 12 men he's going to write that message is going to go through the president. the timing of it is completely illogical. the timing of a 12 noon message
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is simply not logical. that's why i've fallen aside the mess midnight. mcclellan does plant in the offensive. he doesn't it on his death. march over catoctin manta into middto valley in front of southtown. the general plan that he hasis on december the 14th. the mean for their's is going to march up to foxes gap in turner's gap and take on whthinks is the biggest confederate force at boonesborough. that is lee longstreet dhl, that is going to be the g battle. we will fight him at boonesborough. will be reinforced by uches ca division. breakthrough cramps gap and get into the rear of laughing at my closet and relieve harpers ferry. i think that was a tall order for william b franklin to
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execute that. but be that as it may, to make a long story short, on december the 14th the army of the potomac does move in they do friday. battle a series of battle called the battles of south. mountain foxes, gap turner's gap, and crampons gap. a six core winning a smashing victory. crushing the confederacy, breaking through into pleasant valley. they are now on a clause rear. the confederate hold there. position lee brings longshoremen down from his town. they lose half their men and the march, struggling. they reinforce the h hill on south mountain. and they hold their position. but they lose all the key terrain. during the, nightly makes a decision that he is going to retreat. we will get to that in just a moment. but the last thing i want to wrap up, on special orders one 90. one it has been suggested that it did not really help mclaughlin. he already had a plan. he did not have a plan. it helped mcclellan
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immeasurably. i do not ascribe to the idea that special orders one 91 did not help mclaughlin. he confused. tim it did not confuse. when it answered a lot of questions. he was very confused at all these movies who are confederates across the potomac. there were confederate up and hackers. town confederate around harpers ferry. he did not know where the main strength of the confederates were. he did not know what they were trying to do. he knew that harpers ferry was threatened, but he did not know where to send the weight of his army. one and 91 cleared it away, he knew what he needed to do when he did that's. so one 91 was a big crew. maybe not the biggest coup of the war. but it was a big coup, and he did act upon it. . so lee is going to order a retreat from south mountain. and that leads us to the question of why doehe offer it battle in chice burr? here's the.
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situation. see all those block tng up at the top for you guys in the back? that is the army of the potomac, foxes gap in turner's gap. and the three little white things are, ali longstreet, and didier chill. they have been whipped at south mountain, and ali, during the night of september the th orders them to fall back across the potomac river, at shepherds town. the shepherds town campaign is ov. he orders general mccloskey to get your troops acrs e potomac river anyway you. can you might have to abandon equipment. we've got to get out of here. we are in a tough spot. he tells stonewall, jackson cuts off the operation. marchers through -- town and cover the operation. campaign is over. as the troops are filing off the mountain lee reconsiders and decides no. that is not a good move. we have got to do something to help mccloskey.
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so we are going to halt -- temporarily. we will draw the union army away from fox and turner's gap. away from mclaws, towards. us that is going to give mclaws a chance to get away. now, there is a possibility mclaws can get around maryland heights, and march off the road to shops berg, and you join us. there and then we can refer to shepherd sound. so he's going to send orders to mclaws to investigate that and see if he can do that. as the troops are marching along, he changes his mind again. i think he's probably studying maps and also questioning people who are familiarith the area. and hedecides a far better mporary defensive position is behind antigua creek at shops bro. so we are as longstreet and the h hill, you will form ur man behind and seen creek. the campaign is still, over. folks he is still gonna retreat to virginia. this is a temporary stand to
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ex a clause. he still has those orders that has some to jackson, to break off the siege. however, in the execution of this movement on themorning of ser the 15th, as lee is close to crossing over antigua stonewall jackson.ispatch from and jackson tells ali, by the blessing ofgod harpers ferry going to be surrender that day. surrender that morning. joel, thousand 500 union p.o.w.s, one of the biggest victories for the confederates in the war. confederate solicitor hundred men in this operation. and they capture almost 13, 000, man all sorts of artillery, and munition and equipment. it was a really well executed operation. it just took longer than we thought it was going to. okay. harpers ferry is going to surrender. we starts to reconsider. maybe there is a chance that i can reunite my army.
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and we can fight in maryland. here, aretrumps bro. you can look at the map. that is risky. look at what mclaws has to do. he has to rc down across the potomac river. get intoarrs ferry. th mch although up to shepherds down and t shops. bro -- willo my shop. there look at how close all the union army is to lee. lee only has about ,0 men at shops bro. so he makes a decision, i'm gonna try to fight a battle. here i'm gonna see if i can reunite my army. people have opinions about that. epl examiner who was a chief ordinance officer in the campaign and one of the best critical people of the confederacy who analyzed confederate campaigns in the war in the east, he writes of this decision, they defeat would certainly involve the
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under destruction of the. army because he has the potomac river behind him. historian john p. robes, beyond controversial one of the oldest and most hazardous decisions in his whole military career. it wasn't true so bold and hazardous that one is bewildered that he should have even fought seriously when making. it and lastly, we will hear from alexander and tan. i think it will be heard from military critics that this was the greatest military blunder that general lee ever made. then why did he do it? i think this is a really good analysis by douglas. all battles are not fought in positions selected upon sound military principles. wellington, napoleon and lee we're all perfectly familiar with these principles. and when they disregarded them they had a strong reasons for doing so. lee it's clearly disregarding them. and he does not tell us why. we just have to try to surmise it. this is my supposition.
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why i think he stays and maryland and offers a. battle number, one he is an opportunist. opportunity lies and maryland. the best chances for the confederacy lie in maryland. taking the safe course and falling back into virginia, yes i will preserve my army. i will also sacrifice the initiative. and i never like to do that. so you loosely strategic initiative. the enemy gets it. the fighting that sharpsburg will carry great risks. there was always risk in every operation. and it also has great possibilities. what if mcclellan attacks and he defeats the attacks where is mcclellan going to felt back to? you're likely she's going to fall back, and you can really defend easily a south mountain. if he does, that lee as an open corridor two hagerstown and one in pennsylvania. and the campaign north of the potomac continues. and the political consequences
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of that to continue to be felt. i think that is why lee is going to fight this battle at sharpsburg. he sees the best opportunity for the confederate cause, by taking this risk. and he knows that his army is in bad shape. i don't know that he knows about it is. sk everybody always candy coat stuff for the boss. his subordinates have been doing that. he does take a tremendous risk. on the next day, september 17th, mcclelland will attack he fights the better of antietam. it is a horrdous battle. both sides lose heavy. the army of northern virginia is absolutely mled in this battle. terribly mauled in this battle. presented to an, far worse than the army of the potomac. lee loses a lot more than i think he possibly anticipated in. this he remains on the battlefield september the 18th,
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incredibly he explores the possibility of making a flanking attacks against mcclellan. it tells us something about the resiliency of lee. he realizes that that is not possible on the night of the 18th his army is going to retreat and cross the potomac river the amir of the potomac will pursue. the cross over the potomac river on september the 20th with the force from the fifth army corps. we will counterattack vigorously. the battle of shippers sound will occur. it is a clear cut confederate victory. the union troops are driven back across the potomac river. the marilyn campaign comes to an end. september 20th, two days later, remember politics? it rears its head. two days later lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation. as burton mentioned, anti done, the battle, maybe a drawn battle. strategically, this is a union
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victory. clearly a union victory. lee did not achieve his goals and his plans mcclelland did he got them out of the state american. he drove them out. he inflicted heavy losses upon them. this is my opportunity, i'm going to seize. it issued the emancipation proclamation. oftentimes, i have talked -- the emancipation proclamation, people talk about the army of the potomac in the reaction to it as if the rioters seek out everybody who thought it was a really terrible idea. that it was gonna be the end of the world. , they present all of those. anyone who thought it was a good idea, they don't mention those people. one of the people that thought it was a bad idea with the commander of the army, george mcclelland. he writes in a private letter to a business friend of his in new york, i am very anxious to know how you and men like you regard the recent proclamation of the president, inaugurating
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serve law war, emancipating slaves, and wants to look at the pan, changing our free institutions into a despotism. mcclelland frequently went off on things like this privately. publicly, acknowledge that the civil government -- he was subservient to the civil government. he does it in this case. he tells the army and language that is probably not what lincoln would've wanted he tells the army, this is the order. we have to obey. he did not lead a revolution. rufus dawns bought the cornfield in wisconsin. in january of 1863, he was invited to go to his hometown of marietta, high oil. he was there on leave. while he was there on the eve he was asked to give an address to the people of the city how the war was going. what these men fighting thought
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about it. here is what he had to say about the emancipation proclamation. slavery is the chief source of wealth in the south. the basis of their aristocracy. from my observation, a blow it slavery hurts more than a battalion of volleys. it strikes at the vitals. we like to proclamation because it hurts the rebels. we like the proclamation because it lets the world know what the real issue is. you don't hear that side of it. there were a lot of soldiers, remember lincoln did win the election. he was a republican. the majority of the men in this army are republicans as well. he did win the election. he won it again in 1864. the majority of men aren't democrats. even among the democrats, they did not deserve en masse. the army didn't disintegrate. frances dobbs and, captain in a 118th pennsylvania, reflects the mood of a lot of these men very well. i am a democrat, first, last,
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and all the time. as long as the rebels are in arms, i will sustain the government efforts to put down the rebellion with my life, if necessary. what donaldson reminds us is, the soldiers accepted -- they may not have liked the emancipation proclamation, men like him except today. it was a measure they felt might bring a war closer to and. they accepted it and continue to fight. the maryland campaign of 1862. emancipation plays this major role in the course of the campaign. the army reflects the differing views across the north that will continue to play out throughout the rest of the war as the country grapples with this issue of emancipation. i want to thank you all, very much folks. for inviting me down here. [applause]ntlemen, again, come
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it's kind of a challenge because we are in the back. we are all in just, oh my gosh. that was so good! what a guy, right? give it to him again. come on. [applause] we do have time for just a couple questions. i am hesitant but let's see what you've got here. >> >> scott, with all your work on the maryland campaign, what do you think, when all was said and done, elise assessment of mcclelland as an opponent? >> i think he understood the mclelland very well. i think that mcclellan
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surprised him at south mountain. he was more aggressive than lee was accustomed to. mcclellan had always been very cautious and his operation. he was sort of a set piece commander. i do think he believes that mcclellan would behave that way when he made the decision in sharp spur. i think he realizes for one thing, mcclellan get severely criticized. on september the 15th, why doesn't he march from south mountain and attack robert e. lee's army. you can look at a map like i had up there. that looks pretty easy to do. when you actually get down into the weeds as a soldier would have to do, that was impossible! mcclelland could not have attacked on september the 15th. if he had it would've been a hasty to tack with a very small part of his army. the army had to roads to move the entire army on. it would've been a big gigantic
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traffic jam of the army if he had tried to move their. he also had to reckon with antietam creek. which crossings the army could use. what was the best place to cross? where was the confederate position? no attack was gonna take place until the 16th. that is where i think lee takes the measure of mcclellan. he is confident that he will not be attacked on the 16th. if he is attacked it will be so late in the day he'll be able to hold his position. he clearly feels that with mcclellan, although he has been surprised at south mountain, this is a commander i know. i know what he is going to do, how he is going to operate. he is going to be pretty cautious and careful. he's gonna do everything by the rules. he's not gonna do anything outside of the rules. that is how i think we felt about mcclellan. >> bob stone, like the woods, virginia. my understanding of special order 191, lee expected jackson's man to have enveloped
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and captured harpers ferry by the 13th of september, the same day that mcclellan got the copy of the order. what made him think that that hadn't happened yet? was there to graphic unification to harpers ferry? >> no, there was not telegraphic communication. we don't know of any communication that occurred with lee. we know lee row lafayette clause, he admonishment clause that he hadn't heard anything anyone would know how things were going. it was very possible he heard from jackson, verbally, that jackson was surprising him where he was in the course of the operation lees timetable i have to believe that jackson and the others may look at the timetable and think, seriously? all right. you're the boss! they actually called for all the troops be in place by september 12th. he actually had about two days
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to move over 50 miles per jackson's command. and take care of the union garrison at martin's bergh. i think it was a really tall order for lee to be able to expect him to carry that out. what they couldn't know when they were planning this operation, would the garrisons try to run for it? if they try to run for it it would be easier to destroy them out in the open. they couldn't have known. i'm sure lisa felt, any plan like this we have to have some little room in this. it was just that mcclellan surprised me on september 15th and took away any wiggle room he had. >> one last question. >> scott virginia beach, virginia. kind of too but they really quick one i think following up on leads measure of mcclellan question, how much do you think mcclellan the view of cautious, maybe timid, impacted his
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decision to save the campaign as opposed to call of the tree. secondly, i don't hear anything on the shrinking of the army of northern virginia, relating to your army is not being willing to invade the north. i have read that and some books. >> i'll answer the second part first. i found almost no evidence that confederate soldiers were opposed to going. in one north carolina regiment in walkers division, someone in the history of the unit after the war said, there were some man who said we didn't sign up for doing this. we signed up to defend the confederacy. we don't want to go in there. i did find some evidence, rumors, that soldiers threw their shoes away. longstreet's command issued an order that any men of that shoes were excused from going into maryland. the rumor were that men through their shoes away. we get so attached to these armies. that could never happen!
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like, really? you don't eat food, your marching all the time. bullets are blocking people's heads off, stuff like that. yeah, i can see people throwing their shoes away. they had kind of had it. no, in fact most confederate soldiers were enthusiastic about the invasion. they were delighted to carry the war into the north. many of them thaw maryland, where they were going, they didn't know that maryland would be really welcoming, it's a slave state. i'll paraphrase one soldier when they left frederick. he called it a darn yankee hole! the second part of your question, with lee and mcclellan? >> impacting his decision on the campaign? >> i think that was a part of it. i think it was a part of it but, you know, with other commanders that lee had faced -- i mean, look at hooker!
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hooker was a very aggressive officer! he executed this brilliant campaign planned at chancellors mill. lee still takes this tremendous risk against them. we is a risk taker and an opportunist. i think he may have try this against other commanders as well. i do definitely believe, any good commander takes a measure of the other side. wellington did of napoleon, the pointed of wellington. they all knew one another. they all knew their strengths and weaknesses. they all seek to exploit them. i think that lee is no different. he knows mcclellan pretty well from his campaign on the peninsula. >> what an extraordinary privilege it has been for us tonight's news got. thank you so much. >> thank you for having me. [applause]
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