tv Legends Lies The Civil War FOX News April 29, 2018 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
radically and they change in one way. mark: the only problem is what takes place when they change -- is a violent change then we have a problem. i want to thank you. i could've done this for five hours with you. it's been a great pleasure. >> thank you. it's been a pleasure. mark: will see you next time on life liberty 11 >> we march north and advance into pennsylvania. >> general, don't you think it's a bit foolhardy to be out here in the dark? >> fire! [ horse neighs ] >> [ groans ] it's all a part of god's plan. >> if you do not move forward to richmond, you are a ruined man. >> the president has made his decision, and i must abide by it. stand by general burnside. >> the way to honor general jackson is to attack the yankees and crush them for good. ♪
>> fire! >> have you ever seen such a fine artillery battle? there must be 100 tons of iron in the sky. >> move! solid shot, 1,200 yards! >> general longstreet, shall i advance? >> you must advance now. >> attacking that ridge would be suicide. >> bring up general pickett's division. have him await the signal to attack. >> general longstreet. [ horse neighs ] i will move my men forward, sir. >> fire! >> do not forget that you are from old virginia! [ all cheering ] forward! march! >> forward! march!
>> a political conflict cracks the foundation of a fragile union... dividing a young nation over the issues of freedom, slavery, and equality. in a brutal battle of attrition, heroes will rise, cities will fall, and the blood of thousands will stain the land. america's struggle for life, liberty, and justice for all becomes the civil war. [ all shouting ] >> who will follow me?! [ all cheering ] >> gettysburg, the bloodiest
battle of the war, a turning point for the invincible robert e. lee and a disaster for the confederacy. but every disaster has a cause, and behind every legend lies the truth. >> the battle of gettysburg is the result of robert e. lee's desire to bring the horrors of war into northern territory. but lee's wartime leadership falters without stonewall jackson, the brilliant military mind behind his earlier successes. in the aftermath of battle, many believed the blame for the confederates' epic failure should rest on the shoulders of jackson's replacement, general james longstreet. but the fault truly lies with lee, who is not the same swaggering leader without jackson and who lets his overconfidence and thirst for victory cloud his judgment. >> can you see how our boys are doing?
>> general. general, are you all right? >> after stonewall jackson's death, robert e. lee struggles to find a replacement who matches his aggression and tactical brilliance. >> we will defeat the federals, sir. [ all shouting ] god wills us to victory. we shall prevail. >> robert e. lee did not adjust to the loss of stonewall jackson. he could become careless, too focused on defeating the enemy at any cost. and now what he wants, more than anything else, is to take the war to the north. one more victory might be enough
to save the day for confederate independence. [ horse neighing ] general jackson, have your men cook three days of rations and prepare for march. >> sir? >> my apologies, general longstreet. force of habit. >> after stonewall jackson's death, at chancellorsville, his shoes are filled by james longstreet, who is arguably the best confederate corps commander of the entire civil war. but he didn't have the rapport with general lee that general jackson had. there was almost an intuitive mind meld between jackson and lee that just wasn't there between longstreet and lee. >> we must take this fight to the people of the north.
we crush those people once, in their own land, and this war will be ours. >> sir. we lost 13,000 men at chancellorsville, not to mention general jackson. >> they outnumbered us more than 2-to-1 at chancellorsville, and we still whipped them. we can whip them yet again, even with 13,000 fewer. our army would be invincible if it could be properly organized and officered. there never was such men in an army before. they would go anywhere and do anything if properly led. but there is the difficulty -- proper commanders. where can they be obtained? ♪ >> lee believes a decisive victory on yankee soil will turn
public opinion in the north against the war. from his camp in virginia, he plans to march his army across the potomac, into the peaceful northern territory of pennsylvania. as lee marches north, union general joe hooker resigns. for president lincoln, whose generals have already lost battles at fredericksburg, second manassas, and chancellorsville, hooker's sudden resignation is another unwanted headache. [ all shouting ] [ gun cocks ] >> with his army in turmoil and the union in jeopardy, president lincoln seeks solace in the company of his oldest son, robert. >> this war is a continual trial. rebel troops are marching north
again, and the army of the potomac is yet again without a general. i don't think there's a man in this union who can defeat robert e. lee. >> yes, there is, father. you. >> lincoln's choice of a new commander for the army of the potomac could determine the outcome of the war. but even with his options dwindling, the president's choice surprises everyone. >> general. >> this can't be right. >> the army of the potomac is yours, general meade. >> no one really thought that meade was the ideal man for the job, and the first person who
would have agreed with that would have been george gordon meade. his allegiances and political identity had always been democratic. when the command does come his way, it's not because lincoln has developed some newfound respect for meade's politics. it's because lincoln has run out of people to put in that job. >> meade wastes no time moving his army into pennsylvania to prevent a confederate attack. it's an unexpected strategy that meade keeps hidden from lee. >> as lee invaded pennsylvania, he was without the use of his cavalry's commander's ability to reconnoiter. so lee, in pennsylvania, was blind. didn't know where the enemy was. >> as lee's advance troops arrive in gettysburg, many of them hungry and barefoot, they are surprised to find a town stocked with supplies. but civilians like elizabeth thorn, owner of the local cemetery, keep a watchful
eye on the unwelcome strangers. [ horse neighs ] >> eyes front, soldier. word is there's a stockpile of shoes and whiskey in town. save your thoughts for those. >> james johnston pettigrew -- he's in command of a division in the corps of ambrose powell hill. just west of gettysburg, he finds that there is federal cavalry there. it could mean that the army of the potomac has moved much faster than lee anticipated and is right behind that cavalry. >> pettigrew rides to headquarters to report the enemy's position to one of lee's most trusted generals, a.p. hill. >> we spotted federal cavalry in gettysburg, sir. >> general pettigrew, these men must have been local militia, nothing more. >> sir -- >> that will be all, general pettigrew. >> sir, the men say there's a
supply of shoes in town, which are greatly needed. any objections sending a brigade to reconnoiter? >> none in the world. >> for more than a century, the story has been that the battle of gettysburg starts over a search for shoes, but that's not the whole truth. while the confederate army needs supplies, general heth decides to send his men into gettysburg to clear out the city, not to get shoes, unaware there are union forces nearby. now, most likely, he concocts the story in the aftermath of defeat to save face, rather than take the blame for kicking off the most devastating battle of the civil war. >> ♪ here, boys ♪ here for our sweethearts and our wives ♪ ♪ here for it ♪ here for our duty ♪ here, boys ♪ here for a courageous battle ♪ here, boys
>> give me that carbine. >> lee's confederate skirmishers haven't just found union cavalry scouts. they've stumbled upon the entire union army. over the next three days of chaos, robert e. lee and his men will be tested like never before. and it all kicks off with just one shot. hi. i'm the only bed that actually senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both effortlessly comfortable... does your bed do that? i'm the new sleep number 360 smart bed. let's meet at a sleep number store. (vo)just one touch.ith with fancy feast creamy delights, she can have just the right touch of real milk. easily digestible, it makes her favorite entrées even more delightful. fancy feast creamy delights.
[ dog barking ] >> general james longstreet has replaced stonewall jackson as robert e. lee's top general, and the two men are at odds over invading pennsylvania. but lee continues to march his men north and right into the union army. [ horse neighs ] >> fire! >> reload. >> the first shot of the battle of gettysburg misses its target, but the momentum of war cannot be stopped, as more troops from both sides descend upon the sleepy pennsylvania town. >> first four, line up on the
ridge. john f. reynolds is in command the first corps of the army of the potomac, of which the iron brigade is a component. and they are the first ones who reach the town of gettysburg on the morning of july 1st. >> reynolds is the highest-ranking officer at gettysburg and commander of the iron brigade. >> find them out of the wood line. >> ...made up of a group of tough westerners from indiana and wisconsin. the iron brigade earned its fierce reputation in a battle with stonewall jackson at second manassas. >> fire! >> forward, men! for god's sakes, forward! >> when the first corps goes into action, one of their earliest casualties is general reynolds. shot from his saddle by a confederate skirmisher. >> reynolds' death leaves the union army with a void in its combat leadership.
>> fire by section! >> but young men, like bayard wilkeson quickly fill the void. >> fire! >> just north of gettysburg, the 19-year-old is commanding an artillery brigade and making a desperate stand against advancing rebel forces. >> fire! >> them graybacks are coming in thick, sir. ain't enough shells to hold them back. >> wilkeson's battery held that position under terrific enemy fire, exchanging fire both with confederate infantry, as well as confederate artillery. and, yet, the first day goes very badly for the union army. >> we've been ordered to hold this hill. by god, that's what we'll do. >> lieutenant! >> [ groans ] >> lieutenant. what should i do?
>> [ groaning ] get me to a hospital. [ groans ] >> lieutenant. >> when robert e. lee arrives in gettysburg, his confidence is boosted by developments on the ground. the union is in retreat, and with his battle plan succeeding, he presses his generals to attack the enemy without mercy. >> those people are in retreat, and all that we must do is push them off of the high ground. >> my men are too exhausted from the day's fight to attempt that now. >> very well. tell general yule to avoid a general engagement until all other divisions are up. >> despite robert e. lee's reputation as a brilliant military strategist, he often gives orders that are confusing or overly broad.
>> tell general yule to take that hill if he thinks it is practicable. >> in this case, general yule has no idea how to interpret "practicable." so he has his army stand pat. [ indistinct conversations ] >> these vague orders give union troops time to recover on cemetery hill, allowing them to regroup along cemetery ridge, strengthening their positions for the fight that is surely to come. >> yule didn't even try to take that hill. jackson would have taken it. we'd be victorious by now. >> jackson would have tried, but i doubt even he could have taken that hill. >> if god be for us, who can be against us? [ all shouting ] >> stonewall jackson shared lee's reliance on the offensive, whereas general longstreet preferred to have the enemy attack him and then to counterpunch. so there were some conflicts at
the battle of gettysburg. >> sir, the federals have staked out a position along this ridge. all that's left to do is to maneuver between them and washington. they'll be forced to relinquish their position and battle on ground of our choosing. >> the enemy is there, and i'm going to attack him there. >> attacking that ridge would be suicide. if we could just get to the yanks, if we can get around to the south -- >> they are where they are. and i'm going to whip them... or they're going to whip me. you'll have your orders in the morning. >> lee was much more aggressive, wanted to take the attack to the enemy. and so robert e. lee's eagerness to win, the fact that his blood was up at gettysburg blinded him to the fact that, in risking much, he could risk everything.
>> who can write the history of a battle whose eyes are immovably fastened upon the dead body of an oldest born, trashed by a shell in a position where a battery never should have been sent and abandoned to death in a building where surgeons dared not to stay? >> but even as the nation grieves its fallen soldiers, the death and destruction continues. as the two armies regroup and reload, the internal division between lee and longstreet intensifies, and the bloodiest fighting as yet to come. i am totally blind. and non-24 can throw my days and nights out of sync, keeping me from the things i love to do. talk to your doctor, and call 844-214-2424. one part ribs. two parts incredible. new steak & ribs at outback. $15.99 for a limited time.
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so you might want to think about pulling the ol' switcheroo. that's auto and home insurance for the modern world. esurance. an allstate company. click or call. >> on day 1 at gettysburg, the confederate army mounts an assault that forces union troops to fall back to cemetery ridge. >> [ groaning ] >> sensing a decisive victory, robert e. lee directs his top general, james longstreet, to deliver the finishing blow. but when the battle starts, longstreet and his troops are nowhere in sight. >> where are you, longstreet? >> longstreet's attack is delayed until nearly 4:00 in the afternoon. by the time he is ready to attack, to the dismay of longstreet, he discovers that drawn up across his path is an entire and unanticipated union infantry corps. >> even against unfavorable odds, longstreet follows orders and goes on the offensive. fighting between his men and the
union troops rages, before finally coming to a head on a hill called little round top. [ gunfire ] at little round top, union troops from the 20th maine and confederate regiments from texas and alabama engage in a hellacious battle for a small piece of high ground that could tip the balance of the war. >> little round top was the left end of the union lines and little round top has to be the anchor of meade's position. and meade understands that that high ground there -- he has to have that. >> fire! >> the ammunition's nearly gone, >> if we lose this hill... we may well lose the war.
>> leading the union fight to hold little round top are two men who are out of their element -- holman melcher, a schoolteacher, and joshua chamberlain, a college professor. >> joshua chamberlain was a professor at bowdoin college. he then applied for a sabbatical and used that sabbatical to become lieutenant colonel of the 20th maine infantry. and as little round top comes under assault, it was left to chamberlain to anchor that extreme left. >> fire! come on! pour it into it, boys! damned, if we could take this hill... >> shall we call a retreat?
[ gunfire, explosions ] >> give me a shot count, boys. >> the men from maine -- they realized that, if they collapse, that the alabamians then can flow around the flank. after hours and hours of contact with the enemy, depleted of ammunition, they have no choice but to attack at the point of the bayonet. >> permission to advance the lines to aid the wounded, sir. >> i should rather we charge with bayonets and end this hell one way or another. >> you men in the center. pick forward and assist those that are wounded. [ all shouting ] >> what the devil? >> 50th alabama, fall back! [ shouting continues ]
>> the charge of the 20th maine, on little round top, is one of the most famous heroic moments of the war. it's a desperate act taken by desperate men, who have run out of options. but joshua chamberlain is the only source for this popular understanding. the truth of the matter is -- the decision to charge occurs in the fog of war. and even the men who fight in the battle are divided on who gave the order. some say it was joshua chamberlain. others say it was lieutenant holman melcher. but the bottom line is -- no matter who gave the order, the bayonet charge likely changed the outcome of the battle and maybe even the war. [ shouting continues ] >> but as the second day of the battle of gettysburg draws to a close, heroism is tempered by tragedy. >> gentlemen, it's been a hell of a day. >> by the end of the second day, the union lines have stabilized.
they're on the dominant military terrain, meaning that they're on high ground -- cemetery hill and little round top. they're looking across a broad, open field toward the army of northern virginia the question, leading from the second day into the third day, is -- what will lee do? >> our line held today. i don't know how, but it did. as i see it, we can stay put and see if the line holds again tomorrow or we can retire to a position closer to our base of supply. where stand you, men? >> we must stay and fight. >> we stay. >> we fight. >> well, then...the question is settled. if lee attacks, it's likely to be at the center, near your position, general gibbon.
>> as the battle reaches a tipping point, lee and meade position their troops for war. >> fire! >> gettysburg is a brutal engagement, where the price of victory is paid in blood and one man's arrogance may cost him the war. my healthy routine helps me feel my best. so i add activia yogurt to my day. with its billions of live and active probiotics, activia may help support my digestive health, so i can take on my day. activia. now in probiotic dailies. [ horn honking ] [ engine revving ] what's that, girl? [ engine revving ] flo needs help?! [ engine revving ] take me to her! ♪ coming, flo! why aren't we taking roads?!
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>> after two days of brutal fighting at gettysburg, general george meade suspects robert e. lee's next move will be an all-out assault against the center of the union's army. but lee will have to execute the audacious plan without stonewall jackson. in his place is general james longstreet, a defensive master, who resists lee's aggressive tactics at every turn. >> general longstreet, i want you to attack, with your entire corps, the center of the union line. >> general, please. i have been a soldier all my
life. i should know as well as anyone what soldiers can do. and it is my opinion that no 15,000 men ever arrayed for battle can take that position. [ horse neighs ] >> bring up general pickett's division. >> [ sighs ] >> have him await the signal to attack. >> fire! >> spearheading lee's assault is a young, charismatic general by the name of george pickett. >> have you ever seen such a fine artillery battle? there must be 100 tons of iron in the sky. >> with pickett's charge, 12,000 confederate soldiers lined up to carry out this assault. and there are those that recognized that this attack was
not survivable, to include general longstreet himself. >> fire! >> general! you can't stay here. >> tell our artillery not to return fire. >> sir. >> lee means to throw his infantry at us. tell them to cease fire... and wait for the attack. >> though the confederate artillery barrage is massive, most of it misses the actual union line, hitting meade's headquarters and supply wagons instead. so the union stops firing back, fooling the confederates into thinking their assault is working. >> the guns are gone. for god's sake, go now. >> general, shall i advance? >> that day at gettysburg was one of the saddest days of my life. i foresaw what my men would meet and gladly would have given up
my position rather than share in the responsibility of that day. >> you must advance now. >> general longstreet. ♪ i shall move my men forward, sir. >> fire! >> do not forget that you are from old virginia! [ all cheering ] forward! march! >> forward! march! >> with unshakable faith in robert e. lee, pickett and his men believe they are marching toward immortal glory. in reality, they're on a fool's errand, headed towards certain doom. >> fire! ♪ >> this is a collaborative, improvisational conversation about politics and life. >> everybody at "the five" comes with a background and an expertise. >> no one says news has to be boring. >> no scripts. nothing.
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>> for stonewall jackson, boys! >> forward! march! >> forward! march! >> forward! march! >> after three days of fighting, union general george meade orders his men to stop firing, fooling the rebel army into thinking the yankees are beaten. and now robert e. lee sends his men charging into an ambush. general pickett leads his troops to face an onslaught of cannon fire. >> for lewis armistead and perhaps 300 virginias, there is nothing standing between them and the rear of the federal army, and if they can pull down the entire tent of the army of the potomac and it is a retreat and the battle is over and the war is over and confederate independence is just over that rise.
>> deliver...one last shot. >> fire! >> fire! [ cheering continues ] >> let's go. >> the hill is ours! >> for one fleeting moment after armistead's charge over the wall, it looks as if the south has won the war. >> fire! >> pickett's charge was doomed to failure. pickett's force begins receiving direct fire and is devastated. >> of the nearly 15,000 confederate soldiers who participate in the charge, nearly half will become casualties. >> pickett's charge is known as the high-water mark of the confederacy, the closest rebel troops would come to winning the
war. and it's also thought to be the peak of the confederacy as a concept. many argue that once the rebels are driven back down cemetary ridge, the hopes of a confederate victory and confederate nation are dashed for good. but many more opportunities will be gained and lost before this war is over. ♪ >> for james longstreet, who has foreseen the disaster, the unsuccessful charge is a bitter pill to swallow. >> can you see how our boys are doing? >> lee has authored an epic disaster, and he alone must live with the consequences. [ horse neighs ]
>> general pickett, assemble your division in the rear of this ridge and prepare for the enemy advance. >> general lee, i have no division. >> you and your men have covered yourselves in glory this day. >> not all the glory in the world can atone for the widows and the orphans this day has made. >> it is my fault. it is my fault. i am counting on you, general. one wrong move, and we are finished. >> [ cries ] >> retreat! retreat! >> it is my fault. it is all my fault. >> robert e. lee's defeat at gettysburg rips the veneer off of his invincibility.
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>> emboldened by an impressive string of victories with stonewall jackson by his side, robert e. lee believes he can turn the tide of the civil war with one more victory, at gettysburg. >> [ groans ] >> but without jackson to execute his plan, lee's soldiers come staggering back from pickett's charge bloodied and battered. [ owl hooting ] >> general, this day has been hard on you. >> it is a sad, sad day for us. i've never seen troops behave so
magnificently as pickett's division did today in that grand charge. too bad. oh, too bad. >> my men are prepared to give equal effort in tomorrow's battle. >> there will be no battle. we must return to virginia. it was all my fault. now we must do our best toward preserving that which is left to us. >> we were damn close, sir. >> [ chuckles ] ♪ >> after his humiliating defeat at gettysburg, lee is not only demoralized, but begins to doubt his ability as a military leader. >> the general remedy for the want of success in a military
commander is his removal, no matter what may be the ability of the officer. if he loses the confidence of his troops, disaster must, soon or later, ensue. >> when the smoke clears from gettysburg, the north and south more than 50,000 casualties. [ bird squawking ] the battle, take a break from fighting to regroup and mourn the dead. as elizabeth thorn tends to gettysburg's dead, new york timesreporter samuel wilkeson takes his dead
son home for burial. >> oh, you dead, who, at gettysburg, had baptized, with your blood, the second birth of freedom in america, how you are envied. i rise from a grave whose wet clay i have kissed and i look up see christ. his right hand opens the gates of paradise... >> [ groans ] >> ...and with his left, he beckons these mutilated, bloody, swollen corpses to ascend. [ horse neighs ] >> without stonewall jackson by his side, robert e. lee is a lesser leader and, to some extent, a lesser man. though general longstreet often takes the blame for the loss at gettysburg, lee knows where the fall truly lies -- with himself and his obsession to destroy the
union army. gettysburg is a catastrophic blow to the south and its hope for an independent confederacy. and if lee cannot find a way to work with the generals he has left, it will prove fatal. the north has shown itself to be a strong and powerful adversary, and now the war enters a new phase, as both sides must find a way to reckon with this devastation wrought in a small town in pennsylvania.