tv Lectures in History The Civil War in the West CSPAN March 8, 2020 12:00pm-12:51pm EDT
♪ >> next on lectures in history, utah state university professor maria angela diaz discusses the civil war in the west and looks at the conflict in states and territories like missouri, kansas, texas, and arizona. she explores how the diverse populations of the region reacted to the war and decided between siding with the union and confederacy. she focuses on the larger role guerrilla warfare played in the west. prof. diaz: so today we are talking about the civil war in the west. before we get started, i just
want to say, reminder, on thursday, we will continue talking about the civil war in the west. we will do it all week long. thursday, we will talk about the book "civil war in the southwest: borderlands." i am trusting that, like me, you all have studiously read the book the entire semester and taken deep notes and are ready to talk about it on thursday. today we will talk about two borders. is it week 12? let's say it is week 12. our week 12 learning objectives, to explore the experiences of the border states and what many called the borderlands. and to understand how the war affected native americans and confederate and union interests in the west. we will hit all three of these today. we will be dealing with all
three learning objectives throughout the entire week. so let us begin. first, there is more than one border. this is my reason for doing historical research and teaching civil war era southern history especially, to remind people there are border states and there is the borderlands. i put this up here to remind us of the different theaters we have been looking at over the semester. eastern theater, western theater, and the trans-mississippi.
up until now, we spend the majority of our time in the eastern theater and western theater a little bit. we haven't talked quite as much about the trans-mississippi theater. ultimately the trans-mississippi is everything west of the mississippi river. we will talk about that, but also go into the far west where we are and also into california. both the confederacy and union are not interested in competing over this space, the confederacy -- not just interested in competing over this space. they are interested in gaining control over this space. we talk about westward extension. this is for all the money, to control west of the mississippi river. what i need by more than one -- mean by more than one border is these are border states. this is the border between what? the union and the south. these are confederate states -- not really confederate states, but it is complicated.
these are slave states. these are union states. this is unorganized territory. within the border states, you have a war that doesn't look like what we see in the eastern theater. the eastern theater is big fancy battles, gettysburg and antietam, robert e. lee and ulysses s. grant fighting it out. that is mostly what americans think when they think about the civil war. we have done a pretty good job mixing that up and realizing how
complicated that is. the western theater, big fancy battles, big fancy armies, but a lot of division and complicated stuff. trans-mississippi theater, the war looks different here. you don't have as many of them -- of the big fancy armies and battles. you have what is called guerrilla warfare or irregular warfare. there are historians who recognize forms of irregular warfare take place throughout the confederacy, but the most explosive and certainly most famous parts of guerrilla warfare takes place in missouri and kansas, which is where we will spend of the class. half in the borderlands -- this here, which is oklahoma, is unorganized territory where
native americans are forced to go during the 1830's during the trail of tears, from the expulsions in the southeast. they wind up in indian territory. along the gulf coast and into the borderlands into texas, the population looks different. it is much more diverse ethnically, racially. you have read about this in the southwest borderlands book. you have, even in the gulf coast area, populations of french and spanish creoles. these are descendents of french and spanish settlers, conquerors frankly, that lived in a lot of cities of the gulf coast, but you also have german immigrants. there are thousands of german immigrants who moved to texas in the antebellum period, but also polish immigrants who make their home there.
you have, in the southwest, very strong native american peoples like the comanche, the apache, that also control vast amounts of territory. then you have about 100,000 mexicans living in the entirety of the western half of the united states and texas. you also have other spanish speaking people in the gulf coast, cubans, puerto ricans. there are cuban neighborhoods in new orleans, for instance, similar to keep in and hispanic -- cuban and hispanic neighborhoods in new york city. they are usually exiles from cuba. they are under control of spain. the further we go west down
south, there is a lot of complicated ethnic racial -- ethnic, racial, and class divisions that affects the civil war in the southwest borderlands and border states. this is where we are going to spend our time today. first we are headed to the border states. guerrilla warfare has become this big flashy thing. we are very much today on the cutting edge of civil war history. in your papers you are writing studiously for the rest of the semester, we are very much cutting edge civil or history. -- civil war history. i will flip through my notes. the conflict as it manifests in kansas and missouri. what is that conflict? bleeding kansas. starts roughly about 1854.
goes here and there with explosive violent events, like 1861. the way the war manifests in missouri is similar to the bleeding kansas conflict that some think is the war before the war. the kansas missouri conflict becomes a war within the war. that will be true of the borderlands as well. there are many conflicts within the larger conflict of the american civil war. it begins in kansas and missouri happens in 1861. as soon as the civil war breaks out, guerrilla war emerges as a popular alternative to enlisting in the confederate army. if you enlist, you may not be fighting in your own community.
you may be sent to fight in other parts of the south. for some men who don't want to leave their communities or families perhaps defenseless, this guerrilla warfare, these guerrilla groups become a popular alternative to formally enlisting in the confederate army. so far as missouri's status during the civil war, it is similar to kentucky. we are kind of for the confederacy, but kind of not. missouri doesn't have this formal seceding thing that happens in a lot of the other states we talked about. they will have a pro-union government and pro-confederate government operating in exile.
that happens in kentucky as well. some people in missouri might be unionists, some might be confederate sympathizers. the other side of kansas is somewhat similar, but they will mostly be unionists. with these guerrilla fighters, they are still in their communities. they don't often have uniforms. the bushwhackers are not associated with the confederacy. they are there to protect their communities. that is what they are saying. others call them bandits and murderers. the guerrilla war is an extremely personal, bloody war in a way you don't see on the fancy battlefields.
it sometimes devolves into individual people against each other. the union army is trying to deal with this. anyone who studies a war with guerrilla fighters, it can be difficult for armies to find out who is a guerrilla fighter and who is an everyday civilian. i call this the collection of men in jaunty hats. except for him, they are all in fancy hats. bushwhackers don't this is certainly where uniforms. -- wear -- don't necessarily wear uniforms. it is easy for them to blend back into the populace.
they know the area of missouri. it is easy for them to blend back into the area. that becomes difficult to judge who is doing the battle and who isn't. jayhawkers are basically the guerrilla fighters of kansas. there are similar groups attacking bushwhackers. current are not as many jayhawkers -- there are not as many jayhawkers as bushwhackers. jayhawkers are unionist guerrilla fighters in other parts of the western theater into the eastern theater.
guerrilla warfare pops up throughout the confederacy. it happened in the midwest in this border state area as the most intense border war between kansas and missouri. partisan rangers are different. they become formally recognized by the confederacy as an additional unit that will fight for the confederacy and is formally recognized by the government. they kind of have uniforms and are much more organized than a lot of bushwhackers tend to be. the bushwhacker methodology of irregular warfare, sacking towns, things like that, is kind of become -- these kind of
become in some ways linked to the criminality that becomes iconic in the wild west. how many have seen western movies? you are all raising your hand. i love westerns more than i should. but i do. [laughter] they can be kind of corny sometimes. these western outlaw figures come straight out of these bushwhacker characters. this guy's name is william bloody bill anderson. they also have dashing names. bloody bill is not really romantic, but it is flashy. now i'm blanking on the names.
this is william. this guy is probably one of the most famous bushwhackers. can anybody guess who that might be? this is missouri, 19th century. >> davy crockett. prof. diaz: no, but that is an interesting guess. davy crockett dies in missouri texas before this. billy the kid? prof. diaz: no. but you are getting warm. train robberies. raise your hand when you want to guess.
jesse james. [laughter] yes. he is kind of a punk kid at this point. he looks like the person that is going to shoplift from the mall. [laughter] so jesse james rides with these bushwhackers and becomes one himself. they are involved in this guerrilla warfare in the border states. the first spectacular moment of the border war is the sacking of osceola in missouri in 1861. after the outbreak of the civil war -- it is actually jayhawkers that go and sack this town,
osceola. this is a raid that begins -- the missouri state guard. 200 missouri militiamen are there to guard osceola. they go up against what they call the kansas brigade, about 2000 men. they are under the command of this dude in the top hat, general james henry lane, the one leading these kansas guys to osceola. they pretty much destroyed the town.
they leave all but three buildings standing. they take a lot of supplies. lane is anti-slavery. 200 enslaved people leave with them. this is september 22. the missouri cards are outnumbered -- guards are outnumbered. they are not effective at guarding the town. they take everything from food supplies and whatever they can use back into kansas. this is considered the most explosive moment. boom, we are starting this war. followed up by the lawrence massacre.
lawrence cannot catch a break in the civil war era. this is followed up by the lawrence massacre in lawrence, kansas in 1863, conducted by raiders. they kill about 200 men and boys in lawrence, kansas. he himself says this is in retaliation of what happened in osceola in 1861. later on, you get this thing called the centralia massacre in 1864. a famous massacre in which the leader and his men pulled 200 armed union soldiers off a train and executed them. these are the most explosive moments in the border war.
this is not exactly how could -- how guerrilla warfare always takes shape in this region. sometimes it is communities that devolve into men hiding. women and children trying to defend them, hide them. who is an enemy and who is not becomes a major issue. the union has to decide how to deal with guerrillas versus partisan rangers. >> because they were so hard to identify, does this lead to the same thing of brother against brother? prof. diaz: that is also a way
of describing the entirety of the civil war. the confederacy, the south is one brother, the north is one brother. it is another way of describing the intimacy of the civil war. yes, it might cut communities in half, cut families in half. this is something that would contribute to that. the memory of guerrilla warfare -- we have been talking about memories throughout the entirety of the class -- guerrilla warfare develops its own memory. there are historians who study that. they write women are also involved. women defend their families and home and men if they have to. the war in the border states is a tricky thing to navigate, especially for the union army, who doesn't want to kill civilians but at the same time
has to find out who is a civilian and enemy combatant. they can sometimes be the same thing. what the union army does early on is make a decision that because partisan rangers are affiliated with the confederacy, they are considered soldiers. if they surrender, they will be made p.o.w.'s. guerrillas are considered criminals. they can be shot right there. that ratchets up the tensions in the border states, in kansas and missouri. later on, they adopt this thing called general order 11, another
famous aspect of the border war. what happens is rural farm families had to go to areas near union camps or leave the state. they had to expel people. the union army is like, we are done. they expelled people from three counties in this missouri area. that is another attempt on their part to deal with warfare. this irregular warfare will continue on in these personal moments even to the end of the war. one of the last armed conflict moments within the war will happen at the border states. one of the last battles happens in the borderlands. so let's switch to the borderlands. yeah? >> i am curious -- because the
united states is recognized as a formal country, wouldn't all soldiers be recognized as criminals? prof. diaz: that is a good question, whether or not all soldiers would be seen as criminals. remember when we talked about the way the united states has to dance carefully around not recognizing the confederacy as a nation? they also adopt formal rules of war as well. part of these rules are about recognizing soldiers are soldiers, and if they surrender, are allowed to become listeners of war. -- prisoners of war. there is another thing called paroling. they don't tend to see all soldiers as criminals. immediately after the civil war,
there is a feeling of wanting the confederacy to pay for this war. not pay -- pay in terms of, this is a thing you did, it is treasonous, and someone should be held accountable. even that is up for debate within the north. democrats may not necessarily want that to happen. it is a complicated answer to a good question. yes? >> is one of the reasons we see more guerrilla warfare in the west is because it was so far from d.c. and richmond and in more underdeveloped states, that you have more guerrilla warfare
instead of big armies? prof. diaz: the reason you don't see the big armies as much is -- yeah, at the same time this guerrilla war stuff is going on in the west, in the eastern and western theater, the union and confederate armies are still trying to control this population. in the eastern theater, they are still trying to capture washington and richmond. in their minds, that is a concentration. david points to a real issue for both the confederacy and union. at the same time they are fighting the big fancy battles, all this other stuff is going on in the trans-mississippi theater. how much you can actually pay attention to the eastern theater and the trans-mississippi and
the west at the same time is extremely taxing and has an impact on the war. we will see that more and more as we talk about 1864 and the closing of the war. a borderland is ultimately a region where you have multiple cultures come into contact with one another, but you also have two or more different political powers vying for control over space. it helps to define a borderland as a region around an international border. in addition to the civil war
being all the things we talked about, the civil war is what we call a transnational war. that is true of the borderlands. the southwest borderlands, there are two wars happening at the same time. one in the united states, one in mexico. in addition to that, you have conflict raging along the u.s.-mexico border between all these different groups, hispanics, anglos -- that is what borderland historians call white americans, anglos, because mexican people in the 19th century viewed themselves as
white as well. you have anglos, hispanic people of different percent -- different dissent, you have native americans. it is a structure thrown into upheaval in the civil war. in the borderlands, especially for hispanic tejanos, the word mexicans use to refer to within the borderland region, you have people trying to figure out which side they want to support, the confederacy or the union. it is not cut and dry for anybody, but especially complicated for those in the southeast borderlands. and also within indian territories north of texas. for native americans, every american war brings with it this
choice. which side is going to offer us the opportunity to maintain our sovereignty? which side is going to offer us this ability to maintain our freedom as a people? this is something native americans consistently have to weigh when they go to war for either side. before that, we will talk about this dude, juan. this guy here. we will go back in time to 1859, 1860. when i am talking about this stuff, be thinking about the parallels and differences you hear between what is happening in the southwest borderlands and in the border states north of texas.
cortina was born in northern mexico. he was from a wealthy ranchero family that owned property on both sides of what becomes the u.s.-mexico border. the u.s.-mexico border in this period is not going to look like the u.s.-mexico border of today. the security and walls do not exist yet. it is the river. the river is seen by people living in the borderlands as more of a bridge than a division. it is only after the civil war that people see this as a space that should be regulated. cortina comes to settle in a town called brownsville.
if you get the shape of texas in your mind, brownsville is in the very bottom, just before you get to mexico on the rio grande. juan cortina is an important member of the tejano community in and around brownsville. in 1859, he is involved in an altercation with the sheriff of brownsville over one of his employees, escapes brownsville back to his mother's ranch, then comes back to brownsville with a group of men who have been come to be called the cortinistas. they capture brownsville and hold it for some time.
this freaks out the annual population of brownsville. while they are in control of the city, cortina issues proclamations denouncing anglos and the power they are accruing in south texas. he basically calls them vampires. they were sucking the life out of the tejano people, their economic power. from their perspective, they are fighting for tejano rights, to maintain tejano culture, to maintain what they view as their traditional hold on this land. from the perspective of anglos, not so much. from the perspective of anglos, they are criminals, they are bandits.
if you remember the texas ordinance of secession, they briefly mentioned the u.s. army is incapable of defending anglos against mexican banditi. that is low-key shade toward juan cortina. the u.s. army is eventually brought in. the texas rangers are first sent to put down the cortinistas. they do fight several battles. the u.s. army is also brought in. cortina eventually makes his way back across the border into mexico.
he doesn't win the day on the battlefield, but wins in his ability to stay alive. comes back in 1861 just as texas is embroiled in civil war to raid along the u.s.-mexico border in texas. when he does that, this dude is his captain -- he becomes one of the highest ranking latinos in the civil war. he is on the side of the confederacy. benavides's men defeat cortina. but then they become involved in the french invasion of mexico, franco-mexican war. we talked about napoleon. napoleon the third decides hey, wouldn't it be cool if we had
territory in the americas and essentially install a monarchy in mexico? that is what this is. the french invasion of mexico installs a monarchy in mexico. conservatives within mexico help this. this happens amidst the presidency of the nato partners -- of benito juarez. the southwest border is involved in wars, internal conflicts between people on different sides of the union and confederate conflict, and also embroiled in what is both an invasion and civil war in mexico. this is a complicated place for there to be a conflict.
cortina sides with benito juarez and also with the union. he does essentially side with the union. several cortinistas fight in the union army. he welcomes the union army when they tried to control smuggling on the rio grande. the rio grande is one of the few places where confederates can export cotton out of the confederacy and try to get past the blockade to sell it. the union army has to control that. cortina is very much interested in helping.
eventually they do shut it down. the texas gulf coast goes back and forth quite a bit during the civil war. this brings us to the new mexico campaign. the new mexico territory is, like everything else, divided. often times, if people have connections to missouri from the santa fe trade trail, they tend to be more sympathetic to the confederacy. among tejanos in the civil war, those that tend to be wealthier or have a direct connection with the south tend to be more on the
side of the confederacy. most latinos fight on the side of the confederacy. 20,000 people of spanish descent fight in the civil war. tejanos are part of that. tejano and hispanics from new mexico are not super good friends with the u.s. government, which took them over essentially during the mexican war, so that has an influence on which side they choose to support. some will support the confederacy because of that. to go back to the big picture, this is an etching of what the cotton smuggling operation in the rio grande looks like. bales of cotton waiting to sneak out of the river and be sold. the new mexico campaign, which you are currently reading about,
is the confederacy's interest in trying to gain control of this new mexico territory. people in the southern part of the new mexico territory tend to favor the confederacy. they declare themselves for the confederacy. people further north in new mexico territory tend to not be for the confederacy. those who are supporting the confederacy wants protection from indian raids. the confederate army within texas is going there to help. the confederacy is going to try to push further into the west. even california is split in terms of who they favor.
southern california tends to be more for the confederacy. northern california tends to be more for the union. as we can see the split of the , war goes straight into the territories. utah territory -- hey, yes, utah. [laughter] they want to sit this out as much as humanly possible. the union and confederacy still tries to gauge which side the different territories will be on. this brings us to the new mexico campaign. the new mexico campaign doesn't last superlong, but what happens is confederates invade into new mexico and the union has to fight them off. did you have a question?
>> in the franco-mexican war, did lincoln have a response to france coming into mexico? before that, we had the u.s. sphere of influence telling europeans to keep out. last week, you talked about his response to the french helping the confederacy. did he have any sort of response to this going on? prof. diaz: they didn't like it, for sure. they would prefer grant not do this. the civil war takes precedence
at this point. at the end of the civil war, the u.s. government does not support the french. they don't send people to fight against the french invasion, though, because they are in the middle of reconstruction, but it is on their radar. the civil war takes so much precedence that it is difficult to help in any way. but don't worry, the mexicans prevail. they kick out and actually execute the emperor in mexico by the end of the war and reclaim their country. back to this 1862 new mexico campaign. confederates, under this dude henry -- he is trying to control the stagecoach route that goes into missouri and the midwest.
his men meet a column of union all soldiers march 28 in glorieta pass. they are eventually forced from the field. this is a pretty short-lived campaign. confederates retreat back to santa fe. at glorieta pass, federal troops are finally able to turn back the confederate asian southwest. when the confederates retreat to santa fe, that is it for confederates' ability to claim
territory there. had they been able to claim territory, they might have been able to push into california. they might have been able to claim ports, which extended further this thin union blockade. the confederacy still has an imperialist notions. note the southern imperialism stuff we talked about at the beginning of the semester when some of your classmates said they want it all, the west, central america, mexico. those ideas are still part of the confederacy in the future. with this and what is going on in the eastern theater, those grand ideas fizzle out as the confederacy is fighting for its life.
you can imagine the connections between the border states and borderlands in terms of the way the war takes shape, the local, close fighting in the border states and borderlands. we will be thinking about that into the war of indian territory thursday. thank you all very much. this has been a good class, as per usual. class dismissed. >> listen to lectures in history on the go by streaming or on anywhere, anytime. you are watching american history tv only on c-span3. dame professor talks about the oil industry and its impact on america religion and politics.
his. how did wildcat religion come to define the western oil patch in such potent and lasting warmth? well, let's take a look at this briefly. it starts on the first of all? it started with a christian joiner to find oil on her firm. a self-made profit from alabama whose only education came from memorizing the old testament. an underfinanced operator who could only work shallow rules. he was certain god would guide him. with word of something -- guide him to crude. with word of something 1930,ing, on october 5, gargling could be heard in the casing. then came a spurt and eight flow
and that electrified the crowd. one described as hilarious. oil, they cried. some jumped up and down to demonstrate their feelings. one crewman pulled out his oilol and fired at the coming out. he was tackled quickly for the danger. what he prophesies came true. what came true was epic in proportions. it was to be discovered as the largest up to that point ever discovered in the world. miles 43 miles long, 10 wide, containing 5.5 billion barrels. aat happened overnight is booming a population and booming population. workers from all over the region poured into east texas looking for employment.
what else was going on at that time? the depression, yes you have where the poorest regions all of the sudden this explosion of possibility and people are ready to take full advantage of that no matter the cost. >> learn more about the relationship between the oil industry, christianity, and politics sunday at 4:30 p.m. eastern here on american history tv. a night at the garden is a seven-minute academy award-winning film showing parts of a 1939 nazi rally in new york city's madison square garden. next, a screening of the film at the new york historical society followed by a discussion on the rally and how it relates to current events with the director and new york times columnist roger cohen.