Skip to main content

tv   The Civil War 1862 Loudoun Valley Campaign  CSPAN  November 6, 2020 3:31pm-4:16pm EST

3:31 pm
nations charter in promoting global peace and justice. on october 24, 1945, the u.n. was officially established. we feature five films beginning with the signing of the charter and that's tonight at 8:00 eastern and enjoy american history tv this week and every weekend on c-span3. up next, author kevin pawlak, talks about the loudoun campaign between confederate forces under stewart and various unions in the army of the potomac. this was hosted by the emerging civil war blog. >> welcome back to the emerging civil war virtual symposium. i'm chris misdowski. i want to give thanks to the friends at c-span for the work
3:32 pm
they do to continue to promote american history and their work is absolutely invaluable. our next speaker today is kevin pawlak at antietam, and he has his own battlefield where he oversees the bristol station battlefield and he oversees a civil war hospital area. kevin is the co-author of "to hazard all" the 1862 antietam campaign. today he will talk about the aftermath of the antietam campaign, it often gets overlooked tying, and set in the larger context, kevin will talk about the loudoun valley campaign of 1862. ladies and gentlemen, kevin pawlak.
3:33 pm
>> well, thank you, chris, for that introduction and thanks to all of you for tuning into our virtual symposium. we hope you'll be able to join us next year in 2021 when we'll be reprising our topic of what was supposed to be this year's topic of fallen leaders, but today i'm going to speak with you about the loudoun valley campaign which is a campaign that does not get a lot of study at all in the larger scale of the civil war. i probably wager that there are more people in this room which i can count on one hand than there are books that talk about in any great detail with the loudoun valley campaign itself. so why the loudoun valley campaign and what is the importance of this campaign? it's really one of those areas of the american civil war especially in historiography that just gets glossed over. it's sort of an interlude period, if you will, between two of the major battles. you had before it the battle of antietam fought september 17, 1862 and then you have the battle of fredericksburg in
3:34 pm
december and, and it's this three-month period that's not given the amount of coverage they believe it deserves for various reasons. where we're going to peck up our story before we get into the details of the campaign itself is right where the two armies last met in any great size, and that is on the fields and wood lots around sharpsburg, maryland on september 17, 1862. the bloodiest single day in american military history and 23,000 union and confederate soldiers will be killed, wounded, missing or captured and that's about one person every two seconds for 12 straight hours. and so what happens on september 17th, is simply a minor union victory there on the antietam battlefield, but both armies are blood dry essentially by this latest action in the eastern theater of the war. september 17 of 1862 is not just essentially the high point of the maryland campaign, but it's
3:35 pm
really the culmination of three months of almost constant campaigning between the two major armies, union army and the other the confederate army in the eastern theater of the war and in the three-month time period there have been between the two armies about 92,000 casualties which is the second bloodiest three-month span between two armes in the entire american civil war and that's second only to the overland campaign in 1864, but what's going to happen especially at antietam is not just the armies and the individual soldiers are going to be blood dry, but the high command will, as well. george mclellan and the army of the potomac will lose two out of the six core commanders. so a 33% casualty rate for the second highest level of command in the union army. for the confederates they will lose three of their nine division commanders, and so again, both armies are not just bleeding from the bottom and they're bleeding from the top,
3:36 pm
as well. what robert e. lee will do is carry his army back across the po to potomac, and they fan out across western maryland to block the different crossing points of the potomac river to make sure that lee does not get his army back into maryland and continue the campaign, but by september 20th the campaign is going to come to an end and of course, just two days later after the campaign in maryland does conclude, you have one of the most important political actions of the entire war and perhaps even of all of american history and that is the emancipation, proclamation. at least president abraham lincoln is going to announce to the country the preliminary emancipation proclamation on december 22nd which will be a war-changing measure and it signals to the confederacy and the citizens of the united states just how the war has changed in the year and a half and how it will continue to
3:37 pm
change and will forever change the united states as we know it. >> so there is a lot of political background and political pressure to when it will happen in late october and late november of 1862 and this picture very well known taken in early october and it's the camps around sharpsburg, maryland underscores the growing between abraham lincoln and mclellan who you see there on the right side of the photograph. lincoln will come up to sharpsburg, maryland, to visit the army of the potomac. he wants to see the latest battlefield victory and see the field himself, the antietam battlefield and he wants a feel for the army of the potomac and determine what it can do next, and figure out what the next plan is. it's very difficult to decipher exactly what was determined
3:38 pm
between the two during these meetings because it depended on who you asked. george mclellan was under the belief that he himself got everything he wanted to out of lincoln's visit up to an army, was an assurance that lincoln would support mclellan as he sought to rebuild the army and the potomac in the weeks following the battle of antietam. if you asked abraham lincoln, he believed he got an assurance from george mclellan that the army and the potomac would continue its next campaign soon. however, as soon as lingon boarded the plane and headed down to washington, d. krchl, the rift began to grow witness again, ever widening between george mclellan and his commander in chief, abraham lincoln and lincoln was prodding mclellan to move forward. mclellan kept telling lincoln and many bear out the supply issue that was taking place. eventually, the sores between mclellan and lincoln would be
3:39 pm
opened up further by events that took place in the middle of the month and that would be jeb stewart's cambersburg that my colleague sarah byerly to get more information on it. but stewart's itinerary or goals, if you will, was to ride around the union army of the potomac and gather intelligence, capture prisoners and capture horses, potentially if he could and in just a few days, stewart completely circumnavigates the union army in western maryland. it's a ride of about 130 miles. he captures around 1200 pennsylvania horses and it's a very impressive feat, certainly, but i will add what stewart will do here is he's going to damage a lot of the horse flesh that is responsible for the success of the army of northern virginia's mounted arm and that's going to come into play in just a couple of weeks when the armies will once again engage in the loudoun
3:40 pm
valley and northern virginia. >> you will see stewart's headquarters and a home that's still standing in jefferson county west virginia. >> there was a grand celebration of this magnificent feat, and one of stewart's officers were talked about how the women were brought to the countryside, to celebrate this great feast -- skiem, and they were peculiar pulled, by fat pennsylvania horsers and mules that stewart's men had captured in the pursuing raid. >> had the raid prompt it is confusion in the days after it. the confederate army which was positioned in the northern end of the shenandoah valley or the lower end as it's known in the area around martinsburg is where
3:41 pm
stonewall jackson was positioned and in the area around ch winchester. so beginning on october 16th mclellan dispatched two of the best known swearers and the army of the potomac to mount two reconnaissances in force into the shenandoah valley to figure out just exactly where and what the confederates were actually up to. so in the upper portion of the screen you will see roughly the route that the column under the command of andrew atkinson humphries takes going from shepherd's town into the intear are interior and today it's where they get to and a little bit beyond and it departs from harper's ferry and this is one where george mclellan himself is about to personally accompany and it's for scott hancock.
3:42 pm
hancock's men will arrive outside of charlestown and there will be a brief time in charleston in jefferson county for a day or so, but ultimately, what these two reconnaissances will show is that the confederate army is still very much in force there in the shenandoah valley and all of this is happening as abraham lincoln and edwin stanton are continuing to try to prod george mclellan in the army of the potomac to begin its next campaign into virginia. so what these reconnaissances show is that the shenandoah valley still has confederate forces. just a couple of days later, george mclellan will not look west of the blue ridge mountains and instead will look to the east side of the blue ridge mountains and specifically the area between the blue ridge mountains on the west and the bull run or catokton mountains on the east which will frame the loudoun valley which is going to be the epicenter of the coming campaign. the morning of october 21st, a
3:43 pm
force under the command of john gary, somebody very familiar with loudoun county before the war, gary had actually been head of an iron works along the potomac river in loudoun county and this was familiar territory for him, but gary would come with a combined force of infantry, artillery and cavalry into the loudoun valley. you will see their route with the blue arrows on the map and they begin basically making a u movement through the short hills and you have toward lovitzville from harper's ferry and on their way back they didn't find much, but on their way back toward lovitzville the cavalry under the command of duncan macvicar who will be killed in the chancellorsville campaign will clash with elements of the 35th virginia cavalry at a place called glenmore farm. it is a quick action, but it is something that's sketched by different newspaper artists and sketch artists throughout the north which is what you see
3:44 pm
there on the bottom right and it is a resounding route of the confederate forces and many are driven from the battlefield and captured a captured and gary's reconnaissance, is that the loudoun valley is relatively clear of confederate forces and so that is going to call into play abraham lincoln's developing strategy for the eastern theater of the war as commander in chief of the union armies. on october 13th, while the confederate cavalry was in the process, abraham lincoln would write a very wordy letter to george mclellan outlining lincoln's vision of what the plan might be for the fall campaign and this is part of what lincoln said to mclellan. you are now near richmond than the enemy is by the route that you can and he must take. why can you not reach there before him unless you admit that
3:45 pm
he is more than your equal on a march. his route, the enemy's is the arc of a circle while yours is the cord. the road is as good on yours as his. you know i desired but did not order you to cross the potomac below, east of the shenandoah and blue ridge. my idea that it would menace the enemy's communications which i would seize if you should permit. if he should move north world i would hold communications. if he would prevent our seizing of communications and move toward richmond, i would press closer to him and fight him if a favorable opportunity would present and try to beat him to richmond on the inside track. i say try. if we never try, we shall never succeed. nine days after receiving that dispatch from the commander in chief, just one day after recognizing that the loudoun valley east of the blue ridge, and the route that lincoln talked about is clear, george
3:46 pm
mclellan settles on the fact that his army will advance on the east side of the blue ridge mountains, utilizing the loudoun valley as his advanced route ultimately toward richmond and here on the screen is an overview map of the eastern theater of the war and essentially what lincoln is talking about and if you're at home i woulden krurj y encourag pull out a modern map and you will see what lincoln is discussing. with the army positioned around martinsburg and winchester, elements of the union army before they cross the potomac river were closer to richmond than the confederate army was so what lincoln was hoping the army could do was steal a march and something that it was not known for and it did not often do, steal a march on the island of northern verge verirginia and g between robert e. lee and the capital and find ground that was
3:47 pm
favorable and be able to defeat lee before the winter set on and it was a bad season for campaigning. so mclellan settled on that and just a couple of days later after informing lincoln of that fact on october 24th and october 25th mclellan began to lay out the tenets of his plan which was essentially this, looking at a map of the loudoun valley. you can see is between those two orange lines of the map and to the left of the screen is the blue ridge mountains and the darker line toward the right side of the screen is the bull run or the catokton mountains and everything framed between that is the loudoun valley. so mclellan's plan called for the army to march swiftly and basically cutting itself off from supplies and the union soldiers would have ten days' worth of wagons during this campaign because mclellan realized that it might be cut off from his supply base, but
3:48 pm
armed with that, the union army will move under the columns under the command of fits john porter and their objective was basically to march along the eastern base of the blue ridge mountains and seize each of the mountain gaps in the blue ridge so that they could secure the union supply line that was going to continually grow and grow and grow the further that the union army advanced and then the strike force, if you will, the other side of mclellan's command would be marching through the mountains and that was under the command of admiral burnside and the 1st corps, and the 6th corps and the 9th corps. beginning on the 26th, the union command under pleasanton will begin cross the potomac river on two pontoon bridges in maryland which is now known as brunswick today. here is an image that's heavily debated about whether or not this is showing federal troops
3:49 pm
crossing in october of 1862 or july of 1863 in the aftermath of the gettysburg campaign, but nonetheless, it gives you a good idea of just what this crossing might have looked like. union soldiers recognized what it meant crossing back during the potomac river and a correspondent wrote watching federal soldiers and thousands and thousands of them krcrossin the pontoon bridges and they stepped on virginia's soil, one of the am pressive omens seemed to thrill through the men and lusty cheers spontaneously broke from 20,000 throats awoke responsive echoes from the virginia hills and announced that the third campaign was commenced. >> once the federal army began moving into the cleared out loudoun valley, they found something that was relatively unexpected for them in northern
3:50 pm
virginia. loudoun county was really almost a microcosm in the loudoun valley, if you will, was a microcosm of what the country was experiencing at this point, of course, divided over the issue of slavery and civil war. the northern portion of the loudoun valley was predominantly populated by quakers and german populations that were usually favorable towards the union soldiers. you'll see a sketch of burnside on horseback. you can see union soldiers cheering him on. it wasn't just union soldiers, but many civilians as well. however, the loudoun valley had remained unscathed by this point in the war despite its divided loyalties. however, there had been some instances of truly -- i know we use the term so much that it's almost a cliche of brother against brother as the civil war. but in loudoun valley, that was the case.
3:51 pm
that was actually happening and another correspondent said this, the war has been conducted with a bitterness that you of the north can scarcely conceive, literally setting brother against brother and father against son, destroying all domestic ties and natural feeling. but this would be the first time during the american civil war that the loudoun valley would experience the horrors of war. it did not just come when the two armies met on a battlefield, but as will be the case here, especially for the union army in the loudoun valley, their orders are going to be changing a little bit. i've talking a little bit about the emancipation proclamation and how that is going to bring about a change in the course of the union war effort and in the course of the war. but the hard hand of war is starting to be felt and union armies are starting to apply it
3:52 pm
to confederate territory that they envad. this is a picture from one of my favorite books or a sketch. it's written by a veteran, it's a fictional account based on his real actions during the course of the civil war and this is just a great illustration to me of how even though when the army of the potomac is moving into the loudoun valley, they were under strict orders not to harm private property. now, not a lot of the -- not all of the soldiers followed those orders. some of that is just because of a different belief, of course, george mcclellan being a war democrat thought that a much softer hand should be used to deal with the kefconfederate population. no matter which side of the spectrum a soldier came on, simple life instincts came hold. they had to keep themselves warm.
3:53 pm
it's beginning to get cold, it's rainy. at night the water would freeze inside of union and confederate soldiers' canteens. one of the best ways to keep yourself warm is to build a fire. because the orders were limited about what union soldiers could do to confederate property, the orders were to each column of troops, when tearing down a fence, they could only take the top rail of that fence. here's what you see them doing, is taking the top rail of that fence. that's all fine because they've built their fires and they move on. and there's five union army corps moving through the loudoun valley. once one corps clears out, here comes a second corps and their orders are to take the top rail. they take what is close to the top. you can see after how many different union formations moved through, the loudoun valley is going to be wiped clean.
3:54 pm
one union soldier said it was not quite the land of milk and honey, but it was a fair equivalent. union soldiers were taking plenty of provisions from the local population as they possibly could. getting into the military movements of the campaign itself. it won't be until several days into the action when the two armies begin to engage and that won't start until october the 31st, halloween, five days already into the campaign itself. just a quick recap, you can see the dark arrows there on the map, of course, symbolize the army of the potomac's infantry. they planned to move south through the loudoun valley and two additional corps were supposed to arrive along the orange and alexander river and meet up in the area of
3:55 pm
thoroughfare gap. he will embark on the campaign with about 100,000 men or so. so both armies have been rebuilt from the losses that they suffered during the summer of 1862. mcclellan will be cutting off himself from his supply lines. the army, the soldiers are going to be marching with ten days worth of rations and they have to move through the loudoun valley quick enough before the ten day of rations expire and their goal is to reach the railroad which mcclellan is going to start to use that as his supply lines. the ultimate goal here, besides getting between the confederate army is to reach the railroad. for the confederate army, they're going to react a little bit slower. the first crossing of union soldiers across the potomac is on october 26th. lee will not react until two days later once he realizes that this is in fact a serious
3:56 pm
movement, not just a diversion. so what lee will begin to do is he will march, half of his army, the first corps at this point, the first campaign that they're going to be utilizing the corps structure in the campaign, the first corps is going to quickly march through the valley to front royal and cross the blue ridge mountains and end somewhere around culpeper courthouse. everybody is fighting for the interior lines. lincoln wants mcclellan. mcclellan would like to get to culpeper first and of course robert e. lee wants to deprive mcclellan of that opportunity. so longstreet is going to begin to move. while longstreet is marching and while the actions are going on in the loudoun valley, stonewall jackson will be left there.
3:57 pm
if jackson sees an opportunity, he's told to strike at the right flank, the moving right flank of the army of the potomac as it's maneuvering. jackson won't leave until this campaign is over. he's going to remain there for quite some time before marching onto fredericksburg and joining the confederate army there. the first actions to take place, as i mention, will be on october 31st and that's between a cavalry brigade under the command of williams wickham. lee was out of commission at this point so wickham takes demand. stewart has about 1,000 horsemen with him when he crosses over the mountains. and a lot of that is, again, because of the horse flesh that stewart has killed on that raid and also for both union and confederate armies there was a disease running through the horse flesh of both armies. neither cavalry is going to be
3:58 pm
quite up to snuff at this point in the campaign. but lee is going to dispatch stewart into the valley with the intention of serving as a speed bump to the army of the potomac, slowing it down, buying time for james longstreet to take up his blocking position. on october 31st, stewart's cavalry men are going to stumble upon the debts of the first rhode island cavalry in the area of mountville. it's between on the map there between the towns of aldi and fi philmont. bayard is going to see what happens to the first rhode island cavalry. 52 men were captured by stewart's horsemen. bayard is going to take his men out of the picture entirely.
3:59 pm
and bayard is going to be doing so from downtown washington, d.c. the cavalry from the east is not going to be much aid to pleasanton's cavalry men. the next day, fighting is going to erupt between pleasanton's cavalry men and this is what is often referred to as the battle of unison, referred to or being dated as having been fought from november 1st to the 3rd of 1862. here's the major landmark in the town of unison today. just a real quick funny side story, again, showing how the loudoun valley serves as a microcosm of this divided nation. unison was founded as union, not unison. but in 1829 the citizens changed it to unison. however, the official name of the voting district in that index section of loudoun was
4:00 pm
still referred to as the union district. when they had a chance to go to the polls, the union voting district voted 150-0 in favor of dissolving the union and having virginia leave the united states and join the confederate states of america. but nonetheless, november 2nd of 1862 was a sunday. and at the unison methodist church, the farmers and citizens had gathered to begin their services. suddenly the first thing that they heard that made them realize today might not just be any normal sunday, was the tune taken up by a band listening to the mockingbird that the citizens caught coming in on the wind from the union advance. then suddenly several guns under the command of john pellum began to open fire and the two sides at about 1,000 yards traded are
4:01 pm
till ri shots and it was talked about what the fighting was like in unison. he said the retreat through union was covered by pellum and was executed with great steadiness and order which crashing through the houses of the little village had set on fire several stables. the furious flames leaping from one to another of these great masses and the dense volumes of smoke that rolled from them added to the terror and confusion of the scene which now game truly frightful. again, the citizens of the loudoun valley were for the first time truly feeling the effects of war. now, what stewart was trying to do, again, in this -- in the loudoun valley, he's not fighting for space. he's just trying to slow the union advance as much as he can
4:02 pm
and keep the gaps open in the blue ridge mountains so that james longstreet's corps can maneuver through them. once stuart feels plenty of pressure from pleasanton who gets help from a union infantry brigade, stuart is going to fall back from unison. he falls back to high ground just southwest of the town at the old quaker meeting house and this is where john pellum is going to have one of his finer days, perhaps his finest day, i would argue, as an artilleryist. he's going to do what he's known as doing, he takes a artillery piece, you can see it, the arrow there in the map showing the fighting at the quaker meeting house. pellum takes one gone out. he sights the gun himself, personally, at a distance of 800 yards and the first shot fells the entire color guard of the
4:03 pm
7th indiana infantry on the left. once they gain the range of his gun, he will fall back and continue playing a game almost of leapfrog. i know what he does at fredericksburg is talked about, that's where he gets the nickname, but a historian of the long arm of northern virginia says this is a greater day for john pellum. ultimately, pellum's heroics are not going to be enough to stop the union advance. once stuart starts to feel pressure on his flanks and front, he's going to fall back to the next position. all day on november 2nd, stuart will hold a total of six different defensive positions there in the loudoun valley. by november the 3rd, stuart has been pushed back to the outskirts of the town of upperville along the turnpike. upperville was an important town
4:04 pm
not just because of all the road networks, but also it sits a few miles each of the gap where there was infantry under the command of john walker. and stuart was trying to keep the union eyes blind to the presence of confederate infantry and also to open up or keep the mountain pass open. some very intense fighting will be had on november the 3rd. you can see there will be union attacks on three different fronts, stuart's cavalry men are protecting the north. it's going to take a bayonet charge by the members of the 95th new york infantry to drive the line back to ashby's gap itself. according to some confederate accounts, it's only the efforts of an artillery piece that is positioned in ashby's gap itself that is able to stop the federal
4:05 pm
pursuit towards ashby's gap. in reality, that is irrelevant because stuart has decided that the gap no longer needs to be held because the confederate infantry has left its places, and it falls into union hands which is the plan of mcclellan as he continues to advance further and further south. on november 4th and 5th, the action is, once again, going to continue. and this is as northerners are just wrapping up their voting in the midterm elections in 1862 while all of this action is going on which is going to come to play in just a little bit. but the actions will take place closer to the area of the manassas gap railroad. by november 4th and 5th, the army of the potomac is going to be in possession of that railroad which, again, was the objective point for the army of the potomac so it could reopen
4:06 pm
or have a rail supply line rather than carrying all of its supplies itself. however, by that point, by november 3rd, all of this is irrelevant because when abraham lincoln had laid out his plans for george mcclellan and had given orders for the advance across the river, lincoln had made a private promise to himself that if mcclellan was not able to reach culpeper courthouse before lee's army did, that lincoln would then relieve mcclellan of demand. november 3rd, james longstreet's first corps of the army of northern virginia begins to arrive at culpeper courthouse. lincoln receives word of that and on november 5th he is going to draft orders that will take a couple of days to reach mcclellan. but lincoln will draft orders removing mcclellan from demand. we're going to get more so that in just a second. one of the true highlights, i think, of the loudoun valley
4:07 pm
campaign and the heroes, phil, of the campaign, something that doesn't get a lot of credit, is the union cavalry. we look to later fights in 1863 at heart wood church, kelly's ford as being the moment where the union cavalry really starts to be matched toe to toe or hoof to hoof, if you will, with the confederate cavalry of the army of northern virginia. but throughout all of the cavalry actions here, stuart is not fighting to secure a battlefield. he's fighting to slow down the advance of the federal cavalry. every anytime the loudoun valley when a regiment or brigade side meets a number of cavalry men, the union cavalry men always have the upper hand. early in the campaign following their ride around george mcclellan's army, a federal cavalryman wrote this about the
4:08 pm
viewpoints of the union cavalry. he said, the pris taoej was such that the opposition was considered a very little account by us. he did not think much and the confederate cavalry did not think much at all of their union counterparts. by the end of this campaign, a correspond dant wrote write, many persons have decried our cavalry declaring it next to nothing. since the crossing from berlin up to the present, commands have proved themselves fully equal, they have driven stuart in every fight. even when stuart was fighting to hold on to ground, for example, on november 5th at barbie's cross roads, the cavalry would achieve the upper hand. it was an intense fight, one that doesn't get hardly any attention in the literature of cavalry in the american civil war. but the federal cavalry is going
4:09 pm
to show it can stand toe to toe with the counterparts. and this is going to be a dramatic shift for the army of the potomac in its ways of operating. however, ultimately, by the time union cavalry has driven their counterparts to the river, the campaign suddenly comes to a screeching halt. and that is because on the night of november 7th, 1862, in the midst of a snowstorm, just as george mcclellan at 11:00 p.m. is in the middle of writing one of those famous letters to his wife, there's a knock on his tent pole. one of the men that walked into the tent was somebody he recognized, his good friend burnside. the other man was somebody that had been rumored to have accompanied or to have joined the army of the potomac and that was buckingham, one of the best-named generals you'll find in the entire civil war. after a bit of small talk,
4:10 pm
buckingham finally got to the crux of why he was there. and he handed george mcclellan orders relieving mcclellan of his duties. mcclellan read it and handed the note to burnside and told him, well, burns, i turn the command over to you. however, after a few minutes of consultation, burnside was able to convince mcclellan that rather than following orders to go back to new jersey, that mcclellan would stay on a few days and help burnside figure out the logistics and the whereabouts of all the different pieces of the army of the potomac. in a couple days george mcclellan is going to review different areas of the army of the potomac. some would write this is a great change, they had rid themselves
4:11 pm
of mcclellan. others would write this was a terrible change and talked about marching on washington to depose the lincoln administration. but ultimately mcclellan quelled any talk of that and he would go on peacefully to his home in trenton new jersey, waiting to be called on for the rest of the war, but, of course, never receiving that call. george mcclellan's removal from demand can be attributed to several different factors at this point in the war. this rift between himself and lincoln had grown too wide. the commander in chief could not operate with the most important general in his -- in the entire united states army at that point. secondly, mcclellan was a war democrat. the midterm elections had just wrapped up. you could argue and lincoln did basically say there was no need to have mcclellan as this war democrat to try and become a unifying force in those midterm elections which democrats did
4:12 pm
win some seats in those elections but ultimately the republicans still held control of both houses of congress and most of the state governorships and legislatures. but no matter what you think of george mcclellan, this is probably one of the better known stories of the entire american civil war of mcclellan being relieved from command. you look in newspapers today, people talk about it all the time of comparing it to presidents having disputes with generals in the field, even if you go back to the wars in iraq and afghanistan, you'll find mentions of this in newspapers, comparing the past constantly to the present. but it's not just relevant for us today, but i think it also symbolizes really one of the last pillars of a conservative, soft-hand war being fought on the part of the union war effort. that pillar collapses and it falls. and this symbolizes a great change in the union war effort. and i think it's not just that
4:13 pm
mcclellan's removal warrants a lot more of discussion and study, but the entire loudoun valley campaign does because it places in context, again, one of these seminole events of lincoln's role as commander in chief during the american civil war. so i thank you all very much. i hope you're able to get out and see some of these loudoun valley battlefields. many of them look almost exactly like they did in 1862. you can still drive a lot of the same roads, see a lot of the same stone walls and buildings that these soldiers saw and passed by. you can go into the unison methodist church and see graffiti left behind by wounded soldiers. i hope there's a bit of -- the fog of war is lifted, if you will, from the interlude between the ballot ttle of antietam and battle of fredericksburg to show there were things going on at that point. and the lauden valley deserves more mention.
4:14 pm
thank you all very much. >> every saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3, hear about topics ranging from the american revolution, civil rights and u.s. presidents to 9/11. >> thanks for your patience and for logging into class. >> with most college campuses closed due to the impact of the coronavirus, watch professors transition to a virtual setting. >> gorbachev did most of the work to change the soviet union but reagan met him halfway, reagan encouraged him, reagan supported him. >> freedom of the press, which we'll get to later i should just mention, madison originally called it freedom of the use of the press and it is indeed freedom to print things and publish things. it's not a freedom for what we now refer to institutionally as the press. >> lectures in history on american history tv on c-span3. every saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern.
4:15 pm
lectures in history is also available as a podcast. find it where you listen to podcasts. next, historic site manager paige gibbons backus talks about the state of medical knowledge at the beginning of the civil war, including surgical practices and diseases common among the soldiers. she also describes advances later in the war, such as sterilization and reconstructive surgery that improved a soldier's chance of survival. this talk was part of a symposium on the war in the east hosted by the "emerging civil war" blog. with to the "emerging civil war" virtual symposium. i'm chris mackowski, editor in chief. thank you for joining us online for this year's event. i want to give a shout-out to our technical director for his help behind the camera today, making sure that today is happening for us virtual. thank you, chris. also a thank you to our


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on