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tv   [untitled]    April 4, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm EDT

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tomorrow, another look at the president's 2013 budget request. we're featuring the defense department budget which is facing major cults if congress fails to agree on how to lower spending. and a look at the federal trade commission budget on friday. all week in prime time, we're showing american history tv programming seen every weekend on c-span3. tonight from the museum of the confederacy, a forum on who time magazine would have selected as person of the year in 1862 in the midst of the civil war. over the next six hours, a panel of historians will nominate candidates with the audience making the final decision. a similar event chose abraham lincoln as person of the year for 1861. we're live from the richmond
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virginia library. if "time" magazine had been around in 1862, who would time select as person of the year? the library of virginia and museum of confederacy co-hosting an event that the invited five historians. and by the end of the day, the audience here in richmond will vote on person of the year 1862. lots ahead, all day coverage here on c-span3 on american history tv. and during breaks in the event the in richmond we'll take your phone calls, talk to the historians about their selections, and give you a chance to weigh-in with your vote as well. you can do that on the phone, and do that online. if you're on twitter, you can follow us at american history tv -- specifically today, if you want to tweet, use th the #poty1862.
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also on facebook, we've already posted the question, who do you think was the most influential person of 1862? coming up next, they'll get under way shortly at the library of virginia in richmond to get the program under way. live coverage on american history tv on c-span3.
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good morning. hello, everybody. why don't we get started. good morning. my name is matt thompson, chairman of the board of the museum of the confederacy. and on behalf of the museum and the library of virginia, i welcome you to our 2012 symposium.
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this is the 15th year of our partnership with the library and we are truly grateful to it for hosting this event and for being a center of education in scholarship in downtown richmond. based on the feedback we received from last year's person of the year 1861 symposium, i think it's safe to say that this person of the year series is becoming a signature event of the continuing commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the civil war. as chairman of the museum, i'm obligated to remind everybody we are a member-supported institution. to learn more about the museum and our activities please go to to become a member, renew your membership, make a donation, and also to learn more about our grand opening on march 31st of our $10 million new
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exhibit -- new museum, excuse me, to open. it's a great building. it's going to be a great museum experience. and it's really going to allow us to expand our mission and our reach to people from across the country and the world. let me introduce to you waite rawls, the president of the museum. i hope you have a great day and thanks for coming. [ applause ] >> good morning, everybody. and welcome to 1862. today we're going to immerse you in 1862. the people in the events of 150 years ago. by the end of the day, we hope you'll have enough of a perspective about 1862 to be a perceptive judge of what and who was important in that crucial year. many of you were with us last year and are familiar with the concept and formula of this symposium. but before i go on and explain a little bit about it for those of
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you who were not here last year, i want to pay tribute to someone who was with us here last year, and is tragically not with us today. many of you know the name of sarah bars, through her father ed barres. if you studied virginia history you know sarah in her own right. for more than 10 years she worked here at the library of virginia as the editor of the dictionary of virginia biography. for 16 years before that, she was the managing editor of the publications of the virginia historical society. sarah died cancer a few weeks ago, a week short of her 52nd birthday. i know all of us, and anyone who appreciates good writing will miss her greatly. sarah's father kicked off last year's symposium with a typically vigorous speech by pierre gustave toutant beauregard as the person of the year in 1861.
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he did not do a great job and he did not finish high in the vote. that is the basic concept for this symposium. the talks you will hear today are speeches nominating candidates for the person of the year of 1862. the person who most influenced events, or who exemplified important developments of that year. at the end of the day we will pass out ballots and you will get to vote. as i was last year, i am very pleased that so many of you came to an all day symposium without even knowing who the lecture topics were going to be. and that c-span is interested in not only recording the symposium but broadcasting it live. yes, we are live, without knowing the subjects of the lectures. we thought that not divulging the nominees in advance would enhance the suspense. and you've confirmed this with your attendance today. we thank you for trusting us to arrange an interesting and worthwhile program and are
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confident that you won't be disappointed. the person who won last year's vote was abraham lincoln, which surprised a lot of people. abraham lincoln won an election in richmond, virginia? this tells us that perhaps richmond isn't what some people think it is. and it reminds us that the person of the year for 1861 or 1862 is not a popularity contest any more than "time" magazine's person of the year is a measure of popularity. it is a measure of importance and a means of learning about the year. our panelists will try to convince you, the audience and the voters, that their nominees deserve to be recognized for their importance. without further ado, let's get on to our first nominee and first speaker. bob krick, for him and others you will find a biography in your programs, so i will not
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give long introductions. for the benefit of our live television audience, however, let me say a few things about robert k. krick. he's best known as the proud father of bob l.krick. bob the elder was for more than 30 years chief historian at the fredericksburg and spotsylvania park and in that capacity was extremely active as a researcher, a writer, a speaker and especially as one of the country's leading battlefield preservationists. in his so-called retirement and so-called retirement bob will never retire, he has continued his research and writing in occasional speaking. we are very pleased to have him with us here today to make the first nomination. bob krick. [ applause ]
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>> the years do move right along for many decades, my son, a young historian, was introduced as my son. now, almost inevitably i'm introduced as his father. so these things come and go and change. i was instructed by my long-time friend john coskey, that it would be a good idea if i maintained some suspense about who my nominee was. ed bart and others used that ploy last year and john thought it worked well. but i don't see, however, that i can do that. as i look around, there are a lot of friendly faces out there. many of you who know my persona at all, will not be on tender hooks whether it's braxton brag or charles sumner, you know who i'm interested in, you know who i'm going to talk about. i do, though, at least for starters have a quirky context for you.
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i'm going to talk about soap sold to philadelphians, yankees in the northeast. and number two about frenology. and those are both not in the mainstream. was there even a remote chance in the april of 1862 the thomas j. jackson, already known then as stone well, might have served as a text in april of 1862 to sell soap to yankees in the northeast? utterly inconceivable. yet before the summer was over, just a few weeks later, jackson was the main subject of an advertisement by files okay soap. and the advertisers, knowing their audience, even in the northeast, this was published in philadelphia, they claimed in the american frenological journal and life illustrated, that was the full name, i
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suppose with tongue in cheek, that stonewall jackson loved their soap. in the field, this is a quote -- in the field they professed somehow to know stonewall jackson nabs files okay soap and sends for more. advertisers always used popular figures. today if they were selling soap they would use some division star i suppose as their model. here are northeasterners using stonewall jackson to sell soap. what an explosion in jackson's public image, in just a period of a few weeks. that of course is my main thing today. an aside from the phrenology. maybe some of you are young enough that have never been exposed to it. pseudo science that the bumps on your cranium showed your strengths and weaknesses. and this was one of the eccentric enthusiasms. his library, which survived
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quite extensively, a few miles from here on the boulevard, includes two phrenological volumes. one is something like marriage or a guide for choosing a life's mate. you were supposed to feel his or her head and look for the bump that had to do with love, sentiment, music. jackson presumably was concave for music since he was tone deaf. this has fallen out of vote. but the fact that it was in the american phrenological journal seems to be a footnote. when he launched his epic venture he had no cache whatsoever. just none. public mentioned of him in the valley. usually poked fun at him in the southern newspapers. not the northern ones. they ignored him, if they mentioned him at all. but in a period of 33 days revolutionized his image and the capacity of the confederate nation to fend for itself. those 33 days began on the 8th
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of may. when he won the battle of mcdowell after some clever counter marching and fainting, and extended them through the second of the climactic two days of battle. so from may 8th to june 9th covers 33 days, he went from a virtual nonentity to pretty much a genuine legend. that explosive rise might be compared, just for thought purposes, with the increase in lee's popularity as a southern hero in the south and elsewhere. jackson's companion on the rise to fame, lee, had a very different sort of a move up the wide axis of the public opinion graph. i compared it once and it seemed to me to be apt to the difference of calliope he shot up with a shrill whistle and perhaps a pipe organ in lee's case. jackson, of course, had earned
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his name stonewall very early in the worng, but he found no student for distinction or activity for many months thereafter. there ensued, as you well know, the almost unbelievable sitzkrieg all through the summer, the fall and the winter of 1861 and into 1862. george b. mcclellan and johnston both equipped by nature did nothing, absolutely nothing. they were as full of lass attitude as any major in american history and have been. and during that encrusted epic jackson had no opportunities nor did anyone else. we often think about what if in the parallel universe it strikes me that it would be interesting to contemplate what would have happened had the northern or southern armies been led by someone with a metabolism facing the other one during the long sitzkrieg how would the war have resulted? it's hard to say.
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the opening scenes of stonewall's tenure in the shenandoah valley really did not lend themselves to legend building. in a note that most of you may not have heard, in fact, what's pretty interesting, he handled some of his very early orders for the tiny force he commanded when he moved to the valley before he got a bit of reinforcement. he denominated his army, "the army of the monongahela. had you heard that? monongahela is a long ways away from winchester, virginia. that's where he was thinking to choose that title. his first venture, as you know, launched new year's day 1862 towards romney, the romney campaign. icy roads and wintery blasts and rampant ilness turned that into a nightmare. it was bitter cold. it wasn't as cold as they ought thought it was. there's a good new book about weather in virginia that pins
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that down objectively. but it was plenty cold and it was plenty horrible. and it was a hard time. the troops thought jackson was crazy. you've heard this. you'll hear it again. they did. one of them writing just after things in june admitted the troops are finally ready to forgive him. the trip over to romney which led us to believe him quite lunatic. the mutiny against jackson that ensued at that juncture in which the troops did not want to be at romney, did not want to be out in the cold, resulted in a communication to the confederate war department here in richmond that asked that they be ordered back despite jackson by the secretary of war. this wound up in the hands of the unbelievable secretary of war benjamin and not much more efficient at this kind of thing superior jefferson davis. and without going into the merits of the case from those people's perspective, there are
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two points i want to make for you. number one, that mutiny was more broadly based than is generally known, number one. number two, it seems to be a beautiful illustration of his complete lack of standing before the valley campaign. number one, it is well-known that william w. loring, of no particular talent, doesn't mean much for him to do this. he was imbedded by tolliver who owed by the same denomination for his net merits. tolliver i've always been amused in hindsight after the war when jackson had become absolutely legendary, tolliver who had been his sworn enemy at this point wrote a whole chapter in mrs. jackson's book. hemming jackson's glories. edging the reflective glow of the hero now, to whom he had been so opposed during the war.
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in addition to them, everybody knows about loring and tolliver. in addition to them the original document sent off had the signatures of if not every, virtually every field officer of all the regiments under them. the only ones who didn't sign seemed to have been away from what i can find. the very first one on that list, if it matters, the first one physically, the top of the list of field officers was samuel v. fulkerson. some of you may recognize him as jackson's favorite colonel. he said so a couple of times. he was destined to be killed a few thousand yards from here. when word came, he shed tears, his favorite field officer. i doubt that he knew that fulkerson was at the top of that list. so this mutiny against jackson
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was not only deeper than it seemed but probably more significant about his standing in the army and out. think, too, about the prospect, had all the army, the general officers, the field officers, had they been as disgusted with jackson in june for some reason as they had been in february. had they indicted a similar complaint to the war department here in richmond, would it have gotten any attention even at the bureaucratic wailing walls here in richmond where people were always expected to do that sort of thing? no one would have paid it any mind at all. so there is a gauge to you as you think of that. of the degree to which the 33 days in may and june revolutionized jackson's image. turner ashby, whose dashing exploits made him into something of a cult hero, genuinely believed jackson was incompetent and perhaps unbalanced. he told a friend in the confederate congress, quote, for the last two months i have saved the army from being utterly destroyed by jackson.
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he obviously believed that. it was not so. ashby, whose profile included all sorts of galloping about, had not embraced any of the concepts of organized disciplined modern war. and when he wrote to the war department, he said jackson is trying to force me to turn them into regiments. what an autocratic and novel notion that is. he said, i have permission from you to raise all the companies i can. the war department wrote back to him and said, hey, of course, the more companies the better, but you have to organize them when they reach ten into regiments and regiments into brigades. ashby proceeded to ignore them. but what ashby and his friends were blaming jackson for was for understanding what they themselves could not understand, and that is the mid 19th century warfare was infinitely more than
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a medieval jousting tournament. all were amused by jackson's businesslike persona no matter what he was doing. his array of eccentricities. and his single minded crusades. they doubtless heard about such things as jackson writing to his friend suggesting that all of the stills in the south should be dismantled and the copper used for the war effort. and the sobriety also adding to the war effort. such a notion it hardly needs to be mentioned is outside the southern mainstream. the general was not entirely without his supporters, even at the depth of the romney crisis. john letcher his fellow lexingtonian is really the man who persuaded jackson to with
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withdraw his resignation, otherwise we would never have heard of him. in the aftermath, people writing after the war almost all of them have said that they recognized of course jackson's innate genius from the beginning. i ran across recently a newspaper account of the 85th birthday celebration of an old woman in virginia, lived up the potomac above harpers ferry a little bit. an old woman was having her 895th birthday, they interviewed her. and she said the greatest moment of her life was when as a little girl during the romney campaign, she handed stonewall jackson personally, a slice of bread well buttered. she wasn't talking about a hard fighting frontier general. she was looking pack at someone who had become a legend and things were very different by then. once jackson succeeded at mcdowell and then winchester the
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23rd and 25th of may 182, he was almost instantly a southern hero. that is a function of a nervous reaction to success at a time of crisis, but compounded many times over by the fact nothing had gone well for the southern confederacy. since the 21st of july, the success at the first battle of manassas, nothing had done well. nothing had happened in the orbit where george b. mcclellan and joseph e. johnston were doing nothing so capably. living up to their birth rights. in the west, things were happening and they were all bad. suddenly there was someone in virginia who was succeeding. you have seen the compilations, they are everywhere, from the civilian diaries to the soldiers
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letters, about how the world with had changed when jackson started to succeed. good news had been in miserly short supply and now it was everywhere viewed with more importance than it really deserved from the somewhat secondary theater of the shenandoah valley. down here in richmond, not far from us, where by this point there were federal troops in profusion laying siege, not literally, but besieging the confederate national capital. the soldiers here wrote about it from afar and started to wish that they had jackson instead of their own leaders. here's a fellow in the brigade writing home, middle of may, the news of the gallant achievements has been received enthusiastically. and our commanders here -- this is heading toward one of my light motifs, one my heavy mo f motifs, the impact on people, their attitude toward leaders. our commanders here when
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compared with jackson are quite unpleasantly commented upon by the rank and file. jackson is the only general on our side who is ascending the ladder of success. this fellow was in tooms' brigade. and compared to tooms, anyone would be a genius for sure. but he's not reflecting in that flow. he's wishing he had jackson. so all across the army down here, 11th virginia, first corps, he's the man. i wish we had the whole army filled with jacksons instead of the leaders we have. and the enemy soon would be shipped from our soil. literally thousands of such accolades i spent my whole life accumulating them, they grow redundant pretty quickly. the most striking one of all is dated just a day after first winchester by a member of the first maryland. first maryland had been writ
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large and he wrote in an undated letter, may but with no date behind it, general jackson, my earthly god, well, that's going a little far, but it tells you what's happening. to become popular in the kind of anti-confederate writing currently in vogue to claim or pretend that defeated southerners created their heros, because they needed heroeses and that the wartime leaders meant far more to them after the war than during the war, that lost cause business does not stand up to examination. the question of whether these confederate leaders deserved it is subjective enough that you can make your own call. but the notion that they were not heros at the time is just utterly nonsense. it's unsupportable.
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people waxed frantically and poetically about those and other successful confederates at the time p.m. an example is james cooper nisbitt. some of will you recognize his name. he wrote a pretty good book. wasn't published until 1914 in chattanooga, which is more than a little late. it is full of the usual enthusiastic accolades for jackson and others. but there's not much question but that someone writing in 1914 would say that in chattanooga, tennessee, no matter who he was or where he had been. but nisbitt also wrote home at the time, wrote home while still on the battlefield and here is his letter which probably is more enthusiastic, he said like old frederick the great, jackson fights to win. he makes his fights at the right time and the right place. we are ready for what we all feel that whatever he does is all right.
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we love the old fighting cock. james cooper was obviously feeling in 1862, just like he was 52 years later as an old man in chattanooga. at least as significant, perhaps more significant, than jackson's apotheosis was his impact on the mind-set of the enlisted men among his foes. federals who had never heard of thomas j. jackson in march or april, but who soon would be encouraged to buy soap because he liked it. they also feared him mightily by june. they really did. a new york lieutenant who had been up and down the valley, he wrote hope and said this jackson is a man of decided genius.e an is a man of decided an is a mande


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