#145- Shelby Foote’s The Civil War Part 1
This week, Scott and Karl are discussing Volume One of Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: A Narrative which is largely considered one of the great historical narratives of our century.
In Karl’s words, this is the American Iliad.
Originally published in 1958, Foote spent 20 years writing this classic narrative of the American Civil War which includes three compelling volumes: Fort Sumter to Perryville, Fredericksburg to Meridian, and Red River to Appomattox.
Foote describes himself as a novelist, not a historian. He is able to portray the characters in the conflict with honesty, celebrating the heroes on both sides. Karl says, “It takes a big soul to be able to see the humanity in all sides. This book does it.”
Scott presents the case for why this book should be in the Western Canon. Do you agree? Tune in for Part One of the conversation, brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com.
Scott Hambrick 0:09
Welcome to the Online Great Books podcast brought to you by online great books.com where we talk about the good life, the great books, great conversation, and great ideas
Brett Veinotte 0:30
Hello, dear listeners and Happy New Year. I am Brett the producer of the Online Great Books podcast and welcome back. Scott and Karl have returned and this week and next week they will be discussing Volume One, one of three from Shelby Foote’s 1986, The Civil War. This work was very informative to Ken Burns, who made his documentary I think, in the early 90s. Scott at one point earlier in the conversation refers to him as Ken war, and there’s nothing I could do to fix that. And he’ll always be Ken baseball to me. So if that creates any confusion, I just wanted to clear that up here at the beginning Ken Burns documentary Civil War, Shelby Foote is a pretty significant voice in that. So if you are interested in the entire box set, which amazon.com refers to as handsome, the first volume is Fort Sumpter to Marysville second volume is Fredericksburg to Meridian. And the third volume is Red River all the way up to the end at Appomattox Courthouse, I will warn you there’s a high level of enthusiasm about Shelby Foote’s writing in the conversation you’re about to hear. And you might be inspired to investigate this for yourself if you haven’t done so yet. So before proceeding, you might just want to make sure you can set aside some time. So we will continue with this next week. Thank you so much for your time and attention. And we hope your 2022 is off to a great start. Here we go.
Scott Hambrick 1:56
I’m Scott Hambrick.
Karl Schudt 1:56
I’m Karl Schudt.
Scott Hambrick 1:58
And Happy New Year, everyone.
Karl Schudt 2:01
Yeah, happy New Year. What year? Is it? 1861.
Scott Hambrick 2:05
It’s always 1861 in my heart.
Karl Schudt 2:12
2022 Yeah, our first seminar was was in 2018. And that’s four years ago.
Scott Hambrick 2:18
Yep. Yeah, online, great books opened enrollment, the first time on the eighth of January 2018. And group one is still with us.
Karl Schudt 2:29
Seminar one is just still going strong. Some of those people like, didn’t they sign up when you just turn the thing on? Yeah. Yeah. And hadn’t actually opened it yet.
Scott Hambrick 2:38
Yeah. turned on. I turned the website on to run my own credit card to make sure that the credit card processing links all worked. And some people signed up. Yeah, and they’re reading the City of God right now.
Karl Schudt 2:52
St. Augustine? Yeah, I got to finish it and catch up to them.
Scott Hambrick 2:53
Yeah, somebody in Slack just today said it would be great if you’d have one of those guys on the podcast to talk about all the benefits. I thought Yeah, that’d be awesome. If anyone would be good, you know, host a host or guest but you know,
Karl Schudt 3:06
I can’t have all of them on. Oh, my No, I don’t know. I like the all of them idea, actually. Yeah, just invite them all.
Scott Hambrick 3:14
Yeah. What if we just did one of their seminars? Hmm.
Karl Schudt 3:17
Maybe? What are we reading today?
Scott Hambrick 3:19
Today is Shelby foote The Civil War a narrative Volume One. Shelby Foote is the handsome fellow with the Van Dyck mustache and beard from Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary. And he’s got the wonderful accent. You guys will recognize him from that if you if you saw it. He was a childhood friend and neighbor of our beloved Walker Percy, one of the few humans, I think, Shelby Foote. And he wrote this book that I have enjoyed immensely, Karl. Well, what did you think of this? I don’t want to say more yet.
Karl Schudt 4:06
The frustrating book because of the subject matter. The Civil War is I don’t know how many people even think about the civil war anymore. Not enough. I know. There’s been a mania to I don’t even want to get into the current events. But you know, there’s been this mania to get rid of statues of people that nobody even knows who they were. And if they do they know it from a Wikipedia article, not an info galactic article, and say, oh, yeah, tear that down. And they don’t know any of these people. They don’t know.
Scott Hambrick 4:40
They don’t know why the statues are there, by the way. So I do want to talk about this. So did you actually finish it all? Carl? I know you were in a sprint last night to finish it. Did you get to the page?
Karl Schudt 4:52
I sprinted last night but I did finish it? Yes at at 1:58am.
Scott Hambrick 4:57
Yeah. So this book right here takes us from Fort Sumter to the end of 1862, which is why it is a Perry Ville? I think. So we haven’t seen Grant on the ascendancy yet in this book. You know, there’s a lot there’s a lot of war left, you know. But grant, Grant was a magnanimous find Seoul, apparently, as best I can tell, at the end of the war he could have, he eventually became President, as you guys know, maybe. And at the end of the war, when he accepted that this surrender from Lee at Appomattox Courthouse, and then later became the president. He could have made the people of the South and utterly vanquished destroyed people. He could have hung Robert E. Lee for treason or sedition or whatever, a quote unquote, war crime tribunal could have been held and you know, they could have they could have killed every person who so much has provided a matchstick to the Confederate States. He didn’t do it
Karl Schudt 6:01
When there was the slave revolt in the Roman Empire that the Crassus put down. They crucified slaves up and down the Appian Way. Yep. The rebels. They crucified them up at that courthouse, he could have said, well, we accept your surrender. Now clap him in irons. Yeah, they could have taken all those soldiers of whom an ancestor of mine was there. I was shocked to discover. One of my ancestors was apparently as far as I can tell there because he was in the 59th Alabama infantry, could have put them in prison for sedition for insurrection. Whatever he didn’t, he said, Go home. harvester fields.
Scott Hambrick 6:48
Not only did he do that, which he did. He also allowed them to be proud of who they were. And he let them put up a statue of Robert E. Lee. Or James Stuart, or Nathan Bedford Forrest. And wanted them he more than Lincoln, I think, wanted them back in the union. So people Lincoln just wanted to preserve the Union. I think grant wanted him back and he had a great deal of respect for those people that he likely could have whipped
Karl Schudt 7:19
I think he sent a note to William Tecumseh Sherman and said if you need me on there, yeah. The insurance like I’d be proud to have you. There was magnanimity, we’ve talked about this before magnanimity is being big souled. Yeah, you won. You kicked there. They won the North one. It was a bloody fight. And they won. But what do you do to the loser,
Scott Hambrick 7:51
being able to win without vanquishing was really important. Grant knew that. And people have forgotten that.
Karl Schudt 8:02
I’m rather fond of Grant.
Scott Hambrick 8:06
As against my nature, not I don’t hate him. But to tear down those statues down is causing in muddy that these people are not aware of. That war is not over. There’s a guy was it Grossman wrote this book on killing. I believe that I’ve read so much I get mixed up. listeners. There’s this book Dave Grossman wrote called on the psychology of killing, I think that’s where I got it, where he said, where he said that the fallout from these wars last, like 200 years, that the psychological wounds and Fallout lasts for hundreds of years, you can imagine that if you’re we’re doesn’t matter if your father was a combatant in the Civil War and was then either killed or injured or was just gone for four years, that that would have an effect on you as a human and how you would do your child rearing. And then that would then have an effect on there, those children, and so on. And of course, there are economic effects, and on and on and on. And they go these things last for decades, and maybe even hundreds of years. Foot said that to bring it back to foot that this first volume came out in the 50s. And he thought that this book could not have been written any earlier than it was that he needed a little time for this to cool off at a little distance so that somebody could see the thing objectively and write something, write something useful about it. So this first one came out in 1958. He spent almost 25 years I think writing these three big old volumes. That’s how much time we will spend on it. So the next 25 years of shows three, three books.
Karl Schudt 9:53
Yeah. magnanimity, the nothing that I say will stop what they’re doing but It’s a cheap target. You can get rid of a statue and you earn some points with the right people. But you earn resentment from people whose histories are being erased. Is it worth it?
Scott Hambrick 10:17
Well, they think they won. See,
Karl Schudt 10:19
they took down the Columbus statue in Chicago. There was a fight. I hate doing current events. I really, really hate it. But I’m gonna do it anyway. So there was a statue, I think was in Grant Park, the statue of Christopher Columbus. Hmm. That is put there was the I remember, there was a scene the police were defending it. There was a mob around it. There were police getting hurt there. They had a battle, they actually had a battle of Grand Park to defend the statue. And then, you know, a week later, they just come in and take it down. Well, what does it gain you? So you say Oh, Christopher Columbus was a bad guy, because a genocide or something, but I don’t know. Maybe not. Not intentional genocide, I doubt but it wasn’t even on this continent. But why was the statue put there in the first place? The statue was put there in the first place because Italian Americans were being lynched. And so the establishment of Columbus Day and putting statues of Columbus was like, let’s find a famous Italian that we can put up to try to incorporate them, I guess us because a quarter mile, that’s a quarter of me to incorporate them in the American nation. And now you’re going to you’re going to get rid of it. So what are you saying? Italians are not members?
Scott Hambrick 11:41
No, they’re evil.
Karl Schudt 11:44
The statutes are always in a context. It’s not just it’s not an isolated thing. just bugs me it’s vandalism.
Scott Hambrick 11:51
But it’s not just vandalism. Karl, But we got the stamp book here.
Karl Schudt 11:59
I needed it. By the way, I needed to have a restorative for this book. I don’t usually have a beverage. But having a little Weller.
Scott Hambrick 12:06
Yeah, me too. I called it a comedy called restorative. That’s funny.
Karl Schudt 12:12
Well, I’ve been reading Sherlock Holmes, and they always, like, whenever anybody faints, or has any medical issue, they rush in with the brandy.
Scott Hambrick 12:18
It’s a good idea. I think that this book is, I think this is one of the great books. I think that four or 500 years from now, people are gonna read this book. Number one, it is probably one of the finest topics to write on, that could be ever be chosen. There’s so much here. It was a this conflict was innovative, militarily, technologically, and politically. The whole event in the characters in the event are astounding people. It’s just the I can’t imagine picking a topic that would be more fruitful than this. I just don’t know what it would be. This war is more interesting than World War One. World War Two. It’s more interesting than the Revolutionary War, the first Revolutionary War the United States. I think an important book has to be done about this topic. For, quote unquote, the canon. I think this topic has to be treated. Do you? Do you agree with it?
Karl Schudt 13:23
Should be yes. I think it’s an American Iliad.
Scott Hambrick 13:28
That war or this book? Well,
Karl Schudt 13:31
the Iliad is the poem about the war, right? The war is unique in that it is, the cliche is it’s brother against brother. But it’s a cliche because it’s true. There are families where half of them went union, half of them what Confederate there are cases, I think Jeb Stuart didn’t he run around his father in law. Like his father in law, whom he hated was his opponent and what McClellan’s stole some Confederate guy’s girlfriend,
Scott Hambrick 14:01
AP Hill wanted to marry this woman, and McLoughlin was wealthier and was given her hand in marriage by her father. So he’ll hated his foot hated his guts. To kill you, can you imagine?
Karl Schudt 14:14
Doesn’t Robert Ely have a nephew that’s in the north
Scott Hambrick 14:16
and his son’s one of his artillery NCOs. The stories are just
Karl Schudt 14:23
so it’s when you read the Iliad, and you know, all of these people know each other. They’re part of the same world. They visited each other. You know, Paris was visiting Sparta as an honored guest. It’s not invading a foreign power with strange and foreign ways. It’s invading your brother whose ways are just a little different.
Scott Hambrick 14:47
I think they’re way more different than people say, yeah,
Karl Schudt 14:50
maybe a little bit more different, but it’s a unique war. So in the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, three cities talks about why he’s writing the book Look, and he says because it is a great word is the greatest that’s ever been. It’s bigger than the Iliad. And the combatants are interestingly different. He doesn’t use the word interestingly but you know, Sparta the great land power Athens a great sea power. That’s why he’s gonna write it. You could say the same thing about the north and the south. Just as a student of history, this is a good topic whether you have family ties to this event, which you might if you’re an American, you might you probably do just dig on, on on Ancestry or something and you probably do. The topic itself is worth reading about. We got to the end I’m Marina about Sharpsburg and Antietam, you might call it where the Confederates are, like 1/4 1/5 of the Union numbers and they managed to hold the line and you don’t have to be a Confederate sympathizer to say, oh my gosh, what sorts of people these were there’s a union guy who said he says I saw them walking by he saw them in their in their because the southerners were poor, dirt poor had nothing. And he saw the scarecrows walking by and he’s like all my emnity went away is he’s just seeing these people that have been giving them so much struggle and how little they have in any war it seems to me that which is glorious in the human doesn’t know political boundaries. You don’t need you probably shouldn’t referee the, the people that you’re going to admire simply by what side of the line they’re on. There are heroes everywhere on both sides in this war. And so you can you can legitimately admire Robert E Lee, Ulysses Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, heck, even McClellan. Yeah, it’s okay. I think it should be okay.
Scott Hambrick 17:08
Yeah. It is okay. Yeah, I think that the Canon needs a book on this conflict. And I think that this is the book, because well, who’s gonna write a better one? He’s gonna write a better one. You know, he’s when he wrote it that some he knew some of the people that had fought in it. Yes. His grandfather was one of the officers. He knew these people.
Karl Schudt 17:31
And it’s written, so it’s written by a Mississippian. It is even-handed. It is it’s not a lost cause. Glory to the South book? No. It’s he says, there are two geniuses that came out of the Civil War. And that’s Nathan Bedford Forrest and Abraham Lincoln,
Scott Hambrick 17:51
which is crazy, but probably right. And then he’s a novelist. He had written several novels before he took this set up. And as a result, he knows how to tell a story. He knows how to develop the character. I think that the topic is needs to be covered for the cannon. I think that he is the has the right perspective to cover it in an interesting way. And I think that his narrative approach is an innovation as well in that could that could lend to it being an endlessly discuss a little book for including in the great books of the Western world, whatever that is, at some point. It’s just astounding to me. Yeah,
Karl Schudt 18:28
I want to read a sample of the pros, the pros is perfect. So this is on page four of my edition, which is Vintage Books, a division of Random House. This is describing Jefferson Davis giving his farewell speech in the Senate. Now in January, rising to say farewell his manner held more of sadness than defiance. For a long moment after he rose he struck the accustomed to preliminary stamps of the origins of his day, high stomach almost sway back the knuckles of one hand braced against the desktop, the other hand raised behind him with the wrist at the small of his back. He was dressed in neat black broadcloth cuffless trouser legs crumpling over his boots, the coat full skirted with wide lapels, a satin waistcoat, faith, framing the stiff White bosom of a shirt, a black silk handkerchief wound stuck wise twice around the upturned collar and knotted closely at the throat, close shaven except iMac could go on. It’s just there’s a whole lot of wonderful adjectives there. You can see. You feel like you can you were there. The cheeks were deeply hollowed beneath too high cheekbones, and above the wide determined jaw. His voice was low with the warmth of the deep, deep south in it. And then it goes into what Jefferson Davis said. It’s it’s a pleasure to read. All 808 pages of the first volume. The second two are longer. I’ll get to him, I promise.
Scott Hambrick 19:51
Yeah, his writing is just absolutely wonderful. It’s about the damn civil war. But he makes a he puts a cliffhanger on every third page. It’s amazing to me like he, he just keeps you turning the pages and keeps you in suspense. It’s an achievement. This book is wonderful. He talks about Jefferson Davis had been in trouble at West Point. And he had gone to Binney havens when he was not supposed to have him, which was a bar I’ve been to many havens by the way. Which is pretty freakin cool. They moved it. But it’s in White Plains outside right outside the gates at West Point. Turning I’ve been there. Anyway, it says brought before a court-martial for out-of-bounds drinking of spiritualist liquors. He made the defense of a strict constructionist one visiting many havens was not officially prohibited in the regulations into malt liquors were not Spiritus in the first place. Anyway, he framed Zeb as a strict constructionist, you know, at West Point as an 18 year old, you know, that’s funny. I think. There’s just so much here, I don’t even know I don’t even know what to do. With it in here in the prologue. He talks about the opponents and he describes Jefferson Davis and he describes Lincoln, and he just paints such a wonderful picture of both of them and the court.
Karl Schudt 21:26
I didn’t know Davis was married to Zachary Taylor’s daughter
Scott Hambrick 21:30
until she died. Yeah, holy smoke.
Karl Schudt 21:33
He was too sick to go to the funeral. They were confined to separate rooms each too sick to be totally the others condition though Davis managed to make it to the door of his bride’s room in time to see her die. She had been a wife for not quite three months. As she died, she sang snatches of fairy bells, a favorite hair, she had heard it from her mother. Ah, ah, there’s an empathy in in foots riding for every person in the book. For Davis for Lincoln, gosh, Lincoln. He goes later in the book, he’s describing the sadness of Lincoln. There’s this line where Lincoln says, Uh, I wanted to give tad all the toys that that I had never had, and all the toys that the one that left would have had, because he had a child die in the in the White House is a little boy. And it takes a a big soul to be able to see in everybody on the sides, all of the sides, their humanity, and this book does it. I think it’s very great.
Scott Hambrick 22:48
It is very great. He just understands people. I want to read every page of it to everyone. The story of the court ship of his site with his second wife is wonderful.
Karl Schudt 23:00
She’s wearing a cameo with a wig device on it, and he’s not a wig. And so she’s wearing it every day. And then one day she appeared without it and Davis knew he had one.
Scott Hambrick 23:10
Yeah, I got that until I’d swear I was like, yeah, yeah, she was a Natchez girl, which meant not only that Her background was Federalist, but also that she had led a life of gaiety quite unlike the daily round in the malarial bottoms of Davis bed. These plantations were malarial bottoms. They were. Yeah, she was seen as a city slicker. I don’t even know where to start with it, Karl is just too much. I can’t even imagine writing the damn thing. Here on page 15, I have underlined here and it says read. So in 1857, there were already problems. And we’re at the center.
Karl Schudt 23:52
So the South wants the south want slaveholding to be expanded into the new territories. Because if it is not, then they will end up being voted out of the Senate in the house, which is so each time you bring a new state and you have new representation in the Congress. And so if you’re gonna bring in Kansas or Missouri or Texas, or New Mexico or whatever, and they’re free states. This is a political problem for the South.
Scott Hambrick 24:20
In not only that, the South also had designs on Central America and South America. The politicians from the South after the Mexican American War, wanted to just keep on keeping on and take the whole thing, essentially. So Jefferson Davis, he returns the Senate in 1857. Here, Texas senator Lewis T windfall, a duelist. Of note would sneer at his northern colleagues as he told them, the difficulty between you and us, gentlemen, is that you will not send the right sort of people here. Why will you not send either Christians or gentlemen here to the anti slavery Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner had his head broken by Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina, who takes exception to remarks somebody had made on the floor of the Senate regarding a kinsmen caned him. As he said at his desk. Brooks explains that he attacked him sitting because somebody being the larger man, he would have had to shoot him if he had risen, and he did not want to kill him only maim him. Somewhere lay bleeding in the aisles among the gutta percha fragments from the cane in an entity stood by and watched him bleed. southern sympathizers sent Brooks walking sticks by the dozen recommending their use and other abolitionist and through the years of summers, convalescence, Massachusetts let his desk stand empty as a reproach to southern hotheads.
Karl Schudt 25:32
So if you think rhetoric in the Senate is, is bad now, it was worse than they don’t beat each other.
Scott Hambrick 25:40
I wish they did.
Karl Schudt 25:46
I thought they did that happen in Taiwan? I think, oh, yeah, we had a fight in their chambers. What you know, okay, without supporting the actions of Congressman Brooks,
Scott Hambrick 25:57
it’s a pressure release. Okay, it makes it real.
Karl Schudt 26:01
Well, so you see the people get up and make their speeches, if you are unfortunate enough to watch C span. And they make their speeches and none of them ever convince each other. You can call the vote before the vote is taken, you know, where they’ll get up in the mix their speeches, there’s never a case where somebody on one side says, You know what, I hadn’t thought of that. I’m going to change my mind. What if they were beating on each other? Which they shouldn’t do? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. But if they were beating on each other, you would know that they believed it.
Scott Hambrick 26:38
Well, not only that, but they might not go ahead and say or do that other thing, because they might get their ass whipped, you know, you’ll send us or so and so he can say or do whatever, cuz there’s no consequence at all.
Karl Schudt 26:49
Right. One thing that I hadn’t realized when I when I read the book, so Lincoln gets elected. And before he’s inaugurated, when was the inauguration March? It was I think it was later than currently. The states were seceding, you know, one after the other, as he’s waiting to be made president. So the the, the the country that he was elected to be president of, by the time he’s president of it is a different country. That was interesting. I mean, yeah, I suppose I knew that was true, but I hadn’t really thought about it. Yeah. And there are border states. So this is middle 19. The cotton South had gone out solid. The eight northern most slave states remained loyal Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, were banked between the hot heads north and south a double buffer. And although Lincoln and not received a single electoral vote from this whole area, he counted on the solid common sense of the people there. So if he loses Kentucky in Missouri, in Tennessee, he’s in big trouble. Maryland, they had to force back in because Maryland is north of Washington, DC, you realize Delaware they kept Virginia, North Carolina they lost. It’s a crazy time.
Scott Hambrick 28:20
And there’s a point in there that a lot of people miss. Guys, the way we’re taught this at school is so broken and stupid. I it almost defies comment. There were several slave owning states in the union.
Karl Schudt 28:40
And the north in the
Scott Hambrick 28:41
north. Yeah. Yes. Kentucky, Maryland. Virginia, gave the north a great deal of trouble. And they essentially split the state and annex the western part of it as a part of all this, you know, it’s not clean cut. Everybody says it’s about slavery. It wasn’t. It was made to be about slavery is part of geopolitical maneuvering on Lincoln’s part, it looks like to me but there were a great number of slaves in the union. You know, what’s, what’s the darn thing about what’s what’s it about?
Karl Schudt 29:22
But grants, grants in laws were slave owners. By the way,
Scott Hambrick 29:30
Lincoln is a creature of fascination for me, heroine, 27 and 28. In the prologue, we’re, we’re food is laying out the sort of backstory for Lincoln. He describes how Lincoln will read this. It’s on the last paragraph here that on my page 27 Carl hope yours is the same. The paragraph that starts he believed. I hope he’s talking about so He says that he believed that it was a moral wrong. He had not come to believe that it was a legal wrong, but he believed that too would be clarified in time. The words of his mouth came like meditations from his heart. Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man’s nature, opposition to it, in his love of justice. These principles are eternal antagonism. It when brought into collision, so fiercely as slavery, extension, brainstem shocks and throws and convulsions must cease loosely follow. Okay, fine. Okay. Here’s where it gets weird. Repeal the Missouri Compromise, repeal all compromises repeal the Declaration of Independence. Guys, that’s not a founding document.
Karl Schudt 30:46
We’ll keep going. You give him his full quote, well, and
Scott Hambrick 30:49
then he says repeal all past history, you still cannot repeal human nature.
Karl Schudt 30:53
It still will be the abundance of man’s heart that slavery extension is wrong and out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth will continue to speak. Well, I’m not so sure that’s true. But that. So this is a question when you read this, you’d like you’re trying to figure out what is Lincoln’s conviction? Was he an abolitionist? Was he moved by, by this question? A Scottish shaking his head. And I’m slightly nodding it. So I’ve read the Lincoln Douglas debates, if from the heart. Douglas was a senator from Illinois, he won that election. I guess this is the 1860 election. I’ve gone to see some of the sights of the Lincoln Douglas debates. They’re famous. You can buy a book of them. They up and down Illinois. There are spots in like Ottawa, you can go and stand in the town square, and they would all gather and I love the format of the debates. I wish we did debates like this, I think you would get an hour to talk. Your opponent would get an hour and a half to talk and then you get in half hour to rebut. So it wasn’t this, you know, Senator, what do you think of this grave geopolitical issue? You have 30 seconds. It wasn’t any of that crap. It was actual debate. But Douglas made the argument that he’s saying, if the people of Vermont, these are his words, not mine, if the people of Vermont wish to declare the Negro a person, they are free to do so. But we here in Illinois need not follow their example. In other words, that the rights of humans rights language that the rights of humans depend on what the political power says they are. And then Lincoln’s response, whether it’s from the heart or not Lincoln’s responses, no, it he appeals, I can’t have his coat memorized. But he appeals to God, which he wasn’t a great believer in at this point. But he appeals to God and absolute moral truth to combat Douglas. Listen, Douglas one,
Scott Hambrick 32:53
Douglas one. I believe that based mostly not mostly, but based largely on the strength of the Greeley letter, that Lincoln was not an abolitionist. I do think he was abolition ish. But But he wasn’t well, the
Karl Schudt 33:09
Republican Party was an abolition party. It was a brand new party. You wouldn’t join it if you weren’t sort of one.
Scott Hambrick 33:16
Unless you were a creature of ambition, and could not mean couldn’t get a mainline, mainline party recommendation and he was he is old legal partner said so that he was a creature of ambition. Everybody thought everybody knew that about him. And I think he was primarily Machiavellian and abolition ish. The facts
Karl Schudt 33:40
would bear that interpretation. They might also bear mine. Yeah. Because you know, there were abolitionists and they’re abolitionists. They’re like, gosh, in the modern pro life movement, there’s pro lifers. And then there’s, you know, pro lifers, right? There’s people willing to do things that others are not willing to do.
Scott Hambrick 33:59
Yeah, he was an abolitionist, but it was not high, high up on his list of priorities. It political priorities. I mean, it was I say high up. I don’t know. It’s, it’s not the first one or the second one. It’s the fourth one or the fifth one, maybe.
Karl Schudt 34:16
Well, it took him two years to make an issue. Anyway, for the first two years of the Civil War. It’s not an issue. Right. It’s the session.
Scott Hambrick 34:24
It was a fetishization, by the way that I wanted to talk to you about the union. I hate it. I have read. Outside of this. I have read other texts about the Civil War and about Lincoln. And I don’t understand his fetishization of the Union. He says it must be preserved. Why? He never makes the case the man that wrote so much and spoke so well. He doesn’t. You know, there are some comments some little little pieces of rhetoric of the house divided against itself cannot stand or nation divided again. So cannot stand. But, like why
Karl Schudt 35:05
we read Lysander Spooner? You know, if you’re going to understand Constitution as some sort of contract, it is very strange that you can enter a contract willingly. And then without the Constitution explicitly saying you can’t leave. Nevertheless, you can’t leave. That That seems strange to me.
Scott Hambrick 35:27
Well, he can declare a war once, but why
Karl Schudt 35:35
to preserve the nation to not give up the the southern coastal regions to not give up the cotton harvest.
Scott Hambrick 35:43
He doesn’t make those claims, though, you know, if he said, Hey, listen, you know, I want these agriculture areas I cannot I cannot give up. There was some talk about the strategic importance of the port in New Orleans, for sure, but not a lot. If he there’s I don’t see him invoke these arguments about the Monroe Doctrine, how they couldn’t tolerate having another nation on the continent. I don’t see his geopolitical concerns where he would say that if they lost that nation, that there would be a security problem with, you know, probably actually Britain, trying to subvert their actions in North America through this other rival nation on the on the continent. And even if they had these geopolitical concerns, they sort of Monroe Doctrine kinds of concerns wouldn’t preclude him from sending an envoy to Richmond and coming up with a mutual defense treaty and treaties that allow these two countries to exist. But no, he doesn’t do that. The Union must prefer be preserved. It is categorically a good full stop. That’s it.
Karl Schudt 36:43
Well, alright, let me look at page 68. So this is a quote from Lincoln. By the way, I want to point out some more of the wonderful footy and prose, let like page 800 Or somewhere he’s describing Lincoln’s rhetoric, and he says his rhetoric came out with the Barksdale on it. I saw
Scott Hambrick 37:01
that. Yeah. It’s true.
Karl Schudt 37:04
He is born in Kentucky, lived in Indiana, I ended up in Illinois. He’s a he’s a Westerner. He’s rustic. And you can tell it in the way that he
Scott Hambrick 37:14
had all those stories about his log splitting and all that, you know, like that, that that little phrase that with the bark still on is evocative of that. It’s just so much to chew on just every sentence is just so toothy.
Karl Schudt 37:27
He was a legendary logs editor at six foot five or whatever he was, and strong monster. There’s a popular book, which I confess I read, it was silly, but it’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. And you could believe he would have done it. So this bottom of 68 For my part, I consider the central idea pervading the struggle is necessity that is upon us approving the popular government is not an absurdity. We must settle this question now whether in a free government, the minority have the right to break up the government whenever they choose. If we fail, it will go far to prove the incapacity of the people to govern themselves. So if all right, okay, I can kind of see this. If you have a nation where the when somebody loses an election, they can succeed, then you don’t have a nation. Okay, fine. Let me ask this, though. Do you in fact, have a nation in 1861? Did you have a nation in 17? Was the 787 when the Constitution is signed? 89. What makes a nation Well, I don’t use the word nation. But you know, a nation is more than just a geographical convenience. It’s a people. Yeah, it was not might have two different peoples.
Scott Hambrick 38:53
It was not one nation. You know, the government of the Union was dominated by Virginians, really up to about Lincoln. Robert E. Lee is made into the Custis family is in his wife’s middle name was rammed off and her lizard wizard hat was Martha Washington, I think it was. The Randolph’s were related to the Jefferson’s. You know, the first several presidents I don’t know, out of the first 10 presidents was probably 60% of them were from Virginia. The South was an enormous political force. Of course, this is the Federalist debate. This is the Federalist debate. Most of the people live in the north. They didn’t like it.
Karl Schudt 39:35
Yeah, I saw a quote from Grant. He said it was it was a good thing. He was speaking after the war. It was a good thing that we did not have a standing army. Which is also weird to me. They didn’t have a standing army. If they’d had a standing army, most of it would have gone south. And he says the North would have lost which There you go. There’s another reason for the statues by the way to your listener. Another reason for the statues and the names of all of the forts down there is because in, in the wars that the United States fights, the South has provided the bulk of the soldiers even to the present day, who knows what the future will bring, but they’re not. If you look at Veterans by state, there’s not a whole lot from New York. There’s a whole lot from Alabama. So that’s the way it is. So you can sneer at the Hicks in the south but they’re the ones that are in your it’s a
Scott Hambrick 40:41
different color army. You were talking about the nation. There at the bottom of 68 He says this issue embraces more than the fate of the United States it presents to the whole family of man the question of whether a government of the people by the same people can or cannot maintain its territorial integrity against its own domestic foes? Well, this since this is bull one, I do not believe that that country in this country now is made up of the same people. He says government of the people by the same people, it’s not the same people. I’m governed but it’s a
Karl Schudt 41:21
conflation of government with the people.
Scott Hambrick 41:23
Yes. Yeah, but I am definitely governed by some people and ain’t mine. And then he goes on to say it cannot maintain its territorial integrity against its own domestic foes. Well, if this is a government of the people by the same people who are the domestic foes, he’s speaking of
Karl Schudt 41:47
the people that don’t want to be part of the government.
Scott Hambrick 41:49
Right. So what are we really governing those people? Are you subjugating those people? You know, well, it and well, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt these domestic foes. Is he talking about the Indian Wars?
Karl Schudt 42:06
Not in this part?
Scott Hambrick 42:07
I don’t think so either. He knew damn good and well that these people wanted nothing to do with him in a union to him mean mitt subjugating and killing a quarter million to half a million of them if he needed to.
Karl Schudt 42:21
Which is what it ended up being so on 65 We have the quote, they the northerners catch a southern What are you fighting for? Anyhow, his captors asked looking at him, they were generally puzzled for obviously owned no slaves, which most of them didn’t, and seemingly could have a little interest in states rights or even independence. I’m fighting because you’re down here. He said. Yep. I mean, gosh, it’s a it’s a civil war. It’s a it’s it’s eventually about slavery. It’s kind of about slavery at the beginning, because that’s a motive for secession, but it’s also an invasion. It’s a hell of a thing is what it is. I think it’s a revolution, not a civil war. It’s a revolution. It is a different nation afterwards. And it was before. It before it was a nation where States entered freely. And after it’s a, a, a nation where
Scott Hambrick 43:15
it’s a prison. It’s an imperial prison. Well,
Karl Schudt 43:18
if you leave, you can’t leave, you can’t leave. So if, for example, if the state of Hawaii, which actually was a free and independent country at one point as well as Texas, okay, if the state of Hawaii wishes to become the kingdom of Hawaii again and leave the union? Well, the precedent is that the Navy is going to show up and say no, you can’t. We settled that in 1865. Once you’re in, you’re in
Scott Hambrick 43:50
it. Is this the part of the show,
Karl Schudt 43:52
so Puerto Rico becomes a state then it can never leave? Maybe they ought to think about that. It’s a different kind of thing. It’s a momentous event, whether you think Lincoln was right or wrong to do it, you should understand what it was that he did. You know what I mean? That’s momentous. That’s all I can say.
Scott Hambrick 44:10
You toss something out there. We have to go talk about some more. You said two things in one sentence. It was not a civil war, a Revolutionary War. Yeah. Take it piece by piece. The way I’ve got it, a civil war would be between two factions of the same nation trying to obtain control of that central government of that nation. Mm hmm. Caesar crossing the Rubicon.
Karl Schudt 44:41
Yeah, fighting Pompeii.
Scott Hambrick 44:43
Yes. Tried to take control
Karl Schudt 44:44
Caesar versus Pompeii is a civil war. Yeah.
Scott Hambrick 44:47
Calm well, and the round heads in versus the Cavaliers in England. That’s civil war, I think yes. Yeah, yeah. dead and now they’re fighting it out, try to figure out who’s gonna end up control over the whole the whole thing. That’s not what this is these folks left. They succeeded. They, they didn’t try to take DC they didn’t try to wrest control of the thing away. They just they wanted self determination and they tried to leave. That could be a revolutionary act. The Declaration of Independence signal just such as the same intention to King George the second says we’re out. Yep. It’s the exact same thing. I think,
Karl Schudt 45:37
yeah. What does it say in the declaration, the Jefferson, a Virginian wrote that governments obtained their just powers from the consent of the governed. Okay, well, then, you know, go read your Spooner. And this about views yourself and notions of consent. But if you don’t consent, then it is right says that document, which is it’s not a governing document. I think it is kind of a founding document, because there was no nation before and then there kind of is afterwards. So I would I do consider it a founding document, even though it doesn’t have governing force, governing documents constitution. I
Scott Hambrick 46:18
think it’s influential. Lincoln puts great steak on it. He does, but what does he do about that consent of the governed part? He fucking ignores it.
Karl Schudt 46:29
Well, or the consent of the government is he won the election. So if the winner of the election, that’s where consent is expressed. He got like a third of the popular vote and most of the electoral votes, because they were two candidates on the other side, because they were being dumb. And maybe that’s consent, consent of the governed is, whoever wins 51% of the popular vote, I guess,
Scott Hambrick 47:00
I guess, you know, call out what you want. I
Karl Schudt 47:04
Yeah. So, you know, I live in the land of Lincoln. We have all kinds of Lincoln stuff here. I’ve been in museums, you may admire him for many of his qualities. And I don’t really care what you think about him. You ought to know the momentous nature of the actions that he did. It’s a big deal. What he did it change it, it changed the nation forever. If you say yea, he was right to do it, because slavery is bad. Okay. Okay, fine, perfectly fine. But he did a whole hell of a lot of enormous things. And you should know that they were enormous things
Scott Hambrick 47:46
that he’s the father of regime change, you know? No, he is listen, if you don’t like the stuff in the Middle East or whatever, that’s his fault.
Karl Schudt 47:55
Scott Hambrick 47:57
Karl Schudt 48:00
I won’t go to chapter two yet. William Tecumseh Sherman is this crazy? Crazy guy, school teacher when the war comes out. He’s eventually going to burn Atlanta. I love his quotes. This is on page 59. He’s talking about you know, war is a terrible thing. You guys don’t know what you’re talking about? Because the South is like, Yes, let’s go to war. It’d be great. You mistake to the people in North there are peaceable people but in earnest people and they will fight to they are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it. Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them the North can make a steam engine locomotive, a railway car, hardly a yard of cloth or a pair of shoes can you make you’re rushing into war with one of the most powerful ingeniously mechanical and determined people on Earth? Right at your doors? You’re bound to fail only in your spirit and determination. Are you prepared for war and all else you are totally unprepared with a bad cause to start with? At first you will make headway but your limited resources begin to fail shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be your cause will begin to wane if your people will but stop and think they must see that in the end you will surely fail. And he turned out to be right. Not a yard of cloth you can make that’s an overstatement. But I love the story about that. What was it the the Alabama with Arkansas, Arkansas, where they cobbled together an iron ship and bust a blockade in the Mississippi? That’s an amazing that’s a movie waiting to be mad. If anyone would dare make it. Now Sherman Sherman’s right. Yeah. Sermons right. Yeah, it’s like you know, if you watch Gone With the Wind, fantastic movie. And in the beginning, what’s your name? Scarlet Scarlet party on all these young men around fluttering around her and talking about how they’re going to take it to the Yankees and read about losing. No, you’re not.
Scott Hambrick 49:58
I think they knew that. You know, I spoke a little bit offline about this just for a moment. I said, Well, what what what possible path to victory does the south actually have? And it notice I speak about this in presenter case. And you said just international recognition. You know, I think that’s right. I’ve been thinking about that, too. What there’s no military victory, like, how would you? Yeah, with the war plan that would bring it
Karl Schudt 50:29
after successfully driving McClellan out of Virginia. And wrecking Pope Robert Ely wanted to that was the time to appeal to Europe for recognition, and if they got recognition from England and France as an independent nation, then they could see for peace. Then it could have been over the masterstroke that Lincoln does at that point. He waits, we asked to wait till after Antietam, he needs a victory is to deliver the Emancipation Proclamation which by the way, doesn’t free all the slaves and only frees the slaves in the South. Yep. So it only frees the slaves that he couldn’t actually free.
Scott Hambrick 51:11
Because they didn’t hockey vailian.
Karl Schudt 51:13
Yeah, but But you know, nobody actually reads the thing. It’s like people. It’s like somebody said about previous president, people. What do they do? They take him literally when he’s not to be taken literally. Well, people didn’t take Lincoln literally. They took him spiritually. So he’s made this great act against slavery. And now you couldn’t if you supported the South, you were supporting slavery, which France and England didn’t want to do. And so he boxed him in. I have a possibility. How about this?
Scott Hambrick 51:48
I have one as well. Let’s see if what about
Karl Schudt 51:50
if the Confederate What if the Confederates preemptively said fine, we’ll get rid we’ll get rid of slavery
Scott Hambrick 51:57
could have worked maybe.
Karl Schudt 52:01
And just stolen his thunder. You can’t let go they got they got boxed in so many ways that box them in getting maneuver to fighting on to firing on Fort Sumter was stupid clause. They didn’t have to do that. No. What was your solutions?
Scott Hambrick 52:20
They might have been a little blockade DC after second Monascus they might have been able to force it.
Karl Schudt 52:28
If they’d been quicker to get to DC in the beginning, you have to dear, dear listener, take a look at a map and see how close Richmond is to Washington DC. Washington DC is a southern city.
Scott Hambrick 52:43
Lincoln would stand on the balcony at the White House and see the Confederate campfires.
Karl Schudt 52:50
Yeah, they’re right next to each other. And if the Confederates had been quicker, nobody was ready for this war. They didn’t have armies. If they had been quicker, they could have swooped in.
Scott Hambrick 53:02
There’s a cliffhanger on every third page of this book. After after he gets elected. He takes this long train journey to DC. Like there was an opportunity to have interdicted the train killed Lincoln. Like Forrest and Stuart could have fixed this. Maybe. No, I’m serious, like some some rapid decisive grill action in conjunction with the giving up, you know, say, Okay, we just freed the slaves. We sent them all north of the Mason Dixon Line. Best of luck to all y’all. We’ve got Lincoln, we blew up the train, and so on and so on. We’re also keep taking DC, because it’s in our backyard. Y’all can move your capital to Philadelphia or wherever you want to. Best of luck. That might have fixed it, but they would have had about four days to do it. Who knows?
Karl Schudt 53:58
And they didn’t know what they could do. They didn’t know that Nathan Bedford Forrest was Nathan Bedford Forrest. No. He didn’t know that he was himself. That guy was in that battle where he led the cavalry charge. And nobody followed him. And he gets shot point blank by a union guy. And he keeps riding he grabs. I think he might have grabbed that guy and he like holds him up on his horse as a steward. Yeah. Now this is forest I think in order to hide behind that the union guy and he rides out and throws him down. You see, first you got a bullet near a spine. There is heroism all over the place.
Scott Hambrick 54:38
Yeah. AP Hill. Oh, Charleston. Oh Jackson. Oh, God. Ah,
Karl Schudt 54:54
you ended up being a fan of McClellan. Yeah. Which I thought was interesting.
Scott Hambrick 54:59
Yeah. McClellan gets the gets the bad rap as being a man of inaction and being someone who was constantly in preparation and never had enough material or enough men to act and fight, Lincoln says, you know, Grant, I can’t spare the man he fights, you know. And he McClellan didn’t. But Lee said after the war that he had admired McClellan the most. I think McClellan not McClellan was right for the wrong reasons, but I think he was right. I don’t think the North had to fight this damn war. All those things Sherman said about the industrial capability, the South was true. What was the south going to do? starve to death. Just blockade them, keep them out of DC. Find a small incursion action whenever you can keep pressure on Richmond so that they the southerners deplete their their few resources that they have. And just let it grind out. You don’t have to kill a half a million people just grind them out. They had the whole they had virtually every they had all the deepwater seaports and all the Gulf ports closed down within just a matter of months. DC well, they
Karl Schudt 56:25
would have had to take the Mississippi. Well, but I think they probably would
Scott Hambrick 56:29
have had and they did it within six or eight months. Butler is there real early? You know, McClellan, I think there was no need to go to Atlanta and burn it. I think McClellan now McClellan was a hand wringing worrisome. General who innocently wanted to prep. That’s, that’s true. But I think he was right.
Karl Schudt 56:55
But that’s a really interesting comment by Lee, because Lee eventually gets beat by Grant. But he thinks McClellan was better. And he beat McClellan in the peninsula in the seven days. So that’s an interesting comment.
Scott Hambrick 57:10
If he had continued to have the sort of resources he had during the seven days, but granted BD No.
Karl Schudt 57:18
I mean, this is Grant spent a whole lot. Well, Grant is a fighter, and this is in probably book three of this series, but regret spends a whole lot of lives to be the army of Virginia. Yeah. Which he was willing to do. Which,
Scott Hambrick 57:35
in Lincoln, one is a hell of a thing. Lincoln wanted him to spend those northern lives to do that. McClellan didn’t think it was necessary.
Karl Schudt 57:43
He probably loved the soldiers too much. There’s always descriptions of the relationship between McClellan and his soldiers, which maybe was too close. Yeah. It’s, I have never been a general but I imagine I mean, it’s like playing chess and imagining that you were really close friends with the pawns. How could you play? You wouldn’t want to push you wouldn’t want to do kings pawn to King spawn for you wouldn’t want to do that. That’s a good line in 89. More of his writing and Missouri the secession question has long since passed a political stage. Here there was bloodshed from the outset and all through the last half of the opening year it was touch and go a series of furious skirmishes marches and counter marches by confused commanders, occupations, evacuations, and several full scale battles. Jesse James studied tactics here, and Mark Twain skedaddled Yep, by the way, a lot of the Western outlaws that you know, were confederacy were still fighting. Yep. Blown up trains and stuff. After the war, Jesse James among them.
Scott Hambrick 58:50
That Mark Twain’s good adilyn is a sore spot for everybody.
Karl Schudt 58:59
You don’t like that he left Missouri.
Scott Hambrick 59:03
He skied I went to Connecticut. There’s a specific word. He GTFO aged and he should have picked aside. He didn’t split it in half to say that.
Karl Schudt 59:16
What a ski that’ll mean it’s not a word that’s normally part of my vocabulary.
Scott Hambrick 59:24
He left with a quickness
Karl Schudt 59:27
left with the quickness Yeah, what does that somebody said of McLellan that foot reports he had a case of the SLOs which isn’t that gosh, is another part of the delight of this. I was gonna say the delight of this war. The war is a horror but the delight of studying this war. If you speak the same language as these people, and they’re literate, and they’re hilarious, and, and there is a huge amount of material that you can dive into. Of like, what the He said about free Munch. I know Fremont. I guess one of one of the Confederate generals says something about him that Kate’s got too much tail. Yeah, because Fremont always had an entourage with him. He just want to store up these little. These little things. They say it’s perfect. If I were, you would hope that you and your enemies could speak so well of each other.
Scott Hambrick 1:00:26
I’ve got my thumb right on that paragraph. I was gonna read it. I’m gonna read it anyway. He thought he spoiled them which page is it? So 90, about Fremont, Fremont. He was a great explore. You know, he had been out there out way out west and was a famous man already and he was made the factotum whatever of that Mississippi, the trans Mississippi, not trans Mississippi, the very west of the Mississippi. And heat his count. His headquarters was in St. Louis, to protect his privacy from obscure brigadiers like Grant while he worked 18 hours a day in the three stories three stories St. Louis mansion was served as headquarters. He had a body guard of 300 men, the very best material Kentucky could afford average height five feet 11 and one half inches and measuring 40 and a half inches around the breast resplendent in feathers and loops of the gold braid locally known as chicken guts. His personal staff included Hungarians and Italians with titles such as add latest to the chief and names that were hardly pronounceable to Miss Missouri tongue. I’m avec Mazarin I don’t know Kalama Neues I don’t know were three among many lists ran long causes one of his Confederate a bonus remark as he read it. There’s too much tail to that guy. Whether he would soar not Fremont kept his gaze on far horizons, cetera.
Karl Schudt 1:01:47
Whether he would soar or not, you know, taking the kite metaphor into the next paragraph.
Scott Hambrick 1:01:51
It’s chicken guts.
Karl Schudt 1:01:52
This is it. Yeah, this looks fun. You know, you’ve I don’t know if you’ve, you met people like this. But it was born in 1915. And so you don’t encounter him in, in video until he’s an older guy. But you know, there’s these if you’re fortunate enough to have older acquaintances who just really treasure the words that they say. And they’ll just like, sit, they’ll sit there with their beer, and they’ll be silent. And then they’ll say the perfect sentence. And then let’s just sit back and be pleased. And be quiet again. You know? It’s like, waiting for the moment. If you’re going to speak, you might as well speak well. Yeah, and footnotes how to do that.
Scott Hambrick 1:02:45
And it takes some horsepower to do that, though. Yeah, we’ve already gotten through Sumpter, we’re three first Monascus. We’re Piercy stuff to Tom Beauregard is the hero. And well, Wilson’s Creek is kind of up next. That’s not too far from here, Carl. Well, let’s get straight to summer. And also Elkhorn, Tammy.
Karl Schudt 1:03:04
Yeah. Which is also another general comment. I mean, there’s no way we’re gonna go through all the details of the first few years of the war, as we talk about this, we’re already an hour and 10 minutes in, you got to go read it. So I, what I would hope you would get one of the things I would hope you get out of the podcast is go read it. Okay. It’s you should know something about this. And this is the best book to do it with.
Scott Hambrick 1:03:27
It’s the best you got guys, you gotta go read it. If it takes you. Hell Listen, take me three or four years to read all three of these amongst all the other things I’ve got to read. But I’ve got got to do it yet.
Karl Schudt 1:03:40
So as I drive, I’ve been driving into the Midwest into the south of the Midwest quite a bit recently. You know, if you drive through this country, you can tend to think that there’s nothing really there, you get on your on ramp to get on the interstate. You drive for nine or 10 hours, and then you get off the interstate. And you can completely miss the country that’s in between what reading an account of the wars that happened in the land where you live. Makes you see things like rivers, and plains and mountains a whole lot differently. The landscape can come alive to you. At least it does for me as I’m driving. I’m thinking in thinking battle plans, you know, where would I put my troops? Where are they put my artillery stuff that doesn’t matter to us currently in a mechanized age. You can recover some of that by reading this stuff. Yeah, heck, there were battles around Springfield, Missouri Springfield, which I don’t even
Scott Hambrick 1:04:42
list those creeks out there. Yeah. Yeah, we got to go to pee Ridge so every farm wouldn’t go there the summer for that Elkhorn Tavern and Van Dorn. Mm hmm. Yeah.
Karl Schudt 1:04:54
I mean, they’re like, Yeah, my grandfather used to take his kid. They went to Civil War battle. fields every summer was one of his applications.
Scott Hambrick 1:05:04
Sounds awesome. Yeah, I had a vivid vivid dreams after reading this every evening. I’d read and then put it down and go to bed, you know. And then at 5am all night, it’s astounding. Astounding book, astounding, the whole the whole damn thing. I don’t know if he grew up to it
Karl Schudt 1:05:28
Yeah, I kind of want to dig out things that are are interesting and without being systematic about it. The character of Ulysses Grant Hiram Ulysses Grant is very interesting to me. You know, there’s the legends of him drinking too much, which are probably true. There’s this quote from Sherman, I stood by him when he was drunk. He stood by me when I was crazy, which was probably true. I’ve been in his house and Galena. I’ve read probably half of the first volume of men he has for volume memoirs, which are excellent, so much so that people suspect that they were ghostwritten by Mark Twain. I don’t think they were. I’ve read them, he wrote them. But you know, the image of him sitting dying of cancer sitting on his porch in New York somewhere, writing these to try to provide for his kids. The guy was a failure everywhere until the war happened. He was a shopkeeper and Galena and failing at that, and this he’d been a hero in or served with distinction in the Mexican American War. You know, with all the rest of these people, they all knew each other. Lee was in that war as well. I think Jefferson Davis was in that war. Everybody was in that war. But he finally he gets a he’s got a slave hunting wife. Things are not as clear cut but when he he was made a colonel and then a brigadier and his father says to him, is on page 197. Be careful you lease his father wrote when he heard the news of the flute promotion, you’re a general now. It’s a good job. Don’t lose it.
Scott Hambrick 1:07:03
Civil Servant. Whatever, man. What about these guys in their wives? Some of these Mary Todd Lincoln. Forget it. What a horrible What a piece of work. Disgusting.
Karl Schudt 1:07:20
She had some issues. Yes, she’s
Scott Hambrick 1:07:22
nuts. Absolutely nuts. Fremont Fremont wife, nuts. You know, he wanted Lincoln found out, you know, Fremont wasn’t doing what he was needing to be needing to get done there in the West. And word got out that maybe there was some fraud going on. There were like $12 million missing in that in that theater. People people probably don’t know this. But when war breaks out there like pallets of money moving around to buy material, people, whatever you need to do. And there’s just $12 million missing.
Karl Schudt 1:08:00
Yes, we we read about the war profiteers in war is a racket.
Scott Hambrick 1:08:05
Yep. Fremont wife goes to DC to meet with Lincoln. And shoot Lincoln out. And he says later, she left in anger flaunting her Hekate handkerchief before my face. Can you imagine? She’s just nuts. She does stuff like that frequently. You know, Mary Todd Lincoln’s a monster. Not everybody can have Jeff Davis, his wife. He seemed to be a splendid creature. He had a free month wife and grants wife to a lesser degree. And Lincoln. Good lord.
Karl Schudt 1:08:39
Yeah. Well, McClellan’s always justifying himself to his wife. Writing letters, they don’t appreciate me.
Scott Hambrick 1:08:46
He writes letters to her every day. Yeah. But one of my favorite Stonewall he likes to lay prone on Sundays and when even write his letter, wife a letter, like he keeps the Sabbath unless there are northerners to destroy.
Karl Schudt 1:09:04
I was shocked to discover how young he was. Stonewall, but he only made it to 39. I’m an old man compared to him. He seems much older. Yeah.
Scott Hambrick 1:09:17
Old blue light. The telling of the Shenandoah Valley campaign in Jackson, in this thing was just I was just on hmic I was just hyperventilating for like 50 pages.
Karl Schudt 1:09:32
Then I know how it turned out. Yeah.
Scott Hambrick 1:09:35
But then I went to bed and I dreamed about it all night. Jackson was just a giant of a man. What happened to him in the Seven Days campaign? What the fuck was going on? Did he just have like a psychotic break or something?
Karl Schudt 1:09:53
God was talking to him. So I don’t know to the listener that keeps recurring line and where was Stonewall Jackson? Jackson had
Scott Hambrick 1:10:03
distinguished himself at Bull Run first finances, see the north they didn’t they were not in their land. So they would call things by landmarks. But the southerners would call them by their town names. See, and that was sharp for Grand Teton. This others called Sharpsburg. Northerners call it a Antietam after the river, Bull Run the river or Monascus. If you’re the southerners foot tends to use the southern name for these battles. But in it, he distinguished himself at first Monascus or first Bull Run Jackson did later on he gets not he’s not just a brigadier now he has the army of the Shenandoah. And these men are so fast on foot that they call them the foot cavalry is meaning we cover enormous amounts of territory, and then he could completely disappear. He would have 25,000 Men just disappear. The North couldn’t find him, and he would fight he would go into that Shinan Shenandoah Valley campaign just did the impossible for five days. It’s astounding to read. So when the Seven Days campaign starts, which is really perilous, where the where McClellan threatens the southern capitol of Richmond. Jackson in his foot cavalry is dependent on to secure this sort of Northwest flank, or to come up on this Northwest flank of the the northern army. And he never does it. Like their foot tells stories anyway, just like napping under trees. Mm hmm. He’s just he’s lethargic. And he just doesn’t do it. Sometimes I got the impression from what I was reading, that foot was implying that he thought that the orders might not have been very good or that the wasn’t maybe he didn’t agree maybe. And then sometimes I thought it was just pure exhaustion because he had, you know, there were the details of him riding like 14 hours straight to come speak with Lee and then hopping on horse and riding another 14 hours to go back to his men. So he’d be in the saddle for literally 28 to 30 hours straight. You know? So was he just broken from fatigue? Or all those things? I don’t know. But again, over and over again. Where’s Jackson? Where’s Jackson?
Karl Schudt 1:12:33
Well, and he would never tell anybody his plans either. Which you just be nobody would know. Which, you know, was probably a good idea. Because, as you find out in this book at Antietam, Antietam was supposed to be Lee was attempting to invade Maryland, and it was an attempt to force peace. I think they tried it again at Gettysburg. If you could get into the north, you could get them to back off and just leave you be. And so it was an invasion attempt, which Bragg did in the west into Kentucky. But the order that he gave telling where all the armies was going to be, was wrapped around a cigar by one of his people and left in a field where union people found it. And so McClellan knew exactly where it was, and so he couldn’t do his invasion plan. They managed not to get crushed anteed him and it was an intelligence failure.
Scott Hambrick 1:13:41
We have to tell that story better or more. Lee devises at ante number Sharpsburg to divide his divide his force, three ways, I think, into this very complex sort of encirclement into things brilliant, but scary. No. And he wrote out several plans or copies of his plan. He brought in his lieutenants, gave them copies of it went over it in detail with each of them in one at a time. One of the generals then memorized it, tore the plans up and ate them.
Karl Schudt 1:14:26
That’s good. AppSec.
Scott Hambrick 1:14:29
Meanwhile, another one of these cats, copies them onto another piece of paper, because he may be asked to destroy the original right? So meanwhile, while Keith Lee is going over these plants with these other guys, and he’s waiting, he copies them, wraps three cigars in puts in his red pocket, it goes on. Later on, he loses the cigars some scratchy northerner picks up this bundle cigar, sees this paper, and then takes it in. And now McClellan knows This is what order of battle. Jeb Stuart, God blessing Fiat was found by a southern sympathizer who led Stuart know that McClellan head Lee’s plans. Stewart returned to Lee let him know what was going on. And through that in 1000, other Grace’s were able to turn that into a ah, I’m not sure what it is. It’s not a victory but it’s not a loss either. I think both sides both sides from time to time to time, call anted or Sharpsburg their own victory, but it’s not sure.
Karl Schudt 1:15:50
A bloody bloody day where lots of people died. And nothing was really decided. Kind of a thing in modern war. You can see pictures from Antietam. Mathew Brady was there you can see pictures of these young men dead in the field. Which is another thing about the Civil War. You know if you read about the Revolutionary War, there’s no pictures. But you know, I go see that that poor guy that died. So there’s a Confederate soldier after being wounded evidently dragged himself to a little ravine on the hillside where he died. I guess alexander Gardner took that picture. I put that you can see it. It’s a very knowable war. You can know it.
Scott Hambrick 1:16:39
Yeah. Jackson and Tatum is another astounding thing. Stonewall Jackson, just this tears me up, man. I can’t take it. Yes, so many dead people. Gosh, unbelievable. But my union though, Carl, my union. So you go do this and you kill all these damn people, and you burn all this stuff. And you just damnit. You just take everything to the brink. And now you got a union, but it’s a union of what like, what is it that you have now?
Karl Schudt 1:17:17
It’s different. When Caesar took Gaul and made it a province. That’s what it was. A province means a place you have conquered? Yep. I was surprised to learn that the South also suspended habeas corpus and had conscription before the North did. I did not know that. I like that I like when I say I like dear listener. Means I find it fascinating. It doesn’t mean that I’m saying Hurray. But maybe in this case, I like that there are politicians fighting in this thing and getting killed. Like Breckinridge had been the Vice President and left the Senate and good went and joined the Confederacy there’s, uh, you know, northern senators, I guess the senator got killed one of the Northern senators. But this is skin in the game. Yep. Which I appreciate, rather than, you know, sending other people to die. Of course, I don’t know their motives. I mean, some of these people are saying I’m either coming home here, I’m either gonna get glory or be dead, because they knew it a lot. Some had designs on the presidency. And a military career was a way to do it. So you go serve with distinction in the war. So I wonder a lot of people saw it as an opportunity to climb. That was the frustrating thing reading the the Confederates was it? I can’t remember who it was. I think Long Street was one of them. Maybe as long street and hill, but they’re both offended at the marching order. These games have precedents.
Scott Hambrick 1:19:18
And there’s a lot of sort of genteel chivalry bullshit on the part of the South. They allow these are mistresses for and then get treacheries committed against them and they get outraged about, you know, hell marching out before long street or whatever, you know, that bothers me. Sometimes I read it, but
Karl Schudt 1:19:42
Well, the rivalry between generals, bugs me, you know, you figure you’re going to war, that you’re in a war for a desperate reason. It doesn’t matter if grant and Halleck get along or not. It shouldn’t matter whether they get along or not. If the war is worth fighting They ought to fight it. Right? And not worry about who’s gonna get more credit. And you see that on both sides in this book and
Scott Hambrick 1:20:09
just except from Marsley you know, we already talked about how sort of magnanimous that grant ended up being in victory. What about the magnanimity from Lee? Every day? You know, he, he’s just so gracious to his subordinates never takes credit for anything they do. So consider it, of Jefferson Davis. Davis, Davis was a little bit of a pain in the ass too. He was a he was a military man himself. Well, Lincoln could micromanage. But I think Davis had a Davis early on, had a inclination to micromanage, had trouble with some of his military help. And we understood that it would always sit down and take the time to write him a letter received him at the at the field of battle. Talk to me, keep him in the loop. Just a super kind of guy who seemed to care about all all the people involved all of them. You know, and later on after this war, he ends up being the President of University, Arlington National Cemetery is his fitness his ancestral home, they took it from me. And he ends up being a university president and it just, beloved. Nobody until 2014 had nary a negative word to say about them.
Karl Schudt 1:21:43
Yeah, yeah, if you’re going to delete your history, maybe you ought to learn it first.