The Changing War

The Changing War: Interplay of the Military, Economic, Social & Political

NPS Primary Theme: Begun as a purely military effort with the limited political objectives of reunification (North)or independence (South), the Civil War transformed into a social, economic and political revolution with unforeseen consequences. As the war progressed, the Union war effort steadily transformed from a limited to a hard war; it targeted not just Southern armies, but the heart of the Confederacy’s economy, morale, and social order—the institution of slavery.

NPS Secondary Theme: Failures on the battlefield and the expansion of the Union war effort to include the abolition of slavery, degradation of the Confederate economy, and the imposition of hardship on Southern civilians hardened the resolve of white Confederates to carry the war to a successful conclusion in some cases, while it demoralized some to the point of such desperation, they deserted. It also engendered intense debate within the North, giving rise to opposition to the draft, urban violence, and a vocal peace party that threatened to defeat Lincoln’s efforts to reunify the Nation and expunge slavery.

  • NPS Subtheme: Confederate success (independence) required merely that its territory be defended; Union success (reunification and eventually emancipation) required invasion of the South, defeat of Confederate armies, and occupation of Southern territory.

NOTE: Please use the comments section below to chronicle your progress with this theme throughout the remaining weeks of the course. Begin by outlining how your group decided to work with the theme (e.g., assigning one theme to one person or dividing themes up between team members) and then outline in detail, at least once each week, the work that you have done toward crafting your three podcast proposals.


12 Responses to The Changing War

  1. Shawn Daley says:

    Greg- This is my draft of the Andersonville Plan. If this is what you’re looking for, let me know, so I can move on getting the other plans up in this model. If not, please offer some advice on where you want me to revise, or if/where I’m missing some element of the interpretative piece or abstract idea. My abstract here was more script-esque, so I can understand if you want me to cut down.

    Podcast Plan – Andersonville National Historic Site
    Theme: The Changing War: Interplay of the Social, Economic, Political and Military
    List of Tangibles:
    Andersonville Earthworks
    Andersonville National Cemetery
    Georgia Monument
    New York Monument
    Providence Spring House
    Captain Wirz Monument*

    *Rests outside park boundary within town of Andersonville

    List of Intangibles:


    List of Universal Concepts:


    Primary Source Materials:
    Letter from the Secretary of War ad Interim in answer to a resolution of the House of April 16, 1866, transmitting a summary of the trial of Henry Wirz
    United States. 40th Congress, 2d Session. 1867-1868. House Executive Document No. 23
    “The Diary of Charles G. Lee in the Andersonville and Florence Prison Camps, 1864.” Paul C. Helmreich – Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin 41 (January, 1976)
    “Imprisoned at Andersonville: The Diary of Albert Harry Shatzel, May 5, 1864-September 12, 1864.” — Donald Danker, Nebraska History 38 (June 1957)
    John Ransom’s Diary. Reprinted by Paul Eriksson. Dell Publishing, 1963. Originally published in 1881.
    Harper’s Weekly Sketches – September 16, 1865 – “Andersonville Prison Scenes, Illustrating Captain Wirz”
    Harper’s Weekly, November 1865 – “The Execution of Henry Wirz”
    Thomas Nast, Political Cartoon, “The Union Prisoners at Andernsonville/ The Rebel Leader, Jeff Davis at Fortress Monroe. “
    “Federal prisoner, returned from prison, full-length, seated, nude, facing front” Digital ID: (color film copy transparency) cph 3g07966; Reproduction Number: LC-USZC4-7966 (color film copy transparency) LC-B8184-5526 (b&w film copy neg.) ; Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
    Secondary Source Materials:
    Haunted by Atrocity: Civil War Prisons in American Memory. Benjamin G. Cloyd, Louisiana State University Press, 2010.
    Andersonville: The Last Depot. William Marvel, Chapel Hill. University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
    Confederate Rage, Yankee Wrath: No Quarter in the Civil War. George S. Burkhardt, Southern Illinois University Press, 2007.
    History of Andersonville Prison. Ovid Futch: University of Florida Press, 1968.
    The Famous Trials of Henry Wirz: – site created by student at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
    The Civil War and the Limits of Destruction. Mark Neely. Harvard University Press, 2007.
    NPS Staff Contacts:
    Eric Leonard, Chief of Interpretation and Education, Andersonville National Historic Site
    Additional Contacts:
    Dr. Benjamin Cloyd, Hindsville Community College, Mississippi –

    Theme Statement: The Monument to Captain Henry Wirz, while not in the park but certainly “of” the park, is not only a memorial to a Confederate officer, but a symbol of the political debate that has raged on over the living memory of Andersonville for Northerners and Southerners.
    (Actor) Courtroom sequence (hum of the crowd). Gavel strikes the bar a few times and order is called for. Judge asks the convened jury for their verdict of Confederate Captain Henry Wirz. The jury spokesperson delivers the verdict: guilty. And thus condemned the former Commandant of the notorious Andersonville prison, one of only two Confederates executed by the Federal government after the Civil War.
    (Transition – climbing steps in heavy boots)
    (Podcast Narrator) Henry Wirz was executed on November 10, 1865 in Washington, D.C., vilified by the Northern Press in periodicals like Harper’s Weekly, and scarcely mentioned in the south. But, were you to walk just outside of Andersonville National Historic Site in Andersonville, Georgia, you’d find a curious artifact – a monument to this “war criminal,” erected in the early part of the 20th century.
    The monument reads (Southern Female Voice) : ”To rescue his name from the stigma attached to it by embittered prejudice this shaft is erected by the Georgia Division United Daughters of the Confederacy.”
    Embittered prejudice? Surely the Daughters of the Confederacy aren’t claiming that Wirz was innocent in the deaths of nearly 13,000 Union troops held captive at Camp Sumter, known to the North as Andersonville prison. But maybe that was exactly what they were doing when in 1908 they unveiled the obelisk in the center of Andersonville town. If so, why?
    (Dr. Benjamin Cloyd, Hindsville Community College, Mississippi, volunteers for this piece) Segment on understanding the political history of Andersonville toward the later end of the Civil War and far after the war.
    Generally describes use of Andersonville as rallying cry (“Bloody Shirt” for Northern Radicals and Veterans, as early as 1864. Andersonville was not only seen as a military affair, but a political issue worthy of national attention. Candidates for President like James Garfield use Andersonville as a persistent reminder of the “barbarism” of the Confederates in the South.
    (Actor’s Voice) James G. Blaine (R-Me), commenting on an attempt to pardon Jeff Davis in 1876 and tying David to Andersonville) – “I now assert deliberately before God, as my judge, knowing the full measure and import of my word, that the cruelties of the Duke of Alva in the Low Countries, the massacre of St. Bathlolmew, and the screws and tortures of the Spanish Inquisition did not approach in cruelty the atrocity of Andersonville.”
    (Transition – clamor of voices after Summer finishes)
    (Narrator) Barbarism? Was that Political rhetoric or could that claim have merit? When one walks along the cemetery at Andersonville, however, and sees the rows of Union gravestones, it may not seem very far-fetched. Were Andersonville a battle, it would have a Union higher death rate than even Antietam, the bloodiest engagement of the war. What led so many men to die near these earthworks here in Andersonville, the result of their “captive labor” was conditions that observers could easily refer to as inhumane. The South had never been prepared for the vast numbers of captives it would receive, and it never became a priority for the Confederate government. At the start of the war, an exchange had been worked out between the two sides, but when the North realized that giving soldiers back to the South was not in its best interests, the exchanges stopped. And the Confederates, who had no plan for their increasing numbers of captive Yanks, found themselves unable to properly take care of them.
    (Actor’s voice, reading from diary excerpt of union prisoner about inhuman conditions – suggestion is to use from diaries above, since they were written prior to “Andersonville Craze” – not meant for a popular audience of readers but for family/posterity).
    “Very small rations given to us now. Not more than one quarter what we want to eat and that of the poorest quality. Splendid weather, but too warm; occasional rains. The Flying Dutchman (Wirz) offers to give any two at a time twelve hours the start, and if caught to take the punishment for the runwaways. The offer is made to intimidate those thinking to escape. Half the men would take the consequences with two hours start.” John Ransom, Anderonsville, April 30, 1864.

    (Transition – shovel digging dirt)
    (Narrator) For years the Andersonville story remained a tale of Confederate atrocity. To this day, a major thrust of park interpretation is telling the stories of those union soldiers who died there. As site for the National POW museum, part of Andersonville NHS’s mission is to relate the story of the American prisoner even in the present day.
    Yet Andersonville would come to mean more than just the story of prisoners.
    During Reconstruction, for example, the prison site even became home to a Freedman school and a yearly celebration of the war’s conclusion for local black Americans. White-run publications would rail against the festivities that involved black citizens and white public officials to no avail in those years following the war. However, Southern pride could only withstand the bloody shirt claim for so long, and, eventually an emboldened Southern leadership decided to challenge the popular concept of Andersonville:
    (Actor’s voice) – Sen. Benjamin Hill, challenging Blaine, 1876, after speech on pardoning Jeff Davis)
    “Whatever horrors existed at Andersonville grew out of the necessities of the occasion, which necessities were cast upon the confederacy by the war policy of the other side.” (Can quote more from this speech).
    (Narrator or Cloyd) Hill’s resistance would mark the start of Confederate resolve to take back Andersonville from the Northern interpretation, and a Ku Klux Klan detachment would unceremoniously break up the black celebrations taking place on the site when Reconstruction ended. As black codes were established and Jim Crow laws expanded throughout the south, signaling a major challenge to Northern hegemony after the war, the Daughters of Confederate veterans sought to reapportion the memory of Henry Wirz as well. But the National Women’s Relief Corps, a lady’s auxiliary to the Union Grand Army of the Republic, was administrating the site at the time, and would have no part of a monument honoring Wirz inside the park.
    (Narrator) Undaunted, the DCV built it in the town’s main square, where it remains to this day, and where, for the past 35 years a band of Southern Sympathizers still meets to proclaim Wirz’ innocence. Even though the town is officially taking care of the monument, conversations in recent years with the National Park Service and the town may lead to a greater role of the monument in Andersonville site interpretation, either in its inclusion on Andersonville tours or through NPS maintenance of the memorial.
    (Transition – sound of Taps playing at the National Cemetery)
    While the dead lay in at Andersonville, serenely nestled near massive and intricate monuments from their native states, the controversy of its former Commandant, Henry Wirz and through him, all of Andersonville, remains live to this day.

    • Greg Shine says:

      Sean, this looks great! I think you’ve chosen tangibles, intangibles, and universal concepts wisely, and your theme statement is a compelling one that connects tangibles and universals and also ties the park to the broader theme. You might list the park’s full name in the theme statement so that it can also stand alone in a different context, and you might consider identifying a tangible slightly more specific in the earthworks or cemetery (an artifact, an image, a story, a particular gravestone or portion of the graveyard that might be strategically or ironically located, etc.). What you have is great, so these are just suggestions. Well done!

      I have a few suggestions for the optional narrative portion you’ve drafted, too. First of all, it is very impressive. It is a little unclear in your narrative what the first part of Dr. Cloyd’s piece is, though. Is he saying “Segment…” or is that a place-saver for a more specific piece? I can’t quite tell. Also, the reference to “Jeff Davis” might be worth detailing his title and full name for those not necessarily in the know (also consider a small spelling correction from “David” to “Davis”). Lastly, you might consider bringing it a little more full-circle. How does the community view it today? What role does it play in an understanding of the Civil War and its legacy, 150 years after its advent? A voice from a modern-day Andersonville resident, civic leader, or even Southern Sympathizer (is that really an organized group?) as well as an NPS manager might bring an interesting update to what you’ve crafted. Great job!

      • Shawn Daley says:


        Thanks for the advice/tips. I’ll revise as suggested. The only thing that didn’t carry over from my MS word format was some of the indentations, so for the tangibles, I was identifying the Providence Spring House, the New York and Georgia Monuments as the specific locations inside the cemetery, as opposed to the cemetery itself (but that didn’t show up as clearly). I’ll see about narrowing down the Earthworks.

  2. Shawn Daley says:

    This week finally got me in contact with Pam Sanfillippo at the Grant National Historic site in Missouri, and I was pleased to have a full hour chatting with her on a wide range of Grant issues. Part of what intrigued me from this conversation was the role that Grant played in Reconstruction, which I will allude to in my posts on the Reconstruction theme.

    For here, I was interested in looking at what role Grant played in the changing of the war to focus on destroying the economic strengths of the south and discontinuing their will to fight. We reviewed some of the information that I spoke about with Dr. Waugh, and talked a little bit about Grant’s portrayal as a general during and after the war. Pam told me about two displays at the site where they take the “myth” of Grant, in particular as a “Drunkard” or a “Butcher” and offer materials from the time period about Grant to see whether or not the visitor can confirm their belief on what Grant was. I liked this interpretative approach, because they bring the controversy to the forefront when it comes to how Grant is seen in history and put the facts out there for the visitors to decide. Pam reported that many leave the site (located in a border state that some would say has southern leanings) surprised that Grant is “not” what they thought he was.

    One wrinkle that I wanted to use from here, in addition to what I mentioned from that display (Pam is sending me the text to it) is a quote that Grant offered to a newspaper about how no matter what those papers said about his being a butcher, he felt that it was going to end the war quicker and had to be done (which Pam compared to Truman’s rationale for the Atomic Bomb on Japan). Pam also worked on a paper/presentation for the OAH meeting whereby she co-authored a paper alled “White Knight and Drunken Butcher: Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant,” which I will also be getting a copy of to use for my soure material.

    My only concern/issue at the moment is that we spoke a bit more on Reconstruction Grant and pre-war Grant than we did on wartime/thematically appropriate Grant. I have to link Grant’s experience more to the theme (in this case, the economic interplay of the war) in my development of my podcast.

  3. Shawn Daley says:

    Well, I didn’t speak to the Grant Site yet, but I did speak to Dr. Joan Waugh at UCLA last Friday during class, in particular to talk about General Grant, and more specifically, his role in the “changing war” with regards to attacking the Confederacy’s economic strengths.

    Dr. Waugh has been on the speaking circuit of late because of her new book looking at the mythology of President Grant. I began our Q&A by asking her about how Grant, who was a two-term President and war hero, got the reputation that he did for being a “butcher” (during the war) and a “drunk” after the war as President (well, and as a general too). This lead Dr. Waugh to talk about the history of Grant interpretation from his Presidency to the present day, and I was intrigued by the historical theory and historiography she presented.

    What was interesting to start was the fact that Grant was one of only two presidents in the 19th century elected to two consecutive terms of office (and not killed). She alluded to the fact that he was enormously popular and that when he died, nearly 1.5 million people crowded the streets of New York to mourn his passing. Yet she remarked that after his death, a combination of events ensued that tarnished his image. For starters, the Lost Cause revision took root, and began to look at Grant as a savage when it came to his conduct during the war. Later in our conversation, Dr. Waugh noted that it is hard historically to swallow that Grant was a “butcher” when it came to the fighting of the Civil War, and that Grant had as much fault with the deaths of the war as Lincoln, Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, who all were equally willing to expend lives in order to defend their sides. She also noted that proportionally (and in numbers), if you “wanted to die in the Civil War, you joined Lee’s army,” because the odds were greater there that you’d be killed. Part of the sullying of Grant also came from a Dr. Bunning from Columbia University, who was sympathetic to the south and instructed his students in history to view Grant negatively. This would prove powerful as that cadre would gain control over the school age history textbook authorship, which meant that Grant’s depiction in the narrative learned by most Americans was not favorable. Grant would be hit even harder during the Depression era, where the “presentism” issues of economic troubles would look back at the Grant-era scandals (which Waugh indicated were no different than any other 19th century administration) and vilify Grant further.

    One line that stuck with me from the conversation was that Dr. Waugh indicated that Grant was selected to lead by the “smartest/best President the United States has ever had, and that should count for something.”

    As intriguing as this strand was (and it went on for some length) we turned our attention to the Civil War itself, and the decision to move the war from the Conciliatory tone that it had in the beginning to the “hard war ” approach adopted slightly later on. This conversation would include discussions of Sherman’s march and Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley campaign. Some elements:

    a) Grant is often referred to as the butcher when it came to how he led the war, but Dr. Waugh had these observations:

    i) Grant could not act without approval from Lincoln. To this end, it places some onus for events on Lincoln for what happened as opposed to it being on Grant’s end.

    ii) While Grant suffered heavy casualties following the battle of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse, he nevertheless moved quickly toward the Confederate capital, moving within striking distance of Richmond within months of taking over the Union army in the East. While one could argue that the casualties at those early battles were bad, his aggression brought the war closer to an end than the previous tactics of other Union generals in charge of the army. He also raised morale (a story I read about the Wilderness while studying my other area said that when troops found out after the Wilderness that the Army of the Potomac was not retreating, the troops all cheered even though they were going to go back into battle).

    iii) When it came to the destruction of Confederate property and land, Dr. Waugh directed me to one of the Changing War’s subthemes, which is that the way the Confederates could win the war was much different than what the Union had to do. She retold a short bit about Sherman and Grant talking about how after they had won major battles in the Western theater, the South still was not going to quit the war. This was reflecting on the notion that once the Union won a major battle, the Confederacy was gong to call it quits. But instead, they saw that after those victories, the south was still determined to fight. As such, the war had to be brought to the south in order to advance the Union’s ability to win.

    There was also the practical factor that played into the taking of Confederate property — that whenever an army like the Army of the Potomac entered a state, its size made the encampment the second largest city in pretty much every state. As such, in order to feed it, you had to utilize what was in the surrounding area. Dr. Waugh was quick to point out that Confederate invasions of Maryland and Pennsylvania had the Army of Northern Virginia doing the same thing to Northern towns. Simply put, it was part of the necessity of war and both sides would do it — because of the war aims of the north, however, they simply did it more.

    Our conversation also took the better part of an hour (despite some initial connection problems), and we covered some additional ground that I would include in a podcast plan — not I just need to chat with the Grant historical site.

  4. Shawn Daley says:

    My apologies in advance for the lengthiness of these posts.
    My discussions today threw me into a little bit of a conundrum with how I am going to produce a podcast on Andersonville NHS. My quandary comes from the conflict of what the site seems to prefer versus what may be the most aligned with the theme.
    In researching Andersonville with regards to The Changing War theme, it seemed that the strongest angle was to utilize the Colonel Wirz stories from the site. These, referenced above, focus on the commander of the prison during the Civil War, who was one of only two people executed for war crimes during after the war itself. After talking to Ben Cloyd, I was somewhat settled that this would be a good approach, because the trial of Wirz leads to understanding the notion that Andersonville was a highly politicized locale after the war, more so than any battlefield, and his scholarship, conducted over the past 10 years, supports that particular line (and has the resources to support me in presenting it). Through this conversation, I was able to get a handle on a few additional elements of the political/social interplay of Andersonville:
    I firmed up the idea of Andersonville as a political rallying point for Republicans in the north after the war. Dr. Cloyd was able to help me pinpoint select politicians, like James Blaine and James Garfield, who used the Andersonville saga to gain points with voters. It was interesting to me to learn that Garfield, who would become president, was still using Andersonville for political gain as late as 1880 as he was running (he gave a speech at a reunion of Andersonville prisoners).
    Dr. Cloyd was also able to help point me in the direction of some texts that were not made by survivors for publication in the early 1900s. Many of these accounts, which I was able to find at the PSU library, were full of hyperbole. In addition, he was helpful in talking about the struggle in using the photographs often associated with the era, as they are difficult to place in terms of source and use. However, his book and work utilizes sketches based on the photos that were used as propaganda by the Union government.
    A fascinating strand in the book and the conversation was about the symbolism of Andersonville to various groups:
    A) To the Union, Andersonville became a symbol of the moral righteousness of the north, as the trial helped to publicize the argument that was the south did was the work of barbarians.
    B) To the South/Confederates, Andersonville became a symbol of resistance and inspiration to the Lost Cause, as southern, in particular Senator Benjamin Hill, argued that the reason that things got so bad at the prison because of how cruel and inhumane the north was, which forced the south’s hand.
    C) To African-Americans, the site became a source of joy at emancipation, as after the war, the site became home to a Normal School for African Americans, and for years, was the site of a celebration of emancipation by African Americans on Memorial Day (until the time of Black Codes and Jim Crow moved the school and killed the celebration).
    After this conversation, I felt fairly good about using the Wirz Monument as a starting point and going into these areas.
    Then I talked to Eric Leonard, who is the Chief Interpretative Ranger at Andersonville, who was supportive of using the Wirz Monument if I wanted to go with it, but offered some others ideas. One concern about the Monument is the story behind it. Because at the time the Wirz monument was to be made, the park was controlled by the Women’s Relief Corps, the women’s branch of the Grand Army of the Republic. They were not going to let the Daughters of the Confederacy, who wanted to build the memorial for Wirz, inside the park as they thought it would be an affront to the union memory. As such, it was built outside the park. Leonard indicated to me that I could still use it if I wanted, because while it “wasn’t in the park, it was “of” the park.” At the same time he indicated that the park walks the line with the monument very carefully, because in his estimation, Wirz is the “third rail of Andersonville interpretation.”
    Now, I’m not one to shy away from a little controversy, and honestly, the variance of perception of Wirz seems to fit right into what we seem to be trying to do with our interpretative process. What made me question my choice in this area is that Leonard asked me about wanting to fit the real focus on the park today, which is on prisoners of war. Using Wirz, while it would tie to the theme, could remove the focus on prisoners of war that the site promotes (it is the site of the National POW museum for all wars AND is the site of an active National Cemetery). He did suggest that I utilize an earthworks that is on the site (literally) and was made by slave labor during the Civil War as a tangible artifact. To his credit, he also gave me a thoughtful history on the various monuments in the park and the cemetery and indicated that the artwork in the park monuments was worthy of a look and discussion.
    I had as a goal for today to create my podcast plan for Andersonville, thinking that my research had lead me to a “slam dunk” of a tangible (Wirz Monument), intangible (retribution) and universal concept (Justice). I’m rethinking that though, and could use some advice (from class or Greg or other) about whether I want to try to follow Leonard’s insight on focusing more on the POWs or try to stick more to the theme of political interplay with the war and focus on Wirz. I may be able to marry the two, but I may need another day or two to consider that

  5. Shawn Daley says:

    So this week had some progress on this particular theme:

    a) During class I have a call with Dr. Waugh from UCLA about the economic toll the war took on the South, and the strategy behind the method meant to cripple the south economically. I have yet to hear form Grant National Historic Site, although I sent a follow-up email this past week. I need to call them (but also wanted to ask Greg which FOVA staffer now works there).

    b) I spoke this week with Mike Shaver, Chief Ranger at Governor’s Island, New York, on the role of Governor’s Island during the Civil War. We spoke for 55 minutes and he went through a series of events that he had researched a few years ago (he moves in cycles in terms of Governor’s Island history) when the Civil War cycle approached. One of the challenges he noted though was that Governor’s Island has not had as much comprehensive research done on all of its uses, as when the island was acquired by the Park Service, it was taken with the assumption that it simply was a historic place, and not because any one particular event happened there. This said, Mike’s challenge is to attempt to work with all of the history (spanning the revolution up to modern times) in the area. Nevertheless he gave me some background that I found compelling.
    For starters Governor’s Island could arguably be a “Eve of War” site, because it was an arsenal and infantry base before the war itself. Mike detailed how it was also a naval station, and that marines and infantry from Governor’s Island were detached initially to help in the resupply of Fort Sumter in 1861. Simultaneously, Governor’s Island was a stopping point (like Fort Vancouver, of many famous generals of the wall – Robert E. Lee was chief engineer at Governor’s Island and even designed the area that would become the base of the Statue of Liberty. He apparently even taught his son to swim in New York Harbor (which, ironically, would be the same place the son would be imprisoned during the war). Ulysses S. Grant, bankrupt after his first stint in the army, also would go to Governor’s Island and be sustained through a loan by Simon Bolivar Buckner, and army friend (who as we later know would be at Fort Donelson). Mike also talked about some interesting bits about the creation of Union uniforms being subcontracted out to immigrants in the area, and a woman who sustained the family business of providing additional materials (like belt buckles and canteens) even though her husband had died and it was unusual at the time for women to maintain such an enterprise. I found that many of these would be great “asides” in a podcast.
    These stories aside, my chief hope from talking to Mike was to find a tangible aspect of the site to tie to the New York City riots. While Mike couldn’t necessarily tie any one specific place to them, he had a few stories collected that I would need to research. He also noted that in his estimation, Bernard Schecter’s work on the riots, The Devil’s Own Work, would be the best secondary written resource for finding out additional links. Mike did suggest Castle Williams as the principal point for the podcast, as it has been on the grounds since before the war and would have been a key fortification during the war as well. From there, he suggested a few tales to pursue:
    a) A newspaper editor used his influence at the arsenal to arrange to get some weaponry to defend his newspaper office near city hall. He brought the guns and ammo by boat himself to Manhattan island, then had to take them by wagon through the city to his office (through the riots) and when he got to the newspaper office found that the guns and ammo did not match, so he had a wagon of useless rifles to try to ward off the rioters.
    b) On the Island itself, there was a problem with the commander of either the Ordinance or the Infantry battalion (Mike was unsure), as during the riots one of these two wanted to quell the riots immediately as they started. They had offered to simply replace the police with the military and fire live rounds at the protesters in order to take over the city. Because of the delicate nature of New York (see C), this was frowned upon and his military career was essentially halted.
    c) New York was not thrilled to be on the Union side, and as a city/state, there was a contemplation of seceding as well from the Union because of the lucrative trade that New York did with the South. As a native myself, I hadn’t heard this one, and wanted to investigate it to see if I can verify it for some version in the podcast. Because of this general feeling toward the Union, Lincoln had to act cautiously when stopping the riot because he was afraid of losing New York support (which, since New York was a northern Democratic stronghold, was tenuous at best).
    d) New York was the military HQ/Department where second rate officers were sent when it was clear they were not going anywhere. Mike listed a few men who lead the “Department of the East” after their time in battle, such as General Schofield, who were given the department because they were high ranking but were considered to not be a prime fit for Washington. Simultaneously, however, it could be a stepping stone to greater command if you were a young, promising officer.
    e) Winfield Scott Hancock, one of the “heros” of Gettysburg, was actually commander of the Department of the East in 1880, and actually remained on the island during the campaign so as to avoid getting “preyed on” by people seeking his patronage. However, this didn’t help him as the fort was figured prominently in political cartoons of New York patron-seekers swimming to Governor’s Island to get his help.
    All told, this conversation was quite fruitful, and gave me some direction for pursuing this aspect of the theme and for finding some intriguing connections to the site itself.
    I am going to address my Andersonville Conversations in the next post.

  6. Shawn Daley says:

    Okay, I’ve been working on the “expert” front to try to get some people to speak with me about the sites beyond the NPS folks. I have some calls set up next week with Dr. Joan Waugh at UCLA, who recently gave the Grant Lecture at the Grant National Historic Site I was intrigued on her focus on both the common soldier experience during the war, and also her view of Grant, who she is presently writing about having become more a symbol than a man. She explained in her email that she was also interested in the social, political and economic interplay of the war (tying right to the theme) and so I am trying to prep to interview her next week through reading her books and getting enough questions to keep the conversation up.

    Dr. Benjamin Cloyd at Hinds Community College in Mississippi, recently wrote a book entitled “Haunted by Atrocity: Civil War Prisons in American Memory.” Part of his work (from the book reviews, as I’m waiting for the book to come from Summit), is about how Andersonville was used, particularly by the North, as a “wave the bloody shirt” type of memory in the years after the war (what has intrigued me these past few weeks). I need to be cautious with my comments until I get the book to read myself (it was published in 2010, so even reviews are scarce). I would like to try to track down William Marvel as well, whose “Andersonville, the Last Depot” is the “authoritative modern work,” but since he’s a Lincoln Award winner and more a novelist than academic, he’s been harder to track down.

    Finally I tracked down my old Professor, Matt Gallman, who I found (after a detour at Gettysburg College) at the University of Florida. I had read his old book, “The North Fights the Civil War” when I was an undergrad and felt that he would be a good contact for my work on the New York City Draft Riots, as in the very least he could direct me to some additional scholars. It turns out that Matt has produced a new book, coming out this year, covering 25 years of reflections by those affected by the war in the North, so I think he’ll have a trove of information to work with.

    I am still reading up on all of these topics, and trying to formulate questions for each of these academics as well as the parks, as I don’t want to waste any time on the phone or via email with them.

    One my questions though is what my final “podcast” plan should look like? I planned this week on getting my Andersonville Podcast plan done, but stopped when I realized I’m going to have to talk to the Andersonville interpreter and also wanted to talk to Dr. Cloyd. Another part of my holding here is that many of the primary sources I’m finding are popular diaries that were published after the war. From the little I’ve been able to access of Dr. Cloyd’s work, these journals and diaries may be fraught with issues, and so I want to chat with him about what he discovered and aim to resolve some of those issues.

    This said, I’m captivated by a few Andersonsville stories — the use of the image I showed in class last week as a piece of anti-Southern propaganda, the trial of Captain Wirz, who was the only Confederate executed for war crimes (and apparently was the subject of a 1970 TV movie starring William Shatner…), the use of Andersonville by Thomas Nast (things I mentioned in class last week).

    I need to pick up the pace on the other two areas as well, and I think when it comes to the Economic toll of the war, I’m going to look at Grant’s approach in the Overland Campaign in 1864 and his assignments to Sherman and Sheridan in their respective theaters. From there I want to move into the Confederate reaction — I may lean toward reviewing what happened in the Shenandoah Valley more than on the March to the Sea, as I think it’s covered a little less in popular imagination. This all starts with Grant carrying this out however; part of me wants to get an idea from Dr. Waugh and the staff at the Grant site what Grant was writing/thinking during this period. He will lose 60,000 troops as casualties in the Overland Campaign’s first month, and while he is referred to as “a butcher” by both sides, I’m intrigued to see how he viewed enacting this strategy (from what I’ve read, in Carmichael) he didn’t create the strategy, as that came from Washington, but he was willing to carry it out.

    A few really interesting anecdotes have caught me in my research of the Draft Riots — there was a tale of the police chief being out in plain clothes trying to avoid the rioters but being recognized and being pretty badly beaten, which I thought was tragic. I also found the reason that the riot took off without being stopped was that the regular troops had been dispatched to Gettysburg to help with the “invasion” of the North by Lee. I was curious to get a “man on the street” view of the riots, possibly from an African-American, as all secondary accounts say that it was “harrowing” to be black and in New York during the riots.

  7. Shawn Daley says:

    Final Choice for Parks:

    Andersonville National Historic Site — Georgia (Political Impact of the War)
    Governor’s Island National Historic Site — New York (Social Impact of the War)
    Grant National Historic Site — Missouri (Economic Impact of the War)

    • Shawn Daley says:

      Sorry, should clarify slight more — I don’t have the themes for each yet, but for Andersonville I’m going to focus on how news/information of the prisoner’s treatment impacted Congressional thoughts on the war and Reconstruction.

      Governor’s Island is going to be used as it was (at least, from what I’m reading) the debarkation location for troops to suppress the 1863 New York Draft Riots.

      I’m opting for the Grant National historic site in Missouri (per Greg’s recommendation) to pursue the change in war strategy (even if it was partly directed by the War Department, it was carried out by Grant) to target the Southern economy as war strategy.

  8. Pingback: Parks to Illustrate CW150 Themes: A Preliminary List | Interpreting the American Civil War

  9. Shawn Daley says:

    This will be the first of maybe two posts before January 28th.

    Our group decided to take our four themes and specialize in one each, with the fourth (Commemoration) being a team assignment. Our team leader also tasked us with finding 1 topic, 1 primary source, and 1 NPS site for each possible podcast as our “homework” for the first week.

    So my specific topic is “The Changing War,” which I chose because I have a decent understand of the military history while at the same time having more interest in the social, economic and political ramifications of this war. This week has been more of a “stockpiling” week — searching the PSU and Concordia Libraries as well as JSTOR and Historical Society libraries for materials to utilize. I think by the time I hit tomorrow morning, I will have read a couple hundred abstracts and introductions (and chapter briefs) in trying to find the “right” topics.

    Now, this said, I’m at the point where I’m trying to whittle the theme down to 3 podcast themes, and I have 5 topics that have interested me in this area. Some sprouted from the Carmichael article, while others were based off seeing the various NPS sites and trying to find connections via my readings.

    Here is what I’m presently looking at as Podcast possibilities:

    a) Andersonville — this caught my attention from the Holding the High Ground paper because it was NOT a battlefield, and while I knew of it (and remember a TNT made for TV movie…), I didn’t have a grasp as to why that would be in this particular theme. Upon investigation, not only was there a huge reserve of primary sources, in particular the journals of both prisoners and guards, but I didn’t realize that Andersonville was the center of alot of political controversy. It seems that when “observers” stumbled upon what was happening at Andersonville, in terms of how Union prisoners were treated, it caused an uproar in the North, particularly in Congress, which fomented further animosity at a later stage in the war. I would like to look at newspaper accounts of who was saying what and how that may have influenced the lead into Reconstruction (which may tie up with Brandon’s work on that topic).

    b) Southern resistance at the war’s end. This comes partly from the subthemes listed above, but it deals with how the North had to “win” the war via occupation as opposed to just winning battles. In reading about various “Raids” by both North and South, it seems that beyond the brutality of battle, there were multiple instances of both sides going above and beyond to inflict pain on the other, and intriguingly, multiple instance of “retribution” toward Federal troops in various pockets of the south. One author went so far as to note that the North was very lucky that the South didn’t turn the war in 1865 into a guerrilla war, because considering the vast swath of territory, it would have been impossible to suppress. I had never thought of that possibility before, which knowing that guerrilla tactics had been employed in the Napoleonic war (and to an extent, in the American Revolution), I am somewhat curious what happened to make it not happen to such an extent. Another piece of this that seemed to fascinate authors was the reluctance of the south to quit when they knew they were losing the war, both by generals and by individuals. Some sources tie that to the inability (and lack of readiness) on the part of southern plantation owners to have their lives changed by the absence of slavery, while others simply found the tactics of the troops under Grant to have “crossed the line” and made them unable to mentally accept surrender. I don’t entirely know what to link this to in terms of a park, but I was going to scour the smaller parks deeper in the south that were nearby Sherman’s march, close to Sheridan’s Shenandoah campaign, or associated with Quantrill’s (sp?) raiders.

    c) The tone of war for the North. This area is linked to the last, but it focuses more on something that Carmichael was referring to — that the initial goal of the war was to try to get the south to come back to the union, and as such, it was more conciliatory in method — trying not to cause harm to the south for fear of upsetting civilians so much that they would want to actively resist. This clarified some confusion I used to have around General McClellan’s failure in the Seven Days campaign, and I am curious if he had adopted a strategy like Grant’s, would the war have been over sooner. The key piece here though is that moment of “awareness” on the part of the North that the conciliatory approach was not going to work, and it was time to really “go to war.” In that regard, I wanted to find something from the moment that the war truly took a brutal turn (maybe notes from a Captain or staff officer noticing a change in the tactics at the Battles of Spotslyvania Courthouse or the Wilderness, or something from the Department of War/Edwin Stanton that notes the new “view” of things. I would think that associated NPS sites would be those that first saw Grant’s approach would be the best choice.

    d) The Copperheads — part and parcel with the above description is the faction of the Northern society that wanted to see the war brought to a conclusion because it has gotten too brutal, and who actively opposed Lincoln going into the Election of 1864 (an election that I can’t imagine taking place in the course of the war, and know little about). I found a 1918 text that detailed the trial of one of these anti-war types, who was essentially accused of treason, arrested, found guilty, and then his punishment was to be escorted under a banner of peace to the Confederate side of the border and left with the Confederate army (I sort of found that comical). This group was discredited apparently immediately after the election, but I think the interplay of the Election (political) and war (several battles were “won” at just the right time for Lincoln to get a pre-election “boost”) would make a suspenseful podcast. Would probably look at Petersburg as “the site” as I believe it was the lifting of the siege there that made the difference, although I want to coordinate with Makenize who may be doing a podcast on the battle of the Crater.

    e) The New York Draft Riots of 1863 — I’m Irish, and this has always fascinated me, but the impact of the draft on the immigrant population and the population at large seems to be worthy of additional consideration. Not only does it show resistance to the war, but it also, in the journal entries I read, talk about how “volunteering” wasn’t really “volunteering” because if you didn’t volunteer your services to the war, the community at large would look at you the wrong way, and the resentment among the people, particularly some of the Irish immigrants in New York who had just escaped the pressures of the British (who had just helped starve them to death between 1845-1855). Haven’t found alot of literature here, and also, not sure about a site.

    These are my musings at the moment. Some more reading this afternoon may help me to get a little more grounded, and hopefully meet Melissa’s assignment for the team.

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