tv The Civil War Petersburg the 1864 Hicksford Raid CSPAN November 26, 2021 1:19am-2:28am EST
i if you have teachers in your families and communities share the lesson plans and how they can use these. a we also always use volunteer transcribers right now we have so v many good volunteers we can literally barely keep up with them they are going to the document so fast. if you are interested in a project like this byo the way. everything goes through tuesday independent review and is verified. don't worry it still being done. think everybody. i enjoyednj it.
>> it is my distinct honor to introduce this morning's first speaker doctor peter carmichael of the director from the gettysburg college and with a phd in history from penn state university studying under gary w gallagher. professor carmichael went on to teach at western carolina university, the university of north carolina at greensboro. and then also cultural history author and editor the most recent work the more for the common soldier published by north carolina press as o part of the littlefield history of the civil war era series. it was piece war and reunion in these young part of the
wrist from university of virginia press and in addition to publish a number of particles speaks frequently to the general and scholarly audiences in addition every june professor carmichael has the summer conference which has hundreds of attendees across the country and i have attended in 2018 and 2019 and they were wonderfulwo events. so make a plan doctor carmichael is a friend of public history of the national park service as well as the benefit park and then inspiring him to create gettysburg college is an internship program placing more than the national park site each summer to be public
historians. please welcome doctor peter carmichael. [applause] spirit, i have to say i am a little alarmed we only get to breaks today. my academic union does not allow for that. i get three or four. [laughter] it's great to bes back here at pamplin park it is a special place. said to be a little self-indulgent. something that you know veryme well. and the first director i remember back in the day when he was ahead of the association for the preservation of civil war sites they had just finished the visitor center and shortly thereafter to step over and what he accomplishes nothing
short of remarkable. that that has a range of stories from the antebellum two reconstruction and the story of slaves. the middle end by saying this. and then to be achieved with the public history and that scholarly output. so if you don't know well you are not familiar with what he has done and then take caption d to chat and you will not find another civil war scholar whose achieve the level he has an all of those important areas. he's not the perfect man.
and that is a fashion atrocity. it is a nice way of a wonderful scholar and never saw them where the same but the second problem and it is worth repeating working for the park services. and of those battlefield relics did you play second base? and i was first base and would always skip off the ground. that was low pitch of course.
i will not do a show of hands but i'm quite certain there's nobody in this audience who's ever seen a person strike out and who is that person there was anir umpire there. and the judgment was somewhat questionable and not happen to be my mother. [laughter] of course i was horrified so as a kid you will be humiliated and embarrassed on a regular basis than you think those days are over such bring charlotte carmichael in so
let's turn our attention to the courthouse and you have a picture of infant to be the 19th century and is about 30 miles as the crow flies south of st. petersburg and in 1864 when the sunset on this building and the homes around sussex they were in ruins because earlier that day warren soldiers had discovered not only captured but mutilated and killed by a civilians so at least 15 homes and the courthouse and before they did that and then
that is certainly significant number of enslaved men and women to join with the hopes of freedom. and those of sexual violence andvi rape. and to have more detail about this but to destroy it. so i will forget so i have been thinking about this. and then expedition in these are the consequences are the end of the expedition. and why those in the violence and with the war that we know in virginia. and with those euphemisms so talk about what that is intended to do it intended to
starve men who are fighting aroundnd petersburg. and then we get into those details. and with that retaliation i felt they knew a a fair amount about petersburg but it is called the applejack grade maybe you have heard that. and those different names so i was looking also at a diary and is at his by and i look at the footnote and that's what i saw the citations i cannot believe it.
that is a very best account of the sussex raid. so the last thing i will say i assume this is volume three. on the petersburg campaign. and the third installment you get a detailed analysis but not that detail. >> so i'm interested i will check this house and i drove down to sussex county i got an appointment at the courthouse. and try to identify the homes that were destroyed and then came up with 15 homes as i left the building and noticed the county seal was framed. and it was from a man named joseph murray on —- murphy and
when he returned the county seal written in 19 oh one. and then to moves the handle of the press and then when acted upon thatt impulse. take a picture of that. and all those who fought at sussex and there is an old general so you hardly see these days. and the letters were thorton. >> maybe i will run into somebody. and then and then to go to the
thorton store. i'm trying toty be discreet but then i make my way around the store i see some people at the front chatting i will be very deliberate. there is a cat. i will pet the cat. it hisses that me and takes a swing. [laughter] now i have announced myself i am truly a a foreigner in a tell them when ith am interested in. the guy says to me probably in his sixties. nothing happens down here. if you want to know about the civil war in this area, you need to go north and go up to the national parks. i hate to say it he did not say to come to pamplin park but he should have but absolutely nothing happened
here and whatin was so bizarre about his statement in one of the few surviving buildings of the war was an old post office but inside are all kinds of graffiti left from union soldiers and it is right there but in his mind the civil war did not happen in sussex. so i walked out. and the young african-american woman. she's heard anything about the civil war history and said maybe my grandfather might know but i have heard nothing about this. 's i'm ready to get my car and take off. and said are you a lawyer? i didn't say historian i said academic historian. i did not say that. but i am trying to find and
said i know of the wartime house and i should note to be super sweet and nice and overseas voter registration and sussex and get in the car and take off. we go all over the place. so now we get off the gravel road to a dirt road we stop and get out and bill says to me. we have a quarter of a mile walk back into the woods. this is not how i imagined my life ending. and then showed me this but this is never the building was in 1864 but it was moved by
people who had good intentions to restore the house but it never happened. so i thought i am trying to feel the past but not having any luck.ef so i said my grandmother took me all s over the place. so i told him what happened and in sussex and he said to me, listen. if i heard that when i i was growing up i would have been saying damn yankee this or that but i did not hear it. so this mystified me and one might say you just had bad luck that day you just ran into three people who didn't know about county history. but they are not the product of over time but they lose touch with the past what i
suggest today silences are constructed with the purpose behind it and that is what much of this talk will be about. it's about the unpacking of the silences that began with soon as the expedition itself. so i go to the official records. with the murdering and the desiccation of their bodies, are going to be completely
was those stragglers which i willhi talk about and think about civil war history visually but we went to see beginning with monuments and earthworks or ruins so it is a place that at least to me is disconnected from the past. and the physical and material way. but when i ended my day to the vegan cost nine not away river in the moon was just over the tree line eliminating this area and i knew of account from a union soldier that but
then approach the regiment and informed him that his owner is responsible for the murder of some of their sailors. and then celeste go find your own or so the they are happy to oblige and they found the owner hiding in took him to and strong river him up. so those of the 20th century and then horrible crimes. and then isolated a country women one moreve incident to pack on —- to add to that. but then they also knew that his home was being burned and destroyed. so now get back to the
operations this map will serve our purposes because of the contours of the outline of the campaign itself and i should also note that in that which one is put together and then you all know that the three of them had a difficult history and then continued their with those superiors but then gave that very important assignment and when this began december 7th to mention that the straggling started immediately and the army of the potomac at this time composed of allied of treats a lot of these men are disciplined and is not there so that : is unraveling there were difficulties with that first
march the first day of the march there is a mixture of sleet and rain so it is rough conditions. and then to get applejack. the applejack and is extraordinarily strong. 30 percent alcohol or 60 percent proof. you don't like a cigarette around this.ga [laughter] and then when they did one soldier said they lost the power of locomotion. we had to leave them of course and this was a frightening part we had to leave them this
was the last we have seen of them alive. on december the eighth making its way to the sussex courthouse and as you can see from the map there are many challenges one is the nodaway river that by december 8th and then to worry about with those confederates but then and then to be more energetic or aggressive i'm not in a position to take that call that william mahon made this abundantly clear anything that happened south of petersburg continued until the fall maybe it was all william mahon but we can talk to him about that.
>> as they continue to make their way to the south. and what i was struck by is the soldiers describedrs this. and many did not talk about the destruction of civilian property and certainly not rape. it is the process and then almost around-the-clock and they were incredibly effective and then about 17 miles to get the job done. get to the next day of the evening of december 10 that is when they destroyed most of the track and then warren is getting understandably so and isat getting anxious because now the confederates from the west headed to the east are putting some pressure and facing off
that has a nice screen for the infantry almost getting to the north carolina border. they are shaking their head yes. they get close to the river there is a feeble assault made on those fortifications these are not seasoned troops i am not sure how that figured into his thinking he was mostly concerned about his extended positions out the petersburg and he decided to turn around to make its way back to petersburg it can never be proven that the people probably thought that is a last resort off the union soldiers may be headed down to
north carolina and that idea they would turn around and come back but that is exactly what they did. as they return back to sussex and up to petersburg, word spread through the ranks that some stragglers and union soldiers had been murdered. and then andve then immediately sought revenge. i not to repeat this more than once but maybe i should because it's important so the vast majority did not see them mutilated but it is a lot of rumor of the substantial and concrete evidence that the crime did occur. and there are some people in the audience who believe that
these accounts by the union soldiers are not credible some people believe that clearly i am not one of those. so now turning our attention to the reporting of this event which i think is crucial so that last map will help you to visualize back to petersburg. so the unpacking of this account a lot of my attention with the official report as well as the reports of many subordinates as i said before do not make mention or to minimize the war crimes against the stragglers but there is very good private and personal letters to it
happened around the courthouse. first it comes from general robert mcallister. who was commander of the second court. and wrote on december 10 i was informed the bodies of six or seven of our murdered soldiers are not far from the spot it was a sad sight from the appearances they had been stripped of all of their wclothing and then they were shot the chivalry of the south. through the march through sussex there is another account they look across the field off into the distance they see a straggler and he
was shot in the head by a few confederates and they said it was right there. that was mcallister's first account. and in writing to assist her. and then they joke their neck into the ground and then on their way back. that most of the men who wrote about this from those stronger accounts. that then the officers could not stop them from burning thosell homes all around sussex courthouse and the perpetrators of the murderers are hiding out they are seeing all of this. there's not much they can do about it. mcallister mentions an
interesting point that one of the women protested to him that she of course was not guilty of embedding or assisting the gorillas and her husband had died during the war and she was an innocent and pleaded w with him not to destroy their house or any of the outbuildings she's having this conversation and mcallister said they were putting a torch to the outbuilding basically that exploded because there was ammunition and guns inside of it so the point being that the union soldiers at this stage are more than suspicious southern civilians and telling them the truth of where their loyaltiesre resided so you can only imagine that these men in the word the perpetrators see their wives and children pushed out to the middle of the cold it is very clear to me some women were raped or
acts of sexual violence for all of us here to study the civil war some stories are so hard for us to recover because it wasus not just very revealed on —- very revealing none other than joshua chamberlain from the adams county chamber of commerce it is obligatory i have to mention that every talk. and it helps them to win the battle at gettysburg. is not chamberlain's fault some people are obsessed with inability did for the union cause we should care less of people exalt him and the exaggerated way but at the end
of the day this man was at st. petersburg ind believe the bullet went through his hips. and then for any mere mortal that would have been enough i'm staying at home but he came back to the army and then just rejoins shortly before the raid his brother tom and listen closely. listen to these words carefully i'm sorry i did not make it part of the powerpoint. our member almost every house on the road we are very much exasperated in one day bringing up the rear to protect women and children from outrage.
we invariably gave them protection everyone would give as long as she is a woman. okay those are some words. i hope we have an opportunity to discuss. with a rape or sexual crime and not sure what you mean but we are all puzzled by what constituted in his mind. i suspect that runaway slaves they probably did not but that is mere speculation. sorry i am so inefficient with this sexual violence and rape is so powerful and on december
10 of the 99 pennsylvania perpetrating one of those outrage with the two defenseless women so they were compelled to submit to their famous proposals or have their house is burned down but then to turn out into the bleak december night if this d was the work of privates to suffer death i just need to know if there's any court cases are absolutely nothing. no charges were pressed against any other union officer.
so now let's turn to the official record it begins by looking at the accounts occurred in real time and what do i mean by real-time that means dispatches think of itub as color commentating in the sports game so when we think about these dispatches there is a certain form or formula and these dispatches if you ever have looked don't allow for a lot of details. it is basically who lose where? but that is the basis from which the other official reports are based upon. 's on the union side there is not a single officer who mentioned the active gorillas that men were drugged or that also there is a lot of plundering going on as well.
so he makes his first report this is real-time action. i don't know all the details i this can bend explained to us at some point but we are furious with warren and i don't understand why. but i suspect they had lost contact with him and understandably they were nervous 22000 men cut off the base of supply headed down to annorth carolina and they went to hear from him in suspected that was the source of their frustration. but this is what the trifling opposition working night and day has been fatiguing and the weather comfortable but the men however stood in good spirits and here's the most shocking line they demand the best i have ever seen.
what? i cannot possibly be true but that is the first report from warren to meet. that is a congratulatory order. issue december 13, the very day the raid ended and in this report he mentions nothing about the murderous acts of confederate drills. in the breakdown and discipline and instruction of civilian property. that's a fact that he is brilliantd success and the demand had some unremarkable owwith more fortitude to overcome the great adversities that they face. i am so sorry about this. there is a chamberlain quote i was searching for.
so to focus on warren this is an excellent biography by david jordan but i have to say the publisher of the book i have an infinity for i am from indiana i would like to be in the room with the marketing department when they decided and happiness isop not my companion is like a people veryap excited but if i want to stress to you before warren is an easy and then it's kind of coming to a head at the final act and then it is aware of his superiors are not happy with him and then his first
report it is what you and i would consider to have key facts of the breakdown of the command and then to explain himself. so did warren subordinates take their cue to write their reports from the commanding general? i cannot say that i can tell you this and it is striking to me that the reports of the subordinates under warren follow the talking points of their commanding general. there is absolute silence when it came to the acts of the guerrilla soldiers and offer
silences when it came to the big town of discipline. thirty-five reports related and published ultimately in the official records and of those 35 reports only three people, three people, warren included the chief surgeon in the third officer for just three to mention the acts mentioned the breakdown of discipline in the civilian property three of 35. the third one is the chief of artillery. so some of you might say this sais pretty obvious.
and read about how they will judge him and read about the morale. and of course they will spend what happened. and i would agree that only to a point there is something more significant at work here we live in a horribly cynical town in which we have come to question whether we can get truth the real story from any news outlet on the right or the left. it is that belief we have today that abuse are thinking of the past and keeps us from appreciating and understanding the choices and some were soldiers and officers made. i went to stress to all of you that the very first historians
are the men themselves. when they put pen to paper and created their narratives, the writers and they tried to bring some coherence and meaning and purpose toe what they had gone through, but they simply say it's just been in it is a reflection of self-interest at work that we should try to understand the past. >> one of the main takeaways why spend any time there? that's not of any great significance that now people, the applejack raid. so why bother?
participants themselves. there are many truths with any historical event. i go to gettysburg all the time and people want to the narrative, there's not a single story or narrative, there are many narratives and they need to be held side-by-side. i think it's understandable, he was certainly aware of his replication, not just the army outside the army, i was surprised to find, i went to the library and of any and there are scrapbooks and they are fascinating. i'd love to put them together. there was enough time to do scrapbooking, there's a problem, right? is a problem there. even if a staff officer did it for him. he had all of these articles cut out and what is so interesting to me, the reporters who worked
there, they were getting this information probably from other officers, obviously didn't show the correspondent, they certainly the artist didn't draw all of the county and flames, they didn't do that. instead, what did they depict visually for the audiences back home? the destruction of the tracks and burning of stony creek depot. the drama and excitement, that's a peoplesoft, their sense of the truth. he cultivated relationships, all of these officers did. whatever you want to call it, after the war they had an interesting correspondent because he tried to pay, he had to pay for the expenses, he tried to get him to come testify
and it was clear they worked closely together during the war yes, he put forth a view of what happened and it does make sense for his own reputation and standing in the army but let's turn to the confederate side. we have time. i was certain i would find confederate papers headlined about the women at the courthouse who were sexually attacked, even rape, i found absolutely nothing. couldn't find her. what most of the account did, they trivialized her expedition and made it appear the yankees were nothing but a bunch of men who came down and stole chickens and braided farms in bricktown a few barns here and there but the
viciousness of the retaliation is not in the official, i caught the official, the newspapers, not in the confederate papers at all so i'm going to halt this out, we had a wonderful conversation about this. we're going to talk it here as well. i've got my theory, why were the outrages against the sussex women? why did they not make the papers? i'll give you a clue here. it's about william johnson, he had nothing to do with it when johnson was clearly a soldier, was charged with sexual violence, not rape but sexual violence, maybe it was rape. june of 64, i believe in new king county, he writes about in his diary, the trial transcript
did not survive. can't find it anywhere, i looked all over the place but this execution was done in a public way. he wanted to make certain the confederate saw what was going on. they want the confederate to know any man who committed rape, particularly if it is a black man that justice would prevail so this was not far from where the business center is today, that's where they stood up and with the confederate, they assumed was probably a confederate spy and that's why they were doing it. finally they got word the confederates would know it's a soldier tried and convicted for rape. patrick was bent on publicizing this, i think he had three
photographers, he certainly had at least two. from these photographs, there is a woodcut in the new york times and it's almost an entire page with a brief discussion or description describing what johnson had done and execution. many confederate papers that i find report of johnson's execution? remember, the public knew about it, he got the new york times, i found it to confederate papers and they are three lines each. no picture of course. shocked. they had a field day. is this not what jefferson davis one southerners about women will be portable to rape? by three african-americans? is this not what he predicted? they didn't use it. i'm not going to give it to you to discuss that.
what else does this tell us and remind us of? what we all do as historians, we make calls, judgments because judgments about what is fact, what facts should be included or excluded, we should remind ourselves facts are changing all the time, the applejack rate, this expedition of incredible violence that unraveled to this is just a lot of fun and we got drunk. that is remarkable. we need to remind ourselves the facts we recover. i'll go back to gettysburg. why is it when we think about the summer of 1863 in pennsylvania, we think of them as a band of brothers.
when it came to the temptation of taking against pennsylvania civilians, they resisted. why do we perfect over other facts? the army in northern virginia wasn't army, we know a few hundred if not more african-americans, they were sent back to the slave market in virginia. why when we got to gettysburg and look more, the man who shot at each other, they came to that spring and died not as enemies but american brothers. why does that prevail over matter? july 3 after they made a suicidal frontal attack having to leave their wounded in the middle of the field crying out through the the afternoon and when finally comrades went out to try to carry them off the
field, what are the confederate duplex understandably so, they gunned down, shot down the men just trying to provide medical relief. why is it when we are at charge from you want to talk about his military career stressing he was out front which i want to add he was not, saying it was all my fault? we talk about that right in front of the virginia monument, it's a last stage and it's still there and why is it we don't select the facts of alexander haze, union general riding up and down the union mind for the confederate banner and here's the moment of redemption? why is it that backpack is not told? i think it has even more irrelevant to how we think about the world in which we live. i hear too often people don't care about the past, i hear too often judgments in which people
almost revel in their ignorance about history. i get that, i'm not denying to some degree that's true but i want to stress to you the size not heard in sussex county from the three individuals kind enough to have a conversation, i want to stress to you they are not the lost cause. that's not nostalgia, it's not just overtime, they are intentional. people make choices, we need to be more aware of the choices we make when we render a judgment, people don't care about their past. when i think about sussex county and these three people and i think about a place that seems to be disconnected from the history, but wait a minute, maybe this is fact i should choose and i want to read this to you. largest employer today in sussex
county is the virginia department of corrections followed by the chinese owned smithville farms. there is no small farming in sussex county anymore no peanut growers anymore 16%. 16% of the population is below the poverty line. elitism, you need to know your history. they need a decent job, that's what they need. 60% of the population is african-american in the population for the first time in a long time through the 90s, because of the present. that's why the population is declining. sussex county is in the global capitalism and when it's in that context, it makes sense why
history is erased from the landscape. no fluence, no monuments, nothing. to make that judgment, it seems to me to be hopelessly naïve and that's being kind. i would like to leave you with this quote from the novelist, the struggle a man gets power is a struggle of memory against forgetting. thank you very much. [applause] >> we have time for not just questions but i think there are two questions i had for you all. the first one is, why did the confederate press as well as confederate official correspondence and reports, why did it not play upon the sexual
violence committed against southern women? i think the other question to consider in a thoughtful and restrained way is what demented in retaliation, wasn't a just act? there are two questions floating out there, you might have some other questions as well and we will just go back and forth here. i think we need to have a mic because i know our friends on c-span cannot hear us without a microphone. >> if you want to jump in, i would love for you to but remember they can't hear you. >> this is just my opinion, i think the reason the southern press didn't report the rapes was because if they had, they would have had to run up the truth of what brought the rate on and that was a subject they did not want to get into.
what the union forces did in retaliation is just as wrong as what the gorillas did and no one wanted to speak about that. that is just my opinion. >> i am so glad you got a scrub opinion because when you said that, it reminded me i have that observation. i think you're spot on. one of many reasons but i think you are right, sexual violence but also reviewing what the confederate guerrillas did in that area. some other things we can think about. >> you mentioned to contemporary accounts and you showed the letters referencing sexual violence, were there any others or is that what you're basing -- >> sexual violence is the only one i've seen. i saw one yesterday or excuse me, a few weeks ago at the great source, private voices, a collection of letters from confederate union soldiers, semi
literate or illiterate and a union soldier on the expedition, he just says we burned all the houses. that's all he said. a lot of the references and description of the property is brief in terms of sexual violence, have to think about this, with any society, is what is acceptable to write it's not just people covering themselves and hiding their shame so to a degree, i guess that is true but to talk about or write about sexual violence was so unspeakable, so beyond what people thought was decency, it's probably for cap a lot of union soldiers from writing in any detail about it. quickly, if you've not looked at that source, first of all, if
you google private voices, be careful you don't have any children in the room because you might get something you don't want on the internet. [laughter] but there is private voices, it is remarkable. the best thing, it is all transcribed which is nice and has a great search engine. at the university of georgia and there's a lot of historians out there, got to read it. steve barry, look at the stuff he's done, it is fantastic. his books are great. private voices is a wonderful contribution. >> is a possible it's covid by the confederate side? they've underscored the fact the confederate government was not in a position to protect citizens at that time? what they have conversed the
fact of undermining the fate of the confederate government? >> i think you're spot on. i will add to that, that's it. the acknowledgment or an admission is what we can do to protect our citizens and you can only imagine happening to our women? i think you've given the soldiers a compelling reason to desert and go back home so that's probably part of it. there is a third and i would love to take credit for it, one of steve barry's students was down there and he presented this paper and he said to me, i think he is probably right, maybe a reluctance to go public with this because it's unfortunately no it's the reality in the 19th century, this shame that would have followed the women of sussex county, they were victims of that.
we have to just acknowledge the sources are imperfect and we never ever know you should not keep us from doing what i think is reasonable speculation so i think it's excellent you said in your spot on. any other questions or comments? >> what it says to me is 120 days before, they didn't realize they were on the verge of winning the war, they were still going full on to win the war and they still thought they would be defeated. >> with the advantage of hindsight, obviously it is fear the and was approaching but desertion certainly is on the uptick, spring 65 in february and march where i think searched, on the one hand i think you are correct but on the other hand, we need to remind
ourselves the resiliency of these armies and even when petersburg and richmond vacated, i went to get the numbers wrong here but tell me if i am in the ballpark, i would say roughly probably 60000 men, yes? shaking his head yes. many of them these arctic during the retreat from these armies are still formidable force even and 65. the final thing i would say is that the armies were virtually indestructible and kind of one of the tragic ironies about the battles we spent so much time studying, i'm not suggesting they were not, they absolutely work but ultimately brought the confederacy to its knees was the reading strategy, i think this post your question, it's not the first grade against part of the infrastructure, it is in the
north that ultimately compels the south to given. these great battles as we've seen time and time again, the side blaze up and go to respective corners and come back out so hindsight, i get what you're trying to say but this strategy is crucial and why is it that we don't -- why is it that fact that's important? will have any national rates and like sussex we have the ruins, of course those things that remain as well so our historical consciousness we imagine in the past, i think is associated when i can think of to survive. what does survive the battles our understanding of why the confederacy ultimately capitulates. >> i'm going to look in to it, hicks third rate.
in the hicks third rate becomes part of the national consciences, lay out for me what the impact in how it's spun in modern civil war history. if it does become part of national civil war memory, are different groups in america today going to understand spin this? >> as we all know as historians, we feel comfortable looking into the past and predicting the future but i think it is smart and interesting, the most compelling part of the story that's not been told is a story that would require me to be an anthropologist and i am barely a historian on a good day now that i had to become an anthropologist, i would love to talk tomorrow the people that kind of run up against walls and i don't need to give you the
details, there is a vibrant historical society, i want to know about the african-american community and how that memory or story transmitted and i want to remind us all again, i think it's unfair we make demands upon people and i hear all the time, care about civil war history, how people of color here. there's a lot of complex reason behind that. you should remind yourself, too, sussex county, what kind of civil war history are people hidden from? how often are they hearing about the raid let alone the story of the free people it's a dramatic and powerful event so as we look to the future, i would like for us to be more replicated in how we see the way people engage
their past. we have to come to terms with the fact that sometimes the past just doesn't matter but that's not their fault but when it doesn't matter and we have to figure why and what we can possibly do have wondered about this, in france, two people see napoleon do they even blink an eye or care? i don't know but my hunch is i'll go out on a limb here, like a lot of confederate monuments until charleston, many were silenced, a lot of people, they disagree with me and i respect the opinions but historians now, particularly academic historians, they feel they have this moment to be relevant the consequence they are making assertions about the past advance a political agenda and i get where they are coming from, i think it comes from a good place but i still think not what
we should be doing what we need to do is confront the fact that sometimes we all care about people don't see it as relevant or think it matters we have to find a way, i'm not sure i gave you the best answer to your questions, i have no idea but my idea is just don't pay attention to the networks except for c-span. [laughter] watch c-span all the time but don't pay attention, i am serious. ask my life, i'm not a better person but may be a happier person that i ignore federal. we've got to seek complexity to have empathy. that's what we do great and we care about context. not by what we get from journalists the few exceptions,
ashley here in this room, we understand, we love context search answer, i would love for elevating that conversation, i'm not sure i will. i did an article. i love that place and they've got a connection, i love that place, it is sad to see because people in urban and suburban america have no idea what's going on and how these economies absolutely the bottom was falling out. any other questions or comments? >> such a pleasure, great to see her. continue this conversation this afternoon. during our two breaks.
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