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tv   The Civil War Cavalry at Gettysburg  CSPAN  November 23, 2021 6:03am-6:52am EST

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begins, you can find the full schedule on your program guide, c-span.org/history. >> sponsoring these talks today our first presenter is doctor bradley gottfried who earned his phd in zoology in 1976 and went on to have a successful career as a higher education professor and administrator. he retired in 2017 as president of the college of southern maryland and spends much of his time writing about the civil war as a gettysburg license town died and anti-uncertified guide. most recently he has released the book the mask of the -- "maps of the cavalry at gettysburg". is written 14 books on the civil war, many imap studies.
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three books will be released including one later this month entitled lincoln comes to gettysburg, the story of the gettysburg national cemetery dedication. he's married with four children and 6 grandchildren. today he's speaking about the role of the cavalry in the gettysburg campaign. >> thanks for coming. this could take me 3 hours to go through it. i'm going to go very quickly because most people when you think about gettysburg you think of the battle of gettysburg, not the campaign. we will talk about the entire campaign not the infantry. i love the infantry but this is
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the role of cavalry. i mention a number of books on the civil war, these are the map studies and i'm constantly criticized about this one. there is not a lot of cavalry. couldn't fit. came out with this one that specializes, what i'm going to do today, i only have 45 minutes. i will go fast, talk about the multiple roles the cavalry played during the campaign of gettysburg and you will appreciate these guys more than you currently do. these guys are constantly in the saddle. the guys are constantly in motion doing a variety of activities. let's jump into it. you know these two gentlemen.
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two major generals, the army of the potomac cavalry, jeb stuart, his counterpart have been in command of their army's cavalry for over a year, they are experienced. they know potentially how to run a cavalry. the organization is very different. you see on the union side it is much more sophisticated. you have divisions. sometimes 3, sometimes 2 and back to 3. iron brigades, 16,000 guys troopers, jeb stuart only has a division and later on they will subdivide, several divisions and during this campaign six
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brigades, 13,000. lots of issues on both sides, horses, horses are always a problem. there is never enough of them. oftentimes they are worn out from overuse. how do confederates supply their horses? if your horse was killed in battle you are walking in the union side provided to you. we talk about four phases, we are going to go fast. what is general joseph hooker, commander of the army of the potomac, needs to know whaley is. he needs more information.
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is going to provide that information? the cavalry. will see very quickly the battle of brandy station and the fight for the blue ridge mountain gaps. fascinating a lot of people don't know about but very interesting. after the middle part of the month it becomes getting to the battlefield, screening the armies. a raid, the third phase is the battle of gettysburg, five different actions here. what about those five? you will only come up with four. and the retreat. the retreat is fascinating. how does lee get those wagons back to virginia and how does the union army try to prevent
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those wagons from getting to virginia? that is what we are going to talk about today. can you see that? i will use my pointer too. the armies after chancellorsphil on either side of the rappahannock river, the beginning of june of 1863 and pleasanton has been tasked by hooker to determine where lee is moving. they're worried about stuart. jeb stuart is right here, rembrandt, there is going to be a reconnaissance to find out where is stewart because they are afraid stuart will launch another raid will be embarrassing to the army of lincoln so let's see if we can't break up this potential raid and stuart is right here
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at culpepper courthouse. very interesting hooker will state to pleasanton this is what i want you to do and here's how you are going to do it. initially when it came to stuart, lee would never tell stuart what you are going to do. he's going to tell him exactly the strategy and tactics he's going to use. he didn't trust him. this is the prelude. what is happening, on june 9th, it is pincer action. you see three divisions, john buford, david greg, alfred tookton, they will cross at different forwards. beverly ford, kelly's forward. where is stewart supposedly? culpepper courthouse. he's closer to brandy station, stretched all over. there is not enough forage. he's spreading his troops
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around and they are going to march this way and going to entrap stuart between the two wings. that make sense? it is a surprise in the morning of the ninth when davis's brigade splash of the cross at beverly ford, and finds out he is up against part of the sixth virginia to push him back. look at this. look at 15 cannons in between a picket line and the rest of jones's brigade. that is not where you put artillery. anyway, the equal weighting is going to be around st. james church and the counterattack as jones is going to stabilize his
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line, and the second front is going to open up. john buford is involved in all this early action. a second front, on two fronts but here's the interesting story and here is the missed opportunity, those that are up, here comes kelly's forward and the other two cavalry divisions. to tell david greg get your division up to brandy station, where is it going to be on stewart's flank and rear, it doesn't work out that way.
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stuart is going to respond quickly. jones is not well respected by stuart, a personality issue, here he is, he's going to pull his flute out of line. they will go to fleetwood hill, more and more confederate troops, wade hampton is bringing his brigade, what would have been a wonderful opportunity lost opportunity as david greg's men are defeated on fleetwood hill. what might have been a good opportunity maybe not to destroy stuart but to hamper him in the future campaign. that is a photograph of the hill, artist representation. it is clear they are not moving
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stuart, and he gets permission to retreat. across the river here. what am i doing? it was a lost opportunity. it did nothing but to tarnish stuart's -- to consolidate his men and push back the union attackers but got a lot of grief from newspapers for being an prepared. that is happening here. where is lee going to be used in, leaves the area around fredericksburg.
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it is the blue ridge mountains. increasing reports on the part of hooker's buys and scouts but pleasanton needs to go out and get more information to hooker as to where lee is. the best way to do it is by going through these gaps. you see the gap at sticker's bill. i'm not doing that. that is on its own, the gap is right here. what is going to happen is for the next several days there will be constant combat has
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pleasanton is going to get to these gaps to see where is lee's army and stuart is trying to block them from getting past him so it is going to be a very interesting situation. you can see what ocher says, without knowledge of the rebel army, what we are going to see, you are not going to lose a lot of guys but it is intense. it is pretty gruesome in terms of splitting open heads but that is what is happening. to keep pleasanton to look into the shenandoah valley. the first -- has anyone ever been to these battlefields.
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they are well preserved. it is one brigade of rebels and one brigade of yanks against kilpatrick and a stalemate but a stalemate means what? stewart won. he has not allowed to the yanks to get through that. on the nineteenth is another fight, and again, you are going to see some intense fighting, this is between greg, erwin greg and kilpatrick, david greg's division against stewart's men. what is interesting is so many of these actions, there is no coordination. you have buford over here to the north into the south you
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have greg. the entire campaign pleasanton has trouble coordinating his various divisions. hooker is so intent on finding where lee is that he's going to send the fifth core to gum springs to provide infantry support and they will get involved but not only are they providing infantry support but look what lee is doing. he takes longstreet's entire first core and stops the marching north. this is too important and will put the minute the gaps so if these yanks get through stuart they will not see what is going on. upperville is the last one, the most intense, the most complex
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that ultimately is going to lead to a lot of frustration on the part of pleasanton but this is interesting because you have infantry involved in the fight. there was infantry also at the station flight and in both cases pleasanton misuse the infantry, did not use to his full advantage so that is what is happening at this point. upper jenkins. how many of you know about albert jenkins? outside chambersberg. he liked to visit chambersberg. he has two raids. albert jenkins, nobody wants to claim robert jenkins, they are considered mountain infantry
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with long rifles and they are not very really. they are undisciplined. he's going to first have a raid on the fifteenth. he's going to ride all day to chambersberg. around midnight, thundering into chambersberg with 2000 rebels riding in and they are going to stay there collecting supplies until the seventeenth when they decide they will go south again. there is not a lot of time to rest because on the nineteenth a couple days later, he's going to be ordered to move north again but this time it is not a raid, he is screening the march. he's going to go slower but it is much more, much more
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extensive a march through carlisle, through mechanicsberg to the outskirts of harrisburg where there will be a fight between militia, union militia coming from -- their pennsylvanians, new yorkers, you will see some confederates from his brigade engaging -- it is a fight as close to harrisburg as lee is going to be getting and they will start pulling back. we have to talk about stuart and the raid. some people love stuart. i have some people in the audience that love stuart and others who are not so happy with him. i didn't want them to sit side-by-side.
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stuart likes the show. he understands if he can have a raid especially to go around the union flank, it is embarrassing. it is embarrassing to the north and in all the newspapers, will pick up supplies, it does make sense. the problem is the root he takes. lee gives permission on june 20 second. when is the battle of gettysburg? july 1st, not that far from it and he says listen. you've got two roots, you pick the root, you can do a northern route this way through sharpsberg into frederick or southern route where you will go around the union army but whatever you do i want you to stay close, where is it going to be? of your down here? if it is up here to the north
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which route does stuart take? the southern route, the more difficult one. he's going to be marching south. this is simply a quote from another from gettysburg magazine who blames lee for not being more explicit with stuart and telling him exactly what you need to do and when i went -- want you back in the army. gave him too much rank here. also how many brigades does he have? five at this point. you think he would leave wade hampton behind? he's going to leave the two brigades that are least effective and the commanders who he does not like, takes the ones he likes with him and
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leaves jones and beverly robertson behind. they are supposed to be helping lee. lee doesn't use them. they are very ineffective. it is like they aren't there. the raid will occur on june 20 fifth. the problem is they are going to move and it will block his path, didn't expect that. he will do a detour. it didn't expect to do this detour. it is interesting. he needs to get back to lee but what is he doing? spending a lot of time ripping up tracks and burning bridges and burning down railroad depots. he needs to be moving fast. he hears just south of edward's very, very deep, very treacherous and is going to use it because it is not defendant. by the time he gets across it
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is a difficult on the horses he has to send hours losing more time. i would do this. if i see these wagons guess what i'm going to do. i'm grabbing those wagons. he's going to run rockville, attack this wagon train over here but captured by 400 soldiers. he doesn't want to drag them along. it will take hours. he will continue north and look at this. he breaks his units up. they will destroy railroads rather than moving north. he continues north to westminster. what about corbett's charge where two companies, 95 guys under captain corbett from the first delaware attack.
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talk about suicide. it was suicide. 2 thirds of the my killed and wounded including captain corbett but it will stop them in their tracks, it will delay them, they can't afford to be delayed. as this is happening, pleasanton wants to expand his army. he's gone -- he has two divisions but he wants this guy. he wants, this is not a soldier, he rides around in a wagon. he should not be commanding troops in battle. finally he gets the go-ahead to incorporate this division and is back to three divisions and
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who does he elevate? not a friend of mine. joe patrick who i consider very rash. he will promote three of his captains to generals who do very well later on. each of these is going to have a mission. buford is going on the west. they are looking for stuart, screening the army and moving but they are separated. you can see that here comes buford on the base of south mountain. greg is moving toward manchester and westminster and kilpatrick is right in the middle. it is kilpatrick who is past finding stuart. here is stuart. riding into hanover.
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it is june 30th. you see the yankee rearguard moving through hanover and you know you have to find lee. what do you do? let him go or attack? kilpatrick is with custer, further north. he will return with more and more of his division. nightfall is going to put a end to fighting, stuart will waste a whole day fighting the battle with no significance. the problem with kilpatrick is when stuart leaves, he doesn't. he let stuart get away. kilpatrick will arrest his men. what do you think of patrick says in the morning? he's looking all over for him.
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july 1st know what happens. from emmitsburg to gettysburg on june 30th, the fighting the start there. greg, hanover, kilpatrick is looking for stuart and stuart has reached carlisle on july 2nd. on the second, here comes greg, hanover, gettysburg, learns where lee is to recombine with lee and like we saw a little bit but the reverse, as kilpatrick is coming south toward gettysburg, he will run into that.
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how many of you have seen the battlefield, you really want to. he will run into the rearguard of wade hampton's brigade and there will be a nice little fight. that will occur on the second. figure out what the five were. forget about that. here are the four. buford on july 1st, we all know that but let's go through it. this needs no introduction. the epic fight, seminary ridge, d laying the media as much as
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he can. on the second, along hanover road into gettysburg. this does not get enough away. what happened on july 2nd? edward johnson, remember george stewart's confederate brigade. the second virginia part of the stonewall brigade, they were supposed to be involved in the attack but because they are fighting greg's men, it stops the stonewall brigade, a big
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impact most don't realize. july 3rd lots of papers on it and some maps and stuart proper engaging in that division. we have judson kilpatrick, and the reserved brigade, they will be fighting to the south and kill patrick as we think lee is going to attack the flank so we have to attack him. to my way of thinking, it is a way to seek glory. we know the story about farnsworth attacking, you don't attack rebels on the stonewall
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supported by artillery. the bottom line, farnsworth is going to be killed. this brigade will be repulsed. i used to live in fairfield. you can see everything there but there is a report that there are wagons, rebel wagons so before being a captain, the sixth us cavalry from fairfield, looking for those wagons, they don't find the wagons, they find a full brigade, this unit will we almost destroyed.
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people are attacking me. during the antietam campaign they were right next, 2 or 3 miles away. they have a long passageway to get to the river and what is worrying lee, wagons filled with goods filled with wounded, in williamsport because there's a bridge, a pontoon bridge, these are gigantic we longer wagon trains 15 or 20 miles long. doesn't matter how much cavalry
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you have. when you have a line of wagons that long, lightning attack. who is most active? kilpatrick will get a lot of glory. how many of you have been to monterey bay? when you read about it you have kilpatrick riding up the mountain on this narrow path, he lost his footing and right over the side of the mountain. he is going to capture those wagons. there is a group of marylanders in the pitch dark, who are going to be successful. they will capture hundreds of
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wagons, capture the men etc. the goods, he is going to continue. most, he has wagons with wounded. there aren't springs in these wagons. these are suffering and he feels the weight of getting them to safety so what he is going to do is he meets with lee on the evening of the third, on july 4th, has protection but a 17 mile train, doesn't matter how much protection you have there is a problem and there are several attacks. at cunningham he makes it to
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williamsport, no bridge, they for god to guard the bridge, the pontoon bridge is gone. imagine you are this guy and you have hundreds of wagons of wounded men. guess who is coming. he's not there to have a poker game. stuart is not hearing of kilpatrick, and riding constantly with two brigade and catches up with them. this is the first time, this is kilpatrick, three brigades, you see the high ground, what does kilpatrick do? there was no reason to engage.
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by this time the wagons have reached the potomac river. now it is protecting we's flank. hagerstown, in the streets, in a variety, with the cavalry. williamsport on july 6th. you don't have very many men and here comes buford with 2000 guys and you are going to give that to the wagon ears and the wounded and do what you can. you've got lots of guys, the
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division will come up but it was touch and go for a while. this is the only time buford and kill patrick worked in unison. all of these divisions were operating in tandem. verbal commands confederate infantry. you have infantry, cavalry on both sides. none of these are conclusive. it is holding back the union cavalry and the last flight before lee is able to cross, you know about the confusion. it was more we wounded etc..
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i know it was bad. you have a better sense they are in constant motion, with all of these activities screening the army movement morris. for stuart collecting supplies, rating and trying to find where is lee, the fighting in gettysburg is monumental. what i consider the most important thing, certainly very important what stewart's men did regarding those wagons, keeping the union cavalry away.
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we have better understanding. to you have any questions? >> don't know if you heard the story. i had an older brother and i followed him in his footsteps and was following, when i -- do you know who i'm writing it for? certainly for you well. how many have you seen it? there is a map on one side, but no idea what is happening. i would really understand that. i will not be a history guide.
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not so much, what am i going to do. a doctorate in rg, when i left philadelphia, put away my books and didn't open the box, and to philly, started opening up and came to gettysburg, there were no tour guides. how many of you remember during the centennial, there was a tour guide, you remember that? showing your age by the way.
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i called on a whim, to revise that, has never written a book before and give you an advance and one thing led to another. it didn't start off that way but i'm the kind of person who likes to read and write and research, i am a field biologist. no evil. okay. you understand. >> at the time stuart decided to go south, hooker was in charge, not like cavalry was on top, didn't have a lot of energetic people, the upgrades
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once we took over. did he ever imply because hooker was in charge, thought he would get around a bend over with hooker in charge compared to not knowing that need that had everybody moving every day >> never heard anything about that but one thing i can tell you, when need to became the commander of the army of the potomac it meant pleasanton's downfall. we didn't believe in that. wherever he had that, he was right next to him so they could communicate and that changed the style of pleasanton.
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kind of interesting. thank you for the question. hooker was a very aggressive commander. never really recuperated from it. as a core commander, yes? >> roundly criticized for having burdened the army with too many wagons, they are a burden to me now. did they need the same wagons to evacuate the wounded? >> being burdened by the wagon, one thing historians do is look at hindsight, stuart should
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have done this outside washington and you see 200 wagons, brand-new wagons, filled with all kinds of stuff, no, i would grab them. he didn't know they were going to become an albatross around his neck and they did. he could have cut them loose. how important those meals were but they did become a real burden. in retrospect he would say no. >> they are going to get rid of a few of the wagons. some of them are damaged. it wasn't just the stop. what happened is they run back
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to washington and ride after them. many of them get destroyed, those wagons were going to be destroyed but those wagons they captured they are going to bring everything with them that is in those wagons. what is going to happen is many of those wagons captured by kilpatrick and all the materials in them. into virginia with lots of them. >> stuart was surprised. how much do you buy the explanation or did stuart think he was going on a raid. >> did you hear the question? we will never really know but
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if you read the richmond newspaper they trashed him. he had never been other than the darling of the southern press and part of it was to get the reputation rehabilitated but also as i mentioned before it wasn't just one reason. there were a plethora of reasons he would say look at all the things i can do? was communicating information from lead to stuart and he thought stuart would take the northern route, he was surprised lead it not tell them to take the northern route because it would have been, the story of gettysburg would have been different. mi out of time? . thank you for coming. i apap
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>> how everybody. thank you so much for joining me today. mayanne are to be here with you. i'm with the -- and today we are talking about world war ii and u-boats off the mid-atlantic

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