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Explore the rich history of our past through the lens of our military institutions. From the settlement of North America to the present, this podcast encompasses traditional military history and goes the extra step to address the evolution of ideas and institutions. Join us!
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This is part two of a three episode arc on the Modoc War of 1872-73. With an increasing number of Euro-Americans settlers coming into the Klamath Basin astride the Oregon/California border after the end of the Civil War, tensions rose. Modoc's feared a loss of access to their homeland and it became an issue with both parties. It put increasing pres…
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We are moving into our season on the wars of the western frontier. We are starting on the Pacific coast with the Modoc War of 1872-73, California's only large post Civil War conflict with a native people. This episode sets up the events of the war. The Modoc homeland, in the far reaches of Northern California in the Klamath Basin, was under pressur…
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We are now moving beyond the Civil War and examining the armies role in the western United States. In the decades after the Civil War came to an end, the regular army was sent west. After 1865, with the completion of the transcontinental railroad and the Homestead Act, settlement of the west accelerated. Unfortunately, as the western states began t…
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The period from the end of the Civil War until 1877 was known as Reconstruction. As the name suggests, it was the country's attempt to reconstruct and, perhaps, transform the South. The hope was to not only stitch the country back together again, but provide the freedmen a step up, to integrate the formerly enslaved population back into society. Te…
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We have reached the penultimate episode of our series on the Civil War. We briefly touch on the surrender of the Confederate field armies but devote most of our time to looking at issues related to the winners and loosers of the war. It is fair to say that Lincoln won the war, but lost the peace. We don't explore all of the issues that led to the d…
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In this episode, we concentrate on the siege at Petersburg, VA. With Grant unable to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia in the 1864 campaign season, instead he maneuvered Lee's Army into Petersburg for an extended siege. While Lee's army was able to fight another day, as Grant extended the siege lines around Petersburg, Lee's forces were stretch…
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In our last full episode devoted to the western theater, we know turn our attention to Sherman's next act, his march through the Carolina's. When he completed his march across Georgia, the thought was to reunite with Grant. Instead, Sherman wanted to march through the heart of the Carolina's to the border of Virginia. Imperiling Lee's supply line. …
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Once Atlanta was secured, Sherman considered next steps. Sherman mulled over an idea - marching through Georgia. After deliberations with the Lincoln Administration and General Grant, Sherman convinced them to back his plan. He wanted retribution and to demonstrate what the Union could do. In a severe blow to Confederate morale, Sherman wrecked the…
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In this episode we journey east. In the aftermath of the disaster at Cold Harbor, Grant turned his eyes toward Petersburg, the critical supply hub for the rebel capital at Richmond. While giving Lee the slip, Grant's tired troops bungled the capture of Petersburg. A siege ensued. In the meantime, in an effort to siphon troops from the siege line, J…
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In our last episode we covered Sherman's march to Atlanta. In this episode we cover the siege and fall of Atlanta. Dissatisfied with General Johnston's penchant for retreat, Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaced him with John B. Hood. Hood was the polar opposite of Johnston - aggressive to the point of recklessness. Upon taking command, Ho…
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In this episode we head west and focus on General Sherman's march on Atlanta, Georgia. After the victory at Chattanooga, moving into the Confederate heartland and neutralizing Atlanta seemed a prudent next step. Over the summer of 1864, General Sherman and his opponent, General Johnston maneuvered, retreated, skrimished, and occasionally fought fro…
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In this episode we continue our coverage of Grant's overland campaign. After the wilderness and Spotsylvania Grant continued to move south with Lee moving in concert with him. After being stopped at North Anna, Grant continued south and wandered into the battlefields of McClellan's campaign in 1862. Grant and Lee met again at a place called Cold Ha…
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Grant's overland campaign began in 1864 as he moved south to engage Lee's forces. Grant was determined to destroy Lee's Army. While outnumbered, Lee adroitly moved south in concert with Grant, engaging the Army of the Potomac, first, at a place known as the wilderness, a tangle of undergrowth that was fought over the year before where it was known …
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As we mentioned in our last episode, we are ready to start 1864, the last full year of the Civil War. We will focus on Ulysses S. Grant's assumption of command of all armies that the Union could field. After years of searching, President Lincoln finally found a general he could work with. Grant, unlike his presecessors, was not only ready to commit…
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A short episode that will focus on what is next now that we are ready to start focusing on the last full year of the Civil War - 1864. Have a question, comment, or compliment? Contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Thanks for listening!…
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In this episode we finish telling the story of the naval contributions to the Civil War. The story concentrates on the campaigns to close the final Confederate ports open to blockade runners - Charleston, South Carolina, Mobile, Alabama, and Wilmington, North Carolina. The naval forces of both sides made important contributions to their respective …
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One of the more compelling stories of the Civil War was the journey to freedom that many freedmen took. Beginning in 1862, and accelerating in 1863, many men of color took up arms to help defeat the insitution that had enslaved them. They made important contributions to the war effort, though faced many challenges - low pay, raical barriers, and th…
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In our last episode we spoke of Chickamauga. In this episiode, we speak to its sibling, the battle of Chattanooga. General Rosecrans may have captured Chattanooga, but was summarily trapped by Braxton Bragg. Not satisfied with Rosecran, he was relieved and replaced with General Grant. Grant improved the supply situation and planned to dislodge Brag…
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As Meade battled Lee at Gettysburg, Grant captured Vicksburg, and William Rosecrans was wrestling with Braxton Bragg in Tennessee. For the better part of the 1863 campaign season, Rosecrans was far too slow in making his moves. While Rosecrans was able to maneuver Bragg out of Chattanooga, Rosecrans split up his army, providing an opportunity for B…
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We have come to the last day of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. The third day was dominated by the event known as Pickett's Charge. General Lee was convinced that a final push at the center of General Meade's line would destroy the Army of the Potomac. Unfortunately, it was wishful thinking. Despite the bravery of the men moving forward, the assualt fail…
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In this episode we turn the page to the beginning of the second day of the battle of Gettysburg. As units of the Army of the Potomac concentrated south of Gettysburg, Meade recognized the advantages his position afforded and remained on the defense. Lee, not having a full picture of Meade's army, thought that a second day of attacks, along both fla…
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In this episode we provide an overview of what we accomplished in 2020 and what you all can look forward to in 2022! Take a listen. Have a question, comment, or compliment? Contact us at americawarpodcast@gmail.com. You can also leave comments and your questions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/americaatwarpodcast/. Thanks for listening!…
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Let's move on to the afternoon of the first day at Gettysburg. While troops from the Army of the Potomac sucessfully stopped the initial probes of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, it came at a tremendous cost. Corps Commander John Reynolds was dead and his command paid a high price for success. With the coming of the afternoon, the Confed…
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In this episode we focus on the morning of the first day at Gettysburg. Robert E. Lee and George Meade hoped that their actions would entice the other side to battle. In fact, it became a meeting engagement as the leading elements of both armies bumped into each other at Gettysburg. Rather than retreat from adversity, Henry Heth attacked, committin…
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We are continuing the story of Gettysburg. As Robert E. Lee headed north, the commanding general of the Army of the Potomac, Joe Hooker, was in trouble. In a whispering campaign in the aftermath of Hooker's defeat at Chancellorsville, the Army, the President, and his administration had lost faith in him and he was replaced by George G. Meade on the…
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We have finally arrived at Gettysburg. In the first of several episodes, we will start by exploring Lee's reasoning behind his extended raid into the keystone state. This was the Confederacy's last major raid into a northern state, so it garners a great deal of attention in the history of the Civil War. While not as critical as it seems, it was nev…
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In this episode, we finish up the story of the siege of Vicksburg. Once Grant crossed the Mississippi River with his army, it appeared that Vicksburg was doomed. In a brilliant campaign of maneuver, Grant isolated Vicksburg from the rest of the Confederacy. While worried about General Johnston's army, the Confederates were unable to coordinate a st…
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We are continuing our narrative on the siege of Vicksburg. In this episode we concentrate on the key moment in this campaign - Grant crossing the Mississippi River and capturing the capital of Mississippi, Jackson. In three weeks, Grant's army was able to cut off the primary supply line and communication corridor from Vicksburg to the rest of the C…
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We are continuing our short series on the Vicksburg campaign. In part II, we will focus on the winter of 1862-63. Grant and Sherman were bested by the Confederates in their initial probes toward Vicksburg. Undaunted, Grant attempted a number of schemes to get his army on the eastern short of the Mississippi River. Grant dug a canal and made several…
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One of the most consequential campaign's of the Civil War was U.S. Grant's struggle to capture the Confederate fortress at Vicksburg. As we already know, by mid-1862, Vicksburg was the only remaining major city on the Mississippi River in Confederate hands. As 1862 drew to a close, it became clear that Admiral Farragut's naval forces alone could no…
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Robert E. Lee's greatest victory was against Joseph Hooker at a small crossroads in Virginia called Chancellorsville. Known as 'fighting' Joe Hooker, he formulated a plan that would trap Lee against two arms of the Army of the Potomac. Unfortunately for Hooker, Lee reacted in an unexpected and bold manner. Dividing the Army of Northern Virginia, he…
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In our last chronological episode, we ended with Ambrose Burnside's disastrous campaign against Lee's army entrenched above the heights of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Undeterred, Burnside launched another march against the Army of Northern Virginia which was ruined by the weather. Tired of the relentless attacks on his character, Burnside attempted t…
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When we think of the Civil War, the titanic struggles that occurred in the mid-Atlantic states and the southeast comes to mind. What is largely forgotten was what was occurring in the American West. From 1862 through the end of the war, there were clashes in the upper Midwest with the Sioux in Minnesota, in the Southwest with the Apache and Navajo …
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Geographically, to this point, most of our focus has been on the campaigns in the Mississippi River Valley and the mid-Atlantic states. In this episode we explore what was happening in the far west. In 1862, a Confederate force launched an offensive into the territory of New Mexico. The plan was bold, but risky. The Confederates were going to depen…
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In this episode we return to the sea and look at what was going on to stem the tide of Confederate blockade runners and commerce raiders. Knowing that Union commerce was vulnerable, a small number of Confederate raiders made their reputations known around the world. Confederate raiders were enough of a problem to ratchet up insurance rates and caus…
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The Civil War was as much as struggle to keep armies supplied as it was to vanquish an adversary. Logistics during the Civil War had many modern qualities, in particular, using railroads to supply and move armies around the country. Both the Union and the Confederacy used their railroad networks to keep their armies fed. Unfortunately, the Confeder…
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The great leveler in the Civil War, or any war for that matter, is getting wounded or killed on the battlefield. In this episode we focus on what was going through a soldier's mind as they prepared for battle. We also discuss the medical establishment and how they handled wounded, and preventing disease. While we tend to see Civil War medicine thro…
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In this episode we will return to our mini-series on the experiences of ordinary soldiers with a focus on camp life, food, and recreation. For a majority of the men who served, military life was foreign. Experiences in camp and training molded these men into soldiers. Thankfully, due to a rise in literacy, we have a rich tapestry of memoirs, letter…
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We are taking a break from battles and leaders and looking at the men who composed the armies of the North and the South during the Civil War. This episode will be the first of several that look at the lives of the ordinary soldiers. It seems appropriate to start with a broad overview of the motivations that compelled men to serve. On the flip side…
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1862 started off well for the Union. As the year progressed, their hopes were dashed as the Confederates bested the Army of the Potomac at the gates of Richmond, Virginia, and at the end of the year in front of Fredericksburg. Even with a new commander, Ambrose Burnside, Robert E. Lee proved to be an impressive opponent. In the west, even though Br…
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When we last covered the western theater, the focus was on the pivotal battle at Shiloh. After focusing on the east, we now return to the west. In the aftermath of Shiloh, Grant was replaced with Henry Halleck. Halleck was far too slow in continuing the advance to Corinth, Mississippi and he was booted up the chain to Washington DC. In the interim,…
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The bloodiest single day of the Civil War occurred at Antietam, outside of Sharpsburg, Maryland. Despite the intelligence find of lifetime (Lee's orders to his army), General McClellan's caution overtook him as he closed on Lee, wasting an opportunity. Nevertheless, Lee and McClellan clashed along Antietam Creek in September, 1862. McClellan, attac…
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Lee's victory over George B. McClellan in front of Richmond sealed Lee's reputation. With McClellan disgraced, Lincoln turned to John Pope who assembled an army along the Rappahannock River. Lee formulated a plan that would lever him out of his position by attacking his supply depot at Manassas. The bold plan worked and Pope was defeated. Lee consi…
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Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson's reputation and legacy was sealed with his audacious campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. In a gambit to pin Union troops west of the Potomac River, preventing them from joining McClellan's army, Lee had high expectations. Boy were they met. Jackson defeated the Union in detail and prevented them from going south. At the g…
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In our last episode we spoke of the interest in Ironclads. In this episode we focus on their epic clash. While it ended in a draw, the echoes of that clash had a profound effect on navies around the world. The age of the wooden ship was over. Once the threat of the CSS Virginia was nullified, General McClellan began his march on Richmond. Overly ca…
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We have hit the 100 episode mark! Thank you dear listeners for downloading the previous 99 episodes that concentrate on our country's military past. In this episode, we speak of my journey in the field of military history as well as some podcast business. The patron system will change, giving you all more flexibility if you would like to donate to …
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Let's return east to Virginia. At the beginning of 1862, George McClellan was sick with Typhoid Fever, which Lincoln took advantage of and began exercising his authority to get McClellan's plans on paper. After a considerable amount of push and pull, McClellan revealed his plans - doing an end run to Richmond through the York Peninsula. While a bol…
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One of the iconic battles of the Civil War is Shiloh. Grant had seen nothing but success since he began his campaign at the beginning of the year. That run would come to an abrupt halt at Shiloh in April of 1862. Desperate to stop Grant, Albert Sidney Johnston was able to assemble an army and attacked. While the Confederates were able to gain an ed…
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U.S. Grant's move against Forts Henry and Donelson was quickly followed by moves at both ends of the Mississippi River. Commodore Foote continued his drive down the river, moving against Confederate fortifications at Island Number 10 and Fort Pillow, opening the river to Memphis and beyond. At the delta of the Mississippi, David G. Farragut, moved …
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