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America at War

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 not only encompasses traditional military history and goes the extra step to address the evolution of ideas and institutions. Join us!
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Now displaying: Category: American Military History
Jun 27, 2022

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 the Army of the Potomac to battle, but pursue Lee until the rebel army was broken. Grant was also ready to apply force at every point of the map to keep the Confederates engaged. While these subsidary campgains failed, Grant was ready to battle Robert E. Lee. 

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!

Jun 9, 2022

 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!

Jun 3, 2022

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 war efforts. 

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!

 

May 24, 2022

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 threats of re-enslavement from the Confederate government to name a few. The story of the accomplishments of the men who fought for their freedom is the story of the Civil War.

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!

Apr 15, 2022

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 Bragg and break his siege. His subordinate generals attacked Bragg's flanks and then broke the center of the line, sweeping Bragg's army from the field. 

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!

Mar 21, 2022

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 Bragg to attack. Bragg put Rosecrans in his place at Chickamauga, narrowly missing an opportunity to destroy Rosecrans' army.

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!

Mar 7, 2022

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 failed. We spend the remainder of the episode exploring the legacy of this famous battle. 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!

Feb 11, 2022
We continue the story of Gettysburg, focusing on the afternoon of the second day. With Dan Sickles Third Corps exposed, Longstreet's Corps hit the Union line, endangering Meade's defensive scheme. Despite pushing them back, they failed to break the line. On the far right of the Union line, a poorly coordinated attack failed to make any inroads. Lee was primed to attack on the third and final day of the battle. Would be succeed? Stay tuned.

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!

Jan 26, 2022

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 flanks, would break Meade's position. As the day unfolded, Dan Sickles, Commander of Meade's Third Corps, upset the Union's position, which would become apparent as the battle commenced in the afternoon.

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!

 

Dec 30, 2021

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!

 

Dec 13, 2021

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 Confederates pressed their attack on Seminary Ridge and Oak Hill, eventually breaking the Union line. Late in the day Winfield Scott Hancock reset the line on Cemetery Hill, immediately south of Gettysburg, resetting the Union line and anchoring the defenses for the second day. 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!

 

Nov 24, 2021

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, committing the Army of Northern Viriginia to the offensive. We also spend some time on how to experience the battlefield at Gettysburg. 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!

Nov 9, 2021

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 eve of Gettysburg. In other issues, Lee, having let General Stuart go on his own cavalry raid, was now blind as his army spreadout across south central Pennsylvania. As Lee struggled to find a position to locate and fix the Army of the Potomac, the fringes of both armies were ready to meet at a little place called Gettysburg.

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!

Oct 31, 2021

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 nevertheless an important campaign. Lee took advantage of the tide of good fortune in the aftermath of his victory at Chancellorsville and was able to quickly pivot and move the Army of Northern Virginia north. Please 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!

Oct 17, 2021

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 strategy to save the city. After an initial, bloody attempt to breech the city's fortifications, Grant settled in for siege. Worried about the health of his army and the civilian population, Pemberton surrendered to Grant on July 4, 1863. It was a key moment in the war. The Confederacy was split. The South's quest for independence was in jeopardy.

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!

Sep 19, 2021

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 Confederacy. In addition, Grant beat back General Pemberton's only attempt to meet Grant outside of the city, the battle of Champion Hill. This was one of Grant's stellar campaigns and would set up the siege of Vicksburg.

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!

Sep 7, 2021

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 attempts to reach Vicksburg through some of the alternative river systems. None of these efforts were successful. In the spring of 1862, Grant ran his fleet past the Confederate river batteries at Vicksburg, gaining a bridgehead and kicking off his campaign.

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!

Aug 24, 2021

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 not defeat the fortifications of Vicksburg. In the last quarter of 1862 Grant and his chief subordinate, Sherman, planned an envelopment of the city from the north and the south. These moves were checked, forcing Grant to consider alternative plans to capture the city.

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!

Aug 2, 2021

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 kept Union forces at Fredericksburg at bay and flanked Hooker's main force. Hooker lost his nerve and his plan was dashed. While the Army of the Potomac was not destroyed, it set up the conditions that would allow Lee to raid Pennsylvania. 

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!

Jul 12, 2021

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 to have his critics removed. Lincoln turned the tables, accepted his resignation and elevated Burnside's vocal critic, Joseph Hooker, to be commanding general of the Army of the Potomac. Hooker unleashed his considerable energy in restoring morale. 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!

Jun 19, 2021

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 and Colorado. The clashes with Tribes that would dominate the actions of the post-Civil War Army can be traced to the Civil War and, in many cases, even before the war. 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! 

Jun 2, 2021

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 depend upon captured supplies to sustain them. After occupying Tucson, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe, it looked like they were going to succeed. Alarmed, reinforcements from Colorado and California halted the Confederate advance at the Battle of Glorieta Pass. Whatever chance the Confederates had, faded. 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!

May 18, 2021

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 cause some worry among Union officials. In the second part of the episode we focus on the various attempts to close the port of Charleston. 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!

Apr 26, 2021

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 Confederates were not as well prepared as the Union due to issues with rolling stock and the mileage of track laid. Take a listen to learn about this neglected but important topic.

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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