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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
Mar 20, 2021

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, letters, and diaries that tell the stories of service. 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 28, 2021

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 of the coin, we will also discuss conscription in the north and the south. 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 14, 2021

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 Bragg's raid into Kentucky had been pushed back, despite wrestling some border states from the Confederacy, Union efforts had stalled along the Mississippi River and in the mountains of Tennessee. Perhaps 1863 would be decisive?

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 29, 2021

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, the Confederates took advantage of the stretched Union lines. Braxton Bragg pushed through Tennessee and raided Kentucky. While failing to bring the Commonwealth back into the Confederacy, it temporarily put a halt to the spectacular Union advances that had occurred earlier in the year.

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 14, 2021

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, attacked Lee's army in piecemeal, allowing him to counter each attack one at a time. While McClellan stopped Lee's raid, it was a hollow victory as the Army of Northern Virginia left. Nevertheless, it was a victory, allowing President Lincoln the leverage he needed to end slavery in the Confederacy.

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 22, 2020

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 considered his next moves and looked to the north. He crossed the Potomac and moved into Maryland, setting up another clash at Antietam.

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 8, 2020

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 gates of Richmond, Robert E. Lee, the new commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, beat back McClellan's forces and removed the threat to the rebel capital. Robert E. Lee's star was on the rise! 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 17, 2020

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 cautious and far too methodical for President Lincoln's taste, It took well into the summer before he was knocking at Richmond's door. With his opponent, General Johnston, wounded, McClellan would know face its most talented opponent, 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!

Nov 6, 2020

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 the podcast. We will continue our journey down the timeline, so stay tuned for more content!

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 25, 2020

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 bold plan, it left Lincoln nervous. Before the Army could move, however, the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia deterred the Union plan. We will set up the ironclad's story and carry it on in a future episode.

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 7, 2020

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 edge over Grant with a surprise attack, Union troops doggedly defended their ground. As the battle dragged on, Johnston was killed and command passed to PGT Beauregard who put a halt to operations. The next day, reinforced, Grant pushed Beauregard back. While Grant was stung by criticism, and demoted, he learned from his mistakes and showed what he was made of sterner stuff. 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!

Sep 20, 2020

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 his fleet past the forts on the main channel, opening up the New Orleans, the largest port in the Confederacy. It was a critical move that hurt the Confederacies ability to defend the critical corridors into the heartland of the south. 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!

Sep 9, 2020

With the beginning of 1862, Presidents Lincoln and Davis wanted to see results for their respective nations. Unfortunately, the year would begin with a critical Confederate defeat. U.S. Grant successfully unhinged Confederate held forts on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers - Forts Henry and Donelson, blowing a hole in Confederate plans. Grant's successful campaign secured Kentucky and opened up Tennessee for the Union. Grant's star was on the rise. 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!

Aug 22, 2020

In this episode we switch gears and move from land to the sea. Despite the challenges of secession and the loss of bases and ships, the US navy was able to quickly redeploy their available assets and blockade the Confederacy. It created a challenge for the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis attempted to not only break it through diplomacy, but leverage their hold on the cotton market to gain international recognition. Both efforts were foiled, but the Confederates continued to hope for legitimacy overseas. 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!

 

Aug 9, 2020

After the Union's ignoble defeat at Bull Run, President Lincoln appointed George B. McClellan as the commanding general of what would become the Army of the Potomac. McClellan is an controversial character. He resurrected and created the sword of Lincoln, but the stresses of his position brought forward personality traits that have sullied his contributions. He was insubordinate and a procrastinator. He would have a large role to play in 1862, so 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!

Jul 12, 2020

In this episode we finish our discussion of the border states with a brief overview of what occurred in what would become West Virginia and then move to the struggle for Missouri. From the west, we head east to cover the first major clash in the eastern theater - the Battle of Bull Run. After a hard fought battle with enthusiastic but green troops, the Confederate field army bested the Union's. Bull Run shattered expectations of a quick and relatively bloodless war. It was the beginning of a long and bloody struggle.

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 22, 2020

In this episode, we will finish up our discussion of weapons and tactics before we make the transition to talking about what's going on the field. We start that discussion by looking at what was happening in what we now know as the border states, with particular emphasis on Kentucky. We will follow up with Missouri and West Virginia in the next episode. Kentucky was a critical state and the Confederates blinked first, occupying the state and jeopardizing their quest to bring it into the Confederacy. 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 7, 2020

In our last episode, we compared and contrasted the resources of the Union and the Confederacy. In this episode, part one of two, we will speak to the arms and armies of the Civil War. This is broad overview and we will speak to the organization of the armies and the effect of the rifled musket on the face of battle during the Civil 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!

May 28, 2020

We all know that at the end of the Civil War the North emerged victorious, but it was a long row to hoe. To understand how the war unfolded, let's take a look at the balance sheet, that is, how both countries stacked up against each other. There are many intangibles that can't be measured, such as national will, but let's take a crack at this. 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, 2020

Fort Sumter, located at Charleston, South Carolina, became the epicenter for the secession crisis. When Lincoln took the oath of office, the immediate business at hand was dealing with the Fort. Unwilling to evacuate the fort, and hoping to buy some time to resupply the garrison, he was unable to alleviate the tension. After failing to meet the Confederate ultimatum, rebel batteries opened fire on April 12, 1861. After several days, the fort was evacuated. The Civil War had begun. 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 2, 2020

With the election of Abraham Lincoln in November, 1860, the lower south reached a breaking point. Between Lincoln's election and his subsequent inauguration in April, 1861, the states of the lower south seceded from the union. In spite of attempts to find common ground, none was found. As the war began, Lincoln and Davis steered their respective ships of state. The historical reputations of Lincoln and Davis were therefore sealed in the crucible of the Civil War. This episode compares and contrasts the two men and explores how they succeeded and failed.

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 22, 2020
In this episode we continue the story of the origins of the Civil War. We begin with the decade of the 1850s and concentrate on the issues that created the conditions for war. Rather than stop the expansion of slavery, it continued. While Southern states were pleased, opinion makers in the North were not. As the decade progressed, attitudes hardened, making compromise impossible to achieve. In our next episode we will concentrate on the secession of the southern states and the opening months of the Lincoln administration. 
 

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 10, 2020

This is the first episode that speaks to the origins of the Civil War. Given the complexity and length of these events, this and subsequent episodes covering origins of the war will provide a broad overview of the run up to the war. In this episode we speak to the increasingly difficult path to compromise over the spread and regulation of slavery into the new western territories. While compromise was attained, by the decade of the 1850s, attitudes had hardened. 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 4, 2020

We reached the American Civil War. This is the first episode of what will more than likely be many on the country's bloodiest conflict. This episode will provide a road map of where we are headed as well as some of the key concepts that guide my view of this important conflict. 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/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

 

Mar 21, 2020

On the eve of the American Civil War, the United States Army and Navy continued to play the roles that they had for the first half of the nineteenth century - the army garrisoned and patrolled the growing frontier and the navy protected American commerce overseas. While staying above the fractious sectional politics of the era, the army and navy had grown and matured. Unfortunately, that was all going to change with the coming of a civil war. Thanks for listening!

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/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

 

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