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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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America at War
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Now displaying: Category: American Military History
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!

Apr 11, 2021

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 through the lens of the 21st Century, making the 1860s seem primitive, in fact, the medical establishment made great strides in trauma care. It is a difficult topic to talk about, but necessary. 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!

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!

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