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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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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!

 

Mar 4, 2020

In 1859, an American settler shot a pig rooting around a garden on San Juan Island. A group of Islands in what would become Washington State, the incident triggered the last border incident between the Great Britain and the United States. Rather than going to war, the two nations agreed to a joint occupation that, in 1871 was settled peacefully. It set the foundation for the 'special relationship' that would dominate the twentieth century.

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!

Feb 1, 2020

In the aftermath of settling the border dispute between British Canada and the United States in the Pacific Northwest, the United States moved to consolidate their hold over the region. Territorial governor Isaac Stevens quickly concluded a series of treaties with the Tribes of the region. Unfortunately, the tensions associated with this process lead to violence in eastern and western Washington. In a series of brief but violent skirmishes, tensions remained, but American hold over the territory was complete. 

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!

Jan 15, 2020

The capital of Mexico was in American hands. The war slowly wound down and the Americans got what they wanted - the northern provinces of Mexico and an international border that followed the Rio Grande River. It was not without a cost. President Polk's goals of a quick campaign were not met and the acquisition of new lands would ramp up sectional differences. We also take some time to set up the next part of our story - conflict in the Pacific Northwest. 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/. Leave your questions on voicemail at (253) 271-8135. Thanks for listening!

Jan 3, 2020

Here is a short New Year's message regarding where we have been and where we are going in 2020. 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!

Dec 31, 2019

This is the final episode concerning the campaign to capture Mexico's capital. General Winfield Scott had marched from the coast and outmaneuvered his opponent, General Santa Anna. Santa Anna was determined to make an American assault on Mexico City. General Scott was able to, once again, outmaneuver Santa Anna's forces, unhinging his plan to defend Mexico City. It was a brilliant campaign, though not without some costs. We will finish up the Mexican-American War in our next episode. 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!

 

Dec 14, 2019

In this episode, we continue the narrative dealing with Winfield Scott's campaign to capture Mexico City. In the previous episode, we focused on  the capture of a base of operations at Vera Cruz, on the Gulf Coast. After securing the city, Scott began his advance through the highlands of eastern Mexico. General Santa Anna chose a place called Cerro Gordo to stop the American advance. Faced with a strong defensive position, in a bold flanking march, Scott unhinged the position, making an assault on Mexico City inevitable.

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!

Dec 1, 2019

General Winfield Scott's march on Mexico City was the crowning moment of the entire war with Mexico. Unable to compel the Mexican government to the negotiation table, President Polk approved Scott's plan to advance on Mexico's capital. It was a bold move, but fraught with risk. Nevertheless, after meticulous planning, Scott's forces besieged the city of Veracruz, capturing it at the end of March, 1847. Once this base was secure, Scott made preparations to march west, into the highlands and, ultimately, Mexico City. 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!

Nov 20, 2019

In the aftermath of Zachary Taylor's capture of the city of Monterrey, Taylor's force became an army of occupation. Taking advantage of the lull, Santa Anna raised an army and at the beginning of 1847 attacked. The battle of Buena Vista was the only time the Mexican Army took the offensive. In spite of being outnumbered, Taylor prevailed. Unable to bring Mexican officials to the negotiation table, President Polk turned his eyes south. Enlisting General Winfield Scott, Polk began planning for a march on Mexico City. 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!

Nov 6, 2019

As Zachary Taylor advanced across the Rio Grande river and fought the Mexicans at Palo Alto and Reseca de la Palma, other American columns advanced into what would become New Mexico and California. Stephen Kearny led a column from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to San Diego, an impressive feat. Kearny, in cooperation with the US navy, was able to defeat a rebellion and consolidate the American hold along the Pacific coast. 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!

 

Oct 14, 2019

We began our series on the Mexican-American War in our last episode, speaking to the origins of the conflict. In this episode we speak to the opening moves by Zachary Taylor in Texas. Mexican forces endeavored to push Taylor back by cutting his supply line; Taylor wanted to establish a bridge head on the Rio Grande. They clashed. The battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma ensued. Taylor won the day, triggering the formal declaration of war against Mexico and the mobilization of volunteers for service in Mexico. 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!

 

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