The American Civil War
Our Darkest Day (Part One)
This is part one of the American Civil War series. We dive into the story behind the most bloody, most tragic, and ultimately most costly war the United States has ever fought.
Throughout this series you will hear quotes from the men and women who lived during this event. Their quotes include language and words that are derogatory in nature and may make some listeners uncomfortable or upset.
I by no means have included the aforementioned quotes in order to offend anyone and I apologize if that may be the case. In order to fully understand what happened, why it happened and what we can learn from it these quotes shouldn't be glossed over. It is important to understand the world that these people lived in and how they understand life and the world around them. In order to do so, we must not skip over parts of history that make us uncomfortable or angry.
If any of these quotes or words upsets you I encourage you to write me an email with any concerns you would like to address. Send your thoughts and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org
The beginning of the civil war story starts earlier than you might imagine. We back up all the way to 1790 where George Washington announced his retirement from politics with his famous farewell address.
It was a few months prior to this event that led Washington to address to the nation just what he felt was necessary in order to preserve the life of this new democratic republic that the United States had formed.
He issued a warning that the biggest threats to democracy were the people themselves not understanding the freedom with which they were granted, and not unifying as a nation of United States.
The reason Washington had these concerns was due to a debate about slavery that occurred a few months prior to his address.
The slavery issue came to the house floor and was debated with fervor and heated conversation. The eventual outcome would be that due to the passing of the United States Constitution years prior, congress had no right to touch the topic of slavery through the year 1808. It ended with the abolitionists and pro-slavery arguers understanding that not only could the United States of America not do anything about the issue right then, due to the overwhelming understanding that the states dependent on it for their economy would surely succeed and destroy the Union right away; but they understood that they weren't even ready to talk about the topic due to the fact that neither side had a realistic and attainable solution.
Episode 24, Part one of the Civil War series begins the story of the Civil War in the midst of the heated congressional debate about what this new nation known as the United States of America will do about the topic of Slavery.
Ellis, Joseph J. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. Vintage Books, 2000.
Winik, Jay. April 1865 the month that saved America. New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 2008.
Blight, David W. Race and reunion: the Civil War in American memory. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002.
Fellman, Michael, Lesley J. Gordon, and Daniel E. Sutherland. This terrible war: the Civil War and its aftermath. New York: Pearson Longman, 2008.
Coski, John M. The Confederate battle flag: Americas most embattled emblem. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006.
Taylor, Michael W. The Cry is War, War, War. Dayton, OH: Morningside Press, 1994.
Geer, Walter. Campaigns of the Civil War. Old Saybrook, CT: Konecky & Konecky, 2009.