A House Divided: Total War III

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Moving like a plague of locusts, the Union Army of William Tecumseh Sherman chewed its way across Georgia and then South Carolina in an early form of total war. He was determined to smash the Confederacy’s ability to prosecute the rebellion and even more to degrade its will to fight. One soldier wrote, we “destroyed all we could not eat, stole their niggers, burned their cotton and gins, spilled their sorghum, burned and twisted their railroads and raised Hell generally.” Organized into groups of ill-disciplined scroungers known as “bummers,” Yankees ranged over the landscape robbing and pillaging. Primarily intended to feed the Union army, they also tended to take whatever they could lay their hands on. And they were not alone. Georgia had Union sympathizers and many of them pitched in to plunder their rebel neighbors. Freedmen also participated in the destruction as did Confederate deserters and disaffected former rebel soldiers.

A House Divided: Total War II

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having pushed the Confederates under John Bell Hood down into Alabama in Fall 1864, General Sherman abandoned his pursuit of the rebels and returned to Atlanta. He was weary of rehearsing tactics from the Confederate playbook and proposed a new strategy, one that would ignore Hood and go on the offensive not against standing armies or even organized resistance, but against the heart of the South. He secured permission from Grant and Lincoln for a most remarkable experiment in what would come to be called total war. On November 15th he set fire to all that had military value in the city, turned his back on Atlanta and set out for Savannah, nearly 300 miles to the east on the coast. He wrote, “….if I move through Georgia, smashing things…instead of being on the defensive I would be on the offensive…march(ing) a well-appointed army, right through [Jefferson Davis’s] territory, it is a demonstration to the world, foreign and domestic, that we have a power which Davis cannot resist….I can….march, and make Georgia howl!”

A House Divided: Total War I

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: War has never been pretty. Even when armies and nations attempted to regulate the conduct of warfare, for centuries non-combatants were inevitably drawn into the pain and suffering, their livelihoods, farms, homes, children, and the elderly. Long before the 20th century perfection of total war when machines of destruction rained down their devastation on enemy soldiers and their home-bound families alike, a glimpse of such coming horror played itself out in the States of Georgia and South Carolina during the American Civil War. The artist who sketched this gruesome canvas was Major General William Tecumseh Sherman who, if not the author of total war, was certainly one of its most visible early practitioners.

Sarah Bernhardt

Lead: On March 23, 1923, thousands of mourners lined the streets of Paris for the funeral procession of one of the leading actresses of the 19th century - “The Devine Sarah Bernhardt.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: She was born in Paris, France, in 1844 as Henriette-Rosine Bernard. Her Dutch mother was courtesan, a highly paid prostitute; her father was unknown. A sickly child, the girl was educated in a convent until one of her mother’s lovers, the Duc de Morny, Emperor Napoleon III’s half brother, arranged for the sixteen year old Sarah to attend the Paris Conservatoire, the government sponsored school of theatre.

 

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Cook-Peary North Pole Competition

Lead: In 1909 Robert Peary and Frederick Cook claimed to have discovered the North Pole. Their competing assertions form one of history’s mysteries.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: They began this saga as friendly associates.  Peary hired Cook as a physician on a Greenland expedition in 1891, and the Doctor unflappably set the bones of his leader’s legs after an accident on the shipboard part of the journey. They soon became competitors, however, in the race to the North Pole, which was made extremely complex because unlike the land-bound South Pole, the position of 90 North sits on drifting sea ice.

 

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Mr. Justice Story and Federal Power

Lead: One of the important issues left for future resolution by those who crafted the U.S. Constitution in 1787 was the balance of power within the federal scheme. Mr. Justice Joseph Story helped clear up that issue.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Joseph Story was perhaps the most brilliant legal mind of his generation. He grew up in Massachusetts, studied at Harvard, read for the law, and worked his way up the ladder of Commonwealth politics while gaining the reputation as a Jeffersonian Republican. Some of his political colleagues, Jefferson included, suspected that Story was really a closeted federalist, whose sentiments, once released on the federal level, would resolve the hanging question of sovereignty against the states. It turned out they were correct.

Napoleon at Waterloo IV

Lead: From 1793 Napoleon increasingly dominated the affairs of France and Europe and, though defeated and banished in 1815, Napoleon’s legend grew during his life and showed no signs of going away after his death.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Napoleon Bonaparte died in 1821 at his place of exile on the British island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. Almost immediately authors and historians began to examine his life for clues as to Napoleon’s legacy. He had detractors and defenders as befit any colossal personality. His enemies sought to diminish his accomplishments, his allies, and particularly ambitious family members such as future Emperor Louis Napoleon, wished to enhance the luster of his name for their own benefit.

Napoleon at Waterloo III

Lead: In March 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte, deposed Emperor of the French, banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba, escaped, landed in southern France and attempted to reclaim his greatness. His daring quest ended at Waterloo.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The 100 days of Napoleon’s last campaign sent shivers of panic throughout a Europe which had thought itself rid of Le Petit Caporal. He landed at Cannes with his guard, won over the regiment sent to capture him, and was in Paris by March 20th. While the French people were weary of Napoleon and had acquiesced in his exile after his abdication in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, they were committed to the essential elements of the Revolution and resented the attempt by restored King Louis XVIII to set back the clock. Napoleon’s welcome was at best tentative as he also wished to turn back the clock to the Empire, something many of his former Republican allies were loathe to do. Also, he faced a daunting array of allied armies converging on France to stamp out permanently the menace he represented. Once again, he would have to fight for his place in the sun.