Dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial

 

Lead: In 1982, the nation dedicated the Vietnam War memorial in Washington. It became one of the ways healing over the war came to America.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The war in Vietnam divided the United States, politically, philosophically, and socially. Yet many, indeed 58,000 warriors, paid the ultimate sacrifice in support of America’s fight for the independence of South Vietnam. In the late 1970s, the nation moved to recognize their sacrifice. Even as the war, the memorial was a source of controversy. Out of 1420 submissions, that of Yale student Maya Lin was selected. It was strikingly different from other memorials. A v-shaped wall of black stone with the names of the dead carved in chronological order, it lacked the heroic sculpture of other monuments. This choice aroused powerful opposition which argued that it was an inappropriate honor. The sometimes vicious and personal criticism of Lin was so intense that her name was ignored when the memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982.

 

 

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.

Emery “Mule Shoe” Upton

Lead: Infantry tactics in the American Civil War were very slow to change in the face of improved killing technology. At Spotsylvania in May, 1864, Colonel Emory Upton tried something new.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Despite the advent of rifled muskets which could accurately kill at 900 yards, artillery that was devastating to mass assaults and the liberal use of pic, spade and ax to quickly create breastworks to repel attacks, infantry tactics in the American Civil War still mostly emulated those used by Napoleon Bonaparte earlier in the century. Both sides still used the tried and true horrific mass attack despite the enormous causalities and the effusion of blood that resulted from such tactics.

American Revolution: Organizing the Continental Army III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: As he attempted to shape the Continental Army into a fighting force capable of engaging the British Army that was locked up in Boston during summer 1775, George Washington faced a series of vexing problems. His men were ill-equipped and poorly trained, but as citizen soldiers on temporary duty in this the first great crisis of the Revolution, they were resistant to the order which characterized a regular army. Troops and their officers talked to British soldiers they faced across lines separating the two armies, many slept away from their units, often they abandoned their duty before being relieved, latrines were allowed to overflow, the camps were messy, food served the men was often rancid and noxious, and soldiers were given furlough freely which meant that units were almost always undermanned.

American Revolution: Organizing the Continental Army II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In July, 1775 George Washington arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts to take over command of the Continental Army. He was concerned that the fighting ability and physical condition of his troops would prove inadequate against the British Army, representing arguably the world’s most powerful military force. He revered the way in which this enemy, indeed all European armies were organized and employed, but his experience with the Virginia militia had convinced him that he would never have such an army and his pragmatism led him to conclude that he would have to fight with the army bequeathed him. He could improve their discipline and supply, but could not turn them into the ranks of human machines British officers had at their disposal.

American Revolution: Organizing the Continental Army I

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: George Washington arrived in Massachusetts in early July 1775 ready to take charge of the Continental Army. He found a militia-based army that was poorly led, poorly trained, and poorly disciplined. While he was generally pleased with the American performance at Breed’s Hill, he and his troops faced a British Army numbering 5000 that was fully equipped, well-fed and competently led. It may have been surrounded and confined in Boston but it was still a large, threatening force.