WKU professors Jack Thacker and Glenn LaFantasie talk about the contributions of African-American soldiers to the U.S. Civil War effort, and President Lincoln's role in arming former slaves. They also point out that black units were often placed under inexperienced and ineffective white officers.
This is the latest in WKU Public Radio's series of reports on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln had to face a number of challenges as he tried to hold the Union together and as he moved forward with the Emancipation Proclamation. The Union was far from unified in its attempts to bring and end to the Civil War.
WKU Historians Dr. Jack Thacker and Dr. Glenn LaFantasie say the season might best be described as the "winter of discontent." In the next in our series of reports on the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, they describe the difficult situation Lincoln faced.
The Battle of Stone's River took place in cold, icy conditions on New Year's Eve, 150 years ago. This battle near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was significant for military and political reasons. Dr. Glenn LaFantasie of the WKU Institute for Civil War Studies says President Abraham Lincoln needed a Union victory so he could proceed with the Emancipation Proclamation from a position of strength.
WKU Military Historian Dr. Jack Thacker says soldiers from both sides faced some of the most difficult weather conditions encountered during the Civil War, and that fact was reflected in the high casualties suffered by Confederate and Union troops.
The Battle of Fredricksburg took place 150 years ago this month in Virginia. This deadly confrontation between Union forces and Confederate soldiers entrenched on a hillside resulted in the deathsof thousands of soldiers, and nearly destroyed the Union's "Irish Brigade." Dr. Glenn La Fantasie of the WKU Institute for Civil War Studies and Military Historian Dr. Jack Thacker of WKU say the Battle of Fredricksburg was marked by some questionable command decisions by Union General Ambrose Burnside.
Although Abraham Lincoln encountered a number of disappointments with his Army commanders, a noted historian says the nation's 16th president was generally effective in dealing with Naval commanders. Dr. Craig L. Symonds of the U-S Naval Academy says high-ranking officers in the Navy weren't selected as political appointments like some Army officers were.
A significant Civil War battle took place in Kentucky on October 8th, 1862. The Battle of Perryville claimed the lives of about 7600 soldiers, and some historians now say the battle was more important than some researchers thought in the past. Dr. Glenn LaFantasie of the WKU Institute for Civil War Studies and WKU Military Historian Dr. Jack Thacker say Confederate forces moved into the state, hoping to get Kentuckians to join their cause.
One-hundred-fifty years ago this week, Confederate and Union soldiers met in one of the deadliest single day battles in history. Dr. Glenn La Fantasie of the WKU Institute for Civil War Studies and WKU military historian Jack Thacker say President Lincoln considered the Battle of Antietam to be a victory and selected the aftermath of the battle as a good time to move ahead with plans to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. However, the WKU historians say the plan to free the slaves was less popular in the north than many people believe.
One-hundred-fifty years ago this week, Union and Confederate forces met for one of the deadliest single day battles in American history. The Battle of Antietam took place in Maryland, after Confederate commander Robert E. Lee decided to move north from Virginia. The battle is remembered for high casualty figures and graphic photographs that increased public awareness about the death and suffering caused by the fighting.