Rivers and Rails: Daggers of the Civil War | Tennessee Civil War 150 | NPT

Rivers and Rails: Daggers of the Civil War | Tennessee Civil War 150 | NPT


(ANNOUNCER OFF CAMERA)
TENNESSEE CIVIL WAR 150 IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY
TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, TENNESSEE CIVIL
WAR SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMISSION, AND TENNESSEE
CIVIL WAR NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA. (VAN WEST) YOU FIND THE
RIVERS YOU FIND THE RAILROADS YOU FIND WHERE
MOST OF THE BATTLES IN TENNESSEE TOOK PLACE. (BRIAN MCKNIGHT)
ULTIMATELY, WHOEVER CONTROLS THE RIVERS AND
THE RAILS PARTICULARLY IN TENNESSEE WINS THE WAR. (NARRATOR) AS A MILITARY
STRATEGY, IT IS STRAIGHTFORWARD AND
SIMPLE. BUT CONTROLLING THE RIVERS
AND RAILS IN THE CIVIL WAR GOES OUTSIDE THE LINES
OF BATTLES TO BRING MALICE AND MISERY TO ORDINARY
PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE. (WAYNE MOORE) CIVILIANS
SUFFERED INORDINATELY FROM THE WAR BECAUSE OF
THE OCCUPATION OF HOSTILE TROOPS. (NARRATOR) A POTTER FEELS
FORCED INTO MAKING A PATRIOTIC CHOICE THAT
BRANDS HIM A TRAITOR… THE DREAMS OF A TEENAGE GIRL
IN A RIVER TOWN ARE DISRUPTED BY INVASION AND LOSS.
THE CHALLENGE ALSO MAKES MEN INTO HEROES…
LIKE THE VOLUNTEERS WHOSE RISKY RIDE ON THE RAILS
LEADS TO A MEDAL OF HONOR, BUT ALSO AN ENGAGEMENT
WITH THE EXECUTIONER. IT STILL COMES DOWN
TO ONE THING. (FRED PROUTY) THE RIVERS
IN TENNESSEE HAVE BEEN COMPARED TO DAGGERS
PLUNGING INTO THE HEART OF THE SOUTH…
AND THAT’S WHAT THEY WERE. IT WAS AN OPEN ARTERY INTO
THE VERY EXISTENCE OF THE CONFEDERACY. (NARRATOR) IT IS THE GOOD
OLD DAYS OF THE SOUTH, AND TENNESSEE IS RIGHT IN THE
MIDDLE OF IT. THREE GREAT RIVERS CARVE
THEIR WAY THROUGH THE STATE AS STEAMBOATS
CARRY COTTON, CORN, CATTLE, IRON AND COPPER
UP AND DOWN THE RIVER. (VAN WEST) TENNESSEEE
PROSPERED AS IT NEVER HAD BEFORE IN THE TEN YEARS
BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR. (NARRATOR) PLANTATION
OWNERS NEED MORE WORKERS TO MEET THE GROWING DEMAND
FOR THEIR PRODUCTS. (FRED PROUTY) THE SLAVE
POPULATION WAS ACTUALLY OUTGROWING THE STATE WHITE
POPULATION AT THE TIME. (NARRATOR) AND BUSINESSMEN
LIKE SAMUEL DOLD MORGAN RIDE THE WAVE
OF A BOOMING ECONOMY. MORGAN OWNS A DRY GOODS
STORE IN DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE AND RUNS TWO
THRIVING COTTON MILLS. (RUTH WARNER) HE WAS SO
WELL LIKED BY HIS PEERS IN THE COMMUNITY THAT THEY
BEGAN TO CALL HIM THE MERCHANT PRINCE OF NASHVILLE. (NARRATOR) MORGAN HAD BEEN
APPOINTED BY THE LEGISLATURE AS PRESIDENT OF A CITIZENS
COMMITTEE IN CHARGE OF BUILDING THE NEW TENNESSEE STATE
CAPITOL. (RUTH WARNER) HE HAD A VISION
FOR THE STATE CAPITOL TO BE THIS OUTSTANDING GREEK REVIVAL
MONUMENT YOU KNOW ON THE HILL THE HIGHEST POINT IN NASHVILLE.
(NARRATOR) NOW, IN THE BOOM OF THE 1850S, SAM
MORGAN WRITES THE CHARTER FOR THE VERY FIRST SUCCESSFUL
RAILWAY SYSTEM IN THE STATE. FROM THE DOCK TO THE DEPOT,
SAMUEL MORGAN AND OTHER MERCHANTS CAN NOW SHIP GOODS
FASTER, FURTHER AND CHEAPER. (DR. CARROLL VAN WEST)
CERTAINLY, IF NASHVILLE IS THE CENTER OF THIS GREAT
RAILROAD NETWORK THAT IS STARTING TO BIND TOGETHER
THE EAST AND THE WEST AND THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH
ANYONE SMART ENOUGH TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT AND CREATE
WHOLESALE BUSINESSES WOULD PROFIT IMMENSELY.
AND SAM MORGAN WAS ONE OF THOSE.
[CANNON FIRING] BOOM! (NARRATOR) BUT NOTHING
CAN BE THE SAME AFTER THE HISTORIC ATTACK ON FT.
SUMTER BY THE CONFEDERATE ARMY, APRIL 12, 1861.
SAMUEL MORGAN’S OLDEST SON, ST. CLAIR MACINTOSH MORGAN,
IS BELIEVED BY SOME TO HAVE FIRED THE FIRST SHOT.
A YOUNGER SON AND NAMESAKE OF HIS FATHER, SAM MORGAN,
JOINS THE KENTUCKY CAVALRY TO SERVE WITH HIS COUSIN,
THE SOON TO BE LEGENDARY BRIGADIER GENERAL
JOHN HUNT MORGAN. THE CONFEDERATE HERO WILL
AGGRAVATE THE UNION ARMY BY ATTACKING THE VERY
RAILROADS THAT HELPED MAKE HIS UNCLE SUCCESSFUL.
AND SAMUEL MORGAN HIMSELF STARTS A BRAND NEW BUSINESS
THAT ONCE AGAIN RELIES ON THE RIVERS AND RAILS. (RUTH WARNER) HE MANUFACTURED
PERCUSSION CAPS IN SOUTH NASHVILLE WHICH WERE USED
AT THE BATTLE OF MANASSUS. (NARRATOR) SO, THOSE SAME
RIVERS AND RAILS THAT HAD TRANSPORTED PROSPERITY TO
TENNESSEE AND THE SOUTH WILL NOW BECOME LIFELINES
FOR MOVING MEN, AMMUNITION AND SUPPLIES TO A WAR THAT
SPLITS THE NATION. (BRIAN MCKNIGHT) WE DON’T
THINK VERY MUCH ABOUT IT TODAY BECAUSE WE CAN DROP
PARATROOPERS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD BUT BACK THEN
YOU HAD TO TRANSPORT 30, 40, 50 THOUSAND MEN PER
SIDE AND YOU DIDN’T DO THAT BY PUTTING THEM ON A
TRAIL AND GETTING THEM TO WALK IN A SPECIFIC DIRECTION.
YOU HAD TO PUT THEM ON RAIL CARS OR YOU HAD TO PUT THEM
ON BOATS, AND YOU HAD TO GET THEM TO THE FIELD. (NARRATOR) IN THE ROCKY
REGION OF EAST TENNESSEE WHERE COTTON IS NOT KING,
PEOPLE LIKE CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER HAUN FIND OTHER
WAYS TO MAKE A LIVING. (DON BIBLE) HE WENT BY THE
INITIALS C.A. OR ALEX. MOST PEOPLE CALLED HIM ALEX.
HE WAS PROBABLY, IF NOT THE FINEST POTTER THAT
TENNESSEE EVER PRODUCED, HE WAS ONE OF THE FINEST. (NARRATOR) IN 1861, ALEX
HAUN, A FATHER OF FIVE CHILDREN, WORKS AND LIVES IN A
COMMUNITY CALLED POTTERSTOWN, WHICH IS OCCUPIED BY THE
CONFEDERATE ARMY. LIKE MOST OF HIS NEIGHBORS,
HE IS A SUPPORTER OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
AND THE UNION CAUSE. (DON BIBLE) THEY FELT THAT
THE UNION HAD BEEN CREATED BY THEIR FOREFATHERS AND
THEY, THEY DIDN’T WANT TO SEE IT DISSOLVED. (NARRATOR) WILLIAM CARTER,
A FORMER MINISTER, COMES UP WITH AN IDEA TO BURN
RAILROAD BRIDGES ACROSS EAST TENNESSEE TO SLOW THE
MOVEMENT OF SOUTHERN SOLDIERS. GENERAL GEORGE
THOMAS HELPS ARRANGE A
RENDEZVOUS RENDEZVOUS IN WASHINGTON
WITH THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF. (DON BIBLE) THEY HAD A MEETING
UP THERE AND LINCOLN APPROVED THE PLAN AND PROMISED THEM THAT
FEDERAL FORCES WOULD INVADE AS SOON AS THE
BRIDGES WERE BURNED. (NARRATOR) AMONG THE
SECRET CONSPIRATORS ON THAT EARLY MORNING, NOVEMBER
EIGHTH, 1861, IS ALEX HAUN. HE IS JOINED BY A NEIGHBOR,
JACOB HARMON AND HIS TWO SONS, HENRY AND TOM.
A POTTERS ASSISTANT, 21-YEAR-OLD JACOB HINSHAW,
AND HENRY FRY, A SHOEMAKER, ARE ALSO A PART OF THE PLOT. (DON BIBLE) IT WAS A COLD
NIGHT AND THE SEVEN CONFEDERATE BRIDGE GUARDS
WERE IN A TENT. AND THEY HAD GUNS ON THEM
BEFORE THE MEN EVEN KNEW THEY WERE THERE. (BRIDGE BURNERS) GET ON
OUT OF THERE WE’LL SHOOT YOU WHERE YOU LAY!
PUT YOUR HANDS UP! PUT YOUR HANDS UP!
GET ON OUT OF THERE! (DON BIBLE) THEY HAD THEM
OUTSIDE AND ALL THE TIME THE BRIDGE WAS BEING
SET ON FIRE… …THE STORY IS THAT THERE
WAS A DISCUSSION. I SAY WE KILL EM…
(DON BIBLE) SOME OF THEM WANTED TO KILL THEM ON THE
SPOT SO THERE WOULD BE NO WITNESSES, OTHERS SAID NO…
NO, WE CAN’T DO THAT. IT’S ONE THING TO KILL A
MAN IN A FIELD OF FIRE. BUT THESE MEN ARE UNARMED.
WE CAN’T KILL THEM IN COLD BLOOD.
(DON BIBLE) THAT POSITION FINALLY PREVAILED WITH
THE STIPULATION THAT THE MEN WOULD TAKE AN OATH
THAT THEY WOULDN’T REVEAL ANYTHING THAT THEY SAW OR
HEARD THAT NIGHT OTHER THAN THAT THE BRIDGE WAS BURNED. (NARRATOR) THE CONFEDERACY
RESPONDS TO THE BRIDGE BURNING RAPIDLY AND RUTHLESSLY.
ALEX HAUN IS ARRESTED THE VERY NEXT AFTERNOON ALONG
WITH JACOB HARMON AND HIS SONS. CONFEDERATE WAR SECRETARY
JUDAH P. BENJAMIN OFFERS NO MERCY.
ALL SUCH AS CAN BE IDENTIFIED IN HAVING BEEN
ENGAGED IN BRIDGE-BURNING ARE TO BE TRIED SUMMARILY
BY DRUM-HEAD COURT MARTIAL, AND, IF FOUND GUILTY,
EXECUTED ON THE SPOT BY HANGING IN THE VICINITY
OF THE BURNED BRIDGES. (BRIAN MCKNIGHT) THE
CONFEDERACY WAS TERRIFIED OF WHAT THE WAR MIGHT
BECOME IF EAST TENNESSEE UNIONISTS BECAME TOO BOLD. (NARRATOR) JACOB HINSHAW AND
HENRY FRY GO ON THE RUN BUT ARE CAPTURED WITHIN A FEW DAYS.
AFTER A QUICK CONVICTION, THE TWO MEN ARE HANGED
FROM AN OAK TREE NEAR THE GREENVILLE RAILROAD DEPOT.
ALEX HAUN AND THE HARMONS ARE LIKEWISE FOUND GUILTY.
HAUN IS PUBLICLY HANGED FROM A GALLOWS ON DECEMBER 10TH.
HE LEAVES A LETTER FOR HIS PREGNANT WIFE…
I HAVE THE PROMISE THAT MY BODY WILL BE SENT HOME TO YOU.
OH LIVE FOR HEAVEN, OH MY BOSOM FRIEND AND CHILDREN.
LIVE FOR HEAVEN, I PRAY. MY TIME IS ALMOST OUT,
DEAR FRIENDS, FAREWELL TO THIS WORLD…FAREWELL TO EARTH
AND EARTHLY TROUBLES. (NARRATOR) JACOB HARMON AND
HIS SON HENRY ARE HANGED JUST A FEW DAYS LATER.
(DON BIBLE) HENRY HARMON WAS PUT ON THE GALLOWS
FIRST AND THE ROPE BROKE. AND HIS HALF LIFELESS BODY
FELL TO THE GROUND AND THEY HAD TO HANG HIM AGAIN AND,
OF COURSE, HIS FATHER SAW ALL OF THAT.
(NARRATOR) LINCOLN’S ARMY HAS BEEN A NO-SHOW. (DON BIBLE) SOMEBODY,
WITHOUT LINCOLN’S KNOWLEDGE, DECIDED THAT THE ARMY WAS
TOO STRONG IN THE KNOXVILLE AREA FOR THEM TO INVADE EAST
TENNESSEE AND THEY GOT HERE TWO YEARS LATER AFTER
THE FIVE MEN WERE HANGED AND THEIR FAMILIES HAD BEEN TAKEN
OF BASICALLY EVERYTHING THAT THEY HAD AND RUN OUT OF
THEIR HOMES AND SO FORTH. (NARRATOR) THE RAILROAD BRIDGES
ARE QUICKLY REPAIRED. BUT THE UNION ARMY IS MOVING
TROOPS THROUGHOUT KENTUCKY, AND THE CONFEDERACY HAS MORE
THAN 300 MILES OF TENNESSEE BORDER TO PROTECT.
THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER OFFERS THE FEDERALS A
HIGHWAY TO MEMPHIS. SO, SOUTHERN GENERAL
ALBERT SIDNEY JOHNSTON PUTS UP A ROADBLOCK. (FRED PROUTY) THE COLUMBUS
FORTIFICATIONS ON THE HIGH BLUFFS IN COLUMBUS,
KENTUCKY WERE THE GIBRALTAR OF THE CONFEDERATE FORTIFICATION
IN TENNESSEE, OR THAT’S WHAT THEY HAD PLANNED THEM FOR. (NARRATOR) UNION GENERAL
ULYSSES S. GRANT USES CONFUSING MILITARY TACTICS TO CONVINCE
HIS ENEMIES HE PLANS AN ATTACK ON COLUMBUS TO ACCESS
THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. BUT THEN HE MAKES AN
UNEXPECTED MOVE THAT WILL DRIVE HIS ARMY AND THE
NAVY STRAIGHT INTO THE SOUL OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE. (FRED PROUTY) HE WENT UP RIVER
TO PADUCAH, CAME DOWN ON THE TENNESSEE… SENT TROOPS DOWN
ON THE TENNESSEE AND THE CUMBERLAND RIVERS WHICH WERE
PARALLEL TO EACH OTHER AND ATTACKED FT. HENRY…
AND THEN FT. DONELSON. (BRIAN MCKNIGHT) IF YOU TAKE
FT. HENRY AND YOU MOVE SOUTH WHICH IS ACTUALLY UP THE
TENNESSEE RIVER YOU WILL EVENTUALLY END UP IN
MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA BEFORE REENTERING
TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA. IF YOU FOLLOW IT EVEN FURTHER
UPSTREAM, YOU WILL GO THROUGH EAST TENNESSEE EVEN INTO
VIRGINIA SO THAT’S HOW IMPORTANT THE TENNESSEE
RIVER WAS. IF YOU ENTER THE CUMBERLAND AT FT. DONELSON
IT WILL TAKE YOU INTO DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE. (NARRATOR) FT. HENRY IS ALREADY
FLOODED BY THE RISING RIVER AND FALLS QUICKLY.
UP NEXT IS FT. DONELSON, WHERE THE FEDERALS ATTACK
WITH BOTH GROUND TROOPS AND GUNBOATS IN A VICIOUS
FIVE-DAY ENCOUNTER. IT IS HERE WHERE U.S.
GRANT EARNS THE NICKNAME “UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER.” (WAYNE MOORE)
I THINK THE ABILITY OF PEOPLE LIKE ULYSSES GRANT TO RECOGNIZE
EARLY ON IN THE WAR THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RIVERS IN
SECURING THE MID-SOUTH IS REALLY THE CRUCIAL
BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGICALLY. (NARRATOR) AMONG THE MANY
CONFEDERATES TAKEN PRISONER AT DONELSON ARE ST. CLAIR MORGAN
AND ANOTHER YOUNG SOLDIER NAMED ROBERT HASKINS OF
CLARKSVILLE, WHERE UNION FORCES ARE HEADED NEXT.
ROBERT’S LITTLE SISTER MARTHA IS A WELL-EDUCATED SOUTHERN
TEENAGER KNOWN AS NANNIE TO HER FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
HER DIARY DESCRIBES THE IMMEDIATE IMPACT OF WAR
IN A RIVER TOWN. THE CITIZENS WERE RUNNING.
THERE WERE ALREADY TWO HOSPITALS HERE WHICH WERE
FILLED WITH THE SICK. AND THEY, POOR FELLOWS,
THEY WERE CRAWLING OUT FROM ALL OVER THE PLACE.
WALKING, GOING ON HORSEBACK AND WAGONS… (MINOA UFFELMAN) THE VERY
FIRST ENTRY THAT NANNIE WRITES IS ABOUT HOW PANICKED EVERYONE
WAS, THEY WERE CAUGHT OFF GUARD, THAT THEY THOUGHT FORT
DEFIANCE MIGHT PROTECT THEM AND THEN WHEN
FORT HENRY AND FORT DONELSON FELL AND THE
UNION TROOPS CAME IN,PEOPLE WERE PANICKED.
INDEED THEY WENT ANY WAY TO GET OUT OF REACH OF
THE YANKEES FOR IT WAS NOT KNOWN AT WHAT MOMENT THAT
THE VANDALS WOULD BE HERE. (WAYNE MOORE) THAT TYPE OF
WARFARE LEADS TO AN ENORMOUS EFFORT BY THE ARMIES TO,
TO KEEP THE CIVILIAN POPULATION UNDER CONTROL.
AND THEY DO IT WITH THESE HUGE BUREAUCRACIES,
PROVOST MARSHAL, THEY ARE MAKING CITIZENS TAKE LOYALTY
OATHS, THEY’RE PUNISHING THEM FOR TREASONABLE ACTIVITIES,
THEY ARE CONFISCATING THEIR PROPERTY IF THEY FIND OUT THEY
ARE SUPPORTING THE CONFEDERACY. THESE ARE VERY REAL BURDENS
DAMAGES AND LOSSES THAT PEOPLE SUFFERED.
THIS IS WHY MOST TENNESSEANS GO TO FIGHT FOR THE
CONFEDERACY, NOT NECESSARILY BECAUSE THEY
ARE PRO-SLAVERY BUT BECAUSE THE UNION ARMY INVADES TENNESSEE
AND DOES SO BY THE RIVERS. (NARRATOR) NANNIE HASKINS GETS
WORD THAT HER BROTHER ROBERT HAS DIED IN A PRISON CAMP.
AND IT IS NO SURPRISE THAT AT 16 YEARS OLD SHE CAN’T
STAND THE SIGHT OF A YANKEE. THOSE HATEFUL GUN BOATS!
THEY LOOK LIKE THEY ARE FROM THE LOWER REGIONS.
NOW, THIS IS THE SECOND NIGHT THAT FOUR OF THEM HAVE BEEN
ANCHORED IN THE RIVER OPPOSITE OUR HOUSE.
I KNOW THEY ARE FRIGHTENED; THEY HAVE PLACED THEIR GUNBOATS
SO THAT IF AN ATTACK IS MADE, THEY CAN SHELL THE TOWN.
POOR COWARDS, I CAN JUST TURN MY HEAD NOW AND SEE
THEM CRAWLING ABOUT THE BOATS LIKE SO MANY SNAKES. (NARRATOR) BUT THE FEDERAL
INVASION OF TENNESSEE IS JUST BEGINNING.
GRANT NOW HAS NASHVILLE IN HIS SIGHTS.
AND THE PANIC IN CLARKSVILLE PALES IN COMPARISON WITH
THE ONE IN THE STATE CAPITAL, SUNDAY MORNING FEB. 16, 1862… (VAN WEST) IMAGINE HOW YOU
WOULD FEEL, YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE SAFE AT HOME MAYBE
GOING TO CHURCH, PLANNING ON A SUNDAY
DAY AND SUDDENLY YOU HEAR… “THE YANKEES
ARE COMING”… (VAN WEST) AND THEY’RE
COMING IN FORCE. DON’T PANIC.
YOU NEED TO GO TO YOUR HOMES. (VAN WEST) PEOPLE PANICKED.
HURRY, THE YANKEES ARE COMING. (VAN WEST) THEY WONDERED WHAT
WOULD HAPPEN TO THEIR TOWN AND THEY DIDN’T THINK ABOUT IT LONG.
THEY STARTED TO PACK AND LEAVE… THOUSANDS OF NASHVILLE
CITIZENS HEADING OUT OF TOWN AWAY FROM THE ARMIES. (NARRATOR) ANNIE SEHON QUICKLY
SENDS A MESSAGE TO HER SISTER…
BELIEVING IT MAY BE HER LAST. WE ARE IN HOURLY EXPECTATION
OF HEARING THE APPROACH OF THE NORTHERN ARMY…
BUT MAY GOD PROTECT US AND IF WE NEVER MEET ON EARTH MAY
WE MEET AT LAST IN HEAVEN. (NARRATOR) BUT NOT
EVERYONE IS FRIGHTENED. THE ARRIVAL OF UNION TROOPS
IN THE CITY BRINGS AN OPPORTUNITY
FOR SLAVES TO BE FREE. AS THEY WATCH IN DISBELIEF…
THEIR MASTERS RUN AWAY. (VAN WEST) IMAGINE HOW IT
WAS FOR THEM TO SEE THAT. THEY HAD NEVER SEEN THAT IN
THEIR LIFE THESE WERE DOMINATING DOMINEERING FIGURES AND
SUDDENLY THEY ARE FLEEING. (NARRATOR) BY THE TIME
YANKEE GUNBOATS ROLL IN ON THE CUMBERLAND RIVER,
THERE IS NO ONE THERE TO FIGHT THEM, AND NASHVILLE
BECOMES THE FIRST MAJOR TRANSPORTATION CENTER TO FALL.
RATHER THAN MAKE A STAND, CONFEDERATE GENERAL ALBERT
SYDNEY JOHNSTON GATHERS HIS TROOPS TO ABANDON THE CITY. (VAN WEST) THEY WEREN’T THOSE
PROUD YOUNG MEN IN UNIFORMS THAT HAD BEEN SENT OFF TO THE
WAR A FEW MONTHS BEFORE. THEY WERE GUYS RUNNING FOR
SHELTER, RUNNING FOR COVER, MOVING SOUTH…I THINK
SO MANY CITIZENS NEVER THOUGHT THAT NASHVILLE WOULD
FALL WITHOUT A DETERMINED STAND TO PROTECT THE CITY…
BUT IT DID. (NARRATOR) CONFEDERATE GENERAL
ALBERT SYDNEY JOHNSTON HAS TAKEN HIS TROOPS OUT OF
NASHVILLE TO TRY AND PROTECT ANOTHER IMPORTANT RAILROAD
JUNCTION FARTHER SOUTH. GENERAL GRANT IS CLOSE BEHIND,
MOVING HIS MEN WEST BY TRANSPORT
BOAT ON THE TENNESSEE RIVER TO PITTSBURGH LANDING.
THE TWO SIDES MEET APRIL SIXTH, 1862, IN A FIELD
SURROUNDING SHILOH CHURCH. IT IS THE WORST BATTLE IN
THE WAR SO FAR AS MASSES OF MEN DIE, BRINGING THE
RECOGNITION THIS WILL BE A LONG AND BRUTAL WAR. (VAN WEST) PEOPLE OFTEN
ASK WHY DID THEY FIGHT FOR JUST A CHURCH.
WELL, THEY WEREN’T FIGHTING FOR SHILOH CHURCH EVEN THOUGH
THAT’S THE NAME OF THE BATTLE. THEY WERE FIGHTING TO PROTECT
THE CORINTH RAILROAD JUNCTION WHERE LINES FROM THE NORTH
PRIMARILY THE MOBILE AND OHIO RAILROAD CONNECTED
WITH THE MEMPHIS AND CHARLESTON RAILROAD.
THIS WAS A CRUCIAL JUNCTION AND ALBERT SIDNEY JOHNSTON
WANTED TO PROTECT IT AT ALL COSTS. (NARRATOR) IT LOOKS AS IF THE
CONFEDERATE GENERAL JOHNSTON MIGHT SUCCEED AFTER THE
FIRST DAY OF FIGHTING. BUT UNION REINFORCEMENTS
SEND THE CONFEDERATES BACKTRACKING TO CORINTH,
WHERE THE UNION WILL SOON TAKE CONTROL OF THE
RAILROAD JUNCTION. LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER SHILOH
COMES A DRAMATIC EVENT THAT IS FAMOUSLY KNOWN AS THE
GREAT LOCOMOTIVE CHASE. A BRAVE BAND OF YANKEE
VOLUNTEERS HIJACKS THE GENERAL, WHICH TODAY IS ON DISPLAY AT
THE SOUTHERN MUSEUM OF CIVIL WAR
AND LOCOMOTIVE HISTORY IN KENNESAW, GEORGIA.
THE STORY STARTS WITH JAMES ANDREWS, A HOUSE PAINTER
AND MUSIC TEACHER, WHO IS NOW AN UNDERCOVER AGENT. (MELINDA SENN) HE WAS SMUGGLING
QUININE TO THE CONFEDERATE FORCES.
AND WHILE HE WAS BEHIND CONFEDERATE LINES HE WAS
GATHERING INFORMATION TO TRADE BACK THE OTHER WAY.
SO SOME PEOPLE CONSIDERED HIM A DOUBLE AGENT. (NARRATOR) ANDREWS’ RAIDERS ARE
POSING AS PASSENGERS AND TAKE CONTROL OF THE LOCOMOTIVE
WHILE THE CREW IS HAVING BREAKFAST AT A HOTEL IN
BIG SHANTY, GEORGIA. THEIR PLAN IS TO SABOTAGE
TRACKS AND TUNNELS THAT HAVE BEEN
PROVIDING EASY TRANSPORT OF CONFEDERATE TROOPS AND SUPPLIES
BETWEEN ATLANTA AND CHATTANOOGA. (MELINDA SENN) THE MEN FIND
A SMALL SAW AND THEY USE THAT SAW TO CUT THE TELEGRAPH WIRE.
ACCOUNTS ALSO SAY TOWARD THE END OF THE CHASE THEY ARE
AFFIXING THE TELEGRAPH WIRE TO THE REAR BOXCAR AND PULLING THE
WIRE AS THE TRAIN CONTINUES TO HEAD UP NORTH. (NARRATOR) THE RAIDERS CHUG NORTH TO MEET UP WITH
THE ADVANCING TROOPS OF GENERAL ORMSBY MITCHELL, WHO
HOPES TO CAPTURE CHATTANOOGA. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENS. (JIM OGDEN) ANDREWS IS DELAYED
AT KINGSTON, GEORGIA WAITING FOR A SOUTHBOUND TRAIN AND THIS
ALLOWED A VERY TENACIOUS CONDUCTOR WILLIAM FULLER TO
MAKE UP GROUND, FIRST ON FOOT, AND THEN WITH A PUSH CAR,
AND THEN WITH A SMALL YARD LOCOMOTIVE AND THEN WITH
A LARGER LOCOMOTIVE. (MELINDA SENN) AFTER
APPROXIMATELY 90 MILES, THE UNION RAIDERS FIND
THEMSELVES VERY LOW ON FUEL. THEY HAVE NO OTHER OPTION
BUT ABANDON THE GENERAL AND TO MAKE FOR THE WOODS. (NARRATOR) EVERY ONE OF
THEM IS CAUGHT. NINETEEN OF THE RAIDERS WILL
BECOME THE FIRST IN HISTORY TO RECEIVE THE MEDAL OF HONOR.
AS A CIVILIAN, ANDREWS IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE COMMENDATION.
BUT HE IS AMONG EIGHT OF THEM WHO ARE HANGED.
BACK IN WEST TENNESSEE, THE UNION INVASION CONTINUES
AS UNION FORCES AND NAVY GUNBOATS ARE JOINED BY A
FLEET OF STEAMBOATS CONVERTED INTO RAMMING SHIPS BY COLONEL
CHARLES ELLET JR. (MARY VIRGINIA ELLET CABELL)
THEY CARRIED NO GUNS; THEY WERE IN MY FATHER’S
OPINION AND WORDS: “MERE SUBSTITUTES FOR RAMS.
ALMOST CERTAIN IN AN ENCOUNTER WITH A POWERFUL
AND COURAGEOUS ADVERSARY TO GO TO THE BOTTOM BUT
STRONG ENOUGH TO CARRY WITH THEM TO THE BOTTOM ANY
ADVERSARY THEY MIGHT ENGAGE. (NARRATOR) ELLET’S FLEET
IS A FAMILY AFFAIR, WITH TWO BROTHERS COMMANDING
SHIPS AND HIS SON SERVING AS A MEDICAL CADET.
ELLET HAS THE CONFIDENCE OF SECRETARY OF WAR EDWIN STANTON,
AND ANSWERS ONLY TO HIM. THE TEST COMES JUNE SIXTH,
1862, IN THE BATTLE OF MEMPHIS. (MARY VIRGINIA ELLET CABELL)
HE INSTANTLY ORDERED HIS THREE LARGEST RAMS TO FOLLOW
HIM AND LED THE WAY ON THE QUEEN OF THE WEST,
RUNNING DOWN AT FULL SPEED. THE QUEEN CRASHED INTO THE
FOREMOST BOAT, CUTTING HER ALMOST IN TWO
AND SINKING HER. (FRED PROUTY) THE BATTLE
OF MEMPHIS ON THE RIVER WAS NOT MUCH OF A BATTLE.
THE FEDERAL FLEET HAD REALLY WELL MANNED, WELL-ARMED VESSELS.
THE SOUTH HAD EIGHT SMALLER BOATS, SEVEN OF WHICH
WERE SUNK. (MARY VIRGINIA ELLET CABELL)
MY BROTHER, ACCOMPANIED BY THREE MEN OF MY FATHER’S COMMAND,
REMOVED THE REBEL FLAG FROM THE POST OFFICE IN MEMPHIS AND
HOISTED THE UNITED STATES FLAG THERE MORE THAN TWO HOURS
BEFORE THE CITY WAS FORMALLY SURRENDERED. (NARRATOR) BUT IN THE COURSE
OF BATTLE, CHARLES ELLET JR. TAKES A BULLET FIRED
FROM AN ENEMY SHIP. AND THE BATTLE OF MEMPHIS WOULD
BE NOT ONLY HIS FIRST, BUT ALSO HIS LAST. (VAN WEST) THEN MEMPHIS BECAME
THE BASE FOR EVERYTHING DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.
MEMPHIS WAS AN IMPORTANT LOGISTICAL BASE IT WAS THE
HEADQUARTERS BASE AND THEN IT BECAME THE BASE FOR
AFRICAN AMERICAN FREEDOM… BECAUSE THE HUGE CONTRABAND
CAMPS THAT OPENED UP THERE FOR ESCAPED SLAVES COMING TO THE
UNION LINES FOR PROTECTION. (NARRATOR) AND NOW, THE
RIVERS AND RAILS OF BOTH MIDDLE AND WEST TENNESSEE
ARE UNDER THE CONTROL OF FEDERAL FORCES, WHILE EAST
TENNESSEE REMAINS A CONFEDERATE STRONGHOLD.
THE NICKNAME FOR CHATTANOOGA SAYS IT ALL.
IT’S BEEN CALLED THE CHOO CHOO FOR YEARS…A CITY WHERE TRAINS
RUN IN EVERY DIRECTION… JUST AS THEY DID AT THE
TIME OF THE CIVIL WAR. (JIM OGDEN) HOW DO YOU GET A
UNION ARMY FROM THE NORTH TO CENTRAL GEORGIA AND CENTRAL
ALABAMA BUT THROUGH THE GATEWAY TO THE DEEP SOUTH.
AND THAT IS CHATTANOOGA. AND IN 1863 THE FOCUS WOULD
BE ON THIS GATEWAY CITY. (NARRATOR) IT WILL TAKE A
SERIES OF FOUR BATTLES ENGAGING MORE
THAN 150,000 MEN FOR THE UNION TO TAKE CONTROL OF
CHATTANOOGA. (JIM OGDEN) WITH THE CONFEDERATE
DEFEAT ON LOOK OUT MOUNTAIN AND MISSIONARY RIDGE IN NOVEMBER
OF 1863, THE CONFEDERATES LOSE ANY HOPE OF ANY LONGER KEEPING
THE DOORWAY, GATEWAY, PASSAGEWAY, TO THEIR MILITARY
INDUSTRIAL HEARTLAND CLOSED AND BARRED SHUT. (NARRATOR) THEN COMES THE
BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA… EVEN MORE DISASTROUS THAN SHILOH. (OGDEN) IN THE END, IT IS ONE
OF THE MOST COSTLY CAMPAIGNS OF THE CIVIL WAR.
IN THE BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA ITSELF, 28 PERCENT OF THE TROOPS
ENGAGED HAVE BECOME CASUALTIES. IT’S THE SECOND BLOODIEST
BATTLE OF THE WAR. (NARRATOR) ST. CLAIR MORGAN
HAD OBTAINED FREEDOM FROM PRISON AFTER HIS
CAPTURE AT FT. DONELSON. HE IS AMONG THE DEAD
AT CHICKAMAUGA. (OGDEN) SIMPLY BY LOOKING
AT THE CASUALTIES YOU CAN SEE ANOTHER WAY TO JUDGE
JUST HOW IMPORTANT CHATTANOOGA WAS IN THIS
STORY OF OUR NATION’S CIVIL WAR AND THE STRUGGLE
HERE FOR CONTROL OF THIS IMPORTANT TRANSPORTATION
CENTER, THIS RIVER AND RAIL TOWN. (VAN WEST) THE FALL OF
CHATTANOOGA FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED THE CIVIL WAR.
THE UNION ARMY CONTROLLED ALL OF TENNESSEE.
IF THEY CONTROLLED TENNESSEE THAT MEANT THAT
THEY CONTROLLED ALL OF THOSE TRANSPORTATION LINKS
TO THE NORTH AND TO THE SOUTH. SO THEY WERE TOTALLY POISED,
READY TO MOVE ON ATLANTA. ATLANTA FALLS AND SHERMAN IS
READY FOR HIS MARCH TO THE SEA. SO, THE FALL OF CHATTANOOGA
CHANGED THE COURSE OF THE WAR IN FUNDAMENTAL WAYS THAT MEANT
THE DEATH KNELL OF THE CONFEDERACY WAS ALMOST UPON US. (NARRATOR) CONFEDERATE GENERAL
ROBERT E. LEE SURRENDERS ON APRIL NINTH OF 1865.
THE WAR WILL OFFICIALLY BE OVER IN AUGUST…BUT THE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WON’T LIVE TO SEE IT.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN IS ASSASSINATED APRIL 14TH, 1865.
HIS BODY IS TAKEN FROM WASHINGTON TO HIS HOME IN
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS… BY TRAIN OF COURSE.
THE RAILS AND RIVERS WILL GO BACK TO THEIR PEACEFUL
PURPOSE OF PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION AND COMMERCE.
BUT THE WAR IS NOT FINISHED WITH THEM YET.
TWO WEEKS AFTER LINCOLN’S MURDER, HOMEWARD BOUND UNION
SOLDIERS PACK THEIR WAY ON TO A CROWDED STEAMBOAT. (ACTOR AS EDWARD F. HEDRICK)
WHEN WE BOARDED THE SULTANA AT VICKSBURG, WE WERE
A JOLLY CROWD. TWO THOUSAND OF US HAD JUST BEEN
RELEASED FROM A SOUTHERN PRISON. WE WERE SO HAPPY. (WAYNE MOORE) PROBABLY BECAUSE
OF SOMEBODY’S GREED, THEY OVERLOADED THE SHIP.
THERE WERE THOUSANDS OF MEN, EVERY AVAILABLE INCH
OF DECK SPACE WAS COVERED, YOU CAN SEE FROM THE
PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE SULTANA IN PORT AT MEMPHIS BEFORE IT
LEFT THAT IT WAS JUST COVERED WITH MEN.
MANY OF THEM WERE WOUNDED OR EMACIATED FROM THEIR
STAY IN PRISON WAR CAMP. (NARRATOR) AS THE SULTANA
FLOATS PAST MEMPHIS… A LEAKING BOILER EXPLODES. (ACTOR AS LOUIS SCHIRMEYER)
I FOUND MYSELF BEING HURLED UPWARD THROUGH THE AIR.
I MUST HAVE GONE UP 20 OR 25 FEET.
IN FALLING I STRUCK THE SHATTERED PILOT HOUSE.
MY FACE WAS CUT AND BLEEDING… (ACTOR AS EDWARD F. HEDRICK)
THE PASSENGERS WERE SHOUTING AND SCREAMING AND JUMPING INTO
THE RIVER ON ALL SIDES. (WAYNE MOORE) THE LOSS OF LIFE
WAS HUGE, IT WAS 15-HUNDRED PLUS MEN DIED IN THAT EXPLOSION
OR DROWNED IN THE RIVER AFTERWARDS AS THE BOAT SANK. (NARRATOR) IT IS THE WORST
MARITIME DISASTER IN THE NATION’S HISTORY… AND WILL
NOT BE SURPASSED EVEN BY THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC.
THE SULTANA IS A SAD, BUT IRONIC
EVENT IN WHICH RIVERS AND RAILS FIRST CARRIED ECONOMIC
PROSPERITY… THEN GRIEF AND SUFFERING
THROUGHOUT THE STATE. (VAN WEST) TENNESSEE WAS THE
GATEWAY TO THE CONFEDERACY. OF COURSE MANY BATTLES
WERE FOUGHT IN VIRGINIA; THEY WERE TRYING TO TAKE
THE CAPITOL OF RICHMOND AND KILL THE CONFEDERACY
AT ITS HEART. BUT IN MANY WAYS
TENNESSEE WAS THE SOUL OF THE CONFEDERACY
BECAUSE THROUGH IT RAN THE ARTERIES THAT KEPT THE
WHOLE BODY ALIVE. (NARRATOR) WHEN THE WAR IS
OVER, SO MANY YOUNG MEN HAVE BEEN
KILLED THAT NANNIE HASKINS… THE CLARKSVILLE TEENAGER
WITH DREAMS FOR HER FUTURE… CHOOSES TO MARRY A WIDOWER
TWENTY YEARS OLDER WITH FOUR CHILDREN.
TOGETHER, THEY HAVE SIX MORE. THE WHOLE FAMILY IS NOW BURIED
IN A CLARKSVILLE CEMETERY. BY ORDER OF A CONFEDERATE
GENERAL, BRIDGE BURNERS JACOB AND HENRY HARMON ARE
BURIED OUTSIDE THE FAMILY CEMETERY IN POTTERSTOWN
AFTER THEIR EXECUTION. (DON BIBLE) HE TOLD THE
FAMILY, “I DON’T WANT THEM BURIED IN THE CEMETERY WITH DECENT PEOPLE,
BURY THEM OUTSIDE THE CEMETERY.” THERE WAS A RAIL FENCE AROUND
THE CEMETERY AT THE TIME AND THEY WERE BURIED OUTSIDE.
AND LATER ON, THE CEMETERY WAS ENLARGED TO TAKE
IN THE GRAVES. AS YOU CAN SEE NOW,
IT GOES JUST A LITTLE PAST THE GRAVES. (NARRATOR) NASHVILLE
BUSINESSMAN SAMUEL DOLD MORGAN’S SUCCESS USING THE
RIVERS AND RAILS IS OVERSHADOWED
BY GRIEF FOR HIS TWO SONS. THE MEMORY OF MORGAN AND
HIS FAMILY IS PRESERVED IN THE SOUTH WING OF THE
STATE CAPITAL BUILDING WHERE HE IS BURIED. (RUTH WARNER) MY
GRANDMOTHER WAS GIVEN A ROSE SHE WAS A LITTLE GIRL
AND SHE DROPPED THE ROSE IN HIS TOMB BEFORE IT WAS
SEALED. SHE WAS BORN IN 1872 AND HERE WAS THIS MAN WHO
WASHER GREAT GRANDFATHER AND SHE TOLD ME THAT STORY
AND THAT’S REMARKABLE HOW THIS KIND OF CONNECTION TO
HISTORY CONTINUES DOWN THE GENERATIONS. (NARRATOR) THE LATEST
GENERATIONS IN TENNESSEE STILL RELY ON THE
CONVERGENCE OF WATER AND STEEL FOR PROSPERITY… AND FOR THE
CONTINUING PROGRESS OF OUR BIGGEST CITIES.
BUT THERE’S ALSO ANOTHER RELEVANT ROLE FOR RIVERS
AND RAILS… AS A REMINDER OF OUR HISTORY. (WAYNE MOORE) YOU HAD THIS
COLOSSAL MILITARY STRUGGLE THAT KILLED ALMOST 700,000
AMERICANS BUT BESIDES THE PEOPLE THAT IT KILLED YOU
HAD THREE TIMES THAT MANY WHO WERE MAIMED AND
WOUNDED, YOU HAD A LOSS OF A WHOLE GENERATION OF
YOUNG MEN AND IT PROFOUNDLY AFFECTED
EVERYBODY IN THIS PART OF THE COUNTRY – IN
TENNESSEE, IT WAS FOUGHT IN THEIR BACKYARDS, THEY
SUFFERED DIRECTLY FROM THE WAR. (ANNOUNCER OFF CAMERA)
TENNESSEE CIVIL WAR 150 IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART
BY TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, TENNESSEE CIVIL
WAR SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMISSION, AND TENNESSEE
CIVIL WAR NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA.

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