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19. To Appomattox and Beyond: The End of the War and a Search for Meanings

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Uploaded on Nov 21, 2008

The Civil War and Reconstruction (HIST 119)

Professor Blight uses Herman Melville's poem "On the Slain Collegians" to introduce the horrifying slaughter of 1864. The architect of the strategy that would eventually lead to Union victory, but at a staggering human cost, was Ulysses S. Grant, brought East to assume control of all Union armies in 1864. Professor Blight narrates the campaigns of 1864, including the Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor, and the siege of Petersburg. While Robert E. Lee battled Grant to a stalemate in Virginia, however, William Tecumseh Sherman's Union forces took Atlanta before beginning their March to the Sea, destroying Confederate morale and fighting power from the inside. Professor Blight closes his lecture with a description of the first Memorial Day, celebrated by African Americans in Charleston, SC 1865.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction: Melville's "On the Slain Collegians"
05:21 - Chapter 2. Grant's Strategic Changes from the West to the East
13:26 - Chapter 3. The Psyche of Robert E. Lee
19:17 - Chapter 4. Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Crater: Grant and Lee in 1864
33:21 - Chapter 5. Sherman's March to the Sea
42:23 - Chapter 6. The Beginning of Memorial Day and Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2008.

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