thumbnail of American Experience; Reconstruction: The Second Civil War; 
     Interview with Drew Gilpin Faust, Historian, Radcliffe Institute for
    Advanced Study
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
these this is a tough business it is it's been defeated important implications for seven religious assumptions probably because the whole confederacy have been defined as god's chosen people the presence of the mine along seal on the presence of the constitution all that had time for the confederacy very close
to a national gardening us and the current balance was just doing success he didn't what does that mean a lot of white southerners you writing about was not this has gotten in and it gives us forest in and gone how i arm square this with religious faith do i found myself tremendously introspection the question of slavery is of course a part of this because of slavery is to be destroyed is this god's will that slavery be destroyed as they were somehow not part of god's purpose where they are wrong about the known it i think that some years back off a bit of confronting the whole question about what slavery wrong as they look at the outcome of war there is a lot of writing in the postwar years trying to adjust to the south
to new interpretation of its past one they can live with going forward and i think the white stuff turns to an explanation of slavery as having been inefficient random an explanation to defeat that focuses on the north's myth curious if your yard how can we possibly our country were beaten a nation that had so many more americans so many more factories so much wealth and then they explained the economy of the old south by saying it was fine for producing company didn't diversify it did not put us in a good situation were there for slavery was banned because as one coast were journalists in typical the south kept the south and certainly has limited set of progress and therefore made it impossible for us to defeat this modern industrialized north it was a rowdy entirely into the wrong kind of economic explanation and an explanation of the recent trip to feed
also provides a foundation for justified some progress and second movement and the new south then that many white southerners in helping rich it also though it's important to get out from the white south you do unanimous judgment not a huge moral humidity economic prescriptions and so you don't really see on revisions thoughtful revisions of the whole christian defense of slavery and you do see the persistence of a paternalistic idea but outside the context of enslavement they're still many white southerners who believe that we need to take care of these people even in freedom we need to limit the year i'm access to the vote we need to limit texas property because they're not fully able to handle this i think that some of the support ideas of subordination that were part and parcel of the prewar you
come out as the racism the post were that senator since into the twentieth century ok down on such a wonderful writer and he you know he says that sen leahy says jb bernstein taught our fate you could talk about how he uses the famous for three pointers edition sunday kate writes in her diary conquered submissions subjugated the end of the war i think those words have particular relevance in a white southern society that was fixated on honor honor and
glory independence were at the core of the white south's understanding of itself and particularly the understanding that male southerners what it meant to be now and what it meant to have made that it goes who is concord so educated that's silly and in a sense what to feed has done and kate symes is take the epithets of slavery and imposed them on white south as a whole and in a society in which freedom and slavery are so clearly dealing with freedom has the edge of our and slavery is that into degradation to be conquered in and to have to submit it's a particularly terrible mean so for the white south this notion of having lost its founder having lost its status having lost its independence it's perhaps even more forcefully than a society that had not understood
the differences between freedom and send you patients so the you know it has been the men folk and kate's family her brother who comes back having been gone since the very beginning i think it's a statement senate almost suspended animation he comes back to his family has
been devastated his uncle status brother's dead us all these women poking has to take care of you must be thinking about the enormous burden of responsibility on him to figure out how to support these people in a changed world and yet he is just coming back from being in so serious that scene death in effect haitians and viciousness of humans to one another is in the wilderness in the wilderness they were injured men in the field who work to death because the woods caught on fire and screams of wounded soldiers being burned alive and able to move to escape the fire he was there he so is coming at me rest recuperation instead confronting the necessity of building a new life for his family and he was the man in the south you knew that was his job to even get his
mother and sister had managed to take care of his family the period of the war he would have to figure out and so i think he was overwhelmed because he harnessed though he hardly moved that and his family by the end of the kid's diary three years ago he made decisions put the agricultural operation the plantation back together he doesn't move beyond this incapacity and take up his for sustenance so i think that they're looking at will and thinking about his presence and the war really fourteen years i'm almost uninterrupted service he gets home a couple times i think very briefly but otherwise he is about four years and then comes back to yet another battle of the of a different sort in which the nature of the enemy is less clearly defined in the nature of
the opportunities or less and it would be quite a lot for someone to have to deal with and i think the silence make an understandable response force how they feel i think that negotiating with slate's seemed unimaginable because in the very notion of negotiation is an assumption that some kind of equality and interesting than many of the writings of white southerners if they feel they've done so much for the senate huckabee also asked for wages they're living on the land they're getting along the use of these facilities to the penny and for many white southerners they don't have anything to eat and we have so that that the notion that they have to come up with passion and co payments
for these layers is unimaginable because they themselves are on the purchase of desperation when it's terrifying and i think it says she sees the north as having empowered her worst nightmares that in some sense that lincoln and the north represent there are things she feared most she thinks that this is an incitement to insurrection that the north is trying to cause a slave uprising in the south by empowering validating the violence of slavery and then military action since then earlier this year an air
when we have a story that i can do and i think many white southerners were either self consciously or subconsciously fearful of retribution from the slaves and desist why african american troops this is why aren't our slaves were suffering too to slave owners it's extraordinary in my mind how little retribution and actually once given the kinds of proteins that slavery involved for the most part white southerners were not assaulted or attacked in any way correspond by former slaves and the court while union troops but there are some examples of this there's a story of a among union officers who when capturing a slave master who had been particularly notorious for his cruelty called together a group of female slaves who had been abused and where plants master and he gave me some insights into
it and said go home and then they with this former minister him with great satisfaction so there was no sense in our society by a federal army was an interesting layer them union soldiers but there was a comparatively very very little thats kind of retribution against them and the most surprising situation is yes yes and his position about south africa which is we have to move onto to the kinds of relationships that make the future a possible move beyond medicine and most of them until articulating if that was seen to be as
you know and i guess it seems to sell a complex in an assistant commissioner in which is in this complexity and i wish that it was greatly romanticized by white south and son relationship a devotion than in the post war period people start erecting statues to manny's as a way of trying to catch an invasion of slavery that was very much at odds with the exploitative reality of it but nevertheless if you put people together and relationships over a long period of time there are some human connections there and what were the complexities of the slaves themselves as they thought about running away were there affectionate feelings in some measure towards members of the family one family with whom they've lived for great lengths of time and where their feelings of loyalty or at least
i want when i want to get out of here i don't wish you well you know i just want to be away from you and so what kinds of humankind contradictions affected the slaves as they try to separate themselves from the white southerners with whom they'd been forced to pursue and were some of those feelings once that would inhibit their seeking a vengeance and simply push for former slaves to new lives with their own rather than to two to taking action against people towards whom they probably had ambivalence and some points of connection mary of winchester says at the end of the war political reconstruction is inevitable now but socially construction we have on our hands and we can prevent and i think that's it extraordinary insight on the art and so predictive of much of what
happens in the months and years that follow more i think the team says that congress is going to do certain things but there's almost a kind of guerrilla warfare of the domestic of the local of people ask for refusing to let society change in the ways that the architects of freedom in the north might hope for in the ways that this slaves freed slaves might themselves within the south and so i think she and the women of the south and that former slave owners of the south with families in the south we have all kinds of ways of drawing lines and resisting an egalitarian impulses assumptions of the former slaves just setting up roadblocks i'm me in every way they can imagine to change in their society and so as one might say the south succeeded in this in one of the south's succeeded in this
well into the twentieth century and with inventing new kinds of ways and then of course the legal ways that the south itself chance to change the nature for human society to resist to resist the change is implicit in an incident on the his body i think we we consider the memorial session of the war that begins monday in its immediate aftermath we should think about death and we should think about the tremendous slaughter that existed across the south with so many individuals eighty percent of white southern men of military age children were eighty thousand widows and alabama applying for supporting me what does this mean
about the impact of war on individuals and therefore what other gestures remembering what i think one of the things they want to do is simply an emotional level cope with all that death and somehow reclaim the meaning of those deaths and reclaiming it does this in part these women who are responsible for mourning women it's kind of woman's role women have been the mourners during the war women organize themselves into associations to bring back again from gettysburg to south carolina and buried him in south carolina bring back again from the north to bury them in the hollywood cemetery in richmond these are structured women's organizations and they want to honor their dead for several reasons one is to i think enhance the sense of worth of them and who didn't there are men like will stone who comes back from the war shattered wondering what he has done in the past four years what this
to say that the sacrifices of the dead the efforts of the soldiers were noble effort says one way it kind of shoring up the man who still alive i think it's also a way for the women themselves to say that we have not lost loved ones and then there was the purpose what was the purpose if you're going to have another day you in some way it hits the chorus concert we did and so i did
like this the petition time and again to enhance the cost of this wasn't simply about the men in sauces of the problems is also that the cause for which they don't and we have to think about these white southern women doing this in a context of a national federal effort federally funded effort to move through the south and find every union soldier buried or and buried identifying him and put him in a national cemetery three hundred thousand union soldiers across the south were reburied with the financing of the federal government this is not happening for confederate soldiers so this becomes a private activity undertaken by women's organizations i think this fuels the law schools and that really helps the last post because as these women get
involved in the activity of arranging for the transportation of the dead setting up these burial societies those same way and evidently into celebrations what they stand for and the beginnings of their once homeless organizations will weaken so i think that there's a continuity between women as mourners waited is for grete and women as proponents of the law school and smithson and attending school years you do see is the united daughters of the confederacy and ask the warriors faded a little bit into the distance they were morrow session of the dead take some were more of a political home and becomes more tied up with the actual issues of the past not so much just the individual debonair grades instead becomes a celebration of confederate
victory he's a confederate heroes of the confederacy itself and so i think as the wounds of death are muted by time and as the process of the reason it passes this cause becomes more time to politics and this is when the dc really take something almost takes on a professional remembering war and making the memory of the war real fitness for people born after the war so that into our own time we have organizations the children of the confederacy that you do see chapters i attended the burial of stonewall jackson's horse in the summer of nineteen ninety seven celebrated by the united daughters of the confederacy so that these kinds of ties to the past are are very good times it's been
cleaned it's scratch plastic bottle and that's in the museum at the piano but the bones been rattling around so the state while you don't want to enter the grounds and have this huge celebration as a few dozen or so reactors came dressed up in one is stonewall jackson hole with women in mourning clothes the children the confederacy degrees out of hearts of apples and laid them on the horses graze they collected dirt from every battlefield on which leads world that certain scattered he lost the
bbc and then i you know i could do i'm steve inskeep the pink one you say try to provide
support and assistance for confederate veterans we can see here a differentiation between north and south and one that i'm sure if you're a lost cause of the lake nineteenth century a basic sense of the nineteenth century now exclusively of course soldiers those who served in the union army and the widows and families of those who've served in so that southerners who are entirely excluded understandably since they had risen in revolt against the government but nevertheless if you were attacked there in eighty nine a new saas money going to northern veterans in the south i will fuel a certain sense of sexual rivalry hostility the dc tried to arrange for support for veterans of the confederacy families of veterans of the confederacy who were not supported by federal some states in the south also issued pensions and support for our
former officers and soldiers and families but the dc public should do this as a way of honoring these noble veterans who had certain cause it was a way out and of rehabilitating the confederacy an honoring the confederacy as well as the individuals themselves and of course in no kind of partial repayment for this these veterans were trying out and celebrations and a whole new dc movement became very tight with the kind of racial politics of the late nineteenth century and often the image of the white woman needing to be protected appearing in a white dress on the float and you dc celebration with the logo protect us over a whistle they're saying to the late nineteenth century south we continue to be concerned about racial violence about the purity of far right wing this is
an era when lynching is becoming a significant factor in the south when the demonization of african american men when the origins of segregation or carry jim crow so that the dc and its its embrace of this particular sometimes gets a continuity to this this racism that plays a very destructive political in a late night on many small let me ask are people going to see north carolina unless you even at age sixty four by william washington who was a student of a very eminent landscape painter sees the history and heard a manual points
and so it takes the traditions of his drinking and transforms them in the civil war content so that we have here a history painting in which there is no noble white man's day yancey says cough and instead you have a line of waiting and i'm an african american slaves who are seeing in the painting showing their loyalty and sense to the cause and to the efforts of the white man who they are more moralizing and honoring this was painted at a time late in the war when the loyalty of both women and slaves was not so easily assume when women were becoming exasperated often within the devastation were beginning to think to send my mail home i don't want to deal with these losses in war when slaves were running away to union lines when emancipation was very much on their minds and so i see this painting as pre scripted innocence affirming a social order that is rapidly disappearing the painting
was extraordinarily popular during the war it was on display in richmond with a bucket underneath it inviting people to contribute to the confederate cause but perhaps had its most widespread appeal when it was turned into an engraving in the postwar years and so too supporters of the south end the reconstruction years and beyond i think people bought it and say harking back to a social worker that they were trying to idealize it was certainly disappear but this is a kind of romantic rendering of what the old south and the confederate cause has been and its popularity rested in and that hearken back to a world that in a sense hadn't ever been quite weapon the ratings show that i've got an ingredient that
we're in the point is to be prepared it's in my house and i'd hang pictures of time and really just like well it's his that's overtaking our family the safest in i live here there is what was going on and i think it's the onus is on her and i think she just starting life she found something she lurches getting married she's moving into underworld
but i do wonder are the last entry in her diary where she kind of results everything and says everything worked out when things are fine and it always seems to me she may be protesting too much but it's one of the things that so hard to understand in his post two years is that during the war itself people understood this was a historic moment and they kept diaries people are separated from loved ones who were in the army says soldiers are combing people wrote to soldier so you have this extraordinarily rich manuscript documentary record of the warriors and then people stop writing because their with their loved ones again they don't see the post war years as historic in quite the way they saw the conflagration assistant so we know so much less about them and so we have to make guesses and with kids so she seems to do online when you just wonder did he make yourself mr harrison people who'd been less so in the post war years but one of the
issues that oh i think so starts reading her diary she writes much much less after the war there's a few entries in the and she stops altogether before the end of the eighteen sixties and we don't know much about what her life so that part of our our effort to grapple with homeless men two white southerners is inhibited by the fact that we have much just have to know about them and if we think that its description of her brother and her grandfather who were both so depressed and an immobilized in the immediate post war our moment barrister and so this is an uneven distribution
reactions that the most devastated southerners are among the least likely to be able to bring themselves to write and record what it all means for them so we have to kind of hover around these people in and their perceptions of lincoln snapshots rather than a clear picture of what was will well stop thinking as he found himself coming back from now facing the need to re create a living in a family in louisiana he lapses into silence with his family and lapses into science historically oil and we have to make guesses about what's going on in his mind she's in dc to this baby
i think that the us has in the south who has enabled by the northern infatuation why is that it's realistic to come into play one is that this is a time of tremendous economic growth expansion change its trending a lot more than traditional spring in the north away from its real roots into becoming a more urbanized industrialists and so does the north gets something out of having animus down to tie to a past even if it was a past that never wants to a society that holds itself out this traditional world is there an attraction there that helps the north deal with its own change the second part of it and i think a key part of it is race and the basic agreement north and south among white americans about the need for subordination of african americans and a story that
enables that that kind of alliance national alliance that results in segregation results in the kind of racial order that persisted in the united states until the civil rights movement in nineteen sixties that's a story to go with it so north and south agree on a story that originates the racial agents of jim crow and i think that's a key part of the meaning of north and sentencing this
is bad and so this is breaking news this is an
injury aftermath of war white women find themselves getting engaged in a number of organizational activities that were new for whites and one of them is the women's christian temperance union and temperance activity which i think is directed against them actresses name's chris nice to see you isis as a women's imposition of moral force an influence on society at this the suffrage and temperament has very closely timed so i think women's sense of a need to control their own lives and so be free if in some measure from total dependence on white man who had shown themselves to be not entirely dependable major indices separate as an agent of self protection and i think this is the path that richard thomas takes and she sees her husband jeff fritter away her fortune
because it has a prominence is until an ability to be economically successful forcing her to take on the economic responsibility for her family now as an aerosmith concert her inheritance is gone instead she has become a teacher and judges also drinking in the aftermath of war so that her engagement with temperance is a part of coping with this husband who's been so wounded one more and i think the suffering to engage our critic thomas comes out that seems set up and parents when i need to be able to take care of themselves even if they hoped that men can be put back in a position of power an hour and say yes because in a society a biracial society it's so demanding and controlling women entire responsibility four maintain order nevertheless they realize it made a follow up on that and may not be reliable so they want to be able to protect themselves i think suffer just seen as a way for women to exercise their more well
away from that for them to protect themselves it also issues of class moral vision should happen it's not going oh no no moral vision of enlightenment haitian so there's a real sense that if we're talking about in this society enfranchised and african americans or we're talking about the need to maintain racial order we should be in franchising white women because they understand the need for our order they have some insights and capabilities that black men and black women dont have they can stand together with their white men to maintain the society and so seth rich in the south in its early nineteen nineties manifestation in particular women's suffrage is very tied up with the notion of why this nation even talk talk about franchising black man when it hasn't in franchise educated
capable white women and also can't use white women be part of the defense of the white south in the house of women's rights in south carolina the country on a plantation hadn't been a budgetary hammond who was seen on state senator before the world in south carolina and in the beginning of the war had more than three hundred slaves he died in nineteen sixty four lee is with the plantation and at the end of the war she is done because the slaves to read and she is finding it so hard to find provision for the sheikh and that and to deal with their obstreperous why aren't some of them leaving would almost be better off if they would really because there's so many and we don't have the wherewithal to provide women and she
hasn't figured out yet how to re create the social arrangements and the plantation and i reconstructed honestly i wonder what was that kept those people there and why haven't they moved somewhere else off of three young men moving finding loved ones going to re connect with individuals who've been sold out and yet here's katharine ham and talking about how our slaves don't win and i think that without slacking the explanation was that many of them had been there for generations and they have in fact preceded catherine and james hammond who came to claim the plantation because katharine's parents father had boarded and genson they haven't gotten it through marriage and eighty threes and found a hundred and forty slaves on a plantation at britain's and so i think the point that's a few million more
their own than the handguns and there will probably wondering what my hands were leaving because this was their plot of land and their place and i don't know if it was a slavery era there in which many ancestors were very i'm sure there must've been and so the connection of slaves to particular and former slaves to particular plots of land to particular locations which i think they probably saw as their home was a significant actor and that katherine was it was viewed as an interloper and in her description is very little she signed when she starts but that gets about two years ago where i always wondered about that dissonance an incident at two years ago a republican it to and i got a letter from fema outlast who were dissidents and putting together
our family tree won't say it's a network and they started with a demographic portrait done so there's sort of this is a lot of creativity oh yeah this week the house that is unique and the suspect your first question
about who was or revolution i think if we think about the revolution about so much in political terms but an individualize for white southerners the war called every element of their affinity or at least the most profound elements of their identity into question for this lake placid the south it said if you see yourselves a slave holders that piece of your identity is gone if you see yourself as a white it's no longer clear which of course was a key part of identity for whites and one of the most essential elements of their understanding to themselves listening to be one in a society where white if not the exclusive color of freedom how do you adjust your understanding of that part of your personality of your identity and then for a woman who during the war had been asked to do all kinds of mayors work and for a woman who was saying what she often referred to as the boards of creation that's a phrase that white women often used out there and i like the irony implicit in that are the definition
oh wait one of the words of creation and are defeated what what is woman so long and i think that a lot of the night clinging onto the past is the result of the challenge to every aspect of these people thought they were and so it hits them at their very hearts this is not just politics it's not external it's very courtney and that's why they fight so hard to insist he said jesus jesus
This record is featured in “Reconstruction Interviews.”
American Experience
Reconstruction: The Second Civil War
Raw Footage
Interview with Drew Gilpin Faust, Historian, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/15-6d5p844q64).
In the tumultuous years after the Civil War (1863-77), America grappled with how to rebuild itself, how to successfully bring the South back into the Union and how to bring former slaves into the life of the countryFaust talks about the impact of the civil war on women, Confederacy as godliness, white south and lost honor, fear of retribution from former slaves, women honoring those killed in the war, United Daughters of the Confederacy, support for Confederate vetarans, "The Burial of Latane" by William Washington, Lost Cause in the South, Hammond plantation
Race and Ethnicity
Politics and Government
American history, African Americans, civil rights, racism, Reconstruction, Confederacy, voting rights, slavery, emancipation
(c) 2004-2017 WGBH Educational Foundation
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Release Agent: WGBH Educational Foundation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: barcode116339_Faust_02_SALES_ASP_h264 Amex 864x486 (unknown)
Duration: 0:47:21

Identifier: cpb-aacip-15-6d5p844q64.mp4 (mediainfo)
Format: video/mp4
Generation: Proxy
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “American Experience; Reconstruction: The Second Civil War; Interview with Drew Gilpin Faust, Historian, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study ,” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 27, 2019,
MLA: “American Experience; Reconstruction: The Second Civil War; Interview with Drew Gilpin Faust, Historian, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study .” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 27, 2019. <>.
APA: American Experience; Reconstruction: The Second Civil War; Interview with Drew Gilpin Faust, Historian, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study . Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from