Civil War Talk Radio: April 28, 2006

by Brett Schulte on April 28, 2006 · 0 comments

Air Date: 042806
Subject: Patrick Brennan: The Battle of Secessionville
Book:Secessionville: Assault on Charleston
Guest: Patrick Brennan

Summary: If Isaac Stevens hadn’t been killed at Chantilly, he might have commanded the Army of the Potomac at Antietam. Find out more about Stevens and the other remarkable characters behind the Port Royal expedition of 1862 with Patrick Brennan, author of Secessionville: Assault on Charleston.

Brett’s Summary: Patrick Brennan, the owner of a recording studio in Chicago, Illinois, discusses both this work on scoring documentaries and his excellent tactical history of the Battle of Secessionville, which occurred on June 16, 1862. The assault ended badly for Henry Benham, a fascinating character who later commanded the engineer troops in the Army of the Potomac. Benham had exceeded orders from expedition commander David Hunter and “secured his camps” by attacking a strongly fortified Confederate position on James Island near Charleston, South Carolina. Isaac Stevens led the unsuccessful assault on the works, commanded in person by Shanks Evans of Ball’s Bluff fame.  The overall Confederate commander at the time was John Pemberton, eventual loser in the Vicksburg Campaign.   Benham claimed Stevens was a coward ion the wake of the failed attack. This is especially ironic considering Stevens’ actions at Chantilly only a few months later, where he lost his life at the head of a regiment while leading his division’s assault. Brennan ably discusses the controversies which arose during and after the battle on the Federal side. The 28th Massachusetts, soon to be a member of the famed Irish Brigade, performed very poorly at Secessionville.

Note: See my review of Secessionville: Assault on Charleston for further details on this excellent book.

Civil War Talk Radio airs most Fridays at 12 PM Pacific on World Talk Radio Studio A. Host Gerry Prokopowicz, the History Chair at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, interviews a guest each week and discusses their interest in the Civil War. Most interviews center around a book or books if the guest is an author. Other guests over the years have included public Historians such as park rangers and museum curators,wargamers, bloggers, and even a member of an American Civil War Round Table located in London, England.

In this series of blog entries, I will be posting air dates, subjects, and guests, and if I have time, I’ll provide a brief summary of the program. You can find all of the past episodes I’ve entered into the blog by clicking on the Civil War Talk Radio category. Each program should appear either on or near the date it was first broadcast.

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