Civil War Talk Radio: November 4, 2005

Air Date: 110405
Subject: Richard F. Miller: Command is Everything
Book: Harvard’s Civil War: The History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
Guest: Richard F. Miller

Summary: Richard F. Miller is the author of Harvard’s Civil War, a history of the 20th Massachusetts that goes beyond battles and campaigns to reveal the inner workings of a Civil War regiment.

Brett’s Summary: Richard F. Miller tells Gerry about the 20th Massachusetts, a fascinating regiment made up of a polyglot of ethnic and class groups, including Harvard students and graduates, German and Irish immigrants, and others. The men were held together by the fair controlling hand of Colonel William R. Lee. When Lee was captured at Ball’s Bluff, says Miller, the regiment had a difficult time adjusting to new leadership. The regiment was not only fascinating for its social history aspects. It was also a “hard luck” regiment of sorts, running into tough spot after tough spot, including Ball’s Bluff, the rout of Sedgwick’s division at Antietam in the West Woods, the thick of the fighting at Fredericksburg, and so on down the line. I also found interesting Miller’s comparison of the German volunteers of 1861, the “Achtundvierzigers” (the 48ers, for those who participated in the revolutions of 1848 in Germany and later fled to the United States), and the VERY recent German immigrants who were coerced into the army in 1864. I happen to have Miller’s book, and it comes very highly regarded. If you are just getting into regimental histories, you can’t go wrong with Harvard’s Civil War: The History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

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.

Check out Brett’s list of the Top 10 Civil War Blogs!

Read many Civil War Book Reviews here at TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog!

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