Civil War Talk Radio: April 4, 2008

by Brett Schulte on April 4, 2008 · 0 comments

Air Date: 040408
Subject: Lee’s Offensives at Antietam, Gettysburg, and Bristoe Station
Books: Lee Moves North: Robert E. Lee on the Offensive
Guest: Author Michael A. Palmer

Summary: Michael Palmer, also of East Carolina University, talks with Gerry about his book Lee Moves North. In the discussion, Palmer goes over why he believes Lee failed each of the three times he attempted an offensive campaign. Palmer stressed that he focuses more on campaigns rather than battles, which is presumably why he excluded something like the Seven Days from his book. The author believes Lee’s style of command was decentralized without including enough of his subordinates in on his plans. Palmer also discusses Lee’s lack of a staff even in comparison to contemporary Federal armies. The end result, argues Palmer, are the three offensive campaign failures in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and then Virginia. His discussion of the differences between what Lee was saying about his hopes for the Gettysburg before the campaign with what he was saying later was fascinating. Palmer believes you have to judge the Gettysburg Campaign on what Lee wanted to do before he started, and this includes staying in Pennsylvania for several months and causing the Siege of Vicksburg to be lifted.

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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