"If We Are Striking for Pennsylvania" with Scott Mingus & Eric Wittenberg

57:43
 
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Manage episode 347264908 series 1204414
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Gen. Robert E. Lee began moving part of his Army of Northern Virginia from the Old Dominion toward Pennsylvania on June 3, 1863. Lee believed his army needed to win a major victory on Northern soil if the South was to have a chance at winning the war. Transferring the fighting out of war-torn Virginia would allow the state time to heal while he supplied his army from untapped farms and stores in Maryland and the Keystone State. Lee had also convinced Pres. Jefferson Davis that his offensive would interfere with the Union effort to take Vicksburg in Mississippi. The bold movement would trigger extensive cavalry fighting and a major battle at Winchester before culminating in the bloody three-day battle at Gettysburg. As the Virginia army moved north, the Army of the Potomac responded by protecting the vital roads to Washington, D.C., in case Lee turned to threaten the capital. Opposing presidents Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, meanwhile, kept a close watch on the latest and often conflicting military intelligence gathered in the field. Throughout northern Virginia, central Maryland, and south-central Pennsylvania, meanwhile, civilians and soldiers alike struggled with the reality of a mobile campaign and the massive logistical needs of the armies. Thousands left written accounts of the passage of the long martial columns. Mingus and Wittenberg mined hundreds of primary accounts, newspapers, and other sources to produce this powerful and gripping account. As readers will quickly learn, much of it is glossed over in other studies of the campaign, which cannot be fully understood without a firm appreciation of what the armies (and civilians) did on their way to the small crossroads town in Pennsylvania.

Scott L. Mingus Sr. is a scientist and consultant in the global pulp and paper industry. Scott is the author of nearly two dozen books and numerous articles. His biography Confederate General William "Extra Billy" Smith won multiple awards, including the 2013 Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Literary Award for Confederate history. Scott is also the author of many articles for a wide variety of publications, including Gettysburg Magazine.

Eric J. Wittenberg is an accomplished American Civil War cavalry historian and author. The Ohio attorney has authored nearly two dozen books on various Civil War subjects, with particular focus on cavalry operations, as well as three dozen articles in popular magazines, such as North & South, Blue & Gray, America's Civil War, and Gettysburg Magazine. His first book, Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions, won the prestigious 1998 Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award. Wittenberg speaks widely, leads tours of various battlefields, and is an active preservationist.

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