The United States Army: 1775 – 1899 [Video]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H148UbMwNeU

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[Music] [Music] [Music]
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[Music] [Music] I am an American soldier I am a warrior
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and a member of a team I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values I will always place the
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mission first I will never accept defeat I will never quit I will never leave a fallen comrade
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I am disciplined physically and mentally tough trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills I always
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maintain my arms my equipment and myself I am an expert and I am a professional I stand ready to deploy engage and destroy
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the enemies of the United States of America in close combat I am a guardian of freedom and the American Way of life
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I am an American soldier the soldiers of the United States of America have a long and proud tradition of putting
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themselves between the American people and those who would do them harm in its infancy the American founders feared
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that the army could be used to threaten the rights and liberties that are at the vital core of what it means to be an
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American but operating under civilian control the US Army has for more than two centuries
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proved itself to be a defender of America's freedoms over those centuries the Army has fought
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deadly battles against foes both within our borders and on the other side of the world the army doesn't choose the wars
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in which it fights American soldiers did not make the decision to take action in Vietnam or Afghanistan American soldiers
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did not identify as enemies for Japanese and German forces of the mid 20th century nor the Mexican and American
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Indian forces of the mid 19th they did not choose to see their nation ripped apart nor to be the cause of death for
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so many of their own countrymen but they stood ready to go where sent to defend the national interests and to advance
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the national cause and the Army has done much more than simply fight as the center of military histories report
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American military history puts it we should also consider the army as a social force in peace from the beginning
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the Army has played a role in developing the country in exploring guarding the frontier and constructing roads in
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engineering transportation communication sanitation and medicine and in flood control at the same time the Army has
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served as a vehicle for social mobility of certain disadvantaged groups European immigrants in the 19th century African
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Americans in the 1950s and 60s and Hispanic Americans today America's military history reaches back further
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than the nation itself its roots are in the European armies and the wars for Dominion in the old world when the
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British colonies formed in the new world they found that their most immediate military threat came from the native
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population though the colonists were able to form friendly relations with some Indian
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tribes other tribes saw the threat that the Europeans posed and met that threat with force the Indian warriors had no
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knowledge of nor interest in the European rules of war they fought in an entirely different style than Europe's
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traditional massed armies Indians used surprise attacks striking from concealment and avoiding pitched battles
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to defend the colonies governors established local militias every able-bodied male was expected to serve
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in the militia and every home was expected to have at least one working farm
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these men were America's original citizen soldiers the militias drilled in tactics such as volley fire and quick
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response to emergency bells they built solid defenses around each village and kept their powder dry but in contrast to
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professional armies the militias were loosely structured and generally only met a few days a year to drill during a
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conflict known as King Philip's War New England colonists and their own Native American allies battled against a
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confederation of other native tribes in that war a colonialist named Benjamin church emerged to form a company of
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colonialists and allied natives Church learned the natives tactics for moving through the forests and swamps
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undetected and fighting a more guerrilla style than was known to Europeans these were the first American Ranger force and
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Benjamin church is considered the father of American ranging these skills proved valuable for the conflicts did not end
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when one of church's native allies killed the so called King Philip an Indian chieftain
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from the late 1600s almost up to the American Revolution there were a series of wars between English Colonials and
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French Colonials each having their own allies among the Native American tribes the most famous is the last one known in
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America simply as the French and Indian War ending in 1763 these wars trained the men who would become the first
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officers to lead the Continental Army of the United States of America George Washington commanded a brigade during
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the French and Indian War troops drawn from multiple colonies the militias which had previously served to fight
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Indians in defense of British claims to the land would soon strike the spark of revolution at 2:00 a.m. on April 19th
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about 700 British regulars including light infantry and grenadiers marched out of Boston toward Concord where they
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believed rebellious colonial militia had stored in arsenal of arms powder and ammunition
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the British were right though the militia had already moved most of the supplies anticipating the British move
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when the British regulars entered Lexington they had their first encounter with the Massachusetts militia as the
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British advance party eyed the militiamen someone's trigger finger pitched it was the shot heard round the
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world eight members of the militia were killed and ten wounded compared with a single
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wounded British soldier the British troops moved on to Concord where they found the small amount of supplies it
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had not been moved and burned them as they marched back to Boston however the British were attacked by Minutemen
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who had gathered after hearing the shots fired and seeing the smoke in Concord shooting from behind fences and trees
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the militia harassed the British regulars all the way back to Boston the colonists were demonstrating the
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military tactics they had learned from the natives a guerilla style of hit-and-run shooting from concealment at
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a larger but less mobile force the militia killed 73 British soldiers and wounded 174 the war had begun On June 14
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1775 the Continental Congress formed the first Continental Army the new army included the formation of ten companies
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of expert riflemen to serve as light infantry these riflemen were the first enlisted into service as truly
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continental soldiers rather than a colonial militia this Continental Army drew soldiers from all 13 colonies a
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year later the 13 States initially the force was largely from New England most of the men were angered over the
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occupation of Boston but over the course of the war he became more balanced the people would face their common foe
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together as a single National Army later that year on October 13th 1775 the Continental Navy would be established
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followed by the order on November 10th to raise two battalions of Marines under the Articles of Confederation the
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Congress created the army but the states were responsible for recruiting and equipping the men this inefficient
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process resulted in the food clothing and equipment shortages that contributed to 2,500 disease related deaths at
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Valley Forge in the winter of 77 through 78 enlistment periods were short
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particularly during the early years as the Congress feared creating a permanent army men served one two three years and
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the army never grew beyond seventeen thousand men the most common guns of the American Revolution were large caliber
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smoothbore flintlock muskets in the British Army the firearm of choice was the British Army land pattern musket
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which is known by its nickname the Brown Bess many of the Colonials in the militias and in the Continental Army
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would use the Brown Bess or the French pattern musket called The Charlatans of course the rifle companies were using
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the American long rifle sometimes called the Kentucky rifle the rifles of the 1770s took longer to load and were more
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prone to fouling from the black-powder in the hands of most soldiers the smoothbore Brown Bess was a better
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weapon as it could be reloaded much more quickly and was more useful for volley fire but the marksmen of the rifle
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companies took advantage of the extra range and accuracy offered by their rifled barrels and put them to deadly
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use these were men such as Timothy Murphy of the pennsylvania frontier the son of Irish immigrants Timothy and his
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brother John and Liston and Captain John Louden's Company of Northumberland riflemen where he demonstrated himself
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an expert marksman able to hit a seven-inch target at 250 yards Murphy's skills qualified him to be
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placed into Daniel Morgan's elite Rifle Corps Daniel Morgan was a veteran of the French and Indian War during the
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Revolutionary War he commanded a crack troop of marksmen backwoods men who had grown up hunting trapping and scouting
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officially named the Rangers they were better known as Morgan's rifle [Music]
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at the Second Battle of Saratoga October 7th 1777 Daniel Morgan commanded the left flank
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of the American forces during the battle the British line fell into disarray but British General Simon Fraser was
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rallying them to reform American general Benedict Arnold who had not yet turned traitor saw general Fraser and shouted
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to Morgan that man on the great horse is a host unto himself and must be disposed of direct the attention of some of the
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sharpshooters amongst your riflemen to him Morgan did as he was commanded and soon Tim Murphy was climbing a tree that
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would give him a clear line of sight to the target three hundred yards away he fired a single shot and general Fraser
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fell without Fraser to rally them the British line fell apart the Americans won at Saratoga and in the process
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secured France as formal ally in the war this first American army was also the first integrated army initially
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Washington instructed the recruiting officers to not enlist any Negro or any person who is not american-born but in
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December 1775 he wrote it has been represented to me that the free Negroes who have served in this army are very
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much dissatisfied at being discarded as it is to be apprehended that they may seek employment in the Ministerial army
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I have presumed to depart from the resolution respecting them and have given license for their being enlisted
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in New England many slaves were given their freedom in exchange for their service in the war the Rhode Island
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legislature wrote it is voted and resolved that every able-bodied Negro mulatto or Indian man
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slave in this state may enlist into either of the said two battalions to serve during the continuance of the
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present war with Great Britain that every slave so enlisting shall be entitled to and receive all the bounties
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wages and encouragement allowed by the Continental Congress to any soldier enlisting in their service it is further
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voted and resolved that every slave so enlisting shall upon his passing muster be immediately discharged from the
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service of his master or mistress and be absolutely free as though he had never been encumbered with any kind of
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servitude or slavery while the Continental Army was the main force fighting the British the state militias
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were still in the fight their military effectiveness varied across the states and over the course of the war they
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proved themselves deadly when fighting from cover but were prone to panicking in the face of a bayonet charge but the
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militias and the regulars served two different purposes the Continental Army was a trained professional force
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powerful enough to draw the focus of the British Army the British could not afford to leave the Continental Army
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alive and in the field they had to send their own armies to attack Washington's forces the Continental Army also
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demonstrated to the international community that the Americans had the capability to win the war and defend
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their fledgling nation without such assurances France would never have allied itself with the American cause
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but even in 1776 the United States covered a large land area and the armies couldn't be everywhere at once
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the militia filled the gap for the Americans in a way that the British couldn't match and by controlling the
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ground the state militias controlled the political situation suppressing British loyalists and
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maintaining the revolutionary spirit the Continental Army may have won the war but the militias helped ensure that the
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hearts and minds of the American people remained with the revolutionary cause of course the Continental Army's most
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famous soldier was its commander the day after it created the army the Continental Congress placed George
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Washington at its head under him were four major or two-star generals and seven brigadier or one star generals
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during the war Washington was simply the general and commander-in-chief decades later in 1798 Washington was officially
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made a lieutenant general three stars there was no such rank during the Revolution and the Commission in 1798
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after Washington had served two terms as president and retired was intended to clarify his status above and beyond
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other military leaders after the Civil War the four-star rank general of the army was created for ulysses s grant
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over time the four-star rank would be retired and would then return again but George Washington remained on the US
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Army roles as a lieutenant general technically outranked by three later generals in 1976 the Congress and
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President Gerald Ford posthumously promoted Washington to the rank of general of the armies
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that no officer of the United States Army should outrank him but Washington was always scrupulous about maintaining
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civilian control of the military and as the war came to an end he in the Congress planned for the demobilization
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of the army Washington wrote although a large standing army and time of peace hath ever been considered dangerous to
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the liberties of a country yet a few troops under certain circumstances are not only safe but indispensably
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necessary fortunately for us our relative situation requires but fuels Congress went further than Washington
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expected the fledgling nation managed with few indeed in those early years the Navy and Marines were disbanded in April
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1783 On June 2nd 1784 Congress ordered that the entire army be discharged save for 80 men guarding the military stores
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at West Point and Fort Pitt though they would augment that by a few hundred men raised out of the state militias the
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force was still shockingly small to modern eyes why did Congress resist maintaining an army that could provide
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an adequate defense against the very real threat of future hostilities with British Canada in the North Spanish
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Florida in the south and the Indian tribes from all directions except the ocean because that's the kind of army
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that Americans wanted they feared a standing army was a threat to the liberties which they had just won
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and they feared paying for one almost as much Congress established the War Department on August 7th 1789 but the
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regular army was still small the American territories were vast and the tiny force was insufficient to guard it
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there were troubles with the native peoples in both the southwest and the northwest though the problems were more
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severe to the north the British had ceded the Northwest Territory to America as part of the Treaty of Paris this
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territory included lands that would one day be the states of Ohio Indiana Illinois Michigan Wisconsin and a
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portion of Minnesota and was already populated by various Indian tribes who had been British allies in the war angry
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over American settlers encroaching on their lands the tribes reformed the Western Confederacy Indian raids were
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answered by settler attacks each growing more vicious and neither side recognizing the concept of
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non-combatants in 1790 and 1791 small combined forces of regular American troops and state militias moved against
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the Western Confederacy and suffered brutal losses Theodore Roosevelt later wrote about the army struggles with the
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Native American tribes he described the conditions of the troops sent with General Arthur st. Clair against the
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Northwest tribes in November 1791 the troops were of wretched stuff there were two small regiments of regular infantry
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the rest of the army being composed of six months levies and a militia ordered out for this particular campaign the pay
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was contemptible each private was given $3 a month from which 90 cents was deducted men of good bodily powers and
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in the prime of life and especially men able to do the rough work of frontier farmers could not be hired to fight
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Indians and unknown forests for $2 a month most of the recruits were from the
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streets and prisons of the seaboard cities they were hurried into a campaign against peculiarly formidable foes
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before they had acquired the rudiments of a soldier's training under such conditions it did not need keen vision
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to foretell disaster of the fourteen hundred men fighting under Sinclair almost half were killed and hundreds
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more were wounded it was a devastating defeat Congress was moved to action the first militia act authorized the
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President to call out the state militias whenever the United States shall be invaded or be in imminent danger of
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invasion from any foreign nation or Indian tribe but at the same time no officer a noncommissioned officer or
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private of the militia shall be compelled to serve more than three months in any one year
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the second militia act stated that each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states
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resident therein who is or shall be of the age of 18 years and under the age of 45 years shall respectively be enrolled
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in the militia by the captain or commanding officer of the company and it shall at all times hereafter be the duty
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of every such captain or commanding officer of a company to enroll every such citizen that within one year after
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the passing of this act the militia of the respective states shall be arranged in two divisions brigades regiments
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battalions and companies as the legislature of each state shall direct the act further detailed the specific
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arms that each and every free able-bodied white male citizen must acquire and maintain once enrolled
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compliance with the act was left up to the states and as could be expected the quality of training and equipment for
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the militias varied greatly discipline was generally poor and the militias did not do well when asked to perform the
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complex maneuvers common to professional armies of the day but they could fight well as a regulars and they provided a
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large base from which volunteers could be drawn in support of the Regular Army they also maintained the notion of the
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citizens soldier and laid the groundwork for what would one day be the u.s. National Guard also in 1792 on Secretary
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of War Henry Knox's recommendation Congress authorized the creation of what Knox called a legion the Legion of the
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United States was composed of four sub legions each with its own infantry artillery cavalry and riflemen the first
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and second sub legion were created from the remnants of the 1st and 2nd regiments of the Continental Army and
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the 3rd and 4th sub legions were new recruits a few years later these sub legions became the 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th
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regiments of the US Army soon after its creation the Legion of the United States led by major general
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Anthony Wayne began retaking ground lost to the Western Confederacy they trained hard and in 1795 they defeated the
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Indian forces at the Battle of Fallen Timbers leading to a treaty between the two nations for the next century and
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more America's armies would follow three main types at the core was the standing professional Army this would remain
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relatively small for most of the nation's history and its primary duties would be man in permanent forts across
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the country fighting Indians and producing engineering and other construction works
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additionally the states maintained their militias though these vary greatly in terms of training discipline and
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equipment the militia elected their own officers which did not always result in the most competent men being given
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command when facing the threat of invasion or insurrection the president could call the militia into Federal
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service however they could only be compelled to serve the federal government for up to three months
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although the militias could and did fight well at times more often than not the Regular Army did not find them
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reliable under fire the third category of army troops was the volunteer army these were fruits raised only during
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time of war who served one two three years in volunteer regiments again and again in times of war the volunteer
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regiments would augment the ranks of the Regular Army and every time when the war was over the citizen soldiers returned
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to their soft sand fields while the Regular Army and the force these groups were not exactly respectful
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of each other they were useless useless useless expensive wasteful good-for-nothing said one regular army
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officer during the Mexican War speaking of the volunteers meanwhile a volunteer was said to refer to soldiers in the
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Regular Army who followed orders without argument as moving musket holding machines but despite their animosity
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when necessary they would stand shoulder to shoulder to face a common foe Congress took further actions to improve
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the quality of the army including the creation of a national armory during the Revolutionary War
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American soldiers had used flintlock muskets from a variety of French British and colonial sources after the war the
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American army needed its own standard-issue musket in 1776 an arsenal had been established in Springfield
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Massachusetts in 1794 it became the first national armory in 1795 the Springfield Armory produced the first
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truly American musket the 1795 US Army musket was modeled on the French Charleville musket which had been
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popular among American soldiers and militia in 1799 construction began on the second national armory at Harpers
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Ferry in the western part of Virginia that would eventually split off to become West Virginia by 1810 over 10,000
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muskets rifles and pistols were produced there each year another incentive for the Americans to take more deliberate
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steps in developing their military was the increased tension with France in the mid to late 1790s while America had been
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busy creating a government of By and For the People France went through a revolution of its
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own and as American relations with Britain improved its relations with the now
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revolutionary France soured Britain was again engaged in hostilities with France the French were angered by America's
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apparent siding with Britain and attacked American merchant vessels in 1798 Congress created the Navy
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Department and the US Marine Corps to add to the nation's defense the army was increased to over 4,000 men and George
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Washington was coaxed out of retirement by President Adams to accept command as a lieutenant general the prospect of
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America a lying with Britain was enough to calm tensions and bring the parties to the negotiating table war was averted
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though not in time to save Adams from losing the 1800 election to Jefferson under Jefferson much of the Navy was cut
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and in 1802 the army was reduced to a little over 3,200 men as part of the 1802 reorganization Congress created the
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Corps of Engineers this was following decades-old advice from Washington Alexander Hamilton and Henry Knox they
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pointed to the Army's deficit in trained engineers and recommended the creation of a Military Academy soon after the end
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of the Revolutionary War but Congress didn't take action for several years like a standing army the idea of a
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military academy training officers in the manner of European warfare rankled many Americans in 1794 the rank of cadet
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had been created for the artillery and engineering corps manning the fortifications at West Point New York
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but formal training of those cadets did not take place until 1801 by then President Thomas Jefferson
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though fiercely resistant to the idea of a strong National Army recognized the need to improve the science and
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engineering skills in both the military and the broader nation the US Military Academy at West Point was officially
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authorized on March 16th 1802 staffed by the seventeen man corps of engineers Jefferson soon took another much larger
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action that would need the support of the army the Louisiana Purchase captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William
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Clark led a twenty six month military expedition that required the organization ingenuity and endurance
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that could be found in the US Army these soldiers would lead their men over 7500 miles of rough country providing the
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first detailed map of the area and bringing back valuable information it was a major accomplishment but another
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great challenge lay ahead the France Britain pendulum swung again Britain and France were again at war and America was
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insisting that it was a neutral party but Britain imposed trade restrictions between American France which was both a
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hardship and an insult to American sovereignty furthermore Britain had captured British born Americans off of
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merchants sailing vessels and impressed them into service in the Royal Navy add to that Britain's continued support of
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the Indian tribes in the Northwest Territory providing arms to Indians who then raided American settlements and
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finally in 1812 America could take no more On June 1st 1812 President James Madison
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asked Congress for declaration of war and received it the Regular Army was increased to an authorized strength of
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almost 37 thousand men volunteer regiments and state militia would also have a role in this war and
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eventually 20 additional infantry regiments would be added to the Regular Army with one year enlistments infantry
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regiments were recruited from individual states so that most of the men in a regiment all came from the same state
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Congress offered signing bonuses of land and cash to bring in the men in the war America fought the British at land and
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sea and they also fought the British allies the Indians of the Northwest Territory who were led by the Shawnee
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war leader – come sir – come sir had already been giving the American military trouble before this war began
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and in August 1812 his men helped the British capture Detroit but the city was recaptured a year later by Navy captain
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Oliver Hazard Perry and to come sir himself was killed at the Battle of the Thames with his death the Alliance of
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Indian tribes fell apart the greatest battle of the war of 1812 actually took place after the Treaty of Ghent had been
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signed and in the war On January 8th 1815 Major General Andrew Jackson unaware of
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the treaty signed weeks earlier led in Amalgamated force of about a thousand regulars and three to four thousand
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militia including pirates and freed slaves much to the consternation of many to defend the city of New Orleans
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against a force almost three times his size years later Teddy Roosevelt would write to Jackson's success against a
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superior foe praise is due to the American soldiers for it must not be forgotten but they were raw troops
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opposed to veterans and indeed nothing but Jackson's tireless care in drilling them could have brought them into shape
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at all in the open field the British regulars owing to their greatest skill and maneuvering and –
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they're having bayonets with which the Tennesseans were unprovided cord in all likelihood have beaten them but in rough
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or broken ground the skill of the Tennesseans both as marksmen and woodsmen would probably have given them
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the advantage the American soldiers deserve great credit for doing so well but greater credit still belongs to
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Andrew Jackson who for his cool head and quick eye his stout heart and strong hand stands out in history as the ablest
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general the United States produced from the outbreak of the revolution down to the beginning of the great rebellion
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it wasn't long before Andrew Jackson was leading troops to war again this time in the Seminole Wars in Florida the
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Seminoles were a Native American nation of tribes and included men who were escaped african-american slaves
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this wasn't Jackson's first conflict with Indian tribes of the south before his great victory at New Orleans Andrew
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Jackson had defeated the Creek Nation in Alabama and Georgia forcing the tribes to cede vast portions of their land to
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US government Indian Wars continued while America as always looked West in 1846 in the wake of the annexation of
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Texas a year earlier America went to war with Mexico there was much opposition to the war already driven by the sectional
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rivalry that would pull the country apart in 15 years the nation saw support for the war in the southern states and
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opposition in much of the north but the war went forward this conflict did not involve invasion or insurrection within
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the US borders therefore President James Polk could not call the militia to Federal service the
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war must be fought by the Federal Army alone at the war's beginning the army had about six thousand regulars
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volunteer regiments swelled the ranks to 115,000 American forces quickly captured New Mexico in California in 1846 then in
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march 1847 General Winfield Scott led the first major amphibious landing in the history of the United States Army at
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Veracruz Mexico among the 14,000 men following him were robert e lee george meade ulysses s
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grant James Longstreet and Thomas Stonewall Jackson though that nickname was still more than a decade in the
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future leaving part of his force behind Scott pushed on toward Mexico City with about 8500 men a few months later
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Scotsman defeated the Mexican forces in the Battle of Chapultepec capturing Mexico City the American soldiers had
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won all major battles in the war with Mexico but success in that war may have made the next one inevitable the
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struggles between free and slave states already causing deep divisions in the Union would become even more intense the
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massive lands at Mexico's surrendered in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo would ratchet tensions further than ever and
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the American soldiers who had just captured Mexico City together would soon face one another as enemies before the
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fighting even began the Confederacy had already recruited one of the nation's best generals in the years following the
00:41:58
war with Mexico robert e lee was made superintendent of his beloved united states military academy as states began
00:42:07
seceding his old commander General Winfield Scott approached him about taking command of the Union forces but
00:42:16
Lee could not bring himself to fight against Virginia and he resigned his commission with the army when his states
00:42:23
seceded from the Union in April 1861 after the capture of Fort Sumter President Lincoln responded to Sumter by
00:42:36
calling 75,000 militia into service to defend the capital and demand the return of the Confederate States but decades of
00:42:46
inactivity by the militia meant that few of these men were adequately supplied trained or experienced unfortunately
00:42:54
those 75,000 ninety-day volunteers did not perform well in the first major battle of the war we called to them
00:43:04
tried to tell them there was no danger call them to stop implored them to stand we called them cowards denounced them in
00:43:11
the most offensive terms put out our heavy revolvers and threatened to shoot them but all in vain
00:43:16
a cruel crazy mad hopeless panic possessed them and communicated to everybody about in front and we're the
00:43:24
heat was awful although about six the men were exhausted their mouths gape their lips cracked and blackened from
00:43:31
the powder of the cartridges they'd bitten off in battle their eyes staring and frenzied no mortal ever saw such a
00:43:38
massive ghastly wretches thus reported Ohio congressman Albert riddle after witnessing the rout of Union forces at
00:43:47
the First Battle of Bull Run July 21st 1861 the day after the rout at Bull Run Lincoln signed a bill calling for the
00:43:57
enlistment of 500,000 volunteers to serve three years just three days later he signed a bill raising that to 1
00:44:06
million general McClellan would train these new men into one of the best fighting forces in the world the Army of
00:44:15
the Potomac but he would struggle to command them effectively as with other commanders until finally general ulysses
00:44:23
s grant took command in 1864 when the guns fired on Fort Sumter in April 1861 the federal government had about 500,000
00:44:35
shoulder arms held in Arsenal's in northern states about 80% of these were 69 caliber
00:44:43
smoothbores the southern states possessed only about a third as many long guns many seized from federal
00:44:50
Arsenal's and again most were smoothbore muskets these included old model 1816 and 1822
00:45:00
Springfield flintlock muskets some of which had been converted to the percussion system and some not as well
00:45:07
as model 1842 muskets which were manufactured as percussion guns from a start both sides could raise more troops
00:45:16
and they could quickly armed and there is a massive effort to build or buy as many guns as possible but the Union
00:45:25
didn't just need guns it needed men to fire them with the Emancipation Proclamation the Union began to actively
00:45:34
recruit black soldiers into its ranks in May 1863 the War Department created the Bureau of United States Colored Troops
00:45:44
tasked with recruiting African Americans to fight almost 200,000 blacks enlisted in the US Army during the Civil War they
00:45:56
served in the United States Colored Troops newly created by the order of the Secretary of the army and included black
00:46:03
regiments of all types infantry cavalry and artillery by war's end the USCT represented about 10% of the union's
00:46:15
total forces they fought for many reasons but obviously one powerful incentive was to strike a blow against
00:46:24
the forces that had enslaved millions of their fellow African Americans by taking up arms to join the fight these men were
00:46:33
not waiting to be freed they were freeing themselves the war dragged on longer than any had expected grants
00:46:46
promotion to lieutenant general in charge of all Union forces in March 1864 put in motion the campaigns that would
00:46:54
bring the war to its bloody conclusion this included sending General William Tecumseh Sherman named in part for the
00:47:04
great Shawnee war leader who deposed America in 1812 to March his armies across Georgia and eventually to the
00:47:12
Atlantic Ocean laying waste to all Confederate assets along the way including the city of Atlanta the heart
00:47:20
of the south grant himself would focus on general robert e lee's army of northern virginia centered around
00:47:28
Richmond Virginia by June grant and his generals were in the Richmond Petersburg area and were
00:47:35
digging trenches actions around Petersburg and Richmond continued through the fall and even into winter a
00:47:44
series of skirmishes and smaller battles were occasionally producing victories for the Confederacy but were wearing
00:47:51
away at Lee's resources in April of 1865 the Army of Northern Virginia had been seriously weakened after four years of
00:48:03
war rebel soldiers were worn down food shortages and disease had taken their toll and more men or disappearing in the
00:48:12
night leaving behind a shrunken army then the Union forces finally broke through at Petersburg grant later
00:48:22
described the attack which kept up a continuous artillery fire upon the enemy around the whole line including that
00:48:30
north of the James River until it was light enough to move which was about a quarter to 5:00 in the morning at that
00:48:37
hour parks in rights Corps lugod is directed brush the apathy from their front as they advanced under a heavy
00:48:42
fire of musketry and artillery and went without flinching they mounted the parapets and threw themselves inside of
00:48:49
the enemy's line Grant had ordered continuous artillery fire along the enemy
00:48:54
throughout the night of April 1st at 4 o'clock in the morning on April 2nd the 9th and 6th Corps would attack along
00:49:03
their respective fronts the 6th Corps assaulted the Confederate trenches along Boyton plank road the initial attack of
00:49:12
the 9th Corps was successful capturing three Confederate batteries the southerners were low on manpower their
00:49:19
line was stretched thin the 9th corps had overrun the Confederate trenches with that one breakthrough the
00:49:29
Confederate lines the southern defenses around the city were indeed untenable after nine long months of trench warfare
00:49:38
that would not be seen again until World War one the siege of Petersburg was over the Confederate forces had withdrawn
00:49:47
into the city's inner defenses grant planned another artillery bombardment to begin at 5:00 a.m. on April 3rd followed
00:49:57
by another assault an hour later but general robert e lee evacuated the city in the night within two weeks time Lee
00:50:09
surrendered to grant at Appomattox Courthouse the end of the Civil War meant the return to the Indian Wars the
00:50:20
Dakota war of 1862 the Great Sioux war the Black Hills War Union general Custer's last stand at the Battle of
00:50:31
Little Bighorn the massacre at Wounded Knee American soldiers and settlers faced American Indians and seemed from
00:50:43
our perspective too engaged in a terrible game of one-upsmanship as each side struggled to prove itself more
00:50:50
savage than the other but in the end the overwhelming power of the US military was enough to defeat the warrior tribes
00:51:00
of the American Indian during these wars one of the most effective generals was general Nelson a
00:51:08
miles commander of the 5th US Infantry Regiment after the destruction of Custer's force at Little Bighorn Myles
00:51:17
helped sweep the plains of the Lakota Indians pushing them on to their reservations he accepted the surrender
00:51:26
of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce in 1877 and the surrender of the Apache war leader Geronimo in 1898 and the
00:51:36
surrender of Sioux chief kicking bear in 1890 the Indian wars were a difficult time and today Americans look back at
00:51:46
the destruction and forced removal of Indian tribes as tragic in 1895 general miles was named commanding general of
00:51:56
the United States Army he still held that post three years later as America went to war with Spain when war was
00:52:06
declared in the spring of 1898 US Army regulars consisted of just about 28,000 men more were needed to fight a war and
00:52:16
the president couldn't simply call up the state militias as the US was not an imminent danger of invasion the army
00:52:24
wanted an additional 50,000 men they received 220,000 volunteers the most famous volunteer was Theodore Roosevelt
00:52:37
until recently Roosevelt had been the assistant secretary of the Navy and he was
00:52:43
strongly supportive of this war the crag was a repeating bolt-action rifle chambered for the Army's new 30 caliber
00:52:52
smokeless cartridge it had a lower rate of fire than some of its competition but ordnance officials believed that the
00:52:59
slower reloading speed was a good thing as it would preserve ammunition this short war also saw the first use of
00:53:09
the Gatling gun by the US Army for mobile fire support for offensive combat during the famous battle for San Juan
00:53:16
Hill the Gatling guns used at that time had ten rotating barrels and could fire from 300 to 900 shots per minute using
00:53:26
the same ammunition at the time first lieutenant John Henry Parker led the Army's newly formed Gatling detachment
00:53:36
at one point Parker's guns blazed in support of Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders
00:53:43
by this point Leonard Wood had received a battlefield promotion to Brigadier General and Roosevelt was now the
00:53:50
colonel of the regiment Parker wrote in the history of the Gatling detachment trub pointed out the enemy which was
00:53:58
menacing Colonel Roosevelt's position about six hundred yards to the right oblique from the position of the guns
00:54:04
and perhaps two hundred yards or less in front of the salient occupied by Colonel Roosevelt in the third cavalry there was
00:54:09
a group of about four hundred of the enemy apparently endeavoring to charge the
00:54:13
position sergeant Greene's gun was instantly turned upon this group at point-blank elevation the group melted
00:54:20
away captain mark Cody states that after the surrender some Spanish officers
00:54:25
described this to him stating that the enemy seen at this point was a body of about 600 escaping from El kanae but
00:54:32
they were struck at this point by machine-gun fire so effectively that only 40 of them ever got back to
00:54:37
Santiago the rest were killed Roosevelt was so impressed with Parker's actions that day and his ability to see
00:54:45
the potential of the machine guns that he put his own two Colt seven millimeter machine guns under Parker's command the
00:54:54
spanish-american war ended with the Treaty of Paris in the fall of 1898 the treaty made Cuba an independent state
00:55:03
and required Spain to cede Guam and Puerto Rico to America Spain also accepted 20 million dollars from the
00:55:12
u.s. in payment for the Philippines but the Filipinos had been fighting a revolution against Spain and did not
00:55:21
consider themselves for sale and so no sooner was the u.s. out of war with Spain than it was at war with insurgent
00:55:30
forces in the Philippines the Philippine American War lasted three years in the middle of which Teddy Roosevelt received
00:55:38
a bit of a promotion from Colonel of a volunteer regiment to president of the United States Roosevelt wrote in his
00:55:49
autobiography as a legacy of the Spanish war we were left with peculiar relations to the Philippines Cuba and Puerto Rico
00:55:57
and with an immensely added interest in Central America and the Caribbean Sea as regards to the Philippines my belief was
00:56:07
that we should train them for self-government as rapidly as possible and then leave them free to decide their
00:56:14
own fate I did not believe in setting the time limit within which we would give them
00:56:19
independence because I did not believe it wise to try to forecast how soon they would be fit for self-government and
00:56:27
once having made the promise I would have felt that it was imperative to keep it within a few months of my assuming
00:56:36
office we had stamped out the last armed resistance in the Philippines that was not of merely sporadic character if
00:56:45
Roosevelt's description of events in the Philippines sounds something like nation-building then perhaps he was
00:56:52
foreseeing the challenges that would face America and its army a century into the future there were many changes in
00:56:59
store for the United States Army in the years and decades to come America's little war with Spain signaled its
00:57:08
interest in matters beyond its borders and it's quick victory indicated that the nation was prepared to hold its own
00:57:16
in conflicts with the European powers it would soon have the chance to test this notion as America entered a century
00:57:26
of world wars nuclear threats Cold War struggles and Middle East politics but as it always had and always would the US
00:57:39
Army stood ready to place itself between America and any threat proving time and again their motto
00:57:49
this will defend thanks for watching if you'd like to help us produce more compelling
00:58:06
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