C-SPAN videos

The Virginia Center for Civil War Studies is regularly featured on C-SPAN. Use the links below to watch some of our recent programs. 


Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails

Author Tom Wheeler talks about how Abraham Lincoln used the new technology of the telegraph to communicate directly with his Union generals and helped win the Civil War. 

Friendly Enemies

How much did Union and Confederate soldiers talk to each other and even share tobacco and newspapers? More than you might think! “Friendly Enemies” author Lauren Thompson gives a talk on how soldiers shared information across the lines.

Observations and Signals

U.S. Naval Academy professor Wayne Hsieh described how Civil War generals were able to see aerial views of the battlefield for the first time through military balloons and how they could communicate between widely dispersed troops via the telegram.

Coming soon: War in 3-D and War of Words
  • May 25: Barbara A.  Gannon, “War in 3-D: Stereoviews and Civil War Memory.” 
  • June 1: Paul Quigley, “A War of Words: Newspapers and the Battle Over Slavery.”

Both talks will air on CSPAN-2 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Coming soon: War in 3-D and War of Words
  • May 25: Barbara A.  Gannon, “War in 3-D: Stereoviews and Civil War Memory.” 
  • June 1: Paul Quigley, “A War of Words: Newspapers and the Battle Over Slavery.”

Both talks will air on CSPAN-2 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. 

John Breckinridge’s Escape to Cuba

Historian William “Jack” Davis talks about former Vice President and later Confederate General John Breckinridge’s escape to Cuba after the collapse of the Confederacy in 1865. 

African-Americans in Hampton Roads, Virginia 

Norfolk State University professor Cassandra Newby-Alexander talks about African Americans in Hampton Roads, Virginia during the Civil War. She describes how escaped slaves found refuge and freedom at the Union-held Fort Monroe.

Lincoln’s Journey to Washington

Historian Ted Widmer traces Abraham Lincoln’s trip to Washington through a divided country before his inauguration in 1861. 

1862 Virginia Peninsula Campaign

Virginia Center for Civil War Studies director Paul Quigley talks about the soldier experience during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, a Union attempt to capture the Confederate capitol of Richmond. 

Civil War Journeys, Geography, and Photography

Historian Garry Adelman uses stories and Civil War photography to talk about the ways people experienced the war depending on where they were and how they traveled.

Rites of Retaliation

Historian Lorien Foote talks about how both sides during the Civil War accused the other of being uncivilized and employing retaliatory tactics. 

Choctaw Confederates

During the Civil War, members of the Choctaws Nation held slaves and fought alongside Confederate forces. Author Fay Yarborough talks about Native populations, slavery, and the Confederacy. 

Black Families in Civil War Philadelphia

Augusta University Professor Holly Pinheiro talks about Black Civil War soldiers and their families in Philadelphia, as well as about his research in newspaper and pension records for his forthcoming book on the subject.

Civil War News and Correspondence

Historians address ways the American public coped with the Civil War – by seeking information, writing letters and sharing memories.

Civil War Resources – Clothing and Ammunition

Civil War scholars talk about changes in technology during the Civil War, including the mass production of uniforms, guns and ammunition.

Civil War Manpower and Horsepower

Historians discuss soldier recruitment, forced labor and the use of horses and mules during the Civil War. 

Confederate Boat Burners on the Mississippi

Southern Utah University Professor Laura June Davis talks about Confederate boat burners and naval guerrilla action on the lower Mississippi River during the last years of the Civil War. She describes how after the fall of Vicksburg in 1863, clandestine Confederate forces targeted commercial steamboats in order to disrupt Union supplies and cause panic in the North.

Slavery Depictions in Cinema

Hampden-Sydney College Professor Matthew Hulbert looks at depictions of slavery in Hollywood films ranging from Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind to Django Unchained and Free State of Jones. He talks about how early films glorified the Lost Cause myth and argues that while recent films show the horrors of the slave trade and resistance by enslaved people, the idea of the white savior is often still central to the narrative.

Civil War Veterans and Opiate Addiction

Jonathan Jones of Penn State University talks about widespread opiate addiction among Civil War veterans. He explains how prescribing opium and morphine — common treatments used for wartime injuries — grew into lifelong drug dependence for many.

Black Prisoners of War in the Confederacy

Caroline Wood Newhall, a postdoctoral fellow at the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, discusses her research on black prisoners of war in the Confederacy. She talks about the misconception that all captured African American troops were executed and described how many were instead enslaved, including those born free in the North.

Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation

Virginia Tech professor Paul Quigley discusses President Abraham Lincoln’s shifting policies on emancipation during the Civil War. 

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