27 episodes

History is, indeed, a story. With his unique voice and engaging delivery, historian and veteran storyteller Fred Kiger will help the compelling stories of the American Civil War come alive in each and every episode. Filled with momentous issues and repercussions that still resonate with us today, this series will feature events and people from that period and will strive to make you feel as if you were there.

Threads From The National Tapestry: Stories From The American Civil War Fred Kiger

    • History
    • 4.9, 27 Ratings

History is, indeed, a story. With his unique voice and engaging delivery, historian and veteran storyteller Fred Kiger will help the compelling stories of the American Civil War come alive in each and every episode. Filled with momentous issues and repercussions that still resonate with us today, this series will feature events and people from that period and will strive to make you feel as if you were there.

    27 - April 14th, 1865

    27 - April 14th, 1865

    About this episode: 
    Eight decades ago, popular historian Bruce Catton, and journalist/author Jim Bishop wrote works that profoundly affected my life and future profession: teaching. Catton's This Hallowed Ground and Bishop's The Day Lincoln Was Shot were both written in such dramatic prose that the events, people - indeed, the very era itself - came alive for me. Even today, both authors and their works reinforce my passionate belief that history is alive, relevant, and should be conveyed as a story. For this episode, it is with great reverence and pleasure that I take my lead from Bishop's book, which was published in 1955, sold over 3 million copies, and was translated into 16 languages. He began his research for the day Lincoln was shot in 1930. Then, after two decades had passed, in 1953, in an effort to expand his research, Bishop began reading seven million words of government documents. The result: an absolutely riveting hour-by-hour account of Abraham Lincoln's last 24 hours. In respectful tribute to the two authors that most influenced my professional coming-of-age, and stoked my drive to recount history as a story, I dedicate this effort. With Bishop's work as my central point of reference, here: hour-by-hour, from seven in the morning of April the 14th to 7:22 and 10 seconds the next morning, is the story of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
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    Some Characters Mentioned In This Episode: 
    John Wilkes Booth
    William H. Seward
    George Atzerodt
    David Herold
    Lewis Paine/Payne
    Mary Surratt
     
    Get The Guide:
    Want to learn more about the Civil War? A great place to start is Fred's guide, The Civil War: A History of the War between the States from Workman Publishing. The guide is in its 9th printing.
     
    Producer: Dan Irving

    • 53 min
    26 - Clash In The Ozarks - Pea Ridge

    26 - Clash In The Ozarks - Pea Ridge

    About this episode: 
    E.B. and Barbara Long’s monumental The Civil War Day By Day reveals that there were 10,455 military events during the American Civil War. Here’s a few examples selected from the 16 classifications that they used: there were 79 captures, 727 expeditions, 6337 skirmishes, 76 major battles, and 29 campaigns. No surprise that Virginia was the stage for the most military events. Though Tennessee was second, most students of the conflict are more aware of those events in the eastern theater. However, for this episode, we take you west to The Trans-Mississippi - to an active theater of the war that may surprise you. The statistics bear me out. The third most active state for Civil War events was Missouri, fourth was Mississippi, and the fifth serves as our stage today: Arkansas. For this episode, we recount a clash that may well have slipped under your Civil War radar - a 2-day fight which produced profound consequences. Today, we make our way to northwestern Arkansas - to Elkhorn Tavern, and the Battle of Pea Ridge.
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    Some Characters Mentioned In This Episode: 
    Henry W. Halleck
    Samuel Ryan Curtis
    Peter J. Osterhaus
    Sterling Price
    Benjamin McCulloch
    Earl Van Dorn
    Albert Pike
     
    Other References From This Episode
     Leetown - March 7th, 1862
     

    Elkhorn Tavern - March 7th, 1862
     

    Elkhorn Tavern - March 8th, 1862
     
    **Maps credit: Steven Stanley of The Civil War Trust
    **Picture credit: On The Battery by Andy Thomas
     
    Get The Guide:
    Want to learn more about the Civil War? A great place to start is Fred's guide, The Civil War: A History of the War between the States from Workman Publishing. The guide is in its 9th printing.
     
    Producer: Dan Irving

    • 48 min
    25 - Assassination from the Bottom of the Sea - The Hunley

    25 - Assassination from the Bottom of the Sea - The Hunley

    About this episode: 
    At the beginning of the American Civil War, the Confederate States of America were faced with creating an army and, even more daunting, a navy. Starting essentially from scratch, it needed warships to defend ports and harbors, and a merchant marine to establish desperately needed trade with foreign nations. Mr. Lincoln ordered a blockade to negate both objectives, and in response, southern political and military administrators turned to radical naval design and innovation. The construction of ironclads was one response. Another: the very source for this episode. This is the story of the Confederacy’s desperate attempt to break the Union blockade - the first submersible to sink an enemy vessel. This is the incredible story of the H.L. Hunley.
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    Some Characters Mentioned In This Episode: 
    Horace Lawson Hunley
    Franklin Buchanan
    P.G.T. Beauregard
    George E. Dixon
    Clive Cussler
     
    Other References From This Episode
     
     Recommendation for Further Reading
     
    **Picture credit: Hunley.org
     
    Get The Guide:
    Want to learn more about the Civil War? A great place to start is Fred's guide, The Civil War: A History of the War between the States from Workman Publishing. The guide is in its 9th printing.
     
    Producer: Dan Irving

    • 48 min
    24 - Misery at Murfreesboro - the Battle of Stones River

    24 - Misery at Murfreesboro - the Battle of Stones River

    About this episode: 
    For Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, the summer and fall of 1862 was a veritable roller coaster ride of emotion, from glimmering hope to hand-wringing despair. For Davis, the Confederate summer offensive may well have been the South’s greatest chance for foreign recognition - but by the end of October, that moment had passed. For Lincoln, far too cautious and deliberate generals allowed retreating Confederate armies to escape from Maryland and Kentucky. Both presidents had to accept that the conflict had no end in sight. And yet, as 1862 drew to a close, both saw opportunity in central Tennessee. Fought in weather that had to match the mood of weary men, officers, presidents, and American people, this is the story of the clash along the banks of Stones River. This is the story of the Battle of Murfreesboro. ----more----
     
    Some Characters Mentioned In This Episode: 
    Braxton Bragg
    Don Carlos Buell
    Willian Rosecrans
    Philip Sheridan
    Leonidas Polk
    Julius P. Garesché
     
    Other References From This Episode

     Actions on December 31st, 1862 - 8 a.m.
     

    Actions on December 31st, 1862 - 11 a.m.
     

    Actions on December 31st, 1862 - 4 p.m.
     

    Actions on January 2nd, 1863 - 4 p.m.
     

    Actions on January 2nd, 1863 - 4:45 p.m.
     
    *** Maps Source: Hal Jespersen, http://www.cwmaps.com/
     

    Recommendation for Further Reading
     
    Get The Guide:
    Want to learn more about the Civil War? A great place to start is Fred's guide, The Civil War: A History of the War between the States from Workman Publishing. The guide is in its 9th printing.
     
    Producer: Dan Irving

    • 47 min
    23 - Chattanooga - Part 2

    23 - Chattanooga - Part 2

    About this episode: 
    The Union commander-in-chief, Abraham Lincoln, was beside himself. In the northwestern corner of Georgia, there had been defeat and near-disaster back in September of 1863. There, along the banks of Chickamauga Creek, and now in November, the real possibility of yet another reversal at Chattanooga.
    Besieged by Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee, Major General U.S. Grant was called in to resurrect sinking morale and restore hope. He corrected the former with the opening of a cracker line. Full bellies and ample ammunition lifted spirits. Now, the man from Galena, Illinois determined to flip the military situation. What his men and officers did was nothing short of amazing. This is the story of the incredible events along the Tennessee River, and atop the heights of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. This is part two of the story of The Battle Of Chattanooga.
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    Some Characters Mentioned In This Episode: 
    Braxton Bragg
    Ulysses S. Grant
    William T. Sherman
    Thomas J. Wood
    Philip Sheridan
    Patrick Cleburne
     
    Other References From This Episode

     Map of The Battle of Chattanooga
     

    Recommendation for Further Reading
     
    Get The Guide:
    Want to learn more about the Civil War? A great place to start is Fred's guide, The Civil War: A History of the War between the States from Workman Publishing. The guide is in its 9th printing.
     
    Producer: Dan Irving

    • 46 min
    22 - Chattanooga - Part 1

    22 - Chattanooga - Part 1

    About this episode: 
    It was fall in the year 1863. Much had changed since the summer. Back in July, a doomed assault on Cemetery Ridge meant Confederate defeat at Gettysburg - and now, back in central Virginia, Lee and Meade’s armies sparred. That same July, Vicksburg fell, and the Mississippi River became a federal highway. Yet the Confederacy’s heartland was still a beating bastion of defiance.
    That’s why Abraham Lincoln wanted to drive into eastern Tennessee. That’s why he wanted a major railroad hub in the southeastern corner of The Volunteer State. This is the story of the Union’s attempt to crack the Confederacy from within. This is part one of the story of The Battle of Chattanooga. ----more----
     
    Some Characters Mentioned In This Episode: 
    Braxton Bragg
    James Longstreet
    George H. Thomas
    William Starke Rosecrans
    Nathan Bedford Forrest 
     
    Get The Guide:
    Want to learn more about the Civil War? A great place to start is Fred's guide, The Civil War: A History of the War between the States from Workman Publishing. The guide is in its 9th printing.
     
    Producer: Dan Irving

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

bendingShelf ,

Captivating!

As a civil war reenactor I’m very well versed in the history of the war and often unimpressed by podcasts on the subject. However, this is by far my favorite podcast. It is the perfect balance of facts and feelings and is absolutely captivating.

The Best Civil War podcast ,

Civil War

Fred is a mesmerizing speaker who brings trhe past to life. Do yourself a favor and listen.

Eddie Brown Sr ,

Well done

One of the best podcasts I have heard so far. Very well narrated and very informative. Thank you for retelling such an important part of American History.

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