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Portraits of Blue & Grey: The Biographical Civil War Podcast

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Portraits of Blue & Grey, hosted by Christopher Moore, is a biographical Civil War podcast that examines the lives of the most prominent, interesting, and influential figures of the United States Civil War Era.

Portraits of Blue & Grey, hosted by Christopher Moore, is a biographical Civil War podcast that examines the lives of the most prominent, interesting, and influential figures of the United States Civil War Era.


United States


Portraits of Blue & Grey, hosted by Christopher Moore, is a biographical Civil War podcast that examines the lives of the most prominent, interesting, and influential figures of the United States Civil War Era.






Nathan Bedford Forrest, Part 3

"His eyes, usually mild in their expression, were blazing with the intense glare of a panther’s springing upon its prey....So fierce did his passion become that he was almost equally dangerous to friend or foe.." --Major David Kelly, C.S.A. Part 3 recounts two confrontations with fellow Confederates. First, the killing of Lt. Andrew Gould by his commanding officer, Nathan Bedford Forrest. Though probably self-defense, the incident underscores the centrality of violence in the life of the...


Nathan Bedford Forrest, Part 2

In Spring, 1862, Nathan Bedford Forrest's military acumen began to reveal itself, as he became a thorn in the side of Union operations in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. Part 2 includes Forrest's impressive display of physical courage at Fallen Timbers, a chaotic escape at Parker's Crossroads, and a story of equine heroism at Thompson's Station--before concluding with an in-depth look at the April, 1863, Union mule raid led by Col. Abel Streight and opposed by Forrest's Confederate...


Nathan Bedford Forrest, Part 1

Nathan Bedford Forrest was perhaps the most despised, though begrudgingly respected, Confederate military leader. After growing up poor on the frontier, Forrest ascended the ranks of Southern society and had amassed considerable wealth by the time the Civil War began in 1861. Although he was involved in numerous business ventures, the bulk of his fortune was derived from the slave trade. When the war began, Forrest's value to the Southern cause was immediately apparent--initially as a...


Wm. Tecumseh Sherman, Pt. 4

Sherman's famous March to the Sea is one of the most well-known and noteworthy campaigns of the U.S. Civil War and probably contributed more than anything else to the hatred of Sherman that flourished in the South for 100 years after the war. After capturing Savannah, Sherman turned north, headed for Columbia, SC. Where Savannah survived occupation relatively unscathed, Columbia would not be so lucky. By the time Sherman reunited with Grant, the war was all but over, with only some...


Wm. Tecumseh Sherman, Pt. 3

After Shiloh, Sherman got the opportunity to try his hand in civic administration as the military governor of Memphis. And it was from Memphis that he embarked on a mission, with good friend U.S. Grant, to solve the riddle that was Vicksburg. After months of frustration, Vicksburg fell in July, 1863. The Sherman - Grant team's next test, which they passed with flying colors, was to save the Army of the Cumberland besieged at Chattanooga. Now commanding Union forces in the West, Sherman then...


Wm. Tecumseh Sherman, Pt. 2

Part 2 of our look at the life of William Tecumseh Sherman begins with Col. Sherman commanding NY volunteers at Manassas. The battle goes poorly for the Union, but Sherman shows strong, earning a promotion to Brigadier and a transfer to Kentucky to serve as second in command to Gen. Robert Anderson. Anderson's health problems leave Sherman in charge in Kentucky, and the resulting stress leads to mental health struggles for Sherman. The press, which Sherman already detests, piles on, and...


Wm. Tecumseh Sherman, Part 1

William Tecumseh Sherman is one of the U.S. Civil War's most controversial figures. A "Fierce Patriot" (in the words of Sherman biographer Robert O'Connell), Sherman deserves more credit for holding the United States together than anyone save Lincoln and Grant. His tactics left the South in smoldering ruins. Yet, in the years leading up to the war he resided in the South, helped to found the Louisiana Military Academy, and sympathized with Southerners politically - except on secession. How...


John Brown, Part 2B

John Brown's 1859 raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry brought abolitionism and slavery to the forefront of the national conversation. The support for Brown's raid voiced by influential Northerners increased sectional tensions and support for secession in the South. After his execution and the subsequent election of President Lincoln, secession became a reality, and Civil War followed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


John Brown, Part 2A

In Part 2A of our portrait of John Brown, we pick up in the aftermath of Bleeding Kansas and follow John Brown as he recruits, fund-raises, and prepares for his game-changing raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. We look at the political situation going into the raid and see Brown continue to build a reputation as the nation's foremost militant abolitionist. Though we had originally intended to finish up the series with this episode, it ended up a little longer than...


John Brown: Part 1

A throwback to old-school Puritanism, John Brown brought passion - and violence - into the abolitionist movement. Work with the Underground Railroad gradually gave way to more radical methods, as "Osawatamie Brown" demonstrated that abolitionsts didn't have to be pacifists. And Kansas bled. Part 1 of our portrait of John Brown looks at his early life, the growth of abolitionism in the young United States, and the opening act for the American Civil War known as "Bleeding Kansas." By 1858,...


The Cruise of the CSS Alabama: Pt. 2

The CSS Alabama continued preying on Yankee shipping throughout 1863, prowling off coasts from Brazil to South Africa to Singapore. The success of the raider, skippered by wily Captain Raphael Semmes, inflamed Anglo-American tensions to dangerous levels. But shrewd diplomacy by the Lincoln administration eventually convinced John Bull to turn his back on the rebels, leaving Semmes and the Alabama with few ports capable of providing much-needed maintenance and repairs. After a long-shot...


The Cruise of the CSS Alabama: Pt. 1

After the outbreak of the Civil War, the Union blockade crippled Southern commerce. Hoping to ease the pressure on blockade runners (and turn the tables on Northern shipping), the Confederate Navy contracted with British shipbuilders to construct commerce raiders - warships designed to prey on merchant shipping while evading opposing naval vessels. Denounced as a pirate in the North, Maryland-born Raphael Semmes captained the most effective commerce raider, the CSS Alabama, as the ship...


George Brinton McClellan, Part 3

After the failure on the Peninsula, it appeared that McClellan would lose his command. But, things changed after the disaster that was Second Manassas, and McClellan was restored over the protests of Lincoln's cabinet. After the indecisive victory at Antietam, McClellan refused to press his advantage, and President Lincoln determined that the time had come to place the Army of the Potomac under new leadership. A general without a command, McClellan was recruited into Democratic politics and...


George Brinton McClellan, Part 2

George Brinton McClellan left the army at the rank of captain but, upon the start of the Civil War, soon found himself a major general in overall command of all Union operations. He was called to Washington to restore order after the disaster at First Manassas, and he built the Army of the Potomac into a first-rate fighting force. But before long, due to his overly cautious nature, the administration began to run out of patience. In the Spring of 1862, he took his army to the Virginia...


George Brinton McClellan, Part 1

George McClellan is one of the most oft-criticized figures from the Civil War, but has he been treated fairly? Our series on "Little Mac" will look at the important contributions McClellan made to the Union war effort but also point out his failures. In part 1, we examine his childhood, time at West Point and academic prowess, service in Mexico, observatory trip to the Crimean War, and career as a railroad executive. With the outbreak of war in 1861, McClellan is compelled to return to the...


Stonewall Jackson: Part 3

Following the success at Second Manassas, Stonewall Jackson finally gets the northern invasion for which he has been lobbying since the Civil War began. The bloody draw at Antietam precedes the quiet Fall of 1862. Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville bring rebel victories, but the Confederacy pays a high price for the latter - the loss of the Army of Northern Virginia's spiritual leader. Stonewall Jackson's untimely death only further cements his status as a legend after the war. Email us...


Stonewall Jackson: Part 2

Part 2 of our series on Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson begins with a review of Jackson's famous Valley Campaign, one of the most famous campaigns of not only the Civil War, but in all of American military history, and a campaign still studied by students of military strategy today. We then turn to the Seven Days' Battles, where Stonewall had his poorest showing of the war, before concluding with Jackson's instrumental role in the Confederate victory at Second Manassas. Thank you to all of you...


Stonewall Jackson: Part 1

Portraits of Blue & Grey: The Biographical Civil War Podcast examines the lives of the most prominent, interesting, and influential figures of the United States Civil War Era. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


Episode 2: Ulysses S. Grant, Part 4

In the fourth and final installment of our portrait of Ulysses Grant, we look at Grant's post-war role in Reconstruction, the Grant presidency, and Grant's final years after leaving office. Email us at BlueAndGreyPodcast@gmail.com with any questions or comments about the show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


Episode 2: Ulysses S. Grant, Part 3

Part 3 of our portrait of Ulysses Grant sees Grant come to the rescue in Chattanooga before being summoned east for his showdown with Robert E. Lee. Email us with any questions or comments about the show at BlueAndGreyPodcast@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices