In my previous post I wrote about the importance of making law school accessible to any American who seeks to advance their lives via a law degree. The high cost of both legal and undergraduate education is, justly, a hot button topic right now, and in my opinion, far too little is being done to ensure that every American has access to the remarkable educational opportunities this country has to offer. With this in mind, The Massachusetts School of Law has been creating educational television programs for over a decade. These programs are free to the public, cover topics that range from, not surprisingly, the law, to sports, animal rights, climate change, health care and economics. With over 1.4 million views on YouTube we are gratified to know that our educational outreach is working, and on some small level we are, as an educational institution, contributing to the educational advancement of our country as a whole.
Accessible education is not just a mission of The Massachusetts School of Law, but now of our sister school, The American College of History and Legal Studies. Like MSL, ACHLS's commitment to affordable tuition is at the center of our mission, as is our goal to provide free educational opportunities to the American public at large via blogs, social media and video.
This Saturday morning, as part of that mission, ACHLS is live-streaming a free Civil War Seminar commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Seven Days Battle of the American Civil War. There is so much to be learned about American history, about the fortitude of the American people, and about the course of the entire Civil War from this particular battle.
Gen. George McClellan's mammoth offensive to capture Richmond took place in the spring of 1862. A quarter-million men took part, more than in any other Civil War operation. One-quarter were dead, wounded or missing when it ended. The Army of the Potomac fought what was renamed the Army of Northern Virginia when Robert E. Lee took command after the removal of several other Rebel generals. The Peninsula Campaign began in mid-March. The largest fleet in our history carried troops and equipment from Washington and Alexandria to Fort Monroe, at the tip of the Virginia Peninsula between the York and James Rivers. Its climax was the Seven Days, June 25 to July 1, seven battles with distinctive names but almost continuous fighting until the final struggle. The distinguished British soldier-historian J.F.C. Fuller considered these engagements among the 51 decisive military campaigns in western history.
Lee's desire to fight was greater than McClellan's. His army suffered more casualties, because it so often attacked while defending Richmond. There were eerie premonitions of Gettysburg including Jeb Stuart's ride around the entire Union army, and Lee's frontal assault against massed infantry and artillery on the final day. He failed to destroy his opponent, but drove McClellan away from a position so close to the capital that Yanks could hear the city's church bells. The campaign lifted Southern morale after the defeat at Shiloh and the capture of New Orleans. It was the beginning of Lee's rise to fame, and it almost led to European recognition of the confederacy. It started Americans down the road toward Antietam and the Emancipation Proclamation, a "hard war" against Confederate civilians as well as soldiers, and a nation that would be changed almost beyond recognition.
We hope that anyone, with any interest in American History in general, or the Civil War specifically will join us this as we discuss this monumental event in American history -- no matter where in the country they live or what their cultural or economic background.
McClellan Takes Richmond! Really? will stream live in the player above from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday morning, June 16th.