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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Confederate Approach on Harrisburg; 12 days costs

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 28, 2012 7:59 AM
Thumbnail image for Confederate soldier graves 400x270.jpg

Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, November 28:

The Confederate army, under the leadership of General Robert E. Lee, had just scored it's most decisive Civil War victory at Chancellorsville, Virginia in 1863.  Lee decided the time was right for an invasion of the north. 

It would serve several purposes: take the fighting away from war-torn Virginia, allow that state's farmers to harvest a crop, raid the bountiful farms of the Cumberland Valley in Pennsylvania, and if he could score another battlefield win, possibly demoralize northerners enough that they would demand peace.

Capturing Harrisburg initially was not a major objective.  At the time, Pennsylvania's capital city appeared to be there for the taking.   Carlisle and Mechanicsburg had already been occupied by the Confederates.  But as the Confederates moved toward Harrisburg, the main forces of both armies met at Gettysburg and that's where the turning point of the war occurred.

Author Cooper H. Wingert describes what was happening in June 1863 in south central Pennsylvania in his new book -- The Confederate Approach on Harrisburg.  He'll be a guest on Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk.

Cooper Wingert is 14 years-old and has written three other books about the Gettysburg Campaign.

Also, the holiday classic -- The 12 Days of Christmas -- can give us a sense of where our economy stands when we compare the costs of the items in the song to other years.  PNC Wealth Management did just that and we'll hear from them as well. 

Listen to the program:

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-11-28 09:58

    Email from Matt:

    Supposedly a small scouting party advanced to the hills behind New Cumberland to observe the Harrisburg defenses. The exact area is now the Beacon Hill development in Lower Allen township. Did your research uncover anything regarding how close the scouting party actually got to Harrisburg?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-11-28 10:00

    Email from Richard:
    We hear some about food supplies moving an army. I would like to hear what you've learned about the logistical problems of transporting two armies of 165000 men through south central PA: roads bridges cross=country marches etc before the construction of I81 & I83. This hard to imagine.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-11-28 10:01

    Email from Kevin - in Dauphin:

    Was George Armstrong Custer present at Gettysburg?
    I've heard yes, and no. If yes, what was his role?

  • Dave img 2012-11-28 10:23

    Very interesting show. I just realized something the author mentioned. He had said that he started his research for this book 3 years ago, that would of made him 11 years old. Amazing.

    Question: Who were the mentors or inspirations in your life that assisted you in this interest in Cival War History?

    What a gifted young man. Thank you.

  • Jughead img 2012-11-29 08:16

    Cooper I just purchased your book" The Confederate Approach on Harrisburg" for my Kindle.
    As a lifelong student of The Civil War your interview with Scott was very impressive.