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The Civil War

Valley of the Shadow of Death - 1864/Most Hallowed Ground - 1864 (#106)

Part 6 moves to the ghastly hospitals in both the North and South, and follows Sherman's Atlanta campaign through the mountains of northern Georgia. In part 7, opinion in the North has turned strongly against Lincoln and the war. [115 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' landmark series portrays the terrible conflict that tore America apart and defined it as a nation. The series embraces the entire sweep of the war using archival photographs, period paintings, newsreel footage of civil war veterans, live cinematography of battle sites, interviews with eminent historian, and a chorus of voices reading from diaries, letters, speeches and newspapers of the era.

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  • The Cause - 1861 (#101)

    Slavery, the causes of the war and the burning questions of union and states' rights are examined. [115 minutes]

  • A Very Bloody Affair - 1862/Forever Free - 1862 (Parts 2 & 3 of 9) (#102)

    Political infighting in Lincoln's administration and the bloody Battle of Shiloh are chronicled. [123 minutes]

  • Forever Free - 1862 (#103)

    THIS EPISODE CHARTS THE DRAMATIC EVENTS THAT LED TO LINCOLN'S DECISION TO SET THE SLAVES FREE. CONVINCED BY JULY 1862 THAT EMANCIPATION WAS NOW MORALLY AND MILITARILY CRUCIAL TO THE FUTURE OF THE UNION, LINCOLN MUST WAIT FOR A VICTORY TO ISSUE HIS PROCLAMATION. BUT AS THE YEAR WEARS ON, THERE ARE NO UNION VICTORIES TO BE HAD THANKS TO THE BRILLIANCE OF STONEWALL JACKSON AND ROBERT E. LEE. THE EPISODE COMES TO A CLIMAX IN SEPTEMBER 1862 WITH LEE'S INVASION OF MARYLAND. ON THE BANKS OF ANTIETAM CREEK, THE BLOODIEST DAY OF THE WAR TAKES PLACE, FOLLOWED SHORTLY BY THE BRIGHTEST - THE EMANCIPATION OF THE SLAVES. [76 minutes]

  • Simply Murder - 1863/The Universe of Battle - 1863 (Parts 4 & 5 of 9) (#104)

    Part four examines the fierce Northern opposition to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the miseries of regimental life and the increasing desperation of the Confederate homefront. Part five opens with a dramatic account of the turning point of war: the Battle of Gettysburg, the greatest ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. [123 minutes]

  • The Universe of Battle - 1863 (#105)

    THIS EPISODE OPENS WITH A DRAMATIC ACCOUNT OF THE TURNING POINT OF THE WAR: THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG - THE GREATEST BATTLE EVER FOUGHT IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. FOR THREE DAYS 150,000 WILL FIGHT TO THE DEATH IN THE GENTLE PENNSYLVANIA COUNTRYSIDE CULMINATING IN PICKETT'S LEGENDARY CHARGE. THIS EXTENDED EPISODE THEN GOES ON TO CHRONICLE THE FALL OF VICKSBURG, THE NEW YORK DRAFT RIOTS, THE FIRST USE OF BLACK TROOPS, AND THE WESTERN BATTLES AT CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA. THE EPISODE CLOSES WITH THE DEDICATION OF A NEW UNION CEMETERY AT GETTYSBURG IN NOVEMBER, WHERE ABRAHAM LINCOLN STRUGGLES TO PUT INTO WORDS WHAT IS HAPPENING TO HIS PEOPLE. [91 minutes]

  • Most Hallowed Ground - 1864 (#107)

    The presidential campaign of 1864 set Abraham Lincoln against his former commanding general, George McClellan. The stakes are nothing less than the survival of the Union itself. Opinion in the North has turned strongly against Lincoln and the war, but 11th -hour Union victories at Mobile Bay, Atlanta and the Shenandoah Valley tilt the election to Lincoln, and the Confederacy's last hope for independence dies. In an ironic twist, Lee's Arlington mansion is turned into a Union military hospital and the estate becomes Arlington National Cemetery - the Union's most hallowed ground. [73 minutes]

  • War Is All Hell - 1865/The Better Angels of Our Nature - 1865 (#108)

    William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea spells the end of the Confederacy. [124 minutes]

  • The Better Angels of Our Nature - 1865 (#109)

    THIS EXTRAORDINARY FINAL EPISODE BEGINS IN THE BITTERSWEET AFTERMATH OF LEE'S SURRENDER AND THEN GOES ON TO NARRATE THE HORRENDOUS EVENTS OF FIVE DAYS LATER WHEN, ON APRIL 14, LINCOLN IS ASSASSINATED. AFTER CHRONICLING LINCOLN'S POIGNANT FUNERAL, THE SERIES RECOUNTS THE FINAL DAYS OF THE WAR, THE CAPTURE OF JOHN WILKES BOOTH AND HIS CONSPIRATORS, AND THE FATES OF THE SERIES' MAJOR CHARACTERS. THE EPISODE THEN CONSIDERS THE CONSEQUENCES AND MEANING OF A WAR THAT TRANSFORMED THE COUNTRY FROM A COLLECTION OF STATES TO THE NATION WE ARE TODAY. [80 minutes]

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