A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.
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1  
1990  
Top Rated TV #15 | Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 President Abraham Lincoln (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Mary Chestnut (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Ulysses S. Grant (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Frederick Douglass / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Paul Roebling ...
 Joshua L. Chamberlain / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Walt Whitman / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
George Black ...
 Robert E. Lee (9 episodes, 1990)
David McCullough ...
 Himself - Narrator (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 William Tecumseh Sherman / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Pvt. Elijah Hunt Rhodes (9 episodes, 1990)
Charles McDowell ...
 Pvt. Sam Watkins (9 episodes, 1990)
Horton Foote ...
 Jefferson Davis (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 George Templeton Strong / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Horace Greeley / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Terry Courier ...
 George McClellan (9 episodes, 1990)
Jody Powell ...
 Stonewall Jackson / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Benjamin F. Butler (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Betsy Apple ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Carol Craven ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Marissa Copeland ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Halo Wines ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
David Marks ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Ronnie Gilbert ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
John Hartford ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Walt MacPherson ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Bradford Washburn ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Jesse Carr ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Wendy Tilghman ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Joe Mattys ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Himself - Writer / ... (8 episodes, 1990)
Ed Bearss ...
 Himself - Historian (6 episodes, 1990)
Barbara Fields ...
 Herself - Historian (5 episodes, 1990)
James Symington ...
 Himself - Former Congressman (4 episodes, 1990)
Stephen B. Oates ...
 Himself - Historian / ... (4 episodes, 1990)
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Storyline

This highly acclaimed mini series traces the course of the U.S. Civil War from the abolitionist movement through all the major battles to the death of President Lincoln and the beginnings of Reconstruction. The story is mostly told in the words of the participants themselves, through their diaries, letters, and Visuals are usually still photographs and illustrations of the time, and the soundtrack is likewise made up of war-era tunes played on period instruments. Several modern-day historians offer periodic comment and insight on the war's causes and events. Written by Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It divided a country. It created a nation.


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az amerikai polgárháború története  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soundtrack used as General Sherman's theme is Marching Through Georgia, which is appropriate as this iconic song was written in 1865 as apologist propaganda for his Georgian campaign of the previous year. It was written by Henry Clay Work who also wrote the song "Kingdom Come" used as General Grant's theme. See more »

Goofs

Contrary to this documentary (and many historians) Winfield Scott never recommended Robet E. Lee for anything more than a "significant command" nor did Lincoln offer Lee command of the Union Army.

An advisor to the President, Francis P. Blair, DID offer Lee command of the Defenses of Washington, via letter, but there are NO records that Lee. An Lincoln ever met in person. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: The trickle of runaways coming into Northern lines now swelled to a flood. One ex-slave who had recently bought his freedom told a Union soldier "if I had known you gun men was a-coming, I'd have saved my money."
See more »

Connections

Followed by A Nation in Turmoil (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Marching Through Georgia
Written by Henry Clay Work
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best use to which television has been put
28 September 2002 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

As a historian I can say that there is little so difficult or gratifing as to bring history accurately alive for others. As a military historian I will say that war is both the highest and lowest achievement and calling of humanity. All wars are filled with pathos, and it is almost by definition impossible to fully understand and contextualize them until they are of the past. It may be that the US Civil War is that around which the greatest pathos exists; perhaps the last war in which honour and purpose were equally upheld on both sides - which is not to say that all those who participated were honorable or idealistic. In this work, Ken Burns brought history to life, made the war as understandable as possible, and transmitted the pathos, the honour, the horror, the vileness, and the humanity of the thing. In so doing he redefined film documentary. The Civil War is the best use to which television has been put.


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