A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.
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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:
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 Mary Chestnut 9 episodes, 1990
...
 Ulysses S. Grant 9 episodes, 1990
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Paul Roebling ...
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 Walt Whitman / ... 9 episodes, 1990
George Black ...
 Robert E. Lee 9 episodes, 1990
David McCullough ...
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 William Tecumseh Sherman / ... 9 episodes, 1990
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 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
Betsy Apple ...
Carol Craven ...
Marissa Copeland ...
Halo Wines ...
David Marks ...
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Ronnie Gilbert ...
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John Hartford ...
Walt MacPherson ...
...
...
 Various / ... 9 episodes, 1990
Bradford Washburn ...
Jesse Carr ...
Wendy Tilghman ...
Joe Mattys ...
...
 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

George Plimpton, the voice of George Templeton Strong, is the great-great-grandson of General Benjamin Franklin Butler, voiced by Studs Terkel. 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

Frederick Douglass: Verily, the work does not end with the abolition of slavery, but only begins.
See more »

Connections

Followed by U.S. & the World (1865-1917) (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Ashokan Farewell
Written by Jay Ungar
Performed by Fiddle Fever
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A groundbreaking film, for our defining moment
28 September 2002 | by (MA) – See all my reviews

When The Civil War first aired in 1990, it became a phenomenon. I

was a little kid, but I remember "Ashokan Farewell" and the

intriguing black and white images and voiceovers from the screen,

and people talking about it all over the place. To be sure, the

intimacy of the film eventually made me a Civil War buff, as it has

for tens of thousands across the country.

The fact is, Ken Burns created a monumental piece of television

that chronicled, if not in a general fashion, by far the most defining

moment in our history and an incredibly groundbreaking way.

The film is simple, yet is so profound in it's simplicity and style,

using just pictures and accounts and music and some bursts of

color from modern cinematography. For the first time, we heard the

accounts of real soldiers and people, and instead of taking sides,

it gave a sense of humanity to both sides in a war that is riddled

with political and social posturing, but was ultimately all slaughter.


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