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Ken Burns: The Civil War

PBS
Ken Burns: The Civil War
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9 videos in this collection

The Cause - 1861
Beginning with a searing indictment of slavery, this first episode dramatically evokes the causes of the war, from the Cotton Kingdom of the South to the northern abolitionists who opposed…
A Very Bloody Affair - 1862
1862 saw the birth of modern warfare and the transformation of Lincoln's war to preserve the Union into a war to emancipate the slaves. Episode Two begins with the political…
Forever Free - 1862
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…
Simply Murder - 1863
The nightmarish Union disaster at Fredericksburg comes to two climaxes that spring: at Chancellorsville in May, where Lee wins his most brilliant victory but loses Stonewall Jackson; and at Vicksburg,…
The Universe of Battle - 1863
This episode opens with a dramatic account of the turning point of war: the Battle of Gettysburg, the greatest ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. For three days 150,000 men…
Valley of the Shadow of Death - 1864
Episode six begins with a biographical comparison of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee and then chronicles the extraordinary series of battles that pitted the two generals against each…
Most Hallowed Ground - 1864
The episode begins with the presidential election of 1864 that sets Abraham Lincoln against his old commanding general, George McClellan. The stakes are nothing less than the survival of the…
War is All Hell - 1865
The episode begins with William Tecumseh Sherman's brilliant march to the sea, which brings the war to the heart of Georgia and the Carolinas and spells the end of the…
The Better Angels of Our Nature - 1865
This extraordinary final episode of The Civil War begins in the bittersweet aftermath of Lee's surrender and then goes on to narrate the horrendous events of five days later when,…

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