Between 1861 and 1865, Americans made war on each other and killed each other in great numbers if only to become the kind of country that could no longer conceive of how that was possible. What began as a bitter dispute over Union and States’ Rights, ended as a struggle over the meaning of freedom in America.
The Civil War
Ken Burns, Ric Burns, Buddy Squires, and Allen Moore discuss the making of The Civil War.
The Civil War
To reach a whole new audience with the story of America’s greatest crisis, and to offer those who have already seen the series a far more compelling experience, The Civil War series has been completely restored to Ultra High Definition – 4K resolution – to bring it up to the standards current audiences demand.
Lincoln feels he has failed the American people, his audience at Gettysburg, and the memory of the dead with his short address, yet the eloquence and grandeur of the 269 words became enshrined as a standard against which all speeches that came thereafter were measured.
1938 was the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Civil War defined us as a nation. To understand the American character the Civil War must be studied.
A week before the battle of Bull Run, Sullivan Ballou wrote a letter to his wife.
At Cold Harbor, Virginia, 7,000 Americans fell in 20 minutes.
English and Social Studies teacher Eden McCauslin discusses how she uses The Civil War series when teaching her students at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C.
The Civil War was fought in 10,000 places. 2% of the general population died in the war and it changed forever the lives of all who lived through it.
Ken Burns talks about the Civil War.
Confederate gunners fired on Ft. Sumter in Charleston, SC on April 12, 1861. Ft. Sumter fell 34 hours later. It was a bloodless opening to the bloodiest war in American history.
Ken Burns discusses the soundtrack of The Civil War.
Ken Burns shares his thoughts on the state of our country since the Civil War.
On July 3, 1863 in Gettysburg, PA the Union lured the Confederate troops out into the open field. Pickett charged and the tide of the war changed in the Union’s favor.
Some of the biggest names in Hollywood have narrated Ken Burns’s films. Find out how A-list actors become interested providing narration.
Conditions were dire for slaves on the plantation. Slave quarters bred diseases and only 4 out of 100 lived to be 60.
Ken Burns shares how his interest in the Civil War came about after noticing it was the central event in American History.
General George McClellan takes command of the Union army with an elaborate plan to destroy the Confederacy, but does nothing. U.S. Grant is assigned to desk duty; William T. Sherman resigns, close to suicide.
April 7, 1865 – Grant writes to Lee. April 9, 1865. Lee sends word that he will surrender. Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant meet at Appomattox to work out the terms of the surrender. The formal surrender comes three days later. In Washington, Lincoln quietly rejoices. A few blocks away, John Wilkes Booth plots.
In late 1864, Sherman decides to march his army from Atlanta to Savannah, living off the land, and destroying everything along the way that could aid the Confederate army. On the march, Sherman’s army causes $100 million of damage “the South would never forget.” John Bell Hood moves his forces into Tennessee, and at the Battle of Franklin clashes with Union troops under General George Thomas.
In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected President, and the South was horrified. Seven Southern states seceded in the time between Lincoln’s election and inauguration. The Confederacy inaugurated Mississippi senator Jefferson Davis as President. Introduction to Mary Chesnut, wife of a prominent Southern planter and diarist.
Lincoln issues the first federal draft call, but for $300, men can hire substitutes and most of the wealthy elite do so. Resistance to the draft causes riots throughout the North. Lincoln authorizes the first African-American troops. The 54th Massachusetts regiment, under Robert Gould Shaw, attacks Fort Wagner, South Carolina.
Accounts from Grant, Lee, Sherman, and others are presented.
Ken Burns discusses interviewing Shelby Foote during The Civil War.
Four million slaves were freed yet it would take another century for African Americans to win ‘freedom.’ History is not ‘was’ but ‘is.’ Until we treat each other as equals the Civil War will never be over.