A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.
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1  
1990  
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)
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 Ulysses S. Grant (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Frederick Douglass / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Paul Roebling ...
 Joshua L. Chamberlain / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Walt Whitman / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
George Black ...
 Robert E. Lee (9 episodes, 1990)
David McCullough ...
 Himself - Narrator (9 episodes, 1990)
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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)
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 George Templeton Strong / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Horace Greeley / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Terry Courier ...
 George McClellan (9 episodes, 1990)
Jody Powell ...
 Stonewall Jackson / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Benjamin F. Butler (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Jerome Dempsey ...
 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)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Ronnie Gilbert ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
John Hartford ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Walt MacPherson ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 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)
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 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.


Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

23 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az amerikai polgárháború története  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Took six years to make - two years longer than the war itself. See more »

Quotes

[Reacting to the Confederate Government's move to have African American Slaves serve as soldiers in the Army]
Senator Howell Cobb: You cannot make soldiers of slaves, or slaves of soldiers. The day you make a soldier of them is the beginning of the end of the Revolution. And if slaves seem good soldiers, then our whole theory of slavery is wrong.
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Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #22.34 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Ashokan Farewell
Written by Jay Ungar
Performed by Fiddle Fever
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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.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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