At some point during production, several reels of film were lost on the way from location in Georgia, to printing in California. Director John Frankenheimer had to reshoot the lost footage, which was about 40% of the trial sequence, in a new location in North Carolina, rebuilding parts of the original set to the last detail in order to match the coinciding Georgia scenes.
Ted Turner originally wanted Ron Maxwell to direct the miniseries following the success of Maxwell and Turner's film "Gettysburg". Maxwell politely declined citing that (at the time) he was no longer interested in doing Civil War films. Turner then went to John Frankenheimer.
In the mid 60's, Fred Zinnemann and his " From Here to Eternity " scriptwriter Daniel Taradash worked on a similar project, but because of its bleak subject matter it was deemed too expensive. Lee Marvin would have led the cast.