The Civil War: Season 1, Episode 5

The Universe of Battle (1863) (25 Sep. 1990)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History, War
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 74 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

In trying to draw Union troops away from the siege of Vicksburg, Robert E. Lee invaded Pennsylvania and over three days 150,000 men would do battle at Gettysburg. Confederate soldiers had ... See full summary »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David McCullough ...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Himself - Writer
Barbara Fields ...
Herself - Historian
Daisy Turner ...
Herself - Daugher of Alexander Turner
Ed Bearss ...
Himself - Historian
Stephen B. Oates ...
Himself - Historian
James Symington ...
Himself - Former Congressman
Mary Chestnut (voice)
Paul Roebling ...
Joshua L. Chamberlain / Various (voice)
George Black ...
Robert E. Lee (voice)
Walt Whitman / Various (voice)


In trying to draw Union troops away from the siege of Vicksburg, Robert E. Lee invaded Pennsylvania and over three days 150,000 men would do battle at Gettysburg. Confederate soldiers had gone into Gettysburg as they had heard there was a large supply of shoes available. The town soon became the focus of the battle that would shape the rest of the conflict. On the first day at Gettysburg, the Union forces were pushed back and by mid-afternoon, Confederate soldiers occupied the town. The second day focused on positioning leading to the battle of Little Round Top. an ideal position from which to gain the high ground and battlefield. The Union quickly gained control of the site and repelled several Confederate attempts to oust them. On day three, Lee ordered Gen. George Pickett to lead the charge against the Union forces on Cemetery Hill. Gen. Meade anticipated the attack and the rout of Confederate forces was complete with 6,500 casualties including most of the commanders. The next day,... Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

25 September 1990 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Joshua L. Chamberlain: We must attack or retreat. It must not be the latter. But how can it be the former?
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User Reviews

Famous Battles And The Role Of Women
12 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The famous year of 1863 is portrayed here, beginning with the infamous battle of Gettysburg in the first week of July. The carnage of Pickett's suicidal charge, ordered by the usually- reliable Gen. Robert E. Lee, is described vividly. It's not a pretty picture with heads literally flying in the air and other brutalities.

The women's role in the Civl War is detailed in this segment. They help the men by supplying food and medical help, as well as moral support. Women, especially in the South, were anything but casual bystanders. Once again, the South has almost no resources and the average citizen's' house is turned into a hospital.

Also interesting here was the account of the shelling of Vicksburg, where people were literally living in made-do caves to escape the intense bombing.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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