The American Experience: Season 13, Episode 11

Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided Part 5 - This Frightful War (23 Feb. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | History
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Title: Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided Part 5 - This Frightful War (23 Feb 2001)

Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided Part 5 - This Frightful War (23 Feb 2001) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Mary Lincoln (voice)
David McCullough ...
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Abraham Lincoln (voice)
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23 February 2001 (USA)  »

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More of the same....and that's not a bad thing for the viewers.
5 May 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the first part of a six-part series on the marriage of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd. Two parts are shown on each DVD in the collection.

Most today don't realize that the Lincoln marriage was very, very troubled. Part of it was due to the depression that both Abe and Mary experienced and part of it was due to increasingly irrational behaviors of Mary--which only got worse after her husband's assassination. However, this being the first episode, it focuses much less on their problems and much more on the early life of Abe--from his birth until he is, rather miraculously, elected president. Considering Lincoln's rather mediocre political career up until then, it's a wonder that he became president--having only served one term in Congress and a couple terms in the state legislature.

This fifth episode was one filled with promise that perhaps the war was winnable for the Union. First, there were victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, then Grant was placed in charge of the army and a great war of attrition began. To bolster the troops, for the first time Black soldiers were used. But, on the down side, there were the draft riots in which many were killed and Mary's emotional state continued its slow spiral--including signs of psychosis as she claims her dead children frequently visit her! Overall, it's pretty much more of the same--more well written and directed material that make up a great and in-depth documentary.


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