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The Civil War 

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A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.
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1,727 ( 17)

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1  
1990  
Top Rated TV #18 | 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
...  Ulysses S. Grant 9 episodes, 1990
...  Frederick Douglass / ... 9 episodes, 1990
Paul Roebling ...  Joshua L. Chamberlain / ... 9 episodes, 1990
...  Walt Whitman / ... 9 episodes, 1990
George Black ...  Robert E. Lee 9 episodes, 1990
David McCullough ...  Himself - Narrator 9 episodes, 1990
...  William Tecumseh Sherman / ... 9 episodes, 1990
...  Pvt. Elijah Hunt Rhodes 9 episodes, 1990
Charles McDowell ...  Pvt. Sam Watkins 9 episodes, 1990
Horton Foote ...  Jefferson Davis 9 episodes, 1990
...  George Templeton Strong / ... 9 episodes, 1990
...  Horace Greeley / ... 9 episodes, 1990
Terry Courier ...  George McClellan 9 episodes, 1990
Jody Powell ...  Stonewall Jackson / ... 9 episodes, 1990
...  Benjamin F. Butler 9 episodes, 1990
...  Various 9 episodes, 1990
...  Various 9 episodes, 1990
...  Various 9 episodes, 1990
...  Various 9 episodes, 1990
...  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
...  Various 9 episodes, 1990
Ronnie Gilbert ...  Various 9 episodes, 1990
...  Various 9 episodes, 1990
...  Various 9 episodes, 1990
John Hartford ...  Various 9 episodes, 1990
Walt MacPherson ...  Various 9 episodes, 1990
...  Various 9 episodes, 1990
...  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
...  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.


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az amerikai polgárháború története  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Waterston, who voices President Abraham Lincoln, also portrayed the 16th President in Lincoln (1988). See more »

Goofs

Contrary to this documentary (and many historians) Winfield Scott never recommended Robet E. Lee for anything more than a "significant command" nor did Lincoln offer Lee command of the Union Army.

An advisor to the President, Francis P. Blair, DID offer Lee command of the Defenses of Washington, via letter, but there are NO records that Lee. An Lincoln ever met in person. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: The trickle of runaways coming into Northern lines now swelled to a flood. One ex-slave who had recently bought his freedom told a Union soldier "if I had known you gun men was a-coming, I'd have saved my money."
See more »


Soundtracks

We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder
Performed by Bernice Johnson Reagon
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User Reviews

 
Absolute perfection!
13 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Ken Burns is a genius and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude for making this wonderful documentary on the American civil war. Even though this is several hours long, I have watched it over and over and still never tire of it. Each time I see it I learn something new. The voices doing the various parts are perfect, the pictures are perfect, EVERYTHING IS PERFECT! From the experienced historian to the novice all will enjoy this. So many things touched my soul from the start of the war to that lovely true letter from the soldier, Sullivan Ballough written to his wife when he knew he would die... (many tears were shed at this point) to the end. In my opinion I could comment on this for pages and pages but no matter what I said it could not show my depth of gratitude for seeing this masterpiece. It will go down as the best documentary ever about the civil war.


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