A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.
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1990  
Top Rated TV #15 | Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Mary Chestnut 9 episodes, 1990
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 Ulysses S. Grant 9 episodes, 1990
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Paul Roebling ...
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 Walt Whitman / ... 9 episodes, 1990
George Black ...
 Robert E. Lee 9 episodes, 1990
David McCullough ...
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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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...
...
...
...
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 Various / ... 9 episodes, 1990
Betsy Apple ...
Carol Craven ...
Marissa Copeland ...
Halo Wines ...
David Marks ...
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Ronnie Gilbert ...
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John Hartford ...
Walt MacPherson ...
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 Various / ... 9 episodes, 1990
Bradford Washburn ...
Jesse Carr ...
Wendy Tilghman ...
Joe Mattys ...
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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.


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shelby Foote became a celebrity after the success of this series. Foote's phone number was listed in his local phone book, and he received frequent calls from fans. He never removed his number from the phone book, and received calls whenever the series aired for the rest of his life. 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

[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.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Three Worlds Meet (Origins-1620) (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Ashokan Farewell
Written by Jay Ungar
Performed by Fiddle Fever
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User Reviews

 
Ken Burns' Masterpiece
4 May 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This series is excellent, probably the best ever. Ken Burns brilliantly captures all of the elements of one of America's greatest disasters. Shelby Foote and all of the other authors and historians that took part in this series were excellent. Foote especially was great for bringing some really good incite on the war. Also Sam Waterston gives an excellent performance as the voice of Abraham Lincoln. Morgan Freeman also does an excellent job as Frederick Douglass. Not to leave anyone out, all the voice-overs were superb. Its a great way to spend 9 1/2 hours, if you have them. But, if you don't have time to watch all, I highly recommended seeing "The Cause" (part 1) and "The Better Angels Of Our Nature" (Final part). They both are truly masterpieces on their own.


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