A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.
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1  
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:
...
 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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az amerikai polgárháború története  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song used as General Grant's theme is Kingdom Come (a.k.a. Year of Jubilo), a minstrel show song written in 1862 by Henry Clay Work. It has appeared in other movies, including Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) and several cartoon shorts by Tex Avery. The original lyrics are very offensive by modern standards; the first line is "Say, darkey, have you seen de massa wif de moustache on his face?" 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

Abraham Lincoln: As a nation, we began by declaring that "All men are created equal." We now practically read it, "All men are created equal, except Negroes." Soon, it will read "All men are created equal, except Negroes, and Foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this, I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty. To Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Causes of the Civil War (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Ashokan Farewell
Written by Jay Ungar
Performed by Fiddle Fever
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best thing ever aired on TV
19 October 2002 | by See all my reviews

I watched THE CIVIL WAR when it first aired in 1990 and have seen it several times since, and it never seems to lose its impact. While it wasn't Burns' first film, it typified his style perfectly and was really the peak of his form. I enjoy how he uses accounts of both the great and the common participants, and how he doesn't offer an oversimplified account of either side or their motives. I doubt it'll ever be topped.


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