The Civil War (1990)
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Valley of the Shadow of Death (1864) 

By 1864, Union forces had the upper hand, though the end of war was not yet in sight. President Lincoln named U.S. Grant overall commander of the Union army, 533,000 strong and the largest ... See full summary »


Ken Burns


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David McCullough ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Shelby Foote ... Himself / Pvt. John W. Haley
Ed Bearss Ed Bearss ... Himself - Historian
Sam Waterston ... President Abraham Lincoln (voice)
Julie Harris ... Mary Chestnut (voice)
Jason Robards ... Ulysses S. Grant (voice)
Morgan Freeman ... Frederick Douglass (voice)
Paul Roebling Paul Roebling ... Joshua L. Chamberlain / Washington Roebling (voice)
Garrison Keillor ... Walt Whitman (voice)
George Black George Black ... Robert E. Lee (voice)
Arthur Miller ... William Tecumseh Sherman (voice)
Christopher Murney ... Pvt. Elijah Hunt Rhodes (voice) (as Chris Murney)
Charles McDowell Charles McDowell ... Pvt. Sam Watkins (voice) (as Charley McDowell)
Horton Foote ... Jefferson Davis (voice)
George Plimpton ... George Templeton Strong (voice)


By 1864, Union forces had the upper hand, though the end of war was not yet in sight. President Lincoln named U.S. Grant overall commander of the Union army, 533,000 strong and the largest army in the world. He was made him a three star Lieutenant General, a rank last held by George Washington. He brought a different approach than his predecessors choosing to aggressively pursue Lee's army realizing that to do so would likely see them take control of Richmond. Success was not assured and did not come quickly. Their first encounter went to Lee but Grant used a flanking maneuver to push Lee's army ever closer to Richmond. The confederate side suffered a major blow with the death of J.E.B. Stuart, perhaps Lee's most trusted General. At Cold Harbor, Grant suffered a terrible defeat, losing thousands of men. He subsequently bypassed Richmond and went further south to Petersburg and dug in, leading to a long siege. Grant ordered Gen. Sherman to push toward and eventually attack Atlanta. ... Written by garykmcd

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photo montage | See All (1) »


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Release Date:

26 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Florentine Films, WETA See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Grant & Lee Battle On
15 August 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

The year 1864 marks the fourth year of this horrible war. Pictures sent depicting some of it are so horrendous people can't look at them. They show one here, and you'd swear this was a photo of someone in a concentration camp in World War II. The man was nothing but skin and bones. Horrifying. The more was learns of the Civil War, the worse it gets.

Grant now had command of the largest army in the world. His rank had grown to "Lt. General," the first since George Washington. We get a profile of his amazing rise from loser in society to the leader of the North military. Then we get a profile of the most military leader of the them all: General Robert E Lee of the South.

Most of this installment of the series is about Grant and Lee, and their battles to two had up and down Virginia. Then, after a very depressing segment about all the men suffering in the ever-growing number of hospitals, we get another profile of an important man in this war: General Sherman. With Grant stalled at Petersburg, Grant had to win in Tennessee and Georgia. Abe Lincoln predicts he will lose the election, perhaps by a landslide.

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