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81.

The Civil War: Episode 1 the Cause (1861) [electronic resource]

Beginning with a searing indictment of slavery, this program dramatically evokes the causes of the war. Here are the burning questions of union and states' rights, John Brown at Harper's Ferry, the election of Abraham Lincoln, the firing on Fort Sumter, and the jubilant rush to arms on both sides. Along the way the war's major figures are introduced: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, and a host of lesser-known but equally vivid characters. The episode comes to a climax with the disastrous Union defeat at Manassas, where both sides learned it would be a very long war.
Online
1990
82.

The Civil War: Episode 2 a Very Bloody Affair (1862) [electronic resource]

The year 1862 saw the birth of modern warfare and the transformation of Lincoln's war to preserve the Union into a war to emancipate the slaves. This program begins with the political infighting that threatened to swamp Lincoln's administration and then follows Union General George McClellan's ill-fated campaign on the Virginia Peninsula and Ulysses S. Grant's costly victory at the Battle of Shiloh. The episode ends with rumors of Europe's readiness to recognize the Confederacy.
Online
1990
83.

The Civil War: Episode 3 Forever Free (1862) [electronic resource]

This program charts the events that led to Lincoln's decision to set the slaves free. Convinced by July 1862 that emancipation had become morally and militarily crucial to the future of the Union, Lincoln had to bide his time and wait for a victory to issue his proclamation. But as the year wore on, there were no Union victories to be had, thanks to the brilliance of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. The episode comes to a climax in September 1862 with Lee's invasion of Maryland and the bloody struggle on the banks of Antietam Creek. The emancipation of the slaves follows.
Online
1990
84.

The Civil War: Episode 4 Simply Murder (1863) [electronic resource]

This program begins with the nightmarish Union disaster at Fredericksburg, which leads to two climaxes the following spring: at Chancellorsville in May, where Lee wins his most brilliant victory but loses Stonewall Jackson, and at Vicksburg, where Grant's attempts to take the city by siege are stopped. Fierce Northern opposition to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is addressed, along with the increasing desperation on the Confederate home front. As the episode ends, Lee decides to invade the North again to draw Grant's forces away from Vicksburg.
Online
1990
85.

The Civil War: Episode 5 the Universe of Battle (1863) [electronic resource]

This program opens with an account of the turning point of war: the Battle of Gettysburg. For three days, 150,000 men fight to the death in the Pennsylvania countryside-an action that culminates in Pickett's ill-fated charge. This extended episode then goes on to chronicle the fall of Vicksburg, the New York draft riots, the first use of African-American troops, and the battles at Chickamauga and Chattanooga. The program closes with the dedication of a new Union cemetery at Gettysburg, where Lincoln struggles to put into words what is happening to his people.
Online
1990
86.

The Civil War: Episode 6 Valley of the Shadow of Death (1864) [electronic resource]

This program begins with a biographical comparison of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee and then goes on to chart the extraordinary series of battles that pitted the two generals against each other. So intense was the fighting that in one 30-day period, their armies lost more men than both sides had lost in three years of war. With Grant and Lee finally deadlocked at Petersburg, this episode shifts focus to follow General Sherman's Atlanta campaign. As the horrendous casualty lists increased, Lincoln's chances for reelection began to dim-and with them the possibility of Union victory.
Online
1990
87.

The Civil War: Episode 7 Most Hallowed Ground (1864) [electronic resource]

The program begins with the presidential election of 1864 that set Abraham Lincoln against his old commanding general, George McClellan. The stakes were nothing less than the survival of the Union itself: with Grant and Sherman stalled at Petersburg and Atlanta, opinion in the North had turned strongly against the war. But 11th-hour victories at Mobile Bay, Atlanta, and the Shenandoah Valley tilted the election to Lincoln, and the Confederacy's last hope for independence died.
Online
1990
88.

Homecoming [electronic resource]

After the Civil War, Congress allotted 45 million acres of land to former slaves, but protest from white supremacists meant that little of it was ever actually distributed. Despite formidable obstacles some one million African Americans managed to purchase more than 15,000,000 acres of arable land by 1910. This program explores the history of those black-owned farms, from Reconstruction to the agricultural crises of the early 20th century and on to the era of federal loans and subsidies on which most farmers, black and white both, now depend. Director Charlene Gilbert weaves this history together with a portrait of her own farming family, who obtained their land in the 1930s only after the Farm Security Administration was forced to lend to African Americans.
Online
1999
89.

Antietam [electronic resource]

When you walk the silent Antietam Battlefield in the cool of early morning with the mist undulating in the hollows of West Wood, they are there-the ghosts of the generals and the 26,000 young Americans who died on the day one of them said was so long that "the sun moved backwards." Putting the battle into historical perspective, historian William Brown brings the massive battle to life, explaining how the muskets and field cannons worked, what the men wore, and what the battle was like for the ordinary soldier.
Online
2006; 1987
90.

Flight to Freedom [electronic resource]: Underground Railroad

Between 1790 and 1860, thousands of slaves fled the South for liberation on the "Underground Railroad," a system of invisible tracks and anonymous conductors who gave shelter to fugitive slaves. Through interviews with national experts, and examination of archival records and artifacts, this program provides an overview of the underground movement. In addition to interviews with descendants of slaves, conductors, and abolitionists, the program includes examples of spirituals sung by slaves as part of the "code" system, and visits homes that were used as shelters. The program highlights Rochester, NY, which was at the heart of the railroad, where passengers were hidden by Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, and many others.
Online
2006; 1995
91.

New York Divided [electronic resource]: Slavery, the Civil War, and King Cotton

Although slavery was abolished in New York State on July 4th, 1827, America's slave-based cotton trade was not, as bales from the South continued to enter New York City for transshipment to Europe. In this program, James Oliver Horton, historian emeritus at the Smithsonian, talks with NewsHour correspondent Gwen Ifill about slavery's impact on New York City during the first half of the 19th century. Economically dependent on King Cotton, it was a place divided between abolitionism and African-American civil rights on the one hand, and immense commercial profits on the other. The proposed secession of New York City from the United States is addressed.
Online
2007
92.

Bloody Shiloh [electronic resource]

With the 1860 election of anti-slavery candidate Abraham Lincoln, thirteen states from the South secede and form the Confederate States of America. Union military leaders, along with Lincoln himself, realize that ending the rebellion rests on controlling the Mississippi River. In February 1862, Union forces, led by an obscure general named Ulysses S. Grant, establish a foothold in southern Tennessee near a simple log structure known as "Shiloh Church." On April 6, 1862, a Confederate force of over 40,000, led by General Albert Sidney Johnston, launch a surprise attack on Grant. The fighting in the hellish terrain surrounding Shiloh is some of the most brutal of the entire war. By day's end, victory is in sight for the attacking Confederates. But Johnston has been struck in the leg by [...]
Online
2013
93.

Antietam [electronic resource]

Antietam was the first major clash of the Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was also the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, causing approximately 23,000 casualties. What changed Antietam from merely an infamous day in the nation's history to one of its most profound? This program describes the attacks and counterattacks of September 17, 1862, while spotlighting the historic document that emerged from the smoke and ashes: the Emancipation Proclamation.
Online
2006
94.

Abraham Lincoln [electronic resource]: Preserving the Union

This episode of Biography tells the complete story of Abraham Lincoln, from the rustic childhood that forged his beliefs to the tough campaign that made him president.
Online
1996
95.

For Love of Liberty! [electronic resource]

Sections include... *Introduction: Colin Powell and Halle Berry. *The Revolution: An escaped slave is among the first to die for freedom. *The British Are Coming: Black men fight at Concord and Bunker Hill. *George Washington Takes Command: General Washington will not accept blacks in the Continental Army. *The 1st Rhode Island Regiment: When finally accepted, black soldiers fight heroically. *E Pluribus Unum: Out of many, one-except blacks. *War of 1812: Halle Berry introduction. *Black Men at Sea: Ten percent of all sailors are black. *The Battle of New Orleans: Slaves and free men of color join the fight. *The Abolitionists: Race is tearing the nation apart. *The Civil War: Halle Berry introduction. *Blacks Can't Fight: The North doesn't want black troops. *The Gunboat Planter: Sl [...]
Online
2010
96.

Black Communities After the Civil War [electronic resource]

In this program, historians trace the westward migration of former slaves to Oklahoma after the Civil War, where they built many thriving towns-and their subsequent exodus to Tulsa. The primary focus is on the towns of Clearview and Boley, where blacks operated thriving cotton-growing operations until 1907, when the most restrictive Jim Crow laws in American history were passed. As Ku Klux Klan activity intensified and the economy bottomed out in the 1920s, many blacks-once successful farmers and business owners-headed for Tulsa, where ghettos quickly sprang up.
Online
1997
97.

Will the Negro Fight? [electronic resource]: For Love of Liberty, the Story of America's Black Patriots

This program is part two of For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots (University Edition). Sections include: *Introduction: Colin Powell. *Harriet Tubman: Spy, scout, and Union heroine. *The Battle for Richmond: A time for manly tears. *Reconstruction: The fight for equal rights continues. *The Buffalo Soldiers: Halle Berry introduction. *Save the Last Bullet for Yourself: The desperate fight for survival. *Mr. Flipper Goes to West Point: The first black man to graduate from West Point. *Cuba: Buffalo Soldiers save the day on San Juan Hill. *The Brownsville Incident: Buffalo Soldiers falsely accused and discharged "without honor." *The Great War: Halle Berry introduction. *Desperate Times: President Wilson orders the enlistment of all able-bodied men. *The Harlem He [...]
Online
2010
98.

Sherman's March [electronic resource]

Known affectionately as "Uncle Billy" by Union soldiers but reviled in the South as a brutal war criminal, General William Tecumseh Sherman is one of the truly enigmatic and complex figures in the American pantheon. His legacy was built during a five-week campaign of terror and destruction that ranks as one of the most daring endeavors in U.S. military history. Combining breathtaking reenactments with analysis from leading historians, this A&E Special retraces the steps of the 60,000 Union soldiers who stormed through the heart of the south, determined to bring an end to the bloody Civil War.
Online
2007
99.

Indian Warriors [electronic resource]: The Untold Story of the Civil War

The common view of the Civil War is of a struggle between polar opposites: North vs. South, urban vs. agrarian, abolitionist vs. slaveholder. But from the conflict's origins to the complicated progression of its major events, the truth is far murkier and more complex. This A&E Special sheds light on one particularly obscure but intriguing aspect of the time: how Native Americans reacted to and participated in the War Between the States. Notable Indian combatants including Ely Parker, Stand Watie, and Henry Berry Lowery are profiled, while descendants of Native American warrior-soldiers share family lore about their ancestors' exploits.
Online
2006
100.

The Yankees

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Looks at military life in the Union Army during the Civil War. Discusses topics such as training, uniforms, accomodations, food, recreation, rifles, what being in a battle was like, Black soldiers, medical treatment, punishments, and fraternizing with the enemy. Humorous presentation.
Online
1998