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With Lincoln facing an election and his Democrat opponents promising a negotiated end to the war, Sherman determines to break the back of the Confederacy by taking the war not just to the troops defending Atlanta, but right to the doorsteps of the Southern people.
After Vicksburg, Union forces push on to Chattanooga, an important rail center and gateway to the Deep South. But casualties at the Battle of Chickamauga provoke antiwar riots in New York City and growing anger that so many Northern boys are dying to free African Americans.
President Lincoln�۪s January 1863 Emancipation Proclamation dramatically changes the war�۪s meaning, bringing together the cause of saving the union and the cause of ending slavery.
Both sides realize a Confederate win at Shiloh would be a giant step towards Southern independence. After early Confederate successes in the battle, Grant rallies his stunned troops, who repulse waves of enemy attacks at a dense thicket dubbed the Hornet's Nest. On Shiloh's second day, Grant goes on the offensive, winning the first in a series of Union victories that sees thousands of slave families start to flee to Union lines.
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- Premiered: April 1, 2014
- Rating: TV-PG
- Premise: A history of the Civil War through the lens of the Western Theater, featuring letters from soldiers and civilians; insights from scholars; and reenactments of major battles. (more)