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The episode begins with William Tecumseh Sherman's brilliant march to the sea which brings the war to the heart of Georgia and the Carolinas and spells the end of the Confederacy. In March following Lincoln's second inauguration first Petersburg and then Richmond finally fall to Grant's army. Lee's tattered Army of Northern Virginia flees westward towards a tiny crossroads town called Appomattox Court House. There the dramatic and deeply moving surrender of Lee to Grant takes place. The episode ends in Washington where John Wilkes Booth begins to dream of vengeance for the South.
The episode begins with the presidential election of 1864 that sets Abraham Lincoln against his old commanding general George McClellan. The stakes are nothing less than the survival of the Union itself: with Grant and Sherman stalled at Petersburg and Atlanta opinion in the North has turned strongly against the war. But 11th-hour victories at Mobile Bay Atlanta and the Shenandoah Valley tilt the election to Lincoln and the Confederacy's last hope for independence dies. In an ironic twist poignantly typical of the Civil War Lee's Arlington mansion is turned into a Union military hospital and the estate becomes Arlington National Cemetery the Union's most hallowed ground.
Dennis Haysbert examines objects of the Civil War that bring to life the perspective of the millions of African Americans who were living in slavery.
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. Episode Two 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 where his huge army meets a smaller but infinitely more resourceful Confederate force. During this episode we witness the battle of ironclad ships partake of camp life and watch slavery begin to crumble. We meet Ulysses S. Grant whose exploits come to a bloody climax at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee. The episode ends with rumors of Europe's readiness to recognize the Confederacy.
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- Premiered: March 5, 2011
- Rating: None
- Premise: Interviews, panel discussions, and debates about the events and people who shaped the Civil War era (more)
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