A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.
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1,271 ( 42)

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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)
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Jerome Dempsey ...
 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

Sam Waterston, who voices President Abraham Lincoln, also portrayed the 16th President in Lincoln (1988). 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

Narrator: The trickle of runaways coming into Northern lines now swelled to a flood. One ex-slave who had recently bought his freedom told a Union soldier "if I had known you gun men was a-coming, I'd have saved my money."
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ken Burns: America's Storyteller (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Absolute perfection!
13 September 2004 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

Ken Burns is a genius and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude for making this wonderful documentary on the American civil war. Even though this is several hours long, I have watched it over and over and still never tire of it. Each time I see it I learn something new. The voices doing the various parts are perfect, the pictures are perfect, EVERYTHING IS PERFECT! From the experienced historian to the novice all will enjoy this. So many things touched my soul from the start of the war to that lovely true letter from the soldier, Sullivan Ballough written to his wife when he knew he would die... (many tears were shed at this point) to the end. In my opinion I could comment on this for pages and pages but no matter what I said it could not show my depth of gratitude for seeing this masterpiece. It will go down as the best documentary ever about the civil war.


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