A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.
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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)
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 Mary Chestnut (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Ulysses S. Grant (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Frederick Douglass / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Paul Roebling ...
 Joshua L. Chamberlain / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Walt Whitman / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
George Black ...
 Robert E. Lee (9 episodes, 1990)
David McCullough ...
 Himself - Narrator (9 episodes, 1990)
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 William Tecumseh Sherman / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Pvt. Elijah Hunt Rhodes (9 episodes, 1990)
Charles McDowell ...
 Pvt. Sam Watkins (9 episodes, 1990)
Horton Foote ...
 Jefferson Davis (9 episodes, 1990)
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 George Templeton Strong / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Horace Greeley / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Terry Courier ...
 George McClellan (9 episodes, 1990)
Jody Powell ...
 Stonewall Jackson / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Benjamin F. Butler (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 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)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Ronnie Gilbert ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
John Hartford ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Walt MacPherson ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 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)
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 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:

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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

George Plimpton, the voice of George Templeton Strong, is the great-great-grandson of General Benjamin Franklin Butler, voiced by Studs Terkel. 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: A week before the battle of Bull Run, Sullivan Ballou, a major in the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers, wrote home to his wife in Smithfield.
Sullivan Ballou: July 14, 1861. Washington, D.C. Dear Sarah, indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days-perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I'm no more. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I'm engaged, and my courage does not ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wings: Plane Nine from Nantucket (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder
Performed by Bernice Johnson Reagon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ken Burns' Masterpiece
4 May 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This series is excellent, probably the best ever. Ken Burns brilliantly captures all of the elements of one of America's greatest disasters. Shelby Foote and all of the other authors and historians that took part in this series were excellent. Foote especially was great for bringing some really good incite on the war. Also Sam Waterston gives an excellent performance as the voice of Abraham Lincoln. Morgan Freeman also does an excellent job as Frederick Douglass. Not to leave anyone out, all the voice-overs were superb. Its a great way to spend 9 1/2 hours, if you have them. But, if you don't have time to watch all, I highly recommended seeing "The Cause" (part 1) and "The Better Angels Of Our Nature" (Final part). They both are truly masterpieces on their own.


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