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Welcome to the study center for War Between the States: Victory of the Union! Here you will find text, audio and video material to further your understanding of what caused America’s bloodiest war. To begin, select one of the episodes below.
If you have any questions about what you’ve seen, don’t hesitate to contact us.
In Virginia, Robert E. Lee’s army was all that stood between the Union forces and the Confederate capitol at Richmond. Join us in this two part episode as we walk the battlefields of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, where Lee won glorious victories over the Federals. At Chancellorsville we meet with Don Pfanz to discuss the fighting and how the rebel army coped with the loss of Stonewall Jackson. View study materials for this episode.
In this episode, we explore the Battle of Gettysburg – the high water mark of the Confederacy. We talk with Garry Adelman, a life long historian of the battle, to hear the stories of the men that fought there, and evaluate why the north was victorious. Finally we end at the Gettysburg Cemetery, where Lincoln’s Address set the vision for how the war would shape the nation. View study materials for this episode.
Vicksburg, Mississippi was one of the most important strongholds in the Confederacy, as it guarded the mighty Mississippi, which flows through the center of the south. In this episode, trace with us the many attempts of Ulysses S. Grant to capture the “Gibraltar of the Confederacy.” Join us to talk with Ed Bearss, National Park Service Historian Emeritus and an expert on the Vicksburg campaign. View study materials for this episode.
While many people are familiar with the battles in the east, the Western Theater of the Civil War is nearly forgotten. In this episode, delve with us into these forgotten campaigns. Watch as the Confederates win their greatest western victory at Chickamauga, and then as the Union tide rolls over the southern resistance at Chattanooga, Kennesaw Mountain and Atlanta, finally culminating in Sherman’s destructive March through Georgia. View study materials for this episode.
For two years Robert E. Lee had defeated nearly every Union general Lincoln sent against him. But in 1864, Ulysses S. Grant, who had whipped the western Confederate armies, was brought east to whip Lee. Join us in this episode as we examine the fierce fighting at the Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor, and see who triumphed in one of the greatest rivalries in military history – Grant vs. Lee. View study materials for this episode.
In 1865 the Confederacy was on the verge of collapse. In this episode see how the North finally triumphed. Watch as the Southerners strive to beat off the ever advancing Federal armies under the new conditions of trench warfare. Travel to Petersburg, where Will Greene explains how Lee’s lines were broken. Finally, see how the country’s course was suddenly changed with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. View study materials for this episode.
When the guns fell silent and the swords were sheathed, the bitterness from the conflict still remained. Join us in this episode to examine how the two parts of the country were reunified after civil war. Delve into Reconstruction politics, some of the most hotly contended in the country’s history, and see how they changed the view of the Constitution, civil rights and the economy, still impacting the nation today. View study materials for this episode.