The Civil War changed the United States forever. On hundreds of battlefields millions of men struggled in a colossal conflict that would define the future of the nation. Join us in this seven part series to explore the first half of the Civil War. Come with us to the battlefields as we meet with the nation’s greatest historians to explore their stories. Hear the tales of victory and defeat, bravery and cowardice, daring and danger. Watch as the war begins in earnest along the banks of Bull Run, and see how the Confederate struggles to beat back the Union forces, from the woods of Tennessee, to the plains of Maryland, to the Atlantic Ocean.
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Explore the entire history of the war in the Battles of the Civil War Series
Discover the history of the war, along with the events that led up to it in the War Between the States Series
Episodes in this Series
This series contains seven DVDs for a total of more than eight hours of runtime.
First Blood at Manassas
In this episode, we’ll consider the formation of the armies and their preparation for war. Watch civilians turn into soldiers and engage in the first great battle of their lives – the Battle of Manassas, or Bull Run. We meet with historian Jim Burgess of the National Park Service to learn the story of this first major battle of the Civil War, the heroism of the men involved, and the mistakes that led to the Union defeat. View this episode.
Struggle on the Seas
The Civil War wasn’t just fought on land – there was also an important naval theater that greatly effected the outcome of the war. Travel with us across the nation, following the tale of the Civil War navies from Mississippi, to Charleston, to Alaska. Watch as new technologies emerge that would revolutionize naval warfare, from iron-plated ships, to contact mines, even to submarines. View this episode.
In this episode, we explore the story of one of the Civil War’s most famous campaigns – Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign. See the locations where against incredible odds, Jackson pushed his men hard to beat back multiple Union armies. Understand the campaign whose brilliance is still studied to this day. Join us as we travel up and down the Shenandoah Valley, tracing Jackson’s strategic movements and the battlefield tactics that brought him victory. View this episode.
Lee Takes Command
In the spring of 1862, the Confederacy seemed on the verge of disaster. Explore with us how Robert E. Lee was able to take command and turn the war around. See how he took the demoralized Southern armies and struck back with bold blows. Travel to the places where he rapidly defeated George B. McClellan in the Seven Days battles and John Pope at 2nd Manassas. Understand how Lee was able to achieve victories that turned the tide of the war toward the South. View this episode.
Antietam – America’s Bloodiest Day
In September, 1862, Lee decided it was time to head North. He had beaten back the Union armies in Virginia, but now he would take the war to the enemy. Join us in this episode as we explore the exciting story of Lee’s first invasion of Maryland. See how his brilliant campaign suddenly turned toward disaster as he was brought to the banks of Antietam Creek to fight the the bloodiest day of battle in American history. View this episode.
The West – Fort Donelson
When most people think of the Civil War, they think of the great battles of the east, but the fighting in the West was also crucial. In this two part episode, we examine the critical campaigns in the west starting at the beginning of the war. Meet historian Greg Biggs at Fort Donelson as we discuss the campaign. Consider the mistakes made by the South that lost them so much control of the Western rivers. View this episode.
The West – Shiloh
In this second part of the episode, we trace the Western campaigns to the Battle of Shiloh. Meet Park Ranger Chris Mekow and understand this important battle. Join us as we explore how Confederates drove back Ulysees S. Grant in some of the bloodiest fighting of the war, and see how he was able to recover for ultimate victory the next day. Go with us to the places where the Union was able to establish themselves to continue their invasion of the South. View this episode.
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