The Civil War


The Civil War (1990) chronicles the war that began as a bitter dispute over Union and States' Rights, and ended as a struggle over the meaning of freedom in America.

  • The Cause | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    The Civil War was fought in 10,000 places. Two percent of the general population died in the war and it changed forever the lives of all who lived through it.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Slaves on the Plantation | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    Conditions were dire for slaves on the plantation. Slave quarters bred diseases and only four out of 100 lived to be 60.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Gettysburg Address | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    Lincoln feels he has failed the American people, his audience at Gettysburg, and the memory of the dead with his short address, yet the eloquence and grandeur of the 269 words he spoke became enshrined as a standard against which all speeches that came thereafter were measured.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The 75th Anniversary of Gettysburg: 1938 | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    In the year 1938, the nation celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Civil War defined the United States as a nation, and to understand the American character, we must study it.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Lessons from the Civil War | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    Four million slaves were emancipated from slavery, yet it would take another century for African Americans to win their freedom.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Fort Sumter | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    Confederate gunners fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861. Fort Sumter fell 34 hours later. It was a bloodless opening to the bloodiest war in American history.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Gettysburg | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    On July 3, 1863, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the Union Army lured Confederate troops out into the open field. General George Pickett charged, and the tide of the war changed in the Union's favor.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Sherman's March | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    Learn about the march through Georgia by General William Tecumseh Sherman in this excerpt from The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. In late 1864, Sherman decides to march his army from Atlanta to Savannah, living off the land, and destroying everything along the way that could aid the Confederate army. On the march, Sherman's army causes $100 million of damage "the South would never forget." John Bell Hood moves his forces into Tennessee, and at the Battle of Franklin clashes with Union troops under General George Thomas.

    Grades: 6-12
  • A House Divided | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    Learn how the issue of slavery divided the nation in this excerpt from The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. By mid-century, the country was deeply divided. Southerners feared the North might forbid slavery. Northerners feared slavery might move west. As each new state was added to the union, it threatened to upset the delicate equilibrium of power.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Secessionitis | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    Learn how the 1860 presidental election became a referendum on the southern way of life in this excerpt from The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected President, and the South was horrified. Seven Southern states seceded in the time between Lincoln's election and inauguration.

    Grades: 6-12
  • A Thousand Mile Front | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    Learn how General George McClellan takes command of the Union Army in this excerpt from The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. General McClellan takes command of the Union Army with an elaborate plan to destroy the Confederacy, but does nothing.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Bottom Rail On Top | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    Learn how African-American troops fought for the north in this excerpt from The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. Lincoln authorizes the first African-American troops. The 54th Massachusetts regiment, under Robert Gould Shaw, attacks Fort Wagner, South Carolina. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • Appomattox | Ken Burns: The Civil War

    Learn how Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in this excerpt from The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. April 7, 1865 - Grant writes to Lee. April 9, 1865 - Lee sends word that he will surrender. Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant meet at Appomattox to work out the terms of the surrender. The formal surrender comes three days later. In Washington, Lincoln quietly rejoices. A few blocks away, John Wilkes Booth plots.

    Grades: 6-12

Brand:
Contributor: