The Cause
1861
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The Civil War

PBS
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The Ultimate Civil War Series
Between 1861 and 1865, this epic American story of struggle and survival was written in blood, and in this series is told mostly from first-hand accounts and in the spoken words of the participants themselves, through their diaries, letters, and memoirs. The series concludes with Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court…
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Part of the Series: The Ultimate Civil War Series
The Road to Civil War, battles over Slavery turn violent in Kansas and Harper's Ferry. The election of Lincoln, Secession, Fort Sumter and the First Battle of Manassas.
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Episode six begins with a biographical comparison of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee and then chronicles the extraordinary series of battles that pitted the two generals against each other from the wilderness to Petersburg in Virginia. In 30 days, the two armies lose more men than both sides…
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It's September 17, 1862 and President Abraham Lincoln needs a victory in order to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and end slavery in the South. But Robert E. Lee has other plans - invade the North. When Lee's strategy falls into the hands of the Union Army, the result is the…
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The battle between pro-slavery and free-soil contingents rises to fever pitch. During his raid on Harpers Ferry, John Brown is captured, then executed, becoming a martyr for the cause. Abraham Lincoln is elected president in 1860. Southern states secede, war breaks out and the conflict unexpectedly drags on. On New…
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Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The Civil War
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A champion of the American Union in its darkest hour, Abraham Lincoln's unbreakable faith in the United States and his role in ending slavery earn him a place on Mount Rushmore.
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This episode opens with a dramatic account of the turning point of war: the Battle of Gettysburg, the greatest ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. For three days 150,000 men will fight to the death in the Pennsylvania countryside, culminating in Pickett's legendary charge. This extended episode then goes on…
A War to End Slavery
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Heroic soldiers in blue and gray endure the bloodiest battles ever fought on American soil, as the country fights a civil war over the future of slavery. Grim battles unfold: Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg. Famous generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee lead the war between the North…
Emancipation Road: 1863-1870 - The Emancipation Proclamation
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Military history often highlights successes and suggests a sense of inevitability about victory, but there is so much that can be gleaned from considering failures. Study these crucibles of history to gain a better understanding of why a civilization took - or didn't take - a particular path. Full of…