Civil War: The Untold Story

Watch Civil War: The Untold Story

  • 2014
  • 1 Season
  • 8.2  (38)

Civil War: The Untold Story is a gripping documentary series that traces the intricacies of the American Civil War, during which the nation was torn apart by conflicting ideologies and loyalties. The show, produced by Great Divide Pictures and aired by Acorn Media, is a profoundly researched and emotionally charged retelling of this historic event, focusing on the lesser-known people and stories that often get ignored in traditional history books.

Mikhail LaPread, Whit Barr, and Frank Kirtley are the three expert historians who narrate the show, offering a deep insight into the political, social, and cultural factors that led to the outbreak of the conflict, and the impact it had on people's lives. The series comprises five episodes, each of which runs for an hour, effectively weaving together a nuanced narrative that takes us through the entire span of the war.

The first episode, titled "Divided We Fall," opens with the 1860 presidential election, where Abraham Lincoln's victory in the north ultimately led to the secession of southern states who feared that their way of life - including slavery - would be threatened. The episode also discusses the strategic significance of the Mississippi River and showcases how both the Union and Confederate armies aimed to control it. Furthermore, it highlights the experiences of women and African Americans during this period, providing a fresh perspective on the war.

The second episode, "A Beacon of Hope," explores the Union blockade of southern ports, the emergence of the Union navy, and the transformation of the war from a skirmish between states to a full-blown struggle for control of the nation. The episode also highlights the role of guerrilla warfare in intensifying the conflict, and the efforts of both armies to win crucial battles such as Shiloh and Antietam.

The third episode, "War is All Hell," delves into the brutal violence of the war, with many battles characterised by extreme bloodshed and vicious hand-to-hand combat. Through primary sources, the episode brings to life the anguish of soldiers, many of whom were young and inexperienced, and the horrors they faced in the form of injury, disease, and death.

The fourth episode, "The Killing Fields," takes the audience through the challenges faced by the Union as they tried to break the Confederate Army's hold on Southern territories. The episode discusses the famed southern general Stonewall Jackson, who played a significant role in many major campaigns and ultimately died in battle. It also delves into the role of both armies in emancipating slaves, a move that significantly impacted the course of the war.

Finally, the fifth episode, "Unlikely Heroes," showcases the prominent role played by unsung heroes in shaping the war's outcome. These included the likes of Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, and Harriet Tubman, the abolitionist who led many slaves to freedom. The episode also covers Abraham Lincoln's historic Gettysburg Address and the eventual surrender of the Confederate army at Appomattox Court House, marking the end of the war on 9th April 1865.

Overall, Civil War: The Untold Story is an engrossing documentary that expertly presents the complex and nuanced realities of the American Civil War. The expert commentary provided by LaPread, Barr, and Kirtley makes it a fascinating watch for both history buffs and the casual viewer alike. The show's use of primary sources, such as letters, diary entries, and photographs, brings the story alive and makes it a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the role of the Civil War in shaping American society.

Civil War: The Untold Story is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (5 episodes). The series first aired on April 2, 2014.

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Chapter 5: With Malice toward None
5. Chapter 5: With Malice toward None
April 30, 2014
With Lincoln facing an election and his Democrat opponents promising a negotiated end to the war, Sherman determines to break the back of the Confederacy by taking the war not just to the troops defending Atlanta, but right to the doorsteps of the Southern people. In his march across Georgia and sweep through the Carolinas, Sherman brings the western war to the east, just ahead of Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.
Chapter 4: Death Knell of the Confederacy
4. Chapter 4: Death Knell of the Confederacy
April 23, 2014
After Vicksburg, Union forces push on to Chattanooga, an important rail center and gateway to the Deep South. But casualties at the Battle of Chickamauga provoke antiwar riots in New York City and growing anger that so many Northern boys are dying to free African Americans. As Grant travels east to take on Lee, William Tecumseh Sherman assumes command in the West and begins his advance on Atlanta.
Chapter 3: River of Death
3. Chapter 3: River of Death
April 16, 2014
President Lincoln's January 1863 Emancipation Proclamation dramatically changes the war's meaning, bringing together the cause of saving the union and the cause of ending slavery. While Robert E. Lee wins victory after victory for the Confederacy in Virginia, the federals are poised to capture what many consider the western theatre's greatest prize: the Mississippi River. But first they must take Vicksburg, the Gibraltar of the West.
Chapter 2: A Beacon of Hope
2. Chapter 2: A Beacon of Hope
April 9, 2014
Both sides realize a Confederate win at Shiloh would be a giant step towards Southern independence. After early Confederate successes in the battle, Grant rallies his stunned troops, who repulse waves of enemy attacks at a dense thicket dubbed the Hornet's Nest. On Shiloh's second day, Grant goes on the offensive, winning the first in a series of Union victories that sees thousands of slave families start to flee to Union lines.
Chapter 1: Bloody Shiloh
1. Chapter 1: Bloody Shiloh
April 2, 2014
In the wake of the Confederate victory at Bull Run, Northern hopes for a quick end to the war are dashed, and Union leaders realize that defeating the South will mean taking the fight beyond the Appalachians. In March 1862, Ulysses S. Grant disembarks an army at Pittsburg Landing in Confederate-held Tennessee. Near a Methodist meeting hall called Shiloh - a Hebrew word meaning place of peace - the first epic battle of the Civil War erupts.
Where to Watch Civil War: The Untold Story
Civil War: The Untold Story is available for streaming on the Acorn Media website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Civil War: The Untold Story on demand at Amazon Prime.
  • Premiere Date
    April 2, 2014
  • IMDB Rating
    8.2  (38)