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Episode Two: A Very Bloody Affair

Confederate pickets struggle to stay warm near Fredericksburg, Virginia1862 saw the birth of modern warfare and the transformation of Lincoln’s war to preserve the Union into a war to emancipate the slaves. Episode Two begins with the political infighting that threatened to swamp Lincoln’s administration and then follows Union General George McClellan’s ill-fated campaign on the Virginia Peninsula, where his huge army meets a smaller but infinitely more resourceful Confederate force. During this episode we witness the battle of ironclad ships, partake of camp life, and watch slavery begin to crumble. We meet Ulysses S. Grant, whose exploits come to a bloody climax at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee. The episode ends with rumors of Europe’s readiness to recognize the Confederacy.

Detailed Episode Description with time code:

Prologue :00 -:01:14
Julia Ward Howe writes "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the Willard Hotel in Washington.

2.1 Chapter I - THE CIVIL WAR Series Title :01:15 - :04:45
"The war will be a struggle over the future of freedom in America."

2.2 Chapter 2 - 1862 A Very Bloody Affair :04:46 - :08:51
The Union army is stuck in Washington. Northern soldier Elisha Hunt Rhodes is granted home leave to see his mother.

2.3 Chapter 3 - Politics :08:52 - :14:04
Lincoln contends with political infighting in his cabinet, General McClellan's inaction, and the tragic death of his favorite son, Willie.

2.4 Chapter 4 - Ironclads :14:05 - :19:05
The Confederacy builds the Merrimack, a new iron-plated ship, and the Union then constructs its own "ironclad," the Monitor. Off the coast of Virginia, the Merrimack attacks the Union navy, but the Monitor arrives just in time. All other navies on earth, after the epic battle of ironclads, are obsolete.

2.5 Chapter 5 - Lincolnites :19:06 - :22:38
In Tennessee, U.S. Grant wins a victory at Fort Donelson, and Clarksville is occupied by the Union army.

2.6 Chapter 6 - The Peninsula :22:39 - :27:34
McClellan cautiously moves the Union army towards Richmond and meets a much smaller band of Southern troops at Yorktown where he digs in and wires for reinforcements.

2.7 Chapter 7 - Our Boy :27:35 - :31:54
Description of the average soldier: Life in camp, North and South.

2.8 Chapter 8 - Shiloh :31:55 - :43:58
In Tennessee, U.S. Grant fights off a surprise attack by Confederates under General Albert Sidney Johnston at the Battle of Shiloh. Johnston is killed and Grant suffers huge losses-but eventually wins the battle when Union reinforcements arrive. More men die at Shiloh than in all previous American wars combined.

2.9 Chapter 9 - The Arts of Death :43:59 -:54:06
The relationship of military technology to the course of the war. U.S. Grant is relieved of command because of the losses at Shiloh. Frederick Douglass pressures Lincoln to free the slaves. The Union navy wins a major naval campaign when Admiral David Farragut takes New Orleans.

2.10 Chapter 10 - Republics :54:07 - :57:28
On the Southern home front the Confederacy institutes the first national draft, exempting men who own more than twenty slaves. Only half of the eligible men show up.

2.11 Chapter 11 - On To Richmond :57:29 - 1:03:36
After a month outside Yorktown, McClellan finally attacks. But the Rebels had already moved on. McClellan cautiously moves to ward Richmond but refuses to attack the city. The Union's grand strategy is completely stalled.

Click here for the Educator's Index PDF (208k)
[The Educator's Index is an alphabetical and timecode specific listing of topics covered in each episode.]

Copyright 2002 WETA. All rights reserved.