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Episode Four: Simply Murder

Robert E. LeeThe nightmarish Union disaster at Fredericksburg comes to two climaxes that spring: at Chancellorsville in May, where Lee wins his most brilliant victory but loses Stonewall Jackson; and at Vicksburg, where Grant’s attempts to take the city by siege are stopped. During the episode we learn of fierce Northern opposition to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the miseries of regimental life and the increasing desperation of the Confederate homefront. As the episode ends, Lee decides to invade the North again to draw Grant’s forces away from Vicksburg.

Detailed Episode Description with time code:

Prologue :00 -:01:43
Historian Shelby Foote explains the rebel yell.

4.1 Chapter 1 - THE CIVIL WAR Series Title :01:44 - :05:00
Despite the Northern victory at Antietam, despite emancipation, and despite the Union's superiority in men and material, the North is coming close to fumbling all it has. But the fragile Confederate coalition is also coming apart.

4.2 Chapter 2 - 1863 Simply Murder :05:01 - :08:13
In the Northern winter camp, "the Union's Valley Forge," morale is low as hundreds die from disease due to unsanitary conditions.

4.3 Chapter 3 - Northern Lights :08:14 - :21:32
The Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, December 1862 - where entrenched rebel forces under Robert E. Lee kill or wound 12,600 Union soldiers under Ambrose Burnside - it is another debacle for the Union.

4.4 Chapter 4 - Oh! Be Joyful :21:33 - :31:46
Humorous section on the food and drink of soldiers, North and South. Introduction to John Singleton Moseby, a brilliant Southern General. Frederick Douglass pressures the government to arm the free blacks and former slaves. In the North, soldiers desert over Emancipation, and the Copperhead movement tries to undermine Lincoln and the war effort.

4.5 Chapter 5 - The Kingdom of Jones :31:47 - :42:11
On the home front, Southerners cope with terrible inflation and lack of basic consumer goods. In Richmond, women riot over the price of bread, and in the rebel army morale is very low. Interlude on the music of the war, North and South.

4.6 Chapter 6 - Under the Shade of the Trees :42:12 - :51:22
Lincoln appoints Joseph Hooker to lead the Union army. He faces Lee at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia and loses 17,000 men to Lee's 13,000. But Lee's most brilliant victory is also his costliest; Stonewall Jackson dies from a battle wound on May 10th.

4.7 Chapter 7 - A Dust-Covered Man :51:23 - :57:21
U. S. Grant daringly sneaks up from behind on the crucial Southern city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and settles in for a siege, trapping 31,000 Confederates. Lee decides to invade Union soil again to force Grant to move north to defend Washington.

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.]
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