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Episode Five: The Universe of Battle

Confederates captured at GettysburgThis 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 to chronicle the fall of Vicksburg, the New York draft riots, the first use of black troops, and the western battles at Chickamauga, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The episode closes with the dedication of a new Union cemetery at Gettysburg in November, where Abraham Lincoln struggles to put into words what is happening to his people.

Detailed Episode Description with time code:

Prologue :00 -:01:25
Shelby Foote discusses an emblematic Civil War photograph - of three confederate prisoners at Gettysburg.

5.1 Chapter I - THE CIVIL WAR Series Title :01:26 - :06:35
Lee, seeking to "conquer a peace" and take pressure off Vicksburg, leads his army north.

5.2 Chapter 2 - 1863: The Universe of Battle :06:36 - :10:50
Lee marches into Pennsylvania. Union troops clash with Jeb Stuart at Brandy Station, Virginia in the biggest cavalry engagement of the war. The Union army Linder George Meade follows Lee into Pennsylvania.

5.3 Chapter 3 - Gettysburg: The First Day :10:51 - :16:21
Footsore Confederate forces enter Gettysburg in search of shoes and run headlong into the Union cavalry. All divisions in the area converge on Gettysburg. The Union takes the high ground and much to Lee's chagrin, Jeb Stuart arrives late.

5.4 Chapter 4 - Gettysburg: The Second Day :16:22 - :32:16
The two armies amass overnight - by morning, 65,000 Confederate troops face 85,000 Union troops. The rebels try to take the crucial Big and Little Round Tops but the Union holds, thanks in part to the brilliance of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his 20th Maine. Lee pronounces the day a Confederate victory, and plans to attack the center of the Union line the next day.

5.5 Chapter 5 - Gettysburg: The Third Day :32:17 - :51:46
Pickett's charge is Lee's greatest mistake and the turning point of the war. Entire Southern regiments disappear. The rebels suffer 28,000 casualties; almost a third of all the men engaged- 51,000 men-are lost. The South will never invade the North again. Lee offers to resign.

5.6 Chapter 6 - She Ranks Me :51:47 - :56:01
North and South, women find ways to participate in the war effort, forming Sanitary Commissions, nursing the wounded, running family farms, etc.

5.7 Chapter 7 - Vicksburg :56:02 - :59:53
As Grant's siege drags on, conditions inside the city become unbearable. After 48 days, on July 4, 1863, the Confederates Surrender. "the Father of Waters," Lincoln says, "again goes unvexed to the sea."

5.8 Chapter 8 - Bottom Rail On Top :59:54 - 1:13:23
Lincoln issues the first federal draft call, but for $300, men can hire substitutes and most of the wealthy elite do so. Resistance to the draft causes riots throughout the North. Lincoln authorizes the first black troops. The 54th Massachusetts regiment, under Robert Gould Shaw, attacks Fort Wagner, South Carolina. The battle is a Confederate victory but it proves that blacks can fight as well as whites.

5.9 Chapter 9 - The River of Death 1:13:24 - 1:25:09
The Battle of Chickamauga, Tennessee is a Confederate victory and the Union army retreats to Chattanooga. U.S. Grant arrives, takes charge and brilliantly wins major victories at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.

5.10 Chapter 10 - A New Birth of Freedom 1:25:10 - 1:30:58
At the dedication of a new national military cemetery at the Gettysburg Battlefield, Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg address.

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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