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
have lost in three years of war. With Grant and Lee
finally deadlocked at Petersburg, we visit the ghastly
hospitals north and south and follow General Sherman’s
Atlanta campaign through the mountains of north Georgia.
As the horrendous casualty lists increase, Lincoln’s
chances for re-election begin to dim, and with them
the possibility of Union victory.
Detailed Episode Description
with time code:
Walt Whitman worries about the coming battles, the "awful
loads ... of bloody, pale, and wounded young men."
6.1 Chapter 1 - THE CIVIL WAR Series Title
There is no real end in sight for the war. And, as William
Tecumseh Sherman says, "the worst of the war is not
6.2 Chapter 2 - 1864: Valley of the Shadow of
Death :05:23 - :08:37
Letter from Spotswood Rice, escaped slave and Union soldier,
to his enslaved children.
6.3 Chapter 3 - Grant :08:38 - :15:17
Ulysses S. Grant's background: Born in 1822 to a tanner
in Ohio. Graduates from West Point. Marries the daughter
of a Kentucky slave-holder. Fights in the Mexican War.
Unsuccessfully tries farming, real estate, and works as
a clerk for his father. Re-enters the Army when the war
6.4 Chapter 4 - Lee :15:18 - :20:47
Lee's background: Born in 1807 to a very prominent Virginia
family and raised by his mother. He is nicknamed "the
marble model" at West Point and graduates in 1829
without a single demerit. Marries Mary Custis, George
Washington's granddaughter. Serves in the prestigious
Army Corps of Engineers during the Mexican War. The captor
of John Brown at Harpers Ferry, Lee is the most promising
soldier in the nation at the start of the war.
6.5 Chapter 5 - In the Wilderness :20:48
Grant plans a four-pronged assault on the Confederacy:
Sherman will move on Atlanta, Sigel will advance up the
Shenandoah Valley, Butler will work his way up the James
River, and Meade will head south to Richmond. Lee and
Grant clash for the first time at The Wilderness, near
Chancellorsville, Virginia, "in many ways the most
terrible battle of the war." Grant loses 17,000 men.
But the next day, instead of retreating, he gives orders
to march. Now the war will wage non-stop for 30 days.
6.6 Chapter 6 - Move By the Right Flank
:36:11 - :49:34
Lee and Grant fight continuously as Grant's flanking maneuvers
force Lee south towards Richmond. At the Battle of Cold
Harbor, Grant makes his worst mistake, sending 7,000 troops
to be slaughtered by entrenched Rebel troops. In one month,
the Union loses 50,000 men. But Grant tricks Lee and makes
it to Petersburg, just south of Richmond. The siege of
Petersburg begins - it will last ten months.
6.7 Chapter 7 - Now, Fix Me :49:35
Both sides organize hundreds of hospitals to care for
the wounded. Walt Whitman volunteers in hospital wards
in Washington. Dorothea Dix is in charge of all the nurses
for the Union army and serves all four years without pay.
6.8 Chapter 8 - The Remedy :56:50
William Tecumseh Sherman moves south from Chattanooga
to wards Atlanta. Lincoln's chances for re-election hinge
on Sherman's campaign. Sherman's advance is a masterpiece
of planning and Joseph E. Johnston cannot slow his advance.
He makes one mistake at Kennesaw Mountain he loses 3,000
men in a series of doomed frontal assaults. Then, Sherman
also stalls outside of Atlanta.
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Index PDF (208k)
[The Educator's Index is an alphabetical and timecode specific listing of topics covered in each episode.]