episode begins with the presidential election of 1864
that sets Abraham Lincoln against his old commanding
general, George McClellan. The stakes are nothing less
than the survival of the Union itself: with Grant and
Sherman stalled at Petersburg and Atlanta, opinion in
the North has turned strongly against the war. But 11th-hour
victories at Mobile Bay, Atlanta, and the Shenandoah
Valley tilt the election to Lincoln and the Confederacy’s
last hope for independence dies. In an ironic twist,
poignantly typical of the Civil War, Lee’s Arlington
mansion is turned into a Union military hospital and
the estate becomes Arlington National Cemetery, the
Union’s most hallowed ground.
Detailed Episode Description
with time code:
Shelby Foote on Nathan Bedford Forrest.
7.1 Chapter 1 - THE CIVIL WAR Series Title
With the Union Army stalled outside Petersburg, and the
casualty lists growing longer, Northern opposition to
the war increases.
7.2 Chapter 2 - 1864: Most Hallowed Ground
Lincoln's chances for re-election hinge on Union victories.
7.3 Chapter 3 - A Warm Place in the Field
:07:09 - :10:17
The siege at Petersburg is taking a toll on the inhabitants.
To relieve pressure on the city, Lee sends Jubal Early
north to attack Washington and the Shenandoahs.
7.4 Chapter 4 - Nathan Bedford Forrest
:10:18 - :14:04
Forrest - according to William T. Sherman, "the most
remarkable man our Civil War produced on either side"
- is on the move, slowing the Union advance to Atlanta.
7.5 Chapter 5 - Summer, 1864 :14:05
It is the North's darkest hour with Grant stalled outside
Petersburg and Sherman stalled outside Atlanta. Lincoln's
chances for re-election are slim. The Democrats nominate
George McClellan on a peace platform, and the election
becomes a referendum on the war.
7.6 Chapter 6 - Spies :19:09 - :22:02
Both the Confederacy and the Union have secret services,
run by William Norris and Alan Pinkerton. During the war,
spies are everywhere: many Southern slaves spy for the
Union, and the Confederate spy network extends as far
north as Montreal.
7.7 Chapter 7 - The Crater :22:03
In an effort to end the siege of Petersburg, Northern
troops dig a tunnel and pack it with gun powder. But the
plan is doomed because of bad planning. Scores of black
troops are killed as they try to surrender.
7.8 Chapter 8 - Headquarters U.S.A. :28:01
The seamier side of life in camp - soldiers gamble, bet,
play cards, and visit whore houses.
7.9 Chapter 9 - The Promised Land :30:36
Black soldiers are finally given equal pay with whites.
Union Admiral David Farragut, wins another naval victory
in Mobile Bay. Sherman's troops arrive outside Atlanta.
Jefferson Davis removes General Joseph E. Johnston from
command and replaces him with John Bell Hood. At the Battle
of Atlanta, Sherman's favorite general, 35-year old James
McPherson is killed. But with the next Union attack, Hood
withdraws into the city, and Sherman puts Atlanta under
siege. A week later, Hood abandons Atlanta and Sherman
enters the city.
7.10 Chapter 10 - The Age of Shoddy :44:25
The Northern war effort has created an enormous industrial
machine and many astute businessmen are making big profits
off war industries. Ruthless war profiteers are getting
7.11 Chapter 11 - Can Those Be Men? :47:59
In Tennessee, Nathan Bedford's men attack Fort Pillow
and kill 300 black troops after they have surrendered.
In retaliation, U.S. Grant ends the system of prisoner
exchange, until the Confederacy agrees to treat black
and white prisoners the same. As a result, prisons North
and South become overcrowded. In the South, already inadequate
prisons become nightmares. Andersonville in Georgia is
the worst of all.
7.12 Chapter 12 - The People's Resolution
:54:07 - 1:01:01
Union General Phil Sheridan triumphs over Jubal Early
in the Shenandoahs. Lincoln is re-elected by large majorities.
The Confederacy is now "a lost cause."
7.13 Chapter 13 - Most Hallowed Ground
1:01:02 - 1:07:13
Lincoln calls for more men to finish the war. The South
has no men left. The Union dead have now completely filled
all the military cemeteries. Montgomery Meigs, Quartermaster
General, chooses the grounds of Lee's home for the new
military cemetery. It becomes Arlington National Cemetery,
the Union's most hallowed ground.
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Index PDF (208k)
[The Educator's Index is an alphabetical and timecode specific listing of topics covered in each episode.]