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Episode Seven: Most Hallowed Ground

William Tecumseh ShermanThe 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:

Prologue :00 -:01:09
Shelby Foote on Nathan Bedford Forrest.

7.1 Chapter 1 - THE CIVIL WAR Series Title :01:10-:04:07
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 :04:08 -:07:08
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 - :19:08
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 :28:00
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 - :30:35
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 - :44:24
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 - :47:58
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 rich, too.

7.11 Chapter 11 - Can Those Be Men? :47:59 -:54:06
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.

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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