Beginning with a searing indictment
of slavery, this first episode dramatically evokes the
causes of the war, from the Cotton Kingdom of the South
to the northern abolitionists who opposed it. Here are
the burning questions of Union and States’ rights,
at Harper’s Ferry, the election of Abraham
Lincoln in 1860, the firing on Fort Sumter and the
jubilant rush to arms on both sides. Along the way the
series’ major figures are introduced: Abraham
E. Lee, Ulysses
S. Grant and a host of lesser-known but equally
vivid characters. The episode comes to a climax with
the disastrous Union defeat at Manassas, Virginia, where
both sides now learn it is to be a very long war.
here for a detailed description of this episode.