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Ken Burns on PBS
The Civil War. A Film by Ken Burns
Images of the Civil War
The Film, Past and Present
The War
Biographies of Key Figures
Historical Documents
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The Filmmakers
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Historical Documents

One of the techniques filmmaker Ken Burns used so effectively in The Civil War was to use the actual historical record – photographs, diaries, speeches -- to "let the War tell its own story."

"All we had to do was listen to it," said Burns, "and arrange it in a way that would bring back a generation lost in the great pageantry of this War."

The document that illustrates the power of this technique so dramatically is a letter written from Camp Clark, Washington by Sullivan Ballou of the Union Army to his wife Sarah.

In this area you’ll find the complete text of that moving letter as well several other historical documents used in the film. For a more comprehensive list of documents, visit our Related Links page.

Copyright 2002 WETA. All rights reserved.