The Civil War 

"... our greatest debt is to the past itself, to those people who recorded their own moment in history with their own pictures and in their own words. It is their story we tell. And it is their story we try to honor by remembering it as accurately – and as vividly – as possible."— Ken Burns

Between 1861 and 1865, Americans made war on each other and killed each other in great numbers — if only to become the kind of country that could no longer conceive of how that was possible. What began as a bitter dispute over Union and States' Rights, ended as a struggle over the meaning of freedom in America.   

Watch clips from The Civil War below and visit the site for bonus videos and educational resources. 

| Watch More Videos   | Visit Website

Gettysburg marked a change in the tide of the war.
PBS Stories of Service – More to Explore
The Civil War: Fort Sumter

The Civil War: Fort Sumter

The Civil War began at 4:30 am on April 12, 1861 at Ft. Sumter, Charleston, SC.

The Civil War: Newsreel

The Civil War: Newsreel

1938 was the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Ken Burns Civil War Interview

Ken Burns Civil War Interview

Ken Burns talks about the Civil War.

Presented by:

Support for pbs.org

Learn more about PBS sponsorship

Sign Up for Program Reminders & More
Get the latest information about upcoming PBS programs, sneak peeks, tune-in reminders and web extras delivered to your inbox every week.
Support your local PBS station