Secrets of the Civil WarClosed Captioning
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It took only 30 minutes for 2,800 Union troops to defeat an enemy force more than double its size in the cavalry charge at Mine Creek in Kansas, and yet few people have heard of it. A Confederate raid on Vermont and an attempt by Union coal miners to blow up a Southern fort by tunneling underneath it have also received little recognition in the teachings and studies on the Civil War. Even today, almost 150 years after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, unexpected secrets and little known stories continue to emerge from Civil War history. Secrets of the Civil War, a fascinating collection of documentaries from HISTORY™, uses archival letters, original diary entries, sophisticated cinematic reenactments, and interviews with the country’s most renowned historians to bring these buried events vividly to life. The nine programs included in the collection are: The Most Daring Mission of the Civil War; April 1865; Secret Missions of the Civil War; The Lost Battle of the Civil War; Guns of the Civil War; Eighty Acres of Hell; and from the HISTORY series Battlefield Detectives, The Civil War: Antietam; The Civil War: Gettysburg; and The Civil War: Shiloh.
|1||Closed CaptioningVideoMost Daring Missions of the Civil War||This special explores Civil War naval history, specifically the exploits of the war's greatest naval hero, Lieutenant William B. Cushing. The high point of his daring career was the attack on the Confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle at Plymouth, North Carolina. On a cold, rainy night in late October 1864, Cushing and a group of volunteers used a tiny steam launch and spar torpedo in a surprise attack. Their virtual suicide mission succeeded and the warship was destroyed. Of the 13 men in the launch, Cushing was the only one to successfully escape from the rebel-held river where the attack took place. The others were drowned, shot, or captured. From Naval Academy wash-out to flamboyant warrior, this is the story of the celebrated hero's bold raid that freed the Roanoke of the obstacle that had prevented Union forces from advancing in to eastern North Carolina.||1:07:55||$1.99||View In iTunes|
|4||Closed CaptioningVideoGettysburg||This authoritative series returns to chart some of the most remarkable battles and wars through history. Line of Fire not only explains what sparked these battles but crucially shows how they were fought. Archive material and innovative 3D graphics transport the viewer to the site of the conflict, illustrating the topography and mapping the movements of the opposing forces. Leading experts explain the battle's strategic significance and analyse the tactics of both sides while survivor accounts convey the conditions. Modern footage of the battlefields completes the picture.||45:10||$1.99||View In iTunes|
|5||Closed CaptioningVideoCivil War: Shiloh||Before dawn on Sunday, April 6, 1862, shots rang out near Shiloh, on the west bank of the Tennessee River. A Confederate army had launched a surprise attack on their unsuspecting Union enemy. The Confederates had chosen the battlefield and the moment to attack. And they achieved almost total strategic and tactical surprise. Twelve hours later they seemed to be in a commanding position--but on the next day they withdrew in disarray. For nearly 150 years, Confederate failure has been blamed on the fact that they lost valuable time at a place called the Hornet's Nest--where a detachment of Union soldiers held the line. But now forensic history is uncovering a very different story of why things went so badly for the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh.||45:09||$1.99||View In iTunes|
|7||Closed CaptioningVideoThe Lost Battle of the Civil War||October 25, 1864--the sky is clear and the air brisk in Kansas. Perfect weather for soldiers as they charge into battle. At the Battle of Mine Creek, 2,800 Union Cavalry soldiers defeat a Confederate cavalry of 7,000--in a mere half-hour. The bravery and cunning exhibited ranks the battle alongside the charges at Gettysburg and Brandy Station. What made this a successful battle for the Union Cavalry and why is it excluded from historical records? The battle unfolds through interviews with members of the Mine Creek Battlefield Foundation and local historians, archival letters, diaries, and the one known historical account of the battle written by Lumir Buresh in 1977. And as we walk the battlefield with a tactician from the US Army, we divulge new information about its size, weapons used, and the brigades that met there from all over the country to fight at Mine Creek.||45:09||$1.99||View In iTunes|
|8||Closed CaptioningVideoGuns of the Civil War||It was a war in which brother fought brother. Where battlefields became slaughterhouses. Where the astonishing technology and ingenuity of a country in the midst of an industrial revolution, was put to the task of making the most destructive killing machines the world had ever seen. More Americans were killed in the Civil War than in all other American wars combined. Ominously foreshadowing the horrors of the first World War, the guns of Civil War became the first truly modern weapons.||45:50||$1.99||View In iTunes|
|9||Closed CaptioningVideoEighty Acres of Hell||"To the Victor, Belongs the Silence." Hidden until now, we uncover an important and shocking chapter of the American Civil War. Although our nation is well-versed about the atrocities committed against Union POWs at Andersonville, Georgia, few have heard of the wholesale annihilation of Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas in Chicago, Illinois (12,000 inmates were incarcerated, 6,000 never left). Unlike Andersonville, Camp Douglas had the resources necessary to house and care for its prisoners, but calculated cruelty, torture, and neglect by the US military conspired to exterminate Southern soldiers who entered this "80 Acres of Hell." But, Southern prisoners were not the only victims. Under martial law, prominent Chicago citizens were unjustly tried and imprisoned by a ruthless military tribunal. From 1862 to 1866, more than 6,000 Rebel prisoners and 14 civilians died at the hands of a corrupt and murderous system with tentacles to the White House.||1:30:11||$1.99||View In iTunes|
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Holds its own
Having been a Civil War buff for many years, i was heartened to see this release on itunes. There have only been a very miniscule number of series, documentaries, etc on what many consider the most pivotal event in American History. While certainly not the trailblazing presentation that Ken Burn's Civil War series was, Secrets uniquely presents a bit more personal reflection, and gives its viewers more of a "real-world" view of the hell that was Gettysburg, Antietam, Cold Harbor, Fredricksburg, and the myriad of other battles in which the casulties were numbingly appalling due to two reasons... 1) The technology of the weapons were far in advance of the battlefield tatics used in those days... 2) For every soldier who died of their battlefield wounds, 2 died of infections from their wounds or by disease.. Secrets give us an upfront and personal viewpoint of the soldier with splendid, authentic re-enactments as well as taking the time to explain the weaponry used...Overall, this is a very well done series, and i would recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in the Civil War...
All around well done if not somewhat two dimensional......
Overall this is a good series. Being a Civil War fanatic, I found this to be an excellent start point for further research into such events as Cushing's attack on a Confederate ironclad or the Battle of Mine Creek. With that said there are some issues I have with one or two episodes. The biggest being the one regarding the Battle of Shilo. They claim that the Hornet's Nest was a myth propagated by the surviving Union veterans. Such a claim is simply unfounded! The reason why there is not as much evidence in the Nest as in other battlefields can be explained easily. First, Confederate attacks had little to no co-ordination which allowed Union troops to deal with these thrusts without playing themselves out. Second, Union troops were at the same time attempting to withdraw back towards Pittsburgh Landing making the Union defense chaotic. As to the lack of bodies, it is well known that a combination of animal activity, (Hogs, Dogs and other scavengers) had plenty of time to root through the fallen. This coupled with the haphazard way bodies were buried, I believe that there are other mass burials that have been lost to time.
Worth the time to watch
Very good series. Well put together and very informative. Allows viewers a different perspective on the Civil War.