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Secrets of the Civil WarTV-14Closed 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.

Customer Reviews

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.

Secrets of the Civil War
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  • SD Version
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Released: Apr 16, 2009
  • CCin English

Customer Ratings