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The Civil War: The Universe Of Battle

Airs Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 2:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Lincoln and McClellan confer in the generals headquarters tent at Antietam on...

Credit: Library of Congress

Above: Lincoln and McClellan confer in the generals headquarters tent at Antietam on October 4, 1862.

Ken Burns' epic documentary brings to life America's most destructive — and defining — conflict. With digitally enhanced images and new stereo sound, "The Civil War" is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one.

This episode opens with a dramatic account of the turning point of war: the Battle of Gettysburg, the greatest ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. For three days 150,000 men will fight to the death in the Pennsylvania countryside, culminating in Pickett’s legendary charge.

This extended episode then goes on to chronicle the fall of Vicksburg, the New York draft riots, the first use of black troops, and the western battles at Chickamauga, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The episode closes with the dedication of a new Union cemetery at Gettysburg in November, where Abraham Lincoln struggles to put into words what is happening to his people.

View images of the Civil War and watch video clips from the film.

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