“Learned yet entertaining. A historical achievement” Philadelphia Inquirer
“Victorious, stirringly alive. Grade:A.” Entertainment Weekly
“Offers a wide range of historical insights and brings the war and its legendary leaders to life.”
“Looks at the military, political and social history of the civil war. Reenacts powerful battlefield scenes.” Chicago Tribune
“Well executed, skillful, knowledgeable, taut. Can admirably serve as an introduction and also offers a coherent canvas to those beyond the primer stage.” Washington Times
“If you enjoyed PBS’s Civil War, you must see Smithsonian’s Great Battles.” Miami Herald
“A treasure trove of historical information and great visuals.” Buffalo News
“A fascinating, informative series. A super-survey, skillful and swiftly paced.” Des Moines Sunday Register
“Copiously filmed reenactments complement quickly-paced battle descriptions.” Civil War Times Illustrated
“Captivating and provocative. An amazing series.” The Afro-American Newspapers
“The thinking man’s history of the Civil War.” Billboard
“Unreservedly recommended. Crackles with urgency and immediacy, like W.W.II newsreels. Has a greater impact than the PBS series.” Great Battles Magazine
“Informative and comprehensive. Will intrigue military history aficionados.” American Library Association Booklist
Smithsonian’s Great Battles of the CIvil War is a visually stunning, provocative history unlike any other Civil War program you’ve ever seen. This critically acclaimed television and video series from the National Museum of American History is a sweeping and compelling look at the war’s military, political and social history.
Each episode features dramatic reenactments of important campaigns; first-hand accounts of eyewitnesses and participants read by distinguished actors; period photographs, paintings and artifacts; intriguing expert challenges to traditional historical thinking; original contemporary illustrations; computer enhanced maps; and music of the time.
The strategies and motivations that created this devastating and heroic period come alive in this comprehensive reference. The DVDs and a laptop together can be a mobile history tour during your battlefield travels.
Historical Advisory Board Appearing On-camera: Dr. James M. McPherson, Princeton University and author of the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning “Battle Cry of Freedom;” Edwin C. Bearss, National Park Service; Dr. Edward C. Ezell, Smithsonian Institution; Craig L. Symonds, U.S. Naval Academy; Col. Robert A. Doughty, USA, U.S. Military Academy; Col. Larry H. Addington, The Citadel; and Lt. Col. Keith E. Gibson, Virginia Military Institute.
Narrated by Richard Dreyfuss
Readings by: Charlton Heston (Abraham Lincoln), Richard Dreyfuss (Gen. Grant), Burt Reynolds (Jefferson Davis), Dennis Weaver (Gen. Lee), Ossie Davis (Frederick Douglass), Peter Graves (Gens. Sherman and McClellan), Brian Keith (Gens. J.E. Johnston and Sheridan), Hoyt Axton (Gen. John B. Gordon), Burgess Meredith (John Brown and Adm. Farragut), and Trish Van Devere (Clara Barton).
Jessye Norman sings “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
DVD I (1861-1862): Fort Sumter * First Manassas * Ft. Donelson * Ironclads and Navies * The War in the Far West * Shiloh * The Battles for New Orleans and the Mississippi River * Shenandoah Valley * Peninsula Campaign * Second Manassas * Antietam * Corinth * Perryville * Fredericksburg * Intervening Campaigns (3 Hours)
DVD II (1862-1863): First Drive on Vicksburg * Stones River * Chancellorsville * Brandy Station * Gettysburg * Sieges of Vicksburg and Charleston * Chickamauga * Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain * Intervening Campaigns (3 Hours)
DVD III (1864-1865): New Market * The Wilderness and Spotsylvania * Cold Harbor * Kennesaw Mountain * Battle of the Crater * Mobile Bay * Battles for Atlanta * Destruction of C.S.S. Alabama * Cedar Creek * Franklin * Fort Fisher * Siege of Petersburg * Bentonville * Sailors Creek * Appomatox * Intervening Campaigns (3 Hours)