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Filmography - The Civil War and the Reconstruction era: Civil War

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012

Filmography - Civil War

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012. 

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible.  All DVDs listed below are located in Media Services on the Lower Level of Bender Library. To search the library’s complete videos holdings on biology topics (including VHS tapes) keyword searches in the library catalog will be necessary: http://www.american.edu/library/mediaservices/index.cfm

Abraham Lincoln A new birth of freedom. 1992.  1 streaming video file (60 min.). When Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, he set in motion a process of emancipation that is still unfolding today. This classic program-filled with location footage, archival photos, and excerpts from speeches, diaries, letters, and newspapers-documents Lincoln's life while emphasizing his contributions to the struggle for racial equality. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Leon Litwack; Lincoln scholars Jean Baker, Harold Holzer, and Charles Strozier; civil rights activist Eleanor Holmes Norton; former New York Governor Mario Cuomo; and many others offer their perspectives both on Lincoln and on the issues that divided the nation during the Civil War era and, a century later, the Civil Rights era. (60 minutes).  Streaming video
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African-American Lives 2 A way out of no way. 2008.  1 streaming video file (54 min.). Continuing to trace guests' lineages back through the late 1800s to the Civil War and earlier, this program features stories like that of Chris Rock's maternal great-great-grandfather, Julius Caesar Tingman, a black Civil War veteran who was twice elected to the South Carolina State Legislature; and Don Cheadle's ancestors, who had been enslaved by Chickasaw Indians and brought to Oklahoma on the tail end of the Trail of Tears-the mass relocation of Native Americans from the South during the 1830s. Distributed by PBS Distribution. Part of the series African-American Lives 2. (54 minutes).  Streaming video
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Alexander Gardner War photographer. 1993.  Civil War journal: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (100 min.). Describes Gardner chronicling the war, especially the assasination of Lincoln (1st work). Views Brown's fanatical raid on Harper's Ferry (2nd work).  Streaming video
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Antietam. 2006.  1 streaming video file (45 min.). Antietam was the first major clash of the Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was also the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, causing approximately 23,000 casualties. What changed Antietam from merely an infamous day in the nation's history to one of its most profound? This program describes the attacks and counterattacks of September 17, 1862, while spotlighting the historic document that emerged from the smoke and ashes: the Emancipation Proclamation. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. A part of the series 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America. (45 minutes).  Streaming video
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The Appomattox campaign. 2006.  The unknown Civil War: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (46 min.). Streaming video
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The assassination of Abraham Lincoln. 2009.  1 video file (84 min.). Just days after the Civil War ended, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre. As a nation mourned, a manhunt closed in on his assassin, the twenty-six-year-old actor, John Wilkes Booth.  Streaming video
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/assassination/player

Banners of glory. 1993.  Civil War journal: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (42 min.). Streaming video        
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The battle of Antietam. 2005.  The unknown Civil War: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (46 min.). Streaming video
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The battle of Chancellorsville. 2005.  The unknown Civil War: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (46 min.). Streaming video
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The battle of Charleston. 1997.  Civil War journal: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (43 min.). Streaming video          
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The battle of Chattanooga. 1994.  Civil War journal: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (44 min.). Streaming video    
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Battle of Chickamauga. 2006.  The unknown Civil War: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (56 min.). Streaming video
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Battle of Franklin and Nashville. 1996.  Civil War journal: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (46 min.). Describes the desperate Confederate campaign to draw Sherman out of Atlanta.  Streaming video
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The battle of Fredericksburg. 1994.  Civil War journal II: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (47 min.). In the first part Union delays and blunders give the Rebels new hope at Fredericksburg. In the second part medical science is pushed to the limit in the war against wounds and disease.  Streaming video
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Battle of Gettysburg. 2004.  Command decisions: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (22 min.). Streaming video      
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Battle of Gettysburg. 2006.  The unknown Civil War: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (140 min.). Streaming video
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Battle of Gettysburg Overview. 2006.  The unknown Civil War: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (46 min.). Streaming video
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The battle of Glorieta Pass Gettysburg of the West. 1 streaming video file (28 min.). This program uses contemporary journals and letters and battlefield reenactments to focus on the Western strategy in the Civil War and explain one of the most intriguing scenarios in American history. Union forces had abandoned Albuquerque and Santa Fe; the Rebels were headed West, their goal to reach California and secure the Southwest. The brutal Battle of Glorieta Pass on March 28, 1862, concluded when Union men slipped into the Rebel rear and burned the enemy wagon trains. With no more supplies, without food or ammunition, the Confederates abandoned their New Mexico camp: a bitter defeat made even more bitter by history's failure to accord these soldiers their full measure of glory. Streaming video
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Battlefield detectives Civil War : Antietam. 2004.  American history in video.  1 electronic resource (50 min.). General Robert E. Lee's first invasion into the North ended in the Battle of Antietam--the bloodiest single day in the Civil War--and in all US history. Just 12 hours of fighting resulted in nearly 23,000 casualties. On September 17, 1862, two determined armies gathered near Sharpsburg, a quiet backwater near Antietam Creek in western Maryland. Union forces were desperate to repel the South's invasion of their territory. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, its back to the Potomac River, was fighting for its very existence. Much was at stake. But just why was Antietam such a terrible killing field? Now the latest forensic techniques are shedding new light on the question. Experts from the fields of archaeology, geology, weapons technology, and pathology investigate this uniquely horrific moment in American history.  Streaming video
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Battlefield detectives Civil War :Gettysburg. 2004.  American history in video.  1 electronic resource (50 min.). July 1-3, 1863: Over three hot days, Union and Confederate forces clashed in and around a small Pennsylvania town. When the Battle of Gettysburg ended, the two exhausted sides had inflicted more than 50,000 casualties upon one another--the largest battle ever fought on American soil. The third day is considered the Confederacy's "high-water mark"--when General Robert E. Lee lost the decisive battle of the Civil War. But scientific battlefield evidence now suggests that by the time the artillery began firing that day, the Confederate fight was already doomed. And when Pickett's Charge--the famous full frontal attack against Union lines--got underway, the battle effectively was over. Experts in physics, geology, crowd control, and cartography join forces with military historians to better understand this epic battle.  Streaming video
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Battlefield detectives Civil War : Shiloh. 2006.  American history in video.  1 electronic resource (ca. 50 min.). "One of the great routs, indeed one of the great shocks, of the Civil War was the Confederate defeat at Shiloh. They had chosen the battlefield; they had chosen the moment to attack; and they achieved almost total strategic and tactical surprise. Twelve hours after their surprise attack they were in a commanding position, but 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 the Hornet's Nest, where a detachment of Union soldiers held the line. But through forensic history Battlefield Detectives uncovers a very different story of why things went so badly for the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh." -- Publisher's web site.  Streaming video
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Battlefield medicine. 1994.  Civil War journal: American history in video: Civil War journal (Television program).  1 electronic resource (ca. 46 min.). During the Civil War, medical science is pushed to the limit in the battle against wounds and disease.  Streaming video
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The birth of a nation. 2005.  Alpha Video classics.  1 videodisc (192 min.). Recounts the events leading up to and immediately after the Civil War. Ben Cameron, a brave yet disillusioned Confederate soldier, creates a covert group of impassioned Southerners called the Ku Klux Klan as an answer to the supposed problem of the rise and rule of blacks and carpetbaggers. Bent on revenge, Ben leads his KKK followers in a war to suppress the black threat to white society, ultimately restoring "order" to his beloved South.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 640*

The birth of a nation and the Civil War films of D.W. Griffith. 2002.  Griffith masterworks : twenty-three complete films.  2 videodiscs (187 min.). A Civil War spectacular. Portrays life in the South during and after the Civil War as revealed in a story depicting the war itself, the conflict between the defeated Southerners and emancipated renegade Negroes, the despoiling of the South during the carpetbagger period, and the revival of the Southern white man's honor through the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan.  DVD 640

Bloodiest day The battle of Antietam. 1997?  Civil War journal: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (44 min.). Streaming video
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Bloody stalemate The war begins in earnest. 1987.  1 streaming video file (52 min.). This program carries the narrative of the Civil War forward into its opening months, during which hopes for a quick victory died alongside thousands of soldiers during clashes fought on an unprecedented scale. Advances in weaponry and key battles-First and Second Bull Run/Manassas, Shiloh/Pittsburg Landing, and Antietam/Sharpsburg-are analyzed, as well as the possibility of British intervention on the side of the C.S.A., the Northern blockade of the South, the emergence of Generals Grant and Lee, and the First Emancipation Proclamation. Commentary by Eric Foner, Shelby Foote, Henry Steele Commager, David Donald, and William Cooper is featured. A part of the series The Divided Union: The Story of the Civil War, 1861-1865 (5 Parts) (52 minutes).  Streaming video
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Born killers The iron brigade. 1999.  Civil War journal: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (44 min.). Streaming video http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://www.aspresolver.com/aspresolver.asp?AHIV;519303

Boy generals. 1995.  Civil War journal: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (47 min.). Streaming video                    http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://www.aspresolver.com/aspresolver.asp?AHIV;529382   

C.S.A The Confederate States of America. 2006.  1 videodisc (ca. 89 min.). Satirically humorous, and sometimes frightening, look at the history of an America where the South won the Civil War.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2417

Caught in the maelstrom Civilians in the war. 1994.  Civil War journal: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (57 min.). Streaming video
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The cause, 1861. 2004.  1 videodisc (99 min.). Beginning with a dramatic indictment of slavery, this first episode evokes the causes of the war, from the cotton kingdom in the South to the abolitionist movement in the North. Here the major characters are introduced, along with a host of less well-known but equally vital characters. Shown are events immediately preceding the outbreak of hostilities to the disastrous Union defeat at Manassas, where both sides learned it would be a long war.  DVD 4371

Chamberlain at Gettysburg. 2005.  The unknown Civil War: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (46 min.). Streaming video
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The Civil War. 2002.  American history in video.  1 electronic resource (ca. 660 min.). An epic documentary bringing life to America's most destructive - and defining - conflict. Here is the saga of celebrated generals and the ordinary soldiers. A heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one again.  Streaming videos
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The Civil War. 2002.  5 videodiscs (660 min.). An epic documentary bringing life to America's most destructive - and defining - conflict. Here is the saga of celebrated generals and the ordinary soldiers. A heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one again.  DVD 4731 - 4735

Civil War. 2010.  1 streaming video file (60 min.). The War Between the States rages. In 1863, the Confederate Army seems poised for victory. Following the bloody battle of Antietam, President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation. Former slaves join the Union army in droves. With superior transportation (railroads), communication (telegraph lines), and battlefield technology, the Union prevails and America is on track to become a global superpower. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. Part of the series America: The Story of Us. (60 minutes). Streaming video
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Civil War battlefields. 2002.  Save our history: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (47 min.). "For over a century, they have stood as quiet reminders of the greatest horror this nation has ever faced. But the ever-increasing suburban sprawl along the eastern seaboard is rapidly, and literally, paving over these hallowed sites. SAVE OUR HISTORY® travels to the most threatened sites to witness firsthand the forces that are arrayed against them" -- AAETV web site.  Streaming video
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Civil War combat. 2000.  American history in video.  1 electronic resource (ca. 50 min.). Looks in detail at the fiercest fighting at the battle of Shiloh, called the Hornet's nest. What had begun as a surprise attack by the southern forces who routed the northern troops, was turned around when a small contingent commanded by William Wallace, had his troops hold a wagon road. When that position fell, the southern general didn't pursue the advantage and was surprised by Grant and fresh troops from Ohio the next day.  Streaming video
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Civil War combat. 2002.  American history in video.  1 electronic resource (ca. 50 min.). Chronicles the actual experiences of individual soldiers in the Civil War. At the first battle of Manassas, green soldiers were introduced to the horror and chaos of war in a fight that was more a clash of mobs than a strategic engagement.  Streaming video
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Civil war combat Little round top at Gettysburg. 2002.  Civil War combat: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (50 min.). Streaming video
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Civil War combat, volume 7 The battle of Chancellorsville. 2002.  Civil war combat: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (ca. 50 min.). Streaming video
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The Civil War episode 1-The cause (1861). 1990.  1 streaming video file (100 min.). Beginning with a searing indictment of slavery, this program dramatically evokes the causes of the war. Here are the burning questions of union and states' rights, John Brown at Harper's Ferry, the election of Abraham Lincoln, the firing on Fort Sumter, and the jubilant rush to arms on both sides. Along the way the war's major figures are introduced: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, and a host of lesser-known but equally vivid characters. The episode comes to a climax with the disastrous Union defeat at Manassas, where both sides learned it would be a very long war. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. (100 minutes). Streaming video
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The Civil War episode 2-A very bloody affair (1862). 1990.  1 streaming video file (68 min.). The year 1862 saw the birth of modern warfare and the transformation of Lincoln's war to preserve the Union into a war to emancipate the slaves. This program begins with the political infighting that threatened to swamp Lincoln's administration and then follows Union General George McClellan's ill-fated campaign on the Virginia Peninsula and Ulysses S. Grant's costly victory at the Battle of Shiloh. The episode ends with rumors of Europe's readiness to recognize the Confederacy. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. (68 minutes).  Streaming video
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The Civil War episode 3-Forever free (1862). 1990.  1 streaming video file (76 min.). This program charts the events that led to Lincoln's decision to set the slaves free. Convinced by July 1862 that emancipation had become morally and militarily crucial to the future of the Union, Lincoln had to bide his time and wait for a victory to issue his proclamation. But as the year wore on, there were no Union victories to be had, thanks to the brilliance of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. The episode comes to a climax in September 1862 with Lee's invasion of Maryland and the bloody struggle on the banks of Antietam Creek. The emancipation of the slaves follows. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns.  Streaming video
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The Civil War episode 4-Simply murder (1863). 1990.  1 streaming video file (62 min.). This program begins with the nightmarish Union disaster at Fredericksburg, which leads to two climaxes the following spring: at Chancellorsville in May, where Lee wins his most brilliant victory but loses Stonewall Jackson, and at Vicksburg, where Grant's attempts to take the city by siege are stopped. Fierce Northern opposition to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is addressed, along with the increasing desperation on the Confederate home front. As the episode ends, Lee decides to invade the North again to draw Grant's forces away from Vicksburg. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. (62 minutes).  Streaming video
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The Civil War episode 5-The universe of battle (1863). 1990.  1 streaming video file (96 min.). This program opens with an account of the turning point of war: the Battle of Gettysburg. For three days, 150,000 men fight to the death in the Pennsylvania countryside-an action that culminates in Pickett's ill-fated charge. This extended episode then goes on to chronicle the fall of Vicksburg, the New York draft riots, the first use of African-American troops, and the battles at Chickamauga and Chattanooga. The program closes with the dedication of a new Union cemetery at Gettysburg, where Lincoln struggles to put into words what is happening to his people. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. Streaming video
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The Civil War episode 6-Valley of the shadow of death (1864). 1990.  1 streaming video file (70 min.). This program begins with a biographical comparison of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee and then goes on to chart the extraordinary series of battles that pitted the two generals against each other. So intense was the fighting that in one 30-day period, their armies lost more men than both sides had lost in three years of war. With Grant and Lee finally deadlocked at Petersburg, this episode shifts focus to follow General Sherman's Atlanta campaign. As the horrendous casualty lists increased, Lincoln's chances for reelection began to dim-and with them the possibility of Union victory. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. Streaming video
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The Civil War episode 7-Most hallowed ground (1864). 1990.  1 streaming video file (72 min.). The program begins with the presidential election of 1864 that set Abraham Lincoln against his old commanding general, George McClellan. The stakes were nothing less than the survival of the Union itself: with Grant and Sherman stalled at Petersburg and Atlanta, opinion in the North had turned strongly against the war. But 11th-hour victories at Mobile Bay, Atlanta, and the Shenandoah Valley tilted the election to Lincoln, and the Confederacy's last hope for independence died. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. (72 minutes).  Streaming video
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The Civil War episode 8-War is all hell (1865). 1990.  1 streaming video file (69 min.). This program begins with William T. Sherman's brilliant March to the Sea, which brought the war to the heart of Georgia and the Carolinas and spelled the end of the Confederacy. It continues with Lincoln's second inauguration, the fall of Petersburg and then Richmond to Grant's army, and the westward flight of Lee's tattered Army of Northern Virginia to a tiny crossroads town called Appomattox Court House, where the dramatic and deeply moving surrender of Lee to Grant would take place. The episode ends in Washington, where John Wilkes Booth dreamed of vengeance for the South. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. Streaming video
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The Civil War episode 9-The better angels of our nature (1865). 1990.  1 streaming video file (69 min.). This extraordinary final episode of The Civil War begins in the bittersweet aftermath of Lee's surrender and goes on to narrate the terrible events of five days later when, on April 14, Lincoln was assassinated. After chronicling Lincoln's poignant funeral, the program then recounts the final days of the war, the capture of John Wilkes Booth, and the fates of the Civil War's major protagonists. The consequences and meaning of a war that transformed America from a collection of states to the nation it is today are considered as well. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns. Streaming video
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Civil War in the West. 2005.  Wild West tech: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (45 min.). Streaming video       
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Civil War journal. 2001.  Civil War journal: American history in video.  1 electronic resource (ca. 200 min.). Through diaries, photograhs, and factual reenactments, these four episodes focus on the earlier years of the Civil War, including John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry; the first military engagement of the war at Fort Sumter; the first major battle at Bull Ron, and the mix of escaped slaves and educated African American men who made up the 65th Massachussetts regiment.  Streaming video
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Civil War journal The commanders. 2001.  American history in video.  1 electronic resource (ca. 200 min.). Through diaries, photographs and re-enactments, these four episodes take the viewer into the personal lives of these Civil War generals.  Streaming video http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://www.aspresolver.com/aspresolver.asp?AHIV;450480

Civil War tech. 2006.  American history in video.  1 online resource (44 min.). Military historians and experts detail the advances that made Civil War weaponry so deadly. The War between North and South introduced technology that was a quantum leap beyond that used in any previous conflict. The machine gun, aerial reconnaissance, advanced battlefield medicine, instantaneous communication, ironclad ships and even the first aircraft carrier all debuted during the Civil War. Investigates improvements in weapons, sea power, transportation, troop conveyance, food processing, medical care, and telecommunications. At a time when the nation was divided, Civil War technology revolutionized the way war was waged. Today, those technological milestones have evolved to ensure that our modern military has no equal in the world.  Streaming video
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