Southern War Songs: Campfire, Patriotic and Sentimental
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
"The most successful public-television miniseries in American history, the 11-hour Civil War didn't just captivate a nation, reteaching to us our history in narrative terms; it actually also invented a new film language taken from its creator. When people describe documentaries using the "Ken Burns approach," its style is understood: voice-over narrators reading letters and documents dramatically and stating the writer's name at their conclusion, fresh live footage of places juxtaposed with still images (photographs, paintings, maps, prints), anecdotal interviews, and romantic musical scores taken from the era he depicts. The Civil War uses all of these devices to evoke atmosphere and resurrect an event that many knew only from stale history books. While Burns is a historian, a researcher, and a documentarian, he's above all a gifted storyteller, and it's his narrative powers that give this chronicle its beauty, overwhelming emotion, and devastating horror. Using the words of old letters, eloquently read by a variety of celebrities, the stories of historians like Shelby Foote and rare, stained photos, Burns allows us not only to relearn and finally understand our history, but also to feel and experience it. --Dave McCoy"
Civil War Combat: America's
"With beautifully shot footage of reenactors,
Civil War Combat illustrates aspects of four particular Civil War battles that are rightfully considered legendary. Filmed on location, the reenactors depict the violent mayhem of the hornet's nest at Shiloh, the valiant charge on the sunken road at Antietam, the carnage in the wheat field at Gettysburg, and the brutal fighting at Cold Harbor. Produced by the
History Channel, the episodes all benefit from insightful appearances by historians as well as rangers from the National Park Service. The format of putting the focus on specific points of action in larger battles allows for narratives about specific soldiers and commanders, in both the Union and Confederate ranks, to develop. For instance, the segment on Antietam profiles commanders and individual soldiers from the Union's Irish Brigade and the Alabama regiment they charged during some of the most violent action of the entire war. The Civil War reenactors provide a credible look at how the war must have appeared to participants (though purists will note that some of the reenactors appear too clean and too well fed to have been marching behind Robert E. Lee). The discussions of strategy and the importance of the events depicted, combined with the uniformly excellent cinematography, make this an entertaining and enlightening look at critical events of the Civil War.
--Robert J. McNamara "
The Civil War - Traditional
American Songs And Instrumental Music Featured In The Film By Ken Burns:
Original Soundtrack Recording