7 thoughts on “The Civil War in 27 Minutes

  1. tmheaney October 6, 2015 / 10:56 pm

    “Fugitive slave crisis?” Why “crisis” and not “Act?” It sounds as though the film is asserting that there was indeed a “crisis” of escaping slaves that brought slaveholders north looking for slaves.

    Did Southerners “rightly suspect” that Lincoln “plans to abolish or limit slavery?” So, what do we think of the word “rightfully”?

    I’ve like the Trust’s work in many of their videos, but this hyperspeed summary of the events leading to the Civil War leaves me . . . unsatisfied. Perhaps it just isn’t possible to summarize the causes and events leading to war in just three or four minutes.

  2. degreeoraidShane October 7, 2015 / 1:51 am

    I didn’t really like it. I thought there were small problems, but there were a lot of them. Some issues I have:
    1) I believe the violence of the war was less than the violence of slavery. Perhaps this view isn’t universal, but I thought slavery got short shrift.

    2) Well over 1/3 of the population of the Confederacy was slave, and yet it sounds like the south was united against the north.

    3) “South Carolinians bombard Fort Sumter” – should this be “Beauregard orders Provisional CSA forces to bombard Fort Sumter” or something? I’m not really sure about this.

    4) The words, “Sharpsburg” and “Antietam” are used interchangeably to describe the battle but in a way that seems like it would be unclear to someone who wasn’t aware that they refer to the same battle.

    5) Little (no?) mention of disease, I was surprised by its absence during the discussing of, for instance, Vicksburg. All of the live action video of death are misleadingly death by bullet.

    6) “Bragg holds Rosecrans at Chattanooga and awaits his surrender”, why not say “besieges Rosecrans”?

    7) Even in 1864, maps in the video incorrectly show West Virginia to be mostly Confederate.

    8) Continued political battles over reconstruction and civil rights are completely absent, the video ends talking about the number who died but doesn’t say anything about the continued fight over the meaning of emancipation and of Union.

  3. bob carey October 7, 2015 / 5:47 am

    I think everyone would agree that it is impossible to cover an event the size of the Civil War in 27 minutes. The video concentrates on the military aspects of the conflict. It does not mention Copperheads, Frederick Douglass, the draft riots or any number of important political and social happenings. That being said, I think we must take into account what the CWPT does, it preserves battlefields. The video can be construed as an info-mercial for the Trust, the goal being to promote awareness and fundraising.

  4. Bob Nelson October 7, 2015 / 2:48 pm

    I didn’t especially care for it, Brooks. It’s a “Mini Me” of the Ken Burns’ series. As with any video, there are errors. The plantation labeled “The House that Jeff Built” was IIRC actually the plantation of his brother, Joe. Lincoln did not DISMISS Hooker. Graphics of the Atlanta Campaign make it appear that Sherman and Johnston fought it out all the way from Rocky Face Ridge to Atlanta. And much of the war is simply ignored (the draft riots, violence in Kansas/Missouri, anti-Lincoln anti-war cabals, the role of newspapers) but I suppose you can only do so much in 27 minutes. It only covers the battles and campaigns. One final note. What was this designed for? To be played at battlefield visitor centers? To be distributed to schools as a “one shot” history of the CW or perhaps as an introduction to the topic? I’m not sure what its usefulness will be. I’m proud of what the CWT has accomplished and have contributed on numerous occasions. But this video rather puzzles me.

    • John Foskett October 8, 2015 / 3:12 pm

      One positive – no cameos of a mint-julep savoring Shelby Foote recounting hackneyed anecdotes in a drawl reeking of Joel Chandler Harris.

      • Bob Nelson October 9, 2015 / 12:11 pm

        LOL, John.

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