Click here for the website and more information about the show. It is written and directed by Ric Burns.
This two-hour documentary is not just another look at America's bloodiest war. Rather than re-tell the same stories about Bull Run, Gettysburg and the rest the filmmakers looked at the war from a new angle - death, and how Americans viewed it at the time.
The numbers of American lives lost were staggering. According to this documentary, 2.5 percent of the American population died as a result of this conflict; 750,000 people died in all, more than all of the American wars combined. Never before or since had so many Americans died. African-American soldiers serving in the Union Army died at an even higher rate.
At the time, the relatively new country viewed death in a sacred way as an end of a journey. Death was treated with reverance, and a final bridge to another place that warranted very special treatment, respect and honor.
Americans learned dying in a war usually comes with nothing special. How the Americans, and the soldiers themselves, viewed and treated death changed dramatically as a result of this war. People were confronted with death in the harshest light - no story, no name, no honor, and often no identification.
This movie also recounts the birth of America's memorial day - a day to remember fallen soldiers and so many loved ones, followed by a picnic.
If you get a chance, this is worth the watch.
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