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Civil War Combat: America's Bloodiest Battles


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Civil War Combat: America's Bloodiest Battles + Ultimate Civil War Series - 150th Anniversary Edition + The Complete Civil War
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jay Tony
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 15, 2000
  • Run Time: 200 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767026225
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,402 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

CIVIL WAR COMBAT - DVD Movie

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

What a way to celebrate the 150th years of the Civil War .
skalan
Crank up the surround sound while viewing these great reeactments as bullets whiz by often and place the viewer right on the field.
Todd E. Newman
Definitely worth adding to your Civil War DVD collection - whether you're an old Civil War "buff", or a fledgling "buff".
J.Clarke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Moody on July 10, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The premise with this History Channel series is to tell specific battle history while showing (through re-enactment) what the engagements really looked like...and this DVD set hits the ball right out of the park! Watching the battles at Antietam, Gettysburg, Shiloh and (my favorite) Cold Harbor on the actual battlefield is phenominal...it really adds so much to the narration that you actually get the "feel" of being right in the middle of the conflict. Each battle covers sufficient detail that the story of the "everyday" soldier gets told along with much "new" information that makes this DVD unique (for example...on the Fredricksburg episode, the little known story of the Confederate private who risks life and limb by going onto the battlefield to help the injured is a featured part of the story but these are details that I couldn't find in books from Foote, Catton or the excellent volume on Fredricksburg by George Rable). The narration also includes "expert" analysis from noted historians and authors (Gordon Rhea in the trenches at Cold Harbor...) that add additional perspective to the storyline. The battle stories are about 1 hour long and each stands on it's own so that you can stop at reasonable intervals without missing anything. Overall this is essential Civil War viewing for the historian but still presents itself well enough for the general viewer so that all viewers should get great enjoyment from watching...highest recommendation!
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By bixodoido on December 27, 2002
Format: DVD
This series of four documentaries are different from most Civil War films in that they highlight specific points of four battles, whereas most documentaries are content simply to provide an overview of the battle itself. Because of this, each episode contains many little-known facts about the battles of Antietam, Cold Harbor, Shiloh, and Gettysburg. And, at an hour long (more or less), they are not excessively long.
The highlights from each of the battles are interesting, but probably only so for someone interested in the war. Watching an hour-long reenactment of the wheat field at Gettysburg is probably meaningless without at least some appreciation of what was happening at the other parts of the battle. Anyone who studies the Civil War closely will appreciate these little-known facts, but casual viewers may find it a bit much.
In addition to its narrow scope, these four documentaries are riddled with errors that should have been obvious to the folks at the History Channel. For example, saying General Grant was in charge of the Union Army at Gettysburg is just plain false, as any amateur historian should know. These erroes detract much from the reliability of the accounts.
Despite these two setbacks, this is a noteworthy documentary, worth your time at least to check it out.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Todd E. Newman on March 14, 2002
Format: DVD
The Civil War Combat DVD set is probably by far the best reeanactment/documentary on four different battles that raged throughout 1861 to 1864. The historical accuracy and care to details given captures the importance of such warfare that took place at Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg (Wheatfield) and Cold Harbor. There isn't anything closer to the real action as reeanactors are used for the production and isn't shy on showing blood. This 2-DVD production isn't a Gettysburg that shows clean fighting or lacks the details commonly found in movie productions. Crank up the surround sound while viewing these great reeactments as bullets whiz by often and place the viewer right on the field. Soldier accounts of the action is backed by narratives which enhance this great production. The History Channel that has put this set together has definately contributed to telling the tales of four battles which had strong impacts on the war. It can't be told any better! This 2-DVD set is a must have for anyone interested in the Civil War. Nothing like this has ever been done to accurately portray such actions before. It's certainly worth every penny!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hancock on January 23, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
For me, reading the cold history has never been enough. I've always wanted to "feel" what it must have been like to take part in these tragic and defining moments in American history. CIVIL WAR COMBAT does that with brutal realism and dramatic characters. These aren't just documentaries, they're glimpses into the very heart of the men who fought these bloody battles. Great entertainment! A must-see! Grade: A+
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J.Clarke on October 8, 2006
Format: DVD
I have not actually purchased this DVD, but I watched every episode of "Civil War Combat" when The History Channel was airing them for the first time several years back.

Each episode of "Civil War Combat" focuses on a particular story within the larger framework of some of the war's major battles. For example, there are episodes centering on The Wheat Field (Gettysburg), The Sunken Road (Antietam), The Hornet's Nest (Shiloh), and the futile Union charges at Cold Harbor. Going even deeper, each scenario centers on a particular unit or brigade (both Union and Confederate) - with particular attention to a key colonel, or Brigade commander, or a Private soldier - that fought in these particular areas of the battlefields. By doing this, the viewer is placed in the shoes of the rank and file and is given a pretty good sense of the desperate figting that ocurred and what these men were experiencing.

The one "negative" I have to mention regarding these presentations is that the producers clearly could not amass the necessary body count of reenactors to accurately portray the numbers of troops involved. For example, in The Gettyburg "Wheat Field" episode, you see a small platoon of Union troops advancing across the field, where they were depicting an entire regiment or brigade. Fighting would be over in a few seconds with such a paltry command taking part in such an attack. So, even though these productions are excellent, the number of troops represented is far from accurate... almost ludicrous.

I have not heard of or seen any new episodes of Civil War Combat in a long while. I'd like to see more episodes in the future.
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