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The History Channel Presents The Civil War (1999)

Brian Pohanka , William C. Davis , David de Vries , Jim Lindsay  |  NR |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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The History Channel Presents The Civil War + Ultimate Civil War Series - 150th Anniversary Edition + The Unknown Civil War Series: Gettysburg
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Product Details

  • Actors: Brian Pohanka, William C. Davis, Gary Gallagher, Danny Glover, James M. McPherson
  • Directors: David de Vries, Jim Lindsay
  • Writers: David de Vries
  • Producers: David de Vries, Craig Haffner, Donna E. Lusitana, Glenn Kirschbaum, Greg Weinstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: History Channel
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2007
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NO2402
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,800 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The History Channel Presents The Civil War" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes:
  • Civil War Combat: The Hornets' Nest at Shiloh, The Bloody Lane at Antietam, The Wheatfield at Gettysburg, The Tragedy at Cold Harbor
  • Civil War Journal: John Brown's War, Destiny at Fort Sumter, The Battle of 1st Bull Run, The 54th Massachusetts, West Point Classmates--Civil War Enemies, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Sherman and the March to the Sea
  • 24-page companion booklet
  • Interactive DVD-ROM content

Editorial Reviews

From Harper’s Ferry, Fort Sumter, and First Bull Run to Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg, THE HISTORY CHANNEL PRESENTS: THE CIVIL WAR captures the most legendary Civil War battles in brilliant detail. A sweeping selection of the soldiers and legendary leaders who fought these battles, including Sherman, McClellan, Grant, Beauregard, Lee, Davis, and Jackson, are also brought back to life in richly detailed profiles. Through interviews with scholars and historians, reenactments, and their own written words, the full military and political contexts of these men, their armies, and the clashes between them are thoroughly explored.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Documentaries, So-So Presentation June 12, 2007
Verified Purchase
An outstanding collection of the best episodes of History Channel's "Civil War Combat" and "Civil War Journal," the latter hosted and narrated by actor Danny Glover.

My only real qualms (and the reason I give this set 4 stars out of 5) is because A&E/History Channel basically recycled these previously released episodes and simply boxed them up together. That's fine and all as it's more convenient to have all of them together, BUT...if you're going to do that, why not put these episodes into anamorphic widescreen and/or remaster the video images as well? Some of these episodes look like they were transfered to DVD straight from a VHS source.

But this should not take away from the fact that these are extremely well-made histories - informative, educational and obviously produced by and with the assistance of those with a distinct passion for the Civil War.

Definitely worth your time and attention!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent programming, odd format October 10, 2008
I enjoy Civil War history and decided to add this to my collection. While the programs themselves are enjoyable, I found myself scratching my head as to how this collection was put together.

It's not a "new series" but contains episodes of both The History Channel's "Civil War Journal" and "Civil War Combat" which aired originally in the mid 90's. (Until recently these were often shown on THC in the early morning hours). THC also has a couple of different boxed sets of "Civil War Journal" and some of the episodes here are included. For whatever reason, though, it seems impossible to obtain the ENTIRE collection of this great series. (From what I can determine, the whole series was originally released on VHS some time ago but is no longer available).


It is odd to me also that the various episodes here are presented in no particular order. You would think that something called "The History Channel Presents the Civil War" would perhaps start out with Fort Sumter on volume one, and go in chronological order. However, that's not the case here. Fort Sumter is somewhere on disk 3, I believe.

I feel like some intern at THC said, "Hey, let's take some of these old shows and just throw some of them together as a DVD set!" and someone listened.

Despite my irritation with the format, I really do enjoy this programming. It's just too bad that these great series are not grouped together as ONE boxed set.

Still, this is worthwhile and not too pricey.
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43 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dissapointed July 13, 2007
Verified Purchase
The first 2 discs (4 episodes) were exactly what i was expecting. True to life re-enactments. Very good.

The problem with this History channel series is when it get to the 3rd and 4th disc. There are no more re-enactments. Instead its mostly narration by Danny Glover. The last two discs, half of this series is very boring and not as clean and crisp as the first two discs.

Pass by this
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but somewhat of a mixed bag December 6, 2008
I came to this series as a newcomer to Civil War history, and wanted a good set of videos to learn from. Overall, this set serves well for that purpose, with spectacular re-enactments, interesting narration and information, and overall good video and production qualities.

But the series does have its quirks. For one thing, the set doesn't seem to contain, from what I remember, all the episodes of battles that I saw when I first watched the series in reruns on TV. The last two videos are just narration by Danny Glover and don't contain any re-enactments. While this is still a good set, I don't understand why they just didn't pick the most dramatic re-enactments to put on DVD.

But all in all, this is a good teaching set to learn from, and the enactments are dramatic and interesting to watch. With just a little suspension of disbelief, it really feels like you're right there in the heat of the battle. I also liked how much of the commentary focused on the main military commanders, their style of command, tactics, previous experience, and how their decisions, good or bad, influenced the outcome of the battles.

For example, I learned that in few wars in history did troops charge so bravely but often futilely against superior or fortified enemy positions as in Chickamauga and Antietam, from which came withering hails of bullets and cannon fire that decimated the oncoming troops. But each side of the war thought their cause was with the angels and so the troops fought with a determination and resolve that few wars have ever seen. The advent of exploding canon shells rather than the old canon balls further added to the slaughter.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not A Great Series...... July 20, 2009
Verified Purchase
I have to agree with most of the other reviewers on here that this series, though reasonably priced, is not really worth your money. Most of the problem with it is not its quality or production that is quite good. It has more to do with the series being more of an odd pick of some essential battles of the Civil War, rather than a documentary done in some chronological order. It more resembles parts of a much bigger series, lets say with 15 episodes for example, where 6 are just chosen at random and sold as a collection. I would only recommend purchasing this series if you can find it used, and at a substantially reduced price...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
Good purchase for anyone wishing to learn more of the Civil War. While there are probably better quality CDs out there in terms of the facts, this is a very good starting point to... Read more
Published 3 months ago by shanahanmarie
1.0 out of 5 stars The quality of the media are not satisfying.
Some of the discs are not open properly to watch on my dvd, even tough on my computer. I could not watch all the serie.
Published 9 months ago by Carlos Rocha
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Done
It was a well created document of the characters of the Civil War, now I'm interested in checking out other films on the subject.
Published 17 months ago by hilldweller1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Civil War DVD
Bought this as a gift but am assuming all was well with it because the recipient enjoyed watching it. No problems with it.
Published 19 months ago by Gwen Sebastian
5.0 out of 5 stars My Daughter LOVES this.
My daughter loves these DVD's. they are very well made. She is a history buff so this was a great gift for her.
Published 20 months ago by JoAnne Wilson
2.0 out of 5 stars Technical problem in DVD production
DVDs 4,5,6 do not run on my dvd player because of blocked dvd-area code for Europe (Germany).

DVDs 1,2,3 are running perfectly.
Published 20 months ago by Martin Vollertsen
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money!
Being a Civil War buff, I was so excited to get this set as a gift. The excitement disappeared when I watched the first disc. Read more
Published on March 14, 2012 by Signman45
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done!
The show is very well done! It stays on the path and doesn't seem to stray into conspiracy's or rumors. Great series to show in schools!
Published on January 17, 2012 by Pamela Abbott
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Set
I consider myself somewhat of a Civil War Expert and this seems to be the best video I have found on the topic. It's very detailed and accurate with the information. Read more
Published on May 21, 2010 by Leland Tulper
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent History
Very good coverage of the Civil War. Wish more people would watch and understand the War Between the States.
Published on May 7, 2010 by J. Barkley
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