The Civil War

Season 1 Episode 5

The Universe of Battle (1863)

Aired Daily 8:00 PM Sep 25, 1990 on PBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The story of the precarious Union victory at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Lincoln's later address at the scene of the battle. Also chronicled are battles deep in the South and social unrest in the North.

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    Chris Murney

    Chris Murney

    Voice of Elisha Hunt Rhodes

    Guest Star

    Garrison Keillor

    Garrison Keillor

    Voice of Walt Whitman

    Guest Star

    Paul Roebling

    Paul Roebling

    Voice of Joshua L. Chamberlain

    Guest Star

    Sam Waterston

    Sam Waterston

    Voice of Abraham Lincoln

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (2)

      • This episode won an Emmy Award forOutstanding Informational Series.

      • Some of the major events chronicled in this installment are a detailed account of the astonishing combination of valor, tactics, and chance at the Battle of Gettysburg, an overview of how Grant finally starves Vicksburg into submission and moves on to Tennessee, the coming of a military draft to the North, the formation of an African American regiment of soldiers, and President Lincoln's short but astounding remarks at a new national cemetery created in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Alex Turner (fugitive slave and Union cavalryman): (a poem written to a war widow and read by his daughter in 1987 at the age of 104) Dear Madame. I am a soldier, and my speech is rough and plain...I'm not much at writing, and I hate to give you pain...But I promised I would do it, and he thought it might be so...If it came from one who loved him, it might help to ease the blow.

      • Joshua Chamberlain (Colonel, Union Army): (on Gettysburg) For not once in a century are men permitted to bear such responsibility - for freedom and justice, for God and humanity - as are now placed upon us.

    • NOTES (1)

      • Notable historians, advisors and commentators that appear include Barbara Fields, Ed Bearss, James McPherson, Stephen Oates, and Steven Sears.

        The primary theme music, Ashokan Farewell, was composed at an earlier date and is performed by Jay Ungar and "Fiddle Fever."

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • This episode takes its title from the journal of Confederate soldier Frank Haskell - who called Gettysburg "an awful universe of battle."

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