With the 1860 election of anti-slavery candidate Abraham Lincoln, thirteen states from the South secede and form the Confederate States of America. Union military leaders, along with Lincoln himself, realize that ending the rebellion rests on controlling the Mississippi River. In February 1862, Union forces, led by an obscure general named Ulysses S. Grant, establish a foothold in southern Tennessee near a simple log structure known as "Shiloh Church." On April 6, 1862, a Confederate force of over... [see more] 40-thousand, led by General Albert Sidney Johnston, launch a surprise attack on Grant. The fighting in the hellish terrain surrounding Shiloh is some of the most brutal of the entire war. By day's end, victory is in sight for the attacking Confederates. But Johnston has been struck in the leg by a bullet, and bleeds to death in 20 minutes. The death of Johnston is a harbinger of a great change that will soon sweep over "Bloody Shiloh."
CIVIL WAR: THE UNTOLD STORY examines this well-documented conflict through the lens of the Western Campaign, which dramatically shaped the final outcome of the Civil War. Narrated by Emmy-nominated actress Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey), the five-part series features poignant letters from both soldiers and civilians that provide new insights into the causes of the Civil War, life on the homefront, the politics of war, the issue of slavery, and the relatively unheralded role African Americans played in the conflict.