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The American Civil War Museum, Virginia War Memorial and WCVE present a special screening of an episode of “Civil War: The Untold Story,” Sunday March 30 at 2 pm in the VMI Alumni Hall of Honor at the Virginia War Memorial. The five-part documentary series examines the war through the lens of the Western Theater. Narrated by Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey), the series will air locally on WCVE on Mondays at 10 pm, beginning April 14.
The screening of Episode 5, "With Malice Toward None," will be followed by a question and answer session with Executive Producer Chris Wheeler, of Great Divide Pictures. The program is free and open to the public. Because seating is limited, participants must register online.
About the series
Timed to coincide with the 150-year anniversary of the pivotal “Campaign for Atlanta,” the series also chronicles the presidential campaign of 1864 in which Abraham Lincoln was nearly defeated. Within the story of the Western Theater, the series highlights the causes of the war, the home front, the politics of war, and the impact of war on Southern civilians and women. The series also provides insights into the roles African Americans played in the conflict, from enslaved to emancipated to soldier.
The series features on-camera interviews with some of the country’s top Civil War historians including Allen Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College; Peter Carmichael, Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies at Gettysburg College; Amy Murrell Taylor, Associate Professor of History at the University of Kentucky; and Stacy Allen, the Chief Historian at Shiloh National Military Park.
About the episode
The Richmond screening will feature Episode Five – “With Malice Toward None.” In the spring of 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman’s force of 100,000 men marches from Chattanooga toward Atlanta, Georgia, the industrial hub of the Deep South. Twenty miles north of Atlanta, Sherman’s army is soundly defeated at Kennesaw Mountain. Sherman’s defeat, combined with Grant’s stalemate in Virginia, enrages a Northern electorate already weary of war. The presidential election is in November and Abraham Lincoln’s chances for a second term are dwindling by the day. The Democrats nominate George McClellan. The party’s platform calls for a negotiated peace with the Confederacy in which slaveholders will be allowed to keep their property. If McClellan is elected, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation will almost certainly be struck down. Though victorious at Kennesaw Mountain, the outnumbered Confederate Army falls back to a defensive position at Atlanta. After six weeks of bloody conflicts around Atlanta, Sherman wires Washington: “Atlanta is ours and fairly won.” For the first time in the war, many in the North now believe victory can be achieved. Eight weeks later, the president defeats McClellan in a landslide. After the election, Sherman begins his March to the Sea. The largely unopposed march across Georgia to Savannah is a psychological blow to the Confederacy, and a stunning conclusion to the Western Theater.