CIVIL WAR:  Film, Literature & Classroom Resources


[semester equivalent = 4.00 credits]



Eric Low



One of the essential components in Language Arts, Social Studies, and Reading is the study of the human experience.  For this course you will be examining key people, places and events, during the Civil War time period.  Our culture is fascinated with this topic and there are ample film, literary, and classroom resources to help communicate the scope and importance of Early America to our students. This course will provide curriculum ideas that meet state standards for Language Arts, Social Studies, and Reading teachers of grades K-12.
This course also will provide video, literary and classroom resource ideas for teachers preparing for major themes of the Civil War that can actively engage students around many of the major themes and events of this time period.  Books and videos such as The Red Badge of Courage, Team of Rivals, The Killer Angels, Glory, Gettysburg, will be read or viewed; many of these films are available at local libraries, from NetFlix, in video stores for purchase, and at ESDs. 
You will choose eight (8) videos to view and two (2) novels to read and write a unit plan on how you’ll use some of these in your teaching situation.  In addition to film and literature, this course will also provide classroom resources on the Civil War such as websites that offer interactive maps, lesson plans, art, music, reenactment videos, lectures from leading scholars, etc.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. A broader knowledge of the different video, literatry, and resource possibilities for classroom use associated with the Civil War.
  2. Developed greater skill in how to use videos, literature, and selected classroom resources for teaching purposes.
  3. Planned a comprehensive teaching unit for the Civil War themes that apply to their teaching.
  4. Applied information on Civil War issues to lesson plans (credit only.)

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

The use of artificial intelligence is not permitted. Assignment responses found to be generated by AI will not be accepted.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



After determining your assignment choices, select books from Bibliography for Assignments #3 and #4. You may select alternate books with instructor’s prior approval. 

None. All reading is online.


• After determining your assignment choices, select books from the lists in Assignments 3 and 4. You may select alternate books with instructor’s prior approval. • Price of texts varies. Some texts can be found on or Amazon.



Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Motivation

Please write a 1-2 page response to the following questions:
a)   Why did you choose this course?
b)   What kinds of themes and subjects are you looking for in film?

Assignment #2: COURSE FORUM

Refer to the Bibliography which you can download to your desktop as a MS Word file. Pick eight (8) films you would like to view which best fit your teaching needs. 
a)   From your list of eight (8) films, two (2) of the films need to be focused on an individual such as Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, etc.
b)   Two (2 ) more films need to be documentary in nature and focus on the major themes of the Civil War.
c)   The remaining four (4) films will be of your choosing from the remaining list and/or selections of your choosing as they relate to this time period.
I have made a list of films, which I personally think are good and are all available from NetFlix. Many of these are also available in local libraries or ESDs. Since there are many videos about the Civil War time period, you may select others that are not listed in the Bibliography with prior approval of the instructor. Keep in mind that you will want to have use of a DVD player and have VHS viewing capability as well.
Once you’ve reviewed these sites and made your selections, in the online response box indicate your eight selections and briefly state what film sources you found most useful and why. Feel free to respond to any other postings from educators who are also taking this course.

Assignment #3: Non-Fiction Options

For this assignment we will look at the historical setting of the Civil War through Non-Fiction literature.
a)  Select one (1) of the following books to read or another of your own choice, with the instructor’s prior approval. Most of these books can be found at local libraries or for purchase at or another book outlet.  Some of these books can be found on Google Books at
Recommended for teachers of grades 7-12.
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson
  • Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America by Garry Wills
  • Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam by James M. McPherson
  • The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the… by Bell Irvin Wiley
  • The Civil War: A Narrative (3 Vol. Set) by Shelby Foote
  • This Hallowed Ground by Bruce Catton
  • Or you may choose a different book with the instructor’s prior approval.

Recommended for teachers of grades 1-6.

  • The Civil War for Kids: A History with 21 Activities (For Kids series) by Janis Herbert
  • Eyewitness: Civil War by John E. Stanchak
  • If You Lived At The Time Of The Civil War (If You.) by Kay Moore
  • Behind the Blue and Gray: The Soldier's Life in the Civil War (Young Reader's Hist- Civil War) by Delia Ray
  • The Boys' War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War by Jim Murphy
  • Or you may choose a different book with the instructor’s prior approval.
b)  While reading your selected book, create a timeline of key people, places, and events and post this timeline in the box provided online.  You could create this as a PowerPoint (upload using the “Share A File” function in the online environment) for usage in your classroom teaching that could include images of key people and places.
c)  Referring back to your list of eight (8) film choices, view the two (2) documentary films which pertain to the themes from this time period, making notes of the points made in the films that are relevant to what you want to convey to students. Include details that represent both the North’s and the South’s point of view. In the online response box indicate what films you saw and discuss at least two key points for each opposing perspective.
Using Bloom's taxonomy, create 4-6 authentic questions that would engage students in deeper thinking about the North and the South’s idea of individual freedom as it might relate to the information presented in the films and book from this assignment. Post in online response box.

Assignment #4: Fictional Studies

For this assignment we will be looking at the historical setting of the Civil War through fictional literature.
a)  Select one (1) of the following books to read, or other titles of your own choice, with the instructor’s prior approval. Most of these books can be found at local libraries or for purchase at or another book outlet.  Some of these books can be found on Google Books at
  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • Gods and Generals: A Novel of the Civil War by Jeff Shaara
  • The Red Badge of Courage  by Stephen Crane
  • The Last Full Measure  by Jeff Shaara
  • North and South  by John Jakes
  • Lincoln by Gore Vidal
  • Enemy Women  by Paulette Jiles
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  • Light to My Path by Lynn Austin
  • Or you may choose a different book with the instructor’s prior approval.
b)  These books focus on an individual’s experience during this period. While reading your selected book, create a biographical sketch of one key character. The biographical sketch should include such details as age, appearance, interests, location, and primary role during this time.  Then, from the character’s perspective, answer the following in a 100 word theory—What social impact did the Civil War have on America?  Post these responses in the online box provided.
c)  Again referring back to your selection of eight (8) films, you will now view the two (2) videos that focus on specific individuals such as Lincoln, Lee, Grant, etc.  As in the above assignment, create a biographical sketch of one key character and post this in the online box provided.  The biographical sketch should include such details as age, appearance, interests, location, and primary role during this time period. Then again, from the character’s perspective, answer the following question in a 100 word theory—How effective was the leadership during the Civil War?  Post your response in the online box provided.

Assignment #5:

Referring back to your list of eight (8) films, you will now view the four (4) remaining films on your list.  In a 2-page review indicate which films you viewed and narrate a couple of vignettes that inspired you as a teacher. Describe in general terms how you plan to use any of the new material in your teaching.  Indicate grade level and content area/ theme.  Post this review to the online response box and indicate the films you viewed.

Assignment #6: COURSE FORUM

Describe in general terms how you plan to use any of the films you have viewed in your teaching.  Give emphasis to as many different points of view in regard to this time frame (i.e. Northern officer, Southern officer, children, women, African Americans, farmers, businessmen, politicians, etc).  Indicate your grade level and the course or theme you are teaching. 


Review the pages below on effective ways for asking questions and make a list of “rich” (i.e. engaging) questions you would pose to your students given the films you would choose to show.  Post your 1-2 page paper in the online response box. Feel free to respond to any other postings from educators who are also taking this course.

Assignment #7: COURSE FORUM

For this assignment you will be examining a number of websites that offer interactive material, video lectures, video demonstrations, and sample lesson plans that you can use in your teaching situation.

Spend some time reading and exploring all of the websites.  These websites are found in the bibliography section of this document. 


Select five (5) of the websites and in 3-4 pages post a review, to the online box provided, which details the following:

How information on the websites could be accessed directly by students to supplement a lesson on this subject.

How teachers could use the websites to obtain additional material not on the videos.

Specific elements which you found helpful and interesting.

Your overall impression of the websites.

Feel free to respond to any other postings from educators who are also taking this course.



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #8:


            (Required for 400 and 500 Level)

In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation.  This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students.  If you are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning) or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.


Assignment #8:

1)     In Assignments #2 through #7 you have examined a variety of resources on the Civil War.  From this material develop a unit of 4-6 lessons you can implement with your students.  Incorporate as many points of view from this time period as possible in order to give your students a complete perspective of this topic.  Your unit should contain the three resources you examined earlier in this course—non-fiction text, fictional book, and web resources.


Your unit should include:

·         Description of lessons

·         Expected student outcomes

·         Activities

·         Sequence of activities

·         Method of assessment

·         Follow-up learning


Describe any suggested texts or other reading students will do.  You may also replace the above outline with your school or district’s own lesson plan format, if there is one, or with the HOL Lesson Plan that is provided.  You may include slide shows, art, music, period costumes, etc.

Assignment #9:

Execute 1 lesson you created for this assignment and provide a 1-2 page summary of your own post-lesson thoughts on both your presentation and student performance, posting in the online response box


Assignment #10:

Assignment #10

Using the Heritage Institute lesson template or one from your district, create a lesson reflecting what you learned in this course, or modify an existing lesson. Then either:

(1) Implement your lesson with students in your classroom. (If you are not teaching or it is summer, find youth in your community or another classroom to work with.) Submit your lesson along with a 2-page description of what worked well and what could be improved. Include samples of exemplary student work (via video, photos, scans of essays etc) and include any rubric used for assessment purposes. Once your lesson is done, upload it into The Heritage Institute lesson library following the correct methods to properly classify it. Review THI's lesson plan template.


(2) Submit your unit lesson AND include as well a 500+ word article about any aspect that you’ve learned about in this course, sharing any anecdotes from your teaching or personal life that relate to the subject. This could be an opinion piece, a call-to-action, a personal story or combination of all of these. Substantiate your narrative with facts, figures or mention of relevant persons. The Heritage Institute will request your permission to publish on our blog what we consider outstanding articles.

Assignment #11:


Assignment #11:          (500 Level only)

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete one of the following:


Option A) In each of the resources you have studied for this course, both the North and South points of view on this time period have been represented.  For this assignment, and using the information that you have reviewed, discuss in a 4-6 page paper how you would best present the perspectives of both sides of the Civil War to your students via your specific lessons.  Include activities that you might use to communicate each point of view and describe how you would allow your students to draw their own conclusions about independence.  Post this lesson plan in the online box provided.


Option B) Another assignment of your own choice with the instructor’s prior approval.  Examples might be:  slide show from the classroom resource web sites, lesson in which the class will be baking food from this time period, developing a fictional play on an important topic from this period, etc.


Assignment #12: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Eric Low, M.A.  has been a teacher and coach in the state of Washington since 1992.  He has lived, taught, and studied in Southwest Washington since 1995.  Eric has a Master’s degree in history from Eastern Washington University with an emphasis in America’s West and has been an active researcher of Washington State history for 20+ years.  Eric currently teaches history at Winlock High School and serves as a Lead Teacher for ESD 112s “Constitutional Connections” American History grant, a 3 year program that has worked to utilize and develop Social Studies Common Core and CBAs in the classroom.   


CIVIL WAR:  Film, Literature & Classroom Resources

Novels Many of the following can be found in local libraries, ESD libraries, in Google Books, or for purchase.
Non-fiction books recommended for teachers of grades 7-12.
Foote, Shelby.  The Civil War: A Narrative (3 Vol. Set) Vintage; November 12, 1986.
Shelby Foote brings a skilled novelist's narrative power to this great epic. The first volume opens by introducing Confederate President Jefferson Davis, rather than Abraham Lincoln.
Kearns Goodwin, Doris.  Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.  Simon & Schuster; October 25, 2005.
Goodwin profiles five of the key players in her book, four of whom contended for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination and all of whom later worked together in Lincoln's cabinet.
McPherson, James M.  Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era.  Oxford University Press, USA. December 11, 2003.
James M. McPherson covers the military aspects of the war in all of the necessary detail, and also provides a helpful framework describing the complex economic, political, and social forces behind the conflict.
McPherson, James M.  Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam.  Thorndike Press; December 2002.
The bloodiest day in United States history was September 17, 1862, when, during the Civil War battle at Antietam, close to 6,500 soldiers were killed or mortally wounded and another 15,000 were seriously wounded.
Wiley, Bell Irvin.  The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the…  Louisiana State University Press; November 2007.
The Life of Johnny Reb does not merely describe the battles and skirmishes fought by the Confederate foot soldier.  Rather, it provides an intimate history of a soldier's daily life--the songs he sang, the foods he ate, the hopes and fears he experienced, the reasons he fought.
Wills, Gary. Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America.  Simon & Schuster; June 12, 1993
Wills painstakingly deconstructs Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and discovers heavy influence from the early Greeks (Pericles) and the 19th century Transcendentalists.
Non-fiction books recommended for teachers of grades 1-6.
Herbert, Janis.  The Civil War for Kids: A History with 21 Activities (For Kids series),  Chicago Review Press; November 1, 1999.
Grade 4-8-Using a clear style and lively tone, this book provides a look at the Civil War and its leaders and includes activities such as battle reenactments and recipes for soldiers' rations.  The contributions of women, African Americans, and even children are described.  Most of the activities require adult supervision and are geared toward groups, making them ideal for classrooms.
Moore, Kay.  If You Lived At The Time Of The Civil War.  Scholastic Paperbacks; September 1, 1994.       
Describes conditions for the civilians in both North and South during and immediately after the war.
Murphy, Jim.  The Boys' War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War.  Sandpiper; March 22, 1993.
From first chapter ("So I Became a Soldier") to last ("We're Going Home"), this wrenching look at our nation's bloodiest conflict through the eyes of its youthful participants serves up history both heartbreaking and enlightening.  Ages 8-12.
Ray, Delia.  Behind the Blue and Gray: The Soldier's Life in the Civil War (Young Reader's Hist- Civil War).  Puffin; September 1, 1996.
Grade 7 Up-- This sequel to A Nation Torn: The Story of How the Civil War Began (Lodestar, 1990) is the story of the Civil War as seen from the perspective of common soldiers who served in Union blue and Confederate gray; coverage is from the first shots fired upon Fort Sumter to the long trek home at war's end.
Fiction Books
Austin, Lynn.  Light to My Path.  Bethany House Publishers; November 1, 2004.
Refiner's Fire book 3 Kitty, a house slave, always figured it was easiest to do what she’d always done--obey Missy and follow orders.  But when word arrives that the Yankees are coming, Kitty is faced with a decision: will she continue to follow the bidding of her owners, or will she embrace this chance for freedom?
Crane, Stephen.  The Red Badge of Courage.  Tor Classics; November 15, 1990.
The story of a young soldier's quest for manhood during the American Civil War.
Frazier, Charles.  Cold Mountain.  Atlantic Monthly Press; May 16, 1997.
The story is simple.  A wounded confederate soldier decides he has had enough of war and slowly makes his way home, hoping the woman he loves, Ada, is waiting for him.  The book chronicles this journey and reminds me a little of The Odyssey as well as Don Quixote.
Jakes, John.  North and South.  Signet; June 1, 2000.
In the years during the Civil War, the Mains and Hazards achieve their triumphs and suffer their tragedies against the panorama of American history.
Jiles, Paulette.  Enemy Women.  Harper Perennial; January 21, 2003.
Jiles's story focuses on the trying times of 18-year-old heroine Adair Colley.  When a group of renegade Union militiamen attacks the Colley home, stealing family possessions, burning everything down, and taking away her father--an apolitical judge--Adair gathers the remnants of her clothes and mounts a rescue effort.  Unfortunately, she is falsely accused of being a Confederate spy, a charge that lands her in a squalid women's prison run by a decent commandant embarrassed by his post.
Mitchell, Margaret.  Gone with the Wind.  Warner Books; August 1, 1993.
Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath.  None take us into the burning fields and cities of the American South as Gone With the Wind does, creating haunting scenes and thrilling portraits of characters so vivid that we remember their words and feel their fear and hunger for the rest of our lives.
Shaara, Jeff.  Gods and Generals: A Novel of the Civil War.  Ballantine Books; April 29, 1998.
Jeff Shaara explores the lives of Generals Lee, Hancock, Jackson and Chamberlain as the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg approaches.
Shaara, Jeff.  The Last Full Measure.  Ballantine Books; May 2, 2000.
The Last Full Measure picks up with Confederate General Robert E. Lee's retreat from Pennsylvania and continues through the end of the war.  Shaara focuses on the characters of Lee and Union commander Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, both of whom play prominent roles in the earlier books.
Shaara, Michael. The Killer Angels.  Ballantine Books; August 12, 1987.
This novel reveals more about the Battle of Gettysburg than any piece of learned nonfiction on the same subject. Michael Shaara's account of the three most important days of the Civil War features deft characterizations of all of the main actors, including Lee, Longstreet, Pickett, Buford, and Hancock.  The most inspiring figure in the book, however, is Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, whose 20th Maine regiment of volunteers held the Union's left flank on the second day of the battle.
Vidal, Gore. Lincoln.  Vintage; February 15, 2000.
Lincoln is a masterwork of historical fiction, in which Gore Vidal combines a comprehensive knowledge of Civil War America with 20th-century literary technique, probing the minds and motives of the men surrounding Abraham Lincoln, including personal secretary John Hay and scheming cabinet members William Seward and Salmon P. Chase, as well as his wife, Mary Todd.
VHS & DVD Resources
Educational Service District
Many ESDs have Civil War videos available for use at your school.  Check selections.
Local Library Systems
Many local library systems have Civil War videos available for use at your school.
NetFlix is an online DVD site where you can order many commercial and documentary movies which are mailed to you.  A monthly subscription costs about $10, and you receive one DVD at a time.  As soon as you have seen it, return the DVD and you are sent the next.  The films listed and described below are all available from NetFlix, please search by title.  If you work quickly, it would be possible to view all the movies easily in two months or less.
DVDs—Select EIGHT (8)  OR 
you may choose a different video with the instructor’s prior approval.
Most of the following titles can be found in the dvd version of Netflix or on YouTube.
Ambrose Bierce: Civil War Stories (2006) PG-13
Set against a meeting among renowned storyteller Ambrose Bierce (Campbell Scott), novelist Gertrude Atherton (Vivian Schilling) and William Randolph Hearst (Nathan Darrow), Bierce's tragic Civil War stories play out with epic battles and engrossing plot twists.  A traitor faces hanging in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," a commander passes the buck in "One Kind of Officer," and a captain recognizes an escaped spy in "The Story of a Conscience."
The American Civil War (2008) G
Explore the Civil War from the anti-slavery protests that sowed the seeds of its inception through more than four years of bloody fighting, which set neighbor against neighbor and brother against brother, to Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox.  Considering the historical, political, ethical and strategic elements that set the war in motion, this superb five-part program provides a dynamic portrayal of America's great national tragedy.
Andersonville (1996) NR
Directed by John Frankenheimer (who won an Emmy for his efforts), this searing Civil War miniseries centers on the appallingly inhumane conditions endured by Union prisoners at the notorious Andersonville stockade in Georgia. Set in 1864 and seen through the perspective of young Union soldier Josiah Day (Jarrod Emick), the made-for-cable drama is a tribute to the human spirit. Frederic Forrest, Cliff De Young and William H. Macy also star.
The Blue and the Gray (1982) NR
Based on the works of Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Catton, this miniseries depicts -- with great attention to historical accuracy -- life in the United States just prior to and during the Civil War as seen by an artist correspondent.  With a legendary ensemble cast (including Gregory Peck, Lloyd Bridges and Colleen Dewhurst), riveting battle sequences and intense drama, the war between the Blue and the Gray rips a nation -- and families -- apart.
The Civil War (2004) NR
As one of the country's and the world's most significant battles, the American Civil War has continued to be a point of interest among historians of military conflict.  Throngs of literature, films and in-depth documentaries have been created about the bloody war that left so many dead.  Now, viewers have the chance to see the battle through the eyes of a soldier as the story is reenacted by thousands of historical enthusiasts.
Civil War Battlefields (2006) NR
This documentary program examines the most notorious battlefields of the American Civil War, an unprecedented domestic conflict that caused the deaths of some 600,000 soldiers and injured more than 400,000 others.  Segments focus on the battle sites at Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania in Virginia; Antietam in Sharpsburg, Md.; Gettysburg, Pa.; and the final surrender at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
Civil War Combat: America's Bloodiest Battles (2000) NR
Using interviews with Civil War experts, reenactment footage and stirring recitations of correspondence and diaries, Civil War Combat brings to life the most crucial conflicts of the War Between the States. These encounters played a seminal role in deciding the result of America's most devastating war, which produced unparalleled casualties. Each episode covers a particular killing field, chronicling the battle progression and key combatants.
Civil War Journal: The Commanders (2001) NR
Learn the personal stories of famous Civil War leaders such as Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and William Tecumseh Sherman.  This historical documentary explores some of the complex reasons behind these commanders' biggest decisions during the war. Stories include Sherman's destructive 300-mile march through Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah, as well as the West Point friendship between wartime enemies Lee and Jackson.
Civil War Journal: The Conflict Begins (2001) NR
The immediate prelude and first months of America's bloody Civil War are the topic of this compelling chronicle that covers John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, the war's opening shots at Fort Sumter and its first major battle at Bull Run.  Hosted by Danny Glover, this installment of the History Channel's "Civil War Journal" series also explores the historic role of the all-African-American 54th Massachusetts regiment during the war.
Civil War Minutes: Gettysburg and Stories of Valor (2004) NR
Narrated by Keith Carradine, this third installment in the Civil War Minutes Series delves into the history of the battle at Gettysburg -- the greatest, most pivotal battle ever fought in the Western hemisphere. Topics include Colonel Strong Vincent's defense of Little Round Top, the cryptic "Devil's Den" photographs, Confederate general Lewis Armistead's secret call for help (after being mortally wounded during "Pickett's Charge") and more.
Cold Mountain (2003) R
Anthony Minghella directs this epic tale of love and loss based on the best-selling book of the same name (and, in part, on Homer's The Odyssey) about a wounded Civil War soldier (Jude Law) making a long, treacherous journey to his home in Cold Mountain, N.C. All the while, his faraway love (Nicole Kidman) fights for her own sanity and survival on her father's farm with help from a brave young drifter (Renee Zellweger, in an Oscar-winning role.)
Gettysburg (1993) PG
The fiercest battle fought on American soil comes to the screen in a realistic production that painstakingly re-creates the events of three fateful days in July 1863 -- from the actual battle locations to the uniforms and boots. Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen and Richard Jordan play key roles in this magnificent epic (based on Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Killer Angels.
Glory (1989) R
Loosely based on the letters of Boston-born Union commander Col. Robert G. Shaw (Matthew Broderick), this Academy Award-winning war film follows the first group of African-Americans to serve in combat during the Civil War.  The heroics of Shaw's volunteer regiment of black soldiers -- including a fugitive slave (Denzel Washington, in an Oscar-winning performance) and a grave digger (Morgan Freeman) -- help turn the tide of the war.
Gods and Generals (2003) PG-13
Director-producer Ron Maxwell mines America's history in this epic movie chronicling the Civil War's beginnings in 1861 to the tragic Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863 and the heroes who defended their honor on both fronts.  Robert Duvall is Gen. Robert E. Lee, who leads the Confederates; Jeff Daniels is Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a Bowdoin College professor who fights for the Union army, and Stephen Lang portrays Gen. Stonewall Jackson.
Gone with the Wind (1939) G
Margaret Mitchell's sweeping Civil War saga remains one of the greatest examples of cinematic storytelling.  Vivien Leigh's tempestuous Scarlett O'Hara and Clark Gable's handsome rogue Rhett Butler bicker and battle from antebellum plantations to the streets of postwar Atlanta.  This special collector's edition features a beautifully restored print and many extras.
Ken Burns: The Civil War (1990) NR
This documentary masterpiece from Ken Burns depicts the strategies and action of famous Civil War battles, and relates the stories of generals, field soldiers, politicians, heroes and a beleaguered president. The Emmy-winning miniseries begins by looking at the factors that led to the firing on Fort Sumter, and covers specific notable battles, climaxing with Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender and Pres. Abraham Lincoln's assassination.
North & South (2004) NR
When her father uproots his family from their serene rural burg for an industrial mill town, parson's daughter Margaret Hale (Daniela Denby-Ashe) struggles to adapt to her harsh new surroundings in this BBC series based on Elizabeth Gaskell's novel.  As her mother's health fails, Margaret throws herself into the fight for workers' rights and clashes with mill owner John Thornton (Richard Armitage). Sinead Cusack and Tim Pigott-Smith also star.
Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
Outlaw Josey Wales is a film about the Kansas Jayhawkers (Red legs) and the Missouri Bushwackers. The warfare that took place out west between Kansas and Missouri during the Civil War, was nothing less than brutal murder. Both sides would invade each others states and kill, rape, pillage and burn.  The movie Outlaw Josey Wales is about a farmer who was living in Missouri minding his own business when a band of Red legs kill his family.  The only mistake they make is not killing Josey Wales when they had a chance.
The Red Badge of Courage (1951) NR
John Huston's classic film adaptation of the 1895 Stephen Crane novel, set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, ponders the feelings of anxiety and finally outright fear in a boy preparing for battle. Henry (Audie Murphy) begins losing his illusions of heroism during his first skirmish, and after witnessing his friend's death and receiving an accidental wound from a retreating soldier, he comes to terms with the realities of warfare.
A successful planter in Virginia is unwilling to take sides in the American Civil War. However, he is forced to become involved when Union soldiers mistakenly capture his son.  The family then proceeds to retrieve the son and along the way discover the horrors of war and the importance of family values. The movie offers superb scenery, a great story and tremendous acting from Jimmy Stewart.
Sherman's March
View one of history's most controversial military campaigns: Gen. William T. Sherman's infamous march through the South, which cut a swath of widespread devastation and brought an end to the Civil War. The documentary comes to life through personal accounts of soldiers, ordinary citizens and Sherman himself, thought to be one of the greatest military strategists ever. This program vividly captures his historic march to the sea.
The Unknown Civil War: Gettysburg (1999) NR
The pivotal conflict at Gettysburg remains the deadliest battle ever fought on U.S. soil. This documentary series recounts how a calculated gamble by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee pitted him against Union forces led by Gen. George Meade. Each of three episodes covers a day in the three-day struggle via reenactments, photographs and commentary by Civil War historians; a fourth segment contains a roundtable discussion of the confrontation.
The Unknown Civil War: Greatest Battles of the Civil War (2000) NR
This documentary series carefully and dynamically recounts eight key battles of the Civil War: Antietam, Chancellorsville, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, Shiloh, the Appomattox Campaign, the Petersburg Campaign and the Siege of Vicksburg. Rare period photographs, reenactments and interviews with leading Civil War historians illuminate the circumstances and personalities at the core of each of these struggles.