Episode number 1 of Series “The Civil War”.
In this introductory episode the background of the war is dramatically evoked and the commanders and ordinary soldiers march on stage - along with the diarists and letter writers who will put it in perspective. In 1861 the nation witnesses the inauguration of two rival presidents and the first shots are fired at Fort Sumter and Bull Run. Subtitled “At the crossroads of our being”, this episode is summed up in the words of Mary Boykin Chesnut of Charleston, “We are divorced now, North from South, because we hated each other so”.
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