The story of the Civil War – VIDEO

A couple months ago I rewatched Ken Burns’ series on The Civil War.

I see that there is a new Civil War series.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Jason the Gray says:

    I stand in respectful awe of parody video greatness. These guys hit it out of the park. Even the “Ken Burns Effect” pan/zoom thing on the stills. Thanks Father for bringing this to our attention.

  2. Baritone says:

    Sentimental background music: $230
    Interviews with “experts”: $2300
    Quoting “Senator” Jar-Jar Binks seriously and keeping a straight face: priceless

  3. Sentimental background music: The Ashokan Farewell, by Jay Ungar. Written as the final waltz of the annual dance camp at his Ashokan dance camp. Was voted the song most reenactors wish was from the war…but was actually written in the 1980s. Sentimental? You have to have attened one of his dance camps (mostly new england, french canadian, contra, and some english country dance) to get the full effect, which Burns’ inclusion in TCW only touched upon.

  4. Tony Phillips says:

    I thought it was interesting that Pope Francis mentioned Abraham Lincoln in his address to the US Congress. I wonder if some adviser suggested this, or has the Lincoln mythology embedded itself in Latin America as well as the US?

    Growing up in the US, we were always taught how wonderful this martyred president was. We did learn about the suspension of habeas corpus in grade school (though not the interment of a big chunk of the Maryland legislature), but this was explained as a necessary evil in this great and necessary war.

    Looking back, the whole thing seems much more complex. Yes, slavery was evil, but was it not hypocritical for a nation founded on revolution and secession to deny the right of secession to states? Would abolition have happened eventually, and without spawning the racial problems that still plague the US, had the north let the south depart in peace (as many northern Democrats would have liked)?

  5. The Cobbler says:

    I don’t suppose you’ve seen the “When you show up at the wrong rebel war reenactment” picture that made the rounds on Facebook recently? (I’d post a link, but… one thing I don’t like about sites that are all streaming the latest posts: harder to go back and find stuff…)

  6. bobbird says:

    Tony Phillips is spot-on. And, let’s not forget that Pius IX sent Jefferson Davis, held in prison for two solid years without trial, a Crown of Thorns. Davis wanted that trial, to prove that secession is a Natural Law right, as recognized in the Declaration of Independence’s first sentence. Was that war over slavery? No more than World War II was a war to save the Jews. Proof: If SC and other states did not secede in 1860, would Lincoln have invaded the South to free slaves? The question answers itself. He invaded because secession would have removed the lucrative tariffs that he insisted be collected in the first inaugural. He even promised not to molest the South anywhere else than in the customs houses and ports! It is time to un-canonize Lincoln, the man who attended a séance in the White House, a necromancy event to conjure his dead son Willie. To see a recent scholarly debate on this between two orthodox Catholics, visit: It is three of four parts, but the main debate. [You might have missed it, but this entry is not about the American Civil War, nor about Lincoln. So, this rabbit hole is hereby closed.]

  7. bookworm says:

    “Would abolition have happened eventually… had the north let the south depart in peace”

    The last nation in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery, Brazil, did it in the 1880s, so most historians guess that had the South won the Civil War it probably would have given up slavery sometime before the turn of the century. But that’s only a guess, of course, and it’s a bit of a stretch to presume that this would have prevented the “racial problems that still plague the U.S.”

    As for letting the South “depart in peace”; Lincoln was perfectly willing to let slavery continue in existing slave states as long as they stayed in the Union. (Ultimately, four slave states did stay in the Union.) What Lincoln would not tolerate was the spread of slavery to new territories. However, this was not enough for the Southern “fire eaters” who insisted upon slavery being allowed to expand into the West (some hoped to expand it even beyond the current borders of the U.S. into Cuba and Central America). I often compare the attitude of the slavery “fire eaters” of the 1850s to the aggressive promoters of abortion and same-sex civil marriage today, for whom mere tolerance of the status quo is not enough — they must have active approval and cooperation from the rest of the country as well.

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