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Ghost Canyon

'Blood & Glory: The Civil War in Color' [Blu-ray]
(Blu ray / NR / 2015 / LGF)

Overview: 'Blood & Glory: The Civil War in Color' brings one of the most defining periods in American history to life in this highly acclaimed, four-part documentary series.

Blu ray Verdict: I didn't know much about the Civil Wr, to be quite frank. I knew it was fought from 1861 to 1865 to determine the survival of the Union or independence for the Confederacy. Sure. Also, that among the 34 states in January 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America. The Confederacy, often simply called the South, grew to include eleven states, and although they claimed thirteen states and additional western territories, the Confederacy was never diplomatically recognized by a foreign country.

Yup, had all that under lock and brain key, and a few tidbits more, of course re: that the states that remained loyal and did not declare secession were known as the Union or the North. Also, that the war had its origin in the fractious issue of slavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories. That after four years of combat, which left over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead and destroyed much of the South's infrastructure, the Confederacy collapsed and slavery was abolished. Then began the Reconstruction and the processes of restoring national unity and guaranteeing civil rights to the freed slaves.

So, I guess I knew more than I gave myself credit for, but that all said, 'Blood & Glory: The Civil War in Color' enlightened me to so much more about this devastatingly horrific, and all-consuming war. This brand new miniseries has now been released by the History Channel (via LGF on home entertainment) to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War in April 2015. In the style of WWII in HD and Vietnam in HD, it tells the story of the Civil War through the experience of a collection of carefully selected soldiers.

Selected by the quality of the primary source materials and covering the breadth of the four years of the war, potential portraits for the North could be: John Geary, Division Commander from Pennsylvania who fought in all the major campaigns and whose son died in his arms on the battlefield; the Taylor Brothers who were volunteers from the First Minnesota, one of whom died at Gettysburg; and Charles Wainwright, an artillery officer from New York whose voluminous diary was so good, it was published.

The South could include: Edward Porter Alexander from Georgia whose memoir of his fighting in all the major battles is considered the best Southern memoir; Decimus et Ultimus Barziza from Virginia, named because he was the 10th and last child in his family, who was captured and escaped.

Using state-of-the-art technology with unprecedented access to government and private archives, over 600 rare and compelling black-and-white photographs have been painstakingly colorized to illustrate the story of a nation torn apart, pitting North against South - brother against brother. The Chapters included are: Davis Is Chosen to Lead; A Call to Arms; Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation; The H. L. Hunley Death Trap; Sherman's March to Savannah; Lincoln's Gettysburg Address; Lee's Reluctant Surrender African Americans After The War. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Exclusive Interviews with Civil War historians and descendants, and special appearances by retired U.S. Army Generals David Petraeus and Colin Powell.