In this revealing documentary, Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey) recounts how the struggle between North and South—long defined by battles like Gettysburg, Antietam, and Bull Run—was actually dependent on events in the West. Although often overlooked, the western theatre saw some of the conflict’s bloodiest encounters, such as Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chickamauga, and featured iconic leaders including the Union’s Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman and the Confederacy’s P.G.T. Beauregard and Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Using historical reenactments, 3-D maps, and interviews with top Civil War scholars, this five-part series shows why the land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River—“the West”—played such a vital part in the outcome of the war. Eventually, West met East when Grant took on Robert E. Lee in Virginia and Sherman made his march across Georgia to the sea.