Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Civil War: The Untold Story on PBS

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on March 31, 2014


Via Pat Young at Civil War Talk, PBS stations around the country will begin airing Civil War: The Untold Story, a five-part series on the war in the western theater. A partial list of stations where it’s scheduled is after the jump. Last year, HistoryNet had an interview about the series with the director, Chris Wheeler:


HistoryNet: Your documentary is titled Civil War: The Untold Story. With all that has been written about the war, and all the documentaries that have been done, what is your “Untold Story”?
Chris Wheeler: It’s really on multiple levels. Instead of focusing on the Virginia-Maryland-Pennsylvania campaign, we’re telling the story of the Civil War through the lens of the Western Theater, the area between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River: Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and the Atlanta Campaign. While it is not entirely an untold story, the story of that part of the war is not told very often. Many historians believe the Western Campaign is where the war was won and lost. We’re not going to ignore the East; we’ll briefly mention events there and put them in perspective within what’s happening in the West.
HN: There is a widespread belief that the seat of war was in the Virginia-Maryland-Pennsylvania region, and that everything that happened in the Western Theater was simply a sideshow. Why do you think it is that the Western Theater gets less respect?
CW: I think there’s no denying the Eastern Theater was very important—the catastrophic loss of life makes it tragic, and that alone brings attention to the East, and deservedly so. It would be wrong for us to ignore the Eastern Theater, but we are focusing on the West. The war in the East was fought in a highly populated area around the capitals of Washington and Richmond. The media—newspapers and magazines—had very easy access to the Eastern Theater, and so logically it was covered more extensively at the time.
The lands between the Appalachians and Mississippi River were not the frontier by that time, but it was rougher country. Journalists had to cover hundreds of miles, from Fort Donelson to Shiloh to Vicksburg, eastward to Tennessee and onward to Atlanta. So the Western Campaign didn’t get nearly the media coverage at the time the war was happening. I think that is part of the reason the West has gotten short shrift when it comes to interpreting the Civil War.



Here’s an introductory clip:



Alabama Public Television – Sunday, April 6, 2-6p, April 13, 5p
Arkansas Public Television – Sundays beginning April 6 at 1:30p
Georgia Public Television…April, no dates set
Idaho Public Television…this summer, no dates set
Iowa Public Television
South Dakota Public Television – Sundays at 10p beginning April 6
KAET – Phoenix
KHUT – Houston – Wednesdays at 10p beginning April 2
KAWE – Bemidji, Minnesota
KBDI – Colorado Public Television
KCOS – Colorado Springs
KCSM – San Mateo, California
KCTS – Seattle…will air this summer
KEDT – Corpus Christi, TX
KENW – New Mexico…April or May, no dates selected
KERA – Dallas
KNME – Albuquerque/Santa Fe….Mondays beginning 4/21 at 9p
KLRU – Austin, TX
KNCT – Kileen, TX…Thursdays at 8p beginning April 10
KLVX – Las
Vegas…Airs Sun 4/6 & Mon 4/7 repeats Sun 4/13 & Mon 4/14 on Vegas PBS Jackpot COX Cable 111
KNME – Albuquerque – Mondays at 9p beginning April 21
KNPB – Reno
KETC – St. Louis – Sunday thru Thursday, April 6 -10 at 10p
KOOD – Western Kansas
KPBS – San Diego…Tuesdays at 11p in April (no date yet)
KPTS – Wichita
KQED – San Francisco
KQEH – San Jose, CA
KRCB – Sonoma County, California
KRMA – Denver
KRSU – Appleton, Minnesota
KSMQ – Austin, Minnesota
KSPS – Spokane, Washington
KCOS – El Paso, TX…will air in April, no dates yet
KTCA – Minneapolis/St. Paul
WITF – Harrisburg, PA
KTTZ – Lubbock, Texas
KTWU – Kansas City, KS
KUAC – Fairbanks, Alaska
KUED – Salt Lake City
KVCR – San Bernardino, CA
KOCE – PBS Southern California….Tuesdays at 11p beginning 4/15
KVIE – Sacramento, California
KWSU – Pullman, Washington
Kentucky Educational Television (KET) – Sundays at 3p beginning April 6; 10p on KET2 beginning April 6
Louisiana Public Broadcasting – Wednesdays at 10p beginning 4/02
Maine Public Television
Maryland Public Television…will air in July or August
Mississippi Public Broadcasting …Sundays at 5p beginning 4/20
Montana Public Television
North Carolina Public Television
North Dakota Public Television
WCMU – Mt. Pleasant, MIchigan
Nebraska Public Television
New Hampshire Public Television
New Jersey Public Television
Oklahoma Public Television
Connecticut Public Television….this summer, no dates yet
Oregon Public Television – Tuesdays at 1pm beginning April 1 on OPB-Plus
South Carolina Public Television…will air in April
Vermont Public Television
WCFE – Burlington, VT
WCMU – Traverse City/Cadillac, Michigan…will air in May
WCTE – Cookeville, TN…will air in May
WCNY – Syracuse, NY
WEDU – Tampa, FL
WEFS – Orlando, Florida
WFSU – Tallahassee, Florida
WEIU – Charleston, IL
WGBY – Springfield, Massachusetts
WGVU – Kalamazoo, Michigan
WHRO – Hampton Roads/Norfolk, Virginia
WHUT – Howard University, Washington DC…Mondays at 10p beginning 4/14
WILL – Springfield, IL – Sunday April 20, 1- 4p; Sunday April 27, 1-3p
WIPB – Indiana Public Broadcasting
WISC – Madison, Wisconsin
WITF – Harrisburg, PA
WTIF 3 – Georgia
WKAR – Lansing, Michigan
WKNO – Memphis, TN – Tuesdays at 8p beginning April 29
WKYU – Bowling Green, Kentucky….Sunday, 4/27 at 6p, Wednesday, 4/30 at 7p
WLJT – Martin, TN…late spring or early summer
WLAE – New Orleans
WLIW – New York City
WMHT – Albany, NY
WMVS – Milwaukee, WI – Saturdays starting April 5
WNED – Buffalo, NY
WNEO – northeast Ohio
WNIN – Evansville, IN – April 3, 8-10p; April 10, 8-10p; April 17, 7p
WNMU – Silver City, NM
WNPT – Nashville – Thursdays at 8p beginning April 3
WNYE – New York City
WOSU – Columbus, Ohio
WOUB – Athens, Ohio
WPBA – Atlanta, GA
WPBS – Watertown, NY
WPSU – State College, PA
WQLN – Erie, PA
WSRE – Pensacola, FL
WTVI – Charlotte, NC
WTVS – Detroit…Tuesdays at 11p beginning April 22
WUCF – Orlando, FL
WUFT – Gainesville, FL
WUSF – Tampa/St. Petersburg
WVIA – Scranton, PA
WCVE – Richmond, VA – Mondays (Date ?) at 10p
WVIR – Charlottesville, VA – Mondays (Date ?) at 10p
WVIZ – northeast Ohio
WVPT – Harrisonburg, VA
WXEL – West Palm Beach, FL
WXXI – Rochester, NY
Wyoming Public Television – holding for May sweeps
WCET – Cincinnati, Ohio – Sundays 4/6 at 4p
WPTO – Dayton/Oxford, Ohio – Sundays beginning 4/27 at 10p
WFYI – Indianapolis…will air this summer
WTCI – Chattanooga – Sundays at 7p beginning 4/6
WETP – Knoxville – Sundays beginning 4/6 at 7p
KUHT – Houston – Wednesdays at 10 beginning 4/02
WGTE, Toledo – May or June, no dates set
WNET/New York City – Saturday 4/05 at 1p, 2p, 3p; Saturday 4/12 at 1p, 2p



8 Responses

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  1. H. E. Parmer said, on April 1, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Thanks for letting us know about this series, Andy. It somehow escaped my attention, and I’d have really kicked myself if I’d missed it, since this is where a lot of my current interest in the Civil War lies.

  2. Betty Giragosian said, on April 1, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Andy, I saw the very last installment of this series at the Virginia War Memorial, this past Sunday. It was sponsored by our public tv channel, WCVE, the American Civil War Museum(MOC) and the Virginia War Memorial.
    It was so well done. We all sat in that theater, mesmerized. I look forward to seeing it on PBS>

    • Andy Hall said, on April 1, 2014 at 8:01 am

      Everything I’ve heard about it is very positive.

      It’s debatable whether academic historians have overlooked the war in the west, but Wheeler’s certainly right that it gets shortchanged in the public’s memory. Gettysburg and Sharpsburg, Grant, Lee and Jackson dominate popular perception and suck up all the air in the room.

  3. Patrick Young said, on April 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    The clips I’ve seen looked good. In my own series The Immigrants’ Civil War, nearly half the articles are on subjects west of the Alleghenies and in all honesty, the readership drops off for those articles. There is a prejudice in the CW reading public, at least among my own readers. I can see drops of 10% to 25%.

  4. Chris Wheeler said, on April 5, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Thanks, Andy, for helping get the word out about our series. If you’d like to know more, including updated air dates, please find us on Facebook at Civil War: The Untold Story

  5. Will Roberts said, on April 5, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Well, I was very disappointed to see that the first episode of the film was so dedicated to the issue of slavery as being a cause of the war, which it was not. Nothing was said about the real reasons for the outbreak of the war and why the southern states seceded. Very disappointing.

  6. Max Terman said, on August 24, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    I missed this series but hope to see it if it comes on again. I wrote a first person account of my ancestor’s Civil War experiences–google Hiram’s Honor and Hiram’s Hope if interested.

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