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The History Channel Presents Sherman's March
The History Channel Presents Sherman's March
Actor: William Tecumseh Sherman
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2007     1hr 34min

General William Tecumseh Sherman s scorched-earth strategy against the South helped end the Civil War and in the process changed military strategy forever. In SHERMAN S MARCH, THE HISTORY CHANNEL explores his brutal and ef...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: William Tecumseh Sherman
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, Military & War
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/30/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"Uncle Billy!"
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 11/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Civil War recreationists would love this work. Maybe some volunteered as actors for it. People who love beards will like it too because every man here is sporting one.

I would have thought Sherman's March was just a line through part of the country. This documentary showed that he and his troops made a V-shaped pattern. In history classes, I heard little besides "Sherman's March helped to end the Civil War, now onto something different!" This work goes into detail about his strategy. He tried to traverse places that he knew would have food for his troops and their horses. He retaliated when Confederate troops tried various tactics.

Many historians have emphasized that abolitionists just opposed slavery; they wouldn't have lifted a finger to fight segregation, employment discrimination, or anti-miscegenation laws. Here, we learn that Sherman and some of his disciples did not think highly of the slaves they liberated. The works spell out that they were oppressive even as their military actions brought freedom. I'm glad this work didn't dance around this fact and didn't pretend that Sherman was loved by all or should be loved by modern citizens.

The work is made entirely of reenactments, but they are not cheesy like in most documentaries. Because of their high-quality, they recycle a lot of scenes and it gets repetitive. This documentary uses a lot of the fancy camera tricks that Vince McMahon wanted to use in his XFL program."
Uncle Billy
William C. Allen | Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX USA | 07/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a great reenactment, presentation. It's not dull like some documentaries that just talk on and on with the same guy for an hour. This includes several different people knowledgeable in their respective fields be it civilian or military historian. Also it includes many re-en actors that will take part in the roles of Sherman and the men under his command, helping to take you back to that time in 1864 to let you experience it as if you were there.

This is definitely a must have to anyone interested in Sherman and his March."
Honor Civil War Union General Sherman and "Uncle Billy's Boy
Alfred Johnson | boston, ma | 09/10/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The ultimate outcomes of the American Civil War of 1861-65 were both the preservation of the Union and the abolition of slavery. Both were worthy historical outcomes from the perspective of today's militant leftists. The Civil War, however, went through various twists and turns socially, politically, morally and militarily before final victory. The docu-drama under review here presented by the History Channel takes a look at a big and decisive slice of the military aspect (and a little of the moral and political aspects as well along the way) - Union General Sherman's "total" war march through Georgia (and then north through the Carolinas to join up with General Grant before Richmond) in order to break the will of the Southern population to continue the fight.

Needless to say even today there are still some very deep emotions drawn out concerning this military strategy, North and South. As my sympathies lie with the North the title of this entry pretty much says it all- Honor the General's work. Why? As presented here the fundamental problem on the battlefield was to end the stalemate as quickly as possible by a military breakthrough. Head to head bloody encounters between the armies in the field were indecisive. That the South would at some point run out of resources, men and materials, could be projected. But at what cost in Union men and materials. Moreover a struggle to the bitter end would make political settlement that much harder (which turned out to be the case anyway). Under those circumstances bold actions like the seizure of the military and industrial depot that was Atlanta and a run to the coast at Savannah cutting off Southern supply lines (rail lines, really) was the beginning of wisdom.

Of course in Southern hagiography this strategy was beyond the pale and southerners, and particularly southern politicians from that time to this have made that point. Ironically Sherman's own personal feelings about blacks and slavery were not that far from the southerners but as a Union man and a military man he needed to take a bold move against the odds. Moreover, his policy of having his army `live off the land'
(foraying, in the etiquette of the day) could be justified on purely military grounds. Any competent commander will tell you that one way to keep army morale up is to have it do useful work with few causalities unless necessary. After many, too many, bloody encounters for seemingly nebulous objectives here was an army that was basically kept intact through the Georgia campaign and then later up through the Carolinas. Nice work, "bummers".

Much has been made, and I think correctly, that Sherman's efforts were the first serious application of the notion of "total" war with which we have over the last century and a half become all too familiar. Simply put, this is the notion that militarily virtually nothing is off limits, including civilian populations, in the pursuit of the military/political objectives of a campaign. The real question becomes then not for or against such strategies in principle but whether the cause is just. America's total war against the Vietnamese people in the 1960's and 70's is an example of the unjust use of that concept. Sherman's use, though, is a just example. Hail General Sherman and "Uncle Billy's boys".

Not bad history of Sherman's March
J. Jones | North Carolina, USA | 08/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

For a brief introduction to Sherman's March, you can't go wrong with this DVD. I happened to be reading Shelby Foot's Civil War, which is a more in depth exploration of Sherman's March, but as a primer or introduction to what Sherman did in his march and why, you can't go wrong w/this dvd."