Smithsonian Channel Announces Release Date For New Civil War Doc

April 11, 2018 by: admin

Courtesy: Smithsonian Channel/Public Media Distribution

By Philip Sayblack

Smithsonian Channel is taking audiences back to the Civil War next month with a new documentary on DVD.

Civil War 360 is scheduled to be released May 1.  The three-part documentary tells more stories from the Civil War from the vantage point of the Confederacy, the Union and from the slaves caught in the middle of the conflict.

The Union’s story — aptly titled “The Union” — is told by actress Ashley Judd (SistersHeatDouble Jeopardy) while singer/actor Trace Adkins brings audiences “The Confederacy.”  Actor and Allstate Insurance spokesman Dennis Haybert (Far From HeavenMajor League24) tells the story of the slaves caught in the middle of the conflict in “Fight For Freedom.”

In “Fight For Freedom,” Haysbert traces his lineage back to slaves while discovering the very inkwell used by President Lincoln to craft the Gettysburg Address and a hymnal owned by Harriet Tubman.  Haysbert that journey of self-discovery tied into his portion of this program was enlightening.

“So many people stood up and fought together to make this country a free country,” Haysbert said.  “It just gave me a different perspective on what our country is about and what we can be.”

Audiences learn during “The Confederacy” that Adkins’ great-great grandfather fought for the confederacy.  Adkins traces the music, art and firearms used during the war, which are displayed at the Smithsonian Museum during his segment.  His takeaway from his discoveries was a deeper appreciation for the items and their importance to not just the war’s history, but to America’s history.

“I’ve had a real personal connection with the Civil War ever since I was a kid,” Adkins said.  “This is our last best chance to raise awareness.  The battlefields, the guns, the pikes, the uniforms and flags – all these things are all that we have left from that pivotal period in this nation’s history.  They should be treated as treasures, and we should try to preserve them and save them for future generations, because it’s impossible to know who you are if you don’t know your history, or where you’ve come from or what you’ve done.”

Judd learns through “The Union” that two of her three-times great-grandfathers — both from Kentucky — fought for the Union during the war.In learning her family history, Judd echoed Adkins’ sentiments about knowing one’s history.

“I hope it inspires people to take a look at their own family history, and learn the interesting stories that can help enlighten them as well as move their hearts,” Judd said.

All three segments that make up the body of Civil War 360 are contained on just one disc at a total run time of 180 minutes.  The documentary will retail for MSRP of $19.99, but can be pre-ordered online now at a reduced price of $14.99 via PBS’ online store.  It can also be downloaded via various digital outlets here

and check out a trailer for the program at the same location.

More information on this and other titles from Smithsonian Channel is available online now at:




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