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Published on April 22nd, 2007 | by Erich Becker

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Sherman’s March

For the History Channel’s next special, after The Dark Ages earlier this year, Sherman’s March returns to one of the biggest and still most polarized wars to take place in the United States, the Civil War. At the heart of the war was the ideals between a sectarian branch of the country who believed one way, and the rest of the union failing to acknowledge the ability to withdrawn from the union.

One of the biggest men during this was not the immediately identifiable Ulysses S. Grant or Robert E. Lee but that of William Sherman, a man still held in contempt in the South to this day, nearly 130 years after the final shots range out in the bloody war. He’s viewed as a hero in the north, the man who allowed Grant to successfully pin Lee and lead to his surrender, but it wasn’t necessarily his prowess on the field of battle that gave him his advantage, is the way he conducted his entire campaign across Georgia, to Savannah, and north through the Carolinas to deliver one of the final blows to the rebellion.

The special, debuting tonight on The History Channel, takes a historical view of the campaign and analyzes the tactics of foraging for supplies, and engaging in total war across Georgia, and the destruction of South Carolina as he marched. Sherman‘s march across the south has taken a life of its own over the years with many stories of destruction being attributed to the man, even though he was hundreds of miles away on the days the supposed melee occurred. It’s interesting to see just how different historians see the unconventional, but ultimately effective, methods that Sherman engaged in and the cold blooded nature in which his campaign was met by members of the rebellion.

The show’s somewhat cheesy tagline says it all; The Civil War was anything but Civil. Sherman‘s March shows you why that statement is entirely true.

The recreation begins with a warning about some dramatization in the historically accurate presentation, and most of these events can be pointed out easily. The screener copy provided lacked some of the booming sound effects you would expect during some of the bigger battle recreations and the gunshots throughout are not very well done. The acting, or over-acting for that matter, of those involved in the recreation does lead to a few laughs here and there, but ultimately it’s the information you’re here to see, and like The History Channel is known for, there’s a great deal here and its presented in the standard commentary format that has worked so well for so long.

Like most of these specials, the core audience is aficionados of the individual conflict, but since most viewers are familiar with Sherman‘s march from high school history classes, and the supposed “Scorched Earth policy” there’s a nice refresher her for anyone with two hours to spare and an interest in what really happen on the march to the see.

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About the Author

Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!



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