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Civil War documentary previews Monday


MSU University Relations



Mississippi State University Libraries and the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library will offer a special preview of the new PBS documentary series "Civil War: The Untold Story."  


For the March 17 screenings, director and producer Chris Wheeler will be in attendance.  


Episode 1, "Bloody Shiloh," will show at 1 p.m. in the Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Music Museum at Mitchell Memorial Library, and Episode 2, "A Beacon of Hope," will show at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Simrall Hall.  


Admission is free and open to all. Panel discussions will follow each showing. 


"Civil War: The Untold Story" is a 5-hour documentary series that breaks new ground by examining the war through the lens of the Western Theater -- battles in the strategic lands between the Appalachians and Mississippi River. Narrated by Elizabeth McGovern, an actress who portrays Cora on "Downton Abbey," the series is set to premiere nationally on public television stations beginning in April. 


The series tells the stories of Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Atlanta and other battles in lands then known as "The West." Many historians believe that the Western Theater was where the war was won -- and lost. In addition to the epic battles, "Civil War: The Untold Story" provides new insights into the relatively unknown roles African Americans played in the conflict, from enslaved to emancipated to soldier.  


The 55-minute episodes provide new insights into the causes of war, the strategic importance of the Western Theater, and graphically tell the story of Shiloh, the first major battle of the war. In addition, the episodes tell 'untold stories' of escaping slaves who sought refuge with Union armies advancing south prior to the Emancipation Proclamation. 


Wheeler is an award-winning producer, director and photojournalist. He provides creative vision and guidance over all programming for Great Divide Pictures in Denver, Colo. Wheeler has produced and directed more than 25 visitor center films for the National Park Service, including films for Shiloh National Military Park, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Crater Lake National Park, and Big Bend National Park. Wheeler also has produced documentaries for History Channel and Discovery. In 1987, Wheeler was named National Press Photographers Association "Photographer of the Year" for his work at KARE-TV in Minneapolis, Minn.  


For more information on these events, visit



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