Episode 1: Prologue
Oliver Wendell Holmes – We have shared the incommunicable experiences of war. We have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top. In our youths, our hearts were touched with fire.
Narrator – By the summer of 1861, Wilmer McLean had had enough. Two great armies were converging on his farm, in what would be the first major battle of the Civil War – Bull Run or Manassas as the Confederates called it – would soon rage across the aging Virginians farm, a Union shell going so far as to explode in the summer kitchen. Now, Mclean had moved his family away from Manassas and south and west of Richmond – out of harm’s way, he prayed, to a dusty crossroads called Appomattox Court House. And it was there in his living room three and a half years later that Lee surrendered to Grant, and Wilmer McLean could rightfully say, "The war began in my front yard and ended in my front parlor."
A friend and fellow historian recently sent me the entire Ken Burns Civil War transcript. Huh….what should I do with it?