The press release associated with this first episode, which premiered tonight stated:

Nashville Public Television (NPT) and the Renaissance Center present Tennessee Civil War 150, a new series of documentaries delving into life in Tennessee during the war. The first episode, “Secession,” . . . . explores why many Tennesseans chose to join the Confederate States of America and fight a new war for their independence.

Overall, I’d give the first episode a solid B+. The production quality is a C+. Some of the graphics, editing and fake mustache leave much to be desired.

Dr. Carroll Van West got the most face-time by a guest historian. He was solid. Robert Hicks had a brief cameo. There were several other historians and/or guests who were consulted.  All did well with their contributions.

It was historically sound unless one is of the belief that slavery had nothing to do with cotton States seceding. I can already hear the mantra and lamentations that it was politically correct for even mentioning slavery in the same context as secession.

It did a very good job of showing how TN was divided before secession, and even during/after the war.  Many people mistakenly believe that everyone in the South was de facto secessionists. Tennessee was solidly Unionist the first 3-4 months of 1861.  Lincoln’s calling up of 75,000 volunteers to suppress the rebellion in April 1861 was the linchpin that led to Tennessee eventually formally approving secession in June 1861.

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