From the NPT pressroom:

“Shall it be peace, or sword?” When Abraham Lincoln pondered how to conclude his first inaugural address, delivered on March 4, 1861, it was these words he considered. He was struggling with how to make the nation whole again – seven states had already seceded from the union. While Lincoln ultimately chose less inflammatory language, the nation chose sword. Secession tore the country apart, and with it, states, communities and families. Nowhere was the debate more heated than in Tennessee, where some were willing to lay down their lives for what they saw as a threat to their way of life, while others were willing to die to preserve the Union they loved.  The Civil War is figuratively referred to as a conflict of brother against brother. In Tennessee, it was a cold, hard fact.

In 2011, the nation marks the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War. To commemorate the historic event, Nashville Public Television (NPT) and the Renaissance Center presentTennessee Civil War 150, a new series of documentaries delving into life in Tennessee during the war. The first episode, “Secession,” premiering on Monday, January 3, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. and airing numerous times through the month of January, explores why many Tennesseans chose to join the Confederate States of America and fight a new war for their independence.

“NPT joins many organizations in Tennessee commemorating the sesquicentennial of the war,” says Beth Curley, president and CEO of NPT. “Throughout the state, and especially here in Middle Tennessee, there are markers and reminders of the horror and heroism of those dark days in our nation’s history. As an educational resource, we feel that it’s our mission to preserve that history, and provide context for viewers, now and for generations to come.”

“Secession,” produced by NPT’s Ed Jones (Beautiful Tennessee: Parks & Preservation) and narrated by former NBC and MNBC news anchor John Seigenthaler, Jr., covers Tennessee’s internal struggle, including how the geographic and cultural divisions throughout the state determined loyalty to the Union or the Confederacy.

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