Covering the controlled territory, battles, and casualties of the Civil War in a very short video? A superb creative visualization.

How’s this for a very creative visualization? A four-minute video that tells the story of the American Civil War through the amount of territory controlled by the Union and Confederate forces with mention of major battles and a casualty counter in the corner.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum created The Civil War in Four Minutes.

You can view the video here at what appears to be the only authorized place to host it.

Update on 1/19/19: Video is no longer available online. You need to buy a copy if you want to see it. A bootleg copy can be found online, but I won’t link to it.

You can buy the video at the Lincoln Library here for $12.99.

I’ve only watched the video 4 times and am captivated by it.

The time scale of the video is one second represents one week.

The rapid deterioration before Lincoln was even inaugurated is visually noticeable.

That the Civil War was won in the west is illustrated powerfully. The only substantial geographic progress was out west, other than naval forces capturing a few cities.

The impact of Grant is quite noticeable as progress starts quickly at Forts Henry and Donnelson with progress to Shiloh shortly thereafter. Control of the Mississippi moves up from New Orleans and down to Vicksburg and then stops. Grant capturing Vicksburg immediately opens lots of territory by cutting the Confederacy in pieces.  Sherman’s huge victories in the Atlanta campaign visually chop the Confederacy in pieces again.

All that progress in the West while the small distance see-saw continues in the East.

The winter/spring campaign lull is quite obvious.

Check out the video for a superb illustration of creative visualization.

If you are a history buff, you just gotta’ check it out.

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